Finding out you’re a product of genetic engineering and about to go through your second puberty is shocking enough, but the unforeseen repercussions with school, family, and friends are what really change everything.
I peddled home as fast as I could, wondering if this day could get any weirder. If I had only known.
I came in through the kitchen door. I tried to be quiet but Geoff’s shoes were too big for me and they flipped up and down like clown feet. Mom was cooking dinner and she looked up at me as I flip-flopped by. First she noticed the shirt.
“What’s with the baggy shirt? You’re not going gangsta on us are you?”
Then the shoes.
“What have you got on your feet?”
And finally the eyes.
“And what have you done to your eyes?”
“Mom,” I said, “It’s a long story. And if you don’t mind I don’t want to tell it more than once. So maybe tonight, after dinner, we could have a family meeting and I can tell you all at the same time.”
Mom paused for a minute, stirring spoon in her hand. “Are those contacts?”
“Ok, fine. Dinner’s in an hour.”
My family is great. I mean it. I know most people have a least one troublemaker but not us. We all got along. We all helped each other when we could. No one judged. It was amazing.
I think part of the reason was that my parents could never have kids the usual way. They had to adopt, so all three of us were adopted, my brother, my sister and me. There wasn’t that sense of “I’m the real kid and you’re just a guest.” We were all guests. Sure we fought from time to time but for the most part we were as close a family as you could want. And one of our traditions was the family meeting. If one of us had an issue or problem we sat around after dinner and talked it out. It almost always helped. Tonight would be my turn, but as close as my family was, I didn’t know how they would take the news that I had been genetically engineered, and had started to undergo certain changes, the full significance of which I was only starting to guess.
I spent the next hour in my room, pouring over my homework. I barely acknowledged my brother when he came in. He was a good guy, a year younger than me and about 4 inches taller, lanky, another geek. Let’s face it, we were all geeks. It ran in our unrelated family. Most of it came from our upbringing I think. TV was strictly limited. Reading was encouraged. Dad was always throwing out math problems at the dinner table. We had a word-of-the-day calendar. You get the picture.
But when Joe came into our room, I didn’t look up. I wasn’t trying to be rude but the eye color thing was sure to come up and I really didn’t want to deal with it before the meeting.
“Mom says you called a meeting tonight.”
“Hmm,” I mumbled.
“Come to the meeting and find out.”
“Must be pretty big.”
“Yup, it’s pretty big.”
“So are you coming out or what?”
I gagged and practically swallowed my tongue. I knew my brother didn’t really believe what he said. He was just trying to goad me into telling him what was up. But the fact that he went there, and right after that incident with Geoff… Well, it practically killed me. I was coughing and gasping for five minutes. Joe was slapping me on my back asking if I was okay.
“Fine!” I cried as soon as I could. “I’m fine.”
“Oh my God, that’s it isn’t it? You’re banging Geoff. That’s why you’re wearing his shirt.”
“How did you know it was Geoff’s shirt?”
“I didn’t,” he said grinning, “but I do now.” That’s the problem with having a smart brother.
“I don’t notice any denials,” he said.
“At this point,” I said, still facing away from him, “any denials would be pointless. You wouldn’t believe them anyway.”
“Come on, bro, what else could this be about?”
“You want a hint, Joe? Fine.” I turned around and looked at him. The grin fell from his face.
“What the fuck happened to your eyes?”
“Let’s just say Geoff fucked them blue, and leave it at that.”
“No, dude, seriously, what happened?”
“You want to know? Be there after dinner.”
“Come on, bro, tell me.”
“I will, with everybody else, after dinner.”
“Okay, fine, let’s go eat dinner.” I looked at my watch. Dinner was in five minutes. And I have to say, now that the time was approaching, I was starting to get a little nervous.
“Come on, let’s go,” said Joe impatiently. I got up from my desk and started toward the door.
“Are you going to wear lover boy’s shirt to dinner?” asked Joe. “You could use it as a visual aid.”
Christ, no. The last thing I wanted was to bring Geoff into the conversation. I was pretty sure I still had a clean golf shirt hanging in the closet. I headed in that direction pulling Geoff’s shirt off as I went.
“Holy fucking Christ on a stick!” I heard my brother shout and I froze. Changing my shirt in front of my brother is something I have done about a billion times. I never thought twice about it. This time I should have.
“You are not my brother.”
“You are not my brother.”
“Of course I’m your brother.”
“My brother is a skinny kid with brown eyes. He doesn’t have… muscles. Now, I admit you kind of look like him. But you are not the same kid I saw drag his scrawny ass out of bed this morning.”
There was some truth in that. But Joe was so upset I wasn’t going to get anywhere using reason. “That’s right, Joe. You caught me. I’m an alien and I’ve come here to suck out your brain.”
“Go ahead. Make jokes. But I know the truth.”
Did I really say my brother was smart?
“Do you actually want to know what’s going on?” I asked, pulling on my golf shirt. It was a little tight but I guess that was only to be expected. “Then be at the meeting after dinner.” I stormed out of the room and ran down the stairs.
That meal was one of the most awkward dinners I could ever remember. Joe would hardly look at me and Kelsey, my 15-year-old adopted sister, could hardly keep her eyes off me. She kept staring at my eyes. Mom and Dad tried to keep the conversation light, artfully steering it away from anything to do with physical appearance.
The tension didn’t affect my appetite, though. I was starved and I ate like there wouldn’t be a tomorrow. But I always ate a lot, so it didn’t raise any eyebrows.
Finally the meal ended and the meeting began.
“Mom, Dad,” I began, “what do you know about where I originally came from?”
“Not much,” my Mom answered. “We didn’t ask too many questions. The adoption agency frowned on that sort of thing. Anyway I don’t think there was much they were allowed to tell us.”
“Well, I had a visitor today.” And I went on to tell them all about Professor Grant and everything he told me. When I was finished I could tell they were skeptical; and if it hadn’t been for my new baby blues I doubt they would have believed me at all.
“Genetically engineered?” my mom asked.
‘That’s what he said,” I replied.
“And he actually changed your eye color just like that?” asked my Dad.
“Second puberty?” asked Joe. “Is that what all that was about,” he said gesturing toward my upper body.
“Are you going to grow any more?”
“I think so.”
“Are your eyes going to change color again?” asked Kelsey.
“Good. I think they’re pretty.”
“Do you have this Professor Grant’s phone number? I’d like to have a word with him,” my dad said.
“No, but he’s at Stanford. He shouldn’t be too hard to track down.”
There were many more questions, mostly from my parents, and several I couldn’t answer. Joe was strangely quiet. He seemed a little sullen and moody; it wasn’t like him.
After the meeting, my family all hugged me and promised to support me whatever happened. I can’t tell you how much better I felt having it all out in the open. We all agreed, though, to keep it quiet from everyone else. There was no telling how people might react to someone they knew to be genetically engineered.
My family all went into the TV room to watch some History Channel special on the fall of Rome, and I headed up to my room. I told them I had to do some homework, but really I wanted some alone time.
I entered the darkened room and turned on the light. I peeled off my shirt and stood in front of the full length mirror; for the first time I got a good look at my new body. I could see why Joe reacted so strongly. It didn’t look like me at all. I had always been pretty skinny. But now I had a lean muscular stomach with each abdominal sharply defined. I ran my hand over them feeling the hard bumps and ridges, defiantly not something I was used to. My pecs had only expanded slightly but their shape had fundamentally changed. Instead of flattish nubs, they were rounder, fuller and hard as a rock. I flexed my arm and watched the bicep slowly swell up to a size roughly between a golf ball and a tennis ball. I wondered how much stronger I was. I didn’t have a weight set. I thought there might be a weight room at school. I made a mental note to check the next day.
I was just about to try a most muscular when I heard Joe come in behind me. Crap. He caught me checking myself out. Oh well, what did it matter? We were brothers after all.
“I thought you were watching that thing on Rome,” I said.
“That’s okay. I know how it ends.”
“Dude, you should see your back,” he said. “You’ve got all these little tiny muscles bulging up all over it.”
“Really?” I said, turning and straining to catch a glimpse of my back in the mirror, but I wasn’t a contortionist.
“Here, I’ll go get a mirror from the bathroom,” Joe offered.
“That’s okay,” I said. I was starting to feel a little self conscious and foolish, staring at myself in front of a mirror.
“It’s no problem,” said Joe and he darted out of the room. In a second he was back with one of my mom’s hand held mirrors.
I took it from him and was able to angle it so I could get a good view of my back. He was right, and as I moved I could see the muscles sort of pop in and out.
“Well, that’s enough of that.” I said putting the mirror down. I suddenly felt tired and I wanted to go to bed. It had been one hell of a day. “I’m going to crash.”
I stripped down to my boxers and heard an audible gasp from Joe. “Jesus, your legs too?” I looked down and noticed my thighs had gotten thicker and become pretty well defined.
“Anything else?” asked Joe.
I found myself wondering what else was there? Then it hit me. “Jesus, Joe!”
“I only asked.”
“Well, don’t.” Secretly, though, I was kind of curious myself.
I went into our bathroom—Joe and I had our own—and began to wash up before bed. As I was relieving myself, I gave it a good look. It looked pretty much the same as it always had. I guess I was a little disappointed, not that I’d ever really given it too much thought before. But now that things were changing—
I tucked it back into my boxers and went back out into our room. Joe was already in bed; he was just lying there, watching me.
“Not going to wash up?” I asked.
“Nope,” he said.
I went to my dresser and pulled out my sleep shirt. It was a ragged old t shirt I’d had for years. It was worn around the shelves and collar, had a couple of holes here and there. That and my boxers were pretty much my standard sleep ware. I slipped it on and, like my golf shirt, it also felt kind of tight. But somehow I didn’t mind. I kind of liked the tightness, the feel of my new, hard muscles pushing out against it. It felt kind of sexy.
“So, did it get any bigger or what?” My brother’s voice jerked me out of my reverie. “Come on, I know you looked.”
I was not going to have this conversation with him. “Go to sleep, Joe,” I said as I turned out the light and climbed into bed.
As I lay there, I discovered something else. My new muscles were lumpy. They were not comfortable. I tried several positions until I finally settled with lying on my side.
“What are you doing over there?” asked Joe. He must have heard the rustling.
“Just trying to get comfortable.”
“Yeah, I bet.”
That didn’t deserve a response. I lay there for a while while the day’s events buzzed through my head. I kept coming back to the fact that I was genetically engineered. Somehow I had always thought I had a mother and a father out there. I might never meet them but somehow it gave me certain sense of identity. To know that I didn’t actually have parents like that was kind of disturbing.
“We’re not really related, you know,” came Joe’s voice. I was kind of hoping he had fallen asleep.
“No,” I answered. “I guess I’m not really related to anyone, except maybe a test tube.”
“That’s not what I meant,” he said. “We’re not really related so if you wanted to try anything it wouldn’t be too weird.”
Suddenly I felt like you do when you enter a TV show in the middle, a little lost. “What are you talking about?”
“You know,” he said. Then I did.
“Holy fucking shit, Joe! You had better not be suggesting what I think you’re suggesting because that is just wrong!”
“Why? What’s wrong about it?”
“It’s wrong because you’re my brother.”
“But we’re not really—”
“—related,” I finished for him. “It doesn’t matter. It’s still wrong.”
“Why? What’s the harm?”
“The harm? The harm is my fucking sanity; that’s the harm!”
Then there was silence. I was beginning to hope he had gone to sleep but then I heard the slow, rhythmic squeaking of his box spring.
“Holy Christ, Joe, what are you doing now?”
“How the hell am I supposed to sleep?”
“Well, if you’re not going to sleep, could you at least turn the light on so I can see you?”
“Fuck no!” I screamed. I rolled over and grabbed my Ipod off the night stand. I had a nice set of headphones designed to cancel background noises like airplane engines. I wondered if it would do the same for a wanking teenager in the next bed. I chose some soft music, hit play and closed my eyes. It took a while but finally I fell asleep.
My dreams were no escape. In them I was back at Geoff’s, only this time he wasn’t taking no for an answer. He chased me all around his house which eventually strangely morphed into the school. I was running up and down dark corridors and hiding in classrooms, but somehow he always seemed to find me. Finally he caught me and threw me face down on the floor. I could feel his weight as he climbed on my back, his warm breath as he breathed on my neck, then his hot dick as he slipped it in my ass. Breathing was getting difficult. I could feel him pumping, filling me with what felt like fire, a fire that burned me with ecstasy.
Suddenly I was awake. The dream faded but the fire remained. It was running all through me. I rolled over. Everything was wet. I realized I had been really sweating in my sleep. My shirt, shorts, the sheets, everything was soaked through. And breathing was still hard. I felt like I had a fever, but this burning was the most tremendous feeling I had ever experienced. I felt like every nerve in my body was lit up and dancing. I wanted it to go on and on. I realized I was moaning. Suddenly I thought I was going to be sick. I jumped out of bed, raced to the bathroom and slammed the door behind me. That must have woken up Joe, because a second later he was pounding on the door asking if I was alright. Thank God, I’d locked it.
The nausea passed quickly and I found myself leaning on the sink staring at myself in the mirror. I was beat red. The arteries on my neck were standing out. If I had seen a picture of myself like that, I’d’ve guessed I was trying to lift something very heavy. And my muscles seemed to be straining exactly as if that was what I was trying to do. I could feel the blood was rushing into my muscles, engorging them, making them swell, they were swelling with fire. I still couldn’t breathe right and I tugged at my shirt collar to give my neck more room to breathe but I wound up tearing it. I pulled at it and pulled at it until it came right off. I stood there looking at my naked torso and I actually saw it grow. My shoulders got broader. My chest became more pronounced. And my neck thickened. But it didn’t last long. The fire began to fade, my skin color returned, and my breath became normal.
“Are you ok in there?” I’d forgotten about Joe.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I managed.
I stood there staring at myself. I was pumped. I looked exactly the way a weightlifter looked after a hard work out. My muscles were all swollen and hard, veins were standing out; it was impressive.
I started to leave the bathroom, but then I remembered Joe. I didn’t want him to see me like this. I grabbed my poor torn shirt and managed to sort of put it on. There were tears in it; there was no way it would cover me completely, but I reasoned some cover was better than none.
As soon as I stepped back into the room I realized what a mistake I’d made. About the same time Joe saw me, I caught sight of myself in the full length mirror. I was standing there drenched with sweat. I think it’s fair to say I glistened in the early morning light. My sweat soaked shirt and shorts were plastered to my body, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. The tears in my ragged shirt offered glimpses of veiny, bulging muscles, significantly larger than they had been yesterday. I was the cover of a fucking romance novel.
“Holy fuck!” yelled Joe. And he raced to his bed, hopped on top of it, and just started banging the mattress, shouting, “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” over and over again.
I thought about saying something, but that would only have made it worse. I went to my closet grabbed my school clothes and took them into the bathroom with me. There was no way I was going to change in my bedroom now.
I climbed out of what was left of my sleep ware and got into the shower. As I washed, I checked out the changes. I was defiantly bigger. I had half expected to be the same after the pump wore off but I wasn’t. And this time there had been some growth down below as well.
Suddenly I heard the door open and close. Crap! I had forgotten to lock it. I pulled back the shower curtain and looked out into the bathroom, but it was empty. I heaved a sigh of relief, quickly finished up and dressed. As I got ready to leave, I went to get my sleep shirt and shorts but I couldn’t find them. Then I realized what must have happened when the door opened.
I stormed back out into the bedroom. Joe was in his bed covered from head to foot.
“What the fuck, Joe?”
“I’m not giving them back.”
I was speechless. Truth be told, at this point I didn’t want them back. “Fine. Keep them.”
Christ. He was hopeless.
I turned to check my reflection and I noticed my new build. I didn’t want to notice my new build, because if I noticed my new build, everybody else would too. And after the craziness of yesterday—and so far today—that was the last thing I wanted.
My pants were okay. They were pretty baggy to begin with and didn’t show anything, but my shirt would have to go.
I tried on another shirt. And then another. And then another. They all did a great job of showcasing my new pecs and shoulders. Big problem.
Then I noticed a small heap lying on the floor. It was Geoff’s shirt from yesterday. I tried it on. It was still big on me, and my body was swallowed up inside it. Perfect.
Joe was still lying on his bed, all covered up. I realized he had been watching me through a crack in his blankets. I waved at him and the crack closed up.
“Bye, Joe,” I said as I hurried from the room.
As I entered the kitchen I remembered that none of my shoes would fit either. I tried on my dad’s sneakers. They seemed to fit ok, so at least I was spared the humiliation of having to wear Geoff’s clown shoes to school.
I sat down for breakfast—I was starved—and was surprised to see my sister, Kelsey join me. Usually she stumbled out of bed, headed straight for the bathroom and didn’t emerge until she was running for the school bus.
My sister was naturally pretty, a little plump, but the roundness suited her. And today she was all made up.
“Well, look who’s here,” said my mom as she placed a plate of eggs in front of Kelsey. “Must be a big day today.”
“Sort of,” she answered.
Mom served me my usual double helping. I ate it up asked for more.
“Where’s your brother this morning. He’s going to be late.”
I was temporarily at a loss for words. I finally came out with, “I don’t think he’s feeling too well.”
“That’s too bad,” she said. “I hope he gets over it.”
“That goes double for me,” I said. “Mom, we need to go shopping today after school. I need some new clothes.”
“You didn’t grow again already?”
“Yeah. This is the only shirt that fits.”
“Why don’t you borrow some of your brother’s things for now?”
“NO! I mean, I don’t think that’ll work. Joe needs all the clothes he has.” Mom gave me a look like she guessed there were things I wasn’t saying. Thank God she let it go.
“Okay, we’ll go this evening.” She kissed me on the cheek and bustled out of the room. I turned to my sister.
“So, what are you all dressed up for today?”
She looked at me and blushed. “You know we’re not really related, don’t you?”
I stood up like a shot. Suddenly I wanted to be anywhere but that kitchen. I kissed Kelsey on the cheek, said a quick goodbye, rushed out of the door, hopped on my bike and peddled my ass off trying to get away from there.
As I arrived at school and made my way to my locker, I ran into several people I knew. Some of them commented on my eyes. I had to tell them something. So I came up with a story on the spot. I had a rare condition—not serious—that caused a change in eye color and I was seeing a doctor about it. That seemed to satisfy them and they all said the change was an improvement.
My first class of the day was AP Calculus. I made my way to the back of the room to my usual spot between Veronica Evans and Charles Spooner. They were in all my AP classes, but they were seniors. They were competing with each other for the Valedictorian spot. Sometimes they got real snippy with each other about it. When they did, I usually threatened to talk my guidance councilor into letting me graduate with their class. That would have knocked them both out of the running. They didn’t like that too much so they would stop bickering. But today there was no sign of bad tempers. If anything, they seemed a little bored.
Veronica was not pretty; in fact, she was kind of homely, but she had a great sense of humor and an incredible brain.
Charles—he hated to be called Charlie—always seemed to have his mind in two places at once. He would be sitting there reading a book, totally lost in it, Mr. Sanders would call on him and Charles would answer the question without skipping a beat. It bugged the crap out of Mr. Sanders. I think all three of us did. At one point we pushed our desks together and just started doing our own thing during the class, sometimes we talked quietly all the way through it. Sanders started calling us the Brain Trust and kept trying to trip us up, but he could never do it. It annoyed the hell out of him; of course, that’s half the reason we did it.
“Morning,” I said to both of them. Veronica returned it. Charles was deep into another Star Wars novel and pretty much ignored me. I wasn’t insulted. It was just the way he was.
“Oh my God, look at your eyes,” said Veronica. “Charles, look at his eyes.”
Charles glanced over and grunted, “Contacts,” before going back to his book.
“No, they’re not. You can see they’re not.”
I gave them my new standard explanation, but then Veronica wanted to know the name of the “rare condition… and Charles asked me the name of the doctor I was seeing. His dad was a doctor and apparently worked with all kinds of specialists. He thought maybe he might know him. Suddenly, I realized my standard explanation wasn’t going to work with these guys. I had better come up with something else.
“Ok, I’m lying. I found out yesterday I’m a product of late twentieth century generic engineering,” I said doing my best Pavel Checkov imitation, “and I can change my eye color whenever I want.”
Veronica just stared at me for a second before answering. “If you don’t want to tell us, just say so. God, you are such a dork.”
“A compete dork,” said Charles from inside his book. “So says I—”
“So say we all,” the three of us intoned. It was kind of a ritual thing we did, part of the whole Brain Trust thing.
I thought I was safe until Veronica laid her head on my shoulder. Now Veronica was always doing that. It was friendship thing, completely. (I had actually thought about dating Veronica once, but I couldn’t get past those stark white, flabby arms. Maybe that makes me shallow, I don’t know. But we were good friends and both happy with our relationship.) But today, after all that had happened, I just didn’t want her head on my shoulder.
“Not today, Veronica, ok?”
“Sure,” she said, lifting it away. “It wasn’t very comfortable, anyway. What have you got on under there, a cast or something?” Before I could stop her, she began probing my arm with her fingers. “Oh my God, is that your arm? That’s your arm!” Then she began running her hands all up and down my arm. She even began pulling up my sleeve.
“Stop that,” I said pulling my sleeve back down. But it was far too late. She had hold of my bicep and was squeezing it.
“Charles,” she said, “check out his arms.” Charles, nose still in his book, half heartedly reached over and grabbed my upper arm. What his fingers told him must have been interesting because he actually put his book down.
“What’s this?” he asked. “Are you on steroids?”
I was half tempted to say yes. It would have saved me many troublesome explanations. But somehow I couldn’t bring myself to pretend to be that dumb.
“I’m just going through some changes; that’s all.”
“Hmmm,” said Charles and went back to his book.
Veronica, on the other hand, reached down and grabbed my leg. “Jesus. Charles, you should go through these kinds of changes.”
But Charles kept quite. I think he was in a galaxy far, far away.
“Ok, Veronica, enough with the touchy-feely,” I said. She stopped squeezing my leg but her hand stayed in my lap. I didn’t say anything. After all she was my friend, and I told myself she was doing that instead of placing her head on my shoulder.
Mr. Sanders started the class. He began droning on at us in that monotone voice of his. My God, that man could boar a hyperactive two-year-old on a sugar rush. As the class went on Veronica started to shift her hand, sliding it gently down to the inside of my thigh. I was in shock. I mean this was Veronica. If you’d asked me yesterday, I’d’ve sworn she didn’t have a forward bone in her body. But here she was, with her hand on my inner thigh and it was slowly creeping northward.
Part of me wanted to lift her hand right out of my lap and give it back to her. But another part was really curious to see where she was going with this. The curious part won.
I felt her fingers gently probing as they moved closer to my crotch. It didn’t take them long to find what they were looking for. She traced the outline with her forefinger and somehow managed to find the head. Her soft caress woke my sleeping giant and I felt it begin to grow.
Suddenly self conscious, I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed what was happening. But we were in the back of the classroom and all the other students were facing forward. Mr. Sander’s view was blocked by the row of kids in front of us. So, even though we were in a classroom with thirty kids, not one of them could see Veronica’s fingers dancing with my little gentleman.
Veronica, herself, was facing forward, her eyes intensely trained on the boring instructor. You’d swear she was hanging on his every word. With her right hand she was taking notes, with her left she was working some kind of magic. She gave new meaning to the term ambidextrous. And man, she was good! Her fingers flowed over me with just the right touch, never too gentle, never too hard, letting the pleasure build slowly. In fact, she was so good I was certain this was not her first time doing it. I looked at her in shock and she whispered back, “What did you expect? I knew I’d never get a boyfriend with my dazzling good looks.”
I’m not sure why I let it go on. I think it was partly the bizarreness of the situation, the unexpectedness of it, along with the fact that I had never done anything remotely like it before. I found myself leaning backward in my chair and opening my legs wider. My breath was getting heavier. My member was at full mast now, running down the inside of my right leg and I could tell it was popping out the bottom of my boxers. If I let this continue I was going to be really humiliated by the end of class. But she seemed to know just what to do. She would bring me to the brink of a climax and then ease back, giving me a brief rest before she started in again. I swear this girl was an artist. She could probably keep this up for hours. And at this point I was certainly willing to let her try.
I looked over at Charles. He had dropped his book and was staring slack jawed at what Veronica was doing in my lap. If I hadn’t been in such a euphoric state, I might have been embarrassed. Since I had never done anything like this before, being the conservative academic type, I was pretty sure he hadn’t either. He must have been really shocked. I know I would have been. And then there was the whole hard-on issue. I had no secrets from Charles now. Everything I had was outlined in sharp relief, right in front of him, straight and long and hard.
I half expected him to shout out, or call the teacher, or even jump up and run from the room. But then he did the unaccountable. He grabbed my bicep with his right hand and began squeezing and rubbing it, while his left hand went down to his crotch, where I noticed he was already sporting some pretty serious wood. And then he began to go to town on himself.
Somehow I didn’t mind the feel of him messaging my arm. My bicep was hard and unyielding under his fingers. It reminded me of my new muscularity and that began flipping other switches. In fact, combined with what Veronica was doing, it was sending me to places I had never been before.
But I couldn’t quite lose that sense of strangeness. These were people with whom I had discussed the meaning of life as it applied to Euclidian Geometry. What the fuck were we doing now?
And then Sanders called on me. “Would you kindly come to the front of the class and demonstrate to us how Archimedes derived the circumference of the Earth using only a tall pillar and the sun. Naturally, we’ll want the full equation.”
I froze. Veronica gave me a last little squeeze and I almost blew my load right there. She pulled her hand away and chuckled, “Go on. Show him the full equation.”
Charles removed his hand form my arm and ended his own extra curricular activities.
I looked down. My dick was as hard and as large as it had ever been, actually it was larger. Not to mention the wet spots that had formed on my pants leg. If I were to go up there now I would be humiliated beyond reason. My shame would live in infamy and I would be a laughing stock for the rest of my time at school.
“I don’t think so,” I said.
Sanders actually did a double take. “Excuse me?”
“I mean, I respectfully decline, sir.”
“I’m not really giving you an option, mister. Come up. Do the equation. Or get a zero.”
“Go on,” said Veronica, thoroughly enjoying my predicament. “You can use your own tall pillar.” I shot her a dirty look, but it just made her laugh all the more.
“I guess I’ll take the zero, sir.”
I think it’s safe to say that Mr. Sanders was completely flabbergasted. “How about you, Charles?”
Charles just gave a little wave and said, “Zero.”
“Well,” said Sanders, obviously delighted, “looks like its time to finally break up the Brain Trust. Ok you three, move your desks apart.”
As we pushed our desks away from each other, I was grateful no one turned and noticed that Charles and I were not moving with our usual grace.
The period lasted another fifteen minutes and I needed every second of it to shrink back down. My mind kept going back to Veronica’s dazzling finger work and every time it did, Junior woke up and started crying for mommy. In the end, I managed it by getting angry. We’d lost the Brain Trust. I’d gotten a zero. And I’d been as aroused as I’d ever been and not had the opportunity to climax.
I was still glowering with these thoughts when I met up with Veronica and Charles in the hall after class.
“What happened in there?” I asked.
“Is your eye condition affecting your brain? You were there. You know what happened,” said Veronica.
“Didn’t it seam a little weird to you?” I asked.
“Well, there’s weird, and the there’s weird,” she said. “One kind of weird is you sprouting muscles overnight and then trying to hide them under a ridiculously large shirt.”
It wasn’t ridiculously large.
“You’ve got some nice assets there, boy. You ought to be showing them off.” I wondered what she’d say if she knew she was echoing Geoff, the owner of the ridiculously large shirt.
“Another kind of weird: That’s got to be the first time a person made valedictorian by giving someone a hand job,” she said.
“It’s not over yet,” snapped Charles.
“It is for you, zero boy,” grinned Veronica.
“I’m outta here,” said Charles. “By the way,” he said turning to me, “I just got the new Star Wars game. You want to stop by and check it out?” Video game systems were one of the items my progressive parents refused to allow in the house, which was too bad because I loved them. Charles knew that.
“Maybe this weekend,” I said.
“Cool,” he answered and disappeared down the hall.
“If you ask me,” said Veronica, “he wants to use you as his Gameboy.”
“Will you stop it,” I said, still bothered by what had just happened in class. “I’ve never done anything like that in my life.”
“Well, maybe its time you started living a little,” said Veronica. “I think I can help there.” She wiggled her fingers in front of me.
Suddenly I heard my name. I looked up and saw Geoff barreling down the hall with Wendy and a couple of his teammates in tow.
“How’s it going, buddy?” he asked as he reached over ruffled my hair and then punched me gently in the arm. This was a far cry from the indifferent “Hey” I usually got from him.
“I’m doing good,” I said, still unnerved by his sudden and unprecedented public display of friendship.
“We still on for this afternoon?”
“Sure,” I said.
“Great,” he replied. He started down the hall again, but suddenly turned and grinned, “Love the shirt.” Then he winked and was gone.
It took a second to click. Oh my God! I was wearing his shirt and he was completely misreading my reasons. What was I going to do now? This afternoon was sure to be another game of ring-around-the-coffee-table.
I looked up and was surprised to see Wendy still standing there. She handed me a slip of paper and then whispered, “Call me.” And then she hurried on after Geoff.
Okay, wait a minute. I may have gotten pretty eyes and gained a few pounds overnight, but this was Wendy Shepard, sex goddess and girlfriend of one of the best looking guys in school. There was no way I was in Geoff’s league, not even in the next league or the league after that. What the hell was happening?
Veronica was watching Wendy leave and she looked like she could chew through nails. “Sure, she’s pretty,” said Veronica. “But she doesn’t have my skills. What I did just now in class was just a small sample of my capabilities. And you know what they say about us girls; we all look the same in the dark.” And then she gave my package a little squeeze before she turned and vanished down the hall.
If you were looking for me, I would have been the kid standing by the side of the hall, looking like he had just been knocked out, but had forgotten to fall. What brought me out of it was a sharp sensation in my rear. Someone had pinched my butt! I looked up and down at my passing schoolmates, trying to figure out who it had been. No clue. This was not my world. This was Oz, and somehow I’d missed the tornado.
Suddenly I felt my cell phone vibrate. I looked at the display: unidentified number. This had better not be someone selling life insurance.
“Hey kid, how’s it going?” came Professor Grant’s voice. At that moment, there was no one on the planet I would rather have heard from.
“Just about as whacked out as possible.”
“What do you mean?”
“Maybe you can tell me why everyone is suddenly a pod person?”
“They’re all starting to go for you, hunh?”
“Yeah. How did you know?”
“It’s your pheromones. I amped them up a bit. You should be pretty damn irresistible by now.” Suddenly it all made sense.
“Why the fuck would you do that?”
“Come on, kid, I was trying to improve the species. Now you’ve got the choice of any mate you want. You’ve got to appreciate that.” Suddenly it hit me; this wasn’t going to get any better.
“You mean I have to walk around for the rest of my life with everybody grabbing at me and throwing themselves at me?”
“Not everybody. It shouldn’t be everybody.” I thought about it. I guess there had been a few people I’d run into today that hadn’t tried to jump my bones.
“So, how do I tell who’s effected and who isn’t?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know if there is anyway to tell. You give off pheromones at an instinctual level. But it will only be when you’re around someone you’re attracted to.”
“Wait a minute, wait a minute,” I said turning toward the wall, checking to make sure no one could overhear me, and lowering my voice. “Are you telling me that subconsciously I want to fuck my brother?”
“Your brother, hunh? That’s rough. Good thing you’re not really related.”
“Yeah, that’s what he keeps saying. But you still haven’t answered my question.”
“You give off the pheromones instinctually. Your instincts operate on a much deeper level than your subconscious. We’re taking primal instincts that are inseparably linked to the most basic of life’s functions. Self preservation is the first of these but not far behind is the need to sexually dominate in order to insure the survival of your genetic line.
“Let me give you an example. If you fell over right now, you’d put your arms out to break your fall and protect yourself. You couldn’t help it, even if you wanted to. It’s beyond your conscious will, beyond your subconscious will. You simply have no control and no choice. You will put your arm out to break your fall and you will do it without thinking about it. Your pheromones work like that.”
I was screwed.
“Isn’t there some kind of antidote? Some way of turning them off?”
“Ha! You might as well ask me for an antidote to your tear ducts.”
“Please, you’ve got to help me.”
“Ok, I’ll look into it, but I don’t see the problem. So, you’ll have a lot of sex. Kids your age are always having a lot of sex.”
“The problem,” I blurted while trying to keep my temper under control, “is that I have to share a room with my outrageously horny brother, and yesterday I almost got raped by the captain of the football team!”
“Oh, that is a problem. But then he doesn’t have any control over it. And neither do you. I’d stay away from him. At least until you get a little bigger.”
“That might be difficult,” I said looking down at my shirt.
“Speaking of getting bigger,” said the Professor. “How did your first growth spurt go?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you must have had it by now. I imagine it was quite a ride.”
“It was pretty intense.”
“I bet. It was one of my masterstrokes. You see, normally that kind of growth would be excruciatingly painful.”
“That’s because I rerouted your nerve impulses from the brain’s pain center to the pleasure center.” That explained it. The growth sensation had been the most incredible feeling I’d had in my life. But I knew I needed to be able to feel pain. I might not be able to survive with out it.
“Won’t that screw me up?”
“It’s only temporary, during your growth spurts, then they switch back.”
“Why didn’t you tell me any of this before?”
“I gave you a copy of my notes, didn’t I?”
“It’s all in there. Well, I’ve got to get going. Good luck.”
“Thanks,” I said as I flipped my phone closed, “I have a feeling I’m going to need it.”
I spent the next class sitting in the rear corner of the classroom, as far away from everyone else as I could get. I didn’t have a clue what the range of pheromones was, not to mention genetically engineered pheromones. But so far no one had done anything crazy, and I was beginning to think I might be safe if I just stayed away from people.
The class was English Lit and it was really boring for me. I had read all the books we were studying years ago, thanks to my parents. So I found my mind wondering and I became more and more curious about the professor’s notes. How many other little surprises were waiting for me?
While I sat there, I subtly began to run my hands over my arms. They were thicker and harder than I was used to and I was enjoying the feel of them. I kept running my left hand up to my right bicep and flexing. I loved the feel of it popping out. I began to get a little stiff again, so I decided to lay off. I didn’t want any repeats of what had happened in calculus.
My next period was free so, I stopped by my locker, and pulled out the disc the professor had given me. I took it to the library and found a computer in a far corner, away from most people. I popped it in the drive and accessed it. A wave of disappointment hit me. It was all biological techno talk and I didn’t understand hardly any of it. I may have been in AP biology but this stuff was way beyond me. I began to wonder if the professor had seriously thought I was capable of reading this. And if not, why had he given me the disc?
As I sat there pondering these mysteries, I absentmindedly began running my hands up and down my arms again, feeling my muscles. They felt really strong and once again I stated to wonder how strong I was.
I pulled up the map of the school on the computer and quickly located the school’s weight room. It was down by the gym, right in between the girls and boys locker rooms. I still had thirty minutes of my free period left so I decided to check it out. I retrieved the professor’s disc, popped it into my knapsack and headed down toward the gym.
On my way there, it struck me that tomorrow I had gym class. That meant changing and showering in the locker room. I didn’t know how I and my pheromones would survive that. I made a mental note to try and get out of class legitimately; and if I couldn’t, I’d just have to skip it.
I stepped into the weight room and almost had a heart attack. It looked like half the football team was there. They glared at me and I almost turned right around and left but it suddenly struck me; most of these guys hated me. I’d used my influence with Geoff to manipulate them all year, and they couldn’t stand it. If there was any antidote for my pheromones, it had to be good old fashioned hate and loathing.
I decided to risk it. I walked in further and looked tentatively around. I had never set foot in a gym before and all the machines were a mystery to me. In fact they kind of reminded me of a medieval torture chamber. There were some free weights, too. They seemed a lot less intimidating but the football jocks had them monopolized. I walked over to one of the machines and tried to figure out what it did, or rather what I was supposed to do with it. I heard some sniggers from the jocks as I looked the apparatus up and down.
“Looks like we’ve got a newbie,” said Greg Petersen.
“This should be good,” chuckled Mark Hanson.
The whole crowd of them had suddenly stopped what they were doing to watch me. I decided to ignore them.
The weight system seemed pretty straight forward. You put a pin in the weight plate that you wanted to use. I decided to place the pin in the smallest weight. I thought that would be safest until I figured out what I was doing. Of course when I did, I got a surge of derisive laughter from my audience. Undaunted, I looked at the configuration of bars and pads and tried to figure out where you sat and what you pushed and with what part of the body. I was instantly lost. Come on, I was in all AP classes. I got straight A’s and had a full scholarship to Princeton. I should be able to figure out a damn weight machine.
I started to climb onto the thing, deciding what pad must be the seat. The jocks were chuckling away. I tried to use their laughter as sort of a warmer/colder gage; the more they laughed the more I knew I was doing the wrong thing.
There was a pad directly to my right and another directly to my left. I wrapped my arms around them. There was a tremendous bust of laughter. Ok, that was wrong. I pulled my arms back and put my hands on the pads. Even more laughter. One of the guys turned bright red. I thought he was going to bust his gut, he was laughing so hard.
I climbed off the machine. Maybe this wasn’t the best one to start with. I looked around and spotted one with a much simpler design. It was basically a metal bar on a pulley system hanging directly over a small seat. I chose the smallest weight again. Laughter. And I walked over to the seat and sat down. I reached up for the bar but it was too far above my head. Half the guys were now rolling on the floor, struggling to catch their breath. I stood up so I could reach the bar and grabbed hold of it with both hands. But what did I do now? My confusion must have shown on my face because now the rest of the guys were exploding with fits of uncontrollable, side splitting laughter.
Ok, I’ll try another one. I walked over to the next machine and was about to select the smallest weight when Greg Petersen came stumbling over still laughing his ass off.
“No! Wait. Stop. I can’t stand anymore.” I paused and waited for him to catch his breath.
“What are you doing down here? You don’t see us up in the chemistry lab, do you? So, why are you here?”
I looked around at all the jocks. Some of them were still chuckling but all of them were waiting to hear what I’d say. I thought about it for a minute, and I couldn’t think of a reason not to tell them, so I just blurted it out, “IwantedtoseehowstrongIwas.”
“What?” asked Greg, cocking an ear.
Oh God, they were going to make me say it again.
“I wanted to see how strong I was,” I said slower and more evenly so I wouldn’t have to repeat it a third time.
There were a few chuckles and a couple of laughs but nothing compared to the derision I had expected.
Greg looked at me for a minute like I just told him I wanted to sprout wings and fly to the moon. Then he turned to his team mates, “What do you think? Should we help this guy?”
There were a couple of chuckles, a couple of nods but most of them just stood there half smirking.
I guess Greg took it as a yes because he walked over and pulled a blank chart off the wall. “Well, if we’re going to do it, we might as well do it right,” said Greg. “First we need your height and weight.”
“Five six, a hundred and thirty-five pounds,” I said mechanically.
“No,” said Greg, “we’re going to do this right. Hop on the scale.” For the first time I noticed a scale in the corner of the room, the kind they have in doctor’s offices with the height bar attached. I climbed on it and watched while Greg adjusted the sliding weights and pulled the height bar up to the top of my head.
“When was the last time you took your height and weight?”
Christ. What was I thinking? Of course, that wasn’t accurate anymore! “It’s been a while,” I told him, even though it had only been last month.
“Yeah, I can tell. See? This is why we do things right. You are actually five seven and a hundred and fifty five pounds.”
“Wow, he’s a giant,” blurted Zach Wakowski which started the laughter all over again.
“Lay off the guy, Zach,” said Greg. “He just wants to get stronger. I mean, why are any of us here?”
Oh no. Greg Petersen was being nice to me. Inner alarm bells started going off, because now I lived in a world where this was a bad thing. I figured I had better get out of there.
“That’s ok, guys. I should probably get going anyway.”
“See, Zach,” said Greg, “you’re scaring him off.”
“It’s ok, really.”
“No, it’s not ok. We started this thing; now we’re going to finish it.” Greg seemed pretty adamant and I could tell I was not the only one surprised by his attitude. “Now we’ll start with the bench press. You know what that is?”
I didn’t really. I shook my head.
“Well, come here and lie down on this bench. No, slide further up. Not that far. Ok, right about there. Now I’m going to load a couple of plates on the bar. It might be a little heavy, but don’t worry, I’ll be spotting you.”
“That’s ok, Greg,” said Jim Benson, “I’ll spot him. You watch his form.”
Crap. There goes another one.
“Ok, now place your hands on the bar, right above the shoulders. Good. Now lift it up out of the supports. Good. Now slowly bring the bar down toward your chest. Good. Now lift it back up. Good. What was that? Forty pounds? He did that pretty easy. Let’s add on another ten.”
Jack Greer added the plate on the right and Enrique Gomez added the one on the left. Christ, they were dropping like flies.
“What the fuck are you doing?” cried Zach. “I thought we were supposed to be working out, not baby sitting some brainiac runt.” Thank God! Zach still hated me.
There was a murmur of agreement from some of the guys.
“Why do you have to be such a dick?” asked Greg as he marched right up to Zach.
“Hey, what’s your problem?” countered Zach.
“My problem is that I don’t like dicks,” said Greg chest bumping Zach.
“Who the fuck are you pushing?”
“I’m pushing you. You going to do something about it?”
Then Zach swung at Greg who dodged it and then swung back, catching Zach in the jaw. Zach toppled over and then one of the other guys—I think his name was Skip or something—rushed up and took a swing at Greg who ducked it neatly. Zach was on his feet again and going at Greg, too. Jack Greer rushed up to help him.
After that things got kind of blurry, but in a couple of minutes the whole bunch of them were slugging it out with each other. I got up off the bench and dodging the flying bodies, got out of there as quickly as possible. I never did find out how strong I was.
As I left the weight room I wasn’t really sure what to do. Should I get somebody? Or just go to my next class? I didn’t want to get those guys in trouble, so I decided to let it go. My next class was a double AP Biology. I decided to go straight to the lab. If the room was free, I could just wait there for the class to begin. That should be safe.
When I entered I was actually a little disappointed to see Mr. Jacobs back in his usual spot. He greeted me when I came in, and I asked how he was doing.
“Fine,” he said. “Turned out to be only a 24-hour bug.”
“So, how long have you known Professor Grant?” I asked.
“Who?” he asked. “Oh, the substitute; I don’t think I ever met him.”
“That’s funny. He said he was doing you a favor, coming down from Stanford to teach us for a day.”
Mr. Jacobs looked blank and slowly shook his head. “He may have been doing someone a favor but it wasn’t me. As I said, I never met the man.”
Puzzled, I went over to my seat and sat down. I was sure Professor Grant had said he knew Mr. Jacobs, or at least he implied it. Maybe I had just misunderstood him.
The lab was fairly straight forward that day. Charles was my lab partner. In a way, I was grateful. He had already been affected by my pheromones and I couldn’t do anything more to him. Several times during the lab I would catch him checking me out, and each time I did he would blush. He even grabbed my arm once or twice on the pretense of trying to get my attention. But you don’t squeeze someone like that if you’re just trying to get their attention.
At one point during the class, I heard Veronica whisper my name. She and her lab partner were right behind us. I turned around and she flicked her tongue at me. The implication was clear. If she was that skilled with her fingers, imagine what she could do with her tongue. It sent shivers up my spine.
Toward the end of the period, a kid came in with a note from the office. They wanted to see me straight after class. I was a little nervous. I think most kids are when they get a note like that. I spent the rest of the class trying to figure out what it could possibly be about. Had I somehow been discovered? Did someone actually see what Veronica, Charles and I had been doing in Calculus? All kinds of worse case scenarios flooded through my mind.
After the class ended, I didn’t get ten feet down the corridor before somebody stopped me. It was Jake Swartz. Jake was one of Joe’s friends. He wanted to know if I had really been there.
“Where?” I asked. Then I found out what the note was about.
Sometime after I left the weight room, a PE teacher had discovered the fight. He had tried to break it up and wound up with a couple of cracked ribs and a broken leg for his trouble. Eight of the jocks had been hospitalized and the rest of them had been suspended indefinitely. No one was sure what had caused the fight. Steroid abuse was suspected. The entire team was under investigation and the rest of the season put on hold. It might even be canceled. Locked up in a double Biology, I had missed all the excitement which apparently included several police cars and ambulances.
And somehow word had leaked out that I had been in the weight room when the fight had started.
I told Jake that yes, I had been there but no, I didn’t know what had caused the fight. Except, I did. I had caused the fight, me and my genetically enhanced pheromones. I felt horrible. I had single handedly destroyed the football team. I was a danger to the entire school. Even poor Jake, as he stood there telling me all this, began to shift from leg to leg. His eyes flitted up and down my body. He started to turn a little red and to sweat. He looked a little confused and frightened. And as he walked away his stride was jerky enough to indicate he was having some trouble with his third leg.
But before he left, he had asked me about Joe. Apparently my brother had not been into school at all that day. My feelings of guilt were compounding by the minute.
As I made my way to the office, I tired to think what I could tell them. I didn’t think, “Sorry, sir, but I’m going through a second puberty and my pheromones got away from me,” was going to work. I guessed I’d have to stick with playing dumb. It was a role I was getting a lot of practice in, because I kept getting stopped by kids who wanted to know what had happened; and each and every one of them walked away a little breathless.
When I got to the office, I was a somewhat startled to see that there were two policemen still there. They immediately stood up when I walked in, asked me my name and then followed me into the Principal’s office.
They introduced themselves as Officer’s Quinn and Murkowski and explained they were conducting an ongoing investigation. Someone had been illegally smuggling pharmaceutical grade steroids and growth hormones into the country and had been selling them to local high school kids. They wanted to know if I’d seen any of the football players with any kind of drug paraphernalia. I hadn’t. They knew I tutored Geoff and asked if I had ever seen him with any. I hadn’t.
Then they asked me about the fight.
“Did you see who started it?” asked Officer Quinn.
It was Zach. “No, sir,” I said.
“What were you doing down there in the first place?”
My muscles have started growing spontaneously and I wanted to see how strong I was getting. “I wanted to learn to work out,” I said.
“And the football players were ok with this?”
“At first they laughed at me but then they decided to help me out.” Yeah. After a sizable dose of my pheromones practically drugged them.
“What were you doing when the fight started?”
“They were helping me with the bench press.”
“What do you remember?”
“Not much. One of them called another one a dick and then the punches started flying.”
“Do you remember who did the name calling?
Greg Petersen. “No, I didn’t see.”
“What did you do after the fight started?”
“I got out of there.”
“Why didn’t you tell anyone?”
“I didn’t know it’d be that bad.”
The two cops looked at each other shrugged and turned back to me. “Ok, you can go.”
I turned to Principal Stoddard and was shocked to find him beat red, sweating and shifting around uncomfortably in his chair. I’d claimed another victim. But the cops seemed ok.
“Mr. Stoddard,” I said, “would it be alright if I went home for the last couple of periods. I don’t really think I could concentrate anymore today.” And if I stay any longer there might be riots.
“Yes, I think that’d be all right,” he said, tugging at his collar. “I’ll call your parents.”
As I left the office, I wondered if I should have told them that I had started the fight. After all, I practically had. But they would never have believed it.
When I got home I found my father waiting for me. Apparently he had come straight home after the principal’s office had called him. He was very concerned. The fight had made the news, and when he had heard that I was somehow involved, he was instantly worried.
The first thing he did was look me over and make sure I wasn’t injured. I kept telling him I left before the worst of it but he wasn’t satisfied until he’d seen for himself. He told me to pull my shirt off and I saw the look of surprise as he saw my new build.
“Those changes are coming pretty fast,” he said.
“Tell me about it,” I replied.
Then he wanted to know everything that had happened and I told him; starting with yesterday at Geoff’s, the call from Professor Grant, right down to the fight and my interview with the police. I left out the whole incident with the Brain Trust, though. There are some things you just don’t share with your parents no matter how close you are. And I didn’t tell him about Joe either.
“It’s all my fault,” I finished. “How can I ever go back to school, now?”
My dad looked at me for minute and just shook his head. “Hiding isn’t going to solve your problems,” he said.
“But if I go back, there will only be more violence.”
“Not necessarily. Not everyone you met was violent or… forward.”
“No,” I agreed. It hadn’t been everyone.
“Look at your friend, Geoff. He stopped himself.”
“Yeah, but Professor Grant said next time he wouldn’t be able to.”
“Yes. Professor Grant,” said my dad, looking grave. “There’s something I should tell you about him.”
“I called Stanford to speak with him today, but they had never heard of him. There is no Professor Grant at Stanford.”
“But I just talked to him today.”
“Do you have his number?”
“No, he called me.” Then it hit me. “I never gave him my cell number.” And my parents, since we were underage, had insisted that my brother, my sister and I keep our numbers unlisted.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“I don’t know. But if he ever calls you again, let me know right away.”
“He better call me again. If he doesn’t come up with some kind of antidote, I’ll never be able to go back to school.”
“Come on, you have to go back to school.”
“Why? What if there’s a riot? What it somebody dies because of me?”
“That fight was not your fault.”
“Yes, it was my fault, me and my killer pheromones.”
“Let me try and explain this to you,” he said rubbing his temples. “If you walk into a store and see a very expensive watch, one that you really like but can’t really afford, what would you do?”
“I don’t know. If I couldn’t afford it, I guess I’d just take a good look at it and move on.”
“That’s one solution, but there are lots of others. A person could buy it on credit and hope he finds a way to pay for it later. They could go home, save their money and come back later and buy it, or they could simply smash the case, grab the watch and run.”
“I don’t see what you’re getting at.”
“If someone steels the watch, is it the watches fault?”
“Of course not.”
“That’s right. You see, son, no matter how attractive you may be to other people; they still have the free will to choose how they will act on that attraction. You are not responsible for their choices. Trying to assume that burden is wrong. It is self-destructive. And I won’t allow it.”
I sat there speechless. Suddenly I was five years old again with a cut knee and he was bandaging it, telling me everything would be ok.
“Now, I’m sure those boys on the football team get into fights all the time.”
I nodded. They did. Maybe nothing this big, but they did.
“And there might be a few funny walks in the high school corridors, but then I’m sure there’s never been a shortage of those.”
No. He was right there, too.
“So, what’s all the fuss about? Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get on with life. I have a feeling its about to get a lot more interesting.”
I leaned over and gave my dad a hug, something, at seventeen, I rarely did anymore. “Thanks dad.”
“That’s ok. Now I think you should go upstairs and see your brother. You really need to tell him about the pheromones. But break it to him gently. He’s always been a little sensitive.”
“You know about Joe?”
“We’ve always known about Joe.”
“Okay, fine. I’ll talk to Joe but can I get something to eat first?” Now that the crisis had passed, I realized that I hadn’t had any lunch and I was starved.
My dad wasn’t much of a cook, but he heated up some soup and I made the sandwiches. We called for Joe to come join us, but there wasn’t any answer.
“You sure he’s up there?” I asked.
“He’s up there, alright,” my dad said.
I ate about four sandwiches and two whole cans of soup before I was ready to face my brother. I climbed the stairs, slowly. I didn’t really know what to expect from Joe. When I got to our room, the door was closed. I knocked. I don’t know why. It was my room, too. I’d never knocked before. But this time I did.
“Yeah?” I heard from the other side of the door.
“It’s me,” I said entering.
Joe was lying on top of his bed, stark naked and staring at the ceiling. “Did you know,” he began, just talking to the ceiling, “that guys reach their sexual peek at seventeen?”
Actually, I did know that. Most seventeen-year-olds did. “Yeah.”
“At that age, we’re supposed to be able to go all day and all night, without stopping.”
I started to get worried about where this was going.
“I’m only sixteen,” he said. “I think I peaked early.”
I suddenly really wanted a drink of water. I put my hand on the bathroom door knob.
“I wouldn’t go in there if I were you.”
I took my hand off the door knob.
“The natural angle makes it really hard to hit the toilet bowl.”
I had to think for a second before I got it. Then I pulled my hand well away from the door knob.
“Dude, the shower would have been a far better choice.”
“Yeah, I worked that out. “after a while.”
“You going to clean that up?”
“In a minute. I thought I should tell you; I’m going to call a family meeting tonight.”
“Oh yeah? Why?”
“I’m in love with you.”
I guess I should have expected that. “No, Bro. No, you’re not. It’s just my genetically enhanced pheromones messing with your biochemistry.”
He turned to look at me. “No, it’s love.”
“No, it’s not. It just seems like it. I heard from Professor Grant today. He amped up my pheromones to make me irresistible. But he’s working on a treatment for me. And soon, you won’t feel this way anymore.”
“Yes, I will. You can’t cure love.”
“Will you stop saying that? You don’t love me!”
“I think you’ve got that backwards.”
That took the wind out of my sails. “No, bro, of course I love you. I love you like a b—” I had to stop myself. I was about to hand Joe the exact same line eight different girls had handed me at one time or another and I knew from experience that it didn’t help at all. Of course, in this case he actually happened to be my brother.
“That’s okay,” he said. “I understand. How can I compete with Geoff?”
Geoff! I completely forgot. I was supposed to tutor him this afternoon. I looked at my watch. If I left now I could just make it. I turned and started out the door.
“Wait. Where are you going?” called Joe.
“To Geoff’s,” I called back.
“Of course you are,” he sighed.
The sooner Professor Grant came up with that stuff, the better.
As I peddled like a mad man to get to Geoff’s on time, it suddenly struck me exactly what I’d be walking into. The football team was pretty much Geoff’s life, and now it was in ruins. I had had a part in that. The jocks might not have told the cops what happened but I was pretty sure Geoff knew by now. He might be mad, really mad. Maybe I shouldn’t go.
But then I realized what my dad said was right. Hiding wasn’t going to solve anything. Sooner or later, I was going to run into Geoff. I guessed I’d rather have it sooner. Then, of course, there was the Pheromone thing. I figured he might either try to fuck me, or break my neck. Maybe both.
I must have been really nervous because as I approached his front door, I found myself really out of breath; I mean more than was usual for that short of a bike ride. I rang the bell, the door opened, and for a minute I didn’t know who the hell was standing there. I only knew he was big and all beat up. The left side of his face was all swollen and bruised and bandaged and his arm was in a sling; and that was all the damage that was visible. From the way he held himself, I knew he had to be really hurting all over. Then I realized. Oh my God, it was Greg Petersen.
He looked down at me, his face unreadable under all the swelling. “It’s him,” he called over his shoulder. His voice was a little garbled, the way it is when you get back from the dentist. He stood aside and I walked past him into the house.
Geoff was sitting on the sofa looking pretty serious. He patted the cushion next to him. “Come here, have a seat.” Was it my imagination or was it a little warm in there? Greg followed me into the room. If I were the paranoid type, I might think he was positioning himself to block any escape attempt I might make. Good thing I’m not the paranoid type.
“I heard what you did today,” he started as I sat down. “And I want you to know I’m not going to forget it.”
I swallowed hard. It was hot in here.
“Lying to the cops took a lot of guts,” he continued, “but if you hadn’t, we’d all be fucked.”
“If you had actually ratted me and Zach out,” said Greg. “We’d’ve been arrested and charged and any chance of a football scholarship would have gone down the crapper. We owe you, dude.”
I couldn’t think of what to say. It’s kind of strange to admit it, but lying to the cops had seemed second nature. I never even considered telling them who had started the fight. I’m not sure why, I just didn’t. “Forget it,” I said.
“No, I can’t forget it and after we were such fucking dicks to you, too. I want you to know that any time you want to come down to the weight room, I will personally put together a program for you and run you through all the exercises. And I’ll make sure nobody messes with you ever again.”
“But I thought you guys were suspended—”
“That won’t last,” said Geoff. “Once this steroid investigation is over, the coach will pull a few strings and everything will be back to normal. We’ll have a few players on the injured list, but that’s not too unusual.”
“You mean if they don’t find anything,” I said.
“My team is not on roids,” he said. “Our beef is one hundred percent grade A natural.” Then he flexed. Jeeze, his arms were big. For some reason, I couldn’t keep my eyes off them. He noticed.
“Greg,” he said, “I think its time you took off. I need a little time with my tutor.”
“Sure,” he said. He reached out and shook my hand, even though it obviously hurt him to do it. Then he turned and left.
The whole incident must have affected me worse than I thought. I was breathing kind of hard and I had started to sweat. Geoff noticed that too.
“Jeeze, are you okay? I hope we didn’t scare you.”
“No, I’m ok.”
“You want something to drink, some Poweraid or something?”
“Sure, thanks.” He jogged off to the kitchen. Why did he keep it so hot in here? He was back in flash with a glass. I took it from him and downed it in three gulps.
“You must have really needed that. You want some more?” I nodded and he took off back for the kitchen. This time he came back with the bottle. I finished it off pretty quick.
“Jeeze,” he said, “I’d offer you more but I think we’re out.”
“That’s okay,” I said. “We’d better get started.”
“What? Oh, you mean with physics.”
Fuck, I was hot. And I was sweating like a pig. It was as if all that Poweraid had bypassed my stomach and gone straight out through my pores.
“Dude, are you sure you’re feeling well enough for this?”
“I’m fine. I’m just a little hot, that’s all.” Fuck, I was burning up. I began to tug at my collar. Sweat stains were appearing all over my shirt. I couldn’t stand it anymore and I pulled it off.
Geoff stared at me; I was covered in sweat and breathing hard. “Dude, if I didn’t know better,” he said, “I’d say you’d bulked up a little since yesterday.” And under his sweats I could see something stirring.
“If you weren’t fuckin sick—” he said.
“I’m not sick,” I said, starting to guess what was happening. “But maybe I’d better go home.” I tried to stand up but I was too dizzy. Suddenly, I realized I wasn’t going anywhere. Whatever was going to happen, was going to happen right here.
“I’m calling 911,” said Geoff.
“No!” I cried. “It’s going to pass. Just let me ride it out.” And then the heat became fire and the fire became ecstasy. I got lost in that feeling—that fucking feeling—running all the way through me. Orgasm was a pale shadow compared to it. I lay there on the sofa gasping and writhing, my whole body an eruption of pleasure, and I let out a low moan.
“I don’t know what the fuck is going on here,” said Geoff, “but whatever it is, you’re getting off on it.”
“Fuck, yeah!” I screamed. I don’t think I meant to scream but that’s how it came out.
In an instant, Geoff had dropped his sweats and pulled off his shirt. He was standing there naked with his dick in his hand. He had one hell of a piece of meat on him and that sucker was pointing straight up. He stood there rubbing his juices all over it and stroking it as he watched me, shirtless and sweaty, tossing around on his sofa.
My blood began to boil and I began to feel the exquisite sensation of it rushing into my muscles, engorging them and forcing them to swell up hard.
“Holy fuck,” whispered Geoff. “You’re getting bigger.” And then he gasped and a fountain erupted from his dick, issuing forth in ten or twelve spasmodic bursts.
And what he said was true. I could feel it was true. All over me there was a tightening of skin and a shifting of bone as my body made way for expanding rock hard mounds of flesh, that were changing shape as they steadily increased in mass. The sense of new strength surging through me along with the ecstasy of growth was almost too much for me to take. If it didn’t stop soon, I knew I’d pass out.
But then it eased, and faded, and was quickly gone. And I wished it would come back.
I sat up and looked at Geoff just in time to see the second cuming.
“That was the hottest thing I’ve ever seen,” he said, when his orgasm subsided. “What the hell was it?”
I guess I pretty much had to tell him. I didn’t go into detail or anything. I didn’t say anything about pheromones, or the Brain Trust, or horny little brothers; I just stuck to the basics. I was genetically engineered and going through a second puberty.
“I don’t fuckin believe it. I saw it, and I still don’t fuckin believe it. I’m seeing it now,” he said gesturing toward my naked upper body,” and I still don’t fuckin believe it. Dude, how big are you going to get?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I replied. And now that he mentioned it, that was a pretty basic question to ask, and I couldn’t think why I’d never asked it.
“Dude you should see yourself,” he said. “Come here.” He stood up and I stood up after him. I guess I should have been unsteady on my feet after what I had just gone through, but the reverse was true. I felt a new control over my legs that I’d never known before. It was almost as if I had been unsteady on my feet for my entire life before this moment and just never realized it. And now, for the first time, I was experiencing what it was like to have two solid legs beneath me.
“Jeeze, I think you got taller, too.”
I looked around and I did feel a slight disorientation, like I was standing on a book or something. I had the distinct impression that if I took a step forward, I would step off it and return to my normal perspective. Of course, nothing like that happened.
Geoff pulled his sweats back on and led me up to the second floor, to a bathroom just off the landing. It was huge and one entire wall was a mirror. As I walked in I gasped. My new body was as different to the old one as the old one had been to the original. I no longer looked simply fit. My arms and shoulders had thickened. The muscles did not look quite so graceful, but they had a certain heaviness to them; it gave my arms a more powerful look. My chest had bulged out somewhat and my stomach was no longer merely defined, it was cut.
“Holy crap!” I said. And I got a little stiff.
“What did I tell you?” grinned Geoff.
I looked over at his shirtless reflection standing next to mine and I was reminded of the huge difference that still lay between us. I may have bulked up a little but he still absolutely outclassed me in every area. I was like a porpoise standing next to a killer whale.
He followed my glance, smiled and flexed his right arm for me. Jesus, what a monster arm he had.
“You want to feel it?” he asked? “Come on, you know you do.”
I hesitated. I did want to feel it, but I didn’t know where that would lead.
“It’s ok,” he said, sensing my hesitation. “No strings attached. Go ahead.”
I reached out my hand and grabbed hold of it. It was warm and hard and round. I squeezed it but there was no give. What was this guy made of? As I ran my fingers around it, I thought about all the power it had and my stiffness increased.
“Ok, my turn,” he said. I looked up at him, clearly not understanding.
“Flex for me.” After a brief hesitation, I did, and was amazed to see a good sized bicep bulge and peak on my upper arm. It was unreal for me to think that that was now my arm.
“Whoa, look at that peak you’ve got going there. If we were high enough up, that thing would have snow on it.”
I may have a little peak but he had the freakin’ Rock of Gibraltar.
Geoff reached over and squeezed my bicep. It didn’t give either. I realized now I had a bit of that power in my arm, too. I went from stiff to fully erect in under a second. And, looking down at the bulge in my pants, I realized I was pretty obvious.
I pulled my arm away from Geoff and relaxed it, trying to think of something cold and nasty to take the charge out of my bang stick.
“Dude, why are you holding back?”
“I don’t want to mess my pants.”
“So, drop ‘em. We’re in a bathroom: mirrored wall, tiled floor. Go ahead. Let loose.”
He grabbed my upper arm again and squeezed it hard. I flexed instinctively, and the feel of my granite-hard muscle expanding and preventing his hand from closing further, in fact forcing his powerful fingers slightly apart, brought my dick to critical mass. I was going to blow. There was no stopping it now.
In one move, I dropped both my pants and boxers. Not a second too soon. Another instant and they would have been caught in the deluge. It was one of the most intense orgasms I’d ever had. When it was over, the pleasure was quickly replaced by embarrassment and confusion. I found myself standing there, naked except for the pants around my ankles, looking at the mess I’d just made on Geoff’s bathroom mirror. I wiped myself with some toilet paper and pulled my pants back up. “I’ve got to go now.”
“Why?” he asked.
“I just do.”
“What about physics?”
“You want to study physics?”
“Not really, but I have to. I’ve still got that test next week. You’re not going to let me fail are you?” I felt a strong urge to get out of there. The entire episode had confused me and I wanted to be alone to think about it. But Geoff needed me, and I did have an obligation to him.
“I guess I couldn’t let you fail.”
“Cool. Let’s do it.”
Of course, there were a couple of messes that needed to be cleaned up first. But when we were done, we actually began to study physics.
Geoff and I spent the next couple of hours going over his physics homework. He really wasn’t dumb. All I pretty much had to do was relate physics to football, and then he got it. There’s a lot of physics in football. Of course, that method had its drawbacks. For instance: I would begin explaining inertia by telling him to imagine a football sitting on the ground and that its inertia had to be overcome before it could move anywhere. Then I would explain how a kick provided the necessary energy to overcome the inertia. That would be his cue to launch into a story about the latest game-winning (or losing) punt and it would be a little time before we could get back to physics.
But by the end of our session, he had enough of a grasp of the subject that I wasn’t worried about him passing his test. I got up to go, but he stopped me.
“Is that the only shirt you’ve got now?”
I looked down. I was wearing his shirt again; the one he gave me yesterday. It was still a little loose, but I was starting to fill it out. My own shirts had been getting kind of tight and after my latest gain in size, I was pretty sure they wouldn’t fit me at all anymore. Not to mention my pants. They were kind of baggy still, but the cuffs were now up above my ankles.
“I’m going shopping with my mom tonight,” I said.
“Come with me,” he said.
I followed him up to his attic. There were a couple of boxes of clothes up there. Apparently, when he had gone through his own natural growth spurt, he had grown so quickly, he had never worn any of his clothes more than a month or two before they had to be replaced. His mom kept meaning to take them over to the Salvation Army but she had never gotten around to it.
“There’s no point in your buying new clothes you’re going to outgrow in a couple of days,” he said. “Help yourself.”
“Thanks.” I looked through the boxes and selected a couple more shirts and a couple of pairs of pants. I chose the looser, baggier styles. I tried them on and they seemed to fit pretty good. They also hid my body pretty well—but not completely. There was no completely hiding the swell of my chest and my broadening shoulders. But I fiddled with the shirt trying my best to deemphasize them.
“You know,” said Geoff, “you’re only going to be able to hide this thing for so long. Pretty soon now, people are going to start noticing, and then no overlarge shirt is going to hide you.”
“I know,” I said. Actually it was an obvious and uncomfortable truth, and I had been avoiding facing it. How would people react? Kids my age usually didn’t have growth spurts like this. Hell, nobody had growth spurts like this. Would they think I was a freak? In a way, I guess I was. “I’m just not ready to deal with that yet.”
I decided to wear one set of the new clothes home and I folded up the other set and put them in my backpack, along with my old pants and the original shirt Geoff had given me. They really needed to be washed.
Geoff walked me to the door, and, as I was leaving, asked a particularly interesting question. “So, are you coming over tomorrow or what?”
“I don’t know. I think you’re pretty much ready for that test.”
“I guess. But there are one or two things I wouldn’t mind going over again.”
From the way he said it, I was pretty sure he wasn’t talking about physics. He flashed me that grin of his, the one the girls all whispered about in the backs of classrooms. It wasn’t cocky or anything. It was full of boyish good humor, as if we were sharing a private joke that only the two of us knew about. And there was just a hint of sheepishness to it. It was one hell of a grin, and I could have stared at it for hours. I was sure it did a much better job of attracting people than all the pheromones I could pump out. I couldn’t imagine anybody could resist that charismatic grin shining out from that near-perfect face. But self doubt still ruled me, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go down that road.
“I don’t know,” I said. “A lot has been happening to me lately and I sort of feel I need a little time to get used to it. If you know what I mean?”
“Yeah,” he said and as his grin faded it was like a cloud moved in front of the sun. “Ok. See you in school tomorrow,” he said.
I could tell he wasn’t very happy about my answer.
“Ok,” I said. Then I left.
As I was peddling away from Geoff’s, my mind was all over the place. I kept thinking about Geoff, my latest growth spurt and how it would affect Joe, and what was the story with Professor Grant? And I guess I was pretty lucky not to be hit by a car. But I did notice something I thought was a little strange. There was a guy sitting in his car across from Geoff’s house reading the newspaper. I guess I noticed it because I read the newspaper pretty regularly; and when I did, I liked to have the whole thing spread out in front of me; over a table or the floor in my room. Reading a newspaper in a car seemed like it would be an awkward and uncomfortable experience. It was a quick impression and a quicker thought and about thirty seconds later I had completely forgotten I’d had it, mostly because I was distracted by my body.
As I peddled, I realized my knees were bending too much. I would have to raise the seat on my bike. That was a strange thought. I hadn’t had to do that for years.
Then there were my new muscles. I could feel them under my clothes moving against the cloth, like a kind of thick padding. As I rode, I tensed and relaxed my upper body, feeling it bulge up against my shirt. I liked the sensation. It was hot.
And then there was the hill on Sycamore Street, it was fairly steep and my legs always ached by the time I got to the top. Not this time. I flew right up it and was at the top almost before I knew it. And then I realized I hadn’t even changed gears.
I doubled my speed for the rest of the trip, and when I got home my legs weren’t the slightest bit tired and I wasn’t even winded. I was feeling a little jazzed about the whole thing when I hopped off my bike.
Then I noticed him. There was a guy sitting in a car across the street, reading a newspaper. It wasn’t the same guy, or even the same car, but I couldn’t believe it was a coincidence. I guess I must have been staring at him and when he looked up and saw me, he started the car and drove off. Was somebody watching me? If so, who could it be and why? These thoughts were still buzzing around in my head along with thoughts of Geoff and Joe and Professor Grant, when I walked into the kitchen.
As soon as my mom saw me, she was instantly concerned. First, she noticed I had grown again and wanted to know if I was feeling alright, if the growing hurt at all. I told her I had never felt better, and that the growing wasn’t painful at all—but I left it at that. Then she wanted to know about the fight. She’d already spoken with my dad, but she wanted the whole story from me. I told her everything, pheromones and all.
When I was done, she got kind of silent. “I can see there’s more to tell,” she said, “But maybe it should wait until tonight. We’re having another family meeting.”
A feeling of dread stole over me. “Did Joe call it?”
“Both Joe and your sister made a request.” Ok, this wasn’t good.
“Do I have to be there?” I asked.
“I’m afraid so,” she said. And that was it. My fate was sealed. This was going to be ugly, but there was no way out of it.
Dinner was more than an hour away and I had a ton of homework to do. But I had to find somewhere to do it. No way was I going to my room. I couldn’t deal with Joe. I didn’t want to risk the family room either. My sister, Kelsey could show up at any time, and I couldn’t handle that either. There was only one place left: the basement.
Knapsack in hand, I turned on the light and headed down the stairs. It was still pretty dark down there. I wasn’t sure the single bare light bulb would give off enough light for me to read by. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I was a little surprised by what I found. Amidst the storage boxes and other junk, there was a mattress on the floor with a pile a blankets on top. Who had put that there? Oh well, any port in a storm. If I was going to have to study in the basement, I might as well be comfortable.
I sat down on the mattress. Man, it was lumpy. No wonder someone had shoved it in the basement. “Bro, you’re sitting on my hand.” I jumped up and pulled the top blanket away.
“What the fuck, Joe?” I asked in amazement as I uncovered my younger brother’s face.
“I’m not moving back,” he said.
“Moving back? What are you talking about?”
“Didn’t you get my note?”
“The one I left on your desk.”
“I haven’t been up to the room.”
“Oh, I see. You’re avoiding me, now.”
Damn straight. “No, of course not.”
“Right. You always study in the basement,” he said, gesturing to my book laden knapsack.
Crap! He caught me. Better change the subject. “Is this your mattress?”
“Yup. I live here now.”
“In the basement?”
“Yup, the basement. I lie here alone in the dark. It’s better than having to stare at you all the… Jesus, you got even bigger.”
“Yes, you did. You got bigger.”
“Maybe a little.”
“Take off your shirt. Let me see.”
I almost did. The truth is I was getting kind of excited about my new body and I wanted to show it off. But there weren’t many people I could even tell about it. Joe was one of the few who knew. He would certainly appreciate the change. The only problem was; he would appreciate it a little too much.
Instead, I sat down on the mattress next to him. “Look, JOE—”
I don’t know how else to put it. When I said, “Joe” this noise came out of me that was exactly like a frog croak or a huge belch.
“What was that?” asked Joe.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I must have BURPED.” I did it again.
“Ha ha. Very funny. But you’re not going to distract me making burp noises. Come on, bro, take it off.”
“I’m not making burp noises—Well, maybe I am, but I’m not doing it intentionALLY.”
“This is too weird.”
Ok, he was calling me weird? “Says my brother who lies aLONE in the dark in the basement.” I whipped the blanket off of him. “And you’re naked, too. Why am I not SURprised?”
“It doesn’t bother me to be naked in front of you. I don’t know why you have such a problem being naked in front of me.” I looked around for any sign of his clothes but didn’t see any.
“I’ve got to study,” I said as I grabbed my knapsack and headed for the stairs.
“Where are you going?”
“To our ROOM. Only now I guess it’s my room.”
“You’re coming to the meeting, right?”
“Like I have a choice,” I said as I tromped up the steps.
“Great. I’ll see you there.”
A sudden thought struck me. “You’re not coming NAKed, are you?”
I walked out of the basement, slammed the door behind me and ran straight into Kelsey. Great.
“Hey,” she said softly.
“Hi, Kel,” I said, as I tried to step around her, but she blocked me. “I really… I’ve got like a ton of homeWORK—”
“You got taller,” she said, looking me up and down.
“Yeah, I guess I did… a little.” I tried to walk around her again, but she cut me off.
“It looks good on you.”
“Thanks. Ah, Kel, did Mom and Dad tell you what I found out today, about my PHEROmones?”
“Pheromones? No. Is that why you sound funny?”
“Ah, no. That’s something else… at least, I think it’s someTHING else. I don’t really know anymore.” I tried get by her again but she wouldn’t let me. “Could I just get past you—?”
“You’re coming to the meeting tonight, right?”
“Unless the Earth opens up and SWALLows me.”
“Ok, great, I’ll see you there.” She leaned over, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and I slid by her.
I ran up the stairs to my room and slammed the door behind me, quickly locking it. The first thing I noticed was Joe’s empty bed frame. And the second was his note. It was stuck down to my desk top. I don’t know with what. I was afraid to think with what. I picked it up and read it.
I can’t stand living with you anymore. It’s just too painful—literally. My dick is getting raw. I’m moving to where you’ll never find me so don’t bother looking.
P.S. I’ll be back for my clothes later.
Great. Now I could look forward to a visit from Naked Joe, the basement dweller. I crinkled up the note and tossed it in the trash, sat down and at last began to go over my homework. I never thought I would find lab reports such a sweet relief but they succeeded in taking my mind off of Joe, and Kelsey, and a number of other people who had lately been destroying my piece of mind.
When the call for dinner came, I was actually unhappy to leave my homework. But I was also starving, so I closed my books and headed down the stairs to face dinner and whatever would come after.
Much to my relief, Joe did not show up naked. In fact he looked pretty ordinary in Jeans and a T-shirt. A wisp of cobweb stuck in his hair was the only hint of his new subterranean existence.
Kelsey was just as dressed up as she could be. She had to be wearing her best dress and she was all made up as well.
The meal portion of the evening went pretty well. Dinner was great and I ate much more than my fair share. In fact, I was just about the only one eating. Joe and Kelsey barely touched theirs. Oh well, more for me. And thanks to my sustained efforts the serving dishes left the table scraped clean.
But now came the meeting. I braced myself as my Dad stood up.
“I know Joe and Kelsey called this meeting,” he began, “but I would appreciate the opportunity to speak first.”
Joe and Kelsey nodded their permission and my Dad continued.
“As you both know, your brother is going through some changes.”
“One of those changes involves pheromones. A person’s pheromones affect the way he is perceived by others. Your brother’s enhanced pheromones are currently making him irresistibly attractive to many people.”
I could see some confusion on Kelsey’s face, but Joe wasn’t buying any of it.
“It’s just possible that this Professor Grant is developing some kind of counter agent for this pheromone affect. So, if this meeting has been called to discuss any new and unusual attraction you feel toward your brother, let me suggest we postpone it until after this counter agent has been produced.”
“Ok,” said Kelsey, turning a little red.
“Fine,” said Joe, crossing his arms.
Then the two of them looked at each other in shock and surprise. Oh my God, neither of them had known about the other. For the first time they were recognizing each other as rivals. Invisible sparks were flying across the table so fast and furiously I could almost feel the heat of them.
I wonder if my Dad felt them too, because he began to speak again, but this time he was looking at me. “Son, it’s pretty obvious you’ve had another growth spurt, and we can’t help noticing you’ve acquired a new wardrobe. Maybe there’s something you want to tell us.”
Oh boy. How much did I want to tell them and where did I start?
“Well, the clothes ARE Geoff’s.”
“Wait a minute, what’s wrong with your voice?”
“I don’t know. I think I’ve got SOME kind of laryngitis. It’ll probably PASS.”
“If it doesn’t by tomorrow, see a doctor.”
“So, why are you wearing Geoff’s clothes?”
“He gave them TO me.”
“Why would he do that?”
“He didn’t think I should have to buy clothes I might outGROW in a few days.”
“So, you told him about your growth spurts?”
“I had to. I mean, I grew RIGHT in front of him.”
This statement brought up a chorus of objections and resentments from Joe and Kelsey. “How come you grew in front of him? Why can’t you grow in front of us?” cried Kelsey. “After all, we’re your family—kind of, sort of—well, not really—”
“He grew in front of me,” said Joe. “Well, once—” He threw me a side look. “Almost.”
“Look, I don’t control when I grow,” I protested. “It happens when it hapPENS. And even if I could, it’s not something I really want to put on DISplay.”
“Unless it’s for Geoff,” said Joe.
“For anyone!” I said.
“You’re just being selfish,” said Kelsey.
“It’s your brother’s right to have privacy if he wants it,” said my Dad. “There’s nothing selfish about it.” He turned back to me, “So, I take it you told Geoff all about yourself.”
I nodded. “That I was genetically ENGINeered and I was going through a second puberty.”
“And the pheromones?”
“Ah, no. I sort of left that part out.”
“Why would you do that?”
“I didn’t want to hit him with too much inFORmation. The less I had to tell him the better.”
“But from what you’ve told me, this boy is obviously strongly affected by your pheromones.”
“Maybe. I guess.”
“Wouldn’t it seem important to tell him why he’s feeling what he’s feeling?”
“I don’t know. I SUPpose so.”
“Why would you hold back?”
“Because he’s got the hots for Geoff,” chimed in Joe.
Was that it? Did I not tell Geoff because I wanted him to be attracted to me? Was I afraid that if he knew about my pheromones he wouldn’t be interested in me anymore? It could be. I just didn’t know.
“Is that true?” asked my Dad.
“I don’t know,” I said.
“I think you ought to tell him,” said my Dad. “Whether you’re attracted to him or not, you owe it to him.”
I spent the next few hours blissfully lost in my homework. I didn’t know what I was going to tell Geoff, but while I was solving equations, I didn’t have to think about it.
Around midnight, as I got ready for bed, I thought about what I was going to sleep in. I pulled out one of my old T-shirts but it was uncomfortably tight now, and I usually liked my sleep shirts loose. I didn’t want to wear one of Geoff’s shirts, I only had three of them and I would need them for school. I guess I was stuck sleeping bare chested. And my boxers were on the way out, too. My waste hadn’t expanded much but my shorts no longer slid down over my thighs; they bunched up at the top. I had a feeling boxers weren’t going to be an option for me much longer. I tensed my leg and watched the muscles ripple up under the skin. The sight started to get me a little turned on and the bulge in my crotch began to twitch. I automatically became self conscious and glanced over at Joe’s bed. I wasn’t used to having the room to myself. His empty bed frame confirmed the fact that I was alone now. I could do whatever I wanted.
I walked over to door and locked it. Then I turned to the full length mirror and got a load of myself. I was pretty hot. I just couldn’t get used to the fact that I now had these hard, defined muscles standing out all over my body. I closed my fist and watched the effect as the muscles rippled up and down my arm. I flexed and watched as the bicep bulged up and formed its peek. I ran my fingers over it, feeling the contours and the hardness of my contracted bicep. And another part of me began to get hard.
I ran both hands over my stomach next exploring the crevices and valleys between my rock hard abdominals. And as I did my barn doors parted and my favorite stallion trotted out. One hand went down to stroke him as the other explored the hard mounds that were my pectorals. I felt their solidness, but the nipples, now standing erect, got most of my attention. As I traced my fingers around and around them, chills ran through me and I started to breath heavily.
At first I thought it was normal arousal—and I was really aroused—but it became more pronounced. I don’t know what it was; something about standing there watching my powerful-looking pecs heave in and out was bringing me quickly to a boil. But I was holding back. I wanted to make every second of this last. I began to feel hot and I started to sweat. Suddenly I realized I was going to have a growth spurt. That thought just about sent me through the roof with sexual excitement. I though my dick head would explode at any second but I still managed to hold back. I was waiting, waiting for what was to come.
And then it hit me, that body wide surge of ecstasy. And that fucking feeling just kept getting more and more intense. It just kept fucking building. Fuck! I knew I was about to get bigger. Fuck! And stronger. Oh my fucking God. And I wanted it. Oh fuck! I wanted it bad. Fuck yeah! Oh fuck!
And then—Holy shit it was starting—my biceps—Fuck!—they were swelling up on my arms. Christ! It feels too fucking good! I flexed. They bulged up and—fuck—kept getting bigger! Fuck! And stronger! Oh fuck! And my fucking triceps were growing, too! Holy fuck! And my peeks, my fucking little peeks popped up and up, and fucking doubled in size! My God dam upper arms—Christ!—were fucking bulging out all over with fucking muscles. They were so fucking beautiful!
Now my fucking back! Christ! I could feel it. Oh my God! It was getting fucking wider. I could feel my fucking skin stretching out to make fucking room! I could see it—Shit!—in the fucking mirror pushing out from behind my ribcage. AH HOLY SHIT! My pecs were getting larger and fuller and my fucking shoulders were—Christ!—becoming fucking softballs.
Christ almighty! I was going to fucking die! No one could feel like this and not fucking explode! I heard cloth fucking tearing and looked down. My fucking boxer legs had been ripped apart by my fucking bulging thighs. I grabbed the waste band and ripped them the fuck off me. I stood there completely naked, staring at my heaving muscular form which now completely filled the mirror, and the sensation started to fade. All too quickly it was gone.
I began to calm down. The first thing I noticed was the mess on the mirror. I had cum and not even noticed. The second thing I noticed was my body. It had completely changed. It no longer bore any resemblance to my former self—except for the face. I looked like a fucking junior body builder. I thought I looked hot before. I was nothing compared to this. My hand went right to my dick and it responded in true form. The fact that it had had its own little growth spurt did not go unnoticed.
I began to tense and flex my new muscles in the mirror. Oh my god I was so fucking hot! I came almost immediately and went back for seconds. After a couple of rounds like this I headed for the shower. I felt it was about time I put the whole sexual peak thing to the test. After all, I wouldn’t be seventeen forever.
I must have spent half the night in the shower. Who knows how many times I climaxed. I lost count. It must have been about three in the morning by the time I turned on the shower, cleaned myself off, and then climbed into bed—naked. No sleep ware for me tonight. The feel of my bare body on the sheets was just too fucking sexy.
The alarm went off and I sat up. Wasn’t it a second ago I went to sleep. But daylight was streaming in through the window and I knew it was time to get up. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I felt the difference in my body and was pleasantly reminded of the change I had gone through the night before. My first stop, naturally, was the mirror. I looked really good. And I was pretty sure I was taller, too. But I had to know for certain. I pulled open my closet door and started rummaging around on the shelf. I found what I was looking for all the way in the back. The measuring strip had been taken down and put away years ago, but the nail it had hung on was still in place. I unrolled it and hung it up. I looked at the lions and elephants and other circus animals that were placed in and around the ruler marks. It was here that Joe and I had marked our growth over the years of our childhood. The red marks were mine and the blue marks were his. The last red mark was at five six and the last blue mark was at five ten.
I grabbed a pen—I didn’t have a red one so I just used ordinary black—stood up against the measuring strip and marked my height. I was five fucking nine! Only an inch shorter than Joe. I felt like doing a little dance.
Now, you may think that five nine isn’t much of a height to do a dance over, but you’ve got to understand. I used to check my height every day. When I didn’t grow past five six for about six months, I figured that was it for me and I got really depressed for weeks. It didn’t make it any better when Joe shot past me. I mean I thought I was stuck being a shrimp for life. Now, here I was five nine! Granted, it wasn’t all that tall but I wasn’t a shrimp any more and it’s just not possible to convey the relief I felt.
I started to get dressed. I still had to use my old underwear. I could barely get my boxers to fit up over my thighs now, but I managed it. I pulled on the pair of pants I got from Geoff. Thank God I chose the baggy ones. I was about to put on the shirt when I noticed something on the floor. It was a photo of Joe and me. It must have fallen out of the closet when I pulled out the measuring strip.
It was taken a couple of months ago at his last birthday. The two of us were mugging for the camera and flexing our biceps. Neither of us really had anything to show. I couldn’t believe how thin my arms looked. I flexed my arm now and grinned as the huge bicep swelled up hard and the peek grew out of it. What a difference. Suddenly I had an idea. In the photo, I was wearing my math team t-shirt. I pulled open my T-shirt drawer and rummaged through it. In a second I had it, the same shirt from the photo. I began to pull it on. It was quite a struggle. It was so dam tight. I couldn’t even pull it all the way down. My lower abdominals were clearly visible. My shoulders had gotten so big that the sleeve barely covered my upper bicep.
I stuck the photo to the mirror frame and took another look at it. There we were, grinning away, not even suspecting what dorks we looked like. I was wearing exactly the same shirt. In the photo it hung on me free and easy. But now it could barely contain me. My new body strained against it, pulling it tighter than a drum, each and every muscle clearly defined beneath it. I struck the same pose I had in the photo. My bicep swelled up and my shirt sleeve exploded. It had been completely torn apart except for a couple of shreds of cloth that still clung to that mountain of stony flesh on my upper arm. I started to get hard. I flexed the other arm and destroyed the other sleeve. This was hot. I wondered what the skinny kid in the photo would say if he could see himself just two months later, with a couple of bulging biceps bursting out of his sleeves. I spread my lats and felt the cotton cloth splitting down the center of my back. I was going to cum any second. I dropped my pants. I couldn’t risk staining them.
“You never thought you’d grow out of that shirt, did you?” I said addressing the photo. “Well, let me show you just how wrong you were.” I pulled a most muscular, and my bulging chest, back and shoulders erupted out of the shirt, completely annihilating it. Then I blew.
After it was over I used the shredded, shapeless rag that had once been my t-shirt and wiped up the mess. A slow smile crossed my face. My drawer was filled with t-shirts. I had to do this again.
I had just gotten to the point where I had blown out both my sleeves when I heard Kelsey scream.
I quickly pulled up my pants and rushed out into the hall. Kelsey was standing dressed in her bathrobe in the center of the hallway screaming. It looked like she was covered with blue paint.
“What HAPPened?” I asked. “Are you alRIGHT?”
“Someone put blue dye in my shampoo bottle,” she cried. Then she got a look at me and her mouth dropped open. Before I could think of anything to say, the rest of the family arrived on the scene. At first Joe was laughing and pointing at Kelsey—that is until he saw me. Then his chin hit the floor, too.
Suddenly my blue sister was not the center of attention. It was me with my bulging muscles and my tattered T-shirt.
“I see you’ve grown again,” said my Dad.
“Yeah,” I said shrugging which caused my T-shirt to rip further.
Joe gasped. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m needed in the basement,” he said, as he turned and fled.
“I guess I better go wash this out,” said Kelsey and she quickly disappeared into the bathroom.
“Maybe you should wear something else to school today,” said my Mom and the two of them went back to their room.
Wear something else? I looked down at my body. I know the stuff I got from Geoff was baggy, but it wasn’t going to hide this. Like it or not, people were going to notice I had gotten big. I decided not to worry about it. This is how I was now and if they couldn’t handle it, it was really their problem.
Whatever happened, I had no doubt I was going to have an interesting day at school.
I went back to my room to finish getting ready for school. I considered finishing what I had started and blowing out the rest of my t-shirt, but it was getting late and I really didn’t have the time to enjoy it. I tried to pull the shirt off me but it was so tight and getting it off was such a hassle that I wound up just ripping the thing from my body—another first for me. I had never ripped a shirt off my back before and I began to feel a new set of stirrings. The thought occurred to me that I could probably spend all day just ripping t-shirts, staring at myself and whacking off. But that would make me Joe, and I was pretty sure I didn’t want to go down that road.
I had to get ready for school. My choice of wardrobe was extremely limited so it didn’t take me long to decide what to wear. As I looked myself over the in full length mirror, I saw at once that I had been right. This shirt would not hide me. It may have been loose but the bulges underneath it were unmistakable. I was built.
Which led me to the one last stop I had to make before I went down to breakfast. I stepped into the bathroom and onto the scale. 185. Wow, I had put on 50 pounds in the past 36 hours. I didn’t think that was physiologically possible. And most of it was muscle. Oh there was some bone in there—had to be. But most of it was muscle. I flexed my arm again—I couldn’t help myself—and felt my large iron-hard bicep swell up. Oh yeah, most of it was definitely muscle.
As I left my room, I actually slammed my shoulder on the doorframe. I had gone through that door countless time and I had never run into the doorframe before. I knew its dimensions instinctively and never even thought about it. Of course, its dimensions hadn’t changed but mine had. I guess I was going to have to be more careful moving through the house from now on.
Another thing about my new dimensions was becoming clear. My butt had also grown. This had escaped my notice at first because it wasn’t really visible when I looked in the mirror. What made it painfully obvious was the effect it had on my underwear. Not only were my boxers gathering up above my thighs but now they were being pulled very tight by my expanding butt. They rode up my ass crack and squeezed in all kinds of other uncomfortable ways. And it didn’t help that my little friend wasn’t quite as little as he used to be. There was no doubt I needed new underpants and I wasn’t about to ask Geoff if he had any old ones I could borrow.
I went down for breakfast and sat at the table with Kelsey. Poor kid, she had blue streaks running all through her hair. Of course, Joe had been the culprit. And I think we all knew why he did it, but no one mentioned it. I think it was to spare my feelings. Or maybe it was because the whole thing just made everyone too uncomfortable.
And thanks to Joe’s little stunt, Kelsey wouldn’t be going into school that morning. She had an emergency appointment with a hair dresser to see what could be done about her new look. Mom had grounded Joe, but that seemed a little redundant since he refused to come out of the basement anyway. I wondered what he ate, or even if he ate. I, on the other hand, had no trouble eating. My only problem was with Kelsey. She kept staring at me all through the meal. It was beginning to get a little weird.
If that wasn’t enough to ruin my breakfast, the wooden kitchen chairs were suddenly very uncomfortable. I don’t know which was harder, the chair or my butt. Whichever one won, the combination of the two was murder. And along with strangulation-tight undies… Well, I was not a happy camper.
“Mom, I need about FORty dollars.” Oh crap, there I go croaking again.”
“What for?” I cast a sideways glance at Kelsey. Yup, she was still staring at me. No way was I going to say this in front of her.
“I just need IT,” I said.
“Son, I’d be happy to give you the money but I need to know why you want it.”
God, she was really going to make me say it. Alright, here goes. “I need some new underwear.”
“But I just bought you—”
“Larger underwear,” I interrupted. I might as well have added, because my cock, balls, and ass have gotten too fucking big for the stuff I have now. I don’t think the effect would have been much worse.
Kelsey dropped her gaze to her plate and he face turned beat red. It actually went well with her blue streaked hair. I think I caught my mom a little off guard, too. She was struck dumb for a couple of seconds before she answered, “I’ll get my purse.”
Well, that was awkward. But on the plus side, I guessed that in the future, my mom wouldn’t be questioning my spending habits quite so closely.
The rest of the meal was mercifully silent and as soon as I was through I grabbed my knapsack and headed outside. I took a few minutes to raise my bike seat. While I was doing it, I stole furtive glances at the cars parked in front of my house. I wanted to see if I could spot anyone “reading the paper.” I didn’t see anyone but there was a car with tinted windows parked across the street. I couldn’t really see inside that one. Oh well, even if they were watching me there wasn’t much I could do about it. I finished up with my bike, then hopped on and rode away.
I hadn’t gotten very far when my extremely tight boxers really began to rub me the wrong way. I was about halfway to school when the chafing became unbearable. Any second I thought my ball sack would drop off, fall down my pant leg and roll away down the street. Holy fucking Christ! If there had been a public bathroom on the way, I would have stopped and pulled those fucking boxers right the hell off of me. As it was, I checked out each and every bush I passed to see if it would offer me enough shelter to do it in the great outdoors. No such luck. I lived in suburbia USA and each and every bush had a giant picture window right behind it. And I didn’t think the local residents would appreciate that view with their morning coffee.
Needless to say, by the time I got to school I was hurting pretty bad. I wanted to run to the bathroom but I couldn’t run anywhere. The best I could do was a limping stagger. So much for the stud strut I had been planning for my entrance. It was all I could do to hold back the whimpers. Only I could turn into a stud and still wind up a joke.
Well, I was expecting stares when I got to school, and I got them. Most of them went something like this: the limp would catch their attention, then they’d look at the face to see who it was, then came the confusion as they realized that the face didn’t match the body. After that, the reaction varied. Some went back to what they were doing. Others began whispering and pointing, a few giggled and still others just out and out stared at me slack jawed. I might have enjoyed the attention if I hadn’t been in fucking agony.
I had just about made it to the bathroom when I heard my name. Crap! It was Charles. What did he want?
“Whoa, you got bigger.”
“Not now, Charles, I’ll SEE you in class, ok?”
“Fine. I just want you to know, I figured out your secret.”
That stopped me. “What do you mean?”
“The whole growth-thing, I know what’s going on.”
The first thought that whipped through my mind was how did he find out? Then I remembered it was Charles I was dealing with.
“You don’t know anyTHING about it.” I’d made it to the boy’s room door.
“Oh no, I know all about it. You must have been kidnapped by aliens and they infused you with some of their DNA.”
I might have laughed if the pain weren’t so bad. “You think I’m turning inTO an alien?”
“I don’t have time for this.” I pushed the bathroom door open and walked in. And Charles, apparently unable to respect personal boundaries, came in right behind me.
“Jesus, are you going to follow me inTO the stall?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t been asked… yet.”
Great! He’s horny. Today was shaping up to be a complete sequel to yesterday: Clash of the Pheromones II: The return. Maybe I could find the cheerleaders, get them in an out and out brawl. That ought to turn some heads.
I stormed into the stall, slammed the door behind me, and locked it.
“That’s ok,” came Charles’ voice. “I can wait.”
I dropped my pants and stepped out of them. Then I tried to pull off my boxers. Forget it. They didn’t want to come down over my thighs. I might have been able to manage it if the dam stall weren’t so small. I kept banging into the walls trying to get into the right position.
“What are you doing in there?” called Charles.
“Do you need any help?”
“Yeah. I need someone to run to CALculus and save me a seat.”
“Nice try. Not going to work,” said Charles. “I’m guessing the aliens were reptiles. That’s why you’re starting to sound like a frog.”
Alien frogs? What a lunatic. But Charles was the least of my problems. I couldn’t believe it. I just could not get my boxers off. My underwear was defeating me. Okay that was it. I wasn’t getting anywhere like this. For the second time in my life, I grabbed my boxers by the waist band and ripped them right off of my body. But this time, it fucking hurt! “AH!”
“What was that?”
“Don’t you have some pencils TO sharpen?” I looked down at my crotch. Red welts were everywhere. I was going to be smarting for days.
I quickly stuffed my boxers into my knapsack and pulled up my pants. I was still sore but at least everything down there was now free and easy.
I came out of the stall and almost ran over Charles.
“What were you doing in there, shedding your skin?”
“Something like that. Look WE’re going to be late.”
“Who cares? So what have you got down there now, scales?”
“I don’t believe this,” I said as I pushed past Charles and out into the corridor.
“It’s alright,” he said chasing after me. “You don’t have to pretend with me. I won’t give you away.”
Charles chased after me all the way to class, trying to get me to divulge my alien nature. People were pointing and laughing as we passed.
“Charles, you’re turning us into a joke,” I said.
“It’s not me,” he said.
“Oh yeah? Then what is IT?”
“Probably that pair of torn boxers you’ve got hanging out of your knapsack.”
“Crap!” I stopped and checked. Sure enough, I hadn’t completely zipped up my knapsack and my former underwear had fallen almost all the way out. I quickly stuffed it in and closed the zipper.
“I guess with your new anatomy you no longer need underwear. Do you still have a dick?”
“I’m not an ALien, Charles.”
“Of course, not,” he said, winking at me.
“I’ve got to get to class,” I said and I took off limping as fast as I could manage, partly because I didn’t want to be late but mostly to get away from Charles.
I was right; we were almost late for class and the room was almost full. Veronica, Charles and I still managed to grab three seats together only this time I sat so Veronica was between me and Charles. I looked over to say hi to Veronica but she was already staring at me.
“Whoa, momma,” she said. “I don’t know what you’ve been eating, but keep it up.”
“It’s kind of a long story,” I said.
“That’s ok,” she said, “I already like how it ends.”
Mr. Sanders got up in front of the class and cleared his throat, preparing once again to boar us all into a stupor. I leaned over and whispered to Veronica, “I’ll tell you at lunch.” I guess Charles must have heard because he started violently shaking his head and mouthing the word, “alien” while he pointed at me. To my enormous relief Veronica found the notion almost as ridiculous as I did.
She eased her hand back into my lap. I’d almost forgotten about my welts but Veronica’s fingers reminded me. “Fuck!” I whispered in agony, hoping the look of torment on my face made up for the lack of volume. “Stop. For the love of God, please stop.”
“Why what’s wrong?”
“I don’t think he has a dick,” offered Charles.
“Do I have to separate you three again,” came Mr. Sanders’ drone from the front of the class.
“No, sir,” we answered almost simultaneously.
“Then let’s keep it down, shall we?” And we pretty much did for the rest of the class.
On the way out, Veronica asked me if I was ok. She seemed genuinely concerned.
“I’m fine—mostly,” I said. “I’ll tell you all about it at lunch.”
“What about me?” asked Charles. “Can I come too?”
“Sure,” I said. “I was going to ask you anyway.”
“Yeah, I wanted your advice about this eyeball I’ve got growing out of my bellybutton.”
My cell phone went off and I was spared answering him. I pulled it out of knapsack. Unidentified number. Holy Shit! It could be him. I caught my breath as I answered it. “HelLO?”
“Hey, I see your voice has started to drop.”
It was him. It was Professor Grant. It was all I could do to keep myself from shouting who the fuck are you? But I couldn’t risk scaring him away. If he hung up I might never hear from him again and where would that leave me?
“Is that what’s happening?”
“Sure. What did you think?” You were turning into a frog?” He laughed. I didn’t. “Hey, you got a pen and paper handy? Wait a minute, why am I asking. You’re a student. Of course you’ve got a pen and paper handy,” he chuckled.
I cradled my phone on my shoulder—which actually was a lot easier than it used to be—dropped my knapsack on the floor, and pulled out a pen and notebook. “Got ’em,” I said.
“Good, now take this down.” He proceeded to give a list of chemicals and other substances, some of which I’d used in biology, some I had read about, and some I’d never heard of.
“You should be able to find all of these things in the science store room,” he said. “If not, most of them are available at any pharmacy.” Then he went on to give me detailed instructions on how to prepare some kind of protein/amino acid compound. “And there you have it,” he finished.
“Have what?” I asked.
“Your pheromone antidote, what else?” I suddenly got very excited.
“Really? You mean all I have to do is rub some of this stuff on my elBOW and I’ll be fine.”
“No, no, no. First of all, you are already fine. Second, this stuff will not affect you at all. I can’t just shut off your pheromones, the long term consequences could be fatal.”
“You give it to your football captain friend and anyone else you want to make immune—although I hate using that word—to your pheromones.”
“So, I just rub it on their elbows?”
“They could absorb it through their skin, but it would take a lot longer to be effective, and it might not work at all. Your best bet is to have them ingest it. That should give you almost instant results.”
My mind reeled at the complications involved in getting all those people to eat this stuff. “I don’t know if this is going to work.”
“Sorry, kid, it’s the best I can do.”
Alright, it was time to get some answers. “Who are you actually? You’re not at Stanford.”
“Ha. You’re a little slow, kid. I thought we’d be having this conversation last time I called.”
“You expected me to figure it out?”
“I gave you that mind of yours, didn’t I?”
“So, who are you?”
“I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”
“You’ve got to be kidding.”
“I know its a little cliché and it’s not entirely true. But I don’t think you’re ready yet to hear what I have to say.”
“Oh yes, I’m ready. AbSOlutely, I’m ready.”
“Well, I’m still going to wait a bit.”
Crap. But I figured I’d better not push it. I didn’t want him hanging up.
Now what was it I wanted to ask—? “Can you at least tell me how big I’m goING to get?”
“Ah, well, that’s a little tricky. Just remember to take your height and weight now and then again when you’ve had your second growth spurt—”
“Wait a minute,” I cried, cutting him off. “What do you mean when I’ve had my seCOND spurt? I had my third one last night!”
“You’re telling me you’ve had three growth spurts?”
“In less than twenty-four hours?”
There was silence on the other end.
“Is someTHING wrong?” I asked.
“I don’t know, kid. You’re growing a helluva lot faster than I expected. You don’t happen to have your stats?”
“Yeah, I’ve grown about three inches tallER and put on about 50 pounds.”
“Holy frijoles! I wouldn’t have thought that was physiologically possible. You’re feeling ok?”
“I feel great.”
“What I wouldn’t give for a blood sample.”
“You can have one. Take as many as you want,”
“If only it was that easy.”
“Why isn’t it?”
“I can’t really go into that now. But, look kid, it’s not like your life is in danger or anything. You’re just growing a lot faster than I expected. I’ll go over my notes again and if there’s anything you need to know, I’ll call you.”
“Wait a minute, wait a minute; you still haven’t answered my QUEStion.”
“To which one of your unanswered questions are you referring?”
“How big am I going to get?”
“Oh, that one. That’s just it, kid. I don’t know. All bets are off. You’re growth pattern is not at all what I predicted. Now, I have no way of telling how big you’ll grow.”
“I’m still going to get bigger, though, right?” Please say yes.
“I think you can count on that.” BOO YA! “Hold it.
“I’m not going to get, you know, like, Godzilla-big, am I?”
He laughed. “No, that’s ridiculous.”
“Sorry, but I’ve got to go now.”
“No! Wait! Don’t hang up. How do I contact you if I need to?”
“Kid, with that brain, if you need me bad enough, you’ll find me. Sorry but I can’t tell you anymore than that.” And he hung up. Crap!
“AH!” I felt a jolt of pain so bad it made it made my teeth tingle. Someone had pinched my butt again, and this time they got me right on a welt! I looked around to see who it might have been. No clue. No doubt about it, I had to get this pheromone-thing taken care of.
I decided to skip English Lit. Not only had I already read the book they were discussing, but I had finished my analytical essay on it over a week and a half ago. I wasn’t going to be missing anything.
I was going to need some help… and what a good thing Veronica was still standing right next to me. Or maybe it wasn’t.
“How much did you hear?”
“Everything. Who was that, your doctor, or just some random mad scientist?”
“Would you believe the latter?”
“Looking at you, I’d believe just about anything—except maybe that you’re an alien.”
I looked around quickly but Charles seemed to have moved on. “He didn’t hear too, did he?”
“No, he was long gone by the time the good stuff started.”
“Veronica, I need your help.”
“All you have to do is ask,” she said flexing her fingers.
“Not with that—well, maybe with that—but I need your help with SOMEthing else first.”
I showed her the notebook and saw the biologist in her instantly emerge. “Wow, that’s some serious shit. What is it?”
“I’ll tell you as we go. We have to get to the biolOLOGY lab before the next class starts.” And as we started on our way, I began to tell her. “Remember that substitute we had a couple of days ago?”
By the time we reached the lab I had told her everything I thought she needed to know. I, of course, left out all my family problems and anything to do with Geoff. She took the whole thing pretty well. I suppose it helped to have me right there beside her as proof. I had been a little taller than her before, but now she only came up to my shoulder. And there was another little detail I left out—maybe the most important detail—my pheromones. So, her next question was pretty natural.
“What’s this stuff we’re cooking up?”
“Is it something you need to survive?”
“I supPOSE you could say that—” Thank God we arrived at the biology lab before she could press me any further. And there were only seconds before the bell rang. We approached Mr. Jacobs who looked somewhat surprised to see us.
“What can I do for you two?” he asked.
I showed him the notebook. “We need to make some of this stuff up.”
“What’s this for?” A good question. Wish I had a good answer.
“We’re doing it for college credit,” offered Veronica. That was a good answer.
“College credit?” sighed Mr. Jacobs. “I wish I had a more students like you. This bunch,” he said, gesturing to the students now populating his classroom, “think a mitochondrion is an Italian sports car.”
I laughed. Yes, I was still a dork.
“As you can see,” he continued,” the lab is in use this period. But if you come back next period, I think I can accommodate you.”
“If its ok with you,” said Veronica, “we can spend this period in the storeroom, gathering what we need and measuring it out. It’ll probably take us the whole time anyway.” Whoa, she was a helluva lot better at thinking on her feet than I was. I’d never have thought of that.
He seemed to think it over. “I’m not really supposed to let students back there unsupervised. But I guess I can make an exception for two valedictorians.” He led us back to the storeroom door and unlocked it for us.
Before he walked away he gave me a second look. “Have you been working out?”
“Looks good. Keep it up. So many of the smart ones let themselves go; they get all fat and pudgy.” Then he noticed Veronica standing there. “I’ve—ah—got to start the class, now. Let me know if you need anything.” And he quickly walked away.
We stepped in and closed the door behind us.
“Veronica, you are a genius!” I said. “You knew exactly what to say.”
“You were pretty smooth yourself, laughing at his stupid joke.”
“Ah… yeah. That was pretty smooth of me, wasn’t it?” I cleared my throat. “Well, we’d better get started.”
It did take us quite a while to gather and measure everything we needed, but when we were done we still had about twenty minutes before we could use the lab. There weren’t any chairs in the storeroom so we just kind of sat down on the floor to wait.
“So, genetically engineered, hunh?”
“I’ve thought about going into genetics. From a purely professional point of view, I’d like to see this guy’s handiwork.”
“Take off your shirt.”
“Take off your shirt. I’m missing a discussion on Michelangelo’s David for this. Make it worth my while.”
I shrugged and pulled off my shirt.
“Whoa. Momma likes,” she said. She reached over and put her hand on my chest. Dam, that’s solid. This Professor Grant does some good work.” She licked her finger and then slid it across my pec and over to my nipple where it danced and played for a while. Electric waves rolled through my body, up my spine and into my brain. I wanted to let her continue but I couldn’t. I gently took her hand and gave it back to her.
“What’s the matter?” she asked, looking hurt.
“Veronica, there’s something I’ve got to tell you. When Professor Grant triggered my second puberty, he also amped up my pheromones so they would make me irresistible. What you’re feeling, it isn’t real. This stuff we’re making, it’s to counteract their affect. So maybe you’ll want to wait until we’re finished before you… do anything.”
There was a second of silence and then she laughed. But the sound contained more sorrow than mirth. “Are you really so blind?” she asked. “Are all boys really so fucking blind?”
“I don’t understand—”
“I’ve been attracted to you ever since I first met you and that was what, two years ago? Long before any Professor Grant or second puberty or hyperactive pheromones. The muscles are just a bonus, the weight that tipped the scales, so to speak.”
I was stunned. “All that head on the shoulder stuff—?”
“Now he gets it,” she said.
Oh my god, I had been completely misreading her for years. Now that I thought about it, it seemed pretty obvious and I felt really stupid. How could I tell her I once considered dating her but had decided against it because I didn’t like her arms?
“I had no idea,” I said.
“No, you didn’t, did you? But you do now.” She reached her hand over, this time going right for the crotch, and she landed directly on a welt.
“AH! Holy Fucking Christ!”
She pulled her hand back. “What have you got going on down there, anyway?”
“It’s nothing. I hurt myself.”
“Let me see.”
“Take off your pants and let me see.”
“Come on, take ’em off or I might start to think Charles was right. Maybe you don’t have a dick.”
“No,” I laughed. “I’m pretty sure I’ve got a dick.” And I kicked off my sneakers and slid out of my pants. The floor was cold beneath me. I was naked now, except for my sox. I thought about taking them off but I was pretty sure it would ruin the moment.
“Now that is a fine piece of work,” she said looking at my cock. “Among the finest I’ve ever seen.”
That remark took me a little by surprise. “Seen a lot of them, have you?”
“Just my fair share. And yours is right up there at the head of the class.” Obviously, she’d never dated Geoff. “But all those welts around it, don’t do a thing for it. Luckily the rod itself is largely untouched.”
She reached out her hand for it and anticipating pain, I recoiled slightly. “Well maybe we can work up to that,” she said.
Instead she placed her hand on my abs, and much as I had done the night before, began tracing her fingers through the dips and valleys between my rock hard plateaus. I don’t know what it was, but it felt completely different when she did it. But Junior liked it. He was starting to wake up. Slowly she began to slide her fingers down toward the tangle of thick, dark hair where he laid waiting. She was skillfully avoiding all of the angry red marks which, like a mine field, surrounded her goal.
But something wasn’t right. And once again I reached out my hand to stop her.
“What’s the matter now?”
“I’m feeling a little at a disadvantage,” I said.
“What do you mean?”
“I showed you mine. How about you showing me yours?”
“Hm. I haven’t got anything you want to see.”
“I’ll be the judge of that. Come on, lady, take ’em off.”
She looked genuinely surprised. I don’t think she’d ever had a request like that before. It put her off balance and I kind of liked that.
“Well, okay, but I’ll have to turn the lights off, first.” That would make it pitch dark. Like most storerooms this one had no windows.
“No deal. I want to see you.”
She sat on the floor for a minute looking at me, unsure what to do. I had never seen this side of her before. She always seemed so sure of herself. “If you weren’t so fucking hot—” she said finally and started to undress. She was just wearing jeans and a blouse so it didn’t take long. When she got to her bra and panties, she hesitated. She looked over at me. I sat there, silently, never taking my eyes off her. I was making her nervous. I found that kind of hot.
Finally in a series of quick jerky moments, she unhitched her bra, pulled down her panties and stepped out of them. She stood there naked in the center of the room, her eye nervously darting everywhere, but at me. I thought she might be shivering but I wasn’t sure.
She was no supermodel, that was for sure, but then I hadn’t been expecting one, so it really didn’t matter. Her body was all luscious curves, one melted into the other. It was for girls like her that they coined the term voluptuous. Her breasts were naturally large and yet still stood out perkily, her silver dollar nipples standing erect. She had her hands clasped in front of her and just below them I could see her sweet, soft sex with just a whisper of hair around it.
As I stood up, she looked like she might jump out of her skin. I guess I made her nervous. I was no giant, but I was still a good head taller than her, and significantly bulkier. I kind of dwarfed her. I don’t think I’d ever dwarfed anyone before. I found that kind of hot, too. And Junior was starting to stand up and take notice.
Veronica, of course, saw what was going on down below. How could she miss it? And she started to talk.
“I just want to say one thing before we go any further.”
She sounded really nervous. Something about that attitude was really making me hard. I decided to let her talk and not say anything. I would just watch her silently and see what happened. I took a step toward her.
“I want you to know that I’m just 18 and I’m not looking for any serious relationships at this time.”
She looked up at me. I guess she expected me to say something but I didn’t. It made her even more nervous. And for some reason, I enjoyed her agitated state intensely. I moved even closer.
“I’m only saying this because sometimes after sex guys either think they own you or they disappear completely, thinking I’m going to claim ownership of them.”
Again a pause, a chance for me to speak, which I did not take. But I did take another step. I was right next to her now. We were mere millimeters from touching. I could feel her heat and I knew she could feel mine.
She gulped. “I’m not like that at all. This is what it is. If it’s great, we’ll have a memory and maybe we can do it again. If not—”
“Veronica,” I interrupted.
Then I leaned down and kissed her hard and long. Our bodies pressed together, mine hard and unyeilding and hers soft and warm. Our tongues met and danced and my head filled with flashes of tangible light. My hands were on her upper arms traveling up and down, feeling her warm, soft flesh and hers were on my back, trying to grab hold, but it was pretty much a hard, solid wall.
When we finally released, we were both breathing a little hard. I reached down and putting a hand on either side of her waste, I lifted her up. Two days ago, I could never have pulled that off, but now it posed no problem at all. She squealed a little as I turned and set her gently on the floor with her back to the wall.
I stood directly in front of her, looking down. In this position she was sandwiched between my bulk and the wall. I was completely dominating her. There was no escape. Of course, if she had wanted to go, I would have let her, but there was no sign of that.
She leaned over and started licking my nipples while her hands went down south to see my lad. They found him still up and waiting for them. Of course most of their work was done. But once again Veronica showed her artistry in bringing me right to the edge and keeping me there.
But about five minutes of that I was ready for the grand finale. I bent my knees slightly and gently pushed forward, and then Veronica taking the hint, guided my jet fighter into her hanger. That was when the wall really came in handy. She was pushed up against it with the first thrust. She let out a throaty gasp. Then I began to pump. Slowly at first but quickly gaining speed and momentum. Witch each movement, I felt the pleasure build. And the harder and faster I went, the better it felt.
Veronica began crying out.
At first I was concerned. “Are you okay? Do you want me to stop?”
“If you stop, I’ll fucking kill you,” she screamed. I guess she was ok.
I wanted to feel her helpless in my muscular arms, completely dominated by my superior size and strength, so I paused in full thrust, and while remaining insider her, lifted Veronica up and pinned her against the wall.
“Oh my God, you fucking beast!” she cried. And when she called me a beast I suddenly felt like one, a raging pumping creature of muscle and sexual power. I revved up my pumping, going deeper and further with each thrust finally exploding in a haze of ecstasy.
I stayed in her while I climaxed, and for a few moments after, and savored the feeling of being deep inside her warm sex.
Then I finally pulled out and lowered her back to the ground. She slumped to the floor. I knelt next to her, instantly concerned.
“Are you ok?”
“I may never be the same again.”
“You’re not hurt are you?”
“In ways a guy could never appreciate. But it’s a good hurt, a real good hurt.”
I looked down at her sides where I had grabbed her. There were bright red marks where my hands had been. She was going to be bruised. Now that the passion was fading, I suddenly felt a little guilty.
“I’m sorry if I hurt you.”
“You’ve got nothing to apologize for. That was the most incredible experience of my life.”
I had to admit I’d never had an experience quite like this one either. The few earlier experiences I’d had could be described as awkward at best. I had never been that much bigger than my partner before, and now that I was, I found I liked sex a lot better.
“So, did you climax?”
She laughed. “Twice.”
She just stood up and gave me that smug look of hers. The old Veronica was back. “The bell’s going to ring any second. We’d better get dressed.”
I got up and followed her lead, pulling on my pants and shirt.
“You know, I was really beginning to wonder about you,” she said, “whether or not you swung the same way as Charles.”
“I don’t really seem to have any boundaries in that area,” I answered. “I hope that doesn’t bother you.”
“Well, no—and then yes.”
“How does it bother you?’
“It means I’ve got a helluva lot more competition.”
I didn’t know what to say so I didn’t say anything. We finished getting dressed just as the bell rang. We made sure we didn’t look too disheveled, opened the door and stepped out into the lab. We were greeted with a thundering round of applause. I quickly looked over at Mr. Jacobs, who stood there staring at us with his arms crossed and one of his eyebrows raised.
Oh my God, how much noise had we been making?! Both Veronica and I turned beat red.
“Way to go, Beast,” shouted one of the guys. I don’t know which one. They were all fucking freshmen. The laughter came in waves. I almost turned around and went straight back into the store room to find a rock to hide under. Veronica looked like she wanted to sink through the floor.
“Okay, that’s enough,” said Mr. Jacobs. “Class is over. Go on, get out of here.” They all began to file out of the room, laughing as they went. Veronica and I tried to follow after, but Mr. Jacobs stopped us.
“Not you two.”
We stopped and turned.
“I’m kind of surprised at you, and then again I’m not. I was a kid once. I could almost look the other way, especially since you’re two of my favorite students. But there were too many witnesses.”
“They could expel us over this. It could endanger both of our scholarships,” said Veronica.
“I’m well aware of that, which is why I’m going say I caught you guys making out. I’ll chalk the rest up to student exaggeration. You’ll get detention, but that’s much better than the alternative.”
“Thanks, we owe you.”
“Yes, you do, and I’m not going to forget it. But if you ever try anything like that again, I’ll make sure they toss you out.”
“Ok. Ah, Mr. Jacobs?” I asked.
“Can we still use the lab this periOD?”
He paused for a moment, giving me a hard look. I thought he was going to say no at first, but he didn’t.
“Well, alright, but I’m going to be sitting right there, grading papers and making sure you two are practicing the right kind of biology.”
We made him a series of hasty promises and then went to prepare our project.
Veronica and I labored the full fifty minute period to create the anti-pheromone agent. It wasn’t really difficult, just labor intensive and time consuming. A lot of our time was spent just making sure the substance remained at the proper temperature. It quickly became clear that this stuff was only going to work if it was kept at room temperature. In a way it was almost a living thing, if it got too hot or two cold it wouldn’t survive. We had a couple of close calls, but in the end we were able to coax this very delicate biochemical substance into being. And then suddenly, there it was, lying at the bottom of the beaker, the solution to all my pheromone problems.
And it looked like shit, diarrhea shit.
I’m not exaggerating. It had the same color and consistency. I leaned over and took a whiff. Yup. It smelled like shit, too. How the hell was I going to get anyone to eat this stuff? I didn’t even like looking at it.
“Is that it?” asked Veronica.
“I guess so,” I said. “Oh well, dig in.”
“What are you talking about? You don’t seriously expect me to eat that crap?”
“You have to, unless you want to go through the rest of your life as my love slave.”
“And the downside would be?”
“Seriously, Veronica, you have to eat some. I know it’s disgusting, but it shouldn’t take much.”
She sighed with exasperation, put her hands on her hips and even though she was a head shorter than I was, I got the feeling she was looking down at me as she spoke. “It’s not about how the stuff looks, and it does happen to look exceptionally repulsive. But it wouldn’t matter if it looked like chocolate chip cheese cake, I still wouldn’t touch it. I like how I feel about you, and I don’t want anything to change that.”
“Look, junior, I’m eighteen now. I’m legally allowed to make these decisions for myself. I’m sick with you and I choose not to be cured.”
Her decision didn’t make any sense. How could she not want her head cleared of my pheromones, so she could know her own mind, what she was really feeling? But I could tell arguing with her would only be wasting my breath.
And her decision also left me with a big problem.
“How am I going to test it?” And, as if on queue, Charles walked in.
“Well, if it isn’t Beauty and the Beast,” he said.
Oh my God.
“What did you hear?” snapped Veronica.
“Just that you and E.T., here, got caught in the back room and you weren’t exactly phoning home.”
“Shit, it’s all over the school,” said Veronica.
I guess I should have expected that.
“What are you doing here, anyway?” I asked Charles.
“Is this not AP Biology?”
Suddenly I realized we had been in the lab all morning and now it was time for our regular biology class.
“Hey,” said Charles, spying our experiment, “who shit in the beaker?”
Suddenly Veronica sidled up to Charles and lowered her voice. “It’s not shit. We’ve been working on it all morning. It’s top secret. We’ll tell you but you’ve got to promise you won’t tell anyone else.”
My heart skipped a beat. She wasn’t going to tell him, was she? She wouldn’t do that to me, would she?
“Ok, I won’t tell anyone,” said Charles, looking very interested.
“It may look like shit,” said Veronica, “but it’s actually an alien nutritional supplement.” The she nodded her head at me. “For him.”
Wow, she really was good at thinking on her feet.
“Really?” asked Charles.
“Oh yeah, sure, that’s exactly want it is,” I said.
Charles instantly took his finger, dipped in the goop and put a drop on his tongue. His expression confirmed my worst fears: the stuff tasted exactly like it looked.
“That is disgusting,” he said. “You eat that stuff?”
“Not if I can help it,” I said.
His eyes reflected confusion for a moment and then a light went on. “Oh my God, you tricked me,” he said turning pale. “That really is shit. You tricked me into eating shit.”
Veronica and I burst out laughing.
“No, it’s not shit,” I said when I finally calmed down, “it’s a biochemical substance that will do you absolutely no harm. Here’s the formula. Check it out.”
I tossed him the notebook and he looked it over as if he were expecting some kind of trick. But in a minute he believed us.
Mr. Jacobs got ready to start the class and Veronica went back to sit with her lab partner. I could tell Charles was dying to ask me what the goop was, but the lecture was starting and he couldn’t.
I really didn’t pay much attention to Mr. Jacobs during the class. I was too busy trying to figure out how I could get the entire population of the school to sample some of the anti-pheromone agent. I was pretty sure the alien-nutritional-supplement-thing would only work with Charles.
On the upside, I couldn’t help but notice Charles kept his hands to himself the entire period. He didn’t grab me once. It was a far cry from yesterday when he was squeezing my arm at every opportunity. It looked like the stuff had actually worked.
Now all I had to do was figure out how to get a thousand kids to eat a stinking pile of shit.
The class ended, and as usual, the three of us headed to the cafeteria for lunch. I was not prepared for what awaited us in the halls. Half the guys we passed wanted to high five me. There were several calls of, “Beast!” or “All right, Beast!” Poor Veronica was scarlet all the way to the cafeteria. But I have to admit, my reaction was completely different.
At first, I thought the guys were all mocking me with the name Beast—and if this had been two days ago I would probably have been right—but then I realized there was no derision in their tone or attitude. They actually admired me; as though getting caught fucking a girl in the storeroom was something they’d wished they’d done. And apparently a lot of them were noticing my change in size for the first time and that was just feeding the hype. I had somehow achieved celebrity status, and I have to admit I was enjoying it.
But Veronica was receiving nothing but dark looks from the girls we passed. Where I had achieved glory, she had somehow achieved shame. The world was certainly a strange place.
By the time we got to the cafeteria, I was so hungry I could barely stand it. Veronica and I headed straight for the hot lunch line, but Charles went to the grill to get a burger and fries, which they always cooked to order. That would take way too long for me. I needed to eat now. I actually wound up buying two lunches and I carried them both over to a table in the back, where Veronica and I sat down and contemplated our dilemma.
“Maybe we could bake the stuff into cookies, or something,” I suggested.
“You’re forgetting we can’t heat or cool it. It would lose its effectiveness,” said Veronica. “It has to be around room temperature.”
“What do people eat that’s room temperature? Food is usually hot. Drinks are usually cold.”
Charles arrived with his lunch and sat down. “What are you guys talking about?” he asked.
“Weather the aliens are more likely to enslave you or eat you for dinner,” said Veronica.
“Well, personally I would prefer enslavement,” he said taking a bite of a French fry. “Damn!”
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
“I don’t know how they do it,” he exclaimed. “Every single damn day the fries are cold. Today I actually watched them pull the fries out of the fryer. They should be sizzling hot, but they’re stone cold. It defies the laws of physics!”
“Calm down, Charles,” I said. “Our lunches are the same way—” Then it hit me. It had been sitting right in front of me the whole time: the school lunches. They were always room temperature. I looked over at Veronica and I could see she was thinking the same thing. She quickly jumped out of her chair and ran to the bulletin board where they posted the menu for the week. I was right on her heals. Mystified, Charles followed after us.
“Perfect,” she said. “Tomorrow they’re serving chocolate pudding.”
“This week, it might be a little lumpy,” I said grinning.
“What are you two talking about?”
“Alien plots,” said Veronica. “Alien plots.”
“We’re going to need a helluva lot of it,” I said as we headed back to our table.
“That’s ok,” said Veronica. We don’t really need a lab to make it. We could probably do it in a kitchen.”
“We’re going to need some ingredients.”
“I could get them after school, but we have detention.”
“That’s okay,” I said as I sat down and pulled out my cell phone. “I’ll call my mom. She’ll help.”
While I was on the phone with my mom, explaining to her what we needed, Scott Fitzsimons came over and started talking to Veronica. I wasn’t really paying attention to what was being said because my mom had just asked a very distracting question: why did I have detention? I hemmed and hawed for a minute before I gave her the official explanation: I had been caught making out with Veronica.
It was kind of funny. My mom didn’t seem shocked or outraged that I had been caught tongue wrestling in a school storeroom. Apparently she was merely surprised about whom I had been caught with.
I lost my train of thought when I heard a cry from across the table. Scott Fitzsimmons was running his hand down Veronica’s cheek and she did not seem happy about it. I looked for Charles. He was mysteriously missing. Or maybe it was conveniently missing.
“Excuse me, mom, I’ve got to go,” I said.
I hung up just in time to hear Fitzsimmons say, “If you had a good time with that shrimp, imagine what it would be like with a real man.”
“Excuse me?” I said.
“You don’t want to get involved in this, Tiny.”
Apparently this guy wasn’t up on current events. I stood up and watched the shock on the Fitzsimmons’s face as he realized I was just as tall as he was. Then I reached over and grabbed his wrist and forced it away from Veronica’s face. I held on tight to his wrist as he tried to pull it away. It was something of a surprise to both of us that he couldn’t do it.
“What the fuck? Let go, asshole.”
I let go of his wrist and grabbed him by the forearm. He was yanking with everything he had and he could not pull away from me. What a head trip.
I looked down at Veronica. She was really angry. Then I became really angry. And I twisted his arm.
“Ah,” he cried in pain. He tried to pry my hand loose with his other hand, but I barely even noticed his efforts. I couldn’t believe it. This guy was helpless in front of me. I twisted harder.
“You’re breaking my arm,” he cried, wincing.
That thought was shockingly appealing. I probably could break his arm. Part of me wanted to try just to see if I could do it. Part of me wanted to do it to pay him back for molesting Veronica. But breaking his arm would get me expelled for sure, so I had to think of some other way to keep him away from Veronica.
Come on, this should be simple for me. I had been manipulating the football players all year. I would figure out what they valued most, usually their position on the football team, and threaten to take it away from them using my influence with Geoff. Worked every time. But what did I know about Fitzsimmons? Nothing.
As I was contemplating this I glanced down and saw the steep curve of my bicep pressing up against the inside of my shirt. I suddenly realized that I no longer needed to be so subtle or clever. I could use a much more direct approach.
I twisted his arm harder and he cried out again. God help me, I was enjoying torturing the little creep. “Listen, Fitzsimmons,” I began, “Are you listening to me?”
I twisted his arm a little more and he squealed. It was fucking music to me. “What was that? I didn’t hear you.” I was really getting into this.
“Yeah,” he gasped. “I’m listening.”
“Good. Because if you ever come within fifty feet of Veronica again, I will reach down your pants, rip off your balls and shove them down your throat.”
I guess I must have hit upon what this guy valued, because he went completely white. “Now get the fuck out of here.” I gave his arm one last twist. Not because it was really necessary to make my point, but just because I enjoyed it. Then I let him go. I almost laughed as I watched him scamper off. What a fucking rush. I had totally terrorized that asshole. I owned him.
Then it hit me. This is why bullies did what they did. It was a definite high, physically dominating someone. But having once been a victim of that shit, I would never go that route myself. It had been different with Fitzsimmons. He was asking for it. But the truth was, I half hoped he’d come back so I could give him some more.
I looked down to check on Veronica and I noticed she was crying. But that was impossible. Veronica didn’t cry. You threw a barb at her and she threw one back, twice as sharp. Something was seriously wrong. I sat down next to her and took her hand. “Don’t pay attention to anything that guy said,” I said. “He’s just an asshole.”
“I know,” she said, trying to stem the flow. “That’s not why I’m crying.”
“I don’t understand.”
“No one has ever stood up for me like that before.”
That thing with Fitzsimmons? Why was she getting all worked up over that? “It wasn’t that big of a deal.”
“Maybe not to you,” she sniffed. She grabbed a napkin and dabbed at her eyes. “But I’m beginning to think I was really stupid with what I said earlier and if you don’t mind, I’d like to claim ownership now.”
Wow. What do I say? How do I get out of this? I liked Veronica and all, but—“I’m not really ready to be owned yet.” I tired to say it softly, but I could tell I’d hurt her.
“That’s ok,” she said. “Am I still in the running?”
In the running? Fuck.
“There isn’t even a contest.” I could see her starting to tear up again so I followed it with, “But if I ever have one, you’ll be the odds on favorite.” God, did that sound egotistical or what?
I stood up and got ready to leave and suddenly noticed that every single girl in the entire cafeteria—and a couple of the guys—were watching me with what I can only describe as googly eyes. I had the feeling my minor heroics along with my raging pheromones were about to get me in big trouble again.
I turned back to Veronica. “You coming by tonight to help me whip up a giant batch of that goop?”
Veronica, too, was starting to notice the amount of attention I was getting. Her tears dried up and her face hardened. “I wouldn’t miss it. We’ve absolutely got to get those pheromones of yours under control.”
My next class was gym. I realized as I headed back towards my locker to get my gym uniform that it would no longer fit. If I tried to put it on and engage in any physical activity, I would rip right through it in seconds and wind up virtually naked on the gym floor. Although this held a certain appeal, I was afraid I might enjoy it a little too much, and that kind of humiliation I could do without.
Our school had a clear policy about gym class without a uniform: not happening. I’d have to make the class up later but at least I didn’t have to worry about showering with twenty guys and my hyperactive pheromones. My mind had played out many different versions of this scenario and none of them had ended well for me.
I kept getting the googly eyes for the rest of the day, not to mention a veritable storm of sighs. One girl actually stopped me in the hall and asked me to flex for her. It was a request which my left brain wanted to refuse, but which my right brain was unable to. She reached out, gave it a little squeeze, giggled, turned red and disappeared down the hall. I couldn’t help but be amused.
The last two classes of the day were Greek history and Spanish. These classes usually dragged but today they flew by. Why? Because they were followed by something I hated more than almost anything on the planet: detention.
On my way to the detention hall, I had to stop by my locker to get the books I’d need to do my homework that evening, but when I got there I almost dropped my backpack. My locker was just covered with, I don’t know, crap. There were things taped all over it; flowers, little candies, notes written on all shades of colored paper and all kinds of other little decorative shit. And stacked on top, well, that’s where they put the baked goods; cookies, brownies, cakes, you name it.
I must have stood there, at least a full minute just staring at it. My first thought was, that can’t be my locker. But it was. Great. It was like my pheromones were leaving me notes. Then I started to wonder what I was going to do with all of that crap and how long it was going to take me to clean it all off. I went over to it and looked at some of the notes. Every single one of them was addressed to Beast and included a phone number. Beast? I guess I was stuck with it now.
Well, I didn’t have time to deal with it. I opened my locker, got the books that I needed and stuffed them into my backpack. Then I grabbed the baked goods and shoved them in there too. I was always hungry these days and if someone was going to give me food, I was damn well going to eat it. In fact, I ate two of the cookies on my way up to the detention hall.
Detention today was being monitored by Mrs. Murphy. I don’t know what she taught. I’d never been in any of her classes and from the look of her I was glad. She looked mean, kind of like a rabid Pitbull. It was like she was just waiting for you to screw up so she could take a bite out of you.
Veronica was there already. But, not surprisingly, we each had to sit at opposite ends of the room—not that talking was allowed anyway. Nothing was allowed, not even homework. We were just supposed to sit there quietly and do nothing. A more insidious torture could not be imagined.
My mind began to wonder and I subconsciously began to run my hands over my arms. God, they had gotten big and hard. I still couldn’t get over it. It suddenly occurred to me that I had not grown any more since last night. This was the longest I had gone without a growth spurt since this whole thing started. I wondered what would happen if I suddenly started growing right here in detention. At first the thought disturbed me and I began running scenarios through my mind, trying to figure a quick way out of here should it become necessary. After a few minutes, I realized that faking a sudden illness would work just fine. And considering the symptoms I suffered before each spurt, I wouldn’t have any trouble convincing Mrs. Murphy I was really sick.
Once that problem was solved, I began to get board again. Now I found myself wishing I would start to grow. That, at least, would be something to do. I imagined myself growing to eight, nine, ten feet tall, a massive juggernaut of solid, bulging muscles. I began to have fantasies of rampaging through the school ripping it apart with my bare hands. I started to get hard. I longed to put my hand on my dick to help it along but I knew I couldn’t. I quickly became frustrated and tried to think of something else.
Fortunately, I was seated next to a window. I wondered if there were any rules about looking out of it. Probably. But Mrs. Murphy was busy working on something, and I guessed I could get away with it.
The window overlooked the football field. Geoff was out there practicing with what was left of the team. Well, at least that was something to watch. But Geoff’s game was off. He kept making clumsy moves and stupid mistakes that were completely unlike him. You didn’t have to be Sigmund Freud, to realize something was bothering him. I began to wonder if I might somehow be the cause. I decided to talk to Geoff that evening. I would tell him all about the pheromones and give him the cure. Then he could get back to his usually carefree life of football, football, and more football.
As fate would have it, football practice ended just a short time before we were released from detention. I spoke with Veronica briefly and she promised to come over after dinner to help with the “cooking.” Then I went down to the locker room. I still had the jar of stuff we’d made up earlier in the biology lab, and I was determined that Geoff should have a dose.
I walked in and sat on a bench. Most of the team was just getting ready to leave. Geoff was not among them and it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t welcome. After all, this half of the team wasn’t in the weight room fight. They didn’t owe me anything at all, and most of them still hated me.
“Would you look at that?” said Gil Stafford. He was about the closest thing our school had to a redneck. “Just last week he was a puny runt. Now look at him. He’s like some kind of God damn mutant.”
He was obviously trying to bait me, but I was no idiot. None of these guys were under six feet and they were all bulkier than I was. I might be a big deal around the ordinary mortals, but around these guys I was still a shrimp.
“Where’s Geoff?” I asked.
“What do you care, you little freak?” asked Gil.
“Jesus, Gil,” said Aaron Getz, “take it down a notch. Geoff’s still working out.” He nodded toward the weight room. Great. One of my favorite places. I took a deep breath, shouldered my pack and headed toward the weight room.
As I entered, I took a quick look around. The place didn’t appear any different then it did the last time I was there. I don’t know, somehow I expected the fight would have left some mark or trace on the room, but there was nothing.
Geoff was alone. He was shirtless, only wearing a pair of gym shorts, and doing dumbbell curls like a mad man. I don’t know how much weight he was using, but I figured I might be able to curl one of his dumbbells if I used both hands. I waited until he finished his set before I spoke.
He stood up and turned at the sound of his name. I don’t know how long he had been working out, but every single muscle on his huge body looked totally pumped, swollen and hard, far larger than I had ever seen them before. He didn’t have a body he had a fucking land mass. His pecs were two heaving dunes, his abs were ridges and valleys, and his biceps and shoulders were mountains with veins running all around them like winding roads. His skin was red and shiny with sweat and he was radiating a heat I could feel across the room. The shear power of his physical presence was making me weak in the knees.
“Oh look, it’s the Beast.” he said.
Crap. He had heard. Of course he had heard; the entire school had heard.
“What do you want?” He wasn’t smiling.
“I need to tell you something,” I said.
He looked at me hard. There was no friendliness there, none at all. I was surprised by how much that hurt me. I was pretty sure he was about to tell me to go. But he didn’t.
“So, tell me.”
And I sang him the song of my pheromones. I was clear and concise. I hit all the salient points and ended by producing the jar of shit-like goop which I explained he needed to eat.
He looked at me silently for a moment before he spoke. “So, tell me about her.”
“Tell me about her, the brainy girl, the one you fucked in the biology lab.”
“What does that have to do with my pheromones?”
“Nothing. I don’t give a crap about your pheromones. I don’t even know what a pheromone is, and you know what? I don’t care. Tell me about her.”
This was unexpected. I wasn’t sure what to do. But something in his tone compelled me to answer.
“What did you want to know?”
“Is she pretty?”
“Ah, not really.”
He laughed bitterly. “She’s not even pretty. She must have a great body, then.”
“Actually, she’s kind of fat.”
“You’re fucking killing me, you know that?”
“Wait a minute, you’re upset because Veronica and I—What about Wendy?”
“I broke it off with Wendy.”
“I guess I didn’t get the memo.”
“Is that why you did it? Because I was sleeping with Wendy? To get back at me?”
“Listen, Geoff, it might surprise you to hear this, but I don’t live my life around you. I make plenty of decisions every day that have nothing to do with you. Like Veronica, she was one of those right time/right place kind of things. And believe it or not, when I was kissing her, you were pretty far from my mind.”
“Let me see if I can do something about that.”
In two strides he crossed the room, pulled me into an embrace with those enormous arms of his and kissed me.
The suddenness and the force of it took me by surprise. I thought I had seen lights when I kissed Veronica. That was nothing compared to this. There was a complete circus going on inside my head and our tongues were the acrobats. Instinctively, my hands reached up and grabbed his arms. They were like steel plates piled up under his skin. It was as if he was turning into the equipment he worked out on. I began to get dizzy. If he hadn’t pulled back when he did, I might have passed out.
“Tell me, you didn’t feel that, too,” he said. I just nodded my head and looked past those gigantic pecs at those baby blue eyes and that soft brown hair. But I pulled away. This wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right.
“What’s the matter, now?”
“It’s my pheromones. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what they are. Just put a dab of this—shit on your tongue. That’s all.” Inwardly I cringed. I knew that after he’d had a dose there was every possibility he’d lose interest. But it had to be done. It was the right thing to do. It was the only thing to do.
“You really want me to eat that crap?”
“What do I get if I do?” he asked, a mischievous smile returning to his face.
“What do you want?”
“If I taste that crap, you have to do any one thing I say.”
I didn’t really have to think about it. “Ok.”
“And I want you to feed it to me.”
“Yeah, fine.” I unscrewed the jar, dipped my finger into the substance and got a little dab on the tip. That should be enough. “Open wide,” I said. He did and as I stuck my finger in his mouth, he closed it, sucking on my digit and running his tongue all around it. Shivers ran up my spine. I had no idea a finger could be an erogenous zone. I slowly slid it out of his mouth and waited; I wasn’t sure for what.
“Ok,” he said. “I did what you wanted; now you have to do what I want.”
“What’s that?” I asked, expecting the worse, expecting him to tell me to go.
“Take a shower.” Then he dropped his gym shorts, and walked completely naked through the connecting door and into the locker room. I quickly repacked my backpack and followed after him.
By the time I got into the locker room it was empty. The rest of the team had gone home. In fact, at this time of day, I suspected the school was practically deserted. I heard the water start running in the shower room and I was pretty sure that was where I’d find Geoff. I quickly stripped down and put my clothes in a locker. For the second time that day, I found myself buck naked at school. Only this time I removed my socks.
The first thing I noticed when I stepped into the shower room was that all thirty showerheads were running. Torrents of water were cascading down in all directions, turning the floor into a tempest of swirling currents. Steam was everywhere. The light was dim. It didn’t look like the boy’s shower at all. It was more like some kind of cave, the kind hidden behind a waterfall.
The place had a foggy, unreal look. All the lights were out except for one. And standing directly beneath it was Geoff. He had his back to me, and I wasn’t sure if he knew I was there. I think I was actually afraid to say anything. I was afraid that the anti-pheromone agent might have done its work and when he turned around he would just not be interested.
I stalled for a moment and contemplated his back. His hard body was dramatically lit by the hard light. Every one of his muscles seemed to have its own shadow. I don’t think I had ever really taken a good look at his back before. His lower back was narrow enough but once you got a little higher up, it began getting wider and wider and wider, finally ending as it seemingly merged with his mountainous shoulders. As he moved I watched the great iron slabs of muscle rolling under his skin like waves, surfacing briefly and then merging back in with the ocean. Below his back was his perfect butt, just popping out at me. And the whole package was being held up by his thick, powerful legs.
I don’t know how long I stood there watching him wash. It might have been just a few seconds or it might have been minutes. But standing there, naked in the middle of the shower room, I was unable to hide how I felt, not from him, not from myself. My anatomy, at least, made it all perfectly clear.
Finally he turned, and stepping out of the water stream, smiled at me. The shower room didn’t need any more light when it had that smile. His smile was almost the most powerful thing about him. Almost. You couldn’t miss that impossibly broad chest and those abs pushing out against his drum tight skin. And his arms, hanging wide at his sides, weren’t much smaller than my legs.
I looked down. I was definitely showing my appreciation.
“Jeeze, every time I see you, you’re bigger,” he said.
I wondered what part of my body he was referring to. It didn’t matter, really. I was bigger all over. And as he looked me up and down, he started getting bigger, too, down below.
“So, are you just going to stand there?” he asked. “It’s kind of hard to do this long distance. Besides, I said you had to take a shower and you’re still completely dry, well, almost.” He grinned. Yeah, a certain part of me was getting a little wet just standing there.
I walked toward him. All the steam made the air heavy and vague. I felt strangely detached, as if I wasn’t in complete control of myself, almost as if I was in a dream. He reached out for me and drew me into the shower stream with him. The water cascaded off of him and onto me. I opened my mouth and let it run in. He leaned over and kissed me again, cutting off the flow, and for a moment I was drowning in him.
He released me and slid behind, kissing my neck and shoulders. Then I felt him enter me. It was painful at first, a shock. But the feeling of him inside me was one of the most intense sensations I had ever felt. And as he slowly began to pump, he whispered in my ear.
“I love that you’re growing,” he said. “Even if I don’t see it happen, just to know that you keep getting bigger makes me hot.”
I couldn’t say anything. My senses were overwhelming me. But as he continued to speak, my hand reached for my cock and I began to stroke it along with his words.
“I keep imagining you getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger.”
Each time he would say “bigger,” he would pump and I would groan.
“I see your muscles, expanding, growing larger, stronger, erupting outward and becoming enormous. It’s all I can think about.”
I let out a gasp. I didn’t know where I was. My mind had been overridden by the fire running through my body. I was seconds away from an explosion.
“You keep getting bigger. You pass me. You’re huge. You’re fucking gigantic.”
And then I couldn’t take it anymore and I came. I came with such intensity that I screamed, I screamed for all I was worth. And as I screamed I felt something snap, something in my voice, and it dropped, it plummeted. My tenor voice suddenly became a deep baritone. And my scream became more like a roar, the sound echoed around the shower room and seemed to grow in volume. I screamed and I came and I screamed some more.
When it was over, I collapsed on the floor and sat there just letting the water flow over me. I looked down. There was blood in the water. I must be bleeding from my ass. Geoff was so damn big.
I looked over and saw Geoff sitting on the floor next to me. He looked just as spent as I felt.
“So,” he said, “was it good for you?”
I laughed. But it wasn’t my laugh. How strange. I’d lost my laugh.
“I like the voice,” he said. “Very sexy.”
“It’s going to take some getting used to,” I replied, placing my hand reflexively on my throat. “Maybe more than anything else.”
“Well, we can’t stay around here anymore,” he said, getting up and starting to turn off the showers. “If there’s anyone left in the school, they probably heard the Beast bellowing and it won’t be long before they come looking.”
“We could always say I slipped in the shower.”
He laughed. “Yeah. No one’s ever used that one before.” He finished turning off the taps and flipped on the lights. The shower was a shower once more.
I stood up, shook myself off and followed him out into the locker room.
“It must really suck to be a girl,” said Geoff.
We were sitting on the bleachers, overlooking the football field, talking. After the shower, we had quickly pulled on our clothes, rushed out of the locker room and somehow wound up here. And for the past half hour we had covered all kinds of subjects, from favorite foods to how we felt about different celebrities. It surprised me how little I really knew Geoff.
“It’s probably ok to be a girl,” I said, answering him.
“No, it’s gotta suck.” he said. “They’re so small and weak.”
“They’re not all small and weak.”
“Yeah, they are. Compared to guys, they all are. It doesn’t matter how big a girl pumps herself up, you’re always going to find a guy who’s bigger.”
“Being big isn’t everything.”
“No, but it sure helps. My mom for instance; every time she needs to open a jar of pickles, she calls me. Last time she told me she tried for five minutes to get the lid off. She squeezed, used one of those rubber pad things, and banged it on the counter. And when none of that worked, she called me. One little twist of the wrist and off it popped.”
He demonstrated, recreating the jar in the air.
“Can you imagine going through your entire life not being able to open a jar of pickles? I’d shoot myself.”
“Over a pickle jar?” I said smiling.
“It’s not just the pickle jar.” he said, shaking his head. “They can’t lift any kind of load. I’m always pulling things off upper shelves for them. They can’t go anywhere after dark by themselves. I have to walk my cousins to their cars or walk a girl to her door at night. Why? Because they’re scared some guy might jump out of the bushes and rape them.”
“I know they might. That’s not the point.” He started rubbing his chin and looking around. I could tell he was looking for the right words to make his argument.
“For you or me, it would be no problem to walk down the street at nine o’clock at night,” he finally said. “I don’t think twice about it. Do you?”
I had to admit I didn’t.
“But they have to. Imagine spending your life being scared to walk down the street after dark. It would suck.”
“That’s the world we live in.”
“Yeah, I know it is and for girls it sucks, which is why I’d hate to be one.”
“There are some good things about being a girl,” I said.
“Like what? Name one thing girls have over guys. We can do anything they can do and more.”
“We can’t give birth.”
“You mean we can’t walk around looking like a walrus for nine months and then spend hours screaming our fucking lungs out in pain while we squeeze out a fucking baby? Yeah. You win. We can’t do that.”
There was silence but I could tell the gears were still turning in his head.
“And that’s another thing,” he continued, “every month, they have their fucking period. They go completely insane. They cry a lot, get mad easy, and you just don’t want to be around them. Who needs that?”
“You’re making it sound a lot worse than it is.”
“Am I? Then answer me this; would you want to be a girl?”
That didn’t take much thought. “No, but—”
“But nothing. No one in their right mind, if they could choose, would choose to be a girl.”
“I bet the girls would.”
“They’d only say that because they don’t know what its like to be a guy. Being a guy rules. Your strong, you can go pretty much anywhere you want whenever you want, and you’ve got a cock.”
“Go on, laugh, but its true. Having a cock is sweet. Just the feel of it hanging out there in front of you as you walk around, the weight of it, as it sits in your pants and that slight prickly feeling as it rubs against your pubs, there’s nothing like it. And when it comes to fucking, you can’t tell me having a cunt comes close.”
“I wouldn’t know.”
“Sure you do. Have you ever had any trouble getting off?”
“Me neither. But for girls, it’s a real challenge. I saw this thing on TV the other day… Did you know there are some women who never have an orgasm? They grow up, get married, have kids and never, not once, get off. How many guys can say that? I’d swear it’s another reason to eat a bullet.”
“Try telling them that.” He looked shocked at the idea.
“I’d never say any of this to a girl. It would be too cruel. If they all sat down and actually thought about how shitty they had it, they’d probably all off themselves.”
“I think girls are a lot tougher than you’re giving them credit for.”
“They’d have to be. I mean, even the weakest guy in school, like you used to be, has it better off than them.”
“Wait a minute. You think I was the weakest guy in school?”
“Well, maybe not the weakest but defiantly in the top five.”
Wasn’t that a kick in the pants? He must have seen my expression because suddenly he was back peddling like it was an Olympic event.
“But not now. You keep going the way you’re going and pretty soon you’ll be tipping the other end of the scale.”
The weakest guy in school. Maybe I had been. I don’t know. I’d never really thought about it.
“It’s kind of funny,” he continued, “how no one’s noticed how fast you’ve grown. Most people figure you’ve been growing all along and they just haven’t noticed it until now. But there are a couple of guys on the team, they’ve noticed.”
“Gil Stafford thinks I’m a mutant.” I guess that’s better that than the weakest guy in school.
“Gil Stafford is about as dumb as they come. Don’t worry about what he says.”
I looked at my watch. “Jeeze, it’s getting late. I’ve got to get home for dinner.”
Geoff offered to drive me home but I didn’t want to leave my bike at school.
“Then I’ll see you tomorrow.” He pulled me in tight for a hug and we parted.
Geoff definitely had some strange ideas about girls and about being a guy. But, as I walked towards my bike, I realized I had never been more conscious of my cock moving around in my pants, and what surprised me even more is that I did kind of like the feel of it.
The weakest guy in school. Why did that bother me so much? I flexed and felt my large, hard bicep under my shirt. It made me feel better and I realized I was pretty strong now, but still, the weakest guy in school? The words were haunting me.
As I got to my bike, my cell phone rang. Unidentified number.
“Good news, kid. I think I’ve figured out why you’re growing so fast,” said Professor Grant.
“But I’ve stopped,” I said. “I haven’t grown since last night.”
“I might have the answer for that, too. What did you eat today?”
I thought for a second. “Breakfast was eggs, toast and Juice. Lunch was—” What was the school lunch? Oh yeah. “Eggplant Parmesan, beans, corn and carrots and some kind of cake, I’m not really sure what.”
“A couple of cookies.”
“How about yesterday?”
“Breakfast was the same, except I think I had bacon, too. Lunch was corned beef sandwiches and chicken soup and dinner was steak, potatoes, spinach and carrots.”
“It all fits.”
“It’s the meat, kid. The meat is making you grow.”
“What, you mean like protean?”
“Partly, yes, but mostly, no.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Years ago when I was designing you, livestock was raised slowly and naturally. When the time came, it was butchered and sent to the stores. But today, they pen the animals in, shoot them up with growth hormones, so they mature faster and they can be butchered sooner. But those growth hormones are still in the meat when it makes it to your table. It’s the hormones in the meat reacting with your unique biochemistry, that’s what’s making you grow so fast.”
“So, what do I do?”
“If I were you, I’d limit my intake of meat and meat products. You don’t want to grow too quickly. It might attract some unwanted attention.”
“Unwanted attention? From who?”
“I’ve got to go, kid. Just wanted to let you know that you were fine, and that you’re rapid growth poses absolutely no danger to your health.” And then he hung up.
Why is it that guy never answered more questions than he raised? I hopped on my bike and peddled out of there.
On my way home, I realized that I still hadn’t bought any new underwear, so I made a detour to Target to take care of it. As I walked down the underwear aisle, I made a quick stop at the boxer section. I had been wearing boxer shorts since I was eleven. But looking down at my thighs bulging under those baggy cargo pants, I realized I’d have to make a change and I headed for the briefs. As I stood there looking at them, I tried to figure out what size I’d need. My waist size hadn’t changed too much, but I thought I ought to buy the next size range up, to allow for future growth. They still looked very confining. Almost subconsciously, I found myself wondering if the front pouch had a stretch factor.
I had just selected a couple of packages, when a bright pink one flew at me. I caught it. It was little girl’s panties with Hello Kitty all over them.
“That looks more your style,” said a voice. It was Gil Stafford and two of his buddies, Benjy Pierce and Farley Simpkin, three of my favorite people.
“No, Gil, that was before,” said Benjy, pulling another packet off the rack and tossing it to his friend. Gil looked at it and laughed. “When you’re right, you’re right.” He tossed it at me. More kid’s underwear. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
“Wow,” I said in mock admiration, “you guys know all the classics. Maybe someday you might even learn to read.”
“Jesus, Gil, his voice,” said Benjy.
“Yeah, no fucking kidding.” Gil took a menacing step forward and grabbed me by the arm. I tried to pull away but couldn’t. Suddenly it was the Scott Fitzsimons thing all over again, except Scott had been molesting Veronica and I had just been minding my own business. And this time I was the one who was trapped. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it at all.
“You’ve got a pretty big mouth on you for such a little man.”
Little man? That was a little too close to weakest guy in school. Not me. Not anymore. But who was I kidding? Gil had about five inches and a hundred pounds on me, and his friends were almost as big. Next to these guys, I was a little man. But there was still no way I was going to let them intimidate me.
“You used a couple of two syllable words there,” I said. “Go easy; I don’t want you to strain yourself.”
“You’re mouth is writing some pretty big checks there, buddy,” said Gil, clenching his fist. “Let’s see if you’ve got the funds.”
“Come on, Gil,” said Farley. “You don’t want to mess with this dude. He’ll go crying straight to Geoff, and next thing you know you won’t be first string anymore.”
“Geoff can’t afford to lose me, not with half the team in the hospital.”
Holy shit! He was right! Why didn’t I think of that?
“Farley,” said Gil, “run over to Electronics and grab me a package of them cable ties.”
“Come on, Gil, you don’t want to do this.”
“Are you going to go, or do I have to send Benjy?”
“Fine,” said Farley dashing off.
Cable ties? I didn’t like the sound of that. I struggled as hard as I could to get my arm away from Gil, but I couldn’t do it. Suddenly all my notions about my strength went out the window. I thought I’d have at least some chance against these guys, but I didn’t.”
“Hold him, Benjy.”
Then Benjy’s arms wrapped around me in a kind of a strangling bear hug which I could not break no matter how hard I tried.
At this point all pride went out the window. “Hel—” I started to cry. I didn’t even see Gil’s fist coming before I felt it land on my midsection and knocked all the air completely out of me. My first reaction was surprise. I had thought my new abs would protect me from this kind of thing. Apparently not. I couldn’t breathe, and for the life of me, I thought I was going to pass out.
Gil picked up the Ninja Turtles underwear package from the floor where I dropped it. He ripped it open and pulled out a pair and shoved the underwear in my mouth, effectively silencing me and making it very hard for me to get my breath back.
“You don’t like the Turtles, hunh? Let’s see what you do like.”
And then he was pulling off my sneakers and yanking down my pants. I was now naked from the waste down. I didn’t think I could have been more humiliated. I was wrong.
“Oh, look, he likes it au’ natural.”
Just then Farley came back. “Gil? What the fuck?”
“Shut up,” said Gil as he took the cable ties from his friend and ripped open the package. “Help me tie his legs.”
I struggled as much as I could, but it was no use. I barely had any breath and there were two of them. In a few minutes they had tied my legs together at the ankles. Then they tied my wrists above my head. Now I was bound, half naked and completely helpless.
Gil looked around and seemed to quickly find what he was looking for. There was a display hanging from a hook on a post at the end of the aisle. He lifted it down and then hung me up by the wrists in its place. My feet were dangling about a foot from the floor, and my arms felt like they were slowly separating from my shoulders.
“That’s about right,” he said looking at me with satisfaction. He picked up my pants and balled them up in his fists. “We’ll just take these with us. I don’t think you’ll be needing them for a while.” He laughed and then the three of them turned and left me hanging there.
The next few minutes were the longest in my life. I just couldn’t understand how I’d wound up in this position. It had happened so fast. One minute I was king of my world and the next I was someone else’s plaything. And what did I do to deserve it? I didn’t do anything.
I was about half way down the underwear aisle, hidden from view from most of the store. But I knew that any second someone was going to come around that corner and then my humiliation would be complete.
As soon as I got my breath back I began to try to work the underpants out of my mouth. I thought if I could call for help, at least it would be a store clerk that found me and not some little old lady, or worse, someone I knew. But freeing my mouth proved to be a lot more difficult than I expected. And just as I achieved it, my time ran out.
A little girl came trotting around the corner. Ok, that was worse than a little old lady. She must have been about six. When she saw me, she stopped and stared. I tried to think of something to say to her to make it better—as if anything I could say could make it better—but I couldn’t.
Then she turned and ran crying, “Mommy, Mommy there’s a man in the underwear aisle with an elephant between his legs.”
I gritted my teeth and braced myself. Any second now, the mother would show up and the circus would begin. I wondered how many people would have to see me like this before I could be cut down. God forbid they should have to take a picture.
But, unaccountably, it wasn’t the mother who came around the corner but Farley Simpkin. Great. He came back for the show. I wanted to say something really stinging to him but for some reason my mouth wasn’t working. It was as if I were mute.
Then the mother did come around the corner. She took one look at me and started screaming. Then Farley rushed over, lifted me off the hook, threw me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, and took off running through the store.
I was getting bounced around quite a bit as the big guy ran seemingly aimlessly throughout the store. We’d encounter some people, they’d scream or shout at the sight of me tied up and hanging on his shoulder, and then he’d turn around and start running in the opposite direction, giving them all a splendid view of my bouncing bare butt to remember us by. After about five minutes of this I finally found my voice.
“What the fuck are you doing, Farley?”
“Then could you put me down?”
“Can’t. Not till we’re safe.”
“And where exactly is safe?”
“Men’s changing room.”
“Ok, where’s that?”
“If you don’t know where it is, how will you get us there?”
“You smart guys always get hung up on the details.”
After that remark, I was temporarily struck dumb again.
Fortunately, it didn’t take long for Farley to find the changing rooms, and after a brief, but lively foray into the women’s section, he managed to find us an empty stall on the men’s side, where he finally set me down.
“You okay?” he asked as he cut the cable ties with his pocket knife.
“Physically? Yes. Otherwise… you wouldn’t understand.”
“You feel completely humiliated beyond all reason and accountability.”
I think my jaw must have dropped as I looked up at him. “You do understand.”
“Not really. That’s just what the last geek Gil tortured said.”
“Last geek? How many have there been?”
“You’ve been doing this for a while, haven’t you, cleaning up after him?”
“Don’t tell him.”
“Why do you hang out with him?”
“Gil’s ok. He just gets carried away sometimes.”
“No, he’s not ok. What he did to me was not ok. He’s a grade A, number one fucking asshole, that’s what he is.”
“Hey, he’s my friend,” said Farley shortly, and he got up to leave.
“Wait, wait,” I cried. “What did he do with my pants?”
“They’re in the freezer section.”
“In between the frozen chili peppers and the ice cream. Wait here I’ll get them for you.”
Then he turned and left.
And as I sat there, half naked in the changing room at Target, waiting for my semi-frozen pants, I began to have a revelation.
It started to sink in just how humiliated I had been. I had been reduced back to the weakest guy in school, no worse than that he had made me feel pathetic and helpless, exactly the way Geoff viewed girls. And I didn’t like feeling that way at all. I liked being a guy. I liked feeling strong. I liked being in control of the assholes, the way I had been with Scott Fitzsimmons.
I ran my hand over my bicep, which until just a little while ago I had been very proud of, and suddenly I realized I had to be bigger, much bigger. I wanted biceps the size of watermelons. I wanted boulders for shoulders. And I wanted abs that any asshole would break his fists on. I wanted to be a fucking god. And then like a thunder clap it hit me, it was actually possible. I could actually do it.
I began to get very excited. Gil Stafford couldn’t just go around humiliating anyone he wanted. No one should ever have to go through what I did. He had to be stopped and I was the one to do it. The more I thought about it the more obsessed I became.
Farley came back and tossed me my pants. He was about to leave, but I stopped him. I felt I should say something to him.
“Thank you,” I said.
“When those who have the power to act, don’t act, they become part of the problem. Today you definitely showed you are not part of the problem.” I’m not sure if he understood me but he nodded slightly and grunted before he left.
I also did not intend to be part of the problem.
I unwadded my pants. They crackled but I put them on anyway. Oo, frosty.
I did a quick mental calculation to figure out how much I needed to buy the underwear. Then I marched over to the food section and picked up some bacon and two packages of hot dogs which was all the meat I could buy with what would be left over. I went back to the underwear section and grabbed some underwear that was two size ranges bigger. I expected to need even bigger ones now.
I paid for my stuff and rode home at double speed. I loved how I could ride as fast as I wanted, and never get tired. And the thought that I would soon be much larger and stronger, made me excited.
When I got home, mom was cooking dinner.
“Hi,” she said. “How was detention? They kept you longer than I expected.”
How should I answer this? When did such simple questions become so complicated? Well, after detention I stopped by the locker room and had sex with Geoff. Then I stopped by Target and got totally humiliated by a gorilla. Nope. That would not work.
“It wasn’t all detention. I had some things to do.”
“What’s the matter with your voice?” cried my Mom.
“It dropped. That’s what all the burping stuff was about. My voice was dropping.”
“Oh?” said my Mom, in that tone that told me she expected me to elaborate. But I knew how to forestall her.
“So, what are we having for dinner?”
“Chicken a la Ruth.” That was fried chicken in my mom’s patented spiced bread crumb mix. It was really good.
“Do you have any extra chicken?”
“Could you cook it up for me?”
“I was talking with Professor Grant today and I have some new dietary requirements.” Both statements were true if not necessarily related. “Do you have any other meat?”
“There’s a leftover steak in the fridge.”
I opened the fridge and quickly found it. I unwrapped it and was about to take a bite when I paused. If I did this, there would be no turning back. I would be changed forever. I had better be damn sure this is what I wanted. Then I remembered Gil Stafford hanging me on that hook and I started chowing down. No one was ever going to do that to me again.
“Hey. You’ll spoil your appetite,” cried my mom.
“Mom, you forget who you’re talking to.”
“Oh, that’s right, the boy vacuum.”
She was right, and the fact that I had already finished the steak proved it. “You have any more?”
“I’ve got a couple more steaks in the freezer, but you might want to let me cook them first. Otherwise you’ll break you teeth.”
“Fine. Cook ’em. Anything else?”
“I’ve got some hamburger I was going to use for meatloaf tomorrow.”
“Could I have that?”
“Sure, I guess. How much?”
“All of it.”
“Are you sure this is right? It doesn’t sound very healthy.”
“Oh, this is going to be healthy, extremely healthy.”
I turned to head up to my room when suddenly I remembered my Target bag. “Oh and while you’re at it, could you cook this stuff up, too?” I handed her the hot dogs and bacon. She stood there for a moment in near shock. I could see I might have gone a little too far.
“What is all this?”
“I just need to eat all this stuff. My body has unusual demands now.” Boy, talk about half truths. I sure hoped this wasn’t going to become a habit.
“Are you going to have to eat like this all the time?”
“I don’t think so. Just till I stop growing.”
“How long will that be?”
“I don’t know. Professor Grant couldn’t tell me.”
“Well, I hope it’s pretty soon, otherwise you’re going to break our budget.”
I sure didn’t want to break the budget. I promised myself tomorrow after school I would start looking into cheaper meats.
When I got to my room, I lost no time in putting on my new underwear. I had guessed correctly. These things were huge on me—but they wouldn’t be for long.
I opened my underwear drawer to put the rest of it away and I noticed it was empty. Then I opened my t-shirt drawer and that was empty too. I rushed to the closet and except for Geoff’s things, it was empty too.
I ran back down the stairs. “What happened to my clothes?”
“I boxed them up,” answered my mom. “Tomorrow, they’re going to the Salvation Army.”
I supposed I should have guessed that. Once Joe had gotten too big to wear my hand-me-downs, Mom had always taken the clothes I outgrew to the Salvation Army. It’s just that they had never gone all at once before. In a way I felt like I was loosing a part of myself, like I was saying good-bye forever to the old me. But considering what I was planning to do to myself tonight, maybe it was time. After all I wasn’t just planning to say good-bye to the weakest kid in school; I was planning to bury him forever under a mountain of powerful, bulging muscles. And he was pretty damn excited about it, too.
But I didn’t want to give all my clothes away.
“I want to keep my t-shirts.” I liked busting out of them.
“What on Earth for? They don’t fit you anymore.”
“I know. I just want to keep them—for sentimental reasons.”
“Ok, but after you stop growing and we buy you some new ones, there won’t be any room to store them.”
“That’s ok; I should be done with them by then.”
I could tell my mom was mystified, but rather than stay and make up more explanations, I grabbed the box marked t-shirts and high tailed it back up to my room. Once there I opened the box and thought about blowing one of them out before dinner. But for some reason I just wasn’t in the mood.
As I continued pulling stuff out of my backpack, my mind kept drifting back to this evenings coming event. What would all that meat do to me? How big was I going to get? I really couldn’t wait to find out.
Suddenly, I came upon the jar of shit-like goop. I’d almost forgotten all about it. Today was Joe’s lucky day. Today he could move back out of the basement.
I ran down stairs with the jar and explained it all to Mom. She looked at the stuff dubiously as I told her it had to be eaten at room temperature. But in true mom style she opened a cabinet and pulled out a bright red box of Ritz crackers.
“Everything tastes better when it sits on a Ritz,” she said. She used a knife and spread a small dab on each of four crackers and then placed them on a plate.
“You might as well go in and sit down,” she said. “Dinner is about to be served.” I brought the plate of crackers in with me and set them down in the middle of the table. Then I took my seat and waited for everyone else. One by one they answered the call until we were all seated around the table.
Kelsey’s hair and been cut and dyed but it looked pretty good. You couldn’t see any of the blue. Joe was sitting at the table sullenly, staring at me. I got the feeling he was trying to see if I had grown anymore. I kept thinking that in a few hours he’d see all the growth he could handle. And once again, I got excited.
My mom stood up and started to speak. She told everyone about the anti-pheromone agent on the crackers and advised them to eat them quickly, maybe holding their noses to dull the taste. As a gesture, both she and dad wolfed theirs down.
Kelsey looked a little tentative. But she took one and ate it.
“Oh my God, that’s disgusting!” she cried. Kelsey didn’t believe much in hiding her feelings.
And her attitude did not help matters with Joe. Joe wouldn’t go near the cracker. The way he was acting you’d think it was covered in arsenic.
“I’m not eating that!”
“Joe, you have to,” I said.
“Not doing it.”
“Joseph,” said my Dad in his stern voice.
“Forget it,” he said and he got up and ran from the table. We all heard the basement door slam.
“I’ll go,” I said and I grabbed the cracker and followed him down to the basement.
It was dark down there even with the lights on, and at first I couldn’t find him.
“Joe,” I called. Then he stepped out. Great, he was naked again. “Jesus, what is it with you? Can’t you keep your clothes on for just five minutes?”
“What for? I like being naked. It’s very comfortable. You should try it.”
“Joe, you’ve got to eat the cracker.”
“That thing is going to effect how I feel about you, isn’t it?”
“God, I hope so.”
“Then I’m not eating it.”
“Joe, can’t you see this isn’t normal? You’re living in a basement. You haven’t been outside for days and you’re naked all the time.”
“And your point is?”
That was the moment I gave up. Reasoning with him just wasn’t going to work. Time to fall back on my new skill set. I jumped on him.
He really wasn’t expecting that. I caught him completely by surprise and before he knew what was happening, I had him pinned to his mattress.
“What the fuck are you doing? Get off of me!”
“Eat the cracker.”
“Eat the cracker, Joe!”
He started to struggle against me. But even though he was still an inch taller than me, I was much stronger. And then I realized I was enjoying overpowering Joe. I guess it was natural. After all, Joe was my younger brother and he had been bigger and stronger than me for years. There was some part of me that had always felt cheated, that because I was older I should be the bigger, stronger one. And I wasn’t. Until now.
Then I had another shock. Joe was enjoying being overpowered. I could see it in his face. He might be struggling but he liked being dominated by me. Or maybe it was just the close physical contact. Either way, that snapped me out of it and I lost no more time in shoving the cracker down his throat. He coughed and sputtered but down it went. Then I let him up.
“That was gross.”
“It was for your own good,” I said. Then I got up and went back upstairs to my dinner.
About half way through the meal, Joe came back. And I don’t mean the crazy person who had been living in the basement for the past 24 hours, I mean my brother, Joe. I could see it in his eyes. He didn’t have that crazed, glazed look anymore. He was my brother once more, and suddenly I knew just how much I had missed him.
He looked kind of sheepishly at the table and apologized to everyone, especially Kelsey, for his behavior. We all forgave him. He asked me if it was all right if he moved back to our room. I told him I would love it if he would move back, but not till tomorrow. I wasn’t completely sure what was going to happen to me tonight, but whatever it was, I wanted to go through it alone.
Dinner was delicious. Every time I took a bite of meat I became more excited because I knew what it would do to me. I knew each morsel meant that much more strength, that much more size, that much more power and I became a glutton. I ate twice the amount of chicken I usually did. Plus I had the two stakes and two pounds of ground beef. As I sat there stuffing my face, I could almost feel those artificial growth hormones racing through my system, fusing with my glands and muscles, getting ready to work their magic. From past experience, I knew it could take anywhere between one and five hours for the process to begin. And while I was impatient for it to start, I took comfort in the knowledge that I was now committed; it would happen. In fact, nothing could stop it. Soon I would feel gigantic muscles swelling up under my skin, making my body unbelievably large and powerful.
Which reminded me. “What about the hot dogs and bacon?” I asked.
“I thought I’d wait and see if you were still hungry,” my mother said.
It was true I was feeling kind of full, but I wanted every last drop I could cram into my body. As far as I was concerned, I couldn’t get too big. “I’ll make room for them,” I said.
“Ok,” she said, and she got up from the table to prepare the meat.
The doorbell rang. It was Veronica. At least, I think it was Veronica. The girl on the door step was the right height and weight for Veronica, but the face—
“Are you wearing make-up?”
“I stopped by the department store this evening and you know how they like to try all that stuff on you and I didn’t have time to go home and take it off; what do you think?” She pretty much said all that in one breath.
To be honest, the stuff on her face was piled on so thick, she looked like a whore. But God gave me more tact than that, so I just said, “You look nice.” I guess that was the right thing to say because suddenly, she was all smiles. She was holding something behind her back, and when she stepped through the door, she presented it to me. It was one of those stainless steel tubs, like they used at the lunch room.
“I picked this up at a restaurant supply store today. It’s just like the pudding tubs they use at school.”
“Perfect,” I said.
I guess I should have been more enthusiastic. I mean this was the beginning of the end of my pheromone problem. But the truth was, I was now expecting a mega growth spurt, and it was all I could think about.
I took the tub from her and led her into the kitchen. Mom was there boiling hot dogs and frying bacon.
“I’m sorry,” said Veronica, “I thought you’d be done with dinner by now.”
“We are,” said my mom, “This is just for the carnivore over there.”
“This is just his after dinner snack.”
Veronica looked a little startled. “I guess he’s a growing boy,” she said. She had no idea.
“We still have to measure out the ingredients,” I said. Mom’ll probably be done by time we’re ready to start.” Mom had managed to buy everything we needed. She got most of it at the pharmacy and the pharmacist was able to point her in the right direction for the rest.
We had just started measuring everything out when the doorbell rang again. I wasn’t expecting anyone but I went to answer it anyway. It was Geoff.
“Hey,” I said somewhat surprised. It’s not like I was unhappy to see him, it’s just that I had the anit-pheormone stuff to make, and a lot of homework to do before I grew into a colossus.
“Hi,” he said. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”
“This isn’t the best time.”
“It’s important.” I looked into that earnest face and there was no way I could refuse him.
“Ok,” I said, inviting him in.
“Who is it, honey?” my mom called.
It’s Geoff,” I called back.
“Not the Geoff?” she said coming out of the kitchen wiping her hand on a dish cloth. “It’s nice to finally meet you,” my mom said extending her hand. Geoff took it and shook it gently, smiling, the perfect gentleman.
Of course this was the cue for the rest of my family to emerge from the different doorways and pretty soon, Geoff found himself surrounded. He looked a little uncomfortable. I don’t think he expected to be confronted with my entire family. They all shook his hand and welcomed him, including Joe, who after he stepped back, took a moment and checked Geoff out. To me that was the final proof that he was entirely free of my pheromones.
“What’s going on?” came Veronica’s voice from the kitchen.
Crap! Veronica, I’d almost forgotten about her. Please, God, let her stay in the kitchen.
God was not listening.
“I didn’t know you had another sister,” said Geoff. What could I say? I was trapped. “I don’t. This is Veronica.”
In a single second I think I must have seen five or six emotions flash across Geoff’s face. The first one was confusion, then recognition, then shock; then confusion made a comeback and was finally followed by a flash of anger, which like lightning, came and went almost before you noticed it.
“Veronica?” he asked. “Is she the one you—”
“I’m glad you finally got to meet my family,” I interrupted loudly, “here, standing all around you. I might have introduced you earlier but neither my brother or sister were in school today.”
“Oh yeah,” he said suddenly realizing what he had been about to do. “I’m glad I got to meet them, too. And it’s nice to meet Veronica,” he said stepping over and taking her hand. “Your description didn’t do her justice. But her face, it’s just as I pictured it.”
Oh boy, this was going bad fast.
“Geoff said he wanted to talk to me,” I said quickly. “So, if maybe we could have a minute?”
“That’s ok,” said Geoff. “It can wait.”
“So, what are you guys doing?”
“Well, it’s kind of a science project,” Veronica started.
“That’s ok, Veronica,” I said. “He knows.”
“He knows? Everything?”
“That’s right,” said Geoff. “I know everything.”
“Then he may as well help,” she said.
“No! I mean, I’m sure Geoff is busy.”
“I’d love to help,” he said as he followed us into the kitchen. “So what am I helping with?”
“We’re making some anti-pheromone agent,” said Veronica.
“You mean that brown shit?”
“You’ve seen it?”
“I sampled some, right off his—”
“I think we’re gong to start by measuring out the ingredients,” I said.
“You sampled some?”
Holy crap, Veronica was starting to put two and two together. And for someone who was top of her class in calculus that wasn’t going to be hard.
“Why would you sample some?”
“He insisted. In fact, he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
My life was over.
Veronica was a master at the double meaning herself, and she didn’t need any more dots connected for her.
She started furiously putting things away. “Well, forget it,” she said. “Why are we bothering?”
“What do you mean?”
“The stuff obviously doesn’t work. He’s had some, and he’s still hornier than a traffic jam.”
“It does work. It worked on Charles and it worked on my brother.”
Oh crap. Did I say that with my out loud voice? “It’s ok,” I said, desperate to salvage the situation. “We’re not really related.”
“That is just disgusting. How could anyone sleep with their own brother?”
“You slept with your brother?” asked Geoff, wide eyed.
“I did not sleep with my brother!” I shouted. And there was mom, standing in the doorway.
“Well, I’m glad to hear that,” she said. “Hot dog, anyone?”
Veronica started grabbing her stuff, “No thank you. I have to go.”
“Don’t go,” I said. “I can’t do this without you.”
“That’s right,” said Geoff. “Don’t go. Stay and have a wiener.”
Veronica started marching toward the door. Then suddenly she stopped and turned. “Oh no, I’m not giving up. You’re not getting rid of me that easily. I’m staying and I will have that wiener!” She marched back to the counter, speared a hot dog off the plate with a fork, walked up to Geoff and bit it in two right in front of him.
I could tell he was impressed.
Then she picked up one of the ingredient jars and tried to open it. She couldn’t. She was turning red trying to twist the lid off. Geoff just stood there with his arms folded, watching her struggle, with a smug expression on his face. She tapped the lid on the counter and tried again. No good.
Geoff made a gesture with his hand that said, “Do you want to do it, or should I?”
“Let me get that for you,” I said, and I took the jar and popped the lid right off. It came so easily it startled me. I couldn’t understand how she was having so much trouble with it. I kept thinking, even the weakest guy in school could have opened that. Girls really were kind of frail.
“Thank you,” she said and she took the jar back from me and began to measure out some of its contents.
Geoff leaned over to me and whispered, “It’s great to be a guy, isn’t it?”
And at that moment, I sincerely felt, yeah, it was pretty sweet.
Did you hear that?” asked Veronica.
“What?” I said.
“Thunder. There’s a storm coming.”
The three of us paused for a minute trying to hear any thunder, but all I could hear was the sound of my own chewing.
“You really shouldn’t be eating while we do this,” said Veronica, gesturing toward the giant bowl of anti-pheromone agent.
“Wha..?” I said, my speech garbled by the half chewed hot dog in my mouth.
“If you drip any of that into the mixture you could ruin the entire batch.”
“I be ca-fu,” I said, determined to cram as much meat into my system as possible.
There was a low rumbling. This time we all heard it. We were definitely in for a storm.
Veronica just sighed and took the mixture’s temperature again.
“It’s gotta be nearly done,” said Geoff.
“Yeah, what makes you say that, Einstein?” asked Veronica.
“Because it’s really starting to stink.”
It was starting to stink, just like the batch we made in the biology lab; it was starting to smell like a giant pile of shit.
“Your plan is never going to work,” said Geoff. “One whiff of that stuff and no one’s going to go near it.” He had a point.
“You got a better idea, genius?” asked Veronica.
Geoff remained silent.
“That’s what I thought.”
Suddenly my stomach let out a giant growl.
“Now it even sounds disgusting,” said Geoff.
“That wasn’t the mixture, that was him,” said Veronica, indicating me.
“Sorry,” I said and I reached for another hot dog. Thunder rolled ominously.
“You’re going to make yourself sick if you don’t stop eating like that.”
Maybe she was right. If I threw up I’d lose a lot of what I’d eaten. I didn’t want to risk that, so I put the hot dog back.
Suddenly I felt hot for a second. It was like someone turned my body temperature up about 20 degrees and then turned it right back down again. Something was happening. I wondered if it was the growth spurt. It might be, but nothing like that had ever happened before.
“You all right, bro?” asked Geoff. “You turned bright red there for a sec.”
“I did?” I said. “I mean, I’m fine.”
“It might be all those phosphates,” said Veronica. “Hot dogs aren’t the healthiest things in the world.”
That’s probably what it was, the phosphates. Maybe hot dogs weren’t the best choice for this kind of thing. My stomach growled again.
“Dude, I hope for your family’s sake you have your own bathroom.”
I nodded. Outside the window there was a bright flash.
“Come here and hold this for me,” said Veronica. I went over hand held the stainless steel tub while she poured the contents of our large mixing bowl into it. Suddenly my hands started shaking and the tub began to dance across the counter. I did my best to keep them steady but I couldn’t stop shaking.
“Very funny,” said Veronica trying to follow the tub with the bowl. “Now hold the tub still.” Hold the tub still? I couldn’t even hold my hands still. But then the shaking stopped and Veronica was able to finish.
What was that? I looked at my hands. They didn’t look any different. They felt fine, now. Suddenly a spear of fiery pleasure shot through me. It was brief but felt incredible. I must have groaned because both Geoff and Veronica were looking at me.
“Are you all right?” asked Veronica.
“I don’t know,” I said. “Maybe I’d better lie down.” I was now pretty positive that the growth spurt was on its way. And as much as I liked my friends, I really wanted to be alone for this.
“Okay,” said Veronica, “We’re done here. I’ve got two essays due tomorrow and I don’t like the sound of that storm anyway.” She gathered up her things and I walked her to the door. Geoff was right behind us.
She gave me a quick peck on the cheek and glared at Geoff. “You keep your dick in your pants,” she said to him. “He needs to rest.” And then she walked out the door, glancing nervously at the sky. It lit up and she hurried toward her car.
“Maybe we should walk her to her car?” I suggested.
No,” said Geoff. “She’ll be all right. The cops are out there.”
“That’s what I came to tell you. The cops are watching me and I think they’re watching you, too.”
“That’s ridiculous.” Then I remembered those guys with the newspapers. “Me? Why are they watching me?”
“It’s that steroid investigation. Only it’s not really steroids they’re after.”
Another lighting flash.
“I don’t understand.”
‘There’s a new performance enhancer out there that works by stimulating the body’s production of its own natural steroids and growth hormones. It’s supposed to work unbelievably fast. They think my guys are on it. They think I’m on it.”
“But, why are they watching me?”
“Gee, I don’t know. Why would anyone think you were on steroids?”
“Oh, yeah. Good point. So, why don’t they just test us for it?”
“It doesn’t show up on tests. They’re trying to catch us in the act. I only found out about it because my dad knows one of the cops.”
“So, what do we do?”
“There’s nothing we can do. I mean I’m not on the stuff so I’ve got nothing to worry about.” Something about the way he said that, just didn’t sit right with me.
“What are you trying to say?”
He shifted uncomfortably. “Did you ever think that maybe you are on the stuff, that maybe this Professor Grant guy slipped it into your corn flakes or something, and that’s why you’re growing?”
I thought about it for a second, but no. “Not unless it changes your eye color, and messes with your pheromones.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot about that.”
We were still standing by the open front door and it started to rain.
“I should get going,” said Geoff.
“Ok,” I said. I had another hot flash. It passed quickly but it left me a little breathless. I could tell Geoff noticed.
“Unless you want me to stay,” he offered.
I paused for a second. How should I put this? “Probably not tonight.”
“You’re going to grow again, aren’t you?”
“How did you know?”
“You’ve been protein loading. Guys usually do that when they’re trying to grow.”
I laughed inside. I had been, but oddly enough, the protein had little to do with my impending growth.
He lowered his voice. “Are you sure you don’t want me with you, maybe inside you, while you grow?”
As alluring as that sounded, the answer was no. My psyche had been deeply wounded by Gil Stafford, and tonight I would be taking the cure. If my guess was right, I should become huge. It would change me forever and I was looking forward to it with a savage longing. I wasn’t sure if it was a thing Geoff, Veronica or anyone in my family could really understand. Even I was surprised at how it was affecting me. “I want to do this one alone,” I said, “but maybe the next one.”
The sky rumbled and my stomach answered back.
“Well, ok. I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.” He said, giving me a bear hug. He stepped out the door into the rain and then he turned and looked at me.
He smiled kind of sadly. “It’s just—I’m never going to see you like this again.”
There must have been something in my voice, because his smile faded.
“There’s nothing else going on here, right? Because you’d tell me if there was.”
There was a split second when I almost told him, but it passed. “You’d better get to your car; you’re getting soaked.”
He paused. I thought he might say something else but then he nodded, turned and dashed into the wind swept night.
I closed the door behind him just as another stab of pleasure hit me. It was time to go to my room. I was ready to get big—more than ready to get more than big.
“Hey, everybody,” I called into the family room. “I’ve got a huge calculus exam tomorrow. I’m going up to my room to study and I’d really appreciate not being disturbed.”
I got several noncommittal grunts. This kind of announcement was not uncommon and I was pretty sure no one would bother me until morning.
I had another bout of the shakes as I climbed the stairs to my room. But when I came out of it, I felt really good, like I could run up a mountain. It must be getting close. I made a dash for my room and slammed the door behind me. I pulled off my shirt and stood in front of the mirror waiting.
And I waited. And waited.
Outside, the storm raged. I sat down on my bed and I waited some more.
I had a hot flash. I jumped up and ran to the mirror, and… waited.
I had two more hot flashes and another bout of the shakes. And on each occasion I stood ready by the mirror but nothing more happened. My stomach seemed to have stopped growling though. That was something. Although with all that thunder it was really hard to tell.
What was going on here? Had the professor been wrong?
Lighting flashed outside as I started checking myself out in the mirror. I thought I looked pretty impressive. But then I remembered how easily Gil and his buddies had overpowered me, and I started to get depressed. I sat down on my bed and my eyes landed on my backpack. A few of the baked goods my admirers had left me were sticking out of the top of it. They looked pretty good. I hadn’t had anything sweet since those two cookies I ate this past afternoon. I walked over and selected a fudge brownie. There was a tag on it addressed to the Beast, which I ignored as I quickly ate it; very tasty. I started to feel better at once. Then looking for other things to cheer myself up with, I noticed the box of t-shirts I had rescued from my mom earlier. I decided I would blow one out. If that didn’t make me feel better, nothing would.
There was a huge boom and a flash as lightning struck nearby. I selected a t-shirt and pulled it on. This one wasn’t quite as tight as the others had been but I figured I could still destroy it.
Then, staring at myself in the mirror, I started to feel a little light headed. My first thought was growth spurt! But it didn’t feel like a growth spurt. I was starting to feel somewhat disconnected from myself. At the same time, my senses were becoming extremely focused and distinct.
Suddenly, I knew what must be happening. I grabbed for the brownie’s tag which I had let drop to the floor. To the Beast, it said, love Tilly Wacowski. Tilly Wacowski! Tilly Wacowski was the biggest stoner in school. What the hell did I just eat?
Then I was looking at my arm. I noticed each and every hair that grew out of it. I marveled at the pattern they made as they lay across my skin. It was so intricate, so delicate. And the color of my tight t-shirt, it was the most brilliant blue I had ever seen. Jewels couldn’t be that blue.
I could hear my heart beat, slow and steady. It was almost hypnotizing. BA bump, BA bump, BA bump. As I listened to it the beat began to pick up. BAbump, BAbump, BAbump. I could feel the blood rushing through my veins and arteries, like tiny high pressure water lines running through my body. I could almost hear the sound, like dozens of tiny racing rivers, rushing to a pulse.
BAbumpBAbumpBAbump. My heart beat faster, my blood flowed furiously, demanding more oxygen from my lungs and my lungs were responding. I felt them start to expand, like two balloons inside my chest. I felt the coolness of the air as it flowed in through my nostrils and mouth and made its way down into my upper thoracic cavity. I felt my lungs increase in size as they filled and then shrank back down again as they pushed the warm carbon dioxide back out.
The demand for oxygen increased, so did my breathing rate. Soon I was gasping. What a fantastic sound. It was a sort of rhythmic swishing sound, which together with my thumping heart, created a kind of symphony from my internal workings, glorious but subtle music which I had never before imagined.
Roaring thunder split my eardrums. Then there was another sensation, a kind of prickly feeling. In another second I had identified it. It was heat. I was heating up. But somehow it was more than heat. There was an energy to it, a raw power at its core. It was a thoroughly invigorating heat. And as the lightning flashed I recognized it. I was growing. At last, I was growing.
The heat increased and as it did I could feel each individual hair on my body stand up. I watched the skin form goose pimples, detecting each little pinch of skin as it pushed its way up, like every particle of me was slowly waking up and stretching, getting ready for the work ahead. I could feel little sparks going off in every cell, charging them with vitality. It was almost as it the dazzling blazes of light punctuating the atmosphere outside were fueling me.
As I grew warmer, the thumping of my heart and the swishing of my breath were joined by another sound, the sound of the sweat rushing out of my pores. It was like a small tide was coming in. Cooling little tidal pools of perspiration began forming all over my body, on my chest, on my back, on my stomach, under my arms. Some of it was moistening my skin and cooling me down, but most of it I could feel being sucked up by my clothing. My brilliant blue t-shirt was growing dark patches all over it, causing it to stick to my body in several places. The sensation was like a thin, clinging second layer of skin was adhering to the first.
Lighting lit up the room, as the first wave of bone-searing ecstasy hit, beginning at my core and expanding outward. I felt every cell come alive in joy and vibrate with power. And every beat of my heart and every breath I drew seemed to magnify it, giving it more, satiating every cell with vigor. I could almost hear my body humming. And my heart, growing more powerful with each deafening beat, began forcing more blood through my veins. I could feel a sucking sensation in my bones as the new blood was being drawn from my marrow and forced into my arteries. Soon my veins began to feel like pressure hoses. I looked down at my forearms, and as the pressure increased, I began to see the veins rise up, swollen and pulsing. They looked like a nest of snakes writhing under my skin, swelling, growing ever thicker, covering my arms like overgrown vines.
The storm’s rumblings seemed to shake the room as still more and more blood was being fed into my system. Now I could feel it gorging my muscles. And like the veins before them, I could feel the pressure building in them. At first it was subtle, like the pump you feel after strenuous lifting, but it continued to increase. I could hear the blood pumping in my ears, a rapid rhythmic pounding. I could feel the tension building under my skin, building and building, then increasing some more, forcing my muscles to their limit. The pressure was nearly unbearable. Any second I thought they would explode. But instead they grew. I heard the sound of rapid popping, like muffled popcorn on speed as I started to expand. And as they enlarged, I could feel the thickening hardness of my body straining against the smooth cotton of my shirt. I heard the first thread snap, unnaturally magnified, like a thunder clap, then another and another. The seams under my arms were the first to burst, letting in a flood of cool air and refreshing my sweat soaked skin. I felt my muscles growing larger and stronger by the second.
I could feel the blood pounding in my back, driven by the insanely powerful pump that my heart had become.
BaBumpBaBumpBaBump. The pressure pushing, shoving out, forcing my back to grow broad slabs of muscle, which tore and rended their way out of my shirt. I felt the chill of the night air wafting across the broadening expanse of my damp, bare skin. I became lost in the feeling of tremendous power that was now fanning out behind me. And still it grew wider.
My chest, still heaving, struggling to pull in enough oxygen to satisfy my heart’s relentless need, began feeling the pump. I could feel the strength in it surge as it swelled out further with each gasping breath. I could feel the pressure at work on my pecs, the blood filling them, making them hard, making them strong, and pushing the flesh to its limits before they were ultimately forced to expand and grow even stronger. Threads snapped, cloth tore, as gaps, like volcanic fissures, opened up across the front of my shirt, ripping longer and wider until my striated, pulsing pecs finally erupted from it like boulders of molten rock. The sensation of strength was overwhelming. And still they grew thicker and more powerful.
Outside the storm became more violent, but it couldn’t compete with the tempest inside my skin. My shoulders began to throb, growing rock hard with power, exploding out of their light cotton covering, and bringing final destruction to the last shreds of my shirt. And as they continued to swell to the size of cannonballs I could hear a sound like straining wood as my shoulders grew broader, thrusting outward on either side of my thickening neck, and fundamentally altering the shape of my torso. And as my frame widened, I could feel all the muscles, tendons and sinews racing to fill the new space, competing with each other, claiming their territory and then expanding, swelling to unbelievable proportions, making me huge, with a feeling of physical power that was truly mind blowing.
As the hugely powerful muscles in my limbs continued to grow and bulge, they pushed on my bones forcing them to lengthen, causing the same stretching sounds and sensations to run through my legs and arms as I grew taller. I thrust a foot forward to keep from falling over as my center of gravity shifted, keeping pace with the constant increases in height and mass.
Electric explosions rended the air, threatening to bring down the roof.
BaBumpBaBumpBaBump; my heart beat stronger, faster, untiring. I was almost overcome with a burning heat; sweat was flooding out of every pore. My arms were aflame in a furnace of ecstasy. They had already grown large. And now, covered in a net of swollen, pulsing veins, blood continued to pound into them, overfilling them, making them iron. And then, as if under some unseen blacksmith’s hammer, my arms began to re-form. With each pump of my heart, they swelled up more, out, around, bulging out in every direction. I looked down at my forearms. Muscles I had previously only seen in anatomy books were rising up from under my skin and stretching out, all the time growing thicker and heavier. I flexed and watched my bicep swell, the old peak swallowed up by the mountainous orb my upper arm had become. The pressure doubled. It reshaped itself, grew some more, and then a new, larger peak exploded out of it, only to be swallowed up and reform again as my body continued to glut itself with sheer mass.
BaBumpBaBumpBaBump. And that creaking stretching sound and feeling wracked my entire frame as it struggled to accommodate the immense bulk that was erupting out all over it. And as I watched my body explode with muscle I felt an incredible sense of power. Yes, this was what I had wanted. This was what I had been hoping for. No one was ever going to fuck with me again!
And I felt the pressure in my legs, perhaps more intensely there than anywhere else. Those baggy cargo pants started to balloon out as they filled with something far more substantial than air. As I looked I could see my thighs and other titanic leg muscles pressing outward, outlined in perfect clarity beneath the straining cloth. And with each heartbeat they grew, straining and stressing the cloth, finally shredding it, tearing their way to freedom.
And then my heartbeat slowed and the pressure eased and I realized my growth was coming to an end. As my breath returned to normal, I realized that the effects of the brownie had worn off, burned away in the fires of change that had consumed my body.
I looked at myself in the mirror and was in awe. Not so much by my height, I figured I had to be about six feet tall now, hardly the gigantic stature I had been aiming for. No, what really took my breath away was my girth. I was massive. Enormous, bulging muscles were piled on top of each other, overlapping, layering, twisting around each other. It was hard to tell where one group stopped and another began. I had to be twice as wide at the shoulders as I used to be. I looked and felt like a tank, as though I was encased inside layer upon layer of hardened muscle armor.
I reached down and tore off my shredded pant legs, turning them into shorts and giving myself a good view of my legs at the same time. They almost didn’t look human. They looked like they might belong to some prehistoric creature. My enormous thighs were bulging outwards, forcing their way up through layers and layers of lesser muscles, each of them looking as though they might burst right out of my skin.
I wanted to confirm my height so I took a step toward the measuring strip. Movement was a completely different experience. Floorboards creaked below me. My body now had a ponderous weight to it. It took effort to move it and then more effort to stop it. But all the effort was more than made up for by the incredible strength my limbs now had at their command.
I quickly measured myself. Yup. I was almost exactly six feet, the same height as Geoff. But that’s where the resemblance stopped. When you looked at Geoff’s body, you saw strength, speed and agility. When you looked at me, only one word was telegraphed: POWER, all in caps and with plenty of exclamation points. I looked like I could lift a bus. And frankly, I was half tempted to run outside, find one and see.
I heard a soft rustle. It was coming from the closet. Someone was in there! I marched over to the door and yanked it open. At least that’s what I meant to do. What I actually did was rip the door off its hinges and send it flying across the room where it crashed into my desk, destroying everything on top of it, before toppling to the floor.
And there was Joe, trying to hide at the back of my nearly empty closet. It wasn’t working.
“What the fuck, Joe?” I bellowed, and took a step toward him.
It wasn’t a particularly long scream, or a loud one, but suddenly I realized I was one huge, pissed off, motherfucker who had just ripped a door off its hinges. And it was just possible I was scaring the living crap out of my brother. It cooled my anger immediately.
“I’m not going to hurt you, bro,” I said. “I just want to know why you’re hiding in the closet.”
“I wanted to see you grow,” he said, white faced.
“And just how did you know I was going to grow?” I pressed him.
“Oh, come on,” he said, gaining back some of his composure. “All that meat you ate? You didn’t want me moving back in until tomorrow? Asking us not to bother you for the rest of the evening so you can study? Let me remind you that I only look stupid.”
Jesus, was I that obvious? “I guess you got me. You do look pretty stupid.” We both laughed at that and the tension dissolved. “Why did you want to see me grow? I thought you were over that stuff.”
“If you mean that starry eyed, weak in the knees stuff, yeah, I’m over it. But, dude that growth shit is fuckin’ hot.”
It was then I noticed he was hiding something behind his back. “What have you got back there,” I asked.
Now, I knew it was something. “Come on, let me see.”
“I don’t think so.”
I moved closer so that I filled the closet door.
“Ok,” he said.
Wow. If this had been last week, I would have had a ten minute argument on my hands. It sure came in handy being two inches taller than him and more than twice his body weight in pure, unadulterated muscle. He pulled his hand out from behind his back and I could not fucking believe what he was holding.
“Is that the video camera?”
“Did you video me?”
“Uh, no. I just sort of found it while I was waiting in here and—Okay even I wouldn’t believe that. Yeah, I videoed you.”
“Why the fuck would you do that?”
“Are you kidding? You should have seen yourself, shirt ripping, muscles bulging.”
“I did see myself. I was there. Remember?”
“Yeah, but you didn’t have my view. I got a great shot of your front growing in the mirror while your back bulked out right in front of me.”
“That’s fucking fantastic. Now give me the disc.”
“Why? You’ll just throw it in a drawer or destroy it or something.”
“So? What were you going to do with it?”
“Oh, I don’t know. YouTube?”
“No fucking way! That was one of the most intensely personal things I’ve ever gone through. You’re not putting it out there for billions of strangers to see.”
“Ok, ok, if YouTube’s too big for you, I know a smaller site, musclegrowth.org. That’s all they talk about there. They’d go nuts over this.”
“You are not putting that video on the internet.”
“Yeah? Who’s going to stop me?”
I let out a low, guttural growl.
“Ok, stupid question.”
And then the lights went out.
“What the fuck?” cried Joe.
“It’s just the storm,” I said. “A transformer must have blown.”
“There’s a flashlight in the kitchen,” he said as he made is way toward the door. I followed after.
“I can’t see a thing,”
“That’s ’cause it’s dark, Joe.”
“I don’t like the dark.”
“Which explains why you moved into the basement.”
Suddenly there was a loud thud as I crashed into the door frame. My shoulders were too broad to fit through it now. I had to slightly angle myself.
“Hey watch it, bro,” said Joe. “You don’t want to wreck all our doors.”
“Why? Afraid you’ll run out of places to hide?”
“What is it with you? Did the attitude come with the muscles, or what?”
“Oh no. I had this attitude long before the muscles.”
“Yeah, but that growling thing was new. When did you start growling at people?”
“This was the first time. I thought it was pretty effective, didn’t you?”
“If you call scaring your brother into pissing his pants effective, I’d have to agree.”
“Oh, that explains the smell.”
“You know, I think I liked you better when I could kick your—” He trailed off.
“You want to finish that sentence?”
And then we were in the kitchen. The street lights were out, too, so there was practically no light at all in the house, just the occasional flash of lightning. Joe felt his way toward the drawer and opened it but the flashlight was gone.
It was at that moment we heard the scream from the family room. It was Kelsey. We both headed toward it at the same time. Joe ran smack into me, bounced off and went sprawling on the floor. I made it to the door but my shoulders crashed into the frame and I fell over backwards. Then the two of us were scrambling to our feet. I decided to let Joe go first, so we wouldn’t collide again, but it looked like he had made the same decision.
“You first,” he said.
“No, that’s ok, you go.”
“Are you kidding me? What if it’s something dangerous? What if it’s a guy with a gun?”
“I’m not bullet proof, Joe.”
“Are you sure? Have you tried?”
I shook my head. “I’m going in.” I stepped through the door and Joe followed, sheltering behind me.
“Oh thank God,” came her voice from by the window. She had the flashlight and was shining it outside. “I thought I saw someone out there, someone big.” She turned, hit me with the flashlight beam and started screaming at her lungs out. I was standing there practically naked, wearing noting but shredded cargo pants, with larger than life muscles bulging out of my muscles. I took a step toward her to try and calm her down and she threw a book at me.
“It’s ok, Kelsey,” I said, both hands raised, palms forward. “It’s just me. I grew again. That’s all.” I guess I wasn’t very effective, because she started throwing other things at me, books, plates, whatever she could get her hands on. Nothing really hurt, but she was breaking a lot of stuff.
“Jesus, Kelsey, will you stop. It’s just me.”
“Why don’t you growl at her?” came Joe’s voice from behind me. Then Joe stepped out and went over to Kelsey. When she saw him she grabbed onto him for dear life.
“It’s ok,” he said. “He won’t hurt you. He’s just our monstrous big brother. He may look a little scary—Ok, he looks a lot scary, but he’s harmless. I’m almost sure he is.”
“Thanks a lot, Joe.”
“Hey, I’m here for you, bro.”
And then the lights came back on and Kelsey got a really good look at me.
“Is it really you?” asked Kelsey.
“Yeah, it’s me.”
“Wow, you really grew this time.”
“Maybe you should put some clothes on.”
“I don’t think anything fits any more. Where’s Mom and Dad?”
“They went food shopping. We were getting pretty low, since you ate all our dinners for the next three nights.”
“Oh yeah.” Did I feel guilty? You betcha. “I think maybe I’m going to need to get some clothes. I can’t really go to school like this.”
“Why not?” asked Joe. “That would be awesome! The teachers would all shit themselves.”
“Yeah, and then they’d throw me out. We have this little thing called a dress code. Essentially, it means you have to actually wear clothes to school; and I don’t think this qualifies.”
“I’d like to see them try to suspend you.”
“Well, I wouldn’t, which means I need to get some clothes.”
Kelsey checked her watch. “It’s still only eight-thirty, and most stores are open until nine.”
“Yeah, but I can’t walk around a store like this.”
“That’s easy,” said Joe. “I’ll go.”
“How are you going to get there?” I asked. “You’re not going to ride your bike at night in the rain.”
“Mom and Dad only took one car. I’ll drive.”
“Not without a license, you won’t. I’ll drive. But you’ll have to go into the store for me.”
“I’m coming too,” said Kelsey.
“Ok,” I said, “but we’d better hurry.”
Mom and Dad kept a stash of emergency cash hidden under the sink. It was a couple of hundred dollars and I felt a little guilty taking it, but I was pretty sure they would understand.
Naturally my feet had blown up with the rest of me and my dad’s sneakers no longer fit me. Fortunately, I still had Geoff’s clown shoes from two days ago. They weren’t big on me anymore. In fact, in anything, they were a little narrow.
It was getting kind of cold. Joe and Kelsey threw on their jackets but I had to make do with a blanket. We rushed out to the car. They climbed right in, but it wasn’t that straight forward for me. I practically didn’t fit behind the steering wheel. My chest was way too broad and my legs were too long. Mom must have been the last one to drive it. As I was squeezing in I could hear the shocks screeching as the car’s body sank toward the pavement. Once I was inside, I had to push the seat back, readjust the way I held my arms, and alter the rear and side view mirrors.
“Are you done with the preflight check or what?” asked Joe.
“I just want to get us there safely.”
“Dude, you might look like King Kong, but you drive like grandma. Just fire her up, throw her in gear and let’s get the flock out of here.”
“I’ll go when I’m ready and not before.”
Joe sighed explosively and threw his hands in the air.
When I was as comfortable as I was likely to become, I started the engine and I drove out onto the street.
“Take a right, here,” said Joe.
“Why? The mall’s down Sycamore Street.”
“Yeah, but Target’s just around the corner.”
“We’re not going to Target.”
“Why? It’s closer.”
“We’re not going to Target.”
“Just don’t ask, ok? I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Is it just me, or is he getting grouchier as he gets bigger?”
“I don’t know,” answered Kelsey, “but I think it’s just you.”
“Yeah? Who asked you anyway?”
“You did!” said Kelsey and I, simultaneously. And that was enough to keep Joe quiet for the rest of the trip to the mall.
I drove into the parking lot and picked a spot as far in back as possible; some place where there were no other cars around.
“Hey, do you suppose we could park in the same county as the mall?” asked Joe.
“I don’t want anyone seeing me like this.”
“What? No one’s going to bother you. And if they do, just growl at them. They’ll get the idea. I know I did.”
“You’re never going to let the growl-thing go, are you?”
“Not till the day I die.”
“Which is getting closer every second.”
“Oh, now we get to the witty physical threats.”
“Will you guys stop?” said Kelsey. “You’re giving me a headache.” I felt instantly guilty. Here Joe and Kelsey were doing me a huge favor and I was being a selfish prick.
“Ok,” I said. “I’ll pull closer.”
“Thank you,” said Joe.
I started the car and pulled to end of a row of parked cars. “This is as close as I’m getting.”
“It’ll do,” said Joe and he and Kelsey climbed out of the car and made their way quickly through the parking lot and into the mall. At least the rain had stopped.
I sat in the car and noticed how quiet it suddenly was. I was alone for the first time since my growth spurt—actually, since Joe had been hiding in the closet, it was apparently the first time I had been alone since before my spurt. And, I have to say I was more than a little curious about my body. I cautiously looked out the all the windows. It didn’t look like there was anyone around, so I dropped the blanket. From this position, sitting in the car, all I could really see were my arms and chest. They seemed to fill all the space around me. As I looked at them I could see the muscle fibers under my skin. I didn’t appear to have an ounce of fat on me anywhere. I flexed as well as I could in the confined space. I looked and felt massively powerful. I found myself wondering about lifting the bus again. Well, there weren’t any buses around but I was pretty sure I knew where I could find a car.
I pulled the blanket around me again and popped open the door. I took another quick look around. The coast looked clear. I maneuvered myself out of the car—not the easiest thing. It was pretty obvious Detroit didn’t have people of my dimensions in mind when they designed my mom’s car. I heard the shocks squeak with relief as I set foot on the pavement and the car rose about five inches. I looked furtively around. I seemed to have this part of the parking lot to myself. There were a couple of people walking to their car about three rows over, but no one in the immediate area. I made my way to the back of the car. I remembered what they taught us about lifting with your legs and I squatted down keeping my back straight. I hooked my hands under the car and lifted. It didn’t budge. I lifted harder. Still nothing. I tried again, much harder. I could feel my face turning red and the veins standing out on my neck. But then it stated to budge. Slowly, it was lifting off the ground. What a rush! I was lifting a fucking car! And suddenly I heard a rending, twisting, popping sound as the bumper tore off in my hands and the car dropped back to the ground. I half stood up and then fell over backwards from the sudden release of the weight.
As I lay there on my back on the pavement with my mom’s bumper clutched in my hands, I couldn’t help thinking about how much fucking trouble I was going to be in when I got home. Of course Joe and Kelsey chose this exact moment to come back.
“Whatcha doin down there, big guy,” asked Joe.
“You tried to lift the car, didn’t you?”
“Oh? In that case we must have just missed an epic battle with the notorious bumper thief. Glad to see you came out on top.”
“Shut up,” I said pushing off the bumper and pulling myself to my feet. “Do you think this will fit in the back?”
“If we roll down a window. Kelsey, you don’t mind riding with the bumper do you?”
“I guess not.”
I opened the back door and slid the bumper in, opening a window so it partially hung out.
“Now, what did you get me?”
As Joe handed me the bag, I couldn’t help but see Kelsey bury her head in her hands. What did that mean? In a second I found out.
I pulled out the shirt first. It was striped, lime green and fuchsia.
“You have got to be kidding.”
“I tried to tell him,” said Kelsey.
“What’s the matter? Don’t you like it?” asked Joe.
“Are you serious? No one would like this. It would be like liking Mondays. Take it back.”
“I can’t take it back. The store’s closed.”
‘He’s right. We were the last ones there.”
“I can’t wear this; I’d rather go naked.”
“Now, we’re talking.”
“Shut up, Joe. No wonder Mom still buys your clothes.”
“Try it on,” he said.
“I guess I don’t have any other choice.” I’d like to say I pulled the thing on but it was more like I coated myself in it. It was a muscle shirt, for God’s sake. I don’t know what it was made from, but it clung to me like a second skin and left absolutely nothing to the imagination.
“There’s not much difference between wearing this and going naked. Except naked, people might still think I have taste.”
“Now the pants,” said Joe, eagerly. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I reached into the bag and pulled out a pair of salmon pink shorts. I laughed out loud. “These aren’t pants, they’re shorts. It’s the middle of fucking October! Who wears shorts in the middle of October?”
“No one,” said Joe. “You can start a trend.”
“Joe, you remember earlier when I promised not to hurt you? Well, I’m seriously reconsidering my position.”
“Yeah, yeah,” said Joe,” you can beat the crap out of me later. Right now, let’s see how you look in those shorts.”
“I guess they’re better than rags, though not by much.” I got into the passenger seat and proceeded to change my tattered cargo shorts for the salmon ones. I was actually shocked to discover they fit fine. And I was extremely gratified to discover my underwear was still plenty big enough. But salmon shorts? And with that shirt? Under any other circumstances I wouldn’t have been caught dead in them. But right now, I didn’t really have a choice.
I got out of the car and Joe actually applauded.
“Just get in the car,” I said. “We’d better get home. Mom and Dad’ll be worried.”
“Until they see the bumper,” said Joe, “then they’ll be mad.”
“Thank you so much for reminding me. Now if we could please get going?”
Joe hopped in the front seat.
“Why don’t you let Kelsey sit in front?” I asked.
“Because that would put me in back with the bumper.”
“My point exactly.”
“I don’t want to sit with the bumper.”
“Joe, get in the back, or I will put you there, and I won’t be as gentle as I was with the bumper.”
“Oh, man!” cried Joe, climbing out of the front seat. “Those muscles are making you very hard to live with.”
Joe climbed into the back but he was forced to sit hunched over. Kelsey, on the other hand, was all smiles as she climbed in the front. “Thank you,” she said as she gave me a peck on the cheek. Joe just glowered in the back.
I started the car and drove out of the parking lot. But I didn’t get two blocks before I saw the flashing lights of a police car in my rear view mirror.
“See, Joe,” I said. “If you had been driving we’d have been in real trouble.”
Joe didn’t say anything. He just scowled as I pulled over.
When the policeman tapped on my window, I already had my license and registration ready.
“Was I speeding?”
“Your rear license plate is missing.”
“No, it’s not,” yelled Joe. “It’s back here.” He was pointing to the severed bumper.
“Well, son, the law says it needs to be on the outside of the car.” He turned to me. “May I see your license and registration?”
I handed them straight over. He took it from me and looked at it. Then he looked at me, then back at my license, then back at me. “Son, could you step out of the car?”
“Why? What’s the problem officer?”
“Just step out of the car, please.”
I opened the car and stepped out. I felt kind of stupid in my get up but I didn’t think he could arrest me for that.
“Is this your license?”
“Five foot six? One hundred and thirty five pounds?”
“Ah, I had a growth spurt?”
“And I suppose your eyes just spontaneously changed color.”
“Son, you want to turn around and face the car?”
“Place your hands on the hood.”
Holy crap, this guy was going to arrest me! He was patting me down.
“Place your hands behind your back.” I did, and almost before I realized it, the cop was cuffing me. He then questioned Joe and Kelsey, neither of whom had any ID at all.
“I think we’ll all go down to the station until you decide to tell me exactly who you are and how you came by this license.”
And with that he bundled Joe, Kelsey and me into the back of his car. I was the only one handcuffed. I guess just riding in the car with me wasn’t a crime.
Joe was staring at me angrily. “Gee, I’m sure glad you were driving, otherwise we might have been in real trouble.”
“Shut up, Joe.”
And to my amazement, he did, all the way to the police station.
It wasn’t a long drive to the police station and soon the cop was hustling me out of the car and commanding Joe and Kelsey to follow us.
“Officer, could you do me a favor?” asked Joe.
“What’s that, son?”
“Could you shoot him?” he said, pointing to me.
“What?” I cried.
“And why exactly should I do that?”
“Just to see if you could hurt him.”
“I promise you, son, if I shot him it would hurt him. It would probably kill him.”
“I don’t mean in the chest or in the head or anything. Just graze him a little on the arm.”
The cop looked wide eyed at Joe. Clearly he thought Joe was a little crazy and I wasn’t in a position to argue with him. “I don’t think I can do that,” he finally replied.
“Joe, will you shut up?” I hissed.
“Why?” he asked. “This is the perfect chance to test the whole bullet proof thing.”
If my hands were free I would have used them to knock on his head to see if anyone was home. “I am not a fucking superhero. Bullets will hurt me.”
“You don’t know that. Hey, how about you try to escape? Then, he’d have to shoot you.”
“I am not trying to escape.”
“Wise decision,” said the cop. “With that shirt, I could hit you a hundred yards away in the dark.”
At the sergeant’s desk, they asked me for my name again. What could I say? I told them the truth and then they locked me away in a holding cell. I wasn’t sure what happened to Kelsey and Joe. I suspected they would call Mom and Dad. In which case, my stay in the cell would probably be short. There was only one other guy in there with me, sitting on a bench in the corner. He looked like he was about forty, kind of short and skinny, dressed in a crumpled business suit. He was obviously drunk off his ass. He had one eye closed but the other eye was wide open and watching me.
“I’m not going to be your bitch,” he said in a slurred voice.
“I know how this works. You big guys go find some poor defenseless little guy to be your bitch and then you fuck ‘em and fuck ‘em and fuck ‘em and fuck ‘em and fuck ‘em and fuck ‘em——” he went on like that for a couple of minutes before he stopped and said, “I just wanted you to know, I’m not doing that.”
“Ok,” I said, moving as far away from the guy as the small cell would let me.
“No, I mean it,” he said.
“Listen, I’m just seventeen. There was just a mistake with my driver’s license. I’m probably not even going be here an hour.”
“Well I won’t be your bitch, even for five minutes!”
“Ok, fine. Look, I don’t want a bitch.”
“You don’t want me for your bitch?”
“Why not? What’s wrong with me?” He was suddenly sobbing. “Why don’t you want me for your bitch?”
“I don’t want anyone for my bitch.”
“Is it my body? You don’t like my body?”
“No, I mean, that’s not it at all, I mean—Oh fuck, I don’t know what I mean.”
“Well, that’s good because I’ve got a great body.”
Jeeze, now the guy was undressing himself; my fucking pheromones at work.
“Look, mister, just keep your clothes on, will you?”
“Why? Am I too much man for you, big boy?” Terrific, now the guy was naked. I was locked in a cell with a naked, crazy-ass, middle aged guy who was drunk, and high on my pheromones.
Lost was on tonight. Why couldn’t I be home watching Lost?
He started stumbling towards me. I think he was trying to be seductive. He was lucky he didn’t trip over his own feet. “Look, mister, just stay away from me, ok?”
“Come on, big daddy. Come and get some sugar.” He was getting way too close.
“Dude, I’m telling you, if you touch me, I’m going to have to hurt you.”
“Oh yeah, hurt me, hurt me bad.”
It was just then that the door opened and a cop came in. “What’s going on here?”
“He wants me for his bitch,” said the middle aged guy.
“Wha—? No—!” was about all I could get out.
“Oh he does, does he?” said the cop. “We’ll see about that.” He unlocked the cell door. “You’re not going to give me any trouble are you, son. I’d hate to have to cuff you.”
“No,” I said. “No trouble.” And I quickly walked out of the cell and away from the crazy naked guy.
The cop closed and locked the cell. “You go ahead and get dressed now,” he said to the crazy guy. “He won’t bother you again.”
“Thank you, officer,” he slurred. “You guys are the greatest.”
He looked at me sternly. “Come with me.”
I followed the cop to a small interview room, where he asked me to take a seat and wait, but I just couldn’t leave it at that. “About back there,” I said, “I never did anything to—” I broke off when the cop started laughing.
“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “The entire station is on monitors. We saw the whole thing.”
“You saw? Why didn’t you come sooner?”
“Hey,” he said, “it’s a slow night and Lost was a rerun.” Then he turned and left me alone.
This interview room, like every interview room you’ve ever seen on TV, had a big mirror on one wall, and I wondered who was behind it, watching me.
In a few moments the door opened and a couple of familiar faces entered. It was Officers Quinn and Murkowski, the cops who had investigated the weight room fight. They did not look happy to see me. They sat down across the table from me and glared.
“We’ll get right to it,” said Officer Murkowski. “Where are you getting it?”
“Getting what? Is this about my license?”
“You mean this?” said Officer Quinn, plucking my license from the air like a playing card in a magic trick. “Five foot six, one hundred thirty-five pounds.”
“Yeah, well, I grew a little.”
“Jesus, kid, it looks like you put on about 200 pounds in 2 days. You don’t expect us to believe that’s natural.”
“If it isn’t natural, what is it?” I asked, trying to play dumb.
“Come on, kid, you’re on something, something pretty damn potent.”
“I’m not. You can test my blood if you don’t believe me.”
“We intend to.” Officer Quinn stared at me. I had a feeling he was trying to bore a hole in my head with his eyes, so he could see what I was thinking. Truth be told, I was wondering if I could take him. I’m not proud of it, but that’s what I was thinking. And I thought maybe I could.
“We’ve been chasing this stuff for a while. Whoever’s pushing it is pretty damn smart; they always keep one step ahead of us. They manage to get to the athletes when we’re not looking. They sell to football players, basketball players, baseball players, and then there’s you.”
“Me? But I’m not—”
“Yeah, we know, you’re not on anything. But if you were, it’d be pretty damn strange, wouldn’t it, an honor student like you, with no athletic inclinations? But then we got to thinking, it would be much easier for this pusher to sell his wares if he were already part of the school system, a teacher or maybe even another student.”
“It’d have to be a pretty smart student,” said Officer Murkowski.
“Oh yeah, an honor student at least.”
Now I got it. “You think it’s me.”
“I don’t recall saying that. But should this pusher actually be another student, and should he want to advertise, what better way then to turn himself into a floor model?”
“You think I did this to myself so I could sell steroids?” That was ridiculous. I did this to myself so I could beat the crap out of Gil Stafford—er, that is, make the school safe from bullies, a far more noble motive.
“You’re not dumb, kid. We’ve seen your records. But you’re doing a very dumb thing. “This stuff, it’s too new. No one knows what the long term affects might be. Who knows how much harm you may already have done, to yourself any anyone you sell to?”
“I’m not selling anything. I’m not on anything. I swear.”
“Sure you’re not.” Then he nodded at the mirror and a nurse came in. She produced a syringe, jabbed it in my arm and took a blood sample.
“Think about it, kid,” said Officer Murkowski. “After we analyze this, we’ll be able to prove you’re using. Just tell us who your supplier is, where you’re getting the stuff. If you do that now, it will go easier on you.”
I just shrugged. There wasn’t anything else I could have done. No matter what I said, they wouldn’t have believed me. Even if I had told them the truth, they wouldn’t have believed me.
They also wanted to know how I had been taking it. They had apparently been checking out my bare arms and had seen no signs of needle marks. They wanted me to volunteer to have a full physical. I agreed. Actually, I thought it was a good idea. This kind of growth was really unusual, and if it was causing me any health problems I wanted to know about them.
They kept asking me questions for the next half hour. Finally they finished, but before they let me go, they had one last thing to say.
“Remember, we’re going to be watching you. Everything you do, we’ll be there. You won’t be able to take a piss without us knowing about it. And believe me, with an outfit like that, following you won’t pose much of a challenge. Then they led me out to the lobby where my parents, Joe and Kelsey were waiting for me.
I saw them before they saw me. I could tell my Dad was really angry—probably about the bumper. But when Mom and Dad saw me, all I could read on their faces was shock—probably at my size. I think the clothes Joe had bought for me made matters even worse. Every bulging muscle I had—and I had a lot of them—was clearly defined beneath it.
“Where did you get that shirt?” my mom finally asked.
“Joe got it for me.”
“I should have guessed,” she said. “That’s why I still buy his clothes. I’ll get you a new one tomorrow.”
“We’re going to have a little talk about bumpers,” my dad said looking up at me. At five eleven, he had always been the biggest in our family. Not any more. Besides being an inch taller than him, I was about half again as broad and I’d guess I had about seventy pounds on him. “But we can do that when we get home.”
Our little talk was a little strange. He explained to me how car bumpers were designed to break away from cars in order to protect the frame and that there was no way they could support the weight of a car.
“If you ever again find yourself lifting—er—jacking up a car—in order to change a tire—or something—you always want to grab it under the frame—with the jack—so you don’t damage—ah—the—ah—body.”
I really had expected to get my ass reamed, but this talk was more like instructions on how to change a tire. It was pretty clear Dad was uncomfortable with the idea of me lifting cars with my bare hands. It was amazing how he went out of his way not to mention it. I wondered if everyone was going to be this weird about how strong I’d gotten.
“Hey, Gigantor,” called Joe. “Put those muscles to some use and give me a hand with this.” I guess my size wasn’t bothering Joe any. He was trying to haul his mattress up from the basement and it was giving him some trouble. Joe wanted to move back into our room right away, and since I’d already had my spurt, I couldn’t think of a reason why he couldn’t.
“It was a lot easier going the other way,” he explained. I offered to help right away. Since I’d gotten back from jail, I had really been enjoying my new body. I loved to hear the heavy thud of my footsteps, how everything seemed so much smaller and delicate; I even felt like I was displacing more air as I walked around. Of course, I was a little more clumsy than usual, getting used to my new dimensions. I accidentally tripped and stumbled into a table and the thing shattered, completely blew to pieces. Mom just shrugged and said she never liked the table anyways and we could never have enough firewood. I still felt pretty bad, though.
But that didn’t stop me from aching to try out my new muscles. I wanted to be careful, though. I was afraid I might destroy something else. Moving Joe’s mattress looked like it would be the perfect opportunity. But things didn’t go quite as easily as I thought they would. The weight wasn’t a problem, but it was hard to get a good hold on it and the thing kept flopping back and forth all the way up to the second floor. In a way it was like trying to hold on to a large, rectangular, wriggling fish.
Of course, Joe stood back and let me do all the lifting. “What’s the point of having a massive brother,” he said, as he walked just in front of me, “if he can’t haul a few heavy objects for you? Now, could you please hurry? The way you’re moving, you’d think we had all night. If you don’t mind, I’d like to get to bed while the sun’s still down.”
Ok, that was it. He was going down. I put the mattress down and leaned it against the wall.
“What are you doing now? Don’t tell me you need a break.” But when he saw my expression, I think he guessed. “Oh, crap.” I was on him before he could move. I didn’t even have to tackle him. I just used my right arm and pushed him to the floor. He went down so easily. I didn’t bother sitting on him, like I used to, when we were little. I just pinned him to the floor with one hand. He was trying to get up. It was a definite high watching him pit his entire body strength against my massive, bulging right arm. He didn’t have a chance.
“Could you let me up now?” He asked.
“Not until you say you’re sorry.”
“For being disrespectful, ungrateful and for buying me a shirt with a pattern no one would want on a beach ball.”
“Ok, ok, I’m sorry for the things I said, but that shirt is going to be a trend setter. Wait and see.”
I was looking down at him, trying to think of a good comeback when suddenly I had this overpowering desire to kiss him. As he lay there struggling under my powerful right arm, he just seemed ridiculously attractive. I wanted to rip off his clothes, turn him over and just start pounding him. I knew there was nothing he could do to stop me and that made it seem even hotter. I boned right up. The desire was so sudden and so powerful, I almost couldn’t resist it. But in the end, I did. After all, he was my brother, related or not. I let him up.
“You wait and see,” he said. “Tomorrow, everyone will be in complete awe of that shirt, and they’re all going to want them. I see a national fashion trend.”
Joe was apparently completely ignorant of how narrow an escape he’d just had, but it was haunting me. What just happened? I didn’t think like that? I didn’t do those things to people. It was almost as if someone else had taken control of my brain and I was thinking with their thoughts. What were these muscles doing to me?
I put Joe’s mattress back on his bed and got ready for bed, myself. Once again, I had nothing to wear to bed and was forced to climb naked between the sheets. I think Joe was checking me out, but I didn’t look to see. I didn’t want to see, because if he was, I didn’t know what I might do. It was weird. I was suddenly a stranger to myself, a very big, very scary stranger. I tried to go straight to sleep, but I wasn’t successful. Thoughts of what I’d wanted to do to Joe plagued me. They weren’t gone. I still wanted him. It would be so easy. All I had to do was take two steps across the room and I could have him. He would be completely overwhelmed by my massive, powerful body, no matter how hard he struggled, and I wanted him to struggle. What was the matter with me? Why was I thinking these things? What if next time I couldn’t stop myself?
In the end, I realized that I had stopped myself before and I pledged that I would continue to stop myself no matter what. And then I finally fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning, as I had on the last few mornings, temporarily disorientated. The bed was sagging. I heard the springs complaining as I rolled to the edge. I groggily thought the box spring must be broken. As I threw off the covers and stood up, I felt much too high off the floor, and looked down to see what I was standing on. When I caught sight of my monstrous legs, it snapped me right back into the here and now. And I was very glad to be in the here and now.
I could hear Joe in the shower so I stepped over to the mirror and had a flex fest. God, I was bulging out all over. I was huge. I felt like I could do anything. It was fucking fantastic! I couldn’t wait to get to school and wish Gil Stafford a good morning. And down below, my little friend was wishing me a good morning. Hurry up, Joe. I’ve got a little tension to release.
Joe blundered out of the bathroom, still dripping with a towel wrapped around his waist. He was so fucking slender. Suddenly the urges were back, strong as ever. I wanted to grab Joe, drag him back into the bathroom, and use him as a washcloth, rubbing him all over my big, fat cock. Joe would probably be up for it. My pheromones might not be affecting him anymore, but I knew he still thought I was hot.
What was I thinking? Quickly, I made a dash for the bathroom and slammed the door behind me.
“Well, good morning to you, too,” I heard Joe call after me, but I didn’t care. No good morning was far better than the good morning I had been considering. I found sweet relief in the shower. I was so fucking hard and hot and wet. I spent quite a while in there rubbing myself all over. Sometimes I even used soap.
When I went down for breakfast, Mom gave me the option of not going into school until she had gotten some new clothes for me. I thought about it for a moment but decided to go anyway. The clothes Joe had gotten for me were epically hideous, but I didn’t think anyone would give me a hard time over them. I subtly flexed my arms. Or over anything—ever again.
And then mom presented me with breakfast; I think she cooked up an entire package of bacon to go with my eggs. I sat there staring at it for a minute. Did I want to eat this? What if the growth in my body went hand in hand with the overpowering lust I was experiencing? I wanted to get bigger, sure, but what would come with it?
In the end, growth won. Being big just felt too damn good. Getting bigger, well, that was just an unbelievably awesome thought. I was getting hard just thinking about it. I decided to risk it. I scarfed everything she cooked.
Before she left, I got mom to promise to bring the tub of anti-pheromone goop to school, the period right before lunch. That way we’d have time to substitute it for the chocolate pudding.
I picked up my knapsack but I had to loosen the straps considerably before I could put it on. Even then it felt weird against my massive back. It was so light I kept thinking I had forgotten something.
I climbed on my bike, but it was way too short for me. I grabbed the Allen key from the garage and tried to adjust the seat again but it popped right off. I couldn’t raise it high enough. I had outgrown my bike! What the hell was I going to do now? How was I going to get to school? Everyone else had already gone. It was too late to get a ride. There was only one thing to do. I put the seat back on my bike moving it up as far as I could, got on it and started to ride to school. I felt ridiculous. Wearing that stupid shirt and riding a bike that was too small for me, I kept thinking of those clowns that rode around on tiny bikes. I must look just like them. I should sell tickets. This was the second day in a row circumstances had arranged themselves to ruin my big, studly entrance at school.
I was contemplating hopping off my bike, and walking it the last block to school, when I heard an all too familiar sound, derisive laughter. And unless I was very much mistaken, the laugher was Benjy Pierce, Gil Stafford’s loyal sidekick and one of my tormentors from yesterday. I stopped my bike and looked around for the source. Sure enough, there was Benjy and he was holding Graham Winger’s backpack. And there was poor Graham, who was exactly the size I used to be, trying vainly to get it back from him, before it was emptied all over the sidewalk.
Jesus, didn’t these guys ever stop tormenting people? I mean they had to at least take a break for meals, right?
I hopped off my bike and let it clatter to the ground. At first I thought I was going to shout, “What the hell do you think you’re doing,” or something like that. But I skipped the preliminaries and moved straight to the main event. I grabbed the backpack and ripped it out of Benjy’s hand. At least, that’s what I thought I was going to do. Unfortunately, Benjy was hanging on to it tighter than I expected, and when I pulled it, it ripped apart and a cascade of books and papers spilled out all over the ground.
“Shit!” shouted Graham, “You fuckers! Doubling up today? Aren’t there enough little guys out there for the both of you.” And he began chasing all his papers up and down the sidewalk, as the wind caught them and took them for a ride.
Benjy was laughing. “Ha. That was a good one.”
“Sorry,” I called after Graham but he wasn’t listening. I was half tempted to forget about Benjy and help Graham collect his papers, but I had my priorities. I grabbed Benjy by his shirt.
“What the fuck is your problem?” he said.
“Who the fuck are you—?” he began and then I saw the recognition in his eyes. “Holy fuck!”
“That’s right you bastard. Time for a little payback.” We were about the same height but I had way more muscle than he did.
“What kind of a fucking mutant are you?”
“Let me show you,” I said, and I grabbed him under his arms and lifted him up. He was no where near as heavy as I expected. The look of sheer terror on his face was priceless. I heard the sound of tinkling water. At first I thought someone had turned on the sprinklers, then I realized that Benjy was wetting himself. Sweet. Well, almost—He started to drip on me and I was wearing shorts. Jeez, I had bully piss on my legs! I threw him away, and he landed in a heap on the ground. I wanted to beat the shit out of him, but no way was I going to get covered in his piss. So, when he jumped up and ran away, I let him go. I figured I’d made my point. Anyway, Gil was the one I really wanted.
Graham was a half block down the street picking up the last of his papers. I jogged over to help. But he saw me coming and took off.
“Hey, wait!” I cried, “I’m on your side.” But it was no use. The kid was almost at the school. I still could have caught up to him, but I probably would have had to knock him down to stop him from running, and I don’t think that would have made my point.
I went back for my bike and walked it the rest of the way to school. As I locked it up and made my way inside, I was getting a lot of stares, way more than yesterday. But I figured a lot of that was Joe’s shirt. There was no way I could slip in quietly wearing that. And there was no way anyone could have missed the growth: three inches and over a hundred pounds of solid muscle, all displayed bulge by bulge under that skin tight shirt.
But the atmosphere was completely different today. There weren’t any whispers, just silent staring. And people kept leaping to the side, scampering to get out of my way. It was kind of creepy.
I looked over at Angela Johnson. She was standing directly in front of me in the center of the hall, staring at me the way a deer stares at a tractor trailer. My eyes drifted down from her face toward the fine bosom she was displaying and the tight skirt around her tight ass and I just wanted to fuck her. Right there, right then. Just shove her up against the lockers, pull down her skirt and panties, and just start going at her. And as I drew closer I could tell from the look on her face, she was starting to feel something similar, my pheromones at work, no doubt. Only this time, I was ready to take advantage of them. Or was I? No. No, I wasn’t. What was the matter with me? I forced my eyes away from Angela, but they just fell on Lisa Anderson. And I wanted her, too. She had amazing lips and long, sleek legs and I wanted to fuck her. Ok, look somewhere else. There’s Brian Sherman. Look at the fucking ass on him! A pair of well developed pecs was filling that shirt of his. He had to work out. Suddenly, I wanted him, too. Jeez, was no one safe?
Suddenly, my cell phone buzzed. I didn’t have to look.
“How’s it going kid?”
“A little weird.”
“Only a little weird?” he chuckled. “Then you’re ahead of the game.”
“No, seriously, it’s like I want to fuck everybody.”
“That’s just your libido. I—”
“—amped it up a bit,” I finished for him.
“Exactly. How’s it working out for you?”
“What do you mean?”
“I bet you’re having some great sex.”
“What? You think I should be running around fucking everything in sight?”
“Hey, kid, when I was in high school it was the ’60’s. That’s what you did.”
“Yeah, well, it’s not what I do. This whole thing is getting way out of control. My parents are acting weird. Everyone I see wants to fuck me and now I want to fuck everyone I see.”
“Let me get this straight. Your body is changing, you’re feeling a growing separation from your parents, your friends are seeing you in new ways, and you’re coming to terms with desires you’ve never had before. What part of “second puberty” did you not get?”
“Wait a minute, wait a minute; things are starting to make sense. You amped up my pheromones and my libido. You wanted to turn me into some kind of a fuck machine, didn’t you?”
“Glad to see all those raging hormones aren’t affecting your thinking.”
“Why would you do that?”
“Why do you think?” The answer struck me right away.
“Kids! You want me to start having kids!”
“Right first time. Don’t be selfish. Spread some of that genetic enhancement around.”
“I’m only 17!”
“I didn’t say you had to raise them, just father them.”
“That is one of the most immoral things I’ve heard in my entire life.”
“Well, you did say you were only seventeen.”
The bell rang.
“Look, I’ve got to get to Calculus. Can you call me back in about fifty minutes?”
“Sure. What else have I got to do, but bandy words with an over moral, over sexed seventeen-year-old?”
“I’m not over sexed.”
“Well, get busy,” he said, and then he hung up.
In a hurry, I thundered down the hall toward Calculus. People were leaping out of my way and with good reason. I had quite a lot of momentum going and a considerable amount of mass. If one of them should get hit by me, it wouldn’t slow me down a bit, but it would probably put them in the hospital.
When I got to the classroom, the door was already closed. Shit, I was late. I opened the door and walked in. I immediately made for the back of the room, but Mr. Sanders spotted me. How could he not?
“Excuse me, young man, can I help—My God.”
“Morning, Mr. Sanders. Sorry I’m late.” But he didn’t say anything back. He just stared at me. And then I noticed the rest of the class was staring at me, too. I tried to ignore them as I made my way back to my seat between Veronica and Charles.
But something else was very wrong. There was Veronica looking only slightly less shocked than everyone else in class. That was ok, only to be expected. But then there was Charles. He was wearing a muscle shirt, too. And I’ll be fucked, if he didn’t have muscles on his arms. He was almost big. Now, I’d swear he wasn’t like that yesterday. Was he?
As I sat down, the chair groaned under me. For a second I thought it might collapse. But it didn’t. I looked at Veronica and pointed at Charles.
“Don’t ask me,” she whispered. “I can’t get a thing out of him.”
“What the fuck, Charles?” I asked.
“What the fuck, yourself. What are you, like three hundred pounds now?”
“About,” I said feeling a little sheepish. I mean I had never told him my secret. Why should I expect him to tell me his. But I did. “Where’d the muscles come from?”
“Let’s just say I liked yours so much, I decided to grow some of my own.”
“You don’t just grow—” Then I had it. “You’re on that new shit, the stuff that stimulates your natural steroids and growth hormones.” From the look on his face I could tell I had nailed it. “Don’t be stupid. You don’t know what that stuff’s going to do to you.”
“I’ve been on it three days now, ever since you started growing. I think I know what it’s doing to me.” He flexed for me. I had to admit. The muscles looked good on him, really good. I started to get hard. No! I wasn’t going to do that. I turned my attention forward, determined to concentrate on calculus.
By this time, Mr. Sanders had recuperated and started the class again. He kept steeling glances back at us, Charles and me, but then so did the rest of the class. Charles was loving the attention. He placed his hands behind his head and bounced his biceps whenever anyone was looking. I could tell Mr. Sanders was really freaked. He didn’t call on us once the entire class.
When the bell rang, Charles was up and out of the classroom like a shot. I took off after him, but he ducked into the crowd by the front door and I lost sight of him.
Wait a minute. Why was there a crowd by the front door? They were all gawking at something out in front of the school. I joined the crowd and plowed my way to the front. There were definately a couple of advantages to my new size. The first was people generally got out of my way and the second was I could see over most of the kid’s heads. And what I saw almost made me explode on the spot.
Someone had been hoisted up the flagpole. As I got closer I noticed that the poor bastard wasn’t wearing any pants. Let me see if I can guess who had hauled him up there. There was little doubt it was Gil Stafford. But as I reached the door I froze. The guy on the pole, it was Joe, my brother Joe!
I raced out to the pole, untied the line and began lowering him down. By this time a fair crowd was gathering at the base of the pole. When I got him down, I untied him. He immediately used his hands to cover himself.
“Joe, are you ok?”
“Yeah,” he said, “Just completely humiliated. Nothing a transfer to another school wouldn’t fix.” There was a titter of giggles. One of the guys in the crowd opened his backpack and tossed Joe a pair of gym shorts. “I just washed them,” he said.
“Thanks,” said Joe as he pulled them on.
“Was it Gil Stafford?” I asked.
“Why don’t you ask him yourself?” he said, pointing. And sure enough, there was the bastard himself, and Benjy Pierce and Farley Simpkin.
I was hot. One look at that smirking face and all reason left me. I was going to pound that grin into the earth, stomp on it and then piss on it. I don’t even remember crossing the ground, but suddenly I was right in front of him, with my fists all balled up. To my utter surprise, he held up his hands palms out.
“Whoa there, mutant clown boy. We go at it here and now, we’ll get suspended for sure.”
Damn it, he was right. He was fucking right.
“Fifth period,” he said. “Meet me at The Clearing.”
I nodded. In my state of mind, forming words would be impossible. Then Gil turned and walked away. It took everything I had to let him go.
Joe called after him. “You are going to get your ass well and truly kicked. My brother isn’t just a good dresser; he can lift a car!”
Gil turned. “Really?” He walked over to a parked car, squatted down, reached way underneath it—to the frame I guessed—and straining like he might bust a gut, proceeded to lift the front end of the car till the tires were about three inches off the ground. He held it for a second, and then let it drop.
“Oh,” said Joe. “So you can lift a car, too. That’s unexpected.” He turned to me. “Bro, I love you but I think you’re dead.”
I didn’t know about that. I still thought I had a pretty good chance of taking him down. In fact if anything I’d say the odds were pretty even, and somehow I liked that idea. It would be far more satisfying to crush him, if he had a good chance of beating me. If I had been able to overwhelm him with size, my victory would not be so sweet.
“Thanks for the support, Joe.”
“I’m always there for you. You know that. Hey, what did you do to Benjy anyway?”
“Gil said he was getting back at you for what you did to Benjy. What did you do to Benjy?
“Nothing compared to what I’m going to do to him.” And I meant it. After fifth period, Gil Stafford would never bully anyone ever again.
My blood was still boiling. I can’t remember ever being so mad. I was almost shaking. It was bad enough Gil Stafford had humiliated me last night at Target, but now he had gone after my brother. I could tell Joe was upset. Who wouldn’t be after being hoisted half naked up a flag pole? He looked like he might start crying.
“It’s going to be ok,” I said as I put my hand on his shoulder.
“I know,” he said. “I know you’ll get out of the hospital eventually. But I’m going to miss you while you’re gone.”
“Jeeze, Joe, did you ever think maybe I might win the fight. Maybe it’ll be Gil Stafford who goes to the hospital?”
“Ah… no,” he said looking me square in the eye.
“Thanks a lot.”
“Hey, if you can’t count on your brother to tell you the hard truths, who can you?”
“What time is it?”
“About five to,” said Joe, checking his watch. “Why?”
“I’m wondering if I have time to hoist you back up the flag pole without being late for class.”
“I’d say no.” And Joe started making a beeline for the building.
“Hey Joe,” I called after him.
“Yeah?” he called, not stopping.
“Mom’s coming by later. She could probably bring you some pants.”
“I’ll call her,” he yelled back, not breaking his stride. In a second he had disappeared back inside.
The rest of the crowd was following suite. They were all excited about the fight. Some of them couldn’t wait for Gil Stafford to get his ass kicked. Some of them couldn’t wait for me to get my ass kicked. Apparently a lot of the kids were afraid of me.
“He’s some kind of mutant,” said one guy. I wonder where he got that from.
“I heard he was an alien,” said another. I guess Charles just couldn’t keep his mouth shut.
“What are you crazy? The guy’s just on steroids,” said a third. I seriously didn’t realize how much I was freaking people out.
“What the fuck did you do that for?” I turned and there was Geoff. “I can’t believe you just challenged Gil Stafford to a fight—in The Clearing of all fucking places.”
Behind our school, just beyond the football field, was about an acre of trees which we euphemistically called The Woods. At just about the center of The Woods was a clearing which we called—you guessed it—The Clearing. If you were going to The Clearing it was for one of two reasons, either to fight or get laid. Strangely, I had always envisioned myself going there for the other reason.
When there was a fight, word got around, and you were pretty much guaranteed a good crowd. Whoever lost this fight would be humiliated in front of half the school, a fate Gil Stafford greatly deserved.
“You’re going to get your ass kicked,” said Geoff.
“So Joe was just saying. It’s great to have so many people who aren’t afraid to tell me the hard truths.”
Geoff walked straight up to me. We were eye to eye now. “Jesus, you got big this time.”
“You’re fucking right.” I was still pissed at Gil and a little at Joe and now here was Geoff singing the same tune.
“You think that just because you’re almost as big as him, you have a chance to beat him.”
“Yeah, and I’m not almost as big as him. I am as big as him.”
“No fucking way. Gil’s built just like you and he’s still a couple of inches taller. And he’s got other advantages.”
“I’ve seen Gil on the football field. He knows exactly what he can and can not get away with. If he can get away with breaking the rules, he will. He does whatever it takes to win and he seems to have a sixth sense about weather or not the ref is looking. And in The Clearing there won’t be any refs.”
“You mean he fights dirty.”
“I mean he fights to win.”
“Well, I’m not exactly fighting to lose.”
Geoff threw his hands up in the air. “Do you even know how to fight?”
That caught me off guard. I’d never really done much fighting, some running and yelling, but not much fighting. I was never really built for it—before. But I wasn’t going to admit my ignorance, even to Geoff. “Well—I mean—I know the basics.”
“Gil knows a lot more than the basics.”
“Can you teach me?”
“Not by fifth period. Why the fuck do you have to fight him? There are dozens of other ways we could have handled this.”
“You wouldn’t understand.”
“Is it because of what he did to you at Target?”
“How did you know about that?”
“Greg Petersen told me after Farley Simpkin told him. I heard about it third hand, third hand! And after I spent two hours with you yesterday mixing up goop. Why didn’t you say anything? I thought we were—I thought we were close.”
“I don’t need you to fight my battles for me.”
“No, you want to rip him apart with your own two hands, only it’s not going to work that way. He’ll be the one stomping on your head and this time he’ll do it in front of half the school. You used to be a lot smarter than this.”
I used to not have a choice. But what if Geoff was right? Was I really that far out of my league?
“So, what do I do?” My question seemed to take the steam out of Geoff’s anger.
“Since you challenged him out here in front of everyone, there’s really no way you can get out of it.”
I couldn’t believe Geoff was suggesting I chicken out and let Gil Stafford just go around humiliating whomever he liked. I put my hand on his shoulder and looked him straight in the eye. I was serious as a heart attack and I wanted him to see that. “I don’t want to get out of it,” I said. “There are some fights you don’t back away from, even if it means getting your ass kicked.”
Suddenly Geoff dropped his gaze. It was as if he couldn’t look me in the eye anymore. “Ok,” he said. “I’ll do what I can to help you. Meet me in the clearing during fourth period and I’ll show you what I can about fighting.”
“Don’t thank me. I guarantee you whatever I show you, it won’t be enough. But there might be a couple of other things I can do.”
Before I could ask him what he was talking about, Geoff turned and went back into the school.
I was going to follow him but my cell phone buzzed.
“Yeah?” I said tersely.
“Am I getting you at a bad time?” asked Professor Grant.
“Since I met you,” I answered, “I can’t say there have been too many good times.”
“It can’t be that bad surely.”
“Oh no, it’s just that everybody thinks I’m either an alien, a mutant or on steroids.”
“Hmm,” he said. “Mutant is closest.”
“You’re not helping.”
“I don’t know how anyone could think you’re on steroids. Steroids don’t work that fast.”
“This new stuff does. It’s supposed to work by stimulating the body’s natural growth systems.”
“Oh, yeah, that stuff. I think I’ve heard of it.”
“Yeah, well, apparently the police not only think I’m on the stuff, they think I’m selling it.”
“Yeah, they grilled me about it for about an hour last night.”
“They didn’t take a blood sample, did they?” Something had changed in his voice. Suddenly the Professor seemed concerned.
“Yeah, they did. Why? They’re not going to find anything, are they?”
“Shit! This is bad. This is very bad.”
“You mean they are going to find something?”
“They’re not going to find what they’re looking for, but they’ll find plenty of things they don’t understand. They’ll send it up to the FBI’s forensic lab at Quantico, and that’s the beginning of the end.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Kid, I’m afraid I haven’t been entirely forthcoming with you. All those years ago, when they canceled our program, I wasn’t exactly supposed to give you up for adoption.”
“What do you mean?”
“I believe the exact words were, “specimen three-six-two is to be destroyed.””
“Yup, but I couldn’t do it. You were just a baby, just learning to walk. Killing you would have been murder. So I managed to sneak you out to an adoption agency.”
“Don’t mention it. But eventually Quantico is going to realize what that blood is, and then they’re going to send someone to find you.”
“You mean they’ll kill me?”
“I wouldn’t put it past them.”
“What do I do?” There was silence on the other end; so much of it that I began to think I’d lost him.
“Let me work on it and get back to you. In the mean time, don’t eat any meat at all. Try to slow down your growth as much as possible. The last thing we need is an overlarge teen drawing attention to himself.”
Now he tells me.
“Why didn’t you tell me any of this before?”
“To be honest, I wasn’t sure how you’d react. I almost didn’t tell you about the whole cattle-growth-hormone thing because I was afraid you might go out and eat an entire cow. But I should have known better. You’re much to level headed to ever do anything like that.”
This really wasn’t helping.
“Well, I’d better get going. I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’ll be in touch.” And then he was gone.
All thoughts of Gil Stafford were driven from my mind. Was someone, right now, on their way to kill me? Suddenly I felt really exposed standing out in front of the school. I remembered the policeman from last night and how he commented that he could hit me a hundred yards away in the dark. I quickly ran back to the school building, back behind its sheltering walls, and headed for my class. It was English Lit and I was late. Everyone stared at me, just as they had done in Calculus but I ignored it. I was too preoccupied with thoughts of assassins hiding in the supply closets. What was I going to do? This was way beyond me. And why was it so hot in here? I was wearing a muscle shirt in the middle of October and I was still burning up. Someone needed to turn down the heat. I looked around. No one else seemed to be sweating like a pig, just me. Then it hit me. Oh God. Not now. Not here. My hand shot up. Mrs. Preston ignored me. She was probably as freaked as Mr. Sanders had been. Well, if she didn’t let me go, she was going to get a lot more freaked.
“Mrs. Preston,” I called out. She turned impatiently.
“Yes, what is it?”
“I think I need to see the nurse.” A shot of euphoria ran through me. I knew from past experience, if I didn’t move soon, I wouldn’t be able to move at all.
“Can’t it wait?”
“God no,” I said stumbling to my feet without waiting for permission. I fell against a desk and it exploded under my weight.
“Sorry,” I said. “But I think I’m going to be sick.” I lurched toward the door. There was no way I was going to do this in front of a class full of people.
I made it to the hall but then I wasn’t sure where to go. The boy’s room wasn’t far. I thought I could make it there. My breathing was getting rapid now and I could feel my heart pounding inside my chest. I didn’t have long.
Sweat was coming off me in sheets. I pulled off my shirt before it became soaked. It was a repulsive rag but it was the only thing I had and there was a chance I would still be able to use it afterward.
I burst into the boy’s room. I was in luck. The place seemed empty. I thought about looking under the stalls for legs but there wasn’t time. I staggered over to a sink and leaned on it, using it to support my weight, hoping it would hold up under the strain—now and later.
I stared into the mirror above the sink. I flexed and saw my muscles respond by popping up all over my upper body. I was already pretty fucking big and I felt the power in each hard bulge. And, shit yeah, I was going to get fucking bigger! The first wave of ecstasy hit me. Oh fuck. I gasped. I was so fucking strong and I could feel myself getting stronger. Fuck, it felt good! I flexed as hard as I could. My veins swelled up all over and I could feel the blood racing through them. My heart was a fucking out-of-control machine. Each thunderous beat was ecstasy as it force fed blood into my muscles, a hundred times better than an orgasm. Oh man, this was intense! I’d forgotten how fucking intense this was. Fuck yeah! I wanted it to go on and on. As I stood there gasping for breath, I felt my muscles grow hard with power. Oh fucking Christ I was getting stronger! Even fucking stronger than I already was. How fucking awesome was that! And I was fucking growing! I could see it! My arms were bulging up bigger. Damn! I pulled a double bicep and watched as they fucking grew in power and forced my swelling forearms out further. Shit yeah! And my pecs—oh fuck—my pecs were bulging out ward. Oh my fucking God! My back, it was pushing out beneath my skin, stretching out wider behind me. Shit, I felt awesome! I was so fucking strong! There was no fucking feeling like this. I was pulsing with power, with raw physical strength.
“ARGHHHHHH!” I couldn’t help shouting as my throbbing back grew thicker and my thighs expanded, filling those ridiculous shorts just short of bursting.
But then it passed. The feeling quickly faded and it was over. It was so short, too short. I felt a little disappointed, a little empty. I wanted more. This was nothing compared to last night.
I stood there and flexed in the mirror. I was bigger now; there was no denying it, but the gains were far less dramatic then they had been last night, more like my earlier spurts. I guessed this spurt was the direct result of the bacon I had eaten that morning. Let’s hear it for the other white meat. Now I wished I’d eaten more.
I pulled a most muscular and still couldn’t help grinning as my chest and back bulged and expanded with solid, striated power. I felt like I could punch through walls and I was pretty sure I had gained another inch in height. I had to be stronger than Gil Stafford now. I was just an inch shorter than he was and I was almost sure I outweighed him.
Then I heard the gasp. I turned and saw a freshman just standing there staring at me. He must have been in one of the stalls when I came in. He was a tiny guy, five foot nothing, and he looked really young. I wondered if he’d been through puberty yet.
“I want some,” he said. By the timber of his voice, I could tell he had at least started puberty.
“What?” I asked.
“Whatever you’re on, I want some.”
“I’m not on anything,” I said, pulling my shirt back on. To my relief it still fit. I guess this stuff was made to stretch.
“I saw you,” he said. “I saw you grow. I want to grow like that.”
“Give yourself some time,” I said. “You’ll grow.”
“No, I won’t. I just saw the doctor. He said I won’t grow much more. I’m going to be like this for the rest of my life.”
I truly didn’t know what to say.
“So, what ever you want, just name it. I’ll do anything. Money? I’ll get it. You want a blow job? I can do that, too. Just name it.”
At first I was going to make up some big, elaborate lie, but looking at that desperate kid, I just couldn’t. “I’m sorry,” I stammered. “I’m not on anything. I grew like that because it’s in my genes; it’s a genetic condition.”
It almost broke my heart to see the hope die on that little kid’s face. I sincerely wished there was something I could do to help him, but there just wasn’t.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Colin, Colin Jones.”
“Well, Colin, if I ever see or hear of anything that can help you safely, I’ll let you know.”
“Thanks. But the doctor already said there wasn’t anything anyone could do.”
“Doctors don’t always know everything.”
“Yeah, they do.” And then with his head hanging, Colin slumped slowly out of the bathroom.
I felt awful. I knew the hell that kid was going to go through in the next four years. It wasn’t going to be pretty. I thought about asking Professor Grant if there was anything he could do. Then I thought about Charles. His dad was an Endocrinologist. He might be able to help.
Then it hit me. That’s where Charles was getting his stuff, from his dad. It had to be. Suddenly I wanted to talk to Charles very badly and it wasn’t just poor Colin I was thinking about. Second period was almost up and I knew third period was free for Charles, like it was for me.
But I needed to talk to Veronica, first. I had double booked myself for fourth period and I would need her help. If I hurried, I could catch her before she went into Art history.
The trip through the halls was torture. Everyone was giving me a wide berth. Not that I blamed them. I was noticeably larger than I had been just last period when I had lowered Joe from the flag pole in front of half the school. That had to be scary for them. But that wasn’t the worst of it. Each and every person I passed had some physical attribute that I found mind blowingly attractive. I got hard quickly and stayed that way, and my shorts were now so tight, and my member had gotten so large, it was impossible to hide. I was quite literally a walking hard-on.
Reactions were mixed. Some people were repulsed, but even more of them looked turned on, my pheromones no doubt. A few looked at me with an expression that was akin to ravenous hunger. I thought they might just leap at me. If they had, I don’t know what I would have done. My libido was turned up to full and any proposal would probably have been immediately accepted. One girl flashed me as she passed and I almost lost control there and then.
But finally I made it to the Art History room. I decided to wait for Veronnica outside. I pulled off my knapsack and strategically placed it in front of my crotch. I tired to look like I was just holding it that way casually but I don’t think anyone was fooled.
“Is that your biology book or are you just glad to see me?” said Veronica as she came up on me and slapped my knapsack. As it collided with my member three kinds of pain and pleasure shoot through my synapses. In my present state it was almost enough to make me climax.
“Veronica,” I said, “you’re prodding a sleeping tiger.”
“I am?” she asked in mock surprise as she reached behind the backpack and grabbed hold of my caged animal.
It was like someone flipped a switch. Before I knew what I was doing, I had grabbed her, picked her up, pinned her against the locker and was kissing her with unrestrained passion. Lights were flashing, bands were playing and our tongues were dancing with reckless abandoned. I was no longer conscious of where I was. There was only me and Veronica and my unchained lust. Keeping her suspended with one hand I used my other hand to reach for her blouse. Dimly, I became aware of something, some slight sensation. Then I realized Veronica was pounding on me, giving it everything she had. It barely registered. I pulled my self back to the here and now, and collecting the last shreds of my will power, I lowered her to the ground.
“What the hell was that?” she gasped.
“Sorry,” I said, and I explained to her about my hyper libido.
“There’s a time and a place for everything,” she said. “But right in the middle of the hall?”
“Sorry. I’ve been fighting it all morning and when you grabbed my cock, I just lost it.”
“Well, keep a handle on it, mister, at least until we’re somewhere dark and private. And then we can explore a lot of new territory.” She reached up to grab my arm but I stopped her.
“Better not,” I said.
“Wow, you really are on the edge.”
“More than you could possibly know. I need you to do me a favor.”
“My mom is stopping by next period with the anti-pheromone goop. Could you meet her in front of the school and pick it up?”
“And where are you going to be? I thought the big rumble wasn’t until 5th period.”
“You know about that?”
“Everyone knows about that. I hope you kick that asshole’s butt.”
“I’ll try but I’m not exactly the odds on favorite.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
“Geoff seems to think I need fighting lessons.”
“Geoff needs to be picked up and pinned against a locker by you—On second thought, forget I said that.”
“I think I’m going to need you to substitute the goop for the chocolate pudding, too.”
“Me, on my own?”
“If you need help, ask my brother, Joe. He’s going to be meeting my mom, too. He may not be much help with the sneaky stuff, but he’s great at causing distractions.”
“Ok, but you owe me.”
She reached out for my package and I jumped back so fast, I dented the locker behind me.
“Sorry, I guess I forgot,” she said half giggling.
“’s’ok,” I said slowly backing away. “I better get going now. See you at lunch.”
And now I was off to find Charles. Everything being equal, my best bet would be to go to the library. On most days I would find him in one of two sections, either science fiction or science fact. But everything was not equal, and today was nothing like most days. I decided to bypass the library altogether and play a hunch. I knew something about what Charles was going through, having gone through something similar myself just a couple of days ago. I decided to head for the weight room.
As I reached the door, I paused. I was half afraid I’d find the other half of the football team inside. My pheromones were still out of control, and it was just possible I could provoke a sequel. But I had to risk it. I pushed open the door and went inside.
I was both wrong and right. The football team wasn’t there but Charles was. He was sitting shirtless on the same machine I had first tried to use; only he seemed to know what he was doing. You put your forearms on those pads? How the hell was anyone supposed to figure that out?
Charles was really exercising his chest. I watched with amazement as his pecs bulged when he worked them. Charles was sweating slightly. I could see his skin glisten under a fine coat of dark hair that dusted his chest and made a trail down the center of his six pack before disappearing down into his workout shorts. Veins were standing out on his pumped up biceps and shoulders as he continued to use the machine. I began to get a little hot and bothered, but I couldn’t let myself go there. I had things to do, things I had to ask Charles.
“Hey,” I said.
He looked over, did one last rep and then released the weights. “Hey,” he replied. “You want to use the machine? I’m done with it anyway.”
“That’s ok,” I said. I had bad memories of that machine and the last thing I wanted to do was climb on it again. “I really just wanted to talk to you.”
“Save your breath. I can already tell you, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Ok, I wasn’t going to get anywhere just badgering him with questions. I decided to try a different approach. “Actually, I want to apologize.”
“You do?” I could tell I had caught him by surprise.
“Yeah. You’re my friend and I’ve been kind of a dick. I’ve had all this stuff going on and I haven’t let you in on it.”
“I’m listening.” He sat down on a bench and looked up at me expectantly. He was still slightly winded from his workout, and I couldn’t tear my gaze away from those hard swollen pecs, rising and falling under that light coat of coarse dark hair.
“Could you put your shirt on, first?” I asked. He gave me a knowing leer as he reached over, grabbed his shirt out of his gym bag and pulled it on.
“Do you remember that sub we had in biology on Monday?” I started. He nodded and then I launched into the whole story. I even told him about my pheromones and the anti-pheromone goop that he had unwittingly tested for us. I could see the lights go on behind his eyes as he connected the bits of the story he knew with the parts I was now telling him.
I finished up by telling him about Professor Grant’s discovery that the growth hormones in meat products were causing me to have growth spurts. I thought it would segue nicely into the questions I wanted to ask him.
“So, now you know my story. What about yours?”
“You already know about mine. You said it in Calculus. It’s a new biochemical compound that stimulates your glands into producing growth hormones and other muscle building agents.”
“Yeah, but that’s only part of the story. You said this stuff stimulates your glands. Isn’t that what an endocrinologist studies, glands?”
Charles paled a little and I knew I had hit home.
“You’re getting this stuff through your dad, aren’t you? Doesn’t he care what he does to his own son? This stuff could kill you.”
“Ok,” said Charles. “This is where your ignorance comes into play. This stuff is not like ordinary steroids. Those are dangerous. This stuff works with your body’s own biochemistry to produce its effects. It’s your body’s own hormones that are causing the changes, nothing artificial. I have seen the results of the clinical trials and it is absolutely safe, no harmful side effects whatsoever. That’s what my dad is working on.”
“And he has no problem with you helping yourself to this stuff every once in a while.”
“Are you kidding? He doesn’t know I’m taking it. He doesn’t even know I know what he’s working on. But he has a lab at home and I’ve seen his notes.”
“He never notices anything missing?”
“No,” he laughed. “I just added four or five liters to his requisition and then intercepted them before they got to him.”
“Four or five liters?” That was it. That was the final piece of the puzzle. It all fit now. It was just as I suspected when I first connected Charles’ dad with the stuff. “It’s you. You’re the one selling this stuff.”
“It’s illegal. You could go to jail.”
“They have to catch me first.”
“The police are already looking for a muscular honor student. Once they clear me, who will that leave?”
“Fuck,” said Charles. “I never intended to take the stuff myself, but then I saw you, and you were getting so fucking hot, I thought what the hell, Ill give it a try. And then my muscles started to grow and I loved they way they looked and felt. I wanted more. Now, I’m hooked. I’m not sure I can stop.”
I didn’t know what to say. I knew exactly where he was coming from. I was kind of hooked on the whole growth thing myself. And if somebody told me I should stop, I think I’d tell them to go to hell.
“Maybe you should stop selling the stuff,” I offered.
“Yeah,” he said. “That would probably be smart.”
“Oh,” I said suddenly remembering, “Could you make one exception? There’s this freshman, Colin Jones. Could you sell some to him? He really needs it. And if you could please not make it more than he can afford.”
“Sure. I guess.”
“Thanks.” I got up to go. Third period was almost over and I was supposed to meet Geoff at The Clearing for my fighting lesson.
“One more thing,” said Charles. “Be careful during fifth period. Gil Stafford’s one of my best customers.”
Well, didn’t that put the frosting on the fucking cake! That’s why he was so fucking strong. That stuff had put muscles on Charles in three days and Gil must have been on it for months. No wonder he could lift cars. No wonder he had overpowered me so easily at Target. How strong was this guy? Come to think of it, I’d never seen him without his shirt. He was always wearing that loose football jersey and that baggy jacket, even indoors. He could be inhumanly huge under there; in fact, seeing the way this stuff worked, he probably was. Did I even have a chance of beating him? Maybe Geoff was right. Maybe I was going to get my ass kicked in front of half the school.
My next period class was Biology, but I was going to miss it. And I knew Veronica was going to miss it, too; so before I left, I asked Charles to take very careful notes for us.
“I always take very careful notes,” he replied.
“Thanks,” I said.
“Will you be at lunch?” he asked.
I nodded and left.
Lunch was between forth and fifth periods. I was already hungry and I began to contemplate how much meat I could get my hands on in the school cafeteria. I didn’t have a lot of cash with me, but I figured I could buy at least three cheese burgers. I wondered how much growth I could get out of that and if it would hit me in time to do any good. Well, there wasn’t much I could do but hope for the best.
I made my way out a side door and headed for The Woods. It was a little overcast and the temperature was cold. I had noticed that the cold was affecting me more than it ever had before. I suspected it was because I now had so little fat on my body. I decided to jog out there to work up a little heat. It felt great and soon my jog had turned into a run. My new muscular legs carried me swiftly across the football field and into the woods. A week ago, I’d have been panting like crazy. Not today. It didn’t even faze me. Being strong was great.
When I got to The Clearing, Geoff was already waiting. He grinned when he saw me.
“Ready to learn to kick some butt?” he called as I approached.
“You seem happy,” I called back.
“Things are working out,” he said. “Gil’s in for a surprise.”
“What do you mean?” I said walking up to him.
“Jeeze, you grew again,” he said looking at me—actually he was looking up at me. Holy fuck, I was bigger than Geoff! Not just taller, but broader, too. I started to get hard—not much of an occasion under the current circumstances, but definitely worth mentioning.
“Yeah,” I answered. Now I was comparing our bodies. He was wearing a heavy long sleeve shirt on top of a tee shirt so it wasn’t easy.
“You might want to take that shirt off,” I said. “You don’t want to get it dirty.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right.” he said. He removed his outer shirt and hung it on a branch. All he wore now was a tight t-shirt. I could see his biceps clearly; they filled his sleeves, even when relaxed.
Mine were bigger.
I started grinning. I couldn’t help myself. I was bigger than fucking Geoff! I remember when his arms had seemed huge to me. I remember thinking of his right arm as the rock of Gibraltar. But now mine was bigger. Rock of Gibraltar meet Mount fucking Everest! I was getting even more aroused. I pulled off my shirt. I wanted to get into a flexing competition with him. I already knew I’d win. That’s probably why I wanted to do it so much. But I didn’t know how he’d react. And even though I knew I was probably bigger than him all around, I still really wanted a better look at his abs and his chest.
“Maybe you should take the t-shirt off, too.” Thanks to my tight shorts I couldn’t hide how I was feeling and I’m pretty sure Geoff noticed.
“Nah, that’s ok,” he laughed. “If the shirt gets too dirty, I’ve got another one in my locker. Besides, I’m really here to teach you a couple of things about fighting. I think maybe we should stick to that.”
“Ok.” But I was still going to get that t-shirt off of him, somehow.
“The first thing you have to do is learn how to fall,” said Geoff.
“How to fall? I know how to fall. It’s getting Gil to fall that’s the problem.”
“I know, but the odds are at some point, you will fall. You have to know how to lessen the impact and get back to your feet quickly. Now watch.”
He fell backwards slapping the ground with his arms as he hit. I tried to pay attention to what he was doing but all I could see were those pectorals flexing under his shirt as he slapped the ground. I really had to get myself under control. I knew my libido was in overdrive, which meant it was going to take every ounce of will power I had to concentrate on what Geoff had to teach me. Of course I could always do that even if he wasn’t wearing his shirt, right?
“See?” he said. “You slap the ground with your arms to absorb some of the impact. Watch again.” He got up and did it again. This time I got a better look at what he was doing. “Now you try.”
So I did. I let myself fall backwards and I slapped the ground. But my timing was off and I wound up hitting my head on the solid earth. “Ouch!”
Geoff laughed, not unkindly. “That was a pretty good first try. Next time, just don’t bang your head.”
“I’ll try to remember that,” I said as I pulled myself to my feet. I tried it again and even though my timing wasn’t great, I managed to keep from banging my head. A couple of more times and I had it.
Then Geoff showed me how to move, the proper way to make a fist, a couple of different punches, and how to anticipate what your opponent was going to do by reading body language. I had no idea fighting was such a complicated thing.
And my self control kept slipping. I’d find myself staring at his bicep or watching his forearm bulge as he made a fist. I kept reigning myself in, but when he started agilely jumping and dodging around during his demonstrations, I got so fucking horny I could hardly see straight. And I wasn’t the only one. I noticed Geoff watching me, and not with the eye of a coach. It was driving me crazy. I desperately wanted to get that shirt off of him. It was all I could think about and I devised a plan to do it.
“Could you show me how to throw someone?”
“I don’t know if you’re ready for that yet.”
“Then I guess you can show me at our lesson next week.”
“Ok, ok,” he laughed, “but it’s kind of hard to do without someone to demonstrate on.”
“Demonstrate on me.”
“Then how are you going to see how it’s done?”
“I’ll pay close attention.”
“Alright,” he said, taking a stance, “come at me.” And I did. I ran at him and just as I reached him, I felt him grab me and use my own momentum to fling me through the air. But at the last second I reached out and grabbed a handful of his t-shirt. I was immediately rewarded with a loud tearing sound, and as I hit the ground, I could feel the warm cotton still entwined within my fingers. I sat up and looked back. Geoff was looking down at his exposed torso in bemused shock.
“You tore off my shirt,” he said half laughing. “I can’t believe you tore off my shirt.” But I had, and I was glad I had. His body was a fine sculpture, like something by Michelangelo, only more muscular. He may not have my bulk, but he had a grace and beauty that size alone could not provide.
“I’ve never had anyone tear off my shirt before. I mean I’ve done it once or twice myself, but never anyone else. It was actually kind of hot.” I loved the way he wasn’t fooled for a second. He knew it was intentional and he was getting off on it.
“Want it back?” I asked waving the rag in the air.
“We’re supposed to be teaching you to fight.”
“No more boxing. How about a little wrestling? I bet you can’t pin me.”
“You’re not really in my weight class anymore, but what the hell?” And then he was on top of me. He went for the quick pin, but I saw him coming and rolled out from underneath him. Before he could recover, I got on top of him. He grabbed my arm and in a move, I still don’t understand, he flipped me on my back and leapt on top of me. For a moment, I held him off with my arms. His warm, hard chest was pressing against my palms. I could feel the beating of his heart, the rapidness of his breath as he struggled to overcome me. I’d never been so aroused. I looked at my bulging arms and I knew I could hold him off for a while yet. But I didn’t want to. I let go and in an instant his chest was pressing against mine, forcing my back into the ground.
I was pinned and he should have been counting but he wasn’t. He was staring me right in the eye and I was staring right back. In a second he leaned in and kissed me. The lust demon was breaking his chains but I held him back. The time was not yet right.
“I win,” he said, breaking away and letting me up.
“How about a rematch?” I asked.
“On one condition,” he grinned. “We do it the way the ancient Greeks did.” Woah, Geoff had an unsuspected knowledge of ancient history.
“I’ve always loved the classics,” I said kicking off my shoes and stripping off my shirt, shorts and underwear. It was a little cold, but my solider was still standing at full attention, and as Geoff dropped his pants, I was gratified to see that his was, too.
“You know why the Greeks used to wrestle naked?” asked Geoff.
As it happened I did, but I decided to let Geoff have his moment. “No, why?”
“Because they only wanted men competing.”
And then he was on me. He was warm and hard and powerful as he knocked me to the ground with a full body tackle. The impact stole some of my breath and Geoff tried to take full advantage of it. But he couldn’t—unless I let him. This was the moment when I realized just how much stronger I was than Geoff. It was one of those moments that just seem frozen in time, a moment when you realize that the world has fundamentally changed forever and that it will never be the same again. I thought about pressing home my advantage but decided against it. I was having too much fun.
For a few moments we were locked together, rolling around on the ground, each trying to get the upper hand on the other, grunting, laughing, trash talking, as we went. There was a kind of playfulness, a joy in the pure physicality of our two strong, muscular forms, tossing each other around. The feel of him naked, strong and hard, under my fingers each time I sought a hold on him was both erotic and exhilarating. I didn’t want to win, at least not quickly, and I didn’t want it to be obvious that I wasn’t trying. But it was never really a problem. I may have outweighed Geoff, but he knew moves they didn’t cover in gym class. He was putting up a good fight and I was glad. I wanted this to last.
Finally, Geoff flipped me on my front and tried to mount me and that’s when the demon broke loose. I bucked wildly and threw him off. Catching him by surprise, I flipped him on his front and tried to mount him. But he threw me off and our struggle began again, only now it wasn’t so playful.
The eroticism remained but the lightheartedness of our match had been replaced by something else, something darker, something primal.
The kid gloves were off, now. Neither of us was fooling around anymore. One of us might have been seriously hurt. How we avoided it, I’m not sure. But in the end, Geoff’s superior skill was no match for my greater strength and weight, and I pinned him face down. I yelled with a savage joy. I had beaten him, more than that I had conquered him and I claimed my prize. I entered him. And then we were both yelling at the top of our lungs. Whether it was the arousal, or the fight, or some strange combination of both I couldn’t say. But I felt amazing, untamable, powerful, and triumphant. And the orgasm went far beyond mere pleasure. It felt primitive, bestial; it was not a civilized feeling, but it was the most incredible thing I had ever experienced.
When it was over, I rolled off Geoff and sat on the ground, breathing hard. The lust demon had retreated and I felt more like my old self again. Geoff pulled himself up and sat across from me. I could see that despite his position on the bottom, he had also climaxed. Good.
“You really have gotten pretty fucking big,” he said.
“And I don’t think I’m done yet,” I replied, still feeling a little cocky (if you’ll excuse the expression).
“Still no idea how big you’re going to get?”
I shook my head.
“Well, I think you might be a little too big for me already.”
“What do you mean?”
“Not that I didn’t enjoy myself. Obviously, I did. But, I don’t know—” he paused. “For a few minutes there, I felt, I don’t know, like a girl.”
“A girl? You’re nothing like a girl.”
“I don’t mean the tits and the cramping; Just, I don’t know, out of control, like I wasn’t the one in charge.”
Well, for a few minutes he wasn’t. I was. And I had liked it. A lot. But I had the good sense not to say so.
“What are you trying to say?”
“You’re a great guy, and I hope you beat the crap out of Gil Stafford, but I don’t think I can do this again.”
Wow. I had the feeling I was being dumped. Not that our day-old relationship had ever been formalized in anyway, but the feeling of loss was definitely there.
“It’s nothing you did. It’s just me. I’m just not cut out to be on the bottom. I don’t think I could ever get used to it and I have a feeling with you, the way you keep growing, I’d have to. I hope, you know, we can still stay friends,” he said.
“Sure,” I said, uncertain what else to say. I liked Geoff, a lot, and I knew where he was coming from. I didn’t think I would like the bottom permanently either, especially after today. Maybe we could alternate, but then I realized almost as soon as I thought it, that that would never happen. I wouldn’t be able to hold myself back. It really wasn’t going to work between Geoff and me. Maybe it was for the best. It would certainly make Veronica happy.
And then we got up, and started brushing ourselves off. We were covered dirt, grass and bits of dead leaves.
“It might be a good idea to grab a shower before lunch,” said Geoff.
“Yeah,” I agreed but then I remembered yesterday’s shower. I think we both did. And suddenly things were awkward. We finished putting our clothes on in silence. But Geoff finally spoke as he finished buttoning up his shirt.
“Since you destroyed my t-shirt, I really should make you give me yours in exchange, except,” he said with a half grin, “it’s got to be the ugliest fucking thing I’ve ever seen.”
“That’s too bad,” I replied. “Because the main reason I tore your shirt was to get you to take mine off my hands.” We both laughed and that lightened the mood a little.
As we walked back to the school I told him about Joe buying it for me and how he thought it was the coolest shirt in existence.
“You’re brother must be the biggest dork on the planet,” said Geoff.
“Nah,” I said smiling, “considering my size and the fact that I’m actually wearing the thing, I think that title goes to me.”
“You know,” he said, suddenly stopping in his tracks, “it’s too bad you’re so damn big, because you are eminently fuckable.”
“And may I return the compliment and the caveat?”
“If you can say “eminently”, I should be able to say “caveat.”
“You’re right. You are the biggest dork on the face of the planet,” he said, laughing. I punched him on the arm for that one. Then he nailed me on the left pec and took off running.
“I bet I’m still faster than you,” he called as he sped toward the door.
“Oh yeah? We’ll see about that.” I took off after him, but he was right. He was still faster than me. And you know something? I was glad.
Lunch had already started, so we rushed through our showers. Maybe it was for the best, because there wasn’t time for any sentiment. As we quickly pulled our clothes on, it occurred to me to ask Geoff a question that had been plaguing me.
“How big is Gil?” I asked.
“He’s pretty big.”
“I bet. You know he’s on that new stuff.”
“You sure?” This didn’t seem like a huge surprise to Geoff.
“I talked to his supplier.”
“Seriously? Who is it?”
“I really shouldn’t say, but he told me Gil’s been on it for a few months now.”
Geoff shook his head. “I should have guessed. Early in the season, I noticed he’d been making some impressive gains. I asked him if he was on steroids but he denied it. Shortly after that he stopped showering with the team. He’d show up for practice already in his uniform and he’d leave that way.”
“That didn’t make you suspicious?”
“Sure it did. I watched for the telltale signs: Acne, temper fits, but he didn’t have any of them.”
“With the new stuff, he wouldn’t.”
“So you don’t have any idea how big he really is?”
“I haven’t seen his muscles, but I’ve seen what they can do on the field and—”
“And I’m worried about you.”
“You still don’t think I can win.”
He slowly shook his head. “But you won’t make it easy for him, and with bullies, sometimes that’s enough. You could make a difference even by getting your ass kicked.”
I know Geoff was trying to help, but for some reason, I really wanted to be the guy kicking Gil’s ass and make my difference that way.
“Still,” he continued, “it won’t quite be the slaughter Gil’s expecting it to be. I made sure of that.”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t worry about it. You’ve got enough on your mind.”
I decided not to push it because I really didn’t want to listen to any more predictions of my defeat.
We finished dressing and hurried toward the cafeteria. Lunch was already three quarters of the way through. If I didn’t hurry up and get my cheeseburgers, they’d stop serving and I’d be SOL. And today of all days I could not afford to let that happen. While Geoff headed for the school lunch line, I rushed up to the grill and ordered my three cheeseburgers. But the cook just shook her head.
“I’m sorry; we’re all out of hamburger meat.”
“What?” This was horrible!
“I don’t know what happened; we just had a run on them today.”
“What else do you have?” I’d even take some hot dogs.
“We’ve got some veggie burgers.”
I made a dash for the school lunch line, but it was closed. Geoff was coming out shrugging his shoulders.
“They closed early, Something about a bad smell.”
A bad smell? Oh my God! The anti-pheromone goop, it smelled like shit. Wasn’t that just perfect! I had been closed off from any meat and it was my own damn fault! Crap!
Geoff saw a couple of his football buddies; they were waving him over. He started toward them, but I put my hand on his shoulder and stopped him.
“Hey, why don’t you hang with us today?”
“Ah… I don’t know—”
“Oh, come on, call it my last request.”
He thought about it for a second, and then he grinned and shrugged. “What the hell. I just gotta tell them what’s up, and I’ll be right over.”
“Ok, great.” As Geoff headed for his buddies’ table, I did a quick survey and spotted Veronica and Charles—and Joe. That was interesting. Joe had never eaten with us before. He and Charles were huddled together on one side of the table. They seemed to be completely enthralled by their conversation, and the looks they were giving each other—furtive glances that ran up and down the other’s body. Charles flexed his bicep and Joe reached over and grabbed it; he obviously liked what he felt. Hmm, Charles and Joe. Actually, I could see that working.
Then I heard a cry, “No! Stop!” It was all too familiar. Some poor kid was on the receiving end of some bully’s attention. It didn’t take me long to spot. It was poor Colin. Some beefy sophomore was trying to stuff him into a trash can, and the poor kid was thrashing wildly, doing everything he could to avoid that fate. But he was fighting a losing battle. It was obvious, especially to the sophomore, who looked like he was having the time of his life tormenting the tiny freshman. I was enraged. In two seconds I was standing behind them. I put my hand on the sophomore’s shoulder, squeezing it. He turned around and saw me, the smile evaporating from his face.
“Put him down,” I said. For a second he froze. “Now!” I emphasized.
The sophomore put Colin down and the little guy backed away.
“You like garbage?” I asked.
“What?” he said. “No.”
“That’s too bad,” I responded and I picked the guy up by the shoulders. I knew he probably weighed about two hundred pounds, but he was easy to lift. I paused for a moment, giving him a chance to struggle. I wanted him to struggle. When he fought against me, I could feel the incredible strength in my arms. I could feel my powerful biceps contract under my skin. It felt awesome to completely dominate him with so little effort. He didn’t have a chance and I wanted him to know that. So I let him struggle for about a minute before I turned him upside down and stuffed him in the same trash can he had intended for Colin.
The can tipped over and the sophomore quickly pulled himself out. He was covered with the remains of dozens of school lunches.
“Never again,” I said. “Is that understood?”
He nodded quickly and then scampered off.
Colin stood there with a small grin on his face as he watched the sophomore disappear into the crowd. “Thanks,” he said.
“Well, don’t get used to it,” I said. “You’re going to have to start doing this for yourself.”
“Yeah, right,” he said, slumping.
“Why don’t you come eat lunch with us,” I said. “There’s someone I want you to meet.”
Colin shrugged and I told him to follow me.
As I made my way over to our table, I noticed there were a bunch of shiny things piled up in the center of the table. Are those—? They couldn’t be. They were! They were cheeseburgers, all wrapped up in foil.
“What’s this?” I asked, dumbfounded.
“People kept stopping by and asking about you, wishing you luck in the fight,” said Veronica, smiling.
“They kept asking if there was anything they could do,” added Charles. “And knowing your affinity for meat, I told them they could buy you a cheeseburger. So a lot of them did. So many, I guess the grill even ran out.”
I was stunned. But I wasn’t going to let this go to my head. It was great to be so supported, but I was still getting a lot of frightened looks from people. I figured the gesture had more to do with how disliked Gil was than how popular I was—at least without my pheromones.
I introduced Colin around and when I got to Charles, I added, “Remember the guy I told you about earlier?”
“Guy? What guy?” he asked, pulling his attention away from Joe.
“The one I said you should sell to.”
“Oh, that guy. Is this him? Oh, I see what you mean. Yeah, sure.” Charles pulled out a scrap of paper, wrote his address and phone number on it, and gave it to Colin.
“Come by and see me sometime and I’ll fix you up.”
“Fix me up?”
“Charles can help you with your little problem—no pun intended.”
Colin’s eyes lit up. “Seriously?”
Charles smiled. “Sure. Just keep it quiet and call before you come, ok?”
“Yeah. Sure. Whatever you say.”
Good. Now that that was settled I could ask the question that was really burning on my mind.
“How did the whole chocolate pudding thing go?” That question seemed to kill everyone’s good mood.
“The swap went ok,” said Veronica. “Of course, at first I couldn’t figure out how to get the cafeteria workers out of the kitchen so we could pull off the switch. But Joe… Well, Joe managed to do it.”
“What did you do?” I asked turning to my brother.
“I did what I do best,” he replied.
“He stripped himself naked, wrapped his shirt around his face, and then ran through the kitchen screaming,” said Veronica.
“The screaming part wasn’t really my idea,” said Joe hesitantly. “With my shirt covering my face, I couldn’t really see where I was going, and I ran into the stove. I don’t even want to tell you where I burned myself.”
“That’s good ’cause I really don’t want to know,” I said.
“Anyway, the naked-screaming-guy-thing worked,” said Veronica. “They couldn’t get out of there fast enough. After that, making the swap was easy. The only problem came when your brother decided to treat his injuries right there in the kitchen.”
“They had their own burn kit,” said Joe defensively.
“When the cafeteria workers came back, they had a cop with them.”
“We got away,” protested Joe.
Joe chortled. “Did you say BAREly? Nice choice of words.”
“I didn’t mean it that way.”
“I know. That’s what makes it so funny,” he said laughing. Actually it was kind of funny. Nerd humor, I know.
“So, it sounds like it went great,” I said.
“Yeah, except—” said Veronica.
“Except—” said Joe.
“Except what?” I asked.
“Except nobody’s eating the stuff,” said Charles.
I looked around. A lot of the people around me had purchased a school lunch and on each and every trey sat a dollop of untouched goop. Great. What do we do now?
“Hey,” said Geoff as he pulled up a chair and sat down. I introduced him to Colin and then everyone just got silent.
“What’s the matter,” asked Geoff.
“No one’s eating the anti-pheromone agent,” said Veronica.
Geoff laughed. “And this surprises you?”
Veronica just glared at him. I almost wanted to tell her to cease hostilities, because the war was over, but this didn’t seam the right time.
“How do we get them to eat it?” I asked, thinking aloud.
“You don’t,” answered Geoff. “But, didn’t you say there was another way?”
“Yeah, if I rub some of it on them. But then it would take longer to work and might not be as effective.”
“But, it’s better than nothing.”
“Sure, but how am I supposed to rub this stuff on everyone in the school.”
“That’s easy. You get some help.”
“Even with all of us together, it would take at least a week.”
“Not all of us,” said Geoff, “just him.” He pointed to Ryan Evans.
Ryan Evans was a fat slob. If you wanted to hear a word class belch or the latest fart joke, you went to Ryan. He was also known for one other thing, and it was this other thing of which Geoff had to have been thinking.
“You think it will work?” I asked.
“One way to find out,” said Geoff. He leaned over to Veronica’s lunch tray and scooped up her untouched goop in his hand.
“You’re not going to—” but that’s all Veronica could get out before Geoff flung the goop at Ryan Evans. Geoff’s aim was spectacular. The goop hit Ryan directly in the mouth. The poor guy had been in the middle of a sentence when the anti-pheromone agent had made a forcible entry into his digestive system. He spat it out, sputtered and then began looking around for the culprit. Geoff did not make himself hard to find.
Ryan scooped the goop out of his own tray and hurled it a Geoff, who artfully jumped out of the way so the projectile hit a senior sitting at the next table. The senior grabbed his goop and launched it back at Ryan. At the same time, Geoff reached over and grabbed a cheeseburger off my pile, unwrapped it, and sent it flying toward Ryan’s table. But this time, he hit the guy on Ryan’s right. It looked like Geoff missed, but I knew better. The guy on Ryan’s right was now scooping up goop and flinging it at Geoff, who used his dodging skills to draw yet another table into the battle.
As you might have guessed, the other thing Ryan Evans was known for was starting two of the largest food fights Milton Gower High School had ever seen. And he was doing his reputation proud today. He looked like an automatic food hurling weapon the way he rapid fired mashed potatoes and coleslaw all over the cafeteria. It wasn’t long before Geoff could retire. He was no longer needed. Ryan had taken up the banner and the food fight had taken on a life of its own. Half the tables in the cafeteria were now engaged in a full on food war, and I was gratified to note that the weapon of choice was the anti-pheromone goop. It was flying everywhere. You couldn’t be on the West side of the cafeteria and not get hit by some. I was even hit by some. I grabbed a couple of my cheese burgers and ducked under the table. Veronica and Colin were already there. It was a little hard to eat out there in the shit storm.
I wolfed down my burgers quickly, but when I went back for more, I noticed the pile had dwindled significantly. I suddenly realized my table had been identified as an ammo dump, and people had been helping themselves to all the cheese burger missiles they could carry. I quickly snatched up another two just as a swarm of warmongering locusts descended and carried away the rest. It was all I could do to hold on to the ones I had and I quickly ate them before anything else could happen. Oh well, four cheeseburgers was still better than I had originally expected.
The supply of food was quickly used up on the West side of the cafeteria and the battle moved to the East side. Those of us who were not participating came out from under cover and watched as a band of cafeteria workers and teachers tried vainly to enforce a lasting peace. But in the end it was the lack of ammo that ended hostilities.
The entire war had lasted two, maybe three, minutes but the cafeteria was covered with mashed potatoes, half eaten fruits, cheeseburgers and anti-pheromone goop, some of it was even dripping from the ceiling. I don’t think anyone there escaped untouched by the shit-like substance. Geoff’s plan had been a complete success.
“That was fucking brilliant!” I said.
“Oh sure,” said Veronica, coming out from under the table, “in a mindlessly destructive sort of way.”
“It worked, didn’t it?” said Geoff, grinning.
“It’s hard to argue with success,” said Charles.
Veronica folded her arms and harrumphed. And that’s when it happened.
Now Veronica, had ducked under the table at the first sign of flying food, and she had come out completely unscathed, not even a drop of ketchup anywhere on her. But while she stood there, glaring at Geoff with her arms folded, a single drop fell from the ceiling and landed on her wrist. From the look and smell of the substance, it could only have been one thing.
She let out a yell and grabbed a napkin—how she found a clean one, I never will know—and began whipping away at her wrist like a woman possessed.
“No, no, no,” she said. “This wasn’t supposed to happen. I was so careful.” But it was too late. I knew it, and she had to, too.
“Veronica,” I said. “It’s done.”
She looked like she might cry.
“But you never know,” I said. “It might not work so well absorbed through the skin.” But I had to hope I was wrong about that. If it didn’t work on Veronica, that would mean it wouldn’t work on anyone else.
Privately I thought she was better off. It was better she knew how she really felt, instead of being influenced by a biochemical substance. Anyway, it would take some time before it took effect, if it took effect at all.
Suddenly the bell rang. Its harsh tone drove everything else out of my mind. Lunch was over and fifth period began in six minutes. My heart started beating harder. It was time to head for The Clearing.
“It’s time,” I said. I was ready to kick Gil’s butt! I didn’t care what anyone said. I felt strong. My body was thick with muscle; it looked and felt pretty damn powerful. And, thanks to Geoff, I now knew a thing or two about fighting. I was ready to hand Gil his ass on a platter. They were going to be talking about this for years to come. I was going to be a legend, respected by all—or at least I would except for one slight flaw.
I kind of looked like a homeless clown.
The garishly ugly shirt Joe had bought for me was now stained with old mashed potatoes and gravy from the food fight. Not to mention large brown patches from the anti-pheromone goop.
“I don’t mind putting on a show for half the school,” I said to my friends, as we got up from our lunch table. “I only wish I wasn’t the comic relief.” I tugged at my shirt to make my point. Veronica crossed her arms and gave Joe a stern look.
“What?” asked Joe.
“Shouldn’t you give your brother that package your mother left him?”
“What package?” Joe and I asked simultaneously. I would have said we sounded exactly alike except, Joe’s innocent tone wasn’t entirely convincing.
“You know what I’m talking about, Joe,” said Veronica. “And if you don’t tell him, I will, and then any bruises you incur will be your own fault.”
Joe’s eyes darted back and forth between me and Veronica for a second, before said, “Ok, fine, have it your way.” He reached back behind his chair and tentatively handed me a shopping bag from the Big & Tall store. I ripped it open and found a very large sleeveless black shirt and a huge, baggy pair of black cargo pants. I almost wept; they were so beautiful. I don’t think anyone can truly appreciate normal clothes until they’ve spent the day dressed like a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. “I’m going to change,” I said.
“Oh sure,” said Joe, “give up the extraordinary for the ordinary. None of you people have any vision.”
I ran for the bathroom and quickly stripped off Joe’s loud shirt and salmon shorts, and traded them for the black ones. The pants fit fine, and the shirt was even a little loose. I looked in the mirror. Dressed all in black, I looked like a real bad ass. All I was missing was the studded belt. But my bulging bare arms more than made up for it. Now, that was an image I could go into battle with. I flexed in the mirror and watched my biceps expand and grow their peaks. There was no fat on these puppies. Every vein and striation was visible. They looked and felt incredibly powerful. I had to remind myself once again that these were really my arms, really my biceps. I ran my left hand over my right gun. It was like stone. This was not my imagination. My ponderous arms were two hard, solid facts. Fuck yeah!
As I walked out of the bathroom I thrust the bag with the clown outfit into Joe’s hands. “A souvenir,” I said. He sighed and looked sulkily into the bag.
Veronica obviously liked the new outfit. As she looked up at me for a minute, I thought she was going to start drooling. “We are going to The Clearing for the wrong reason,” she said.
“Amen,” said Charles. He was staring, and it looked like a little saliva might soon be leaking from his mouth as well. Joe elbowed him in the side and it snapped him out of it.
“Of course I liked the other shirt better,” he said hastily. But I could tell Joe wasn’t entirely convinced of his sincerity.
“Dude, you look fucking scary,” said Colin.
Good. I wanted to look scary. Then it suddenly hit me. I had never wanted to be scary before. But now I did. I wanted to inspire fear—mostly in Gil Stafford—but now I also realized I wanted other people to be afraid of me, too. Not in a run-away-in-terror kind of way, just in a way that would keep people from fucking with me. Not that anybody had recently, probably because they knew I could rip them in two. And with these arms, there weren’t many guys at school I couldn’t rip in two. And I have to admit, I kind of liked that thought.
“Where’s Geoff,” I asked, suddenly realizing that my coach wasn’t anywhere in sight.
He said there was something he had to take care of. He’s going to meet us out there,” said Veronica.
A first I couldn’t understand what could possibly be more important than the fight in The Clearing, but then I remembered his mysterious hints about surprising Gil and I guessed his absence had something to do with that.
“I guess we should go,” I said. The others silently nodded and the five of us left the building and started walking across the soccer field toward The Woods.
As I looked around, I saw that we were not walking alone. Kids were leaving the school in droves; some on their own, some in groups of two or three and a few groups were as large as twenty. They were all making their way toward The Clearing. When I had said the fight would take place in front of half the school, I thought it had only been a figure of speech. Maybe not. This might be the biggest fight Milton Gower High School had ever seen. I wondered what the teachers would say when they noticed half their students were missing.
“I want you to know I’m all prepared,” said Joe.
“You’re prepared?” I asked.
“That’s right.” He pulled a small wallet size card from his pocket. “Mom’s insurance card. All ready to give to the ambulance driver.”
Great. “And I suppose you have 911 programmed into your phone.”
“Absolutely. One touch and the paramedics will be on their way.” He paused for a moment and I could almost see the wheels turning in his head. “Maybe I should call them as soon as the fight starts. That way they can get a head start.”
“Why don’t you call them right now?”
“Now? Why would I call them… Oh. Very funny. Ha ha. There’s nothing like gallows humor, is there?”
“Joe, I might actually win this.”
“You just can’t stop joking, can you, even for a minute?” he was sniffing. He looked like he might start to cry. “But seriously, Bro, I’m worried about you.”
“I know you are, Joe, and I appreciate it.” I ruffled his hair. I hadn’t done that in a while. “But don’t let it get to you. I’m going to be ok.”
“I know you will—eventually.”
Ok, this wasn’t getting me anywhere.
“Alright, Beast,” someone shouted. That was more like it.
“Fuckin‘ kill that guy,” someone else said. Why couldn’t I get support like this from my family and friends?
And a third guy called me a freak. Well, at least most of them seemed to be on my side.
As we entered the woods, I couldn’t believe how crowded the place was. The Clearing wasn’t that big. There was no way most of these people were going to be able to see anything, but they still kept coming. And even after it became obvious they wouldn’t see anything, they still stayed.
The crowds were thick, but we had no problem passing through; as soon as they recognized me they spread apart, like the red sea, and let me pass.
In a few moments, I stepped out into The Clearing. Joe, Veronica, Charles and Colin waited for me at the edge. There were people everywhere. The place barely resembled the quiet spot where Geoff and I had had our little tumble barely an hour ago. Although no one was actually in The Clearing itself, there was a solid wall of people all around the edge and the even surrounding trees were loaded with onlookers. Some of the smaller trees were bending under the strain. It was impossible to tell how many people were there and they were all talking. What a noise. But as soon as I stepped out into the open, it died.
I felt a little awkward just standing out there with everyone quietly staring at me. I wasn’t sure what I should do, if I should make a speech or something. I really wasn’t in the mood. Where the fuck was Gil?
It wasn’t long before I heard him coming. “Get the fuck out of my way. What is this, a fucking circus?” said Gil as he shoved his way out into The Clearing. He took one look at me all in black and sneered, “Look, guys, its Jackie-fucking-Chan.” For a second, I wondered who he was talking to, but then, one by one, they started to emerge from the crowd and step out into the clearing. A couple of them were carrying baseball bats. They were his football buddies, about a dozen of them, just about everyone who wasn’t injured in the fight. Except Farley, Farley wasn’t there.
“What the fuck is this, Gil?” I asked.
“Jesus, are you stupid, too? Work it out.”
I worked it out all right. “I thought this was going to be a fair fight—just you and me.”
He laughed. “How would that be a fair fight? You’re either an alien, a mutant or on steroids, possibly all three. Personally, I vote we find out by autopsy.”
And then they all started coming at me, except Gil; he hung to the rear. I didn’t know what to do. Nothing Geoff had taught me had prepared me for this. Maybe it should have. Maybe when he told me Gil fought to win, I should have expected something like this. But how could I? These guys were all as tall as I was. None of them were quite as bulky, but they more than made up for it with numbers.
I decided the best defense was an offence. I chose Jon Grizwald for my attack, and charged. He brought up his arms in full defensive mode. I faked a right to the gut and when he moved to block it, I came up with my left to his chin. Bam! He never saw it coming. Down he went. I turned just in time to see Doug Mattson swing at my head. I ducked and felt the wind as his fist flew through the air above my head, throwing him slightly off balance. I took advantage and nailed him in the gut. He was pretty solid down there but I managed to force some of the air from his lungs, enough to stun him while I hit him with a right cross. Down he went.
Then I felt a stab of pain. Someone had hit me in the kidney. And as I turned, a fist impacted my jaw. I saw stars. But I still managed to keep my feet, and nailed my attacker with a right to his jaw. My punch must have had more power ’cause down he went. But then, there were two other guys, one on my right and one on my left and they just started wailing on me. I tried blocking their punches at first, but I only had two arms and combined, they had four. It wasn’t working too well. Fortunately most of the punches they landed were body shots and my body was taking them pretty well. In fact it felt like the punches weren’t really reaching me, just striking hard solid pads which encased me. When one guy landed a punch right in my abs. It barely got a gasp out of me. What a change from last night.
I started to feel like I might actually have a chance. But then, instead of two guys there were four or five. And the pounding increased in frequency and ferocity, as though my refusal to go down easily had angered them. Well, I was getting angry, too.
I lashed out with my fist and took another guy down. But before he hit the ground there was another one to take his place. And the guys I had already knocked down were starting to get back up, itching for a second chance to pound on me.
I was starting to feel each hit and the pain was getting worse. My body was starting to weaken under the beating it was getting. But I wasn’t through yet! With a right and a left I took out two guys in about two seconds. But then—
AHHH! Agony! Across my back. It brought me to my knees. Must have been a baseball bat. Looked up and got kicked in the teeth. My head snapped back, and then I was flat on the ground. Everywhere, a forest of kicking legs. I tried to get up but another foot in my face knocked me back down. More kicks. In the chest, in the abs, in the face, all over. Pain now, lots of it. Countless sneakers bashing me. Think I’m bleeding. Fading—
And then relief. The assault stopped. Still a lot of pain. Floating on the edge of blackness. A voice, a familiar voice. Who? Turn my head. Shooting pain. Geoff? Not just Geoff. Others were with him. Who? Greg Petersen? Yes, Greg Petersen and Zach Wakowski and Jim Benson and more guys from weight room fight.
“What the fuck is this?” shouted Geoff. He rushed over and knelt down next to me. He was looking at me with horror. I must look pretty bad. “Sorry, I’m late,” he said. I wanted to answer him but words weren’t forming.
“This doesn’t concern you,” said Gil.
“This is bullshit, Gil,” said Geoff, standing up and approaching him. “I’ve got no problem if you want to take him on one on one, but this is fucked up.”
Gil looked down at me and smirked. He hadn’t lifted a finger the whole fight. He’d just sat back and watched. I was really going to hurt him, now—right after I figured out how to move.
“Ok,” said Gil, “I’ll take him on by myself.”
“That’s really brave of you now that he’s half conscious.”
“Can’t help that,” he said shrugging with a grin. I really wanted to smash that grin off of his face. I stood up, but somehow I was a lot shorter than I should be. Then I realized I was only on my knees. But I could still smash that grin from my knees, right?
Geoff looked over at me. The concern was easy to read on his face. So was the anger.
“You fucker,” he said. “I guess I’ll just have to take you on myself.”
Gil laughed. “You? Are you serious?”
“As a fucking heart attack.”
Gil’s grin faded. Damn. I missed my chance to smash it.
“Ok, fine,” said Gil. “I’m a little tired of your fucking holier-than-thou attitude anyway. It could use a little adjusting.” And with that Gil threw himself at Geoff.
Geoff was quick on his feet, so Gil had a hard time landing a blow. But Geoff didn’t. He got in quite a few good hits. They just didn’t seem to affect Gil much. Every time he landed one, Gil just smiled at him. I began to wonder if it was just an act or if Geoff really wasn’t hurting him.
Then I saw Benjy Pierce sneaking up behind Geoff with a baseball bat. I tried to get to my feet but it wasn’t happening yet. Thank God Greg Petersen saw Benjy, too. He went right after him and grabbed the bat. Doug Mattson went to help Benjy and then Zach Wakowski went to help Greg, and in moments it was the weight room fight all over again, only twice as big, and I was trapped in the center of it, barely able to move.
I watched the fight intently—not that I had much choice. Some of the guys were on their feet; some of them were rolling around on the ground. It was hard to tell who was getting the upper hand, if anybody was. Then I saw a small figure weaving in and around the battling football players. It was Colin. My mind was still cloudy and I couldn’t quite figure out what he was doing. I kept thinking that any second he would get stepped on and that would be that. But he kept dodging and weaving and making his way… toward me. For some reason he was making for me.
I waved my arm and called for him to go back. But he either didn’t see me or he ignored me because he still kept coming. It suddenly struck me that no normal sized guy could have made it through that battle. It really took someone small, quick and wiry to duck around the warring football players. It took him several minutes, but he managed to make it to my resting place which was kind of like the eye at the center of a hurricane.
“What the fuck, Colin?” I said.
“Charles sent me,” he said, as if that would explain everything.
“You should get out of here before you get hurt.”
“Not until I give you this,” he said, pulling something from his pocket.
“What the fuck is that?”
“Charles said to tell you that since you reacted so strongly to second hand cow hormones, you should try something designed for humans.”
“You’re not making any sense, Colin,” I said.
“I know. That’s just what Charles told me. I don’t know what it means either.”
Then I saw what he was holding. It was a syringe. And then I knew what he meant.
“Don’t stick me with that thing,” I said. I don’t care what Charles said, I didn’t trust that stuff. Besides, even if it was perfectly safe for normal people, that didn’t mean it was ok for me. “My physiology is a little different. I don’t know what it will do.”
“He said you might say that. He said to ignore you.” Colin lifted the syringe but I grabbed his wrist. Good thing I didn’t need much strength to hold Colin off.
“Don’t do it,” I said. “Besides, if Geoff hands Gil his ass, that’ll be good enough for me, almost better than if I did it myself.” Geoff beating him would seriously damage his reputation with his football buddies.
I looked around and quickly spotted Geoff and Gil. Geoff landed a right to Gil’s jaw that would have knocked out most guys; Gil took it like it was nothing. Gil, on the other hand, had obviously gotten in a few good shots. Geoff’s face was red and swollen in a couple of places and he was favoring his right side. It was beginning to look pretty bad for Geoff.
And the rest of the fight wasn’t looking too good either. Most of the guys Geoff had brought with him had been in the weight room fight, and they were still recovering from their injuries. Gil’s buddies were all fresh and healthy. Needless to say, the bad guys were starting to get the upper hand.
I began to reconsider Colin’s syringe. I didn’t like that stuff but I sure as hell didn’t want Gil and his buddies to win. Of course, there was no guarantee it would do anything at all, or if it did, it might not work until well after the fight was over. I mean, there was no sign of those cheeseburgers kicking in.
And then it happened. Geoff tripped. He reached out and grabbed at Gil, probably instinctively, and wound up with a handful of his shirt. Gil leapt back and as Geoff fell, he tore the front of Gil’s shirt right off. The crowd gasped. Oh my God. I had always assumed Gil’s bulk consisted of a good deal of fat along with his muscle, but I was wrong. There was almost no fat on that guy at all. All of his bulk was solid muscle. I mean the guy was still shaped like he had fat. He had that gut sticking out, but now I could see it was made up of large bricks of solid, ripped muscle. And his pecs, which I had always assumed would have that kind of man-tit shape, didn’t. They were huge and round and solid, with muscle fibers clearly visible beneath his skin.
The guy would have been big, even if he’d had as much fat as it appeared, but now that I could see he was all muscle, he looked huge, grotesquely so, like he had been a fat guy whose fat had suddenly transformed into muscle, but kept its original shape.
I think Geoff was just as shocked as anyone else at Gil’s freaky build. At least that’s what his expression said. Gil looked down at him and laughed.
“Like what you see?” Geoff swallowed.
“You and your fucking pretty boy looks,” continued Gil. “Now you see what real power looks like.” Then he reached down and grabbed Geoff by the collar and lifted him off the ground with one arm. Geoff’s arms and legs were flailing all over the place. He landed a couple of blows to Gil’s head but the freak barely noticed. Then it hit me, Gil had just been playing with Geoff all along. Geoff never had a chance against this behemoth. And I’m not sure I did either. What a fucking blow that was.
“Guys,” shouted Gil, working himself into some kind of frenzy. “Looks like we’re going to need another quarterback. This one’s out for the season.” Then he dropped Geoff and grabbed the quarterback’s right arm with both hands. I heard a crack and then Geoff screamed. Fuck! Gil had broken his arm! With his bare hands, Gil had broken Geoff’s arm! Then Gil delivered a swift kick to Geoff’s ribs and sent him flying through the air until he collided with a tree and slumped to its base. He was out cold.
I looked over at Colin. Fire was in my eyes. “Give it to me.”
“What?” asked Colin.
“Give me the fucking shot!”
“I’m not going to say it again.”
And then he did. Colin stuck the needle trough a tear in my pants and into my thigh. I felt the prick of the needle as it entered my skin and then fire, spreading out into my thigh. Then suddenly, intense pain. My body seized up and went rigid. Holy fuck! What the fuck was this stuff doing to me? What if it wound up killing me? But in a moment, the pain faded and morphed into another sensation, a weird kind of tingling. I felt like I had been plugged in, like electricity was running all through me, powering up each and every cell. Suddenly, I felt great. I stood up, no, I leapt up. It was like I never had the crap beaten out of me. I smiled. I could tell things were about to get interesting.
“Get out of here, Colin,” I said. “The eye of the storm is passing.”
“Don’t make me explain it. Just go back to Charles. It’s about to not be safe around here.”
Colin nodded and took off, weaving back through the battlefield, which, I might add, was beginning to look a little bleak. Half of Geoff’s guys were beaten. They lay moaning on the ground, barely conscious, clutching wounded limbs. Their opponents stood over them, delivering solid kicks if it looked like their foe might get up.
Fuck this! No way was this fucking right. These assholes couldn’t win. They were the lowest form of scum sucking life on the planet. How could they come out on top? They couldn’t just go around fucking up whoever they wanted, whenever they wanted, without consequence. I looked over at Geoff lying on the ground unconscious and my anger became a mounting rage. He was just trying to help me and Gil broke his fucking arm.
My fury increased and I began to feel another sensation. Something was building deep with in me, something large and powerful. Whatever it was, it was fed by my anger, and seemed to be using it to build itself. I could feel an actual physical pressure under my skin, building and building, like a volcano ready to blow. And, at that moment, I knew when it did I was going to get huge, not just a little bigger or even a lot bigger I was going to be fucking massive. I could just feel it.
In the space of a couple of seconds, a lifetime of emotions hit me. First, fear and doubt. What did I do? Did I go too far? Will this hurt me? Will I become a freak? What about the long term? Why didn’t I think this out? Is it too late? Fuck! It is too late.
And then I began to feel stronger, not much, just a little, and I liked it. I realized it felt great and I started to get excited. It’s starting. Any second my muscles are going to swell into mountains of hard, solid power. My entire body is going to expand and grow huge, probably massive enough to make my current body look like a child’s, powerful enough to beat the crap out of Gil and not even break a sweat.
Just thinking about that much size and power started to get me hard. All fear evaporated and was replaced by lust, a lust for the strength that I could feel welling up under my skin even as I thought about it. And I wanted it. Fuck everything else. I was ready to get massive.
“Hey, fuckheads, he’s back up!” shouted Gil, pointing at me. There were about six of his fucking apes without an opponent, including Benjy-fucking-Pierce. Yeah, I was going to fuck him up, too. The way I was feeling, I was going to fuck them all up, and then piss on their broken bodies. The change was coming. Any second now. And then they’d see. And then they’d pay.
The electricity within exploded into an insane energy coursing through me, unlike anything I’d ever felt before. Oh, it felt good, better than good, it felt fucking awesome. But it wasn’t just a good fucking feeling; it was starting to affect me. I felt my body start to harden, like every muscle was filling with quick drying concrete. It was bizarre. I wasn’t changing size, but I could feel myself getting fucking heavier.
Benjy came at me and punched me full on in the stomach. I had to smile. I hardly felt it. It was like my whole body was changing, becoming something far more powerful than just flesh. A speeding truck couldn’t knock me over now. Fuck yeah!
“Is that the best you’ve got, Pierce?” I shouted. Benjy came at me again. I could tell from the concentrated look on his face, he was going to give it everything he had.
Thud! It felt like a light tap. My body was just getting harder and harder. It was fucking fantastic! Benjy looked completely clueless. I guess I’d better warn him.
“Better run, Benjy. Better hide.”
Of course I wouldn’t have said anything if I seriously thought he would have listened. And he didn’t. He hit me a third time. But I was even harder now and you couldn’t miss the crack of Benjy’s knuckles as they struck me. He gasped in pain and snatched his hand back, cradling it. My body had already gotten so fucking strong, it felt indestructible. And yet I could tell this was only the beginning. I got a full hard-on.
I looked down at myself. I didn’t look any different but I sure as hell felt different. I literally felt like I was a living mass of stone. A couple of the other guys came up and took swings at me. I didn’t try to stop them. After all, they couldn’t hurt me, not anymore. And, it was way too sweet to stand there and watch those fucking idiots break their fists on me. It didn’t matter where they hit me, but for some reason my stomach was their favorite target. I could almost feel their bones splitting against my steel-like abs. It was fucking awesome.
I was starting to sweat and my breath was coming more rapidly, the usual signs that a spurt was on its way. But Gil’s buddies didn’t know that. Those fucking morons started giving each other stupid grins. I could tell they actually thought they were hurting me.
Now, that was funny.
The familiar heat was building inside me, but now it was mixing with that boiling energy creating waves of synapse frying pleasure. I gasped as the body-wide orgasmic feeling began to build. Too much pleasure, too much ecstasy. My mouth dropped open. My breath was coming in gasps. I began to get lost in the outrageous sensations. I was losing focus, but I couldn’t let myself. There was too much going on. I couldn’t give myself totally over to the experience. But I so wanted to; it was so fucking intense. And it was different this time, too. Instead of building slow and steady, it was hitting me in surges, really powerful surges that nearly fried my senses. But surges or slow building, it didn’t really matter. One way or the other, it was time to fucking grow.
Suddenly I felt a surge in my feet and they instantly expanded. My toes were curling down, bunching up inside my sneakers, pressing up against the canvas tops. Another surge hit, and my sneakers flew apart. I stumbled backwards, barely able to stand, and looked down. My feet were fucking huge. Was there a size twenty? Because those puppies had to be at least a size twenty.
Suddenly, I remembered the crowd. Had anyone seen anything? Benjy and the other five apes were gaping at my feet but no one else seemed to realize what was happening. But from all the signs, they were about to see something they’d never forget.
A rush of energy ran through out my body, engulfing my bones with a charged ecstasy. I began to feel them stretching. I was getting fucking taller! In none of my other spurts had I actually noticed myself getting taller. But this time I did. I couldn’t fucking miss it. I kept stretching up and up, staggering a little, trying to keep my balance as I got bigger and the world shrunk around me. I met Benjy’s eyes and realized I was looking down on him. I watched his neck crane back as he followed my progress upward. His mouth dropped open as he looked up at me, suddenly towering over him. Fuck! I towered over everybody now. How fucking awesome was this? I had to be over six and half feet tall. I was a fucking giant! Everyone seemed so much smaller now, especially Benjy and his little crew. And the look on their faces was everything I could have hoped for, a mixture of shock, confusion and fear. You think you’re scared now, assholes? I thought as I felt the energy surging again. Just wait.
I staggered as the energy shot upward, instantly filling my thoracic cavity. I could feel it flood into my organs, ribs, and spine, infusing them with vitality. I began shaking violently but it felt awesome. Nothing like this had ever happened before. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was definitely looking forward to finding out. The feeling continued to build and build until suddenly my neck snapped back and in one quick surge my chest cavity expanded, more than tripling in volume. My shirt just exploded off my body, fluttering to the ground like so much confetti.
Fuck! I had monstrous bones now, bones that looked like they belonged to a steer. I couldn’t help smiling when I thought about why my body would need such a ponderous support structure. I was pretty sure I knew. I’ve got a good sized frame now. I think it’s time to fill it in.
The energy surged again and I felt it in my calves. I could feel my skin stretch around my thickening muscles as they quickly expanded, filling out and stretching the bottom of the baggy cargo pants, which now hung about half way up my lower leg. There was a second of pressure as my bulging calves pushed out against the rough cloth before ripping their way out of my lower pant legs. They were fucking huge, bigger than I’d ever imagined them getting. It was like someone took a small boulder split it in two, smashed the two halves together side by side and grafted them to the back of my leg. Fuck! I could probably lift a car with these alone.
Benjy was already looking worried. He kept looking from my calves to my face as if looking for confirmation that what he was seeing was actually happening. I smiled malevolently and nodded. The color drained from Benjy’s face. This was going to be so sweet.
The energy surged in my thighs and I could just feel them growing stronger. I pointed at them, drawing Benjy’s attention. I was just being thoughtful. I really didn’t want him to miss a thing.
We both watched my baggy black cargo pants expand and stretch out as my upper legs became massive and powerful beneath them. In seconds, large rents had opened up in the rough cloth exposing several inches of my bulging thighs. Oh, my fucking God, look at them. They’re fucking beautiful, a physical manifestation of raw fucking power. My fucking hard-on became too fucking obvious inside my tightening pants. I thought I would blow any second just looking at my fucking legs. I couldn’t believe how fucking huge I was getting. And my dick, hard as it was, was swelling even longer and harder. It had broken free from my underwear and was snaking its way down the inside of my shredded pant leg, rubbing itself against my enormous granite-like quads. It took all my self control to keep from grabbing it and releasing the enormous sexual pressure my growth was causing. But there were several hundred of my peers watching, not to mention Gil, Benjy and the rest of those fucking apes. There was no way I was going to blow a load in front of them. So I clenched my fists and just watched as my expanding thighs finished decimating my new pants. For a second I thought my pants might fly apart completely, but they must have been pretty well made because stretched to the limit, miraculously, they maintained my modesty.
I couldn’t fucking believe the size of my lower body. I never even imagined legs like this could exist. From the look on Benjy’s face he’d never imagined them either. I looked down and winked. “Pretty cool, huh?”
Benjy’s answer was startlingly loud and high pitched but completely unintelligible.
However it drew everyone’s attention, even the guys who were still fighting. And when they saw me towering over them all, grinning, with legs like concrete pillars, everything stopped. They just stood and stared slack jawed at me.
That’s right, assholes, check me out. These are the legs that’re going to kick your butts into next week. Payback’s coming. You better run while you can.
But it wouldn’t matter. With these legs no one could out run me. The sensation of strength was indescribable. I guessed I could knock down a building with one kick. And my upper body hadn’t even started bulking yet. But it would, I could feel it coming and I couldn’t wait. I wanted to watch those assholes wet their pants as I just kept getting bigger, watch their faces when they saw how huge I ultimately became. And judging from the size of my legs I was going to be enormous.
A chill shot through me as I felt power run into my midsection. I could feel my stomach muscles swelling, forcing my skin to stretch out to accommodate them. The sensation alone was mind blowing. I didn’t really need to see it, but I looked anyway and watched each of my abdominal muscles grow larger and harder, layering themselves on top of each other, meshing together as space ran out and then they bulged even more. I struggled to control my raging hard on as I watched my stomach became a fucking cinderblock wall. It felt fucking amazing. I would dare anyone to hit me there now. They’d have more luck punching through a tank.
And then it was surging in my chest. I could hear a rapid popping as my muscle fibers expanded. I had a close up view as each fiber grew thicker, weaving together with the other muscle fibers swelling outward, growing broader and broader, creating massive, powerful striated orbs which thrust out more than a foot in front of me. They had a ponderous weight. What fucking incredible power I had stretching out in front of me! I could bench press a semi with these fuckers.
“How do you like that?” I called out to the assholes. One of them let out a yelp, turned and ran. They were beginning to understand.
My back surged with growth. Great slabs of rock hard flesh were burgeoning out from behind my rib cage, forcing my arms to arc out at my sides. But my back wasn’t just growing impossibly wide, it was also getting incredibly thick. I could feel the muscles bulging out behind me, under my skin, growing obscenely dense with powerful bulk. And the feeling of strength… I could rip a fully grown tree out of the ground with a back like this.
My traps thrust upward and merged with my neck, which was thickening, becoming a pillar of solid muscle. This is so sweet. I look down at Benjy and his crew and couldn’t stop myself from grinning. They were so fucking dead. That expression sent another asshole running from The Clearing. That might save him for a while. But I knew who he was. I’d find him.
I felt the energy surge into my arms. My shoulders started to throb with power. I grabbed my right shoulder and felt the stone-like deltoid bulge up and expand under my hand, forcing my fingers wider and wider apart as I tried to wrap my hand around the entire muscle, but it quickly became far too massive so I let go and just savored the feeling of growth as they pulsed and surged until they were size of basketballs, and I felt them throb with the force of twin fucking wrecking balls.
Veins, the thickness of rope, rose out from them and ran down into my biceps which began to convulse as pulses of energy began to saturate them. They would bulge and relax, bulge and relax, swelling bigger with each rhythmic spasm. I kept flexing again and again and each time I did, my arms grew fucking bigger and stronger. I could feel the strength in them increasing, the force behind every movement multiplying. I couldn’t fucking believe it. Just when I would think they were done, they would swell a little more. I watched them become ridiculously wide, outgrowing my shoulders and then dwarfing them. And the peaks… The peaks alone were the size of baseballs. So fucking strong, so fucking powerful.
And the energy ran into my forearms and they began to swell and thicken, rushing to catch up with the wrest of my arm. In seconds they became as big around as a normal man’s leg, pulsing veins wrapped around them like vines.
The change was done.
I stood there for a moment and just felt the power surge within me and watched those fucking assholes shake with fear. Oh yeah. This was the moment.
I was incredibly massive now, and I felt strong beyond belief. I closed my immense fists and watched the muscles respond, rippling up my gigantic arm. I could bring down a mountain with that arm. My punch would break stone.
I looked out at the onlookers half expecting applause. What I got was a petrified silence. A lot of people had already fled and everyone who was still there was scared shitless.
Imagine that. Just four days ago I was a little runt that nobody looked at twice. Now, I was a massive muscle giant, far bigger than the biggest guy at school ever dreamed of being, and I fucking loved it. Change is good.
I looked down at Benjy who still stood there frozen to the spot. I smiled. Payback time. “You know,” I said conversationally, “I think I’ve got more muscle in my arm than you’ve got in your entire body. What do you think?” I bent over and flexed my bicep for Benjy. It was larger than his head. “Want to hit me now?” I shouted. “You want to hit me now? Or why don’t you kick me in the face? Here, I’ll bend down so you can reach it. Go ahead. Come on, take your best shot.”
As if my shouts woke them from a slumber, all the other assholes began backing away. I reached out, and with one hand grabbed Benjy, and lifted him into the air high above my head. It was like picking up a cat. Benjy wriggled and pulled as hard as he could at my gripping hand. I could barely feel it. “You’re pathetic,” I said and with a flick of my wrist, I sent him flying through the air about twenty feet. He landed with a thud and did not get up again, even though I was pretty sure he still could.
I flexed my muscles and glared at the gawking jocks, then smashed my fist into my hand—just to let them know what was coming. They started scrambling over each other to get away. But they weren’t nearly quick enough. I grabbed two of them, one in each hand and lifted them up off the ground. It was funny to think that just minutes ago they had been beating me into unconsciousness. I banged them together, and put them out instead.
As I dropped them to the ground I heard a tremendous crack behind me. I had felt something at the same instant, but I wasn’t sure what. I turned around and saw Doug Matson standing there in total shock. He had a shattered baseball bat in his hands. Shards of wood were all over the ground. He must have tried to hit me with it. No, he didn’t try to hit me with it; he did hit me with it, and now it was toothpicks. I was fucking unstoppable! I looked at him and smiled.
“That didn’t work too well,” I said. “Try this.” I walked over to one of the trees, reached up and grabbed a branch that was about twelve feet long and at least twice the thickness of a baseball bat. I had a sudden surge of doubt wondering if I could actually do this. But when I twisted and pulled, the branch snapped off easily and I threw it at Doug’s feet. Oh my fucking God, the fucking power in my fucking body. My dick, which was still pretty hard, came perilously close to exploding again.
I wondered if Doug was having a similar problem because a wet patch was forming in his crotch. But it was just piss. I could hear dribbling as a puddle formed at his feet. I didn’t feel sorry for him at all. I was pretty sure he had hit me with the bat the first time, back when I couldn’t take it.
“Go on, pick it up!” I yelled. “Pick it up and hit me with it!”
He looked terrified but he tried to pick up the branch, but the thing was way too big and awkward—for him anyway.
“Ok, you had your chance. My turn.” I wound up and decked him, trying out the right cross Geoff and so recently taught me. I didn’t even hit him full force and he still flew back a few feet before he hit the ground. He wasn’t getting up either. But I don’t think he had a choice. And there went the last of Gil’s gang. The rest had taken off.
I looked for my friends. Veronica, Charles, Joe and Colin were all staring at me. They looked stunned. I could tell from Charles’ expression that even he hadn’t expected this amount of growth. But, how could he? Besides my friends, there were only a couple of dozen onlookers left; everyone else had vanished into The Woods.
And then there was Gil.
He had watched the whole thing from the edge of the clearing. If my new monstrous size bothered him, he didn’t show it.
“You might actually be worth fighting now,” he said. Who was he kidding? I was five or six inches taller than him now and I had to outweigh him by a couple hundred pounds—all of it muscle. My body was so massive and obscenely powerful, I didn’t care how grotesquely buff he was, he was fucking dead meat.
Gil started walking toward me and I got ready to fucking rip him apart—it wasn’t much of a task.
But I should have known better. By this point I really should have expected what happened next. But my mind just doesn’t work like that—and here’s hoping it never does. Gil reached down and picked up the shattered baseball bat. Suddenly I noticed just how sharp that jagged end was. If Gil were to stick me with it, he could actually kill me. And sure enough, that appeared to be his plan exactly.
He rushed me, but I dodged him. I may have gotten huge, but I could still move pretty fast. Out of the corner of my eye I saw that Gil had turned right around and was about to slash my back. I jumped out of the way just in time. I whirled to face him. No way was I going to let him get behind me again.
We faced each other as we slowly circled around, neither one of us taking our eyes of the other. He took a couple of jabs at my stomach but I leapt out of the way. He wasn’t going for my abs. He was going for my side, where my kidneys were. This guy wasn’t fooling around.
He jabbed again and I made a grab for the bat. He yanked it back and flicked his wrist, slashing me across the palm. I started to bleed.
“What good is your fucking size now, mutant boy,” he taunted me. “All I have to do is stick you with this and you’re fucking dead.”
“Hey, Gil!” said a voice. It was Geoff. I was concentrating so hard on Gil I hadn’t seen Geoff come up behind him. Gil turned and was so surprised Geoff was able to rip the bat out of his hand.
“Stop fucking cheating,” he said.
That was all I needed. Gil turned back toward me and I let him have it, full on, right in the nose. I felt it crunch under my fist. But when I pulled back, somehow Gil was still standing. His hands went right to his bloody, smashed nose, and I started in on his muscle bloated stomach. Right, left, right, left, I kept pounding him on his grotesque abs. With each blow I knocked him back a little more. I don’t know how much I was hurting him, but laying into him felt so good, I hoped he could take a lot more.
Finally I let up on his abs and delivered a bone crushing right cross to his head. It was meant to finish him off, but somehow he was still standing. I followed it up with a left and still he stood there. But he wasn’t moving, just standing there with his hands on his swelling face. Then I realized. He was out, out on his feet. I wondered for how long. I reached out and shoved him in the chest, and watched as he toppled over backwards and hit the ground with a thud.
What was left of the crowd erupted in applause. I looked around for Geoff. He was standing there still holding the baseball bat in his good hand and staring up at me.
“I’d ask what I missed, but it’s pretty fucking obvious.”
“You like?” I asked flexing for him and causing my gigantic bicep to rise up from my arm like a leviathan from the ocean. He dropped the bat, reached out and grabbed hold of it.
“Fuck! That’s not an arm, that’s a fucking mountain range. Jesus! Could you get any bigger?”
That was a good question. I hadn’t considered the idea of actually getting bigger than I was now. I looked up. Charles and the others were on the way over. Maybe he had another shot with him. I was beginning to wonder how big I could get. With Charles’ magic juice, I could probably find out.
“Everybody stay right were you are,” came a harsh voice over a bull horn. It was the police. A lot of the kids took off running. Charles was one of them. Fuck.
I started to follow when the voice spoke again. “Stop! Stay where you are. This is your final warning.” I looked over and saw several police officers, some of whom had drawn their guns. And you’ll never guess who they were pointed at. I decided to take their advice and stop.
In a moment I was looking down at Officers Quinn and Murkowski.
“Jesus, kid, you should have let us help you. Now you’ll probably be like this for the rest of your life.”
Was that supposed to upset me? I did fleetingly think about trying to fight them, but there were a lot of guns drawn, and I was still pretty sure I wasn’t bullet proof.
“Put your hands behind your back.”
I did and I could feel them struggling to fit the cuffs around my thick wrists. When they finally got them on, they were pretty tight, almost cutting into my skin.
I looked around and it suddenly became obvious they weren’t arresting anyone else.
What’s going on?” I asked.
“We’ll discuss that at the station,” said Officer Quinn.
“I’ll call your parents,” said Geoff. I looked over and I could see that Joe was already on the phone. Of course, knowing Joe, he might just be ordering a pizza.
“Thanks,” I said.
I was happy to notice that there was also a small army of paramedics around the place. They were tending to the injured. One of them led Geoff away just as the cops ordered me to start moving.
They lead me through the trees, but it was kind of hard to keep my balance on the uneven ground with my hands behind my back. I was so fucking massive now, I was afraid that if I fell, they might not be able to lift me back to my feet. But the walk was short and soon we were stepping out onto the road behind the school.
That’s when I saw him.
He was an older guy but he looked tougher than shit. He was leaning against a truck watching all the cops slowly emerge from the backside of the woods. When he caught sight of me, he stood up straight and walked over to Officer Quinn.
“Good work, officers,” he said. “I’ll take it from here.”
“Excuse me?” said Officer Murkowski.
“Maybe this’ll explain things.” The old guy gave Officer Quinn a folded piece of paper. I couldn’t see what was on it but it obviously impressed the cop.
“I’m sorry,” said Officer Quinn, “but I’m going to need verification of this. We can settle this at the station.”
“I don’t think so,” said the old guy. “You can hand the suspect over to me right here and now. It’s better for me. It’s better for you.”
“How is it better for us?”
“You’re not really prepared for this suspect,” he said.
“I think we can handle him,” said Officer Murkowski.
“Really?” said the old guy. He reached into his pocket and pulled out one of those fast food packets of pepper, tore it open and then, casual as you please, blew it into my face. Suddenly I sneezed. And as I did my arms jerked spasmodically and suddenly my hands were free and out in front of me. The handcuffs had shattered.
Suddenly all the cops’ hands went to their guns. I put my hands up in the air, the universal signal for I surrender—at least I hoped it was.
“See what I mean?” said the old guy. “Now me,” he said, throwing open the back of his truck, “I come prepared.”
Holy shit! The inside of his truck was all reinforced steel. He had fucking chains hanging from the ceiling, chains big around as my arms, chains with manacles!
“You can’t put him in those,” said Officer Quinn.
“He’s a suspected terrorist. I can do anything I want.”
“This boy is no terrorist,” said Murkowski.
“That’s not for you or me to decide,” said the old guy. “Now do you want to put him in there, or do I have to list you as uncooperative.”
There was a brief debate, but in a moment I found myself being shackled in the back of the old guy’s truck. The door was closed and I was hanging in pitch darkness. I tried to break the chains but they were too strong for me. I heard the engine start and felt the truck begin to move. Was this one of the guys Professor Grant was talking about? Was he going to kill me? Where was he taking me? He couldn’t really think I was a terrorist. I had a million questions and no answers. The only thing I could do was to wait and see what happened.
The truck lurched quite a bit as it rolled along. And since I was chained spread eagle inside it, I swayed with every bump the vehicle hit. I started to feel queasy but mercifully, my stomach appeared to be empty. But nausea wasn’t my only problem; I was starting to get scared. The longer I had to hang in the dark and think, the more convinced I became that I was going to be killed.
The truck lurched to a stop. My heart leapt to my throat. But then we started moving again. I could tell from the movement we were backing up and turning. In a moment we had stopped again. I heard the driver’s side door open and shut, and then the footsteps of the old guy as he approached the rear of the truck. I felt panic rising as he opened the large doors and the sunlight streamed in. For a second everything was a white blur. When my eyes adjusted I could see we were at a motel. The rear of the truck was facing a row of numbered doors and curtained windows. I wondered what was going on.
The old guy was just standing there, regarding me with cold eyes. After a moment, he sat down on the rear of the truck and lit up a cigarette.
“Just tell me one thing, kid,” he said, not even looking at me. “Why did you do it?”
“Do what? I haven’t done anything.”
“Why did you let him activate you?”
“Activate me? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Like hell you don’t. You couldn’t look like that unless he activated you. Don’t try to tell me he did it in secret.”
“You’re not making any sense. Who did what in secret?”
“Bra—oh wait a minute, what’s he calling himself now… Oh yeah, Grant.” He kind of half chuckled. “Professor Grant, what a ludicrous name.”
Suddenly I realized he was right. Grants were something professors—real professors—were after all the time. It was an obviously fake name. Why hadn’t I seen it? But there were larger issues now. “You’re saying Professor Grant activated me? What does that mean?”
He turned and looked at me closely, examining my face carefully, kind of the way a biologist looks through a microscope.
“You really don’t know, do you?”
I shook my head.
“He must have given you something, a shot, maybe, or a pill, or some kind of liquid. You might have even absorbed it through your skin. That was always a favorite trick of his.”
The light dawned, and I’m sure it showed in my face because the old guy smiled. It was not a pretty sight. “Through the skin? What did you think it was, moisturizer?”
“No, he told me he was inducing my second puberty.”
“You shouldn’t have let him, kid.”
“Why? What difference does it make? It would have happened eventually anyway.”
“Is that what he told you?”
Of course that’s what he told me. What kind of question was that, unless—“You mean he lied?”
The old guy laughed heartily; it was not a nice sound. “God, was I ever that young?” he said to himself. “Yes, kid, he lied.”
“You mean if he had never… activated me… I wouldn’t have grown at all?”
“No, you wouldn’t have grown.”
“Ever. You could have led a nice quiet, normal life, never knowing there was anything different about you. But now—”
“What about now? Why is now so different, just because I got a little bigger?”
He looked at me with that microscope look again. “He really didn’t tell you anything, did he?”
I shook my head. I would have shrugged, but the chains made it impossible.
“Kid, you are now the biggest danger to the human race since the invention of the atomic bomb.”
Was he serious? Unless… “What? You mean… I’m going to explode?”
“No, for fuck’s sake, you’re not going to explode.” Thank God. Then what—? Unless… “Professor Grant lied again. I am going to get Godzilla-big.”
“No, that’s not it either… Wait a minute.”
I could hear a car coming. The old guy climbed in the truck with me and pulled the doors nearly closed. He only left a crack so he could peek through it. I heard a car door open and then close, foot steps, a key in a door. Then the old guy threw open the door and leapt out. I heard a brief struggle and then the old guy came back into view, forcing Professor Grant in front of him by twisting his arm behind his back. The Professor took one look at me and all the fight ran out of him.
“You got him,” he said.
“That’s right, Milton, its over.”
“What are you going to do?”
“What do you think?”
The Professor sighed. “Get it over with then.”
The old guy sighed. “Not yet. They wanted me to call in as soon as I had the both of you.” He forced the Professor into the truck with me. “But before I do, I think you should tell him why this is happening.”
“He knows why this is happening.”
“Not your goddamn fairy story, the truth.”
“The truth is you’re too ignorant and backwards to see the future when it’s staring you in the face,” he shouted, gesturing at me.
“He’s not my future, nor that of any other human being.”
“He is a human being!” The professor shouted so loud he almost turned blue.
“That always was your argument, but you’ll never convince me.”
I guess I should have been insulted, the way they were talking about me as though I wasn’t even there. But to tell you the truth, I was riveted. I couldn’t move. Ok, I was chained. But if I wasn’t chained, I still wouldn’t have been able to move.
“Go on, tell him. Tell him what he really is.”
“He knows what he is.”
“How about his reproductive system? Did you tell him all about that?”
“You mean the amped up pheromones and libido?” I asked, now so interested I temporarily forgot my life was in imminent danger of ending.
The professor gestured at me as if to say, “See?”
“That’s just the beginning. Does he know the rest?”
The professor looked uncomfortable.
“I didn’t think so,” said the old guy. “Tell him.”
“Tell me what?”
The professor looked like he would have done anything to be anywhere else, but I could tell he knew he was trapped. When he finally spoke, he was looking at the ground.
“It’s your sperm. I sort of amped that up, too.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“All spermicides endemic to the female reproductive system will be totally ineffective against it.”
“And that’s not all, is it?” prompted the old guy.
“No,” said the professor. “Your sperm is a kind of—how can I put this—hunter/killer. It will seek out the egg, no matter where it is in the female reproductive cycle, and fertilize it.”
I was in shock. “But that means—”
“That’s right, kid,” said the old man, “every time you sleep with a girl, she gets pregnant. Every time.”
Oh my God, Veronica. It was all I could do, to keep a calm face. Inside I was freaking. Veronica was going to have my kid! I was going to be a father and Veronica was going to be a mother and we were both still in high school and what the hell were we going to do?
But I knew I couldn’t let on. I knew Veronica’s life probably depended on it as did my unborn kid. Oh my fucking God, I was going to have a kid!”
The old guy obviously suspected something because he gave me that microscope look again and asked, “You haven’t slept with any girls in the past four days, have you?”
Time to go for the Oscar. “I wish.” I held my breath as I looked him in the eye, trying my hardest to look truthful, whatever that looked like. I thought I was going to explode. Waiting for his verdict was the most stressful sixty seconds of my life. It felt like an hour. Finally he gave a noncommittal grunt and turned back to the professor.
“Tell him the rest.”
The rest? There was more?
But the Professor just stared at the ground and refused to say anything.
“Fine, I’ll tell him,” said the old guy. “If you ever had started a family, the little woman would have been very unhappy if she had any hopes Junior would look like her dad. Because any kid you might have had, would’ve looked exactly like you.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Your genetic information would have been dominant in any offspring,” said the professor, finally speaking up.
“You mean they would have been like clones?” I asked.
“No, no,” said the professor, “that would cause some very unhealthy genetic degradation down the line. Not to mention they would all be boys. They would still have a fifty/fifty gene split between you and your mate and the usual boy/girl ratio. Your genes would just have been dominant.”
“And any offspring his kids might have had?” asked the old guy.
“The genetically enhanced genes would always have been passed on and have been dominant,” said the professor.
“You mean they’d all have had to be activated.”
“No, only the first generation, you, has that failsafe.”
“Are you getting this yet, kid?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “It sounds like my decedents are going to look just like me. So what?”
“Think about it, kid. Soon there’s going to be a whole sub-race of guys who are seven feet tall, weigh five hundred pounds and are as smart as Einstein.”
I wanted to point out that I wasn’t seven feet tall—at least not yet—but I decided that was a detail that could probably go unmentioned. As smart as Einstein? If I hadn’t been in mortal peril, I might have blushed. “It doesn’t sound like a problem to me.”
“Well, it would have been a problem, one hell of a problem. We would have eventually had one hell of a war on our hands; the new race verses the old race, and in that conflict, the old race, my race, would eventually be destroyed or enslaved.”
“Pure speculation,” sputtered the professor. “That’s pure speculation. The so-called new race would have, over time, over a lot of time, simply replaced the so-called old race as it slowly died out.”
“Died out?” I cried. “What you mean completely?”
“He means completely,” said the old guy. “The end of the human race, and it all starts with you.”
Holy crap! He was right. I was a danger to the human race, far worse than the atomic bomb. What could I do? What should I do?
“Time for me to make that phone call,” said the old guy and he closed the door. “Don’t go anywhere,” I heard him say as he locked the door and left.
It was pitch dark again. I wanted to speak but I was so mad and confused and frightened all at once, I didn’t know what to say.
“How you doing, kid?” I heard the professor ask.
‘How am I doing? I’m chained spread eagle inside a fucking truck, about to die, and I just found out I’m the antichrist! How do you think I’m doing?”
“I’d say we’ve both had better days.”
“None of this would have happened if you had just left me alone.”
“Is that what you would have wanted?” I felt him grab my leg. “You like being big, don’t you?” Ok, he had me there.
“Of course you do; who wouldn’t? So, tell me, if you had it to do all over again, if you could magically take yourself back to last Monday, knowing what you know now, would you have let me activate you, or would you have stayed the short, skinny kid on the fast track for Princeton?”
“I don’t want to die. And I don’t want to destroy the human race either.”
“Yeah, well, just for the moment, forget about the whole death thing.”
“The whole death thing is kind of important.”
“Yeah, I know, but just say, you know, no one was going to die.”
I thought for a moment. “If no one was going to die, I’d take the second puberty, no contest.”
“So, what I did for you wasn’t so bad, since you’d have chosen it anyway.”
“If no one was going to die.”
“We always seem to come back to that, don’t we?”
“Well, as I said, it’s kind of important.”
“You can’t stop death, kid.”
“I don’t want to cause it either. Why did you do it? Why do you want to destroy the human race?”
“Kid, I don’t want to destroy the human race; I want to improve it. You are human. You’re every bit as human and I am, as he is, as anybody is. It’s not a question of my race or your race, it’s all the same race.”
I really had to give him that one, because try as I might, I couldn’t quite accept the idea that I wasn’t human.
“You’re just the next evolutionary step, that’s all.”
“This isn’t evolution. Evolution is natural.”
“What’s unnatural about this? We’ve reached a point where we are smart enough to control our own genetic make up. Isn’t the next logical step to use that knowledge to improve ourselves?”
He had a point.
“You’ve seen the inequities of life, how some people are born larger, and some people are born smarter, and some with horrible disabling genetic diseases?”
“It doesn’t have to be like that. We could have a world where everyone is strong and healthy and intelligent. The only thing stopping us is people like that,” he said pointing back toward the truck door the old guy had disappeared through.
The professor’s plan sounded pretty good, but I couldn’t quite forget the Armageddon scenario the old guy had painted. “But he’s got a point,” I said, unable to believe I was about to argue the merits of my own execution. “The strong tend to pick on the weak. That war he described could happen pretty easily.”
“That’s the debate, kid. It’s been pretty much the same for the last twenty years. We were divided. Half of us thought you were the answer to world peace, the other half thought you represented the end.”
“No one. That’s the problem. It’s still going on. If I hadn’t activated you, I’d have lost by default.”
“I don’t understand.”
“If you weren’t activated by the time you turned 18, you never could be. You’d have spent the rest of your life as that puny little smart guy.”
Hey, I liked the puny little smart guy… but I had to admit, I liked the massive smart guy a lot better.
“So you activated me, even though you weren’t supposed to.”
“Damn right, I did. High time we gave evolution a little jump start.”
“You’re not worried about a war?”
“The more I get to know you, the less I worry about a war.”
“You don’t really know me at all. If you knew what I was dong an hour ago, you probably wouldn’t say that.”
I was startled as the door flew open again, and the truck was flooded with blinding daylight. The old guy was back and he looked pissed.
“I don’t know how you did it, but you won’t get away with it,” he said.
“What, you think I’ve been sitting on my ass for the past fifteen years?” sneered the Professor. “I’ve made a few new friends.”
“I’ve already got the holes dug; they never would have found you.”
“Sorry, you wasted your time.”
“Sorry? Yeah you’re going to be sorry alright.” And he slammed the door shut again. In a moment we heard the engine start up and the truck began to move.
“What’s going on?” asked the Professor. “He was supposed to release us.”
“Are you sure?”
“Of course, I’m sure. It was all arranged.”
“And you didn’t tell me?”
“If I told you, Vic might have found out, and if Vic had found out, he might have finished us before he made the phone call.”
“Apparently, he’s going to finish us anyway.”
“Not if you can help it.”
“Do you want to live?”
I opened my mouth to say, “of course,” but paused before I formed the words. Fifteen minutes ago, the answer would have been easy, but now… well, now it wasn’t. What would my survival mean for the world? A whole new breed of human? Was that a good thing? Or would it just divide us further, cause more strife, more suffering. And then I realized the choice had already been taken out of my hands. Veronica was pregnant. The new genetic line would survive weather I died today or not. And if I died, I would have no further part in shaping the future. Vic’s war could happen, but it mustn’t be allowed to happen. If I lived, I might be able to help prevent it; in fact, I would do my best to make sure it never did. “Yes, I want to live,” I said.
“Good,” said the Professor and then I felt the touch of one of his medicated pads.
“Vic never did have much imagination or he would have worked out what these were.”
“What did you just do?” I could feel my temperature rising even as I asked the question.
“I gave you a little boost. Now be a good boy, and break yourself out of there.”
And then I felt it, like an adrenalin rush only a thousand times more powerful. I felt it in my arms, in my legs, in every muscle of my body. It was like pure strength; I was saturated with it, and it was overwhelming me, but it was so awesome, so intoxicating, I willingly gave myself over to it. The animal part of me began to well up. My mind was still there, but it was subdued by the intense feeling of incredible physical power I was experiencing. It was like my muscles had completely taken over, like that was all there was to me now, just heaving, bulging, pulsing, stony orbs of pure power; power was all that mattered, all I needed, all I wanted. I felt it all through me and it was glorious. I was huge, unstoppable, a fucking force of nature, and I fucking loved it. I made a noise. It was low and guttural.
“Stop grunting and get busy breaking those chains.”
I looked down and dimly saw the professor standing there, but he wasn’t really registering as the professor, just some annoying pest bugging me, like an insect. I reached out to knock him away, but my arms were caught. I remembered the chains and I got mad. I pulled and pulled on them but they wouldn’t give. I began to strain against them, giving it everything I had and then a little more. I felt the blood rushing to my muscles as I demanded all they had to give. They bulged up and up until they reached their limit. I could feel my face turning red, the veins standing out on my neck. It was starting to hurt, but I was using my power, and I fucking loved it. It was what I was born to do, what I lived for.
But even though I strained and strained, I wasn’t making any progress against the chains.
Then my body started to react to the demands I was putting on it in an unexpected manor: it began to grow. My massive rock hard muscles, already pumped to the limit, were starting to expand. And as I realized it, I was flooded with a savage animalistic joy. More strength, more power, I pulled harder and harder, harnessing my increasing force as soon as it was available to me. And as I bulged more and more, I felt the chains finally begin to give. At first only a little, but as I continued to heave and pull and grow, they stretched more and more, until I finally heard the metallic clang of a link snapping, then another.
My arms were free. I lost no time in starting in on the leg irons, pulling, heaving, snap.
In a moment I was free. I was still trailing chains but no longer pinioned by them. Then I saw the pest.
“Attaboy,” it said, “I knew you could do it, now come back to me, come on, son.” It reached out to me and brushed me and then my head started to clear. It was the professor and I was in a truck on the way to my own execution.
“What the hell did you do to me?”
“I gave you a little adrenalin boost, and at the same time, shut down your higher brain functions.”
“What the fuck did you do that for?”
“So you could break out of those chains.”
“The growth alone could have done that.”
“You didn’t grow. I couldn’t risk it. You’ve already grown too much in too short a time.”
“But I did grow.”
“No, you didn’t. That was your subconscious playing tricks on you.”
“Then how did I break the chains?”
“You could always have broken those chains, for God’s sake. I mean, look at you.”
“No. I tried. They were too strong.”
“That was your mind talking. It hasn’t caught up with what your body can do yet. It was convinced the chains were too strong, and so your body behaved accordingly. Once your mind was shut off, your body was free to do its thing and you broke the chains.”
“I don’t buy it. I must have grown. Those four cheeseburgers must have finally kicked in.”
The professor sighed. “Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. You broke the chains. That’s what counts. Now we have to get out of here.”
“Let me see what I can do.” I flexed my arms. I really couldn’t see them too well, but I could sure as hell feel them, two titanium hard boulders rising up on my arms. They were spectacular. I figured it was about time my body started educating my mind as to what it could do. I walked to the rear of the truck and checked out the doors; they were steel, obviously locked from the other side. Let’s see what I can do. I slammed the left door with my fist. It buckled. Solid steel and it buckled like aluminum can. I was so fucking strong now. One more punch and it shot out of its frame and went bouncing down the highway behind us. Fuck Yeah!
There was plenty of light now. I looked down on those fucking pile drivers I liked to call arms, and smiled. They were so fucking massive and powerful, I couldn’t fucking believe it. I started to get hard, but this was definitely not the time. We were on the highway, going about sixty mph. I thought about jumping. I might survive, but the professor, no way. There was only one solution: the truck had to stop.
I was still dragging chains. No matter what I planned to do, I knew I would probably have to lose those first. They still looked too big to break, but I’d already done it once. I had to be able to do it again. I sat down on the floor and began to pull. I strained and I strained.
“You want another dose?” asked the professor.
“No. Never do that to me again.”
“You didn’t like it?”
“No. I think I liked it too much.” It was a bizarre, overwhelming feeling of pure animal power. But I was not an animal. And now, more than ever, I could not allow myself to go there. “Don’t alter my state of mind again, without asking first. It creeps me out.”
I went back to the chain. It took all my concentration and will power. Veins were sticking out. Every single muscle I had was bulging to its limit. Fuck, I wish I had a mirror. No, there would be time for that later, if I survived this. I pulled and pulled and just when I thought my veins would explode from the effort, I felt the link begin to stretch; millimeter by millimeter it began to distort. Fuck, I was doing it! I was bending this monster chain! I got hard. I couldn’t help myself. And suddenly the link snapped and I fell backwards from the sudden release. I sat up and looked at the mangled chain. Fuck yeah! Time to do it again. I repeated the process with the chains on my other wrist and ankles, but I left the manacles in place. There was something about having rings of steel wrapped around my gigantic wrists and ankles; I liked the way they looked. It was hot.
You’d think after all that exertion I’d be tired, but hell no. I was just getting warmed up. To stop the truck I would need to get into the cab. There was no access way that led from the cargo area to the cab, so I figured the best thing to do would be to smash right through the front wall. But could I do it? I decided to test it. I went to the side of the truck and let fly with my fist. It went right through, just like it had been cardboard. Next stop: the cab.
I marched to the front of the truck and got ready to pound a hole through to the cab.
“He’s bound to be armed,” said the professor.
“Then you’d better get down,” I said. The professor got down on his stomach and assumed a duck and cover positions like you see in those old ‘50’s movies. I tired to guess where Vic’s head might be and aimed my blow to strike there. With luck I would knock him out right away and there wouldn’t be any gunfire.
Bam! My hand shot right through the wall. Bang! There was a muffled explosion as another section of the wall was blasted away. AH! I felt a searing agony in my shoulder. I threw myself into the corner. Damn! He was faster than I thought. He must have shot back through the wall. And he hit me. I was bleeding. My shoulder was mass of blood. Nothing I had ever experienced had hurt this much. I tried to see back into the cab but I couldn’t from the corner. I wondered where he was and what he was doing. He was probably trying to figure out where I was—and he was probably a hell of a lot better at that game then I was—which means—
I ducked just as the wall where my head used to be exploded into a million shards. I quickly jumped up and looked back through the hole. His gun—it actually looked more like a pocket sized missile launcher—was aimed right at me. But at that instant, he was facing the road, trying to drive with one hand. I grabbed the gun and tried to rip it out of his hand. But with my injured shoulder, it didn’t prove as easy as I thought. He fired again, but I was able to deflect the projectile—I couldn’t really call it a bullet—away from me. Kablam! It blew a hole in the ceiling. Daylight streamed in. What ever happened I couldn’t let go of the gun but damn, it burned my hand as I tightened my hold on the barrel.
Bang! He let off another shot. It went wild but I thought the fucking gun was going to burn right through my fucking hand. I had to get that gun away from him. I smashed through the wall with my other fist and grabbed his head. My hand was so massive, it wrapped all the way around to his face. I felt him bite me, but that wasn’t anything compared to the other pains I was experiencing. The truck began to swerve. No wonder. I was pretty sure I was covering his eyes. He clutched at my hand with his steering wheel hand and the truck swerved some more.
“I crash this truck and we’re all going to die,” he said.
“And if you don’t crash this truck, only me and the professor will die,” I said. “You’ll have to do better than that.”
“Sorry, kid, no deals.”
“Then I’ll take my chances with the crash.”
“Fine. Have it your way.” And I felt the truck swerve violently. I let go of his head and grabbed the wheel. I tried to straighten the truck out by feel but it really wasn’t working. Only one thing to do; I tensed my neck and rammed my head into the truck wall. As I hoped it smashed its way right through into the cab. I couldn’t believe I had actually smashed through a wall with my head. I looked up and suddenly I could see. The only problem was I didn’t like what I could see. A great big semi was barreling right towards us. I heard his horn bellow as I tried to swerve the truck out of his way. He swerved at the same time and it looked like we were going to collide for sure. Suddenly he started to jackknife. His ass end was swinging across the highway blocking it completely. There was no way to avoid him now. The best I could do was try to side swipe him. At least it would be better than hitting him head on.
I pulled on the wheel. Vic tried to force the wheel back, but he was no match for me. I held us on our course until about two seconds before impact. Then I let go, pulled myself back into the cargo area, grabbed the professor and kind of wrapped myself around him. I felt the jolt of impact almost immediately and I was knocked up to the ceiling and then back to the floor. A huge gash was opening up in the side of the truck. Suddenly the professor and I were tumbling out of the rear of the truck and on to the road. I bounced a couple of times. I could feel my skin being scraped off as we slid along the asphalt and finally came to a stop at the side of the road.
I looked back over at the truck. It looked half crushed and half melded into the side of the semi. I unwrapped myself from the professor. There was a lot of blood, but I realized it was all mine. The professor seemed a little bruised and a little shaken, but otherwise unharmed.
I heard a great groaning, creaking noise. I turned back and saw the semi on the verge of toppling over. It was about to crush the truck. Vic was still in the truck. My first thought was serves him right. But then I realized I had to save him. If I sat there and watched him die when I might be able to save him, he would become the first casualty in the war; the war which I would have started by letting him die.
I got up and started toward the truck. I wanted to run but I was in a lot more pain than I had realized at first. My shoulder was a ball of agony and I wasn’t sure there was any skin left on my back. I was starting to feel a little weak; I guessed it was all the blood I’d lost. But I had to hurry. The semi was about to go.
I staggered toward the truck as fast as I could. When I got there, I didn’t waste anytime. I grabbed the door handle with my good arm and pulled. It was jammed. I yanked as hard as I could and the door ripped right off the truck. Damn, I still couldn’t believe I was doing these things. But the cab was empty. There was no sign of Vic. Somehow he had gotten out. I looked up just in time to see the semi coming down on me. Instinctively I reached up with my arms to catch it and try to keep it from crushing me. Fuck! It was heavy. I was straining as hard as I could. I was slowing its progress but it was still relentlessly pushing me down. I was starting to get dizzy and light headed. But I realized if I let this thing come down on me it would probably kill me. I didn’t want to die. In fact, I would do anything to keep it from happening. I’m not sure what happened next. Maybe there was some of that stuff the professor gave me still in my system. Maybe it was the self preservation instinct. Maybe it was even those four cheeseburgers I had for lunch, but I felt that rush of pure power again. Only this time my mind didn’t shut down. My muscles, straining to their limit, seemed to meet the challenge by getting stronger. It was like the more I pushed, the stronger I got. And I liked getting stronger. I began to push, not caring about anything but the feel of my huge arms straining against the unimaginable weight of the semi, drawing power from the crushing force. My legs as they struggled to keep me upright, nearly bucking under the pressure, all the time, gaining more ground, growing more powerful. All other pain vanished. My world now consisted only of my straining, massive muscles and the gargantuan semi bearing down on them. Soon the semi’s downward journey had stopped. I was actually holding it up. Holy Fuck! I was holding up a semi! With that moment of joy, my concentration slipped and the gigantic truck stated coming down again. Quickly I drew my mind back to my muscles and their struggle and soon, not only was I holding it in place, but I was starting to push it back up. Slowly inch by inch, foot by foot, I managed to push the semi back onto its wheels. Fuck! I did it.
I looked up at the truck and grinned. Damn, I was strong. Suddenly the semi shifted. It looked like it might fall again. I got the hell out of there. It was kind of a rush lifting that thing once, but I was in no hurry to do it again.
As I made my way back toward the professor, I noticed a lot of cars had stopped and pulled to the side. The professor was on a cell phone. He must have borrowed it.
The pain of my injuries was coming back now, and something more, a kind of profound fatigue. I guess lifting that semi had put more of a strain on me than I realized. As I got to the professor, I sat down on the ground. Things were starting to spin. The professor looked down at me and I could see the concern in his face.
“Don’t worry, kid,” he said, “It’s over now. Everything’s going to be ok. You’re in good hands.”
That was a relief to know. Suddenly, I was lying down. I didn’t remember lying down, but now I was looking up at the sky and the clouds. My mind started to drift, and in a moment everything had faded to black.
My eye fluttered open and I looked around. I had no idea where I was. It was a bedroom, a very nice bedroom; large with richly shaped, wooden furniture, woven carpets on hard wood floors, fresh cut flowers in a window that over looked a rolling lawn, now brown with the autumn. There was obviously a lot of money in this place. I sat up and for the first time noticed the electrodes taped to my chest. I was hooked up to a heart monitor. I was not wearing a shirt. I lifted up the covers. I was not wearing anything else either.
Fine with me. I stretched and flexed, forcing my massive biceps to pop up and say good morning. Oddly enough there was no stiffness or pain. Shouldn’t there have been?
I let my eyes run down the rolling landscape of my chest and abdomen. I caught sight of the mole I had always had on the upper right side of my stomach. If it hadn’t been for that, I might have thought I was looking at someone else’s body. I was just one mass of ripped, enormous muscles, which I watched undulate under my skin at my slightest movement, and if I flexed they bulged up like they wanted to burst right out of my skin. I started to get hard and watched my manhood swell up to a new and unprecedented size. I guess it went well with the rest of me. Suddenly I heard a loud blipping noise coming from the heart monitor. My heart rate and gone up. I guess that went hand in hand with the hard-on.
The door burst open and in came a nurse. I yanked the covers back over myself, but there was no way to hide my state of mind. I was looking at the granddaddy of all pop up tents. I quickly rolled on to my side, but there was no way she didn’t notice.
“Don’t worry about it, sweetie,” she said, “it happens to all guys two or three times a night, while they sleep. Besides, I’m a nurse. There isn’t anything you’ve got I haven’t already had a good, long look at.” The way she said it, I could tell she had enjoyed her good, long look.
I started to take a good look at the nurse. She was cute. No, she was beyond cute. Early twenties, short, bobbed blond hair, rich brown eyes, pouty lips and her uniform was tightly cut to show off her curves, and man did she have some curves. I soon realized my hard-on wasn’t going away anytime soon.
“Where am I?” I asked.
“So you can talk,” she smiled. Wow, she had a great smile. “I better get the professor.” She unattached the electrodes from my chest. As she touched my naked chest I felt a thrill run up and down my spine and I could see my pecs twitch involuntarily under my skin. I could tell she was enjoying that, too.
“I’ll be right back,” she said, and disappeared through the door.
In a moment the door opened again and the professor came in.
“Good morning, kid; how are you feeling?”
“Great!” I said. “But I shouldn’t be, should I?”
“We induced a small growth spurt to help the healing process along. Worked better than I thought. You’re almost as good as new.”
“A growth spurt? How much?”
“Very minor, no more than ten pounds, no change in height.”
“Where am I?”
“This is a facility owned by my employers.”
“And they would be—?”
“A consortium of biotech firms. They think they’re going to make a killing off of you, or rather the process that created you. They plan to market it. You know, have your own super kid. But with all the laws that need to be passed and the clearances that have to be gotten, it’ll be decades before they can do it. Still, it’ll buy us the time we need to get the evolution ball rolling.”
Hmm, the evolution thing again. I still wasn’t sure how I felt about that. “I want to go home.”
The professor stirred in his chair. “Ah, probably not a good idea. Vic is still out there. He’s been listed as a rogue agent and they’re looking for him, but for the time being, it’s best if you stay here and keep a low profile.”
“What about school?”
“We’ve already arranged a private tutor. You can finish high school here.” That might actually be a good thing. I was freaking people out before my last mega growth spurt, I can only imagine how they’d react to me now.
“What about Princeton?”
“It’s still October. You’re not expected at Princeton until a year from next August. I’m sure they’ll have caught up with Vic by then.”
“What about my family and friends?” To say nothing about Veronica. I hadn’t told the professor about her and I wasn’t about to. I still didn’t really trust him.
“Well, it’s probably better for them if you stayed away, at least while Vic is still at large. Don’t even let them know where you are.”
“Do they have any idea what happened, that I’m alright?”
“I contacted them and told them you were alright. I’m not sure they believed it though.”
“Can I talk to them?”
“I’m sure we can arrange something.”
The door opened and the nurse came back in. “I’m sorry, professor, but its time for his sponge bath.” Sponge bath? I felt myself growing hard again.
“Just give us another few minutes, dear,” he answered. She smile and closed the door again. “She’s something isn’t she?”
“And if you like her, wait till you see the night nurse.” Then it hit me.
“I’m perfectly ok,” I said. “I don’t need a sponge bath. You want me to have sex with the nurses!”
The professor looked a little embarrassed. “Only if you want to.”
“Of course I want to,” I said, “Isn’t that how you designed me? Except, my desire doesn’t stop with women. I bet you didn’t plan that.”
“Ah… no. We didn’t fully understand what we were doing and when we cranked up your libido, I guess we made it all encompassing. Apparently the same thing happened with your pheromones.”
“How many other unexpected surprises have there been?”
“A few,” he said. “But this isn’t really the time and place to go into that.” He stood up. “Well, I’ve got to get going. Plenty to do. Should I send the nurse in?”
“If I have sex with her, she’ll get pregnant.”
“That’s true and she knows it. She also knows that if she does get pregnant, we’ll take good care of her and her baby. Both of them will be very important to us, and to what we hope to achieve. They’ll have nothing but the best for the rest of their lives. Not a bad deal all the way around.” It did sound pretty good. I guessed I’d better decide about the whole evolution thing. It was going to happen. Veronica’s pregnancy pretty much guaranteed it. And I guessed it’d be pretty selfish not to pass on a mind and body like mine.
“Will I be able to see the kid?”
The professor smiled. “As much as you want.”
“Then I’d say I need a bath.”
The professor left and the nurse came back. She wheeled in a large tub of steaming water and a sponge. I could feel myself rising to the occasion. It looked like the professor’s brave new world was on its way.
Well, one thing was certain: when absolutely everyone was built like me, high school wouldn’t be hell anymore.
I sat on the bus looking out the window at the passing buildings. It felt good to get out of that place, if only for a few hours. It’s not that it was unpleasant there. I had everything I could want. There was even an Xbox and a Wii. Not that I had much time for them. The tutors there were working me like a dog. They seemed determined to get me through my Junior year of high school by New Years. I asked the professor about it and he would only say he might have a job for me after New Years, one that I was uniquely suited for. I couldn’t get anymore out of him than that, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t figure out what it might be.
The bus pulled to a stop and I checked my Google map. Yup, this was it. My destination was only a block away. I got up and exited by the side door. I tried to slouch a little to hide my true height. Vic was still out there, and venturing out into the public view meant risking discovery. At six foot eight, I was pretty conspicuous, especially with my build. But they had tailored a coat for me that looked bulky, but it really wasn’t—all the bulk was me. Good thing it was winter. Of course this plan had one flaw and as I stepped off the bus it hit me with the first blast of cold air. The coat wasn’t very warm.
I quickly made my way down the street. Too bad the bus didn’t stop closer. I had to take the bus because the professor made it perfectly clear, that if I was going to do this, I had to make myself as untraceable as possible. That meant no license plates or vehicle make or model that could be traced back to me, or to the institute. It was a pain but I could see the necessity of it.
The building seemed innocuous standing on the corner, the neon sight identifying it as an internet café. I paid the cashier and sat down at my terminal. I was really only supposed to stay at these places for thirty minutes, but somehow I never stayed less than an hour.
I logged on. The professor’s employers had rigged a dummy Yahoo account for me and I immediately went to check my e-mail. Just as I hopped there was one from Joe. I was supposed to pick one family member to contact and Joe seemed like the best choice. We always used his school email address and he was supposed to delete any messages he got from me as soon as he had read them. I clicked the message open and read it hungrily. I was always eager for news from home and I only got these updates every couple of weeks.
Geoff, it seemed, had a new tutor. I’m not sure why he needed one. The football season had been canceled after the incident in The Clearing. I felt kind of responsible but Geoff apparently had no regrets. He told Joe that if he had to do it over again, he’d do exactly the same thing.
His new tutor was a kid named Chris Palmer. I think he was in my English class—kind of geeky. He said he was some kind of a writer, but I never saw anything he’d written. Joe was saying the two of them were spending A LOT of time together. Now, I got it. Oh well, I hope he’s happy.
Gil had apparently just gotten out of the hospital again. There was a pool to try and guess how long he had before he went back in again. The first time Gil, had gone into the hospital was after the incident in The Clearing. Apparently, I had broken his nose, and a couple of his ribs, and bruised his kidneys. If you ask me he got off easy. He was in bed for three weeks before they let him out. During that time, he was completely inactive and had no access to Charles’ magic juice. Needless to say he shrank quite a bit. The first thing he did when he got out was look up Charles. He wanted to make a particularly large purchase. Charles, of course, refused to sell to him. Gil got angry and threatened to turn Charles over to the police.
Now while Gil had been inactive for the past three weeks, Charles had been working out like a man possessed. And thanks to that magic juice of his, he had gotten quite large, more than a match for the reduced Gil. Needless to say, Gil went back into the hospital that evening.
When they let him out a week later, he was greeted by one of his former buddies, who pretty much blamed him for the collapse of the football team. Fortunately, Gil’s old hospital bed was still free, because he needed it again that night.
Since then, every week or two Gil would get released from the hospital, run into someone who had a score to settle with him, and then wind up right back there by nightfall. Gil’s list of enemies was quite long and we figured it would be two and a half years before Gil would be able to spend a night in his own bed. I didn’t feel sorry for him at all.
The real heart rending part of Joe’s letter was about Veronica. Apparently, every so often she would break down crying for no apparent reason. The reason was clear to me. By now she must know she’s pregnant. I wanted to go to her or at least write to her, but that was probably the worst thing I could do. If anyone even suspected I was the father, it could mean a lot of trouble for her. I suppose I could have told the professor about her; she’d have been brought to the institute and looked after. But to tell you the truth, I still didn’t completely trust the professor or his employers—at least not yet.
I sighed and looked at the screen. It’s funny while I was going there, I really hated Milton Gower High School. But now that I was away, I actually missed it. Apparently I had become quite a legend there. Joe was saying with what happened to me and Gil’s muscle bloated body and Charles’ growth, and of course what happened with Colin (but that’s not my story to tell), good old MGHS was getting a funny reputation. Go figure.
Well, my time was running out. It was dangerous to stay here too long. I quickly jotted a note for Joe, wishing him and my family a merry Christmas, and then I logged off and headed back out into the cold. The bus would be by again in about five minutes. Then it would be a twenty minute ride to where a car was waiting for me, waiting to take me back to the institute and my strange new life.