I’m beginning to regret coming to Hunter’s Island for my ex-lover’s week-long gay wedding. Not that I was jealous or anything – sure, Kevin looked hotter than ever (he’s a personal trainer – one of the nice ones, true, but his body is still his best billboard); and his new boyfriend, or I should say fiancé, was, I had to admit, quite frankly gorgeous (in a lanky, hotshot young stockbroker sort of way).
But I wasn’t regretting coming to Hunter’s Island, a picturesque little speck way off the coast of British Columbia, because of jealousy of Kevin and Keith. It was more to do with the fact that I woke up this morning and everyone was gone.
Everyone. The entire island was deserted.
I was paired in a two-queen room at Matthews Bed and Breakfast (Bob Matthews, proprietor), the lovely log-cabinesque complex nestled halfway up the thickly wooded hill that dominated the island along the path to the jarringly mission-style church at the hill’s crown, with another client of Kevin’s who’d become a good friend, a surprisingly young (he just graduated high school a month ago!) hottie named Henry. Henry and I flirted a bit last night – he was a perfectly sculpted high school wrestler type, nicely thick-shouldered and really really tight all over, and from the way he was grinning at me last night I could tell he was interested in “showing me some of his moves” once he got to know me better.
As it was we had a couple beers (K&K had left a couple of six-packs in everyone’s room fridges) and watched some TV, with our clothes on – well, we’d both shucked our shirts – and he fell asleep, exhausted from the long plane-to-plane-to-boat trip from New York, with his head on my chest. I drifted off soon after. I woke up a few times in the night for just a few seconds and felt him spooning me from behind, his nicely muscled arm wrapped around my bare torso, his warm breath puffing regularly against the back of my neck.
And this morning, Henry was gone.
I blearily checked the digital clock by the bed – shit, it was almost noon. I’d missed the welcome breakfast Kevin and Keith had planned. Why hadn’t anyone woken me up? I got up, a little dazed, and headed for the bathroom to wash up as fast as possible and try to catch up with anyone.
And smacked my forehead into the bathroom doorframe. Fuck! What, did they build this B&B for short people? My mind wasn’t very clear, but I didn’t remember running into this problem last night. I went to take off my pants and realized I wasn’t wearing any. I shook my head. I could have sworn I’d fallen asleep with my jeans and boxers still on.
Maybe I’d had more than a couple of beers? I was hung over enough. My head hadn’t been this fuzzy since I’d mixed tequila and champagne at the last wedding I’d gone to.
I sighed and stepped into the shower, which once again made me wonder about the midget connection. The bath was a half-bath, which was weird enough – my feet looked enormous in the child-sized tub. But worst of all, the showerhead was aimed at my chest. Why do hotels and B&Bs do that? Do they figure only short people stay in their rooms? I had to crouch down to wet my hair, and shampooing and rinsing was a chore – especially trying to open and shake the shampoo out of the tiny bottle they’d provided. Next time I was bringing my own. The little bar of soap the cheap bastards provided wasn’t much fun to open either.
I felt weird. My skin seemed too tight. As I was soaping up I had the strange feeling that it wasn’t my body I was washing – it felt really firm all over, like I’d been training for a triathlon again or something. My pecs were hard, and so were my abs, and they seemed … long or something. My cock and balls felt heavy and low as I soaped them up, thick and tense somehow. It was a little unsettling.
This was the most disorienting trip I’d ever taken. Strange island, strange situation watching my ex get married, even strange showers. I was suddenly wishing the week were over and I was already back home.
I finished showering as soon as I could and dried off with one of the scratchy undersized towels you always get at hotels – somehow I thought a B&B would be better about such things, but the only thing I’d noticed that was much different was the bowl of potpourri on the TV and the plastic-wrapped scented candles on the bathroom sink.
I padded naked back into the main room, remembering just in time to duck under the low doorjamb. I was thinking about what to wear for my belated arrival at the breakfast, but it was now 12:30 – fuck! – and I realized the next activity was a pool party slated to run the rest of the afternoon. Typical Kevin, getting everyone out of their shirts as soon as possible. Well, Kevin, you’re hot as fuck, we all know it. But I’ve been looking pretty good this year myself.
I grabbed my board shorts out of the drawer (yes, I’m one of those people who unpacks when they stay in a hotel room), yanked ’em on, and, stuffing my door key card in my pocket, ducked out of the room and, closing the door behind me, hurried to the pool. I wasn’t going to be late to two events that day.
But there was no one at the pool. The hell?
It was a beautiful sunny day, warm and dry – exactly the sort of day they don’t get in the Pacific Northwest (why do you think it’s always raining on The X-Files?), and every single guest in the hotel should be out here. But the place was as deserted as a rat-infested Taco Bell.
What’s going on?
As I stood there, staring at the empty pool area, I thought about taking a dip anyway. It looked refreshing, and the sun was getting quite warm. But my shorts were unaccountably riding up on me, and grabbing my ass for some reason, and I was starting to get really tired of the joke that was being played on me by an entire wedding party playing hide-and-seek with a hung-over groomsman.
I stomped back into the B&B headed toward the front desk, minding my cranium as I ducked under doorframes. I had by now realized that part of the place’s quaintness came from having been built at 90% scale. For some reason it didn’t feel quite so quaint anymore.
There was no one at the front desk either. I was starting to get angry. Kevin had gone way too far in pranking me for oversleeping. I tried shouting, but no one answered, and the way my voice sounded in the empty space was really eerie. I picked up a phone at the desk to call management.
There was no dial tone. Dialing 9 did nothing. I ran behind the desk and into the back office, thinking the front desk phone was unplugged or something (a part of the joke??) but the phones I tried there didn’t work either. It’s funny how you think of phones as these active things that connect you with other people. But these phones were dead in every way, inert hunks of plastic.
The phone lines to the B&B were down. I was now as upset as I had been angry before. This wasn’t part of the joke. This was no prank.
If there had been a storm, I’d have reckoned that the lines were just down somewhere. But the weather had been perfect. So all I could think was – either the utilities on this podunk island were so unreliable that the phones went out all the time; or … someone cut the phone lines.
I stepped out into the area behind the front desk. “Hello??” I shouted, as loud as I could.
My active imagination supplied me with an image of the entire island, empty of all human life but me, my hello echoing through the derelict houses and shops, drifting down the lifeless streets. I was overcome with an urgent need to see another human being.
It occurred to me that there must be a master key card somewhere near where I was standing. After rummaging through a few drawers I found it (it was helpfully labeled MASTER with a Sharpie) and ran out, intending to try the rooms at random. In the end I peeked into all twenty rooms, and they were all empty. Not made up – housekeeping hadn’t come and made the beds and supplied new towels – but everyone had packed up and left. There were no suitcases in the place other than mine, no sign that any human being was left in the whole building.
I was freaking out.
I tried a few more phones, but they were all dead. All I could think to do was to head down into the town at the base of the hill. I needed to find a person, either face to face or at the end of a phone line. I ran back to my own room, past all the doors I’d left standing open, to put on some proper clothes and shoes for the walk into town.
There I got my biggest shock yet. The first shirt I pulled on didn’t fit – too small. None of the others fit either.
I yanked off my board shorts and tried pulling on my favorite jeans, the ones I had on yesterday. I couldn’t even get them all the way up. My shoes – it was like I’d brought my kid brother’s sneaks instead of my own.
I slowly looked up at the door frame above the bathroom door. I stood up and walked over to it. The door frame was just above my eyes.
The place wasn’t built small. I was taller.
My mind threatened to seize up in that moment. Desperately, to distract myself, I tried to think how much taller. Yesterday I was 6’3”. This doorframe was well over my head yesterday. I tried to remember how big interior doors normally are. Eighty inches? So I had to be, what, 84 inches tall?
Seven feet. I was fucking seven feet tall. And, looking down at myself and for the first time really seeing what I was looking at, fucking built. Not much bigger, but tight as hell and with every muscle so toned and defined I felt an anatomy chart.
Suddenly I was completely weirded out. I wanted it all to be a prank again. If this was a prank, it was a prank conducted with alien technology backed by a vast government conspiracy. I was panting. I was going to hyperventilate. I sat down on the edge of the bed and put my head between my legs and stayed that way for a few minutes, feeling my face get pale and my head fuzz and then gradually clear.
I decided my only recourse was still to go down to the town and find someone to tell me what the fuck was going on. I was also hungry – I’d need to find a diner or something down there. After pondering my clothes for a moment I figured I only had one option – I pulled my board shorts back on. My waist seemed to be still around the same size as before, but I had a sense that my shoulders and legs were a little thicker on top of everything being longer and stretched out. I was very self-conscious of my junk as I drew up the shorts around it – it still felt really heavy and weird, like I was hauling around extra junk. I pocketed my key and wallet and ducked once again out of the room, closing the door behind me, little knowing what awaited me down the hill.