The transition transaction

By Taur Reg 
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• Latest update: 5 October. Next update: 26 October. (Submissions welcome.)

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Part One: Ben There

“O.K. Here’s what I want.”

I took the full color photograph out of the cardboard tube it was kept in. Then, with a flourish, I unrolled the picture and using a couple of solid objects, a glass paperweight with a spider embedded in it and a small crystal ball to hold it open, I presented the image to the warlock.

He eyed it very closely for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, he spoke.

“Hmm. Very nice, indeed. It won’t take long to make the transition.”

“How long?” I blurted. He looked up from the picture and a smile began to creep across his face.

“My goodness, Mr. Selfridge, are we impatient?”

I exhaled most of the air in my lungs while speaking rapidly.

“Yes, I suppose I am. I haven’t much longer and I am anxious to get this done with.”

“I see no problems in granting your desires. Are you aware of the price I ask in exchange?”

The smile was replaced by a serious expression that told me there was more to this bargain than I had been led to believe. I’d trusted my workmate, Smithe, to give me the complete skinny on this kind of deal. He being the old pro, me being the novice, I believed that what he had told me was all there was to know. I was, obviously, wrong. My intuition caught the weight of the warlock’s words at once. The price was a considerable one and only part of it dealt with recompense I was sure.

“Mr. Smithe said you were expensive, but the work was well worth the asking price.”

I said with a moment’s hesitation. My gut feeling was that the price might be beyond me.

“That is correct. However, what I ask for in exchange for my work is different with each individual. For Mr. Smithe the job entailed less remuneration than for a task such as the one at hand. I gather that you aren’t entirely clear on what I will demand from you. Is that right?’”

“Yes, I am afraid to say, it is.”

“I assure you, Mr. Selfridge, that there is no real need for concern. I know we can work out an arrangement that will more than satisfy both our desires. But, before we go any further, perhaps you would care to answer a few questions for me. Then, the table can be turned so that I may answer any questions you still have.”

The warlock opened a draw in the desk he was seated at and pulled out a long paper form from deep within its confines. He placed the document adjacent to the picture and proceeded to read from it. So it was that the next hour was devoted to my answering his questions.

The questions were numerous and covered even the smallest details of the coming transition or The Transition Transaction as he referred to it.

I soon realized that the man must be a true artisan, a craftsman, and not just someone who haphazardly dished out spells and potions. Close attention to detail was a trait that I, as a graphic artist, could readily relate to. I knew exactly what it was I wanted and the warlock was making his best effort to clarify what exactly my desire was. He wanted to understand how I had come to choose the subject of the photograph and just what my real expectations were. So I appreciated the enquiry. I was only too pleased to elaborate upon my selection. After all this was how I was going to be, assuring the transition went as smoothly and as ideally as possible was extremely important to me. This was an area wherein I could ill afford any mistakes. Making certain that my desires were conveyed correctly was of the utmost value. I prayed that the price asked would be within my means.

The hour had passed quickly and now it was my turn to learn whatever I could.

“Will the body be fully functional and of the exact dimensions I have requested?”

“If you mean, will you be exactly as the picture represents? Yes, of course. You will be the living, breathing embodiment of the man pictured. His flesh and bone will become your flesh and bone. His hair, his smile, his size and walk and voice and everything else about him will become yours. Your current condition will be gone forever and in its place will be this superb specimen. I can appreciate your artist’s eye, Mr. Selfridge. This body is an excellent choice. I can easily see that it will be well suited to you.”

“You still haven’t told me how much time this process takes.”

“Why, once the special spell is formulated, it will take almost no time to speak of, I assure you. The mere voicing of some well chosen words in unison coupled with the imbibing of a small amount of an easily prepared potion and you will stand before me, literally, a new man. Do you have any other questions of me at this time? If not I will make haste to do your bidding, Sir.”

“What about your fee?” I asked aware that my stomach muscles had tightened just from asking the question.

“That matter will be discussed once your transition is completed. If you are completely satisfied with your new form than we will determine my fee. Agreed?”

“What would happen if I am not satisfied?”

“Oh, I sincerely doubt you need be concerned with such a thought.” Again the smile made its way onto his face. It sat there as if it were a plaster cast stuck in place. It wasn’t reflected in his deep-set ebony eyes.

“But,” I pressed, “what would you do if I wasn’t satisfied?”

The warlock looked at me much as a higher life form looks at a lowly and displeasing bug. “In my many years of work, I am proud to say, I have never had a dissatisfied customer—not a one. If you, Sir, were my first I would gladly retract the spell and return you once again to the form you are so anxious now to discard. Now then, are we ready to give you the incarnation of your dreams?”

I had not slept well the night after my doctor gave me his bad news. I tossed and turned so much that I woke mid-night completely uncovered, naked and shivering. I shouldn’t have tried to get rest when my mind was so completely occupied with what I had been told.

I’d been feeling poorly for months, but had avoided getting a checkup. I had always hated going to see any doctor; I hated the way their offices smelled, the sitting and waiting, the expensive fees charged and, worst of all, the actual physical examination. I had never truly been pleased with my physical condition and stripping for a stranger was something I found stressful. It always seemed to be my dumb luck that I would get the physician who had hands as cold as death. The doctor would prod and poke and generally make me squirm. Invariably I would wonder if his bedside manner had been learned in Sleepy Hollow.

Eventually, the request would come for various specimens and I would be sent off, across town, to a lab. There I would be further stressed by pissing in a cup in front of a male nurse, having my blood drawn by a middle-aged phlebotemist who possessed all the charm of cardboard and, lastly, producing a small sample of stool. It didn’t make me feel any better knowing that my insurance covered all but the first fifty dollars of the lab costs.

The progressive illness had started to reach its debilitating tentacles into the deepest parts of me. Feeling tired all the time was starting to have a disastrous effect on my ability to work. With reluctance I made an appointment to see the doctor I had selected through my company’s HMO plan.

I had never laid eyes on the man before that day mid-November. Still, he managed to live up to most of my expectations. Except for once I got a guy with warm hands. Might he have a warm heart as well? No such luck.

After the indignity, the prodding and poking and the lab tests, I was sent home to await yet another appointment to hear of the results.

Bad news should come on bad days. Instead the news I received came via an unusually bright and unseasonably warm fall day.

The attractive young nurse led me into the doctor’s office, but didn’t smile at all. That was the first sign that something might be amiss. The next came when the doctor kept a poker face.

Needing to defuse the serious situation I asked, “What’s the good word. Doc?”

Still he did not smile.

“That bad, uh?” I asked with an audible sigh.

“I am afraid so, Mr. Selfridge. I dislike being the bearer of bad news but …”

“Go on, dammit. Bad news is better than being kept in the dark, I guess.”

And so it was that I learned of my incurable condition and my rapidly disintegrating form. Little by little the disease with the long name I chose not to remember would be eating away at my physical form until I ceased to exist at all. There was nothing the doctor could do for me save the use of painkillers and euthanasia.

I left his office in a daze and went back to my empty house where not even a small pet greeted me. I went to bed without supper. Then the night came with its unrest and the nightmare.

The nightmare would call frequently. Always appearing when I was most unable to fight it off. It was a simple, horrible dream that was true to form every time it invaded my sleep.

I was walking down a long, dark road in the midst of a very cold and windy night. I was naked and my shivering body was covered with gooseflesh. As I walked I began to diminish in size like I was being quickly ground down by the roadway’s rough surface. Then my arms fell off. First, the left one, then the right. My torso fell forward and as my chest came in contact with the hard road my head broke off and started to roll furiously away. Then I always woke feeling dizzy and confused.

It was some nasty nightmare. Its abstract symbolism wasn’t really all that abstract. I had easily interpreted what it meant and that caused me to confide in Will Smithe, another graphic artist where I worked. He was an older man who was in remarkably good condition. He must have been sixty, but he looked half that age. I couldn’t help but be envious of his muscular physique. Sometimes I had fantasies about making love with him. They were only fantasies though. Smithe was happily married and I wasn’t foolish enough to chase after married men. Actually, looking the way I did, I didn’t have the confidence to chase after any man. I just dreamt daydreams of being captured and enraptured by men like Smithe. I never acted upon the fantasies. I was too much the coward to risk being rejected.

Will heard my tale of woe, never once interrupting me. He sat patiently waiting for me to finish and when I had he searched in his desk draw and produced a black paper business card. He handed it to me and said, “This fellow can work wonders.”

I took the card and read the gold ink name out loud. “Phineas Browning. Warlock.”

I looked back to Will and asked in surprise: “A warlock?”

Will shook his head in agreement. “Trust me, I wouldn’t recommend the man if I didn’t know his work personally. Ben, your case is serious. Such a serious condition needs serious attention. He can give it to you. Please, make an appointment with him as soon as possible. You won’t be disappointed. I wasn’t.”

“What did he do for you?”

“Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to say. But, let me tell you, I was completely satisfied and should I ever need such services again I would make am appointment immediately.”

“How much is it going to cost me?”

“I, truthfully, don’t know. His services aren’t cheap, but considering the help you need, Ben, can you dither over its price? The man knows his stuff. Go on, take the card I’ve got others.”

I walked back to my office mumbling to myself about crazy people and crazy ideas. Still, I couldn’t help thinking that Will seemed absolutely serious about the warlock. So, I’d make a call on the guy and see if he could help me. What did I have to lose?

For months I had kept a picture at home of a man that was everything physically I wasn’t. He body was perfection to my eyes. He was tall and broad shouldered with a tapered waist and phenomenal abdominal muscles. As if that wasn’t enough, he had a glorious phallus that was proudly erect in the picture.

He lay naked upon his clothing in a hayloft. The picture was posed, but it looked as if it had been taken in a hurry. Like he had to get naked and hard quickly because there was only a small window of opportunity in which to get the task done. He had a small tattoo of an anchor on his left arm. Maybe he had to get back to sea?

I had stared often at the man’s image and tried to imagine how it would be to be so beautiful, so naturally masculine. The image became my obsession. The desire to possess the image shown became my one true goal. In the picture I saw the man I wanted to become. The only problem was I didn’t know the secret to my becoming like him.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t a masculine guy to begin with. I wasn’t effeminate by any means. None of my coworkers would have known I was gay. I was just an average guy in all respects except intelligence. I had an average, thin physique with only moderate muscular development and my manhood was an average six inches hard. I suppose I should have been satisfied that I was not disabled in any way. I just found it unfair that some men were so well proportioned and endowed and the rest of us guys had to be happy being “normal.”

I had come into my career through my love of comic books. I had always admired the fantasy male super heroes and their extraordinary physicality. The Silver Surfer, Captain America, The Flash, Spiderman—they were all put together so well. I envied them their well-executed bodies, knowing that I would never be as they were. No, I don’t mean as a comic book character or a super hero, but as an outstanding representation of male beauty.

From my earliest adolescence I had wanted to possess such a wonderful form. If only I could become so blessed. Instead I used the images for arousal and orgasms, always fantasizing that someday I would be granted the wish of my ideal body.

So far, at forty-one, that wish had never come true. I worked out at the gym. I hired a professional trainer who came close to being exactly as I wanted to be. He tried to pass on his knowledge, but he couldn’t pass on his genetics as well. So, despite the hard work and the expense, little changed. I did the nutrition suggested and read all the “right” books, but my own super hero physique never came to pass. I began to feel that I was doomed to admire from afar, but never possess.

Then I became sick and I couldn’t help but feel that my life would end without attaining the dream. What had my life meant, if it wasn’t something I could create myself? Of course it was my own burden that I wished for a different form. But was the sickness a sign of my body seeking revenge because I had never loved it?

I took good care of myself. I didn’t drink alcohol, nor do drugs. I made sure to exercise, get plenty of rest and eat right. I followed the expert’s advice. Still, all my best efforts meant nothing in the face of an illness that would eventually claim me.

I stared at the picture of my dream image and before rolling it up to put it back in its cardboard tube I wondered if the warlock would be able to help me. Would he grant my wish at last and what would it cost me to have the wish become real?

The first thing done was the most embarrassing. I had to prepare for the magic by shedding my clothing. “Why?” I asked.

“Before the transition is complete your clothing will bind you in a way that will keep the proper effect from happening. When you have become the embodiment of the image the clothing will no longer fit you. So, you see Mr. Selfridge, for your own sake you must not be encumbered by useless garments.”

Reluctantly I removed the clothing and stood before the warlock in my naked vulnerability. I held my hands in front of my now shriveled member and waited in nervous anticipation of what was yet to transpire.

“Now, Mr. Selfridge, it is important that you learn the following phrase and repeat it in unison with me.”

Browning said the words out loud and I listened closely. The language was one I did not know and learning the phrase was going to take all the concentration I could muster. I had never heard such words before. I considered myself well read and able to determine the identity of most languages like Latin, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Russian. This one was all together unfamiliar to me. I strained to hear the tones as the warlock spoke.

“Could you say it more slowly, more deliberately?”

Again he repeated the phrase. Again I strained to catch its nuances. The warlock noticed I was struggling to decipher what sounded like ornate gibberish to me.

“Let’s take it one word at a time shall we? First word: mallesenjha.”

I tried, “Mollyzenche.”

“Close, but not quite.”

And so it continued slowly, laboriously, until I knew the entire eleven-word phrase. When Browning was certain I could repeat it clearly and with no great effort he handed me a small vial of red liquid that looked disarmingly like blood. I wasn’t sure what to make of the stuff.

“When I wave my hand I want you to break the seal on the vial and drain its contents into your mouth. You must swallow all of the liquid. I warn you it has a bitter taste and you may feel like spitting it out, but you must take it all in or the transition will fail. Please wait for my signal and, only upon seeing it, drink the potion.”

I stood shivering and waited. For a brief moment I felt like fleeing. What had I gotten myself into? If I bolted for it I could scoop up my clothing and be gone in an instant. I told my fear to disappear and realized that this magic was my last best hope. It was either go through with this process or die wondering what might have been. I wasn’t a risk taker, but the fear of death can cause even the weakest man to rise up and challenge its eventuality.

“Now then we will say the phrase together. Are you ready, Mr. Selfridge? There is no turning back after the words have been spoken aloud. You are absolutely certain this transition is what you desire?”

I didn’t speak for fear that a scream of “NO!” would escape me. Instead I nodded my head in agreement slowly, deliberately.

“Very well.”

The words were spoken.

His hand was waved.

The vial’s contents were consumed.

My throat burned from the foul potion. My eyes watered and my vision blurred. The room and everything in it began to spin. Or was I spinning? I couldn’t tell. I felt dizzy and giddy and very high.

I could vaguely make out that there was another figure standing next to the warlock, a tall man. Then I heard the phrase being spoken in my voice and another’s voice. The volume of our voices became louder and louder with each repetition until, when it seemed the sound would deafen me, my voice was gone and only the other unfamiliar voice remained.

Suddenly, my body felt as if it was on fire. It felt like each of my limbs had a flame at its end and that my head had become a torch. The heat was unbearable. I looked to see that as I burned the figure, at first indistinct, now glowed. I recognized that my picture perfect image had come to life and was standing before me. Then, I fainted.

Part Two: Johnny Colt

I woke with a splitting headache. My head felt like two big plow horses were working a furrow inside of it. I put a hand to my brow and massaged the tight skin there with my fingers. My skin felt hot to the touch.

Opening my eyes was hard. The light seemed to burn them with its brightness. I guessed that what was causing me to be struck blind was the morning sunshine. With my head pounding the way it was, every time I tried to see I got a sharp pain in my eyes. Whatever I’d been drinking last night had given me a shitty hangover.

The wine! The shit was blood red and God-awful bitter. A little went a long way. How much of it had I drunk?

I tried to piece together the puzzle of what had happened, but my memory was failing me. Except for the knowledge that I’d drunk some bad wine of some sort and the constant noise of gibberish repeating over and over in my mind, everything else was forgotten.

I forced myself to open my eyes. The pain came with the effort, but I was able to keep them opened long enough to take in some crazy scenery.

Wherever I was there must have been livestock. The place was filled with hay and it smelled like horseshit. It was either a barn or a stable. I couldn’t figure out why I was in a stable. Where the fuck was I?

But knowing where I was, was the least of my concerns.

I stretched my body and was surprised by the way it felt. Not half as surprised as by the way it looked, though.

From the waist up I was the same muscular guy I’d always been. “Built like a battleship.” My old friend, Will, used to say. It was from the waist down that I was different. I seemed to be part horse! Then I started to remember why that was.

My recall was broken by the sound of voices outside. They rose and fell like whoever was speaking was in the middle of a fight. I could just make out what they were saying.

“I don’t care how you do it, Jason, just be sure you do what the contract specifies.”

“Come on, Mr. Reardon, ya know I can’t force him to do nothin’.”

“If he doesn’t want to get his big ass sued out from under him he’ll do exactly what he was hired for. Son-of-a-bitch thinks he’s such a stallion. Well then he’s going to prove it!”

The fight must have ended ’cause I didn’t hear anything for a while until I heard the sound of footsteps coming my way.

“Johnny. Come on, Johnny. It’s time to earn yer keep.”

Someone had trotted into the stable and I realized that he was calling to me. The voice sounded kind of familiar but, until I saw his face, I wasn’t sure who he could be. Once he stepped into the sunlight I realized who he was, Jace, my former lover and trainer.

“Good, yer awake. Tha’ was some night you had last night, stud. Ya really tied one on. Ol’ man Reardon is so pissed he’s threat’nin’ to sue us, man. Ya gotta stop foolin’ around! Unnerstand?”

I stared at Jace and just nodded my head. Some things were clearing up for me now. I moved to get up and as soon as my forelegs straightened they buckled again.

“Man, ya see. Ya can’t be drinkin’ barrels o’ wine an’ think yull be fine the next day!”

“I’m sorry Jace.”

“It’s ok, Johnny. The past is past. Now, let’s get ya up and put some chow in those stomachs of yers. Then we’ll go out for yer mornin’ run. How’s that soun’, eh?”

“Sounds good, Jace. Real good.”

I managed to stand up on all fours and walk slowly out of the stable. The headache disappeared as soon as I ate. And the noisy gibberish left, too. I never heard it again. Not that day, nor the next one. Or for months afterward, for that matter.

I started to remember a lot that day. At first, I wasn’t sure that the memories were really mine, they didn’t seem familiar to me. After a while the puzzle pieces started fitting together and I remembered what my life had been like before the change.

I left home to join the navy when I was seventeen. I’d reached my full height by that time so the recruiter didn’t question my age.

I was my old-folk’s only kid. It’s a good thing, too, ’cause they beat me enough for ten kids. I’d run away from home so many times that the cops gave me a nickname—Colt. I guess they called me that because I was the size of a small pony and I ran like one. I was surprisingly speedy for someone so big.

My folks must have given up calling the cops when I joined the navy. Either that or they were so drunk they couldn’t remember me. I was glad to be free of them. Once I was on board a ship headed out to sea I swore I would never go back to them. I’d never go back to the raggedy-assed little shithole I came from, neither.

At seventeen I was cocky enough to think I was a man. And the man I was back then was bustin’ out to see the world. “In The Navy” became my theme song.

They really busted my butt those first months in the navy. It seemed like almost every guy on board was my superior. I got past the seasickness and the lousy grub and found something that made the whole service thing worthwhile—MEN!

I’d tried foolin’ around with the fillies back home, but they just never really got me goin’. The seafood, on the other hand, was delicious—if you catch my drift. The best of the bunch was a little dude from someplace I never heard of before. Jersey. His name was Jason, but I called him Jace.

Jace told me the first time I met him that we were going to be friends. He said it with so much control, I believed him. “I’m goin’ make ya my own argonaut,” he said.

“What the fuck is an argonut?”

“Not nut! Naut! Argo-naut! Haven’t ya ever heard o’ Jason and The Argonauts?”

“Can’t say that I have, Jace.”

He looked at me like I was the sorriest excuse for a sailor he’d ever seen. “Jeez. Do you read?”

“Not if I can help it!” I laughed.

Jace shook his head and rubbed his brow with his stubby little fingers. He looked as if he was trying to make a knot go away. “Man, how’dya spect to get ahead if’n ya don’ ever read?”

“I never thought about it. I guess I thought my body would help me.”

“It darn well better. ’Cause yer brain sure as hell ain’t!”

“I’ve got plenty of smarts! Don’t be putting me down, Jace!” I picked up the little guy and held him up to me until we were eye to eye. “Understand?”

I could tell he was frightened but trying his best not to show it. “Put me down ya big lug!”

I said it again as his little legs pumped in the air. “Understand?”

“Aye, aye, Cap’n!” He gave me a smart salute and his eyes twinkled. “Now, could ya put me down, uh?”

I set him back on the deck and smiled just to show him that I wouldn’t have really hurt him. “Yer a strong sonnafabitch, Colt.”

“That’s ’cause you’re a small son of a bitch, Jace.”

“Ya don’t have to remind me, Gulliver!”

“Who the fuck is Golly Var?”

“There’s a library on ship. I think ya better start usin’ it!”

That was the beginning of my real education. Jace, the smart little bird, took me under his wing and I was never happier.

Jace and I spent all of our shore leaves together. We didn’t hit the whorehouses and saloons like the other guys. No, we’d just buy a bottle of rotgut, some street dope and head to a cheap hotel.

Jace loved to be ridden and I loved to ride. He was small compared to me, but his sexual appetite matched mine just fine. The first time we fucked I thought I’d split him in half. I was worried I’d hurt him and we’d never be able to do it again. I didn’t need to worry ’cause he was able to take all I was giving and ask for more. I wanted to see him on the end of my cock for the rest of my life.

Over the next year we fell in love. That was hard because we couldn’t show any affection towards each other while we we’re on duty. It was a good thing the other guys just thought we were real good friends. If anybody ever figured out what was really going on between us we’d have been thrown out of the navy. That wasn’t an idea I liked at all, so when we were out to sea we acted like two good buddies and never ever touched each other. Every once in a while we would slug each other on the shoulder. That was the extent of it.

There was amateur boxing in the navy and my Chief thought, if he could teach me to box, that our ship would never lose a match. I was strong enough and big enough for the fight game, but I didn’t like getting hit. The Chief told me that not getting hit was the point of the whole thing. It was my opponent who was going to get hit and, hopefully, knocked out—every time.

So, I agreed to start training, if Jace could help me.

“What good would that little shrimp do ya?” The Chief asked snidely.

I thought about lifting the guy off the ground for a second, but didn’t. I kept my temper to myself.

“He’s my friend, Chief, and I want his help or I won’t fight.”

“Alright, alright, big guy. I’ll make him my assistant. How does that sound?”

I must have been beaming like a fuckin’ lighthouse when I slugged the Chief on the shoulder. I didn’t even notice him go down.

My first match was with a guy who looked like he ate steel girders in his sleep. I was taller than he was, but it seemed to me that that didn’t much matter. Dude was built like a tank. He was as broad across as he was high. Well, not really, but he sure as hell looked like he was. I was having my doubts that this fight business was something I wanted to do. I’ll admit it: I didn’t want to get my handsome mug mashed in.I didn’t have a choice. I was going to have to be fast on my toes or “tankboy” was going to roll right over me.

The Chief could tell I wasn’t ready for this. “Colt, you have to tire the guy out. He might be as big as a tank, but he’s probably as slow as one, too. If you move around a lot you can exhaust him. Then you can knock him out.”

So, that’s what I did and miracle of miracles it worked. I had Jace ringside for support and, after working myself up to a lather, tankboy started to flag. I was sweating, but he looked like he way dying. Jace gave me a wink and I went in for the kill. It only took a right upper cut and a full-face punch and the tank was dozing.

My shipmates went nuts. They actually lifted me on their shoulders and carried me around the ring a couple of times.

It was the first time we’d won a heavyweight fight in about four years. I was ship’s hero. It was porterhouse steak at the Captain’s table and extra shore leave. Jace was so proud of me he had a perpetual shit-eating grin on his face. I was so happy we skipped the rotgut and dope and just spent the night fucking on a natural high.

After that there were other hard bouts but, somehow, I won them all and, by the time my tour of duty was up, I was the navy’s star fighter. I know it sounds too good to be true. It was.

Part Three: Ben Where

I awoke one night just before dawn. My body was completely covered with sweat. I’d sweat so much that the sheets were soaked through from it. I woke not because of the sweat so much as the chill it had given me.

I was frightened by how hot my body must have been to sweat so profusely. I didn’t feel sick, so what was causing me to sweat so?

I rose from the bed and went to the bathroom. After my eyes adjusted to the bright light I was able to recognize a distinct difference in the mirror. The man that was looking back at me wasn’t me.

For the briefest instance I was frightened by who I saw in the mirror. It takes a while to adjust to anything as drastic as the transition had been for me. I was a new man, a different man and a sweat-wet hot man.

I rubbed my hands across the flesh that was still unusual to me. Despite the warmth it felt so good with its muscular hardness and smoothness. I enjoyed feeling this new flesh and had difficulty accepting that it was actually mine to feel.

Eventually, I stopped rubbing myself and decided that a shower was in order. Of course the cool water only aroused me and soon enough I was dealing with my pet snake. Another aspect of the transition that seemed entirely too wonderful to be real. I now possessed a staff, not a mere cock, but an organ that almost possessed me with its semi-constant need. I was enraptured and captured by its size and spirit. I supposed large animals like horses were captive to the powers of their oversized organs as well. Still, I was pretty much just as horny when I had far less to play with. Size doesn’t increase the need so much as increase the conscious presence. Stroke me! Stroke me! It seemed to demand. And so I did.

When the transition had first happened I spent an entire day playing with my new body. I couldn’t get over how supple it was. For all the muscle mass I now had, I was still so flexible I could give myself a decent blow-job. That was one exciting advantage to the transition. Others included my being able to eat tremendous quantities of food while never gaining any fat weight. Whatever I took in was used solely for the purpose of maintenance. My metabolism was now so efficient it just kept me in the same condition that the image had been in when I came to possess its reality.

I, also, never had to worry about haircuts again. My new form was bald. I didn’t miss having to take care of hair, the smooth skin atop my head felt as good as the rest of me.

Where I had always envied tall men, now I was a tall man myself. I was now just over six-foot-five, as a matter of fact. I towered over most of the men I saw on my daily rounds. And many of those men would stare up at me like I was a Sequoia tree or the Jolly White Giant. The smaller statured men gave off a palpable longing whenever I approached. Their pheromones buzzed about me like bees near a hive high off the ground. I found myself having fantasies of using one as my own little “boy-toy”.

One of these men, a good looking guy named Jason, stopped me one day and boldly asked: “How’s the weather up there, big guy?”

I laughed at his question and asked in reply: “Want to see for yourself?”

Jason nodded his head and smiled so I grabbed him under his arms and lifted him up to my eye level.

He looked straight into my eyes and said: “Its beautiful up here! I could learn to love this weather.”

I was so struck by his candor that I asked him flat out for a date.

“What, a giant like you wants to date lil’ ol’ me? Am I dreaming?”

I like a strong sense of humor in a man. It is one of my favorite attributes along with honesty and intelligence. I could tell by the sparkle in the guy’s eyes that he was a bright one. Now, if he turned out to be truthful as well, then my prayers were answered.

The first date went amazingly well for what looked like the oddest of couples, Jason the toy, me the behemoth. We spent the night exploring all the possibilities of our different sizes being together. I feared that I would impale my partner on my member, but he was glad to take the snake on. It was as if the more I had the more he made himself able to accommodate it. What a thrill it was to find a partner whose appetites were a match for my own. Like I said before size doesn’t account for horniness. Jason was diminutive but he was a sexual powerhouse. There was a lot of good fun packed in that little body.

At first I’d thought that the only man for me would be my equal in size and stature. Jason proved that thought wrong in a hurry. It felt so good to be with him that I was frightened by the feelings I suddenly had. I thought that I might be falling in love. Love was somewhere I’d never been before. Lust I understood. After all I had lusted after my perfect man’s body, hadn’t I? The reward of that lust was how I was now. But what of love? Would I find rewards with it or … what?

“It’s too soon to know,” I told myself. “And why sweat it?”

Part Four: Johnny Stallion

Jace and I finished our time in the navy, ringside. Jace became my manager and was a born promoter. He would tell whoever was staging a match that if they wanted me to perform they had better do right by me. Sometimes they would balk about it, but Jace always managed to get their full co-operation. Soon wherever we went I was taken care of like a prize show horse. Anything I wanted I could have as long as I maintained my strength and stamina and as long as I kept winning fights. I never did a day’s work that wasn’t preparation for another bout.

We had moved from one ship to another, each bigger than the one before. The last ship was an aircraft carrier with a deck so huge that you needed a bicycle just to get around the length of it. Of course, I was a bigger guy from eating so well and working out so much. Part of my routine now included running around the perimeter of the deck. Jace would clock me and my time had kept improving. I wasn’t just part of the fleet, but I was fleet of foot also. I could really move which awed a lot of my smaller and thinner shipmates. Being light on your feet really helps win fights, let me tell you.

So it was at the last match of my amateur career that a stranger appeared on the scene. He was easy to pick out from the crowd ’cause he was the only one who wasn’t dressed in uniform. He was also the only guy on ship who had a graying ponytail. I have to say that I didn’t like the guy from the get go. He made me feel as if I was being checked out under a giant magnifying glass. The more I looked in his direction the more I felt damned uncomfortable.

I tried to forget about his being there and go about my business. I won that last fight, but almost found myself losing. I was paying more attention to the stranger than to what I was doing. I just missed meeting a left hook. I had to refocus and go after my opponent with only one purpose: knockout.

I paid a price for the effort. A couple of hard blows, one in the stomach that made all of the air race out of me and another to my left shoulder that stung real bad. It was the most beating I’d ever taken in the ring. Jace whispered to me between rounds: “What’s up, buddy?”

I just nodded towards Mr. Ponytail.

“Don’t worry about him. Keep yer eye on the prize, o. k.?”

I was a good fighter and did what I was told; I creamed the guy.

After the fight the usuals came by to congratulate me. I wasn’t aware that the stranger was standing right behind me until I got that uncomfortable feeling again.

Jace spoke to the man while I watched. I couldn’t hear what they were saying but I knew whatever it was about I wasn’t gonna like it. You know that feeling you get, I guess women call it intuition, well I could sense that this was someone Jace and I should be running from.

Unfortunately, Jace didn’t have that feeling. He had the feeling that comes over a poor kid when money is waved in front of his eyes: desire.

“Colt, this is Mr. Reardon. He’s interested in you.”

The man had taken a leather glove off his hand and made ready to shake hands with me. I didn’t take his hand or look him in the eye. I talked to Jace like the stranger wasn’t even there. I was so off the guy I didn’t want any contact with him.

“Yeah, so. Why’s he interested in me?”

“I want to turn you into a real fighter.”

“I’m already a real fighter, Mister.”

“Yeah, sure ya are, Colt. But, Mr. Reardon here wants to make you professional.”

Jace said the word professional like there was a pot of gold strung up to it.

“Suppose I don’t want to be a pro. Suppose I don’t ever want to fight again, then what? Still interested?” I knew that my best shot was to turn pro. I just didn’t want to get there with this Reardon feller taggin’ along. With him so close my skin was beginning to crawl. I was amazed Jace didn’t feel it, too.

Jace whispered harshly to me: “Come on, Colt. Give the guy a break, would ya? Just hear what he has to say. Nobody else has come along to offer this kinda deal.”

I’d do almost anything for Jace so I gave Reardon his five minutes to convince me.

Five minutes was way too much time. Never give the devil his due.

Part Five: Ben Meets Stallion

First the sweating, then the stinging and my skin crawling like there were bugs building tunnels under it. I was afraid to contact Browning. With his powers who knew how he’d respond to my complaints. Retract the transaction and rescind the transition?

I wasn’t willing to take that chance. I had to play it safe despite the side effects. Maybe my body was still adjusting to the change. How could I tell? I hadn’t gotten an owner’s manual with the transition. I only got what I’d asked for and a little something unpleasant besides: fear, flesh foibles and sweats. I’d made my bargain and I was stuck with the product. Breathtaking masculinity that was now taking my breath and health with its dream form realized.

I’d had to give up my job when I took my new young stud body on. I was able to keep my name and identity, but no one, with the exception of Will, would have understood that the new boy on the job was actually the old Ben. I don’t think my boss, who was almost a Holy Roller, would have accepted that I’d been transformed through magic. To him magic and the devil were synonyms. I could just hear him telling me to take the body back and get my old one while I still could. “You’re goin’ to hell for sure, Ben, if you don’t keep the body you were born with. The good lord gave you that body. You won’t see the judgement day in that new one. It’s evil! Get rid of it now!”

Right now I felt like hell even if I wasn’t there. Still, I wasn’t about to return the best thing I’d ever had. I was tall and strong and more alive than I had ever been before. I might be burning up, I might be the possessor of a body with its share of ailments, but it was a better body than most guys would ever know and for the first time in my formerly sorry existence I had found happiness and love. I was Jason’s giant and that’s how it was going to stay.

That was exactly how I felt until morning came and I tried to get out of my bed. My torso felt fine. It moved as easily and as limberly as ever. It was my lower half that felt like it weighed a ton. I pulled back the sheet and nearly fainted from the shock of what I saw there.

Where were my legs? What had happened to my feet? I thought that I must be having a nightmare and told myself to “Wake up!” But I was awake and something more incredible than the transition had happened. A bizarre side effect had claimed my bottom parts.

With trepidation I put my hand on what had been my smooth, hairless flesh. My fingers rubbed across the coarse hair that covered my new body. I have horsehair!

I forced myself to move what had been my muscular left leg. With a twitch I felt energy rush all the way down into the hoof! The hoof? For God’s sake what is going on?

I now realized that not only did I have horsehair, but also horse legs and hoofs. And, as I moved the rest of my massive southern addition, I knew that for all intents and purposes from the waist down I was a horse.

How could this have happened? Why had my dream body been further transformed into some sort of equine monster? I didn’t know what to do? I couldn’t very well go out like I was. If zealots would have condemned me for the transition surely they would kill me—with God’s blessing!—for my aberrant transformation. How could I possibly convince anyone I wasn’t a creation of the dark side?

I reached for the phone and made the only decision I could. If anyone would be able to help me it would be Jason. He loved me. I could only hope that he would still be able to love me as a horseman.

“Jason, please get over here now! It’s an emergency!”

He didn’t even ask what was up. He said, “I’ll be right there”, so I waited. Every minute passed like an hour and I contemplated how I was going to spring the surprise on him. I covered myself with a sheet and continued to hold my bladder. I truly understood that saying: “I’ve got to piss like a race horse!” I hadn’t figured out how I was going to leverage my huge horse half out of the bed. I was hoping Jason would be able to help me move my new bulk. I wasn’t into water sports and I wasn’t about to piss on myself, horse body or not. So I held it in and waited.

Finally, there was a knock on the door and Jason came into the house.

“Ben? Where are you?”

“In the bedroom, Jason”

“Are you alright?” He walked over to beside my bed and looked down at me. Concern creased his brow. There he was my beautiful little lover and here I lay his beastly paramour.

“No, Jason, I am not alright. Something very peculiar has happened to me and I’m afraid to show you what it is.” I looked straight into his eyes and boldly asked, “Do you love me?’”

“What kinda question is that? Of course I love you! Now what the hell is the problem?”

I threw back the sheet. “This is the problem!” I declared revealing my new form.

Jason broke out in a huge grin. Half of his face was bared teeth gleaming.

“Is that all? It sure as hell took you long enough!”

My chin must have dropped down to my solar plexus. When the shock started to wear off I realized that my beautiful little lover wasn’t as honest as I had hoped he’d be.

“What?” was the only word that came to me.

“Take it easy, big fella. Yer a centaur now!”

“I’m a what?”

“Come on, stud, surely you know what a centaur is?”

“Refresh my memory, please.”

“You know, mythical beast from Greek mythology. Centaur. Half man from the waist up and half horse from the waist down.”

I gave Jason a kick in the shin with my right front hoof.

“Yeow!” He bent over to rub where I’d kicked him. “Why the hell did you do that?”

“Because, lover, you obviously knew all about this transformation before it happened. Now, why don’t you tell me the whole damned story before I kick you in the groin!”

He stepped back from the bed and put both of his hands in front of his crotch.

“Come on, little fella, spill the beans before I spill some blood!”

He pulled a wooden chair over and started to relate the tale. Even with my bladder fit to bursting I listened very attentively.

Part Six: The Bargain

Always be sure, very sure, of what kind of deal you are making and just whom you’re making the deal with.

Phinneas Brown was an unknown commodity to me. I trusted Will’s judgement and my mistaken belief that he would never lead me astray. The illness had made me less cautious and very imprudent. What did I have to lose, my life? No, I would be losing that anyway.

There was something more to lose than my life, something far more important to me. What Phinneas Brown had managed to take from me for payment was far greater in price than I had ever imagined. All the treasures of the world mean nothing without this one natural possession. Material is valueless without your freedom.

Somehow, beyond my reason, the warlock had exacted his remuneration and I had become transformed. I was forced to conform to his desire. I was created in the image he had chosen and the one that I had desired and chosen for myself rode astride a horse’s body. I was helpless but to do his bidding and become the warlock’s stud.

Jason was the warlock’s intermediary, his diminutive go-between. He had been sent to make contact and keep abreast of my movements. I’d been seduced by a minor man who had taken a major piece of my heart. With the truth revealed I wanted to kill him. I wanted to place a hoof through his forehead and scramble the little shit’s devious brain. How could I have fallen prey to this man? Was my love for him just another aspect of the spell that was cast upon me? With my confusion came blinding rage and the bitter knowledge of betrayal. I was freed from my debilitating illness and captured by my body of desire. Between where Ben, The Man ended and Ben, The Stud Centaur began was a gray area of numbness and disbelief. I was in denial. A denial that I clung to like a child hugs his mother’s legs. I wanted to possess the security of who I had become before I’d become this four-legged monstrosity.

Oh, please, let me reclaim my beautiful identity! Take this nightmare—nightstallion?—away!

I know trouble when I see it. Maybe I’ve been too naïve in other respects but when I saw Jace smiling at Reardon I knew we were headed straight for something bad.

That night after meeting Reardon, Jace and I went out and downed a few. I’ll admit that booze and I aren’t best friends. Oh, I’d like it if we were. Trouble is the morning after my liquid friend has become a bad reminder: the body is weak.

And that was the problem untapped by Reardon’s offer. Though Jace was sold on the idea that my strength would finagle some sort of financial security it was my weakness that would be gaining the upper hand. By agreeing with Jace I would be able to consume the best of wine, food, and other entertainment. (How I was going to mix whiskey and prize fighting I didn’t know). Letting Jace run the show Jace meant that we’d be taking Reardon’s offer even if I wasn’t clean on just what he was offering.

“Come on Colt, when’ll we getta ’nother chance like this, uh?”

“I don’t know, Jace. I know you think the gravy train just pulled into town. I don’t see it that way, that’s all.” I turned away from Jace because I didn’t want to see the look on his face. I knew how he worked. Like water over hard rock. A rapid washing away of anything set in his way, constant and unrelenting. Jace would wear me down and then tell me how happy he was I’d regained my sanity.

“Colt, wha’s the problem here? We can make alotta money fast. What were ya thinkin’ o’ doin’, stayin’ in the Navy for the rest o’ yer life?”

When I did finally face Jace his expression was exactly like I knew it would be. He was squinting in frustration. His hands were flying around like twin butterflies stuck to waving flower stems. If I didn’t get the point through the tone of his voice I’d be sure to get it watching his pantomime. I could feel the water washing me down as he spoke. I knew I wouldn’t be able to fight him off for long but I was stubborn enough to keep my head down and my fists up.

“Jace, it’s easy for you to deal with Reardon. He doesn’t want your body!” There, it was out in the open. My biggest fear. The way the guy looked at me made me feel like meat on the hoof. It was like he was buying another piece of livestock. “You wouldn’t be so gung-ho about this if he was after you instead of me. You haven’t felt that stare on your neck.”

“Man, you’re imagin’ things. Sure Reardon sees you as property; he’s a businessman. Figure it out, Colt. He’s a talent scout. He knows just wha’ he’s lookin’ for. The guy’s gotta size-up every fighter he sees. He’s been starin’ at ya ’cause he’s makin’ sure ya got the goods. That’s all there is to it. Stop worryin’, uh?”

“So what’s this talent scout need with me, Jace. I’m not the next Jack Dempsey. Shit, I’ve only been fighting with other sailors. I’m not a pro. There’s bound to be some guy out there who can wipe the floor with me.”

“Hey, that’s jus’ why Reardon’s the man. He knows you need some serious trainin’ and he’s willin’ to make sure ya get it before ya enter the ring ag’in. This guy’ll put in the time and money to make ya a great fighter. Have ya seen anyone else steppin’ up to do that?”

I shook my head.

“We can’t afford to wait for another offer. It’s now or maybe never. I say we go with Reardon. Beats workin’ as a bouncer somewhere, Big Guy? Wha’da ya say?”

The water had washed me clean. It was either swim with Jace and Reardon or drown hardheaded and stiff. Jace got his way and I gave in to my weakness. My shoulders slumped as Jace rubbed my neck. A little voice in my head said: “You’re gonna regret this!”

Later on I washed that part of my conscience away with half a bottle of the hard stuff. Thoughts about trouble had to be knocked aside and my firewater friend had a powerful punch.

“Well, well. We meet again Mr. Selfridge.”

By the darkness of a moonless night Jason had managed to steal me from my apartment and, to my bitter indignity, load me into a horse trailer. The damn thing smelled of hay and horseshit. It was very claustrophobic and I had to bend into an uncomfortable position to ride in it.

Jason couldn’t resist slapping my hind as he closed the gate on me.

“Cut it out, asshole!” I yelled.

Jason responded in a hoarse whisper, “Quiet, Ben. Do you want to get us both in trouble?”

’No, dammit,’ I thought to myself, ’I’m in enough trouble for both of us.’ I prayed no one would catch sight of my human half. There was no way I could explain my way out this condition.

I rode in the trailer for most of the night. Since I couldn’t see where we were headed I had no clue where we were when Jason stopped the truck. The only thing I could tell was that we were somewhere in the countryside; I could hear crickets chirping and what I thought to be an owl. Living in the city all my life I had never actually heard or seen an owl in the wild. The reason I knew what a cricket sounded like was because I’d once had a caged one as a pet. The neighbor lady Mrs. Wu had given it to me. She said it would bring me good fortune. That cricket became moon dust along with Mrs. Wu years ago. As for the good fortune my lack of it was obvious.

“Welcome to your new home, Stud.” It had been a long drive and Jason was just a tad too chipper for someone who’d been driving all night. I assumed he was happy because he had delivered the goods—namely, Ben Centaur—successfully and would now be collecting his reward. Goddamn lil’ fucker. I felt like kicking the gate off the trailer but couldn’t see what good that would do. Acts of violence wouldn’t solve my problem no matter how good they might feel to perpetrate.

“Steady, Big Fella.” Jason encouraged me to back out from the trailer. “Slow now, nice and easy. Almost out.”

“Would you stop talking to me like I have the I. Q. of a horse. Just because I’m part equine doesn’t mean I’m completely stupid.”

“Sorry, Ben. It’s just a little hard getting used to your new look, man.”

“Gee. I am sorry you’re having difficulty adjusting.” I turned my neck to look back at Jason and once I caught his eye I sneered.

“No need for sarcasm, Mister. You think it was easy falling in love with you when I knew you were going to be a centaur. You were a big guy before; now you’re a giant. Imagine feeling so small you could be a jockey for your lover. I stuck this out ’cause I love you. Believe it or not I am concerned about your welfare.”

“Don’t expect me to swallow your bullshit willingly. If you loved me you’d have told me what was up. Being jockey-sized couldn’t be worse than waking to find you’ve become a four-legged freak. You must be getting something in return for getting me here. How much is Browning paying you?”

Jason walked away from my rear end and, at a distance, approached my human side.

“Browning isn’t paying me anything. We have a trade. It’s Mr. Reardon who’s paying for my time hauling you up here.”

“Who the hell is Reardon?”

“I guess you might call him your new owner.”

“My what!”

“Owner.”

That just about did it. I bolted toward Jason and almost kicked him aside when the sound of a gun firing stopped me in my tracks.

A large man with a graying ponytail hanging over his left shoulder stepped out of the darkness. He gave Jason his hand and helped him off the ground. Jason was visibly shaken. He quickly backed away from me. I didn’t blame him. I almost put a hoof through the little fella. It would have been very easy. One advantage to being part horse is the strength. Another would be the agility. If it hadn’t have been for the fear of a bullet piercing my flesh Jason might now be a bloody smudge on the ground and I’d have hightailed it out this place.

“You must be Ben Selfridge. I am Thomas Reardon. Welcome to Pellion Farms.”

Reardon stepped forward to shake my hand as if it were a pleasure meeting him. He was either a fool or the most self-assured man I’d ever met. He didn’t expect me to put a well-placed hoof through his head and I didn’t; though I wasn’t certain why. I didn’t reach to shake his hand either. I stood looking down on the man, curious as to what his intentions were. I was surprisingly unafraid of him despite the rifle he held.

“Reardon, you’ve got a lot of explaining to do. What makes you think I won’t kick that rifle out of your hands and take off running?”

“Oh, a couple of things, Ben. May I call you Ben? One, Greer has a tranquilizer dart aimed at your rear flank as we speak.” A tall and lanky young man nodded towards me and smiled. “Two, where would a fine centaur such as yourself be able to go? We are many miles from the closest small town and looking as you do the locals would be more likely to kill you than help you.”

“It looks like you’ve thought of everything. But what if I decide that death is preferable to life as a monster, then what?”

“That would be most unfortunate. But I am not going to let that happen, rest assured. I have made a sizable investment in you and I mean to see many years of productive return on that investment. So, you can see, it behooves me to keep you healthy and happy. I have thought of everything including that, as you become accustomed to your centaur body, you’ll forget ever having been a mere man. That was part of the spell Mr. Browning cast. It makes it so much easier for you and I both. So, Ben, I suggest you accept your fate and we’ll all make you very glad you have.”

“Glad to be like this! You must be insane. Who would be happy to be part horse?

Only a fool.”

“I am sure I will be able to dissuade you from any such mistaken notions in short order. I have some further business to attend to but Mr. Greer will be pleased enough to escort you to your new quarters. Get some rest, Ben. Later you’ll be able to meet some of those fools of which you’ve spoken.”

Greer walked beside me with his gun cradled in a position that made it possible for him to use it if the need be. He was a blond-headed kid about twenty-two or so. He had a winning smile and seemed to be comfortable in the presence of a centaur. I wondered how that could be. If I had seen me coming I’d have run away as fast as I could. My fear would have helped me outrun such a startling creature. Yet, here Greer remained walking along side me as if I was just another guy.

“My name’s Doug. I think you’re gonna like it here, Ben”

“Let’s not get too chummy, Mr. Greer. I have no intentions of staying here despite Reardon’s efforts.”

“Wow. You honestly hate being a centaur, don’t you?”

I was taken aback by his question. I should have thought it was easy to tell how much I disliked my ugly new form. “Wouldn’t you be?”

“No way. I think you are one of the most beautiful guys I have ever seen. I would trade places with you in an instant. You don’t know how lucky you are, Ben.”

I was amazed by what I was hearing. Was this guy pulling my leg? Did he seriously want to be what I wanted to be free of?

“Ben, you’re the reason I’m here.”

I stopped walking for a moment and looked hard at Doug’s face. I didn’t see any sign that he was insincere. His eyes gleamed back at me and did not belie his words.

“I’ve made a deal with Tom Reardon. I help him set up his farm and in one year Browning work’s his magic on me.”

“You’re going to become a centaur?” I was shocked by what he said. It was very hard for me to believe anyone would want to become a huge monster like I was. What did he know that I didn’t? Was his sincerity just another piece of Browning’s magic? Maybe they’d started early on the poor kid.

“Yep, I’ve dreamt of being a centaur since the first time I saw a drawing of one. I was only seven but I knew in my heart that it was my destiny. My destiny led me to this place and, in about a month, I’ll be a big stallion like you. Cool, eh?”

“Cool? I think you’ve been brainwashed. Get out of here while you can, son!”

Doug laughed out loud as if my warning were the funniest thing he’d ever heard. When he stopped laughing we resumed our walk. After awhile he turned to me and raised a hand tentatively. “Could I feel your skin where your human part meets your horse part, Ben?”

I didn’t see any reason why he couldn’t touch me. It had been days since Jason and I had been able to make love. I was afraid I would never be with a man again. What man in his right mind would want to love me?

“Sure, kid. Whatever turns you on.”

Doug ran his hand along where my flesh went from being bare to being covered with horse hair. I admit it felt good to have him touch me and he was obviously enjoying the sensation of touching a centaur. Maybe he really did want to become like me. I pitied him.

“I can’t wait!”

Doug walked further ahead until we reached a place where the path forked. We went to the left. I pointed off to where the path disappeared into a group of trees. “Where does that path go?”

“I’m sorry, Ben, but I can’t tell you. Tom’s orders. All I can tell you is this: if you’re thinking of escaping that isn’t the way. Please believe me.”

“I’ll take your word for the time being. But I don’t know why I should trust a madman.”

Doug’s face fell. I could easily have kicked myself for being so insensitive. Doug looked down to where his boot was making a lazy circle in the red dirt. When his head lifted back up to me he looked to be close to tears. Yet, when he spoke there was a defiant edge in his voice. “Is it so mad to know what you want and go after it? Do you think I’m crazy for wanting to be happy? Ben, I think you might be crazy for not knowing when you’ve been blessed with a good thing.”

Again I was amazed by what I was hearing. Still, I kept my trap closed and left the boy to his delusion. I could sense that Doug had spoken this piece before. He’d had to defend his position in the past. Now he was defending it against the doubts of someone who’d become the embodiment of his desire. That had to be hard to deal with. As young as he was there was a man standing before me. A man who had the right to set his own course. I envied the fact that he was allowed to make his own choice. That ability had been stolen from me. I longed to find happiness again, to return to the way I had been.

Who was I to say that there was only one way to happiness? If he found happiness where I’d lost it more power to him.

“Hey, Doug?”

He perked up when he realized I’d called him by his first name.

“Yes, Ben?”

“Could you reach up here and scratch my back?”

Doug smiled. “Sure thing, Ben.”

Part Seven: Colt Meets Stallion

The hangover passed just like all the others with a headache, sore joints and the need to be left alone.

Jace never had a hangover. He always woke as bright as the sunshine even on overcast days. How such a small person could take in so much alcohol and never pay for it was a puzzle to me.

Whiskey only made Jace calm down a bit. It stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t know much about my family tree but I was sure there must be an Indian in it somewhere. Weren’t they the ones who had so much trouble with rotgut? Or was that just another piece of the white man’s prejudice? Who knew? All I knew was that my head was too tender. I wouldn’t be fit for a fight. Maybe if I came on to Reardon drunk he’d give up on me. I thought about it but knew it would be unfair to the man I loved and I did love Jace.

There were days when I woke so hung over all I wanted was another drink. Jace kept me from going that way. He always made sure I had a big breakfast even if he had to spoon feed it into me.

Since we got our discharges we’d been living in a one-bedroom apartment close to the base. I really wanted to get out of the area but Jace said he was just following the instructions he’s been given. Why Reardon wanted us to stay put in this hellhole was a mystery. Jace and I started having arguments about the situation. I wanted to go to some bars; instead we spent almost every waking minute at the gym. I lifted so much weight and punched so many bags that by the end of a month I felt exhausted. Jace finally figured out I was over-training.

“Alright already. I made a mistake, ok? Ya can take a week off. If it means we can

start fucking again than I’m happy to forget workin’ out for the time bein’.”

I lifted Jace up to my mouth and kissed him like he was oxygen for smothered man.

That night we worked-out in and on each other and I felt easy for the first time since getting out of the Navy. If everything could have only stayed that way.

Reardon called mid-stroke. I wasn’t going to answer the phone but without missing a beat Jace got it.

“Yes, Sir.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Yes, Sir.”

All of Jace’s military training came through whenever he talked to Reardon. He was a good, obedient little sailor.

“We’ll be there, Sir.”

“Yes, Sir. Good-bye, Sir.”

I kept hammering Jace. “We’ll be where?”

“Wha?”

I could tell his focus was back on pleasure. “Where did he say we have to go?”

“Can’t it wait? Could ya pay attention to getting’ off?”

“As soon as I know where we’re going, okay?”

“The place is called Pellion Farms.” He moved back up against me till I was buried completely inside him. I was always surprised how much room there was in that little body.

“Where the hell is that?”

“I don’ know and right now I don’ care. He’s sendin’ a map and plane tickets. One of his hired hands will pick us up at the airport. Okay? Happy?”

I showed him just how happy I was.

“Oh yea, Colt. Yer my stallion!”

And he showed me his happiness in return.

The trip was a long and tiring one. All I thought about was a nice hot bath and going to sleep. All Jace could do was talk and talk and talk. He was so wound up you’d of thought there was a key stuck in his back.

Jace came from poor people and he wanted more than anything to prove he wasn’t one of them. Reardon’s wealth impressed him. Anyone with bucks was an instant superior. So Reardon took advantage of Jace from the get-go. It was easy to tell that the way to me was through Jace’s wallet. If Reardon made it bulge just a little than I was his. Sorry to say, but the guy I loved didn’t really have my best interests at heart. But there was no telling tell him that.

We got to Pellion Farms at sundown. It was light enough to see that Reardon’s spread was huge. It stretched for miles in the middle of nowhere. It was beautiful land. Like nothing I’d ever seen before. Green rolling hills with lakes and trees and … the place looked like paradise.

How does one man get so rich he can call all this his own? Somehow it didn’t seem fair. Still, as much as I didn’t trust Reardon, I was glad to be here rather than back in that crummy apartment.

When Reardon greeted us he had a big, shit-eating grin across his puss. He looked to me like Sylvester had finally swallowed Tweety. He barely recognized Jace. He was so busy taking me in that Jace faded into the background. Of course Jace was too wired to tell he was being ignored. He danced around Reardon like he’d found a leprechaun.

“Welcome to Pellion Farms, Colt. I hope you don’t mind my calling you by your first name. We’re all pretty informal here.”

Reardon stepped forward to shake my hand but Jace intercepted it like a gambler pumping the handle of an one-armed bandit. Reardon looked at Jace as if he were a small child to be seen and not heard.

Before Jace had a chance to really get going a young guy came up and took our bags. He lifted all of them at once. I thought I was strong but this lanky kid had me beat. Our bags were heavy. I knew mine were ’cause I’d packed most of what I owned. What didn’t fit I had given to a local school for the blind. The rest went in a Dumpster. I wasn’t sure that this guy wouldn’t have been able to lift all that stuff, too. Shit, looks can really be tricky.

The kid smiled at me and for a moment my heart went flying. I pulled myself together and tried to hear what Reardon was saying.

“After you get settled in we’ll have dinner. Tomorrow I’ll give you my personal tour,

Greer will show you to your quarters, Colt. Jace, you’ll be bunking in the main house. We’ll be able to discuss business better if you stay close at hand.”

“Yes, Sir.” Reardon let Jace address him as “Sir.” When I tried to call him “Sir” he said: “Call me, Tom, please. All of my friends do. I hope we can become friends, Colt.” Alarms went off in my head. If Jace called him “Sir” and his friends called him “Tom” then what did that make Jace? The enemy? I was already suspicious. This scene made my almost crazy.

I followed the blond kid to what looked like stables. I offered to help him lift the bags but he smiled and said: “No. That’s okay. I’ve got ’em, Colt.” There was that beautiful smile again. I just repeated Jace’s name over and over silently.

I could smell hay and horseshit, but so far I hadn’t seen a single horse. There were some grazing miles back on the property. We’d been told they were wild. I had seen plenty of horses before but those were the first wild ones. I wondered where the trained horses were.

“What? Am I supposed to bunk down in the stables, kid?”

He laughed. “Oh, no. Part of the stable has been converted into guestrooms. There’s a king-sized bed, a large bathroom with a shower and a Jacuzzi. It’s really nice. I know you’ll like it.”

The kid was so sweet I almost threw him onto the bed to have my way with him. I remembered how strong he was and realized he’d probably be the one doing the throwing. Besides, I wasn’t even sure if he was into guys and the last thing I wanted to have happen was spoil our good situation. Jace would have had my hide.

“My name’s Doug. If you need anything just press that buzzer there.” He pointed to a red button by the headboard of the bed. “It’s an intercom. Just ask for me.”

After Doug left all I could do was daydream about “Room Service.” Does that include blondes?

Dinner was a barbecue. Spareribs, steaks, garlic bread, fresh corn. Made me feel like I was a cowboy. We didn’t talk much. Jace tried to. I mostly ate. I couldn’t believe how hungry I was. I had thirds on cole slaw, potato salad and ate a loaf of bread by myself. I almost always headed straight for the meat but tonight I wasn’t interested in it. I’d have eaten grass if it’d been placed before me.

“That’s what I like to see, a man with a hearty appetite. Is there anything else you’d like?”

I blurted out “A large green salad” before I knew what came over me.

“Certainly. What kind of dressing would you like?”

“None, thanks.”

“Just the greens then?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Tom, please.”

Within minutes a huge bowl of salad was set in front of me. I don’t know why I craved the greens but I had to eat them. Jace stared at me like I’d become a madman. For once he was completely tongue-tied. Reardon simply smiled.

I ate three bowls of the stuff before I felt full. I was eating like a pregnant woman. A pregnant horse! I could have eaten a horse if one was made out of grains or greens. But horses grazed and I was devouring. I’d never been so hungry in all my life. I couldn’t figure out why.

After the pig-out Reardon took Jace into his den to discuss business and Doug escorted me back to my room.

My head was swimming but I hadn’t had anything more than a glass of red wine. The stuff had been harsh. I thought Reardon would have better wine at his table. I didn’t drink any more of it.

Doug managed to get me back to my bed before I collapsed. I lie there looking up at his smile and smiled back. “I feel really weird, man.”

“Weird enough to kiss?”

“I must be dreamin, man. Did you say kiss?”

Doug bent down and kissed my numb mouth. I could barely feel the tingle of his mouth against mine but that didn’t stop my wanting more. Soon we were wrapped up in each other’s arms and sucking face big time.

Doug started to unbutton my jeans and even though I felt as high as the stars, out popped my hard-on. I don’t remember much after that except for one thing. I heard Doug say this: “Wow, this is great. I hope we can still do this after you’ve changed, Ben.”

I dozed off with the words “changed” and “Ben” stuck in my brain.

I wanted out of Pellion Farms. I didn’t know how to get free, but I swore I would find a way. I decided that the best way to make a break was for me to get on Doug’s sympathetic side. The danger in that approach was that he was desperate to become a centaur and that meant he was beholding to Reardon. I’d have to be subtle and very persuasive. It would also take time. I didn’t have time if the spell really worked the way Reardon said it would. I’d have to fight off the effects as hard as I could. Maybe with some luck I’d be able to find a new life somewhere where I could hide out from men and their fears.

I woke in the late afternoon. My stomachs made those noises empty stomachs make. I was ravenous. Doug arrived with a cart full of food. He smiled at me and I couldn’t help but smile back. He was a very attractive man. Green eyes, tanned skin and blond stubble. In other circumstances I could fall for a guy like him.

I let him rub my stomach muscles like he’d done in the morning. I could see that there was a flag being raised in his tight jeans. It really is a turn-on for him! It might be much easier than I thought winning his aid.

“You really like doing that, don’t you?”

“Are you kidding? Your skin and hair and muscles they all feel so great. I really envy you. Man, I mean Ben, you’re perfect. You’re a dream come true.”

“What else would you like to do?” I smiled my most charming smile down to where he stood. “Go on, show me what you’d do if you were a centaur. You’re going to need the practice, eh?”

I didn’t have to coax or encourage him any more than that. It seemed like he was born to give me pleasure. Soon I had the first centaur hard-on I’d experienced. I hadn’t allowed myself to give into horny feelings before because I knew the only way to stay unattached to this body was to fight its natural inclinations. My success staying celibate had turned me into a very horny beast. I wanted Doug to keep it up and he was happy to oblige.

Then it happened. I had the first full-blown orgasm of my centaurhood. I cannot express the incredible feelings that swept over me. No human orgasm could compare. I came like a summer downpour, fast, furious and copious. Soon all the thoughts of rejecting my new body started to pour out of my mind. I started to realize that I couldn’t thwart the spell’s effects and I didn’t want to. I wasn’t only strong and agile I was now many times more virile than the man I had bargained with Browning to become. Sure I still had his torso, but now I was infinitely more and with my orgasm I was glad for it. Doug had been right. Dammit Reardon was right, much as I hated to admit it.

When Doug stood up he was naked and covered with clots of my semen. He was so happy he smeared the thick white come all over himself. He even licked it off his fingers to show me how much he loved what had just transpired. I’d have been shocked if a thought hadn’t come into my brain that his behavior was totally natural. Soon he’d be as I was and then we’d both be dancing with passion and pleasure and maybe love.

“Guess this means you’ve changed your mind about being a centaur, uh Ben?”

“Reardon was right, Doug. The spell has weakened me. And you know what? I can’t wait for your year of service to end because I want you so much now I’m about to burst!”

Doug laughed. “Even after that blast of spunk? Being part horse must be wonderful.”

“If you don’t mind being insatiable.”

“I’ll take my chances.” Doug’s expression became serious.

“Is something wrong?”

“No, not really. I was just thinking that you still have no idea why you’ve become a centaur, do you?” I noticed that his brow creased as he asked the question.

“Of course not. This has all happened against my will. Though right now it seems my will has surrendered and I am happy to have become this way. So, do you know why I’ve been changed?”

“Yes, I do. It’s another one of those things that Tom has forbidden me to speak of. If I tell you he won’t let Browning work his magic on me and then where would I be? We’d be separated forever.”

“So that’s it? You can’t tell me and there’s no way to find out?”

“Don’t worry, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. I’m sure Tom will tell you all about it soon.”

“Soon as in, “tonight soon”, if I have anything to say about it!”

What a night! The dreams I had were like widescreen movies in Technicolor. Boy, were they strange.

I dreamed of running so fast that the fields and farms and everything else blurred behind me. I heard my name being called out over and over again. “Colt! Colt! Colt!”

The sun was warm and it felt good on my skin but when I looked down at myself in the dream my skin was different. I was different!

“COLT! My God, Johnny, wake up!”

I woke to feel someone shaking at me. My head was swimming like it was full of water where my brain should be. You might think that was a typical thing for a sailor, but this morning I knew I wasn’t near the ocean and I wasn’t on any ship. As far as I knew last night I’d landed on a bed on solid ground. I could feel it beneath me, but I sure felt funny.

“Man, are you awake?”

It was Jace who’d been tugging me out of my dream. I opened my eyes to look up to him and had real trouble getting them to focus. “Wha?”

“Geez, Johnny, I thought ya’d never wake up! Can ya tell me how ya feel?”

I had a time getting my head to connect with my mouth. When I spoke I sounded like an old 78 being played at 45.

“I full li’ shih, Jace. I ful sore ’ll over. Kinda dull in da noggin. Lemme sleep, uh?” I closed my eyes with the idea of doing just that.

“Sleep! Man, ya’ve been asleep for two days solid!”

Two days? That made me open my eyes again.

“N’ way.” I mumbled. How the hell could I have slept for a whole two days? Even the worst hangover never did that to me. I started to remember what I thought was last night. I remembered my huge appetite. I remembered making it with Doug. Then I remembered what Doug had said. “Changed” and “Ben.” I had no idea what the words meant until …

I had a stitch on my side that almost made me howl with pain. It went as quick as it had come. Then I had a stitch in my butt and that was when I realized something was really wrong. My butt felt like it was so huge I wouldn’t be able to lift it. My legs felt different, too.

I couldn’t move my toes. I was afraid to see why I was feeling so weird.

“Colt! Are ya okay?”

“Whasamatterwitme?”

“I guess yer body is getting’ used ta yer changin’.”

I tried to shake my head so I could understand what Jace was telling me. The watery feeling sloshed around and made me real dizzy. I decided that moving my head could maybe wait a while.

“Wha? Changin’?”

“Yea, man. Reardon spiked yer wine the other night. He gave ya somethin’ to make ya different. I swear, Johnny, I had no idea this was what was gonna happen!”

Jace sounded frightened and his voice was strained.

“Wha was gonna hap’n?” Slowly my senses were starting to return to me and, though I felt strange, my head was clearing. I half expected water to come pouring out of my ears.

“We talked business while that Greer kid brough’ ya over here. Reardon talks a good line, Johnny. He had me signin’ a contract in no time. How was I ta know he’d already done this to ya?”

“Slow down, Jace. You signed a contract?”

“Yea. I’m yer manager, Colt. Yer rep. So I can do that.”

“I know that, Jace.” My patience was starting to go. There I lie on a bed half-paralyzed and my lover slash manager was telling me about some contract that gave Reardon power over me. I was sobering up fast. It’s amazing how fear can kill a hangover.

I felt another painful stitch, this time in my groin. My dick felt numb, but I could tell I had to piss like a racehorse.

“I thought he was gonna help ya become a great fighter. Hell if I know how this is gonna do that. I mean what could the guy have in his head? I shoulda guessed somethin’ wasn’t on the up and up. God, Johnny, I’m sorry. I was a fool.”

Jace took my hand in his and when I went to squeeze it I felt a surge race down my arm, through my palm and into my fingers. My hand clamped down hard upon Jace’s. It was like someone else, someone super strong, was inside of me. I felt so energized that the soreness in my muscles started to disappear. I felt like I was on fire but it felt real good.

Jace screamed out in pain. It took me a moment to realize I was crushing his hand. I let go.

“My God, Colt! Whad’ya do that for? I told ya I was sorry.”

Jace stood rubbing his hand with his other hand and looking like he was close to tears. I didn’t know why I’d done what I had. I could have broken his hand or maimed him for life. I was suddenly aware that whatever was happening to me had made me powerfully strong. I was strong before but nothing like this.

Then the image of Doug carrying all of my luggage came into my head. Whatever it was that had made him so strong was now inside me, too. But what could do that? Was it in the wine? Was that why it tasted so awful but I still wanted to drink it? Whatever Reardon had found it must have miraculous powers ’cause in a couple of days my strength had increased by so much it was hard for me to measure. What else had it done?

I finally got up the gumption to check myself out. I was afraid to know before but now I was anxious to see the truth. I could feel it, but I had to see for myself.

That’s when I found out that I was part horse.

Part Eight: Reflections

I found my way back to the main house. I looked for Reardon but he wasn’t to be found. I went to his office and found the door wide open. I expected him to be there but he wasn’t. He was probably out fuckin’ with some other guy’s future.

Since the office was open I decided to snoop around. It was a well-appointed room. A large wooden desk with a cowhide-upholstered chair sitting behind it dominated the center of the room. There was what looked like a bronze by Remington sitting on a side bar. I wondered if it was the real thing or just a copy. It was hard telling what was or wasn’t real around Reardon.

I could barely fit in the room’s doorway with my new size. I wouldn’t be able to check out the desk’s drawers or any of the cabinets without disrupting the office completely. I was angry but not so enraged that I was about to break fine furniture. No, not even the property of the man responsible for my remarkable transformation.

I was startled by a hard slap on my right rear flank. My right rear leg shook and rose up from the floor for a second. I turned to see Reardon smiling back at me.

“Did you expect me to bolt, Reardon, now that I’m part horse?”

“No, Sir, just a good way to get your attention.”

“You could have called my name.”

“That wouldn’t have been near as much fun. Besides, it was a good way to test your reflexes. Later on today my staff vet is going to give you an extensive series of tests. I want to make sure my investment is in excellent physical condition.”

“Just what are you up to, Reardon?”

“Why, Ben—may I call you Ben? I would have thought that a smart fellow such as you would know the answer to that question. What am I up to? Well, why don’t you back that big body of yours out of here and I’ll fill you in, okay?”

“It’s not like I have much choice.”

“That’s right.”

After leaving the big house we walked across the front yard and over towards a race track. The oval was freshly groomed and the fence around it had a new coat of paint. There was a grandstand facing out across the oval towards the gently rolling hills that I knew belonged to Reardon.

“Here’s where you’ll be trained for one of the events.”

“Trained?” I looked at him as any sane man would at a lunatic.

“Yes, Ben, trained. You’re younger and stronger than your former self was. All of that vitality and virility should be an asset once you are in competition. You see, Ben, it is my intention that you be trained to be a winning athlete, a multi-faceted athlete. By the time my staff is done you’ll be able to run faster and fight harder than any mere human could. What am I up to? The Centaur Olympics. How does that sound?”

“I think you must be crazy. One centaur doesn’t make an Olympics. What if I don’t go along with your plan?”

“I have no fear of that. Did you forget that Phineas Browning is on my staff?”

A look of disgust swept across my face. “Oh, don’t blame Mr. Browning, Ben. It was on odd coincidence that brought you to me. It isn’t a secret. In a matter of a couple of days you’ll know everything there is to know about why you’re a centaur. Mr. Browning will be gracing us with his company then.”

“I can’t wait.” I said and added, “To kill him.”

Reardon laughed. “That would be very funny, indeed, if I didn’t know you were serious. I’m afraid that Mr. Browning, being the good warlock he is, is already prepared for any threats you might hold against him. Want to try to knock my head off with your front hoof?”

Now I was certain he was crazier than I had expected. “Sure I would.”

“Go ahead, try.” He smiled at me and pointed at a spot right between his eyes. “Try hitting me there, eh?”

So I did.

But as fast as my foot moved to collide with his head it met only thin air. I looked to see Reardon gone. Vanished. Disappeared into thin air.

I heard a laugh from behind me and once again Reardon slapped my broad backside. My leg twitched as it had before.

“Good reflexes, Ben, but not good enough against a protection spell. Mr. Browning equipped me with that powerful spell before you arrived. I had a feeling you’d want a piece of me and I’m not willing to oblige. Sorry. Now, then, to answer some of your other questions.

“You might think you’re the only centaur in the world. You’re wrong. As we speak another man has met his destiny. You’ll be meeting him shortly. He’ll be your training partner. I think you’ll find him very much to your liking. After all, you’ll have so much in common.

“Then, of course, in the coming days others will follow. I’m glad you have become so well acquainted with our Mr. Greer. It is important that there be bonding amongst the group. It will make you members of an infinitely more effective team. Doug will make a very fine specimen don’t you think?

And he’s not the only volunteer. My staff has combed the earth to find a sizable supply of men and women both who will gladly become centaurs. In a matter of a few months you will have many new friends and partners. After the training commences Phase Two begins.”

“You’ve got this all planned out. Don’t tell me Phase Two is when the other mythical beasts arrive, uh?”

Reardon looked at me and grinned very broadly. “No, Sir. That would be Phase Three. Phase Two is a bit more pressing. You see, I don’t want to half to rely on the auspices of Mr. Browning forever. I will need new stock and there’s a better way of obtaining them than spellcasting.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I might be finding peace with my new form but I wasn’t prepared for this.

“I have a degree in animal husbandry.” Again the smile crossed his tanned face. I had to admit the man could be charming. Trouble was I wasn’t interested in being charmed and especially not by this egomaniac and not now. Maybe he had a spell to change my feelings. I certainly hoped not.

“You’re going to stud us out?” I was practically incredulous. Was nothing beneath this man?

“You guessed it. Imagine, if you will, a small village occupied by males and females such as yourself; the finest of physical specimens producing replicas of themselves. In one generation I’ll have assembled the most outstanding group of athletes on this or any other known world. All you have to do to earn your keep is train hard and have fun mating.”

“Won’t the fact that I am gay put a wrench in the works?”

“Not a problem. Centaurs are bisexual. You’ll still be able to cavort with your gay friends and mate with your female ones. The bisexuality thing is definitely a plus. There will be even stronger bonding in the centaur community and since everyone will be satisfied there will be less chance of violent outbreaks. I don’t expect to control your libidinous activities but to work with them to everyone’s advantage. Ben, you should be pleased. You will be one of the founding father’s of a centaur utopia.”

This was one insane dude. There had to be a way, witchcraft or not, to stop him. I might have to be a centaur for the rest of my life, but I was going to make damn sure no one else was forced into this form without prior consent.

Doug Greer had to be one of a minority. Reardon was lying about having a sizable group of centaur prospects to choose from. There couldn’t be that many centaur wannabes out there. I didn’t believe him. I did, however, believe that he could get a breeding program started with only a handful of healthy participants. That thought was frightening. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be born a centaur. Humans would always find a centaur child to be a deformed freak of nature. How could Reardon perpetrate such a horrible life on an innocent child? To think that you could grow up knowing your only purpose was to perform in some perverse athletic exhibitions was too incredible to ponder.

This man has to be stopped!

If he was going to be deterred from his insane goal then I was the centaur who’d be doing it. If that meant I would succumb in my effort than so be it. I didn’t see how death could be any worse than my current condition. The way the spell was working I was sure that by nightfall that attitude would change. Still, I was adamant about what I knew must be done. I prayed that I could convince Doug and any other centaurs that’d be coming my way that disposing of Reardon was in everyone’s best interest.

First, I passed out. Then, once revived, I was certain I was dreaming. Then, once certain I wasn’t dreaming, I said: “Jace, tell me this is just a bad acid trip, please!”

“Oh man. I wish that was so. This is what that wine did to ya. Reardon slipped you some sorta magical potion. That was why ya ate so much. I shoulda figured it out for myself. When ya started downin’ so much food I was flabbergasted, man. I’d never seen any one pig- out so much. It was like you’d been starvin’ so long that ya couldn’t get yer fill.

“Reardon made me go with him so I wouldn’t be able to guess what he’d done. The next day when I walked over to see ya, you were like this. First I thought it was some sorta joke. But after I touched you I knew you were a centaur for real.”

“A what?”

“You’re what they call a centaur, Colt. Ya know like in Greek Mythology.”

“I only know one thing for sure about Greeks, Jace. And you know what that is. What was that name again?”

“Centaur. C-e-n-t-a-u-r. Kinda a guy on horseback but more permanent like. From the waist down, Colt, you’re a horse. A stallion, man! I’d read about centaurs years ago. I never dreamed I’d have a lover who became one. I know it must be a real shock but Reardon says that once ya get used to it you’ll be happy you were changed.”

I looked down to where my horse half lay and wondered how I would ever get use to such a thing. I was happy the way I was. How could I be happy being some sort of Greek freak? I felt like kicking a hole in Reardon’s skull. The sick fuck deserved it.

There was a knock on the door and Doug poked his head through after partly opening it. “Hi guys. Mind if I come in?”

“Come ahead everybody will be seeing the monster soon enough I s’pose.”

Doug stepped towards the bed and his face broke into a huge grin. He looked like a kid left in a candy store.

“Oh wow! You look so cool! Whatsitlikeman. Howdoyafeel?”

He was so excited his words were running together and he could barely contain himself. His pants were coming to attention. It wasn’t hard for Jace to see Doug was very, very turned-on.

“You knew all about this did’nya, kid?”

“Oh. Yea, sure.”

“But you did’n bother tellin’ us, uh?”

Doug’s face clouded over. He looked toward the floor. “Oh, gee guys, I’m sorry. I couldn’t tell you anything. If I did Tom wouldn’t let me become one, too.”

Jace and I asked in shocked unison: “You’re gonna be a centaur?”

“Oh yeah. Cool, uh? I’ve already started some of Browning’s special treatments.”

“Who’s Browning? I asked.

“Oh, Mr. Browning. He’s On Tom’s staff. He’s a warlock from Boston.”

“A war what?”

“A guy who’s a witch, Johnny?’’ Jace responded.

“What does a witch have to do with this?”

“Figure it out, man. Who do ya think made that potion Reardon put in the wine?”

“Oh” was all I could say to the news that a male witch was responsible for my being changed.

Doug continued drooling at the sight of me. “Wow, Colt, I am so envious. I can’t wait to be like you. Do you mind if I touch you?”

I didn’t mind. But before I could say anything Jace’s jealousy kicked into high gear.

“No way. Hands off the man, kid. He’s spoken for!”

“Oh, sure. I didn’t mean any harm, Jace. I just thought I could get a feeling for what it’ll be like when I’m changed, too.”

“Well, I guess you’ll hafta use yer imagination for that. No one touches my man but me, kid”

“Centaur.”

Jace gave Doug a look that could have turned him into stone. “Centaur?”

“You’re centaur. I mean he isn’t a man anymore is he? He’s a centaur. Soon I’ll be one, too. Then how does a lil’ guy like you think he’ll be able to love a huge centaur with me for competition, eh?”

Doug winked at me and walked out of the room.

Jace stood staring at the spot where Doug had been standing. I could tell the little wheels were working overtime. It just dawned on him that it was just about impossible for the two of us to continue on as anything more than friends.

If I thought I would have hurt the guy before now I knew my horse dick would easily kill him. I didn’t like thinking how I’d never be with Jace again, but the idea of fucking with Doug Centaur was making me horny. I couldn’t tell Jace the truth. I knew it would hurt him too much, but the truth was I was as anxious for Doug to change as he was. A picture came into my head of mounting the blond stud and I almost swooned out loud. Good thing I didn’t. I don’t know how I’d have explained why I was swooning to Jace.

“Don’t pay any attention to that kid, Jace. He’s just trying to get your goat.”

“I know that. It’s just that the sonnafabee is right.” Jace sat on the small amount of space left on the edge of my bed and I saw a tear roll down from his eye. I felt like such a horse’s ass. Here I was changed against my will and the first thing I’d managed to do was hurt the most important man in my life.

Jace turned to me and made a weak smile. “I don’t s’pose I could convince Reardon to spike my wine, too.”

“You’d willingly take the potion to be like me?” I took Jace’s hand in mine but this time I didn’t squeeze it.

“Ya hafta ask? ’Course I would, Johnny. Don’t you know I love you?”

That was what I was afraid of.

“So, tell me Doug, what do you think of being a potential olympian?”

Doug and I had been eating the strangest meal I had ever had. I’d wondered why my stomach was somewhat sore and why my new plumbing wasn’t always working so well. I’d accounted it to adjusting to my centaur body. I was mistaken. The reason I was having difficulties was that my diet was completely off base. I was eating like I was a man. I wasn’t accounting for the equine element. Horses don’t eat burgers and fries, neither could I.

The plate was piled high with an assortment of raw greens and grains like rolled oats. Everything had been prepared to be palatable as well as nutritious. I couldn’t figure out how they had made alfalfa digestible for my teeth and my human stomach but they had.

Doug told me that he’d switched over to grasses and grains months before. “It’s all part of the program.” He said, smiling at me. He had such an “aw shucks” manner about him that everything he said seemed absolutely natural. He spoke as if being a centaur were the most normal thing in the world.

Reardon had found the ideal candidate for transformation: a guy who never questions your motives and hidden agendas. Doug was so intent on becoming his dream-self that he just went along with whatever the master demanded. The rules of the game were: fully cooperate, completely obey and, if you’re very good, you can have the uniform to play in. That was what Reardon held over Doug like a carrot bobbing in front of donkey. Walk this way, Boy. Talk this way. Do as I say, not as I do.

Doug, being the good natured and obedient man that he was, always was glad to do exactly what he was told.

“Part of the program? It doesn’t bother you that Reardon’s going to turn you into a show pony, a kind of half-horse prostitute?” Doug stopped mid-chew and stared at me. Maybe I’d hit a nerve. It was hard to tell.

“Wo, Ben. You’ve got Tom all wrong. None of us are going to be selling ourselves.”

“No? Then what do you call people who volunteer to be turned into freaks for the amusement of others. Fools, maybe?”

Doug looked at me like I’d soiled myself and started playing with it.

“No way, man. How can you think that? You know why I’m here. I’m not doing this to be made a fool of. That’s not gonna happen. Sure people will stare and some will even ridicule us, but those will be the fools. A lot of others are gonna see just how great we are and they’ll be beating down Tom’s door to join us.”

It was my turn to stare in amazement. “Do you honestly believe that? If you do, you’re a bigger sucker than I thought. No wonder Reardon can lead you around by the balls.” I shook my head. “I hope you’ll enjoy your life of oats and grass and being studded out but I, unlike you, didn’t have a choice about this. I know the spell is working its wonders. In no time I’ll be completely convinced that this is the way it was always meant to be. The brainwashing will be complete.

“So what’s your story, Mister? You’ve still got a chance to get out of here and have a normal life. Doug, can’t you see this whole plan is wrong, it’s downright immoral. You can do something about it before it gets completely out of hand. You could help others to never make this mistake happen again. What of it? Don’t you care?”

He pushed his plate forward and started to move away from the counter we stood at. “I’ve got to go. There’s work to be done and I’m the one who has to do it.”

I grabbed his arm and forced him to stay. He tried to look away without addressing me. I squeezed his arm tighter. That got his attention fast.

“Stop it, Ben! You’re hurting me!”

I loosened my grip but held on. “I’ll let go when I am sure you’ll stick around long enough to answer me. What about it? Are you going to tell me the truth or run away from what you don’t want to look at?”

Doug looked right into my eyes and I could tell he wasn’t going to run. There might be some strength of character in him after all. I let go of his arm. He started to speak while he rubbed his arm where the skin I’d been squeezing it. His voice was so soft it was almost a whisper.

“You talk about being normal, Ben. I’ve never been normal. When I was little if I spoke about what I felt I was either teased or whipped. Sometimes both. I learned real early to keep my mouth shut. People didn’t want to hear about what I wanted to be when I grew up. They wanted to hear about firemen, doctors, lawyers, teachers … normal things. No one was prepared to hear me say, ’Gee, I want to be a centaur.’ My Daddy made sure I never told any one that. He didn’t want it known around town that his boy was some sorta pervert.”

Doug paused a moment. He looked like he was close to tears. I put my hand on his.

“On top of that I always was attracted to men. I couldn’t get enough of cowboys.

They looked to me to be the real thing up there astride their horses. I wanted to be like they were. When I first saw a drawing of a centaur I was completely taken with it. I thought that that was how I should be. I felt that it was a mistake that I’d been born a man and if I ever had the chance to change the mistake I would. Tom Reardon has given me that chance. He didn’t knock me over the head or kidnap me. He told me up front what it was all about and how pleased he’d be to make my wish come true. Never once did he tell me I was sick or perverse or a faggot. He just accepted that I was a guy who wanted to change and he had the method to make that change real.

“Ben, I know you mean well but in my case ’normal’ is a dirty word. I don’t want to be special, but I sure as hell don’t want to be normal either. Not if it means I have to conform to the ways of a society that won’t accept me for who I am. I’ll take my chances with Tom Reardon. If humans don’t accept me it won’t make any difference. There’ll be others like you and me and they’ll be happy to accept me. You’ll see, Ben. In time this will all work out for the best. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be here.” He pulled his hand out from under mine and gave my arm a light squeeze as if to tell me he was strong enough to protect himself, that he didn’t have to tell me anything.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, there are chores to be done.”

I watched the man walk away and wondered how he would be as a centaur.

The change was going to be a more gradual one for him. It would be easier than mine. He already knew what to expect. Still, I didn’t envy Doug. I felt sorry for him. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to dislike my body so much I had to find a way—any way—to change it. Sure I had been transformed initially into the stud of my dreams, but that was different. It was a do-or-die deal. The next transformation was against my will. I didn’t become a centaur because I felt I was born to be one. It wasn’t my destiny to have four legs instead of two. It was an evil magic worked upon me and nothing, even the implanted belief that my being a centaur was as it should be, could convince me otherwise. The spell would change things, but deep in my mind I would always carry the truth about the injustice done to me.

Doug would carry himself well as a centaur. He would be proud of his new form. It was his destiny or so he’d convinced himself. I was sure that everything he’d said was true for him. He came off as a nice guy with a peculiar twist. Maybe I was wrong to pity him. Maybe he’d become my role model over time. I knew how much I wanted to stop Reardon, yet something within me wanted him to succeed long enough for Doug’s sake. I didn’t want to be the only centaur in the world. If there were only two of us I’d gladly learn to live and love with Doug. I didn’t have much of an option. Thank God I found him attractive. You are so shallow, Ben.

The spell was very devious. In a flash I saw myself mounting Doug again. He turned his head towards me and he was grinning. I could sense that the scene in my mind wasn’t just fantasy but some kind of precognition. The next thing I knew I was shuddering and releasing a stream of semen into the red dirt. I couldn’t believe I could be so easily aroused. The horrible truth was it felt incredible and I wanted to make the vision real as soon as possible. I looked down beneath myself and saw steam rising up from the ground. There was a puddle under me.

Normally something like this involuntary orgasm in public would have embarrassed me to the core. I didn’t feel that way now. Animals have it over men. They can do whatever is natural to them without a second thought. Civilization had made men fear their animal origins. Eliminating and intercourse were private things for humans. Animals just did what was necessary. Had mankind really advanced all that much?

Sex was one area where Reardon would have no trouble making his plan work. Centaur sex was way beyond human sex. It was like sex to the tenth power. If Reardon could control us through our sex drives, through our bestial desires, than he could make us do just about anything.

That was what scared me most.

Part Nine: Stallion Meets Stallion

“You’re not the only one, Son.”

“Don’t call me son, asshole.” Reardon had filled me in with about as much as he was going to and I was pissed. If it wasn’t bad enough finding myself turned into some sort of freak he had to brag about it. Reardon was damned excited. He looked at me like I was some sort of walking treasure chest. I looked at me and saw hell.

“Now, now Johnny … I can call you Johnny, can’t I?”

He didn’t wait for my: “No!”.

“Don’t you want to know about, Ben? You guys have a lot in common. You’ll see what I mean this afternoon. I expect to see you at the vet’s office at Two sharp.”

“And if I’m not there?”

“Oh, you’ll be there, Johnny Boy. You’ll be surprised how persuasive Mr. Browning’s spells can be. You won’t be able to fight keeping that appointment. Try as you might that big body of yours will go even if your mind says “no”. Besides, if you didn’t go you wouldn’t meet your fellow centaur, Ben. I can’t wait to see your expression. In fact, I’ll being having your meeting video taped. It isn’t everyday someone meets their twin.”

Reardon nodded his head and left me to my self.

Did I hear right? Twin? I was an only child! I knew I had no brother and how the hell would Reardon have found him, saying I did? Whoever this Ben guy was, centaur or not, he wasn’t my twin. Not my natural-born twin anyway.

I don’t know how but I found myself headed down the path headed into the woods. It was a bright clear afternoon and the sun bore down on my backside as I became acquainted with the damned horse flies. Approaching the woods offered me some relief from the heat but the flies were still busy making me miserable. Some advantage this horse’s hind was. It was just a much larger expanse of flesh that I couldn’t reach back to scratch.

The path came through the woods to an opening where a large modern building dwarfed the landscape. Reardon’s resources didn’t stop to amaze me. My legs led me further on and into the building where Doug greeted me.

“Welcome, Ben.”

“O. K., Doug, what is this place and why am I here?”

Again his smile enraptured me. “You don’t know?”

“My legs wouldn’t leave me alone. They said, “yes” to an invitation I probably would have refused. So, here I am and just like with everything else, I haven’t got a clue why.”

“Tom must have mentioned that Doc Gruenwald, his vet, was gonna check you out, uh?”

“Yeah, he mentioned something about making sure his investment was hale and hearty.” Doug grabbed me by the hand a led me down a long white corridor. Different unmarked doors were passed before we arrived at one that had been left ajar. Doug squeezed my hand and said: “Surprise!”

“Surprise” was an understatement. What my eyes looked on in that room was flabbergasting. Across the room staring back at me was … no, impossible … myself.

I was stunned. It took me a moment to catch my breath and take in the reality of the scene.

If not for the fact that there was man in a lab coat with a stethoscope checking out the other centaur I’d have thought it was just my reflection. Incredibly, my reflection—and it looked to me to be my identical reflection—was alive, breathing and as shocked as I was. He broke away from the man and slowly walked over to me. His approach was tentative.

“You must be, Ben. Reardon was right you are my twin.”

It was uncanny. Even the tone of his voice matched mine. I couldn’t stop myself from breaking out in the biggest grin my face could afford. The most peculiar feeling swept over me. If I hadn’t know better I would have sworn that I was falling in love-at-first-sight with my twin. When he smiled back at me I liked to faint the emotion was so thrilling.

“O.K. Break it up, you two. I hate to break up your mutual admiration society but I’ve got to finish this examination today. Colt, please step back over here.”

So that was his name, Colt. It was a far better name for a centaur than Ben. I wondered if it was his real name or one he’d taken after the change. Before he walked away I said: “We have to talk, Colt.”

“Gladly.”

Doug stood by me and shook his head. He was beside himself with glee.

“What are you so happy about?” I asked.

“You make an awesome matched set, Ben.” He looked down to the floor and his cheeks reddened.

“All right out with it, Mister.”

He whispered back: “All I can think about is a three-way.”

I laughed out loud and stomped a hoof against the tile floor.

The man who was obviously Gruenwald declared: “Unless you want to pay to replace the marble, Stud, you’ll be careful with your hoofs, eh?”

I turned away and tried to ignore the fact that the vet called me “stud” and was treating me like just another one of his animal charges.

“What fly bit his butt?” I whispered harshly to Doug.

“Oh, Doc? Just nervous about the examinations I guess. He’s a good guy once you get to know him.”

“I’ll take your word for it, though you think Reardon’s a good guy. So where did Colt come from?”

Before Doug could answer my question I had the horrible thought that I might know. Was Reardon cloning me? Or worse still, was I a clone of Colt? No, that was impossible. I prayed it was impossible. If Reardon had the use of such a technology the whole planet was in trouble. I shook the thoughts free from my addled brain as Doug answered me.

“Tom found him. He was a Navy boxer. I don’t know how come you guys are twins, but it sure is exciting. Tell me something, Ben?” Doug asked shyly.

“Sure, what do you want to know?”

“Oh, just …” He paused nervous to continue.

“Spit it out!”

“Do you, I mean, do you find Colt attractive?”

“I’m surprised you had to ask. I thought it was obvious. I think I could love him, easily.”

Doug turned from me. His voice lowered till I almost couldn’t hear him. “Oh. I guess with him around I haven’t got a chance. I don’t blame you. I think I’ve fallen for a guy who looks just like him.”

My God! Why must life be so complicated? My passion had made inroads in the heart of this kid and I was too busy lusting after my mirror image to recognize the fact. Doug was as sweet as any man I’d ever met. He was as pretty as a dream walking. I’d had too many sexual thoughts about him. I hadn’t had any thoughts of love. Everything was going too darn fast. How could I deal with the mix of emotions and sexuality I’d been dealt since taking centaur form? How could I take it easier, slower when Reardon was doing what he was doing? I didn’t want to hurt Doug but I knew I wasn’t ready for anything more than a good ride.

“Oh, Doug. Please slow down. You haven’t even changed, yet. Let yourself get accustomed to the body before you start pairing off, uh? Just so you know, handsome, you’re still in the running, but I won’t be making up my mind until I know the whole picture. Colt is definitely my ideal lookswise. Still, that doesn’t mean I’ll love or even like the real him. Okay?”

“Whatever you say, Ben.” Doug’s expression perked up a little. Still, I could tell he wasn’t pleased to be “in the running.”

“Alright, Stud, it’s your turn.” Gruenwald called over to me.

As I passed Colt he whispered: “I’ll be waiting outside.” I watched his exit. He cut a very fine figure even if it was the same as mine. When he passed Doug he bent down and kissed the kid right on the lips.

“Come on. Come on, Big Fella, I haven’t got all day.”

Doug was a fast mover, alright.

“So I see you’ve met at last. Well, what do you think, Ben, is it so bad being a centaur now?” Reardon was so full of himself it was a wonder he could stand up without toppling over.

“And you, Colt, like your twin?”

It was fairly obvious by the way we were looking at each other what we were thinking. I could barely keep from an embarrassing display of sexual desire. Lust was ruling my loins and Reardon’s remarks were fading from my consciousness. I looked into Colt’s eyes and felt a rush of such incredible passion my whole being begged for communion.

His look back said the same thing and despite Reardon’s presence we were literally all over each other.

A voice seemed to emanate from the distance of a deep tunnel. “I’ll let you guys get better acquainted.” Followed by fading laughter.

Have you ever dreamed of making love to yourself? I hadn’t, but the idea became as close to sexual heaven as I was likely to ever experience. We were kissing and rubbing our hands all over our well-muscled torsos and, well, you get the picture.

In short order my centaur equal was putting his gorgeous rear end in front of me and then I realized the fulfillment of my transformation. I had never known anything like this. It was beyond compare.

Being inside your perfect vision is a very heady trip.

With every thrust the trip became more incredible. Finally my staff released a flow of energy that almost made me faint. Out rushed a torrent of my very essence. When centaurs cum it’s like a geyser being untapped. As a human it was over in a few seconds. As a centaur it went on so long I felt like I was sending my entire being through a portal into another world. I felt such outrageous bonding it was as if Colt and I were one magnificent stud pleasuring himself.

I almost collapsed on Colt as the ejaculation ended.

Once we’d caught our breaths our positions were traded and I came to know what Colt had felt. I had always considered myself a top man. After Colt came inside me that opinion changed forever. I wasn’t a man at all, I was centaur and I wanted to stay that way. Flexibility was my new calling card.

That evening Colt and I were inseparable much, I was certain, to Doug’s chagrin. The smile wasn’t painted in its usual position. In fact he looked forlorn. I hated to see him so blue, but I couldn’t concentrate on the kid’s mood when I was so busy being enraptured by Colt. I knew I wouldn’t be able to explain my feelings to Doug adequately, so I didn’t. I tried my best to ignore his moping and pray he would have his own sexual epiphany soon.

“What’s with Blondie?” Colt asked me.

“Just a bad case of puppy love.”

“You, too, uh? That isn’t hard to figure out. It’s easy to see that if he was crazy about me he’d want you, too.”

“No doubt. We are identical.”

“It looks that way. What I don’t get is how come we are the same? Have you always had that handsome mug?”

“As a matter of fact, no. I found a picture of my ideal man and had Browning make me into his duplicate. It was real shock when I saw you, Colt. I guess you must be the guy in the picture, eh?”

Colt looked at me in sudden shocked recognition. It was like he hadn’t put two and two together expecting to get more than a four. He shook his head and laughed out loud.

“What’s so funny?”

“I thought nothing had ever come of those pictures. I hoped they were never used anywhere but, I must have been wrong. I needed the cash and this guy I knew told me a way to make it fast. I let him drag me out to that barn and snap a few quick ones plus I got a good blow-job. Jace doesn’t know a thing about it so please don’t tell him, okay?”

I nodded and took his large hand into mine.

“Two hundred dollars was all I saw from baring my body until I laid eyes on you. Looks like that little trip paid off, big time.”

Colt bent forward and we kissed deeply.

“So I’m your ideal man, uh?”

“Well, my ideal centaur now.”

I put my hand up to Colt’s face and ran it across the dimple his smile made. Even though I had shared that face for months and I looked at it whenever I looked into mirror, I still didn’t entirely recognize it as my own. I knew now that this was the real thing, mine was just a copy. I was in love with the image, but, I rationalized, since I wasn’t born with that face I wasn’t really in love with myself. I was trying to maintain some sort of objectivity and convince myself I wasn’t a crazy egoist. It wasn’t easy to do.

“You know I’ve been thinking, Ben.”

“Ah, don’t spoil a wonderful time by doing that?” I teased.

“Seriously.” Colt grinned. “Do you think that Blondie would go for a three-way?

I looked at Colt like he was suddenly crazy.

“I mean after he’s been changed, uh?” He winked at me.

I just smiled.

Part Ten: Wannabes No More

Reardon, for some reason I couldn’t figure out, was keeping out of sight. Jace said that the sonnafabitch was a busy guy and I could guess why he was so busy. He was scouting the world for other studs to surprise with the gift of four legs.

Two weeks had passed since the fateful dinner that made me this way. The following afternoon I’d met Ben and since then I’d thought of little else. I had no idea that I could fall for my twin, but I did. I’d guessed that the potion had something in it that made me able to look at my own face and still not see it as mine. Ben was such a nice guy I couldn’t help but become crazy about him. Besides, there weren’t any other half-horses around so I had no real choice. I was just glad that the choice was such an easy one. Ben was a dream partner. He not only was half-stallion, he fucked like he was a stud horse, too.

Jace had been upset at first that Ben and I were such a fast pairing. He knew he couldn’t compete but in his way he tried to.

“Johnny, I talked to Reardon about, ya know becomin’ like yew.”

“Yeah, Jace. What did he say?” I prayed the answer had been a solid “No.”

“Well,” Jace smiled up to me. “He said if it was what I wanted he’d be happy to have another centaur in his stable.”

“In his stable! He really said that? Like you’d be his pet horse or something?”

“I don’ think he meant it like that, Johnny.”

“Okay,” I was trying to stay calm. “What did his highness really mean, Jace.”

“Oh, man, why are you so mad? Dontcha want me to be like you?”

I didn’t mean it to, but the hard truth blurted out: “NO!”

Jace looked at me like he’d just witnesses his mother’s rape. His eyes went wide and then he burst into tears and ran from my room.

“Shit!” I cursed aloud. What an idiot I was. If I’d had a switch I’d have beat myself with it. How could I say that to Jace? Until waking to find myself changed, I loved the guy. In some way I still cared about him, but finding Ben and loving him had changed my feelings completely. I knew that Jace becoming half-horse wasn’t going to make any difference. He might still be a fun little fuck, but I would still love Ben. Even the prospect of Doug being a stud horse centaur hadn’t meant anything to me except the prospect of a little pleasure we might enjoy together.

Maybe I could play matchmaker and pair off Jace and Doug. Naw, I doubted they’d be sidetrack from their individual desires for Ben and me. What I needed to do was convince Jace it would be a real mistake for him to become half-horse. But how?

I heard the sound of hoof beats approaching my door. I was glad that Ben was showing up now. Ben was so levelheaded that he’d know exactly what I should do about Jace.

There was a knock on the door. “C’mon in Ben!” To my surprise it wasn’t Ben at the door after all.

It was Doug!

When Colt came calling he wasn’t alone. There were now three centaurs at Pellion Farms.

“My Gosh, Doug. Is that you?” It was a stupid question but I was so surprised by Doug’s transformation I almost believed he might have an unknown twin as well.

Where Colt and I were similar to Arabians, Doug was something else entirely. His horse body was huge. It was obviously built for something other than sporting events like racing. In fact where the man had been a lean farm hand before, now he was a thick and muscular centaur. He was so big he towered over Colt and I. I was taken aback by his massive frame. Still, the guy’s grin was just the same.

“I thought when you said you were going to become a centaur that you’d be more like me. Boy was I wrong. You look like your part Clydesdale.”

“I’m a Shire Centaur.”

“A Shire?”

“The largest of all horses, a draught horse. What d’ya think, Ben?”

“Doug, what can I say? It suits you very well. Are you happy now?”

“God yeah. It’s even better than I’d imagined.”

I was still having trouble grasping just how big my young friend had become. He made Colt and I look puny in comparison. It was like putting a stadium next to an outhouse. I felt almost insecure next to his size and obvious strength. Doug had been uncommonly strong before. He could probably lift me now and I was no lightweight.

“How can a draught horse centaur compete in the Centaur Olympics?”

Colt chimed in: “Think about it, Ben. Doug could throw a javelin or a disc into the stratosphere. What about power lifting? The guy is built to do that. Not every centaur has to be a track star. Imagine how far he could shotput.”

“Plus, Tom needs a big guy like me to do the really heavy work around here. That was part of the deal and I’ll be glad to exercise this big body for him.”

“I’ve got to admit it, Doug. You were right. You make one hell of an impressive stud.”

“Does that mean we’re still on for that three-way?” Colt asked.

I had some trepidation about getting under so much weight. Still, how often do you get the chance to make it with a giant and such a beautiful giant at that?

“If, Doug wants to try out his new equipment I’d be only too happy to help him.”

“Well, Doug, I guess that’s a “yes” in Ben’s terms.”

Doug’s grin stretched across his handsome face like sunshine through dark clouds.

So the two Pony Boys met the Plowboy and a great time was had by all. Even after it became a foursome.

Jace had been busy since our last encounter. I never got the chance to talk him out of the idea of becoming a centaur. There he was standing before me and I had to forget any notions of size differences ever again. Jace had been a small guy. He wasn’t a small centaur. He was just the same as Ben and I, except for his face he could have been our brother. He had the same coloring and body as we did. He was now our equal and I knew that I would have to accept him as that ’cause Ben was very pleased to see Jace’s new form.

“See, Doug, y’ ain’t the only one who’s had a remarkable change. You may still be bigger than I am but seein’ how’s I’m as big as these guys I think I’m pretty good competition for ya, uh?”

“The more the merrier, Jace. I’m glad you decided to join us.” Doug was still the good-natured guy he’d always been. Now he was a good-natured super stud that’s all.

I wasn’t so sure I was glad about Jace’s change.. I mean Jace looked terrific and all, but it wasn’t his looks I was worried about. The fact was I was nuts about Ben and now Jace could ruin my chances with him. Ben said that I was his ideal. Jace’s new body was a match for that ideal—Damn! Doug might not worry about the competition, I sure wasn’t happy about it. If Jace was as good a fuck as he was when he was just a lil’ feller, I was in real trouble. Ben might decide he liked Jace’s brand of loving better than mine. Where would that leave me?

I looked over at Doug and knew he’d be glad to have me for a partner. The thought of that didn’t make me comfortable. I didn’t want to play Jace to his version of Johnny Colt. The size difference between Jace and me had made a real difference in our relationship. I’ll admit it, I was insecure and being the big guy had always made me feel sort of special when I was with Jace. I could pretend he needed me to protect him. I could also pretend he wanted that protection and he loved me because I was so big . Now, all that had changed. We were equal and it was upsetting me. I couldn’t deal with the idea that Doug might feel the same way that I had with Jace. Sure, I was all for shenanigans with super stud, that was before Jace The Centaur arrived on the scene.

“I don’t understand, Jace. How did you make the change so fast?”

“Whasamatta, Johnny? Aren’ ya happy to see me?”

“Sure, I’m happy if you’re happy, Kiddo.”

“Why wouldn’t I be happy? This is great. Look at me. I’m a stud identical to y’all.

Now I won’t have to miss out on anythin’. So wha’ say we have some fun, eh? Doug looks like he’s rarin’ ta go. I know I am. How’s about it, Johnny, is that okay wit ya?”

“Sure thing, Jace. Just answer my question, alright? How the hell did you get changed so fast?”

“Reardon gave the okay to the Doc and we talked about how I wanted to look. I though’ if I changed I’d just be a little pony among you big horses. I did’n like that idea. The Doc told me that wit yer blood sample he could make me like ya. That I liked. So he mixed some potion with somma yer blood and one shot later, here I am. Pretty cool, huh? Now, is ev’rybody ready ta have a real good time?”

My dream of the perfect three-way became a less than perfect four-way and Ben got to know Jace in a way I’d never imagined.

At the rate guys were becoming centaurs around this place I didn’t know what to expect next. It was making me nervous. When I get nervous I drink.


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