Curse room

by BRK

 As the landlord’s son, Joey gets to deal with abandoned apartments and whatever might be in them. Usually it’s just junk; but the guy that skipped on unit 12E was deeply weird, and the way he’d looked at Joey before was more than a little scary.

Added: Apr 2022 2,828 words 4,055 views 4.6 stars (8 votes) This story was commissioned via Patreon Vignette Party.

A

Abandoned apartments are the worst. You never know what you’re going to find in there when someone moves out in a hurry. Drugs, blood, filth, trash, bugs, crusty old underwear—basically all of your more popular horsemen of the derelict demesne. And as the landlord’s skinny, underemployed son it’s somehow my job to get in there and experience it, full frontal, whenever someone vanishes from the rentscape and leaves their home and used condoms behind for us to bag up and ship to them if we can, or landfill with prejudice if we can’t.

So of course the minute Melvin Wilcher, erstwhile three-year resident of unit 12E, was officially categorized as skipped and gone, my grumpy ogre of a dad sent me in with the super to size up exactly what the man had left behind for us. I had… concerns. For one thing, this Melvin guy did not look anything like what you’d picture a guy named Melvin looking like. He was a massive, bulging gymrat, sculpted and tight head to toe, raven-haired and actually kind of handsome, and honestly he would have been damn close to my type if it weren’t for the unsettlingly dark and malicious grin he’d had permanently plastered on his face whenever I saw him. (I lived in the building—one of the “perks” of being my dad’s son and the landlord’s unofficial presence in the fifty-unit pile of bricks that was the crown jewel of my father’s “empire”.) The man must have worked out all the time, and I dreaded discovering the unit being full of twenty-pound weights and dumbbells and whatever else muscle guys used to get swole and having to carry that shit out of there. It was the slasher smile, though, that really got to me, and I wasn’t the only one.

“I’m not going in there, Joey,” Raymond, our bike-nut super, told me that morning, shoving the keys at me. He was in the doorway of his basement apartment, wearing just jeans and one of those white tank-top undershirts that used to have an offensive name, showing off his corded arms. Behind him, his seven-year-old, Bim, was watching Spongebob, really loud. Bim had a different cartoon for every day of the week; Spongebob meant it was Friday.

My shoulders slumped. “C’mon, man,” I pleaded.

Raymond shook his head. “That guy fucking hated everyone. He was scary as shit.” That was fair enough. Even his tattoos had been pretty unnerving, all weird occult symbols and angry-looking reptiles and the like. And strawberries, for some reason. It was all way creepy, and I swear I saw the symbols moving once when I happened on him shirtless in the laundry room. “There’s no telling what that fucker left behind,” Raymond added, and I could tell he was only half-joking.

I snatched the keys from him. “So you send me in instead,” I groused.

Raymond grinned. “I got a kid, man!” he said before shutting the door in my face, his laughter comically underscored with a cartoon soundtrack.

Which meant I was all by my lonesome when I arrived at the door to 12E a short elevator ride later, apartment key of destiny in my hand. Fighting down my trepidation I slid the key in and turned the lock. The tumblers aligned with an audible snap, and I pushed on the door, half hoping to be foiled by an unauthorized deadbolt. That would mean the welcome delay of a locksmith visit, and—

The door opened with a slow creak. Damn it.

Retrieving the keys and pocketing them, I stepped into the apartment, goggling at what I saw.

The place was pristine. It wasn’t just clean, it was mint. The dark hardwood floors gleamed like it’d been a week or so since they’d been installed and sealed a week ago, not the decade or more since the unit’s last refit. The walls were the same unblemished off-white they’d been when Wilcher had moved in a little over three years before. The windows were so clean I could see Jersey. I was pretty sure none of the windows in this building had ever been this Windex-shiny before, not even when the place was brand new.

My eyes narrowed. This was deeply weird. Something was going on here—I just didn’t know what.

When I got to the bedroom I was perversely relieved to finally find a bit of crazy. The room was empty, like the others, except for a simple wooden barstool on which sat a stack of composition notebooks. As I leafed through them I saw each of the covers were inscribed with names written in thick, angry Sharpie. Well, not names so much as epithets. The top one was addressed to LANDLORD FUCKHEAD, which made me chuckle. No arguments here. The next one had SHITFACE SUPER, which was even funnier. Ray did like to get shitfaced occasionally, as I could attest from personal experience.

The third one down was inscribed to JOEY ASSHOLE. I smirked. Aw, he knows my name.

I opened the notebook and read what was written on the first page with growing amazement. It was this long rant scrawled in a kind of jagged cursive, all sneering invective about how I’d obviously harbored utter contempt for him as a meathead and a muscle freak, curling my lip at all the ways he was a better man than me, hate-envying his dick and his ten pack and his thick muscles and everything, judging him for reshaping his body, blah blah blah, and how he’d ensured I would get what I had coming to me and would have the last laugh and fuck, this guy was nuts. Clearly I’d done a much better job at hiding my lust over his hard glutes and brawny shoulders than I’d thought. Either that, or this guy was so wrapped up in his shit he couldn’t tell the difference between a bit of random, bland-faced ogling and jeering, heartfelt derision. And what the hell was that about his dick? My own dick was plenty big enough, thank you, just a hair above average fully hard with a nice kink to the right halfway up, and I was pretty sure I’d never given any thought to whether Melvin’s junk was any bigger or smaller than my own.

Seriously, this guy. He thought I hated him and looked down on him, and it sounded like he wanted to—what, curse me?—for these opinions I didn’t even have. I remembered his slasher grin—fuck, this guy would enjoy cursing me, too, if he could. He’d have a fucking blast.

I shouldn’t have turned the page. I knew better. I felt the tingle up my spine, the sense of something imminent, but I wanted to see what else he’d written about me. I know. If this were a movie you’d be yelling at the screen, telling me not to do it and snickering at how dumb I was.

I flipped to the next page. It was full of symbols, thickly lined and carefully written. I was just thinking a recognized a few of them from his body tattoos when, all at once they swelled up toward me, becoming bigger and bigger, man-sized, building-sized, and then I fell into them and the apartment was gone.

I was in a cold, dark room—not pitch black, just dimly lit with dark, midnight-blue walls that seemed to be made of enormous square blocks of smooth, featureless stone. The floor underneath me was paved with the same material, blocks of stone three feet or so to a side. As my eyes adjusted I saw the space I was in was a wide circle—a cylinder, in fact, one that seemed to stretch upwards into an infinite blackness. There was no way out that I could see.

Fuck. The only thing missing from this scenario was the ominous chuckling, I thought. Though the oppressive silence of the chilly space might have been worse. Now I wished I’d worn more than a baggy Nirvana tee shirt, my trademark cargo shorts, and a pair of old vans for this gig.

I walked the circumference of the room, checking the walls as I went for hidden releases or any hints of secret passageways. Nada. Returning to the center of the room I tilted my head up toward the unguessable space above me. “Hello?” I called, nervous and annoyed both.

As if in answer, a window appeared above me, set into the wide, circular wall, maybe twelve feet up. Out of reach even of a good jump, especially for unathletic me; and I’d already rated the smooth stone walls as unclimbable by anyone not previously bitten by a radioactive spider. The weirdest thing was, this new window was exactly like the windows of the apartment I had just left behind me, even down to the unnaturally clean panes, though all I could see beyond it was a kind of vague whiteness. “Very funny,” I called out. “Want to try for an exit I can actually get to?”

At that, a small spotlight came on, revealing the barstool from the apartment. It was sitting directly under the window as if it had been there hidden in the darkness the whole time, though I knew it hadn’t been there before.

This time it had sitting on it a basket of large, luscious-looking strawberries. I was reminded instantly of the strawberry tattoo on Melvin’s right shoulder. If there had been any doubt that he was behind all of this, this would have dispelled it.

I frowned at the stool and its fruity cargo for a moment. Then, setting the basket on the floor, I climbed carefully onto the stool, until I was standing precariously atop it. Carefully, I reached up toward the window and… it was out of reach by a good foot and a half. It shouldn’t have been, I thought. Had I misguessed the distance? I didn’t dare try and jump for it, not yet, anyway. It was too easy to picture missing, leading to me and the stool both broken on the floor below when I fell.

From my perch I looked down at the gift of strawberries, scrutinizing them suspiciously. I knew with a strange certainty that they were meant to help me get to the window somehow. I also knew that they would do more than that. Not kill me; Melvin was playing a game with me, and it was clearly about crafty retribution for the things he thought I thought about him and his self-transformed body. I had to go along to have any hope of getting out of here.

I climbed down and picked up one of the strawberries. There were four of them in the basket, all extra-large and pleasantly fragrant, and when I bit into the one I’d selected I found it was very juicy and altogether delicious. I ate the thing doggedly, feeling an effect working through me as the fruit entered my system. My body felt like it was becoming… unstable, just momentarily. Susceptible to change. It was an intoxicating feeling, and my cock twitched a little at the feeling of something about to happen.

I finished the strawberry, and as I was licking my lips and fingers, I felt my body shift, twisting in some internal, extradimensional way into a new version of itself. My mind cleared just as quickly, and I looked down, awed and intrigued.

The most obvious change was that my abs had extended, lengthening my torso; judging by what I felt when I ran my hand over my belly through my tee shirt, I’d gotten taller by the space of three whole new rows of abs. Fuck. Had Melvin really thought I’d been hating on his ten-pack and wanted to get back at me by forcing me to grow more abs? I snorted a laugh.

Taking stock of the rest of me, I saw that I’d gotten a side-effect on top of the tallifying ab expansion that was my plot coupon to escaping the stone room. The change this time was that I was now buff as fuck and a little beefier, too, mostly in the shoulders. I used to be rectangle-shaped, torso-wise, but now I was definitely more trapezoidal, wider up top than below. Wow, forced to accept bigger muscles. There was no greater crime!

Knowing I still wasn’t tall enough to reach the window, I grabbed the next strawberry and chowed down. This time that moment of body instability resulted me another ab extension—three more rows, finally creating a gap between my baggy shirt and the waistband of my cargo shorts—plus a new side-effect in the form of a much larger, heavier dick that was now long enough to almost poke out of the leg of my shorts. I was a little concerned by this—having a dick that was too big felt like it would have significant downsides—but hey, it was all just a game.

The third one gave me another ratcheting up of the abs—my torso was crazy long now, with a tight four-pack showing just in the gap between my shirt and shorts!—plus a big jump in sculpted brawn, like I’d been cast in a superhero movie and the CGI physique had been physically done to my actual body instead of being added in post.

I considered the window above me, deciding that even with help from the stool I still wasn’t tall enough. I picked up the last strawberry. Even as I considered it, that strange, certain knowledge came to me again. If I ate the last strawberry, I somehow knew, my body would become permanently unstable. I would be cursed to change on a daily basis, my body unpredictably altered forever. And it was infectious, my seed spreading the curse to anyone I shared it with.

I shrugged. It was just a game, I thought. I took a big bite of the sweet, delicious fruit, feeling it work its changes on me, body and soul…

Once I was out of the curse room and back in reality I had an… interesting evening alone with myself, involving beer, enormous amounts of cum, and the best fourteen-hour sleep I’d ever had. The upshot being that it wasn’t until Saturday afternoon that I managed to get down to Raymond’s apartment to return the key to the abandoned unit.

Raymond dragged his eyes appreciatively down my tight, sinuous eighteen-pack, more than half of which was exposed by my too-short tee shirt. (All my tee shirts were too short now—as well as too tight across my bulky shoulders and pecs, which was even more of a novelty.) He kept going, sliding down the ponderous bulge of my balls and along the wide ridge pushing out the leg of my cargo shorts to the hefty wrist-thick cock protruding beyond it, the eight or so inches of fat, exposed length hanging below sheathed in a snug white sweat-sock for the sake of “decency”.

I’d been a little apprehensive about coming down here, showing myself like this to him, and a little hopeful that his reaction would be like mine had been at seeing the changes to my body were real—that he would feel the same kind of admiration and arousal at my changes that I had. What was most intriguing, thought, was that Raymond didn’t betray the slightest surprise at any of this, only lusty approval—almost like this was how he greeted me whenever I showed up at his door. Had I always been like this, to him? Or was he just really laid back? I was very interested in finding out.

His eyes flicked up to mine, his smile unmistakably inviting. “Hey, man,” he said softly.

“Hey,” I said, handing him the keys I had in my upper right hand—the morning’s instability had resulted in extra arms, this time. “Just wanted to let you know 12E was already cleared out when I went in,” I told him. “Except for these.” I proffered the two notebooks I was holding in my other right hand. Mine, and his. He laughed when he saw what was written on the covers. “Where’s the munchkin?” I asked.

“Sister’s for the weekend,” he said, giving me another once over. “Want to, uh, come in and split a pizza?”

“You sure?” I asked, a little surprised.

He bit his lower lip, meeting my gaze. “So sure, man.”

I grinned. “Let’s do it,” I said, ducking under his doorjamb and into my new, weirdly cursed future.

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