Billy blocked the path. There was no getting by him. He was astride his Kona Mountain bike, and he had stopped sideways across the path, completely barricading the way. And he was staring at me, kind of hard and intense. I looked over at Jeremy beside me. We were both on our bikes and had been taking our usual route down the old railroad tracks to my house when Billy had just burst out of the trees, causing us to slam on our brakes to keep from hitting him.
What did he want? I mean, I knew who Billy was, but I didn’t know him. I was pretty sure every school had a guy like him. He was that tough, loner kid, the one you knew was dangerous, and that staying away from him was probably a good idea. I remember he got suspended once for bringing a knife to school. That was all I really needed to know about Billy. And since I was pretty much a nobody at school, I doubted he even knew my name. But here he was, staring at me like he was trying to bore holes in me with his eyes.
Jeremy and I didn’t say anything at first, we just kept looking back and forth between us and then over at Billy. He wasn’t budging. Now, running into Billy like this under ordinary circumstances would be pretty scary, but today it was especially weird. Billy hadn’t been in school all week because… well, because his dad got murdered, beaten to death, and the newspaper said he’d been thrown through a wall. No one was exactly sure how that could have happened. Billy had apparently been there and so had his mom, but neither of them could remember anything about it. The newspaper said it was shock. It was all pretty creepy. I mean I never knew a kid whose dad had been murdered. And I didn’t really know Billy, but here he was, scary as ever and now creepy, too.
“Hey,” I managed. Jeremy looked at me wide eyed. He obviously thought speaking to him was a bad idea. I don’t know, maybe he was right.
“Hey,” said Billy back. “We gotta talk.”
“We do?” I said. I really didn’t want to talk to him. I mean what would I say? Sorry about your dad? No one was sorry about his dad. Big Mike Calhoun had been bad news. He was a truck driver who used to smuggle stuff for the mob, or so the newspaper said. They reckoned his death was connected to that. Anyway, he had been a loud mouth and a bully and the general opinion was that we were better off without him. Billy, they said, was a chip off the old block.
And now he wanted to talk to me. “What about?” I asked.
“I don’t want to say here,” he said. “We need to go some place… private.”
I looked up and down the old railroad tracks. There wasn’t a soul in sight, except for Billy and Jeremy and me. I really didn’t like the idea of leaving the tracks and following him who knows where. “What’s wrong with here?”
“It’s too public,” he said. “Anyone could come along at anytime and… interrupt us.”
That was kind of my point.
“What do you want?” asked Jeremy. There was a shake in his voice. I wondered if my voice sounded the same way.
Billy looked over at him almost as if he was seeing him for the first time. “Not you. Just Sammy, here. You can go,” he said, moving his bike to the side. Jeremy took off like a shot. I had to remember to thank him for that later… if there was a later.
“Come on,” said Billy and he started down the tracks in the opposite direction. I paused for a moment, considering my options. I could take off and try to out ride Billy, but he was bigger than me and I was no athlete. I was pretty sure he’d catch me and then things might be worse… if they could get worse.
He paused and looked back. “Are you coming or what?”
I shrugged, hopped on my bike and took off after him.
We rode in silence. I had no idea what to say to him. I knew nothing about him—except that his dad was murdered—not exactly a great way to start a conversation.
The tracks were lined with old warehouses and industrial buildings, half of which were deserted. I kept getting the feeling someone was watching us through the empty windows as we rode by. It was pretty creepy. Finally we came to an old junk yard, a place where they crushed old car bodies into small cubes. Looked like it would be a great place to hide a body.
“This is it,” said Billy hopping off his bike and letting it fall to the ground. He pulled off his backpack and let it fall next to it.
“So what’s this about?” I asked while dismounting and leaning my bike against a derelict car. Billy held a finger up, gesturing me to be quiet. Then he walked over to the giant car compactor and opened up a small panel on the side. It looked like the controls were in there. He pulled a pair of pliers or something from his pocket and did something. I couldn’t see what because he blocked my view with his body.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Making sure everything’s just right,” he said.
Crap! What was I getting myself into?
He checked his watch and then gestured for me to follow him. He walked over to this old derelict car that was sitting nearby. The thing didn’t have an engine or seats or anything; it was just a shell. He climbed in through the passenger window and crawled over to the driver’s side and squatted down on the floor. “Come on,” he said, gesturing me in. “They’ll be back soon.”
I tried the door but it didn’t work. “I’m not getting in there. I’ll get filthy,” I said.
“You gonna be a wuss? Afraid of a little dirt?”
“I’m not a wuss,” I said climbing into the car and squatting next to him on the passenger side. If I were a wuss, I secretly thought, I’d have made a run for it long ago. And I did get filthy. I looked around the dingy wreck. What was I doing here? “Ok, we’re here. What do you want?”
“What do you know about your dad?”
What the—? My dad? How did we get here? “I don’t have a dad,” I said.
“Everybody’s got a dad,” he looked really bitter when he said that. “How could you be here if you didn’t have a dad?”
“Sure I have a dad like that. It’s just that he left before I was born.”
“You ever hear from him?”
This was too weird. What did Billy Calhoun care about my dad? “No. Mom said he didn’t know about me when he left.”
Billy looked really disappointed like he was hoping for a different answer. What was going on here? I couldn’t help myself; I had to ask. “Does this have something to do with what happened to your dad?”
He whipped his head toward me and there was so much fury in his eyes, it scared me. “Big Mike wasn’t my dad,” he said.
“He wasn’t?” I gasped before I could stop myself. “But I thought—”
“Yeah, so did I… until last week.”
Ok, now I was in a world of confusion, but before I could say anything else, I heard the sound of gruff voices.
“Get down,” said Billy. “Don’t let them see you.” I hunkered down lower. The last thing I wanted was to be discovered here. I’d get in so much trouble I’d never see the outside of my room.
I heard the whining clunking sound of the car compactor starting up. Billy put his hand on my shoulder. “Ok,” he said, “This is where it’s going to get a little weird.” What was he talking about? This whole thing had been pretty damn weird. “Just trust me,” he said. “I know what I’m doing.”
Suddenly I heard a huge clunk and the whole car shook like something hit it. “What was that?” Then the car started rising up into the air. “What the fuck?” I started scrambling for the window, but Billy pulled me back. “What are you, crazy? We’ve got to get out of here!”
“No,” he said. “Leave now and you’ll ruin everything.”
“Then I’ll fucking ruin everything!” I tried to get away from him but he pulled me down and pinned me to the floor. “Get the fuck off of me!” I shouted as I tried to escape him. Finally he loosened his grip and I was able to make it to the window. But it was too late. We had to be at least forty feet off the ground. If I jumped now I’d break my neck.
“OhmyGod OhmyGod OhmyGod,” I said. We were swinging toward the compactor. I turned on Billy. “What are you doing? What the fuck are you doing? You want to die? Is that what you want? You want to die?”
“No one’s going to die,” he said, looking at me as calm as a cucumber. And he wasn’t just looking at me. He was examining me. I’d like to say it was weird but we’d moved well beyond weird at this point.
“You’re cracked,” I said, “You’re fucking cracked.” And then the car dropped. In a second both of us flew up, hit the ceiling and then slammed back to the floor. I was in a world of pain. The wind was completely knocked out of me and I could tell I was bleeding somewhere on my head, on my back and on one of my legs. Billy looked pretty beat up, too, except he had this kind of eerie grin on his face. “This is where it gets good,” he said.
“You’re a fucking lunatic,” I said. I was going to die. Billy Calhoun was going to kill me in some kind of freaky murder/suicide. Who could have seen that coming?
“Why me?” I asked him. “What did I ever do to you?”
“You were born,” he said, and then the walls started closing in.
“Fuck,” I said. “FUCK!”
And Billy started laughing. It was the kind of laugh you laugh when you’re going over the first drop on a rollercoaster. “This is fucking it,” he shouted. “This is fucking it!”
And I watched the car walls slowly start to buckle inwards. “Yes!” shouted Billy. “I can feel it! Can you fucking feel it, Sammy?” he shouted. I just looked at him and quickly shook my head. He was crazy and I was beyond talking now.
And then it happened. Billy started to swell. At first I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. I thought maybe he was being squished, or hyperventilating or something, but it didn’t stop. His t-shirt just kept filling out, kind of like a balloon. And then I noticed his arms. His forearms were thick with corded muscle. Billy was pretty fucking strong… but wait. They weren’t like that when we climbed into the car. I’d’ve noticed. I looked at his face. He was still grinning but his teeth were clenched and he was shaking slightly, like he was in being electrocuted or something. He had gotten really pale, kind of sickly looking, and he kept clenching and unclenching his fists. And then I saw his biceps. Holy fuck! They were stretching his sleeves. He had big fucking arms! No, he didn’t. Arms like that stand out. I would have seen. And holy shit, his shirt… Now that it was pulling tight I could see it wasn’t filling with air like a balloon; it was filling with a pair of monstrous pecs. Crap. Look at the size of those things, rising above his slender, flat stomach. Still shaking Billy looked down at his burgeoning chest. “Yeah,” he said. “Oh yeah.” And then he started flexing it, making his pecs bulge bigger and bigger. Once, twice RIIIIIIIP! The huge mounds erupted out of his shirt, pulsing with striated power. “FUCK YEAH!” he shouted. And his voice, like his neck, had gotten thicker.
Then he raised his arm. Christ! It had doubled in size in the last few seconds. He flexed and a huge ball of muscle exploded out of his upper arm completely destroying his shirt sleeve. My mouth dropped open.
“Like my guns, Sammy?” he said. His grin was fucking cocky as hell now. You like ‘em now just wait. You’re gonna love what comes next.”
I heard more cloth tearing, but it was the deeper, richer sound of heavier cloth. I looked down and saw his jeans ripping apart as the biggest pair of thighs I’d ever seen forced their way out of his pants. “Fucking huge, Sammy,” he said. “Fucking huge.”
One last rip as bowling ball shoulders rolled and flexed as he shrugged off the remains of his shirt. Sitting next to me was the biggest, most muscular kid I’d ever seen.
“Ok, Sammy,” he said, that cocky grin still plastered to his face. “Now that the preliminaries are over, here I really fucking go!” And then he started growing. He started to get taller and as he did it was like muscles began bubbling up all over him, huge bulbous masses of power, erupting out of him the way zits erupted out of most kids. There wasn’t a muscle on his body that didn’t became overwhelmingly massive, growing thicker, heavier, bigger, stretching out under his skin while his frame grew wider and taller. His body just seemed to be blowing up impossibly huge in every dimension. And all the time, as he grew more and more colossal, he was laughing that roller coaster laugh while he watched himself explode with insane size and power. “Yeah! FUCK yeah!” In an instant he had reached the roof and effortlessly pushed his way through it; his biceps, now bigger than watermelons and with vine-like veins running all over them, barely stressing. As he stood up, I saw him rise up and up and up, until he was a monstrous tower of muscle, standing on thighs as big around as jumbo trash cans, each head sharply defined under his hairless skin. He kicked the pieces of car from around him like toilet paper from a shoe. He pulled a double bicep and I couldn’t help gasping as those watermelons balled up and doubled in size. “Even fucking bigger this time,” he said with that grin. Then, with one mighty arm, he reached out, his mammoth triceps forming a gargantuan horseshoe with just that simple motion. He held his meaty palm out, and as the compactor wall hit it, it stopped. He hardly seemed to notice.
I looked up at him, this inhumanly massive muscle giant that had only seconds before been Billy Calhoun. He was at least eight feet tall, there was no question. One of his abs, for God’s sake, was bigger than my head. And he had ten, boulder like abs leading down from that twin fucking wrecking ball chest to his groin. He must have been wearing some kind of spandex stretchy thing under his jeans, ’cause what he had on now looked like a black poser stretched to its limits. But it was pretty obvious all of his anatomy had grown proportionately. And his face, though sickly pale, almost green, still had that cocky grin.
“So, Sammy,” he said, looking down at me, lying battered on the car floor, “Is there something you want to tell me?”
For the life of me, I couldn’t think of anything to say. I just lay there, breathing hard, sacred out of my wits staring up at the massiveness of him.
“Ok,” he said. “Have it your way.” And he let go of the wall. With one jump, he leaped to the rim and stood there looking down at me as the compactor continued to slowly crush the car, and me with it.
“Fuck!” I screamed. “What are you doing? Help me? Fucking help me!”
“Help yourself,” he said.
Half crying, half screaming, I started to try and get to my feet, but the shifting metal of the compacting car made it impossible. I tired crawling out, but it was too late. The metal of the car body was closing in around me, grabbing me like a pincer, starting to crush me.
I heard him yell, “Fuck!” and I felt the compacter shake as though it was struck by something heavy. It stopped. Then I saw the layers of metal being pulled back by those insanely massive arms. In a second he was lifting me out and then he leapt and we were air borne. I felt the thud of impact as he landed on the ground. He lay me down on the ground by my bike.
He stood there for a minute staring down at himself, clenching and unclenching his fists, watching his impossibly gigantic muscles bulge and relax. Then he looked at me.
“Don’t go anywhere,” he said. “If you try to run, I’ll catch you and it won’t be pretty.”
I didn’t know what to say. I figured Billy wasn’t going to kill me. If he’d wanted me dead, he never would have pulled me from the compactor. And at the moment, I didn’t feel much like running anyway. I was dizzy and nauseous and lying there suited me fine. I supposed I should have told him I wasn’t going anywhere, but in another dazzling display of silence, I said absolutely nothing. Maybe I was in shock. After what I’d just been through, I certainly deserved to be.
Billy turned his attention to the piles of derelict cars. I propped myself up a little and watched him. The first thing he did was grab one at the bottom of a stack of about twenty. His massive back barely tensing, he ripped it out. The tower of cars toppled and fell right on top of him. But, they might as well have been autumn leaves for all the notice he took. One blow from his mighty arm and a falling car would fly half way across the junk yard. He picked up one of the wrecks, raised it above his head and threw it about thirty yards into another stack of gutted vehicles; the pile fell to the ground with a deafening clatter, raising up a huge pile of dust. Then he picked up another wreck and proceeded to crush it with his bare hands. His gargantuan arms, bulging and flexing, he wadded it up into a ball, the way you would wad a piece of paper, and with almost as little effort. Then he held the wad of crushed metal above his head like a basketball and shot a perfect three pointer into the compactor bin. Fuck.
He saw me watching and called, “Hey, Sammy, how about a little one on one?” The cocky grin never left his face, but the strange thing was I got the feeling he was only half kidding.
He picked up another car, crushed it and threw another three pointer. “Swish!” he said as I heard the metal wad bang around inside the compactor bin. Fucking swish? Was he kidding? Then I guess he got bored with that because he jumped… fuck, he jumped up to the top of one of the car piles. It had to be at least thirty feet, and he did it in one fucking leap. But when he landed on the top car, it couldn’t take the force and it skittered off the pile. I saw those fucking massive arms of his twirling like windmills as he tried to keep his balance while the car slid off. It hit the pile next to it and sent Billy crashing into it. Then both piles came thundering down, with Billy somewhere in the middle.
I stood up. A huge cloud of dust was settling around this twenty foot high mound of wrecked cars. Billy was under that. Should I be worried? Relieved? I didn’t know. Then I saw the whole mound shake and suddenly a car erupted out of it, flying about twenty feet up and landing about thirty feet away. It reminded me of the way you spit out an orange seed. And then another one followed it. And then a third. I didn’t get too close. If I got hit with one of those things, I’d be dead in an instant. When the dust settled a little more, I could make out Billy’s gargantuan form tossing cars into the air, one after the other. He reminded me of a little kid tossing sand at the beach. He just seemed to be having a blast, shooting them up and watching them crash back down again.
I returned to my seat by my bike and watched Billy tear up the junk yard for another hour. It seemed like there wasn’t anything he couldn’t lift or throw or crush. At one point he even hoisted the car compactor over his head. But after that thundered to the ground, he started to look a little tired. He started walking towards me, but pretty soon his walk turned into stumble. His eyes started to blink. He looked like he was fighting off sleep.
And then he began to dwindle. Slowly his muscles began to shrink. It was like they were collapsing in on top of themselves and being sucked back into his body. At the same time he was getting shorter and his skin was loosing that sickly green hue and starting to look healthy again.
The tattered piece of cloth that had been his only covering was now starting to sag, droop and slide down. He noticed and grabbed it, holding it up, bunching it up in his fist and keeping it warped around him as it grew looser.
In just a couple of minutes he was just Billy again, just a kid like the rest of us. He was filthy, covered in dirt and dust and grease as he staggered over to his back pack and slumped on the ground. For a second I thought he was going to pass out.
“You ok?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said, “just wiped. It leaves me wiped. But this helps.”
He opened up his backpack and pulled out a can of Monster energy drink and started guzzling it down. Monster? That was kind of funny. I might have laughed if I hadn’t been partially still in shock.
Billy finished the drink quickly and began pulling stuff out of his back pack. He had another t-shirt and pants in there, plus another pair of sneakers. He had planned this! He had planned the whole thing! He had known exactly what was going to happen from the moment he ambushed me and Jeremy on the tracks. And I couldn’t help notice he had a second set of clothes in there, too. Was he planning to change again?! Fuck! What was going on here?
Billy lost no time in pulling on his fresh t-shirt and pants. And suddenly it was just another hot September day and we could have been any two kids hanging out in a scrap yard.
“Gotta get some food,” said Billy pulling on his back pack and mounting his bike. He turned to look at me. “You coming?”
Crap. It looked like he was actually giving me a choice. I don’t know why I did what I did. Maybe it was all my unanswered questions. A smart kid would have hopped on his bike and tore off in the opposite direction. In the state he was in now, Billy would never have been able to catch me. I could have been home and under my bed in fifteen minutes.
But for some reason I couldn’t put my finger on, I wasn’t scared of him. A smart kid would have been. A smart kid would have been half a mile away by now. I guess I just wasn’t a smart kid, because instead of running for my life, I just said, “sure,” and I hopped on my bike and I followed on after him.
As we rode from the junk yard, I tried asking Billy a few of the million questions I had running around in my head, “How did this happen? How big do you get? Can you just grow whenever you want?” But Billy just said, “Not now, dude. I gotta eat first.” And that was all I could get out of him. We didn’t ride very far, maybe five or six blocks, then he stopped at a McDonald’s.
“McDonald’s?” I said as I parked my bike next to his. “Isn’t there a Burger King, like a block away.”
“You like Burger King?” He asked, walking up to the door. “I should have guessed you’d be one of them.”
“What does that mean?”
“Burger King is for pussies.”
“Yeah, but McDonald’s tastes like crap.”
“They got the best fries on the planet.”
“Well, yeah the fries are ok, but the burgers suck.”
“Jeeze, you probably drink Pepsi, too,” said Billy.
I shook my head. My mom was kind of a heath nut. “I don’t really drink a lot of soda,” I said.
“That figures,” he said.
Actually, I didn’t really eat much fast food at all. But you didn’t have to be a hamburger expert to know that McDonalds was about as crappy as it got.
The place was kind of empty and we walked right up to order. The lady behind the counter took one look at us and said, “Where the hell have you two been, teaching the hogs how to wallow?”
Suddenly I realized we were both pretty dirty. At least Billy’s clothes were clean. Mine were torn, dirty… and bloody.
“Are you always this fucking funny, or are we just lucky,” Billy asked the woman behind the counter. Man, I would never talk to an adult like that. Hell, I’d never talk to anyone like that. The woman didn’t seem to like it much either. She scowled at Billy for a second and then asked him for his order. Billy ordered enough Big Macs and fries for about ten people.
“Where are the rest of you?” the counter lady asked.
“Always a fucking comedian,” said Billy as he slammed his money down. This time I don’t think she was trying to be funny.
When my turn came, I ordered one of their salads and a milk, and I said please and thank you. Billy looked at me like I just stepped off a space ship from Mars. “Who the fuck walks into a McDonalds and orders a salad?” he said.
“I do,” I said right back, and as I reached into my pocket to get my wallet, my shirt hiked up a little, exposing my bare skin.
“What that?” asked Billy.
“That brown patch on your side.”
“It’s nothing,” I said, as I paid for my food. “Just a birth mark. Why? What did you think it was?”
“I don’t know, a tattoo?”
“I’m too young to have a tattoo,” I said.
“Who told you that, your mommy?”
“No,” I said, but she had.
“Well, let me see,” he said.
I lifted my shirt up and revealed the medium sized brown mark. “Its kinda shaped like a cat’s head,” I said, giving my standard birthmark speech. “You can see the round head and the pointed ears.”
“That’s fucking awesome,” said Billy, grinning. “I was beginning to wonder about you, but that’s fucking awesome.”
I let my shirt drop. “Whatever.” Man, he was weird. I mean, there was the whole muscle giant thing, but he was weird on top of that.
We got our food and headed over to the table. No sooner did we sit down then Billy started shoving burgers into his mouth. For a second there I didn’t think he was gong to bother to unwrap them. I’d never seen anyone eat like that. Watching him, I almost forgot about my salad.
He saw me staring at him and paused in mid bite. “Wha—” he said, his mouth half full of chewed hamburger. “I’m hungry, ok? It makes me hungry.”
“Sure,” I said, and I turned my attention back to my salad, even though I really wasn’t that interested in it.
“So, what’s your deal?” asked Billy between burgers.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I don’t know. You got a girlfriend?”
“No,” I said. “You?”
“A bunch,” he said, as bits of bun flecked out of his mouth across the table at me. “You like being a Junior? We had just started eleventh grade couple of weeks ago.
“It’s ok,” I said. Actually I loved it, but I knew it wasn’t cool to be too enthusiastic about school.
“It’s way better than being a sophmore,” he said. “The girls have some serious titties on ’em, just like real women.”
“I guess,” I said. Ok, the normality of this conversation was driving me crazy. “So what’s your deal?” I asked.
He gave me a cocky half grin, “Wouldn’t you like to know.”
“Yeah, I would. I mean, have you always been able to do that?”
“No,” he said off hand, “Just the last few months, more or less. What about you?”
“What do you mean, what about me?”
“You ever do anything like that?”
“Are you fucking kidding?”
“How about dreams? You ever had dreams about doing something like that?”
“No reason. Just wondering.” But I knew there was a reason. There was defiantly something going on here. Something he knew, but didn’t want to tell me. I was getting a little tired of playing games with him. I began to wonder what I was doing there and I got up to go.
“Wait a minute,” he said. “Where you going?”
“If you’re not going to tell me anything, I’m going home,” I said.
“Wait, wait,” he said. “Sit down., will ya? Just sit down for a second.” This was way too confusing. Billy needed me to stay. I could tell from his expression. For some reason he needed me to be there. I sighed and sat down.
“You can’t tell anyone about the junk yard,” he said. “You’re the only one who knows I do that. I mean, except my mom.”
“Why,” I asked him. “Why am I the only one? I don’t even know you. I’m not even sure I like you. Why pick me to tell?”
He didn’t say anything, but I had leverage on him now. I got up to go again.
“Ok, fine,” he said. “Check this out.” He stood up and pulled up his shirt. I practically gagged. There on his right side was a birth mark, absolutely identical to my own.
“What the fuck?”
“So, what do you think now?” he said. “Do I get a few more minutes of your precious time or what?”
I sat back down again. I was so shocked I didn’t think I could walk straight anyway. We were related? Isn’t that what identical birth marks meant, we were related? Mom never said anything about being related to the Calhouns. This was way too weird.
And before I had a chance to recover, a large shadow loomed over our table. I looked up. It was the restaurant manager. He had that classic M on his button down shirt and a gold name tag that read, Cal. The guy was pretty big, about six two, and he looked like he might have been an athlete about ten years ago. But now he was definitely going to seed.
“You boys about finished here?” he said. It wasn’t a question. He wanted us to go.
Billy looked up at him suddenly furious. It was scary how quick he got angry. And he wasn’t just angry; he looked like he wanted to tear the guy apart. “You’ll know we’re finished when we leave… Cal,” he said. The threat was clear in his voice.
“You must be the kid who sassed Chloe,” said Cal. “We don’t put up with that kind of behavior around here. You’ll have to go now.”
“Well, we’re not ready to go… Cal. We’ll let you know when we are.”
“Kid, either you leave on your own two legs, or I will throw you out on your ear.”
Christ! A blind man could see where this was going. We must have looked like easy prey to this guy. We were both about five nine. Billy was a little taller and a little broader than me—in his normal body anyway. But neither of us looked to be anything that could give this guy any trouble. I knew that’s what he had to be thinking. And he was dead wrong, so fucking dead, so fucking wrong.
“Ok, Cal,” said Billy standing up. “Do your worst. Take your best shot. Go on, I want you to. I really do. Show me what a big fucking man you are, and then I’ll show you what a big fucking man I am. Only when I’m done, and as soon as you get out of the hospital, you’ll be looking for another job, because there’ll be nothing left of this shithole but the fucking grease from your fryer.”
Fuck. Fuck. This was a nightmare! I felt like there was a bomb in the room and I was the only guy who knew it. I could try and warn Cal off, but I knew he wouldn’t listen. He was pissed. His fists were already clenched. And Billy… Jesus, Billy looked excited. He wanted this to happen. He obviously couldn’t wait to get huge and start destroying the place. And then it hit me. Suddenly, I knew exactly what I had to do.
“Hey, Cal,” I said. “Is that really your name? Cal? I’ve got a dog named Cal. That’s a dog’s name, isn’t it?” And then I reached out, grabbed his name tag and tore it right off his shirt, ripping a really big hole in it in the process. “And this’ll look really good on his collar.” And then I took off running as fast as I could.
“Why you little—” I heard Cal call after me. I could tell he was chasing me. But what about Billy? Yeah, he was following me, too, just one step ahead of Cal. The manager might have been bigger, but we were way faster. We were on our bikes and peddling down the street before he even got to the door. I looked back and saw Billy peddling right behind me, laughing his ass off. After a few blocks we stopped.
“Hey,” he said, “You fucking surprised me back there, buddy. I had you pegged as a fucking pussy. Not such a fucking pussy after all.”
I looked over at him, but I wasn’t smiling. “Would you really have… you know—”
He looked thoughtful. “I don’t know. I’ve never done it twice in one day. I was kind of looking forward to seeing if I could. Anyway, why do you care? That guy had it fucking coming.”
Yeah. That was exactly what the neighbors had said about Big Mike Calhoun. He had it coming. Then it hit me. I had a fucking terrifying revelation. “You did it,” I whispered. “You killed your dad.”
Suddenly, that lightning fast temper exploded all over his face. He reached over with one fist and grabbed me by the shirt collar. “I already told you once,” he said with a quiet intensity that was truly frightening, “Big Mike was not my dad. You fucking get that? Big Mike was not my dad!”
“Ok, alright, he wasn’t your dad,” I said quickly. Then he dropped my collar.
“Good,” he said. “I don’t want to ever hear you say that again.”
I figured I’d better not bring the murder back up, because I might wind up a sequel. Big Mike had been thrown through a wall. The Police didn’t know anything that could have done that. But I did. And even if he hadn’t killed Big Mike, I thought as I straightened out my collar, I wasn’t used to being roughed up and I’d had just about enough of it for the day.
“Ok,” I said and I climbed up onto my bike. “See you later.”
“Wait a minute,” he said. “Where are you going?” There it was again, that kind of plaintive plea for me to stay. I just didn’t get it.
“I’m going home. It’ll be dark soon. You know dinner, homework, all that kind of stuff?” Not to mention that hanging out with a possible murderer wasn’t exactly on my to do list for the day.
“Hey, you want to hang out tomorrow?”
Did I? The muscle giant thing was kind of cool, but scary too, and dangerous. “Ah… I’m actually kind of busy.”
“You’re saying that ’cause of what happened to Big Mike. But you weren’t there that night. You don’t know what happened.”
He was right. And the more I thought about it, the less I figured Billy was a murderer. He was bad tempered, sure. He’d knock you on your ass, quick as look at you, but kill anyone on purpose? I didn’t think he would. But by accident, that was another matter. Billy was fucking dangerous; a raging, angry asshole who could turn himself into a muscle giant—that’s a pretty fucking scary combination—and I didn’t want to be his accident.
“You know what? Forget it,” he said. “Who needs you? Go home if you want.” Then he got on his bike and started peddling away. I didn’t get it. He looked really upset. This was bad ass Billy Calhoun. I mean I thought he was a bad ass before I knew he could turn himself in to an eight foot tall, two thousand pound behemoth. What could make him that upset? Me? Me walking out on him? That didn’t make any sense at all. I didn’t even know him, and he didn’t even know me. Sure, there was some kind of a bond there now, but one based on secrecy, mystery and terror. I didn’t feel any sentimental attachment at all, not one drop.
But he looked so alone peddling off down the street all by himself. And his dad did just get killed. And then there was his birthmark. Fuck!
“Hey, Billy!” I called. “Hey, Billy wait up!” And before I could start thinking and talk myself out of it, I was riding after him. He didn’t slow down to wait, but he didn’t speed up either, and in a couple of minutes I’d caught up with him, just as the sun was starting to set.
“What do you want?” he said.
That was a good question. What did I want? I’d better think of something fast.
“Hey, let’s see.”
“Let’s see if you can do it twice in one day.” What the fuck did I just say? Was I fucking crazy?
“Ah, yeah, sure.” Well, I’d already said it. I was trapped now… and it was kind of cool.
“Ok,” he said, starting to look excited. “But we’ve got to find the right place.”
“There’s lots of empty warehouses, how about one of them?”
“No, there’s more to it than that.”
“I know,” he said. “You know where we can get some rope?”
“That’s ok. I bet we could find some in the stockyard, over by the tracks. We don’t need much. Come on.” And then he was peddling away and I was peddling after him, wondering what the hell I had just gotten myself into—again.
When we got to the stockyard, we found what we were looking for pretty easily—just half a dozen scraps of rope, no more than three feet long each. It’s a good thing we didn’t have to stay too long because the place really stank. We left our bikes and packs in the yard and I followed Billy over the chain link fence to the tracks. I was a little nervous. Unlike the old tracks where I rode my bike almost every day, these tracks were in use, and trains came down them all the time. And the fact that it was now just about fully dark out, made it worse.
“This’ll work,” said Billy. “Can you tie a decent knot?”
“Sure,” I said. I had spent a summer in the scouts before I realized it wasn’t my thing. I think knots was the only merit badge I got.
“Good. Tie me to the tracks.”
“You gotta tie me to the tracks.”
“No, I don’t. Why?”
“Look, I can’t do it, unless I get really worked up.”
“So, get worked up some other way, because I’m not tying you to those tracks.”
“It can’t be just any “worked up.” Jeeze, if it could, I’d be doing it all the time. It’s gotta be extreme, I mean really life and death stuff. I can’t fake it. I’ve tried. It’s got to be real – like in the car crusher.”
Oh my God. That’s why he almost fucking killed us. “Can’t you just lie on the track? Do you have to be tied?”
“If I can get out of it, I will, and it won’t work.”
“But what if it turns out you can’t do it twice in one day?”
He stopped for a second. His eyes were darting back and forth in his head and I could almost see his mind moving a mile a second. “I think I can,” he finally said.
“Yeah, but what if you can’t?”
“Then you’re going to have a hell of a time explaining it to the cops,” he grinned.
“That’s not funny.”
“Come on,” he said, laying down on the tracks. “Tie me up. I’m tired of being small. I want to get huge again.”
“If being huge is so great, why do you bother to shrink back down?”
“You think it’s my idea? If I had my way, I’d stay like that all the time. But it only lasts about an hour.”
I looked down at the scraps of rope. I really wasn’t comfortable with this. “This really seems like a big risk.”
“Dude, it is so worth the risk.”
“You want to get undressed or something first?”
“No way. Busting out of my clothes is half the fun.” I still hesitated. “Come on, do it,” he shouted. “Don’t be a pussy. Do it.”
Despite my own better judgment, I found myself kneeling down and tying Billy’s ankle to the railroad tie using my best merit-badge-winning half hitch.
“That it. That’s the way,” said Billy. “Tie it tight. This is going to be so cool.” He was really getting excited. I started to wonder. If I were going to turn into a muscle beast, would I be this excited. I decided maybe I would.
I finished with Billy’s ankles and I started in on his wrists. It didn’t take long and soon he was securely fastened to the tracks. Now all I guess we had to do was wait for a train.
Billy was struggling to free himself. I guess he just wanted to make sure he couldn’t, and he couldn’t. He looked happy as can be. I suddenly realized I had Billy tied up and helpless—at least for now. I wondered how I might turn this to my advantage.
“So are you going to tell me?” I asked.
“Tell you what?”
“Why out of all the people in the world, you chose me to share this with?”
“Maybe I’m just hot for you.”
“Nice try. I don’t buy it. Try again.”
“You’re pretty smart. Figure it out.”
“Does this have something to do with my birth mark?”
“See, I said you were smart.”
“But you didn’t even know I had it until after you did the whole junk yard thing.”
He didn’t say anything. He just grinned back at me.
“You’re not going to tell me, are you?”
He shook his head.
I was actually starting to guess, but I needed to hear it from him. I needed to hear a lot of things from him, like how such a thing was even possible. “Ok, then. You brought this on yourself.” I reached down and pulled off his right sneaker. His bare foot was still grimy from his adventure in the junk yard.
“What’s this?” he asked, chuckling. “Are you going to torture me, Sammy?”
“Sort of, and you can call me Sam. I dropped the Y when I was eleven.” I got up and looked around. It didn’t take me long to find what I was looking for, some tall strands of grass.”
“You’re a pretty brave man, there, Sammy,” he said. “You know what’s about to happen to me.”
“I know,” I said, as I started stroking the bottom of his foot with the tips of some grass strands. “So are you going to tell me?”
He laughed. “You’re a shitty torturer,” he said. “You’ll have to do a helluva lot better than that.”
But I wasn’t worried. I knew what I was doing. All I needed was a little time, so I just kept at it. Billy laughed for a few minutes, but tickling will do that… at first.
“Ok, that’s enough,” he finally said. “You can stop now. It’s starting to bug me.”
“You going to tell me?”
And I kept right on tickling.
“Stop, ok, look, I told you to stop.”
But I didn’t listen.
“Look, I’m not going to tell you, so just quit it.”
“Ok,” I said, and kept gently stroking the soul of his foot.
“You’re really starting to piss me off.”
“And all this fucking mystery pisses me off,” I answered.
“I don’t think you know what you’re doing, Sammy,” he said, “You’re not just playing with fire, you’re playing with a fucking volcano.”
“All you have to do is tell me,” I said.
“Fine,” I said.
“What makes you think I won’t fucking squash you when I get up from here?” he asked.
“If I really thought you’d do that, I’d untie you now.”
“You wouldn’t fucking do that,” he said. It sounded more like a plea than a threat.
“No. I probably should, but I’m not going to. All I want is a little information.”
“You are going to be so fucking sorry for this.”
“Maybe, but if there’s one thing I do know, it’s that you need me—“
“I don’t need anyone.”
“—and not just someone, you need me specifically. What I want to know is why?”
“It’s not that I need you, exactly—” and then we heard the train whistle. Fuck. I was so close.
“You better run, Sammy,” he said.
“Promise to lay off me, or I’ll unite you right now.”
“Ok,” and I started working on the rope around his ankle.
“Ok, ok, Jeeze, I wasn’t going to do anything to you anyway.”
And I believed him. I’m not sure why, but I did. I left the rope alone.
“Better get away from me,” he said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because there’s a fucking train coming, numb nuts.” And he was right. I looked up and sure enough, there was the unmistakable headlight and shadowy shape of a train heading right for us.
I looked down at his completely ordinary looking body stretched across the tracks and tried to connect it to the colossus I’d seen tear apart the junk yard, and at that moment I just couldn’t do it. “Maybe this isn’t such a good idea. Why don’t I untie you and we’ll try something else.”
“What? Fuck no. Don’t wuss out on me now.”
I could hear the train coming, like approaching thunder and then I could feel the vibration on the track. “When will you know if this is going to work?”
“It’s gonna work. Get the fuck out of here.”
I took a couple of steps back, and looked over toward the approaching train. It was a freight. Fuck, it was big and it was moving so damn fast. “If you think it’s not going to happen, yell and I’ll come untie you.”
“Don’t fucking say that! You’ll screw everything up. Just get the fuck away.”
I stumbled backwards, my eyes seesawing from Billy to the train, Billy to the train. Fuck. It wasn’t happening. Why wasn’t it happening?
The train was close now, too close. Even if I wanted to help Billy now, I couldn’t. It would be too late. I’d never get him untied in time.
Billy was writhing on the tracks, obviously trying to free himself, but it was useless. It wasn’t going to work. Billy was going to die. It would be my fault. I tied him there.
I had to do something. I took a half step forward, but then I heard Billy shout, “WAHOOOOO! FUCK YEAH!” And then I saw him arch his back. His chest rose high in the air and—whoa. It looked bigger. His shirt slid back a little and his abs… My God they were growing out of his stomach. And his arms—Jeeze, they looked thicker and ripped. Even over the roar of the approaching train, I could hear the pop, pop, pop of snapping rope as Billy tore himself free. He rolled clear of the tracks, shouting, “YEE FUCKING HAA!” just as the engine thundered up. It missed him by seconds. And suddenly it was pretty dark, and very loud. The area had been lit by the flood lights in the freight yard across the tracks. But now the train was blocking those, and there was no illumination, except for the strobe-like flickers that escaped between the passing cars. And the sound of the speeding train was deafening, a rhythmic clatter I could hear in my bones.
Billy stood up, his arms arched out slightly to the side. Fuck, he looked big, like years of hard core weight training had been compacted into the last few seconds. I could see his chest and shoulders completely filling out his shirt and his thighs stressing his jeans. I heard a POP as his foot exploded out of his remaining sneaker. He lifted his foot and shook it off, like you would if you just stepped in dog crap. He looked at me, grinned and flexed his right arm. His bicep exploded with size. Damn.
“Twice in one day, Sammy,” he shouted. “Twice in one fucking day!” He brought up his other arm for a double bi.
“Bang,” he said, giving his exploding cannon ball of a bicep a sound effect.
I watched his sleeves slide off those, large, boulder-like mounds and bunch up below his ballooning shoulders. Pop, pop, riiiip, and his sleeves just broke apart, shredding and rolling back like the peel on a banana. His arms looked bigger than any school jock’s—really fucking strong and yet I knew he was only a shadow of what he would become.
“I’m going to get even bigger this time, Sammy. I can fucking feel it. Check it out.”
Then he turned around. I could make out a muscular back stressing the hell out of his shirt, and then he flexed it. Snap, snap, snap riiiiiip and his shirt tore open straight down the back, releasing a thick wall of solid muscle. Holy crap, look at him. Just fucking look at him.
“Oh yeah,” he called “Oh fucking yeah.”
He turned and in three steps he was standing right in front of me. He wasn’t much taller but he was a hell of a lot broader. He was practically bumping me with his fucking enormous chest, still packed inside his overstressed t-shirt which had ridden up well above his fucking brick wall stomach. Christ! I almost couldn’t believe this was the same kid I sat across from at McDonalds, now that he had all that fucking muscle packed on him.
“What does it feel like?” I gasped.
“To grow like that, what does it feel like?”
He gave me a half smile, almost a leer. I thought he was just going to make a joke, but then he said, “It’s better than sex, Sammy, way better than sex.”
Then he flexed his upper body and his t-shirt split apart as his mammoth chest and back burst out. “Fuck yeah!” he shouted. “Getting’ fucking huge!”
Then he grabbed me. I felt his hand on my arm like a padded steel pincer. I tried to break away, but forget it. He was already so fucking strong he could easily break me in two.
“I bet you’re sorry you fucked with me now,” he said, ginning that cocky grin.
“You said you weren’t going to do anything.”
“I said you were playing with fire.” He started shaking. Oh God, I knew what was coming. “And now that volcano is about to fucking blow. YEEHAAAAW!” And his body began exploding with muscle. Fuck. I mean I’d seen it before, but fuck. Muscles just kept bursting out of Billy, bulging up, stretching out, and piling up on top of each other all over him. And he started laughing again, that roller coaster laugh, as monstrous traps rose out of his broadening back and his chest grew from melons to basketballs to fucking china balls. His abs bulged up to the size of my fist, then, pulsing with his laughter, they doubled in size and doubled again. I saw his pants split and fall apart, destroyed by ridiculously huge, ripped hamstrings and quads. And as all these muscles erupted out of him, he was shooting upwards, getting taller and taller, while all the time more impossibly huge muscles burst up under his skin, swelled and bulged. His hand on my arm stretched and thickened and grew until it no longer just grabbed my arm; he had half my body in his grasp. The Billy I knew was gone. It was like he’d been swallowed up by muscle, a huge fucking mountain of it. And that black poser he wore, with the strain it was under, it wouldn’t last much longer.
“WAAAAHOOOOO,” he screamed, lifting his massive arms to the heavens. Fuck, I’d seen whole families that weren’t as big as his arms. I saw his gargantuan lats spread out behind him, like the sail on a schooner. His intercostals were as thick as my arms. “This is fucking it! This is what I live for!” he shouted. I gulped. The fucking size of him… he was so fucking massive. How could that kid I ate lunch with have become this? His bulk was just so overwhelming, so much fucking muscle over every bulging inch of him. He had to have been right. He had to be bigger this time. Either that or I’d just forgotten what he’d been like before. But now that he was standing next to me, I was terrified. Billy had become such a wall of unstoppable massive, heaving power, he must have more strength in one of his fingernails than I had in my entire body. Just looking at him made me go weak in the knees.
And suddenly he was lifting me up. I put my free hand out to steady myself and it landed on his pec. It was huge, hard as a rock, and my hand was fucking dwarfed by it. He twitched. Ever feel a boulder twitch?
“Are you ready for a little payback, Sammy?” he said.
I was fucked.
“I just want to say one thing,” I managed.
“Yeah, what’s that?” he said.
“You’re going to have a hell of a time scraping me off your fist.”
He ginned and raised his impossibly gargantuan arm. I winced, preparing myself. And then he started—
—tickling me. The bastard was tickling me—on my side. It was rough tickling. I’d probably be bruised for a week, but I started laughing. I couldn’t help myself. I’m not sure if it was the tickling or the relief. “You fucking bastard!” I managed in between guffaws.
“Had you going there, didn’t I?” Then he set me down, and I looked up at him, overwhelmed once again by the height and sheer mass of him.
“You’re ok, Sam,” he said. “I was really afraid you’d be a pussy, but you’re all right. But it’s a good thing you’re my brother, ’cause no matter how much I like you, that’s the only way you could fucking tickle torture me and live.” And then he turned. His knees bent and I saw his mammoth quads nearly explode out of his skin as he leapt, an impossible leap, twenty feet up and just as far over, right over the top of the freight train to the other side of the tracks. His massive from was now completely blocked from view by the moving wall that was the train.
Well, now he’d said it. Brother.
I had been pretty sure that’s where he had been going all along, but now that it was out in the open, I almost wished he’d kept silent. My world was now a cyclone of doubt and uncertainty. How did this happen? What did it mean? Was a birthmark the only thing we had in common? Alone, I sat down on the ground and pondered these thoughts while the endless train thundered by me into the darkness.
I sat on the ground in kind of a mental haze. Billy was my brother. Did mom know? No. She’d have told me, wouldn’t she? I’d already figured out he wasn’t hers; I mean, I was pretty sure Billy and I weren’t far enough apart in age for it to even be possible. So, that would make him only my half brother, but still… My brother? Fuck. I was an only child, always had been an only child, always thought I would be an only child. Was I ready for a brother—and not just any brother either, a fucking were-muscle-beast. How did he get like that anyway? Did he fall into a vat of toxic waste? Or was it genetic? Did it come from our dad? Was I going to do that? The thought that I could be like him was simultaneously exciting and scary. I really didn’t know anything about my father. Who he was and what he’d done fifteen years ago was almost a complete mystery to me. But then there was that birthmark. Mom had said he’d had it too… Fuck. I didn’t want to think about it anymore.
I stood up and tried to see the end of the freight train. I was anxious to find Billy. I had a ton of questions to ask him, and who knew where he was by now. With his size and strength, he was anywhere he fucking wanted to be. Shit. Just thinking about the massiveness of him, all that muscle, his raw fucking power, was affecting me strangely. What was it, wonder, excitement, envy, lust, or some weird combination of all of them? I didn’t know. I only knew I had to find him.
It was only a few minutes before the train’s tail engine finally chugged by, but it had seemed like hours. When it finally did pass I got an eye full. The freight yard looked like a disaster area. Freight containers had been overturned, tossed about or crushed like they were match boxes. And it wasn’t hard to spot Billy’s huge form; his massive back heaved as he pulled up iron rails from the freight yard’s side track and bent it into weird shapes, like giant wire sculptures. What the fuck was he thinking?
I scrambled across the tracks and up over the chain link fence. I’m not sure if Billy saw me coming. If he did, he took no notice. He was busy twisting a couple of pieces of track together. As I got closer my mouth dropped open at the sight. Those fucking massive arms of his bulged and flexed obscenely as he worked. His upper arms were about the size of a truck tire but they were shaped like mini fucking mountains; they had peaks and valleys, canyons and plateaus, with bulging river like veins running all over them. And once again, his skin had turned that strange sickly pale color. When I got to him, he looked down and smiled.
“Hey, what d’ya think?” he asked. “I made a dog.”
“What the fuck are you doing, Billy?” I cried.
“You don’t think it looks like a dog?”
“This place is trashed!”
“So, it’s not like trashing a junk yard. This stuff is all in use. It’s vandalism, criminal vandalism.”
“Don’t tell me you’re going to bleed for the fucking insurance companies?”
No. Mom and I had some experience with the insurance companies. I wasn’t going to lose any sleep if they got fucked over, but still… “There must be security guards.”
“Ha,” Billy snorted. “Those assholes took off after one look at me, same as those pussies at the junk yard today.”
“They’re probably getting the cops.”
“The cops don’t scare me.”
“What, are you bullet proof, too?”
“Almost,” he said leaning down and giving me a good look at his gargantuan shoulder. There was a small scar there.
“You got shot?”
“Yup, but it healed up almost as soon as the bullet hit. Pretty fucking awesome, hunh?”
“Whoa. Who shot you?”
“Some cop. But I don’t hold it against him.”
“I don’t know, two, three weeks ago.”
“They saw you?”
“Fuck yeah, they saw me,” he said, grinning, “almost pissed their pants, too. And I wasn’t even this big.” He flexed his impossibly huge arms and admired them. They were so fucking big; I didn’t think I could wrap my entire body around them. Then he looked down at me. “Hey, dude, we can play twenty questions later. You’re cutting into my play time.” And then he shot off to another container and started to manhandle it.
I don’t know why, but I couldn’t take my eyes off Billy as he lifted the container. Except for the junk yard, I’d never seen anything like it before. There was something almost hypnotizing about it. It was kind of like staring into a fireplace, only way more exciting.
He started by sinking his hands into the steel wall of the container. Every thick cord and sinew in his forearms flexed and bulged under his skin as his fingers popped through the metal skin as if it were made from plastic wrap. He grabbed the entire container, which was about five feet wide, eight feet tall and about twenty five feet long, and then, his chest heaving and swelling out ridiculously, he hoisted it up over his head balancing it on its end until it was towering twenty five feet above him. I got dizzy at the sight of his massive arms. They were flexing and bulging, a thickly woven configuration of gargantuan muscles and tendons, barely straining as they held the container above him, gently swaying in the sky. And suddenly his insanely broad lats bulged out as he slammed the container into the ground. WHOOMMMM! The shock of the impact knocked me off my feet. I looked up and actually saw a ripple travel outward through the asphalt, causing everything else in the yard to tip and sway. And in the distance I could hear an expanding circle of car alarms whining.
When I looked back I saw he had sunk the container about five feet down into the ground. A mound of earth and broken asphalt had been thrust up around it, circling it like a ring. He looked up at the twenty foot tower he had just hammered into the ground and nodded with satisfaction. It wasn’t exactly straight up and down but it seemed to work for him.
Then he selected another container of equal size, and I watched his inhuman muscles bulge and undulate as he lifted it up and WHOOM! Holy shit, he did it again. This time I sat down before the shock could knock me over. He stood back and looked at the two freight containers which he had planted about twenty feet apart. Then, almost casually, he reached behind him, grabbed a third container, and ripped the steel side off of it, like paper from a pad, and then wadded it up. When he’d made a ball, he set it on the ground. He stepped back a few paces and then ran toward his “ball.”, his quads bulging massively. I swear the earth shook with each step. Billy kicked the wadded steel with his gargantuan bare foot and sent it speeding right towards the space between the two container/towers exactly as if they were goal posts. The wadded hunk of steel shot up like a bullet, went through the two “goal posts,” kept going for about thirty yards, and smashed straight through the side of a warehouse. An instant later, I heard another crash, which I imagine was the “ball” smashing its way out of other side of the building. Fuck—Where it eventually landed, who fucking knew? Wisconsin, maybe?
He raised his arms in the air, “Score!” he shouted. Then he added, “Too easy. What I really need is a goalie.” Then he looked over at me grinning. “So, get your ass in gear, Sammy.”
“Me?” Fuck. Did that mean what I thought it meant? I guess that blew the toxic waste theory. “You mean it’s genetic?”
He just grinned at me and didn’t say a thing. He really seemed to get off on not answering my questions.
Then we heard the sirens. I freaked, but Billy never lost his grin. “I was wondering when they’d get here,” he said.
“We’d better get out of here,” I said.
“Ah nah, this is the best part,” he said. “You’d better go, though. The cops can play a little rough. You can watch from the stockyard. You should be able to see everything from there, if you don’t want to go home.”
“Hell no. I’m staying.”
“Then you better get over to the stockyard,” he said, just as I saw some flashing lights come around the corner.
“Good luck,” I said.
“Ha,” said Billy, “save it for the cops. They’re the ones that’re gonna need it.” I looked up at that gigantic heaving mass of muscle, and was glad I wasn’t going against him. I wouldn’t want to even if I had an entire armored division behind me.
I turned and scrambled over the fence, ran across the tracks and then climbed the other fence into the stockyard. God, that place stank, but it was dark and I was pretty well concealed. Our bikes were nearby, but I didn’t waste any time with them. I turned my attention back to the freight yard across the tracks. That’s where all the action was.
Cop cars were streaming into it, sirens blazing and lights flashing. There must have been half a dozen of them. And Billy didn’t wait for them to come to him. He took off running straight at one of the cars, his gigantic back flexing and rolling with each step. Damn, he could move fast. The cop car tried to swerve to avoid him, but Billy, his legs bulging with power, his feet digging fucking holes in the asphalt, turned, too, and ran head on into the car. BAM! It wasn’t like the cop car just hit a wall; it was like it hit some kind of giant spring. The cop car shot backwards, flipping up into the air, end over end, before it came crashing down to the ground on its roof, kicking up sparks as it slid across the asphalt. Billy, mammoth chest heaving, didn’t even slow.
He turned round and ran up behind one of the other cars, just as it was screeching to a halt, and once again his monumental lats flared as he picked it up by the rear. The cops leapt out of the car as Billy started swinging it around and around and around. Then he let it fly. Up, up, up it flew, right over the roof of the warehouse and vanished into the darkness. It was several seconds before I heard a distant crash. Whoa.
The remaining four cars had all stopped in formation, making a kind of a barrier. And all the cops were hiding behind it with the guns all aimed at Billy. Billy took one look at them and his massive thighs exploded again as he leapt straight up. Fuck he shot up like a rocket. I never imagined anything that big could shoot up that fast. I’m not sure how high he went, ’cause in a split second he’d soared above the floodlights and the darkness just swallowed him up. But in another second he was back. BLAM! There was the sound of breaking glass, twisting metal and a dying siren as Billy landed right on top of one of the cop cars, flattening it. The cops scrambled backwards, some of them taking shots at him, others were just running. Billy knocked each of cars away with one bat from his massive fist, and the rest of the cops just scattered!
And that’s when I saw them, the dark shapes. At first I thought they were stray dogs or something, but after a second look, I realized they were guys, guys dressed in black. And as I looked around the yard, I noticed they were all over the place, hiding behind freight containers, on the warehouse roofs, everywhere. Where did they come from? And they all looked like they were all armed. Did Billy see them? No, he was too busy chasing the cops around—Holy Crap! That’s exactly what they wanted him to do. Those cops weren’t the threat! They were just bait! Those guys in black, they were the threat! Fuck! I had to warn Billy.
I scrambled up over the fence and onto the track. I heard the sharp blare of a train horn and nearly had a heart attack. I leapt back just in time to miss getting hit by a train as it came racing through. Thank God it was just an Amtrak and much, much shorter.
But as short as it was, by the time it had passed it was too late; the guys in black had sprung their trap. The whole freight yard was filling with some kind of smoky white gas. Where was Billy? I couldn’t see through it. I saw one of the cops running away but the cloud caught up with him, and he dropped on the spot. Crap. I knew I’d better stay away from that stuff. I circled around the fence to the far corner of the freight yard and climbed it there. There wasn’t any gas there. I had just jumped to the ground when I saw one of the guys in black fly over my head and land somewhere in the stockyard. Apparently Billy wasn’t finished yet.
I edged my way along the fence, and I could see lots of those guys in black. All of them were wearing gas masks and none of them saw me. They were too busy watching the cloud of gas, which the wind was starting to clear. Fortunately for me, it was blowing in the other direction.
As it got thinner I could see Billy’s massive figure thrashing around. There were a bunch of tiny guys all around him—they weren’t really tiny, they just looked it next to Billy. They were shooting him with some kind of electrified bolts. They would stick into him and spark and flash. I think they were actually hurting him cause he kept backing away from they guys and they just kept shooting him and shooting him. They were backing him up to some freight containers, and crap… There were guys on top of the containers with this big black net-thing. It looked like a net but you could see it had wires coiled all around it, and I could hear this weird electronic hum coming from it. It was some kind of a trap and Billy was walking right into it. Fuck. What could I do? If I shouted, they’d hear me. He might not, but they sure would. If I ran over there, I’d breath in some of that gas, and probably pass out, or worse. What could I do?
And then it was too late. They dropped the net on him and suddenly it was dancing with sparks and little blue lightning bolts. And down Billy went. He was still thrashing like crazy, but it was pretty clear they had him. What could I do?
Then it hit me. That net must need a lot of power to do what it was doing. I circled around the edge of the freight yard to the other side of the net. I was surprised no one saw me, but they all seemed to be focused on Billy, watching him slowly wind down.
When I got to the other side, I saw it. There was a thick cable running from the net to somewhere around the side of the warehouse. Quickly and quietly I followed the cable. It led to this big black truck that was chugging away. I was surprised that there was no one around it, but I guess they had everyone battling Billy. The cable led right into the back of the truck. It plugged into some kind of generator. At first I thought about unplugging it, but it was really well connected; it looked like pulling it would take a lot of work. I’d need a wrench at least. Then I saw it: a single, small silver key sticking out of the generator. It couldn’t be that simple, could it? I turned the key and instantly the generator sputtered to a stop. Wow, it worked.
“What the—” I heard a voice shout over by the net. Then “Oh shit.” Then I heard Billy shout, “YOU FUCKS!” and almost immediately after I saw the first guy fly twenty feet over my head. Quickly, I pulled out the key and pocketed it. I knew it was too much to hope that they didn’t have another one, but I wasn’t going to make it easy for them.
“Fall back! Fall back!” came the cry from behind me. I realized they’d be coming this way, and it probably wouldn’t be a good idea for me to be there when they got back. There were lots of freight containers and debris in the area so finding a good hiding place wasn’t a problem. No sooner did I duck behind one then I saw the crowd of guys in black running as fast as they could, but for some of them, it wasn’t fast enough. Billy came loping out of the dark, and man did he seem pissed. I mean I’d seen him angry before but nothing like this. His eyes were glaring, his teeth were bared and every vein cord and muscle on his oil barrel neck was standing out in sharp relief. He must have lost that poser-thing during the fight, ’cause now he was completely naked. And I have to say he was a helluva lot more terrifying with his giant member thundering around free between his legs. Fuck.
With one swipe of his hand and he knocked a guy thirty feet back through a fence. Another guy turned and took a shot at him with one of those electric bolt thingies. It got him on one of his cinderblock abs, one of the lower ones. I got the feeling the guy might have been aiming even lower and missed. But without the gas around, the bolt didn’t seem to bother Billy as much. He swatted the shooter away like a fly, and the guy flew into a crate, pretty much demolished the crate, and then kept going. Fuck.
Behind Billy I could see a group of guys approaching him with that net again. Over by the truck there was another guy starting up the generator. Damn, I knew they’d have another key!
“Billy!” I shouted from behind my hiding place. He stopped and looked around. I stepped out so he could see me. “Billy, get the truck!” and I pointed over at the generator truck. Billy looked over and saw the guy starting it. I heard that weird electronic hum again and saw the net crackle with blue life. Billy saw it two. Suddenly he leapt straight up again. When he came down it was on the generator truck and he smashed it to pieces. The hum stopped and Billy, his gargantuan arms flailing, kept ripping into to the truck, tearing the generator to bits.
One of the guys in black lobbed a gas grenade at him, but another guy made a slashing motion across his throat and then they all just ran. Billy finished tearing the truck to bits and then looked around for another victim, but there weren’t any left. I didn’t dare go near him ’cause there was still plenty of gas left from that last grenade. And then I saw him stumble. It looked like the gas was getting to him… or maybe not. He was shrinking. Crap. His hour must be up. And as I watched, Billy slowly grew smaller and smaller, his massive form slowly became less and less impressive until he was just Billy again. Then he collapsed on the ground.
Oh my God. What do I do? If anyone came now, we were screwed. Billy was helpless and I couldn’t go near him because of the gas. The next few minutes were the longest in my life. I was sure that any second one of those guys was going to come back and find him. Finally I couldn’t stand it any longer. The gas looked like it had cleared enough, so I grabbed an old crate lid and started waving it around in front of me like a fan, hoping it would blow the remaining gas away. It seemed to work ’cause I made it out to him without passing out. I tried shaking him but he was out cold. At least he was breathing. I looked around. I had to get him away from there. I was sure those guys would be back. There was a broken freight container about ten yards away. If I could get him in there, at least he wouldn’t be right out in the open. But how do I do it? Billy may not be two tons anymore but he was still too big for me to lift. I wound up half lifting, half dragging him over to the container. No sooner did I get him inside then the guys in black came back. Jeeze, what did I do now?
From what I could see from my hiding place, they didn’t seem to be searching the place. It was more like they were cleaning up. Groups of them were moving around gathering up all the unconscious guys. There were another couple of guys who were just taking pictures of everything. And then there was a third group who were gathering up all their broken equipment. All of them seemed really on edge. They kept looking around and jumping at the slightest noise. I guess they were afraid Billy would come back. I wondered what they’d say if they knew the terrifying muscle beast was now a skinny, naked sixteen-year-old kid lying unconscious in a broken freight container.
As we lay hiding, I couldn’t help but look down at Billy… my brother. Jeeze, he didn’t look like anything now, just a regular kid, not much bigger than me. I kind of poked him a little in the arm. I know it’s silly but I thought maybe if I pressed hard enough, I might find some sign of all that bulging granite-like muscle, somehow compressed and in storage, waiting for Billy to release it again. But it felt just like an ordinary arm.
One thing about him that wasn’t ordinary was that ripened zucchini he had between his legs, proof positive that even though we were brothers, there were some genetic traits we unfortunately didn’t share.
And then there was his birthmark. That was the hardest thing to adjust to. It was exactly like mine. It was like finding a familiar piece of myself on someone else. Too weird.
The clean-up seemed to go really fast, much faster then I expected. But even after they left and Billy and I were alone in the freight yard again, I was still too scared to go out. What if there were still a couple of those guys around—or even the regular security guards.
I tried waking Billy but it was no use. I knew the change exhausted him and then there was the gas on top of that. I didn’t know when he’d wake up. But I knew I had to do something to get us out of there, and first things first. It would be a lot easier to sneak Billy out of here if he weren’t buck naked.
I snuck out of the container and keeping a careful eye open, I made my way to the back fence, climbed over and crossed the tracks to the stockyard. I found our bikes fairly easily. It seemed like a million years ago that we’d left them there. I grabbed Billy’s pack and quick as I could, scuttled back to the container. Billy was just as I left him—out cold. I pulled the clothes out of his pack, and dressed him. It wasn’t easy. I’d never dressed anyone else before. I was pulling and shoving him so much, I really expected him to wake up—but he didn’t even stir.
I found Billy’s wallet in his back pack, too. I couldn’t help but notice it was loaded with cash, way more than any fourteen-year-old usually carried. The bent corners of at least two one-hundred-dollar-bills were visible. I didn’t open it and count it. That would have been going too far.
I also found a cell phone.
“Hello, mom?” I held the phone away from my ear as a stream of angry parental concern flooded out of it. Where had I been? What was I thinking, not calling? Was I all right? Of course, she never gave me a chance to answer any of these questions before she started in on the list of punishments: grounding, no TV, no internet. The she finally wound it up with a demand for me to come straight home. And then I had a chance to say something.
I used the four words I knew were guaranteed to get any mothers attention, “Mom, I need you.” There was an instant of silence on the other end as I could almost feel her shifting gears.
“Where are you, Sammy? Are you all right?” Then she was all concern. I didn’t give her too many details, just where I was and could she come get me. I guess I was taking a lot for granted. There was no guarantee that my mom could even get back here, but she did. Twenty minutes later I saw the familiar shape of her car winding its way through the wreckage.
When she saw me, she gestured wildly for me to get in the car. But I shook my head and signaled for her to come to me. She stopped the car, but left the engine running, hopped out and came over to me.
“Oh my God, Sammy, what happened to you?”
Ok, I was a wreck. My clothes were in tatters; I was dirty, bloody and I probably smelled like the stockyard, but all that could wait.
“Mom,” I said, “I need your help with him.” I grabbed her hand and led her over to Billy.
I started to answer but then I had to stop. Where did I begin? Was this really the place to introduce her to my brother? “Can you just help me with him? I’ll tell you later.”
“Ok, mister, but you’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”
The two of us managed to get Billy into the car. I grabbed his backpack and then Mom drove us back out to the street.
“What happened here?” asked mom, looking around. “The place is a wreck and it’s completely disserted, no one anywhere.”
Wow, I didn’t know how to answer that one, either. She definitely noticed the silence.
“Come on, Sammy, I need you to be a little more forthcoming with the explanations.”
“That’s Billy Calhoun,” I said nodding my head toward the back seat where Billy was still out cold. I figured that was a good place to start.
“Billy Calhoun? Why does that name sound familiar?”
“His dad got killed last week”
“That’s right—” I could see her connecting dots. I knew they were probably the wrong dots, and I knew if I kept quiet long enough, she’d draw her own conclusions and I wouldn’t have to lie to her. “He got killed by the mob, didn’t he?” she asked, eyes wide. “—and oh my God! Billy was there, wasn’t he? Is that why—?” Suddenly she was looking around as though she thought we might be followed. “We have to call the police.”
“We can’t call the police. We can’t trust them. And no doctors either.”
She looked at me exasperated. “You’re not getting involved in this, are you? Why would you do that?”
“I’ll show you when we get home,” I said.
The drive wasn’t long and soon we were carrying Billy into the house. We carried him to my room and laid him on the bed.
“What’s wrong with him?” my mom asked.
“I think he might be drugged or something.”
“Sammy, are they after him because he saw his dad killed?”
“He said Big Mike wasn’t his dad.”
“What? Then I don’t—”
She trailed off as I lifted Billy’s shirt and she saw the birthmark.
“Oh my God—” Her mouth agape, she sat down on the bed. “Just like yours… and his—”
“Mom,” I said, crossing my arms and looking down at her, “maybe its time you told me a little more about dad.” I knew I was using shock tactics, but I was really getting desperate. I had to find some way to finally get some answers.
I was really disappointed. I had expected some great revelation about dad that would explain Billy’s growth and everything else that had been going on. But most of what Mom told me, I’d heard before. They’d met at work. They were both technicians at Genco, a bioengineering firm where Mom still worked. He was very focused on his work, did a lot of late night stuff with one of the researchers. But then, after a few months, he suddenly decided he had to leave town, and he wouldn’t give her any explanation. But now that she thought about it, and she was looking at Billy passed out on my bed as she said this, she could remember he might have been seeing a waitress before they started going out. But it hadn’t lasted long.
A waitress? Was that Billy’s mom? Who knew? Billy couldn’t tell me. And even if he was awake, he probably wouldn’t anyway.
I told mom that Billy had somehow known about me—he didn’t say how—and that today was the first time he’d said anything about… our being related. For some reason I was having trouble with the word “brother.” I told her that he had been in trouble at the freight yard—please don’t ask me what kind—and that he had needed my help, and that’ he’d probably be all right to go home in the morning. I could tell she wasn’t satisfied with my answers, but in any case she went easy on me—probably because I looked like hell.
We fished Billy’s cell phone out of his backpack and flipped through his contacts until we found the listing for “Mom.” My mom called it and then left the room so I couldn’t hear the conversation. That was weird.
While she was gone, I grabbed a pair of sweats and a t-shirt and headed into the bathroom to wash up and change. One look at myself in the mirror and the wash-up turned into a shower.
As I soaped myself up, I began to take stalk of my body. I was pretty skinny. I had thin arms and legs, flat chest, no shoulders to speak of – just ordinary and kind of weak looking, a sort of stretched out kid. And then I couldn’t help thinking of Billy, of how mind-blowingly huge he’d gotten, that incredible height, all those fucking muscles, and I suddenly realized I wanted to be like that. I wanted to feel muscles bulging up from my body hard and powerful, to see the world shrink as I grew taller and taller. Just thinking about it got me hard. I kept imagining growing bigger and bigger and stronger and stronger, of having huge mountainous peeked biceps and gigantic boulder-like shoulders and abs that jutted out of my stomach like iron bricks. I wanted to feel that power in my body, to know what it felt like to knock a car a block away with one swat of my hand, and suddenly I was blowing a load all over the shower wall.
I finished my shower but my hard-on never completely went away. I kept thinking we were brothers so why shouldn’t I be able to do it, too. Fuck. It had to be possible. But if I could do it, why hadn’t I? Maybe I just didn’t know how.
I toweled myself off and pulled on my sweats and t-shirt. I had to think of something to kill the boner. It was difficult when all I could think about was getting huge, but I couldn’t walk out of the bathroom like this; no doubt my mother was waiting for me in the hall. I thought of my homework and how my books were in my backpack which was still in the stockyard. Jeeze, that place had stunk. And that did it. Thinking of the stockyard did it.
I opened the door and sure enough my mom was waiting outside.
“I spoke with Billy’s mother,” she said.
“And it was a very strange conversation. Apparently she doesn’t leave her house any more.”
“So, she won’t be coming for Billy. I guess he’ll be spending the night. She asked about you,” she said.
“She seemed to know exactly who I was, and all about you. It almost felt like we’d been stalked.” That was weird, and mom looked disturbed by it too. “She asked me if you ever gave me any trouble. But the way she said it, I wasn’t entirely sure what she meant.” Then mom kind of looked at me funny. “You’re not going to give me any trouble, are you Sam?”
“I’m not planning on it.”
She kind of sighed and half smiled. “Sorry,” she said pulling me in for a hug. “It was just such a strange conversation. It’s left me a little shaken.”
Join the club, I felt like saying, but I didn’t.
“I guess Billy’s got your bed for the night,” she said. “Come on, we’ll make up the couch for you.”
“If it’s all the same,” I said. “I’ll just blow up the air mattress and sleep on the floor in here. I don’t want Billy waking up in the middle of the night and freaking because he doesn’t know where he is.” And I was sincere. I absolutely didn’t want Billy freaking in my room.
“You’re really worried about him, aren’t you?”
Wow, it was true; I was. I really cared what happened to him. How did that happen? I mean he wasn’t anything like the guys I usually hung out with. In fact, normally I avoided guys like Billy. A few hours ago I wouldn’t have cared if he lived or died, but now… “I guess. I just never had a brother before.”
“Sam,” she said, looking me in the eyes, “I just want you to know, I had no idea about Billy. If I’d known, I’d have seen that the two of you grew up together.”
“It’s not too late, Mom. I think I still have a little growing left to do,” I said, almost before I knew what I was saying. I felt that hard-on coming back so I quickly shifted my train of thought.
She kissed me on the cheek, ruffled my hair—I hated it when she did that—and then she helped me get the air mattress, blow it up, and put some sheets on it.
“That ought to do you for the night,” she said. “See you in the morning.” As soon as she left, I turned off the light and was asleep in about thirty seconds flat.
In my dreams I was at school on the soccer field. I was playing goalie and our team was getting creamed. My team mates were all pissed at me. They kept shouting at me to get my head out of my ass and into the game. But ball after ball went flying past me and I just couldn’t seem to block one. And then I saw Billy. He was on the sidelines yelling at me. At first I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but then it got clearer and clearer until I could understand him. He was yelling, “Get your ass in gear. I need a goalie.”
And suddenly, as if his words were a magic spell, I felt my body start to get hard all over, and then it started to grow. My gym shirt began pulling tight around me. My legs were getting longer and thicker, developing thunderous hamstrings and quads. My pecs were pushing out in front of me, causing my shirt to tent out an instant before the cloth split, releasing twin bulbous striated hills of solid muscle. My shoulders blew up and shredded my sleeves. My biceps swelled into gigantic mountains of power. My quads were splitting my shorts apart and the bulge between was swelling up large, mostly because I had the boner of all boners. And suddenly I was huge. I stood there, a mass of gigantic, bulging muscles, one and a half times the height of my team mates, and I felt unstoppable. The ball came flying toward me. I reached out one massive hand and plucked it from the air.
“How’s that for getting my fucking head in the game,” I roared. All my team mates were staring at me in shock and awe and I was loving it. I applied a little pressure to the ball and heard the thing pop and hiss as I flattened it to a pancake with my bare hand. And that was too much for my boner. It exploded. I came and I came and I came. The force of it was truly stupendous. At some point I woke up, but the orgasm was so intense that I really didn’t notice exactly when and I really didn’t care. I lay there on my mattress gasping and moaning, lost in extreme pleasure for what felt like minutes. When it was finally over and my mind began to come back into focus, my first sight was of Billy peering over the edge of the bed at me.
“You had a growth dream, didn’t you?” he said.
I just nodded.
“Was that your first?”
I nodded again.
He slowly smiled. “How big a load did you blow?”
“Come on, I know you got off. I was watching. How big a load did you blow?”
“I don’t know,” I said. I wasn’t entirely comfortable having this conversation with him.
“Well, go check,” he said. I hesitated. “Go on,” he said.
I pulled back the sheet and holy fuck! It was kind of dark but I could still see the entire front of my sweats was soaked through. It looked like I had worn them in the shower. I got up and stumbled into the bath room, my soaked sweats feeling simultaneously cold and warm against my skin. I peeled them off and holy crap! There was a fucking ocean of cum all over my front. I must have blown about a quart. I didn’t know that was even possible.
I tuned on the shower hopped in and washed myself off. I got out, rapped a towel around my waste and headed back for my room. Billy was standing now, looking around.
“This your room?”
“How did I get here?”
“I called my mom and she came and got us.”
Then I saw that temper explode across his face. “You didn’t fucking tell her?”
“Only that we were brothers,” I said quickly. That seemed to ease him a little.
“Why’d ya even have to tell her that?”
“She’s my mother,” I said. “Don’t you think she should know?”
“Yeah, well, I suppose you did what you had to. What’s that?” he said pointing at a poster.
“That’s the solar system.”
“I know what it is, ass wipe. What’s it doing there? Where’s all the titty?”
Actually, I’d never really wanted any “titty” up on my wall. But was I going to tell Billy that? No. “Are you kidding? My mom would freak.” That much was definitely true. I’d had many a long lecture from her on the evils of female exploitation.
Billy slapped himself on the forehead. “Oh my God, I’m in fucking Geekman’s world. Put it behind the door, you moron. Is your mom ever in here with the door closed?”
“I guess not.”
“Of course she isn’t. You’ve got to learn to use your fucking head,” he said looking around the room at the science fiction and fantasy posters I had on the wall. “Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, not even any goddamn Bears posters. Well, at least you’re not a fucking cheese head. That’d’ve been a fate worse than death.” He sighed. “You, Sammy, are seriously in need of a brother,” he said as he looked back at me. “You blow a ridiculous amount?”
I nodded. I still wasn’t comfortable talking about it, but if I couldn’t talk about this stuff with my brother, who could I?
He smiled. “Looks like I’m going to get my goalie after all.”
“Seriously? Is this how it started with you?”
He nodded. Whoa, that was it. It was actually going to happen to me. I was going to get big like Billy. I got instantly hard. The towel did nothing to conceal it. I think I blushed. He noticed.
“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “Thinking about it gets me hard, too. I’m hard right now.” I couldn’t help it. My eyes went instantly to his crotch. He was hard all right, and even through the denim I could tell he was a helluva lot more impressive than I was. “But I’m also starving,” he said. “Got any food?”
“Yeah, sure,” I said. I turned around, dropped my towel, and pulled on some shorts. It was a little awkward sliding them up over my boner but what choice did I have. Thoughts of getting huge were still in my head, so it wasn’t going away any time soon.
I led Billy to the kitchen. I opened the fridge and pulled out a jar of peanut butter and some bread. Billy didn’t wait for me to find anything else. He popped opened the peanut butter jar, got ready to dive in, but suddenly stopped.
“What’s this shit? It’s got like oil and crap floating on top?”
“It’s natural,” I said, “You’ve got to stir it up first.”
“No shit?” I handed him a knife and he started stirring the peanut butter up and then slopping it on some bread, and shoving it into his mouth. As he was chewing he got this weird look on his face. “You got any unnatural stuff,” he asked, “like Skippy?”
“Oh. I guess this is ok,” he said as he continued to gulp the stuff down as fast as was humanly possible.
Then I pulled out a few pieces of left-over chicken and Billy devoured those almost without pausing to chew. We had some left-over rice which I offered to nuke for him, but he didn’t want to wait. He opened the tub and was about to pour it down his throat when he stopped.
“Are you sure this stuff is still good? It’s all brown and shit.”
“It’s supposed to be brown. It’s brown rice.”
“Rice comes in colors?”
I just nodded. “No shit,” he said and then downed the entire tub in one long gulping session.
He went through every left-over we had, and most of our fruit and he still polished off the entire jar of peanut butter and a whole loaf of bread. I half expected him to explode, but all he did was lean back in his chair and let out a large belch.
“Yeah, I guess that’ll do,” he said.
“So, what happens next?” I asked.
“What d’ya mean?”
“I mean with the whole growing thing. What happens after the dreams?”
He got that damn cocky smile on his face again and said, “You’ll find out.”
“You’re not going to tell me?”
“Jeeze, be happy you know what’s going on at all. When I went through this shit, I didn’t have a clue what was happening to me. I thought I was some kind of pervert… until the muscles started coming.”
“When was that?”
He got up and started stretching and yawning. “I don’t know what was in that gas shit they threw at me, but I’m beat to hell. I gotta grab some Z’s.”
“No, you can’t just leave it like that.”
“I’ll catch you in the morning,” he said walking toward the door. I followed right on his heals.
“You gotta tell me,” I begged.
“I don’t gotta do shit.” He was half way up the stairs now. That ass hole wasn’t going to tell me anything!
“Right back at ya, bro,” he said grinning, as he walked into my room and lay down on my bed.
“At least tell me what you know about dad.”
“You want to know about dad?” he asked, yawning. “Wait til tomorrow. I’ll introduce you.”
“Pleasant dreams. Don’t let the bed bugs bite and all that other shit.” And then he closed his eyes. I don’t know if he was asleep or just pretending. But what was the difference? He wasn’t going to say anything more. I stood there for a moment and thought about strangling him in his sleep. But no, with my luck he’d wake up, those muscles would explode out all over him and that would be the end of our house. Who knows, maybe that was his plan. I mean—not to destroy our house—just to get me so mad, I’d try to kill him so he could get big again. It was really close to working.
I flopped back down on my mattress, and tried to go to sleep, but I couldn’t. I kept thinking about how I was going to get huge, like Billy had been huge. I wondered what it would feel like to be that big, that awesomely powerful, to be able to lift those freight containers over my head, to feel my back explode with impossible strength as I plunged them into the ground like he did. My dick was now painfully hard just thinking about it, and my hand just automatically shot down there to help it out. I thought about how it would feel to lift up a car with colossal, bulging arms and swing it over the roof of a fucking building, the awesome power I would soon have in my body. And my dick exploded. I shot load after load, my dick spasming, my body jerking with the force of the pulsating pleasure that was coursing through me.
When it was over, I lay there in a pleasant sleepy haze. I thought about changing my shorts again, but I just didn’t feel like moving. In another minute I was asleep.
I was dreaming again. This time I was back in the freight yard, and Billy was Big Billy. He had something in his hand. It was glowing what ever it was, but he wouldn’t let me see it.
“What have you got there?” I asked.
“Your muscles,” he said. (Of course this kind of thing only makes sense in a dream.)
“Give them to me,” I said and I made a grab for them, but he held them out of my reach. “Come on, give them to me.”
“If you want them, you have to get them,” he said grinning. And I tried jumping for them, I couldn’t jump that high. Then I started to climb him like he was a tree. He started laughing, but finally I made it to his fist, but I couldn’t pry it open.
“Give them to me,” I repeated.
“Are you sure?” he asked.
“Are you really sure?”
“Yes! God damn it! Give them to me!”
“Ok,” he said. He opened his fist and this glowing light shot out of it and into me. And suddenly I felt it again, that hardness forming all over me, and I was swelling. My muscles bulging up under my clothes, pulling them tight. Fuck! It was awesome, and I was getting stiff again, really fucking stiff. I dropped to the ground and landed on legs that were a helluva lot thicker then the ones I had a few seconds ago.
And then it got kinda weird. It was like I was aware I was dreaming. On some level, I knew I was lying on the air mattress on the floor having this fucking awesome dream, and at the same time I was still in the dream getting bigger. My biceps were growing from hills to fucking mountains, shredding my shirt sleeves. I could fell my triceps hanging off the back of my arms like steel weights. My legs were exploding out of my pants. And suddenly my dick erupted again, another impossibly long and intense orgasm that shook me wide awake. I lay their bathing my self in cum, rocking to the force of my jerking member.
And then it ended and I lay there gasping for an instant before I passed out, again. No dreams for me this time, just deep peaceful darkness. The next thing I knew, my eyes were flickering open as daylight streaked into the window. I sat up and looked around, momentarily disoriented. What was I doing on the floor? Then I saw Billy sprawled out on my bed and everything came back.
I looked down and damn! I was swimming in cum again. I had soaked the sheets the mattress, everything. There were even semi-dried puddles of it on the floor. And the musky smell of it was everywhere. Fuck! I couldn’t let mom see this mess. Who knew what she’d think. I had to get it cleaned up.
I jumped out of bed and started gathering the sheets. I started using them as rags to soak up the stuff on the floor. It looked like I was going to have to do my own laundry this week. I was wiping like mad when I noticed it. My t-shirt sleeves were gone. Well, maybe not exactly gone, but they were ripped apart and hanging from my shoulders in shreds. What the fuck? How did that happen?
“Damn, dude,” I looked up to see Billy sitting up and staring at me. “I was having growth dreams for at least a week before anything like that happened. Fuck.”
“You had another growth dream last night, didn’t you?”
“You think?” I said, displaying my soaked sheets for him.
“Well, Jesus, dude, that’s how it starts. You start doing it in your dreams.”
“You mean my sleeves… because my arms… in my sleep—?”
Billy nodded. “But when it happened to me, I blew out my whole shirt, not just the arms. Pretty fucking weird.”
“Well, excuse me for not mutating in an orderly fashion,” I said staring at my arms. They looked the same to me, still the same old weak-ass skinny things they’d always been. Had they really grown while I was asleep? What were they like? How big did I get, how strong? Damn! I missed it.
“Do you still… in your sleep?” I asked Billy.
“No, once I started doing it for real, the dreams pretty much stopped.”
“Do you think I could do it for real?”
“I wouldn’t bet my life on it,” he said. “If I were you, I’d wait for a few more, you know, signs before you try.”
“You’ll know ’em when you see ’em,” he grinned.
“Thanks a lot.”
“Hey, what are brothers for?”
“I think they’re for being a pain in the ass.”
“Awe, you’ll learn to fuckin’ love me.”
If it hadn’t been soaked in cum, I’d’ve picked up my pillow and thrown it at him.
“Hey, where’s your shower? I kind of stink.”
“Ok, I smell like a fucking animal. Where can I clean up?”
“Across the hall.”
He grabbed a handful of his t shirt, brought it up to his nose and inhaled. “Phew! Too bad I went through all my clothes. I could really use some more.”
“You can borrow some of mine.” We were pretty close to the same size. “Just don’t… tear them.”
He looked back at me and grinned. “No, I’ll leave that for you, big guy.”
Oh fuck. I got hard again.
While he was showering I finished cleaning up my room. What a mess. I kept marveling at the fact that I could produce such volume. It just didn’t seem possible. And yet there it was, all over the floor the sheets the mattress, everywhere. I was definitely going to have to hide these until I could wash them.
I was just about done when Billy came waltzing back in stark naked, and dripping.
“Jesus, Billy, my mom’s home!”
“I know; I ran into her on her way to the kitchen.”
“Nah, I’m just messing with you, dude,” he said. Relief washed through me. “She wasn’t really heading for the kitchen.” My heart stopped for a second. Then he busted out laughing. “HAW! You should see your face. It’s fucking priceless.”
“Yeah?” I said feeling a little foolish that I’d fallen for his joke. “Well, you laugh like a donkey.” I grabbed the pillow off his bed and threw it at him.
“You mean I laugh like an ass?” he said knocking the pillow to the side. “You want to know what a laughing ass really sounds like?” Then he ripped a long, low fart, and started guffawing at his own joke. I just stood there and shook my head. Man, he stank.
“Oh come on,” he said looking at my sour expression, “that was funny.”
“That was disgusting.”
“Jeeze, are you always this uptight?”
“I am not uptight.”
“Yeah, dude, sure. Hey, any chance of some breakfast?”
“Sure,” I said. “But we kind of have this tradition around here. We actually wear clothes to breakfast.” I walked over to my closet and selected some clothes for him, a pair of pants and a shirt that were a little large for me. I also tossed him a pair of my underpants.
“Ah, that’s ok, dude. I think I’ll go commando.”
“Whatever,” I said. And then I grabbed some clothes for myself and headed for the bathroom. It was a mess. The place was all steamed up. There was water all over the floor. Towels lying everywhere. Christ, what a slob. Jeeze, he’d used my razor, too. I mean it wasn’t my shaving day or anything, but it still a little freaked by it.
I was in and out of there pretty quickly. I don’t know, somehow the bathroom felt used. I don’t know how else to explain it. I wasn’t comfortable there. It was weird. When I got back to my room, Billy was gone. At first I thought he was hiding, just playing another joke on me, but no, he was really gone. I ran out into the hall, down to the kitchen, and froze stiff. There he was, sitting at the table… eating breakfast with my mom! And as soon as I entered, they stopped talking and turned to look at me. Christ, they were talking about me! I just knew it. What had they been saying? I was completely at a loss. I didn’t know what to say or do.
“It’s about time you came down,” said my Mom. “I thought I was going to have to leave before you got here.”
“I have to go in today. I know its Saturday, but we’ve got this big project deadline coming up and it can’t be helped.”
“Oh,” I said.
“I guess it’ll give you and Billy some time to get to know each other.”
“Yeah,” I said.
“My, aren’t we monosyllabic today?”
“It’s the public schools,” said Billy, and mom laughed and ruffled his hair.
Ok, I don’t know what disturbed me more, the fact that Billy knew what monosyllabic meant or that be made a joke that didn’t involve bodily emissions. What was perfectly clear to me was that he had somehow managed to completely charm my mom. She liked him. Something I never even contemplated.
I sat down, still in my shocked state, and looked down at the breakfast mom had set in front of me. Suddenly it hit me. I was starving. I had never been so hungry in my life. I was so hungry it hurt. I grabbed my fork and started shoveling scrambled eggs into my mouth as fast as I could. It was like there was this aching gap in my center, and I wasn’t going to be whole until I filled it. I wolfed down my helping and just reached for the serving plate next. I didn’t even bother scraping it on to my plate. In fact, I was kind of shocked to find I was scraping it directly off the serving plate and into my mouth. A good deal of it missed and wound up in my lap. And when I was done I went for the toast. I just grabbed handfuls of it and crammed them into my mouth, chewing and swallowing as fast as I could. Finally after I’d wolfed that down, the intense hunger subsided. I felt normal again and I leaned back in my chair.
Billy was sitting across from me. It looked like he was trying his hardest not to just bust out laughing. And mom… Mom was just staring at me open mouthed.
“What was that?” she said, and by her tone I could tell she wasn’t really expecting an answer. And I’m glad because at that moment there was no way I could have given her one.
“We’re going to have to have a little talk when I get home about table manors and guests.”
I just nodded. That’s all I could do. Because as shocked as she was, I think I was even more shocked.
She ruffled Billy’s hair again. “See what you can do to teach him a little civilized behavior,” she said.
Him teach me?!!!!
And then she was gone.
Billy busted out laughing. “That was fucking unbelievable! You were awesome. Man, that was the first time I ever heard anyone snort while they were eating.”
“I did not snort!”
“Are you shitin’ me? You were a little fucking Wilber. Oink, oink, oink.” He kept making pig noises until they dissolved into his braying laughter. “That was classic.”
I could feel myself turning red, and then I just exploded. “What the hell just happened?” I shouted.
“Don’t freak on me, bro. You just got hungry; that’s all.”
“That wasn’t hungry. That went way beyond hungry. It went way beyond starving. I don’t even think there’s a word for what that was.”
“Dude, that wasn’t anything. Wait until you go through the whole change. After that, you’ll know what hunger really is.”
Fuck. I could feel myself getting hard again, just thinking about going through the whole change. “When?” I asked.
“Soon enough,” he said. “Hey, your moms a little hottie, kinda uptight, but definitely a hottie. I guess that’s where you get it from, the uptightness I mean.”
“My mom is not a hottie. She’s my mom. Moms aren’t hotties, they’re… moms.”
“Maybe we should tell her about me; I mean, do you think she’d find it hot?”
“WHAT? SHE’S MY MOM!!!!!”
“So what? I’m not related, not even close.”
“Yeah, but I’m your brother and she’s my mom.”
“Doesn’t count. She’s still not my mom.”
“She’s old enough to be.”
“No way, dude. She had to be, like, our age when she had you.”
“No shit. Still, Older women, they got it going on, I’m telling you.”
“I don’t want to hear this. I seriously do not want to hear this.” I said clamping my hands over my ears.
“So fucking uptight.”
“Anyway, never mind my mom. You said you’d introduce me to dad. How the hell can you do that?”
“You want to meet dad?” he said grinning. “Come on, let’s go.” He hopped out of his chair, grabbed his backpack, and two steps later he was out the back door. I had to scramble to catch up with him. Where was he going? Was he really taking me to see dad, or was this another one of his sick jokes. I guess I was going to find out soon enough.
How could we be going to meet dad? I had no idea what Billy was up to but I followed him out the back door and nearly tripped on the newspaper lying on the steps. I can’t believe mom still got the newspaper. I tried to tell her that the internet was a much better way to get news, but she wouldn’t listen. I reached down and grabbed it as I hurried after him. But there was no real need to hurry because he stopped at the curb. He had his cell phone out and he was calling someone.
While he was on the phone, I opened up the paper. I was anxious to see what they’d said about the mess at the freight yard. I expected a huge headline that said something like EIGHT FOOT MONTSER DESTROYS FREIGHT YARD: Police Clobbered. But the head line had nothing to do with that. It was all about some fire they had downtown. I flipped through the paper looking for the story and finally found it on the bottom of page six! It was in the fucking weather section. According to the paper, it had been a freak tornado that had destroyed the freight yard. There was no mention of muscle monsters or cops or strange men in black… nothing. That was beyond strange.
I flipped through looking to see if there was something about the junk yard, and I found a small piece on the back page called The Abominable Junk Man. The reporter treated it like it was a joke. The way he told it, the workers had just come back from lunch, after having one too many beers, and saw a terrifying gigantic man-beast that wrecked the junk yard. They were so shaken up they had to rush right back to the bar where they’d had lunch, so they could calm their nerves—with more beer, of course. He concluded by saying the police would begin investigating who had trashed the junk yard as soon as they figured out who had dumped all that water in Lake Michigan.
Billy hung up the phone and I showed him the newspaper. “There’s practically nothing about you in there at all,” I said.
He shrugged it off. “There never is. No one would believe it anyway.”
“Someone believes it. Who were those guys last night?”
“What guys? You mean the cops?”
“No, the guys in black.”
“I don’t know. Some special kind of cop, I guess.”
“They almost got you.”
“Yeah, well almost doesn’t count.” He looked down at the ground and kicked a pebble. “I guess you helped saved my ass last night.”
I guess I had; but it had seemed kind of natural at the time and I really hadn’t thought about it since. “What else are brothers for?” I said.
He looked at me, grinning sheepishly. “Kind of weird… having a brother… I mean, I never… It’s just weird.”
In my view, weird didn’t really cover it, but it was close enough. “Yeah,” I said, “weird.”
That’s when we saw Jeremy on his bike. Neither of us saw him coming, we just kind of looked up and there he was.
“Hey,” he said.
“How long have you been sitting there?” snapped Billy. “What did you hear?”
“I—I just got here,” he said, looking toward me for support. He was, after all, my best friend, but I still hadn’t quite forgiven him for running out on me yesterday at the tracks.
“What’s up, Jeremy?” I said.
“What’s up? We were going to hang out today, you know, play a little Halo.”
“Oh crap. I completely spaced.”
“Sammy’s busy,” said Billy stepping forward, and clenching his fists.
“Ok, I’ll just go,” said Jeremy backing away.
“No, wait a minute,” I said. “Lay off him, Billy, ok?”
“It’s up to you, dude, video games or the answer to the million dollar question.”
Leave it to Billy to give me a choice like that. “The million dollar question will wait a minute.” I turned to Jeremy. “Look, dude, I’m sorry I forgot about today, but something came up.”
“Something with Billy?”
“I can’t believe you’re blowing me off for him.” He nodded at Billy who glared at him. Jeremy took another step back.
“No, it’s not like that. Billy and me, we’re—” I looked over at Billy. He had this serious expression on his face and he slowly and deliberately shook his head no. He didn’t want me to tell Jeremy about our being brothers. “Why?” I asked. “He’s my best friend.”
“Just don’t,” he said. “I’ll tell you later.”
Well, it was his secret as much as mine. If he didn’t want me telling Jeremy, I guess I shouldn’t. “I’m sorry, dude, I guess I can’t tell you.”
“Why? Because he doesn’t want you to?”
“That’s right, dick weed,” said Billy, walking up to him, and getting right in his face. “You got a problem with that?”
“Jesus, Billy, back off.” I said stepping forward.
Billy looked over at me and for a second I thought he was just going to ignore me and start beating the crap out of Jeremy. But he didn’t. He stepped back. But the look he was giving Jeremy wasn’t exactly friendly.
“Maybe you better go,” I said to Jeremy. “I’ll call you later.”
“I think I see what’s going on here,” he said, but he didn’t look like he understood at all. In fact he looked really upset. If I didn’t know better I’d say he was on the point of tears.
And then a cab pulled up and stopped. The driver rolled down his window and yelled, “Your dad call for a cab?”
I was about to say no and wave him on his way when Billy stepped forward, “No. my fucking dad didn’t call a cab. I did.”
“Ah, Jeeze,” said the driver, “you’re just a kid. I don’t have time for this.”
“What’s the matter?” said Billy, producing a hundred dollar bill and waving it for the driver. “My money’s not good enough for you?”
The driver’s eyes widened and he popped open the door. “Sure, kid,” he said. Where you wanna go?”
“The stockyard,” said Billy hopping in. “You coming?” he called to me when I didn’t immediately follow.
I turned to Jeremy. He still looked really upset. I put my hand on his shoulder and looked him in the eye. “Are you ok?” I asked. He kind of shrugged and his lip was twitching. I almost decided to forget about Billy and stay with Jeremy, but I just had to know what Billy knew about dad. “Sorry,” I said to Jeremy. “I’ve got to go.” He dropped his gaze and wouldn’t look me in the eye, but I still got in next to Billy and the driver pulled away. At that moment I didn’t like myself too much.
I had never ridden in a cab before. It was a new experience for me. I didn’t know what to say to Billy during the ride because anything we said the driver would overhear.
“You know Jeremy’s my best friend,” I said, “since kindergarten.”
“He’s a pussy.”
“No, he’s not.”
“Any guy who pisses his pants just ’cause you look at him funny is a pussy. You wouldn’t have done that, would you?”
“Of course, not. You’re not a pussy. He is. You can do better.”
“You could find a better best friend.”
“I don’t want a better best friend. I like the one I’ve got.”
Billy looked at me like I just turned down a Portia for a Hyundai. “Suit yourself. I still think he’s a pussy.”
“Well, you don’t have to like him, but could you try not to kill him?”
Billy appeared to be thinking it over. “Ok, but only as a favor for you.”
Gee, thanks a lot. Time to change the subject. “We going to the stockyard to get our bikes?” I asked.
“Of course, moron, what did you think? I was hot for the cows?”
“Well, no. But now that you mention it—” Then he nailed me in the arm. “Ow!”
“That’s for being insulting.”
“Sheesh!” I said. “When we get to the stockyard, I’ll be sure and apologize to the cows.”
He looked at me like he was going to hit me again, but instead he bust out laughing. “Apologize to the cows… That’s pretty good. You’re ok Sammy.”
When we got to the stockyard Billy paid the driver but told him to wait. And it was a good thing, too, because when we got down to where we left our bikes, they were gone.
“Damn!” said Billy.
“My bike!” I cried. “Someone stole my bike! And my backpack with all my books and homework… and my ipod! Damnit my ipod was in there!”
“Jesus Christ! Calm the fuck down,” said Billy. “I’ll get you another one.”
“How are you going to do that? Those are expensive. And what about my bike? How am I going to get around now?”
“I’ll get you another bike, too. Jeeze, I owe it to you for saving my butt last night.”
Ok, Billy’s words were starting to penetrate my panic. He was going to replace what I’d lost. That helped calm me, but how could he do that? That stuff cost a lot of money. But then I remembered his overstuffed wallet from last night and the way he paid the cab driver. “Where’d you get all that money?” I asked.
“Don’t ask fucking questions you don’t want the answer to,” he barked.
Jeeze, he was getting mad again. And it really wasn’t my business. Except, I was his brother; so, maybe it was. “What, did you rip apart a bank vault or something?”
“Look, don’t ask, ok? I’m telling you. Don’t fucking ask.”
I could tell he was trying to protect me from something, maybe from being an accessory. I decided to let it go for the moment. “Ok, I won’t ask.”
I walked over to the fence and peered across the tracks at the freight yard. There was a small army of workmen over there clearing things up. There were backhoes tearing up the broken asphalt. There were four or five different crews with acetylene torches cutting up the broken freight containers, and a convoy of forklifts hauling the pieces away.
Billy joined me after a second. He chuckled a little. “Too bad,” he said. “I could have probably cleaned up that whole mess in ten minutes flat. Hey, what do you say I go give them a hand?” He reached down and picked up a scrap of rope and nodded at the tracks.
“No way, dude. You were going to introduce me to dad, remember? And you’re not ripping up my clothes.”
“You promised,” I said.
Billy’s eyes went back and forth between me and the tracks. I could tell he really wanted to get huge again. I couldn’t blame him. It was pretty damn awesome. But I held my ground. I wanted to see whatever he had to show me even though I was pretty sure it wasn’t really going to be dad. I still needed to know what he had in mind. He could always get huge later.
He sighed. “You win,” he said dropping the rope. “But I’m giving you fair warning. It’s Saturday, and I always do it on Saturday.” He clenched his fists and made his arms bulge a little. I could tell by looking at his smile, he wasn’t feeling the normal arms he had now. He was feeling those impossibly massive pythons he’d had last night, and was obviously planning to have again soon. “Let’s go.”
Billy told the cab driver to take us to Burr Oak Ave. In our little corner of the world, Burr Oak Ave. used to be the big shopping area, until they opened the mall. Now it was a collection of small, rundown, forgotten stores. I assumed Billy was getting us bikes because I knew there were a couple of decent bike shops around there as well as a game shop Jeremy and I went to a lot. But that’s not where the cab dropped us off.
It was an odd looking shop, but I knew it. The sign out front said 5&10, a weird name for a weird store. I had been avoiding it for years. Not for any good reasons really, it just that when I was really little I’d had a pretty bad scare there and… Suddenly I knew exactly why we had come. I looked at Billy. “Big Green? You’ve got to be kidding.”
He grinned and nodded. “Yup. Big Green.” Then he walked into the store and I followed after.
Inside everything looked old and dusty, like some of the merchandise on the shelves had been there for years. Billy didn’t stop to look at anything but headed directly for the back… for it. I followed him very slowly. I mean, I hadn’t seen the thing since I was like five, but the thought of seeing it again was seriously creeping me out. But I forced myself onward. When I finally stepped out of the aisle, there it was and suddenly I was five years old again. It still scared the crap out of me. I wasn’t about to run screaming back to find my mommy the way I had back then, but it still had its effect. The statue was massive, at least ten feet tall, an insanely muscled green giant. The head went right to the ceiling. The shoulders were about as wide as I was tall. The pecs stuck so far out in front you could actually stand under them and be in a shadow. The legs were so thick around that if the statue were hollow I could completely fit inside one. But that isn’t what scared me nearly ten years ago, and it wasn’t what was creeping me out now. It was the expression on the face. The sculptor had made him so he was looking down, at the viewer and the expression on his face was so fierce, with his bared teeth and his glaring eyes, you knew his next move would be to step on you and crush you into pulp.
I swallowed. “That’s dad?”
“Are you sure.”
“But how can dad be Big Green? He’s a myth like Big Foot or the Jersey Devil.”
“Not so much.”
“No. I think mom would have mentioned if dad were ten feet tall and green. That kind of detail isn’t something you forget.”
“No, you stupid shit, he wasn’t always like that. Sometimes he was normal. You know, kind of like what I do.”
“Then how do you know he was Big Green?”
“What the matter? Don’t you see the family resemblance?” and then Billy struck an identical pose to the statue and made his face fierce. Fuck. I suddenly remembered last night when Billy was chasing those guys in black. The expression was the same. “Besides, Mom told me,” he said.
“And how did she know?”
Billy leaned in and whispered. “Because he changed while they were making me.”
Oh God. “She told you that?”
“In so many words. It really freaked her. Wouldn’t have anything to do with him after that. She wouldn’t even talk to him.”
“Jeeze, I guess I can’t blame her.”
“But she kept a real close eye on him, even after he started dating your mom. That’s how she found out about you.”
Just then this old guy came out of the back and we stopped talking. He saw us and stopped and smiled. “Back again, are you kid?” he said to Billy.
Billy just shrugged. “Yeah.”
“And this time I see you brought your brother.”
“What?” I said. “Who said we were brothers?”
“I’m not so senile I can’t recognize a couple of brothers when I see them.”
I didn’t know what to say. I looked at Billy but I could tell he was just as surprised as I was. I guess we did look a little alike. We both had sandy brown hair and blue eyes. But Billy’s face was broader and he had a dimple in his chin. My face was narrower with high cheek bones. But, Jeeze, was it that obvious?
“Not brothers,” said the old guy. “Well, cousins at least.”
“No,” said Billy, “we’re not related.”
That was weird. Why did Billy say that? Why didn’t he want anyone to know we were brothers?
The old guy shrugged and looked up at the statue. “Not too many people remember Big Green these days. There was a time, though, people came from miles around just hoping to catch a glimpse of him. Used to have this thing out front. Drew ’em in like flies.”
“Anyone ever actually see him?” I asked.
“Sure they did. I saw him. How do you think I carved this?” He pointed at the statue. “Most terrifying thing I ever saw in my life. Took out half the block before he disappeared.”
“What do you think happened to him?” asked Billy.
“Dunno. There was a time they were spotting him all over the country,” said the old guy. “And everywhere they saw him, they gave him a different name. But no one’s seen him for at least ten years, now. Myself, I think he’s dead.”
The old guy wondered back to the front of the store, but Billy and me stayed staring at Big Green. Holy crap, I was the son of a fucking monster. And he was a huge fucking monster. Looking at those mammoth arms and that massive chest I could easily see him tearing down half a block with his bare hands. I thought of all the power he must have in his body and I got hard.
Then Billy nodded toward the door. “Come on, let’s go.”
“The Elm Street Bridge.”
“To jump off it, dip shit, what else?”
If anyone else had said that I’d have thought they were joking or crazy, because that bridge spanned a fifty foot gorge, with a rushing river at the bottom of it. Jumping off it would mean instant death… for anyone but Billy.
“In broad daylight? In the middle of town? Anyone could see you.”
“So what? It’s fucking Saturday, dude and I’m ready to explode! Besides, what are they going to do about it? Nothing. Because there’s nothing they can do about it.”
Holy crap! He was right. At that moment, I was struck by intense conflicting emotions. First I was shocked at Billy’s attitude, his lack of regard for anyone but himself. And I felt horror realizing the kind of power Billy had, how he could do anything he wanted, rip apart whatever he liked, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop him. Nothing. And then I remembered that I was going to be like that, too. I felt myself getting hard again. I realized I wanted it. I wanted to know what it felt like to be that massive, to be an irresistible force of pure strength, to be able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and to hell with anyone else. That would be awesome.
What snapped me out of it was Jeremy. He was hiding at the side of one of the shops, trying to get my attention. I guess he was just that scared of Billy. I couldn’t say I blamed him. And if he knew what I was becoming, I bet he’d be scared of me, too. I don’t know why but for some reason that thought excited me. Regardless, I needed to find a way to talk to him without Billy being around.
“Ok,” I said, “But I still don’t want you ripping my clothes.”
“Fuck the clothes. I’ll get you new ones.”
“Get yourself some new ones. There’s a shop right over there,” I said pointing. “You’re going to need two sets, anyway, one for now and one for—later.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” he said, grinning. “Let’s go.”
“Um, you go ahead without me. I’ll meet you over there. There’s something I’ve got to do first.”
“Ok,” said Billy. “And while you’re at it, tell that fucking pussy to stop following us around. He’s really starting to piss me off.” And then Billy turned and headed for the store.
Apparently Jeremy was really bad at hiding. I turned and went to find him. He wasn’t at the corner anymore. He had moved about half way down a narrow alley that led between two stores. There was nothing down there but trash bags and dumpsters. As soon as he saw me, he gestured me over. I followed him to a space between two dumpsters where we were pretty much hidden from view.
“Ok, what’s going on?” he said as soon as I got there.
I couldn’t tell him. I’d promised Billy and more than that, he wouldn’t believe half of it if I did. And that was funny because there had never been anything I couldn’t tell him. “I can’t tell you,” I said. “I’m sorry.”
“I don’t get it,” he said. “What did I do?”
“You didn’t do anything—” I tried to think how I could explain this to him without giving away any secrets.
“He called you Sammy,” said Jeremy. “You hate it when people call you Sammy. You said the only one who could call you Sammy was your mother.”
“I guess Billy can call me Sammy,” I said, thinking out loud. After all he was my brother.
“Can I call you Sammy?” asked Jeremy.
“No,” I said a little too quickly. Oh God, I’d upset him. But, I didn’t want everyone to suddenly start calling me Sammy again. It had taken me a year to get people to drop it the first time.
“It’s like he’s drugged you.”
“He didn’t drug me—” How could I put this? “It’s Billy,” I said. “He showed me something, something about himself… and something about me. And something I never would have guessed in a million years. It’s one of those mind blowing, life changing things… I’m sorry. I really can’t say more than that.”
I had been trying to help Jeremy understand, but he just looked more upset than ever.
“Oh God, oh God,” he said, almost whimpering. “I know what he showed you.”
He nodded. “I just want you to know that I’m that way, too.”
“I just wish I’d told you sooner. I’m such an idiot, so stupid, stupid, stupid. I was afraid you wouldn’t understand, that I’d push you away, and now it’s too late.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You mean it’s not too late?” He said looking up at me with hopeful eyes.
I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t completely sure I knew what he was talking about. But I would have said anything to cheer him up so I said, “No, it’s not too late.”
And then he leaned in and kissed me. He kissed me on the lips. I didn’t know what to do. I was completely unprepared for it. When he pulled back I was speechless, in a kind of shock, not just at the fact that he’d kissed me, but also because I had enjoyed it. I stood there just staring at him. He was still the same guy, still my best friend, Jeremy, but somehow not. A line had been crossed, and now things between us could never be like they were.
I guess my stunned reaction must have been showing on my face, because now Jeremy looked nervous and frightened. “Oh God, I shouldn’t have done that. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. It’s just that I’ve wanted to for so long, and… Please don’t hate me.”
“I don’t hate you—” I said and then almost without thinking I pulled him in and kissed him back. It started soft and sweet, but then began to get harder and rougher and suddenly our tongues were darting around each other, colliding and swinging. It was like we were two ravening creatures trying to swallow each other’s mouths. And then we broke apart.
Jeremy was looking at me, breathing heavily. “There’s something else I’ve wanted to do.” Then he reached down and pulled down my zipper.
“Jeeze, Jeremy, what if someone sees?”
“No ones going to see,” he said, and then he sank to his knees. And that’s when I heard it, a pop, and then Jeremy collapsed. He just toppled over onto the ground. There was this dart sticking out of his neck.
“What the—?” I started, but then I heard a second pop and suddenly there was another dart, this one sticking out of my chest.
And then the alley spun and went dark.
Wham! My eyes flew open. Fuck! Someone had hit me in the face! I looked around, the sting still biting my cheek. I had no idea where I was. It looked like some kind of examination room, like at the doctor’s office. I lifted my head but dropped it straight back down when the world started spinning and I thought I was going to loose my breakfast.
“Come on get up.” Wham! Fuck. He hit me again.
“What the—? Stop that!”
“Then get up,” was the reply. “Here, drink this,” said the voice. There was a guy standing next to the examination table I was lying on. He was pretty big, dressed in some kind of security guard uniform. It wasn’t hard to see he was packing plenty of muscle. He didn’t look like he belonged in the room at all. He was shoving a plastic cup with a straw at me. I was really thirsty. My throat was dry. I grabbed it from him, started to take a sip from it and suddenly I was sucking the liquid down just as fast as I could. It was salty and sweet.
“That should get you back on your feet.”
I sat up and started swaying. I felt better, but the room still seemed to want to twirl. The guy put his hand on my shoulder and pulled me to my feet. “Hey!”
“Come on,” he said. You’ll recover faster if you move.” The guy grabbed my arm and started dragging me toward the door.
“Hey, let go of me! What’s going on here?”
The guy made a fist and hit me in the face. Fuck. I saw stars. I almost didn’t realize it when I hit the floor.
“You want to ask any more stupid questions?”
I looked up at him standing over me. Jeeze, this guy must be twice as old as I am and he looked like he weighed twice as much. “What the hell do you want?”
“You to do what you’re told, when you’re told, and to speak only when spoken to. Is that clear?”
Was he fucking kidding? Forget it. He didn’t want me to talk? Fine. I wasn’t going to move or say anything. Let him deal with that.
Suddenly the guy lifted his leg and kicked me in the ribs. “Fuck!” I cried. I don’t think I’d ever felt anything that painful. I pulled my arms around me and went into a fetal position, rocking back and forth. Fuck, that hurt!
“In case you didn’t get it, you’re to speak when spoken to. Understood”
“Fuck you!” Wham! Oh God, he kicked me again.
“Yes, yes, I understand,” I gagged.
“Good. And that’s the last time I plan to repeat myself.” He paused menacingly. “Understood?”
“Yes.” What else was I going to say?
“Now, get up.”
I rolled on to my knees and started to push myself up, when I felt his iron grip on my arm again yanking me to my feet. “Come on,” he said. “I haven’t got all day.”
Then he half dragged me to the door and out into the hall. I looked around hoping to find some clue as to where I was. But there was nothing, just plain, featureless white walls. Just a few feet down the hall was another door with another guard out front. We stopped in front and the guard grinned down on me. He did not look friendly.
“I see you started in on him already, Jim,” said the guard. “You going to give the rest of us a chance?” Jesus! What the fuck was with these guys? Were they all psychopaths?”
“Ha,” Jim laughed humorlessly. “Maybe later. Open up, Tom.”
Tom, the guard punched a code into a keypad next to the door. I tried to see what it was but Tom covered the pad with his hand.
“Were you trying to see that number?” asked Tom threateningly?
Oh fuck! He caught me. What do I do?
“I think you were just spoken too,” said Jim, balling his fist.
“NO!” I said quickly.
“That’s a lie,” said Jim, and suddenly he threw me up against the wall, I hit my head and saw stars again. Suddenly it was hard to stay standing and I started sliding down the wall toward the floor. Then Jim grabbed me by my shirt, pulled me up and started repeatedly throwing me against the wall.
“That’s for lying,” he said, and he threw me against the wall. Oh shit, the pain… “And that’s for trying to see the code,” he said as he pulled me back and tossed me forward again. Fuck it hurt. Damn. It was getting hard to see straight.
“Hey,” said Tom, putting his hand on Jim’s shoulder and stopping him. “You better not. Artie still wants to see him.”
“Well, maybe I’ll tell Artie I just couldn’t wake him up.”
“Jim, buddy, it’s not worth it. After all, when Artie’s done with him, we’ll get him back.”
Jim looked like he wanted to keep on beating the crap out of me, but instead he opened the door and shoved me through it.
I stumbled into the room, and fell on the floor. Jim was right behind me, so I got to my feet as quick as I could, and looked around for somewhere to run. But there wasn’t anywhere. It was a small lab, and there were two other guys in there, one of them in a business suit and the other in a lab coat.
Jim started talking to the suit. “Sorry, sir,” he said, “but he wouldn’t come quietly. He’s a real troublemaker.”
“Yes, I’m sure,” said the suit. “Do me a favor, Jim, and wait outside.”
“You sure, sir? There’s no telling what this one’ll do.”
“I’ll call you if I need you.”
“Yes, sir,” said Jim, and only pausing to give me a threatening look, he turned and left the room.
I looked around wondering if this guy was just as crazy as those other two. I wanted to ask what was going on, but for some reason I was reluctant to speak. Then I realized why. I was afraid to speak until someone spoke to me. I couldn’t believe Jim had gotten to me that fast. I forced myself to speak. “What’s going on here? What do you people want?”
The guy looked at me for a second like he was trying to read my mind. “I want you to look at something for us, Sam. Maybe you can help us out.”
Ok, the guy knew my name. Maybe he thought he was smart or something, but I had my school ID in my wallet, so finding that out would have been easy.
“Why would I help you?”
“Let’s just say it would help us speed you on your way home.”
“You mean you’re not going to let me go until I help you.”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Of course, you didn’t.”
“You’re a smart kid, Sam. We’re going to get along just fine.” The guy moved across the room to a small monitor, flipped it on, and hit a couple of keys on the keyboard. A grainy black and white image flickered onto the screen. Holy crap, it was the freight yard. They must have had a security camera. Why didn’t I think of that? There was Big Billy pulling up the side track and twisting it into shapes. Fuck. Watching him easily bend that steel with his massive arms—all that power he had—was getting me hard, even the second time around. And sure enough, there was a grainy shot of me climbing over the fence and into the yard. I walked up to Big Billy and was obviously talking to him. They guy hit a key and the image froze.
“You see, Sam, we’re really not interested in you at all. It’s him we want.”
“Yeah? Well, good luck, mister. You’re going to need it, cause he’s going to rip you into fucking pieces, and he’ll do it with out breaking a sweat.”
He just sort of gave me a half smile, “Not necessarily.” He hit another key and the image changed. This time it was a distant shot of Big Billy staggering, shrinking down and collapsing on the ground. Then I came out of hiding and dragged normal Billy inside one of the containers. But the security camera was so far away, you couldn’t really make out any details.
The guy hit a key again and the screen went dark. “It’s too bad no one thought to review this footage until after we got back. By the time we returned to the freight yard, you and he were long gone. And since no one thought to turn the cameras back on after we removed the tapes, we had no idea where you went. Until we found this—” The guy tossed me my backpack. Great. I was betrayed by my homework.
“So what do you want from me?”
“I’ll show you.” The suit turned to the disheveled guy in the lab coat. “Are you ready, Frank?”
“We shouldn’t do this, Artie,” said Frank.
“We’ve taken all precautions,” said the guy. I guess his name was Artie.
“I wasn’t talking about that.” Frank picked up a sheaf of papers and shoved them at Artie. “There’s no sign of any genetic abnormality at all,” he said. “And the kid had absolutely no reaction to stress stimulus.”
“I’ve seen the test results,” said Artie brushing the papers aside. “They’re inconclusive. The truth is we don’t know enough about this thing yet, so we don’t know what we’re looking for.”
“I know enough to say there is an eighty percent chance we’re making a big mistake.”
“Eighty percent’s not good enough, Frank. Proceed.”
Frank looked really upset, but he turned and headed for a lab table anyway, muttering as he went.
“What’s going on?” I asked. Artie directed me toward a row of monitors. I’d seen enough doctor shows to recognize medical monitors when I saw them. They were all turned on and operating, obviously attached to someone. I looked them all over, but I couldn’t understand most of what I saw. And then I got to the last monitor. I gasped. It was Jeremy! He was huddled in a corner, naked, bruised and bloodied.
What had they done to him? Suddenly I was angry, really fucking angry. So angry, my fear just evaporated. “What the hell are you doing?” I screamed “What the fuck do you people want?!”
“Well, your friend failed to react to physical stress, so in a minute Frank there is going to give him a little injection. It will trigger his transformation, and then that’s where you come in.”
“His what?” I shouted.
“We’re going to cause him to grow big again, so we can study him.”
I almost laughed. “Mister, you’ve got the wrong kid.”
“I’d expect you to say something like that.”
“No, seriously, it’s not him.”
“Then who is it?”
I opened my mouth but then shut it again. I couldn’t give Billy away. He was my brother. But I couldn’t let them hurt Jeremy either. What could I do? When I didn’t say anything right away, Artie spoke again.
“That’s what I thought,” said Artie. “Give him the shot, Frank.”
“What?” said Frank. “You still want to go ahead with this, even after what that kid just said.”
“He’s lying,” said Artie.
“But what if he isn’t?” asked Frank. “His “lies” match up perfectly with my conclusions.”
“I don’t care. Give that kid the shot.”
“Wait a minute,” I said, “what will happen to Jeremy if you’re wrong?” Frank looked over at Artie, who shrugged. “The shot contains suspended particles charged with a specific type of radiation,” said Frank, “one I’ve seen cause this kind of mutation before. If the subject has the necessary mutated genes, then the charged particles will cause a spontaneous transformation. If the subject does not, he will develop terminal cancer within a month and die.”
“No, you can’t!” I gasped. “Jeremy’s not the guy. You’d be killing him.”
“That remains to be seen,” said Artie. “Proceed Frank.”
“No wait,” I said. “I can prove Jeremy’s not the one you want.”
Artie raised his eyebrows. “Oh? How can you do that?”
“Wait a day. Just wait one day, and you’ll have all the proof you need.”
“And how can you guarantee that?”
“Because it’s Saturday,” I said, and I remembered how Billy said he always changed on Saturdays. If Billy changed and started rampaging while we were prisoners then they’d know without a doubt that Jeremy was the wrong kid. That would save him and still not betray Billy.
Artie appeared to be thinking it over. “No, I don’t think so. Frank, give him the shot.”
“What?” I cried, unable to believe my ears. “Why not wait? What have you got to loose?”
Artie looked at me and shrugged. “A day,” he said.
Man, I was right. They were all psychopaths. I was so mad I couldn’t see straight. They were going to kill Jeremy, and for no reason. I felt so frustrated. There was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
I looked over at Frank who was preparing a metallic syringe while wearing a pair of thick gloves, no they weren’t even gloves; they were heavy gauntlets. He obviously wanted plenty of protection from the stuff in the syringe. I had to make one last try. “No, you can’t do this. It’s murder,” I said. He hesitated for a second, but only for a second. Then the fucker finished the syringe, turned nodded at Artie and then headed for the door.
Fuck, they were going to kill Jeremy no matter what I said. They’d probably kill him even if I told them about Billy
Then the phone rang. Artie picked it up. “Yes?” he said. He sat down as he listened to the person on the other end. I could hear them speaking frantically but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. “Are you sure?” I could hear more frantic speaking before Artie asked, “You got anyone down there?” There was a brief answer as Artie started tapping on a nearby keyboard. An image flashed up on a monitor. Holy crap it was Big Billy. He was strolling right down the middle of Burr Oak Ave., completely naked in all his massive, bulging, eight foot plus glory. Cars were crashing in front of him, but that didn’t bother him. He just kicked them out of his way like you would an old soda can. And Man he was huge. He looked even bigger than yesterday. Just look at those fucking muscles. Jesus, each of them needed its own zip code. Crap. Was he just going to get bigger every time he changed? I couldn’t help but wish he was here. He’d take these psychos apart.
Artie hit another button and suddenly we had sound. People were running, screaming, and Billy was grinning from ear to ear, obviously loving every second of it. At one point, a guy almost hit Billy with his car. He stopped just in time. Then he hopped out and started yelling at Billy. Billy didn’t say anything. He just reached down, hefted the guy’s car up over his head and started growling as he crushed it into scrap. The guy went pale, turned around and ran. Some lady saw Billy and fainted on the spot and Billy started laughing, as he dropped the one ton wad of plastic, fiberglass and metal that used to be a car.
“Any of you ladies want some of this?” said Billy, pulling a most muscular that caused his inhuman muscles to bulge to ridiculous proportions. “All ya gotta do is ask.”
Damn, I found myself wondering, why couldn’t I grow like that? If I could, these psychos could all kiss their butts goodbye. I’d kick all their fucking asses all the way to the fucking moon, starting with Artie. He thought he was so big killing Jeremy like he was nothing, like he didn’t matter at all. I’d show him big.
Then it hit me. That needle… I could do it. Jeremy may not have the genes, but I did. I could get fucking huge. All I had to do was get my hands on that shot and I could become an eight foot wall of unstoppable muscle. Oh fuck. I felt myself getting hard with the thought. Size and power like Billy’s. Fuck yeah. That was it. That’s what I needed. Then I’d make them pay. I’d make all these fuckers pay.
“Well, kid,” said Artie. “It looks like you were telling the truth.” Then he spoke into the phone. “Ok, let’s get this show on the road. I want everybody into the vans in 5 minutes.”
I looked over at the other monitor, the one that showed Jeremy, and was shocked to see that Frank was about to give him the shot. “Stop!” I shouted.
Artie looked over, saw what was about to happen and dialed a couple of numbers on the phone. “Frank!” he said. I guess it must have been some kind of PA system. “That’s the wrong kid. Save the shot and get up here.” Frank just nodded at the camera, turned and left the room. Phew!
Artie looked over at me. “Be good while I’m gone, hunh kid?”
Good? I planned to destroy the whole fucking place, crush each fucking brick into sand. And then, when Artie got back… A slow smile crept across my face. I couldn’t wait for Artie to get back… if he got back. “He’s going to annihilate you,” I said.
Artie just smiled. “We’ll see.” He punched another couple of buttons on his keyboard and the monitor filled with more security camera footage from last night. It clearly showed me shutting down the generator, which had allowed Billy to escape. “Maybe he won’t do so well without his sidekick,” said Artie.
Sidekick? I’ll show him a sidekick.
Frank came back into the room and placed the syringe in a heavy box marked with a radiation warning. I thought about rushing up and grabbing it now, but I was petty sure they’d stop me before I could give myself the shot. I’d have to wait.
“Frank, are you capable of looking after a sixteen-year-old while we’re out?”
I think I’m going to be a little too much for Frank to handle. In a few minutes, I’ll be a little too much for a fucking army to handle, about two tons too much. Oh fuck, thinking about this is really making me hard.
“I’m not a baby sitter,” said Frank, “or a security guard.”
“You don’t need to be,” said Artie. “This place is a maze of locked doors with a guard behind each one. There’s nowhere for him to go. And if he gives you any trouble, just call Jim. He’ll be glad to help you out.” Artie may have been talking to Frank but he was looking at me. I got the feeling his little speech was as much for my benefit. I could have told him not to worry. In just a little while I was going to be real happy to see Jim.
“And there’s nowhere for me to go either,” said Frank.
“This is not the time, Frank,” said Artie, sounding annoyed. “Get the bunker ready. It’s going to have a new occupant very soon.” And then he disappeared through the door.
“What an asshole,” I said.
“He is that,” said Frank, “and a helluva lot more. Well, come on. You want to help me with your friend?”
This was my chance. Frank was going down to the bunker. As soon as he left I could go for the shot… But what about Jeremy? I was really very worried about him. It looked like he’d been beaten up pretty bad. Damn, what did I do? I had to get huge, I just had to. But, if anything happened to Jeremy I knew I wouldn’t forgive myself. Damn. Artie wasn’t coming back soon and I had to know how bad Jeremy was hurt. I decided to wait.
I nodded and followed Frank out the door. We didn’t have far to go, just down a flight of stairs to a massive vault-like door. It had to be at least ten feet tall and six feet wide. Frank hit a button and the door disengaged itself from the wall and swung open. Holy crap, the thing must have been at least six feet thick, too. They weren’t kidding around. But I still didn’t think it would stop Billy… or in a little while, me.
The bunker was pretty big, too, twenty foot ceilings and at least fifty feet from wall to wall. But there were no windows and only the one door, and it was all painted white. When we came in Jeremy was cowering in the corner, naked and shivering. Those fuckers! How could they do this? I rushed over and knelt down by him. “Jeremy, are you all right?”
Jeremy’s eyes flickered open. “Wha… Sam?” he said as he saw me. “They beat you up, too? They wouldn’t tell me what they wanted. They just kept hitting me.”
“It’s ok. Everything’s going to be ok,” I said, stroking his hair. Fuck, he was a mess. I felt my anger exploding again. I was so going to take this place apart. Those bastards were treating him worse than an animal. They were obviously trying to get him to change by beating the crap out of him. Very scientific, the fuckers.
“Did they tell you what they want?”
“It was a mistake, Jeremy. They thought you were someone else.”
“That makes sense. No it doesn’t. Can we go home now?”
I looked over at Frank. I was so angry I could barely form words. “Where are his clothes?”
“Upstairs in the lab, but here, he can have my lab coat for now.” Frank removed his lab coat and handed it to me.
“He really needs a doctor,” I said, taking the Lab coat and handing it to Jeremy.
“Do you really think he’s going to get one?” asked Frank.
Fuck! What a fucking cold bastard. And I was starting to think he wasn’t as bad as the others. I was wrong. I had Jeremy and I was more than ready. Time to get fucking huge.
“Come on, let’s get your clothes,” I said.
“They’re in the big cupboard on the left,” said Frank.
“Come on, Jeremy,” I said helping him toward the door.
“Oh, and just in case you get any ideas,” said Frank. “Just remember the lab door is locked and guarded.”
“Yeah,” I said. “I remember.”
I led Jeremy out the massive vault door. I found the shut button and pushed it. Frank saw the huge door swinging shut and made a dash for it. “Oh no you don’t!” he shouted, but the door closed before he could reach it.
“What did you just do?” asked Jeremy, horrified. “He’s going to be really pissed when he gets out of there.”
“Fuck him. Come on let’s get out of here”
“You mean escape?”
“Yeah, come on.” I led Jeremy back up the stairs and into the lab.
“But what about all those locked doors and guards?”
“Fuck them, too,” I said. We found his clothes without a problem, and while he was getting dressed, I tried the lab door—just to be sure. It was locked. But it was also possible to lock it from the inside. There was a deadbolt and a bar. I used them.
Jeremy came up to me. “Hey, what are you doing locking us in? I thought the plan was to get out.”
“It is.” I knew I couldn’t explain to Jeremy what was about to happen to me because he’d never believe it. So, I decided not to even try. “Come on, Jeremy, we have to find the security cameras and turn them off.” I remembered the freight yard and didn’t want them having a video record of anything. Of course, when I was through there wasn’t going to be much left of this place, but I didn’t want to take any chances. It didn’t take us long to find the cameras; there were two, and switching them off was simple.
Only one more thing to do.
I walked over to the heavy box with the radiation symbol on it, and pulled it open. The syringe lay at the bottom waiting for me. I grabbed it and held it up. It was warm to the touch. Oh fuck, I was ready for this, so fucking ready.
“Jeremy,” I said. “There’s nothing I can say that’ll keep you from freaking. So just try not to.”
“What—” was all he got out before I thrust the needle into my thigh and sent the plunger home.
“ARRRRGGHHH!” I cried. It wasn’t pain. It wasn’t pleasure; it was some mind numbing combination of the two ripping through me. It was like every muscle in my body was being stretched and pulled apart, then put back together again, but it felt good, like a message feels good. My body was loving every second of it, and fuck, it was power; I could feel it building up inside of me. And then the muscles all over my body began to tighten, and damn, they were getting thicker, heavier. Fuck, it was working. I was bulking up, getting stronger, and God, it felt incredible.
“Are you ok?” asked Jeremy.
“Ok? I feel fucking awesome,” I said. “Dude, check this out.” I flexed my arm. I knew what was going to happen, but nothing could have prepared me for the sensation of my flabby strip of a bicep blowing up under my skin, getting bigger and denser and fuller until suddenly it was a large mound of rock hard muscle. What a sight! From nothing to a fucking baseball! Veins popping out and everything. I could feel the skin pulling taut around it. It looked and felt amazing.
“Holy shit,” said Jeremy. “What was in that thing?”
“Muscle,” I said. “And this is just the beginning.” I could tell Jeremy didn’t know what to think. But I felt so good I started laughing. I couldn’t help myself. It was just so fucking awesome.
I flexed my other arm and it bulged up even bigger. Look at that. Holy shit. I pumped my arms, and each time I did I felt the biceps grow up larger and harder. Fuck, my biceps had become bulging granite-like masses and it was getting so my shirt was way to flimsy to contain them. I heard threads popping seconds before my arms exploded out of my sleeves. Fuck, look at those guns; they looked huge! They had split heads and fucking peaks on them now, but I knew it was only the beginning. I could feel it. “Yeah! Oh yeah! Bring it on!”
“Jesus, Sam,” said Jeremy. “Your muscles… they ripped through your shirt.”
“It’s hot isn’t it, Jeremy? Way fucking hot. It’s getting me pretty fucking horny. What about you?” I looked over and I could see that he was. He was sporting a boner that his pants just couldn’t hide. I looked down. Fuck. I was sporting a boner my pants almost couldn’t hold. I was huge! Holy crap, I could feel my cock actually starting to fill the fucking pouch. At first I thought maybe there was something in there with it. Except I could tell there wasn’t. I could feel it. It was all me, and all swelling, budding pleasure. And fuck, it was becoming monster sized, and still it just seemed to keep getting bigger. It was long and hard and it felt so good, too damn good. And I was sooooo horny I started shifting from leg to leg, feeling the subtle but wonderful sensation of the cloth rubbing against the hard, sensitive head. Wet stains were starting to appear on my pants.
And my legs, oh fuck, my legs. Gone were those sticks I used to walk around on. I could feel my hamstrings and quads bulking up, getting huge and hard, and stretching my jeans to the limit. So strange, they were a part of me and yet they felt like iron, filling my pant legs, making the heavy cloth feel light and feeble next to them. As the denim got tight I could see the different muscles separating out and taking shape beneath it. And I could feel them just exploding with power. So fucking awesome.
“Damn. My legs. Jeremy, check out my fucking legs.” And then the seams started popping. Oh fuck. The thick fabric started ripping, tearing, flying apart, as my mammoth quads forced their way out into the open. So fucking huge, so fucking strong. “ARRRGHHHHHH!” I shouted. I felt so good, so powerful, like a fucking beast.
“Fuck, dude,” whispered Jeremy. “Look at you—”
“Yeah, look at me, Jeremy. Take a good fucking look.” And I flexed my enormous thighs for him, and damn if I didn’t see a wet patch spreading out from his crotch.
“You’re so fucking hot!”
HELL, YES, and I was getting hotter. I could feel my entire upper body altering; its shape was fundamentally changing. My shoulders stretching out broader, my torso was getting thicker, beginning to pulse and swell as it became solid, and heavy with muscle. I pulled my shirt up exposing my stomach, and ran my hand over it. I could feel the skin kind of shrinking in around the hard, growing slabs of muscle. Damn. I had developed a ripped six pack. And the muscle tapered beneath a net of veins from my abs down to my crotch, still barely covered by the last remains of my jeans.
And my cock, shit, it was a monster. It was so fucking hard and it was growing fast. In a matter of seconds, it shoved its way up past the elastic waste band, wrenched my underwear aside, and then it and my orange sized balls just exploded out. Fuck. It was huge and thick. I never thought a cock could look muscular, but now mine did. Hell, it even felt powerful, like it could push through fucking walls. It was so fucking awesome. I couldn’t fucking believe how fucking hard I was, and the head felt a thousand times more sensitive.
Jeremy moaned. “Fuck, dude, I mean, I know we’re in a bad place, life and death and all that shit, but you are the hottest fucking thing I have ever seen in my life. And I’m sorry, but I just can’t help myself.” Then he reached forward with both hands and grabbed my cock. The effect was like a lighting bolt of pleasure. I gasped. His hands on my monstrous meat—it was an insane feeling. “Jeremy, oh yeah, Jeremy, fucking do it.”
At first Jeremy looked like he didn’t know what to do with my cock, it was so big. But then he stuck out his tongue and started to flit and dart with it all around the head. FUCK! It was a mind ripping sensation. If I had fuses they would have blown. And yet I didn’t climax. Instead the feeling just seemed to tear through my body and inflame the whole process and the growth seemed to intensify.
“FUCK!” I shouted, as my chest exploded out into massive boulders of pulsating sinew disintegrating my t shirt. I could feel my back rapidly expanding with hard, dense muscle, pushing outward, shoving the pathetic remains of my t shirt to the floor. My shoulders, my arms, they were passing huge, becoming immense, bulbous masses of throbbing muscle as my thighs bulged out thick and hard to new dimensions. I felt like I was all fucking muscle, all fucking power. Nothing could stop me and I fucking loved it.
“OH YEAH! I’M FUCKING MASSIVE!”
Jeremy stopped. He was staring up at me, mouth agape. I was still growing, I could feel it, but not like before.
“MORE, JEREMY, GIVE ME MORE”
Jeremy started in again, mouthing my cock. Oh fuck. Oh fucking fuck. I could feel it building. I was going to explode with growth. The sensation running up my rod fed the swelling power in my body and made me feel like I was going to ignite. “AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!” I shouted as I started to shake with the sensation, and then, it started fucking happening. Just like with Billy, my body began to erupt with mass. I felt myself stretching toward the ceiling and expanding outward in every direction as massive rock-hard muscles just burst out of me. My enormous pecs just doubled in size and the doubled again. The fucking weight of them would probably crush a man to death. I felt my arms being pushed out further and further from the side of my body while at the same time they grew impossibly dense with thick woven sinew. My biceps alone were now bigger than my entire body had been just a few minutes ago. Behind me I could feel my lats and gluts bloating with mass. My six pack exploded into eight enormous rock-hard bulges, barely contained by my skin. It felt like all over me boulders were erupting up under my skin, stretching out and covering every inch of my frame with unbelievable power. I was fucking huge and hard and solid all over and in seconds my head brushed the ceiling. Fuck. I was every inch of eight feet tall, and so fucking massive I took up half the room. I felt like a fucking mountain. My body was a mass of veiny hills and valleys, one huge, bulging mound just rolling into another. My slightest move caused even the smallest of them, to furiously expand under my skin, giving me command of what felt like limitless power. I felt so fucking good, like I could do anything. I flexed my arm; the motion, the sensation, all completely different now. I couldn’t bend it nearly as much as I used to but the explosion of mass and power I felt erupt from my arm way more than made up for it. Fuck. My bicep was huge; it had a split head and was as big around as a truck tire with a vein thick as a garden hose snaking around it. I could hardly believe it was mine. But it was. I could feel every solid, powerful inch of it blasting out of my arm.
And suddenly I knew my cock was going to explode.
“Get down, Jeremy!”
Jeremy looked up from my cock and for the first time saw at my gargantuan form. “Holy fuck!”
“Just drop, Jeremy!” And he did, thank God, just in time. I climaxed. I’d never felt anything like it. The orgasm had the force of a stick of dynamite; it practically knocked me over. My cock exploded like a cannon and the jism shot across the room like a projectile and knocked a huge hole in the opposite wall. Then glass shattered and tables exploded as burst upon burst erupted from my dick, destroying most of the room like a spray of automatic weapons fire. Jeremy ducked and covered, taking shelter behind one of my pillar-like legs.
When it finally passed, I felt a little breathless. But in less then a second, I was ready to go again
“Jesus,” said Jeremy coming out from behind me. “You could have taken my head off.” He was right. And I’m not sure why, but the notion of being able to take someone’s head off with just a cum shot from my cock was kind of hot.
“Fuck, Sam, I’ve never seen anything like you. You’re gigantic, wall to wall, massive, bulging muscles. I just look at you and I want to cum. You’re like a living wet dream.”
“So, you like?” I smiled. Christ my voice had plummeted. Cool. I flexed my bi again for him. But I liked looking at it too. It was just so fucking massive and it felt fucking amazing on my arm.
Can I touch?” said Jeremy. “
“Jesus, Jeremy, you just had your tongue on my cock. You think you need to ask?”
He pulled a chair over, climbed up on it, reached over and grabbed my bicep. Fuck, his hand was dwarfed by it. He squeezed it and rubbed his hands all over it, and suddenly he kicked the chair back and was hanging from it. Holy crap, I barely noticed his weight. I was so fucking strong now, so fucking strong.
“Crap,” he said, “It’s like a rock, no, a fucking boulder, no, a fucking planet.” He dropped to the ground and did a quick grab and squeeze of my thigh. “Fuck, is there any part of you that isn’t fucking stone?”
“No,” I said, making my monster abs pop for him. They were right at his eye level. He reached out and grabbed one of them. He could just about fit his hand over it. “Oh fuck, oh fuck,” he gasped and I could see the wet patch spreading a little further.
“How strong are you?”
“I don’t know, but I’m ready to find out. And I think I know what to try first.”
I walked over to the door I had locked earlier. It looked so tiny. No way was I going to fit through it now. But that was ok since I had no intention of fitting through it. I listened carefully. I could hear the guard scuttling on the other side like a rat in a wall. I could tell exactly where he was. I picked the spot and jammed my fist into the wall. It went through it like rice paper. I grabbed the guard around his torso and with one jerk, pulled him crashing back through the wall and into the lab with us. It was Jim. He was banged up and bleeding. I guess being jerked through a wall didn’t agree with him. Good.
With one hand I lifted him up so he was just below my eye level. “You wanted me back, Jim? Now you got me.”
“Holy Christ!” shouted Jim as he looked up at me. “Another one!”
“That’s right, Jimmy Boy. I bet you didn’t see that coming.” I felt myself leering. This was sweet. “Oh wait a minute. Were you talking to me? Cause I know I’m not supposed to talk unless you do.” I flexed my gargantuan pecs and watched them bulge out and hit him in his puny chest.
Then he started crying like a baby. “Don’t hurt me. Please, I’ll do anything.”
I can’t believe this was the same asshole that threw me up against the wall three or four times. He was all fucking attitude when he was the biggest guy in the room. Now he looked like a whiny little crybaby.
“Jesus,” said Jeremy. “That’s one of the guys who kicked the crap out of me.”
“It is?” I said, feeling myself getting even more angry than I could ever remember being. “Too bad for him.” Never mind the beating he gave me. What kind of an animal could hurt my Jeremy like that? He was the sweetest guy on the planet, and the one human being I was closest too. Just thinking about it made me furious. I started squeezing Jim, and it felt good. It was amazing how flimsy his body felt. I began to hear snaps, and I could feel the bones breaking under my fingers. And it took no effort at all. What a fucking trip.
“OH GOD, YOU’RE CRUSHING ME!” cried the fucking little whiner baby.
“That’s the idea.”
“Don’t kill me pleases, I’m begging you!”
“No, I’m not going to kill you. That would be too easy. I’m just going to break every bone in your body. I’ll give you a few months to heal, and then I’ll come back and do it again.”
The he just about exploded crying and babbling, begging for mercy. Yeah, I’d show him mercy. The same kind of mercy he showed my poor Jeremy. I threw him against the wall. Except he didn’t bounce off the wall the way I had done when he’d thrown me at a wall. He went partially through it, and he wasn’t moving.
Jeremy ran over and checked his pulse. “He’s still alive,” he said.
“Good, I wouldn’t want him to miss any of the pain. We better get going,” I said, flexing my massive arms and feeling the power in them.
“After you, Tank.”
“Well, that’s what you are. You’re a fucking tank. You’ve even got your own cannon and everything.”
“Ok,” I said, “I’ll be your tank… as long as you’ll be my gunner.”
“I think I can live with that,” he said smiling up at me, “if I’m careful.”
“Good. Now that that’s settled, let’s get the fuck out of here.”
I couldn’t stop feeling my arms. I knew we needed to get out of there, but I just couldn’t take my hands off them. They were so hard, like fucking cement. And my biceps were twice the size of soccer balls, and felt incredible moving around under my skin. Every time I clenched my fist and squeezed they pratically exploded out of my arm with size and power. And my forearms were enormous, one amazing configuration of bulging, writhing muscles, bigger than most full grown men. But what really blew my mind—even more than the pale kind of pasty, almost green color my skin had become—was my mole. I’d always had a small mole on my forearm. It was a part of me I was very familiar with. And to see it now, every time I twitched a finger, riding up and down the side of those mountainous muscles like a small boat in a hurricane, brought home, more than anything else, that this monstrously powerful limb was mine. It was a part of me. So fucking sweet.
I reached out and grabbed a hand full of the wall and felt it crumbling beneath my massive fist like dried autumn leaves. It came apart too easily. I picked up a heavy wooden lab table. It felt like nothing as I brought my arms together and felt it disintegrate into splinters. What a trip. A few minutes ago, I wouldn’t have been able to budge it. Now, it felt lighter and more brittle than Styrofoam. I picked up another table and tossed it into the row of monitors. It practically atomized the monitors and then smashed right through the wall behind them. Holy fuck. So much fucking power. I flexed by bicep and ran my hand over it. Damn. It really was a living fucking mountain, and it needed to be used. I grabbed another table and swung it around the room reducing everything I could see to rubble. Everything flew apart so easily I was actually disappointed. I wanted to know how strong I was and there wasn’t anything in the lab large enough to even begin to challenge me.
“Holy crap! Stop!” yelled Jeremy. I turned and saw him huddling in a corner, covering his head with his arms. “You’re going to kill me!”
Jeeze, I had completely forgotten about him. The one down side to being this huge and powerful was that I could accidentally crush Jeremy to death and not even notice.
“Sorry, Gunner,” I said.
“Sheesh,” he said standing up and brushing himself off. “Now I know why gunners usually ride inside their tanks.”
“Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to work.”
“No, but it might be fun to try,” he said, looking up at me with his hands on his hips. “Now that you’ve finished destroying the room, can we go?”
“No, Jeremy, I want to find something big. I have to crush something big, you know really big,” I said looking down at my gigantic hands, opening and closing them into fists, and feeling their power. I just had to test them. I needed to know exactly how strong I was. Was there anything that could stop me? I doubted it.
“What the matter?” asked Jeremy. “Isn’t the building big enough for you?”
“No, it comes apart too easily. I need something bigger.”
“Bigger than a building?”
“Tougher, anyway. Stronger, harder, heavier.”
“How about that door?”
“You know, to that room I was in. That thing was huge.”
He was right. That door had been designed to hold Billy. I had to see if I could get through it. I had to. And Frank was on the other side. I smiled. I liked the thought of paying him a little visit, watching him cower in front of my massiveness.
“Let’s go,” I said. I took a step towards the door but barely glanced down at it.
“How are you gonna fit—?” started Jeremy.
But I just kept walking and, not even breaking stride, I went right through the wall. I expected some resistance as it exploded around me, but there was nothing. I could remember cobwebs that gave me more trouble. I looked down at my body, covered in a light layer of dust. Massive, cut, heaving muscle absolutely everywhere, I looked like a god. So much power in every striated, bulging inch of me. I could do anything. This was so fucking awesome.
“Jeeze, could you warn me next time you do something like that?” said Jeremy brushing the plaster dust off of him. Ok, this was starting to get a little annoying. I mean, I loved Jeremy, but I wanted to let myself loose, see what I could really do, and I didn’t want to have to worry about hurting him all the time.
“Maybe it’d be safer if you stayed here,” I said.
“Maybe it would,” said Jeremy, “unless there’s another one of those shots lying around.”
“No, Jeremy. That shot would have killed you.”
“Why? It sure as hell didn’t kill you.”
“That’s… a long story. I’ll tell you later. Right now, I’ve got a fucking door to rip apart.” I flexed my arms and felt those massive granite mountains explode upwards again and suddenly I couldn’t wait to tear into that door. I had to do it now.
I took off running, and running was awesome. I could feel the force and power behind each step as my massive quads lifted my gigantic legs and thrust them forward. Each leg had to weigh half a ton at least, and I could sense the power behind every pound of steel-like sinew as it moved the rest of my gargantuan frame through the building. There was nothing like feeling the building shake around me each time a colossal foot struck the ground. I was almost sorry when I reached the door so quickly.
I looked up at it. It didn’t look nearly as impressive as I remembered. This thing was going to be a piece of cake, a piece of crumbled, smashed cake. I made a fist, feeling my thick fingers jam up against my hard, meaty palm, and my forearm bulge out into a petrified tree trunk, as wide as an oak and as hard as stone. It was practically vibrating with power. I grinned. This was so sweet. Guess I should knock. You know, just to see if anyone’s home.
BAM! My fist connected with the door. My triceps barely quivered as the building rocked on its foundation, huge chunks of plaster rained from the ceiling, and the door caved around my fist, developing a huge dent right in the center. I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed. To give the huge metal door a little credit, it was the first thing that hadn’t disintegrated at my slightest touch. But I had been hoping for a little more of a challenge. BAM! Another hit and the door buckled. A third and it flew off its frame and into the huge chamber that was supposed to have been Billy’s prison. I had to laugh. That door would probably have given my big brother even less trouble than it gave me.
In two strides I was standing in the center of the large chamber. Now, where was Frank? Probably hiding. I didn’t blame him. If I were him, I’d be hiding from me too. Hell, if I were anybody else, I’d be hiding from me. But I wasn’t anyone else. I was me, one of the most insanely muscular men ever to walk the planet, eight feet tall and more than a ton of pulsing, vein wrapped marble-like muscles, and I gotta tell you, it was pretty sweet.
“Come on out, Frank. I know you’re in here,” I said, but when there was no answer I added, “If I have to, I’ll smash this place to pieces to get to you, and then you’ll be even sorrier.” Then Frank stepped out from next to a shelf. Funny, I thought he’d be shaking. He wasn’t. Well, I was pretty sure I could change that. I reached down, grabbed him, and lifted him up. Christ, it was like picking up a doll. He was completely helpless in my giant fist.
“Hello, Sam,” he said pretty calmly, like he’d been expecting me. I have to admit I was a little surprised by that. “You recognize me?” I said grinning. “Great. I hate for you not to know who broke you.” And I squeezed a little.
“Oooof,” he said, turning red as the air rushed out of him. “Of course I know who you are.” His voice was wheezing. “You think I only analyzed Jeremy’s blood?”
Who was he kidding? “You’re trying to say you knew about me all along? You’re lying.” I squeezed again.
“Ah!” shouted Frank, as he shook his head. “I’ve know what you were from the beginning.”
“What do you mean what I was? You saying I’m a thing?” I squeezed him again.
“Ow!” he shouted. “What’s the matter? Don’t you like being gamma mutant? Seems to me you do.”
Well now that he mentioned it, yeah, I did like it. I liked it a lot.
“You’re like your father, and that other kid. What is he, your half brother?”
“How did you know?” I said before I could stop myself. Damn, I’d just about given Billy away.
“I know who your father was… or at least who he had to have been. I know who your mother is, and I happen to know she only had one child.”
“My mother?” I said, starting to get angry again, and squeezing harder. “What do you know about my mother?”
“Holy Christ!” Frank screamed in pain. “Put me down and I’ll tell you.”
“Oh no,” I said. “You tell me what you know and I might not crush you into paste.” I raised my left arm and made a fist, causing my ridiculously huge forearm muscles to writhe and bulge, adding a visual aide to my threat.
“Look around, Sam,” said Frank. “Where do you think you are?”
“In a pretty pathetic cell.”
Frank laughed. “Yeah? And where do you think the cell is?”
“How should I know?”
“Use your eyes.”
I looked around and for the first time I noticed a label fixed to the back of one of the pieces of equipment. It said property of Genco. Holy crap! That was the biotech company where my mom worked! “You mean this is Genco?”
“Where’s my mom?” I asked squeezing him again.
“She’s in the building,” gasped Frank, “and if you let me go, I can get her out. I’m the only one who can.”
“I don’t believe you,” I said.
“You have to. Artie doesn’t know about her yet, but he soon will. We have to get her out before then.”
“I will,” I said.
“Don’t be an idiot,” said Frank. He was calling me an idiot? Me, a guy who could take his head off with a sneeze? Man, he was really pushing it. “If you go crashing through the building, there’ll be panic and guards and shooting and a lot of people will get hurt, maybe even your mom. You might accidentally bring a piece of the building down on top of her. Do you want that?”
Shit! He was right. I thought of the couple of times I’d already almost killed Jeremy. What should I do?
“Besides,” said Frank, “if you want to save your brother, you better go now.”
“Artie doesn’t have a chance against Billy.”
“Of course, he does,” said Frank. “Now that Artie knows the big guy changes into a kid, he’ll wait til he shrinks; then it’ll be a dart in the neck, just like it was for you.”
Crap! What do I do?
“Arite’ll be back any time now.” continued Frank. “If you meet him, you can get your brother. If you can cause a big enough distraction, it’ll draw off the guards and make it easier for me to get your mother out.”
I still wasn’t sure what I should do. Was Frank lying to me? Could I take the chance? “Ok,” I said, “but if anything happens to my mother, I will hunt you down and squash you like a bug.”
“There’s a vacant warehouse on 12th and Maple,” said Frank “You can’t go home, so meet me there.”
Wow, this sounded an awful lot like a trap. But, I’d go there, and I’d bring Billy with me. Let him try and mess with two of us.
“Fine,” I said. Then I set Frank down and without another word, I turned and walked through the wall, feeling the masonry and plaster fall to pieces around my muscle tank of a body. Oh man, it felt so fucking awesome.
I found Jeremy waiting for me by the huge gaping hole I’d made to exit the lab. I reached down and grabbed him like you would a small pet dog.
“Hey,” he shouted. What’s going on here?”
“Change in plans,” I said. “We’re leaving.”
“I can walk, you know.”
“Yeah, but can you do this?” While cradling Jeremy in one arm, I reached out with the other arm, and feeling those huge masses of sinew respond to my slightest whim, started ripping the wall apart. I couldn’t get over how it just disintegrated at the slightest touch of my gigantic hand. But this time I made sure to shelter Jeremy from any falling debris with my massive stone-like muscle body.
“Ok,” he said,” after I’d made the hole big enough for us to fit through, “maybe I will travel like this.” Then he wrapped his arms as far around my upper arm as they would go, and licked my bicep. “Wow,” he said, “you still taste like you, like candy; only now it’s hard candy and there’s so much of it.”
I stepped through the hole and found myself in a small storage room. Holy crap, there were Billy’s and my bikes. I hadn’t seen them since the stockyard. My bike seemed so tiny, like a toy. How did I ever fit on that little thing? If I sat on it now and tried to peddle it with my humungous, bulging legs, I’d crush it to foil. I grinned at the thought.
I put Jeremy down and told him to take cover. Then I walked over to the far wall and put my fist through it. Daylight streamed in. Excellent. In seconds I had demolished the whole wall. It was so much fun I had to stop myself before I took apart any more. I really wanted to destroy the entire building, just for kicks, but I couldn’t risk hurting mom.
“Jeremy,” I said, “take my bike and get out of here. Ride home as fast as you can. I’ll call you when I can.”
“You expect me to just leave?”
“You have to. Things are going to get rough and I couldn’t stand it if you got hurt.”
“I’ll stay out of the way. Besides, what good’s a tank without his gunner?”
“Jeremy, please, just do this for me.”
“If you get hurt—”
“Dude, nothing can hurt me. Nothing.” And I pulled a most muscular, flexing every inhumanly huge muscle I had, and making every titanium bulge swell up to enormous proportions. God, I loved the feel of my monolithic body exploding all over with impossibly hard, mammoth muscle. I had so much fucking muscle, it almost surprised even me.
“Jesus—” said Jeremy. And looking down, I could see he’d shot another load.
“Go on, Jeremy,” I said. “You don’t need to worry about me.”
“No,” he said, as he hopped on my bike in an almost trance like state. “I can see that. You better call me soon. I’ll be waiting by the phone so you better.” And then he was gone, riding as fast as he could. I have to admit I felt a kind of selfish satisfaction when he left. Now I could really cut loose. Now I could see what my gigantic muscle glutted body could really do. And here came my chance. I spotted two black vans and a truck, just like the one they’d had last night, They were about a hundred yards away and driving straight toward me. This was going to be good.
I looked around. I was standing right next to the drive that led up to the place. A car was parked right in front of me. It looked like it had potential. I reached down and grabbed it. My hands pressed through the metal skin like it was putty. I pushed through until I found the solid metal frame underneath. I grabbed it tight until I felt my fingers beginning to sink in to the frame, too, so I eased off a bit, and lifted. I felt my massive delts and back bulging huge and hard in response. God, it felt light, way lighter than my bike used to feel when I would lift it. In a second I had it up over my head. My massive triceps felt like they were exploding out of the back of my arm, but I could tell this was only the tiniest fraction of what they could lift. I took aim at the truck. I figured Billy was probably in one of the vans. Besides, I wanted to take out their generator—which was most likely in the truck—in case they had any little tricks, like the net, that could hurt me.
I threw the car as hard as I could toward the truck. Man, the thing shot through the air with the speed of a bullet, hit the truck and exploded. A huge ball of flame erupted into the air, and a second later the truck’s gas tank went and other, larger ball of flame exploded outward. The vans swerved and stopped. This was my chance. I leapt into the air. I felt the wind rush past me like a hurricane. Fuck, I couldn’t believe how far and fast my legs carried me. In two jumps, I landed right in front of the first van. The asphalt cracked beneath my mammoth feet as I landed. Fuck I was so huge and the van looked so small, like a motorized toy kids rode around in. But there weren’t kids inside. There were puny little stick men with their puny little guns, and man, did they looked surprised. I was kind of hoping for terrified, but I didn’t get it. Oh well, maybe I could arrange something.
I lunged forward and grabbed hold of the front of it. I just lifted and up it came. It felt like my granite-like back muscles were swelling and pulsing with unlimited power. It was so easy. I started shaking it. The guys inside were getting knocked around like a dime in a clothes dryer. They kept trying to aim their little guns at me but they couldn’t even keep themselves in their seats. Then they started jumping out of the van and that was my queue. I tossed the van a few yards away, ran over to it and tore open the back. Fuck! No sign of Billy, just a bunch of those tiny, little guards. I picked the truck up again, lifted it above my head and threw it as hard and as far as I could. Man, the thing just flew over the roof tops and was out of sight in seconds.
POP POP POP! The little fucks that had jumped out earlier were shooting at me. It stung, kind of like a bee. But one swipe of my arm sent ‘em all flying. Then I noticed it. The second van was gone. Damn! While I had been playing with the first van, the second one had turned around and left. Billy had to have been in that one. Artie, too, and I really wanted to see him again.
I looked around just in time to spot the van speeding around a corner. It was heading for the river road. Tensing my massive, bulging thighs, I leapt up and in seconds I was after it. No way was that feeble little truck going to escape me and my megalithic legs. The truck was really speeding but I caught up with it so fast I suddenly had to make the decision on weather to jump in front of it or try to grab it from behind. I decided to go from behind. After all that’s where Billy was most likely to be—and Artie.
I jumped at the back of the truck and grabbed at it. I caught the bumper but it ripped right off. I dropped it and jumped again. This time I grabbed the frame and held it hard. The van came to an instant halt. I was able to stop it so completely it surprised me. I could here the engine revving so hard I thought it might burn itself out. I could hear the tires as they squealed, struggling against the street, kicking up smoke and the stench of burning rubber. But it was no match for my inhumanly powerful arms with their enormous, vein wrapped, engorged sinews bulging up all over the place. The pull of the van was so slight I could barely even feel it! I WAS A FUCKING MONSTER!
With one hand I continued to easily hold the van in place. With the other I pulled at the rear door. It ripped off at my slightest tug and went flying off into the distance. And there was Artie. Predictably, he had a gun. Unpredictably, it wasn’t pointed at me but at an unconscious Billy. Poor Billy was normal Billy again. He’d been dressed in a hospital gown, just a weak, frail ordinary kid, not even a shadow of what he was. Too bad he couldn’t wake up right now while he had a gun to his head. Artie’d have his hands full then.
“Make another move and he’s dead,” said Artie.
Damn, I couldn’t let Artie shoot Billy, but I wasn’t sure how I could stop him. “Let him go,” I said.
“Not a chance,” said Artie. “And unless you want his brains plastered all over the wall, you’re going to let us go.”
That was it! That was the answer. Thanks Artie. And I did it. I let go. The tires suddenly found traction and the van instantly leapt forward. Artie was thrown toward the rear of the van and away from Billy. I lost no time; I leapt into van. Christ, I barely fit. I felt the entire vehicle lurch as I landed. I don’t know if it was me landing or the sudden insane acceleration, but the van seemed to be swerving all over the place, completely out of control. I looked for Artie’s gun. Somehow he still had a hold of it. I grabbed it and tried to get it away from him but he wouldn’t let go. I was actually lifting him up by it, and shaking him. He just wouldn’t give it up. Fine with me. I was going to crush it, and I saw no reason why I couldn’t crush it with his hand still wrapped around it. I squeezed. Artie yelled as I felt his fingers get smashed into the metal, and then the metal collapse into a shapeless mass underneath my powerful digits. When I let go I could see his hand was virtually melded with the gun. He was waving it around in agony. Humph. Good start.
Suddenly, the van lurched again and I felt an odd weightless feeling like the van was airborne. I glanced out the back and could see we had run right off the road and over the embankment. In a second we would hit the river. Then I felt it, a wave of dizziness. What was happening? No time to think about it, I grabbed Billy and leapt from the back of the van.
We landed in the river some yards away from the van. That was odd. I’d been aiming for the bank and I hadn’t made it. Then I noticed it. I was smaller, a lot smaller. I was changing back! No! Not now! Holding on tight to Billy I began making for the shore. The river was seriously wild around here. The current was insane and each stroke was getting harder and harder, as we were carried further and further down stream. And suddenly it wasn’t so easy to hold on to Billy, and I was getting tired, really tired. And it didn’t help that Billy seemed to be getting bigger, except he wasn’t. I was getting smaller, and in just a few seconds we were back to being the same size and he began to slip from my grasp. The river washed over me and suddenly I was spitting out water and gasping for breath. Holy crap, I was drowning. I couldn’t believe it. A second ago I was all powerful. Now I was going to drown in the stupid Chicago River! Then I heard coughing, but it wasn’t me.
“What the fuck is this shit?” I heard Billy call, sputtering. The cold water must have brought him out of it. “Sammy?” he called. “Is that you?”
“Yeah,” I gasped back. “It’s me. Can you swim on your own?”
“Of course I can fucking swim on my own.”
I let him go at once and the current immediately started carrying us apart. I was so tired; I could barely keep myself afloat.
“What about you, Sammy?” Billy called. “Are you ok?”
“Fine!” I called back. “I’ll be fine as soon as I—“and then I got another mouth full of water. This one went straight down my wind pipe and suddenly I was coughing like mad. My head ducked under for a second, and I got more water down my gullet. I came back up gasping for air, but it was like my lungs couldn’t take enough in to satisfy me. And I was so tired.
“Hang on, Sammy, I’m coming.” I heard Billy shout. I caught sight of him trying to swim towards me but the current was carrying us further away from each other. Then I went under again and everything started getting fuzzy.
I barely made it back to the surface this time. I caught sight of Billy, but he didn’t seem to be swimming any more, just kind of thrashing around treading water. And he had this weird look on his face, a kind of detached ecstasy. Then his neck popped up and man, it was swelling up huge, with thick muscular, cords running up the side of it. I realized what was happening a second before I caught sight of his mountainous shoulders rising up from the waters like a leviathan, constantly getting thicker and boarder.
And then I went under again. I tried to get back up, but each one of my limbs felt like it weighed a ton, but this time they didn’t. I somehow knew I wasn’t going to make it. Seconds before I passed out, I felt this huge, powerful hand clamp around me, and then the water rushing past me, then the sweet air, then blackness—
BAM! My eyes flew open, blasted out of a deep sleep by a thundering beat repeated over and over again. BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! What the hell was going on? I sat up and was suddenly confronted with the largest, most insane sound system I’d ever seen. The speakers were mammoth, and it didn’t have a receiver, it had a console. There were so many knobs and indicator lights leaping around I could have been on the bridge of the Enterprise. I couldn’t begin to guess what half of them were for, even if my mind wasn’t on the point of being blown out my ears by the deafening pounding rhythm. I was desperately trying to figure out which of the eleven million buttons, knobs and switches could possibly be the volume, when the door to the small room flew open and Billy rocked it. He was soaking wet and naked except for a towel rapped round his waist. He was dancing and bopping to the music, and as soon as the vocalist started in, he picked up a shampoo bottle, and singing into it like a microphone, began belting out the lyrics.
It was then I realized I must be in his room. I had to be. The walls were plastered with football posters and centerfolds of bare-chested busty women, yup, Bears and boobs. I was lying on a bed, I’m pretty sure it was his, and I was naked, covered only by a blanket. And then it came back to me, my change, Jeremy, the river, everything. I had been truly massive, a mountain of rock hard muscles. There had been enough power in my little finger to bring down a building… But not any more. I was small again, skinny with stick arms, stick legs, no chest or shoulders to speak of, and my boulder like abs had completely dwindled and been swallowed into my slightly pudgy stomach. I was pathetic, weak. I hated it. I wanted to be huge again. I had to be huge again. I needed to feel those steel-like mounds bulging up all over me, to feel the earth shake as I walked, to see buildings crumble at my slightest touch. Oh yeah, that was what I wanted, and I swore to myself I would get back there again just as soon as I could.
Billy seemed to be in a good mood. He was still dancing around, and you know, I have to say he wasn’t a bad dancer. He hit one particular enthusiastic pelvic thrust and knocked his towel off. He continued without a missing a beat. One thing about Billy was he didn’t have too many inhibitions. And I couldn’t help laugh when he started working his swinging member into the act, and Billy laughed right along with me. The song ended and Billy hit the off button. I made an effort to remember exactly which one that was.
“Bout time you got up,” he said. “You been asleep for about 14 hours.”
“Billy, it happened. I got huge,” I said, “really really huge.”
“Yeah,” he grinned. “I guessed that.”
“You’re so fucking uptight, there wasn’t any other way you’d wind up naked in the Chicago River.”
Well, I guess he had me there.
“What I don’t get,” he continued, “is how I wound up naked in the Chicago River.”
I was about to tell him when it hit me. The most intense hunger pains I’d ever had. I felt like my insides were about to implode. I clutched at my stomach and gasped, “I am so starved.”
“Not to worry, Bro,” said Billy. “I got you covered. Come with me.” He walked out the door and I was right on his heels. Man, I was so hungry I felt that if I didn’t eat soon, I was going to die. Billy led me down some stairs and into a kitchen where I saw a pile of pizza boxes sitting on the table. I didn’t wait to be asked; I just dove right in. The pizzas were cold. I had no idea how old they were, but pizza had never tasted so good. I don’t know how long I ate for. I just remember eating piece after piece after piece, stuffing them into my mouth as fast as I could. And when one box was empty I moved right on to the next. I don’t think I even looked up until the last box was empty. Then when I did, I was kind of surprised to find this lady watching me. She looked like she was around forty, dressed in a housecoat and her hair looked like it hadn’t been brushed it in a week. If had to use one word to describe her expression, it would be curiosity. I guessed it was Billy’s mom, but Billy was no where around.
And then I realized I was naked.
“Ahhh—” I said, turning beet red, and using my hands to cover myself with, “Hi.” And then I noticed I was absolutely covered in tomato sauce. A thick layer of the stuff coated me all the way from the bottom of my chin to my waist. Crap, I looked like I’d gone swimming in it. There was almost more tomato sauce on me than your average pizza.
Holy crap, I was in a strange house completely nude, covered in tomato sauce, and now standing in front of the house’s owner who was probably wondering what the hell this naked freak was doing in her kitchen. If she didn’t scream soon, I knew I would. Only one thing to do: I ran for it, right back up the stairs and into Billy’s room, slamming the door behind me. Billy was lying on his bed, all dressed and ready, flipping though a Penthouse.
“Finished?” he said.
“Jeeze, Billy,” I said. “Why didn’t you tell me your mother was home?”
“Dude, my mom’s always home. But don’t worry about her. She’s seen worse things than you naked.”
I didn’t know quite how to respond to that.
“Besides,” he continued, “I couldn’t have told you anything until after you’d eaten. I know that better than anyone. I hope you got more pizza in you than on you, but it sure as hell doesn’t look that way.” He started laughing. And suddenly I was laughing, too. I couldn’t help myself. It was just the most ridiculous situation I’d ever found myself in.
“Here,” he said, tossing me a bundle. It was pants, a shirt and a towel. “Go make yourself decent. The bathroom’s across the hall on the right.”
That was all the incentive I needed. I found the bathroom without any trouble and hopped in the shower. Holy crap, I was so freakin’ skinny I could hardly stand to look at myself. I was all skin and bones with almost no muscle at all. God, I was disgusting.
I kept the shower quick. The less time I had to spend staring at my spindly body the better. Billy had given me a pair of cargo pants and a Bears shirt, number 54, Urlacher. The name was familiar but I had no real idea who he was. I thought about asking Billy, but then I figured it would probably be better not to.
I went back into his room and he was lying there watching the huge flat screen mounted on his wall. It was the news. The volume was off.
“Was that you?” he asked, nodding at the screen.
I had to look twice. It was a picture of one of the black vans from yesterday sticking half way through the 2nd story of a building.
“Hell, yeah, I did that,” I said. “I mean I threw it. Never saw where it landed, though. Turn it up! Turn it up!”
“Relax, bro,” he said. “It’s a DV recording. I’ll play it back for you if you want, but it’s a big mystery. They don’t know how the van got there. The registration was bogus and there wasn’t anyone in it by the time they got to it.”
“That figures,” I said. “Those were the guys that kidnapped us.”
Then I filled him in, told him everything—well, almost everything. I left most of the stuff with Jeremy out.
“So you got kidnapped,” he said. “That’s ok, then.”
“I thought you ditched me for that pussy, Jeremy.”
“Oh my God, Jeremy, I’d better call him,” I said. “Knowing him he’s probably still waiting by the phone.”
“Sure,” said Billy. “Go ahead, but make it quick. If we’re going to check out this warehouse, we’d better hurry up and get huge.”
I didn’t need anymore convincing. I picked up the phone and dialed. Jeremy answered before it finished ringing once. “Sam?” came his voice.
“Jesus, Jeremy, have you been answering every call like that?”
“Maybe,” he replied. “What happened? Your voice sounds different, kind of normal again. Are you all right? Where are you?”
“I’m fine. I told you I would be. I’m at Billy’s, but we’re going out in a minute.”
There was a moment of silence. I thought for a second the phone had gone dead, and then I heard Jeremy’s voice. It sounded strained like he was trying to stay in control. “You’re where?”
“Do you know how worried I was? And all this time you’ve been… with Billy?”
Oh boy, Jeremy was jumping to the wrong conclusion. It would be so much simpler if I could just explain that Billy was my brother, but Billy wanted it kept a secret. “Jeremy, it’s not like that.”
“I bet,” he said and then he hung up. Great.
“What’s up with pussy-boy?” asked Billy.
“Don’t call him that. He’s just a little over emotional right now, probably from being kidnapped.”
“Probably from being a pussy. So are you done? You ready to get huge yet?”
Oh yeah, I was ready. I was so fucking ready. I thought about calling Jeremy back, but even if I did manage to explain things to him, he’d probably just want to come along. He was definitely safer being mad at me. Not to mention I didn’t want to delay getting huge another second.
“Let’s go,” I said.
“We’ll use the Elm Street Bridge,” said Billy. “It worked great for me yesterday. It’s pretty easy. You jump off and by the time you hit the water you’re fucking huge.”
I got hard at the thought of all that muscle exploding out all over me again. “Works for me,” I replied.
Billy called a cab and in a few minutes we were speeding toward the Elm Street Bridge. Man, I couldn’t wait. Every time the cab stopped at a red light, I thought I would have a stroke from impatience. I kept wondering if I would get bigger this time. Every time Billy would change he would get bigger, I didn’t see why I wouldn’t.
When we got to the bridge, Billy paid the driver and we hopped out. I looked down into the gorge. Man, it was deep and at the bottom of it, an out-of-control raging torrent racing around a maze of jagged rocks. Suddenly I was having second thoughts. This could really kill me. But I kept thinking, “I have to get huge. I have to get huge,” as I followed Billy out to the center of the bridge. Billy climbed out over the rail and stood on the edge, holding on with only one hand. He looked back over at me. I was still staring down into the ravine. Truth be told, I think I was shaking a little.
“Come on, man, what are you waiting for?” He asked.
“Isn’t there some other way?” I asked.
“You mean a soft, friendly way of almost killing yourself? No. This is how it works, dude. You have to really think you’re going to die. It’s the only way. I know. I’ve tried. Now, come on, climb the fuck out here.”
Billy was holding his hand out to me. He looked very encouraging. Well, I thought, he’s been through this enough times. He must know what he’s talking about. Slowly and carefully I climbed out over the rail and stood next to him.
“That’s great, Sammy,” he said. “Now all you have to do is jump.”
I looked down at the rushing river 50 feet below me and suddenly my heart was in my throat. Everything started swaying and I had to grab on to the rail to keep from falling off right there. The way I felt it was a wonder I just didn’t change on the spot.
“I don’t think I can do this,” I said.
“Sure you can,” he said.
“No, I can’t,” I said, feeling my breath coming in gasps.
“You sure,” he asked.
“Ok,” he said, then he grabbed my arm, ripped it from the railing, and the two of us went tumbling into the void.
I thought my breath had stopped, but it couldn’t have because I was screaming. But that’s all. Nothing else was happening to me. Billy was plummeting next to me. Only he had started expanding almost as soon as our feet had left the bridge. Already I could see those mammoth shoulders pushing out, tearing their way free of his t shirt, while, whipped by the wind, the bottom of it flew up giving me a perfect view of his flat stomach as it blossomed into eight brick-like abs. “Yes!” he shouted, flexing his arm and watching his bicep expand into a vein covered softball. “Grow, baby grow!”
But nothing was happening to me, no swelling, pulsing muscles, nothing. The river was rushing up to greet us, while next to me Billy continued to grow bigger and bigger. Muscles were just exploding out of him in all directions as his body stretched out wider and longer. His jeans split and tore apart as massive quads erupted out of them. In an instant they were so huge, I’d never even be able to wrap my arms around them. “I fucking love this!” he yelled as his t shirt was disintegrated into shreds by his pecs, which swelled into globes so massive that if I curled myself into a ball, I might just be as big as one of them, but no where near as heavy.
But what about me? Why wasn’t I growing? An instant before we hit the water, Billy reached out one of his arms, which had pretty much expanded into a gigantic woven configuration of ripped, bulging sinew, and wrapped it around me. We hit the water and then almost instantaneously we seemed to by flying out of it, me clinging to an awesomely massive upper arm that was about the same size as a school desk, rock solid and bulging with thick veins wrapping it all over it. I could almost feel the power surging inside the impossibly huge mound of titanium flesh.
We landed with a thud and Billy set me on the ground. I was looking up at a mountain, a rolling landscaped of gigantic, ripped, bulging muscles with Billy’s face sitting on top, looking down at me. He must have had another one of those black poser things because his modesty was once again protected. Man, I had forgotten what it was like to stand next to him when he was like this. I felt myself growing hard both at the sight of him and the memory of being just like him. Damn, look at him. That was supposed to be me. I was supposed to be like that, and I wasn’t. I was still a puny little stick boy.
“What the fuck, dude?” he boomed, his voice practically knocking me over. “Why are you still small?”
“How should I know?” I answered peevishly, and I picked up a pebble from the bank and threw it into the river.
“Was it because you jumped with me? Did jumping with me make you feel safe?”
I didn’t turn to face him. Looking at that mammoth muscle bloated body just depressed me. “Dude, after you pulled me off that bridge, I don’t think I’ll ever feel safe with you again.”
“Sorry about that, but you know…. Fuck! You should have grown.”
“Yeah? Well, I didn’t. Maybe I can’t.” There, I’d said it. What I’d been secretly thinking since we hit the water.
“What do you mean, you can’t? Of course you can. You did once already, right?”
“Yeah, but that was with a shot. Maybe I can’t do it without one of those shots.”
“Man, that would suck.”
“You’re telling me.”
Then Billy scowled. He reached down and scooped me up. I felt that hard, powerful, bulging arm wrapped around me again, holding me secure but not too tight.
“What are you doing?”
“If you need a shot, we’re going to get you a shot,” he said, grim determination all over his large face. “We’ll start at that warehouse with that Frank dude. See what he knows. We gotta go there to get your mom anyway.”
“I don’t know… I thought it would be safe to go there with two of us, but with me being so useless—”
“Hey, you are not useless. Remember how you saved my ass back at the freight yard with those guys in black.”
I could see what he was trying to do, but it didn’t change the fact that I was still scrawny. “Yeah, but—”
“No, buts, bro. You rule. Muscles or no muscles.”
“I prefer the muscles option,” I said.
“Then we’ll just have to fix you up.” And then he leapt into the air. The experience wasn’t too unfamiliar to me. But last time I had done anything like this it had been under my own power, and I really preferred it that way.
We got more than a few stares and even some screams as we raced through the city in a series of ridiculous leaps and ultra accelerated dashes. Watching the enormous shredded muscles in Billy’s monolithic legs writhe and twitch under his skin as he propelled us along at fantastic speeds was amazing, like staring into a fire only far more mesmerizing. The incredible power he wielded so casually and with so little effort was staggering.
It didn’t take long before we arrived at the warehouse. The earth shook a little as we landed and the pavement cracked under his feet. He set me down and once again I felt like an ant.
“Keep you eye open for any traps,” he said.
“Yeah, sure,” I said, “that’s what I can do, watch for traps.” I really felt pathetic. “Which door are you going to use?”
“No fucking door,” he said and he reached out with his hand and casually just ripped out a huge section of the corrugated steel wall, and threw it aside. It flew about a dozen yards before it crashed part way through the side of another building. Fuck, he was so huge and so amazingly powerful. I wanted that so much.
Billy strode in through the hold he’d made and I followed right after him. I looked around carefully but I couldn’t see anything that looked like a trap. In fact the warehouse was very well lit and almost empty. It was about sixty feet across and about forty feet high, and most of the vast area was vacant. There was just this area at one end that looked like a kind of lab. And standing there, plain as day, behind one of the lab benches was Frank, and he didn’t look at all surprised to see us.
“You couldn’t use the door?” he said. “I don’t know how I’m going to fix that,” he said indicating the hole Billy had made in the wall.
“That’s the least of your fucking worries,” said Billy, thundering right up to him. I had to scramble to catch up. “Where’s Sammy’s mom?”
“At home,” he said, “though she calls me every ten minutes to see if Sam has shown up yet.”
That didn’t ring true. “You said it wouldn’t be safe for us to go home,” I protested.
“That was before your little encounter with Artie,” said Frank. “But now that he’s in a coma, everything’s changed. The whole project has cost the company a lot more than it expected and with no return on their investment in sight, the company has decided to cut their losses and pull the plug on the entire operation. In short, no one’s going to be coming after you kid, or your brother, or your mother. It’s too expensive.”
I took a second to think about this. “I don’t believe you,” I said.
As if in answer his cell phone rang. He picked it up, looked at the display, and just handed it to me.
“Hello?” I said, answering it.
“Sammy? Is that you? Are you ok?” It was my mother.
“Yeah, I’m fine. How about you? Are you ok?” I answered.
“Oh thank God. Yes, I’m fine. What did Frank say? Can he help you?”
“With your condition,” my mother said.
I felt the color drain from my face. I lowered the phone, covered the mouth piece and hissed at Frank, “What did you tell her?”
“Just that you inherited you father’s genetic condition and that I might be able to help you with it. I’ll leave any other details up to you.”
I raised the phone back to my ear. “Sammy? Sammy? Can you hear me?” I heard my mother call.
“Yeah, mom, I just got here. I don’t know if Frank can help me.”
“Well call me back as soon as you know, and hurry home as soon as you can.”
“Yeah, sure,” I said and I hung up. “What do you mean help me with my condition?” I asked Frank.
“Well, cure you, of course.”
“Cure me?!!!” I cried. “I don’t want to be cured. I want to get worse!”
“Cure him?” bellowed Billy. “Is that what all this is for?” he asked gesturing toward the lab. Then he raised his massive arms, about to strike and reduce the make-shift lab to rubble.
“No, wait, stop!” cried Frank, stepping front of him. “I went through hell to get this equipment. I could never replace it.” Man, he was brave. It would be safer to step in front of a speeding tank. “If you guys don’t want to be cured, fine. It’s just… that’s all your father wanted and I just assumed—”
“I’m not my father,” Billy and I said almost simultaneously.
“Ok, fine, good,” said Frank. “But we still need to study this, find out more about it.”
“Why?” I asked. “What for?”
“What if one of you gets sick because of this? You don’t think you can go to an ordinary doctor in an ordinary hospital, do you? You’ll need specialized help”.
“You?” asked Billy, relaxing from smash mode.
“There’s no one else I can think of.”
“What’s in it for you?” asked Billy.
“I’ve been planning an early retirement. This will give me something worthwhile to do with it. Besides,” he said, looking at the floor, “I let your father down once. Maybe now I can make up for it.”
“How can we trust you?” I said, remembering what happened to Jeremy and me at Genco.
“I’m sorry about what happened yesterday,” he said, “but I was under Artie’s thumb then. I’m a free agent now. I could really help you.”
“Prove it,” said Billy.
“How?” asked Frank.
I could see where Billy was going and I beat him to the punch line. “Make me grow,” I said. And then we explained everything to Frank.
“So,” began Frank when we had finished, “Billy changes when his life is threatened, but you don’t. In fact, the only time you have ever changed was when you gave yourself that shot. Interesting.”
“So, do you have another shot?” asked Billy.
“No,” said Frank, “That shot was gamma irradiated particles suspended in a saline solution and injected directly into his blood stream. They should still be in there. They’re probably effecting the original mutation in some way. That may even be why Sam didn’t change, when you jumped off the bridge.”
“You mean it changed me, but it also cured me?” I asked.
“I highly doubt that,” said Frank. “But it obviously has affected you in some unforeseen way. I’ll need a blood sample from you and one from Billy.
“Yeah, good luck with that,” ginned Billy offering his arm, which was thoroughly encased by gigantic ripped muscles, to Frank.
“Obviously we’ll have to wait for you to change back,” said Frank. “No sense destroying good needles for no reason.”
“You mean there’s nothing you can do for me now?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” said Frank. “It’s probably not a good idea to just trigger the change for no reason.”
Billy harrumphed. “He’s just trying to get out of it,” Billy said to me. “I knew he was lying. He probably doesn’t have a clue what happens to us.”
“Of course, I do,” said Frank. “I’m probably the only one in the world who does.”
“Then prove it,” said Billy.
“Well,” said Frank, looking at me and scratching his head. “I could always expose you to a low level gama burst. That’s safe enough and there’s a chance it could trigger the change.”
“I’ll try anything,” I said. I really, really wanted to be huge again.
“Ok,” said Frank. “Hop up on this table.” There was an examination table like they had in doctor’s offices. I climbed upon it and lay down. Then he wheeled over thing that was about the size of a saloon hair dryer and looked like a combination of a photo enlarger and a ray gun, and he positioned it over me. He stepped forward with a syringe. “I’m going to take a little of your blood now,” he said as I felt the prick of the needle, and when he stepped back I could see it was full.
Then he walked back over to a computer and started punching instructions out on the keyboard. I could see Billy towering behind him watching.
“Frank,” said Billy, flexing his colossal body and making his humungous muscles bulge insanely huge, “I just want you to know that if you hurt him, I’ll rip you to pieces.”
Frank, looking cool as a cucumber, looked up at my massive behemoth of a brother and said, “I have no intention of hurting him.” The he turned to me. “Are you ready, Sam?”
“Yes, absolutely,” I answered. “I am so ready.”
He hit a key, and suddenly my whole body lit up. It felt good, like the power that had surged through me when I had changed the first time, but now it was fainter, much fainter. And in a few seconds, it stopped completely.
“Man, that’s it?” I complained, noticing the complete lack of growth. “It didn’t do anything.”
“That’s all I can risk. I’m sorry,” said Frank. “After I’ve analyzed yours and Billy’s blood, I might be able to do more, but for now I’m afraid that’s it.”
“But I could feel it,” I protested. “Couldn’t you just, you know, turn it up a little and try again?”
“No, Sam, I’m sorry. That would be very dangerous and completely irresponsible. I won’t do it.”
“He wants you to try again,” said Billy stepping forward and making the building shake.
“Well, I won’t,” said Frank defiantly. That guy had a pair, I’ll give him that. Billy scowled, a look would cause most grown men to piss their pants, but Frank held firm, arms crossed, unmoving in front of the keyboard.
“Fine,” said Billy, and with the tinniest gesture of his arm, he knocked Frank across the room. “I watched you work this thing. I’ll do it,” said Billy, carefully aiming at the keys with his pinky. I could tell even the smallest of his fingers was way too large for the job, but he didn’t let that stop him. He picked up a pen from the table and began using it to hit the keys. Frank pulled himself off the floor and ran back to the console, but Billy was able to hold him off almost without thinking about it.
“Now,” said Billy, “how high does this thing go?”
“No!” yelled Frank. “That level’s much too high. You have no idea of what you’re doing!”
I have to admit I felt a certain amount of anxiety over what was going on. But I so badly wanted to be big again that I was willing to ignore the warnings my common sense was firing off inside my head. “Go on, Billy,” I shouted, “turn it on.”
And he did.
I felt the energy rip into me. Every cell in my body seemed to detonate with power, especially the muscles. It felt amazing, wonderful, orgasmic even. But I wasn’t growing. The feeling was so intense, though, that I didn’t care, and it just kept building. I felt myself moaning.
“You ok, Sammy?” asked Billy.
“Yeah, oh yeah! Keep it coming!” It felt like I was going to explode with muscle at any second. Suddenly the pleasure sensation surged, increased to the point where it became nearly unbearable. I started yelling. I couldn’t help myself.
“Turn it off,” came Frank’s voice. “For God’s sake turn it off. You’ll kill him.”
Then it cut off. The feeling stopped. It had been hurting me in the end, but I missed it. I lay there on the table, breathing hard and covered with sweat, but still the same puny size. I turned my head to look back over at Billy but for some reason I couldn’t speak.
Then Frank was squeezing in in front of him, shutting the equipment down. “You big idiot!” He yelled. “What have you done?”
“What are you so mad about?” asked Billy. “Nothing happened.”
Frank rolled his eyes as he grabbed a syringe, and headed toward me. “No one could be exposed to that much gamma radiation and remain unaffected.” He took another blood sample. When he was done, I sat up and staggered off the table. And as I stood there, I realized he was right. I felt different. I wasn’t sure exactly how, but different.
Something had changed.
My eyes fluttered open and I instantly knew something was wrong. I was lying outdoors on hard, bare earth, and staring up at a bright blue sky, but somehow that wasn’t the problem.
I sat up. I was naked, but that wasn’t the problem either.
I seemed to be at the bottom of a small crater. The walls of the crater were too high for me to see out of it without standing up. Still, not the problem.
I stood up and suddenly I knew what the problem was: I was small, way too small. I shouldn’t be this small. I should be bigger, a lot bigger. I looked around. I didn’t recognize anything. I was in a modest city that looked like it had just been through an earthquake. Buildings were half toppled. Smoke was billowing out of half of them. A water main had broken and water was shooting into the air. Cars were lying flipped over on the street smashed, their parts scattered all around. The sounds of sirens and car alarms filled the air, along side the smell of smoke and gas.
A few people were wondering around, scratched, bruised, sometimes bleeding, and looking just as dazed and confused as I felt. I decided to climb out of the crater. I was pretty unsteady on my feet, but I managed to stumble out of it. A woman saw me and came running over.
“Oh my God,” she said. “Are you all right?”
“I don’t know,” I said, looking down on my slight body. I couldn’t see anything wrong—besides the size. “I think so.”
“What happened to your clothes?” she asked.
I began to contemplate my nakedness seriously for the first time. It just didn’t seem to be important; neither did how I got that way. “I don’t know,” I repeated. She pulled off her jacket and offered it to me. I took it and tied it around my waist. It wasn’t that I was feeling overly modest; it just seemed like the right thing to do.
“What’s your name?” she asked, and suddenly I realized I had no clue.
“I don’t know,” I said. But what I also realized was I didn’t care that I didn’t know. All I seemed to care about was my size; I was ridiculously small.
“Why am I so small?”
“You poor thing,” she said, wrapping her arm around me. “You must have hit your head or something? Were you in a car crash?”
“I don’t think so,” I said. I wasn’t sure where I’d been recently or how I’d gotten where I was. But there was still the overriding question. “Why am I so small?”
She looked at me with a half bemused expression. “What are you, 16? 17? You don’t look that small to me. You look pretty average for your age.”
Well, I was bigger than her; so I guess I wouldn’t look small to her, but I did to me, painfully small.
“You better come with me,” she said, “until we can find your parents.”
Really not knowing what else to do, I followed her to a small café which she explained she owned, operated and lived above. As soon as we got through the door she shouted, “Nick! Nick, come here!”
A moment later a mousey haired kid about my age came running it. He was painfully small, too.
“This is my son, Nick,” she said. “And I’m Marie.”
“Hi,” I said.
Then she turned to Nick. “I found him wondering the streets dazed and naked. He doesn’t even remember who he is. Run upstairs and find him some clothes, will you? You two are about the same size.”
Nick stared at me for a second before his mother said, “Hurry up, you don’t want him to freeze, do you?” Nick shook his head and ran out of the room, I could hear his feet pounding on the stairs as he ran up them.
Marie was on the phone pacing up and down. “I can’t get through to emergency services,” she said, flipping her phone shut. “They’re probably very busy right now. Well, you don’t look seriously injured. You can stay with us until they sort you out. Name come back to you yet?”
I shook my head. Why was I so small?
“We’ll need a name for you. I guess John Doe is the standard for these occasions. We’ll call you John. Is that alright?”
“Sure,” I said. And then it hit me. I was starved, just ravenously hungry. “Do you have any food?”
“Of course, Sweetie; you’re in a café.”
“I’m really, really hungry.”
“Well, that sounds like a good sign. Hang on, I’ll see what I can get for you.” And then Marie disappeared into the back room.
Nick came back the next instant with an old pair of jeans and a t-shirt. No underwear, though but that was ok. “You can change in the bathroom,” he said.
“That’s ok,” I said, taking off the coat and draping it on the back of a chair. Nick turned beat red and turned around. What’s the matter with him? I don’t know why everyone was so preoccupied with clothing. It just didn’t seem important to me, not like the overriding question. “Why am I so small?”
“You don’t look that small to me,” said Nick. Suddenly I got the feeling we weren’t talking about the same thing. I pulled on the pair of jeans he brought me and slipped on the t-shirt. They fit fine.
Just then Marie came back with a huge sandwich for me. I didn’t waste any time tucking in. I don’t think I stopped to breath. In seconds it was gone, and Maria just stood there looking dumbfounded. “Ok,” she said, “I’ll make you another one.”
She disappeared back into the kitchen. Nick was staring at me like I was the most interesting thing in the world.
“What?” I finally asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s just that I’ve never met anyone who’s lost their memory before.”
“Oh,” I said.
“Don’t you remember anything?”
I thought about it, but there was nothing; it was all blank. “No,” I said. “Is it important?”
“Important? Your family, your friends, your life, yeah it’s important.”
“Then, I’ll try to remember.”
Marie came back with another sandwich for me, and I gobbled that one up too. Marie just looked at me and shook her head. “Nick,” she said, handing him some cash. “Take John down to Bently’s for the all you can eat special. I think he’ll break me if I try and feed him here.”
“Ok, Mom,” said Nick, “if they’re open.”
Nick led me out the front door and as we were walking down the street, I couldn’t help but stare at all the destruction. There was a 10-story building that looked like it had collapsed.
“I saw him, you know,” said Nick.
“Saw who?” I asked.
“The guy who did all that.” He waved in the direction of the street and all the damage that had been done.
“Did all what?” I asked.
“Trashed the city. Don’t tell me you don’t even remember that. The guy was gigantic, over a story tall, and he was wider than a tractor trailer and his muscles… fucking unbelievably massive, just bulging out all over him. He looked like he was made of muscle.”
“—made of muscle,” I echoed. That sounded good. It sounded right.
“You like big muscles?” asked Nick
“Yeah,” I nodded. I really didn’t need to think about that. I just knew I did, a lot.
“I’ve been working out,” he said. “Check this out.” He rolled up his sleeve and flexed. He had a nice sized bulge on his arm. Bigger than a golf ball but smaller than a baseball. “You want to feel it?”
I reached out and grabbed hold of it. It was a rock under his skin. “Damn,” I said.
“I’ve got a six pack, too. Wanna see?” He lifted up his shirt and displayed his stomach. I could clearly see his abs outlined beneath his skin. “Hit me,” he said. “Go on, hit me, hard as you can.”
I balled up my fist and I hit him. I heard the smack as my knuckles collided with the warm, solid padding of his stomach.
“Oh come on, you can do better than that,” he said grinning. But I had the feeling he’d felt it more than he was letting on. “Hit me again, harder.”
So I hit him again. This time he let out a little gasp before dropping his shirt. “Like cement. See? You can’t hurt me,” he said. “If you stay over tonight, I’ll show you the rest…. If you want.”
From the warm feeling invading my crotch, I realized I did want that.
“Sure,” I said.
We got down to Bently’s and it was open. The place was a pretty big restaurant but there weren’t too many people there. We almost had the place to ourselves. Nick got a hamburger and I ate everything else. At least, that’s what it felt like. I just couldn’t seem to get enough food. And as I ate, I could literally feel my body recharging. I felt energy racing through my blood like electricity raced through wires. My cells seamed to be sparking. It felt really, really good. And the more I ate the better I felt. So I just kept eating and eating and eating. At one point the manager came over to see if we had a dog or something under the table. And when we finally left they almost threw a party.
“Damn,” said Nick. “I’ve never seen anyone eat like that. Some of the football players at school eat a lot, but nothing like that.”
“I was hungry,” I said. “And now I feel really, really good.” And it was true. Even though I had stopped eating I could still feel that boiling energy building inside me. I felt so good I was getting stiff just standing there. I just wish I knew why I was so small.
“We should get back,” said Nick.
When we got back, we discovered that Marie had opened the café. She even had a couple of customers.
“Well,” she said, “we didn’t really have any damage, and I figured what the heck? Might as well make hay while the sun shines.” I wondered if she always talked like that.
“Mom, you should have seen him eat,” said Nick. “I thought they were going to throw us out before he finished.”
Marie shook her head and sighed. “I hope you don’t eat like that all the time, John.”
I had no idea what to tell her because I had no memory of what I ate like all the time.
“I heard from emergency services,” she continued, “and since they are completely overwhelmed and your problem isn’t life threatening, they asked us to look after you for the time being. You don’t mind sharing a room with Nick, do you?”
“No,” I said. For some reason, I didn’t mind that thought at all. And from the look on Nick’s face, he didn’t either.
“Well, since you’re here,” said Marie, “you might as well make yourself useful. Nick, why don’t you show him how to use the Cappuccino machine.”
I spent the rest of the afternoon learning how to steam milk and make espresso. Concentrating was kind of difficult, because of the thrumming energy that was pulsing through my body. I could almost hear buzzing inside me. And somehow I knew it was the answer to my size problem. I wasn’t sure how or why, but I was certain I wouldn’t be small for much longer.
Making cappuccinos wasn’t really hard and I had gotten pretty good at it by the time Marie flipped the closed sign on the door and dimmed the lights.
“Well, come on upstairs, you two. Let’s call it a night.”
Their second floor apartment was not large. There were two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen and a family room where the computer, TV and dining table were. Marie made us dinner and I could see she was a little uncertain when she served me. I guess she was concerned with how much I’d eat. And I did eat a lot, but nowhere near as much as that afternoon, and that seemed to relax her.
But damn, what I did eat just made me feel incredible. Every cell I had just seemed to be juiced, completely alive with energy. I knew something was about to happen, something amazingly awesome, and I couldn’t wait.
“Well, I’ve got some book keeping to do,” said Marie. “So, I hope you two can amuse yourselves.”
“I think we can do that,” said Nick, turning toward me. “I’ve got a weight set in the basement. You wanna… work out?”
“Sure,” I said. I couldn’t explain it, but lifting heavy weights felt like exactly the right thing to do. But looking at Nick, I got the feeling working out wasn’t all he had in mind. But that was ok, too.
Marie went over to the sound system, turned it on and started blasting out Perl Jam at top volume. Nick gestured for me to follow him. Trying to speak would have been useless. The music was way too loud. Even when we got to the café he still had to shout. “That’s what she does whenever she works on the computer,” he said. “She says it helps her concentrate.”
He just shrugged.
We climbed down the stairs to the basement. It was pretty dark and musty down there. There were shadows everywhere. Only one naked light bulb provided the light. There were a bunch of boxes and shelves of junk lining the walls and in the center was a weight bench. The bar was already loaded and on the supports.
“I like to workout shirtless,” said Nick pulling off his shirt. He turned to face a full length mirror he had set up in the corner and stood there checking himself out.
The truth was Nick was pretty cut. Besides those nice bis and that six pack, he had ripped segmented shoulders, and pecs that while they weren’t large, still showed each striation as they bulged and relaxed. His back wasn’t wide or thick or anything, but you could see plenty of hard muscle writhing under his skin as he moved. In short, even though Nick wasn’t all that big, he was still pretty damn hot and I could feel myself reacting to his body in all sorts of ways.
“Like what you see?” asked Nick, and suddenly I noticed he was watching me watching him. I didn’t answer him, but not because I didn’t want to or I couldn’t think of anything to say or I didn’t like what I saw. I was hard alright, but it wasn’t just Nick. Something intense was happening to my body. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but it felt totally overwhelming. I felt this weird kind of tingly vibration throbbing deep inside me and it was building. Something was coming and coming fast.
When I didn’t answer Nick, he just slid onto the bench and said, “I’m doing chest today. Gotta get these suckers to grow,” he said tensing his chest and making it pop. I watched him power through 8 reps, struggling with the last one before he wracked the bar and sat up. “That was 130,” he said. “How much do you bench?”
“I don’t know,” I said.
“You still don’t remember anything?” he said.
I just shrugged. I couldn’t shake the feeling that my memories weren’t important. What mattered was what was about to happen. I felt unbelievably good, strong, confident. I could do anything. And the weights… I wanted to… no, needed to lift some weight. “I’ll do what you did.”
He stood up and shook his head. “I don’t know,” he said. “That’s a lot of weight and you don’t look like you work out that much.”
“I’ll surprise you,” I said.
“Ok, but I’m going to spot you, you know, just in case.”
“Sure, whatever,” I said sliding onto the bench. My body was thrumming with powerful surges at this point and I could just tell this was exactly the right thing to do. Nothing could hurt me.
I grabbed the bar and tried to lift it out of the supports. At first I couldn’t get it to budge.
“I’ll take a couple of the plates off,” said Nick, moving to the side of the bar.
“No! Leave them,” I said. I was a little startled by the forcefulness of my tone, but in a second I realized it felt right. I should be ordering Nick around. I liked it. And I guessed in a few minutes Nick would like it too.
But for now he just raised his hands, palms out, and backed off.
I grabbed the bar again, this time with much more intensity. I felt all that energy throbbing inside me and I concentrated in channeling it into my arms. Yes, I could feel it now. I lifted. I put everything I had into it and suddenly I felt the bar lift up off the supports.
“Careful,” called Nick, stepping back into the spotter’s position.
“Careful yourself!” I snapped. The bar seemed unbearably heavy, but I could feel all that energy moving through me, building and building and building until I couldn’t stand it any more. Ahhhhhhhhhhh! I yelled and as I did I could feel my body start to shudder all over and then I felt it start to swell up with a hardness that was unmistakable. I looked over and saw my scrawny arms thicken as solid, defined biceps and triceps emerged from them. I felt my chest and back harden and expand against my t shirt, my thighs were pushing out against my pant legs and my whole body felt like it was stretching out. Fuck, it only lasted about a second, but suddenly that bar didn’t seem so heavy anymore.
“Holy fuck,” I heard Nick gasp. “You’re a lot fucking bigger than I thought. How were you hiding all that muscle?”
“I don’t know,” I said as I easily pounded out 8 reps before racking the bar. “Make it heavier,” I said.
“Add a few more 45s, just to see what I can do.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t push it,” said Nick.”
“Do it,” I said. “Now.”
“Ok,” he said, shaking his head. He added a couple of 45s, one to each side.
“Add more,” I said.
“That’s 220 pounds!” he said.
“I don’t care. Go 310? Or better yet, 400?”
“You’re bat shit crazy, you know that?”
“Crazy? You wanna see crazy? Throw on 400 pounds and I’ll show you crazy.”
“Ok,” he said, adding the plates. “But I’m not going to be able to spot you with this much weight… What am I worried about? You won’t even get it of the wrack.”
“You wanna put money on that?”
“Yeah, a hundred bucks. A hundred bucks says that in 10 minutes you’ll be lying there gasping and that bar will be exactly where it is now.”
“In 10 minutes that bar will be a tangled heap on the floor and you’ll be my slave, twisted to my will, my little boy toy.” Whoa, where did that come from? But all that energy… It felt so good to say that and somehow I knew Nick would be my boy toy. It would happen—any second.
“Dude, are you ok?”
“Ok?” I laughed. “I’m so much better than ok. Hold on to your pants, Nick, cause here I go,” I said. I grabbed the bar with fierce determination and tried to lift it off the supports. I could feel myself turning three shades of red but I couldn’t do it. I heard Nick chuckling under his breath.
That did it.
I took a deep breath and tired again. Again I turned as red as a fire engine, but this time I wasn’t going to accept failure. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed, and just when I thought I’d black out, something started to happen. I could feel my arms starting to swell, just getting harder and thicker and in a few seconds I managed to get the bar off the support. And as I lifted the bar, I saw my triceps just pop out and form deep, thick horseshoes. Fuck, look at those things. I gulped. Oh man, my arms were big, way bigger than Nick’s. Fuck yeah!
“What the fuck!” Nick shouted. “You’re getting bigger! Damn! You are actually fucking growing!”
“That’s right, slave boy,” I said. “Sit back and enjoy the show cause you’ll never seen anything like this again!”
I could feel it with each breath. I could actually feel the hard muscles blowing up on my arms… like they were going to blast right out of my skin. And then, shaking, I slowly lowered it down to my chest. My face was turning bright red with the effort. My neck was getting wider. I felt it straining with thick cords of muscle jutting out all over it. And when I got the weight to the bottom, I could see my pecs, two solid mounds of shredded muscle bullying my t shirt even with my arms lowered. And look at those fucking shoulders; they were like rocks. And that t-shirt, the way it wrapped around me so tightly, I wasn’t sure how it held together. I could see my abs right through it, six bocks of muscle pushing up from my stomach. And my arms, damn, they had passed big and were heading for huge. I wasn’t sure what was happening to me, but I found it so fucking hot I was really getting stiff.
“Oh my fucking God!” yelled Nick. “You’re huge! You’re fucking huge!
“Yeah, oh yeah! But just you fucking wait, slave. Just you fucking wait!” I began lifting it back. My face was so red if anymore blood rushed up there, I was sure it would pop. But I knew I had to make the effort. I knew I had to give it everything I had if I were going to make it happen. And then it started; unbelievably, I started pushing it back up. “FUCK!” I yelled and my whole body started shaking. Oh my God! My muscles… they were growing. I began hearing popping threads and tearing seams as my body started erupting with size and ripping its way out of my shirt. Jesus, my muscles were bulging up bigger and bigger right in front of me. And fuck, my entire frame was getting heavier. “ARRRRRRRGH!” I yelled as the sleeves around my delts exploded, destroyed by shoulders were now huge, ripped and segmented. And my arms, fuck my arms were blasting into massiveness right in front of my eyes.
Nick was yelling. “Oh shit! Fucking shit!” He was terrified watching my body bulge into immensity. Who could blame him?
“Yes!” I shouted “I can feel it! I can feel the muscle!” And I could see it. I could see the sinew weaving together making those fucking pecs thicker, and those biceps bulkier. There was more tearing around my torso and a second later, my mammoth pecs just errupted out of my shirt. They were huge ripped mountains of muscle, sandwiched between my giant arms and engorged with blood as I strained with all my might to push that weight up.
And then BAM it was up. It was all the way up! I had benched 400 pounds.
“YEAH!” I shouted, a shit eating grin on my face. “Fuck yeah!” Then I did another rep only this time it seemed easy. “Sweet,” I said, laughing. Then I quickly pounded out another five reps before I racked the weight.
I leapt up off the bench and Holy fuck, I was gigantic! About 6’ 3”, and 350 pounds if I weighed an ounce. I tore off the shredded remains of my t-shirt and hoooooly fuck, I was all muscle, every freaking, bulging, vein covered inch of me. My pecs were like round hard melons, my shoulders and back were as wide as doors. My upper arms were at least the size of my head, with thick angry veins leading up to bowling ball delts. My jeans had been loose fitting, but now the cuffs were half way up a monstrous pair of calves which they hugged so tightly, they were almost cutting off my circulation. And my mammoth quads and hams were squeezed so snugly into my pant legs I was sure the slightest flex would destroy my jeans completely. And my package… I could see the zipper pushed out as far as it could go in a giant bulge, and practically breaking under the strain.
But still I felt small. I was big, alright, but not as big as I should be. And somehow I knew I wouldn’t be growing anymore, at least not right now.
“What do you think of me now, Nick?” I said, strutting over to the old mirror. Then I started to try to peel his pants off of my enormous muscle encased legs. It wasn’t working. They were too tight. I gave them a huge tug and RIIIIIP, they just tore. I peeled the denim from my massive legs like a blue banana peel. In a moment I was standing there, completely naked, staring at myself in the mirror. And from the expression on Nick’s face, it looked like he was just as stunned by what I saw as I was. Damn, I was muscle perfection. Besides that killer upper body, I had the legs of a total beast. Each of my huge thighs was every bit as big around as my waist and carved with rolling, rippling sinew. My balls were like two tangerines and my cock hung over them almost to my knees, thick and heavy as a fire hose. And as I stood staring at this vision, I saw that cock start to lengthen and grow stiff.
I looked down at puny little Nick. He was whimpering.
“How am I doing, slave boy?” I asked. “Are my 10 minutes up yet?”
Nick just shook his head.
“Good,” I said, and I stepped over to the bar, lifted it out of the supports with one hand, knocked the weights off of it with my other hand and then, massive sinews bulging, bent the thing like a pretzel.
“There!” I said tossing it into a corner. “One more thing and I win the bet.”
Nick was clearly terrified and it was making me hot.
“Are you my slave, Nick?” I asked.
“Ahhh… Ahhh—” he replied.
“You are my slave, Nick,” I said, “but not because I’ll force you to be. You’re my slave because you want to be… No, you need to be.” I hit a double bi, admiring the twin granite peaks as they erupted from my arms. “You’ve never seen arms like these, have you Nick?”
He shook his head.
“You want to feel them, don’t you? You want to run your hands all over them and kiss them.”
He nodded, and I could see the fear ebbing out of him, being replaced by something else, lust. I had him.
“Then ask, Nick. Ask to be my slave.”
“I want to be your slave,” he gasped.
“Then come and worship me, slave. Worship these muscles. Worship this power.” I gave him a most muscular, and could feel these enormous granite-like masses bulging out all over me, and it felt amazing.
In a second Nick was on me, rubbing his hands over my pecs, my stomach and my arms.
“Jesus, you’re like iron,” he said.
I grabbed him around the waist with one hand and lifted him high above my head. Fuck he felt like a bird. He was nothing. “I could break every bone in your puny little body with the slightest pressure from my fingers,” I said, squeezing him slightly to make my point. “And I’ll do it anytime I want, because you are my property, slave, and there’s nothing your puny, pathetic muscles can do to stop me, is there?”
“No,” he said.
“When you talk to me, slave, you will call me Master. Understand?”
“Yes, Master,” he said.
“Good, now suck my cock. I want to get off.”
I set nick down and he grabbed my member and took it into his mouth. He obviously wasn’t experienced, but that was ok. I felt so fucking hot and so fucking powerful and I was so primed, that my cock exploded almost as soon as he started. I seemed to cum forever and when I was done, Nick was covered in my spunk. But I wasn’t finished yet. I put one hand on either side of his waist band and just ripped his pants to pieces. God, they came apart like tissue paper. I was so fucking strong. I tore them from his body, underwear and all, turned him around and entered from the rear.
“Oh my God!” Nick called out loudly, but he was obviously enjoying it.
“My Master,” I corrected him.
“Oh My Master!” he said. And just as before, I came swiftly and powerfully.
I lay down on the floor and pulled Nick on top of me. At first he just lay there, clinging to my huge pectorals and riding my enormous torso as it rose and fell with each breath. Then he was massaging my chest and shoulders, or at least doing the best he could. His poor, pathetic little fingers couldn’t make much of an impression on my massive steel-like sinews.
I felt his hard little cock rubbing up and down on my stomach. Christ, he was humping my abs, probably probing for my bellybutton. It might just take him, but I had a better idea. I flexed my abdominals. I felt them rise up and I felt Nick’s head slide into the center crevasse. I clenched my abs and I felt them squeeze the sensitive tip. Nick let out a loud whaling moan as his cock shook and sputtered and delivered its tiny, little load. Then he went limp on top of me and in a minute I realized he had fallen asleep. I lay there for a few moments just stroking his hair and feeling his delicate weight resting on top of my massively powerful body, and then I, too, fell asleep.
“Nick! John! Are you boys down there?”
My eyes flew open. I was lying on Nick’s basement floor. I sat up. CRAP! I was small again. I looked over at Nick who had obviously woken up at the exact same moment I had. He was staring at me wide-eyed.
“Nick!” came Marie’s voice from upstairs.
We were both naked and covered with dried spunk, not to mention dirty from rolling around on the basement floor all night. In short, we were in no shape to receive company.
“Yeah, mom?” called Nick, still staring at me.
“Are you working out again?” called Marie. “What, did you boys sleep down there?”
“No!” called Nick, a little too fast. “Just getting in a couple of early morning sets.”
“Well finish up and come on up here. It’s almost time to open.”
“Ok,” answered Nick. Then he looked over at me and said almost in a whisper, “What happened… Master?”
“Don’t call me that,” I said.
“But last night you said—” said Nick.
“Last night it felt right,” I said interrupting him. “This morning it doesn’t. Just call me… John. Yeah, John.”
“Ok… John.” His voice might have been saying John, but his tone still said Master.
I got up and looked around. Christ, the only piece of intact clothing we had was Nick’s shirt, which he had taken off last night before… well, before things had gotten interesting. Everything else was just scraps of cloth lying on the floor. And then I realized I was starving.
“I need to eat, Nick,” I said.
“We’ve got some cereal upstairs,” said Nick.
“No, I need to eat… a lot”
“There’s an all you can eat pancake place,” offered Nick.
“Ok, let’s go there.”
“Are you going to grow again?”
“Yes,” I said. “But not right now. Right now I need to eat.”
“Ok, Mas—John,” said Nick, picking his shirt up from the floor and pulling it on. He looked kind of cute. His shirt wasn’t quite long enough to cover his swinging cock. “I’ll get you some clothes and explain to mom,” he said then turned and started up the stairs. I saw him pause at the top and peer out just to make sure no one was around. Then he darted away.
Damn, I was hungry. I couldn’t think of much else. I glanced over at the twisted bar in the corner. I had done that, me. Man, it was cool to be big. I wanted to be big again and I wanted it bad. But I knew I had to eat first.
Nick was back in a few minutes. It looked like he had taken a quick shower. He brought me another pair of pants and a t shirt. As I pulled them on he told me I could take a shower while he talked to his mom. Hungry as I was, I decided that was probably a good idea.
I hurried up to their bathroom. As I stepped into the warm stream of water and started soaping myself, it began to sink into me how horribly small I was and I suddenly had this flash of deja vu. I had experienced this before, but I didn’t remember where or when. It was kind of eerie.
I finished up quickly and went down to meet Nick. He was in the café with his mom who was just opening up. She just shook her head when she saw me and said, “Nick says you’re having another hunger attack.” That was a good way of putting it. “How did your parents ever afford to feed you?”
I just kind of shrugged and said, “I don’t know.”
“Well, hurry back,” she said. “I’ve got to leave to meet my accountant by 9:00, so be back by then.”
“Ok,” we both said, and hurried out the door.
Breakfast was pretty much a repeat of lunch the day before. I ate so much the owners thought we were stowing it away in bags for later. I guess I couldn’t blame them. Even I couldn’t believe how much I ate. It was way more than yesterday. But as I ate, I felt the driving energy waking up inside me. I knew I was going to grow again, and if I knew anything, I knew I was going to get even bigger this time.
When we finally left, it wasn’t because I was full; it was because we had to get back to the café so Marie could make her appointment. And no sooner did we walk in the door, than Marie walked out of it.
“She let’s you run the café?” I asked Nick.
“All the time,” he said. “I think she’s happier than I am that they canceled school this week. Now she gets to run off to all her appointments.” And so, I found myself at the cappuccino machine again, helping Nick while he sold pastries and made sandwiches. And all the time I could feel the energy in me building and building. At times it was almost like it was pushing out at my skin, trying to get it to expand. When this happened my breath would get short and I would stop what I was doing and just feel it surging inside me. It was awesome. But there wasn’t enough yet to change me, not yet.
It was about lunch time. I was in the middle of my strongest surge yet when this kid came in. He was about our age and as soon as he saw me he stopped in his tracks and yelled, “Holy fucking shit, Sammy! Where the fuck have you been?”
I looked up at him and said, “Excuse me?”
“You can’t just go disappearing on us like that! You know how dangerous it is.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said.
Nick walked over and said to the kid, “Do you know him?”
The kid said, “Do I know him? He’s my brother.”
Suddenly I didn’t like this kid. I don’t know why; I just didn’t like him. “Go away,” I said.
“Go away?” he said. “Yeah right. I just found you. Hang on, I gotta tell Frank.” He pulled out a cell phone and dialed.
“What’s the matter?” said Nick. “He’s your brother. He found you.”
“He’s not my brother,” I said.
“John,” said Nick, “He looks just like you.”
“I don’t care,” I said. “He’s not my brother.”
“Hey Frank,” the kid said into the phone, “I found him.” There was a beat while they guy on the other end spoke. And then the kid answered, “In a fucking café, making fucking cappuccinos, no less.”
“Hey,” the kid said to me, “Frank wants to know why you didn’t call.”
“I don’t know you and I don’t know anyone called Frank and I don’t want to either. Go away.”
“Whaddaya mean, you don’t know me? Sammy, are you ok?”
“Stop calling me Sammy!” I shouted. “I am not Sammy!”
“He doesn’t really remember who he is,” said Nick.
“Shut up, slave!” I shouted, and Nick shut up.
“Holy shit,” said the kid, and then he spoke into the phone. “Frank, he doesn’t remember me, or you or anything. And there’s this other guy here, and Frank… it’s just like Pussy Boy all over again. What should I do?” And then I could here this Frank guy talking on the other end of the phone but I couldn’t make out what he was saying.
“Ok,” said the kid, “But wouldn’t it be faster if I just skipped right to plan C? It would definitely be easier.” The kid was fingering something in his pocket. “Ok, ok,” he continued, “I’ll do it your way. A then B then C.” and he hung up.
“Sammy, it’s me, Billy; remember Billy?” he said. “Go away,” I said and moved back to the cappuccino machine, turning my back on him. But he kept talking.
“Don’t you remember Frank and Pussy Boy—I mean Jeremy? Don’t you remember them?”
I decided to ignore him.
“How about your mom? She was worried sick about you after…. what happened. Don’t you remember that? You need to at least call her, talk to her, tell her you’re ok.”
I said nothing.
“You know you’re not Canadian, at least, right? Do you even wonder how you got here?”
“He’s not Canadian?” said Nick.
“Hell, no!” said Billy “—no offence.”
“I’m in Canada?” I said, unable to help myself?
“You mean you didn’t know that?” said Nick.
“No. How could I—? I mean… Just go away,” I finally said to Billy.
Billy signed explosively and threw his hands up in the air. “Come here,” he said to Nick. “Yeah, you, come here.”
Nick shot me a look. It was clear he wanted to hear what Billy had to say, and to be honest, I was starting to get a little curious myself. “Do what you want,” I told him.
“Yes, Mas—John.” And Nick cautiously approached Billy, keeping one cautious eye on me.
“Listen to me, buddy,” started Billy putting his arm around Nick. “What’s your name?
“Nick,” he said.
“Well, Nick,” continued Billy. “I don’t think you know what you’re getting yourself into. You see, I’ve seen this whole thing before. Normally Sammy’s a great guy and I’m proud to call him by brother, but… Well, I’m gonna guess that since he called you slave, last night he turned into a big asshole. Am I right?”
“Ahhhhh—” said Nick.
“Well, that was stage 1,” said Billy. “You’re lucky he didn’t go stage 2. If he’d gone stage 3, you wouldn’t be standing here having this conversation. You get what I’m saying? He’s dangerous.”
“Not John,” said Nick.
Billy removed his arm from Nick’s shoulder and shook his head in exasperation. “At least tell me you haven’t been feeding him?” asked Billy. “I mean has he eaten today, really eaten.”
“I took him to the all-you-can-eat pancake place this morning,” said Nick.
“Shit!” swore Billy. “We may not have much time.” He reached into the backpack he had with him and pulled out a huge wad of cash. “Here’s five thousand dollars, American dollars,” he said, handing the money to Nick. “Take your family and get out of town for a while. Go to Hawaii or something. You’ll be better off in the long run. Trust me.”
Nick just stared slack jawed at the huge wad of cash in his hand. “My mom’s not here,” he said.
“Then go as soon as she gets back,” said Billy. Then he turned to me. “Plan A was to try to get you to remember. That’s not working, so we’ll have to go to plan B. “You need to come with me without remembering.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you,” I said.
“Don’t you want to remember?” asked Billy. “Frank says he can help. Besides that, he needs to stabilize you before… God, don’t you remember anything?”
“I remember I asked you to go away.”
“Fuck this!” said Billy. “I don’t give a shit what Frank says. I’m going straight for Plan C.” Billy reached into his pocket and pulled out a syringe. “You see this?” he said. “Frank gave it to me. It’s an adrenalin shot. Don’t need trains or bridges anymore. This stuff gives me just the boost I need.” He popped the cap off the needle and plunged it into his arm. “Oh yeah,” he said, closing his eyes, “It feels fucking awesome.”
Then we heard a pop, pop, pop as one by one Billy’s shoe laces started snapping as his sneakers started stretching out wider and distorting. I heard a ripping and popping sound as the sneaker top tore free from the sole, wedged apart by huge, thick feet.
“Jesus,” said Nick, eyes bugging out. “his feet—”
“You like the feet?” said Billy. “Check out the hands.”
His hands started to pulse and throb. I heard a creaking, stretching kind of noise as they began getting larger and longer and wider.
“So cool,” said Billy.
“Christ!” said Nick. “He’s like you!”
“Nah,” said Billy, “I’m the nice one.” Then Billy started breathing hard. He turned to Nick. “And if I were you, I get out of here, buddy.”
“I can’t. My mom would kill me.”
“Then you better duck and cover,” said Billy, “’cause here I fucking go!” And suddenly he started getting taller, his body shifting, swelling beneath his clothes, lengthening out from under them. “Oh yeah,” said Billy as his shirt bottom slid up revealing his stomach. “Check this out.”
At first it was as smooth but quickly the outline of a six pack started to form, growing bigger and thicker until he had six heavy bricks bulging out of his stomach.
“So sweet,” he said, rubbing his thickening hands over it.
Then his chest began pushing outward creating two half orbs under his shirt which quickly grew out rounder and fuller while his back widened behind him. His entire upper body was getting thicker, broader denser and you could tell it was muscle, all fucking muscle. His shoulders swelled to the size of softballs, and as he flexed his arms I saw his bicep grow up full, round and hard, easily filling his shirt sleeve and pulling it tight. I could hear the threads popping as that swelling orb of steel rose up higher and higher on his arm.
“I fucking love this!” shouted Billy, “and here comes my favorite part!”
And then Billy’s body begin to grow faster, getting harder and expanding all over. As his back grew wider and thicker, threads began popping, tearing, and ripping as his great, thick lats erupted out behind him. Seconds later a great tear opened up, running right down the center of his thick muscular back. Then, the front of his shirt erupted outward as his full, hard pecs exploded into two great mounds of solid muscle thrusting out in front of him.
“Fucking look at him—” gasped Nick, his tongue was practically hanging out of his mouth.
“Yeah, dude, get an eyeful,” said Billy, as he flexed his arms and they swelled into gigantic twin granite peaks, ripping and tearing their way out of his shirt sleeves. The shoulders above them were exploding into cannonballs. His forearms thickened and bulged til they were as big around as Nick’s legs.
And as he kept getting taller his pant legs tore up the sides releasing mammoth hams and quads which bulged insanely and ripped out of the shredded cloth. In seconds his pants completely disintergrated, leaving him dressed in some kind of expandable black Speedo, which advertised a package grown huge as the rest of him.
“I’m fucking loving this!” he shouted.
He flexed his already massive arms and watched them bulge up into veiny peeked granite hills and then grow even larger. His shoulders were stretching outwards, further and further, balling up into incredible globes of striated sinew that flowed down into his gargantuan pecs. His back pushed out further, causing his entire upper body to grow wider and wider as he continued to grow taller and taller. He had to weigh more than a ton. Incredibly large, incredibly powerful muscles bulged out all over him. In seconds his head was brushing the ceiling. He looked down at us now and grinned.
“You’re coming with me, Sammy,” he said, “whether you like it or not.”
Then he reached for me. I ducked down behind the counter but almost instantly I heard the loud cracking noise of wood splintering. I looked up just in time to see the veins bulging up in his massive arms as they ripped the counter away and threw it across the room where it smashed against the wall taking a couple of tables with it.
“What the fuck?” shouted Nick.
“I told you,” said Billy, “you want to stay healthy? Make yourself disappear.”
Nick ran out the front and, while Billy was distracted, I ran into the back, into the kitchen and ducked under the table. Fuck! What was I going to do? What was I going to do? I wasn’t going to go with him! I didn’t care what the fuck I had to do… Oh fuck! Something was happening. I could feel it, a tremendous energy ripping through me. My body… my body was getting fucking harder! And… and… Fuck, yeah! I was getting bigger! I could feel hard muscle pushing out from under my skin.
I looked down and saw my hands stretch out longer the backs getting wider, pumping up with huge, thick veins. My wrists were growing bigger too, the bones were getting heavy and prominent. And fuck, my forearms were expanding into thick wedges of writhing sinew. Oh fuck… I could feel it… my torso… swelling bigger… so fucking hard—Unh! Ripping… my shirt was ripping. Huge powerful lats were bursting out of it. Fuck, they felt amazing. More ripping. I could feel the cool air across my thick, powerful back as the cloth blew apart around it. Arrrghhh! With each breath my shirt was getting tighter as I felt my chest get bigger, pulling at the front, stressing the buttons. “Ahhh ahhhh arghhhhhhh!” I yelled and suddenly my shirt front ripped apart as two massive pecs burst into the open, swelling out over a huge set of cobblestone abs.
My shoulders… bulking up, tearing free, becoming huge fucking boulders of rock hard muscle! UNGH! My pecs… getting so fucking big… So awesome. Biceps… balling up, expanding, veins poping out all over.
“AARRRRRGGGHH!!!!” I yelled and stood up sending the table flying across the room. I was so fucking big now. I rolled and flexed my bowling ball shoulders and finished off my shirt with one last rip.
Suddenly the kitchen door exploded and Billy burst into the room.
“Jesus, no, Sammy!” he cried.
Damn, he was still bigger than me but I was still bulking up, getting thicker “YES!” I yelled as my waste band burst apart, ripped asunder by heaving, swelling brick-like abdominals. And fuck yeah, I was getting taller. I could feel my pant cuffs rising up along my legs until they were suddenly torn to pieces by my massive calves. And my impossibly hard bulging quads were shredding the rest of my pant legs as they continued to expand to an unbelievable size.
“Sorry about this, bro,” said Sammy, “but I’ve got to take you down before you change all the way.” And then he lunged at me.
It was like being hit by a freight train except it didn’t hurt near as much as I expected. I felt myself fly back against the kitchen wall which just seemed to fly apart around me and suddenly I was outside, landing in the alley behind the café. I felt the pavement break apart beneath me. But damn, I wasn’t even stunned. I jumped up just in time to see Billy leap through the torn up wall after me.
I dodged him and shouted, “It’s not going to be that easy… Ahhhh! AHHHHHHHH!” I yelled as I started shooting up. And fuck yeah! My muscles just kept blowing up with the rest of me. My pecs were growing into two gigantic globes of flesh, sticking out about two feet in front of me and overshadowing eight muscle-boulder abs, which were rippling out of my stomach. I could feel my back spreading out behind me wider and wider and wider and impossibly thick. And my legs were becoming two monstrous pillars, as thick around as an oil drum, with all the massive muscle groups visibly writhing and twisting with my slightest move. And every vein, every striation of every muscle group was clearly defined beneath my skin.
“I’m a fucking monster!” I shouted and flexed. And I was. My upper arms were gigantic, defined, vein ridden masses. The shoulders above them were ponderously huge segmented globes. My forearms were huge blocks of solid ripped muscle leading up to massively heavy fists.
Fuck this was good. This was very, very good. Yeah, I was bigger than Billy now, way bigger. Fuck yeah!
“Jesus, Sammy,” said Billy. “Don’t do this.”
“Don’t do what, you fucking midget?” I said, “Don’t give you what you’ve been fucking asking for ever since you came in to the café?”
“If we start going at it,” said Billy, “we’re going to tear up the other half of the city.”
“Who the fuck cares?” I said reaching behind me. There was a Volvo parked there. I lifted it like it was a fucking toy. Then, my massively thick arms bulging, I lifted it over my head and threw it at Billy.
But Billy deflected it with a single blow from one giant fist. The car flew to the side, into another building and exploded.
Then Billy threw himself at me again, but he didn’t feel like a freight train this time, more like a tricycle. And it wasn’t hard to knock him off. He went flying back through the wall and into the café kitchen.
I started after him, but suddenly this old guy appeared from nowhere. He had this thing that looked like a ray gun and it was aimed right at me.
“Say goodnight, Sam,” he said, and then he pulled the trigger. I felt like my head was going to explode and a second later, everything went dark.