Karma pills

By Musiker 
5 parts
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• Latest update: 9 November. Next update: 23 November. (Submissions welcome.)

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• Latest from BRK: “Pool party”, Parts 1‑2.

Part 1

I dropped the 585-pound barbell to the ground with a mighty scream of victory and gazed around the weight room so people would know they were okay to come ogle at my accomplishment. When people stared at me during a set they were asking to get the shit beat out of them, but afterwards, I usually encouraged them to express their awe. It’s very motivational for little men to have someone to look up to, and I’m happy to provide them with that motivation.

I had been coming to this gym for almost ten years, and every year it seemed like there were less and less real lifters who understood how to really move a shitload of iron and more and more clueless wastes of space who expected you to whisper “pretty please” before lovingly setting your 1-pound dumbbells down on matching purple cushions. These were the pantywaists who fainted if you didn’t wipe a little bit of sweat off a bench or if you didn’t ask permission before grunting during a heavy lift. They drove me nuts, and no matter how much I tried to make them see this wasn’t really the place for them, they just kept coming.

Chicks always left the weight room when I was there. All those ice queen bitches seemed to think that a squeeze on the ass or a hand on the tit counted as rape. I try to show my appreciation for their finer qualities, and they start talking “lawsuit”. Like I said, ice queen bitches.

The lame-ass faggots around me just avoided making eye contact and wandered around doing their time-wasting activities that they honestly believed counted as “working out”. Not one of them wasn’t doing something wrong. In fact, the idiot over in the squat rack was butchering his form so bad I grabbed my phone and took a video so I could humiliate him on every social media platform in existence. I started thinking of some fucking hilarious captions while I checked my pump in the mirror. I worked my way through a few different poses. I was in total fucking beast mode. I wasn’t just pumped, I swear I was literally larger than when I walked into the gym.

I left my bar where it was so the peasants could marvel at my awesomeness and knocked out a few dozen pull-ups. I wanted to see how far I could get myself pumped, and there’s nothing like ultra high reps for getting a vicious pump. I hopped down to check how my lats were looking.

I was practicing my lat spread when this complete imbecile walked up to the fixed barbells, picked up a bar that was, like, 30 pounds too heavy, and stood there pretending to do bicep curls right in front of the rack—which also put him exactly between me and the mirror. I was so fucking pissed.

“Hey! Genius!” I yelled. The idiot let the bar flop down and he looked over at me like a complete retard. I jerked my head to the side with a scowl. He moved out of my way with this pathetically sullen look on his face. Boo-hoo. Next time maybe he’ll pay attention to what the fuck is going on around him.

“Yo, Steve. How’s the workout going?” Matt, the gym manager, was coming over to talk to me. He technically owned the gym, in that all the legal documents had his name on them, and he paid the mortgage or whatever. It was even called “Matt’s Gym”. But I never thought of him as the gym’s owner, because in reality I owned this gym, by right of domination. I owned this gym because no one else was great enough to have earned the right. For that matter, as far as I was concerned, no one here had even earned the right to be called a person.

“Great, Matt. What’s up?” I didn’t like Matt at all, and I definitely didn’t want to talk right now, but Matt also happens to be my supplier of… ahem… “supplements”. And it doesn’t pay to be rude to your supplier.

“Listen,” he got right up next to me and lowered his voice. “I was wondering how your workout is going after that new, ah, ‘pre-workout’ pill I gave you.”

“Dude, I’ve got a sick pump! It’s weird, it doesn’t feel like much of a pump, but I look fuckin’ huge, man!” I turned toward the mirror to do a side chest pose, only to find Idiot Boy was back in my way.

“Hey!” I screamed. This fucking ass hole just got on my last nerve. “What the fuck are you doing, Fatass? That is my mirror!“ I stormed over to him. Everyone in the whole fucking gym turned to watch the show. “If you’re gonna get in my fucking way, you’d fucking better at least know how to lift like you’ve got a fucking pair of balls and not like some shitty pig-faced thing!

Idiot boy was paralyzed with this fucking hilarious deer-in-the-headlights look on his face. “I told you once to get the fuck out of my way, and you’re gonna fucking learn to follow orders.” I was reaching out to grab the bar out of his pathetic twig arms so I could kick him the hell out of my weight room when I realized Matt was talking to me in this calm, monotone voice.

“…just need you to relax and listen to my voice.” I turned toward him. What the fuck was he doing? “That’s right, just look me in the eyes, and relax. It’s important to relax. It’s important to be polite.” Oh. Huh. It was important. I supposed I could relax for Matt, if it was important. He was my supplier. I should be polite and relax for him. “In fact, let’s go talk in my office and let these nice people get back to their workouts.” Okay. Matt probably needed my advice about something. I could take a break and give him some of my mind…uh, my time.

We walked over to his office. Once we were inside, Matt closed the door. I sat down in a chair and waited for him to talk. Matt came around behind me and rubbed my shoulders.

“Damn, man, I think you’re right. You do seem like you’re bigger. That pill is pretty fucking awesome, huh?”

Yeah! I knew I was bigger! And…fuck, the back rub felt amazing. It was actually really nice to be relaxed for a while. I must have been really tense lately or something, because my shoulders hadn’t felt this good in… I couldn’t remember.

“Steve. I really hate to tell you this, but the other members have been complaining about you. They say that you’re intimidating them and, well, you’re being an asshole. Actually, you’ve been a problem here for years now, and every year a few more customers quit because of you.”

“Let them,” I barked. I was getting pissed off again. “This is my gym, I belong here. If they can’t handle having me around, then—”

“Steve. I need you to relax. Can you do that for me?” Matt came around in front of me and looked me in the eyes. I sat back in the chair and let my shoulders slump down a little. Damn, they had been so tight. I really did need to relax. “I’m not asking you to leave yet. I just need you to be more polite. Be respectful. Be helpful. These people need you to guide them, not yell at them. And you’re the perfect person to help them, because you’re the most knowledgeable, buffest lifter here.

“You’re right, Steve. You do belong in this gym. But, don’t you think you could be a little more helpful to the beginners? It’ll feel so good to be helpful, you’ll see.”

I sat for a long time thinking about it. I finally decided he was right. I didn’t want to get kicked out of my own gym. I sighed and nodded my head. As soon as I did, I felt really good.

“And do you think you could be more polite, more respectful? Dude, I need you to help me out here, because that guy you yelled at is a top level executive and if he quits I’ll also lose a bunch his friends and employees. If I had to shut down where would you go? There aren’t many good gyms around here.” He was right. I had looked around. “Can I just get you to give him a quick apology? As a favor for your old friend Matt?”

I could do my friend a solid, couldn’t I? Maybe I had come on a little strong before. Now that I had taken a minute to relax I could recognize that. Thinking about being polite to that guy felt good. Made me even more relaxed. That felt good.

“Yeah, okay. I can tell him sorry. Just as a favor to my best friend.” My voice sounded a little flat, but that was probably because I was so relaxed. I couldn’t believe how good I felt. I was even feeling a little horny.

“Hey, thanks man. You’re really helping me out here. Let’s see if he’s still out there.” We left his office, and sure enough, the guy was there. I walked across to him, with Matt at my side.

As we got close the guy glanced over at us fearfully. Matt put his hand on my shoulder.

“Hi, excuse me,” I began. “Yeah, uh, I just want to tell you I’m sorry for yelling at you earlier, man. I was really involved in what I was doing and didn’t really think how I was coming off. So…yeah, I’m just… really sorry, you know?”

“Oh,” the guy answered, “um, that’s okay, I guess.”

“So…are we good?” I offered a fist bump.

“Um, yeah, I guess so.” He scrambled to put down the bar so we could bump fists.

“You know,” Matt whispered to me, “you are a total master at bicep curls. Do you think maybe you could show him how he could improve his form? It’ll be easier on the eyes if these folks start to learn how to do shit right.”

I never would have even considered helping one of the peasants before, but…maybe it was time I gifted the masses with some of my wisdom. This was why I liked Matt so much, he really understood shit like this.

“Hey dude, can I show you a way to do those that’ll really up your gains? Here.” I carefully lifted his bar out of his hands so he’d have to choose a lighter one. “You want to keep your elbows close to your side here, and focus really hard on not letting your torso shift positions during the rep. See, if you tilt back while you lift like this, you’re letting your momentum do all the work and you’re robbing your biceps of a lot of growth potential.” I demonstrated everything as I talked and was gratified to have his undivided attention.

“Oh, so…”. He reached for the bar I was holding, but I set it down instead of handing it to him.

“Well, here’s the bad news, man. Unfortunately, if you want to do it right, you’re going to have to use a lighter weight for a while. But you’ll totally work your way back up to this one in no time, if you keep at it. Here, try this 30 and we’ll move you up if it’s too light.”

“Oh, I didn’t realize. Okay, so, is it more like this?” He executed a nearly perfect bicep curl. I was impressed at my teaching skill.

“Yeah! Dude! That’s 1,000 times better already! Now, on the next rep, I want you to hold it at the top for a second and really squeeze your muscle as hard as you can. Yeah, yeah, like that. Now do you see why you need a lighter weight for now? This is totally going to toast your biceps after three sets if you do it right. But I promise, man, they are going to grow like crazy.”

“Wow, yes, I can feel the difference!” It was kind of nice to just talk one-on-one. I was used to seeing the peasants as nuisances. It never occurred to me that if I helped them, they might stop being such idiots.

I had a lot to think about on the drive home. I couldn’t believe it, but I was eagerly looking forward to getting to help someone else the next day. Talking to that guy was just really nice. And I felt so relaxed. I almost wondered if that pill Matt had given me was making me high somehow.

That night was filled with ups and downs. My girlfriend Jenna asked if I was having trouble getting hard, because I felt “different” to her when I was fucking her. We got into a fight about it, but not a very bad one because in the end I just couldn’t bring myself to care that much. She was such a slut, spreading her legs for anything male that crossed her path. Her cunt probably just got me confused with someone else’s dick. It was time for me to start shopping around. I just told her to go home, not in anger, but just because I didn’t want to deal with her any more. You know what’s funny? My lack of anger made her over-the-top pissed. Chicks are so fucking weird.

I got out the measuring tape and discovered that I had gained half an inch around my arm since the day before. Half an inch, in one day! Fuck! My chest was three quarters of an inch bigger. If that pill could do that, I wanted more. On a hunch, I also measured my height and I swear I was also half an inch taller, though it’s harder to tell because I don’t measure my height all the time. Since Jenna had brought it up, I measured my dick. I think it was a little bit smaller. Hard to tell. That could be a problem. Was the pill doing all of this?

The next day at the gym, I couldn’t wait to help more people. Or to get my hands on another one of those pills. I knew for a fact that I was growing muscle; the dick thing I wasn’t totally sure about. But I really, really wanted to see how much bigger I would get. I strode into the gym and walked over to Matt’s office.

“Matt, my man! Dude, I gotta say, you were totally right about helping that guy last night. Seriously, it felt really good to help him out, and he looked so fucking awesome, doing those curls totally perfect! And fuck, I’m serious, I’m going to be even more helpful tonight.”

“Steve! Dude, I am so glad to hear it! That executive guy you helped last night spoke to me on his way out and he said he really appreciated your advice. You really did me a big favor, man, so thanks. Oh—and hey, come here a sec.” He reached into his desk drawer and pulled out two of the same kind of pill I took the night before.

“So it turns out,” he continued, “these are on some kind of clinical trial or something, and there’s like, this particular protocol you’re supposed to follow, it’s only the first day that you take one. After that you’re supposed to take two a day.” He handed them to me with a sly grin. “You think you can handle it?”

“Dude, my arm grew half an inch just yesterday! You fucking better believe I can handle it.” I swallowed the dose without any water. I wanted those babies to get to work ASAP.

“Can you come see me after your workout, please? I can’t wait to see how you turn out.” He had kind of a weird smile when he said that, but whatever. I thanked him and went out to the weight room.

It was legs day, and I saw the same guy having serious trouble with his squat form as I had videoed the night before. Now I was glad I hadn’t posted that video. He seemed like a nice enough guy, he just needed some educating. I diagnosed that he was leaning way too far forward, putting too much tension on his lower back, and had a too-narrow stance, which could be brutal on his joints.

I took the squat rack next to his, and struck up a conversation. It was really nice. His name was Daniel Lee, and he wanted to get stronger because he lived in a third floor apartment where the elevator was always too busy or broken, and he was getting exhausted climbing the stairs all the time. We talked about muscle recovery and why he shouldn’t be doing squats two days in a row, talked about proper form, and programming his exercises to maximize his gains. I demonstrated good technique for him with my own squats, and had him practice with just an empty bar.

He thanked me, like, threes times and I actually thanked him for being a good student because helping him had just felt so good. I went through the rest of my workout with people looking more friendly at me, I even said hello to a couple faces I recognized.

“Matt my man!” I shouted again as I entered his office. “I feel fucking fantastic! I helped so fucking many dudes out there! Hey, you got a measuring tape?”

“Sure do. Let’s see how you’re coming along.”

My arm was a full fucking inch bigger than when I had walked into the gym! An inch! My chest was an inch and a half bigger! On legs day! And even more unbelievable, I was an inch taller! These fucking pills were turning me into a fucking monster!

“Steve, I am so proud of you!”

“Dude, you sound like my father or something,” I snickered.

“Or something,” he shrugged. “Hey, sit down and relax. Let’s talk for a minute.”

“Sure, what’s up?” For my best friend, I had all the time in the world. I sat in the chair and slumped down. Matt sat and looked at me for a minute.

“Are you sure you’re relaxed? I want you to feel good in here, talking to me. I want this to be a nice relaxing place for you.”

“Yeah. This place is really relaxing.”

“And you feel very relaxed?”

“Yeah,” I said faintly.

“You know what makes me even more proud of you than how much you’re growing? The way you behaved today out in the weight room. Mr. Lee stopped by and told me how helpful you were. Didn’t that make you feel good, Steve?”

“Yeah. It felt, like, incredible.”

“It felt good because you were being good. When you’re good, it feels good.” Oh my God, that made perfect sense. Why didn’t I ever think of that? Matt must secretly be a genius!

“You know how else you can be good? Because I’ve got a couple ideas, if you’re willing to hear them. Would you like more ways to be good, so you can feel good?”

“Shit, yes! I want to know all the ways I can be good!”

“First of all, no more bad words. You can’t be good when you’re saying bad words, can you? That wouldn’t make sense. In fact, I’d like you to apologize for saying that bad word just now, and I bet you will feel so good.”

“I’m so sorry for saying that bad word, man. I promise, I won’t ever say another bad word again.” Matt was right. I felt a jolt of happiness when I made that promise.

“Very good, Steve. And you just reminded me, another way you can be good is to be respectful. I’d like you to always address me as ‘sir’. In fact, from now on why don’t you address every person in my gym as ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’? That will feel very, very good because you’ll be being good for everyone, and not just me. Wouldn’t you like that?”

“Fu—uh, yes, yes! I really want to feel good…uh, sir.” My heart was starting to race, I was feeling so good. This was better than getting high.

“Yes, I can tell just by looking at your face how good you feel. I’ve got one more idea. What’s really, really good is when you are tidy. From now on, if you pick up and put away weights and equipment and towels that no one’s using, you’ll probably feel so good you can hardly stand it.”

“What a great idea, sir! Wait! You know what, sir? I don’t have anything important that I’m doing right now, I was just going to go home and watch T.V.” Now that I thought about it, T.V. seemed like such a waste of time. It never made me feel this good. “Do you think I could tidy up around here before I go home, sir? There’s still, like four hours until closing time, right, sir?” Holy sh—oops, I mean, gosh, my head was spinning over all the Being Good I could get done in four whole hours!

Matt was thinking about it. Just at that moment Jenna texted me. Darn her! She was going to ruin my chance to be good! I muted my phone without looking at it. Matt paused for such a long time I was getting really worried he wouldn’t let me do any tidying at all.

“Please, sir? Please, please, please, sir, I want to tidy up so bad!” I could tell I was persuading him.

“Well…tell you what. You let me hold on to your phone so you don’t get distracted, and yes, you may tidy up. But.” I froze as he held up a cautionary finger. “I’m being generous here, so don’t disrespect my kindness by slacking. I want to see you either tidying or helping members every single minute of the next four hours.”

“Fu—Oh my gosh, thank you so much, sir! I promise, I’m going to be so good for you!”

And I was. I was so good! I called everyone “sir” or “ma’am”. I didn’t say one bad word—I didn’t even allow myself to think any bad words, just in case one might pop out of my mouth by mistake. I helped three members learn perfect from on the exercises they were doing. And I tidied and tidied, and the members were so nice, they kept leaving stuff out so I could keep being good more and more!

I swear, I got more high off of just being good than I’ve ever been. I smiled and smiled at the members and they smiled back at me, which nobody ever did before I started being good.

When it was closing time, I was disappointed. I wanted to keep tidying the weight room. But Matt had one more surprise.

“Wow, look how good you’ve been, Steve! I’m very proud of you.”

“Thank you, sir,” I beamed. Hearing Matt say that meant the world to me. What a good friend.

“Hey, before you go home, would you like to be good one more time for me? I was going to tidy up the locker rooms, but if you want, I’ll let you do it.”

“You would?” I gasped. “Fu—uh, wow, you’re the best, sir. Can I go right now, please?”

“Yeah, you know where the hampers are, right? The women’s locker room is just like the men’s, only mirror image. Go for it.”

I raced to the locker rooms and got right to work. I had so much fun, throwing away trash and picking up the wet towels. I paused by the toilets and wondered how good it would feel to clean them. To make them sparkling after they had been covered in shi—um, poop must feel incredible. But Matt hadn’t said I could do that. so I decided I’d better not risk it. He might be mad if I robbed him of the chance to be good, too. I trotted back out to Matt when I was done, wondering why nobody ever threw Being Good parties.

“Thank you, sir, this has been the best day! Can I tidy again tomorrow after my workout, sir? Please?”

“I think we can probably work something out.”

“Thank you, sir. I’ll see you tomorrow!” I was exhausted from putting heavy barbells and dumbbells away all night, but I couldn’t remember ever in my life being this happy. I thought with shame about all the years I had done bad things, scaring people and saying mean things and leaving the gym untidy and not calling anyone sir.

And, dang! I almost forgot to also be happy about how much I was growing! I had added an inch and a half to my arms, and two and a half to my chest, and now I was…um…let’s see, one inch plus two and a half plus six feet was… six foot two? No, six foot…um…three and a half, dang!

I got all the way home before I realized I had left my phone with Matt. Oh, well, I knew he would take care of it. I was getting huge and I was discovering how good it felt to be helpful and tidy. And I was amazed how relaxing it was to not have my phone around. I slept better that night than I ever had in my life. And tomorrow I would get to take more pills. I couldn’t wait.

Part 2

The next day, the weirdest thing happened. I got fired from my job, and no one would tell me why. My boss at the cell phone store kept acting like I should know, like I had done something wrong, but whenever I asked what I had done, she just got very red in the face and said I knew “damn well”. I even called her “ma’am” and it didn’t help. She demanded I turn in my phone, but I didn’t have it with me. But through total good luck, Matt showed up with my phone.

“Hey buddy,” he called out as he walked in, “you forgot this at my place last night! Dude, wasn’t that so much fun?”

“You have a very perverted idea of fun,” my ex-boss shouted. “Next time? You keep your ‘fun’ off the internet. Give me that!” She snatched it out of his hand. She was muttering something about burning it as we walked out.

“Matt, sir, do you know what she was talking about?” I asked. I was completely mystified.

“Not a clue, man. So, hey, did you just get fired?”

“Yes, sir.” It was suddenly hitting me that getting fired was bad. “How am I going to find a job now?”

“Well, dude, I can’t believe how lucky you are. I was thinking last night about all the stuff you did around the gym and it occurred to me that maybe you’d like a job there so you can go on being good all the time.”

Oh my gosh! I had to be the luckiest guy ever! Of course I said yes please, and thanked him and thanked him for his kindness.

“You know what though, Steve? I, um, yeah, I hate to break bad news to you, but Jenna texted you last night and said she was dumping you. That really sucks, man.”

“Oh. It’s okay, actually, sir. I… I just wasn’t that into her anymore. She was a total bi—um, she treated me real bad a couple nights ago. It was probably time for us to split up anyway.”

“Well, I’m sorry anyway, man. Hey, I bet it’ll cheer you up if we head over the gym. Meet you there?”

“Yes please, sir! That sounds awesome!”

The first thing Matt did at the gym was give me some pills. I paused for a second, holding them in my hand. I counted them, frowning. One, two, what came next? Yeah, three. It seemed wrong. Wasn’t three the wrong number? I looked up at Matt, realizing for the first time that I was actually looking down at him.

“What? Don’t you want to be big?”

“Um. Definitely yes sir, I want to be big.”

“Take the pills, then.”

“But, sir…”

Take the pills!“ Matt snarled. I had never heard that voice from him before. It scared me. I slammed the pills down without water so he wouldn’t yell again. “Go do your workout.”

“Yes, sir.” I felt like—well, I felt awful.

It was chest day. I love chest day. I get some great pumps on chest day. And I did get a great pump, but I could also tell I was growing. I could feel myself enlarging, getting taller, stronger, and more muscular. I bumped my head several times, and once I knocked down a member because I was wider than I remembered. I had put on a tight tank top from my gym bag before I started my first exercise, and it was starting to dig into my armpits. I wondered if I would be able to get it off.

I was also having trouble keeping up with my own strength. After every set I would have to stop and add more weight to the bar or grab heavier dumbbells. Our gym’s dumbbells went all the way up to 200 pounds, but I had already maxed out on dumbbell presses, so I had to just use the 200’s for lots of reps. It didn’t even occur to me at the time that I had had trouble counting to three in Matt’s office, but had no difficulty with numbers in the weight room.

I reported back to Matt when my workout was done. He wanted to measure me. He told me to take off my tank top, and I really, really tried but it just wouldn’t come.

“Just rip it off,” Matt ordered with a grin. He was looking hungrily at my bulging chest. “I want to see this.”

“But sir, I’m sorry, I don’t have anything to wear except the shirt from my old job.”

“You don’t have to wear a shirt. Everyone will totally enjoy seeing you half-naked. Rip your shirt off now, Steve.”

I grabbed the shirt in hands that were bigger than I remembered and yanked. The shirt tore like paper. It was really fun.

Measuring was fun, too. My arms had grown two more inches, and my chest was bigger by the number after four… Five! Yeah, five. And for my height I was “sicks”, and then “feet”, and then a big number that took up most of my fingers but I forgot…well, I had grown a lot. I was now not just the most muscular person at the gym, I was also the tallest.

I kept having a nagging worry, though. Matt hadn’t asked to measure my penis, but things were feeling strange down there. I pulled the waistbands of my workout shorts and underwear away from my body so I could peek. What I saw sent me into a blind panic. Without thinking, I ripped down my shorts and underwear to reveal a nightmare. My penis and testicles were gone. I reached down to feel around for them and felt just my pelvis and a double handful of pubic hair that came loose in my hand. I screamed and screamed, scrabbling around in horror, desperately feeling around for any sign of my genitals.

Matt was yelling at me but I couldn’t hear him over my own wailing. The door opened; another voice shouted something and I blacked out.

I woke again lying on a floor covered in piles of hair. Some was long and soft, but a lot of it was curly and coarse. I sat up and looked forlornly down at my hairless, featureless crotch. I was much calmer now, but how could I not mourn the loss of my penis and balls? I began to sob quietly. At that moment I would even have been thrilled to discover I had a vagina. Matt heard me crying and crouched down next to me.

“Hey, hey, kiddo. It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.”

“Sir?” I blubbered. “I don’t want to be big any more. I wish I had my penis again. I wish I could go back to a week ago, before you told me about those pills.”

“I understand. But you do know you’re a better person now, right? A week ago you were very, very bad. Do you remember how bad you were?”

I sniffed and nodded.

“You scared away a lot of members and prospective members. I got sued that one time, remember? You cost me a lot of money, and stress. The gym’s been struggling ever since then. And do you remember what you said to me? It was something along the lines of ‘tough shit’.”

I nodded and nodded, and started to cry from remorse instead of self-pity. I had been so bad!

“And we should talk about the hundreds of complaints I got about you harassing the female members, and the gay members. Do you even know how many reported to me that you assaulted them? Do you remember how you would say you never actually raped them or put them in the hospital, so it didn’t matter? You put those poor people through hell, you know.”

Oh, God! I wanted to die. How could one person be so horrible? I wasn’t just bad, I was truly evil. I wasn’t even sure that word was strong enough. Doing that kind of thing once was horrible, but I had been doing things like that for years!

I collapsed sideways into a fetal position and sobbed uncontrollably. Matt straightened up again and stood over me, looking coldly down for a long time. Finally he seemed to decide that I’d had enough time to cry.

“All right, now listen. You’ve got a lot of sins to make up for. So I’m using those pills to make you a good person instead of a bad person.”

“I’m not good, I’m bad, I’m bad,” I wailed. “I’m the worst person in the whole world!”

Hey!“ Matt shouted. “Shut up. I’ve got a plan for you to make up for some of the things you’ve done, but I guess if you don’t care…”

“No! Please, sir. I’m sorry, I’ll listen!”

Matt turned to the other man who had come in before.

“Is it always going to be carrying on like this?”

“No, Matthew. Keep in mind, it’s had quite a shock, losing its gender like this. It’s going to be a little sensitive for a while.”

I didn’t realize they were talking about me for a minute, then the reality sunk in. I was an “it” now. Of course. I had no genitals of any kind, and that meant no gender. I started to make a sort of hopeless droning sound as a few more tears ran down my face. Reaching up to wipe them away, I discovered my face was baby smooth. There should have been stubble.

“Shh, shh, shhhhh, listen,” Matt soothed. “Are you ready to be good? You can if you try.”

“I wanna be good, sir, please, I wanna feel like I did the day you taught me how to be good.” But I would never be a good man.

The other man handed something to Matt. Matt looked at whatever it was, then at the man again.

“Really?” he asked.

“This is the solution you agreed to, Matthew,” he nodded. “Docile, useful, and some very particular consequences for past misdeeds.”

“And no one is going to make trouble over this?”

“The only people who will remember it exists outside this gym will be you and me. Oh, and don’t forget you won’t be able to take it out of this gym unless you permanently bond it to another location. I can help with that, should the need arise.”

“Right.” Matt turned to me. He spoke to me with surprising gentleness. “Here. Take these. They’ll make people see you’ve turned good.” He carefully placed a bunch of pills in my hand. It took me a while to count all five.

I looked up at him. Five pills? But I had to trust him, didn’t I? What good would refusing do? He could force them down my throat if he wanted. I swallowed the pills. I sat there, exhausted from crying and all the emotions of the day. I slowly topped over and fell asleep.

When I woke up the sun had set, and I guessed that it was night, maybe close to closing time. I found myself lying naked on the main floor of the gym. There was a thick leather dog collar fitted snugly around my neck. My collar had been leashed to a hook just outside the office. I tried to remember the name of the man who owned the office and the gym but I couldn’t remember his name. It started with an “M”, but what was it?

I sat up and stretched. I looked down at my smooth crotch. I didn’t feel so bad about it, now that I was calmer. I would miss sex, though. It was odd; I still felt like a guy, even though the two men kept calling me “it”. So what was I?

I probably would have started to wonder how I would pee, but I suddenly realized I did have to pee, bad. It was a strange sensation: I could feel it wanting to come out of…my butt hole. Urgently.

I knew where the restrooms were, of course. And my leash was just hanging on the hook. But I couldn’t touch it. I would tell my hand to just pick up the leash, but my hand completely ignored any command that involved the leash. I got up on my knees to peek into the office window and realized that I had grown while I slept. I had grown enormous. Kneeling on my knees, I was just as tall as I used to be standing on my feet.

I stood up. I was maybe a foot taller than the office door. I was also wider than the office door by at least a foot. It seemed that my muscles had grown in far greater proportion than my height. It was hard to see without a mirror, but I was so thick with muscle that, instead of looking like a bodybuilder, I looked freakishly misshapen. I couldn’t get my elbows to touch my sides, and my quads and hamstrings bulged to such an extreme that I had to stand with my feet spread ridiculously far apart.

I was frightened to knock on the office door in case I wasn’t allowed to, but I was getting desperate to use the restroom. I tried to tap delicately, but I was way, way stronger now than I realized and pounded on the door instead. If I had tried to knock normally I probably would have punched it off its hinges.

The gym owner opened the door. He looked way, way up at me. He snapped his fingers and pointed downward. I got back down on my knees.

“Well, look who woke up! Did it sleep well?”

“Uh, um, yessir but please sir I have to use the restroom real bad.”

“The restroom?” he repeated. “What’s it going to do in there?”

“Oh sir I have to pee so bad, please!”

“It’s such a silly Thing!” the man laughed, patting me condescendingly on the head. I didn’t have any hair there, either. “The restrooms are for men and women! Thing has a chamber pot in its supply closet for when it has to piss or shit.”

“What?” I was doing a sort of kneeling potty dance at this point.

“Ugh, I’ll show it. Thing, come.” He grabbed my leash off the hook like he’d been doing it for years and walked me down the hallway. Well, he walked; I pounded along awkwardly with my feet and hands almost touching both walls. We passed the men’s and women’s locker rooms to a door with the word “THING” freshly painted on it. He opened the door and pointed to a two-foot long stainless steel tub hanging on the wall.

“Use that, empty it into the drain, and wash both, thoroughly. Sanitize the pot then hang it up again carefully when it’s done.” He hung my leash on a hook just inside the door and stepped aside so I could begin the process of getting into the tiny room.

It was very difficult, and was made harder by the fact that I had to pee so bad. I had to get on my knees and insert one foot around the door jamb, then shuffle sideways to get in—scraping my hairless chest and bottom—and finally twist myself around to get the other foot inside.

Once inside, I could get up on my feet if I stayed hunched over. I rotated myself around—there was not room for me to actually take a step in any direction—until I was facing the corner where the water faucet and drain were. There were also two brooms, three mops, a fancy yellow bucket on wheels, and my desperately-needed chamber pot. Holding it delicately between my kielbasa-sized thumbs and forefingers, I set it on the ground between my Sasquatch feet and squatted over it.

I had never peed from my butt before (Even women didn’t pee from there, did they?), and to my dismay I peed on the ground a little bit because I wasn’t used to it. But fortunately I quickly corrected my aim. What was strange was how good it felt. It wasn’t just the relief of finally peeing, it was actually…sexual. The sensations in my butt area were causing an orgasm to quickly build up.

It was strange to cum without a penis. It was strange to cum and not squirt out semen. It was very strange to hear the panting and moaning that came out of my mouth as if I was an actor in a bad porn movie. It was incredibly strange to cum just because I was peeing.

But I can’t deny, it was also glorious. I squatted there, pee still flowing, and after a couple breaths, had an even stronger, louder orgasm. My head was swimming and I was seeing stars and feeling intense pleasure coming from every part of my body when a third wave of erotic pleasure wracked my body without even waiting for the second to fade. Much to my shame, I couldn’t stop myself from screaming bad words loud enough to shake the industrial-style shelving. Finally my bladder was empty and I braced my arms on my knees, gasping for air.

“Damn, three orgasms? It did have to go,” the owner commented mildly from the doorway. I had a strange feeling of dissonance, as if he shouldn’t be watching me pee, but of course that was ridiculous. The owner was the owner, he could do whatever he liked, couldn’t he? And obviously he had to wait for me so he could escort me back out when I was done, so why shouldn’t he watch?

The tub was half full when I was done. I got down on my knees so I could lift the pot with extreme care; I was surely in enough trouble for peeing on the concrete floor, so the last thing I wanted was to spill any more urine. Kneeling in the puddle I had made, I tilted the pot and poured it slowly down the drain.

As I was shaking the last few drops out, I suddenly felt a warm trickle on my back. The owner was peeing on me, and a small part of my mind started to get angry at him. But the rest of my mind reasoned that he should be able to pee on anything he owns, and obviously that included me. The anger subsided. I guess that was the first moment I consciously realized I was just another object in the gym, and that meant the owner owned me.

Besides, how could I be angry when a little river of my owner’s pee was running down between my butt cheeks, sending shivers of ecstasy up my spine? It seemed that any physical sensation in there was going to make me feel really, really good. In fact, it felt so good I let out another slutty-sounding moan.

“Does Thing like when I piss on it? I own Thing now, because I’ve marked it. I’m the dog and Thing is the tree and it is my property. Sure sounds like it’s having fun. Is it going to thank me for its gift?”

“Ohhh, ohhhhhh,” I moaned, “thank you, M—…”. I wracked my brain, trying to think of my owner’s name. “M… Master?” I turned my head to see if I was right.

“Good Thing,” Master smiled. “See? It can be good, just like I told it.”

I thought about the horrible, horrible ways I had behaved when I had been a man. It seemed hopeless that I could ever make up for being so, so, so bad.

“Master?” I asked in the tiniest voice I could manage. “Do you really think I can ever make up for being such a bad man?”

“I’ve got a plan, Thing. Starting tomorrow, Thing is going to show everyone how it’s changed. But right now, it’s got a mess to clean up. It’ll need to mop and sanitize the floor thoroughly with the brown mop, hose itself down, and clean its chamber pot. And if I catch it using the good mops in here, it will be punished.”

With that frightening threat, Master left. I got to work. Since I was naked, it didn’t matter if I got myself wet. That made the job easier. When the closet and chamber pot and my body were all very clean and sanitized, I found myself at a loss for what to do. I didn’t want Master to think I was lazy, but no one was there to hold my leash.

It occurred to me that, since this room had my name on it—I repeated “My name is Thing” over and over so I wouldn’t forget it like I had forgotten Master’s name—I guessed that these were all tools I would be using. I carefully rotated my body and opened the single cabinet and poked around on the shelves. My closet held the things you would expect in a janitor’s closet. I did find a largeish mirror on the inside of the cabinet and realized I had not seen myself since the last dose of pills. I got the best look I could, given how huge I was compared to the mirror. That was a mistake.

There was not one hair anywhere, from my bald head to my mannequin-like crotch to my ultra-smooth legs. No chest hair or armpit hair, not even eyebrows. A tiny little voice in my head tried to look on the bright side and point out that I wouldn’t have to shave my face or body ever again. I smiled dismally at that thought.

My face was a monstrosity. It was vaguely similar to a human’s face, but my features all seemed to be crammed into too small a space. My nose had only gotten a little bit longer, but had tripled in width and the fleshy end now turned upward, making my nostrils point straight forward; even a kind person would have to admit it looked exactly like a pig’s snout. My brow was so overly broad and prominent that my eyes were forever in shadow. My cheekbones could charitably be called “strong”, but really they were too blocky to actually look pleasing. My lips had inflated beyond “full”, causing a jarringly feminine contrast with my absurdly rectangular, jutting jawline.

There was only one positive thing that could be said about my appearance: my eyes looked kind. They were not easy to see hidden under my caveman-like brow ridge, but anyone who looked me in my big hazel eyes would surely see that I was honest and good. I clung to that as my one hope that people wouldn’t fear me or hate me on sight.

The rest of my body was more or less just as bad as I had feared. My traps were so thick and lumpy and huge that I looked exactly like a hunchback. They literally bulged up higher than my enormous jug-handle ears. If I tilted my head slightly to the side, my comically floppy earlobes would fold in half as they pressed into those hills of muscle.

I looked like one of those overblown muscle morphs, only my hands and feet were twice as large as they should be as well. Veins bulged out of my skin everywhere, even in places bodybuilders don’t normally have bulging veins. Each part of me looked like a reverse 3-D map of a river delta.

I could get my elbows sort of close to my sides, but not without some significant discomfort. My thighs didn’t just rub against each other, they pressed hard against one another from crotch to knee, unless I spread my feet beyond shoulder width. My only consolation there was that I no longer had balls, so I didn’t have to worry about my quads and hamstrings crushing them.

Adding to my freakishness was my butt, which defied the laws of fitness. Unlike the rest of my body, which looked like it had practically no body fat, my hips and butt had an absurdly thick layer of fat piled on top of a set of gargantuan glute muscles. Every time I took a step, I felt my hips and butt cheeks jiggle violently. The result was a somewhat womanly hourglass figure, if you could squint your eyes enough to overlook the monstrously oversized muscles.

Master had been gone a while. I opened the door and knelt down so I could stick my head out into the hallway.

“M-Master?” I called. Freshly showered gym members were going out of the locker rooms; none of them noticed me. “Master?” I called again.

The man who had spoken to Master in his office must have heard me. He looked around the corner of the hallway; when he saw me, he walked over to my closet.

“Well hello there, Thing!” he greeted me as he might a friendly dog. “Does it need to be walked over to its master?”

“Yes please, sir.” I was immensely relieved. I ducked back into my closet so he could reach in and take my leash off the hook. “Thank you for your kindness, sir,” I added as he leaned through the door. He paused and gave me a sort of wondering smile, like I had pleasantly surprised him. He allowed me time to navigate through the doorway, then proceeded back toward Master’s office; I lumbered along gratefully behind him.

“You know, Thing, it’s come a long way in only a few days. It’s learning very quickly about being helpful and respectful and grateful. I think it should be proud of itself.” The man paused when we got out of the hallway and could stand without being in the way. “By the way, it may call me Mr. Karma.” He looked up at me with an expectant look on his face, as if I should recognize him. It took a second, but I figured out who he was.

“Sir!” I gasped. “You’re the man I was so mean to! You were doing bicep curls and I was so nasty and I scared you just because you were standing there!” I crumpled to my knees. “Please, please forgive me, sir, I’m so sorry! I never, never want to be bad like that again, I swear! Please, I’ll do anything to make it up to you, anything! Uh, as long as Master says I may,” I added. “I can’t believe how bad I am.”

“I also recall that it apologized, and gave me some very helpful advice, in an encouraging, respectful tone. It should keep in mind that its master has been able to teach it to mend its ways with surprisingly little difficulty. I believe that it is well on its way to earning the privilege to be a person again, and the privilege to be referred to as ‘you’. Should that come to pass, I will regard its debt to me personally to have been paid.”

So that’s why they hadn’t been calling me “you”. I had to earn my “you”s. I was suddenly filled with determination.

“Mr. Karma, sir? I swear to you, I will pay my debts.” We looked one another in the eyes for a very long time. I tried to express to him my deep sincerity through my honest-looking eyes. I don’t know why, but I felt like impressing him might be crucially important.

“So few of my cases turn out well, Thing.” he sighed. “Despite overwhelming evidence and being given copious opportunities to do the right thing, so many would rather bemoan their misfortune than admit their failings. But I actually believe this time may be an exception. I sincerely hope so.” Mr. Karma patted me on the head, beckoned for me to stand up, and walked me the rest of the way to Master’s office.

Part 3

When Mr. Karma and I arrived at Master’s office, Master was typing an email. Seeing Mr. Karma, he stood up and came out of the office to speak to him. Mr. Karma held out my leash and Master took it.

“So, did it do everything it was told?” Master asked.

“Yes, it did a very thorough job. I think Thing is quite determined to impress you. Are you ready for its next test?”

“Yeah. But seriously, no one is going to notice?”

“Anyone other than you or me will notice enough to walk around you, but won’t be conscious of what you’re actually doing. Similarly, once you introduce Thing to your patrons, they will only remember it or the interactions they’ve had with it while they are physically in this building. They will fail to remember it when they are elsewhere, or even when they are here but on their cell phones, for example. News that you are keeping a slave here will never leave the building.”

“That is so fuckin’ awesome.” Master then spoke a command to me. “Thing, Doggy Style.”

My brain was very slow to pick up on what he meant, but my body reacted instantly. Right there in public view I got down on my hands and knees and presented my ass in Master’s direction. I arched my back, causing my butt to stick up invitingly. I heard the sound of Master’s fly being unzipped at the same time. I felt Master place his hands on either side of my rock-hard midsection; his forearms pressed into the soft fat on my butt cheeks. I guessed he was kneeling between my feet.

“Fuck,” Master commented to Mr. Karma with a chuckle, “it’s so tall I can’t reach the hole. Thing, lower your ass,” he commanded.

I spread my legs much farther apart and tried to get my jiggling butt into a better position for Master. It must have worked because I soon felt a warm object pressing between my butt cheeks. The slutty moaning came out in my voice again. I couldn’t control it at all; I even tried to stop myself despite the fact that I suspected it would be against Master’s wishes, but the moaning continued unchanged.

“Does Thing want my dick inside it?”

I didn’t. I had never been penetrated by a penis, ever, and I was shaking with nerves. But my voice was out of my control. I couldn’t even get it to stop saying bad words.

“Uhhh, ohhhh, Master, please, please fuck me with your amazing dick!”

“Hmm. How about if it begs for my amazing dick? Beg, Thing.”

“Oh, oh my God, please fuck me sir, I need you inside me, please!”

“Louder. It had better start screaming for my dick, or I’m putting it away.”

Oh God please don’t take your dick away, sir! Oh God oh God, please show me what a man does to his Thing’s ass! Please dominate me with your fuck stick Master, I’m so desperate for you to show me what a cock is for, please sir, I don’t even have a cock anymore, please Master, I’m just a worthless piece of shit slave but I need to feel my master’s huge incredible cock filling my worthless slave hole!“ I was screaming so hard for anal sex from my Master that my voice was cracking and was already feeling raw.

“Awww, it’s so cute when it begs,” Master laughed. Immediately, with no warning, he rammed his penis into my hole as far as possible. I flinched, certain that I was in for a lot of pain, but miraculously, there was none. My sphincter wasn’t clenching, but squeezing Master’s phallus just enough to feel snug. Even more surprising, Master’s penis had entered me without any friction at all.

“Holy shit, this is the best ass I’ve ever had. How do you get it to produce its own ass lube? Is it the same as a girl’s pussy getting wet?”

“That’s a trade secret, Matthew. Now, watch what happens after two more thrusts.”

Master pulled back out of me, then slammed himself in again, hard. I felt an orgasm begin to build with astounding speed. The whole time I babbled and shouted profanity-laden praise for Master’s endowment in equal measure with desperate, full-throated pleas for more.

The very instant Master plowed his phallus into me for the third time, the orgasm overcame me like a tidal wave. It was so powerful, I had some kind of a seizure. I froze rigidly in place and my mind entered a world of endless erotic pleasure. I was filled to the brim with energy, yet I was more relaxed than I had ever been in my life. I floated in nothingness. I was everywhere at once. My anus was being pumped full of flesh and electricity and heat and joy made physical. It was all the best parts of being drunk and stoned and on the ultimate acid trip.

Master’s voice filled my universe with deafening sound, or maybe there was no sound and he spoke directly into my mind.

“Thing. Suck.” Again my body reacted reflexively. While the rest of my body remained paralyzed, I opened my mouth into an “O” shape and felt my throat relax and open up like in a yawn. Somehow I was aware of Mr. Karma opening his fly. Just before he entered my mouth, I took a colossal breath and held it. Mr. Karma grabbed my head and roughly face-fucked me. My mouth and throat instantly sent sensations to my brain that brought my orgasm to a higher plane yet. Within seconds I wasn’t aware of either man anymore—there were simply two dicks and me, the only three objects in the universe.

After a while like that, I slowly realized I was no longer inside my body, but was looking down on myself being spit-roasted. I had an epiphany. Seeing my hideously misshapen body being used as the world’s ugliest and most enormous sex toy, combined with the endless waves of orgasm I was experiencing, suddenly made my whole new life make sense. This was who I was now, and who I would be forever: a piece of property, a monster, a slave, a genderless pet. But knowing that I might someday become a person again, and knowing that I was capable of having such otherworldly orgasms made it bearable. As long as I could have opportunities to be good and helpful and get used like Master and Mr. Karma were using me now, I decided I could live a happy life after all.

“I’m gonna slow down so you can cum first.” Master was speaking to Mr. Karma.

“Mm, I’m almost there. Uh… ah!” Mr. Karma came in my mouth; my body instinctively swallowed his semen and sucked a bit on his penis so I could get every drop. Meanwhile, Master sped up.

“Uh, oh God, oh fuck!” The instant Master’s cum filled my guts, I snapped out of my orgasm. There was no afterglow, not even a climax; the orgasm simply turned off and I was back in my body, completely aware and ready for another command.

Master stayed inside me, leaning with his hands on my impossibly pillowy butt cheeks. Mr. Karma pulled himself out of my mouth and sat on my back like he was riding a horse side-saddle. I breathed normally and calmly again, as if I hadn’t just held my breath for an entire blow job.

As Master and Mr. Karma enjoyed their post-orgasm moment, and I moaned and thanked Master in that slutty voice, I felt pity for them. Their orgasms hadn’t even been one percent as incredible as mine had been. Did even Mr. Karma, who I now realized must have given my pills to Master, know what I had just experienced? I pondered this while my two betters caught their breath.

“Is it going to leak cum all over my gym?”

“No, its body has already absorbed it all. You would be highly unlikely to exceed its capacity, unless you were capable of producing an inhumanly vast quantity of semen.”

“Hmm.” Master pulled out, sending violent shivers of pleasure through my body and making me gasp. He stepped into his office and came back out, calmly wiping his penis on a wet wipe. “I’m going to lock up. Would you mind walking with me?”

“Not at all,” Mr. Karma replied, putting his penis away and zipping his fly. Master hung my leash on the hook outside his office and the two of them walked to the front of the gym.

“You’re seriously not going to charge for giving me a slave for life?”

“I have… already been paid for this transaction. However, we should discuss its care and feeding…” I couldn’t hear them any more as they stood by the door waiting for the last couple of members to leave.

I hadn’t been given any instructions, so I simply stayed in Doggy Style position until Master came back. Eventually he returned from locking up; Mr. Karma had left.

“Good Thing! Look at it, waiting patiently for its Master!” He stroked my bald head, looking me intimately in the eyes. His expression was soft, like a master’s fondness for his favorite dog. He brushed a hand along my cheek, thoroughly explored my snout with his fingers, and played with my floppy earlobes. He caressed my hideous traps, ran his hands along my mile-wide lat muscles, and jiggled my blubbery butt cheeks. Finally he gave my bald skull a couple gentle pats, which made a soft smacking sound. “Let’s go show you how to earn your keep.”

Master walked me over to the free weight area where there were lots of dumbbells and weight plates and equipment lying around waiting to be tidied. I couldn’t wait to get to work, but I didn’t want to drag poor Master all over at the other end of my leash. He showed me an ingenious solution, however.

He walked me to the far corner where a bungee cord dangled down to just above Master’s head. He clipped my leash to a carabiner tied to the end of that cord. Looking far up, I saw that the bungee was permanently looped around a horizontal rope that ran the length of the free weight area. The horizontal rope had wheels or pulleys or something at each end, and those ran along little rails that were perpendicular to the rope. The apparatus would allow me to navigate freely around the entire weight room while remaining on-leash.

What a relief! For just a moment I had pictured myself wandering around the gym with my leash just trailing behind me, and the very thought of being unattached to anything or anyone made me feel both terror and vertigo. With this, I could tidy and, if I was careful to keep my leash from tangling with the squat racks, even help members with their form.

… As long as they weren’t so frightened of me that Master made me hide from them.

Master left me to tidy. It was really fun to handle 45-pound plates by just pinching them between my thumb and a couple fingers the way I used to handle 5’s. It made me very happy to know that my monstrous body and colossal hands had some advantages after all. I could even pick up a stack of three 45’s with one hand. The 2.5- and 5-pound plates felt like coins to me now. I had so much fun tidying, I even danced around to imaginary music while I worked, shaking my double-wide flabby butt to the beat in my head.

It was also fun to know what the numbers meant. Somehow, when I looked at numbers in any other setting, they were just mysterious symbols. But here I knew that a 6 with a 5 after it meant that dumbbell was lighter than one that had a 7 with a 0 after it. I could even calculate that three 45-pound plates on each end of a long bar meant 315 pounds total, counting the bar. I actually laughed with delight when I figured that out in just a couple seconds.

I did get my leash tangled twice while I was working, once on a Smith machine and once on a cable tower. I scolded myself each time; I could keep my leash out of the way, but not if I kept forgetting it was there. What if I had gotten tangled with a person working out?

Thinking about navigating the weight room with people around made me think about the fact that I was still naked, and Master had not given me anything to wear. I wondered whether he would even be able to find anything that would fit me. It probably didn’t matter. He seemed quite happy to have me remain permanently nude.

When I realized I had finished tidying, I was a bit disappointed, but also really excited. Master had said he was going to let me wash the toilets, just like I had wanted to the day before. I was so thrilled I was hopping up and down as I called out for Master to come get me.

The locker rooms had restrooms and showers in them, and I was thrilled to discover I would get to clean everything. Master clipped my leash to a carabiner on that rolling bucket I had seen in my closet and showed me the chemicals and tools I would need. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. I felt like a kid on Christmas, with all the jobs Master was letting me do.

It was a little challenging cleaning the teeny tiny toilet stalls—I had to kneel outside each one and reach my long arm in from outside, but that actually worked just fine. I couldn’t dance in the cramped space, so I sang instead. I don’t think I had sung anything other than an occasional “Happy Birthday” in my entire life, but I was so full of joy that I couldn’t resist belting out every song I could remember from the music that played all day every day over the gym speakers.

I scrubbed and mopped and got myself all wet and didn’t mind a bit. I refilled paper towels and toilet paper and soap with a bit of struggling, thanks to my enormous fingers. I picked up trash and put towels in the hamper and pulled hair out of drains. Even seeing my hideous, piggy face and featureless crotch in the mirrors couldn’t dampen my spirits.

When I was done, I returned to my closet to find a computer-printed note taped to the door:

Thing,

I’m going home. Here are the rest of its tasks for tonight:

1. It will wash the bucket, mops, and other items it used.

2. It has my permission to take its leash off the bucket, walk itself to my office, and hang its leash on the hook outside my office.

3. Its dinner is in a bowl by my office. The water jug is for Thing to drink from. It must eat all of its food. Wasting food will be punished.

4. There’s a blanket and two pillows next to its food bowl. It has my permission to bring those, walk itself to the weight room and leash itself to the first bench press. It is to sleep on the floor there.

5. If it needs to piss or shit, it will use its chamber pot. NOT THE RESTROOMS!!! Shit should be emptied from the pot into a toilet, then flushed. THE POT MUST ALWAYS BE WASHED AND SANITIZED!

6. I will wake it up tomorrow morning.

I washed my cleaning tools and tidied my closet. But I was petrified about holding my own leash, even with Master’s permission. I stood there for what felt like an hour, reaching for my leash, then pulling my hand away as if the leash were a rattlesnake. Finally I decided I just couldn’t do it. Instead, I stayed tethered to the rolling bucket and rolled it out to Master’s office.

The food bowl was there, as promised, with “THING” hand-painted on the side. The food in it was… well, it looked like dry dog food. I sat on the ground with my back to the wall and the bowl in my hands. Without even thinking, I shoved my face into the bowl and started gobbling the kibble. I was humiliated to hear the pig-like snorts and grunts I made as I ate; just like my whore-talk while getting fucked, I couldn’t stop myself from making pig noises while I ate.

The food actually tasted quite good. It was a little bit like chocolate and peanut butter flavored breakfast cereal. Based on years of experience drinking protein shakes, I guessed its main ingredient was whey powder.

There was also an enormous jug of water, also with my name painted on. It was the kind of water jug that goes on office water coolers. When I drank from it, I made slurping noises loud enough to be heard in the parking lot; once again, the noises were completely out of my control. Also, no matter how daintily I tried to sip, water invariably dribbled down my face onto the rest of my body. The jug was mostly empty by the time I finished eating my dinner.

As I polished off the last few nuggets, I felt the need to poop. I set my bowl and jug in the bucket and rolled it back to my closet. I navigated the doorway much more efficiently than I had earlier, and squatted over the chamber pot as if I had been doing it my whole life.

Pooping turned out to give me even more sexual pleasure than peeing; except I was also peeing through the same hole. I gasped and screamed and shuddered as my body was hit with a-few-more-than-five orgasms. They weren’t the transcendentally epic orgasms I had when I was getting penetrated, but they were still more intense than any orgasm I had ever had when I was Steve. Miraculously, I managed to keep my squatting position throughout the process.

Afterward, I cleaned myself, emptied the pot, and cleaned and sanitized it. I decided to bring the pot out with me so I could use it quickly if I needed it during the night.

I laid myself down next to the first bench press, deep in thought. Mr. Karma seemed to have been sent to punish me for the bad things I had done, yet his pills had given me some gifts as well. I had lost track of how many times I had cum that day, and even the mildest orgasm had been among the best in my life. Did I actually need a cock, if my butt was making me feel a zillion times better than it ever had?

I wondered if I could masturbate with my butt. I tried for a while, but my hyper-thick muscles made it impossible to touch my own anus. I tried using an empty barbell as a dildo, and it slid in quite comfortably all the way to the collar, but my butt hole went completely numb. Nothing. It was probably just as well. Given how mind-blowing my orgasms had been, I probably would end up trying to stuff myself with everything I could get my hands on. And yes, I washed and sanitized the barbell, even though the only mess I found on it was the lube my body produced.

I laid back down, thinking about my other blessings. Being a huge muscle beast was still kind of fun. And look how much happiness all my chores had brought me. If the pills had caused those things to happen, could I really be that sad about my ugliness and my lack of freedom? Was this servitude all that horrible, when I spent most of the time feeling joy and pleasure? If this was a punishment, it could have been a whole lot worse.


The next morning, Master woke me with the promise that my redemption was to begin that day. I noticed him noticing that I hadn’t quite followed his directions about my leash, but his only reaction was a little sneer at the corner of his mouth. He fed me breakfast, laughing uproariously at the noises I made. I enjoyed a noisy, orgasmic session on the chamber pot, also much to Master’s amusement, then got myself cleaned up with a half hour to spare before opening. Master unhooked my leash from the bucket and led me through the men’s locker room to the men’s restroom.

Over each urinal there was a hand-written sign on printer paper that read, “Please don’t use the urinals today! Use Thing instead!”

Duct taped to the far wall was a group of five hand-lettered signs on neon-colored poster boards. The first sign read:

“Please help me pay for my crimes! My name is Thing, but you might remember me as this man:” Taped below that was a photo of Steve, the man I used to be.

The second sign read: “I am being punished for being such an ass hole. I have been transformed into the Thing you see below. I need your help! I want to be good from now on, and you can help by teaching me a lesson.”

The third sign continued: “Each lesson will give me points. I need to earn 1,000 points before I can earn the right to have a name other than Thing. Please write down how many points I earn after my lesson!”

The fourth sign was a chart of what kinds of lessons I could be taught:

“Lesson (command)—points

-let me apologize for things I’ve done to you (‘speak’)—1 to 10 pts., depends how good I apologize

-piss on me (‘stay’)—1 pt.

-piss on my face (‘stay’)—2 pts.

-piss in my mouth (‘drink’)—5 pts.

-jack off on my face (‘stay’)—3 pts.

-make me jack you off (‘hand job’)—5 pts.

-face fuck me (‘suck’)—10 pts.

-fuck my ass (‘doggy style’ or ‘missionary’ or tell me how you want me)—10 pts.”

The last poster had a felt-tip marker on a string taped to it, and read: “Please write my points here!”

Should I have been angry? Some part of me said I should be outraged and humiliated. But several of the things on that chart were going to feel insanely good. I had never drunk piss before, but who knew? Maybe piss tasted like beer to me now.

Besides, I had been expecting to get beat up or something. I had sort of come to terms with the idea. I almost felt like this was too gentle a punishment. I could only count up to five if I thought really hard, so figuring out how many times I would need to get people to cum in my butt to make one-zero-zero-zero points was beyond me. I only knew it would be a lot. I kinda liked the idea.

As exciting as the promise of great orgasms was, what I really craved was the chance to apologize to all those people.

“May I ask one question, sir?”

“What, Thing?’

“Will I also have the opportunity to apologize to the women? I’d like that very much, if I could, please.”

That’s its question? Not, ‘Why is this happening?’ or ‘How could you?’”

“No, Master, I’ve earned this punishment. But the women, sir?”

He looked up at me with narrowed eyes as I towered over him, then let his gaze drift hungrily around my absurdly bulging body. He started to breathe fast. I wondered if he had forgotten my question, but he eventually answered.

“We’ll set that up another day. Now, here are its rules.” He spoke in a harsh voice, as if he felt I wasn’t suffering enough. “No talking to anyone, unless it is told to speak or is asked a question. And it definitely may not request, suggest, or hint at particular lessons. Each member must choose whether and how to participate without any interference from Thing. Its first ‘customer’ will be in soon, I’m sure. Got it?”

“Yes, Master. Thank you for this opportunity, sir.” I bowed as low as I could.

Master fixed my leash to the urinal at the far end of the row. He snapped his fingers at a spot on the ground below the posters and barked a “down” command at me. I knelt down, reflecting that the worst part of this punishment would be enduring the hard tile floor.

He turned to leave, but stopped and came back. The look on his face was venomous.

“On second thought, I need a little release. I’ll just get a quick blow job. Thing, suck.”

My mouth formed a perfect “O” shape and my throat opened wide before I even consciously processed the command. I hunkered down to put my mouth low enough for Master’s comfort. He pulled his workout shorts down to release his ragingly hard member. But rather than go straight into his usual thrusting, he slid himself into my mouth and stood there, running his hands all over the gigantic pile of boulders that was made up of my traps and delts.

With my mouth full, I couldn’t say all those slutty things I was normally compelled to say during sex, so I just moaned loudly. I ran my tongue up and down his member and tried to get him as far into my mouth as possible. I was so much bigger than him, that he didn’t go very far into my throat. Still, the farther I was able to swallow Master’s penis, the more my orgasm built.

“It’s so fucked up that you got all this muscle, when you’re the one who’s been an ass hole all his life,” he seethed. He was so angry he forgot to call me “it”. “So far, all I’ve gotten out of you is some sex and a couple nights of cleaning. I told Karma I should be able to take your muscle for myself, but he just prattled on about some shitty mystical mumbo-jumbo about possibilities and reality-something. What a fucking freak. And what I really want is you. And what good is all this if I can’t make you…” He abruptly cut himself off, as if he had said more than he wanted to.

With that, master angrily grabbed my head in his hands; in reaction, my body drew in a gigantic breath and held it. Half a second after that, I was floating on a cloud of orgasm. I had all the pleasure of one of my mini-orgasms, only sustained for what felt like forever.

I was slightly aware that Master was pretty much raping my face, but was totally incapable of doing anything about it, or even caring. Eventually, though, he came in my mouth and I woke up. My piggy snout felt like it had been punched and my Dumbo ears felt like he had tried to rip them off. Maybe this was going to be a hard punishment, after all.

Without pulling out of my mouth, Master peed. I had started to breathe again, and so I coughed as some went down my windpipe. That started a vicious cycle as I tried to clear the urine out of my lungs and mouth, but there was a penis in the way and more and more of the warm liquid kept coming. Pee sprayed out of my enormous nostrils and out of the corners of my mouth and ran down my face. My eyes watered like crazy. I struggled hard not to vomit. I’m proud to say I didn’t pull away, though. I knew my duty was to take what was given to me and I swallowed all I could.

“Shit! You got fuckin’ piss all over me! Now I have to shower and change because of you, you fucking stupid piece of shit.” I expected to get hit but although Master pulled back his arm, he couldn’t seem to make it finish the job. Instead, he pulled his pants up in a fury and turned to leave.

“Thank you for my lesson, Master,” I called out hoarsely. He froze and seemed to shake in rage.

Fuck you!“ There was so much emotion in the words he hurled at me, and I didn’t understand why. He took another step before I again interrupted his departure.

“May I have my points please, sir?” I rasped. I thought it was a long shot, but although he turned around with a look that could curdle milk, he nevertheless stomped to my poster and drew three groups of tally marks.

“If you say one more word I will take away your leash.” His finger jabbed at my face with each word. My terror at his threat must have shown on my face because he sneered and stormed out after that.

I was left to worry that he might someday strand me without the security of my leash. The very idea almost made me throw up. I had to have my leash, I had to have that safety, I had to! I stewed like that for a while; eventually my next customer entered to distract me.

I recognized him. He was a homosexual man that I had bullied a number of times, just for being gay. I recalled several specific incidents: there were two in the locker room and one right out on the gym floor, plus way, way more hurtful, intimidating comments than I could count. My brain replayed each time in excruciating detail. I burned with shame as I heard my voice use words like “faggot” and “cocksucker” and “girly man”. I cringed as I watched reruns of myself shouldering him into the lockers and peeing on his underwear and secretly adding weight to one side of his barbell between sets so the whole thing tipped over when he unracked it. That last prank was dangerous, but all I had thought at the time was how hilarious it was to watch him struggle.

My former victim stood for a long time reading the signs, occasionally looking down at me and back at the picture of Steve. After a while I groveled with my face to the floor. I was too ashamed to face him any longer. I felt the familiar warm trickle of fresh urine on the crown of my head. He hadn’t commanded me to stay, but where else was I going to go?

“Thank you for my lesson, sir,” I said without lifting my face from the ground.

“Hey. Thing,” the man finally spoke. “Sit up for a second.” I sat up on my blubbery haunches. “Where’s your dick?”

“It was taken away, sir. As part of my punishment. That’s why I’m called a ‘Thing’, sir. M-… Master says I don’t have a gender any more.” He paused again for a really long time.

“All right, I’ll listen to your apology.” I glanced at the posters, unsure of whether I had to wait for the exact command. He solved my dilemma for me. “Oh, uh… speak.”

“Thank you very much for this opportunity, sir. I want you to know that I am deeply, deeply ashamed of the things I’ve done to you and said to you…” I described the three incidents as clearly as I remembered, and confessed to all the horrible names and comments I could remember having flung at him. “Before I continue, sir, are there other things you can recall that I haven’t?”

“How about the time you scratched the word ‘fag’ in the paint on my car?” I flinched when he said that. I remembered doing that, but hadn’t even known whose car it was. I couldn’t use that as a defense, though. If I was going to do this right, I had to own everything I had done.

“And I scratched the word ‘fag’ into the paint on your car, too.” My voice cracked and a tear ran down my cheek. “I know now that I’ve caused you more pain than I can possibly comprehend. But please, please know that I am so, so sorry for doing those things to you. I will never, never, never do anything like that again.

“Please, sir. I have no right to ask for your forgiveness. But if you were to forgive me someday, I would be more grateful than I could possibly express.”

“You really are sorry, aren’t you? Not just because you’re being punished, but because you’re genuinely sorry?” he asked, surprise in his voice. I looked up pleadingly.

“Sir, I’m deeply sorry, and deeply ashamed of my behavior.” I returned to groveling. I heard the click of the marker’s cap being removed and the squeak of marks being drawn a lot of times. I knew one of the squeaks was for getting peed on, and then there were an awful lot for my apology! “Thank you so much, sir!”

“Yeah. You know what, Thing?” He took a deep, deep breath. “I forgive you. For everything, I forgive you.”

A feeling of pure joy and shock and relief and gratitude welled up in my chest. Tears flowed copiously down my face. The man’s eyes looked a little moist, too. I honestly never thought anyone would forgive me, that I was unforgivable. Certainly Steve had never apologized for anything.

Until that moment I had thought this was about paying my debts and earning points. But all that was secondary, almost insignificant. I was healing, that’s what this was really about. I was healing myself, and I could see the man felt better from being able to forgive. It seemed completely obvious, in retrospect.

“Sir? May I know your name, please?”

“Doug Washington,” he smiled.

“Thank you, Mr. Washington. Thank you so much, sir.”

I’d like to say every lesson went that well, and many did, but there were also lessons that didn’t end as happily. Some members told me off but didn’t let me apologize, and I couldn’t without their command. Some treated me with the same abuse I had dished out, though any blows I received were never worse than taps—injuries to my pride only. I accepted it all with a “thank you”. It hurt, but I had earned it.

There were also members who—miraculously—I had never done anything to. They generally behaved rather oddly, with a stiff, almost mechanical air. Every single one peed on me or demanded sex or both, but it felt like they were executing a program like a robot. It was creepy, but I was glad to earn the points.

Then there was Master. He visited again a couple hours after I had begun my lessons, and he looked shockingly different. In those two hours he had grown a foot-long, bushy, thick lumberjack beard, and I swear, everywhere that wasn’t covered by his shorts and tank top was bristling with more body hair than I had ever seen on one man. Not only that, but he was visibly aroused again, and when he penetrated me I felt that he was unquestionably better-endowed. I even noticed his balls were swinging very low. But I also felt like I had to get my butt lower than before when he wanted doggy style. Did that mean he was shorter now? I was relieved when he asked for missionary on his third visit, an hour after his second visit—it was just easier on me.

Master didn’t say a word to me other than commands. He grudgingly marked my points, I thanked him for his kindness, then he left.

Over the next week, I continued to either receive lessons from the men in the restroom, or get leashed outside the women’s locker room so I could apologize or accept the anger of those I had wronged. I kind of thought it would start to feel routine, but every single lesson was an intensely emotional roller coaster. Every single apology felt like starting from scratch.

And in between, Master continued to use me with astonishing frequency. His libido seemed to have skyrocketed, sometimes needing release every hour. He never explained his instant beard or mysteriously dramatic hair growth or larger genitals, just visited for sex then left.

The days went on, long and exhausting. My apologies were getting rarer, as even I only had a certain number of things to apologize for. Master had started to move me out into the gym area for portions of the day so I could coach members and tidy. As much as I enjoyed all that, I knew that I must be getting closer and closer to one-zero-zero-zero points. Master put up a new poster every day and never mentioned my points, so even if I could count past five, I had no way of knowing what my total was. I was completely at Master’s mercy. And I was starting to suspect he wasn’t actually keeping track.

It had been twenty or twelve days or something—the moon had gone from looking like a fingernail clipping to a whole circle—since I had become Thing. I had finished my cleaning for the night and was trying to sleep in my usual place on the gym floor, leashed to one of the bench presses.

I was starting to get despondent that Master would never actually let me be a person again. He wasn’t speaking to me beyond snarled commands, despite the fact that he was visiting me every hour or two for sex. His sexual appetite seemed limitless.

Adding to my concern was the fact that, before he had started giving me the silent treatment, he had berated me for getting huge muscles; for some reason he seemed to think he should have gotten big muscles instead, and was still boiling with rage over it. If he had given me the chance, I would have told him I’d gladly give up the muscles to know my debts were paid for all the bad things I had done when I was a real man. But now I was a genderless and hideously ugly muscle-creature-Thing. What if Master was so angry with me that he wanted me to stay like this forever? My worries swirled around in my head until I eventually drifted into restless sleep.


I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of the front door being shaken violently. I also heard the sound of something scraping and clacking against the glass. And… was that an animal grunting and growling? It had a kind of rhythm to it, like a chant.

I sat up nervously and peered toward the gym entrance. I couldn’t see anything because the front desk and a bunch of machines were in the way. I didn’t know what to do, but I realized I might have to do something because the grunting was sounding increasingly angry and had taken on a snarling quality.

I had just begun to really panic when the glass on the door exploded inward and a furry animal hurtled through. It shot straight towards me, vaulting over the front desk and weaving around weight machines and treadmills with terrifying speed. The entire way it obsessively repeated a single phrase over and over.

“Fuck Thing Fuck Thing Fuck Thing Fuck Thing,” it chanted manically. I was able to make out long, shaggy, light brown fur covering most of its body. Its forelegs were a lot like human arms, and its face was too blunt for a wolf’s or even a bear’s, but it definitely had a snout and not a nose. It had no clothes on, and I couldn’t possibly fail to notice that, protruding from its pelvis area and bouncing wildly about were an impossibly huge, rock-hard, cherry-red penis and a scrotum that had the appearance of a slightly deflated, hairy beach ball. As the creature got close to me it screamed something else: “Thing! Doggy Style!”

Master?“ I gasped as my body flipped itself over and presented itself for anal sex. I rocked forward from the impact as he slammed his body into my butt. A penis much, much, much thicker and longer than I remembered hammered into me and Master issued an animalistic grunt. His breathing was ragged, as if he had sprinted all the way here in his desperation for sex.

He pulled a long, long way out and pounded into me again. Again I rocked forward from the impact as I felt an orgasm building. His dick was enormous, but made me feel satisfied and filled like no other dick ever had. I screamed from the pleasure while he snarled from frantic need. One more thrust and I had a seizure-orgasm. I was frozen in place, just barely aware of the furry half-human with the gloriously enormous tool stuck inside my hole. I was incapable of any coherent thought; I was too far gone into that alternate universe where only erotic joy existed.

Then he came, and once again my orgasm switched off. Master shook violently again and again, as if having an entire cluster of powerful orgasms in quick succession. He screamed insanely and howled and made rather alarming strangling sounds. I added to the cacophony with my usual slutty moaning and porn-worthy monologue. It took an astoundingly long time for my Master to finish filling my colon; it felt like a whole gallon was being pumped into me.

He finished cumming, but didn’t pull out. At first I thought he was just enjoying his moment, but he soon started to struggle and press hard on my enormous butt cheeks. I couldn’t stop myself from continuing the porno talk, but managed to sneak in a relevant question.

“Oh, ohhh, sir, you’re such a fucking hung stud and you feel soooooooo good, but are you okay?”

“No! No, fuck you, I’m stuck, you fucking imbecile! Can’t you loosen up any more?”

“Uhhh, ohhh Master, you’re just too big for me! I… uh, uuuhhh!” I had what I had come to think of as a mini-orgasm, which was still, like, ten times stronger than the best orgasm I’d ever had when I was normal. “Oh Master I’m sorry, I just can’t control myself with your studly man meat in my ass! Uh-uh-ohhhhh!” Here came another one.

“Fuck! Fuck, I can’t pull out! Aaah! This is so fucked up!” He struggled hard for a while longer, triggering wave after wave of pleasure in my nether regions.

“Uhhhhhhhhh, Master, your huge, manly dick is sooooo hard, still! Ah, ahhh, ahhhhhh, I need it so bad! Oh my God, it’s mind-blowing, ohhhhhh! Uh, uh, uh, if you hold still it might go soft, ohhh fuck me, fuck me please!”

He got my point, despite it being buried in pleas for more. He calmed down, and I settled down to an occasional erotic moan. He collapsed on my flabby backside, clearly exhausted. I tried my best to reduce my utterances to whimpers of pleasure. Gradually, oh so gradually I began to notice less pressure on my sphincter. Maybe about fifteen minutes later, Master’s penis simply slid out of me, along with a healthy gush of cum that ran down my legs and pooled on the floor. Apparently he had exceeded my capacity, after all.

I peeked around and looked at his genitals. His soft penis was hanging literally down to his knees, and at its base I could see a bulging knot like dogs have. It was already twitching like it wanted to get hard again. His balls obscured most of his thighs, looking like a hairy airbag after a car crash. What I could see of his thighs was covered with fur, slick from being soaked with cum. There were also drops and trickles of blood all over him; he must have gotten cut up when he crashed through the door.

That’s when I noticed he wasn’t kneeling, but standing as he leaned on my backside. That must mean he was shorter now… maybe a lot shorter. He stood up completely and looked at himself in the gym mirrors. Based on his reaction, I would have bet he hadn’t seen himself in his current condition.

“Oh my God oh my God oh my God, this is so fucked up!” he despaired. I stood up next to him, which was probably a bad idea, because it put in stark contrast the difference in our heights. He didn’t even come up to the bottom of my round, bulging pecs. I didn’t know how tall I was—I couldn’t figure out the numbers. But I could figure out that it would take a second one of him, standing on his shoulders, to come up to about my height.

He was pawing at his face with stubby, clawed fingers, whimpering and whining. His face looked like it was half-dog, especially around the nostrils; the skin there looked very black and moist and had the texture of a dog’s nose. His nose wasn’t much longer than a human’s, but was wide enough to spread across half his face. I wasn’t sure if you would call it a beard any more, but surrounding his mouth was a region of much longer, darker fur. His mouth protruded several inches more than a normal mouth, and when he opened his mouth wide to look inside, I saw sharp canine teeth in the front and human molars in the back. The tops of his earlobes were hairy and flopped over, a lot like a terrier’s.

“Oh, Matthew,” came the voice of a heavily disappointed Mr. Karma, suddenly standing behind us. “How many pills did you take?”

Part 4

“Oh, Matthew,” came the voice of a heavily disappointed Mr. Karma, suddenly standing behind us. “How many pills did you take?” Master didn’t answer. He gave a wild-eyed look at Mr. Karma, then seemed desperate to look anywhere else but at him.

“It was the remaining three, wasn’t it? The one you took last week wasn’t warning enough that they would affect you differently? On top of my own warnings?”

Master was breathing very fast, like a dog panting. He turned away from us and cowered on the ground, as if he could hide from his current state. Unfortunately, this revealed to us a tiny stub of a tail just above his butt crack. It was only an inch, but it was definitely there. He began to wail a lot like I had when I first discovered my genitals were gone.

“Matthew. Sleep.” Mr. Karma sounded weary to the bones. Master abruptly went silent, toppled to the side and instantly began to snore. Without sparing him even another glance, Mr. Karma turned his face up toward mine. “You, in contrast, have been an absolute delight to me. I believe I can safely claim you as one of my very, very few success stories.”

With all the craziness that had gone on, I didn’t at first grasp the significance of what Mr. Karma said. It was flattering, but… oh!

“You called me ‘you’!” I exulted. “Does that mean I’m a person now?”

“Why yes, it does,” Mr. Karma gave a chuckle, which turned into a hearty laugh when I started jumping up and down like an eight-foot-tall child.

“I’m a you! I’m a you! I’m a you!” I sang out. Mr. Karma let me celebrate for a while, but got serious again.

“My boy,” he said, reaching up on tip-toes to put a hand on my shoulder, the highest part of me he could reach. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but you earned your thousand points a week ago. I’m afraid Matthew gave in to spite and jealousy, and… perhaps some other emotions.”

“… Oh.” That was a hard blow. Despite my suspicions, I had honestly hoped Master was being honest with me. But, I had made a few more apologies recently. Maybe I wouldn’t have made them if Master had told me I had reached my goal. Maybe it was better that he had let me continue with the lessons. Mr. Karma watched my face as I absorbed his news.

“And that is why I am just so proud of you, my boy.” I wasn’t even slightly surprised he seemed to have read my mind. “You have learned so much from your experiences, and have become one of the finest, kindest, most responsible and honest men I have ever met.”

“Please don’t call me a man, sir, I’m… not…” As I spoke, a sly smile spread across his face. He didn’t need to say a word. I looked down and there, adorning my baby-smooth crotch, was a teeny, tiny little penis. It was only as big around as a large baby carrot, and half as long, and I still had no balls, but there was a piss slit at the end and as far as I was concerned, that meant it was a dick! My dick! I was a guy again!

“Aaaaaaaooooooooooooooo hahahahahahaha, I’m a guy again! I’m a guy, I’m a guy, I’m a guy, I’m a guy!!!!!!“ This time I felt so much joy I galloped and leaped to the far end of the gym and back again, rejoicing in my maleness. As I returned I saw Mr. Karma indulging in a belly laugh. That made me happy too; it seemed he didn’t get to smile very often. I scooped him up in a bear hug and twirled in a circle, then set him delicately down again.

“So, tell me,” Mr. Karma quizzed me with a hard look, “did you stop being a man, because you didn’t have a penis?” I had to think long and hard about my answer.

“Yes… no? I… don’t think so? But the two of you kept calling me ‘it’, and I wasn’t allowed to use the toilets, and…” I trailed off in confusion.

“Remarkable how easy it is to dehumanize someone. Food for thought, then.” He paused, then seemed to change gears. “Come over here if you don’t mind where we won’t disturb the… er… Matthew.” He strolled toward the front door. I stood awkwardly by the bench press; I needed him to take my leash. He turned, raised an eyebrow, and smiled at me expectantly.

I looked down at the leash—the one I had just trailed all over the gym—only now realizing: I was free. I didn’t feel terror at the idea of being off-leash anymore. Instead of unclipping the leash, I removed the dog collar, just as simple as anything. For a moment I considered putting the collar on Matt, but I decided he had been through enough tonight. I just hung the collar on the bench press rack instead.

Before I went to talk to Mr. Karma, I took a moment to crouch down next to my little former master. His injuries already looked like they were beginning to heal. I turned him just enough so I could see his face. He was actually really, really cute when he wasn’t going insane with lust or freaking out. His little fuzzy ears and black nose were totally adorable, and his fur and tiny size reminded me of a border terrier. It was only maybe two or three weeks ago that I had swallowed a pill, no matter the risk, because I thought it would grow my muscles. Looking at him, I felt my heart squeezed by pity, disappointment, lust, betrayal, commiseration, and more that I couldn’t identify. I… kind of wanted to pick him up and rock him like a baby.

I stood and walked as a free man to the front desk with Mr. Karma. I noticed he had somehow magically cleaned up the broken glass, but that the door was still damaged. I would need to get some wood on that and call someone first thing in the morning.

“You’re already thinking managerial thoughts,” Mr. Karma observed.

“Yeah. Well you know, Matt’s not gonna be able to run this place like he is now. Not alone, anyway. And this gym means a lot to me, you know? Plus, I’m finally starting to earn people’s respect here. I can’t let Matt ruin all that.”

“You’re not angry with him?”

“Of course, I’m pissed as hell.” It felt good to swear when it was called for. “But what were all those lessons for, if not to teach me that a person can change? He just… needs some work, you know? Forgiveness is kind of an important theme for me now.”

“Ah. On that subject, I do need to talk to you about a number of things, and time will be of the essence very soon, so do please listen with great care.

“I was originally sent here to litigate a sort of karmic class action civil case, if you will, between Matthew and you. You might think of yourself as the defendant and Matthew as the representative plaintiff. I suppose I might be considered both the plaintiff’s attorney and the jailer, charged with overseeing your punishment.”

“Who was the judge?”

“Karma.”

“Isn’t that you?”

“No, I work for Karma. Please, let us not stray from the topic. You were found guilty, and Karma demanded certain punishments. But Matthew, as the representative for the wronged parties, was also afforded a certain degree of recompense from you, to be administered by me.

“My point is that Matthew’s reprehensible actions in ignoring the agreed-upon term of punishment, combined with your continued good faith efforts, resulted in your positions being reversed. In other words, I successfully counter-sued on your behalf.

“The judgement was handed down not long ago, and I had just arrived to check on you when I discovered Matthew there, having made his own situation far worse. He took a total of four of the pills that were intended for you. I assume he was hoping they would cause him to grow taller and more muscular the way you did, despite the fact that I had clearly explained to him that the pills would certainly affect him differently and in drastic and unpredictable ways.

“You see, those pills have no set effect. They had been tailored to your particular case, according to Karma’s demands and Matthew’s requests, but the end result could also be influenced by Matthew’s and your choices, desires, and attitudes. They are essentially possibility enhancers and reality influencers. When you were under the effects of your first dose, Matthew began to mold your personality into that of a docile, helpful slave. But he did so in a way that also gave you a considerable amount of pleasure and joy. However justifiably betrayed you may feel at the moment, it is worth bearing in mind that he did take steps to ensure that you would have some measure of happiness and sexual satisfaction in the life he planned for you.

“As part of your successful counter-suit, I have striven to undo as much as I could of the changes you have experienced. I’m afraid that hasn’t been as much as you might wish, but it is something.

“You have already discovered some of the reversals. You are now free, within limits. You are still bonded permanently to this gym, though you should be able to get away from it for up to 24 hours. Beyond that period, you will experience ever-increasing feelings of distress until you are able to return; if unable to do so, you will eventually go insane. Those terms likely seem harsh to you, but that was Karma’s will.

“You are no longer bound to Matthew, but ironically, he has managed to bind himself to you. As you saw when he arrived, he will become quite agitated, anxious, and—er—randy when far enough out of your presence for a sufficient number of hours.”

I nodded silently. This was a lot to take in. I could try to ditch Matt forever, but even if I succeeded, I would always know I had consigned him to a life of horrors. While I pondered, Mr. Karma reached behind his back and, impossibly, produced the largest hand mirror I had ever seen. He held it up so I could look at myself.

“Your physical appearance has improved… er, somewhat…”

It had, but there was no way to honestly say I wasn’t ugly. My nose was entirely human, but stubby and turned up at the end, with an asymmetry that made it look like it had been broken a lot. My forehead was prominent and I had the chunkiest lantern jaw I had ever seen… other than on my face earlier that night. The word that summed me up was “brutish”. But it was a hell of a lot better to be that than “repulsive”, and anyone brave enough to look past my ugly face into my eyes would still see kindness there. I was also delighted to notice that my butt was a lot smaller, though it still had significantly more jiggle to it than you would expect from looking at the rest of me.

“Let’s see, what else?” Mr. Karma seemed to want to wrap things up. “You have also earned the right for the general public to remember your existence outside these walls. You are no longer compelled to call anyone ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’. Numbers up to 1,000 and arithmetic shouldn’t give you trouble any longer, but I’m afraid you’re never going to be able to manage the gym’s finances.

“You will find that you are still capable of the extremely intense orgasms you’ve come to appreciate. However, you are not quite as hair-trigger sensitive in your anus as you were, and the ridiculous vocalizations you were forced to produce will be henceforth strictly voluntary.

“Now. When Matthew took those three pills this evening, he opened a window of opportunity for you that I have managed to enhance. I have frozen time so that we might have this conversation calmly, but in a moment time will begin to flow again. When that happens, you will have fifteen minutes during which reality will be quite… malleable. You have but to speak something, and for the most part, it will become fact.

“Do be aware that Karma will not tolerate any further reversals of its will than have already occurred. You would be far better to think in terms of moving forward, rather than trying to return to a reality that will never again exist. I encourage you to take a moment to consider the reality you would like to create.”

He stepped away from me, pretending to examine himself in his comically oversized mirror.

This was my opportunity for revenge, if I chose to demand it. I could take the gym all for myself. I could make Matt’s life miserable. I could make him my slave, even my pet. I could make him a laughingstock for every person who entered the gym. But then, my cute little speech to Mr. Karma about forgiveness would be a lie. So, what then?

I walked over to the weight room again, with Mr. Karma a discreet distance behind me. I sat on the floor cross-legged next to Matt and looked at him. If I had ever had a criticism of him it was that he was just not very interesting. That was certainly no longer the case. His face, despite its dogginess—or because of its dogginess—was full of personality and likeability. I saw in him the kind of guy everyone would want to open up to. The life of the party, but also utterly trustworthy. I started to get some ideas.

“It’s time, young man,” Mr. Karma murmured in my ear. I smiled at him for calling me a man, then glanced at the wall clock. 2:20 a.m. I had until 2:35.

Matt stirred. He opened his eyes; he giggled and acted a bit loopy, like he was drunk on laughing gas.

“Hey, are you all right, man?” I helped him sit up. “You took a pretty bad spill there.” He looked at me with a shit-eating grin.

“Hey-heeeeyyyyy! It’s my ultra-sexy best friend! Hey… hey man, I need a hug.” Just like a toddler climbing into an adult’s lap, he sat in the circle of my legs with his back to my chest and his head leaning against my right pec. Almost reflexively, I wrapped my arms around him and he snuggled right in like he had been doing it for years. The feel of his little furry body in my gigantic embrace felt really nice. I put my cheek on top of his head while he used both hands to arrange his genitals more comfortably. I decided that the first words I spoke needed to ensure I wasn’t going to abandon the vulnerable creature in my arms.

“So, um… partner… do you know where you are? You know you’re in our gym, right?”

“Yeah. I’m so glad you’re here, man. Running this place by myself was fuckin’ hell.” There was a lot of feeling behind those words.

“Oh… uh, right, we make an incredible team, but you’re totally the brains of this operation, everybody says so. You’re seriously one of the most brilliant businessmen around, and you’re a total financial genius. People really scramble to do business with you, and you’re incredibly persuasive because you’re so damn likeable. Plus, people trust you because you’re utterly honest and honorable in every single thing you do.” If I was going to have a partner in this business, I needed him to be one I could trust.

“Yeah. I guess I am one of the best in the world at making the big decisions and negotiating and stuff. And part of the secret to our success is that I never, ever go back on my word. But you’re just as important, you know. You’re the one that keeps this place from falling down, and you keep the customers coming back because you care so deeply about everyone. You make every single person who comes in here feel special and important, from the first-timers to the big shot bodybuilders and powerlifters. You’re why our gym is so famous all over the country, because every single person can’t wait to come back and get your advice. You’re like, this amazing guru that can get even the beginners surpassing their goals.”

I felt like I was supposed to be in control here, but wasn’t entirely.

“Uh, wow, I never thought that maybe I was the reason our gym is popular, or why everyone was having so much success. But I sure do love being helpful…”

“By the way, I know what you’re doing,” he giggled. He turned around and gently poked my squashy nose with a clawed finger. “You’re creating our future. And I fucking love where this is going. Tell me more.” He turned forward again and nestled into my chest like he was waiting for story time to continue.

I didn’t want to waste precious time asking useless questions like how could he know, or wasn’t this supposed to be his punishment, so instead I played along.

“You know what I think?” I told him. “I think you and I are going to turn this gym into a mecca for lifting. Anybody who wants to make a name in powerlifting or bodybuilding is going to want to be seen here. Someday we’re going to be so successful that we’ll have to expand like crazy. You’re going to build us top-of-the-line facilities for all kinds of meets and competitions, and our names are going to be synonymous with strength and muscle.”

“All because you’re the most amazing trainer ever,” Matt responded. “You know everything about lifting and diet and cardio and any type of exercise ever invented. You’re going to teach every single person who belongs to this gym so well that they get huge and strong and blast through their goals.”

It was like we were feeding off each other. “And helping them and cleaning and taking care of the gym will always make me feel incredible joy, just like organizing events and getting people excited to work with us and negotiating deals makes you feel like you’re on top of the world.” I had considered whether I should try to reverse my programming, but why? I got so much happiness from it, and there was no harm in it, quite the opposite.

“And we fuck, like, all the time, right? Wherever we happen to be we just drop and fuck. We’ve used every piece of equipment in here for sex in one way or another because I just can’t get enough of fucking you.”

“It’s pretty amazing we found each other, isn’t it? Your cock is the only one in the world big enough to really satisfy me, and I can take your huge dick, knot and all, like I was made for it.”

“Yeah, that’s good. So, I want a new name. Gimme a name. What’s my name?”

“Hmmm. I’m almost the only person on earth who knows your real name is Matthew. Literally everyone calls you Madd Dogg, with two D’s and two G’s. Even your mom calls you Madd Dogg, most of the time. Because when you were little you decided you weren’t going to let anybody tease you about looking like a dog, so you embraced it instead. You bark like a dog and howl like a dog, and even though everyone knows it’s just an act, they also know it’s your trademark and they eat it up. And that’s one reason every single person you meet instantly likes you. You’re honest and fearless and you’re not afraid to be unique.”

“Oh man,” Madd Dogg laughed dreamily, “I can’t wait until our next party. I’m going to have soooooo much fuuuuunnnn…” He leaned forward, barked three times, then howled. I chuckled. When he ran out of air, he flopped back against me. “I fucking love being a dog.”

“Okay, so now you have to tell me what my name is,” I said, still smiling. “Because it sure as hell isn’t Thing.”

“Oh… man… I’m so, so, so sorry about that.” He seemed to sober up for a moment, then went back to acting drunk or drugged or whatever. “Everyone calls you Muscles. I gave you that name ‘cause… it’s what I’ve called you inside my head since you started coming to this gym. I’ve always, always been into you, and at first it was because of your muscles. I mean, like, I’ve always been into you.” He looked meaningfully over his shoulder at me. He had been into me, even when I was Steve?

Steve would have beat him bloody for that. I was… flattered. Madd Dogg was pushing us in a very particular direction, and I suspected it wasn’t by mistake. It was time to make the inevitable a reality.

“Madd Dogg? Do you love me?”

“Yes,” he whispered. “Yes. I have always loved you, Muscles. Even when you were an asshole, even when I was being so cruel to you. I had tried to force you to love me after that first pill, and I don’t know if it was too soon or just impossible, but it didn’t work. So I made you forget the whole conversation. After that I just kinda went, like, literally insane, and I took it out on you. I got you fired and got Jenna to dump you that night I had your phone.”

He drew a shuddering breath and wiped his eyes. “I’m so sorry I hurt you, Muscles. I betrayed you, and I’m so sorry, but I just so badly needed you to love me, I would have given up the gym and everything in my whole life if you would just love me, and I fucked it all up. It’s just that it was killing me that I couldn’t… I just…” He sobbed loudly and punched his fist into his thigh.

I took precious minutes to think about what I was going to say. I thought about that betrayal. I thought about how uniquely comfortable we were as sex partners. I thought about how I had already set myself up to live the rest of my life as this man’s business partner. I thought with a silent chuckle that I wouldn’t need to worry about him cheating on me, given that he was bonded to me. I thought about his adorably floppy, fuzzy ears. I thought again about how good his dick felt in my ass.

“You deserve a companion, not merely a partner,” Mr. Karma advised. I had forgotten he was here.

“Maddy,” I said. (Ugh, don’t judge, it was the only nickname I could think of. I was in a rush. Sure enough, he won’t let me call him anything else now.) “That sounds like a horrible dream you had. In all the years we’ve known each other you’ve never so much as frowned at me, much less done anything mean. That’s one reason I love you more than anything in the world. You’re truly the kindest man I’ve ever met.” I glanced at the clock. It was 2:34.

“Oh my God, thank you! Thank you for loving me!” He turned and stood up so we could have a deep, passionate kiss. I worried that we were wasting the last minute of our time, but realized I didn’t care. I had the love of my life in my arms and we had set ourselves up for a very exciting life together. It was 2:35 a.m. The first minute of forever after.

“Will you marry me?” That was my Maddy, always looking for the next adventure. My heart felt like it was going to swell out of my chest. I did love him more than anything.

“Yes, Maddy, I would marry you a hundred times if I could. We can have the ceremony in here as soon as the front door’s fixed.”

Epilogue: Ten Years Later

I looked around with satisfaction at Madd Dogg & Muscles Gym. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have recognized it; we’d built it up to an amazing degree, including taking over several neighboring properties to expand outward, adding a second floor bit-by-bit, and annexing a large adjacent building. I had decorated it for our tenth wedding anniversary, but it was a working gym, so I mostly limited myself to posters and some balloons, and a big banner hung on the side of the second-floor cardio balcony, which we’d added on about eight years ago.

But a bunch of our buddies had helped with the decor. Last night they had given us a gift card for a fancy dinner together, then while we were gone, had installed a gigantic sign over Maddy’s office. It read, “Madd Dogg and Muscles” in giant letters, then underneath was our unofficial slogan, “They’re nice as can be, but ugly as fuck.” Our buddies had come up with that years ago, and we all still chuckled over it whenever someone recited it. And of course every time, Maddy and I would point at each other and say, “But he’s not ugly.” And you know what? Each of us really believes that about the other.

By the way, remember Doug Washington, the first guy to forgive me when I apologized? He’s one of the buddies I mentioned—he and I are really good friends now! And in this reality, I never did those horrible things to him or any of the other gym-goers, for which I’m really grateful. I try not to think too hard about how it’s possible that I can remember two different past lives. But I do remember the things Steve did, as a constant reminder to never be like him.

It was very early morning, before opening, on the Wednesday before Labor Day. Madd Dogg & Muscles Gym was gearing up for a big Labor Day Weekend powerlifting meet in our second building, next door to the original gym. Our regular members need to be able to keep working out when we have special events, so as soon as the big box store next door had gone out of business nine years ago, Maddy snapped up their lease. Thanks to Maddy’s business genius, we now own most of the land around our gym, and we keep the rent on the cheap side to make sure there’s a lively economy and plenty of services nearby.

Once we settled into our new lives ten years ago, we measured ourselves. I am eight foot one, and Maddy is five foot one. He weighs 102 pounds and I weigh 486. Trust me, it’s hard finding a scale that goes up that high.

My dick is exactly one inch at its hardest, and I can get a tiny little orgasm from it—more like a sigh of pleasure than a real orgasm. When Maddy gives me a “finger job” as he likes to call it, one single, precious pearl of cum oozes out. Maddy, in contrast, has an 18-inch shaft that’s six inches around, not counting his knot, which is the size of a grapefruit, but shaped more like a football. And he cums like a firehose.

Don’t ask me how my ass can accommodate such an enormous piece of meat, but ohhhhhh, does it ever accommodate! Yet it’s never gotten stretched out. I’m just as tight as I was ten years ago. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my ass still gets wet like a woman’s pussy when he’s about to enter me. Also miraculously, I can get all of his 18 inches in my throat, even though he’s as big around as a soda can. Again, don’t ask me how! I still go into my blow-job trance, and my ability to hold my breath has always outlasted Maddy’s desire to test it. But I can’t get his knot into my mouth, much to our disappointment. We’ve tried. You can’t win them all, I suppose.

One memorable morning, after he’d been saving up all night long, we tried to measure Maddy’s maximum cum output. We did it in the middle of the gym, which was a mistake. Without my ass to contain the explosion, he gushed cum fucking everywhere, and we were finding globs of it in every damn corner of the gym. There were some splatters on the 20-foot ceiling that we couldn’t get to for a year. So another morning we tested him again. Much more carefully. In the showers. He produced half a liter, which is a little over two cups. If you don’t think that sounds like a lot, take a half-liter bottle of root beer, shake it up real good, and have a fun week cleaning up the mess. He bashfully admitted that producing huge loads was the one wish that had come true exactly as he’d wanted, though he also admitted it was a stupid wish. When Mr. Karma told him he would never be able to make enough cum to exceed my capacity, apparently he took it as a challenge.

Tidying and being helpful still give me incredible amounts of joy. Being the Wise Sage for top-level competitors is really satisfying, but I especially love giving beginners advice and encouraging them, and seeing them come back again and again, not just determined to work out, but wanting to work out, looking forward to it as the highlight of their day. I never charge for my training, but anyone who listens to my advice makes miraculous progress. Remembering all the nervous guys and gals who came in on their first day either skinny or fat, and seeing them now as badass athletes, with bulging muscles and insane strength is enough to bring tears to my eyes.

That morning, as was my usual habit, I was wearing basketball shorts that would have been loose and knee-length on a normal guy, but on me they looked just like compression shorts. I wasn’t wearing a shirt, which was also typical for me. I had worn shirts maybe a couple dozen times total in the past 10 years. I just don’t like the way they fit on my abnormally massive body. The businesses around the gym know me, and either because I’m nice, or because I’m their landlord, they don’t seem to mind me coming in without a shirt, as long as the health inspector’s not there.

Nobody bats an eye that Maddy is half-dog, even though we’ve never heard of another dog-man anywhere else on earth. When people mention it, it’s spoken of in the way you might discuss someone’s hair color or left-handedness. On the other hand, everyone loves to talk about the three-foot difference in our heights, and how Maddy has too much hair while I have none at all. Hardly anyone ever makes fun, though; mostly, people seem to think it’s charming or quirky.

The fact that we’re a married gay couple who own one of the most renowned hard-core gyms in the country hasn’t even caused a ripple of controversy. Everyone who walks through our doors seems to lose any trace of homophobia they had, assuming they had any. I suspect Mr. Karma may have snuck a couple of additional reality-bending terms into my final settlement.

Maybe the most surreal fact of our new reality is that as long as Maddy and me are in the gym, folks never worry about stuff that would be outrageous or obscene from anyone else. Like when Maddy’s almost permanently erect dick is sticking up and making a huge tent in his shirt nearly to his chin, or when his balls are so round that they’re stretching his waistband out by six inches, making them perfectly visible to all. Both of us can even get away with going naked in front of a big crowd if we feel like it; people make mild comments or jokes, but no one even blushes.

The very first improvements we made to the gym after we got married were three all-gender restrooms/showers and our upstairs apartment. Maddy didn’t hesitate when I suggested all-gender restrooms, and never once complained about the cost, despite the fact that we were still struggling and took on some serious debt from all the construction. He understood why they mattered so much to me. And having an upstairs apartment in the gym we could live in was pretty obvious to both of us. We sold our cars and Maddy’s house and slept in the weight room to save money during the construction. Nowadays we’re debt-free, we don’t have to pay for rent or car insurance, and living here just feels right.

I heard my husband come out of our apartment door. As he came downstairs I felt a little fizz of happiness in my gut. I always do when I know he’s around.

“Hey, Muscle Cheeks,” he said, grabbing my ass from behind with both hands. I shivered with pleasure, then turned around.

“Mornin’, Hot Dogg.” I bent in half to give him a kiss. He threw his arms around my neck and I stood up straight. We French kissed while he hung with his feet dangling in the air and his dick poking me in the chin. I palmed his ass in one gigantic hand, gently running my thumb back and forth on his stubby little tail. Then I set him down again.

“Can we fuck, please?” Maddy asked. He was doing his cute little dance that’s like a potty dance, but it means he’s desperate for sex. Since our transformations, Maddy has needed sex from me six or seven times a day minimum, or he gets really anxious and miserable. But not one single time has he ever failed to ask nicely for sex. The answer is never “no”, but he knows it means a lot to me that he asks. “God, I want you so bad, Muscles. Please?”

“Of course.” I pulled off my shorts even though we were in direct view of the front windows. Maddy stripped with his usual eagerness and plowed himself into me just as soon as my back touched the floor. Our sizes are so different that when I get into doggy style position he fucks me standing up. But today I chose missionary because I wanted to see his adorable, fuzzy face with that sexy beard. He knelt down and got busy.

Apparently Karma or The Universe or whatever took Maddy literally when he said that about us dropping and fucking wherever we happened to be. We could be fucking and screaming right out on stage during a bodybuilding pose-down, or right in the middle of the weight room during peak hours, and nobody would think anything of it. People just act like we’re sharing a quick peck on the cheek. The only time we refrain or find some privacy is when kids are around. That’s why child care is pretty much the only service Madd Dogg & Muscles Gym doesn’t offer. When Maddy needs to fuck, he needs to fuck now.

If we’re busy, Maddy will just do a “quickie”, which for him means he doesn’t insert his knot, he just pumps his shaft in and out… like any normal guy with an 18-inch dick. Nowadays I can stay lucid as long as his knot isn’t in me, and I enjoy watching him having fun. But today we had time, so on the third thrust, I felt Maddy’s knot pop inside me and I went into my orgasm trance while he enjoyed himself. He says he loves to see the joy on my face while I’m “blissing out”, as he calls it. When he came I woke up like always, and watched fondly as he thrashed and tossed his head and groaned in ecstasy. I love how I can make him lose control like that.

Once his huge load had been pumped into me, we laid on the floor with him still inside me, talking about logistics for the invitational until he softened enough to slide back out. Then he got some of the cloths and cleaning solution we keep all over the gym and we cleaned up the cum that spilled out of me.

You know, when I re-read that last bit, it seems kind of unromantic. But there’s something you need to know about Maddy and me. Literally everything we do in this gym has romance laced through it. Whether we’re stacking chairs after a competition, or he’s watching me eat (I eat about eight times as much as he does), or he’s paying bills while I mop the floor, there’s always love flowing. The most banal chores of gym maintenance are acts of love because the gym has been an integral part of our relationship from the beginning. We know it’s not really a living thing, but we agree that there is a feeling of life and love about it. This place almost seems to breathe with us. I don’t even know if that will make sense to you, but it’s one of the most fundamental facts of our marriage.

Maddy’s cell phone rang from the pocket of his shorts. He reached over and fished it out while I put the cleaning cloths in a hamper.

“Ya got Madd Dogg on the phone… . Hey-hey! Danny, good to hear from you, man! Hey, Muscles, it’s Danny Lee!” I grinned widely as I walked back to where Maddy was standing. Daniel Lee was the guy I had first shown how to do squats, and he was entering this weekend’s meet as his first-ever competition. He could have been competing for years, but he had to get over his nerves. I was so proud of him I could burst. “Nah, Muscles and I were having sex a minute ago, but we’re done. What’s up, buddy?”

I reached down and grabbed the phone out of his hand. It was something I did all the time since his head barely came up as high as my nipples.

“Daniel!!” I shouted into the phone. “How’s my greatest success doing? Dude, are you stoked? … .No, man, don’t be nervous, you are going to dominate the iron, you’ll see… .You’ve got this, man, I mean it when I say you’re my greatest success… .I’m so fucking proud of you!“ A swat on my abs told me Maddy wanted his phone back. “I’m gonna give you back to Madd Dogg before he bites me, okay? I can’t wait, man! See you Friday!”

“Okay, I’m back,” Maddy scowled up at me. I wiggled my nonexistent eyebrows at him, earning another swat. I laughed and left him to talk. Daniel was also helping us with our online registrations, and that was out of my purview. Squeezing my ass back into my shorts, I headed toward the stairs that led up to our apartment. I needed to get the keys to the Events Building; there was a ton of set-up to get done today.

Everything in the apartment was exactly as I expected it to be, perfectly tidy and sparklingly clean except for what Maddy had left out of place during his morning routine. He left messes, not because he was a slob, but because cleaning them delighted me so much.

As I washed the couple of dishes Maddy had used for his breakfast, I noticed one mysterious item magneted to the refrigerator. Maddy surely hadn’t left it, but no one else could have gotten into our apartment without us noticing. It was a yellow sticky note with a brief message written in unfamiliar handwriting:

“Happy Anniversary and many more to my greatest success.” I smiled. I didn’t wonder who the note came from, or how it could have referred to something I had said only a few minutes before. I just tucked the note into a scrapbook I keep of our most important memories. We didn’t need a gift—how could anything compare to what we’d already been given? It was just nice to know he was keeping in touch.


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