The roommate’s gift

By Josh Barrett  Email
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• Latest update: 19 September. Next update: 3 October. (Submissions welcome.)

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It all began in John’s first year of university. It was an unassuming request: one roommate required for a year lease downtown. John had instantly fell in love with the apartment, but he knew he couldn’t pay his bills without splitting the cost.

Kareem had answered the ad almost as soon as it went up on the internet. John thought he was an ordinary guy. Also a first year, and wholly in love with the apartment as well. He had a short beard, olive tanned complexion and piercing green eyes. At first glance, John was not incorrect in assuming that he was from somewhere in the middle east, Kareem’s slight accent only confirmed his assumption.

It soon became clear that Kareem was a perfect fit for a roommate. He was clean, organized and didn’t seem like he would have any problems paying for the second half of the rent. John helped him move into the apartment and began preparing for the start of the school year.

Shortly after Kareem had moved in, John was woken up one early morning by the clash of pans from the kitchen. He cracked his door open and peaked through. What he saw took his breath away. He knew that Kareem had some hidden bulk under the baggy clothes that he usually wore, but nothing could prepare him for the sight of the muscular man shirtless in his kitchen. Kareem was huge. His body resembled that of a competition bodybuilder, only perhaps a little less leaner and definitely hairier.

John retreated back into his room unnoticed. He regarded his own body with distaste. He was pale and skinny, with just enough fat to cover up his abs completely. He had basically no body hair to speak of, which suited him just fine. The only part of his body that he had any pride for was his legs. Good genetics and a lifetime of bike riding had given him swollen calves and cut quads. He went back to bed, dreaming of what it might feel like to have a buff masculine body like his roommate’s.

School began and John found himself thrust into the daily grind of life. School and a retail part-time job kept him busy enough so that he barely saw Kareem. This didn’t stop the two from becoming closer and closer, and before either of them realized it, they were best mates.

It was one dusky evening when John’s life began to change. Kareem was probably a better cook than John could ever hope to be. He was initially uncertain about the dishes that Kareem put in front of him, but he had yet to have a bad bite, so he never refused anything. Both of them were exhausted from a full day of classes, but John was especially exhausted after getting rejected, once again, by a girl he had been seeing for a couple weeks.

Settling down to the steaming food in front of them, John blurted out his desire to have a body like Kareem’s. “That would get the girls’ attention,” he said dejectedly into his plate. Kareem looked up quickly and regarded John with those piercing eyes of his.

“You should come to the gym with me tomorrow,” he said matter of factly. His pecs instinctively twitched under his tank top as he said it.

“Yeah maybe. But I’ve tried the gym before, and it just doesn’t seem to work for me! The only things I can ever get to grow are these damned legs.” He looked down at his lower extremities with bewilderment and frustration.

“You probably weren’t eating enough,” Kareem said dryly to him. “I think I know how to help.” The slightest smile appeared on his face. He pushed his bulk out his chair and strode over to the kitchen cupboards. John watched him rifle through the numerous spices and herbs that he kept in the cupboards, before he produced a small glass container. “Salt,” he said. “From my hometown, it will help kick up that food a bit.”

John didn’t think the food in front of him needed more salt, in fact it was plenty salty already. But he only watched as Kareem knocked some of the salt into his hand. The grains were ruby red and almost seemed to play with the light in the room. John had never seen salt like that before, but he’d also never seen most of the things in Kareem’s spice cupboard, and he tended not to ask. Kareem sprinkled it over John’s food before plunking back into his own chair and tucking into the food. John watched suspiciously as the red crystals dissolved. He shrugged and began to eat.

The next morning, John was quite literally woken up by his stomach. Its desperate cries moved him quickly out of bed and into the kitchen. He was not surprised to see Kareem frying up breakfast for the two of them.

“Good morning,” he said sleepily before sauntering into the bathroom.

“Morning,” Kareem announced, not turning away from the sizzling frying pan. He smiled to himself as he heard the click of the bathroom door closing.

John looked in the mirror. “Huh,” he said flatly. His lanky body didn’t look as lanky anymore. In fact, he thought he looked pretty good! He had the first signs of some muscular definition in his chest and arms. The bulge of his legs seemed to push his boxers slightly wider than he had ever noticed before. Oddest of all, he seemed to have a slightly shadowed patch in the middle of his chest, closer inspection revealed budding hair that he had never noticed before. He rubbed the stubble on his face, that also seemed darker and denser than he had ever noticed before. It looked like he only had to wait a couple of weeks before he would be sporting a full dense beard.

John wasn’t stupid, and it didn’t take long for him to figure out what had happened. An image of the glass container with the red salt sprung into his mind. He reached into the depths of his mind, trying to remember some factoid of biology that would explain what the salt had done to his body. Nothing came to mind. “Was it dangerous?” John wondered to himself. He realized he didn’t really care, he just needed more of it.

Kareem was sitting at the table with two steaming plates as John left the bathroom. He stopped himself from smiling, the transformation had already begun. John had reacted quickly to the crystals, better than Kareem ever had, he was glad that he had only given him a little bit.

“Breakfast is ready,” he said cooly. “I’m sorry I started without you, but I need to get going, anatomy class at 8:30, remember?”

“Yeah, no worries. Thanks for breakfast!” John watched Kareem curiously as the big man shoveled the last bit of food into his mouth and grabbed his bag. They exchanged goodbyes and all at once, John was alone in the apartment. He wasted no time in seizing his opportunity.

He opened Kareem’s cupboard, expecting to find the usual mess. Instead he found exactly what he was looking for. The red salt was there, right in front of him, almost like it had been placed there on purpose. He didn’t give it much thought, only grabbing it and emptying a generous amount into his food. Just like before, it absorbed into his food. Only this time, there was so much that it left a reddish hue. He hesitated for a second, unsure of what he was doing. “It’s only salt,” he laughed to the empty room before shoveling the red food into his mouth.

He admitted, the taste wasn’t fantastic. The salt was, indeed, salty. But he ate it all. Afterwards he only sat there, waiting. But nothing happened. Maybe he was mistaken? Maybe he just hadn’t looked at himself in a while and it was just Kareem’s calorie dense food that had caused him to grow. That wouldn’t exactly explain the hair, but it made more sense than muscle growing salt.

John pulled on a shirt and pants, ignoring the feeling of tugging fabric. He would have to take the bus, there was no way he was making it to campus in time by walking.

As he flashed his student ID to the bus driver he suddenly felt his skin flush and his head go light. He quickly chose a seat in the back, happy that there was barely anyone else in the bus. His whole body seemed to go numb and cold, he realized he was sweating. John could feel every heartbeat along almost every inch of his body, as if his heart was pumping overtime.

And then he felt it. An unmistakable feeling of heaviness enveloped him and he began to grow. He looked at his forearm with a mix of disgust and ecstasy as he watched it fill with hot, hard muscle. Thick veins pushed against the skin under his arm, and as his muscles grew they appeared on the backs of them as well. He watched with bated pleasure as his forearms pumped themselves larger and larger, and thick hair began to mat on their tops.

John gasped as he felt his sleeves fill up from his swelling biceps and triceps. A tiny groan escaped his lips, which only drew the gaze of a few bus passengers who looked away before they noticed what was happening. He felt the fabric stretch and stretch until the material was skin tight over a pair of massive bodybuilder arms. A vein ran down each arm, even visible when they ascended into the sleeves of his shirt.

Unbeknownst to John, a deep crevice was forming between his ballooning pecs. It was visible above the collar of his stretching V-neck shirt. He reached with a veiny muscle hand to grope a growing pec. The muscle was hard and warm under the thin fabric, he could feel it slowly expanding under his touch. He looked down at himself, suddenly aware that his chest had grown into a thick shelf of muscle. He rubbed under the shirt, not surprised to feel a modest amount of soft hair covering the hard muscle.

As his back widened and his shirt tightened, an obvious eight pack was suddenly visible on his torso, pushing the material into eight neat mounds under his heaving pecs. He flexed an arm, delighting in the ball of muscle that formed and the explosion of vascularity that suddenly stood in stark relief against the smoothness of his skin.

His attention was suddenly diverted to his lower half, as he felt an overwhelming tightness. His legs were huge! The bulky, hairy mounds of muscle were spilling over his seat. Luckily he had worn stretchy running shorts, and the bulk had only made them ride up, revealing his now god-like lower limbs. He felt ripping and knew that his boxers had given way to his growth, giving him relief from the tightness and allowing his muscles to grow into the soft fabric of his shorts.

A couple veins ran down his massive calves, making them look even more cut and athletic. He again praised himself for wearing flip-flops, as even his feet had grown. They were long and thick, corded with athletic looking muscle and veins. He kicked off the useless flip-flops absentmindedly.

And just as soon as it started, it stopped. John’s shirt clung tightly, but securely to the muscle man’s torso. His hairy, meaty pecs were overwhelmingly visible above the deep V collar. His previously baggy running shorts were filled with hard hairy muscle, making them resemble compression shorts. He brought a meaty hand to his chin, only to realize that a short dark beard had grown. The transformation was complete. John had a body to rival his roommate’s and he knew it.

The bus trundled to his stop, just beside the main quad of his university campus. The sun was out and hundreds of students were milling around the grounds. John noticed that many of the guys were shirtless. He wasted no time in pulling his off, finally ripping it a little bit in the process. He was the biggest man on campus now, he knew it, and he loved it. Thanks to Kareem’s gift, university was about to get a whole lot better.

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