Pendant Changes 4 (Monday)

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #747
    Mark Newman


    Michelle groaned as the alarm went off, then forced her eyes open. Today was the real test. Would she go out again today, on her own this time? Or sink back into her old habits? She wanted to sleep more, having stayed up extra late finishing the math, but she focused on the feelings running gave her. She wanted those feelings again, didn’t she?

    She kicked off the covers, stood up, marched to the closet and slipped on her bra, her t-shirt and shorts. Halfway there. Tied her hair back. Socks. Shoes. A quick pee. Downstairs. A few stretches. Grab keys. Open door. Bright sunshine. Birds chirping. Deep breath. And away she went! The first few steps were hard, her muscles ached, but less than yesterday. And with each new step it got easier and easier. She lived closer to the park than Sandy. Just three blocks. There was Marie! She waved. And Annabel. Didn’t know SHE ran too. She nodded to Mark, a friend of her Dad’s, and Mark waved back, eyeing her. Dad said he ran every other day, like clockwork. Well, he was regular, but he wasn’t very fast. Michelle sped up, eager to get to the park and or put some distance between them. He was probably still looking at her ass. Hmmph. Not that she was embarrassed about it. Not anymore. Even just a few days of running and it was a lot firmer. Martin sure seemed to like touching it. Michelle grinned at the extra tingle the thought brought her.

    He was so cute. How long had he been thinking about her "that way"? As long as she’d been thinking about him? He sure had hidden it well, until Michelle had cornered him in the kitchen. She could still feel him looking at her. It had made her feel so sexy. She’d wondered if her nipples had been showing. She certainly felt them, and she had certainly noticed his arousal, the way he was standing. They’d both leaned forward and their lips had touched, and then there was no stopping them. Well, not exactly. They had stopped for a couple of minutes after half an hour or so in the kitchen, standing up, pressed up against each other with his hands on her ass and hers around his back, just to go up to her room in case her parents came home. She felt kind of sorry for him, walking so stiffly. Once they were in her room, with the door closed, she’d asked him if it hurt. He’d said no, but when she’d offered to "take care" of it he didn’t exactly put up a fight. It was really big, larger than she’d expected, and she wasn’t exactly sure what to do, but he showed her how to touch him, different from the way she touched herself, and then she was shocked at little at the way he spurted, how far it went and how much there was, but they’d cleaned it up quickly and then he’d gotten so mellow and they’d kissed again for such a long time. It was really nice and —

    "Hi Michelle. I know what YOU’RE smiling about," Sandy teased.

    Michelle had to look around to remind herself where she was. In the park. "Oh! Hi Sandy. Here I am!" She picked up the pace a little to run alongside her. "Yeah!"

    "That’s great. I always knew you guys should be together. I’m going to do some sprints. See you after English?" Michelle nodded. "OK!" Sandy zoomed away.

    Michelle watched Sandy’s legs piston and admired her calves. Michelle had a ways to go herself before she looked like that, for sure. Still, she wasn’t THAT bad herself. Her muscles were firmer than she’d thought, even after just a few days of exercise, and her body had chosen to resume the growth spurt that had stopped, all too early, when she was twelve. It would be funny if she ended up as tall as Joe! Dream on. Michelle! She picked up the pace a bit, catching up to a few slower, older guys who tried to keep up with her for awhile but then had to drop back. At least they were trying to stay in shape. Funny how few guys were out running. She never realized how many more girls went out exercising than guys. Maybe guys didn’t have to do as much to stay in shape. Certainly the guys who were out this morning weren’t the elite athletes. They probably did their running at school.

    Joe was walking through the halls to his first class, his head turning, as usual, to observe how the girls looked as they passed by. There was Pamela wearing her tight sweater. Was Jasmine bouncing as much as usual? Yes!! Look at Wendy’s see-through! Nice wiggle today, Bekka! But something felt slightly wrong. He spotted his best friend, Fred Grayson, who was in a cluster of boys at the side of the hall. He motioned to Fred, who broke away to walk with him toward math class.

    “Hey, Freddie!”

    “Joe. Hey, we were just talking. Does something seem a little different to you?”

    “Um, maybe. Like what were you thinking?”

    “I don’t know. It’s like the girls are wearing heels today. But they’re not. Think it’s a gag they’re pulling? Thicker soles or something?”

    Freddie, at five-eight, was always self-conscious about his height. “I don’t know. I was going to say something else. Like, did you see Pamela? She’s practically busting — and I do mean busting — out of her sweater today. Any tighter and it’ll explode!” Both boys grinned at the image and wished they could be there when it did. Neither mentioned that their own clothes felt a little loose or that the hems of their pants were dragging a bit.

    Mrs. Paterson paced the classroom, her long legs needing just three strides to get from one side to the other. "War in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nations raising tariff barriers against unfair foreign competition. Russian armies intervening in the Caucasus. All of these were in the news headlines this weekend — and also in the headlines ninety years ago. Why do we study history? Is there anything truly new in the world?"

    Harold raised his hand. "Hip hop. There was no hip hop ninety years ago. No Eminem either."

    "But there was Baudelaire, fifty years before that. As decadent and outrageous as any of today’s writers. Perhaps more so. And Rimbaud."

    "Rambo?" Harold asked. "He wasn’t a real person, was he?" The class roared with laughter.

    Kimberly raised her long arm and shook her head, her curly blond hair bouncing around her. "What about the sports pages? There are new things there that’ve never happened before."

    "Kimberly, I hardly think that the ups and downs of a few steroid enhanced musclemen have ANYTHING to do with the tides of history we discuss in this class."

    "It’s not those men I’m talking about. It’s women. The New York Marathon on Sunday. The fastest time ever run by a woman. Paula Ratcliffe, in two hours, twelve minutes. It was three minutes faster than she’d ever run before and only thirty seconds slower than the winning man. I think THAT’S historic."

    "You WOULD start on THAT, Kimberly," said Jacob, who sat next to her, sniggering. "But you’re still not nearly as fast as the guys."

    Kimberly turned red and raised her hand to swat him but before Mrs. Paterson could intervene, Sandy raised her voice, "Kim’s right! Just when before in history have women been equal to men? Not in anything WE’VE ever studied! So this is new. Women closing the gap and doing everything men can do."

    "It ISN’T new. It never HAS happened and never WILL!" Jacob replied, to the cheers of the guys. "Remember, Ratcliffe LOST, Sandy! She lost, like women ALWAYS lose against men. It’s nothing new. It’s the way of the world. That’s why you need your separate little girls’ teams and separate girls’ records."

    "The teams are separate yes, and they’re not equal. It isn’t fair. The boys always get more money, more attention." Kimberly protested.

    "Exactly my point!" said Jacob. "That’s how it should be. Boys like sports more than girls and we’re better at it and MOST people prefer to watch US. So it’s OBVIOUS we SHOULD have more teams AND more money."

    Celia looked over at Jacob. He was on the basketball and baseball teams, a scrappy player, but not a natural athlete. His face was red, as it always was when he was in a game. Jacob was always in the middle of the important plays, always the last on the team to give up. He was always arguing too, always looking for the edge, for some advantage his build or his ability didn’t entitle him to. She looked at his thin arms, his slight frame and smiled slowly. She had always hated Jacob. Ever since first grade when he’d made fun of the doll she had brought in for "show-and-tell" and then took it from her in the playground and muddied it. She had cried for hours. That was a long time ago. Yes, he would do nicely for her "first". Bob didn’t count. After all, he was her brother.

    "Class! Class!" As she always did when discussions got out of hand, Mrs. Paterson rapped her pointer against the desk twice. With the second rap, the stick broke and flew into the air, landing on Michelle’s desk. Michelle jumped and let out a little squeal, to the laughter of the class.

    "I’m sorry, Michelle. Fortunately it didn’t hit you," Mrs. Paterson said quietly. Then, more loudly. "At least some of you have been doing your reading. ‘Separate but equal’ was national policy, even after the Equal Protection Amendment. Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas changed that rule and started the process to end racial segregation. They decided separate was not be equal. That was new. But did it end racial discrimination? Have things really changed?"

    "What does that have to do with discrimination against women?" Sandy said, unhappy that Mrs. Paterson had changed the topic.

    "You can’t compare racial and sex discrimination in importance," said Harold. "I mean, being an African American and all, I have a certain INTEREST in the matter. Discrimination against us was just plain evil. But girls are weaker than boys. They can’t do as much and they have to be protected so they don’t get hurt." He grinned. "I guess just like the white boys used to think they needed protection against US so they wouldn’t let US play against THEM. But now we know better. Right, guys?"

    "Can you imagine a girl on the front line against Harold?" Jacob said. "SPLAT!" Harold laughed. Celia did too, but more quietly.

    Mrs. Paterson started to bang her pointer on the desk, then caught herself. "Class! Class!! All right, we seem to have touched a nerve here. Kimberly has made an important point. Much has changed in this area even though the physical, objective facts are exactly the same as they were in the past. We all recognize — without having to name each of them — that there are, and always will be, genuine physical differences between the sexes. Yet each society interprets these differently. Each society makes different allowances for the objective facts that only women get pregnant, that women are, on average, much smaller and weaker than men, etc. Yet despite the consistency in the objective facts, men and women are more equal in our society now than they were ninety years ago, but less so in present day Saudi Arabia and more so in Sweden. Why? Do you think the changes are real or just for show? Permanent or temporary? Do you think we’ll become more like Sweden or more like Saudi Arabia?" A sea of blank faces greeted her. "Right. Well, let’s hear from some different people. Michelle?"

    "I think things have gotten tons better for women. When my Mom turned twenty, she just got married and had kids. I have lots of choices," she said breathlessly, then looked at Martin and blushed. "Not that I exactly know what I want to do," she said with a nervous giggle.


    "Um, I like that girls are different — physically, I mean. I think they should uh feel good about being girls and not have to be like boys." He looked at Michelle. "But it’s great that they have a choice."

    Mrs. Paterson looked around the room until her eyes rested on one girl. "Juliet. Surely you have an opinion. Perhaps you can share it with us, instead of doing your other work?"

    There was a nervous titter in the classroom as Juliet looked up from the notebook where she had been busily writing. "You don’t really want to know what I think, do you Mrs. Paterson?"

    "Oh yes I do, Juliet! You are part of this class too and you must participate."

    There was a sharp intake of breath from a few of the other students. Juliet closed her notebook, sheathed her fountain pen and took a deep breath. "If you insist, Mrs. Paterson. But I wonder why are you are teaching history if you think nothing ever changes?"

    Mrs. Paterson’s sharp reply stifled the low titters that erupted around the room. "I’m looking for an answer to my question, Juliet. What I think is not what you should concern yourself about."

    "Oh I know you are. And I do agree. I don’t much care what you think. Let me rephrase your question so I can best understand it: which clever student in this room can articulate a sophisticated point of view about the nature of historical change that you yourself are unable to develop? Why, that must be me! I’m the one you expect to give you an idea that you can use. Here’s another question: Isn’t it funny how our class discussion today bears so little relation to what you’re supposed to be teaching us, while being suspiciously close to tonight’s essay topic in the course you’re taking for the Masters Degree, which you need to get a raise? What is it called? ’20th Century Revolutions: Were they revolutionary or just more of the same?’"

    "Juliet Masters! How dare you! Of course I use ideas I get from my courses to enrich the curriculum! For your impertinence and lack of respect, you’ll march yourself right down to —

    "You use OUR ideas in your own papers. Or I should I say you use mine. I even found a paragraph I wrote on last week’s test in your latest paper, word for word. You gave me an ‘A’ on the test. I gave you an ‘F’. For plagiarism." Juliet smiled. "Would you like your paper back now or at class tonight?"

    Mrs. Paterson grew pale and sat down. "N-n-now, Juliet —

    "Maybe you forgot I work part time for your professor? Or perhaps you never knew? How DID we get on this subject? You wanted my opinion about how women’s roles have changed in the past ninety years? I’ll tell you now. The changes over the last ninety years for women are real, as real as the changes in fashion that happen every year, and they have exactly as much substance. Someone ignorant of history and fashion is handicapped in making his or her way in the world, just like someone who doesn’t speak the right language. But civil rights laws don’t make women ‘more equal’ than we used to be. Really, all this talk about equality is complete nonsense. It completely misses the point. No one is equal. We’re all in a battle with each other to get what we want. Some of us are more successful than others. As I am, even though I’m ‘only’ a girl. That wouldn’t have held me back ninety years ago and it doesn’t hold me back now. I’m determined to have my way no matter how much power ‘society’ may think I have or should have." She looked around the room. "Of course, being ‘just a girl’ is a great cover. Historically, women could exercise power rapaciously even while hiding the fact they were doing it, because of those physical differences that never change. Our relative lack of muscle makes men underestimate us and discourages many women themselves from even trying. Leaving the field clear for a few others," she chuckled, "like me. But just imagine what would happen if WE were the MUSCULAR sex. Then all the rules would be thrown out. All the codes of behavior, all the expectations, all the habits people adopt to muddle through their daily lives would lose their value. That would be … interesting, now, wouldn’t it?" Sandy turned suddenly around and looked at Juliet, who slowly met her gaze. "Was there anything else, Mrs. Paterson?"

    Harold and the other linebackers lined up against the tackle sled for the sixth time. “Hut, hut HUUUUUUUT!!!” Coach Mack screamed as the sled crept forward. “What’s wrong with you!! Put some MUSCLE into it!! MORE!! MORE!!!! Jesus!! What ARE you!! A bunch of FUCKIN GIRLS!!!???”. Harold pushed with all his strength, his legs shaking with the effort. HE was giving it everything he had. The other guys must be slacking off. But no, looking to his left and right he could see they were working as hard as he was. “All right. All right! Knock it off!” Harold leaned against the cushion. He couldn’t have felt worse. He was breathless, shaking, dog-tired. It was like the first practice of the year. No, worse. Like the time he played right after a bout with the flu. He looked around at his teammates. They were ALL in the same condition. Were they all coming down with the same bug? It WOULD be the week of the game with South Metro.

    “What are you doing? Trying to make ME look bad?” Dave called out between gulping breaths. They’d run the play seven times now without connecting on a single pass. Frank threw his helmet down in disgust. The last was another under thrown, wobbly toss, his third. His arm was hurting, his helmet was slipping down over his eyes. Some joker must have switched around the uniforms! Dave was right. His throwing was awful. But then Dave didn’t look any good either. He wasn’t reaching the marker quickly enough, throwing off the timing of the play, his turns weren’t crisp and he’d dropped a pass he should have held. Frank walked around, trying to get back into the zone. His eyes caught the girls’ soccer team, working out on the lower field alongside the football field. They’d be playing South Metro too, but Saturday morning, at nine, with about four fans watching, usually the parents of a few players. Not at all like the football games with stands filled all the way down the sidelines and the cheerleaders revving them up. But with the way he was feeling, he wished he could play without a crowd. The fewer people who saw them play like this, the better. Just then he saw a bullet-like kick from midfield zip into the goal. Wow! Was that Sandy? He had no idea she could kick with so much power and accuracy. Look at them hug each other with excitement. Right now, he could sure use some of what they had!

    Meanwhile, fifty yards away.

    "Great shot, Sandy!" Marissa said, giving Sandy a squeeze.

    Charlene slapped her hip. "That was fantastic! We’re going to crush South Metro this year! Smash them!"

    Sandy put her arms around her teammates. "Thanks. But I’ve heard they’re pretty tough too."

    "Yeah, but we’ve really improved. ALL of us!"

    "It’s a good thing. Have you been watching the boys? They’re going to get slaughtered Saturday. They look absolutely pathetic."

    Sandy put her hands on her hips and turned to watch Dave miss another pass, this one too high, sailing above his hands as Frank overcompensated for his other weak tosses. It took a wild bounce and tumbled spinning toward the girls.

    "Was THAT a jump? Dave better get that lead out of his ass if he wants to keep playing!" Charlene cracked. "And Frank. I mean, I could throw better than HE is."

    That gave Sandy an idea. "Wait a minute." She sprinted toward the ball and grabbed it before a huffing Dave got even halfway to it. Dave walked closer and held out his hands for a lob from Sandy, but instead she reached back and threw a clothesline pass, a perfect spiral, all the way back to Frank, who caught it squarely in the chest. Dave looked at her in shock.

    "Man, Sandy, you are HOT today! I had no idea you could throw like that! You gonna play softball with us this year instead of messing around with that pole vaulting?" Charlene said, holding her hands up high for Sandy to slap them. "With an arm like that, you’d be good enough for baseball!"

    "Maybe I would be," Sandy said. "Maybe I would."

    Jacob normally didn’t leave school right away, preferring to finish his homework quickly so that he didn’t have to bring it home. So Celia sat in the corner of the library opposite him, doing her own, finishing it, in fact, before he did. His slowness annoyed her, but another part of her didn’t mind. Being annoyed at Jacob only made her happier for now. The only thing making her impatient was her eagerness to use "her" new exercise set. But she would get to that.

    Jacob answered the last English homework question and slammed the book shut. Why did he have to waste his time reading Dickens? Oliver Twist was such a victim! Not an ounce of smarts to him. This is something to study? This is supposed to prepare him for life after school? The book would have been more interesting if it focused on Fagin or Bill Sykes, not a loser like Oliver, rescued at the last minute just because he’s related to someone else! As if that had any relevance to him! At least it was done. He looked up and frowned. There was Celia again. He had a funny sense that she was following him. Ever since history class. What was that about? Did she all of a sudden have a crush on him? Ugh. Although he had to admit, there was something different about her today. A bit hotter, maybe. But also a bit fleshier. He didn’t like that. He was always smaller than the guys on the team and he didn’t like girls to be bigger than he was in any category — except tits and ass of course. Well, he had plenty of ways to get rid of her if he had to. She was always such a pest, as long as he’d known her. He gathered his books up, dumped them in his locker and left, thankful he didn’t have to carry them home. They were feeling particularly heavy today.

    Celia dumped her own books in her locker, which was on Jacob’s way out of the rear entrance, nearest the path to his house. But when he didn’t pass by for several minutes she realized he might have used another way out. Maybe he was on to her. She dashed out the door and saw him two blocks away. Shit! She broke into a run, increasing the pace as she found she could do so without losing her breath. She needed to catch up before he got to the end of the path and reached the main street. "Hey Jacob!" she called. "Wait a minute."

    Jacob turned and frowned and then kept walking. He made no move to run. Why should he? If she wanted so badly to embarrass herself he’d be glad to oblige. She caught up and then, surprisingly, stood in front of him, as if blocking his path, almost inviting him to push her aside. Well, he’d be glad to do it, in a minute. But for now he just said, "Well, it’s Celia the Pest. What the fuck do you want?"

    She stood with her hands at her hips, surveying him. He was a little taller than she was, wiry, but thinner than he had been in her mind’s eye. All the more evidence in favor of that Lady Volcana. "We’ll start with forty bucks for my doll."

    "You’re nuts, Pest." Before today, Jacob hadn’t called her that in a few years, but he knew it still bugged her. He looked her up and down, noticing the way her breasts were pushing the two sides of her blouse between the buttons. "Or is that your price for looking inside your shirt? ‘Cause I can tell you it’s not enough." He waited for her reaction, then added. "You’ll have to pay me a lot more than that to look at you." Jacob was always proud of his insults.

    Celia reddened. "Price just went up Jakie. That’s $50, plus an apology." She stepped closer. "A little weakling like you oughtn’t take such chances, you know." She stepped closer, keeping herself alert. She tensed her muscles, feeling the pulse stretch her blouse, making the sleeves tight and the gap grow wider. She wondered if Jacob noticed.

    Was she ASKING him to hurt her? She was a pest, but was she a masochist? Was there another trick here? Someone watching them? Was she trying to get him in trouble? He looked around. No one there. This area by the woods was always pretty empty. He didn’t see what her angle was. Everybody always had an angle.

    Is he looking around to see if anyone is there to watch him hit me? Or is he looking for help? Celia figured it was the former now. But soon it would change. Her heart was beating hard. It was excitement. But it also felt like strength. Like the hardness of the muscles she’d never had before. A hardness Jacob could not expect. He’d know, soon enough.

    "Just get the fuck out of my way, Pest!" he said, more harshly. When she didn’t move he pushed her shoulder, making her turn slightly. Very slightly. She stood her ground. She was tougher than he thought. And dumber. "Last chance, pest." He glared at her. She glared back. He stepped to her right and shoved her to move her aside. She was ready. She planted her sturdy left leg in place and held her ground. He looked surprised and rammed into her shoulder first. Celia bent slightly, her knees flexed, and meeting his thrust pushed back against him, knocking him back.

    "Weakling!" she said with contempt. "Weaker than a girl!" She advanced now, letting his surprise shade into fear, and pushed him, forcing him away from the road and into the woods. He was moving backwards now, unsure of his footing, unable to resist. "Weaking! Wimp! Wuss!" she said, the words flowing every couple of steps. She shoved him against a tree. "What do you have on you, little boy?" She stood in front of him, arms folded.

    He looked at her as though she were an alien. "What’s got into you Celia? Y-you’re acting so strange." He’d thought she looked fleshy. But it wasn’t fat. It was muscle. Weird! Was she on steroids or something? What was fucking happening?

    "Is it Celia now? Well, I asked you a question." She hit him in the shoulder, putting all her new-found stength into it. He looked startled. That must have hurt. It felt good from her side though. She had ALWAYS wanted to hit Jacob. He put up his arms to hit back and for a brief moment Celia was afraid, but she put her own arms up too. He punched but she blocked it with her arm. It didn’t hurt much. Hardly at all. She hit him back, putting her weight behind it, pushing right thorough his arms into his chest. He seemed dazed, his eyes watering slightly. She put her fists up again and he held up his open hands. He was giving up already!

    "WAIT! Wait. I … I have … I don’t have much … I" He fumbled for his wallet. He pulled it out, his hands shaking. "Don’t hit me again. Please. You on’t have to. I’ll give you what you want. What do you want?" He felt like Oliver Twist. A helpless boy. A small boy. With no one to help him. But who was she? Celia the Pest? A bully? A mugger?

    She laughed and took the wallet from him. "Fifteen dollars?" She removed it and stuck it in her jeans. She shoved him against the tree and held him there, pinning his arms against the hard bark. "I want you to kiss my shoes."

    "Your shoes?" He looked down at the dirty shoes, flecked with mud. She squeezed his arms more tightly. His eyes watered. His face spoke the anwer to a question he couldn’t bring himself to ask.

    "Oh yes, I’m stronger than you, Jakie. Much stronger, obviously, you little weakling. Now kiss them. Lick the tops clean. I want to see your tongue work. I want to see dirt on that pink little tongue of yours. "NOW!" She laughed as he bent over and kissed the tops of her shoes and then, slowly, reluctantly, began licking them clean, spitting carefully to the side as his outh filled with dirt. "Tomorrow you’l bring in more money for me. Until you’ve paid for that doll from ten years ago. Paid several times over. And you’ll run when I call. You’ll be my little helper in school. You’ll do what I ask. No questions. Servoce with a smile. you’ll find me between classes. See if there is anything I need or want. And you won’t tell anyone about what I’ve done to you in the woods. They’ll all thinnk it’s just a little fetish of yours. Needing to please the Pest. The Superpest. Right?" She smiled and held up one foot. "Look how clean this one is … and now do the other one … now." She laughed and put her hands on her hips, looking down at him. She felt so powerful. She was the SuperPest!


    "Hello? Yeah? Oh, hi Sandy."

    "Can you talk?"

    "Uh huh. They’re out now. There’s no food in the house. My dad took my brothers out for burgers."

    "Theresa. Come over my house, ok?"

    "Sandy! I can’t do that."

    "I won’t say anything. I won’t tell anyone. We … we need to talk." There were several seconds of silence. "My mom’s away. No one will see you. No one will know you’re here." More silence. At least she hasn’t hung up, Sandy thought, hopefully.

    "If I leave it will just be worse when I come back."

    "I don’t think so. That’s what I want to talk to you about. Please, Theresa. We don’t have to talk about … what happened to you. It’s your business. I understand."

    "You couldn’t POSSIBLY understand."

    "I understand enough to know you don’t want anyone else to know. I’m not going to take that away from you. You deal with it the way you want to, Theresa. But come over. For a few days. That will be enough."

    "Enough for what?"

    "I don’t want to talk about it over the phone. Will you come?" Sandy waited, listening to Theresa breathe.


    Forty minutes later Sandy opened the back door and helped Theresa bring her bag in. She stopped by the kitchen table, where she had left a large bowl with a fresh salad with cheese and hard boiled eggs and a large piece of chocolate cake. "That’s yours. You said you were hungry."

    Theresa stared at it. She blinked a couple of times and tears started running down her face. "Don’t do this to me!”

    Sandy said nothing. She turned away and left the room with Theresa’s bag. When she returned two minutes later Theresa had eaten a third of the salad. Sandy went to the refrigerator, took out another bowl and joined her, eating.

    “This is very good,” Theresa said. “Do you have any milk?”

    “Yeah.” She poured each of them a tall glass.

    “Builds strong bones.”

    “Strong muscles too.”

    Theresa failed to stifle a short laugh. “I guess.”

    “You KNOW what’s happening. Don’t you?”

    Theresa looked at Sandy, chewing steadily. “I guess I have a good idea.”

    “If you stay here ’til the end of the week, I don’t think you’ll have any problems when you go home.”

    “You think?” Sandy nodded. Theresa used the last bit of cheese to mop of the rest of the dressing. “You don’t by any chance —

    “Sure do.” She took out a large bowl of greens and tomatoes and quickly sliced some cheese into it and gave it to her friend.

    Theresa watched her. “No one’s made me dinner for years.”

    “Figures. I’ve got some lasagna too. My mom left it for me. I’m going to warm some up for myself. There’s plenty.”

    “I LOVE your Mom’s lasagna.”

    “She still makes it the same way as when you used to eat dinner here.” Theresa started crying again. “I’m sorry, Ther. I don’t want to make you feel bad.”

    Theresa shook her head and unexpectedly leaned her head onto Sandy’s shoulder. Sandy put her hand on Theresa’s head and stroked her hair lightly. Theresa sniffled, lifted her head back up, wiped her eyes and laughed and wiped her eyes again. “Michelle’s dumb little stone.”

    “Yeah.” Sandy rubbed Theresa’s arm and took out the lasagna.

    “Why don’t you take off your jacket,” she said as she divided it in two and put it in the microwave. Theresa bit her lip then slipped it off. She was wearing just a sleeveless undershirt beneath. “My shirts don’t really fit. They didn’t before — they were all old. And now …. That was my biggest jacket. But it’s too tight.”

    “I’m having the same problem. But I can use my Mom’s clothes for now. I don’t know what she’s going to do.”

    “Go shopping I guess.” The microwave beeped.

    “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t have the money to replace this.”

    “I was thinking. My Dad was pretty big. I think we have a leather jacket from his biker days. It’s not exactly your style but —

    “Beggars can’t be choosers.”

    "You’re not a beggar! We’re friends. We help each other out." Sandy took the lasagna out and put half on a plate for Theresa. "So … you’ve been working out."

    "I’ve been using the boys’ barbell. It helps me when I get really angry."

    "It’s been helping you other ways too. Let’s see." Theresa hesitated. "Come on! You’re … WOW!"

    "Yeah." She looked at her muscle and squeezed it harder, making the rounded ball rise even further. "I’ve been doing pull-ups on the door frame. Pushups. Curls with the furniture. I can’t stop myself — it feels so good. And then all the exercise makes me so hungry, so I’ve been eating all sorts of scraps around the house, the stuff the boys don’t like. But I’ve still been dying of hunger."

    "Your body needs a lot of fuel to grow and make muscle."

    Theresa gave her a long look. She took a deep breath. "Even when it’s magic?"

    Sandy shrugged. "I don’t know."

    "Yeah, beats me too."

    "I’ve been trying to remember exactly what I said. What I wished."

    Theresa chuckled and curled her tongue onto the side of her lip to capture a fleck of sauce. "You were very bad, you know."

    "Was I?" Sandy bit her lip. "You mean, I didn’t say, um, that we girls should, you know, get as much out of exercising as guys do?"

    Theresa shook her head. She turned her wrist back and forth, watching her large muscle change shape. "Heh-heh. No, not exactly."

    "What did I say?" Sandy had stopped eating, the fork suspended midway between the plate and her mouth.

    Theresa smiled. "You wished that we got more, lots more. And not just compared to guys generally. You said lots more than the guys on the football team, you know, the strongest jocks at the school. I remember you said that, because when you did I had an image of those football guys showing off their silly muscles."

    "Oh. Jeez." Sandy glanced down at her arm. "I did? This is, like, really something."

    "I know. I started suspecting on Saturday. I just felt different. And I was feeling stronger. I got too cocky, which is why they beat me up so badly. But I could see it in my body. I could see how hard they were working to hurt me, and I felt like their punches hurt less than usual. Although it went on longer. They were all in on it, you know. Maybe they sensed it too. Sensed that without all of them it might not have worked.” She tightened her fist a few times and watched her muscle bounce up and down. “Or maybe that it was their last chance.”

    “Theresa I’m so sorry.”

    Theresa brushed her hair back, revealing a bruise next to her ear, the purple already fading to yellow. “Yeah, well, anyway, what else could it be? And now, thinking about it has been the only thing that’s been keeping me going these days. But I haven’t really wanted to admit it to myself. Since I’d be so totally crushed if it weren’t really true. But it’s got to be, Sandy. There’s no other way to explain it."

    Sandy nodded. "I know."

    "Let’s see yours."

    Sandy raised her arm and her biceps rose steadily, looking much larger than Theresa’s. "It’s amazing how big it’s gotten, and how quickly. My legs are even more incredible. I was kicking bullets on the soccer field today. All of us were doing great. And my endurance — it’s off the charts! Even Michelle, who’s been out running in the park every day since the wish. I think you put in something about our level of fitness?” Theresa nodded. “Of course, our opponents will be just as improved, but it will be a great game Saturday. Hey, I caught some of the football players watching us. They looked like total shit, Theresa. Slow, weak, out of breath, throwing these soft, wobbly little passes. And missing them."

    "Throwing like girls?" Theresa suggested.

    "Not like this girl!" Sandy said. "I wonder if they suspected anything, watching us."

    "I doubt it. They just take it for granted that they’re superior."

    "True, but you know, Theresa, it’s all going to change. It’s changing so quickly. Can you imagine what it’s going to be like when it hits them?"

    "I know. It’s almost scary."

    "It’s wonderful."

    "If it’s really true."

    "Some people are catching on. You should have been in History today. Juliet said —


    "Yeah. She must have figured something out. Not that she said so out loud.”

    “She’d never say what she really thinks.”

    “No. And there were two domestic violence cases on the news tonight. Wives beating up husbands. You should have heard the banter after the second story. The anchor guy, I don’t remember his name, made a crack about checking what’s been put in the water upstate, and the reporter, Michelle Charlesworth, just laughed and said I think you better be real nice to your wife tonight. She was wearing one of those jackets so you couldn’t see her arms, but I’ve heard she’s a real jock."

    “We’re gonna get so strong!”

    “Yeah. I brought you your books for homework. We can do it together and then maybe work out a little. I have some weights here.”

    “You bet!” Theresa sighed. “You know, it feels so good to work out now, almost like it’s a drug.”

    Sandy nodded. "Interesting point. This feeling could easily be addictive. I guess we’ll be able to see who can’t resist."

    Jonathan stood in the middle of the stage and looked around the dark, empty auditorium trying to find Juliet. “Juliet! Where are you? Juliet?"

    "I’m up here!" she called from the control room.

    "Why are we rehearsing here? How’d you get a key, anyway?”

    “I interned as an assistant director here over the summer,” Juliet called back as she turned on the banks of lights. “I needed the keys then, and since I may do more here later this year they haven’t made me return them. There!” she said as the last one came on. “This is a much better place to practice than at the cafeteria at school. It’s a real stage, like where we’ll perform. In just two and a half weeks.”

    “Don’t remind me." He squinted as he looked for her. "I still don’t know all the lines.”

    Juliet’s footsteps echoed through the large auditorium. “You’ve gotten 80% there, Jonathan, in just three days. You’ll know them all by tomorrow night. Trust me. You didn’t think you’d learn them this quickly, did you?” He shook his head. “And we’ve gotten your parents behind it. Your Dad’s even selling tickets.”

    “I don’t know how you did it. And I probably even aced the trig test, thanks to those tips you gave me. They were exactly what he put on the test. When my folks see that grade, they’ll flip. They keep talking about you. Of course you’ve got me working so hard on this and my studies I don’t have time for anything else.”

    “Is that a problem?” Juliet kicked off her shoes and walked across the stage, toward him. “You’re enjoying it, aren’t you? Hard work can be very satisfying, when you’re with the right person.” She stopped about six feet away and smiled.

    “Yeah. Do you work this hard all the time?”

    “I don’t need much sleep.”

    “Are you really a black belt in karate?”

    “So many questions. Tae kwon doh, actually. It’s good for the body, for discipline. And self-defense.”

    Jonathan looked at her, bathed in the stage lights. “I hope you don’t mind my saying it, but it’s not like you need it. You’re a big girl. Bigger than I thought you were at first.”

    “You think so?" She turned her body slightly, back and forth, so the light shone on her from different angles. Did he see? Did he realize? "I like sports. Golf, tennis. I’m on the golf team.”

    “I heard." He blinked. "It’s really going to be this bright, huh? Things look kind of strange in this light."

    "You think so?"

    "Well for instance, you … never mind. So, uh, what part should we do? Do you want to go over Act 1 again?”

    “You did fine this afternoon with the rest of the class. We need to work on Act 2 and Act 4. I want to make a couple of changes in the staging.”

    “But Mrs. Paul —

    “She’ll understand.”

    “I don’t understand. Why are you changing them? Don’t I have enough to learn without changing what I already know?”

    “They won’t work the way I blocked them out originally.” Juliet put her hands on her hips and looked Jonathan up and down, carefully. He was so cute. She was so looking forward to this rehearsal. Could he tell? She said a silent prayer of thanks to the god or demon who had done this for her. She was in no hurry and calmed herself as much as she could. “Come here, Jonathan.” Jonathan stepped to the center of the stage. Juliet turned away so Jonathan was behind her. What must he think? He’s said nothing. Boys! "We’ll start with Act 4, Scene 4. The original way. You know the lines now?"


    "I’ll start from just after you try to cheer me up. I’m NOT unhappy. At least I wasn’t! Not until I met you!"

    Jonathan scowled. "I never wanted this! But I swear, milady, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for your happiness."

    "Is that SO? Would you take back the things you’ve said? Would you treat me as a mere servant should treat a lady? Would you tell me, to my face, that you don’t love me, that you never HAVE loved me?"

    They stood close. Jonathan could feel the heat from Juliet’s body as he paused the five seconds as she’d instructed. Then, concentrating on his intonation and the volume, said, "No, milady. That one thing I cannot do!"

    Juliet allowed herself to fall backward into Jonathan. He caught her and staggered backwards, struggling to hold her as her body bent up at the waist, her legs nearly horizontal. She looked up. "Should we try that again?" she said quietly.

    "Yeah, yeah. I’m SO sorry, Juliet. I … I haven’t been feeling —

    "Are you sure you’re UP for this, Jonathan? You think you can do this scene?"

    "Of course I can!"

    She straightened herself, taking her weight off him. "Well, then, let’s do it again, from your line." She stood in front of him again.

    "No, milady. That one thing I cannot do!" She fell backwards again. He caught her.

    She could feel the full force of his strength holding her up, his weakened muscles straining as they trembled with the effort of supporting her. She turned her head back slightly and brushed her lips against his. She liked his taste. It was nice having him support her. Feeling it was something she might never experience again, she let it go on as long as she dared, then broke off the kiss and turned to face him fully. "That you cannot do it is why … is why I love you, why I shall always love you!" They held the pose for several seconds. "The stage lights would go off here. That was much better. Better than I’d expected. We should do it a few more times. Are you ready?" He nodded. Just look at how he hard he was breathing. How long would he let it go on? It was sad, in a way. This gallant, stubborn, male insistence on his physical superiority. What will he ever do when he can no longer maintain the pose? How long would he struggle tonight to keep it up? She couldn’t wait to see. "All right then. I’m NOT unhappy. At least I wasn’t! Not until I met you!"

    "I never wanted this! But I swear, milady, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for your happiness."

    "Is that SO? Would you take back the things you’ve said? Would you treat me as a mere servant should treat a lady? Would you tell me, to my face, that you don’t love me, that you have never DARED to love me?"

    "No, milady. Those things I cannot do!"

    Juliet fell backwards again into his arms. He barely caught her, and it was all he could do to keep her from hitting the ground. Very gallant of him. Juliet looked up. "What’s wrong, Jonathan? If we’re to do the scene as I originally planned it, you HAVE to catch me."

    "I don’t know what’s wrong! I haven’t been feeling right. I –" He gestured with his hands but words failed him.

    Juliet pushed herself up so that they stood close together and patted Jonathan’s cheek sympathetically. "That’s all right. I had a feeling there was a problem. That’s what I was saying before."

    Her nearness unnerved him, more than when they were doing the play. "But we don’t have to change the scene. I can do it!"

    "Acting is intensely physical, Jonathan. I’m sure you’ve felt that, just in the few days we’ve worked together so closely. The chemistry between the players is all important. The more real it is on stage, the more an audience will involve itself. Can you sense that?” He nodded. “Now, if in real life you’re not strong enough to catch me, the audience will sense that. We have to change the way we stage it. It’s as simple as that." She watched him closely, tingling as she waited for the inevitable protest. Which didn’t come!

    Jonathan let the remark about his strength pass. "But can’t you just fall more gently?"

    "Of course I can. But the easier I make it for you, the more it will appear to our audience that I’m manipulating you, that I’m only feigning my unhappiness, my emotion, and only pretending to faint, making my character a devious vixen rather than a noblewoman overpowered by the love of a humbly born man. Or is that how you see me — I mean, my character?"

    "No. Of course not. You’re — she’s — just as you described her." Jonathan looked at her more intently. It was hard not to see Juliet in the same way as the character in the play. Was it her acting, or was she really like that? Or maybe that’s why she portrayed the character like that — because that was who she was. She really was an amazing girl. So sexy, and yet his parents adored her. Already. That would normally be the kiss of death for his feelings about any girl, but Juliet’s kisses, whether they were genuine or were just acting, made him see stars.

    Juliet smiled. "We can decide later. We need to see how it works. We’ll try the scene in Act 2 again. The first kiss." Jonathan nodded.

    He got into position. "You’re not here for drink, milady, nor for food. What you want is not what a tavern keeper can bring you. You want a man."

    "DO I? Are you MORE than a tavern keeper? Are YOU a man?"

    "That is what I am, milady."

    "You have the arrogance of a man, clearly, and the," she cleared her throat, "the strength of a man. That I can see. But do you also have the heart of a man?"

    Jonathan took her arms and pulled her toward him. "Do you doubt it?" She resisted. He pulled still harder.

    "More," she said, under her breath. He was pulling with all his strength now. His face was reddening. Was he really THAT much weaker? Or was it that she’d gotten so much stronger? It was so much easier to hold him off tonight than it had been just yesterday, when she had just stopped resisting and let her arms collapse. "Come ON, Jonathan. Harder!" He was desperate now, poor baby. Desperate, frustrated and hopelessly confused. Well, she wasn’t going to give in tonight. She was too curious to see what he would do; how we would react.

    "What’s WRONG with me?" he cried out, giving up. "I’m getting SO WEAK!" He covered his face with his hands. "I’ve been feeling this way all weekend, and it just gets worse and worse! And I think I’m getting smaller too! Like I’m shrinking!" He might have been in tears.

    Juliet looked at him calmly. He seemed so sad. She supposed it must be awful for him, although weakness was one thing she had always found nearly impossible to empathize with; admitting weakness was even further from her experience. Hopefully he wasn’t looking for sympathy, which was one emotion she found very difficult to put on. "Funny. I’ve had the complete opposite experience the last few days." He uncovered his face and looked her over. "I’ve been growing, and getting stronger too. You haven’t noticed?"

    "I … uh."

    "You DID notice I’m not wearing shoes? And that we’re the same height."

    "Well I —

    "There’s no point fooling yourself, Jonathan, and you certainly weren’t fooling me." She took his hand and pulled it toward her, then ran her other hand down his outstretched arm, softly. "Very strange how your muscles seem smaller and softer, just since last week." He pulled back, embarrassed, but Juliet held his hand firmly so he couldn’t escape. "Don’t do that. Aren’t you curious? You can feel mine." She held his hand against her biceps, which bulged nicely even when relaxed. "See, it won’t hurt."

    "Your muscle is … so large," Jonathan said, amazed.

    Juliet watched his eyes closely and then his fingers as they pressed lightly against her muscle. He must be wondering how hard it is, how big it would get if she flexed it. She’d keep holding his hand against her biceps and let him think about it for awhile. "I’ve always been strong. Not that I show it off, but I work hard at everything I do, and you can’t play sports seriously without weight training. Still, even I have been a little surprised at how they’ve been growing just lately. And how the rest of my body is growing too."

    "It is?" Jonathan’s eyes darted down to Juliet’s chest, which certainly was broader than he had at first thought.

    "Yes," she said, sighing deeply. "It’s not just you, Jonathan, and me. As far as I can tell at school and outside, all the girls are growing. All the boys are shrinking. So, if that bothers you, you can feel reassured first that it isn’t only you and second that you aren’t shrinking as much as you think; it’s also we girls who are getting bigger."

    "Are you sure, Juliet? How can such a thing be happening? I haven’t read anything about it or seen it on the news."

    "I’m sure we will. It’s such an odd thing, maybe no respectable newspaper wants to write about it first, until they have an explanation. But they can’t ignore it forever. I was always tall and fairly strong, for a girl, but if these changes continue much longer, I would suppose that most females will be larger and stronger than males. I’m certainly stronger now than most boys. I’m stronger than you." She looked into his eyes. A delicious warmth spread through her. She had his complete attention. He was soaking up every word she said. It made her feel even larger, even more powerful, filling her with strength. Could there be any greater pleasure than power? Power in all of its manifestations? She could see the outline of his erection against his pants. Yes, she had him, for sure, and on her terms.

    "Do you doubt it?" she asked, echoing his line from the play. She pressed his hand against her biceps while flexing them suddenly, enjoying the ever increasing expansion of her muscle, the expression of her growing strength pushing against him, imagining how the sensation of her warm, hard muscle traveled up his arm and into his mind. He could do nothing but surrender to her. He already had. She moved her hand around his back and pulled him to her, inclining her head down slightly to kiss him. He shuddered slightly. Cumming? No matter. He was hers. For as long as she wanted him.


    This is shaping up to be one nicely erotically charged tale of terror! 8)

    It would be funny if you somehow linked what was going on worldwide with what wiped out the ancient civilization that originally created the pendant. A smaller echoe of the larger din of chaos and contorting physiques that is happening in this story.

    There might be some ‘false hope’ somewhere with the last belch of magical mana from the necklace being used by a desperate male to "Set things right" only to be admonished by the spirit of the device and told that his wish has made the effects PERMANENT. 😈

    "Peace on Earth" indeed 😯

    Thanks for sharing marknew742


    Nice! Things are starting to get very interesting. Can’t wait for the next chapter!


    That is a friggin great story. This is a great place, with so many good writers showing up it is starting to liven up a bit. Thanks everyone for helping make such a cool forum.



    Man, this forum is shaping up quite nicely. Very happy to be a part of it. Loving this story btw, can’t wait to see what happens ‘tommorow’. 😆


    Wow, Marknew…we are not worthy.

    An EXCELLENT story, with style and great descriptions. I like that you take your time in making the characters grow and explore the changes, and the variety of ways in which they discover their growing power.

    One personal criticism: I would have liked to see in this "day" (or the one before) what was happening with Cindy and Calley. There is little doubt now that she is going to emerge from the basement totally transformed into a massive amazon. It would have been nice to have seen something midway, something involving her friends amazement at discovering the pleasure of pumping iron and seeing their muscles emerge and grow. Heck it would be fun to see Cindy’s mother initial shock to her daughter’s transformation…and maybe have her join them when she realises the reason she had started to notice changes in herself…and realise she likes the idea!

    It would be nice to have brief mentions of the main characters parents and relatives also beginning to realise what is happening to them and others.

    All the different threads are very well developped. I cannot wait until the next installments arrive. I encourage you to keep up the excellent work and thank you for your numerous contributions to this most excellent board.

    Mark Newman

    Thanks for your comments.

    I do have bits of Cindy’s parents here and there. The other parents are having their own problems with the changes, and you will see more about the adult world on Wednesday.

    Tuesday is pretty much for the kids. It will be the longest chapter to date.


    Amazing as allways Marknew 😀


    Wow! Another great installment! Love the development of the girls’ strength/boys’ weakness. Thanks, Marknew!

    Mark Newman

    As the story gets longer and longer, and the character list grows I thought this might help a few readers.

    The new chapter is almost done. Look for it today or tomorrow.

    Cast of Characters

    Bart — high school senior. Original lead of school play.

    Bob Gerren — high school senior. Celia’s older brother.

    Calley — high school freshman. Best friends with Cindy.

    Celia Gerren — high school junior. Bob’s younger sister. Known as "The Pest"

    Cecile — high school junior. Dave’s girlfriend.

    Cindy Barrett — high school freshman. Best friends with Calley. Has long-standing crush on Joe

    Dave — high school senior. Tight end. Cecile’s boyfriend.

    Frank Collins — high school senior. Quarterback.

    Harold — high school junior. Center.

    Jacob — high school junior.

    Joe — high school sophomore. Michelle’s younger brother.

    Jonathan — high school senior. Took over as lead of school play from Bart.

    Juliet Masters– high school junior. Also known as "Jaws".

    Kimberly — high school junior. Track star.

    Martin — high school junior. Long-time friend of Michelle.

    Michelle – high school junior. Best friends with Theresa and Sandy. Joe’s older sister.

    Sandy — high school junior. Best friends with Theresa and Michelle. Star athlete.

    Theresa O’Malley – high school junior. Best friends with Sandy and Michelle. Mother left home several years ago. Lives with abusive father and three abusive older brothers (Dominic, the oldest, Alan and Charles).

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.