Pendant Changes 5 (Tuesday)

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    Mark Newman
    Participant

    TUESDAY

    Michelle awoke at six to the sounds of rain slamming against her window. Oh no! She pushed herself out of bed and looked at the wet streets, the leaves from the trees forming a pretty but slippery carpet on the ground. Well, what the hell! She wasn’t going to melt! She pulled on her fleece and marveled at how loose the waist was getting. Too bad it was still so tight in her legs. And why should it be shrinking, unless maybe from all her perspiration? Oh well! She added a windbreaker to her ensemble and that was all she needed. She was out the door at six-ten and on her way to the park. It felt great to be outside, even in the rain.

    She ran a bit harder, wanting to challenge herself some more and to warm up more quickly. It felt so good to push herself, and every day she was doing better. She reached the park and started around the track, avoiding the puddles. There was a big one. She’d have to jump over it. Hey! Nice leap. She resumed her stride and looked ahead. Not many people were out today. But wasn’t that Kent Bennett, the All-State cross country runner, just ahead of her? He must be taking it easy today, not wanting to injure himself on the wet surface. Just for fun, Michelle accelerated a little bit more and slowly but steadily closed the gap between them. Imagine, passing Kent on the track — even if he WAS just out for a fun run. She pulled up next to him, and to her surprise, his face was red and he was breathing heavily. "Hi Kent!" she said. He nodded at her, seemingly unable to spare enough breath for a reply. Michelle felt sorry for him. He must be feeling sick. But he went out in the rain anyway! That’s real dedication, although maybe a bit dumb. Feeling inspired, she smiled at him, then he dropped back. Oh well. She’d never be able to do THAT on one of his GOOD days!

    She couldn’t wait for school. It had been so much fun hanging out with Martin in the lunchroom and walking in the hall, arm in arm. Life couldn’t be better. It just couldn’t be!

    The sound of the slamming door as Michelle left awakened Joe, a full fifty minutes before his alarm would have gone off. Two days in a row! He’ll get her for this! Just wait ’til she came back. The winds slammed a torrent of rain against the window. Was she absolutely bonkers? He turned on the radio next to his bed and listened to a few songs. The fog of sleep slowly cleared from his head. He was feeling so strange. Just walking around school yesterday with his books was tiring, and he’d missed another day of workouts. Well, not today! Pamela looked so sexy yesterday. What a pair she had, and she knew it too. Twice she had caught him looking at her, or at them, to be more precise. She’d frowned of course, but that’s the way girls were. They couldn’t just admit they liked it when you lusted after their bodies. Just thinking about her was such a turn on. His hand drifted down to his cock. No, not now. Maybe as a reward, once he’d done his exercises. It was nearly seven. He pushed himself out of bed, willing himself to think of something unsexy. Like Freddie. That deflated him quickly! Ha. He padded over to his stereo and put on Michelle’s CD. He SHOULD give it back to her and he would, IF she asked him nicely. Damn, the room looked funny. He shrugged and picked up the barbell. Ooooof! It felt heavy. He HAD to go back to doing it every day. He curled it once, twice, thrrrreeeee times. This was ridiculous! Four. Five. What was WRONG with him! He put the weights on the floor, his biceps crying out in pain. He flexed them carefully. LOOK at them! They’d definitely shrunk and gotten softer. He lay back down on his bed, feeling faint. Did he have some kind of fast-acting MS? This was horrible. He felt dizzy, frightened. He must be hyperventilating. He tried to calm himself down. He heard the door slam. Michelle again. She was clomping upstairs and suddenly pushed the door open.

    "My CD!" she said brightly, going straight to his stereo. She stopped it and hit the eject button.

    "Hey! You’re dripping all over my floor, one. Two, have you forgotten how to knock? And three, I was listening to that. Mom said you can’t just –"

    "You’ve had it long enough!" Michelle said, popping it in the case, and left the room. Joe heard the bathroom door close. Shit! She’d be in there for an hour! Well, that would give him a chance to take it back, or take two others in its place.

    In the editor’s office of a prominent New York newspaper, two men were arguing.

    "Why are you bringing me The National Enquirer?"

    "Read the lead article. The same story was picked up on the Today show. It’s been reported in several tabloids overseas and in Houston, Orlando, San Francisco and Colorado Springs. It’s also on Drudge and a third of the sports sites on the net. And similar stories are flooding their forums."

    "Not exactly our usual reliable sources. Let me see. Mysterious female muscle growth stuns personal trainers. Yeah, she sure looks stunned. What else do you have? Woman scores knockout blow in battle of the sexes. What are we covering trailer trash crime now? Oh yes, sports pages: Lowest ever NBA score, 47-32. Chinese woman sets powerlifting records. Oh, this one’s good, Weapon from Jupiter turning Mars into Venus."

    "Yeah, the Weekly World News angle."

    "And now you’re giving me the Muscle Mag Forum. My Best Lifts!! My biceps are bigger than hubby’s. Hmmm, 83 replies on that one. Muscle Wasting Virus. 967 replies. Is that a lot?"

    "In 8 hours? It damn well is!"

    "Fine, so what does the NIH say? Johns Hopkins?"

    "Nothing. No comment. The President’s science advisor has been muzzled by the White House. Harvard Medical School says they are studying the matter and may comment toward the end of the week."

    The senior editor sighed. "Looks like you need your pants shortened, Ken."

    "I know. And your sleeves look a bit long, Ed."

    "Still, until someone in authority confirms the existence of that ray gun from Jupiter, I’m not going to risk the reputation of this newspaper to report a lot of speculation. Keep it on the sports pages. And fashion if you have to. But nothing in the news sections until we have an explanation. Or until the Post or the Wall Street Journal runs something we can attack."

    "Right boss."

    "I told you I’m NOT EATING FRUIT LOOPS!" Cindy shouted. She walked to the fridge and took out some fruit, several pieces of cheese, four eggs and a gallon of milk. "If you won’t make me what I want I’ll just make it myself!"

    "But I already poured the cereal for you, and the milk! You can’t just waste it."

    "You can eat it yourself, Mom, if you think it’s so great!" Cindy said crossly, breaking the eggs into a frying pan and taking a bite out of an apple.

    "But it’s your favorite! And you’re getting so skinny. You’re just skin and bones!"

    Cindy slammed her hand against the counter. There was an explosion of noise and a thin crack appeared across the top and along the base. "That’s a load of crap and you know it, Mom! Just leave me alone, will you?"

    Mr. Barrett limped into the room, his cane taking the weight off his injured knee. He looked considerably shorter, just barely taller than his wife, and the skin of his large potbelly protruded beneath the edge of his shirt. "What’s going ON here?" he bellowed. He looked over at the counter. "Are you banging pots against this? Can’t you and your mother keep your fights to words at least? That’s going to cost a lot of money to redo!"

    Cindy turned her back to her father and continued massaging her omelette. "I’m not banging pots," she said coldly.

    There was a minute of silence while Cindy’s eggs sizzled. "Well Jim. I think YOU should eat the cereal, if you’re so worried about saving money." She put her hands on her hips and turned to stare at her husband. "It’s not like YOU need to worry about your figure."

    Ten more seconds of silence followed. Cindy scraped the eggs off the pot and onto her plate. Mr. Barrett sighed. "I have to get off my knee." He sat down in front of the bowl of Fruit Loops. "Well, looks good to me," he said and started eating.

    Frank had excused himself from third period gym, saying he needed more work in the weight room as preparation for the game. That part was easy. But now that he was there, he stood almost in fear before the machine. He’d had to drop from 10 to 40 pounds of weight just to get through the exercises yesterday and his arms felt worse today. Whatever that muscle wasting disease they were talking about on the net was, he was sure he had it. The whole team had it. They were doomed. Metro SOUTH would crush them, grind their bones into splinters, sweep through their front line in seconds. They would be outrun, outhit and outpassed. And there was nothing they could do about it. Already he was lifting less than he had as a freshman. He had no wind, no stamina. What would they do?

    "So Frank, you going to lift or just think about it?"

    Huh? Frank spun around. Sandy was standing at the door of the weight room, arms crossed, tapping her foot.

    "What are you doing here? Weight room’s closed. Team only."

    Sandy held out her hand with a piece of paper. "I have to miss practice today. Soccer coach gave me permission to work out here now instead."

    Frank had thought he’d have some privacy. He NEEDED privacy. What did some DAMN GIRLS’ SOCCER COACH know about that. "She doesn’t have the right. Football priority. Big game Saturday. You have to leave." He stood as tall as he could and folded his arms across his chest.

    Sandy laughed. "Because ….? Two of us here? Thirteen stations. Is there something top secret about your workout I’m not supposed to see?"

    "What if everyone —

    Sandy looked to her left and her right. "No one else here. Not a problem, Frank. So, are you lifting or chatting? I need my workout." Frank just stood there. "OK. I’ll just work here."

    Sandy had seen Frank go in. She knew he wanted to be alone to work out what was happening to him. And she also knew that he wasn’t going to get what he wanted … ever again. She had no note — just a practice announcement. But Sandy had figured, correctly, that Frank would be too upset to check. Sandy went next to Frank’s station to do bench presses. She was adding a hundred pounds to what she had lifted last Thursday, loading up the weights, piling on more than Frank had ever done, even at his peak, then lay down, got ready and waited for the inevitable remark. She didn’t have to wait long.

    "Are you nuts?" Frank asked mockingly. "You couldn’t lift that much in a million years. I can’t do that much. Harold’s the only one of the team who could. And don’t expect ME to spot you."

    "Oh I don’t." Sandy took her hands off the bar and stood up to face Frank. She crossed her arms and gripped the bottom of her sweatshirt, pulled it off with one rapid movement and tossed it in the corner. She heard the sudden, involuntary intake of breath, saw Frank’s jaw drop, his knees nearly buckle, and the focus of his eyes shift as they traced the ups and downs and ins and outs of her bouldered biceps, her bulging shoulders, the ridged texture of her abs. What must he be thinking? His own strength mysteriously fading, his muscles shrinking, getting softer, weaker with each passing moment. Bad enough. And now this. To see a girl he’d looked down on now more muscular than he. MUCH more.

    "B-b-b … h-h-h-how the hell did —

    In just the three and a half days since their wishes Sandy’s muscles — the muscle part of her muscles — had exploded in size, the muscle tissue nearly doubling in thickness. Sandy figured it was due to a combination of Theresa’s wish for greater size, strength and fitness generally for all women, her own wish for more "effective" exercise and the fact that she was working out as hard and as long as she could possibly manage. She was sure she wouldn’t keep improving at this pace — once Theresa’s wish had run its course and women had reached their new "natural" size. But right now, combined with Frank’s rapidly diminishing prowess, the pace of her gains were sheer bliss. She already had her dream body but now she was going far beyond her dream, far beyond any dream of Frank’s, to a place neither Frank nor any other man would now ever be able to follow.

    "How did I get muscles, Frank? Why, I eat right, sleep well and exercise regularly. Do you know any other way?"

    "But girls don’t get muscles like that. You didn’t — nobody gets muscles that fast." He frowned angrily. "What are you, on the juice?"

    Sandy was stung by that comment. "No way!"

    Frank sneered. "Oh yes you are! That’s the only explanation. They’re ‘juice muscles.’"

    Sandy turned red with anger. "Oh yeah? And what’s your explanation for yourself, Frank? You going for a sex change? Are you taking female hormones?"

    "Why would I EVER do that? What are you talking about?"

    "Look at yourself, Frank. Anybody can see your muscles are shrinking. And how much are you lifting? I can tell you lift less and less every day. Care to explain that?"

    She noticed! Was it that obvious? Oh god! It was true! Everyone must know! It was like the sky was caving in on him. "I – I think I got this, uh, muscle wasting disease. I read about it … on the net. It’s, uh going around. You could, uh, get it too."

    "Muscle WASTING disease? I don’t think so, Frank." She flexed her biceps quickly. "THESE certainly don’t look like they’re wasting away!" Sandy looked down at them happily. Why, they were the size of softballs now! They had grown even since her shower this morning! The changes must be accelerating as they neared equality and then shifted to a relative reversal in the positions of the sexes. And then, just how far would they go? Well, already she was bigger than Frank ever was. She was just as good an athlete as he was, probably better. And it just occurred to her what females’ earlier maturity would mean. Even though Frank was a year older than she was, as a girl she was probably at least two years ahead of Frank in maturity. And just as a nineteen year old boy SHOULD have developed more muscle than a seventeen year old, she would be taller and stronger than he was, even if boys and girls were completely equal. With Frank staring at her she settled down onto the table and did five quick presses. Why, that wasn’t enough weight! She was even stronger than she thought. She flipped another sixty pounds onto it and did ten more reps.

    "Aaahhh! Exercise always makes me feel soooo good. How about you Frank? Aren’t you going to work in?"

    "Uhh, no. I … I just remembered I have to do something," he muttered and left the room.

    Frank sat in the Coach Mack’s office. Dave and Harold stood behind him. He just finished explaining what had happened in the weight room. Not that he wanted to "tattle" on Sandy. He always prided himself in handling these matters himself. But things were going too far and he wasn’t ashamed to admit that he needed some help. "I just think you need to make another announcement about the weight room policies, especially during the season."

    "Yeah, the season," Coach Mack said after an awkward pause. He picked up the football on his desk. It slipped out of his hand and bounced onto the floor. Dave picked it up and tossed it back. "Come on, boys. Let’s go out for a few minutes."

    "In the rain?" Dave complained.

    "Dave! Listen to Coach," Frank said, annoyed, as Coach Mack snarled out his yes.

    They trooped through the locker room onto the field. Four cheerleaders watched with interest through the glass wall of the hallway and bowed their heads whispering to each other. Frank had had an eye on the tallest of them, Cheryl, since she’d made the squad earlier this year. She looked strangely big today, even taller than he was. Must be the perspective or some particularly high heels. She noticed his look and picked up her head, then put her hands on her hips and winked at him.

    Coach Mack tossed the ball to Frank. Ok. "Run pattern two, Dave. On three!"

    The ball felt large and heavy in his hand. Frank looked to his side over at the girls and then moved back three steps, cocked his arm and threw. The wet ball slipped out of his hands and fell behind him. "Damn!" he said.

    Dave looked at him angrily. "Come on, Frank!"

    "Fuck you! You wouldn’t have caught up with the ball anyway. You were way behind on the pattern."

    "Shut up, both of you. Let’s do another one."

    Dave jogged back while Frank held the ball, trying to get his fingers comfortable around it. He glanced at the girls. Two of them, Joanne and Marie, were giggling. Beth wore an amused smile. Cheryl looked worried.

    "Pattern 4 left, guys. On five."

    Frank dropped back again. He counted to five. Dave was nowhere near where he should have been so he waited until six and a half and threw. The ball went no more than half the distance, wobbling pathetically. Dave whirled around and stamped his foot. "What the HELL was that?"

    "Yeah? Well where were YOU? You weren’t even close to the release point at five." Frank stopped when he noticed the coach shaking his head. "Coach, I just need to warm up. That’s all."

    Coach Mack shook his head. "No, no. Don’t bother. I just wanted — never mind." He mumbled something and turned and went back into the school.

    Dave jogged up to Frank. "What was THAT all about? I’ve never seen Coach look like that. He sure looked discouraged. I mean, your throws sucked, Frank, but it was just two throws. You’re still the best damn quarterback this school ever had."

    "Thanks Dave. I just hope I can — oh, hi Cheryl. Marie." Frank frowned. What the hell! Cheryl WAS an inch taller than he was. And she WASN’T wearing heels.

    Cheryl noticed Frank’s reaction and moved closer to him. "We were watching, Frank. Is something wrong?" she said, looking concerned.

    "Nothing’s wrong, Cheryl. I’m just not warmed up. That’s all," he said. "It’ll all get straightened out in practice later. We’re focused on South Metro, not on a couple of snap throws."

    Marie giggled and looked at Cheryl, who shot her a warning that Marie blithely ignored. "That may have BEEN your practice. WE hear the season’s over. No more practice. No South Metro game. No football team."

    "WHAT?!! Are you crazy?"

    Cheryl stepped forward. "It’s just a rumor Frank that’s all. We thought you should know. Although not THAT way." She glared at Marie. "Frank. Uh, I just wanted to tell you, uh, that I –"

    "– that she likes you even if you’re shorter than she is and even if you’re too embarrassed to ask you out," Marie continued. Cheryl squealed and hit Marie who laughed and ran away just far enough to be out of range.

    "I am so going to get you, Marie!" Cheryl said, waving her fist, her face bright red. "Yeah, uh, well … I do," she said quietly. "But uh, what I wanted to say, uh, is … Dave, you really should go see Cecile. She’s been out of school a couple of days. She’s really, uh, upset about … something. You DO still like her don’t you?"

    "Well, yeah. What you do think? Cheryl, since when are you taller than both of us?"

    "Since now. Dave go see her. And be nice, ok?"

    Marie was laughing. "You BETTER be nice, Dave. That’s all the advice I have for YOU." She saw Cheryl’s look. "Oh man, I AM in trouble! Hee-hee!" She ran away from the school, still laughing.

    "What’s THAT all about?" Dave asked. Cheryl looked at him and just shook her head.

    Joe knew there was something strange happening. Even though no one had said anything officially, his friends were all whispering about it. He couldn’t stop flexing his biceps. It had to be his imagination, but it felt like they were smaller and softer every time. And the girls seemed to be growing. It was completely crazy. A nightmare.

    But for an hour he had been happily preoccupied with something else. It was Spanish class, his last class of the day. And Pamela Brown was in the row next to him, one seat diagonally forward, the absolute perfect position for staring at her amazing breasts. She had been recklessly flaunting them this week, wearing tighter and tighter sweaters. Monday she had been incredible and now today he couldn’t keep his eyes off her. That is, them. Today her sweater was so tight he could almost feel the smooth warmth of her tits, his tongue could sense the erect nipple pressing against it. If it hadn’t been for the fact that he had lost some weight and his pants were loose he would have been squirming in discomfort. But even so, he was so horny that he was a bit concerned about cumming in his pants. Every time he nearly lost control he tried to focus again on the week’s vocabulary. Only in Spanish could "una viaje a la playa" soothe an erection.

    Sadly the bell rang, his hour with Pamela was about to end. He sighed and gathered up his books slowly, waiting to let Pamela leave first so that he could tease out every last minute watching her. But she was taking her time too. Now everyone else was gone; just the two of them were in the classroom. She stood up and turned to face Joe and he looked up at her face, his eyes bypassing her fabulous jutting breasts only with great effort. Whoa! Did she look angry!

    "Why are you STARING at me ALL the TIME!! Do you have ANY idea how RUDE and OFFENSIVE that is for a girl?!" Pamela knew she was coming on strong. She knew Joe had a crush on her. She’d heard he was a good kisser, even if he was a bit of a jerk. So she was curious. She knew she could be moody and demanding sometimes. Could Joe handle her?

    Joe was taken aback by her reaction. Why did she dress like that if she didn’t want a boy to look? "Hey, I’m sorry. You should consider it a compliment."

    "A COMPLIMENT? What, like, ‘aren’t you clever, Pamela, for growing such big tits?’ Is THAT what you mean by a compliment?" Pamela knew that whatever she said, in whatever tone, just mentioning her breasts would increase a boy’s interest. They were so funny that way.

    "No, no, that’s not it. It’s that," he began to stand up, ready to make his big point, "that you’re very attractive." He rose to his feet, but to his shock, and hers too, he was an inch shorter than she was. It couldn’t be!

    The little bud of interest she had felt quickly withered. High school boys are so small. Why, he was just a little boy! Now she knew she should stick to college boys, just as her best friend had told her. But they were so hard to find! Well, now that she didn’t care, at least she could indulge her annoyance. She looked down at him, all at once more confident, more aggressive. "And your opinion should MEAN something to me? Why?" She was grinning now. "Why should I care if some little wimp thinks I’M sexy?"

    "You’re calling ME a wimp?!" he asked incredulously.

    "I AM. Just look at you!"

    If Joe had had no idea what Pamela was talking about her words would not have bothered him so much. But armed with her innate female intuition she had immediately pierced his defenses and hit his greatest insecurity. She’d pay for that. "Hey, NO girl talks to ME that way."

    She giggled and covered her mouth, as if to hide her rudeness. "Are you, um, SURE about that? I would think you get that kind of remark ALL the time." She giggled again. "And, I mean, what are you going to DO about it?"

    Joe had lived through years of big sister teasing and taunting and had found only one method that worked. Physical intimidation. But tickling or pinning his big sister at home was a very different thing from doing the same to Pamela Brown in Spanish class. How else WAS he supposed to put a girl in her place? The fact was, in purely verbal combat Michelle had always beaten him.

    While he puzzled over this, Pamela, feeling she’d won, turned her back on Joe and prepared to go. This infuriated Joe even more. She was ignoring him! Without thinking he grabbed her shoulder and pulled her back around. She was startled. Who did he think he was to touch her? Instinctively she slapped his face. But her slap today was nothing like what it would have been last week. Pamela was somewhat above average as an athlete even though she didn’t play on any school teams. She enjoyed gym class and swam at least three times a week to stay fit. Last week her slap would have certainly stung, but like most female slaps it would have done little more than send a message. This week, powered by her rapidly growing muscles, it hit Joe like a bolt of lightning, spinning his head and knocking him clear off his feet and onto his desk, with the upper third of his body hanging down halfway to the floor. He saw stars, fancy colors and flailed his arms trying to recover. Pamela was shocked and concerned at first that she had seriously hurt him, but Joe stood up, shakily, and seemed to be getting his bearings. Pamela held him up by his shoulders to make sure, while keeping him well at arms length.

    "Hmmmph. Well, watch yourself," she said. She let go of him and left feeling a bit embarrassed at having shown him to be even more of a wimp than she had expected.

    Michelle stood in a small alcove she’d found in the school’s music wing. It was empty — the band didn’t practice on Tuesdays — and she and Martin were kissing. But she could tell his heart wasn’t really in it. Was he having second thoughts already?

    She broke off the kiss and stood against him, needing the physical contact to give her the courage to talk. "M-Martin. What’s wrong?" She looked at him earnestly. She couldn’t STAND it if he wanted to go back to the way things were. It would be HORRIBLE. He looked so upset. She couldn’t stand to see him like that.

    "I … I don’t KNOW!"

    "Are you … upset … about us?" she asked. Her voice sounded so small and scared to her ears.

    He looked at her sadly. Oh no! He was going to say yes!

    "No. That’s not it. Not exactly. It’s … haven’t you noticed?"

    Her heart jumped. Was it OK?!! But what was he talking about? "Noticed what?" The truth was, she hadn’t been able to think about anything or anyone except Martin since Sunday afternoon.

    "Noticed what’s happening to us." Her heart sank. "To everybody," he added. "Just look at yourself, at me."

    "Martin. What are you talking about? Please tell me!" she said desperately. "Please!"

    "Michelle. Don’t I seem, uh, small to you?"

    "Martin, no! You’re just the right size. You’re PERFECT for me!" she said from the heart.

    He smiled briefly. "Yeah, I know. I mean, thanks. You’re perfect too. But Michelle I’m supposed to be taller than you, right? I mean, I was taller than you until just yesterday, wasn’t I?"

    "Of course you’re –" She stopped herself. Wait! There were standing eye to eye. How could she not have noticed?! That was impossible! Martin was six inches taller than she was! Her eyes almost popped.

    "You didn’t notice, you —

    "Martin, I swear! It just that — I know it sounds silly — but I’ve been so excited about us that I … I"

    He squeezed her hand. "OK. OK. Don’t worry about it. Except. Michelle, you have to see, obviously, that something really bizarre is happening. I’m shrinking, I think. And you’re getting taller. And it’s happening faster and faster. I was taller than you this morning. I know I was. And now I’m not." Michelle looked down at her feet, just to check. She wasn’t wearing heels. Martin was wearing normal shoes. "And that’s not all," he continued. "I’m losing my strength. I’ve never been a real jock or anything, you know, but," he held up his arm, "this is ridiculous. Suddenly I can’t even flex and make a real muscle. I’ve got, like, a girl’s arm. Maybe a strong girl, I don’t know. But not even as strong as I was."

    "Well, you never exercise! Maybe if you tried it — we could do it together! I’ve been running every morning, and working out later too and if we –"

    "I don’t know. Maybe. But no, that’s not it. I never exercise. I never HAVE exercised except what we have to do in gym class. But it’s never made me WEAKER! I’m having trouble carrying around my books. Pretty soon I won’t be able to open jam jars!"

    "Jam jars?"

    "Whatever. And haven’t you noticed your own body? I can feel it, can’t you?"

    "Well … yes, I guess. My, uh, shape’s been changing. I’ve gotten thinner in my tummy, I guess, and my butt, and firmer too. That’s really good. And I bought some new clothes yesterday — even though Sandy said I shouldn’t. I couldn’t resist this one pair of pants. But they didn’t fit right this morning. I’ll have to bring them back."

    Martin smiled as Michelle wandered from the topic. "Michelle?"

    "Oh!" She frowned. "Well, I just thought it was all the exercise.". Martin looked at her skeptically. His arm moved from her back to her upper arm and he squeezed it, tentatively probing the sizable mass of muscle. Not really liking the pressure against her arm she tightened it, forcing his fingers outward. His eyebrows rose. "Jeez, Michelle. There’s a LOT there. You’ve got really big biceps all of a sudden. Tell me, just how much are you working your arms?"

    She looked confused and embarrassed. "Um, well, Sandy showed me how to use the weight machines Saturday morning and then we went back on Sunday. I guess for an hour. Not yesterday or today — because of the football team using it. Even though Sandy went in anyway. She said she practically kicked Frank Collins, you know, the quarterback, out of the weightroom, and that he can’t lift as much as he used to. Can you imagine —

    "Uh huh. So you’ve worked your arms for like one to two hours? And now your biceps are even bigger than mine used to be? Meanwhile, Sandy’s getting huge muscles. She’s taller too. And the quarterback of the football team — he’s shrinking just like me. And so are my other friends, the guys I mean. Do you, like, see a pattern?" Michelle was staring into space. "Michelle?"

    "Oh god!" She put her hand over her mouth.

    "Michelle?"

    "Our wishes!"

    "Your … what?"

    "Sandy, Theresa and I. WE did it."

    "Did what? You’re not making any sense." Michelle was still staring vacantly. "Hello? Michelle? Since when did the three of you get the power to wish for things and make them come true?"

    She held his shoulders tightly. "Oh no. It’s not like we can — see, it was my –" She looked down at her chest. "Oh I left it at home. It’s just that when we — oh don’t you see?" Martin looked even more confused. "Loving all the exercise. Growing. The way you’re changing. That’s the only way to explain it."

    "You haven’t explained a thing. You’re talking nonsense. It has to be some kind of disease. A —

    "No! Listen to me!" she said insistently. She shook him for emphasis and his whole body jerked back and forth, his head bouncing up and down.

    "H-hey M-Michelle. Easy."

    "Oooh. I’m so sorry Martin. Are you OK? I’m a lot stronger than I think, and you’re so much smaller and weaker. No offense. Really. It’s not your fault. It’s mine." She thought a moment. "Theresa’s actually. I think that was her wish."

    "Theresa wished that you’d be bigger and stronger than I am? What does she have against ME? Why the hell would she do THAT?"

    "No, NO! She wished … um … that girls were naturally bigger than guys. Sandy wished that working out made girls’ muscles grow more. And I just wished that we liked exercising more. I think."

    "Could you … just ease up a little. Your hands on … my shoulders. Ahh, thanks. God, you’re strong, Michelle. Now, slowly please. What did you leave home? Aladdin’s lamp?"

    "No, silly! It was a pendant from Mexico. I wore it Friday, ’cause I was feeling so bad, after Joe was bullying me. Again. We were just talking. Sandy was mad ’cause the football guys wouldn’t let her use the weights, and Bob Gerren was teasing Theresa — not meanly, I think he likes her but she really hates that, because — well anyway. So we were all feeling kind of mad at guys — not you, of course — but we were just talking — you know, like girls always talk. Anyway the pendant changed. It must have had some kind of mystical properties, ’cause we wished for a pizza too and it came. We thought it was someone playing a joke on us, but it must have happened because of the pendant. You see?"

    Martin couldn’t help smiling. "Um yeah, sure. It’s ALL clear to me now." Michelle nodded earnestly. Martin was going to say something more sarcastic but decided not to. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings. Besides, she was so strong. He felt himself a little hesitant talking to her all of a sudden. Teasing her seemed a little … dangerous. "Well then, uh, Miss Super Amazon. I’m sure you find it really, uh, amusing now being taller than I am and, um, having all these great big muscles," he said cautiously, provoking a smile from Michelle and a quick flex, "but do you think you’d mind changing us all back before I, uh fade away to nothing? Um, because I think this whole thing is accelerating?"

    That wasn’t what Michelle had expected him to say. She looked down at Martin, who was now clearly an inch shorter than she was. He was right! "Ohmygod! Look at you!" She was torn. She liked being bigger and stronger — not compared to Martin necessarily, but generally. "I, uh, don’t think that would happen, Martin. Theresa didn’t say she wanted guys to disappear, just to be, uh, smaller and, uh weaker." Her voice was starting to tail off. "And, uh, not as fit as we girls. I think that was all."

    This was getting worse and worse! "So, I don’t get it. You really want me, I mean, all of us guys to be small, out-of-breath weaklings? Come on, Michelle. I mean, if you ARE right and you DID do all this, then, uh, can’t we just go back to your house and UNDO it? I know this is fun for you, but this is serious stuff. You’ve changed the whole human race; all of history is, like, irrelevant. You, uh, have no idea what you’re doing. You know?"

    "But Martin!" she started protesting, then stopped. She hated admitting it, but he had a point. Not that she understood why boys SHOULD be stronger, but what right did she and her friends to change things so much? After all, the bible said God created us a certain way. Now they’d changed all of it. She sighed. "Oh I don’t know. Maybe you’re right. But Martin, I don’t think we CAN change things back. After Theresa’s last wish, the stone lost all its special color and it stopped doing things. I know, because I wished for, like, a google dollars after and nothing happened. I think her wish was so big that it sort of used the magic up."

    Martin’s brow furrowed. "Well, can you show me? Maybe there’s some way to charge it up again?" He looked up at her. His forehead now only reached her nose and his trousers were trailing on the floor. "Damn! I’m shrinking faster! Come on, Michelle! I don’t like this!"

    Michelle leaned down to kiss him and held him against her, trying to be gentle. "Poor Martin. Ok. Let’s go try."

    Joe was miserable. His whole head hurt from Pamela’s slap. He was sure he’d have a bruise where he had hit the desk. And worse his pride was hurt. A GIRL had decked him with one blow. The humiliation! And what was this shrinking all about?! He took a few deep breaths and felt slightly better. Another half hour and the school halls would be clear so no one would see his puffy face and ask questions. Then he would make his way home and lick his wounds, figure out what was going on. Maybe there would be some explanation on the Internet. Something that made more sense than all the "muscle wasting disease" rumors.

    Cindy and Calley stood at the locked door of the weight room. Cindy was dressed in her father’s football old jersey and tights. The jersey hung loosely over her formerly bulging stomach while her hulking shoulders and biceps filled it even without pads. Her massive thighs stretched the tights to near bursting. Cindy glared at the notice on the door, which said: "All sports practices are canceled and all athletic facilities are closed pending further announcements at the Special School Assembly 10:00 AM on Wednesday."

    "I can’t BELIEVE it’s closed! Just when I want to use it!" Cindy complained.

    "Maybe it’ll be open again tomorrow," Calley said hopefully. "In the meantime, we could go use your Dad’s again."

    "This one’s better. It’s got bigger weights and I’m getting too big for some of stations on Dad’s." Cindy stamped her foot in displeasure. "It’s not fair!"

    "Well, you can use some of them. ”Til they open up again. C’mon Cin. It won’t kill you to wait. You’re already so big."

    "So what. I want that exercise feeling. You know what I’m talking about."

    "Yeah."

    "I mean, there’s nothing feels so good like using my muscles and working out. I don’t care how big they get, except, jeez, look at how this is riding up again. I can’t even tuck Daddy’s jersey in so it stays in.

    "It wasn’t like that this morning."

    "It was too BIG this morning. I must of grown like three inches at school today." She slapped her stomach. "And it’s all flat now and hard. It’s the weirdest thing, you know? Even you’re growing, Cal. Though not as fast as me."

    "I’m 5’6"! I measured myself in the nurse’s office before I met you."

    "Yeah, Big Cal!" Cindy laughed, pulling Calley to her massive chest. "You even got muscles!" she said, feeling her arms.

    "Cindy! Cut it out!" Calley said, her voice muffled as she pushed helplessly against Cindy. "I can’t breathe!"

    "Yeah, yeah, ok." Cindy let go and pulled her top down, making her large, unencumbered breasts bounce. "Daddy sure didn’t have these when he wore it, and my bras are all way too small for my chest now. You know, I can almost feel my top riding up while I stand here. How can I be growing so fast? I’m bigger than Daddy WAS, I think. And he’s not even six feet now and he’s got so fat he can’t even walk, not with his bum knee. He’s got to sit and listen to Mom yell at him and agree with everything or she’ll kill him. Glad I’m bigger than her. But THAT’s why I don’t want to go home. To listen to them fight."

    "Yeah, well, ok. What do you want to do, then, Cin? Homework?"

    Cindy made a face. "I want to — sshhh! Look!" She pulled Calley into a corner.

    "What?" Calley asked.

    "That’s Joe! Leaving through the back."

    "Joe? But he looks so small! He’s my size!"

    Cindy clamped her hand over Calley’s mouth. "I’m gonna go talk to him. See you later. Maybe." She watched him leave then set out after him, her long legs eating up the distance between them quietly on the empty, grassy field. The rain had stopped but the sky was still overcast and the field damp. "Joe!" she said when she had nearly reached him. "Joe! Hey, wait!"

    "Yeah?" Joe turned around in annoyance and found himself staring just below an enormous pair of breasts. He looked upwards, amazed to see Cindy’s wild blonde hair flying so far above him against the darkening sky.

    "I want to talk to you," she said stopping next to him and looking down at his head. She put her hands on her hips and bent down slightly. "You look so small."

    Joe rolled his eyes. "Some other time. I’m on my way home." He turned to leave but she grabbed him, her large hand easily encircling his upper arm.

    "You hurt me Friday, you know? You didn’t even say sorry."

    Joe glared at her. "Sorry for what? For making you get off me?"

    She pursed her lips. Why was he always so mean? Didn’t he know she liked him? She looked down at him. She had liked before that he was getting taller, but now he was looking so cute! She felt a pleasant rumble inside. She couldn’t help herself and squeezed him a couple of times where she was holding him, right on his biceps.

    "Hey! Ouch!" he said, moving his hand to pry her fingers away. They were so big! And her grip was like iron.

    "Huh! You’re so soft! Like a girl! Calley’s as big as you are, and even she has bigger, harder muscles than you do now."

    Joe struggled to get away. "Come on, let me go!" he cried.

    Cindy extended her arm as Joe pulled and then snapped it back a few times, playing with him like he was a fish on a line. He slipped on the wet grass but Cindy held him up. "Whoopsie!" she said, laughing. "Got you!" She pulled him closer so that his head was resting against her pillowy breast. "You’re so adorable! Like a little puppy!" She let go of him and shifted her beefy arm around his back, holding him closer. "Ooooh, Joe!" she exclaimed. "I LIKE hugging you!"

    Joe pushed against her just as he had done last Friday, but this time the only part of her that was soft was the big breast that pressed against his face. Her abs were hard and thick and completely unaffected by his efforts, and the pressure of her arm around his back was enough to overpower both his arms and keep him locked against her. God, she was so strong, her arm was so thick. He could feel it on his back, feel the weighty muscle. She was like a giant, a powerful giant. How would he ever get away?!

    Cindy looked around. It was getting darker and darker. There was no one around. She really wanted Joe closer. It could be her only chance! She pulled him away slightly and lifted up her jersey, then shoved his head underneath right up against her breast. Oh! That felt so good! She put her hand on the back of his head and pushed his head closer. Oooooh, she was getting tingly ALL OVER! Oh JOE!! She wanted him to touch her all over. Little Joe! He was even better being small!

    Pushing against her was making him tired so he stopped and was just trying to figure out what to do next when suddenly he found his head under her shirt pressed right against her tit. It was so dark in there he could hardly see it, but he couldn’t believe how big it was, and how her nipple stuck out so hard and pushed against his cheek. Oh the SHAME of being mashed against Cindy Barrett’s tit (if anybody saw!), but he couldn’t help himself. After an hour of dreaming about Pamela Brown’s breast here was a live one, maybe even bigger than Pamela’s, pressed against his cheek, an erect nipple inches from his mouth. He wanted it so badly. One little turn of his head and … oh, it was so warm, so soft!! His lips closed around it. It was inside his mouth. Instinctively one hand crept upwards to her other breast. He felt all around it, his hand doing what his eyes could not do in the dark, and more. His other hand pressed against her skin. He could smell her. It wasn’t a clean smell or a sweet smell, but it was turning him on nevertheless. Without knowing it he started pressing against her rock-hard thigh.

    Oh my! He knew just what to do. His mouth was on her breast! He was sucking it. Sucking her! His fingers feeling her! His hand holding her! How did he know just what she wanted?! She’d never felt like this. She wanted his whole body against her. What was he doing with her leg. Was that hard little thing his thingee?! Oh that was so cute! He was rubbing it against her. Against her leg! Just like a little puppy dog!

    Oh god! He was going to cum! His first time cumming with a girl and it was with Cindy Barrett. His first real tit too. He couldn’t believe it. Oh but he couldn’t stop. He didn’t want to stop. Her body was such a strange combination of hard and soft, so big, so all-encompassing, making him feel so small, so vulnerable, so helpless and yet so safe. He wanted to press further into her, be part of her, push right through her. Of course he did! But she was so hard, so strong. He could never do it. Unless she’d let him. Would she? Not now, but she wanted him. She had a crush on him. She held him so tight, so close. Could he score with her? He pressed against her so hard but it was nothing to her. She was so big, so powerful! And he felt as though she was still growing, becoming ever bigger, ever stronger as he became still smaller and weaker. Now he was lifting his head to reach her nipple! He leaned his cheek against her breast, curved his arm around her waist. Was he really doing this? With HER? Oh god! He was cumming now!

    Oh he stopped! Why? Oh, he must have had his little orgasm. And his mouth had dropped off her breast. But why did he HAVE to stop sucking her? Cindy opened her eyes and looked down at him, half hidden inside her jersey. He looked so tiny. Why, he looked even smaller than before! She could just eat him up. Still, the way he was snuggling against her was nice. This was SO much better than Friday! She let him rest there for a few minutes. Oh it was really nice. She still wanted him against her. She put both arms around him. So he couldn’t go anywhere. He was so small. She could pick him up and hold him tighter. Closer. She lifted her shirt and picked him up to her lips. That felt nice. She held him more tightly, wanting to feel him closer. Oh, he was feeling her arms. His little hands felt so sweet against her muscles. It was great having big muscles, being so strong. She could do anything she wanted. This was nice … but it would be even better to lie down, to feel his little body on top of hers and then she could move him around just as she wanted to all the places that felt good. It was damp but she didn’t care. She leaned backwards slowly, and settled onto the grass still holding him. The cool ground made her shiver for a moment, but she felt so warm inside that it didn’t matter.

    What was happening now? She was picking him up like he weighed nothing and now she was covering his face with kisses. Could anyone see? It was probably too dark. God she was strong. She was squeezing him so tightly he could hardly breathe. He tried to loosen her arms a little, but it was impossible. What muscles she had! He couldn’t even get his hands around them and she wasn’t even flexing them. THAT was scary. Now she was lying down and pulling him on top of her, pushing his lips onto her neck, then her cheek, forcing his leg between hers. What was he? A toy doll? A dildo? But it was useless to try to get up. Now she was pulling his hand onto her tit again, moving it in circles, her other hand on his leg, pulling it up and down against her crotch. She was so rough, so strong. It was hurting. She was just using him. But he couldn’t stop her.

    Oh god! Oh god! OH GOD!! She wanted to squeeze him with all her strength but she knew she shouldn’t. After all, he was so small!

    Owwww! She was going to break him! Listen to her breathing, like she’s having a seizure! Is this really how girls come? Oh why does it have to hurt?!! Owwww! Owwww! Oh, she’s relaxing. She must be done. Thank god! She’s still breathing hard. The way her breathing lifts my body up and down — I must weigh nothing to her. I feel so small.

    "Joe?" she said as she was catching her breath. "Joe?" She stroked his head but he didn’t respond. She pulled him upwards and turned his head toward her so she could look at him and so he would look at her. "Joe?"

    "Yeah?" What the hell did she want now?

    "I liked that. It felt good."

    "Uh huh." Cindy Barrett. He was lying on top of Cindy Barrett. If anyone saw him …. And now he bet she was going to want to be his girlfriend. No way! But he was going to have to be careful. She was so strong. Scary strong.

    "We can do it again some time. Or other things. You know." She stroked his neck and his back. He was so small. Her hand covered most of his upper back. She slipped her hand down his pants. They were loose. HE was getting smaller, like she was growing! Weird. Feeling curious, she touched his balls and his thing. It moved, kinda growing, when she touched it, but EEWWW, he was all sticky. That must be his "boy stuff." She pulled out her hand and wiped it on his pants.

    She touched him. Cindy Barrett just reached down and touched him. Like she had a right to. Except she didn’t like feeling his cum. That was kind of embarrassing. Being all wet and sticky. But it felt good when she did it. He sort of wanted her to touch him more. But it was too embarrassing to ask.

    Why wasn’t he saying anything? "Did you like it? With me?" she asked.

    "Uh yeah. What do you think? You know." Like he was really going to admit it to Cindy Barrett?

    "Yeah. I guess." She liked fooling around with him. She wanted to do it again. Other times. A lot. Why didn’t he say he wanted to too? He was being so quiet. What if he didn’t want to? What if he made fun of her again, like before? He better not. She wouldn’t let him act like that. He wouldn’t dare! Not anymore. She put her hand on his backside. His soft, cute little backside. "You got so small. I’m so much bigger than you now. Bigger and stronger too."

    That was obvious. She was so dumb. "So?" She was pushing him against her again. Jeez, her hand was big.

    "I don’t know. I just wanted to make sure you know you can’t push me away like before." She paused a moment. "But you don’t want to do that anymore, do you?"

    Of course he did. He hated the whole idea of being with Cindy Barrett and, even more, of anybody at school knowing it. But … what if he could get her to go all the way?

    Why didn’t he answer? He was so cute but he seemed really thick. Still, at least some little part of him wanted her and that was enough … for now. He wouldn’t ignore her anymore. He wanted something from her, and that gave her a little power over him. The should be enough. Like with her father. And Cal. Cindy knew most people didn’t like her, but the ones who did even a little would listen to her if she insisted loudly and strongly enough, which she always did. She would have to be the one in charge. He would soon understand that. But she’d have to show him just in case he didn’t really know. Just like she had to with Cal. Funny how being bigger and stronger made some people listen once they got close enough. Cal always knew how much stronger Cindy was, ever since when they’d met and Cindy had picked her up and squeezed her a little. But Joe was a boy. She’d have to show him so clearly there could be no doubt. Then he’d be scared of her and it would be easy to keep him.

    She looked at him and smiled and then took his hand. "Look, Joe. Look at our arms next to each other. Yours is so thin."

    "It’s not thin!" he protested quickly.

    That got a reaction! "Oh yes it is. Compared to mine. I have really big muscles now. Don’t worry. I think it’s really cute."

    Cute! What does she mean by that?! And why the hell should I worry about what she thinks!

    "It just looks so little next to mine. See how big my muscle is? Feel it." She put his hand on top of her biceps. "And feel how big and hard it gets when I flex it."

    OH GOD! That MUSCLE!! It’s huge! And it’s as hard as a bone!

    She loved the feel of his fingers trying to press in her muscle. Trying and failing. That was cute too! Heh-heh. He wasn’t saying anything. Fine then! In that case she’d have to make him FEEL just how big she was. Keeping her hand on his backside she rolled them over so she was on top. Now HE was the one on the wet grass! She had the power. She could do anything she wanted.

    What’s she DOING! She weighs a ton! She’s crushing me! Doesn’t she know that? How stupid IS she? Oh god, now she’s doing pushups one handed? She’s fucking holding me against her with one arm and doing pushups with the other? What is she, fucking Superman? If her hand slips she’s going to fucking break me in two.

    "Isn’t this fun, Joe? I just LOVE to exercise now, ’cause it feels so good." She pushed herself up high enough to switch arms. "Whee! Isn’t this great? You’re helping make my muscles grow and get even stronger."

    I AM? Fuck!!

    But still, Joe clung to her, partly in fear of her strength, partly in awe of her strength, and mostly in a hunger for her pure physicality. He was getting hard again already …

    … which Cindy could feel as she held Joe close against her. I’ve GOT you! She pulled him back on top of her and pumped her biceps for him a few more times. She didn’t really care how big they were, but it was clear now that they’d come in handy. Working out made her feel good. And so did Joe. It was all coming together for her! "I guess I’ll have to be really careful around you, Joe, ’cause I’m so much stronger. I could hurt you really easily. Even if I didn’t want to. You know?"

    "Wh-what do you mean by that?"

    "Just … you don’t want me mad at you. You know?" She had a feeling that was enough for now and decided she wanted his hand on her breast. Now. She put it there. "I like it when you touch me there Joe. And move like this," she added, moving his hand around to show him. She liked too the way his hand fit inside hers. So small and helpless, and yet he was still Joe. Yes, holding hands with Joe around high school would be lots of fun.

    [continued]

    #797
    Mark Newman
    Participant

    Jonathan walked up the street, his pace slowing with each ten steps. It wasn’t the fact that he was heading uphill, that his backpack, usually heavy but manageable, was now feeling more and more heavy and less and less manageable, nor that his pants legs were trailing on the ground and that he kept stopping to hitch them up to his waist. It was also that he hadn’t realized until just now how loaded Juliet’s parents must be. The houses on this street were enormous and the further he went the larger they became. How much further would he have to go before he reached number 17?

    Everything about Juliet seemed to conspire to make him feel small and insignificant. Just a week ago he felt he was flying high. He was a senior, with reasonably good grades, a good record on extracurriculars including student council, the swim team, volunteer work and participation in the state citizenship conference. That would be at least good enough to get into Rutgers, where most of his friends were going, and maybe even good enough for a place at Penn or Columbia if he got lucky. And then he had tried out and gotten a small part in the school play, something he had always wanted to do. He’d learned his ten lines quickly and enjoyed watching the play develop. He especially enjoyed watching Juliet: the way she moved and talked; the subtle and not so subtle ways she put down Bart and the other players, even Mrs. Paul; the way she always seemed in charge, even as just a junior. Then when she had "fired" Bart and elevated him to the lead male role he was thrilled. Scared a little — with the need to learn so many lines and the inevitable stage fright from being the lead — but thrilled to play opposite her, to hold her and kiss her on stage, and from the way she’d looked at him he had reason to think there would be more of that offstage too.

    But it didn’t take long to see just how far she, a mere junior, was beyond him. In intelligence, perception, theatrical experience, of course, but also LIFE experience. She knew instinctively how to make things happen, how to make people do what she wanted. It had been one thing to watch that from a distance. But from right up close it was almost frightening. It WAS frightening. And now the changes in their bodies. Now she was bigger than he was too. Bigger and stronger and a third degree black belt to boot. Just an hour ago she had caught him in the school hallway and said that since all afterschool activities were cancelled today they should practice at her house. Then she leaned over to kiss him, but he had to stretch his head higher and higher, finally getting on his toes to reach her lips. Her hand had felt so large on his shoulder, her tug pulling him close was so strong, irresistible. How could he say no? He didn’t want to say no. But even if he did, could he?

    And even since then he had shrunk more. He knew he had. What would it be like now? He was with a girl who was smarter, taller and stronger than he was and, obviously, her family was much wealthier too? He had no idea how to deal with that. Still he trudged on, as he had quickly become accustomed to doing. He wasn’t dealing with it. What was the point? She would.

    He reached the imposing white front door and wondered briefly if that was where he was supposed to enter, instead of some side entrance. He looked for a bell. When he failed to find one he just banged the knocker twice. Its deep sounds reverberated inside the house and then there was a shrieking female voice.

    "No! Don’t, May, I’ll open it. Shut UP, Juliet! Let me! Ha-HA! You CAN’T!"

    There was a rush of footsteps to the door and it opened suddenly. A tall, fresh-faced girl had opened it, her face flushed, her hair slightly wild. She was a head taller than Jonathan, her shirt was stretched tight across her chest, which was less developed than Juliet’s but still shapely, and she looked around and then down at him. She giggled and covered her mouth, quickly regaining her composure.

    "So YOU’RE Jonathan. Why don’t you come in? Juliet will be right — she’ll be down in a minute. Or two or three." She laughed again. "She can be so SLOW! Come on!"

    Jonathan looked up at her and then at the spacious entry hall, the view through the ceiling-high picture window at the end of the room into the back yard and the pair of curving staircases leading upstairs. Trying not to show how impressed and intimidated he was he stepped inside. "So you’re, uh, Juliet’s big sister …."

    "BIG sister!?" She covered her mouth again and leaned forward so that her face was at Jonathan’s level. "We girls must ALL look so big to you now!" She laughed loudly and pretended to slap her cheek. "NOT nice, Penelope! MUST be polite to guests!" She put her hand on her chest, stood as straight as she could, her bust thrust out toward him, and held out her other hand for him to take. "Welcome to our little house. I’m Penelope Masters, Juliet’s YOUNGER sister. I’m thirteen." She gave his hand a little squeeze. His hand was lost in hers, almost crushed by her grip. "Pleasure to meet you," she said, curtseying slightly, keeping her head above his.

    Younger sister! But she was even bigger than Juliet. Unless …. Impossible! She COULDN’T be thirteen! He looked up at her, taking in her broad shoulders, her thick arms, her searching, intelligent, blue eyes. She still held his hand, not as tightly before, but firmly enough that he couldn’t easily withdraw it.

    "Y-you’re just thirteen?" he said uneasily.

    "Uh huh. Last month. September 21st. I’m a Virgo." She grinned at his obvious disbelief. "Come on! I could just as easily say, ‘You’re really 17?’ Because —

    "That’s ENOUGH, Penelope!" Juliet said, exasperated, as she strode into the foyer. She was barefoot and wore a silk robe of oriental design, mostly a greenish blue with splashes of pink roses. It barely reached the top of her muscular thighs. She crossed the room quickly and reached for Jonathan’s hand, which Penelope reluctantly dropped, shooting a pout at her sister.

    "He’s so cute! And —

    "– and you have someplace else to be, Penelope. As we discussed." Juliet’s eyes flashed at Penelope. Jonathan felt a wave of heat from them and Penelope seemed to blanche slightly.

    Her pout returned. "Oh all right!" She walked to the left staircase and went halfway up, then turned to look at Jonathan and Juliet, her eyes theatrically tracing up and down each of them, then laughed and ran up to her room and closed the door loudly. Seconds later, the thump of a hip hop group began to vibrate the floors.

    "Sisters! Even ONE is too many!" Juliet took Jonathan’s hand. "Come with me. We can get away from her music through here!" She pulled Jonathan through a doorway and down a long hall, past the kitchen, dining room, tv room and then to a newer part of the house. She stopped and leaned against a door, drawing Jonathan closer. The top of his head reached only up to Juliet’s neck, and beneath the smooth fabric of her robe over her breast brushed against his cheek. "Dear Jonathan." she said softly, stroking his back with her long fingers. She bent her head and kissed him gently on the cheek, then on the lips, her arm hanging down his back, cupping his butt, lifting him slightly and holding him against her. She broke off the kiss. "It’s not ALL bad, is it?" she added, kissing him lightly around his lips, then stopped to let him speak.

    "Well," he started. He was slightly breathless, very aroused already and overwhelmed by Juliet’s body. Her perfume was intoxicating and his heart and his hard-on were pounding against her. "I mean, um, there’s nothing bad about this. With you," he continued. He needed to take some initiative and put his arm around her to pull her closer, but nothing happened. She was so hard, so heavy. Her body didn’t move an inch.

    Instead, she held her ground and squeezed him to her more tightly and licked his neck, sending shivers down his spine. "Good. Because I had an idea for this afternoon. Do you still like to swim? You were on the swimming team last year."

    "Well, sure. It’s not the season yet, of course, but once the play’s over —

    "We can go swimming now. The pool’s just behind the door." She opened it and moved them into a large room, with two glass walls facing the dark yard and a glass ceiling showing the purple sky in the west and the half moon above. The pool was twenty-five meters long and twenty meters wide. The cathedral ceiling stretched to the second floor. There were lights built into the walls and under the pool. Only the pool lights were fully lit; the others were dimmed by at least three-quarters. She stepped back to let Jonathan see the whole room.

    Jonathan’s eyes took in the rippleless water, almost black in the failing light. His mouth dropped at the scale and beauty of the indoor pool. "I, uh, don’t have a suit, you know."

    "I didn’t expect that you’d bring one," she responded. "Well, I didn’t either." She let her robe fall to the floor. Jonathan turned and stared at her, his mouth dropping open even further. "I didn’t really think I needed one this afternoon." His worshipful expression was very satisfying. "Do you?"

    He forced himself to take his eyes off her breasts and speak. "I … well … of course not!" His heart pounded even more strongly and he quickly stripped down, able to pull his pants down without even undoing the belt. His other clothes came off easily too and he kicked his shoes to the side of the pool while Juliet watched him. He looked down at his feet and became very conscious both of his firm erection bobbing in front and how thin and narrow his torso was. He looked more closely at his legs in the dim light. They were so bony! And his arms too!

    Juliet came up closer, looming over him. "Ssshhh! Don’t mind that now!" She lifted him in her arms, holding him across her, just below her breasts. "You can touch them. Go ahead. No one will disturb us here. No one will see us."

    Her breasts were so round, so perfectly formed, erect like bubbles growing out of her broad chest. Yet they were soft, and warm and her nipples were so hard. She let out a deep rumble as he touched them and then he noticed her biceps, also so round, touching her breasts where his caresses flattened them and then realized he was off the ground. "My god, Juliet! You’re so strong! Your muscles are so big!"

    "I’ve always been strong, Jonathan. I told you I work my body hard. And now I’m a lot stronger. The same exercise I always do is making much more of a difference." She tensed her biceps once. "You really feel very light to me. I wonder how far I can throw you." She hefted him up and down playfully, testing his weight.

    "Juliet!"

    "Don’t you want to see how far you can fly?" she teased. She rocked him back and threw him, and Jonathan suddenly found himself sailing through the air toward the water.

    "Heyyy!!" he shouted, but there was nothing he could do now so he adjusted his position and broke the surface neatly. The water was delicious, only lightly chlorinated, heated just enough so it he wasn’t chilled but not so much that it felt like a bath.

    "Let’s see if I can catch you!" she called. There was a splash and he saw her shooting through the water toward him. This at last was a game he could play better than Juliet! She’d never catch him until he wanted her to. He pushed off and started his fast crawl to the corner ninety degrees from where she was swimming. She surfaced and changed direction toward him. He poured on the speed but surprisingly found his arms tiring. Already? He stroked harder, curving off away from her to the left. The splashing grew louder. His breathing was becoming more labored and his arms were cutting shorter. He pushed himself harder. Come on, Jonathan! You’re a swimmer! Prove it! She can’t be faster than me! He felt the spray from her strokes against his legs and imagined he heard the "Jaws" music. Then her hand grabbed his calf, pulling him backwards.

    "Got you!" she cried. "Ha!" She held him up against her. "Mmmmm, isn’t this fun?" She kissed him, her hand pressing his face into hers while her other hand touched his back, her fingers probing his body. "I LOVE being in the water." He was still breathing hard. "Why, I’ve got you all out of breath! Is something wrong?"

    Jonathan panted. "No … I … must be more … out of shape … than I thought. I don’t … know what’s … the matter!"

    "Oh." She regarded him seriously, watching his thin chest rapidly rise and fall. "Well, I wouldn’t worry about that now, if I were you. I’m sure it’s just more of these changes. Relax. I’ll hold you up." Juliet lifted him slightly so he broke the surface of the water and then she submerged him again so that his body pressed against her breasts with only his head out of the water. "I can stand here. This is so amazing! I never used to be able to do that. It’s nearly six feet deep." Juliet looked at him closely. "You’re still breathing so heavily!"

    "I know!" Jonathan said unhappily. "I feel like I’m completely out of shape … like I haven’t worked out for months! But I HAVE been swimming! Just because I’m not in … competition training —

    She smoothed his wet hair. "Don’t get so excited, Jonathan. It’s obviously not your fault. I’ve told you before; this is something that’s happening to all the guys."

    "That doesn’t make me feel any better!" he said more heatedly. Then, unable to suppress his emotions, continued, "Look at my arms! I’ve got hardly any muscle!"

    Juliet lifted her hand up to Jonathan’s arms and held his biceps, compressing them with her thumb. "Well, they have gotten pretty small," she agreed. "But they haven’t disappeared entirely. They’re just like the arms most girls have. Or had. Girls did just fine with that most of the time. And if it really bothers you –well I’m sure if you exercise you’ll get stronger." She lifted him and kissed his arms. She liked the way they felt so soft beneath her lips. It was really very easy for her to adapt to the changes. He’d just have to do the same. After all, they were still male and female, boy and girl. That was why he was here. "You should just try to relax. There’s a lot to enjoy. The water. The privacy. Me." She touched his chest and lightly ran her fingers down his torso, pausing at a particularly sensitive point to play with his body. "I’ve forbidden Penelope the pool this afternoon, and Mother won’t be home for hours. Hmmmm?" She wiggled her fingers on him. There was certainly nothing wrong with THAT bit of his equipment! She started walking them toward the shallower end, holding him so he couldn’t escape. "Like it or not, you’re not getting away from me, Jonathan," she said playfully. "But do you really want to?"

    "I’m so weak!" he said, more factually and with less emotion.

    "Well then, I’m not complaining. Do you really have anything to complain about right now?" She was stepping out of the water now and laid him down on one of the lounge chairs and then lay next to him, her muscular leg across his hip. "I’ll let you catch your breath, but then I’m going to make you lose it again. Any objections?"

    The questions swirling around his mind were getting less and less distinct. Surrender had never sounded so good.

    Michelle and Martin were in her room. Martin held the dull-looking pendant in his hand and looked up to Michelle, who was now six inches taller than he was. "This is it? This little thing?"

    "That’s it. It looked different before, shiny and special. That must show that the magic is all used up."

    Ignoring her, Martin gripped it tightly and closed his eyes. "I wish, uh, males and females would go back to the way they were before." He looked at Michelle hopefully.

    "We felt something, I think, before, when it worked."

    "I didn’t feel anything just now."

    "Me neither. I told you, Martin. It doesn’t work anymore," she said, taking it back and putting it back in her jewelry box, then into her drawer. "It’s not like it came with a recharger or anything. It’s a piece of jewelry, not a gameboy."

    "I know that!" He looked forlorn. "There’s got to be something we can do to get it going again. Look how much taller you’re getting. Look at how your legs are getting so long … and so thick! Meanwhile, I feel like I’m going to shrink away to nothing!"

    "Martin, don’t worry. Nobody wished for that! I promise!" She put her arms around him and held him. He felt so small now, so soft. She really tried to be gentle, not knowing how strong she was. Although she hadn’t wanted to say it, what if he was right? It did seem to be accelerating. She could almost feel their bodies moving against each other, hers growing and his getting smaller, but maybe was she imagining it. "I still love you, no matter how much we change."

    "I love you too. But when is this changing going to stop? I’m so small, so weak." He held out his arm. "Look at it! It’s … it’s .

    "It’s like mine used to be," Michelle said quietly. She put her hand on it. It was so soft. It was so hard to resist the temptation to squeeze it a little, but somehow she managed to resist. Poor Martin! "Oh god! Did you feel that?" she said, pushing away slightly, holding him at arm’s length so it was easier to look down at him.

    He nodded. "Um, I think so."

    "It was sort of like what we felt on Friday afternoon." She looked at the clock. Four-thirty. "You know, I think it’s exactly four days after our last wish. This was the fifth day. Maybe that’s just how long it took to work and it’s stopped now. The shrinking and growing, I mean."

    Martin nodded. "You could be right." He put his hand on her desk to steady himself. "I think so. I think I’m not getting any smaller. But I’m not growing either, like from my wish." He took a deep breath, trying to control his emotions. "Do you know what this means? I’m going to be like this for the rest of my life!" He banged his hand on the desk. "I’m so small!!" He was trying very hard not to cry.

    "Oh Martin! Martin! I’m so sorry!" Michelle held him. He was shaking. She let him cry onto her breast. She felt so bad for him. She held him tight, but not too tightly. They stood there for several minutes not saying anything. He felt so small, almost like a child. She wanted so much to comfort him.

    "I … uh … sorry … I … I’ll be right back." He walked quickly to the bathroom. Michelle heard the door lock and him crying again inside. Poor Martin! He must be so embarrassed. She looked at the bathroom door, wondering whether to knock and offer to hold him some more. Then something occurred to her. She pulled out her jewelery box and looked for the pendant. The iridescence was back, just like before. Her heart skipped a beat and she gasped and then quickly covered her mouth. She took her hand away and almost called out to him, then closed it again. She took a step toward the bathroom, then stepped back. She looked at the pendant long and hard and ran her thumb along the odd design, then turned it face down and put it back in the box and into her drawer, closing it very quietly.

    Poor Martin!

    Cecile brushed her hair for the seventeenth time, as lightly as she could. Oh WHY was her hair so thick! If only she had thinner hair, like Marie, instead of that thick, tangly mop! It needed a hard, vigorous brushing to make it straight and soft, but that only made things WORSE. HE was coming. He would BE here soon, Cheryl had said, and she HAD to look good. But if she brushed hard for fifteen minutes, like she really NEEDED to, it would end up even BIGGER. If only she could brush with her left hand, then at least they would be a little balanced and the right one would grow so much but she’d tried that and her hair had looked AWFUL. And now her right one was SO much bigger than her left. Even if DAVE wouldn’t mind, SHE hated it. But her WOULD! It was so big and bulgy. It made her sleeves look all tight and funny. And it was ABSOLUTELY the first thing ANYONE would see. ESPECIALLY Dave, who was such an athlete. He always looked her over so carefully. She ALWAYS LOVED that about him. She didn’t care that he stared at her tits. That was fine. She KNEW it was her best part. She LOVED her tits. Why shouldn’t HE love them too!

    But now he’d be looking at something ELSE. How could he NOT look at it?

    Cheryl told her not to worry, that he’d love her anyway. What did SHE know? Sure she was pretty and popular, but SHE’D never been able to get the guy SHE wanted. Why did SHE think SHE was some kind of expert! Just because she was head cheerleader and was smart enough to get B’s in class didn’t mean she knew ANYTHING about how GUYS think!

    Oh no! There he WAS. Mom would get it. They had agreed he would wait in the TV room while Cecile finished getting ready. But what about her hair? They were talking. Now Mom was coming up.

    "Oh Cecile, dear! You’re still not all ready!"

    "Oh Mommy! Look!"

    "Don’t do that with your arm, dear, it just makes it worse." Her mother bit her lip. "I’ll brush it for you tonight, dear, although, you know, I’m having the same, er, problem as you. We have to be so careful all of a sudden." She ran the brush through Cecile’s hair, trying as much as possible to keep her arm stiff and use her shoulders and body weight instead of her biceps to pull the brush. "Honey, listen. You have to prepare yourself. Dave — he’s smaller too. Even more so than your father. Although god knows what’s become of HIM today."

    "Mommy! What should I do?!"

    "Well, dear, you must try to remember that however small he is, he is still the boy. And that this will be a shock to him. You need to make him feel as normal as possible. And let him feel that he is still in charge." She sniffed twice. "Although I don’t know how!"

    "Mommy??!!"

    "I mean, er, I don’t know how long he will be able to stay tonight, dear," she said, trying to master her anxiety.

    Poor mommy! She’s as nervous as I am! I have to be brave. For BOTH of us! "Well, I’ll let HIM decide, so long as it’s not TOO late!"

    "That’s right dear. Now you go down. I made some nice dip for you to take in with some pretzels and chips. I know he didn’t have practice today but it’s still football season. He must really work up an appetite. And he’s a growing … I mean, he’s such a nice little — Well, there! You look lovely! I’m so so proud of what can do with your sewing machine."

    "But what did he … ok Mommy. Thanks for everything!"

    Dave was sitting on the sofa. He started out on Cecile’s father’s chair, but the big Barcalounger made him feel even smaller even though he didn’t think he had shrunk any more in the past hour. What would she think of me? Would she notice that I’m wearing my little brother’s clothing? What if she’s grown as much as Cheryl? He heard her footsteps. Were they always so loud, or was he just jumpier than usual? The door opened.

    "Hi Dave!" she said brightly. Oh GOD! Were those PETER’s clothes?

    "Hi Ce…cile," he said, shocked. THAT was Cecile?! She was bigger than he EVER was! He recognized her top and her skirt, but they didn’t fit the way they used to, with holes cut on the sides and shoulders and slits on her arms to allow room for her chest and shoulders and — were those her BICEPS?!! He’d been working out for years and he’d never developed muscles like those. And her calves! He just stared.

    "Dave?" Cecile said, her voice trembling. "Dave? Ar-aren’t you going to at least … h-hold me?"

    Dave blinked a few times and then stood up. That was worse than either had expected. Dave had lost two inches until the changes started accelerating Tuesday afternoon. Since then he had lost three more inches, leaving him no more than 5’6". Cecile meanwhile had grown six inches, so that instead of being four inches shorter than Dave, she was seven inches taller. His eyes were only at the level of her chin.

    He’s so little! She stood, unsure what to do, afraid that if she held him she would end up picking him up. ME picking DAVE up! NO!! She COULDN’T do THAT!

    Awkwardly he went to hold her, but his arms couldn’t even reach all the way around her back, where instead of the familiar soft flesh, he felt hard ridges of muscle that stiffened and hardened as she moved, trying to find the right position. Her hands covered his whole back. And her arms were so thick! But HOW??!!

    "Oh Dave!" she cried. "What’s HAPPENED to us?!" She leaned down to put her head on his shoulder, and out of habit put her weight on him.

    "Cecile!" he said, "I can’t hold you!" as his knees buckled almost immediately and they both crashed to the floor with Cecile on top.

    "Dave? Dave! Are you all right?" She got off him and knelt down next to him as he groaned. She leaned over him and touched his face gently. "Dave? Dave!"

    He shook his head slowly. "I … I’m sorry Cecile. I … I guess I’ve gotten kind of … weak." He started to get up but Cecile put her hand on his shoulder and held him on the ground. He didn’t want to let her but it was useless to resist.

    "You’d better stay there a moment. Make sure you’re not hurt. Oh Dave! This is my fault!"

    "Your fault? How?"

    "If I … weren’t so … big …" she gestured helplessly.

    "If I weren’t such a damn weakling now," he countered. He tried to get up again. It was hopeless. He couldn’t move an inch. She wasn’t even trying to hold him down and he still couldn’t move. This was horrible. "I’d better go."

    "Why?!" She held him down. "Don’t go now!" Why it really didn’t take any effort at all. She knew she shouldn’t … but he COULDN’T go. Not yet!!

    "Come on, Cecile, you … you don’t want such a weakling for a boyfriend."

    "But I … It’s you, isn’t it? You don’t want me … a hulking gorilla. That’s really it, isn’t it?" she said, crying.

    "No, no! THAT’S not it at all. I just feel … silly. Being smaller than you." He pushed again. "And so much weaker. Please let me get up."

    She let go and helped him to stand up. "You shouldn’t feel bad! I’m the one who’s ridiculous. I HATE my body!"

    "You do?" He stared at her imposing chest, her broad shoulders, her powerful arms and then at her face, which was still lovely, still framed by her luscious blond hair.

    "YES!!"

    "But you shouldn’t," he insisted.

    "But you don’t want a girlfriend who looks like me." He didn’t answer. "See?"

    "I don’t know what I want." He stared at Cecile’s arms and shook his head. "Yeah, well, I guess what I really would want would be to have muscles like yours." He shook his head. "Especially the biceps on your right arm. They’re fucking incredible."

    "Dave!"

    "Sorry about the language, Cecile." He grimaced with the effort of telling her. "I’m trying to be honest."

    "YOU’RE the one who SHOULD have muscles like these. Not ME!" She started crying again. "I HATE them!!"

    They stood there. Slowly Dave put his arms around Cecile and held her, as best as he could. "C’mon Cessy. Don’t cry," he said gently.

    "You HATE me, don’t you. I KNOW you hate girls with muscles!" she continued, sobbing.

    "I don’t hate YOU," he said softly.

    "What about what you always said about Sandy? How her body was so gross!"

    It was amazing. Even with her just talking and breathing he could feel her muscles bulge, her chest push into him. Hanging on to her was like hanging on to a bronco. But still exciting in a way. And her breasts were still wonderful. Even better. Rounder, higher, firmer. "I’m not talking about Sandy. I’m talking about you."

    "I don’t WANT you to talk about ME! I just want things to be like they were before!"

    "Me too! But they’re not! I don’t think we’re even going to have a football team anymore. At least that what Marie said."

    "She told me too. That’s so horrible! Why?"

    "Look at me! Would YOU want to see me play football?"

    "Of COURSE I would!" Cecile said. "I love watching you run and catch the ball."

    "Yeah, well not the way I was running today. And not the way Frank was throwing it either." Cecile was looking at him glumly. "Yeah, you probably think I’m pathetic the way I am now."

    "That’s NOT what I was thinking. I just wish … oh, what’s the point!" She pouted.

    "I guess there’s no point in wishing. But, well, it’s strange and all, but, I still think you’re sexy."

    "Oh sure!" she said unhappily. "You’re just saying that to be nice."

    "I mean it. You still have the greatest breasts!"

    Cecile looked down at her chest, smiled a little and looked at Dave. "You think so?"

    "Absolutely. And … well, there is something sexy about your arms now. More than before. The way your biceps curve around." He touched them, feeling their solidity, their warmth. "Do you mind?"

    "No," she said softly. "You really mean it?"

    He was touching them, kneading them, wondering about them, just as he’d always wondered about her breasts. What WERE they? Why did he like them? He never understood what was so special about a breast, but he couldn’t resist them, couldn’t help but want to feel them, suck on them, look at them. And now, weirdly, now that he had no real muscles and she did, he was finding hers sexy too, wondering how big they were, how hard they were, what they could do? Was that sick? He certainly wouldn’t admit it to Frank! But Cecile wasn’t Frank. "Yeah, I mean it."

    "Do you … want to see it … big?" she said in a small voice.

    "You mean flexed?"

    "Um … yeah. If you don’t mind."

    "If you won’t laugh."

    "Why would I laugh?"

    "I don’t know. ‘Cause it’s weird. A girl with muscles." She looked down at him. He was still cute. In a different way, sure, but he was still Dave. "All right. You won’t tell anyone?"

    "OK." She tightened her arm. "Wait Cecile. Not like that. Lift it up a little so I can see it. Yeah, like –" Oh god! Look at them! He touched them, lightly at first, then pushed harder and harder. How did she get muscles like those? His fingers traced the outline of her biceps, ran over the curve on top, cupped the top of her biceps and the bottom of her triceps. They were amazing.

    What was he thinking? What was he doing? It was cute the way he was touching them, so lightly. Just like she like him to touch her breasts, but not as rough. And it was a different feeling. Somehow, him touching her muscles like that made her feel more like a woman, more grown up, more in control. She liked that. Not like he was a child or anything. Of course not! But she was much stronger. She could do things now that he couldn’t. And that was attractive to him. What did THAT mean? She always felt her attractiveness was a kind of power. But now she felt her strength, her muscular power, was a kind of attractiveness. Like he was admiring her power, being turned on by it. That made power something good, something sexy. And all at once she felt much better about being strong! She couldn’t wait to brush her hair using her LEFT arm too. And there must be LOTS of things she could do to make her muscles ever bigger!

    "Oh Dave! You are so CUTE!" She picked him up and hugged him. Not too hard. He was probably so delicate now. But hard enough so that he knew what she could do.

    Celia held her two captives even more tightly, her hands gripping their upper arms hard enough to hurt. They pulled with all their strength to get away, but she kept them in place, prevailing in the competition between the muscles of her arms and the efforts of their whole bodies. They didn’t dare try to hit her, not after she’d bloodied the nose of one with a single punch and knocked the wind out of the other. Poor little boys. They looked SO unhappy, while their hapless struggling made her feel warm and alive. There might not be as many opportunities for this as time went on. The boys would get used to being weak, and if they were smart they’d probably get more careful about where they went and who was around. But right now it was so easy to catch them, while they still thought they could take care of themselves or could resist a girl’s strength.

    Or perhaps they just had thought girls were too "nice" to engage in bullying. Some of them probably were. But Celia felt pride in graduating, in her own mind, from "pest" or even "Superpest" to "Bully." It was so much more fun to overpower boys instead of just sniping at them with petty insults and tattling.

    "Can you imagine! YOU played FOOTBALL with THESE little muscles?! So mushy! So squooshy!" She squeezed more tightly. "Like jello!"

    "Owwww!"

    "Awwww. Did that little squeezy wheezy hurt? C’mon, hut! Hut! Hut!" She pulled them down onto the floor and tackled them. "Touchdown! That’s 24-0. Celia leads! What do I see? Tears? Are these LITTLE boys CRYING?" Insulting them was fun too, so long as she could combine it with physical domination. She stood up and dragged them up with her, maintaining her grip.

    "What do you WANT from us? We’ve given you all the money we came to school with!"

    "So you think now you DESERVE to be let go?" The two said nothing. "You think the ONLY thing I want out of you is your little bits of MONEY?"

    "What DO you want? Owwwww!"

    "Mushy and squooshy! Mushy and squooshy! Those should be your names, boys. Instead of Frank and Harold. What do you think, boys? Do you like your new names? Say ‘yes’ boys!"

    "Yes!" they said in unison.

    "Very good!!" Celia smiled. "I bet you wish you were still strong! That you still had muscles like mine! Hmmmm?" They looked at her, trying not to show how angry they felt or how afraid they were that she would hit them again. Their eyes couldn’t help but look at her imposing biceps, almost as large as Harold’s used to be. How did she get so strong so quickly? What was happening? Why didn’t anyone know what was going on?

    Theresa felt a bit nervous. The last time she’d confronted them it was a disaster for her, and it was just three days later. Her face hadn’t healed yet, and Sandy had begged her not to go home, but to wait with her for at least a couple more days. But she didn’t want to wait. She was so angry, and she wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything else until she’d dealt with her brothers. She’d grown a lot even over the past few hours. She could take care of herself now, she thought. She walked quickly, more confidently through the neighborhood, feeling no one would try anything on her now. The men she’d seen on the way seemed small and scared, their pants legs dragging on the ground, their shoes slipping as they walked. Ha! She tried to dampen the excitement she felt but she couldn’t help imagining her brothers shrunken and weak, and her fearsome father as a thin shell of his former self. But she had to be careful. Maybe they weren’t as weak as she thought. Maybe they had weapons.

    She circled around to the back, and peered in through the kitchen window. Plates and food were scattered everywhere, even on the floor. The disgusting pigs! Beer cans. Coke. Flies buzzing. Ugh! Just looking at it made her tired. All the work to clean it up. No! THEY were going to clean it up. All of it! Tonight!

    She hoped.

    She couldn’t see well into the living room. The TV was on, of course. Maybe only one of them was home. That would make it easier. She took a deep breath. Should she wait or go in? Then she saw it. Her vase, the one her mother had left her, the one special thing she had from her mother, lay smashed on the floor. They had taken it from her room and smashed it. Her eyes burned with tears, then she blinked them away. She marched to the front and opened the door; the slobs hadn’t even locked it, and glared at the three of them, Dominic, Alan and Charles, sitting around pizza boxes and beer bottles.

    "Well look who’s …" Alan started, then stopped. "Shit, she’s —

    "You broke my vase!" The boys lay there, frozen. "Get up! Now!"

    "If you think …" Charlie started.

    "Jesus," Dominic said. "Look at her!" He swallowed and stood up, slowly. "It wasn’t me who did it, Terri, honest. I told them it wasn’t right. I said –"

    "Shut up, Dom. You’re such a wuss," Alan said. But he didn’t look at Theresa. At least not in the eye.

    Theresa spotted the barbell where she had left it three days ago. She marched over and picked it up and easily pressed it above her head. "Do I need to throw something? I said ‘Get UP!’ ALL of you." She shook the barbell. It felt so LIGHT now!

    Alan stood up smartly, while Charlie glared at his brothers. "You guys are letting HER boss you around?"

    "Charlie, LOOK at her. She’s got muscles now, and we don’t! She’s bigger than BOTH of us."

    "I AM," Theresa said, happily. She towered over the two brothers, more than a head taller than each of them. Their thin arms swam in their sleeves, their trousers held up only by a belt notched together with new, clumsily made, holes. She put the barbell down and put an arm around each of them, pulling them roughly next to her shoulders. "I want you boys in the kitchen now. You have one hour to make this place presentable. The way I USED to clean it!

    "But Terri, we don’t know –"

    "That’s Theresa. I BET you’ll learn fast, Dominic." She squeezed his arm. Oh he was so thin, so soft! They had no chance against her now.

    "Y-yes, Ther-esa." He nodded at Alan. "C’mon. You helping?"

    Theresa looked down at Alan. He glared at her, and she tightened her grip on his arm too. He drew in a breath sharply, obviously in pain, but not wanting to give in. Theresa laughed. "Oh, tough guy, hmmm?" She shifted her grip slightly, so that her thumb rested on top of his biceps. "Alan, do you know what the difference is between girls and boys?" She rolled her thumb along the top of his biceps, steadily increasing the pressure. He stifled a cry in the back of his throat. "Don’t you know?" she said, more harshly.

    "Girls … have … tits!" he spat out defiantly.

    She grinned, bearing down harder. "NO, Alan! Girls have muscles. Boys have MUSH!"

    "AAGGH!" he cried out. "STOP, please!!" he said. "Oh my arm! AAAAGGHHH!" He started blubbering and Theresa let go. "Oh god! I can’t even move my hand! What did you do!"

    "Not as much as I’ll to you do if this place isn’t clean in, let’s see, 57 minutes left now!"

    Alan and Dominic scampered into the kitchen. Theresa put her hands on her hips and laughed. This was going to be so easy! She looked down at her other brother. "Aren’t you going to help them, Charlie?"

    Charlie stayed seated, his hands on the floor. "Who are you kidding, sis? You think you’re some big shot all of a sudden? Cause you and other girls just sprout up and grow muscles? You think that changes things? We men all work around here. We bring in money. You keep house for us. That’s the deal."

    "That was the deal. I work too, at school. I do tons more than you do, and it’s only fair that the boys work around that house too. Dominic and Alan sure think so."

    "They’re idiots. If you don’t know that, you’re one too."

    "Maybe they’re smarter than you are. Maybe they see something you’re missing." She stepped closer and thrust out her chest.

    Charlie looked up at her. He raised his hand and slammed it down on her foot, his hand gripped tightly around a pool ball. Theresa screamed in pain and hopped on one foot. Charlie leapt to his feet and swung his pool ball-filled fist at her face, but he misjudged her height, or his lack of it, and hit her in the shoulder instead, before his swing had reached its full speed.

    Theresa groaned again, but the second blow hadn’t hurt nearly as much and now Charlie had lost the element of surprise. He went at her again, but in his weakened state the weight of the pool ball slowed his swing considerably and Theresa managed to catch his forearm before he hit her, deflecting most of his speed. She gripped him hard, digging her nails into his arm and Charlie’s eyes went wide with pain.

    "Aaaii!" he said, as she raked her fingers across his skin, leaving four lines of bloody cuts along the inside of his arm. She grabbed his wrist, bending it back and forcing him to release the ball into her waiting hand. "You’re gonna break it!" he cried as she relentlessly forced his hand back. "Aaagh!"

    "Which is what you tried to do to my foot!" she growled, testing it with her weight. "DAMN you, Charlie! That really hurt! You’ll PAY for that, I swear!"

    "Stop! Mercy, please, Terri. Please! Oh, Jesus. Terri, please, just … think of our mother, what would she … oh Jesus!"

    "You’re pathetic, damn you, Charlie!" She jerked him to his knees. "Get your fucking face on the floor. Lick my foot. LICK IT, I say! NOW! Not THAT one, the good one! BETWEEN the toes too! Alan! Dominic! Get in here! Now! No, wait. First bring me some ice, Alan. You, stay down there, Charlie. Keep licking. I don’t CARE if they’re dirty. Clean them with your fucking tongue. That’s right. Faster. Now hold the ice there. I don’t CARE if it’s cold. Just hold it." She took a deep breath. "That’s better." Alan and Dominic watched in amazement as Charlie busily licked Theresa’s foot clean. "I need another ice cube. Alan. Come on. HOP to it! That’s right. Give it to Charlie. Hold it closer to the ankle. She was breathing easier. "That’s much better. Just keep doing it. You boys see what Charlie’s doing? You’re ALL going to serve me now. I’m going to ask for things once. And if you don’t do them, I’m gonna hurt you so bad." She held out her arm. "Look at this muscle. This is REAL stuff, boys. This is a fucking big strong muscle and it’s going to get bigger and stronger every day. You’ll see. And I’ll use it on you, my dear brothers. My weak, helpless little boys. I’ll use my muscles on you guys to hurt you and break you and maim you with NO hesitation at all, I swear, if you don’t snap to whatever I say. Is that understood? You will drop whatever you’re doing and serve me when I ask. No questions, no delays. Understood?"

    The three of them look at her mutely. Dominic, then Alan, then Charlie nodded their heads.

    "No, that’s NOT what I want. When I tell you something, you say, ‘yes Ma’am.’

    "Yes, ma’am."

    She smiled. "Very nice." She withdrew her foot. "I’m going to have a bruise. And so will you, Charlie. Put your right foot forward. NOW!" He complied, nervously. "You’re forgetting ALREADY!" She slapped him across the face, leaving another jagged cut. "What do you say?"

    "I did what — yes Ma’am!"

    "Dominic!"

    "Y-yes ma’am."

    "Take this pool ball and smash it onto the top of Charlie’s foot. And if you don’t do it hard enough, then I’ll do the same to you, ten times as hard."

    "But how hard … ma’am? How do I know –"

    "– what it will take to please me?" She smiled. "Well, you have to figure it out. Like I always did with you guys. You decide — just how much of a margin of error do you want to leave?" She flexed her biceps a couple of times. "I can hit pretty hard now, in case you were wondering. You need to figure out what it takes to please me. It’s time you started learning. And you better learn quickly."

    Dominic looked at Charlie fearfully, then back at Theresa even more fearfully.

    "I’ll give you ten seconds. Then I’ll smash your foot and let Alan try. Same deal."

    Dominic looked like he was going to cry. "Sorry, Charlie!" He lifted his hand as high as he could and pounded the pool ball onto Charlie’s hand. The crack of a bone resounded followed by Charlie’s scream.

    "Well! You sure hit him hard. I think that will do."

    "My foot’s broken!" Charlie screamed. "You broke it!" he screamed at Theresa.

    Theresa shook her head. "No, Dominic broke it." She stood up. "How much money do we have in the house? Didn’t Charlie get paid yesterday?"

    "Y-yes ma’am," Alan said, looking at Charlie as he grimaced and writhed on the floor.

    "Take his wallet and give me his money. All of it. $211? That’s all? From now on, the three of you will give me all the money you earn — on the day you get paid. I will give you some back to shop for food. I’ll tell you what to buy for me. I eat a lot now, lots of protein too. NO ONE eats MY food, understood? The rest of you can manage on what’s left over. Charlie, you’ll be on disability for awhile. You can sign your checks over to me. Right?"

    "Yes ma’am," Alan and Dominic said.

    Theresa glared at Charlie.

    "Yes ma’am," he said, gritting his teeth.

    "You better put some ice on that foot. Alan, Charlie, finish cleaning. When you’re done, I’ll give Alan my shopping list, and Dominic, you can take Charlie to the hospital emergency room. Here’s $10 for a taxi. You’ll give me $2 change." She crossed her arms and tapped her feet. "I’m waiting."

    "Yes ma’am," they all said.

    She felt her own foot. "Just a black and blue mark for me. I guess my bones are stronger."

    "Wh-what about Dad?" Dominic asked.

    "You will explain to him the way it’ll be done from now on. Move his things into my room. He’ll be too drunk to do it himself. I’m taking his. And if he has any ideas about arguing, well, you can tell him I remember every time I’ve been in that room since Mom left. Every fucking time." Her eyes narrowed. "Make sure he knows I remember everything."

    Meanwhile, at a prominent NY newspaper ….

    "So the NIH took the embargo off the story?"

    "Yeah, Ken. For tomorrow’s edition. Drudge already has it up, but we play by the rules, and we’re supposed to hold ours until midnight. Then the President speaks Wednesday night."

    "What’s the point of holding us up now? Everyone can read about it on the internet, just by checking out the Australian papers. Or the London ones. They all have health services too."

    "They’re not the US Government. Or the New York Times. The newspaper of record." He sighed. "And don’t you forget it. The greatest story of the 21st Century. And still a complete mystery."

    "We’re reporting the facts, Ed. That’s where reporters are supposed to start."

    "Everybody KNOWS the facts, Ken. But nobody knows WHY!" He shook his head. "I can’t WAIT to hear what the President makes of it. Should be good for a laugh. Will it be one of Saddam’s WMDs? Something the radical feminists cooked up?"

    "Maybe a message from God!"

    "You never know. One thing for sure is he’ll find some way to use it in the campaign."

    "Jenna and Barbara look pretty good with muscles, Ed."

    "I know." He grinned. "That’s Friday’s story."

    #798
    legfan71
    Participant

    I’m a big fan of your stories, but this one tops them all. It is just a great,

    great story. I also could use some advice on continuing my story, "Screw-Up". This is the one where the scientist mistakenly gives the Hulk’s powers to his ex-wife. I’m trying to see what direction people would like to see the story go. Or, perhaps there is no interest in continuing the story.

    Anyway, your latest story is shaping up to be one of the best in its genre. Thanks for taking the time to write them.

    #799
    a b
    Participant

    it really is a great story.

    but i’m starting to think, if this keeps going, the guys might all just get driven away from the girls. then everybody just feels like poop.

    i would just warn "try not to go overboard".

    besides, girls can’t win, man!

    good always triumphs over evil! (little joke)

    #800
    Mark Newman
    Participant

    Guys never get driven away from the girls. After all, they need each other, don’t they?

    But as for girls not winning … well … they do sometimes.

    #801
    Mark Newman
    Participant

    Thanks for the comment. I tried to write you a private message, but you may not have turned that feature on.

    I really enjoyed Screw-up. It’s another of my favorite paradigms for a story. The wrong person gets the strength enhancement! Delicious. I could do that type of story again and again (and I have — most of my "Oh No!" stories were about that, especially Jed and Johanna) I’m not sure how you would follow it up, though. It’s a lot like the problem I have with many of my stories — what do you do after the growth scene/strength transfer, etc.? This story I’m writing now is trying to go beyond that, but at some point it will have to end.

    You could have him try to invent something else to get the power back, only to have it backfire once again and just make her even more powerful, but it’s often not as much fun the second time around.

    Or you could have her start tormenting him with her power.

    Or you could write a brand new story with the same type of theme. To be honest, that’s what I usually do.

    You can write back by replying to this, or directly to me at [email protected]

    Mark

    #802
    Richard
    Participant

    The story has really taken on a life of it’s own Marknew. Definatly one of your best I can’t wait to see what happens next. Perhaps some more wish’s on the now active pendent?

    #803
    Mark Newman
    Participant

    Well, when there is an active wishing pendant around, somebody usually ends up making a wish.

    But when it happens and what she (or he) wishes for ….

    #804
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hm… Pamela is mentally-unstable, isn’t she? Just the type who might go mad with power…

    #805
    Mark Newman
    Participant

    It could happen to any of us, of course. Who knows what repressed desires would emerge from someone who may have previously suffered silently as a powerless victim?

    But in the "mad with power" category I’d put Celia first on the list. Pamela is more of a decorative object for me. 🙂

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