Pendant Changes — Wednesday Afternoon at School

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    Mark Newman

    This is a shorter one. The rest of "Wednesday" will be posted some time before the middle of the month.


    Joe and Fred were sitting opposite each other in another corner of the lunchroom, eating quickly. "Maybe they forgot," said Fred, hopefully.

    Joe shook his head. "I doubt it. She seemed pretty excited about it. Hey, wasn’t Pam Brown AMAZING today?"

    "Yeah, but she’s been, like, going totally ballistic every time a guy looks at her. I mean, how can you NOT look at her? Except I still can’t get used to her having muscles. It kind of ruins the effect, you know?"

    "I just try to ignore them," Joe said.

    "I know. But it’s hard not to think about them. It’s so fucking weird, you know? I mean, actually being afraid that a GIRL is going to clout you for looking at her. Pam was always kind of a bitch, but if she slapped you or something you could sort of be proud of it. Now she could break your face! Easily."

    "Yeah. That really sucks, doesn’t it?"

    "What sucks, Joe?" Cindy said, pushing her way next to him at the table. "Hey Cal, they’re over here!" she called out, waving her arm. "We thought we’d never FIND you. Especially after class went overtime. But it was so much fun! The guy leading the discussion let the girls show how big our muscles were and guess whose were biggest!" Cindy proudly flexed her biceps. "They are soooo coool! Aren’t they?" Joe looked at them glumly. "What’s the matter, honey? You don’t look so happy."

    Calley looked at Joe and then back to her friend. "I bet it’s your muscles, Cin. You shouldn’t show them off like that The boys in class didn’t like it either," Cindy didn’t answer, and Calley shrugged and started eating, then turned to Fred and said, "I’m Calley. In case you didn’t know. You’re Freddie, right?"

    "Fred," he said, keeping his eyes on his food.

    "Sorry. Fred." She smiled at him tentatively. "Do you —

    Cindy interrupted. "You really think it bothers him, Cal? Is she right, Joe? Don’t tell me YOU’D be like that. Don’t tell me you’re JEALOUS of me." She giggled. "Just cause I got these big, huge super-powerful muscles now and you hardly have any! Does that really BOTHER you?" She put her arm around Joe and pulled his head into her chest. "Well I think that is SO adorable!" she said, continuing to eat while holding Joe to her breast. "I just love your little body!"

    Joe was struggling, but not wildly. Fred slumped down.

    "Cindy!" Calley said quietly.

    "Come on, Cal! He loves my tits! I can tell, you know."

    "Maybe. But even so, I think you’re embarrassing him."

    "I don’t know. You’d do the same thing if you had tits like mine."

    "No I wouldn’t," she said, very conscious of Fred next to her. "If I had a boyfriend, I’d be a lot more respectful."

    "Aaaahhhh!" Cindy said dismissively, but she let go of Joe. "Hey, you all right down there?" Joe got up slowly and didn’t say anything. "Joe! Hey, come on. I was just fooling around."

    Joe looked around. No one seemed to have been paying attention, except of course for Fred. He gave Cindy an angry look and didn’t reply.

    "All right, all right, I won’t do that again. I promise."

    "I’ll say you won’t!" he said firmly. But he didn’t get up and leave. Her tits WERE nice, after all.

    "What was your discussion class like?" Calley asked Fred.

    "Um, kind of weird. We were all supposed to say how we felt about the changes, but it was pretty obvious. The guys hated them and the girls liked them. Well most of them. I mean, what would you expect?"

    "I guess that’s right," Calley agreed. "It must be really hard for the boys," she added sympathetically.

    "Not many girls seem to notice that at all!" Fred said.

    "Well, it should be obvious. It’s a huge adjustment for you to have to make," Calley replied.

    Fred looked at her gratefully. Cindy was awful, but Calley wasn’t so bad, even if her tits were a bit small. At least her muscles weren’t so huge, although they still looked more than a bit larger than his. It was about time he got a girlfriend, at least for the sake of experience. Maybe she’d be as easy as Cindy seemed to be. "You, uh, live on the north side?"

    "Uh-huh. On Maple. Near Metuchen Road."

    "That’s just a couple of blocks from me. What time do you get out?"

    "Usually at three. Except on days when I have band. That’s Tuesday and Thursday."

    "Maybe … well, maybe I’ll find you after school. We could walk home together."

    "Sure. I’d like that."

    "Hey, I KNEW you guys would hit it off," interjected Cindy. "We’ll all be able to double-date! This is going to be so great!"

    Calley saw Fred’s expression deflate. She quickly said, "Um, maybe sometimes, Cin. But uh, you live over the other way. So not today." She kicked Fred’s foot under the table, gently. After a few seconds he kicked back.

    "Yeah. Well, Joe and I are going to be busy anyway after school today, right?" Cindy put her arm around him and pulled him down onto her shoulder, where his eyes could look right down inside her shirt. "We definitely got stuff to do together! You know?"

    Joe didn’t say anything. He hated the way this looked. But he was getting awfully hard. And then he started thinking about what Cindy had in mind for after school.

    The students were filing into class, settling uneasily into the circle they had left before lunch. Michelle glanced quickly at Theresa and Sandy and turned away, unable to bear their stony faces. Martin and Mark acknowledged each other, then each of them looked down at his desk, Martin doodling figure eights while Mark drew overlapping triangles. Celia looked around the room. Jacob fidgeted. Harold sighed, folded his arms and put his head down. Jeff wrote furiously in his notebook. Cecile glanced around and started brushing her hair. Kimberly yawned and stood up, stretching and bending to keep her leg muscles loose. Juliet peeked in and then went out to the hall again, looking for Marilyn, who was late.

    Michelle gave Sandy a note. "PLEASE don’t be mad at me!"

    Sandy glared at her and pursed her lips. She scribbled back. "Telling him was just so dumb. We can’t believe you did that!"

    Michelle looked at her beseechingly and then turned away. Could she really have lost her friends over this? There was no way she could tell them now that the pendant had come back to life! And she didn’t dare tell Martin either. Oh, she hated having these secrets! What she wanted was her friends. And Martin! She leaned back over to Sandy. "What am I supposed to DO NOW?" she wrote.

    Sandy sighed. She wrote. "Nothing. Don’t do anything. Just hide it so NO ONE ELSE can do anything with your pendant either if it ever wakes up!!!" Then after thinking a bit she looked at Michelle and added. "I’ll talk to you later."

    Michelle read the note and nodded, sniffing. She crumpled up the paper and threw it in the bin.

    Marilyn swept into the room, Juliet two steps behind. "I can’t now, Juliet. It has to wait. I’m sorry everyone. This was all arranged at short notice, as you might imagine. Let’s get started, all right? I thought we might begin with a quick exercise — picking up, in a way on where we left off. Now we all know that so far no reputable scientist has been able to explain why these changes have occurred. Let’s just see what each of you believes happened. Be honest. There are no wrong answers. And no right ones either, for these purposes. I, for sure, won’t know what is right or wrong. But talking about what we believe is a way of getting at what we will all DO about it. Let’s start with uh, you haven’t spoken yet.

    "Jeff. Well, I said before, in class what I believe. I’m sure this is a result of pollution. It’s messed up the natural balance of the planet. Like adding too many antibiotics or hormones to the food chain, or DDT." Marilyn nodded.

    "That’s so nutty. Like you think my body is suddenly reacting to chemicals?" Kimberly said. "I’ve never been healthier."

    "You say that now, but in twenty years —

    "Jeff. Kimberly. We’re just talking about beliefs here. We have no proofs. Jeff’s belief is that these changes are artificial, unnatural and, in some way, wrong, like pollution. He’s entitled to his opinion and we, in this room, have no way of knowing whether he’s right or wrong. Let’s listen and not judge. Kimberly, do you have a theory?"

    "Hmmmph. I think it’s the opposite. I think THIS is the natural order of things."

    "Fine, but do you have an idea of how it happened?"

    "I don’t know. I guess I just accept it. And enjoy it. It’s, uh, just the natural female superiority coming to the fore."

    "OK. Jacob."

    "Like I said before, I think some kind of female conspiracy is behind it. Somebody invented something or figured out something and this is all a way to give women the advantage. And I think those girls there — Celia, Sandy, Theresa and Michelle — they know something and aren’t telling!"

    Sandy glared, Michelle blushed and Celia laughed. Theresa rolled her eyes puffed out her chest and said, "Yeah, Jacob, we HAVE the advantage over you now. And what are YOU going to do about it!"

    Marilyn’s eyes swept over the four girls, lingering for a moment longer on Michelle. "Please girls. That’s not necessary. Theresa?"

    "I have NO idea and I don’t care HOW it happened. But it’s great that it did."

    "You haven’t thought about it?"

    "I had more important problems, which are solved now. And that’s all I’m going to say."

    "All right. No one has to speak. Sandy?"

    "It’s like Kimberly said. This is the way things should have been all along."

    "So you have no theories either?"

    Sandy laughed. "I read a science fiction book once. I can’t remember the name, but it had a great idea. That Earth had spent the last hundred thousand years or so in some kind of ‘zone of stupidity’ that slowed down thought. I don’t know. Maybe it was the speed that electrical connections traveled in the brain. Anyway, it made everyone on earth dumber than they should have been, and because of that all animals, including man, evolved in a way that compensated for that. And then, suddenly, Earth left that zone and thought accelerated to what it would have been otherwise, but because evolution had compensated for the ‘zone of stupidity,’ every living thing on earth became, like, super-smart. Wolves became smart enough to pick locks. Monkeys became smart enough to use simple language and operate machinery. And the average IQ went from 100 to over 300. I’d like to think that the same thing happened here. Maybe we were in some kind of ‘zone’ in space that, heh, ARTICIFICALLY, suppressed female strength and enhanced male strength. And now we’ve left it for good and the rest of the universe is like this." She smiled. "Or maybe even better!"

    Marilyn folded her hands across her chest and nodded. "So, that’s your theory?"

    "It’s just a story. I don’t know. It’s as likely as anything."

    "Right. Celia."

    "I don’t know. I read about some lady on the Internet, Femme Volcana, that there was a shift in mystical energy or something. Maybe that’s it."

    "This class has some interesting ideas," Marilyn smiled. "Mark?"

    "I’m kind of with Jacob on this one. I think somebody did it, instead of it just happening. I guess I’m more of a believe-in-science guy than magic or mystical energy, but it could be anything. But, uh, I don’t know the folks here well enough to say that it was someone in this classroom."

    "From what you were saying before, would I be right in guessing you think it could as easily been a male who did it as a female? A male who would like females to be the stronger sex?"

    Martin looked at Mark. "Um, I don’t know. I doubt it. I was just talking before. No guy would really want to be weaker, right?"

    "I suppose that makes sense." Marilyn decided against making a point about the variety of sexual fetishes. It wasn’t for her to delve into Mark’s personal psyche, especially not in this setting. "Michelle?"

    "I, uh, like Theresa, I’m not saying."

    "Ooooh, very suspicious," Jacob said.

    "Jacob! OK, Michelle. Harold."

    "Well, it’s no surprise that I think somebody did it. And I’ll tell you it was a white female, somebody who wants to keep black men down, to make us harmless." He grimly felt his flabby biceps and frowned.

    "Um, ok. There IS an interesting pattern developing. Martin."

    Martin pursed his lips. He looked at Michelle, then at Mark. "Nope. I’m not saying."

    "All right, although you gave your opinion before. I think it’s clear that the boys, those who were disadvantaged by the change, think someone’s to blame. That’s partly explained by the anger you must all feel at your loss of power. But the other implication of course is that if someone has done this, someone can also undo it. Right? And so you all must feel the hope that you or someone else will discover how this has happened and be able to restore life to the way it used to be. Sandy’s story, on the other hand, I think exemplifies the opposite view. That this is something beyond our control, that no one is to blame, that no one can do anything about it, and the intelligent rational response is to accept the change and move on from there. Of course, taking Sandy’s story, she has assumed that the ‘zone’ of male superiority was the limited one and that we are now and will forever be in the other zone. It’s just as likely that the current zone is the exception and could be about to end at any time, right? So, until someone discovers THE answer, we all live in uncertainty. We create a myth, a theory, to explain the changes to ourselves, so that the world will make sense again, but in any case we have to go on and live day to day. Does anyone have a comment? Kimberly?"

    "Yeah. I think it’s just fascinating the guys’ reactions. I mean, you’ve been the stronger ones and you just took it for granted. Now it’s different and you have to blame someone. As if you DESERVE to be stronger! Well, you’re not any more, so get used to it!"

    Jacob looked upwards at the ceiling. "Will you listen to her?! These girls totally have it in for us! We better not have any more co-ed gym classes, are we? They just can’t wait for the chance to KILL us!"

    Celia smiled at him and rubbed her hands.

    "You didn’t ask me for my opinion."

    "I’m sorry Juliet. Of course!"

    "I think this discussion has been quite amusing, Marilyn. I know why you’ve done it, but I have no theory to offer. I think it’s wilful blindness that would lead anyone to think they understand what has happened or why."

    "I agree with the last half of what you said, the uncertainty we all have to acknowledge now. Maybe life has always been this uncertain and we just never noticed. I used to think I knew what I was and what I was becoming. Now I don’t. The only thing I can be sure of is my identity. My will. My desires. Everything else can change in an instant. No one can tell me it can’t. Tell that to the people at the World Trade Center on September 11th. How can we compare what we face to the way their world collapsed? "

    "I always laugh at teachers — especially history teachers — who lecture us on the forces of history, the inevitability of certain events. Their successors, and maybe some of you here, will say this change was inevitable. What crap! What useless crap!"

    "All I know is I’ve been dealt a hand that’s just gotten a whole lot better. And you guys, your full house is now a pair of deuces. Well, you can sit around and wish that having changed once it will change again and become four aces. Or you can live with it. Move on. And never be completely secure again." Juliet smiled. "Speech over."

    Marilyn raised her eyebrows. "Very interesting, Juliet. You’ve explained the conundrum but declined to take part. There’s a contradiction there. You say you don’t know what you are but you do know who you are. What exactly do you mean?"

    Juliet smiled slightly as she looked back into Marilyn’s eyes, then around the circle, slowly. "Who I am is my personality, my character. What I am is my role socially, my physical side, my position in society. What I am, is, perhaps, ‘Jaws,’ my nickname around here. Perhaps. But that’s not who I am. Who I am is … well, that is something you don’t know."

    "We know you’re a real bitch," Sandy muttered, audibly.

    "Excuse me, Sandy! That personal remark was not appropriate," Marilyn said.

    "Thanks, but you don’t need to defend me," Juliet said. "I know how they feel about me." She stared at Sandy impassively, daring her to say more. Sandy stared back, then looked down at her desk.

    Marilyn cleared her throat. "Right. I want to wrap up this part of the discussion with one other comment. If you look at the sixth statement on the list, it’s actually two statements. ‘What’s done is done and I’m going to learn to live with it,’ and ‘If it changed once it can change again, so why accept it?’ Any thoughts? Martin?"

    "I don’t accept this as permanent. No way."

    "Me neither," added Jacob.

    "Well," Cecile said tentatively, "I’d like it to be permanent, but I doubt it will be. Just a feeling."

    "I think I’m always going to be strong like this," Sandy said. "No, I shouldn’t say that. I’m going to get stronger. Every day." She flexed her impressive biceps, enjoying the oohs and ahs she provoked. She looked over at Harold. "Sorry, guy," she said, gloating. Harold mouthed a "fuck you" but didn’t say anything. Sandy grinned.

    "I feel the same way as Sandy," Celia said. "You won’t believe how strong I’m gonna get! And nothing’s going to change that!"

    Marilyn looked around the room. "I think we’ve had enough of this." She took a deep breath. "Before we go to the last topic, does anyone want to raise something? It can be anything. Related to what we’ve discussed, or completely unrelated." Cecile raised her hand. "Yes, Cecile?"

    "Um, you might think this is silly, but I wanted to ask the boys — and of course the girls too if they have an opinion — what they think of the way, uh, girls look now. You know, the kind of thing Ms. Dooda was talking about at assembly."

    Marilyn nodded. "It’s a fair question. I was not at the assembly, but everyone wants to be attractive to the opposite sex — or for some the same sex. I would think the boys would have the same concern, since they no longer fit the traditional ‘masculine’ mold either. Any thoughts?" She looked around. "OK. Theresa?"

    "I like the way the boys are now." She smiled and licked her lips. "A lot. I think their little bodies are very sexy." There was a little laughter from the girls. "Hey, don’t laugh. I mean it."

    Martin raised his hand, frowning. "I don’t like the way she said that. It’s, uh, demeaning."

    Marilyn nodded. "I can understand that. It’s a lot like the way boys would talk about girls before, of course, and it’s not surprising that you and other boys might find it demeaning, and even intimidating. You were going to say something, Celia?"

    "Maybe I better not say it, but I feel the same way as Theresa. The idea of folding a little boy’s soft, weak body in my arms so tight that he can’t get out is very … exciting. I can’t wait to try it."

    Martin looked at Michelle. "I, uh, don’t like what Celia said either. It’s not that I think girls with muscles are unattractive. I mean, it depends on the girl, of course. But I definitely don’t think girls are sexier than before."

    "Look, the muscle is all right. I just don’t focus on it," Harold said. "My problem is not with the muscle the girls have. It’s with what I don’t have."


    "I think I’ve already covered this. I don’t really want to say it again."

    "Ok. Juliet?"

    "The size of a boy’s biceps makes absolutely no difference to me one way or the other. I can’t see why it would matter to any girl, but I accept that we’re all different. What I do like is a boy with plenty of endurance, so I would say that if he’s out of shape I’d be less interested."

    "Jeff here. I’d just say that the muscles themselves aren’t a problem for me, but the fact that they’re artificial, you know, as I said before, is a real turn-off."

    "That’s just in your head, Jeff. There’s nothing artificial about MY arms," Sandy asserted, putting her hand on her biceps. "I’m 100% natural."

    "You may think you are, but muscles like that, on a girl, are NOT natural," Jeff countered heatedly. "It could have happened only because something is wrong with nature."

    "Right," said Marilyn, stepping in. "It’s certainly true that what we BELIEVE has a big influence on what we FEEL. If a boy looks at a girl and sees pollution or drugs when he looks at her muscles, that could well make them unattractive for him. And if a girl looks at a boy and thinks, ‘he’s out of shape,’ or ‘he doesn’t care about his body,’ that can have a big effect on her feelings. Does anyone else have a comment on Cecile’s question? No? Is there another question?"

    Cecile cleared her throat. "Um, I sort of have another one. You might all think this is dumb, but, well, I’m WORRIED about the boys. What if they keep shrinking and getting weaker and weaker … I mean, if it keeps going and everything, well, they might DIE!" She looked around, wondering if anyone else shared her concern.

    "Well, Cecile, every indication is that the shrinking ended yesterday afternoon. It IS natural to worry about that, of course. It’s part of the general insecurity we all feel. After all, if one impossible thing has happened, what else can happen. Nevertheless, it does seem that whatever caused the changes does not seem to be having any continuing effect on our sizes." Marilyn looked around to see if there were any more comments, but the class was silent.

    "OK. Well, it’s nearly time for the bell. I’ve enjoyed talking to all of you and I hope you’ve gotten something out of this too. While I’m not offering to enter into a counseling relationship with you, I would be happy to follow up on our discussion by email, and if you want to do so, please write me, Marilyn Knewsome, at my Gmail address, [email protected]. Thanks. Oh, and Mrs. Paterson sent me a note asking me to remind you to move the chairs back into rows. You must know how she likes it."

    The students started packing up their things and pushing their chairs around. Martin looked at Mark and then went up to Michelle.

    "Hey, I hope you’re not mad at me," he said.

    "No. A little hurt I guess. I thought you were mad at me."

    "Yeah, well, maybe. But it doesn’t really matter. Can I come over to your house after school?"

    Michelle looked back at Sandy. "N-n-not right away. I have a couple of things I have to do first. Maybe, like, at five?"

    "Sure. OK. That’ll be fine." He stood there awkwardly. "I’ll see you then."

    Michelle nodded. "Good."

    Martin turned around. He nodded at Mark and they both left the room together.

    "That’s weird. Since when did Martin and Mark become friends?" Sandy said to Michelle.

    Michelle shrugged. "Martin’s just probably being nice to him. Cause he’s new here."

    Sandy laughed. "Maybe I should get to know him too. He’s not too bad looking. And if he has a thing for girls with muscles then, heh, heh, I bet I can show him some."

    "He was really staring at you, and at Celia," Theresa said, laughing. "He has no idea what he’s going to get himself into!"

    "Why, you think I’d hurt him?" Sandy said, surprised. "I’m not a violent person!"

    "Who said anything about violence? I’m sure you can be a VERY gentle girl," she laughed, putting on a show of malevolence. "But you’re just … so much bigger than he is. You won’t even notice, I bet, as your crush his soft little body into yours. Anyway, that’ll be his problem. Now Michelle, just remember what we said about that pendant. Keep it safe. And hidden. Or maybe give it to Sandy. Then we won’t have to worry about Martin. "

    "I know. But I’m not giving it up. It IS MY pendant. My Aunt gave it to me."

    Theresa looked annoyed. "Listen, Michelle. How can you be sure he wouldn’t? Considering that the whole future of the world is at stake, and of our place in it as females. There’s just too much at stake to assume you can trust him. I think you should be just a little careful, OK?"

    "Yeah, sure."

    Sandy was watching them, her head bouncing from side to side. Theresa was coming on pretty strong. "Easy, Theresa. We can trust Michelle to be careful. And anyway, the pendant’s dead, remember? Nothing’s going to happen to change things, right Michelle?"

    "Umm mmmmm."

    Theresa sighed. "Yeah, I know. I just can’t bear the idea of things EVER going back to the way they were. I’d just die. And if I didn’t, my brothers would kill me for sure."

    Sandy patted Theresa on the back. "Well, that’s NOT going to happen. THIS is what’s real and normal now. We’re the strong sex, the sex with muscles. We’ve got all the advantages now. And I love it!"


    I highly recommend the novel that Marknew is relating to… Poul Anderson’s "Brain Wave". An excellent read!

    Thanks! Great work again!


    "I’ll say you won’t!" he said firmly. But he didn’t get up and leave. Her tits WERE nice, after all.

    Joe didn’t say anything. He hated the way this looked. But he was getting awfully hard. And then he started thinking about what Cindy had in mind for after school.

    LOL! I love the whole Joe/Cindy thing. He’s clearly letting his little head do the thinking. 🙂

    Can’t wait for the next chapter! Great work!


    We’re not done yet with Wednesday? Holy …. This has gotta be your longest story yet! Annnnnnnd I Love it!

    Mark Newman

    Just to make clear that this is YOUR opportunity to be a character in a Marknew story. Just pretend you’re a high school student or invent one with a question or a problem caused by the Changes and write Marilyn an email.

    If you inspire me, your character may even turn up in the Thursday installment. But whether or not I add your character to the story, Marilyn will post a reply in her Mail Box forum.

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