The Gifted Child 7 (musc)
“It’s amazing how tiny you all look,” said Evan, “how fragile and inconsequential. And to think, that’s how I used to appear to everyone. I must say I approve of the change.”
Evan flexed his gargantuan bicep and ran his, thick, sinewy fingers all over it. “Harder than titanium,” he said. “If only I could communicate the euphoria I’m experiencing, the intoxication of pure physical power. It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of and more.” His fire-hose cock began growing stiffer and longer and rose up huge in front of us. I was reminded of a medieval battering ram. It was big around as a half-keg and nearly two feet long. It stood out straight from his body and curved slightly upwards. He put his wide thick hand down, and began stroking himself, his eyes closed in ecstasy.
“Gentlemen,” he said, opening his eyes again, “I’m afraid I must have release.” He looked at each of us in turn. I don’t know, maybe he was expecting a volunteer. “Cody, come here.” I got very frightened for Cody as he stepped forward.
“I’m very displeased with you for running out on me, my little muscle slave,” he continued. “I should make you take me up your ass,” he paused a little to let Cody think about that, and I could see he was, “But my magnificent cock would only break you like a china doll,” continued Evan. “And you’re far too pleasant a plaything to discard in that manor. You may use your tongue.”
As Cody stepped forward, Doctor Kramer and Armond turned and started to walk away. I couldn’t. I wanted to, but I couldn’t.
“Stay where you are,” shouted Evan at the Doctor and Armond. His thunderous voice struck me like a shock wave. “You will await my pleasure. We still have business, and this will only take a few minutes.” The other two stopped but did not turn around.
Cody grabbed Evan’s member in his hands, guided it up to his face, and began liking it all over.
“What are you doing down there?” bellowed Evan. “Put some muscle into it, my diminutive slave. I can barely feel you.”
Cody went at it harder pressing his whole mouth up against the bulbous head, kneading it with his lips, but in another second, Evan’s giant hand came down and swatted him away. “Not good enough, you weak, puny thing!” he yelled. Cody flew ten feet and landed on the ground with a thud. “Clearly, I’ll have to tend to it myself,” said Evan.
He grabbed his shaft with his left hand running it all over the giant head, while his right hand rubbed his insanely huge, muscle inundated torso up and down, exploring every hard curve and valley as it went. He closed his eyes and started moaning and it wasn’t long before he shot thick streams of cum in several spasmodic bursts.
When it was over, he gazed down on us and said, “Forgive me.” But he didn’t look sorry at all. “That was crude. But the Doctor tells me hormone levels after growth episodes are so high that such urges become uncontrollable.”
“But now there’s the matter of my betrayal,” said Evan, bringing his massive, muscle saturated body to his full, overwhelming height. “One of you told my father,” he boomed. “One of you nearly ruined all my designs by bringing him down here.” His gaze fell on me.
“I didn’t… I mean I couldn’t…” I stuttered, panicking.
Evan laughed. “Relax, Justin,” he said. “I admit that for a fraction of a second I thought it might be you, but then I realized you were hardly competent enough to achieve the task. No, there’s only one person who could have betrayed me, my less-than-faithful Armond.”
“It wasn’t my idea,” said Armond, immediately. “I would never do anything to harm you. Your father ordered me to tell him.”
“Then you should have lied,” said Evan. “And now you’re going to pay.”
Armond took a step backward, but he wasn’t in time. Evan shot out with his giant, meaty hand and clamped it around Armond’s head. “I knew as soon as I got the phone call,” said Evan, “I wasn’t in a position to do anything about it… then.” Slowly Evan lifted Armond off the ground; his obscenely gigantic muscles just bloating with power, as he grinned, “But I am now.”
The large man began struggling, hitting at Evan’s huge paw and his massive ripped sequoia of a forearm, but it did no good. Evan held onto him easily, a smile on his face and showing no sign of any strain.
“But this isn’t fair of me,” said Evan, dropping the big man, who fell to his knees. “Armond I’ll give you a chance to live. All you have to do is hurt me, even a little. Go on; give it your best shot, because if you fail, I will certainly hurt you.”
Armond leapt to his feet. He rapidly climbed up Evan like a rock face and started slamming punch after punch into his tree trunk of a neck. Evan didn’t even flinch. The big man went for Evan’s eyes, but with the slightest gesture from one colossal arm Evan knocked Armond to the ground so hard he sent up a cloud of dust. Evan chuckled as Armond pulled himself up again and then started attacking Evan’s ridiculously massive legs, concentrating on the knees. Evan just stood there and let him do his worst. He hardly seemed to notice. Then Armond went for Evan’s crotch but Evan reached out and slammed him to the ground again, so hard this time I wasn’t sure if he was going to get up again.
“That is where I draw the line,” said Evan. Then he reached down and picked up Armond in one giant fist. Armond struggled and batted at him but to know avail. “This is amazing,” said Evan, laughing. “I used to be so intimidated by you, your sunglasses, your silent manor and your huge arms. Now you seem so inconsequential. Your struggles are nothing, tiny man, nothing. You are completely helpless against me.” He flexed his other arm for Armond and it expanded to a mountain of vein wrapped muscle about the same size as Armond’s torso. “You’re an ant compared to me,” Evan laughed, “a bug. And as such, I will crush you.”
Evan began slowly squeezing, a horrible sadistic grin on his face. Armond’s struggles increased. Then, there was a sickening crunching sound and Armond screamed.
“That’s enough,” I cried. “That man would have laid down his life for yours. He deserves a little more consideration!”
“Ah, Justin,” said Evan, “so relentlessly compassionate. Very well.” And he dropped Armond who fell into a broken heap at his feet. The big man was unconscious, bleeding, with God knows how many broken bones, but he was alive.
“Bully!” yelled the Doctor, “You’re nothing but a common bully.”
“Hardly common at all,” said Evan, once again admiring the ridiculous amounts of muscle bulging up all over his own gargantuan physique, “thanks to your process.”
“You make me sorry I ever developed it,” said Doctor Kramer. And suddenly the Doctor charged at Evan. I don’t know what he could have been thinking; maybe it was temporary insanity. The Doctor was a scraggly thin guy in is late fifties. What he thought he could do against a muscle mountain like Evan, I have no idea.
Evan knocked the Doctor back with the merest flick of a finger, and started laughing as the doctor fell against a slab of concrete and hit his head.
I was at his side in an instant. “Are you alright?” I asked.
The doctor was barely conscious. He shoved something in my hand. “Stick him with this,” he said. It was a syringe.
“What is it?” I asked. “I won’t kill him.”
“Not poison,” whispered the Doctor. “Release residual energy in cells… Zap his synapses. Take him down a peg,” and then he was out cold.
I wasn’t sure what it meant. I guess Doctor Kramer wanted to fry some of Evan’s synapses. Would he become a mindless brute like Manuel had? I wasn’t sure I was willing to do that either. Who knew what damage he would cause?
The sound of a car engine drew all our attention. A long limousine was pulling up the drive, Malcolm Phips, no doubt. I used to think he could stop this insanity, but now, looking up at Evan’s impossibly gigantic muscles exploding out all over his towering body, I was no longer sure.
“Daddy’s here,” grinned Evan as he went loping off toward the car. The ground shook with each of his footfalls.
I ran after him with Cody following me. Evan moved with amazing speed. Those tremendous legs were good for more than just lifting ridiculous amounts of weight; pumping rapidly back and forth, they propelled him at a tremendous velocity. The last ten yards, he covered with one leap, shooting up into the air and landing with an earth shattering crash directly in front of the moving limo. It slammed on its breaks, and came to a screeching halt.
The limo driver threw open the door, jumped out, took one look at the gigantic mountain of ripped, bulging muscle standing in front of his car, and ran for his life. The back door opened and none other than Malcolm Phips stepped out, looking around somewhat disoriented. I can only assume he hadn’t seen his son yet.
“Get out,” I cried, still a dozen yards away. “Phips, get in your car and get out of here! He’s dangerous, unstable. Get out!”
Phips looked in my direction and shielded his eyes to the sun. “Mr. Conroy,” he called “What happened to my driver? Where’s Evan?”
At his last question, my head automatically turned toward the grinning muscle behemoth, standing in front of the car. Phips turned to see what I was looking at and just froze slack jawed at the sight of Evan’s two tons of solid, ripped-to-hell muscle towering ten feet over him.
“What the hell is that?” he said.
“Come now, father,” said Evan, “don’t you recognize your only son?”
“Is this some kind of joke?” said Phips taking a step toward Evan.
“No!” I shouted. “Phips, get back.”
“You are so limited, father” said Evan, “Here you are staring at a miracle of genetics and all you can say is, ‘is this a joke?’”
“My God, it is you,” said Phips. “Armond was right.”
“That’s right,” said Evan, “your little boy is all grown up.” Then he reached down and grabbed Phips. The tiny executive was almost entirely swallowed up in Evan’s giant fist. Then Evan lifted him up so they were face to face.
“Release me at once!” he cried. “Where’s Armond?”
“Armond?” repeated Evan. “He’s over there… in pieces.”
Now Phips was really starting to look scared. “Evan, put me down.”
“You know there’s a school of thought,” said Evan, “that says children are born to replace their parents, and as such, they can never be truly complete until after their parents are dead.”
“Evan, we can talk about this,” said Phips, swallowing hard.
“What’s there to talk about? I’m still your sole beneficiary, am I not?”
Phips remained silent.
“It’s true I originally wanted to hold off a bit, until well after my sixteenth birthday, but then you had to go and force the issue. Let’s face it father, I’m tired of being under your thumb. But I’ll give you a taste of being under mine.”
Then Evan pressed his mammoth thumb on to Phips’ face. Holy crap that enormous digit covered it entirely. And then Evan pressed. I could hear Phips’ muffled shouts as Evan slowly increased the pressure, until the poor man screamed. “Had enough, Father? Funny, I endured it for years.”
Then Evan released his thumb, and Phips took a huge breath. “Evan, put me down at once.”
“Of course, father,” said Evan. He walked over to the limo, pulled open the back door and tossed his father inside. The he slammed the door shut and using his thumb and forefinger pinched the metal around the door, sealing it shut. The he walked around to the other side and pinched that one shut as well.
I could see Phips on the inside, shouting silently and pounding on the bulletproof glass, trapped in the back of his own limo. Evan peered in the window and sighed, “There’s another figure who used to impress me, now also reduced to a pathetic joke, completely helpless before me.” The he flexed those impossibly gargantuan biceps again, and almost started drooling over the sight.
“I believe that once a man’s surpassed his heroes,” Evan said to me, “it’s his obligation to cast them down, don’t you think?” He bent down, put his monstrous hands under the car, and holy crap, with every muscle expanding to insane size, started lifting it up. Up, up it went, shifting and rocking as Evan, mountainous muscles heaving and bulging, adjusted his grip. Finally, gargantuan arms raised, he held it high above his head. “This really is the most amazing feeling,” he said. “To feel my body bulging and swelling with all this rock hard muscle, to realize that I am actually holding a car over my head, and with such little effort. It’s really quite exhilarating.”
The Evan threw the car. Holy crap, the thing must have flown about seventy feet before it crashed into the wall, obliterating the front end and knocking a sizable hole in the wall. Then it toppled back to the ground and rolled on its side.
“It’s a shame about these Mexican roads,” said Evan. “They’re so treacherous. Fatal car accidents happen so easily.”
“I can’t believe you just murdered your father,” I said.
“Murder?” said Evan. “That’s such a strong word. I prefer to think of it as a hostile take over. With my father’s wealth and my brains and physical power, there’s nothing I can’t achieve, nothing.”
My God, he was right. He was ruthless, brutal, cruel and unbelievably powerful. I could only imagine the misery he’d cause.
“And I want you to share it with me,” said Evan.
“What?” I gasped. He couldn’t possibly have said what I thought he just said.
“Can’t you see, Justin? I want you. I’ve always wanted you, ever since I first saw you standing there in that ridiculous valet suit. Your very smell is an aphrodisiac. You are so cute and you’re smart and you refuse to be intimidated by me. Even now, when everyone else is shaking in their shoes, you stand there proud and defiant, unafraid to speak your mind. You’ve no idea how beautiful you are to me.”
“What?” I repeated. I felt myself slipping into shock from the words I was hearing. “You want me?”
“I knew you could never want me when I was puny, sickly and weak. But now I have transcended; now I am a muscle god!” And he pulled a most muscular, causing those impossible muscles to expand into land masses, and make him seem even larger than the ridiculous size he already was.”
“What about Cody? I thought you wanted him.”
“Cody is nothing,” he laughed. “Oh, I hated him when I first found out about you two, but now even you must see what a weak willed inconsequential fool he is. He’s not worth bothering over. I admit he was a pretty plaything, but I’m done with him now,” he said. “Give your heart to me and he can be yours again, to do with as you like.”
I couldn’t believe Evan was just offering Cody to me like he was a hand-me-down video game or something.
“Of course my poor, puny little Justin,” said Evan, “We shall have to build you up so you can handle me.”
“I’m not interested in your filthy process and I’m certainly not getting in any tank,” I blurted.
“No, Justin,” said Evan. “There will be no more tanks. None are needed. The good doctor’s process has yielded me all that it can, more even.” He flexed again, causing his arms to swell up again with insane size and striated power. “Your evolution will have to be the slow, gradual kind, dependent on sunlight for the necessary energy.”
“You mean you want me to be like you?” I gasped.
“No,” laughed Evan, “That would require another tank with my special modifications. You will become huge by normal standards but you’ll never be anything like me.” And once again Evan flexed the unreal muscles all over his gigantic body. Huge bulbous masses just exploded out all over him. “There must never be anyone else like me.”
I was speechless. The prospect of becoming Evan’s muscular love slave was just disgusting. Even as mind bogglingly hot as his gigantic muscle inundated body was now, he was still quite probably the most revolting human being I had ever encountered. I think I would rather have died, than succumb to that fate.
But it wasn’t just me; I realized that Evan as he now was, unleashed on the world would be a catastrophe unparalleled in human history. I had to stop him. I had to use the Doctor’s shot.
“Ok, Evan,” I said. “How can I resist someone who is the physical and intellectual embodiment of power?”
He looked down at me and smiled broadly, as he reached down and scooped me up in those massive arms of his. I stiffened involuntarily.
“Don’t be afraid, Justin,” he said. “I won’t hurt you. I would never hurt you.”
“I’m afraid I can’t say the same,” I said as I pulled out the needle and jabbed him in his ponderous shoulder.
He looked down at me. “What’s this?” he said, looking at the small pin prick on his huge striated delt. “No, Justin, not you too.” He actually sounded surprised and hurt. But then that giant hand swung down. I felt the impact and then I was flying through the air. I landed on the ground and had the air knocked out of me. I was lucky I didn’t land on anything sharp and jagged. When I looked up Evan was clutching his head with both hands.
“What did you do to me?” he cried. “I can’t think. So much noise in my head.”
And that’s when the farmers came back. There was a loud report just as a bullet ripped into Evan’s arm causing a stream of blood to flow freely down his mountainous bis. Evan turned toward his attackers and bellowed. It was a mixture of pain and anger and coming from a massive muscle beast like Evan, it was truly terrifying. A couple of the farmers turned and ran right then, but more of them raised their guns and started shooting right at the giant muscle god. A few shots hit him but none of them seemed to do much damage.
And then the farmers were on him. I guess they ran out of ammo because they were attacking Evan with pitchforks, clubs and rakes. Evan pulled one of his hands from his head and started swatting them away. Each time he hit a farmer, he’d go flying off 20 or 30 feet, but there were a lot of them and he was soon overwhelmed.
Of course the Federales chose this moment to show up. They opened fire on the farmers—and on Evan. I suppose if I had seen a 10 foot muscle giant knocking people through the air, I’d have shot at him, too. And Evan was pretty frightening. Of course I was still lying on the ground where Evan knocked me and I decided it was a good idea to stay exactly where I was.
The Federales herded everyone toward the wall. Some of the farmers hopped onto it and scaled it! How they found hand and foot holds I’ll never know. Evan, of course, simply smashed right through it. And after he opened the way, the remaining farmers just poured out. Some of the Federales gave chase and in the distance I heard gunshots. But it looked like the worse was over for now.
I picked myself up and almost immediately found myself face to face with their leader, who, fortunately for me, spoke perfect English.
“What happened?” he wanted to know.
“That would take some explaining,” I said, “But for now, we need medical help. There are a lot of hurt people.”
The Captain, as I guess he was, wasted no time calling for aid. I showed him where Armond was lying, unconscious, but breathing steadily, and where the Doctor was. The Doctor was not in as good shape. His head was in a veritable pool of blood. He was awake, but his breathing was very labored and he seemed to have trouble focusing.
“Hang on, Doctor Kramer,” I said. “Help is on the way.”
“Did you get him?” asked the Doctor. “Did you inject him?”
“Yes,” I nodded, “and now I suppose he’ll become a mindless brute like Manuel.”
“I don’t know,” said the Doctor, “It took a lot of energy to cause that much growth. Hard to say what it will do. In any case, he’s far less dangerous now.”
“Let’s hope,” I said.
“I’m not going to make it,” he said.
“Don’t talk like that.”
“No, it’s true,” he said. “I’m no idiot. I’m a doctor. I know when I’m dying, but I suppose I only have myself to blame.” Then the Doctor reached into his pocket, pulled out a flash drive, and handed it to me.
“Take this,” he said. “It’s a record of everything we’ve done here right up to the explosion, designs, lab reports and my personal journal. Please bring it to my company, to Doctor Petersen and only Doctor Petersen.” I nodded even though I wasn’t sure I was going to do any such thing. “And please,” he said, “you need to read my journal… please. And forgive me.” Then he closed his eyes and slipped away.
I looked down at the flash drive in my hand. Somehow I knew that video of Evan and Cody in the tank would be on it. It was still hard for me to think of it… Then it hit me. I hadn’t seen Cody. Where was Cody?
I looked around and didn’t seen any immediate sign of him among the milling Federales. Of course it was always possible that he had taken off into the bush after Evan. Hard as it was for me to accept I realized it was a very real possibility. But I decided to look for him none-the-less.
I was still searching when the ambulances arrived and began taking the injured away. And that, unfortunately, is how I found Cody. I saw his muscled form lying prone, pale, and unconscious on a stretcher in between two EMTs. I ran over. His side was a bloody mess.
“Oh my God! What happened?” I cried.
“’Sokay,” said one of the EMTs, “Shot. Much blood, but ok. Miss everything important.”
I picked up Cody’s hand. It was cold, too cold. It scared me. I walked along side the stretcher clutching his hand. When we got to the ambulance, they let me ride with him to the hospital.
I sat in the waiting room a long time thinking about Cody. It was clear he was obsessed with Evan now. And who knew, when he woke up he might just decide to follow after him. And even if he didn’t, I didn’t think I could ever trust him again. And without trust we really couldn’t have any kind of relationship. So after the Doctor came out and assured me that Cody would be fine, I decided it would be best if I just made my way back to New York without ever seeing him again.
On my way out of the hospital I was surprised to see Malcolm Phips lying on a hospital bed. He was out cold and bandaged up like a mummy, but apparently he had survived the “car crash.” I should have guessed. It would probably take a wooden stake and a beheading to kill someone like him.
As I left the building I realized I had everything I needed for the trip home. Since I had been trying to escape the compound earlier, I still had my passport and my wallet on me. My suitcase was still back at the medical hut, but I never wanted to see the compound again and the loss of a few articles of clothing seemed a small price to pay. I took a cab to the airport and flew back to New York where I could start to put the pieces of my life back together again.
But I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.
I hadn’t been back two weeks when I received a registered letter from the Phips Foundation. I’m ashamed to say it, but the thing actually scared me. It took me a full day before I had the courage to open it. The letter was obviously prepared by a lawyer. It politely but firmly reminded me that I had signed a nondisclosure agreement upon accepting employment with them, and that it extended to any and all events that had occurred in Mexico. It also informed me that I had been put on retainer, and that I would be receiving the sum of one hundred thousand dollars a year, from now on.
It was hush money, pure and simple.
I’d wondered why there hadn’t been anything about Mexico in the news. Now I knew. Phips was sweeping it all under the carpet. There was a check enclosed. They were also paying me the two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for my work with Evan. That was three hundred and fifty thousand dollars they were paying me. So who was I to argue?
Of course the money was nice, but it wasn’t necessary. I had already accepted a position with a prestigious psychology practice it the city working with kids, but the regular kind, no geniuses. That was ok; I’d had my fill of geniuses for the time being.
About a week later, I was having lunch with a friend when he remarked that there was something different about me, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. I told him that I had recently been out of the country and that I had been sick while I was away. He agreed that that was probably it. He also suggested that I see my doctor and have myself checked out, just to be safe.
Of course it was another couple of weeks before I could get an appointment, and when I did, my doctor told me I was in great shape and advised me to keep it up.
“Keep what up?” I asked.
“The workouts,” he said.
“I’m not working out,” I said.
“Very funny,” he said, laughing. “If you’re not working out, you ought to bottle whatever it is your eating and sell it, you’d make a fortune. You’ve put on 20 pounds since your last visit and it sure as hell isn’t fat.”
“What?” I cried, panicking. Now that he mentioned it, my shirts had been feeling a little tight lately. What did this mean? Had Evan processed me without telling me? I had the doctor take my height, and sure enough, I was an inch taller than I should have been.”
“Well what do you know?” he said. “A growth spurt at your age, it isn’t unknown, but it’s certainly rare.”
As I took the subway home, I kept running events in Mexico over and over in my head. It had to have happened while I was sick; that’s when he must have done it. I remembered the doctor’s final words to me “please read my journal” and “forgive me.”
As soon as I got home, I dug the flash drive out of the drawer where I’d tossed and forgotten it. I plugged it into my computer and quickly found Doctor Kramer’s journal. I skimmed through to the relevant dates and sure enough, found exactly what I was looking for.
Master Phips grilled me about Justin’s case of Montezuma’s Revenge. I told him it was nothing to worry about and that Justin would probably be alright in a day or so. But Master Phips was insistent that he remain ill longer than that. He needs time to convince Cody to undergo the process and he feels Justin might be a hindrance. I explained to Master Phips that I hardly had a pharmacopeia available to me. After which, with his usual impatience, he informed me that he didn’t care how it was done, only that it was done. Anticipating that Master Phips will eventually want Justin to go through the process, too, (he’s certainly hinted as much) I have taken the initiative and started him on it. This should put him out of action for the required period of time and save me the trouble later on.
Well, there it was. I had been processed. I stripped naked and stood in front of the mirror. Yup, I was starting to look muscular. Holy crap, what was going to happen to me? I was going to get bigger, that was for sure, but how much bigger?
I sat back down at the computer and started going through the log, desperately trying to find more information on the process. Most of the notes were technical jargon I didn’t understand, and the ones I could understand dealt with sessions in the tank. That didn’t help me much. The only entry that seemed to apply to my situation was a note about how, without the tank, the growth was dependent on sunlight and would progress very slowly.
But there was one other note that caught my interest. It was from the night Cody had entered the tank and changed. The Doctor was noting that the outrageously high hormone levels in Cody’s and Evan’s blood had precipitated an uncontrollable sexual frenzy. The doctor further speculated that Evan had been fully aware of the effect, having been in the tank twice before, and that he was using it to essentially drug Cody into having sex with him. That, at least, explained the first night. But how Evan went on to completely captivate Cody remained a mystery to me—unless that hormone surge had some lasting effect, but the Doctor had indicated the effect was only temporary.
I sat up all night just staring at my burgeoning muscles and thinking. I’ll admit the idea of swelling up huge and powerful had its appeal. But I worked with kids and kids generally found adults intimidating enough already. A huge muscle bound psychologist would probably scare them to death. But it’s not like I had a choice. It was going to happen; I couldn’t stop it, but I decided I would slow it down as much as possible.
I started wearing sun block all of the time, keeping the windows covered at home and at work, and seldom venturing outside during the day. But despite all my efforts, the needle on my bathroom scale continued creeping upwards.
As the weeks passed, I watched my frame fill out more and more everyday. The changes were astounding. Anyone would have thought I lived in the gym. My shoulders were getting broader, becoming small globes. My pecs were swelling larger, their shape defining my shirt front. My stomach had solidified into a six pack. And my arms were growing thick with powerful sinew. I have to admit I was starting to look pretty damn hot.
Whenever my friends would convince me to go out to a bar with them, I would get plenty of offers, but the truth was, I just wasn’t over Cody yet, and the thought of starting something new… Well, I just wasn’t interested.
So I just continued on, buying my work clothes larger and larger and hoping no one would notice the powerful bulk that was bulging up underneath them. And it seemed to be working pretty well until one day during a session with 12-year-old Jimmy Campbell. It had been a long day and I was getting tired. I leaned back in my chair and stretched my arms up over my head and brought them back down again in an unintentional bicep flex. Young Jimmy’s eyes practically popped out of his head.
“Fuck, Mr. Conroy,” he exclaimed. “You’ve got fuckin’ huge muscles. They’re bigger than my fuckin’ gym teacher’s.”
Yes, Jimmy had anger issues. He also swore like a kid from the Bronx even though he had a Park Avenue address.
But not all my patients were as enthusiastic as young Jimmy. Most of the kids were getting increasingly shy around me, especially the girls. It was kind of hard for me to take. I’d always had a very open honest face and enjoyed an almost instant report with children.
It wasn’t long before my boss, Dr. Schiller, took me aside. “Maybe you should take it easy on the weights, Justin,” he said, looking up at me. He didn’t used to look up at me, did he? “We don’t want you scaring away the clients. Some of the parents are already starting to comment.”
It was that night that the letter came. It was from Cody. At first I was going to throw it out, but for some reason I didn’t. It stayed there on the table in the front hall for a week, while I debated what to do about it.
Finally, I opened it.
I guess I’ll be lucky if you even read this. I’ve been wanting to call you, but I wasn’t sure you’d hear me out, so I thought a letter would be the best way to do this. A lot happened down in Mexico and now that Evan’s gone, I’m finally able to tell you about it.
I don’t know what happened that first night in the tank. It was like I was hit with some kind of sex madness. I couldn’t resist it. I went a little crazy, and then the next morning, when it was all over and I realized what I’d done, I wanted to go to you and explain. But Evan wouldn’t let me. He had pictures of you, Justin, pictures that would have ruined you. He told me he’d spread them all over the media if I didn’t do exactly what he said. I know how much you love working with kids, and it would have killed me to see you lose that. So I became his muscle slave. I couldn’t tell you because Evan had the whole compound bugged and any conversation we had, he’d have heard.
I know what I did sucked and that I treated you like shit, and I’m sorry. I want you to know that for me, every minute was a living nightmare. I hope one day you’ll be able to forgive me.
As you might have guessed I had to give up gymnastics. I just lost too much flexibility when I grew, but I still have no regrets. It was definitely worth the price. I’ve taken up bodybuilding instead and I’m doing pretty good. My body responds unbelievably well to the weights. Sometimes I feel a little guilty though, like I’m cheating. But I make sure to never compete in any natural shows even though I could pass the drug test. I will be competing in the Nationals in Hoboken next week. I’d love to see you there if you can stand to look at me.
I should have known. I should have trusted him more. No wonder the whole thing seemed so unbelievable, so impossible. It wasn’t real. It was just another one of Evan’s sick games. I should have known.
The next week at the Nationals I made sure I was sitting up front and center. It cost me a pretty penny to do it, but I could afford it. And when Cody stepped on stage, I practically lost my breath. He was HUGE, much bigger than the last time I saw him and no doubt the biggest guy there. He walked away with the heavyweight and the overall, easily out classing every other competitor there.
After he received the trophy, and posed for all the photos, he turned and leapt off the stage and suddenly he was standing right in front of me, like a muscular skyscraper. At this point I was pushing six feet tall, but Cody had to be at least 6’ 3” or 6’ 4” and he had so much muscle exploding out all over him that he dwarfed anyone who came near. All the other competitors were like children next to him.
“Justin,” he said, “I’ve missed you so much.”
“Me, too,” I said standing.
“Whoa,” he said, scoping me out. “You’ve grown.”
“Yeah,” I said, “you, too.” And then there was the hug and the deep passionate kiss, followed immediately by the swift exit.
Cody and I were back together again, and suddenly none of my problems seemed all that difficult. I quit my job. Cody was also on a similar stipend from the Phips Foundation, and together with his winnings we had plenty of money. I didn’t really need another job but I found one anyway working for the juvenile corrections department. It was different work than I had trained for, but I was still working with kids, most of whom desperately needed help. And the Juvenile Detention Hall was having problems keeping a psychologist there. Most of them wound up leaving because the kids didn’t respect them. Oddly enough, I didn’t have that problem.
I have to admit I often found myself wondering what ever happened to Evan. The official story was that Evan Phips had died in an industrial explosion in Mexico. I knew this wasn’t true. I saw him emerge alive and massive from the rubble. I saw him crash through that wall and lurch off into the Mexican countryside, but what happened after that?
Then one day I noticed a tiny article in The Voice, about a small Mexican circus that was touring the US. There was a photo of the troupe and towering in the background was an impossibly large hulking figure that looked frighteningly familiar. But I couldn’t actually be sure from the photo. And for some reason, I wanted to be sure.
It took some doing, but I finally convinced Cody to drive out to Pennsylvania with me. He was partially convinced the circus was some kind of elaborate trap Evan had set to catch us again. I supposed it was possible but I seriously doubted it.
The circus was extremely charming and well worth the trip on its own. It was an old fashioned group that still had a main show and side shows. The act we were looking for was billed Don Fuerte and was not part of the main show.
We found what we were looking for in a fenced in circle a short ways from the big top. It was Evan alright. His head had been shaved and he was covered in tattoos, but that face and that gigantic, impossibly muscled body were unmistakable. He was hoisting a small car over his head for the cheering, clapping crowd. He dropped the car to the ground with a crash and proceeded to growl and flex for his applauding audience.
The he caught sight of us and came lumbering over. I wanted to turn tail and run, but somehow I managed to keep my nerve. And then when I saw him looking down at me, I realized I had nothing to worry about. His eyes were as dull and as blank as a fish’s.
“Justin,” he rumbled.
“He must like you,” said a Mexican man who was in the ring with Evan. “We figure that’s his name, ‘cause that’s about the only thing he says. None too bright,” he said tapping his skull with his forefinger.
I looked up into Evan’s face as saw a small trickle of saliva leaking down his chin.
“You gentlemen in the business yourselves?” he asked. “Because you look as though you might be.” He flexed his arms, showing us he noticed that we were both pretty large guys. Cody, of course, still towered over me, but not as much as he used to.
“No,” I said, “we’re just here to see the show.”
“Well, you missed most of it, but we’ve got another show in an hour. Please come back,” said the man, and he turned and walked away. But Evan remained staring at me like an old man trying to dredge up some distant memory. I couldn’t feel sorry for him, try as I might. He had his monster body, just as he had wanted, but the incredible mind he had been born with was gone forever. I wondered if he had known what the trade off would be, if he still would have made it. He did seem happier now than I ever remembered him being, and he certainly was less dangerous than he had been. Maybe it had worked out for the best after all.
And then something hit him. Some kid who was 12 or 13 was throwing peanuts at him. Evan turned and tried to figure out what was molesting him. He took a few swats at the air, trying to kill some non-existent bugs. The kid thought it was hysterical and threw another one at him. Evan continued his imaginary bug hunt, which thrilled the kid to no end. He kept pelting the clueless behemoth with peanuts until the peanut bag was empty. Then, still laughing, he walked away.
Cody turned and started to leave. “Where are you going?” I asked.
“To get some peanuts,” he grinned, “where else?”
When we got home that night Cody seemed to be in a weird mood. “Did it bother you to see Evan?” I asked.
He just shook his head and sighed. “No,” he said. “He got what he deserved. But, still… Did you see the size of him? I forgot how big he was.”
“I didn’t,” I said. “How could I?”
“Wouldn’t it be awesome to be that big?” Cody had grown to be 6’ 9” and his body was so massively developed that any title he wanted was pretty much his for the taking.
“I think you’re plenty big enough,” I said.
“Yeah, but wouldn’t it be awesome?” he repeated, and I realized that Cody relished the idea of getting that big. He really wanted it.
I tired to imagine Cody ten feet tall with biceps bigger than my car tires, giant bolder-like pecs, and abs that would stop a truck, and suddenly I was so hard I could barely walk. I was getting pretty big too at his point, and I was pretty sure I’d still be able to take him even if he did grow to Evan’s size.
I went to the drawer and pulled out Doctor Kramer’s flash drive. All the plans and equations were there. With my connections at Columbia it wouldn’t be too difficult to find someone who could build one of those tanks for us; we certainly had the money. I mean, it wouldn’t really do any harm, would it?
And, after all, Christmas was coming.