The bell went and I started home. Zack humiliated me again after gym, and again after school in the schoolyard. He came up behind me, grabbed me by the waist, turned me on my side and began doing shoulder presses with me as the weight. He drew quite a crowd, and after he had done about 30 or so, he just said "Lousy warmup!" and threw me in the dumpster.

Needless to say, I was angry. Because of my anger, I didn't watch where I was going in the park on the way home.

I must have made a wrong turn, because next thing I knew, I was in this strange, dark place in a seemingly neglected area of the park. I looked around me for some sign of something familiar, but I didn't recognizer anything.

Suddenly, without warning,the ground gave way below me. And I fell and lost consciousness...

* * *

When I awoke, I was in a dim room... and what a STRANGE room it was! There were tables with science equipment on them: test tubes and flasks and beakers over flames with multi-coloured substances in them. And all over the walls and shelves there were strange objects; some of which I recognized as good luck charms; others which were completely foreign to me. There were strange books in strange languages; ancient books; some open to maps of unknown star systems and unknown worlds. I had no clue where I was; all I cared about was going home. Then I heard a voice.

"Well, I see you've gained consciousness. Very good."

The voice came from one of the oldest-looking men that I had ever seen. The wrinkles in his face cut deep into his skin. His nose and mouth were sunken almost to the point of being beyone recognition. His eyes were pitch black, and stared with all the knowledge of the ages. The hair on his head was composed of but a few faint wisps of white, but his beard, which reached well past his knees, more than compensated for that. He wore a brown cloak, with a hood, much like the monks did in Medieval times.

"Wh-wh-who are you?" I stammered.

"Well, that's a very interesting question," replied the man. "I might ask you the same thing".

"My name is Aaron Skymindon," I answered, figuring that I would never get out of here if I didn't tell him.

"Hmmm, Skymindon," he mused for a moment. "Got to look that up."

He crossed the room and pulled one of the huge dusty volumes off the shelf. As he leafed through the ancient pages clouds of dust kept flying out. I watched in amazement as this fossil of a human being moved quickly through the pages, staring through a worn pair of spectacles.

Finally he stopped on a page.

"There we are!" He pointed at the book. He read what was there and kept muttering to himself. "Yes." "Yes." Yes. That's right."

"My boy," he looked up. "This is your lucky day."

"How is that?" I asked, angry that this man was not letting me go. I was also a bit afraid of what he might do to me. I'd heard about weirdos in the park, and the stories didn't comfort me any.

"Why, don't you know? Well, I suppose you don't. We are family! I am your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-uncle, and I'd like to help you!"

"Help me with what?" I looked at him with as much hostile as I could muster.

"Come now, you know. I've watched you for many years, now. I've seen the other kids laugh at you. Now, at last, you've come to me. And not a moment too soon, either!" The strange man I was supposed to be related to moved quickly over to another side of the room where he kept a cluttering of the strange objects. After putting on a pair of cloth gloves, he searched the pile until he found what he was looking for. "Ah! Here we are!"

He held up a long gold (at least I think it was gold) chain, and attached to it was a large medallion encrusted with a red jewel.

He brought it over and held it out for me to see.

"This is for you, Aaron."

"What for? I don't even know you!"

"That doesn't matter. You need help. Is it not in human nature to help your fellow man, especially family? Anyway, take it. It will help you."

"I don't see how, but thanks anyway. It's nice."

"It's not just for decoration, Aaron. No, far from it. It has magical powers that were placed on it by one of your ancestors, whose name has been forgotten by most, but in her time, she was one of the most famous people around!"

"Magic??" Yeah right. The old crone was crazy.

"The medallion has the power to change the physical body on contact. And it does that in a special way: The first person to touch it that carries any trace of your ancestor's body (the one who instigated the spell) will be able to control their physical body while wearing the medallion. They can change the way they look: be it fat, skinny or muscular, to however they want to look. When the medallion touches a second person, and this time it can be anybody, no matter if they possess the blood of the sorceress, the wearer of the medallion can control the second person's physical body. Do you understand?"

"I understand, but I don't believe it." I hesitated for a moment. What the heck? I'll keep it, just because I like it. I can wear it for Hallowe'en or something. I took the medallion from the old man.

"Very good", he said. "OK. You may go now. In a moment, I want you to close your eyes for 3 seconds. When you open them, you will back in a familiar section of the park. Do not tell anyone where you got the medallion, or where we met. Understand?"

I nodded.

"All right, then. Close your eyes.

I did. 3 seconds later, I was amazed to find myself just 12 feet from the playground that I walked by every day on the way home from school. I was even more amazed to find that I had the medallion. I continued home, wearing the medallion under my T-shirt, so no one would ask about it. I still didn't want to tell them about it, because he couldn't believe it either.

* * *

I got home and trudged upstairs to my bedroom. I set my bag down on the bed, and closed the door.

I sat there for a moment staring into the full-length mirror in my room. Impossible, I thought. Don't even try it. It won't work. You'll just be disappointed. Ah, what the heck! My mind contrasted its thoughts. There's no harm in trying.

I pulled the medallion out from under my T-shirt. I looked at it and thought for a minute. "OK, medallion", I whispered. "add 10 pounds of muscle to my body." I waited. Nothing happened. I assumed it was a hoax. And then I felt the vibrating. It was like a small, very small, earthquake. In 3 seconds it was over. I flexed my arm, looking for some signs of improvement. To my surprise, a tiny, very tiny, muscle popped up. I went into the bathroom and weighed myself. Normally I weighted 90 lbs. This time I weighed in at exactly 100 lbs. I had only weighed myself last week! I was overjoyed!

I went back into my bedroom, and decided to try something else. I pulled out the medallion, and said to it "I want you to remove 99% of the fat in my body, and fill this shirt up with muscle, at the same proportions I was at before. The results were more instantaneoud now, and I felt a stronger vibration the second time. Within 15 seconds, every muscle in my body was huge and built. My biceps stood out like a mountain from the earth when I flexed it (and it was enormous and defined even when I wasn't flexing) and every fibre in the shirt was straining to contain the body it now encompassed. I got down on the floor and dit 100 pushups easily (I couldn't even do 1 before). I flexed all of my muscles for a few more minutes, checking out my bulky pecs and rock-hard abs. I wanted to keep adding muscle, but I knew people would ask questions, so I instructed the medallion to put me back to my original size, minus 99% of the fat that was there. And I knew who I was going to make sure touched the medallion tomorrow: Zack was going to go down!!!!! •

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