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|Okay, guys, this is my first attempt to write in this genre. It's a bit over the top, but most of these stories are. I drew some of my inspiration from Legionxp's fabulous Super Powers Universe stories, but this world is much more benign. Please be kind.|
|My life had become a big blur. I had a job I loved, but it took a lot of my time and energy. I felt I was really making a difference with what I was doing, but it required long hours. I rarely got to spend time with my friends. I hadn’t had a date in two years. Even though I had a gym membership, I hadn’t darkened the door in months.
Unfortunately, my body had suffered over the last several months’ neglect. I had gained weight in all the wrong places. I had to buy bigger pants. I getting really down about it. I had always been disposed to chubbiness, but it was starting to get pretty bad.
One evening, as I got home at about 9–an all too frequent happening–as I was about to put my key in the lock, the door to the condo next to mine opened.
“Hey, Peter! Just getting home?”
It was my neighbour Adam. He was a magnificent specimen. Tall, fair and gorgeous, he had the kind of body one might see in the Greco-Roman pantheon. He always seemed to be wearing the tightest T-shirts he could find, showing off every fibre of muscle on his body. He shoulders were nearly as wide as the doorway. His pecs strained against the fabric. His biceps and triceps seemed to celebrate their liberty from the tyranny of sleeves. As muscular as he was, nothing was out of proportion. No monster he. This was perfection.
“Yeah, Adam. A lot of work these days.”
“I think you need some time off, Peter,” Adam smiled, his chiselled face forming dimples that bracketed his close-cropped goatee.
“I sure wish I could take some!”
Adam leaned against the doorframe. His triceps leapt up to form an incredible bulge on his arm. “You have to make the time for rest. All work and no play...” he winked. “Maybe soon you’ll have more time than you think. Listen, you need to get to bed, but come on over one evening this week.”
“Thanks. That sounds nice.”
The next evening I came in at nine again. And, again, Adam was there in another T-shirt that would stop traffic. “You poor thing,” he said sweetly. You give your all to that job, don’t you?”
“Keeps me off the streets and out of trouble.”
“You need to plan an early night tomorrow.”
“Leave work at a decent hour and come over for dinner. I’ll bet you haven’t socialised with anyone outside of work in months.”
“Well, I’ll try.”
“Give me a knock tomorrow night when you come home.” He squeezed my upper arm with his hand. “I’ll be here!”
“Okay, see you then.”
I wasn’t sure at the time that I really could get off early, but the thought was certainly attractive. I had lustful thoughts about Adam since he moved in, he was so beautiful. It was then that I realised that I didn’t clearly recall Adam moving in, or, in fact, ever actually meeting him, but somehow, he was the only neighbour I really knew. He wasn’t there when I bought the place, I knew that.
Next evening I came home at 6:30. Somehow everything that needed to get done got done and I was able to leave at a reasonable hour. I changed into a sweater and jeans and began to knock on Adam’s door. Before my knuckles could make contact, the door was open and there was Adam in a skin-tight black ribbed T-shirt and black jeans. My own pants seemed to get a little tighter in the crotch area.
“Peter, come on in!” he beamed with that gorgeous smile. He gestured into his unit’s living room. It was safe to say that he got the decorator gene, I thought. It was full of beautiful antique furnishings that looked as if they were made to be in that room together. “Dinner is ready. You do like sushi, don’t you?”
“I love sushi. It’s one of my favourites.”
“Fabulous! I made it myself,” he gestured towards the cherry dining room table, perfectly laid out with traditional Japanese accessories. I had a seat and he poured me some hot sake. “Unagi and maguro are my favourites, so I made more of them than the others, but there’s a nice variety.”
He walked over to the table. I loved watching Adam walk. Every muscle in his body rippled with each step he took. I stared at his pecs. I love pecs and have a special fondness for bouncing pecs. As I thought about this, Adam bounced his pecs for no apparent reason. Sigh.
As he sat down, I just puzzled over this whole scene. This incredible man whom I barely knew had just made me my favourite dinner–right down to the fact that I like eel and tuna best–and this is not an easy dinner to make! “Thank you, Adam. It all looks wonderful.”
This made no sense. He couldn’t be interested in me! He could have any man he wanted inside a minute. I’m nothing special, I thought. To quote Andrew Tobias, “I’m adorably neurotic in the right light”–but not in the same league as Adam. I was kind of paunchy, prematurely balding, on the shorter side of average and pretty nerdy looking.
Dinner, of course, was fabulous and so was the conversation. Adam was as brilliant as he was beautiful. He knew about art, literature, music, comics, old movies and classic TV. One thing, though, he didn’t talk about himself. I didn’t know where he was from, where he’d gone to school, or for that matter what he did for a living. Every time I was about to ask one of those questions, he would look at me with those blue-grey eyes and I just wouldn’t want to ask.
After dinner, we walked over to the living room and I sat on a lovely little setée. I still couldn’t believe any of this. As he handed me a cocktail, Adam smiled once again and said, “So, Peter, you’re wondering what this is all about.”
“Well, yes, the thought did occur to me.”
Adam sat next to me. “I’m going to tell you, Peter, but promise you’ll hear me out.”
“Peter, there is more to this world than what you’ve been taught. What is the most advanced species on this planet?”
Adam laughed. “Ah, Peter, you are a naïf. There are beings on this earth whose existence, though universally known, is not believed. You have heard the names in legends: Nephilim, djinn, fairies, to name three. These have been thought to be gods, angels, demons, and just about everything in between. These are what protects the human race from destroying itself. These have been guiding humanity since its infancy, inspiring it to reach higher and better itself. The voice is not always heard, but it is always there.”
I thought he had cracked up. What was this nonsense? “Nephilim”? I hadn’t heard that word since Sunday school. I started to get up.
“Ah-ah, you gave me your word. Peter, how old do you think I am? Don’t be afraid to overestimate. I won’t be offended.”
Adam’s age was really hard to guess. His incredible body made him look a lot younger than I thought he was. From his eyes, I guessed him to be in his mid-to-late for“Uh, forty-two?”
Adam smiled again. “Oh, Peter, when I was 42 years old, Romanesque was giving way to Gothic.”
“That would make you at least 900 years old!”
“I suppose your one of these Nephilim or whatever it is you call yourselves.”
“We don’t actually call ourselves anything. Mortals come up with the names themselves.”
“Okay, I’ve heard you out. Now I’m heading out.” I got up
“You need a demonstration, don’t you?” Adam blew out a gentle breath with which he somehow halted me in my tracks. He then drew a breath in which turned me around to face him. I couldn’t move or speak. Terrified was an understatement.
“Let’s see, ah, the setée! We’ll make this fun!” He pointed a finger at the setée, his huge triceps leaping as he straightened his arm. Furniture became flesh as the setée was instantly changed into a rockhopper penguin.
Adam grinned. “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and then–of all things–bounced his pecs and another rockhopper appeared next to the other. Adam then winked and in the next instant he too was a rockhopper. The Adam-rockhopper made a gesture and suddenly I could move again, but the room had become so big. I looked down and realised that I too was now a rockhopper penguin. I tried to speak, but I could only make a sharp squawk. A voice in my head said “That’s enough!” One rockhopper became a setée, one vanished, one became Adam and one become a thoroughly shocked Peter.
“Believe me now?” Adam cooed, as he patted my cheek.
“My God, Adam! You! That! We!” I fainted.
I came to cradled in Adam’s strong arms. He placed me down gently on the setée.
“Well, we are easily impressed!” Adam stroked his goatee and sat next to me. “Believe it or not, Peter, I’m rather young for one of my kind. Still, one sees a lot in a millennium or so. I’ve seen empires and kingdoms rise and fall. I’ve witnessed disasters and plagues. In fact, if not for my intervention, the Black Plague would surely have decimated Europe.” “You stopped the Black Plague on your own?”
“You still doubt? When did we meet, Peter?”
“Ah, I’ve lived hear almost two years. I know you’ve moved in since then...”
“We met a week ago.”
“Oh, no, you’ve been here a lot longer than that.”
“I created that memory for you.”
“I don’t actually live in this condo at all. It belongs to a sweet little lady, Mrs Moore.”
“Mrs Moore–I forgot all about Mrs Moore! What did you do with her?”
“She’s fine. I’ll bring her back as soon as I’m finished with her place. She’ll never know she was gone.”
“But, why, Adam, if that is your name...”
“Why? Why are you here?”
“Peter, I have wandered the earth for centuries. In that time I have been intimate with many humans, but I have always been alone. Such a long time by oneself makes one rather lonely. I’ve grow weary. I can’t go on alone. A suitable companion for an immortal is hard to find. There are not many of my kind. I searched the world over for an unselfish, caring man, one whose soul was already beyond humanity. And that search led me to you.”
Adam place a large hand on my face. “Come with me, Peter. I love you. I can give you more than you have ever thought possible.”
“But what about my job?”
“You will be like me. You’ll never want for anything. They don’t pay you enough, anyway.”
“But I love my job. I chose my profession so I could help make the world a better place.”
“With the powers I give you, you can do far more for humankind.”
“I don’t know. I barely know you.”
Adam placed his hand on my forehead and we immediately entered what can only be described as a metaphysical communion. I knew, felt and experienced what he knew, felt and experienced. I knew that the void in my life would be filled. It was all true.
“But, Adam, you could have anyone. Why me? I’m not that much to look at.”
“I see what is inside and you are the most beautiful man I have ever met. In the transfiguration, your appearance will match your soul.”
“I will make you like me. You will be immortal and gain all my powers.”
“This is all happening so fast. Adam, it sounds wonderful–wonderful, nothing! It’s incredible! Beyond incredible! I don’t know.”
Adam got down on his knees and took my hands in his and held them to his chest. “Peter, I can do so many things, but I can’t make you come with me. You must do this of your own free will.” He kissed my hands softly.
He looked into my eyes and I saw him shed a tear.
“Yes, Adam. What do I have to do?”
“Let me do what I must do.” Adam had changed his own shape, that of an object and another person and created a penguin from thin air with little apparent effort. But this transfiguration was another matter. He pursed his lips and a wind came from his mouth. I was lifted into the air as gentle currents swirled around me. The apartment and our clothing dissolved from around us and we ascended into the clouds. Adam and I were both now naked in mid-air. Then the least expected thing happened: Adam began posing! He raised both arms into a double-biceps. I felt my own arms and shoulders begin to swell up. Fat disappeared, to replaced with muscle, and not just any muscle! My arms grew to almost the size of Adam’s. The then raised an eyebrow and winked as he bounced his pecs. My own chest lifted and shaped two perfectly carved pec masses. He turned around and spread his back. My own back tightened and contoured to a “V”. He faced me again and flexed the muscles in his abs, and, sure enough, my belly shrunk and an eight-pack appeared. He flexed his glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves and my lower body manifested a similar effect–all of my lower body! My face also felt tighter. My whole body had changed. I wasn’t any taller–I don’t think Adam or I wanted that–but everything else was as had only dreamed it could be.
“Come to me!” Adam called softly. I floated over to him and he took me in his arms and kissed me. As he kissed me, he began to breathe softly into my mouth. I then felt a change a thousand times greater than reshaping my body. He was filling me with his power. For what seemed like a century I floated within his mighty arms, enjoying an ecstasy few, if any had known before. And in the end, I was no longer a mortal man. I was something else. I had been transfigured.
“Adam, oh, Adam! I–I feel like I could do anything.”
“Oh, I have so much to learn.”
“I’ll teach you,” Adam whispered as he caressed my now magnificent chest and kissed me. “After all, we have eternity.”
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