By Voyager

The early morning air was cool, but not cold. There were no lights, so I made sure I trod carefully on this unknown ground. I guess that was one of the prices I paid for moving to a rural area. The walk home would be long, I knew, but I didn’t mind. It gave me a chance to sort out all that had happened to me over the past 12 hours or so. Never did I imagine what my day would end like when it began. Worse off, I could not tell anyone. Well, that’s not exactly true. I could tell someone, but they would not believe me. Well, that’s not exactly true, either. I knew that if Chuck kept going at the pace he did, he would be spotted, and that someone of that magnitude would eventually be caught on camera or on video. No one could really stop him now, even if they did catch him on camera or video.

I felt more than a little guilt. This was my fault. What was intended to be a harmless joke had backfired and spun out of control. As the road ahead of me was long, I thought and tried to make sense of all that had happened.

I knew Chuck when I was his youth group leader several years ago. He was nothing special really, except for his height, which he said was around six foot five. Terribly skinny, with blonde hair and a goofy smile, he sort of latched on to me because I did not make the typical comments. You know what I mean…”Hey, how’s the weather up there?” “You play basketball?” “Mind if I call you Lurch?”. Later on, when I got to know him and was able to playfully mock him, I would say things like that, but initially I did something extraordinary, at least in his eyes – I treated him with respect.

After one talk session where he complained about being so thin, I suggested weight training, even helping him get started at a local gym. I was nothing special, but in okay shape, always one who had more knowledge than genetics. He took what I showed him and ran with it, especially after he saw his weight increasing due to new muscle growth. Come to think of it now, it was rather quick muscle growth. By the time Chuck was going off the college, he had begun to have the typical weightlifter shape…the V, the separation of the arms, a good eight pack forming.

We had talked and e-mailed to each other through his four years of college, but the conversations were neither frequent or deep. When I would ask how his working out was going, I would usually get the same, standard answer: they were going well, he was gaining size and mass and getting bigger. When I would press for specifics, as in how big he was, I would get pretty much the same answer as well: he wasn’t really sure, as he did not do measurements often, but he knew he was getting bigger. I was able to decipher from some dropped pieces of conversation that he was indeed getting bigger – a reference to having trouble finding XXL XT shirts that would fit over his chest, an occasional tale of ripping a sleeve while flexing, items like that. Either he was a very creative liar or he really was growing.

I also was able to pick up some other signs that he had changed. A reference or two over the years to having to ‘put someone in their place’ or ‘showing someone what he was made of’ was all there was, but it also shocked me, coming from a guy who had no self-confidence when I first met him. Maybe the muscle was helping him after all.

A phone call a couple of days ago, I thought, would answer a lot of those questions. It was Chuck. He was going to be in the area and wanted to stop over and see me. I immediately said yes (my calendar had tumbleweeds rolling through it as it was so vacant), and we arranged a time for him to stop over.

My task in between the phone call and Chuck stopping over was to try to get the house into some semblance of order. I was so focused on cleaning the place that I didn’t even notice the time, so when there was a powerful knock at the door, I had to greet my visitor still in my cleaning clothes…and old sweatshirt and sweatpants. Yeah, it was early summer, but it wasn’t scorching hot yet, so I was comfortable.

What greeted me at the door literally left me speechless for a few moments. In short, it was obvious Chuck wasn’t lying. If I had remembered correctly, when we were both standing up, I was looking into his chin. No longer. I was now looking into the base of his neck, his shoulders taking up most of my peripheral view.

His height wasn’t all that had changed. He was massive. His pecs looked like it had come to an uneasy truce with his t-shirt, the fabric stretching to the point where he better not inhale too deeply. His shoulders concurred with that assessment, as they barely fit within the doorway. His biceps and triceps filled out the arms of his t-shirt almost to the breaking point, and I was sure if he flexed I would have heard a ripping sound. His shorts were packed with quads, each muscle looking like it had been layered upon the previous to form this mass of bulges that would defeat any leg press machine that dared to challenge him.

In other aspects, he was the same Chuck. Same straight blond hair that was parted in the middle, same infectious grin. His face was a little more mature.

A familiar thought went through my suspicious mind. Was this a results of effort and hard word or something else? It had been four years and there had been those snippets of conversation where he seemed to go into a rage at one time or another. From what I had seen and read, there seemed to be a lot more strength in the natural guys than in the other guys, though neither would I want to put to the test. Chuck knew what I was thinking about, as we had those conversations before he left. He put his massive hands under my arms and effortlessly lifted me eye level with him. When he stopped elevating me, he simply said, “Yeah, it’s all me” and smiled.

The stinker refused to put me down, walking with me still being held as if he would carry a child, and still not showing any sign of strain or fatigue. Picking up on an old joke we used to have, he said, “Hey, I know the elderly can’t walk far, so I am just helping you out”. Again, no sign of strain in the voice, no breathing hard, no sign of fatigue. Before I could respond, he put me down on the couch and sat across from me.

A couple of hours flew by before we knew it. He explained that this was the reason why he did not want to tell me specifics. His magnificent growth seemed to compound itself each month, and he wanted to surprise me in person with how much he grew. Even he could not believe it at first, he recalled, as the harder he worked out, the more he grew, never plateauing, never ceasing in his muscle growth. Once he was worried that he would be too musclebound for his frame. It was then he started to grow vertically, after he had stopped for a few years. The amazing thing to both him and I was that he was STILL growing by all accounts. He speculated he might even his seven feet tall by the end of this year if this trend continued. He reached over his enormous arm and gently put one finger under my chin to push it up, as my mouth was hanging agape and I did not know it.

He also mentioned that, as his body and his confidence grew, he entered some local bodybuilding and strongman competitions, placing well in both. As a matter of fact, he said, he was going to be in a bodybuilding competition in another in a few weeks. It was then he asked the one thing that I was hoping he would ask – would I like to see him flex through his routine?

The surprises never seemed to stop. Him? Flex? Of course I wanted him to! I have always had a real appreciation for muscle and for strength. It was simply that, as I was straight. I had come to grips with that odd combination of wanting to see muscle and experience strength while not having any interest in any relations with a man. Or, as another friend had once said – all flex, no sex. The surprise to me was that he offered. Before he left, he was so shy I could not even get him to make a bicep. Now he was offering to strip to posing trunks and show what he had. It took me about three nanoseconds to say, yes, much to his enjoyment.

After some grunting and groaning in trying to pull his clothes over his physique, he was down to posing trunks. I found some music for him to pose by and he began his routine. It was incredible. Muscles that were constrained by the fabric of his shirt and pants now sprang to life. His size, his symmetry, his confidence in posing – all of them were flawless. Seeing my excitement (though I was glad for the sweats as I was having a raging boner), he moved closer to me, flexing right in front of my face, showing me the growth of his muscle as it moved from relaxed to taut. From what I saw of his posing trunks, he was enjoying the show as much as I was. Twice he placed both hands on the front of my sweatshirt and lifted me up as if he was doing curls. Once he actually spun me upside down so I could get ‘a really close up view’ of his abs as he went through the motions.

It was then that I decided to have some fun with him, and made the mistake that would thrown me into the odyssey that was to come. It was innocent enough, at least I thought. I would give him only feint praise when he finished posing, teasing him like we always did, maybe even goading him a bit.

I waited for the routine to finish, trying to contort my face to show disinterest, which was difficult at best to accomplish. When it did finish, I knew the question that would be coming. It did. “Well, what did you think?”, asked Chuck, finally breathing hard. It was then I launched into it.

I put in a magnificent performance, if I do say so myself. I told him he was okay, but I had seen better from amateurs. Yes, he was big, but I have seen better and that I expected even more after four years of trying. Strength, yes, well, I guess he had some, but he must have been struggling to pick me up and hold me like that since he seemed kind of, you know, puny. I laid it on thick.

Whether it was the rush of testosterone in him or something else, I did not know, but that joke backfired and backfired big. Instead of seeing I was joking, he became visibly angry, almost to the point of shaking. He tried mightily to keep his temper under control, but it was a losing battle. Chuck managed to get out, over gritted teeth, ‘Sorry you didn’t like it, I won’t bother you again with my puny body’ as he wrestled with his shirt and shorts and stormed out of the house, slamming the door behind him to a point where I thought the door itself would splinter from the impact.

I saw immediately that the joke had backfired, that the person I knew and kidded around with still had a very thin skin regarding his physique and size. I attempted several times to apologize, to tell him it was a joke, but he would hear none of it. I was filled with a mix of fear and sadness. Sadness because I feared I had lost a friendship. Fear because of what this kid could do to me and not even break a sweat.

The house was eerily quiet after he left. I could hear the sound of my own breathing, as I was breathing heavily after both the excitement and shock of the last half hour or so. Once I calmed down, I vowed I would try to write to Chuck, explain what happened, repair what has been damaged. Success wasn’t likely, but I would try. I began cleaning up the room.

I was still tidying up when a pounding came at the door. From the force of the knock, I knew it could only be one person – Chuck. I was still shaken from what happened, but I resolved that if I could make it right, I would. If he wanted to yell, let him yell. If he wanted to lift me up to look me in the eye, I would not protest. I would not allow violence, as it would be all once sided – and it would be on me (likeI could stop it even if I wanted to!). I pulled down on my sweatshirt and went to the door.

I couldn’t get out two words before his huge hand went around my throat. Instinctively, I put both my hands on his wrist to try to pry it off, but it was futile. His arms were like iron beams. He knew his strength…he wasn’t squeezing my neck hard enough to snap anything, but the airway was constricted. I struggled as best I could, but he was just too strong. Backwards he pushed me, slamming me against the far wall. His grip tightened and I felt pressure against my jawbone. He was sliding me up the wall, causing my feet to leave the ground, and doing all this with one hand. When my feet were dangling about a foot off the floor and blackness was creeping in around the edges of my senses, he finally began talking.

“So, I’m ‘puny’ am I? Not so big, huh? Should have tried harder to become bigger and stronger, huh? Well, little man, we are going to spend the next couple of hours showing you just how big I am, just how strong I am, and just how awesomely powerful I have become”. He adjusted his grip on my neck and boosted me another half foot into the air. “And by the time I am done, you will not only have learned just what a force of nature I am, but you will be calling me and worshipping me as…”, he said, moving me down so I was looking him eye to eye, “…your muscle god.” That smiles which was infectious now was sinister. •

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