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Taking the Good
|I wasn't planning on writing more chapters in this story, put I had an idea for another story that worked well with these characters. Plus I think Lucas got away to easily last time. That won't happen again.|
|Mark and Garry never told anyone the truth of what happened to them. They thought no one would believe their story; they had a hard time believing it themselves. They put it behind them and everything was going their way again. The baseball team was having its best season ever, they never looked or felt better, and the first year at college was almost over. Garry’s attention was now focused on the annual charity intramural games. The frat houses would compete against each other on an obstacle course. The team that finished the course in the fastest combined time would then choose another team for a tug-of-war. The losing team would have to donate money to the charity equal to the total weight of the winning team. Mark didn’t participate because Coach Miller was afraid his star player might injure himself. Plus Mark was spending additional time with a tutor to help him pass his English Literature final. Garry was chosen the team captain by his fraternity, a great honor for a freshman.
Garry led his team to the obstacle course for their one and only practice session. The course started with a pull-up station, a long jump over a water hazard, a tire run, a wall climb, and then finally a sprint with a hurdle to the end. Garry knew his team didn’t really need the practice. His squad consisted of five athletic jocks who could easily master any course. The team included fellow baseball players Kevin, Trevor and Derek. The last two members were Aaron and Brad. Aaron, a full back on the football team, was the most muscular man. Brad, who ran track, was the leanest. When Garry arrived the Delta team was just completing their practice session. The Delta house was considered the “nerd house” on campus. It was a university tradition that Garry’s frat, who always won, would pick the Delta’s for the final tug-of-war. Everybody knew the final outcome and looked at the whole event as a chance to have some fun and benefit a worthy cause. Garry and the boys watched as the Delta team struggled on the course; each unable to complete the five pull-ups or clear the hurdle. When the Delta’s saw Garry’s team watching, they stopped their practice to walk over to the competition.
“Looking good out there guys” Garry said shaking hands with the Delta team captain, Artie.
“Well, we know we’re not athletes like you. But we would like to beat our team’s time from last year. If just one of us could eliminate the time penalties and complete the entire course successfully, that would make us feel like winners. Norman is our best hope; he’s the only one who can actually do more than one pull-up.” Artie said laughing while his small hand was enveloped by Garry’s huge paw.
Garry told his team to warm up before they hit the course. The Delta’s watched as Garry’s team took off their shirts revealing sculpted abs and deep inguinal creases. Each man was handsome, lean and muscular. All wore long, baggy shorts low on their hips held up by their hard, rounded asses. Even in the oversized shorts, their large endowments pushed out the nylon fabric creating an impressive bulge. It was obvious none were wearing anything underneath. The Delta’s felt less virile than usual standing next to these perfect jocks. On the average Garry’s team was 6” taller and 80 pounds heavier than the Delta’s.
“Wow, you’ve got a big team this year, Garry” Artie replied ogling the display of masculine power stretching and flexing in front of him. “What’s the team’s total weight? So we know how much money we need to get together this year.”
“1,182 pounds; I hope we won’t break your bank account” answered Garry. “What about your team?”
“No, it’s all for charity anyway. I’m just glad you and Mark aren’t on the team. That would cost us a couple hundred more”, Artie replied jokingly. “My team’s weight is 789 pounds, just in case you lose. We’ll see you guys tomorrow”.
Artie’s team gathered up their belongings. Artie watched the other team practice; each man effortlessly and flawlessly going through the course. Artie thought to himself “God, they make it look so easy. What I wouldn’t do to be that strong and athletic”.
Lucas spent most of his time since returning from spring break in his room avoiding everyone. He only came back to school because his father made him. He meditated and read Hatri’s book over and over again. Once the center of attention, he was back to being mostly ignored, a social outcast. All his housemates didn’t know what happened to him, but they knew it was something weird. One day he was a muscular jock, the next day a chubby geek. Seeing his fat body in the wet brief contest was shocking and frightening. They kept their distance from him afraid that it may happen to them, too. But most of them didn’t know how far he actually fell. They never saw him, unlike the cheerleaders, at his physical peak during the rehearsal.
When Lucas wasn’t in his room, he spent time at the library doing research. He knew that was the one place he wouldn’t run into any cheerleaders. He hated the way they looked at him now; as if they were embarrassed to have fucked him. They did things with Lucas they thought they would never do, and to see his appearance now, only made them feel ashamed. He made one of the most erotic, pleasurable events of their young lives; feel cheap, perverted and wrong. They hated him for the way he made them feel about themselves.
It was in library where Lucas first saw Artie. Artie was your typical nerd. He was smart and physically unimpressive; short, pale, thin and plain. His coarse hair was thinning, revealing a bald spot at only age 21. His dull appearance made him blend into the background going about his life unnoticed. However Artie was the captain of his fraternity’s intramural team and Lucas found that worth his attention. Artie would play a big role in Lucas’s plans to revenge his fall from physical perfection. Lucas had been observing Artie during the past week and noticed how he looked up from his books only to watch nearby men. Lucas had even caught Artie looking at him a couple of times. Lucas had lost about twenty pounds of fat over the past month. His calorie intake had dramatically dropped because he stopped going to the cafeteria and ate in his room. Lucas was still overweight, but he had a very handsome face. Lucas would use this to his advantage with Artie. He decided it was time to make his move.
“Hi, Artie isn’t it?” said Lucas softly as he sat next to Artie at a small desk in the corner of the library. Lucas made sure to pull the chair uncomfortably close to Artie before he sat down.
“Yes” replied Artie caught off guard by Lucas’s closeness.
“I’m Lucas”, he said smiling and holding out his big hand.
“I know who you are. I’m surprised you know who I am” Artie said while shaking hands.
“Please, you’re the leader of the Delta house. The home of the school’s most brilliant scholars”, Lucas did his best to sound sincere. “Everybody knows you”.
“That’s a nice thing to say” Artie blushed as he looked at Lucas’s stunning blue eyes and dazzling smile. He was thrilled to have such a good looking man compliment him. “Is there something I can help you with, Lucas”.
“I was just wondering if you have selected your team for the intramural games?” twisting his body closer to Artie by putting an elbow on the table to hold up his head while resting his other arm on top of Artie’s chair.
“Yes, we’re all set. We had our practice session this morning. I know it really doesn’t matter who’s on our team. Your house will win as usual. I just hope you pick us for the tug-of-war. We put away money all year long to cover our donation. It’s the only time the Delta house gets any attention.” Artie said humbly.
“That’s very noble of you, Artie. But wouldn’t you like to win the games at least once?” Lucas said while rubbing Artie’s narrow back.
“Sure, I guess. But you’re house is full of strong athletes, while Delta has more brains than brawn”, Artie said lowering his hands to his crotch to cover his growing hard on.
“Things change Artie. I would love to work closely with you to help your team win this year. I mean this is a university; there should be more appreciation of brain power than muscle power.” Lucas said while moving his hand from Artie’s back to Artie’s thin thigh.
“That would be great” answered Artie trying to stay focused on the conversation, “but why would you help us beat your own fraternity.”
“I’ve never felt like I belonged there. I’m a legacy. I’m only a member to make my father happy. My so-called brothers never showed me any kindness. I feel closer to you during this brief conversation than any of them. I think I’m a Delta at heart.” Lucas said moving his hand further up Artie’s thigh.
“Does this have anything to do with what happened at the wet T&B contest?” asked Artie shyly.
“That was blown way out of proportion. It’s evolved into some larger than life supernatural tale. The story is now part of campus folklore. I just wanted to help my fraternity and they turned on me, embarrassing me in front of the whole school. I mean I know I’m not the best looking guy around; but I’m not repulsive, am I?” asked Lucas smiling again at Artie while gently squeezing his leg.
“No, of course not. You are a very attractive man, Lucas” Artie answered once again staring into those incredible pale blue eyes.
“Thank you. That’s nice to hear too. Why don’t we go somewhere else more private to continue our conversation, Artie? Maybe your house?” Lucas asked while standing up.
“That’s a good idea. But I have to finish this thing I’m doing. Why don’t we meet there in 20 minutes?” Artie couldn’t stand up now without showing his stiff cock.
Lucas moved behind Artie, rubbing Artie’s sloping shoulders and whispered in his ear. “Great, I look forward to our time together, Artie”. Lucas left the library as Artie shot a load into his pants.
When Artie arrived at his frat house, Lucas was there waiting for him in the living room. Artie used his books to cover the wet spot at his crotch and told Lucas he would be right back. Artie returned to Lucas after changing his clothes with a piece of paper in his hand. “Here’s the team roster you were asking about” said Artie handing it to Lucas.
“Thanks. This is great” Lucas said while reviewing the list. “Do you have a list of all your house brothers? How many are there?”
“Eighteen all together; why do you want that list?” asked Artie.
“Eighteen, that’s perfect”, replied Lucas while gazing off into the distance. After a few seconds Lucas looked at Artie and smiled, “It’s like I told you, I want to help your house win this year’s games. But wouldn’t it be even better if all your brothers benefited, not just the team.”
“Exactly, how do you plan on helping us? I mean it would take a miracle for us to beat your house in any sporting competition.” Artie said a little frustrated.
“Oh, miracles happen every day, my dear Artie. Sometimes they need just a little help and that’s where I come in. I have the ability to change things. I can make your team excel in physical challenges. Make you all a little stronger and athletic. I just want to even out the competition a little, to make things fairer between the teams.” Lucas said while trying to read Artie’s reaction.
“Are you talking about magic or voodoo or something? I thought you said the stories about you were exaggerated. I don’t want to get mixed up in that stuff” Artie said while moving farther away from Lucas on the couch.
“Oh, don’t be such a puritan. It’s not that big of a deal. No one gets hurt and everybody has a good time. Every one of your brothers will be so grateful to you. The Delta’s won’t be considered the nerds any longer” answered Lucas moving closer to Artie. “I just thought you might enjoy being a winner; being stronger and more athletic. Don’t you ever wish you could be a jock? To be admired and respected for your perfect body instead of just your mind? I think you would look incredible with a muscular body.”
Artie didn’t answer right away. He was thinking about having an athletic body like he saw on the obstacle course today. To be a strong, virile man able to take off his shirt and have people lust after him for a change. That was his ultimate fantasy and maybe Lucas did have the power to make it happen. “No one gets hurt?” asked Artie.
“Absolutely not, that’s not the kind of man I am. Trust me, Artie. Everything will work out perfectly” Lucas replied flashing his brilliant smile while squeezing Artie’s knee. Lucas seemed so confident and sincere.
Artie couldn’t believe this was happening. He had a handsome man offering to make his deepest desire come true. “Okay, what do you need me to do?”
Lucas gave Artie a piece a paper with two lined columns and the following words at the top: I agree to accept the gift giving to me and abide by all the conditions in accepting the gift. “Have every member of your house sign the piece of paper, down the right column and give it back to me. It will be easy for you. Your brothers trust you. But don’t tell them what it’s really for, let it be a surprise. Use that incredible brain of yours and think of something. I’ll wait here.”
Artie left and went from room to room getting all the signatures. He returned to the living room in less than an hour and gave the paper back to Lucas.
“Thank you. I told you that it would be easy. Now let’s assign partners to each of your brothers. We’ll choose someone from my house that will donate a little of his masculinity to a Delta. Let’s start by putting the names of Garry’s team members next to your team. That seems fair, right?” Lucas looked at Artie, who didn’t reply just shook his head hesitantly. Lucas continued by putting the remaining names of his house mates down the left side of the paper next to a Delta’s name. Artie spoke up for the first time as Lucas wrote Mark’s name next to someone else.
“Can I have Mark?” asked Artie softly.
“Of course, the captain of the team deserves the best” answered Lucas. Lucas then signed his name at the bottom of the Delta list.
“Why are you signing with the Deltas?” inquired Artie a little puzzled.
“I told you I was a Delta at heart. I stand with you, my true brothers” Lucas said grinning with pride. He was proud that everything was going as he had planned. He wrote Garry’s name to the left of his own. He then drew directional arrows, going from his fraternity member’s names in the left column towards the Deltas in the right column. “We are finished. Let the games begin”.
Lucas returned quickly to his room after reassuring Artie that everything would be okay. He was excited that weeks of planning were coming to fruition. He would finally get revenge on all those who turned on him, especially Mark and Garry. He learned from his earlier spell and would not make the same mistakes again. This spell would not only change people physically but mentally as well. He would alter reality. This took a lot of power and Lucas had been gaining that power over the past five weeks. His quest started when he went home during spring break visiting some of Hatri’s colleagues. He acquired the materials and knowledge to move his abilities to the next level. This quest was all consuming to him and nothing or no one was going to stop him.
Lucas took out the new red silk ribbon he had to finish embroidering tonight. He worked nonstop throughout the evening. Finally at 2am Lucas had recreated Hatri’s ribbon, making it even more powerful, by adding some new symbols along its length. The old medallions had been attached at each end; no longer a dull black but a potent golden color. Lucas lit some candles and incense. He then took the piece of paper the Delta’s had signed and rolled it up like a scroll. The then wrapped the paper in the red ribbon.
Taking several deep breaths, Lucas began to cast his spell. “Earth Spirits please hear my demands; make masculinity and strength change hands. Men who were once virile are no longer, and those who were weak become much stronger. The transfer increases as a body is active, making the handsome much less attractive. All those involved are now under my command; abiding by me, the dictator of the land. The big changes everyone will see; appear to have always been the reality.” A gust of wind entered Lucas’s room through the open window and blew out the candles. Lucas sat in the dark, “It’s done”.
As the men of the two fraternities slept, changes came over them. In the Delta house, the men’s bodies hardened, pushing veins to their skin’s surface. Their facial features became more defined and mature. Their balls grew larger, heavy with testosterone. The surge in male hormones caused their cocks to react, filling with blood. As each man’s cock became hard, they grew to their usual diminutive size, and then suddenly continued to grow adding several inches in length and girth. The men’s hands unconsciously went to their crotch trying to free their larger cocks from the now tight confines of their underwear; each man softly moaning with pleasure at the touch of his improved manhood.
Meanwhile Lucas’s housemates were having a different reaction. As they slept, their bodies softened and their faces became more feminine. Their testicles shrank to less than half their previous size, while their soft cocks receded by several inches. Not feeling the usual heavy weight of their endowment, their hands went to their crotches too. But their reaction to what the found was frightening; each man’s face became contorted as if having a nightmare.
Lucas waited a few minutes and felt nothing. He did some pushups and sit ups before going to the mirror. He didn’t see any change; his body was still soft and bloated. “What the fuck happened, why didn’t it work?” Lucas said out loud while slamming his fist into the mirror in frustration, cracking the glass. Lucas stared into the broken mirror for several minutes calming himself. He wrapped his bloody hand into a paper towel and grabbed Hatri’s book. He read the book for over an hour trying to find his error before falling asleep.
Early in the morning the two houses started to stir as the men awoke. As the Delta men stretched their bodies, their physiques lengthened and became slightly taller and more muscular. As the stood up, they were disoriented for a moment adjusting to their new bodies. Norman, feeling the pressure to be Delta’s best performer, looked in his dresser mirror and wished he was in better shape for today’s games. His body was slim with just a hint of muscle. He hit the floor and did 50 pushups and 100 sit ups. He was proud of himself; he was never able to do so many before. He stood in front of the mirror again, did a double bicep pose and watched a lemon size muscle jump to attention. He then ran his hand over the stomach enjoying the faint outline of a six pack, still wishing he was in better shape.
Meanwhile in Lucas’s house, Aaron woke and rubbed the sleep from his eyes as he went to the mirror. Aaron was Norman’s donor, linked together on Lucas’s scroll. He flexed his impressive 18” arms in the mirror and crunched his perfect eight-pack while smiling. He was heading to the common bathroom to take a shower. Previously he would just walk there in the nude, proud of his hard, athletic body. But today, he wanted to cover himself with a towel. He found one and wrapped it around his tight waist. He went back to the mirror and flexed his 16” arms and crunched his hard six-pack. “Still looking good, my man” he said to himself not realizing his smaller size. He had to loosen the too tight towel around his waist slightly before leaving for the bathroom.
Garry entered the kitchen of the frat house shirtless looking as big as ever. Several of his house mates were already having breakfast. Garry thought it was strange that he was the only one without a shirt, usually everyone walked around the house topless. The guys looked different somehow too, but he couldn’t figure out exactly what it was. He went to the refrigerator and grabbed a gallon jug of orange juice. He poured himself a glass, when Trevor asked Garry to pass the jug to him. Garry handed it to Trevor, who almost dropped it. “Woo, that’s heavier than I thought” said Trevor slightly embarrassed.
“Get ready guys, we have to be at the games in 30 minutes” Garry announced noticing that everyone seemed quieter than usual. “I hope you all will be more enthusiastic during the competition”.
“It’s only a silly game. Does it really matter who wins?” replied Derek nonchalantly.
“I guess not” Garry answered, “Are you feeling okay, Derek? You are usually the most competitive guy I know. Yesterday you were doing war cries and rallying the team to defeat the other fraternities mercilessly.”
“I’m fine. I think you’re exaggerating a bit, that doesn’t sound like me at all. I just don’t see the purpose of getting all excited about the competition. It really doesn’t matter who wins as long as we raise money for charity.” Derek answered with little emotion. All the others seem to shake their heads in agreement.
“Okay” Garry said with a puzzled look on his face. “I’m going to finish getting dressed and then we can all leave together”. Garry went up to his room a little confused by his brother’s change in attitude.
Across the street, the Delta house was much nosier than the day before. The men were walking around nude snapping each other with towels in the bathrooms and making crude animal noises. Some had to borrow razors to shave for the first time. In the kitchen there was a lot of accidental slamming of doors and pans while making breakfast. Everything seemed so much lighter than usual to the men. Artie walked into the kitchen as Norman was opening a cabinet and pulled the door off the hinges, “I know that door always sticks Norman, but take it easy”.
“Sorry, dude. I guess I don’t know my own strength” Norman answered with a grin.
Artie felt so small and weak as he looked at the shirtless, toned men around him. He wondered why he was the head of the house among all these taller, stronger men. “Let’s get ready for the game. I know you will all do your best and that’s all I can ask of you” Artie said trying to encourage his team.
“Oh don’t worry, Artie. We’re ready. We’re going to crush last year’s time. I wouldn’t be surprised if we even beat some of the other fraternities this year. No more last place for the Delta house”, Sheldon, who was linked to Derek, said with real conviction.
“Well it doesn’t matter if we win or lose, Sheldon, as long as we participant and help the charity” Artie said trying to refocus the team.
“You know I don’t like being called Sheldon, the name is Don” Sheldon stared at Artie who became a little frightened. “Fuck your shitty loser attitude, man” Sheldon then said loudly and turned his attention to everyone else in the room, “Brothers, let’s destroy them and show them that Delta house is made up of real men”. A loud cheer filled the house as the Delta brothers bumped chests and did high fives.
Garry’s team arrived a few minutes before their scheduled time to take the course. A group a cheerleaders, led by Lynda, cheered from the bleachers as they arrived. The other members of Garry’s fraternity who weren’t on the team sat next to the cheerleaders.
The announcer came over the PA system, “Now let’s hear it for the favorites, weighing in at a strapping 1,121 pounds of muscle”. The cheerleaders started to chant, “Shirts, shirts, shirts”, encouraging the jocks to remove their clothes.
“That stupid announcer got our weight wrong. Oh well, you hear the ladies, they want to see your hot bods”, said Garry jokingly. The team looked down at the ground, not doing as the cheerleaders asked. “What’s wrong with you guys today? Usually I can’t keep you from stripping. Come on, take off your shirts, and let’s give the fans what they want.”
The team started slowly removing their shirts. Each still had large muscles covering every inch of their frame, if only slightly softer and smaller than before. The guys crossed their arms or grasped their hands in front of them, trying to cover their naked torsos. Lacking their usual confidence, due to their lower testosterone levels, each was embarrassed by their exposed body.
“Okay, it’s our turn on the course. You go first” Garry said pointing to Derek.
Derek went to the starting line beneath the pull-up bar. The referee blew his whistle and Derek jumped to grasp the bar. He missed the first time, not having the usual power in his legs, and tried again. He got a grip at the second attempt and pulled himself up with ease. By the fourth pull-up he was struggling, his strength was waning. His arms thinned and the extra dead weight of his body’s soft bulky muscles made doing the pull-up even harder. He couldn’t finish the fifth and final pull-up and dropped to the ground. The referee yelled “penalty” as Derek moved to the water hazard. He tried to jump over the hazard without using the hanging rope like he had always done in the past. But his weaker legs couldn’t propel him far enough and his foot landed in the water about 10” shy of the other end. “Penalty” the referee yelled again. Derek moved forward to the tire run, making it through each tire, but tripping once. He headed to the wall and grabbed onto the netting. He struggled to pull himself up the wall using all the muscles in his body. His arms, shoulders, chest, abs and back all shrinking faster from being used so forcibly. Derek barely made it over the wall; he fell on his flat ass on the other side. Exhausted and out of breath, he tripped on the hurdle and fell over the finish line landing on his face. The referee yelled “penalty” for the third time. Derek got up and brushed the grass and dirt from his thinner body. He walked back to the starting line and quickly put his shirt back on. Garry walked up to him, shocked by what he saw.
“What happened out there? You could barely complete a single task. And what’s going on with your body, you look so much shorter and smaller?” Garry said searching for answers.
“What are you talking about, Garry. I’ve never been in better shape and that was my best time on the obstacle course ever. I’d only had 3 penalties. You should be congratulating me, not yelling at me. We all can’t be a muscle bound jock like you.” Derek replied a little confused by Garry’s reaction. “It’s all just for fun anyway. Don’t take it so seriously”.
The referee told Garry he had to get his next team member at the starting line now. Garry looked at Aaron and gestured with his head. Aaron got in place under the bar and waited for the whistle. Aaron did worse than Derek, only completing 3 pull-ups and getting 3 more penalties before he was done. The Delta team arrived; they were scheduled last to compete today. Garry couldn’t help notice how much bigger the team looked; especially Sheldon and Norman, who arrived shirtless. They both were almost equal in muscle mass and height as the smaller Derek and Aaron. Garry watched a third Delta team member grow before his eyes, as Trevor went through the course. As Garry told Kevin to get to the starting line. He stood so he could watch both Kevin and the Delta team at the same time. Kevin jumped to the pull-up bar. He did one pull-up and Garry saw his biceps shrink. Garry turned to the Delta team warming up and noticed the arms of one of them start to enlarge. With each completed task, Kevin got smaller as the thief got larger. Garry realized the Deltas were stealing his team’s muscles.
“What are you doing to my team?” Garry demanded of Artie.
“What are you taking about?” Artie said surprised by Garry’s anger.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but somehow you’re stealing our muscles and strength.” Garry said not trying to sound crazy.
“Oh, that’s a good one. We’re stealing your muscles. I think you worried about the competition this year. Each year we are your biggest rival, and you are just looking for an excuse for this year’s loss. Well I’m not going to play along with you. No matter what ridiculous excuses you dream up.” Artie said comically thinking he was playing along with Garry.
Garry felt dizzy, was he going insane. Nothing made sense anymore.
“Are you okay? Maybe you should sit down” Artie said looking at Garry.
“Yeah, maybe you’re right” Garry walked away from Artie and toward his team mates. Brad the final competitor for Garry’s team was almost finished with the course. He gave up climbing the wall and decided to walk around it, happily accepting the penalty points. He tried but couldn’t jump over the hurdle. He finished the course crawling on his hands and knees, trying to make light of his athletic ineptness.
When Brad returned Garry asked, “Brad, you’re on the track team. Why couldn’t you clear that hurdle?”
“Track team, me? I don’t think so; I don’t have the build for sports.” Brad told Garry while trying to catch his breath. Garry and his team walked off the course and headed into the bleachers to be with the other housemates. When Garry arrived he noticed all his housemates looked small and frail. Even their faces had changed; they looked plainer, not as rugged or handsome. Each had lost height and a lot of muscle mass. They looked more like a group of boys than athletic men. Garry moved to the top of the bleachers to be alone to think. He flexed his arms and chest feeling each body part checking to see if he had gotten smaller too.
“Can I join in on the fun?” asked Lynda noticing Garry’s muscle exploration.
“I was feeling a cramp coming on and I was just working it out” replied Garry looking at Lynda. Then she started to change, she gained 50 pounds of fat right before his eyes. The loose fitting men’s XL sweatshirt she had borrowed from one of Garry’s housemates now clung to every roll of fat.
“Hey, chubby, what are you doing up there? How many times do we have to tell you, this section is for cheerleaders only” said one of Lynda’s former squad members.
“Oh well you can’t blame a girl for trying” said Lynda as she got up and walked over to another bleacher section. She stumbled as she went adjusting to her new weight.
Garry started rubbing his temples. Was he seeing things? Suddenly his attention was drawn to a familiar figure and a smile came over his face. He saw Mark walking up the bleachers towards him. Mark was still handsome, tall and extremely muscular. Mark waved to a group of guys in the stands who called his name, not recognizing his changed housemates.
The announcer came on the PA system again. “Ladies and gentlemen, the co-favorites for today’s competition weighing in at a total of 902 hunky pounds, the Deltas!” The crowd roared and the Deltas waved to the adoring cheerleaders. They flexed and strutted about the starting line.
“Sorry I’m late. My tutoring session went into overtime. But I think I’m starting to really understand Shakespeare. Did I miss anything, big guy? Hey look at the size of the Delta team. Did they bring in ringers or something?” Mark said not looking at Garry.
Garry eyes welled up with tears, “You notice it too?”
“Of course, how could you not. Those guys are built almost as big as our team? Where is our team anyway? And why are you sitting way up here?” Mark finally turned to look at Garry and saw his tears, “What’s wrong?”
Garry went on to describe to Mark what had been happening throughout the morning. Feeling relieved he wasn’t alone or crazy. He knew everything would be alright with Mark by his side.
Norman was the first one up for the Delta team. He got into place and grabbed onto the bar when the whistle blew. He struggled with the first pull-up but each one became easier as his arms continued to grow, stealing more muscle from Aaron. Mark and Garry watched as Aaron squirmed in his seat rubbing his shrinking left bicep. But Aaron accepted what was happening to him without question; as did the crowd around him. Norman easily made it over the water hazard, not needing to use the rope like he had in the past. He raced through the tires, feeling energized and strong. He climbed the wall fast, landing solidly on his feet on the other side; he then cleared the hurdle crossing the finish line jubilantly.
“We have our best time today with no penalties, congratulations Delta house!” the announcer informed everyone. Each one of the Delta team completed the course quickly. Their final score put them ahead of all the other fraternities. Garry’s team finished third. At the award ceremony Artie was asked which team he wanted for the tug-of-war. He announced it was Garry’s team; he had to keep the great rivalry alive. The crowd cheered in approval.
“So no one else is seeing the changes, except you and me”, asked Mark.
“People see the changes, but instantly their perception changes too. They think that’s the way things have always been or people have always looked”, answered Garry.
“You’re right; it sounds like Lucas is up to something again. Damn that guy never learns. We should have done something about him before. But it doesn’t make sense that we aren’t affected by his spell. You would think he would come after us the most. He blames us for everything wrong with his life.” Mark stated using Garry as a sounding board.
“I think I know why his spell didn’t work on us” Garry whispered to Mark. “I did something to the voodoo dolls to protect us. I had a feeling Lucas would seek revenge. I had to do something to protect you, I mean, us.”
“What did you do? How did you know what to do?” Mark asked.
Garry went on to describe his adventure into the world of the supernatural. Garry decided to take a side trip to New Orleans while driving back to school from spring break. He had kept the dolls by his side, in his backpack since the night of the wet brief contest. He stopped by a voodoo shop in the French Quarter hoping to get some help. The young woman who worked there looked at the dolls and told Garry it was dark magic. She was reluctant to help him, not wanting to get involved with such mysticism. Garry turned on the charm, stretching and flexing his muscles subtlety to win her over. The woman finally agreed to help after he grabbed her hand and placed it on his hard chest, and pleaded with her. She told him to visit a voodoo priestess who lived in the bayou ten miles out past the city limits.
Garry arrived at the shack in a swamp later that day. He knocked on the door and slowly entered, ducking his head to get into the low door. Garry filled the small dark room with his huge size. An old woman sat at a rustic wooden table in the far corner of the sparsely furnished room. Even though it was very warm, she had a fire going in the fireplace. Thousands of herbs, crystals and medallions hung everywhere on the walls and from the ceiling. The old woman told Garry to join her at the table and he sat down uncomfortably on the too small chair. Garry showed her the dolls. The woman quickly opened the dolls and removed the small pieces of paper Lucas hid within them. She then looked at Lucas’s doll. “This man is bad. His heart is dark with anger and revenge. His vanity is clouding his conscience, he’s becoming truly evil. You are right to fear him. His power is growing each day. He’s practicing Nabutu, one of the darkest magics.” The woman continued to tell Garry the history of Nabutu. How it started in Africa centuries ago by a powerful medicine man. He tapped into the violent forces of the Earth to gain his power. He terrorized several villages with his magic. Tired of his cruelty the villagers overtook him one night while he slept. They tied him to stakes in the ground. Then each man, woman and child of the villages took a thorn from an acacia tree and plunged it into his body. With hundreds of wounds the man slowly bled to death. The villagers left the body for the scavengers to dispose of, but no animal or insect would touch the corpse. After a month the villagers finally buried the mummified remains, and to this day nothing will grow on that patch of earth. Garry listened intently, enthralled by the old woman’s tale. “I can tell by your eyes you have a good and kind heart. It’s easy for someone who looks like you to be vain and uncaring. This other man means a lot to you, does he not?” asked the priestess holding the doll made to resemble Mark.
“Yes, he’s my best friend” Garry answered sincerely.
“Best friend. I understand” the woman said smiling and placing her hand on Garry’s. The woman got up to retrieve a large crockery jar from a shelf on the wall. The jar appeared heavy so Garry got up, took it from the woman and placed it on the table. “You are a kind hearted man” the woman said as she sat back down at the table. She opened the jar and carefully removed several sharp thorns from within. She put one large thorn in each of Garry’s and Mark’s dolls and then wrapped them in a piece of white fabric tying a small knot to keep them bundled tightly. She placed on more thorn behind the knot and mumbled a few words. “You keep this in a safe place, where the evil man will not find. It will protect you from any of his spells.” The old woman then began to fill Lucas’s doll with thorns, stuffing as many as she could inside. Again she mumbled some words and through the doll into the fire. “I can not take away his power or prevent him from doing more magic, but I can make him vulnerable so that one day his power will end” the old woman told Garry. “You go now and be careful, young man. Enjoy the time with your best friend”. Garry left after giving her $100 for her help.
“So where are the dolls now?” asked Mark
“Somewhere safe; I think its best you don’t know until we get this thing settled” Garry answered hoping Mark wouldn’t press the issue.
“Sure, whatever you say, dude. I trust your judgment completely” Mark said pounding Garry’s rock hard thigh with his fist. “Why don’t you stay here with your team for the tug-of-war and I’ll go see if I can find Lucas back at the house.”
“Okay, but be careful. We don’t know what he’s planning. You might want to try the Delta house too. Apparently he likes them.” Garry said to Mark.
“I will, don’t worry”, Mark told Garry as he headed down the stairs of the bleachers. Garry watched Mark leave, enjoying the movement of his plump muscles as he walked away.
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