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Change In A Small Town
Riley, New Hampshire
|It was a cool Thursday in July in Riley, New Hampshire. Children played, dogs barked, women chatted on their front porches, and Anthony King was stuck at his neighbor�s house, fixing their ancient CD player.
He blew the dust out of the boom box and screwed the back shut, turning to address the stern-faced man in the room with him. �Mr. Davis, hate to break it to you, but it�d be cheaper for you to buy a new CD changer than to keep paying me to fix this one.�
Mr. Davis looked puzzled. �How so?� �Well, sir, it just isn�t very good. There�s better equipment available that�s cheaper than my hourly rate.� The man smiled. �Ah, I see. Tony, thanks for being honest. I�ll buy one today.� Tony � that�s what everyone called him � closed up his case, handed Mr. Davis the bill, and walked across the yard back to his house.
Tony King was an interesting guy. He had an interesting lineage, half Spanish, half Italian. With that combination you�d think you�d have quite a looker on your hands, but Tony was shockingly unattractive. Although he had some sense of style, he was pretty nerdy. He wore black glasses, a white un-tucked Oxford shirt and blue jeans almost every day. His teeth were very white, especially against his tanned skin, but very crooked. He could barely close his mouth due to his buck teeth. His chin, if you could call it that, was practically nonexistent. He�d been teased as a child for it, because his mouth basically went straight to his neck. When he�d hit puberty, he grew to five-foot-nine and stopped, and no muscle mass formed. His Adam�s apple stuck prominently out of his scrawny neck, and everyone stared at it, due to its rapid movement up and down as he talked. His voice was nasal, too. He had incredibly thick hair, jet black due to his genealogy, but this lovely feature was downplayed due to his parting it down the middle and smashing it down with gel until it was completely flat. His thick eyebrows were wild and untamed. He shaved his chest, to his credit, but it only showcased his bony, 120 lb. frame. His ribs were visible, and so was his spine when he slouched.
In a town the size of Riley, which was about 3,000 people, it doesn�t take much for a person to distinguish himself. Tony had done just that with his avid love of everything digital. If it had a screen or speakers, he could fix it. He got lots of calls for that, the electronics equipment there was pretty dated, so Tony was always in demand. He made a pretty decent living.
Tony was just twenty-three and was looking for places to attend grad school. His latest prospect was a small college in Los Angeles, and he was planning a visit, but he needed some warmer clothes. He�d ordered some stuff, so it was off to Marilyn�s Clothing and Accessories. It was a visit that would change his life.
Marilyn Conrad lived by herself in a spacious apartment above her clothing store. The store had been open for thirty years, and she had long since paid off any debts she had on it, so it was pretty much profits for her. Everyone in town adored her; she was the sweetest woman and made a French silk pie to die for.
But no one knew she was a witch.
The phone rang and Marilyn quickly answered, with a harried �Hello.�
�Mary! How�s life? Oh, wait, just a minute � I need to connect Marge.�
It was her sister, Madge. Marilyn greeted her warmly, and opened a box of turtlenecks that had just arrived while she talked.
Marge was on in a few seconds, and the sisters were chatting up a storm, like every night for ten years. Madge got them up to date on Rob Spencer, a new father of a baby girl and a successful cowboy with his own ranch, and Madge talked about her Creative Writing class she taught. Marilyn � or Mary, as her sisters called her, but everyone else addressed her by her full name � didn�t usually talk about her clothing shop, but today Marge had a question about what was in style. �Are gardening frocks in again?� Marilyn chuckled. �No. And stop asking!� Marge sighed in frustration. Marilyn had a day off, and her only employee at the store, Jessica, was working. She still had a speaker box in her apartment, so Jessica could buzz her if she ever had a question. It almost was never used, but today it was. Marilyn cut the conversation with her sisters short. �Just a second, dears.� She turned to the box, �Yes, Jessie?�
Jessica was brief. �Tony King�s down here, and he�s wondering if we have his order in, but I can�t find it. Is it here?� Marilyn sighed. �I�ll be down in a minute.� She said goodbye to Marge and Madge, and walked down the staircase to the store.
She greeted him warmly. �Hi, Tony!� She�d known the man since he was born. His parents had been regular customers until they moved away, but Tony came back after college, bought their house and lived there. She�d always been sympathetic of his situation � the teasing in school, the failed attempts to gain weight, the desire of plastic surgery that he couldn�t afford. She thought about this as they talked. �Your order should be here somewhere,� she said. �I remember getting it in the mail. Ah, yes, here it is!�
She pulled out two white, cotton-ribbed, form-fitting tank tops, a pair of nylon khaki swim trunks, and a sleeveless muscle shirt with matching shorts. �Here you go, Tony. Our fitting room is back there. As usual, if you dislike anything in your order, you can return it.� Tony looked a little disappointed. �I didn�t know they were going to be so�clingy. I thought they were just regular beachwear.� Marilyn pretended to be surprised at this comment, and tried to encourage him. �Oh, Tony! You don�t have to worry about looking chubby!� He was obviously disappointed, but reluctantly took the box she was handing him. �Go on, try them on,� she said. He turned and went to the dressing room. Marilyn continued below her breath, �I promise you�ll look fantastic.� But no one heard her.
Tony sighed and shut the door of the dressing room behind him. He set the box down on the bench, and then sat beside it. He pondered even trying them on, it seemed pointless, he knew he�d look bad. He had to admit he liked the clothes, but they just weren�t him. With another large sigh, he stood up.
Man, was he itchy. He scratched his neck � was that stubble there that morning? He felt it. The dressing room had a full length mirror, and Tony examined himself. Sure enough, it was there�barely visible whiskers poking out.
He subconsciously scratched his chest. �Man, it�s hot in here�� he thought. He continued to scratch his stomach. Suddenly he noticed how hard it was. His brows furrowed, and he lifted up his shirt.
The sight he was staring at shocked him. A small six-pack was sticking out. It was hard to see, but it was there. He started to breathe harder, and he looked about to make sure no one could see him. What was happening?
Suddenly, it all started at once. The pain shot through him like a thousand probing needles. Tony desperately held back his screams, trying to avoid the attention they�d bring. He grimaced and groaned, dropping on his hands and knees to the floor, clutching his head in his hands.
The changes started on his chest. His protruding ribs became less and less visible, until they disappeared. He looked down at his pectoral muscles, pushing out farther and farther, stretching his shirt to the limit, the buttons straining. They all popped off at once, his pecs now quivering, and caked in sweat. They were huge, massive plates, hard as a rock and as bronze as can be. The muscle spread down to his abs, until they were totally washboard, a cut eight-pack. The pain was intense, and he kept silently groaning.
He was past the point of pain now, he was practically floating on air, his body blocking out all the hurting. He wondered if he was going to die. Tony�s eyes widened in terror as the sound of cracking bones reached his ears. He held his hands in front of his face, as they became sickeningly deformed, tendons adjusting, veins spreading, fingers lengthening, until they were huge and powerful. The throbbing sensation continued, his forearms started to plump up, the skin darkening, the muscle thickening, and the change spread up his arms. His biceps were growing slowly, too. He grabbed his right arm with his left hand, feeling the pressure. His hand was forced open as the bicep kept growing, his sleeves developing small rips, then bigger rips, then forced off all together. He grunted, the pain was still there, but the pleasure of seeing his small, weak body become studly almost outbalanced it.
His shoulders were transforming now, the bone lengthening, until they were massive in and of themselves. They rippled, symmetrically perfect with the pecs below them, meeting perfectly at the center of the collarbone. The change extended down his back, muscles popping out all over it. He quickly stuck his hands behind his back and felt his bumpy spine be swallowed up by the powerful muscles, until his back took on the distinctive V-shape every man craves.
His rear end swelled out too, until it was a nice, round bubble butt. He looked down as his Hanes tightened, his package growing from small to Biggie size in ten seconds. It snaked down his legs, out of his underwear, and he saw the delineation in his pant leg.
He quickly checked himself out, and he had to admit he looked ridiculous. The nerdy face, down to the rippling, massive, gorgeous upper body, followed by the toothpick legs. Of course, those problems would all be fixed soon.
He grabbed his thighs as they started to cramp. They expanded, the skin pushing at the denim. It grew tighter and tighter, until it clung to every muscle. His calves pushed out, becoming the size of a football and the shape of a diamond. He quickly pulled off his old Reeboks, just in time as his feet swelled, the socks stretching, ripping, being torn away as his huge, powerful feet grew in size to match the rest of his body. He could feel himself growing; an indescribable sensation in itself, but pretty soon he was six-foot-three, leaving his unbelievably uncomfortable jeans not only too tight, but as ridiculous high waters.
He looked at his face, his buck teeth poking out over his thin lips. He ran his large hands � they were larger than his face itself - over it, almost as if saying goodbye to the features he knew so well. His thick, bushy eyebrows were the first to go, thinning out, arching and accentuating his deep, beautiful brown eyes, which went unchanged. His lips plumped up, and he opened his mouth and watched as his teeth straightened, his large front teeth receding back, his overbite disappearing, until he had a shimmering, perfect smile. His nose, which had started out as being too long and thin, filled out and even shortened a little bit, completing his new face and complimenting his high, attractive cheekbones. His chin started to push out, revealing itself for the first time in his life, until it actually protruded the tiniest bit from his face. His jaw flared and strengthened, giving his face a square, powerful look. He ran his fingers over his face, a day�s growth of beard on it. It was a beautiful face that any model in the world would envy.
His mind started to change, as well � he still had the memories and wisdom of his old life, but knowledge of more popular thing started to pour in. Baseball stats, names of movies, singers and artists, clothing designers, the popular looks of the season. He was smart as well as handsome.
He stared at himself in the mirror. He had a perfect face, like a fine sculptor had designed him with a hammer and chisel. Any woman in the world would fall dead for his amazing body, a work of art in itself that would�ve taken years to perfect. It was perfectly, naturally bronze, no tan lines anywhere.
He ran his fingers through his hair. With a face like that, the style would have to change. He pushed it up a little bit, giving it a more airy, lifted look, and it was a vast improvement. He thanked the Good Lord that he had clothes with him in the dressing room, he�d be screwed if he didn�t. He pulled off the jeans � a difficult task � and admired his powerful new legs. He reached into the bag and grabbed the muscle shirt with the shorts that went along with it. Dressing was an almost erotic experience, and getting used to a new a body is no easy job. His arms and legs were longer and his chest was much larger than it had been, and so his perspective was all messed up. Finally he got the shirt on, but he might as well have not been wearing anything. He was amazed at his body. The shirt clung to it so tightly it was almost an extension of his skin, and you could see every crevice, the outline of his pecs and eight-pack, his nipples, everything. He pulled on his shorts � �Going to need some new underwear,� he thought � and stuffed his shredded clothes into the box he�d been handed. He put his hand on the doorknob and turned it�
Marilyn anxiously stood outside, behind the counter, waiting. Madge had done amazing witchcraft with Rob Spencer, and it had almost become a competition with the sisters, to see who could help out the most. Marilyn didn�t want Jessica to get confused as to why a different person was in the dressing room that Tony had gone in, so she�d put a little spell on her, that erased all memories of Tony King, and then sent her on an errand. It was tricky, being a good witch. She wanted to help people, but had to cover their tracks if they were physically changed, and she didn�t want to alter other people�s minds or interfere with their free will, and yet sometimes had to. It was a catch 22!
She heard the door creak as Tony pushed from the other side. Her breath caught in her throat, and her eyes widened with anticipation, until Tony opened the door and she saw him.
She quickly spun around so he couldn�t see her face, and she gasped, her mouth agape. He was amazing. He was the most beautiful man she�d ever seen. She was thrilled, speechless, satisfied, and most of all, relieved. Her face betrayed all these emotions. She tried to compose herself.
Tony wasn�t sure what to do. He couldn�t walk out with the clothes. What if Marilyn asked who he was, or where Tony was? He couldn�t think of anything. He walked up to the counter, and it was the first time he had perspective on how much taller he was now. He�d been mostly at eye level with all the shelves, but now he towered over them. His forearms had been at the counter level, but now he could totally straighten his arms and place his palms on the tile. Marilyn turned around, looking quite normal. Tony spoke first. �I�m, uh, I fin�whoa.� He hadn�t heard his voice yet, but it was totally different. It was a little deeper than before, but the biggest change was that the nasal quality it had had was totally gone. It was now deep, and rich. It was almost soothing, but he knew it could be loud if he wanted. He wondered if he had a good singing voice now.
Marilyn stared at the tall, classically handsome man in front of her. She could tell he was confused, so she took up the reins of the conversation. �Will that be all for you, Anthony?� She thought Anthony fit him better than Tony, especially in his new form.
He looked puzzled. �How do you know me?�
Her mind raced. Should she tell him, or pretend? She didn�t know. �I, uh, have always known you, dear. Why would you be a stranger all of a sudden?�
He smiled a perfect smile. �You did this, didn�t you? I can tell you know something. Go ahead, I can keep a secret.�
Marilyn was relieved, so she told him everything. At the end of the story, Anthony � he agreed it fit him better now, and decided to stick with it � smiled again. �Well, thanks. It, uh, I mean, I, I feel good. Really good.� She smiled back. �I�m glad. You deserved better than what you had.�
�Thanks, Marilyn. By the way, do you have a tape measure?�
�What for, dear?�
�I need my new measurements. I�m gonna need some new clothes.�
She smiled. �In that box by the door.�
He went and got it, measured his body. His arms, once a measly 14, were now 24. He jumped on the store�s scale and was greeted by a read out of 210 pounds, ninety more than his original weight. Everything was bigger, stronger, wider, longer. He loved it. He grabbed two three-packs of underwear, a dress shirt and tie for the meeting with the college, two pairs of dress pants, a pair of sweats and three t-shirts, which he knew would barely fit and attract the eye to his god-like physique. Marilyn rung him up, he said goodbye, and he left the store, nearly two hours after he�d entered.
He was off to his new life. Dreams that had once been just that were now a reality.
�Mary, dear, what is with this package you sent me? A couple of old Kodaks, an issue of GQ and a JC Penney catalog?� Madge was incredulous, as was Marge, who�d received the same thing. The conference call was going strong. Marilyn tried to explain herself. �That�s Anthony, the man I was telling you about! The old pictures are of him before, and then, well, I made a few improvements. And now he�s started a modeling career. We talk often, I filled him in on a few things.� Marge picked up first. �Heavens, that�s him on the cover of GQ, and those pages you dog-eared in the catalog? He�s striking.� Marilyn was proud. �Yes, yes, I know. I�m so happy for him.� She sighed happily, and stared at the catalog, those big brown eyes and tanned skin looking back at her. She had done a good job.
Six months later Anthony returned home, read the note his fiance had left him about their honeymoon tickets, and checked his machine. The deal for the townhouse he was buying in New York City had gone through. Two offers: one from Playgirl, which he decided against, and one from Versace, which he was going to accept. A message from some woman he didn't know asking to marry him, the usual "I know you have a girlfriend but..." crap. And one from Marilyn, just asking how things were. He appreciated the last one the most - he and Marilyn had developed a lovely, platonic relationship, and she was almost his mentor. He called Marilyn back, but missed her and left a message.
Then he took a shower, shaved, put on a suit and tie, and drove to the Municipal Airport. His fiancee Amanda, a fellow model, was meeting him there, and they were going to fly to LA together.
Life was good.
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