Smokin' New Life


By daviek

Matt slept lightly on the floor of the strange house where he'd just been partying. All night long he dreamed of things he couldn't comprehend, a man undergoing some kind of change. Something made him think he was that man, but he couldn't quite piece it together.

His eyes fluttered open when a beam of sunlight hit them straight on from between a set of blinds. "Jesucristo, es...que?" Something was wrong. He didn't speak Spanish. He wasn't Hispanic. "En qu� la cogida va?" What the FUCK was going on?

"Hola, hermano," came a voice from the next room. It was Jose, puffing on a huge cigar. "English?"

"Si...yes, sorry," Matt said, struggling to make his English thoughts come out as English words. "Bro, what happened?"

Jose smiled broadly, indicating his cigar. "These, man. The black ones anyway. That's how I got this way."

"Dios mio..." Matt said breathlessly. He made his way to the mirror and couldn't believe what he saw. Instead of the average white kid he was growing into, he saw what he initially thought was a black man, but he quickly realized that his newfound native tongue placed him in the Caribbean. "This is...this is...awesome."

Matt spent a good couple of minutes flexing his new, gigantic muscles, observing peaks and valleys he never could have dreamed of cultivating. His granite block-sized pecs heaved massively with every breath, engorged veins forming a vascular roadmap all over his arms and legs.

"Alright, Mateo--is that cool, Mateo?--let's peace out, we got somewhere to go," Jose said.

"Cool," Mateo said, pausing. "Wait, bro. I need some clothes. And can I get a smoke?" Jose handed him one of his own outfits, though Mateo was significantly larger than he was, so the shirt and track pants clung to his body like plastic wrap. Jose also pulled a stogie of a size similar to his own out of his pocket and gave it to Mateo, whose new instincts enabled him to prepare and light the cigar like an expert.

Clutching their cigars between their sparking white teeth, Jose and Mateo made their way to that same tattoo shop. Mateo got his initiation tattoo on his shoulder, just like everyone else had, and decided to get another one while he was there, his new name in large letters across his sprawling back.

Jose then took Mateo shopping for a new wardrobe, and the Dominican hustler began his new life as happily as his brothers had before him.

A few months passed at the university, and muscular stogie-smoking hunks continued to appear seemingly at random. One afternoon, DeShaun and Nick sat in their dorm room smoking small black and mild cigars (as a result of the overwhelming popularity of cigar smoking, the university had taken steps to install special ventilation systems to allow guys to smoke in their rooms) when Nick got a phone call. It was someone at the house. Something was wrong.

When Nick flipped his phone shut, DeShaun walked over to him. "What's the problem, bro?"

"We're running low on the black stogies, man. REAL low. We've got like ten left."

DeShaun exhaled a cloud of sweet smoke and thought carefully. "Well, let's just hit up that shop y'all got 'em from in the first place. They gotta have more."

"Worth a shot," Nick said. The two men got dressed and made their way downtown, to a side street just off the main drag, to the little hole in the wall tobacco shop Nick had visited a whole lifetime ago.

"Yo, man," Nick said heavily as he crossed the threshold, "last time I was here I wasn't nothing. Fuckin' nothin', dude." He explored the place. It didn't seem to have changed at all.

Just like before, the old man was sitting in a corner behind the counter, oblivious to what was going on. Nick made his way to the spot where he had found the cigars years before, but nothing was there. He began to panic.

"Yo man," he called out to the shopkeeper, "what happened to the black cigars?"

"You boys bought every last one," he said, his voice wracked with age. "But I have something else you might be interested in." He reached under the counter and pulled out a large, seemingly heavy box and placed it on the desk. "Take a look, tell me what you think."

Nick walked over to the counter, DeShaun just behind him. He opened the top of the box and saw nothing but black rolls.

"Dip? You want us to buy a case of dip?" He chuckled. "Yo, Kyle might like this shit, but..."

"You wanted more of the special cigars, did you not?" the old man said accusatorily. "Well believe me, son, this is special dip." He sliced open the plastic wrapping on one of the logs, opened a tin and pinched a small wad of the...white? The tobacco was white? Nick had never seen anything like it before. The man held it in front of him. "Here," he said, "see for yourself."

Nick was concerned. If this was anything like the cigars, he'd change somehow. But he remembered what would happen if he had ever smoked another one: he'd become a hairy, overmuscled bear of a man. What would this dip do to him after he'd already transformed so much?

"It won't do the same as a third cigar, if that's what's bothering you," the old man said softly. Nick eyed him suspiciously. There was definitely something off about this guy.

Impulsively, Nick grabbed the dip from the man and shoved it into his lower lip. He immediately felt a rush.

"Just watch," the old man said to DeShaun.

Almost instantaneously, Nick's body began to spasm. Then it froze in place, but started reforming. Nick's olive complexion lightened to a traditional Caucasian white, but with a decent tan. His already well-muscled body inflated even more, putting him easly over 250 pounds. Previously bald, dirty blonde hair grew quickly out of his scalp, becoming a wavy mass of unruly locks that came down to about his ears. His eyes, meanwhile, became a midnight blue, while his jaw squared to hypermasculine proportions. Day-old brown stubble grew in all over his face, but not his neck.

Most curiously of all, his cigar tattoo on his now meatier shoulder changed as well, as if part of a cartoon animation. Soon enough, the image became clear: it was Nick's new face, complete with hair and stubble, and most prominently, a gigantic lipper of magic dip protruding from his lower lip.

"Holy SHIT," DeShaun said, not quite comprehending all of the changes his best friend was experiencing.

When it was finally over, Nick shook off the haze of transformation and spit about a 1/4 cup of blackish brown spit onto the floor. He turned to face DeShaun and began to speak.

"Dang son," he said, his voice thick with a Texas accent. "I'm fixin' to go, I'm plum tuckered out."

Whatever just happened, DeShaun had walked into the store with a homeboy...and would leave with a cowboy. •

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