By daviek

The vision for this just struck me one night while i was driving down the highway (hence the setting of the first part), and now i'm just running with it.

Autumn. Rob loved autumn. The changing of the leaves, the cool weather, all that crap. There was just something about that season that Rob always enjoyed. Maybe because it so heavily revolved around change.

And in autumn, there is Halloween. Rob came home from class one afternoon to find an orange flyer haphazardly duct-taped to his apartment door. He pulled it off and read it to himself:

HALLOWEEN BASH Apartment 242 Friday, 10:00 $5 admission COSTUMES REQUIRED!

Rob could only laugh. This party would be the ultimate pallette, and he would be sure to bring his brush.

The week passed by in an inexorably slow fashion, the way time always seems to pass when you're looking forward to something. But by the time Friday evening rolled around, Rob was ready. He'd resisted several urges to use his gifts throughout the week because he wanted to conserve his creative juices for the treasure trove he was about to enjoy.

Rob put his costume on and got ready for the party. He wanted to make sure he could enter the party unobtrusively, so he picked up the ever-so-played-out "Scream" killer outfit from the Halloween store downtown. He'd be able to get in, survey the situation and figure out his plan of action without drawing attention to himself. He hadn't yet decided whether or not he'd change everyone at the party, but that would all depend on what raw material he was given to work with.

At just after 10:00 pm, Rob made his was downstairs to apartment 242 and knocked on the door. A tall, chubby senior named Chris answered the door, obviously already a few drinks deep, and took Rob's five-spot before pointing him to the keg and closing the door behind him.

As the hours went by, people came and went, with costumes ranging from the very mundane to the extremely creative. By around midnight, the party was hopping and the apartment was nearing capacity. It was time, Rob decided, to make this the most memorable Halloween of his life.

"Stop." Rob removed his white rubber mask, thankful to finally feel some cool air against his face. He scanned the room, searching for his first subject. Rob found him quickly. He walked through a maze of frozen partygoers and stopped in front of a comically short guy trying to pass as a football player. It was clear this kid wasn't trying very hard to impress with his costume, as his "uniform" consisted of a university football jersey stuffed with pillows to imitate shoulder pads, complete with a salad bowl for a helmet. Rob allowed himself a little chuckle before touching the kid on the shoulder. "Isolate object and edit."

The first order of business was clear. "Increase height to 6'3". Increase weight to 250 pounds. Increase musculature 200 percent. Neck size: increase 180 percent. "

Already, the kid was looking more and more like a real football player. By making his neck muscles so large they almost consumed the lower part of his head, Rob took a step towards making his subject a linebacker no running back would want to encounter in the open field.

"Hair: blonde, shoulder length, straight. Eyes: green. Nose: broken four times. Cheekbones: increase 100 percent. Jaw: increase 150 percent. Tattoos: Tribal armband, right bicep."

Physically, the guy was there. Now all that was left were the finishing touches. "Name: Jason Burke. Area of origin: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Occupation: student, varsity football player, middle linebacker, skill level expert. Finances: adequate. Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Ram pickup, black. Speech: load speech template Jock3, adjust thought processes and mannerisms to match. Sexual orientation: heterosexual. Sexual activity: frequent, monogamous. Recreational activities: video games, watching sports. Non-football intelligence: decrease 30 percent. Alcohol use: occasional, moderate. Drug use: none. Tobacco use: dip, three times daily. Clothing: football uniform and gear during play and practice; load clothing template Jock2 for personal wardrobe."

Where previously stood a tiny college kid in a half-assed football costume now loomed a massive, hulking linebacker with a large pocket of smokeless tobacco bulging from his lower lip.

Rob was satisfied, but this was only a warmup. There was still an entire party full of blank canvas for Rob to paint. •

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