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|Al looked at me with something like a smile. "How did you like that, Tyler?"
I have to admit that I'd gotten hard watching Al's amazing show of strength. Also, from seeing that asshole Johnny get his. "Um, I liked it a lot. But�"
Al's smile faded. "What is it? I have displeased you, my friend?"
"No� not at all." I still had a little bit of a woody, and it was plain to see. "I just wonder about tomorrow. I'm in enough trouble right now."
Al smiled again. He stood in front of me, and put his massive, warm hands on my shoulders. "No, Tyler, you are not in trouble. I will see to that."
His smile made me feel better right away.
Then he whipped out his remote control thingie. "I believe it's best that we meld until your school day ends."
"Meld?" I didn't know what he meant.
"On Diomides, it is the ultimate honor for two beings. I have never had the privilege of melding with another. But I believe you shall find protection� and strength� and that it is best for you. I hope you do not take offense�" He pressed a green button. Before my eyes, his form shifted in shape. It became a swirl, and then for a second, everything went black.
It was like blinking my eyes, and then suddenly I saw everything differently. The colors were way brighter� sounds were louder� smells were stronger. I looked at my hands, and they were the same as before. Then I heard Al's voice, inside my own head: WE ARE ONE, TYLER. YOU AND I. WE HAVE MELDED. YOU ARE IN MY BODY, AND I AM IN YOURS.
"This is weird," I said.
IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME, TRY TO OPEN THAT CLOSET DOOR THERE.
I looked and saw a padlocked, thick door. There was a red sign on it that said KEEP OUT. My hand trembled as I reached for the knob. With the smallest effort, I crushed the knob into a gnarled mass of metal.
PULL THE DOOR OFF ITS HINGES, TYLER.
I didn't even try, and the hinges creaked. The screws popped out of the hinges. The door moved towards me.
DO YOU SEE? YOU ARE ME AND I AM YOU. YOU HAVE ALL OF MY STRENGTH, BUT IN THE FORM OF YOUR BODY.
"Holy. Fuck." I looked at my hand again. It was no bigger than before.
"Now, I can really take care of myself. Thanks, Al. I don't understand any of this, but I know you are my true friend."
Well, nobody said shit to me until lunchtime. I kept expecting someone to make trouble, to say something mean or call me names, but instead I got the silent treatment.
I sat through English, History and Algebra, not paying attention to anything the teacher said. I kept testing my strength, and really getting off on it. In English class, I twisted my desktop around with my pointer finger. The metal supports looked like braids when I was done.
In History class, I kept slightly lifting the desk in front of me, with Catherine Kamen, who's big and fat. I got to where I could lift Catherine + her desk just a inch off the floor, so smoothly she almost couldn't notice it. With my new strength, it was like picking a pencil up off the floor. She kept looking back at me, but how could skinny little Tyler Bander be doing that? She looked really confused.
By Algebra time, I was incredibly hungry. I daydreamed my way through that class, watching the clock and thinking about how much I wanted to eat. I was never all that hungry, but Al caught drift of my thoughts: YOU ARE EATING FOR TWO, TYLER. I AM QUITE FAMISHED, MYSELF.
It freaked me out, having his thoughts and mine going at the same time.
Then the teacher sprung a pop quiz on us. I totally hadn't studied, and I felt sick. My father was already on my back about making so many Cs and Ds. The guy sitting in front of me looked at me as he handed me the mimeographed quiz. His expression was funny, like he was startled by something.
"Oh, shit," I thought, as I stared at the page of unsolvable problems. Why did x have to equal anything? And why was it important? Then something hit me. I looked at the first problem, and I understood it! The logic of it clicked in my head, like a story. This was not the Tyler Bander I knew and loved�
A warm voice filled my head: ON DIOMEDES, THEY GIVE SUCH PROBLEMS TO BABIES, TO KEEP THEM QUIET�
"Al!" I said out loud.
"Mr. Bander, are you hurt?" Mr. Prick-ass Jefferson asked me. The class laughed.
"No sir, I just remembered something�"
Someone whispered "faggot," but I didn't catch who it was. And it didn't matter. For the first time in my miserable life, I was going to get an A on a math test! It was exciting. See, I actually understood what x equaled. It was Al's brains, but it wasn't like I was cheating. I could really figure it all out�
I felt great when the bell rang and I turned in my test. That triumph turned into intense hunger.
On my way to the lunchroom, I stopped to pee in the bathroom. I washed my hands afterwards, and I couldn't believe my own reflection when I saw it. It was the same old me, but I was bigger. My shoulders were broader, and you could see the hint of chest and arm muscles under my T-shirt. No one was around, so I timidly flexed one of my arms. "Wow," I said, as the rounded bulge of muscle peaked.
SURPRISED? Al's voice asked.
"Well, yeah," I said.
YOUR BODY� OUR BODY� CONTAINS MY INTELLECT, AS WELL AS MY STRENGTH. WE ARE INDEED TRULY MELDED�
Then Bryan Rossin walked into the can. And he wasn't alone. His brother Johnny and two other guys were with him. "Hey, faggot," Bryan said.
"Looks like you ain't goin to have lunch today," Bryan said. He smirked.
I wasn't going to do anything, I want you to know. I was too hungry to deal. I tried to shove my way past the Rossin boys.
Bryan grabbed me and looked into my eyes with his pretty but mean face. "You ain't goin nowhere," he said. "Fuckin faggot. I know all about you. You thought you could just feel me up and get off scot free. Didn't you?"
He held onto my shirt with one arm and flexed his other bicep. The peak was beautiful, with those big veins standing out high over the muscle.
"You wanna feel it again?" The other boys laughed. "You wanna kiss it goodnight? Go ahead. Touch it. I fuckin dare ya."
I looked at the other three boys. Their eyes were blank slates of hatred.
They were just waiting for the signal from Bryan. Then my ass was going to get kicked into the middle of next week�
Or was it? I pulled back from Bryan's grip. "Maybe you're not the only guy in school with big muscles."
Bryan looked shocked for a second. Then he laughed in my face. "What the fuck are you on, faggot? Skinny tiny little fag! Go on� show me your muscle.
If there is one!"
I pulled up my shirt sleeve and exposed a veiny, firm bicep. When I flexed it, it peaked out higher than I could have ever hoped for. It was the size of a baseball! I smiled as I held my flexed bicep up for Bryan to inspect.
See, the rest of me was still pretty skinny. I was a little bigger since the meld with Al, but this one arm was massive! "Touch it, Bryan. I dare YOU!"
Bryan stood there, silent. He was freaking, I could tell. "Didn't that new coach teach you some manners this morning? Maybe it's up to me to do the rest." I could feel my muscles swelling up as I spoke. My voice got deeper and more commanding. The buttons on my shirt popped off and ricocheted around the sinks. I flexed both arms, and they were huge. My chest had bulged up and gotten big, too. I could feel the powerful muscles in my back ripple as I moved. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirrors. Wow! I was even bigger than Bryan now.
I grabbed Bryan by his shirt collar and a belt loop in his jeans and lifted him over my head. It was a clean, sharp jerk, done in a second, and his face turned red with shock and embarrassment. "Is it nice up there? Hey, I need me some extra lunch money. You got any?" I started to shake him, upside down, and finally a 20 dollar bill fell out of one of his pockets. Also, his car keys, wallet, change, comb, and a pack of gum hit the floor.
I held Bryan up with one hand, balancing his chest on my open palm. He looked down at me. He finally spoke: "What the fuck, Tyler. Just let me down. I won't mess with you, man, honest�"
"That's not good enough, Bryan. You owe me an apology. And so does your brother."
A wet spot appeared in the crotch of Bryan's jeans. He was so scared he pissed himself! "Tyler, I'm sorry. I'll leave you alone. Just let go of me.
Let me go."
"Not yet." The other two guys had taken off, but Johnny was still there, frozen with fear by the sink. I grabbed him with my free hand and hoisted him beside his brother. "Johnny, buddy, don't you got something to say?"
"No," he said with a trembling voice. I lifted him up a little higher, so his back was against the ceiling. He felt the pressure and started to cry! "Just leave me alone!"
"My pleasure," I said. I dropped the Rossins to the ground. They lay sprawled on the floor, looking up at me with fear. I tore off the shredded remains of my shirt and flexed my new muscles. I had a big rise in my Levis, too. I was getting off on making these boys scared of me. "You boys better leave me alone from now on. And no more saying shit about me around school.
Or you'll get this all over again. Feel this bicep, Bryan! Feel how big and hard and strong it is! Come on!"
Bryan stood up and touched my bicep. I flexed it extra-hard to make all the veins stand out. He cupped the bulging mound of muscle with both hands.
"Holy shit," he said to himself.
"Anytime you think you wanna fuck with me, just remember this muscle, and what it can do to your sorry ass. Now get out of here. Both of you!" My voice echoed. I was surprised at how powerful it was.
Without a word, the brothers took off. I was alone in the bathroom. I stood before the mirror and admired my beautiful strong body. "Thanks, Al," I said.
YOU ARE WELCOME, he said. YOU HANDLED YOURSELF WELL, TYLER. I AM PROUD OF YOU�
I could feel my muscles contracting some. They were still way bigger than ever before, but they weren't the size that had made Johnny Rossin piss his pants.
My stomach rumbled. Damn, I was hungry! "I need a shirt, huh?"
WHY? LET EVERYONE SEE THIS CHANGE IN YOU, TYLER. BE PROUD OF IT. THIS IS THE NEW TYLER BANDER�
Al's words rang in my ears as I opened the bathroom door and strutted out into the hallway full of my fellow students...
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