Change, The (2001)


By Richard Jasper

“I can’t believe how much you guys eat!” Dave exclaimed.

I looked at the kitchen table. It was a wreck, littered with several egg cartons, multiple gallon containers of milk and juice ­ all empty ­ and a half eaten Honey baked ham.

I belched.

I blushed.

“Uh, well…” I started.

“Get used to it, Dave,” Angelo interjected. “This is a light snack for us.”

Dave’s perfectly sculpted eyebrows knitted themselves together.

“So how…?”

Angelo immediately launched into a highly detailed, technical explanation of his discovery, Agent X, and the effects we had experienced. Dave’s eyes glazed over after about the tenth word. After the first hundred or so, his jaw went slack.

“Angelo!” I barked, slapping the table. Which was really unfortunate, inasmuch as all I was trying to do ­ honest! ­ was point out that Dave, unlike Angelo, did NOT have a Ph.D. molecular biology.

Unfortunate in that instead we had to contend with all the crockery, cutlery, empty containers and leftover ham bouncing a couple of feet into the air while the table split in two. When it all came down again the clatter was deafening.

“Goddammit, Bryan!” Angelo bellowed, “That was my grandmother’s table…!”

Dave snickered, then tittered, then started laughing out loud, great whooping cackles. Angelo and I watched dumbfounded as he fell off the chair, then rolled on the floor, laughing his ass off.

“I thought…” Angelo began.

“That only happened in chatrooms?” I added, helpfully.

Dave sat up, finally, wiping the tears from his eyes.

“You two,” he said between gasps, “are a piece of work!”

Then I explained ­ between Dave’s occasional guffaws and nervous giggles ­ in layman’s terms what had happened. Dave was no dummy, not by any stretch of the imagination, he just didn’t have an advanced degree in the life sciences. (Nor did I, come to think of it…)

“In other words,” Dave said, holding up a hand when I eventually paused for breath, “this stuff seems to maximize an individual’s growth potential, as well as induce some sort of super-efficient utlization of nutrients, right?”

It was Angelo’s turn to drop his jaw.

“MBA, Wharton,” Dave pointed out. “BA, English lit, Middlebury.”

I grinned ­ my kind of man!

Angelo unfroze.

“Well, yeah…” he agreed. “Exactly! The question is…”

“Will it work on anyone?” Dave added, ticking off the possibilities on his thick, masculine fingers. “Female as well as male? Straight as well as gay? Kids and seniors as well as adults in their prime…?”

I nodded.

“That remains to be seen. I think we have our work cut out for us!”

Dave rubbed his handsome jaw.

“So when do I get a turn?” he blurted.

Angelo grinned.

“I knew that was coming!” he exclaimed.

Dave shrugged.

“Well, it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?” he continued. “I don’t make any bones or try to hide…”

“The fact that you’re a complete and total muscle fetishist…?” I added,completing his sentence.

They both stared at me, Angelo a bit indignantly.

“Hey!” he exclaimed. “That’s…”

“Your job?” Dave inserted.

This time all three of us looked at each other.

“You don’t suppose…?” all three of us said at once.

“This is gonna drive me nuts,” I began, flashing my eyes when Angelo’s mouth began to open, smacking my open palm with the edge of my other hand when it looked like Dave was about to speak. “We’ll hafta work on this mind-reading thing, or whatever it is. In the meantime…”

I paused for breath.

“In the meantime,” Dave continued, “I need to clear my calendar for the next week to ten days, right? That’s about how much time you said it took.”

I nodded.

“And while we’re at it,” Angelo began.

“We better give the grocer another call,” I said, sighing. Thank God never of us was hurting for money!

Dave stood up and flexed. He really was a total fucking stud, something he suddenly seemed to recall. He gave us an awesome most muscular pose, then pulled up into a side chest shot, the mass of his 22 inch bicep causing our eyes to bulge.

“Jesus,” Angelo and I said together. “Your are one awesome piece of man!”

Dave gave us a wink, then a cocky grin spread across his face. For a minute we all forget that HE was the little on in the room.

“And I haven’t HAD my first dose of Agent X ­ not yet, anyway!”

Angelo and I looked at each other again, eyes widening.

What effect would something as powerful as Agent X have on someone like Dave? Someone who was already built like a brick shithouse? •

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