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|I looked at my watch. It had been over 12 hours since I gazed upon the six foot nine, heavily muscled physique of Chuck for the first time. Now I was being carried, one handed, over back roads to a destination that was not told to me, but I surmised anyhow. Chuck was still silent, not saying a word since his monosyllabic utterances back at the County Equipment Yards.
That had me puzzled. It wasn’t like Chuck. He would go on ad nauseum about his height, his size, his strength. Not now. It was almost as if he couldn’t speak. All I heard were the sounds of the night and the heavy footfalls that a 17 foot, one ton giant made while walking to his destination. It gave me time to swirl possibilities in my mind.
Could the testosterone, which I had surmised was the catalyst for his incredible growth, have gone into overdose at the last feats of lifting? He was grunting. Did that mean he was actually reverting to a point in evolution where he did not have the ability to speak. Was the testosterone overdose, in a sense, sending him back in time mentally? If that was the case, I was in real trouble. If he was going that far back on the evolutionary chain, he would have even less respect for human life than he had. And now being able to fit into one hand, I could be crushed by that same hand. Yet, getting away now was going to be even tougher than before. And what if I was caught again? What would the punishment be like then? More questions than answers filled my mind.
Chuck stopped, and so did all my contemplation. I was right about his destination. It was the rail yards. Why one of the railroads had built such a large facility this far out of town I don’t know, but they did. It was a sprawling tract, with tracks, trains, and various types of equipment littering the landscape. Two very nasty looking Dobermans came to Chuck’s position and began barking and snarling. I wondered, if barbed wire could not penetrate his skin, could the bite of a dog? Would he even feel it at that size?
Chuck jumped straight up and soared an incredible distance. He landed on the other side of the fence, right behind the Dobermans, who, after seeing this rocket land in front of them, promptly took off for parts unknown. Lucky dogs.
Silently, he surveyed the yard. I tried to follow his gaze, and finally saw what he saw. It was one of the biggest locomotive engines I had ever seen. Whatever it was designed for, I do not know, but it looks like it could haul Mount McKinley. It must have easily been several tons.
He put me down next to this massive locomotive and motioned for me to go inside of it. I paused. He raised his foot. I went inside. I would be a reluctant firsthand witness to his latest feat of power. Securing myself as best I could inside the locomotive, I awaited what I thought would come next.
Chuck still seemed to have the presence of mind to prepare himself. He regulated his breathing, spread his column like legs apart for better balance, and grabbed the two front sides of the locomotive engine. He began his lift. Nothing happened.
He grunted. Nothing happened.
He sweat buckets. Nothing happened.
He growled, deep and menacingly. Nothing happened.
It would not budge. Chuck tried every trick in the book, and it would not budge. He pounded on it. I wished I had aspirin. He raged at it. The locomotive stayed impassive.
He took deep breaths, exhaling from the mouth, centered himself again, and grabbed the locomotive. He clamped his eyes tightly. He screwed up his face. With a thunderous roar he willed the locomotive upward. It did not move. The nightmare finally looked to be over.
Me and my big mouth.
What I saw before me was both familiar and shocking. It was if I had seen the action, but at a different time in the story. Usually, after Chuck lifted something, he then got his growth spurt. But no matter how hard he tried, he could not lift this locomotive.
His body responded by growing DURING the lifting.
As he dug into every bit of reserve, every bit of power, every bit of himself to move that locomotive engine, veins began bulging out of his skin. He turned shades of red that I had never seen before. He began a low, rumbling moan that did not stop. I feared he was having a seizure or a heart attack. How the hell would I do CPR on a 17 foot tall person?
His body began to grow. Not a few inches, not even a foot. As I would surmise later, his body kept growing until lifting that locomotive was not only possible, but easy. That required his body to grow an incredible 8 feet in one session. From the window I could see this growth taking place. Body parts disappeared beyond the top of the window. His legs grew to fill my entire view. What was a thunderous roar became like thunder itself as it surrounded my ears. And the train begin to move.
I scrambled from the window and again secured myself as best possible. Up and up the locomotive went until it was perpendicular with the ground. I clung to the seat, wondering what was going to happen next? Was he going to toss it like the cement mixer? Would he try to crush it in a testosterone induced frenzy? Once again I found myself in danger not of my own doing. Is this how Indiana Jones felt?
The train came crashing down, throwing me around the compartment. I quickly checked for any broken bones, came up with none, and scrambled as best I could out of the locomotive. I tumbled down the stairs, got up, dusted myself off, and found myself staring at a calf. Stepping back, I strained my neck to see his face. I had to step back again, as his pec shelf blocked his face from my view. I had refrained from calling him ‘muscle god’ before as I would not give his ego the satisfaction. Now, I could no longer deny him the term. He truly was a muscle god among men.
“Come, we have some work to do”, Chuck said as he put down his hand for me to step on and ride. No more grabbing…I would probably be crushed even in his slightest grip. My elevator ride up went past spectacular sights. Quads now bigger than redwoods in thickness. His member at full woody and almost as long as I was tall. Abs that looked like construction workers with cranes has placed them there. A chest that now would require mountain climbing equipment just to navigate. A bicep/tricep combination that now, when flexed, dwarfed my height. I could not deny the amount of awe I felt.
He brought his hand to the valley between his two pecs and gently pushed me in-between them, into the valley. My feet would rest on the first of his abs. I heard the kettle drum sound of his heart, the roaring wind of his lungs breathing, and the movement of muscle, voluntary and involuntary, about his pecs. I was hoping he would not cough or have a spasm, or I would be one small stain on his chiseled body.
He walked over to the security shed and easily ripped the roof off. Taking me from his valley, he brought me down into the shed and told me to get a gun. I did, not knowing how he began to talk again or why he wanted me to have a weapon. Ascending again, he told me to point the gun at his abs and shoot. I put my pinkie in my ear in an effort to see if I heard him improperly. “Don’t try shooting for my eyes or other…vulnerable areas. Shoot for the abs.”
Shaking, I aimed the gun at his abs. I was no marksman, but you could not miss this literal broad side of a barn. I fired and stumbled backwards. When I could focus again, there was the bullet, lodged in his skin…not in his abdominal muscles, but in his skin. “Good to be bulletproof, isn’t it, little man?”, he asked, flashing a now yard wide grin.
He carried me back to the locomotive and placed me on its roof. “I have no more use for you, little man, but before I finish with you, you can ask me anything you want.”, he said. If I was going to die, at least I would die knowledgeable, I thought. “Why were you silent before, but now can talk?”, I asked. He grinned again.
“I’ve transcended”, he said, then folded his arms across this chest. “Transcended?”, I asked. “Yes”, he answered, “from what I can tell, when I lifted the cement mixer, I took the first steps from my growth being reactive to my growth being proactive. But the mixer lift didn’t take me all the way. I was sort of stuck in…well…limbo. I had dug so deep inside of me that I couldn’t get out again. Only some challenge that even I could not overcome (he flexed) with my Greek god like strength could bring me out. Now, though I have not tried it, I think I can now grow at will.” He began to concentrate, focusing his mind. Sure enough, he grew, slightly, but grew. My mind reeled at the possibilities he now possessed.
“And if that is it”, he said, wrapping one hand around me entirely, picking me up, “I really have no more use for you. And so….”, he said, squeezing a bit more tightly, “…I am letting you go.”, he finished, releasing his grip and placing me on the ground. He smiled at me and sat himself on the ground. “Wh—wh—why”, I asked, haltingly.
Still smiling, he said, “Because I was using you. I knew the whole time you were just kidding around with me – come on – you and I said worse things to each other every day. But, I had also gotten as far as I could with weights. Nothing more was happening with me. I knew testosterone was involved, but didn’t know how to trigger it. I needed someone to help, but I didn’t think if I asked you to help me throw you around, you would be too receptive. So, I did this. I’m sorry, but I was proven right. Now I have realized the true power of the gene.”
I stayed silent for a while. No longer scared, I was angry and disappointed. Finally, I looked up, trying to look this 25 foot giant in the eye with a steely gaze as I could, and said, quietly, “Fuck you”. He laughed. I didn’t.
“Maybe this will help make up for it”, he said, picking me up. Straightening out his arm, he placed me in a prone position right where his bicep would be. He then began to flex. It was beyond anything I ever imagined. This mountain grew underneath me, volcanic in its power. When it finished peaking, I was literally arched over his bicep. The bicep itself must have been 3 feet high, and I could see every bump and ridge. I put my hands on the bicep itself. Granite would have been soft compared to it. Chuck knew me all to well…I was enjoying this to the point where I almost wet my pants.
He must have kept that motion up for a good half an hour, long enough to get me talking, to get me calmed down. I still could not fully forgive him, as I had too many aches, pains, and close calls, but I was calmer.
He placed me down on the ground. “I’ve got to go now”, he said, quietly. “Your house is that way”, he said, pointing over the trees. “I’m sorry I can’t take you there, but I can’t risk exposure, at least right now. I’ve got to go consolidate my new power. Know this…”, he said, rising to his full, incredible height, “…no matter what you think of me, I will always consider you to be the best friend I’ve ever had.” With that, he turned and walked away, his body slowly sinking beyond the horizon.
I managed to find a way out of the rail yards and stopped at the nearest grove of trees. The bicep ride had excited me more than I wanted to admit. After a brief…interlude…I began walking home in the cool morning air. As much as I didn’t want to walk, it was actually a good opportunity to try to unwind after the wild ride I had, figuratively and literally, for the past 14 hours or so. Chuck could now grow and bulk at will. Would he want to get bigger than he was now? What would he do now that he was ‘the biggest thing on Earth’? Would I ever see him again?
As the sun began to peek over the horizon, one more question came to my mind. Where could I find an atomic bomb blast?
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