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Alex the Bully
|I had it all figured out.
When my mom got home and found me and my little brother Kenny tied to chairs in the living room, I was going to explain how two robbers broke in and tied us up and then they heard sirens outside and they ran away. I was going to say that they had on ski masks so we couldn’t tell anything about them. I was going to say that she and Dad should just be glad we weren’t hurt or anything, and nothing was stolen. I was going to tell her not to call the police or anything. That’s what I was going to do.
Then Kenny had to go and blab all about Alex as soon as his gag was removed. How Alex beat us up in the park last week, even though he was only twelve and I was fifteen. How Alex came to our house and threatened to kill us, punched us, wrestled us, threw me down the stairs, almost broke Kenny’s neck, strangled me until I passed out, and left us tied to our dining room chairs. Mom, of course, was horrified. And I knew it was only going to get worse once my dad got home. You see, my dad’s a lawyer, and he believes in getting justice — one way or another.
So when Dad got home he sprang into action. Since it was summer, my dad realized Alex couldn’t be punished by the school, so he didn’t bother calling the principal. He called league organizers and found out who coached the baseball team called the “Rockets.” He got Alex’s name and address from the coach and called his parents. It turned out Alex lived alone with his dad, whose name was Karl. My dad talked to Karl and told him we would be by to see him the next day, Saturday morning. The whole thing took him about fifteen minutes. Like any lawyer, Dad believed he could solve anything by talking it out. I knew better.
I didn’t sleep well that night.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this, Dad,” I said, as we drove toward Alex’s house the next morning. My father just smiled.
“That’s part of your problem, Paul. You’ve got to be more assertive with these people. When you show a bully you’ve got self-confidence and will stand up for yourself, you’ll be surprised how effective that is in getting them to leave you alone.”
I just sighed and sat back to look out the car window. As we left our neighborhood the houses were getting older and more run-down. We crossed the railroad tracks and missed the turn. Dad backed up and drove slowly down a short, unpaved dead-end street. Alex’s house was at the end of the block, where a tangle of trees and brush marked the dead end. It was a small house, and it looked sort of old. The railroad tracks ran right behind their back fence.
I pleaded with my dad not to go through with this. He said it would be good for me to learn how adults settled these matters. He told me he would do most of the talking and just to tell the truth when he asked me to tell Alex’s dad my story. My stomach was tied up in knots and my heart was thumping like a jackhammer. I couldn’t believe I was voluntarily going to walk into Alex’s house. My instincts told me Dad didn’t know what he was getting into.
We knocked on the door and Karl opened it a little. He stuck his head out and asked us what we wanted. He was a surprisingly young-looking man with a lot of bushy black hair. My dad explained who he was and what we had come about. Karl nodded, “Yeah, yeah… come on in,” and opened the door wide.
My mouth dropped open when I saw how big this guy was. His shoulders filled the whole doorway. My dad squeezed by him and I did the same. Karl was wearing a huge tee shirt tucked into sweatpants, but nothing could hide the massive bulk he was carrying around. My dad was five-eleven, so Alex’s dad couldn’t have been more than five-eight, but Karl was clearly the much bigger man. He must have had more than fifty pounds on my father, and none of it was fat, either. Karl told Dad to sit in the easy chair and he plopped his bulk next to me on the lumpy sofa. A broken spring pressed painfully against my butt.
“What did ya wanna talk about, Mr….”
“Just call me John,” my dad said. “I wanted to be sure you understood exactly what your son did yesterday afternoon, and see if we could come to an understanding as to what should be done about it. There were certain actions that I believe you would agree were unacceptable under the circumstances, and I think the matter needs to be addressed in an amicable, non-threatening way so that we may all learn how we might avoid such unpleasantness in the future.”
Karl stared back at my dad with his mouth open. My dad had that effect on people when he began talking.
Karl looked at me and narrowed his eyes. “So you’re the guy who hit Alex yesterday, huh?” he said.
I looked at him in shock. “Me?… Hit Alex??…”
“Well, somebody hit him in the back of the head with a chair. I had to take him to the hospital emergency room for stitches. He wouldn’t tell me who it was.”
My dad looked at me questioningly. I started to mutter some explanation, but Karl interrupted me.
“Hey, Alex! Get in here!” he yelled. My blood froze. I couldn’t help it. I had hoped never to see Alex again, and now I was about to come face to face with him once more. Alex appeared through the doorway, wearing the same oversized tee shirt I saw on him that first day at the schoolyard, plus a pair of denim cut-offs. His feet were bare. My eyes immediately zoomed in on his legs, which looked pumped and strong. I wondered if he’d been doing squats in the other room, or something. Alex looked a little surprised to see me at first, but he quickly got that smug little smile on his face that I knew so well. Nothing fazed Alex — the kid just oozed confidence all the time. He caught me looking at his legs and kind of strutted into the room. I watched the individual parts of his big thigh muscles move as he walked over in front of his dad, who spun him around by the shoulders.
“Take a good look… this is what your son did to my boy!” Karl said. Alex’s head was shaved in back and a nasty scar with several stitches still showed a trace of dried blood. My dad gave me an angry look.
“Was there something you weren’t telling me, Paul?” he said.
With everybody looking at me, I began to tremble. “I only hit him with the chair because he was threatening Kenny!… That was after he threw me down the stairs!…”
“Yeah, because you knocked me over the railing and then tried to pry my fingers loose so I’d fall and break my leg!” Alex shouted back.
My dad took a deep breath. “Okay, this is good,” he said, trying to remain in control. “Let’s hear both sides of the story. Did Paul do anything else, Alex?”
“Well, he tried to choke me against the wall with the fireplace poker…”
“Well, so did you!” I countered.
“Yeah, but that was after you tried it first. And you were the one who grabbed the poker in the first place and started swinging it at my head!”
My mind was spinning, trying to think of something to explain. “Well, you pushed your way into our house!…”
“That was after you just about broke my nose by slamming the door into it!” Alex shouted.
“Boys… boys…” Karl said, raising his hands. “It looks to me like we’ve got a case of two kids who got into a fight and they’re just gonna end up blaming each other. Now, the way I see it, if you’ll just pay the doctor bill — say about $500 — we can simply forget about it.”
My dad looked stunned. “You’ve got to be kidding! Your son breaks into my home and terrorizes my two sons and you want us to pay YOU?”
“Look… I work two part-time jobs to support my son, and I don’t get medical insurance. I could get my own lawyer and sue you, but I’d think you’d rather just pay up and apologize.” Karl turned to me, smiling, and ruffled my hair. “You don’t want your boy here tried for assault, do you?”
“Assault!” my dad shouted. “You’re the one who should be worried about assault!”
“Oh yeah? Well, I have several emergency room workers who will testify about the injury to the back of my son’s head, and they also checked Alex’s nose and cleaned out the blood from his nostrils after your son slammed the door into him. What evidence do you have?”
My dad looked flustered. “Don’t you have any marks on you?” he asked me.
“I had some little bruises on my arm,” I said, pulling up my sleeve, “but they’re pretty much gone now. My throat still hurts a little, though…”
My dad rolled his eyes. Karl smiled. Alex gave me his patented evil grin. It sent a chill up my spine.
“What about the phone?… Alex broke our telephone, right?…”
“Uh… Dad… I put the pieces back in place this morning and snapped the plastic case back together. The phone seems to be working fine.”
“Tell you what, John,” Karl said, “I won’t press charges against your son if you’ll pay me the $500 today. We’ll just call everything square.”
“I’m not paying you $500!” my dad sputtered, standing up. He took a deep breath, trying to calm down. “I see now it was a mistake to come here and try to reason with you. We’ll just agree to stay out of each other’s way from now on.”
“Sit down, John!” Karl jumped to his feet, shouting with such authority that my dad dropped back into his chair almost without thinking. Karl had a serious look on his face and he began to pace around the room as he spoke. “You lawyer types think you can just come in here and threaten my family and then leave without being responsible for your actions.” Something in his voice reminded me of Alex. I could tell his dad was getting that same anger building up inside him. I was getting chills again.
“You make me sick!” Karl continued. “I had Alex here when I was sixteen years old. His mother didn’t want any part of him, but I raised him and trained him to be strong and look out for himself. And I taught him to look out for weasels like you, and other people who would try to take advantage of him.”
My dad was squirming in his chair. I knew something bad was going to happen. I wanted to say, “I told you so!”
“But I’m a sporting man, John,” Karl continued. “I tell you what… I’ll put up the $500 you owe me, double or nothing. All you have to do is… arm-wrestle Alex.”
My dad looked stunned. Alex grinned. “You want me to arm-wrestle your son?” Dad said. “You’ve got to be kidding!”
“Why not?” Karl said. “You look like you’re in pretty good shape, aren’t you?”
“Sure… well… I play racquetball at the club twice a week…”
“Well, Alex is in pretty good shape too, isn’t that right, Alex?” The boy nodded. “We’ve been training together for the state bodybuilding championships next week. I tried to get them to let Alex in the teenage division, even though he won’t be thirteen for another five months, but they wouldn’t let him in. They wouldn’t even let him guest pose, can you believe it? But we’ll show them, won’t we Alex? After I take the overall championship this year, Alex is gonna win the teenage division next year and every year after that for the next seven years! We’ll teach them to mess with us, right Alex?” Father and son exchanged a high-five. Karl looked at my dad. “I bet you’ve never seen a twenty-inch arm up close, have you John? You guys who sit behind desks all day don’t get to see a real man’s muscle.” He pulled up the sleeve of his tee shirt and flexed his right arm. The huge muscle swelled like an inflating balloon and grew harder and harder as it peaked up to full, mountainous size. Karl smiled and looked at my dad. “That’s what a twenty-incher looks like, John! Although, it may only be about nineteen-and-three-quarters now that my bodyfat is dropping into the lower single digits. But it looks bigger because it’s all defined and hard.” He turned to me, keeping his arm flexed. “I bet you’d like to feel it, wouldn’t ya kid?” I was mesmerized. I reached up and put my hand on the massive bulge. I cupped my hand over the top of his biceps and couldn’t even cover half of it! I put my left hand underneath, on the huge triceps, and couldn’t get my hands anywhere near touching as I squeezed. His gigantic arm was like rock! Now I knew where Alex got his muscles!
Karl unflexed his arm and pulled down his sleeve. “Come on, Alex… let’s see if you can give this man a contest!” he said. Alex knelt down and propped up his arm on the coffee table. He had strong-looking forearms, but he didn’t pull up his sleeve, so you couldn’t see his biceps. My dad remained in his chair.
“I’m not going to arm-wrestle your son.” Dad said. “I don’t know what you’re trying to prove.”
“Oh, come on, John… have some fun!” Karl said. “All you have to do is beat Alex in a friendly arm-wrestle and I’ll forget about the $500. Don’t be such a poor sport!”
Dad looked at me and I tried to warn him with my eyes. He looked at Alex kneeling there with his elbow on the coffee table. Nothing happened for several seconds. Then Dad cautiously got out of his chair and knelt on the floor opposite Alex. I couldn’t believe he was doing this! Maybe he couldn’t see Alex’s upper arm, but he must have seen those legs! How could he still not believe what I told him about Alex being some kind of twelve-year-old muscle freak? I wanted to warn him, but deep-down I also wanted to see him arm-wrestle Alex. Maybe this was just what he deserved for getting me back into this mess.
I think my dad couldn’t believe this little kid could be stronger than him. Alex’s arm was too short, so Karl grabbed a phone book and put it under his son’s elbow. My dad’s fingers almost touched as he gripped Alex’s smaller hand. His forearm, though, was only a little bigger than Alex’s. My dad wore a short-sleeved knit golf shirt that hugged his biceps. His upper arm was not small, but it wasn’t large either. It looked kind of soft, especially after seeing Karl’s huge rock-solid arm. As soon as they had their grip, Karl grabbed their hands and then released them, shouting, “Go!”
Alex never does anything half way. My father realized this too late when Alex pushed his arm down a few inches right at the start. When my dad recovered, I could tell it was all he could do to keep this muscle kid from slamming his arm down to the table. It was almost funny to see the look on my dad’s face. It was a mixture of surprise, desperation, and strain. Alex’s face was calm and cool. His shorter forearm rippled a little as he easily jerked my dad’s arm down another couple of inches to a 45-degree angle.
“Take it easy, Alex,” Karl said. “You need the practice, remember?”
Alex seemed to let up a bit and my dad’s hand came back up to almost neutral. Then my father gasped and grunted and seemed to be putting everything he had into getting over the top. Alex just held him there without straining or anything. As the seconds ticked by, I could tell my dad was freaking out. He was just starting to realize what a super-strong kid Alex was. I looked at Alex’s upper arm and saw the biceps muscle mounding up under the sleeve of his tee shirt. I wanted to grab it and squeeze, just to feel the power he had in that twelve-year-old arm. I knew my dad was feeling that power right now.
“Okay, son… you can put him away now,” Karl said quietly. Alex stared calmly at his forearm and willed the muscles back into motion. My dad’s arm slowly started moving down. It happened so smoothly and efficiently that his arm was halfway down before he realized what was happening. You should have seen the shocked look of helplessness on my dad’s face. His mouth dropped open as he got a good look at Alex’s pumped-up forearm. The rippling muscles looked huge as they flexed and even showed veins popping under the skin. My dad never really had a chance against this muscle boy. Alex gave a satisfied little grunt as he pushed my dad’s hand the final inch down onto the table. He held it there and narrowed his eyes as he gave my dad a little smile that said, “I’m not just stronger than you… I’m WAY stronger than you.” My dad just looked stunned. I was feeling all tingly inside — the way I always felt when I saw Alex demonstrate his awesome strength. Alex didn’t even celebrate — to him, it was just normal. Karl acted that way, too.
“Good job, son,” he said quietly, as he gave Alex a quick neck massage.
My dad rubbed his forearm as he stood up. “Well, you certainly have a strong son,” he said. “He takes after his father, I guess.”
“It’s not your fault you were no competition for him,” Karl said. “I could pretty much tell you were a wimp the first moment I saw you.”
When I heard that word, I froze. I knew Alex hated wimps, and I figured his dad did too. I could tell by the coldness in his voice that something bad was going to happen. I looked at my dad for a reaction, and he nodded his head toward the door. Before I could take a step, I felt Karl’s hand clamp down on my shoulder. It could have been a friendly gesture, but the way his fingers were digging in told me I wasn’t going anywhere.
“Looks like you owe me a thousand bucks, John. We’ll take it in cash, if you don’t mind.”
My dad looked horrified. “I’m not paying you a thousand dollars!… Look… why don’t you just send me the hospital bill when it comes and I’ll pay it for you. That way we can put everything behind us. We really have to be going now.”
“A deal’s a deal, John,” Karl said. “You lost and now you have to pay me a thousand bucks.” He held out his hand.
My dad finally got angry. “I don’t have a thousand dollars, and if I did, I wouldn’t give it to you! I didn’t want it to end this way, but if you really want to get a lawyer and press the matter, we can settle this in the courts!”
Karl let out a big sigh, shaking his head. He stood behind me, gripping my shoulder painfully. “I didn’t want it to end this way either, John, I really didn’t… but I can see you just don’t understand what’s going on here. You seem to think you can talk your way out of every situation, just like all the wimp lawyers. You always want to settle things in court, where guys like you can twist the facts and get the corrupt judges to do whatever you want. Well, I think it’s time to show you how we deal with chiselers like you in my world.” Karl turned to his son. “Show him, Alex!” he shouted.
Alex used his strong legs to launch himself across the coffee table and go flying through the air. He tackled my dad around the shoulders, knocking him to the floor. Before I knew it, Alex had my dad flat on his back and was throwing punches left and right at his head.
“Not the face, Alex!” Karl shouted. “You know better than that. We don’t want to leave any visible marks.”
Alex slid down my dad’s body and started delivering piledriving punches into his gut. I heard Dad grunt as the air was literally being knocked out of him. Like I said, Alex never did anything half way. He had thrown at least half a dozen punches before my dad even put up his hands to fight back.
Dad managed to roll over to protect his aching gut, but Alex just stood up and started stomping on his lower back with all the strength in his muscular legs. Even though Alex wasn’t wearing any shoes, I could tell the blows were really doing some damage. Alex rammed his heel again and again into my dad’s body. Karl could feel my body tensing up and he gave my shoulder a shake.
“Don’t you worry. He’s just getting a little lesson right now. Lawyers like to take advantage of people. When they try to take advantage of young kids like Alex, it makes my blood boil. Right about now I think your dad’s finding out he tried to mess with the wrong little boy.”
This wasn’t a fight, it was a massacre. The grunts of pain I was hearing were growing louder. I had to do something.
“Make him stop!” I cried. “It isn’t fair. He can’t even fight back!”
“I think you’ve got a point,” Karl said. “Hey Alex!… let him up! Let’s give him a chance to fight you fair and square.”
Alex took a couple of steps back. My dad got to his knees and wheezed a bit. He slowly got to his feet holding his stomach. Alex stood there with his eyes narrowed and a cold sneer on his face. It was his way of intimidating his opponents. Even though Alex was much smaller than my dad, there was no doubt in his mind who had the advantage in this fight. The pre-teen bodybuilder was confident and in control.
“Come on, John, let’s see what you can do!” Karl said. “Alex is just standing there — go ahead and take your best shot. What are you waiting for?”
“I don’t want to fight your son,” Dad wheezed. “I could have him charged with assault right now.”
“Oooh… wrong answer, John! You see, you might not want to fight my son, but HE wants to fight YOU. Alex doesn’t care if you fight back or not — do ya, Alex?” The boy stared at Dad and solemnly shook his head while he calmly cracked his knuckles. He was focused and confident — waiting for the okay to attack. It didn’t matter to Alex that he was a kid fighting an adult. In his mind, it was my dad who was in trouble.
Karl noticed Alex’s intense look and gave a little chuckle. “Take a little friendly advice, John — if I were you, I’d defend myself. Alex is awfully strong and he sometimes gets a bit carried away when he fights. Maybe I oughtta have Alex take off his shirt so you can see just what you’re up against.” He nodded at his son. “Hey Alex, lose the shirt! Show him what a perfect physical specimen looks like at age twelve.”
The boy crossed his arms and pulled off his tee shirt in one motion. I felt my heart thumping in my chest again. Every time I saw Alex reveal his incredible physique it gave me goose bumps. A kid his age shouldn’t have muscles like that. It was, like, against the laws of nature or something! My dad’s eyes got big, and I wanted to say, “I told you so,” again. Alex tossed his shirt aside and started rolling his shoulders to loosen up. He knew we were all watching him. Alex loved showing off, but I guess I would too if I looked like that. His muscles were like a miniature version of his dad’s. It was chilling to think of all the power that was packed into such a young body.
“Ain’t he somthin’, John? Yeah!! That’s my boy!! Have you ever seen muscles like that on a twelve-year-old kid?” Karl laughed at his own suggestion. “Of course you haven’t… there ain’t never been a twelve-year-old with a body like Alex!” Alex smiled and nodded his head in agreement. Egos don’t come any bigger than Alex’s — the cocky little bastard. “Do a little flexin’ for our guests, son. Show ’em some muscle and give these wimpy jellyfish a little thrill.”
Alex put his hands on his hips and gave my dad a contemptuous little sneer first. Then he took a slow, deep breath and hit a front lat-spread. As he drew in air his chest kept expanding to enormous proportions. Alex’s shoulders were broad and muscular and his strong lats flared out to make a perfect V-shape. His boy-pecs were thick and powerful. My dad got that freaked-out look on his face just like I did the first time I saw Alex flex. It was an unbelievable sight. Alex dramatically raised his arms and began to curl them into a hard flex. He went very slowly so we could appreciate the amazing growth of his young biceps as they flexed. Watching them swell as they contracted into hard-bulging peaks was both exciting and terrifying. A boy who had that much pure muscle in his arms before he had even gone through puberty was bound to be dangerous. He knew he could use intimidation to get whatever he wanted. I bet at school all he had to do was casually flex an arm and his classmates would do anything he asked.
Alex smiled proudly as he gazed at his fully-flexed biceps. I heard my dad mutter an expletive of disbelief under his breath. Alex looked right at him and tightened his double-biceps pose even more. The definition of his high-peaked kid muscles stood out even sharper and a couple of veins began to appear. Alex’s face tightened into a snarl as he strained to flex his arms as hard as he could. A shiver went through my body as I felt the force of his muscular superiority overwhelm me. Alex’s thick biceps were granite-hard little mountains of pure power. You didn’t need to feel them to know this. Any boy with arms like that had to be incredibly strong. But of course, no other boy had arms like that.
The rest of Alex’s body was no less impressive. Placing his fists behind his head, Alex blew the air out of his lungs and crunched down hard on his stomach muscles. His beautifully symmetrical washboard abs tightened into full definition. What a body this boy had! I let out an involuntary groan of sheer admiration. Alex had incredible genetics. Every muscle on this kid’s body had perfect shape and separation! Alex moved one leg forward and flexed it as he pointed his toe. The kid had huge thighs for his size. His quads had cuts that most bodybuilders would envy, and even his calf flared out with thick muscle.
I actually felt weak in the knees. Karl had to hold me up. Alex stopped posing and put his hands back on his hips. My father still had the stunned look on his face. Alex gave my dad that confident little smile of his. He enjoyed seeing the effect his muscles had on people.
“Nice posing, Alex!” Karl shouted. “I think you got John’s attention. Now it’s time to show him how we handle people who try to get out of paying us what they owe!”
With a nod from Karl, Alex raised his fists and moved in. My dad just held his hands up in front of him (yeah right — like that was going to stop Alex!). The boy faked a couple of punches and giggled each time my dad flinched. Then Alex wound up and threw a huge punch right into my father’s gut. When he doubled over and turned away Alex followed with a fist to the jaw that landed solidly and knocked my dad back against the chair. Off balance, he tried to kick Alex, but missed. The boy moved in fearlessly and started throwing punches at various parts of the body — shoulder, ribs, gut. Dad was beaten down into the chair and became Alex’s punching bag. I was stunned at the ferocity of Alex’s blows. He grunted with effort as he threw his whole body into each punch. I shuddered to think of the pain he was inflicting on my father. In desperation, my dad lashed out with his hands and managed to grab Alex’s arms by the wrists. For a couple of seconds, Alex’s arms were held frozen in place. The boy smiled a bit, then started moving his hands apart — just because he could. It was a show of strength. Alex’s arms and shoulders bulged as he forced my dad’s arms out and back. When my dad realized Alex was pushing him further down into the armchair, he let go and tried to roll away. Alex fell on top of him and they started to wrestle. My dad used his weight advantage to roll on top of Alex, and I started to get excited.
“Hit him, Dad!” I blurted. “Come on! Just keep hitting him and don’t stop!”
Instead he grabbed Alex by the shoulders and tried to hold him pinned to the chair cushion. That was a big mistake. Alex drew his knees up and planted both feet in my dad’s chest, then kicked out with those strong thighs and sent him flying. Karl let out a hearty laugh. I groaned.
My dad tripped over the corner of the coffee table and fell backward. As soon as his shoulders hit the carpet Alex was all over him. The boy grabbed his legs and started brutally twisting them. After my dad rolled over to his stomach Alex started working on his arms, bending them back in painful configurations. When my father tried to get to his knees, Alex slapped on a headlock and bulldogged him back down to the carpet. My dad let out a groan of pain. Alex started laughing.
“Ya know what?… You’re an even bigger wimp than your son!” Alex said, as his arm tightened around my dad’s head. “At least he tried to fight back a little. You must be the biggest cream puff in the world! What a pussy! I should just tie you in a knot and toss you in the trash can with the other garbage.”
I saw Alex’s arms and shoulders flex as he ground down on the headlock. My dad’s groans grew louder. He was totally helpless and pitiful — it was embarrassing. Even Alex wasn’t having any fun. It was too easy for him. He decided to put an end to it.
“Nitey-nite, wimp-daddy!” Alex said, as he wrapped his arm around my father’s throat. “Time for your nap!”
Dad reared back on his knees, clutching at Alex’s arm. Alex stood behind him and grabbed his right fist to pull the arm tighter around Dad’s neck. I saw the boy’s biceps swell up as it crushed my dad’s throat. I involuntarily grabbed my own throat and stroked it. I knew exactly what Dad was feeling. It was Alex’s favorite finishing hold. Unless I could do something, my father had less than a minute of consciousness left. He gagged and choked and staggered up to his feet. Alex held on and ended up draped over Dad’s back with his legs dangling off the floor. But he kept cinching the choke hold tighter and tighter. My dad’s face was already purple.
I couldn’t just stand there watching any longer. I jerked and twisted, trying to get away from Karl. He gripped both my shoulders and held on tight, but he started chuckling.
“So you really want to get in there and help, huh? Well, maybe that’s a good idea. Why don’t you play the little hero and go try and rescue daddy. This could be interesting.” Karl released me. “Incoming, Alex! You’ve got another wimp here who wants a piece of you!”
I ran up and Alex started kicking at me with his legs. I was trying to grab him and pull him off. I couldn’t think of anything else to do. Alex kicked his legs up high, and when I ran in he clamped his thighs down around my head. In a panic, I managed to twist around and grab his feet to try and keep them from locking together, but I was too late. As soon as he crossed his ankles I felt Alex’s calf muscles tighten around my throat. I tugged on his shins with everything I had, but he only increased the pressure by flexing his muscles tighter as my neck started to compress. Alex flexed his huge thighs and his knees ground into the base of my skull, holding me tight. Then he pointed his toes and his calf muscles bulged harder, crushing deeper into my throat. I was trapped in a choke hold, just like my dad. Alex was draped over our shoulders and choking both of us at the same time! I could hear my father still making gagging sounds as Alex flexed his arm tighter around his throat. I remembered how hard Alex’s biceps felt when he did that to me yesterday. Now his strong calf muscles felt just as hard as his biceps as they flexed tighter around my neck. I tried digging my fingers into them but they were hard as stone.
Karl started laughing and clapping sarcastically. I could imagine how ridiculous we looked, flailing helplessly, totally under the control of his muscular twelve-year-old son. We both coughed and wheezed. I couldn’t see Dad, but I knew he must be fading fast. Suddenly his knees collapsed and we all went crashing to the floor. Somehow Alex kept his double hold locked in tight on both of us. Then I heard him grunt and Alex’s whole body went rigid as he put all his energy into a final flex to finish us off. The squeezing on my neck became unbearable. Alex’s calf muscles trembled as they crushed my throat with full force. I felt the dizziness that comes just before blackout. My arms dropped limply at my sides. My eyes lost focus, then everything went black.
The next thing I knew I heard voices, like they were coming to me down a long hallway. I still couldn’t move or open my eyes. Karl and Alex were talking. “Should we take them out to their car?” … “No way, Dad. I’ve still got to pay this dude back for hitting me with a chair.” … “Well, okay, but let’s take ’em outside so you have more room.”
I felt myself being lifted and realized Alex was carrying me in his arms. I was taken to their small backyard and laid in the cool grass. I heard Karl ask Alex if he wanted to tie up my dad. Alex said he had an idea. I rolled onto my knees and tried to clear my head. When I looked up I saw Alex dragging my unconscious dad over to a small drainage ditch that ran along the edge of the property from the railroad tracks out to the street. It was just wide enough to wedge my dad’s shoulders into. Then Alex came back and started tugging at a crack in the concrete path that led around his house. The sidewalk-sized walkway was all broken from the roots of a large tree. With a tremendous heave, Alex pulled up a big slab about two-and-a-half feet square and three or four inches thick.
“Whoa, son! Do ya think you can lift that all by yourself?” Karl asked.
“No problem,” replied Alex. He squatted down to get a good grip on the concrete slab. I watched his thigh and back muscles explode with a burst of power as he picked it up with a tremendous heave. Alex’s arms were bulging with all their veins popping. He took a few staggering steps before he found his balance, then slowly marched over to the ditch where my father lay. With a mighty heave he threw the heavy slab down across my dad’s chest, and it landed with a thud. I gasped when I heard my father moan, but I could see that the piece of broken walkway was slightly wider than the ditch. It was pinning my dad in place.
Alex panted loudly and brush-slapped his hands together with satisfaction. Karl let out a whoop that showed even he was impressed with his young son’s strength. My breathing got shallow and rapid. I was starting to panic. If Alex really did want to give me another beating, I knew I was in big trouble. I had no chance against this delinquent superboy who was pumped-up and feeling stronger than ever. I didn’t have many options. Even if I could make a break for the car, Dad had the keys in his pocket. And I knew I couldn’t outrun Alex. If I yelled for help, would it do any good? Or would it just make Alex and Karl angrier? They could probably shut me up pretty quick. It didn’t seem likely I could talk my way out of it, either. Karl was a big, stupid bully just like his son.
When they realized I was conscious and rising to my feet, Karl got behind me and held me in place by crossing his arms over my chest. I expected Alex to come over and start throwing punches, but he said he was going to tie me to the tree first. There was a clothesline strung between two T-shaped end posts. Alex jumped up and chinned himself on the post, then held himself up easily with one arm as he casually untwisted the plastic-coated wire. He repeated the stunt at the other end, his biceps bulging powerfully as he held himself up while he loosened the wire. I fought my feeling of panic as I watched this compact bundle of muscle casually leap down and walk up to me, dragging the clothesline. He grabbed a handful of my shirt and jerked me away from Karl. With only one arm he whirled me around and practically threw my back against the tree trunk. It was always surprising to me when Alex demonstrated how strong he was. While I was stunned and catching my breath, Alex took the clothesline and circled the trunk several times, fastening it securely in back.
“So what’re ya gonna do, Alex?” Karl asked.
“I think maybe I’ll just crush him, dad. I’ll just wrap these arms around him and sque-e-e-e-e-ze!” Alex demonstrated the motion by flexing his arms into a circle, hitting a most-muscular pose. I whimpered when I saw his young arms and chest bursting with muscle. More veins appeared along his arms and upper pecs. Every bulging sinew was showing its pumped-up power. Alex smiled as he watched me squirm. He loved the anticipation.
“Wow, your pecs are lookin’ pumped, son!” Karl exclaimed. “Let’s show this wimp how much punishment a real man can take!”
Karl stood in front of Alex and drew his fist back. Alex put his arms behind his back and flexed his chest. Those powerful boy-pecs tightened into a solid wall of muscle. Karl threw a fist directly into Alex’s left pec. A loud thud rang out. Alex staggered a bit, but didn’t show any other reaction.
“Harder, Dad!” the boy yelled.
Karl drew his fist back even farther and slammed it into Alex’s right pec. The smacking sound was very loud. Alex stumbled back two paces, but stepped forward again right away.
“Come on… harder, Dad!” Alex complained.
I couldn’t believe Alex was asking for more punishment! Those punches from his dad looked like they could have knocked a grown man over! Karl started throwing left and rights at Alex’s flexing boy-pecs in quick succession. His huge fists made heavy thumping sounds each time they landed. The blows were hard enough to send Alex staggering backward, so Karl kept stepping forward as he continued to throw punches. He must have connected with at least a dozen hard blows before stopping. By this time Alex was pumped full of adrenaline and yelling like a crazed man. The cords stood out in his neck as he kept up his triumphant bellowing and hit another most-muscular pose. Karl took up the yell and gave his muscular son a head butt. I was a prisoner of raving lunatics. Incredibly muscular raving lunatics.
Just then I heard my dad shouting. I looked over toward the ditch and saw the big concrete slab rocking slightly as he tried to lift it off his chest. It was clear he didn’t have enough strength to push it off him or slide out from under it. Alex heard the noise and grabbed an old, greasy rag that looked like it had been used by an auto mechanic. He walked up and chuckled at my dad’s feeble attempts to bench press the big chunk of concrete. Alex jumped up on the slab and my dad moaned as the heavy weight compressed his chest. The boy bent down and thrust the dirty rag into my dad’s mouth and tied it around his head to make a gag. My dad’s muffled cries continued for a few moments, then stopped. I think he realized moving his mouth and tongue around that oily rag would only make him sick.
Alex came back to stand in front of me with a confident smile. He hit a front lat spread just to show off.
“How did ya like the way I took those punches, huh?” he bragged. “Makes your puny chest look pretty pathetic, don’t it?”
I looked at his broad chest as he held the flex. The red welts where the punches had landed were already fading. His pecs looked so amazingly solid and strong. Alex moved closer.
“You’ve never seen me get really pumped like this, have ya? Beatin’ you up yesterday… that didn’t even make me break a sweat!” Alex stood on a tree root so he could face me almost nose to nose. “You’re such a pussy! I bet ya just about pee your pants when you see a kid with real muscle, huh? Cuz ya know your little wimp muscles are so weak and mushy.” Alex raised his right arm and flexed it right in my face. “Check it out!” he gloated. I tried not to let him see how much the sight of his flexing biceps affected me. “Feel it, pukeface!” he ordered. “Feel how much harder my muscles are, compared to yours!”
The boy’s big, bulging arm was right in front of my nose. I licked my lips involuntarily. “Come on — ya know you want to feel my muscles, wimp-boy! You’re probably gettin’ all tingly inside just lookin’ at it, ain’t ya? Everybody wants to feel my big, buff biceps!” My resolve was weak. I had very little pride left, anyway. My arm was free, so I reached up and gave his biceps a squeeze. Alex gave me his smug little smile of superiority.
“Yeah, that’s right — give it a good feel,” Alex said. “You like that, doncha?” Alex pumped his arm once and I felt the thick, solid boy-muscle stretch and contract again under my fingers. “Yeah, I know what you wish — you wish you had a muscle as hard as that!” I tried in vain to press my fingertips into the hard ball of his muscle. “Do ya think that’s as hard as it gets? Well, check this out!” Alex flexed his arm tighter and the muscle became more defined and a vein showed more prominently. I kept on squeezing and felt the big lump grow under my fingers and become even harder. A shiver went up my spine.
Alex turned his head to look at his biceps. He wrinkled his nose as he strained to flex the muscle into maximum hardness. I felt the bulge swell and push up my fingers again as it tightened into it’s ultimate peak. I was finding it difficult to breathe, and it wasn’t just because of the clothesline wrapped around my chest. Alex had this funny effect on me. I couldn’t stop squeezing his huge biceps. The feeling of a big, hard muscle on such a young arm was just so incredible!
Karl reappeared carrying a shiny new metal garbage can. “Here ya go, Alex,” he said, “you can show him just what he’s in for when he gets crushed in your arms.”
Alex picked up the garbage can in a bear hug. It was too big for him to get his arms completely around. He got a serious look on his face and pressed his fingers into the metal. I whimpered as the can began to dent under his hands with a crumpling sound. As soon as the depressions made by his fingers were deep enough to make better hand holds, he re-gripped the can and began to really pull with his arms. The muscles swelled and became more defined as they strained. Alex turned to the side so I could see how the big can started to flatten where it came in contact with the solid wall of his flexing pecs. The crumpling noises were getting louder.
I swallowed hard and started panting like I had asthma or something. Alex increased the pressure from his arms and the can suddenly lurched inward as the rim collapsed. I watched the sinews in his forearm flexing with full hardness. Alex’s biceps began to get more leverage as his elbows started to bend. The rim folded in on itself as the heavy-gauge metal could not withstand the pull of his powerful young arms. With another tremendous squeeze the garbage can crumpled even smaller. The diameter was now small enough for Alex to link his hands in front. The squeezing became slow and methodical. Alex knew the can had already lost the fight against his young muscles. His goal now was to keep tightening his arms and chest until the garbage can was a useless, totally crushed mass of twisted metal. This took maybe thirty seconds of powerful squeezing, during which time I started to moan without even realizing I was doing it. After a final, tremendous squeeze that crushed it completely, Alex tossed the destroyed garbage can aside with a snort of contempt. I looked at the flattened remains and felt a shiver run up my spine. Alex’s muscles were so pumped-up and powerful!
Alex turned to me with a cold look in his eyes, still panting a little. “You’re next!” he said, pointing his finger at me. My blood froze.
He quickly untied me and stood smiling a few paces away, beckoning me with his fingers. Karl was sitting on the back steps, guzzling a beer. I put up my hands and pleaded with Alex to leave me alone, but I could tell he wasn’t even listening. His smile just kept getting bigger as he saw the fear in my eyes. My fear was his adrenaline.
Suddenly he leaped forward and wrapped his arms around me, pouncing on me like I was his helpless prey. His shoulders were just about at the level of my diaphragm, so when he locked his arms in a tight bear hug I felt the pressure on my lungs immediately. He had my arms trapped as well, so I could feel his thick biceps muscles grinding against the bones of my upper arms. Even before the pain increased, I started to cry. Everything seemed so hopeless. Alex was going to make me suffer as long as he wanted, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
Being mashed up against the hardness of Alex’s flexing body was a feeling I’ll never forget. I kept struggling as much as I could, even though my efforts seemed to amount to nothing against the unreal crushing power of Alex’s straining muscles. He kept increasing the pressure gradually, taking his time. My elbows dug deeper into my ribs as Alex’s arms pulled tighter and tighter. I could feel my sternum being crushed by Alex’s amazingly solid pecs. The pain was growing worse and I could no longer breathe. I released a bit more air from my lungs, but before I could try and take a gasping breath Alex snapped his arms even tighter. He was like a python. I felt tears running down my cheeks. The pain had spread throughout my rib cage and I could feel the bones in my upper arms start to bend inward. I wondered if Alex really was strong enough to snap my bones. As the relentless tightening of his arms continued, I panicked at the thought of being crushed to death.
With the last of my breath I started pleading. “Please stop,” I whimpered. “I’ll do anything.”
“Anything?” Alex said, and to my surprise he eased the pressure. Then he let go, grabbed my shoulders and pulled me down. “On your knees, wimp!” he ordered.
I coughed and wheezed as my knees hit the ground. I looked up at Alex and felt that shiver of fear again. Alex held my head in his hands and gave me a sneer. For a moment I didn’t know what he was going to do. Then his fingers began to press hard into my skull. I howled and grabbed his wrists but he just kept increasing the pressure. Soon his palms were firmly planted on my temples and his arms and chest began to bulge as he squeezed.
“Whaddya think — do ya think I could crack your skull if I squeezed hard enough?”
I didn’t want to give him the chance. I tried to stand but he kicked my shin hard and my knee hit the ground again. Then he really poured on the pressure as my punishment. His elbows swung out wide and he started to growl with effort. I began to get a throbbing pain behind my eyes.
“Yeah, how does that feel — ya must be gettin’ a real headache now, huh?” Alex said with a sneer. Although he was grunting with strain you could hear the pleasure in his voice.
I was tugging at his wrists desperately now. In response, Alex doubled his efforts. My frantic pulling seemed to have no effect. Alex simply ignored my puny efforts to pull his arms away. He started gritting his teeth and his shoulders and chest began to tremble with power. The crushing pain increased as my head felt like it was about to collapse. Alex’s strength was enormous! The way his hands gripped my skull, it felt like his fingertips were sinking into the bone. Right in front of my eyes I saw those monstrous boy-pecs swell up into stone hardness. The whimpering sound I made was a mixture of both pain and awe. Alex grinned.
“How do ya like that chest, wimp? Lookit how big and hard my muscles are! Every muscle on my body is two or three times stronger than yours! Here — ya want a closer look?”
Alex slowly drew his arms in, moving my face inch-by-inch toward those bulging pecs. I grabbed his waist and tried to push away, but it made no difference. His arms were way stronger than mine. Soon my nose was mashed against his breastbone and I could feel his thick young chest muscles flexing around my face.
“Hey, look Dad!” Alex shouted, like a proud little schoolboy. “Lookit what I’m doing!”
I heard Karl give a satisfied chuckle. “Attaboy, Alex! Smother him with those big pecs!”
Alex pulled my head with full force against his broad young chest. My nose and mouth were totally crushed against his hard flesh and I wasn’t able to breathe.
“You like my pecs, wimp? Don’t you wish you had big, hard pecs like this? The kind that can crush things like that garbage can… or your ugly face!”
The terrible combined power of Alex’s arms, shoulders and chest was unbearable. My efforts to push away were hopeless. I tried to take a breath, but my mouth was plugged by Alex’s bulging chest muscle. Desperate for air I did the only thing I could. I bit down hard.
I don’t know if I was able to draw any blood or not. Alex’s flexing chest was so damn hard that my teeth just seemed to scrape over his tight skin. But Alex swore loudly and reacted immediately. He pushed my head away and stared at me with a furious look in his eye.
“Oh, you are so-o-o-o dead, man!” he cried.
Grabbing handfuls of my hair with both hands, Alex slammed my face back hard into his granite chest. He repeated this again and again, each time ramming my head into his solid flexing pecs with such force that I soon felt a trickle of blood running out of my nose. After about ten collisions with his brick-wall pecs I was dazed and hurting. Alex held me at arm’s length and spat in my face. As I raised my hand to wipe it away, he rammed his knee up under my chin and sent me sprawling onto my back.
Before I knew it, my head was being pulled up and Alex was taking position behind me with his arm wrapped around my neck.
“Time for your sleeper hold, boy! You’re going out fast this time because I’m pissed,” Alex growled. I felt the familiar pressure of his flexing biceps crushing my neck, and I began making choking and gagging sounds immediately. Although I tugged on his forearm, I knew it wouldn’t make any difference. Alex’s biceps was already making a huge peak as it squeezed powerfully into my throat.
“Feel that muscle crushin’ your neck, wimp-boy!” he said. “Strong, hard-bulgin’ biceps like you always wanted but ain’t never gonna get! Can ya feel how big it is? Feels bigger than yesterday, don’t it? Yeah… you know it does! I love how my biceps feels when it gets all pumped and hard like this! It’s a rush, man!”
I reached up and tugged on his upper arm. It felt so big and solid! “Yeah, you like feelin’ that big kid muscle, don’t ya? You and your wimp dad think I’m just a boy… well, boy muscle rules! I love flexin’ my big arms… especially around your scrawny neck!” He jerked his arm and laughed when I squawked and choked.
“You’re such a pathetic loser… all weak and helpless…. and I’m so strong…” He jerked his arm again and made me gag. “Really… really… strong!” He was toying with me now, jerking his forearm and twitching his biceps for emphasis with every word. “You’re a total wimp loser at fifteen and I’m a total muscle stud at twelve — how does that make you feel? Imagine how big my muscles are gonna be when I’m fifteen! And you’ll still be a little wussy weakling.” He tightened his arm again and I was getting light-headed. “How can you stand being so weak and soft? Your muscles are like a girl’s! I would probably kill myself if I was as weak and helpless as you. I’ve got more raw strength in this right arm than all of your flabby muscles put together!” I let out a loud groan and Alex laughed. “Ya know, it feels so good when I make you suffer! It’s funner’n playin’ baseball! You’ll never, ever know how it feels to be this strong and powerful — think about it, wimp!”
I didn’t think Alex could flex any harder, but his forearm suddenly cut deeper into my neck and his incredible young biceps swelled up to maximum size. I felt my mind going and my vision was fading. A feeling of resignation came over me. I knew this sensation well. It wouldn’t be long now. Just before I lost consciousness, Alex twisted my head around so he could lower his lips to my ear.
“You lose again, wimp…” he whispered. “Next time I won’t be so gentle — remember that.”
The blackness enfolded me.
When I regained consciousness, I was sitting in our car. In my lap was my handkerchief containing the blood and spit that had been wiped from my face. I checked my nose and it didn’t feel broken. My nosebleed had stopped. I rubbed my neck and tried to massage out some of the soreness. I took a few deep breaths and felt the ache in my ribs but otherwise I was okay. From the street I looked up the drainage ditch and saw Alex lifting the concrete slab off my dad. He bent down and jammed his fingers under the edge, then stood up using the power in his legs, curled the slab up higher with the strength in his arms, and tipped the piece of broken concrete away from him until it crashed down on the other side of the ditch with a loud whump. Karl pulled my dad to his feet and led him back to the car by putting a half-nelson hold on him, shoving him along and keeping him fully under control. Alex opened the door and Karl pushed my dad inside. Once the door was closed Karl reached in through the open window and untied the gag. My dad worked his mouth and swallowed to get the bad taste out.
“Now, Alex and I are willing to call things fair and square, unless you want to cause some more trouble over this,” Karl said. His tone was full of caution. “I wouldn’t tell anyone else about what happened here today if I were you. You wouldn’t believe the kind of misery a guy like me could cause you and your family if I got upset. We settled our matters like men here today, so let’s just leave things the way they are and everything will be fine.” He put his arm around Alex and they backed away from the car. “You’ve been warned…” he added, pointing at us with a frown before turning and heading back into the house with Alex.
We watched the front door close, then Dad grabbed his cellular phone. He started furiously punching out a number until I put my hand over the keypad.
“Dad… please! Just let it go! You don’t understand yet, do you? Alex always wins. Always! He told me so the first day he met me, and I believe him. Right now, I’m okay, you’re okay, and Alex and his dad are satisfied. The only way to put this to an end is to go on with our lives and pretend it never happened. Please, let’s just go, okay?”
Dad kept staring straight ahead out the windshield, clenching his jaw. I could tell this decision was killing him. Finally he turned the ignition key and put the car in gear. “Let me handle this with your mother,” he said quietly. We pulled away and headed home.
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