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High School Development
|This is the first chapter of a story I'm currently writing. I don't even have a title yet and there may be some typos, but I wanted y'all to read it and give me LOTS of feedback. Quick disclaimer: This is not encouraging drug use in children, and later on, it will be revealed that the substance was not cocaine.|
A night on which children around the world dress up and get free candy, a night on which even a harmless wind is frightening, the one night a year when, supposedly, witches, warlocks and ghosts are their most mischievous.
The old Barkley house had sat, uninhabited, for twenty-two years. A run down, dilapidated old mansion on the edge of town, it was always the place to be on October 31st. Rumors were always spread about the house’s supposed “hauntings,” which couldn’t have been more untrue. In fact, the house was as normal as they came, with the last inhabitants moving away and selling the house to a contractor for fixing-up. The contractor had died, the house had gotten left behind, and eventually fell into disrepair. The story was simple as that.
Of course, don’t try telling that to teenagers. They’d flock there in droves for séances and bonfires that never produced anything, and then leave, disappointed, only to return the next year.
The house held no secrets.
Logan McBride, Owen Evans and Wes Taylor, three fourteen-year-old freshman, were eagerly anticipating this year’s annual “Barkley Bash.” Best friends since Kindergarten, they had experienced every teenage scourge and drama with each other. Logan and Owen where wildly into skateboarding, with Wes taking a more conservative route in baseball. Logan’s dark auburn hair came down, untamed, to his shoulders, partially covering dark green eyes. He stood a stocky 5’7” and had a long, thin face, accentuated with braces. Owen was the proud possessor of a 2-inch tall Mohawk, a work of art that would impress only the least knowledgeable of Mohawk devotees. His brown hair sharply contrasted with his baby-blue eyes and pale skin, and his 5’9” frame had very little muscle. Wes was the most attractive of the three, standing an average 5’8” with jet black hair and deep-set hazel eyes that sparkled when he talked. His baseball training as a pitcher had built his upper arm strength, and he was more developed than his friends. Of the three, only he had ever had any form of girlfriend, and Logan and Owen – who had been correctly labeled “testosterone challenged” by his father – were a little jealous of him.
In today’s modern age, what do three kids who have every costume imaginable right at their fingertips decide to dress up as? If you’re Logan, Owen, Wes, or insane, the answer was: drug dealers. Maybe because the costume was easy to assemble, but whatever the reasons, they did it. First it was off to Goodwill for the rattiest, nastiest, cheapest clothes available, then back home to tear those clothes and splatter them with even more gunk. Logan sprinkled his ripped black sweatshirt with flour to simulate crack. Owen painted marijuana leaves on his palms, because that’s what someone told him real drug dealers did. Wes decided it would be a great idea to fill up a Ziploc bag with stage-blood-soaked cotton swabs and go around the blocks clutching it in his left hand. Mud and blood spatters completed the enviable look. They were all quite proud of themselves for their unheralded genius, and made sure their parents never caught wind of their plan.
They started out the night at 7:30 and went for blocks and blocks, collecting enough sugar to power a jelly bean factory for a year. Only one woman seemed genuinely horrified at the costumes, which was a disappointment. They’d at least hoped for three people. Many more people had just commented that they seemed too old to be trick-or-treating, with one adding “…since you’re sober.”
They eventually arrived at the Barkley house and were disappointed to find only the hardcore Goths there, still desperately trying to conjure up something, damn it. All the cool teens had long since bailed for more exciting destinations. Thankfully the Goths were only on the first floor, leaving the entire second floor ripe for exploration.
The stairs creaked and cracked as they walked up, footprints from previous occupants already left in the thick dust. Cobwebs and cracks greeted their eyes. This place was so cool! Even if it wasn’t actually haunted, it sure looked like it could’ve been.
They took in every detail of the second floor. It had a big open room, like a study, where the stairs were. Two chairs – probably brought in by the homeless – were shoved into opposite corners of the room, and a card table was to the right of one of them.
Logan was the first to dare to open the one door in the room. “Wonder where this goes?”
It opened to reveal what was clearly once a bedroom, with an ancient vanity table at one end and a makeshift cot on the other. Owen ran and jumped onto the bed – then slammed right through the old mattress, covering the room and its occupants in a cloud of dust. Wes rolled his eyes. “Way to go, O.”
Owen reached under his back, still dazed from the shock of the fall. His fingers felt something soft and squishy. “What’s this?” He pulled out a clear bag, sealed airtight, full of what looked to be cocaine.
“Dude! It’s coke!” Logan’s eyes flared. His curiosity got the better of him, and he went over and snatched the bag from his friend’s hand. Owen reached to grab it back, but Logan was too fast for him. He giggled with wicked glee and taunted Owen with it, shouting to Wes to think fast and lobbing it over Owen’s head.
At least that’s what he intended to do. The bag, instead of going over Owen, ran smack into his face and covered the room, not to mention Owen, with white dust.
Logan went white. “Oh, shit. Owen, you okay?”
Owen tried to keep a straight face but couldn’t keep himself from laughing. “Yeah, I’m fine. Let’s try some of this stuff!” Wes suggested they ask the Goths if they knew how to snort coke, but the other two shot him down, saying the fewer people who knew about this the better.
They took Logan’s lunch card from school and divided up three lines like they saw done in the movies. They whipped out dollar bills and rolled them up, ripe for snorting. Logan paused.
“I don’t wanna go first. Wes, you go first.”
Wes balked. “Whatever. Owen should go first.” Owen shook his head no. Wes rolled his eyes. “Fine, let’s all go at once. 1…2…3!”
The deed was done.
What happened next was a bizarre new sensation to all the boys. The room began to throb, loud, wild music blaring in their ears. The heat in the room began to rise, and rise, until it was stiflingly hot and stuffy. They removed their shirts, their sweaty bodies moving closer and closer to each other, their eyes glazing over, until they were finally pressed up against one another in terror. Dreams and fantasies rushed through their heads, bizarre fantasies they didn’t even know they had. Football, cars, sex, beautiful women…their heads reeled…then, darkness.
Logan’s eyes fluttered open. Where was he? What had happened?
Reality hit him like a freight train. He was in bed, at his house, by himself. No haunted house, no cocaine, no friends. He looked at his clock. It was six minutes away from 2:00 AM. He rolled out of bed and saw his clothes all in a pile by his door. The fact that he had been sleeping nude, something he never did, didn’t hit him. He wiped his nose, and there was no white residue. He hadn’t overdosed or been chewed out by his parents, he was just alone. He crawled back into bed.
His body was still caked in sweat, and the cotton sheets rubbing up against it felt wonderful and strange. He rubbed his groin and ran his fingers over his body, arching his back and feet. His eyes rolled back into his head, and his breaths became shorter, quicker, louder. “Oh, yeah…”
He was tangled up in his sheets now, his body thrashing back and forth in uncontrollable ecstasy. He had an intense desire to grow, to change, become a new man…a better one. He was moaning now, rubbing his hands vigorously, not even aware of what he was doing…
He saw Owen, going through the same pleasure he was experiencing. He could see Owen’s bedroom clearly in his mind, almost like a vision. Owen in his big King-size bed, in the throes of bliss. He knew, at this moment, that while he thought of Owen, Owen thought of him.
He thought of Wes, somehow knowing that the third member of their group was sleeping soundly and had not awoken at all. He liked Wes, he really did, but he was practically brothers with Owen, and up against Owen, Wes came in a poor second.
Logan’s feet kicked at the headboard of his bed, a place his feet had never reached before. He grabbed his pillow, gritted his teeth, roaring with happiness…
“Wake up, big guy!”
Owen opened his eyes to see his father poking his head in the room, smiling brightly. “Mom fixed breakfast for you!”
Owen could barely open his mouth. He felt like he’d run a marathon. “Mom…never fixes breakfast…” He shut his eyes and tried to go back to sleep.
His Dad furrowed his eyebrows. “She fixes it for you every Saturday so you’ll be fueled up for your game! Well, whenever you get it up, it’ll be ready.” The door shut behind him.
Owen opened his eyes and stared at the room. Nothing was clicking yet. His hands unconsciously wandered down between his legs.
His eyes snapped open. Last night! Logan and Wes! And the euphoria, oh, the bliss…
He quickly rolled out of bed and opened his dresser for a pair of briefs, but where his tighty whities had been was now a messy drawer of boxers, boxer briefs and jock straps. His eyes widened in disbelief, and he pulled open his T-shirt drawer. Gone were the ratty punk T-shirts, replaced by football jerseys, Abercrombie tees, muscle shirts and, the icing on the cake, a hidden box of condoms. He opened up his closet, his eyes alighting on about fifteen different pairs of pants – corduroy, khaki, dress, cargo – and button down shirts made from every fabric in the book. He was starting to panic. What had happened last night?
Across town, Logan was going through the same trauma. All his old clothes had disappeared and had been replaced by the most All-American jock wear he’d ever seen. He checked himself out. He didn’t seem any different, though…
He slipped on a pair of boxers and skittered down the hall into the bathroom. Staring back at him from the mirror was a person he had never seen before and yet was still familiar to him. His acne had gone almost completely away, his body had gained muscle and height, and his shaggy shoulder-length hair now came only to his ears. He stared at it. Did he have blonde roots? He ran his fingers through his semi-auburn tresses, now tinted yellow and with about a quarter-inch of golden growth from his head. He looked at his body, firmer and fitter than it had ever been. He had abs now, and he must be about 5’10”.
Logan backed slowly away from the mirror, as if the reflection he saw was going to attack. This was too weird. How was he going to explain this to his parents?
He poked his head out of the door, looking left, seeing an empty hall. He turned right, and saw his Mom two inches from him. He froze.
“Oh. H-hi, Mom. Uhhh…I…um…” His voice! His voice was deeper, too.
“Something wrong, dear?” She stared at him as if everything was perfectly normal. “You can talk to me about anything, I’m here for you.” She paused. “You’re not lonely, are you?” She smirked and raised her eyebrow, and the implication sickened him. His mother would normally never insinuate that to him. He mumbled a quick excuse and staggered back to his room, dazed by the day’s events.
He grabbed his cell phone and called Owen. Damn, he wasn’t picking up. He tried Wes, and got Wes’ father.
“Hello?” “Hi, Mr. Taylor, is Wes there?” “Who is this?” “Logan! This is Logan, I need to talk to Wes. It’s kind of an emergency, and I really need to…” “Logan? Logan who?” Logan’s heart sank in his chest. The room began to spin. “Nooo, Mr. Taylor…don’t you know me? I…this is Logan. Logan McBride.” “Don’t know you. If this is a prank, I have your number on Caller ID.” Logan stammered. “No…no, please…I need to talk to Wes…PLEASE…” Mr. Taylor said a quick “No!” and hung up. Logan held back tears and called Owen’s cell again. A deep voice, one that didn’t sound at all like Owen, answered…
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