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Deal's A Deal, A
|Tony and Andy looked up the see what the commotion was on the other side of the cafeteria. In their leader’s absence, Mark Tinsley’s goon squad was making preemptive raids on any target of opportunity that happened to pass them. And Mike Matthews had just stumbled into their ambush. One could use the term “Hulk” to describe both Mike and his tormentors. While the aggressors were massive jock types, in Mike’s case it was in the beached whale sense of the word. The three jocks were “playing catch” using the oversize boy as an oversize medicine ball until he lost his footing on a puddle of milk. Mike slid crashing into an empty table. The three jocks proceeded to reposition the table over the bruised boy and replaced the chairs caging Mike under the table, before “belly bumping” and “high five-ing” each other into the hall. Tony frowned and thought to himself, “Mike’s life is about to change.”
Tony went over to the table and began to clear a path so Mike could crawl out. Andy joined Tony and together they helped Mike up and sat down at the table with him. Mike was near tears and trembling. “Are you going to be alright, dude?” said Tony as he tried to put his hand on Mike’s shoulder in an attempt to comfort Mike. Mike flinched away, but Tony persisted. Sniffling Mike said, “Just leave me alone,” and Mike’s tears began to flow. Andy said to Mike “Forget about those creeps, they’re just assholes that make themselves feel superior by hurting people they know can’t or won’t fight back…” Mike pushed Tony away and ran from the cafeteria.
Tony didn’t really know Mike although they did share a few classes including gym. Mike always kept to himself, Tony couldn’t think of anyone that Mike hung out with. Mike never even spoke to anyone without being spoken to first. If any one Tony knew of needed a friend and a life it was Mike. And starting today he would have one, Tony smiled to himself. Tony found Mike alone in an out of the way corner of the locker room pulling on his tee shirt and shorts. Not knowing Mike well, Tony decided to leave the change to Mike’s desires. So he thought, “I want Mike to be the person he wants to be and for every one else to think it’s normal… Now.”
Mike’s body began to thin. Tony watched smiling as he waited to see the new Mike. But Tony’s smile quickly turned to shock as it became apparent that Mike was not thinning into a studly teen hunk like Tony had expected him to become. Instead Mike was getting smaller and younger. He was becoming thin but he was now on the wrong side of puberty and still getting younger. When the change ended a skinny 5 year old boy stood in a pile of oversize gym clothes.
Without first finding a secluded spot, Tony shouted, “Saint… Saint… Saint…” This time instead of Deez popping into existence in the locker room, Tony found himself in a featureless space filled with white light. Deez was standing in front of Tony shaking his head and smiling. Tony heard Deez’s lyrical voice, “You really need to be more careful about where you call… So, what can I help you with?” Tony stammered, “What went wrong?” Deez looked confused for a moment and answered, “With Mike Matthews?” “Yes!” Tony snapped. Deez replied, “You assumed that Mr. Matthews would want what you thought he should want…” “He really wants to be a little kid?” asked Tony. “Well, a more accurate description would be he’s confused,” Deez replied, “And you caught him in a moment of wanting to be his mommy’s little boy again.” “I wanted to help him but this wasn’t what I intended. I need to rethink this a bit, thanks.” Deez smiled and with a blink Tony was back in the locker room looking at a very confused 5year old boy.
Tony walked over to the now very little Mike. Dropping to one knee Tony says, “I’m sorry Mike, this wasn’t what I intended.” Startled Mike jumps and squeaked, “What happened to me?” Tony smiled and gently put a hand on the small boy’s shoulder, “After seeing what those goons did, I wanted to help you.” “You call this helping,” squeaked Mike while flapping his arms in the oversize clothes. “Well you actually did it to yourself, I just wanted you to become the person you wanted to be. Chalk it up to bad timing,” said Tony. Mike blushed, as he understood. “So, I assume you don’t really want to stay like this,” said Tony smiling again, “Shall we try again.” Mike nodded and Tony repeated his wish.
Mike quickly retuned being a teen but without the flab. When the change finished Mike had gone from being the most overweight guy in the in school to the thinnest. “Mike you can have anything,” said Tony baffled by the new Mike, “You’re sure this is what you want.” Mike nodded and said, “They picked on me for being fat now they won’t.” “Alright if that’s what you want but think about it for a couple of days okay?” said Tony. For the first time that Tony could remember Mike smiled and said, “Okay Tony I will and thanks I owe you big time.” Tony smiled back.
Tony watched Mike through gym class and saw that Mike was right they didn’t pick on him now. Tony continued to watch Mike through the rest of the day.
That night Tony had trouble getting sleep. It wasn’t really that they didn’t pick on Mike now it was more like his tormentors didn’t see him at all. Mike had gone from being too big to ignore to too small to notice. This troubled Tony deeply as he tried to fall asleep. Finally Tony sat up and thought, “Mike will be the person and have a life he deserves… Now.” And Tony curled up with a smile on his face and drifted off to sleep.
Tony was rummaging through is locker the next day when he heard, “Yo! Dude!” a well-built jock type in a wrestling letter jacket trotted towards him. “Not bad at all,” Tony smiled, “I think I’ve seen him before but I can’t place him.” As the stud approach Tony saw he was carrying Calculus and A.P. Physics books. “Very nice there’s a brain to go with that body,” thought Tony. As he came to a stop the jock looked puzzled and not sure what to say. So Tony offered his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Tony… I think I know you from somewhere but I can’t quite place you.” The stud grinned and laughed, “Same here dude, --- Tony? --- Yeah you look like a Tony.” The jock shook Tony’s hand but didn’t try to crush it and continued, “I’m Mick.” Tony smiled and said “Hi Mick, based on your books we must be in some of the same classes.” “Yeah, that must be it,” smiled Mick, “Well, I got to run see you around, Tony.” Mick turned and trotted back up the hall. As he did Tony read the name lettered across the shoulders… M.MATTHEWS… and he grinned… “Have some fun this time Mike.”
In his office, Lucifer Saint switched off the “Looking Glass” and smiled…
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