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  • Writer's pictureJW Ripley

A Better Game

Joey got home from football practice, frustrated. He had barely made the JV football team and now he struggled to get plays right at practice. To make it harder for him, his genetics didn’t allow him to grow much over five and a half feet and couldn’t seem to gain any noticeable muscle mass. The high school sophomore got washed up and changed when he got home, trying to relax and forget about the disappointing practice.

After dinner Joey found a news article about one of his football heroes coming into town that weekend for an outdoor festival and that the star would be signing autographs. The football legend, Julian Edelman seemed to have some sort of connection with Joey’s town. Part of Joey was bitter that he would never be as good as Julian, but he knew that he’d regret if he didn’t try to get an autograph.

The small sophomore got through the final few days of the week, still disappointed at football practice but at least looked forward to the weekend. When the morning finally came Joey practically launched out of bed. He quickly got ready but just before getting out of the door his grandpa stopped him. Joey’s grandpa was always so good to him. He got the feeling that he was his grandpa’s favorite, not that his grandpa would ever admit it. “It’s a chilly outside, Joey. Here, put this one, I think you’ll like how it fits.” Joey smiled catching a hoodie from the smiling older man, “Thanks, grandpa!” He said while slipping it on.

Making his way downtown, Joey noticed how baggy the hoodie was, it absolutely hung off of his slight body. He wondered how his grandpa thought that he’d enjoy the fit. “Mmmm… He was right, this is nice and warm, though!” Joey thought out loud as the hoodie warmed his whole torso. Walking down the trail, Joey did notice that the hoodie was keeping him warmer than it should. Joey’s neck began to sweat as each the comfortable heat spread from his core throughout his body as his heartbeat quickened, pumping blood into his body.

Joey began to feel more energetic as his walk turned more into a jog, his legs carrying him faster through the town. With each pump of his legs, his calves and quads grew stronger, although Joey was enjoying his jog too much to notice his legs beginning to stretch his pants. His torso began to fill his hoodie differently, his lower torso became thicker with muscle while his chest and shoulder started to stretch the hoodie, sweat beginning to collect underneath the warm garment.

The high school student wiped his brow, he probably shouldn’t meet the football star after a run, but he was enjoying it so much! Looking at Joey now, he looked like a stereotypical high school jock – a thick neck leading down to a toned, but perfectly muscled body. His face took on a more classically handsome look. The closer he got to the festival though, the more changes that happened. Joey noticed that he was feeling stronger, more athletic, and much more confident as he got to the festival. When he got to the park, Joey was caught by surprise. A young lady greeted him with a huge smile, barely able to talk to him. “Oh no, uhm, no sir. They have a special entrance for you today. Please see our director over there.” Joey was confused but thanked the girl and went off to the side, wondering how he got a VIP ticket to the event.

When he met with the festival director, she excitedly greeted him, “It’s so good to meet you, Mr. Edelman! Thank you so much for doing this, we have a booth set-up for you in the main event building.” Joey stood frozen, staring at the woman as her words echoed in his head. “Uhm, are you okay, sir?” she asked, Joey perfectly silence. Joey looked around and asked “Uhhh --- yeah, hey, is there a restroom I can use?” The director nodded, taking Joey to a nearby restroom.

Inside, Joey stood speechless in front of the mirror. Staring back at him was his idol, Julian Edelman! He experimentally made faces in the mirror, watching the football hunk do the same. He flexed his body, marveling at how it filled his hoodie perfectly. “Wow…. Grandpa was right!” he said in a much deeper voice.

He left the restroom and met back with the fangirl director, getting set up to pose for pictures pictures and sign autographs in a booth. When the event was almost finished, he saw a familiar face approach him. The lanky teenager started yelling at him, demanding that he give him his body back. Joey knew he was right and assumed that it must be Julian in his body but couldn’t come up with any type of response to give the once perfect man. Thankfully, Joey didn’t have to come up with the response. The panicked teenager was taken away from the booth by security, his body easily overpowered by the two out of shape event staffers. An older gentleman placed his arm around the teen but looked back and gave Joey a wink before walking out with Joey’s former body.

Joey quickly became used to Julian’s life, regularly walking around shirtless to admire how perfect his body is. He pushed himself to his limits in his workouts and had much more skill on the football field than his younger body ever had. He knew Julian was experiencing the opposite, since the former pro definitely remembered his old phone number and took every opportunity possible to let Joey know of his dissatisfaction.

Several months later after a spectacular win where Joey scored the game winning touchdown, he saw a familiar face on the sidelines in a group of high school football players that got VIP passes for the game. His old body stood there, one tear ran down his cheek as he demanded again, “Dude! You got to help me find a way to switch back!”

Joey gave the kid an intimidating look, tired of all of the whining from the little wannabe football player. “Fuck off already, kid! I’ve told you a million times - you’re not getting this damn body back!”

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