by John McB
Scenes from a book I stared about Jason, a jock who wakes up one day changed into a nerd.
|The strange man stared at his treasure. Oh, the things he could do! Jason would only be the first step. Heck, the whole school was his playground. He would have his revenge. They would be sorry. Those who remembered anyway.
Jason tried to hide a sneer as he looked at the wimps surrounding him in the South Desert High School locker room. How had he gotten assigned to have gym with these nerds? He glanced at his perfectly built self in the mirror. Jason had short brown hair and twinkling green eyes. He had the face you would expect to see on a poster in the mall advertising some clothing brand. Jason could have made a fortune to be one of those models, but it would have interfered with football practice. And the captain can’t miss football practice.
He walked through the hall toward history class, book checking several nerds as he passed them, taking care no teacher saw him do it. Jason didn’t care about rules, but he did care about staying on the many sports teams he was on. As he walked into the classroom, he glanced at his teacher, Mr. Rochester.
“How’s Jane,” one of the girls in the class asked.
“She is Miss Eyre to you,” Mr. Rochester replied. Mr. Rochester and Miss Eyre, the English teacher, had been daring for several months now. The girls thought it was cute, but Jason couldn’t figure it out. To tell the truth, Jason couldn’t figure out why Mr. Rochester continued to teach. He was fairly well off, and could easily live off the royalties from his many books on the eighteenth century. He probably could have been a college professor.
The class went as usual, a long, boring lecture about the civil war, followed by a section of the book they were assigned to read and take notes over. Jason didn’t enjoy it, but he kept his grades up to stay in sports. It was the same with every class except gym. He actually enjoyed gym. It came naturally to him and he was good at it.
The bell rang and school was finished for the day. Jason had some extra time, so he stayed after school to shoot some hoops. It wasn’t as fun with just him, but since Luke left he hadn’t found anyone to match his skill. After he finished, he walked into the locker room to change. He could never have expected what happened next.
Two boys suddenly reached and grabbed him. Jason recognized them as Simon and Walter. They were both very nerdy. However, they were different from the last time Jason saw them. They had somehow become much stronger and muscular, more than even Jason. Jason would have laughed if he hadn’t been so socked. As the two nerds held him tight, a strange man stepped out of the shadows. He was dressed in all black and wore a hodie that hid his face.
“Wha, what is going on?” stuttered Jason. The man just ignored him. The man reached into his pocket and pulled out a solid gold pocket watch. It was smooth, and didn’t have anything distinguishing about it.
“Look at the watch,” commanded the strange man. Jason tried to fight, but his captors won. They held his face and forced him to look. With a single glance at it all will to fight left him.
Jason groggily walked from his bedroom to the bathroom. He had had the weirdest dream last night. Well, it wasn’t true, was it? That is when it hit him. This was bad. Very bad.
“WHERE’S MY CONTACTS?”
Soon after this, his father walked in. Hector O’Nuallan was a kind man who had always supported his son, but this was unacceptable.
“Jason,” Hector asked, “What are you yelling about?”
“I can’t find my contacts,” answered Jason.
“Son, you don’t have contacts.”
“Yes I do, I’ve had them since third grade.”
“No, you haven’t. You have glasses. Look in the mirror.”
Jason looked, which only made him freak out more. The first and most obvious change was his face. While he had previously never had to deal with acne and had worn contacts to hide his nearsightedness, he now had a face covered with pimples, and he had on a pair of Harry Potter style glasses, held together in the middle by a piece of tape. There were other changes too. Jason’s eyes had lost their twinkle. His strength was lost as well. While he had previously had some very well defined muscles, he was now very scrawny. You would almost expect to see his bones.
“Jason, why aren’t you wearing your normal pajamas?” Hector asked, trying to figure out what was going on.
“Dad, I wear this to bed all the time!” exclaimed Jason. He was still wearing his gym clothes from yesterday. If you were to examine Jason’s wardrobe, you were examine Jason’s wardrobe, you would find that they were the only cloths to not change with him. Hector suddenly smiled a knowing smile.
“Jason, you can stop with the improve. I know you like it, but three in the morning is not the right time for it.
“WHAT’S IMPROVE?” screamed Jason.
“Son, go the bed.”
School that day wasn’t any better. Jason walked into his normal first period class, English with Miss Eyre.
“Jason, What are you doing in my class this early?” She asked him.
“Um, I’m in this class,” Jason replied.
Miss Eyre sighed. “No Jason, I have you seventh period. Drama is a wonderful art, but my class is not the right place to practice improve, especially when you are supposed to be in another class. Now, check you schedule and go to your right class.”
“What’s improve?” Jason asked for the second time that day. Miss Eyre just gave him a stare. Jason walked out of her classroom and looked at his class schedule. It had changed! It said he was supposed to be in accelerated algebra with Mr. Bar! This wasn’t going to go well.
It didn’t go well Jason just made it to class in time. Mr. Bar was surprised Jason wasn’t early like normal, but didn’t ask about it. When asked to pass in his homework, Jason was surprised to find that he had it. Not only did he have it, but every question was answered correctly! However, things went downhill from there. Jason didn’t understand a thing they discussed during class. And of course Mr. Bar asked Jason to show the class how to do the first problem.
“Now Jason, I want you to explain to us how to solve a system of equations by graphing,” commanded Mr. Bar.
Jason just stared at him blankly. “Uh what?” he asked. The rest of the class tried to restrain their laughter. It wasn’t every day you saw the smartest kid in school act like an idiot.
“Jason, please explain how to solve a system of equations by graphing,” Mr. Bar repeated.
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” replied Jason truthfully. Mr. Bar sighed.
“Jason I know Mr. Bottom wants you to practice your improve, but my class is not the appropriate location. Now, answer my question.”
“What is improve?” said Jason frustrated once again. At thin the class could no longer restrain their laughter. When the commotion died down Mr. Bar asked Jason to return to his set. He was more than happy to comply.
The rest of Jason’s classes followed a similar pattern. Jason was incredibly confused. His whole life had been turned upside down over night. He thought back to the night before. The strange man had been right. How was that possible? This was all running through his head as he walked with his lunch into the cafeteria. Without thinking he sat down at the same seat as always. Big mistake.
“Hay, what are you doing at our table, Nerd!”
Jason looked up into the eyes of James, one of his football teammates. Well with how things had been going, probably former teammate.
“Uh, this is my normal seat,” he said realizing how crazy he sounded. The rage at this remark was apparent on James’s face. Jason thought about his new body and then about all the plays he had seen James do. He knew who would win a fight. For the first time he was scared.
“Guys, are we gona let this nerd get away with this,” James asked his teammates.
“No,” the all replied.
“Than what should we do with him,” James asked.
“Lunch in the bathrooms,” someone called.
“Perfect,” said James.
He had his team drag Jason to the bathroom, while he carried Jason’s tray. They crowded around the nearest stall.
“Enjoy your lunch nerd,” said James as he dropped the entire thing, including the tray into a clogged toilet. Jason recognized this punishment. He had invented it.
“Hello, my name is Mrs. Sauceda. I am your sub today. Mr. Bottom was asked to perform at a wedding today. The class is to be a study period. Feel free to work on any homework you may have,” said the sub. She was a larger person with reddish brown hair. She was used to teaching fifth grade, but didn’t expect this class to be much trouble. She never stopped smiling.
Jason breathed a shy of relief. He had been most scared of about drama class, not having had taken it before. He had homework to do of course, but it probably wasn’t going to get done. He didn’t understand any of it. He glanced over at the girl sitting next to him. She reminded him of a character from a move he had once seen, with her eyes always looking far away. She had dark black hair. She was actually kind of attractive, though in his previous life Jason never would have been seen around her. He had heard her was Robin Miller.
‘I hear you have done some improve today,” she said breaking through his thoughts. “How nice of you. Mr. Bottom loves it when we practice.”
“What’s improve,” Jason muttered under his breath. He didn’t think she would hear him.
“You know improvisation. Making something up on the spot. You are acting different today? Did you hit your head playing Dungeons and Dragons?” Robin asked.
“No, I’m fine. The world changed.” Jason replied. The bell rang, saving him from further explanation.
“Jason, where are you going? Chess club is having a tournament with Veronaville High right now in the library. We need you there right now.” Jason spun around to face the boy calling to him. He wore a name tag that said Hello my name is Marcus Gilbert. Like Jason he was scrawny, wore glasses, and had a bad case of acne. His curly, dark hair badly needed cut. His nose was almost too big for his face. Jason stared at him blankly.
“You know, chess club. You’re the president.” Marcus said in an annoyed tone.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” replied Jason
“Jason, all this improvisation is getting annoying.” Marcus stated.
“No I’m serious Marcus. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Just hear me out. Things aren’t supposed to be this way. I’m a jock. I was captain of the football team. I’ve gotten by my whole life on Bs and Cs. I’ve never had acne and wore contacts since third grade. Last night I stayed after school to shot some hoops. When I went into the locker room to leave, I was grabbed by two people. They were strange looking. They had the face and cloths of a nerd, but were much stronger than I had been, and looked it. A strange man dressed in all black with a hoodie covering his face stepped out of the shadows. He held up a gold pocket watch and commanded me kiss my life goodbye and look at it. I tried to fight, but they forced me to look. My memory goes back then. The next thing I can remember is the locker room was empty. I assumed I had drunk too much at the last party and just went home. Then I woke up like this. For some reason everyone thinks I have always been this way.”
Marcus started clapping. “Oh, bravo Jason. Next time you try to fool me pick a more convincing story. Now, hurry up and get to chess club. We’re all waiting on you.” With that he turned and walked toward the library. Jason hesitantly followed. He hadn’t really expected Marcus to believe him, but he had hoped he might. Neither of them had seen the mysterious man in black who had listened to the first part of their conversation. So Jason was trying to recruit some help. Well, he would give Marcus a taste of what would happen if he did.
Jason didn’t do well in the tournament. It didn’t surprise him considering he didn’t even know how to play the game. After the meeting, Jason went home. He didn’t even try to do his home work. It was way beyond what he knew. His mother come in and asked if anything was wrong. He just cried.
The next day at school Jason tried to stay out of everyone’s way He didn’t know what to do, so he only did what was mandatory. At lunch he sat by himself. Halfway through his meal, a jock that looked vaguely familiar walked up to his table.
“You, I need to talk to you. Come with me,” the stranger said. Jason wasn’t sure what he had done, but he knew resistance would only make whatever was in store worse. The stranger dragged him to a hallway. He grabbed Jason and slammed him against a locker. “Jason, you were right,” said Marcus just before Jason lost conciseness.
“Did you really have to knock me out?” asked Jason. It was the next day and he and Marcus were sitting in Vice Principal Diggs’s office. The worst injury Jason had gotten was a large bump on his head, but it could have been way worse. Most people thought Marcus really had it in for him. Few people had actually been to Mr. Diggs’s office before, but the stories told about Mr. Diggs’s punishments made juvenile hall sound like heaven. Jason didn’t really have anything to fear, but to Marcus looked like he was about to pee his pants.
“I didn’t mean to. I haven’t got the hang of my strength yet.” Marcus said quickly in between several quick breaths.
“Well couldn’t you just have come and talked to me after school, or out in the parking lot or something? Jason asked.
“No I couldn’t have. You know how strange that would look. Whoever did this to us doesn’t want me to help you. He told me that before he changed me. If I were to peacefully have a chat with you it would only make things worse for us in the long run.” Marcus replied.
“Having a nice chat?” asked a kindly old voice. Jason and Marcus turned to see who had entered the room. They didn’t know what they expected, but it wasn’t this. Mr. Diggs was an old, short man with a rather long, bald head. He saw the look of surprise on the student’s faces. “I see you have heard the rumors that have been spread around about me. Don’t worry, none of them are true. I let them continue because it helps discourage getting a trip to my office, don’t you agree? So what happened?”
Jason told Mr. Diggs the story he and Marcus had constructed while waiting on the vice principal’s arrival. The first part, the part about how a few days ago Jason had sat at the jock and had his lunch dumped in the toilet, was pretty much true. Marcus claimed that he hadn’t thought this enough punishment, and had started a fight with Jason. Throughout this Mr. Diggs only nodded and listened.
“I’ve looked at both your records,” he said once the story was completed, “and it seems to me that this is just the most recent battle in a long standing war between you two. You each keep trying to humiliate the other. You need to learn to get along. So here is my punishment. Marcus, your grades have never been great, but you are now close to dropping out. Jason you are to tutor him for the rest of the school year. Jason, your family is concerned you aren’t getting enough exercise. After your tutoring session, Marcus is to help you get some exercise. If anything bad happens to one of you during these sessions, the other will be held responsibly, and that time my punishment won’t be so lenient. Do you understand?” He braced for the complaints he was sure were coming. However, Jason and Marcus simply smiled at each other. This would be perfect!
The first session was held that night at Jason’s house. His parent weren’t too happy about their boy spending time alone with someone that had knocked him out, but Jason eventually convinced them to leave. Like the rest of the world, Jason’s bedroom had changed with him. Previously, it had been commonly referred to by his parents as a disaster area. Cloths and sport equipment were spewed all over. The walls were covered by posters of famous athletes. Things were different now. Everything was neat and arranged. Along the wall was a waist high bookshelf that was crammed full of encyclopedias and dungeons and dragons supplements. On the opposite wall was a neatly arranged desk. Marcus was sitting at the desk, and Jason stood beside him.
“Well, let’s get down to business. What do you think is going on?” said Jason
“Obviously, we have been transformed. I believe that it must have been by someone who has a major grudge against you, and wants to see you fail, based on the fact he or she transformed me when they thought I was helping you,” replied Marcus.
“What can we do about it?” Jason asked,
“Well, if my theory is correct, whoever did this wants to see us fail. I think we should work together - without doing anything to let him or her know we are doing so – to deny him this pleasure. These tutoring sessions and sports sessions can be the perfect cover for just that,” said Marcus.
“But, there is no way I can tutor you! You don’t even need tutored!” exclaimed Jason
“I didn’t say you would be the one teaching,” replied Marcus.
The strange man was hiding in the shadows across the road from South Desert High School. His one of his henchmen, Simon, was with him.
“Boss, here if the omelet you wanted,” called Walter, the other henchman, from down the road.
“Idiot, do you I said amulet, not omelet. Plus, do you want people to know we are here,” growled the man.
“Gee boss, I sorry. I didn’t mean to. Can I make it you to you? Can I?” asked Walter rather loudly.
“Shut up! If you make one more noise I’ll transform you again!” yelled the mysterious man. Maybe exchanging Simon and Walter’s brains for brawn hadn’t been such a good idea. They couldn’t do anything right.
“Ok boss, I’ll shut up right now. Shutting up. Not talking. Being completely…”
Walter didn’t have time to finish his sentence. The strange man had implemented secret transform words into his henchmen. He only had to say it and the man’s body and mind would be completely transformed. Oh, and everyone would think he had always been this way. Where Walter had been standing now stood an eighteen year old African American. He was in shape, had fairly good muscle tone, and was sure to attract the ladies. Well, at least at first. The truth was that this new Walter, named Seth Freeman, had the intelligence of a five year old, and was a total klutz. He apologized for disturbing the mysterious man and Simon, and then left.
“You going to try anything like that?” the strange man asked Simon.
“Good. Now we are going to have a little fun right now. Grab the next person you see, and drag him here.”
As luck would have it, the next person that Simon saw was Rainier Lich. Rainier was about sixteen years of age. He was tall, lean, and quite good looking, thought his skin was very pale. His eyes were small and dark, and if you stared into them too long you would think you were looking into two dark tunnels. His hair was dark read, and reached dawn to his shoulders. He was captain of the school track team.
“Perfect!” mumbled the mysterious man to himself.
“What do you want from me?” Rainier asked.
“Just look at this pocket watch.” The strange man replied. Like Jason, Rainier tired to fight, and like Jason, he failed.
“Your name is now Simon Walker,” said the strange man. “That red hair you’re so proud of is now brown. Except for the tips. They are blue and green. It’s also a lot shorter, only reaching to your chin. Heck, you yourself are a lot sorter, only reaching up to my chin. Your eyes are a dull brown. You don’t like that so you hide them under a pair of knockoff sunglasses. You dress in bright colors that often clash.
Now for personality. You are a failure. Everything you try you fail at. Deep down you know this. You keep trying anyway. You never admit anything is a lost cause. You never stop trying unless someone stops you and diverts your attention to something else. You are extremely flamboyant, hence you cloths. You are constantly trying to prove your uniqueness to the world. You play up everything about you. You have an inferiority complex caused by you constant failures. You try to pretend you don’t, but if someone gets to know you it becomes obvious.” The mysterious man snapped his fingers. Rainier’s body changed to match the strange man’s description, but his face withered as if in intense thought.
“You, can’t, do, this, to, me,” he finally gasped out. The strange man his surprise.
“A strong mind eh,” he said, “well looks at this pocket watch again. Good. You will remember this and your other trance. Your body will return to its natural form. All personality changes I just said have no effect, yet. I require an amulet. It matches this pocket watch. It is necessary that this amulet not fall into the hands of Jason O’Nuallan or Marcus Gilbert. If they touch it, or if you tell anyone about this your body will return to the way it was moments ago. All personality changes I recently said will take effect, and you will never remember being Rainier Lich.” At this he once again snapped his fingers, and Rain poured out his thanks. “Don’t thank me just yet. Go find that amulet!” said the mysterious man. “This will be fun,” he thought. Ruining someone’s life, or even just making to possibility of it being ruined, was a great way to relieve stress. Now all he needed was a new henchman.
(Not sure what happens here. Robin finds out and decides to help Jason and Marcus. She believes them instantly. She’s a bit crazy)
Jason, Marcus, and Robin were walking to Jason’s house when suddenly a young man of about eighteen or nineteen years of age approached them. He had mossy brown hair arranged in a greaser style from the fifties. His face looked vaguely like Jason’s, like they were distant cousins or something. He had on a jean jacket, a white, sleeveless shirt, blue jeans, and a pair of dark blue Convers. He didn’t look like someone you wanted to mess with. All three were startled.
“Hay little brother, what’s up?” asked the man.
“Who are you” asked Marcus.
“Be quiet. I’m tiring to talk to my little brother here,” said the man.
“I don’t have an older brother,” replied Jason.
“What! How can you not know your brother Hector? Did dad beat you again? I told him to lay off! Are you OK? I think you need to get to the hospital,” said Hector. He tried to drag Jason off, but Marcus tackled him.
“I think he’s a PageRunner. I’ll hold him. One of you use your footnoterphone to call Jurisfiction,” he called out. Jason and Robin both obediently started dialing. Marcus and Hector started to fight. Hector was stronger than Marcus had expected, and he struggled to hold him down.
“You can’t do this. I was made up before you! I should be in this book!” Hector screamed with rage.
“You’ve done enough damage to the narrative. Just sit here so we can return you to your novel,” replied Marcus.
“That’s the point! I don’t have a novel!” Hector yelled. A young woman in her thirties appeared. She had mousy colored, medium length hair, though she had ordinary looks.
“I’ll take him from here. You guys return to your story,” she said.
(This is a reference to one of my favorite book series)
“That was strange,” said Robin, “Now where were we. Oh yah.” Jason, Marcus, and Robin were walking to Jason’s house when Rainier Lich walked up to join them.
“Hello,” he said, “Nice day we’re having.”
“What do you want Lich?” replied Marcus.
“What makes you think I want something?” Rainier asked. Of cores he wanted something. He always did. The only person he cared about was himself. When Marcus was in first grade Rainier had promised to invite Marcus to is birthday party if he would do his homework for him. Marcus had fallen hock, line, and sinker. When to day of the party arrived, Marcus had been really excited. He had looked forward to this for months. He proudly walked into Chucky Cheeses, the location he had been told would host the party, but no one was there. This family had searched all over town for the right one. They never found it. The party had been the day before. Marcus never forgot this.
“We don’t want to help you, or take any help you could offer to give.” Marcus said.
“Not even if I could tell you the location of Simon Markson,” replied Rainier. He saw he now had their complete attention.
“Where is he?” asked Jason.
“I might tell you, I might not. If you want info, come to the Swindon Park at twelve tonight. Not a minuet early, not a minuet late,” said Rainier. Then he disappeared.
(This scene will be at the climax. Jason and Luke will be fighting)
“Luke?” Jason asked as recognition dawned. “Luke, it is you! What happened? Why are you doing this?”
“Don’t play stupid with me Jason. You know what happened. I thought we were friends!”
Jason tried to recall how this could have happened to his friend. He flashed back to the last time they had seen each other. It had been one year ago.
Jason had Luke over at his house. Jason had lost the second PlayStation controller in his couch, and they were tearing it apart trying to find it.
“What’s this?” Luke asked, holding up a simple gold pocket watch he had found laying in the couch.
“I don’t know,” Jason responded, “I think it’s one of those things people use to hypnotize each other.”
“Really? Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could hypnotize some of those nerds in school into being our slaves?” Luke questioned.
“Let me give it a try,” answered Jason. He held the pocket watch by the chain and began to swing it back and forth. Luke fell into a trance. Jason was startled. He hadn’t expected if to work. “This could be fun,” he thought to himself. He knew how much his friend cared about his perfect body, blond hair, and twinkling blue eyes. “I wonder how Luke would react if he lost his looks?” Jason wondered. After several minutes of thought and preparation, he decided what to say.
“You are losing your good looks. You have gone bald. There are scars all over your body. Strange tattoos cover your body as well. Your appearance has become what you most fear looking like.” Jason expected Luke to react eminently, but nothing happened. Luke continued to stare into space. Jason snapped to get his friend’s attention. Instantly the trance ended. Jason explained to Luke that it hadn’t worked, and they quickly forgot all about it.
The next day Luke wasn’t at school. He wouldn’t respond to Jason’s calls or texts. His family didn’t know where he was. The police searched, but he was never found. Life had moved on since then.