Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2284840-Chapter-Four---A-Beginning
by John
Rated: 13+ · Draft · Fantasy · #2284840
Matthew discovers he has changed and begins to adapt to his changes
          Chapter Four
                              A Beginning

         When Matthew woke up, he was disoriented. The last thing he remembered was seeing a window hanging in mid-air and strange lights coming toward him. His practical self knew that was impossible. Did he trip against a root and hit his head causing the hallucination? That must be it. But why was he in a hospital? Was he in the Emergency room? No, he was already in a room with a terrible headache and felt like a train hit him. There were two intravenous bags above his head with one in each arm. A nurse came in while he was wondering about his condition.

         "Hello! I am glad you are awake; my name is Linda. The doctor will want to know that you are awake. I think he is still here so he may come and see you before he leaves. How are you feeling?"

         "Kind of disoriented, like waking up from a long nap or something. I hurt almost everywhere and have a terrible headache." Matthew stated, "Where am I?"

         "You are at Wood Plaza Hospital. Let's check your vitals and see what we got," Linda checked to make sure all the tracking information was correct, checked the IVs, and then put the bed into an upright position, "That didn't take long, now did it?"

         "Do you know what happened to me today?" Matthew queried.
         "Nothing happened to you today that I know of," she began, "You were admitted three days ago and have been unconscious since then."

         "That's impossible. It seems like it happened just today."

         Linda stated, "Well, the chart states when the paramedics found you, you had a broken back; however, when they performed a Magnetic Resonance Imaging ("MRI") here, it didn't show any breakage or scar tissue. Well, there are changes, but it's best to let Doctor Schmitt discuss this with you. I haven't seen the test results."

         "That's funny. The only parts of my body that don't hurt are my back and legs." Matthew said, "This is strange because my left leg was damaged, and I could barely walk on it."

         "When the doctor sees you later, he can check and see what happened to your leg. For now, you should get some sleep. I will make a note for the doctor to wake you if you're sleeping when he comes by. Would you like your bed laying down?"

         "No, I'm fine. Thank you for asking."

         "Is there anything else I can help you with?"

         "I guess not. As I am not tired yet, may I watch television?" Matthew asked.

         "Of course," as Linda walked back over to the bed, "let me get the remote. Here are the settings for the television, here is the Call Button in case you need anything, here are the buttons for the bed, and here is the light switch button."

         "Great. Thank you again."

         "No problem at all. If you need anything, just call."

         After the nurse left, Matthew turned the television on. He was looking for the news channel to see if there was anything on about him and Joe. When he found it, he turned up the volume.

         "...and then Mr. Earnest was admitted to George Freman Hospital for evaluation. Mr. Yule was released from the doctor's supervision earlier this week after being attacked in Weston Park. However, later in the week, Mr. Yule was admitted to Wood Plaza Hospital after he was found unconscious by a tree in the same park. As of this morning, there have been no updates provided on his condition. Now, it's time for the weather with Betty..."

         Matthew turned the television off and began to wonder more about what happened and why he was found unconscious. Suddenly, he remembered the mugging and what the tall man stated about shooting him the next time he saw Matthew. He put the remote down and started feeling for bandages indicating if he was shot. After a thorough search, he didn't find anything resembling a wound of any kind. At this time, he also discovered his headache was gone, and he didn't feel as sore as he did before the nurse came in. On a whim, Matthew uncovered his legs and was about to pull up the hospital gown he was wearing when a doctor came in.

         "Good evening, Matthew, I am Dr. Schmitt. I am glad you're awake. I heard you have questions for me. Then I have questions for you."

         "Yes I do, a couple of them." Matthew started. "The first one is I heard the paramedics thought my back was broken, but the MRI didn't show it was. How is that possible?"

         Dr. Schmitt started by saying to Matthew, "It could be human error or false information provided. We double-checked while doing the MRI and it showed the same results."

         "Is it usual for a paramedic to misdiagnose something like that?" Matthew asked.

         "It can happen as the paramedics do not have the tools that would have aided them, such as an MRI or x-ray. What is your next question?"

         "I'm not sure if you looked at my past medical notes, but my leg was injured long ago. I could barely use it, let alone stand or walk on it."

         "I did. I read all the notes specifically about your left leg. To be honest, I have no idea how it healed within three days. It's astonishing. If I didn't see it myself, I would have thought Dr. Murphy was mistaken all along. But it doesn't; I question why you had difficulty standing or walking so poorly when there is no evidence of scar tissue substantiating it. By the way, how tall are you?"

         Taken aback, Matthew answers, "I'm 5', 8". Why?"          

         "That's what your license stated, but we have you at 7', 5". We had to find a bed that is for extra-large adults to accommodate you." Dr. Schmidt replied. He continued, "There are a lot of inconsistencies about you. I want to keep you here until we have answers."

         "Yes, please. I don't understand what is going on with me." Matthew declared.

         "That's not all. You've also gained weight, according to your previous weight, you weighed 185 pounds. When we admitted you, your weight was 375 pounds. It was difficult to pinpoint your Body Mass Index. It stated you had an index of 39.8, which is obese. However, you have no fat. It is all muscle and bone."

         At this, Matthew got out of bed and stood up before the doctor could protest. "There is no way I am 7' 5". " However, when he stood up he discovered he was easily two feet taller than the doctor. He sat down in disbelief. "I...I don't understand. There has to be something wrong with me. What are these changes caused by, and why are they happening to me?"

         "That is what I want to find out." Dr. Schmitt advised. "Get back in bed and try to get some sleep. If you need something to help you sleep, ask the nurse for it. I will write a prescription and leave it for the nurse in case you do."

         When the doctor left, Matthew stood back up. He slowly lifted his right leg. When he did, there was no pain or sign it ever was injured. He lifted his gown to mid-thigh and was startled again. These couldn't be his legs! They were extremely muscled and showed it. With both feet on the ground, he tried to jump a little bit to test if there was any weakness in his left leg.

         Mathew's head hit the ceiling. That was impossible as the ceiling was about nine feet above the ground. Besides that, he didn't jump that hard. His head was swimming with all this new information and what could have caused it. There had to be a medical reason for what is happening to him.

         He called the nurse for something to help him sleep, as he wasn't tired. "Can I help you?"

         "Yes, the doctor was just in here and said there would be a prescription to help me sleep. May I have it?'

         "Of course. I will be in there shortly. Do you need more ice water?" The nurse asked. "No, I am good with the water."

         When the nurse brought in the pills and an injection for the intravenous drip, Matthew didn't feel like talking because he was still thinking about all the new information he has been exposed to. Linda offered Matthew the pills and water. When he put the pills in his mouth, he drank all the water at once.

         "I guess you were thirsty. When I am done, I will bring some more water in." Linda then proceeded to place the sleeping agent into the intravenous drip. When done, she then left with Matthews's glass to get more water. He turned the news back on.

         All the news anchors talked about were the wars that were currently happening and corruption in the United States capital. While watching, Linda came back in and was surprised. Dr. Schmitt had prescribed a powerful sleeping agent that should have put Matthew to sleep within minutes. She was expecting him to be sound asleep when she returned. Instead, he was sitting up in bed with an agitated look on his face.

         "Oh, my, I thought you would be asleep by now. I brought you more ice water. Before I leave, would you like the lights turned off?"

          "Yes, that would be good. I am waiting to feel the effects of the sleeping stuff before I try to sleep. I am still a little thirsty. Could I have some more?" Linda promptly gave him the water cup. Like before, he drank all the water at the same time.

         "You do seem to be thirsty. Do you need some right now?"

         "Not right now. I will try to go to sleep with the TV on." Matthew said.

         Linda turned the small lights off and told Matthew, "I hope you get some sleep."

         After she left. Matthew got as comfortable as he could. He felt a chill in the room and went to the thermostat to see if he could get more heat. No such luck. He then searched the closet and found two more blankets. He promptly put both on the bed and climbed back in and covered up. He felt warmer but still a little chilly. He thought about calling the nurse but then decided against it. He has bothered her enough for tonight. He turned his attention toward the TV once again to decide what he wanted to watch. He found the Science Fiction/Fantasy channel. This was a guilty pleasure watching this channel. He felt guilty because when with his family or friends, he always said either it would never happen or fantasies are for dreaming about, not for TV shows; it's all made up.

         Unfortunately, Matthew did not sleep at all that night. He attributed this because his thoughts being all energized because of the changes he was going through. During the night, the nurse came back in twice: one was with the water cup, and the other was to get his vital signs at 3:00 am.

         "Have you slept at all?" Linda queried.

         Matthew answered her, "No not at all. I just can't sleep. I guess the sleeping shot didn't work because it wasn't enough to help me sleep or even get me tired."

         "I can't give you any more because it only allows one dose a night and you are taking the max amount. I will talk to the doctor tomorrow and see if there isn't anything stronger."

         "I appreciate that," Matthew stated.

         The nurse finished her vitals check and changed both intravenous bags as they were empty. After doing so, she checked the intravenous sites on both arms. Satisfied, she took his cup and stated she would bring it back in a little bit.

         Matthew was bored, he rarely watches television. He could seldom find anything that kept his attention. If he did find something he liked, commercials would make watching the show a waste of time. He did have three favorite actors: John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Katharine Hepburn. He loved the old Westerns and shows that had any one of the three actors. He would sometimes quote one of the lines from a movie if it fit the occasion.

         At five-thirty in the morning, he called for Linda. When the nurse arrived, it surprised Matthew because he was expecting Linda.

         "Where's Linda?" Matthew asked.

         "Her shift ended at five and I am the nurse assigned to you. My name is Mike. I have to admit it is good to see you awake. What can I do for you?" asked Mike.

         "Can I take a shower with these in my arms?"

         "Sorry, you can't. I can bring a bar of soap, a washcloth, and some warm water and you take a sponge bath. I can help you or you can do it yourself."

         "That would be great. I can do it myself." Matthew still felt cold, maybe the warm water would help. Mike turned on the ceiling light so Matthew would have a better view of what he is doing. When he unbuttoned the gown he was wearing, it expose his chest, shoulders, and stomach. While seeing his massive chest, broad shoulder, and eight-pack stomach muscles, he was shocked to see his skin color. Instead of white skin with tan lines on his arms, he saw now a medium gray color with no tan lines. He looked in disbelief and then stated in alarm, "What did you do to me? Did someone paint me gray? Why? Will it come off?"

         Mike answered a bit slowly at first, "We didn't do anything to your skin. You changed color on your first day here, while you were still unconscious. We, at first, thought you were losing blood pressure. However, your blood pressure, if anything, was a bit higher than normal. We then took a small skin graft and went it to be analyzed. The results aren't back yet. We did try removing the color with alcohol, but nothing happened."

         "What about my face? Is it the same color? Did anything happen to my eyes, nose, mouth, or ears?"

         "Let me get you a mirror. " Mike went into his bathroom and came out with a hand mirror. "Just take it slow."

         "Am I deformed?" Matthew asked alarmed. He then sat down and before he received the mirror, he felt his face and ears. He felt the ears were pointed. That can't be. He grabbed the mirror and began looking at himself in disbelief.

         His face had the same gray coloring as his body. He noticed right away his eye color was bright green, almost glowing. He looked to the top of his head. He first saw his ears. They looked like a cross between the demon's ears and Fae's ears. He then moved the mirror to the top of his head. His hair was gone. Nothing was there but a bald, gray head.

         Out of disbelief and shock, he accidentally let go of the mirror and it began to fall to the floor. Before it was two inches from his hand that was holding it, his other hand snatched the mirror out of the air before it hit the ground.

         "Great catch! You moved so fast I don't believe I even saw it move until it made contact with the mirror." voiced Mike.

         Matthew knew he didn't make his hand move. It seemed he had acted on pure instinct when grabbing the mirror.

         What was happening to him, Matthew wondered. Before he could think about the changes, he felt one slight pinch on both arms. Looking down, he saw that both of the IV needles had come out.

         "I'm sorry, all my moving about must have pulled the needles out of my arms," Matthew confessed.

         "Not a problem. I can reinsert them. Why don't you lay back down while I go get the supplies I need." Mike offered.

         When back in bed, Matthews's thoughts were racing. He had so many questions with no answers. He had a passing thought; was it because of the brain tumor? He quickly dismissed that idea because he was not the only one to have this kind of tumor. He then thought it could be caused by the chemical agents he was exposed to while in the military.

         Mike came back in and set up the needles, tubing, alcohol, cotton balls, and tape. "I will need to move the injection site a little."

         "That's ok, as long as the medicine changes me back to normal."

         After Mike prepared the needles and syringe, He placed the rubber cord around his upper arm and secured it. After he started to feel for a pulse he found a strong one right away. He then rubbed the alcohol over the new sight. When Mike tried to insert the needle, the needle slightly indented his arm; however, it would not pierce the skin.

         "That's odd, I can't break the skin. Maybe this is a defective needle. I'll try the other one." Mike changed the needle and attempted to place the needle within Matthew's arm. After several attempts, He again stated, "I can't pierce the skin with this needle either. "Let me try something else. We needed to get your glucose reading too. I will try using one of those needles and check your blood sugars."

         Mike prepared the glucose monitor and the small needle. He cleaned off his index finger and then place the device to take his glucose reading. After the click of the needle, Mike quickly tried squeezing the finger to produce the blood droplet with no results. He switched fingers and tried again. The same result happened, no blood. Mike looked at the puncture site closely and did not see where the skin should have been pierced.

         "I can't seem to pierce your skin with any needle. Something is either wrong with the needles, or your skin is forming a shell." Mike stated baffled.

         Matthew apologized again for the difficulties and proceeded to feel his arm for hardness. "I don't feel any difference with my skin."

         Matthew was becoming more and more frustrated with what has happened to him. He is discovering all these changes without any answers. He wanted to be left alone so he could think about what is occurring to him.

         "I am getting tired, if we can't go any farther, I would like to get some sleep."

         "Oh, OK. I can leave you alone now. I will need to report this to the Lead Nurse. She may want to come in and try inserting the needles and IV line. I will turn all of the lights out except for the Nurse's light."

         Unknown to Matthew, when Mike returned to the Nurse's Station, he proceeded to tell the Lead Nurse, Judy, what happened and the conversation with Matthew.

         "I think more tests are needed. We'll wait for the doctor to come back in before we do anything," Judy continues, "The skin graft results have come back. Dr. Schmitt will need to review them before talking with the patient. I did take a look at them and discovered something very odd. According to the test results, the patient is undergoing a physiological change. It goes into more detail for Dr. Schmitt.

         Matthew was in his room in the dark, even though, to him, it wasn't dark. He could see the room. He was intrigued if the same effect would happen outside. Since he could not go outside, he went to the window in his room. When he got there, he noticed right away that it was no longer dark outside. He could see for miles. He did a double-take because he could never see that far before. Not only that, he could see clearly from that distance. He was amazed by this and wondered what else he could see. He began to look around at the buildings and cars he could see from his window. He saw parked cars, their colors, entrances to buildings, their windows that didn't have their shades drawn, parking meters, even the ones that were expired, he also saw a car with a flat tire as if it was only feet from him.

         He stayed at the window for a long time just looking around. He discovered he could focus on a single object, like a zoom focus camera. He also learned that he could go back to his normal vision, but go into focus mode just by concentrating a little.

         Matthew walked over to his bed and sat down. He wasn't tired so he just sat up. He turned his television back on to the news and weather channel. While watching the news, Matthew suddenly had a thought about his voice. Had that changed too? There was no way he could tell unless he recorded himself speaking. Then he had a more practical way. He would call Joe and he could tell me if my voice had changed. The problem with that is it was 5:45 in the morning. Joe would be sleeping. He would have to wait until 6:30 to call him as that is when he wakes up.

         He turned his attention back to the news. He watched the news, and the same information was repeated, the wars between countries for no apparent reason, the death toll from a Mid-East country after a toxic nuclear plant started producing uranium for nuclear weapons, and the story about political unrest in his own country.

         As he continued watching, he thought something had to be done. When he and Joe were in the military together, they felt like they were doing something to resolve a conflict, liberate a country from a corrupt regime, and protect people who had no voice. He and Joe couldn't do anything now because of their age. Oh, they could stuff envelopes or make calls to the public. He didn't think that would be enough, he needed to be actively involved.

         When 6:30 arrived, he waited 5 minutes longer for Joe to be up and start his morning routine. At six thirty-five, Matthew called. George Freman Hospital for Joe's room. Joe answered the phone almost immediately.

         "Good morning, Joe. Sorry I haven't called before this."

         "Is this Matt? You sound different. Where have you been? Where are you now? Last I heard you were mugged in the park again and was hurt badly. Was it the two who robbed us the first time? You should have called right away after they were done. That's if you could've called. Your daughter has called me five times wanting to know if you contacted me. I was hoping you would have called them; they are worried sick about you."

         "I know, and I am very sorry. I have been unconscious for 3 days; I just woke up. Say, Joe, something is happening to me. I need you to come to your hospital. I saw a news story about me, didn't you see it?"

         "No, I haven't seen any news about you. I had surgery yesterday to remove my gallbladder. Your family may have seen it yesterday because I didn't have any messages from them."

         "Yeah, I am calling them next. I imagine I will hear an ear full where I've been, why I haven't called, and a whole bunch of other questions."           Matthew confessed. "Say, you said I sound different. How so."

         "You don't sound like yourself at all. You sound like a different person.

         " I have changed, Joe. I can't explain what happened or why, but I am worried I won't ever be the same again. It would be easier if I were there to talk in person."

         "Matt, are you ok? You sound, well, very stressed. As long as you are not dead, everything else is a plus. Nothing can be that bad. I get out tomorrow or the next day. When you are released, we can meet up and have a few drinks and play Hearts or Rummy."

         "Yeah, that sounds good. I will show you what happened and some of the differences with me."

         "Sure Matt, you can do that. In the meantime, relax. It can't be as bad as you think it is. Oh, don't forget to call Misty."

         Right before he began dialing, the door started to open Mathew hurried over to the bed, laid down, and covered up. He looked at the door to see who was coming in. It looked like they were coming in extremely slow as the door took a full two minutes to move all the way open. The nurse was walking in just as slowly as the door. Matthew blinked a couple of times to make sure he wasn't seeing things, and then the nurse and door were back to normal.

         It was Mike. As he came in, he saw the puzzled look on Matthews's face. "What's going on, Matt? You look like you have a question for me. I see your in bed again, did you get any sleep?"

         "No, I have been awake all night but don't feel like it. I feel pretty good. When does the doctor come in to do his rounds?"

         "He should be in around 7:00. He does have other patients to see, so it may be later than that. Are you hungry? I imagine you are. I can still order some breakfast for you."

         Even though he didn't feel hungry, he stated, "Yeah, breakfast sounds good. I would like scrambled eggs, sausage, toast, two cups of coffee, vanilla yogurt, and an apple. Oh, and pie, I would like a piece of pie. Any kind."

         "For not being hungry, you sure ordered a lot," Mike observed. "You sure that's all you want?" Mike mused.

         "Well, now that you mentioned it, can you double the scrambled eggs and sausage? I guess I am hungrier than I thought."

         "I am not sure they would do that. I will just request two trays and see if they send them."

         After eating two trays of food, Matthew once again turned his attention to the window. He noticed that his vision was the same as it was earlier in the day. He could still see for miles and in his close-up vision, still saw the car with the flat tire that was now being changed by someone with blue sweatpants, a red shirt, and black and yellow tennis shoes. When he looked at the clock it was 7:15. Hopefully, the doctor would be in soon.

         Fifteen minutes later, Dr. Schmitt came in. He had three people with him, all wearing blue scrubs and white hospital coats along with Mike. "Glad to see you're awake and sitting up. I have three residents with me on my rounds today. If it bothers you, let me know."

         "No, it's all right. What is happening to me? Is this some kind of mutation I am going through? And why is it happening? I know I just asked that, but this is upsetting." Matthew voiced.
         "As of right now, we don't know too much. Your skin graft came back as showing your body is spontaneously going through a rapid change. As of yet, we can't pinpoint the cause. The early blood samples indicate everything is properly functioning. Your thyroid test came back within an acceptable range, showing there were no abnormalities with your metabolism. If there were a perfect score for all your blood samples, you would have met or even exceeded it."

         "If it came back that good, why is this happening? When can I get out"          

         "As I stated, we do not know what happened, how it happened, or the root cause of your situation. We need to do more tests. We will schedule an MRI for later today with more blood work. What happened to your IVs? There wasn't an order to remove them."

         Mathew remembered how they popped out on their own. "They just came out. The nurse tried to put them back but could not pierce the skin. He tried several times with different needles, but nothing worked. The same thing happened when he tried to take my blood sugars."

         At this, Dr. Schmitt took out a glucose monitor the nurses use, changed the needle, and went to Matthew to take his blood sugar. When he placed the needle injector on Matthew's finger, he pushed the button and heard a loud click. When he lifted the injector, he saw that there was no blood or needle mark. He tried again, with identical results. Thinking the needle was defective in some way, he changed the needle and tried again with the same results.

         "These must be defected needles, I can't imagine what else is going on," Dr. Schmitt stated, "I'll request this batch be removed and replaced." Dr. Schmitt then addressed Mike, "Let's try placing the IV in again, I want to watch what happens." Mike excused himself to go get the supplies needed. While he was gone, Dr. Schmitt spoke with the residents regarding the test results and explained there are no perfect scores, which is why he wanted to do another blood work makeup.

         When Mike came back, he had two IV bags of medicine, tubing, syringes, and needles. He addressed Matthew, "Let's try this again. He prepped Matthew's arm, put the cord around his upper arm, and looked for a good vein. "This one is really good. We'll go for this one." When Mike cleaned the site, he took the needle and went to insert it into Matthew's arm. It did not go in. Mike tried again, but pushed harder, "Sorry I have to push hard."

         "It's ok. I don't feel anything but a little pressure," Matthew responded.

         Mike turned toward Dr. Schmitt and advised, "The needle is not going in, no matter how hard I push. This is exactly what happened before. Do you have any suggestions?"

         "I saw what happened and have no answer." Dr. Schmitt began, "I have never seen this happen before. Our patient is full of surprises. I need to go and examine the previous blood sample. Don't try any more IVs until I find an answer. Until then, Matthew, we will wait for the MRI results. I guess I have another question, have you experienced any other changes?"

         Matthew hesitates in telling the doctor about his sight improvement, reflexes, and apparent speed, "Well, not really. I am not tired if that helps".

         "It does. Do you have any questions before I leave? If not, just let your nurse know if you think of any and I will be contacted".

         "No, I haven't got any more questions". Matthew affirmed.

         Before Mike left, Matthew requested him to stay because he had a question for him. "What can I help you with?" Mike questioned."

         "Do you have any bigger gowns? This one doesn't cover my backside and is too short," As he pointed to the upper portion of his bare legs above his knees. "Or at least another gown to cover my back?"

         "You are wearing the largest gown we have. I can get you another gown so you can wear it like a coat. I will get one for you and bring it back." Mike offered.

         "That is better than flashing everyone my backside. And the gown looks like I am wearing a mini skirt."

         "I will go and grab another gown for you. Do you need anything else?" Mike offered.

         "Could you get me some more water, please?" Matthew asked.

         "Most definitely," Mike assured Matthew. He then left the room.

         Matthew received a call right after Mike left.

         "Hello, who is this?"

         "It's me, dad, Misty. What are you doing in a hospital? Are you ok? What happened? The last time we talked, you were fine after the mugging, a little shaken up, but fine. Were you more hurt than you told me? I called Joe and he said it was best to talk with you and he gave me this number."

         "No, no, I told you the truth about feeling ok. What did Joe tell you?"

         "He said you were in an accident in the same park you were mugged. That you were in the hospital and he didn't know when you would be getting out. Is that true, about the accident?'

         "I don't remember what happened before I passed out. I saw some lights coming toward me with, what looked like, a hazy cloud. Next thing I woke up here. That is the truth." Matthew left out seeing an opening above the ground about four feet wide by eight feet tall. He caught a glimpse of, what looked like, colorful statues right before he saw the colored light coming toward him.

         "We are coming down today to see you," Misty adamantly insisted, "I want to talk with your doctors about you and what they are doing. Besides that, I want to make sure you are getting the best care possible."

         "You don't have to worry about the care I am getting. The doctors have taken a special interest in me and my condition."

         "Well, that is reassuring. Good, I'm glad they are. Do you know when the tests will be done so you can go home? And we still will be coming down to see you." Misty insisted.

         "I am having an MRI later this morning or in the afternoon and the doctor will decide what is next at that time. I know I can't talk you out of it, but don't bring the kids. This is a quiet floor, and they don't want kids around." Matthew lied, not wanting the grandkids to see him like this. "Hey, if you are coming, stop by my condo and see if my new phone is there. You can help me set it up when you get here."

         "Ok, dad," affirmed Misty, "I will be there later after I pick up your phone. Please don't worry. We'll get through this, I love you. So do Cindy and Becca."

         Matthew had to brace himself for when she would arrive. How will she react upon seeing him? Will she just turn around and leave? He would feel better if she wasn't coming, but he can't always get what he wants, especially with Misty.

         Matthew could not wear his old clothes as they were simply too small. He couldn't go out in a hospital gown because he would attract attention. Then again, a man 7' 5" who had pointy ears and gray skin was hard to miss. He then had another idea. He grabbed the phone and made a call to the Men's Clothing Warehouse. He requested delivery to the hospital and advised the clerk he needed clothes for a 7' 5" man weighing approximately 375 pounds ...No, not overweight, very muscular. Like a boxer or basketball player...No, I have no idea...I want pants, a shirt, socks, underwear, and shoes. No, I don't have the shoe size. Just send whatever is your largest pair...No, I don't care about the color... Yes, charge this to my account under Matthew Yule...That's right...Can you make this a rush order?... Great. Please deliver to Wood Plaza Hospital, room, wait, I have to check." Matthew went to the door and peeked out. He saw his room number, 605, and went back to the phone and began talking again. "The room number is 605...No, you have been helpful. Thank you for your time."

         Two hours later, Matthew hears a knock at his door. "Come in," he called. In came a delivery man with four packages of various sizes and a big shoebox.

         "Delivery from Men's Clothing Warehouse. Whoa. You are not what I was expecting. You are gray and big. Really big. Are you one of those television wrestlers or something? What's your stage name?" Looking down at the packages, "Everything you ordered is included. I need you to sign the order, please" the delivery man requested. "Do you want me to stay in case nothing fits?'          

         "Yeah, that would be great," Matthew answered.

         The delivery man stated he would wait outside the door.

         When Matthew opened the packages, he saw underwear, a green t-shirt, green cargo pants, a green overcoat, socks, and black army boots. They all looked large enough to fit. He immediately went into the bathroom to change. The pants were a little tight, but not uncomfortable, and the shirt and coat fit perfectly. He wondered if the boots would fit. He left the bathroom and sat on the edge of the bed to put the boots on. After lacing up the boots, he stood up. The boots were snug but fit. He went back into the bathroom to look in the mirror.

         Matthew was looking at someone he did not recognize. This person was tall, very muscular, gray with glowing green eyes, and the look of someone you don't want to mess with.

         Once back in his room, he called for the delivery man to come back in. When he re-entered the room, he just stopped and looked at Matthew. After a minute of waiting, the delivery man asked, "Never mind being a wrestler, you're a superhero. You sure look like one. Why are you here? Can I have your autograph? Make it out to Ryan Brown."

         Matthew was dumbfounded by the response he was getting. He never considered that he would look good, let alone be mistaken for a superhero.

         "What's your name, like your superhero name?"

         "Well, I don't have one," Matthew explained.

         "You gotta have one. All superheroes have them."

         "Well, I am not a superhero. There was an accident, and this is what happened." Matthew offered.

         "Sure, you are. All superheroes are muscular, tall, and mysterious. Since you don't know what caused your transformation, and it was an accident, you fit the bill of a superhero. What powers do you have? Super strength? Flying? Super speed? Causing fire or ice? Mind reading?"

         "I'm not sure if I have any of them."

         "Have you tried anything to test yourself? That is the way it happens. Lift your bed to see if you are super strong."

         Matthew played along. He went over to the bottom of the bed and put one hand on the bottom rail and lifted. It was like he was lifting a pencil. There was very little effort to lift the bed. He set it back down and went to the side of the bed. Using both hands, he found the bed frame and took hold of it, and tried lifting the bed once more.

         He picked up the whole bed easily. He was so surprised by what he was doing, that he about dropped the bed. He looked back at the delivery man who was recording Matthew lifting the bed on his cell phone.

         "People are not going to believe this. Can you fly or hover in mid-air?"          

         "No. I mean I don't think so. I don't know how to tell if I even can fly."

         "Some people need a running start while others just lift off from the ground. I guess you can just think about wanting to fly and then do it. The same goes for increasing or slowing down. Since we are not outside, try hovering. Just think of going up."

         Matthew closed his eyes and thought about floating up off the ground. He concentrated hard because he wanted to know if he could. All of a sudden, his head hit something hard. He opened his eyes to see he was touching the ceiling. He looked at the delivery man on the ground smiling at him.

         "Now think about moving forward."

          Matthew was still in shock about floating, let alone moving toward the window. With that thought, he began to move slowly toward the window and the delivery man.

         "How is this possible? Nothing is holding me up! How am I going to stop?" With that thought, he stopped moving. He had an idea and willed his body to go down and did.

         The delivery man stated he had to go but wished he could stay and watch Matthew do other feats of wonder. Matthew thanked him for bringing the clothes and helping him find out his strength and flight and bade him goodbye.

         After he left, Matthew wanted to do something he once saw in a comic strip. He went over to the bed and proceeded to lift the whole bed. When he had the bed clearly off the ground, he thought about moving toward the window and began to hover. As he hoovered toward the window, someone opened the door, without knocking, and came in without Matthew noticing.

         "Dad, is that you?"

6810 Words

6801 Words

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