He was five years old. His arms ballooned up and became hammers, and he swung at sticks and branches. Entire forests fell before him. Blades of grass grew slick with poison and he abandoned the ground. Instead, his torso shot a cannon out his back and he flew up into the air.
Was flung through the clouds. And kept going up. Stars hurdled past him. Aliens reached out to him and he high-fived one while rocketing by. But wait! It had a super adhesive that naturally emitted through the alien’s hands, and his body stretched like a cat as the inertia and alien skin argued over his body.
“Unhand me!” the boy shouted. And his hands ejected from his body and one slapped the alien’s face.
Now the boy’s body grew and stretched—hot dogs and beans were sealed in ceramic organs inside of him while twenty new arms sprung from his chest, all without hands. He bumbled through the galaxy and knocked Jupiter askew.
A school of sea monkeys began orbiting around his flailing appendages and he swirled them up into a gust of space air, then blew them away. “And tell them Max sent you!” he cried after them.
But now it was quiet. He drifted and sleepily looked at the earth in cool greens and blues. After a minute, he hawked a loogie at it. A tidal wave crashed over California and it broke into the sea and sank.
Curling his twenty-two arms around his body, he tucked in his legs and cannonballed down. “I want pizza!” he yelled as he dropped back into earth and splashed under the surface. Skyscrapers were submerged and he climbed them like King Kong. At the top of one, he poked his head above the water, and a seagull pooped on his head.
Max gave it a stink eye as it flew away laughing. He dove back down into the water and kissed a mermaid swimming by him. “I’m the new ruler of this town!” he told her.
“No you’re not,” she said. “I am.”
“I’ll fight you for it,” he shot back, menacingly. His arms ripped up a coral reef and electric eels waited obediently at his heel.
The mermaid’s hair grew long into a rope and she lassoed a shark. “Attack!” she ordered. But the shark couldn’t get through his coral defense and the eels zapped it to bits. She bowed to Max. “You have earned my respect. You may take the town’s treasure.”
Huge clamshells opened to reveal jaw-breaking gumballs, and he plucked up two and replaced his eyeballs with them. Now he pulled a quarter from behind his ear and said, “I have all the riches in the world.”
Copyright 2014 Susan Ricker.