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Jilly Milly – Chapter 10

Written by marknew742 :: [Monday, 07 March 2005 13:51] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 04 May 2014 11:43]

38

 

She was flying high above the ground, the sweep of all the flat land of Kansas before her eyes. The air was sweet and mild, and as far away the ground as she was, she could smell the pleasant and familiar odor of slight decay from the fallen leaves and the dry stubble of wheat on the fields. She circled around Chester, enjoying the new vantage point from which she could see the town. There was her father, busy as usual with some project, her brother, listening to horrible music. HA! At this distance it didn't bother her at all. She looked at some of the other houses. There was Joey, pretending to study. She examined him more closely and noticed him fingering himself and his tremendous erection. It looked more like a horse's penis than a boy's! A shudder went through her, but then she remembered her tremendous powers, and spiraled down toward him. She was in complete control now. She could …

 

“Claire! Hey Claire!” Someone was shaking her. The scene was slipping away. “Claire, wake up!”

 

Claire opened her eyes and looked up at her friend, hovering a few inches above her. It had been a dream. Jill was the one with super-powers, not her. She struggled to make her voice work. “Jill! What time is it?”, she said hoarsely.

 

“It's five,” Jill replied and unfurled Superboy's cape. “Climb in. I want to take you to Brazil to meet someone.”

 

Claire looked at the clock, confirming it was really 5:02. “Isn't it Monday? We have school.”

 

“No problem. I'll get you back in time. And we can even bathe under a waterfall in the Amazon, so you won't have to take a shower.”

 

“Yeah, sure.” Claire tried to clear the cobwebs in her head and raised herself slightly. Jill pulled her upright. “Is he a boyfriend or something?”

 

Jill smiled. “Not really. I haven't SEEN you since Saturday, so I haven't had a chance to tell you. I've had the most AMAZING weekend.” She bent closer to Claire. “Claire, it's like, you would not BELIEVE how wonderful sex is. I'm like totally addicted. No, not addicted. It's just – oh, Claire, you've just GOT to see what I mean, so we can talk about it.” Claire looked puzzled.

 

“Listen, I've found this great Brazilian guy. He's so nice and so gentle. He'll be perfect for your first time. He's waiting for us. We can be there in five seconds, and you'll have plenty of time for a shower and a massage after, and then a tropical breakfast, and then back in time for homeroom.”

 

Claire was shocked. “You've picked someone for me? But I don't even know him.”

 

“So? He's so good Claire, and he's absolutely gorgeous. You'll die, I promise you, when you see him.”

 

Claire pulled back a little. “I-I don't know, Jill. It's like, a big thing, you know. A really big thing.”

 

“No it's not! It really isn't. You have to start sometime, and this would be a perfect way. And I'll be right nearby. I promise you he's clean, no diseases, and he's so sweet. And it'll be something we've shared. And you'll be a woman, Claire. You'll know what I know.”

 

“But … but … what if I get pregnant?”

 

“You won't, Claire. You can't. You haven't ovulated yet.” She opened the cape. “Come on!”

 

“How do you know? You mean you-” Claire brought her hands to her crotch, realizing it was futile. Jill could see right through them if she wanted. “Gee Jill, I kind of feel …”

 

“Claire, come on! I'm your best friend. I would never push you to do anything bad. Believe me, you'll thank me afterwards – and during! Please!”

 

Claire stared past Jill, thinking. “I-I can't Jill. I can't do that,” she said haltingly. She felt cold all of a sudden and hugged herself. “I'm sorry. You probably think I'm a real wimp. But I-I just can't.” She tried to make a connection. “We always talked about how we'd lose our virginity, and with whom. I know I've thought about it a lot. I just don't think I'm ready. So, uh, I guess you like it, sex I mean.”

 

Jill sighed. “Yeah, it's great.” She frowned. “You disapprove of me. You think I'm a bad person. A slut. A sinner.”

 

“No! I don't! You're in a totally different position from me. I can't judge you. I-” She looked down. “I wish we weren't so different now,” she said in a small voice. “You can do anything, but I'm just a normal girl. You were always smarter than me, and prettier. But now it's … it's … I can't keep up with you.”

 

“That's why I want you to come with me! I want to share these things with you, but you don't want to!”

 

“It's not that! It's that … you're changing, Jill! I mean, you're moving so fast. I can't just wake up one morning and fly to Brazil and lose my virginity. Before all this happened to you, we would have talked for DAYS about just how far we might go with a certain guy IF he happened to call one of us and ask us to go out on a date with him. What we'd do, what he'd do, what he'd do after we didn't do what he wanted us to do, what we'd wear, what he'd wear, what he'd say, what we'd say. You know what I mean.”

 

Jill felt a strange shiver go through her. This seemed so childish to her. A part of her really wanted to connect with Claire, but this was so pointless. Claire didn't want to go. Fine then! She'd go and enjoy Paulo again herself.

 

He wouldn't mind. Having sex with Claire would have been a favor for Jill anyway.

 

“Yeah, I know,” she said. “I'm sorry I woke you up Claire. It was a silly idea. I'll see you in school, ok?”

 

Claire was crying. She nodded. Before she could open her mouth to say anything else, Jill was gone.

 

39

 

The high school was buzzing. The students, clustered around the entrance, were smoking, talking, laughing and carousing in the fifteen minutes before the first bell rang. There was plenty to talk about. Even though the football team had lost by four touchdowns, the parties after the game had particularly lively. With Charlotte McKay, Sue Roberts and Margie Taylor mysteriously missing, their boyfriends roamed around freely with the junior cheerleaders, starting a round of “musical chairs,” which left a few sophomore boys unhappy but everyone else gossiping about the new pairings and what would happen Monday when the three top cheerleaders showed up to reclaim their guys. But would they show up? No one had seen them all weekend. All they'd heard was that Sue and Margie went to Kansas City to see a doctor, and Charlotte's parents had taken a dumpy looking girl to buy classes. What would happen when Sue ran into Monica and Cherie (who were with Arnie), and when Charlotte got her claws into Ellen, who had left the party with Bill? Everybody loved a good catfight, and Charlotte was a particular loud, and dirty, fighter.

 

No one suspected the truth. The fact was, Margie and Sue had gone to the skin center in Kansas City Saturday but returned with the same wrinkled, leathery faces they'd worn when they first woke up Saturday morning, looked in the mirror and screamed. They screamed nearly the whole day, so much so that Sue's father, who was driving them to Kansas City in his minivan, threatened to dump them halfway there if they didn't stop. They screamed when Mr. Roberts dismissed their contention that the problem was due to insect bites. They screamed when the doctor examined them. They screamed when he took a small skin sample to test for cancer. They screamed when he mentioned the word cancer, even when he said they didn't have it. And they screamed when he told them their appointment was over and turned them over to a technician for some further tests. The technician didn't like them at all, and observed clinically and unsympathetically that they obviously had spent too much time in the sun during the summer, and their condition should be a lesson to girls everywhere.

 

She suggested, with customary Midwestern pragmatism, that as a public service the girls' faces be shown on television as a warning. The girls screamed out their refusal and burst into tears and then threats. Finally the plastic surgeon offered the possibility of skin grafts, but as the girls were not accident or burn victims they were far down on the priority list. For now, there was no choice but to return home and attend school. They screamed at him for his laziness – couldn't he just work on Sunday and take care of them tomorrow? He coldly declined – it was still warm enough for golf, after all, and after enduring a few more minutes of loud protests, he ushered them out of his office and quietly moved them further down on the list.

 

Sue went from right from the Skin Center to the mall, buying every expensive oil and cream on display to try to moisten and tighten her skin, and screamed at the beauticians when they invariably wore off after forty minutes. Nevertheless, she bought them all, and on Sunday, had her mother phone the principal and explained why her daughter would need to be excused from class every thirty minutes to reapply her creams and keep her skin moist. After quick consultations with the school nurse, the health teacher, the teachers' union representative and the town lawyer, the ruling came back Sunday night. There would be no special powder room breaks. After all, every girl in the school would soon ask for similar breaks to REMOVE excess oil from THEIR skin. Sue was crushed.

 

Margie sadly could not afford fancy creams. The Nivea she slathered on every ten minutes soon dried to a milky residue that looked worse than her wrinkled skin.

 

The two girls commiserated all Sunday night on the phone. Monday would be a nightmare. And it was all Charlotte's fault. If they hadn't gotten kicked off the field, they never would have run into those “killer gnats” that had messed up their faces. Charlotte hadn't answered her phone all weekend, but they'd be sure to fix her at school Monday. Sure she was a gymnast, and she was strong, but there were two of them after all.

 

Meanwhile, Charlotte was having worse problems. She refused even to leave her room at first during the weekend, hoping whatever “bug” had infected her Friday night and made her vision blurry and her muscles unresponsive would go away. But after Mr. McKay watched his daughter stumble around the house he decided he could not accept a “head-in-the-sand” approach. He insisted she submit to complete medical and eye exams right away. The doctor noticed minor internal bleeding and weakened tendons, which he attributed to the dangerous acrobatics from cheerleading, leading Charlotte's parents to ban her from further participation on the squad, at least until the Spring. Charlotte argued, but secretly she was relieved. She didn't think she could jump now if her life depended on it. The optician was more pessimistic, saying there had been permanent damage to the lenses of her eyes. Charlotte was horrified and refused to believe it, but her parents stoically bought her glasses and insisted she just get on with it. After all, they wore glasses and it hadn't ruined their lives. But Charlotte took one look at herself in the mirror and knew just who she resembled – that nerdy Jill Pell.

 

Charlotte wept miserably all Saturday night and through most of church Sunday. She made a few feeble attempts to loosen and exercise her failing muscles, but her limbs seemed to become weaker and less co-ordinated through the day, until by Sunday night she was unable to stand properly, her shoulders slouching and her stomach developing a distinct paunch. Again she pleaded with her mother to let her skip school, but she refused, saying the problem was surely temporary and she would have a good opportunity to get her grades up while her physical condition excused her from cheerleading.

 

So there she was, at 8:25 Monday morning, walking down the path to school with great trepidation, wearing thick glasses and shuffling like a seventy year old woman. Instead of wearing her usually skimpy and fashionable outfits, she hid her ruined body in her Aunt Lonnie's bulky sweaters and stretch pants.

 

Although her pert face was intact, marred only by a weekend of crying and the morning's relative inattention to make-up, it seemed to be placed on an entirely different body. Each boy she passed looked at her at least twice in astonishment, openly staring at her collapsed bust (now merging indistinguishably with her thickened waistline), while mentally comparing it with the splendid breasts that had shot proudly from her chest at the football game. She moved quietly toward the entrance clutching her books to her chest, like the nerdier girls in school, trying to melt into the walls to avoid being seen.

 

Jill, on the other hand, was ready to be seen. Even before her powers had emerged in their full glory Friday night and her father had consented to her wearing “contact lenses”, she had begun strutting around school more confidently, taking advantage of her improved eyesight and quicker brain. Now, emboldened by her weekend experiences with her full superpowers, she arrived at school ready for some action. Immune to the cold November morning air, she wore a thin, hot pink tube top, barely covering her breasts, leaving her small waist and navel uncovered. Her blue jeans were skin tight, enlivened by a flower embroidered in pink on each back pocket, matching her sandals. Her blond hair dazzled, and she moved down the path to the school with such effortless grace that she seemed to be floating.

 

She proudly ignored the stares of the boys who had never paid attention to her before. Mere high school kids, they couldn't compare with the men she'd had over the weekend, although she might have some fun with them later anyway. But when she saw Bill Burton, hanging out in the usual place with the other jocks, her heart fluttered for an instant. He'd never even noticed her before, but now it would be different. She looked him over using her X-ray vision and smiled in anticipation. Bill was nicely hung. She just had to see she how big he'd get if she gave him a little stimulation. She stopped, knowing he'd seen her, and turned slightly to show him her profile, then resumed her walk toward him. She'd spent a few minutes on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro Sunday observing the slow sway that the beautiful Brazilian girls used and it had taken her then just a few moments to master it. Now she put it into practice.

 

Her hips moved in rhythm with a slight sway of her upper body, setting off a wobble in her bust that beat in time to the wiggle in her hips. Jill knew she was looking hot. She had the attention of every boy in front of the school now, and she slowed down further, wanting to extend the moment as long as she could. She felt a warm glow as she watched Bill and the other football players around him respond, some of them shifting around uncomfortably as their members pressed against their pants. All for her! This was nice.

 

“Hey, is that YOU Jill? Since when did you get sexy?” Josh Harkens called out. He was one of the regular receivers.

 

Jill shrugged and gave him a 100 Watt smile, saving some for later, and looked at Bill who seemed to be in a trance. Meanwhile, Josh walked up to her. “Hey, Jill, do you want me to carry your books?” he said, with a smile, putting an arm around her shoulder. The other boys laughed uncomfortably, jealously. Josh was always so self-assured, even with a hard-on.

 

Jill bit her lip. Josh was cute, but she wanted Bill. “I don't know,” she said uncertainly, stepping away slightly, putting her hand on her hip and swiveling it, and watching Bill shift uncomfortably. Poor boy, maybe she'd made him too hard to walk! “Isn't your locker on the other side of the school?”

 

Arnie let out a whoop. “Whoa, Josh. She knows where your locker is! She's hot for you!”

 

“I am not!” Jill replied, glaring at him, then quickly realized she'd said the wrong thing again. If she denied it, they'd all assume it was true, and then Bill would never go for her. “I'd just rather Bill carried my books!” she replied, shaking her shoulder.

 

Bill looked at her at little uneasily. “Yeah, well … you know, Jill. I'd, uh, help you out if you need it, but, uh, I'm kind of seeing Charlee.” He looked at her again. It was amazing the way girls' bodies could change, almost overnight. How did she ever get so hot?

 

She couldn't believe it! He was rejecting her for Charlotte?!! The temptation to burn him to a crisp passed through her, but then out of the corner of her eye she saw Charlotte approaching, stepping feebly around the crowd trying to avoid them. Well, this would be much better. “You are? Well, I see Charlotte coming now. Maybe she won't mind. HEY CHARLOTTE! BILL'S HERE! WE WANTED TO TALK TO YOU!”

 

Bill looked at her stupefied. What the hell was she doing? Charlotte wasn't anywhere nearby. Jill should just put her glasses back on. She may have turned into some kind of babe, but she was nuts.

 

Charlotte heard someone calling her. She looked at the cluster of bodies near the school entrance, but couldn't tell who it was. It was probably Sue or Margie. Why hadn't she phoned them this weekend. Now they'd make a big fuss about her in front of everyone. She heard someone calling her again. She had no choice. If she didn't come now, there would be more questions. She shuffled in the direction of the voice.

 

“Here she comes. Here's your girlfriend, Bill.” Jill said sarcastically. “I see why you go out with her. She's so beautiful.”

 

Bill whirled around. “What is your PROBLEM Jill? I'm not going to-” Charlotte? Charlotte? Is that YOU?” He stared at the slightly stooped girl with the large coke bottle bottom glasses.

 

Jill walked up to her. They had been nearly the same height, but now Jill seemed three inches taller. “WELL Charlotte. LIKE your new glasses. Is that what they're wearing in the big cities now?”

 

“Jill Pell? Get out of here. I don't want to see YOU.”

 

Jill stood directly in Charlotte's way. “You mean you can SEE through thick glasses like those? You don't need GLASSES, do you? Since when? I bet you wore them just to make fun of me, didn't you?” She snatched them off and held them away from her. “That's better, you look more like yourself now.”

 

“I … I need them – today. Give them back, loser.” she hissed.

 

“You need THESE? You must be half blind.”

 

“Jill!” Bill spoke sharply. “What the fuck are you doing?! Give the glasses back to her.”

 

Charlotte, her spirits restored a little by Bill's support, took the glasses from Jill coldly and put them back on. She held her head a little higher and turned her nose up, then looked at Jill, ready to dismiss her with another cutting remark, then looked again, with shock, then horror. My god! Jill looked ten times better than she ever had! An unfamiliar wave of insecurity passed through her.

 

Jill turned around, surprised that Bill was taking Charlotte's side. “But she's …” What should she say? It would sound so lame to tell Bill that Charlotte was ugly. Surely Bill could see that for himself. Yes, she'd let him, and focus her attention on Charlotte. “Is that better? At least now your FACE goes better with your BODY, which frankly doesn't look so good, Charlotte, even without the new glasses. Is the bra new too? What's the model called? The Grandma bra? The push down?”

 

Everyone's eyes were now on Charlotte's breasts, or, more precisely, moving back and forth between where Charlotte's breasts USED to be and where they (probably) were now.

 

Claire had just arrived and was watching the scene with astonishment. “Jill,” Claire said quietly. “Jill, stop being so mean to her. Come on, I need to talk to you.”

 

Jill ignored her.

 

“They're all the way down to your navel! That is SO WEIRD, Charlotte. Did you forget to WEAR a bra today? I don't think my tits would hang like that even if I DIDN'T wear a bra.” The boys were staring too and murmuring their agreement.

 

Bill looked shocked as he stared at Charlotte and kept looking from Charlotte to Jill and then back again. Jill's body was mighty fine, he had to admit.

 

Jill pushed closer to Charlotte and bumped her with her firm breasts.

 

Charlotte staggered a little. “Hey Charlotte, c'mon, tell us, how'd they get so low?”

 

Charlotte was crying. “You are one fucking bitch, Jill. Can't you see I'm sick? Why don't you leave me alone!”

 

“Sick? You're not sick, just ugly!” Jill replied.

 

There was a collective intake of breath. Bill stepped forward. “Jill, you'd better get out of here, right now, before eight guys on the football team beat you to a fucking pulp. I don't fucking care if you're a girl. No body talks to Charlotte, or anyone else in this school, like that. Not while I'm around at least.”

 

Jill was in shock. “But … but that's … that's how she always talks to me. She-”

 

“I do not! I've NEVER done anything to you. I hardly KNOW you.”

 

“But my party … and when YOU took MY glasses,” Jill said in her defense. She whirled at Bill. “You never stuck up for me when she did THAT!”

 

“She's making it all up,” Charlotte said through her tears.

 

Bill, Arnie and Joey advanced on Jill. “You'd better move on, Jill. NOW.”

 

Claire walked up to Jill and took her arm. “Come on, Jill, let's go,” she said. Jill shrugged it off, seeing Margie and Sue edging toward them through the crowd. “Oh, look! It's your friends. They're looking good too.” She took a couple of steps back.

 

“We want to talk to you Charlotte!” Margie started angrily, then looked at her more closely. “Ewww! What's WRONG with you?”

 

Charlotte was leaning forward peering at them through her glasses. “What happened to YOUR FACES? They're all scaly!”

 

“You're standing like you're an old LADY!” Sue said.

 

“That's what your FACES remind ME of!” Charlotte hit back.

 

“Oh YEAH?” Margie snapped and slapped Charlotte. Although she hadn't hit her hard, Charlotte staggered and fell, her books flying.

 

“Agghh! My back. My back's sprained!” Charlotte shouted. She struggled to get up, but she couldn't and lay in the wet grass. “Help me. Won't someone help me?” Margie and Sue looked at each other, shrugged and walked away. “Traitors! Flakefaces!” Charlotte called after them. Jill was standing by the side, laughing, while Claire watched. Bill helped her up. He stared at her.

 

“What was THAT all about? They're supposed to be your friends. You're acting as bad as Jill. What's happened to you, Charlee?” he said, the look of distaste plain on his face.

 

Her lip trembled. “I don't know Billy. I don't. I-”

 

“Woof! Woof, woof!” barked a voice from the crowd, provoking a laugh. The rest of the team laughed, then looked guiltily at Bill, who looked at them angrily.

 

“Shut you guys! Can't you see she's sick or something.” He said to Charlotte more quietly. “You are, uh, just sick, right?”

 

She nodded vigorously. “I hope so, Billy. I hope so. It's just – the doctor doesn't really know what happened.”

 

“Uh, really? It's weird, isn't it?”

 

“I know. I feel so awful,” she said, leaning on his shoulder, looking over at Jill. The bell rang. “Please walk with me to my locker, Billy? OK?” He nodded and they entered the school, Charlotte leaning on his shoulder while Bill supported her with his arm around her waist. He noticed the smirks on his fellow students' faces as they went by. He looked down at her. She looked like a completely different person, not just plain but … ugly. The second bell rang. “Uh, Charlee, I have to go to class now. I'll, uh, probably see you later, ok?” Charlotte nodded unhappily, then burst into tears again after he left.

 

“Now THAT was sweet,” Jill said from across the hall and then vanished, reappearing next to Claire at her locker. “Enjoy your sleep? Ready for class?”

 

Claire turned around, startled. “Jill!” She stared at her for ten seconds. “Jill. That was … that was so mean. Jill … why? Why did you have to do it?” She was crying. “Oh darn it. I have to go to History. I have a test. Jill, what's happening to you?” She put her arms around her and held her, her tears dripping onto Jill's shoulder. Jill looked at Claire, silently, then Claire broke away to run to her class.

 

Jill wondered, was Claire always such a wimp? Well, maybe she wasn't going to win points with Bill by making fun of Charlotte, but she could tell Bill found her attractive. It wouldn't be long before she had him too, just like the other guys she'd had last weekend.

 

“Uh, Jill? Jill?” It was CJ Hawkins.

 

She looked down at the scrawny sophomore. “Yes, what do you want, CJ?”

 

“I just … just had to tell you. I've always thought you were beautiful. But today … today you're just … you're an absolute goddess. You are just total perfection. And I … I'll always adore you, worship you. Bow down, even, before you.” He stared at her. “I mean, you don't have to do anything. Can I just look at you?”

 

She smiled, touching his face with her hand. “Sure CJ. You just go right ahead.” She shrugged and turned around, getting her books out of her locker. “Girls like to be worshipped, after all,” she said, half to herself, and made her way to Miss Thompkin's history class. She was completely prepared for class this time.

 

She walked in 5 minutes late and took her seat. “Miss Pell! Are you LATE for my class AGAIN?!”

 

Jill looked up at the clock. “Why yes, Miss Thompkins. I certainly am.” She looked her teacher squarely in the eyes. “Did I miss anything important, or were you just blabbing away?”

 

All movement in the classroom stopped. Was Jill crazy? Miss Thompkins jaw dropped. “What did you just say?!”

 

“Just talking about blabbing, Miss Mitch – I mean Thompkins. I've been studying some history. Local history. All about Sarah Mitchell and Oscar Fenwick.” Miss Thompkins went pale. She dropped her chalk on the floor and stared at Jill. “It was such a sad story, Miss Thompkins, wasn't it? I was thinking of doing my oral presentation on them. It was a sad story, but very instructive. And I think students today would-”

 

“That is NOT history. That is NOT what this class-”

 

“The rules say that the sophomore history assembly gives special preference to local history. So, Miss Mitchell I thought.

 

“My name is NOT Mitchell.”

 

“I know that. But when Oscar-”

 

“QUIET. T-t-take your seat Miss Pell.” Miss Thompkins was shaking and walked slowly to her chair and tried to sit down, but couldn't pull it out. She tried several times to grip the back, but her hand kept slipping off. Finally, she kicked it out with her feet and sat. The class looked at her, then back at Jill, who sat smugly in hers, as if she were eager for the next bit of instruction. The class waited while Miss Thompkins tried to speak, but nothing came out. She tried to stand up, then sat down heavily in her chair, her mouth shaking, then she began to drool and suddenly pitched forward on her desk.

 

One girl screamed, “She's dead!”

 

Jill looked at Miss Thompkins. “No she's not. But I think she's had a stroke.” She sat there. “Maybe somebody should get the principal,” she said casually.

 

Two girls started crying, and a boy jumped up and ran out of the room.

 

“What did you DO to her? Who is Oscar Fenwick?” Carlie Howells asked.

 

“I didn't DO anything. She was obviously very upset.” Jill started brushing her hair.

 

Mr. Gwynn, the principal, ran into the room. “Uh, students, I've called the ambulance. All of you will file out, quietly. You may go to the lunchroom, or study hall, until your next class.” The class filed out. He looked at Jill. “Jill, wait a moment. Dick said you said something to Miss Thompkins before she fainted. May I ask you what it was?”

 

Jill stood up and put her hands on her hips. She breathed deeply, pushing out her chest, enjoying the power she had to draw Mr. Gwynn's attention. “No,” she replied. “I don't think so.”

 

“What?! You're refusing to answer me?”

 

“Yes I am,” she replied coolly. “Mr. Gwynn, I have a more interesting question for you. Do you have any idea just how large my breasts are?” She pulled her top down slightly, showing the tops of her breasts. “They're pretty large, I think. And round. And firm.” She pulled it down a little more. “You can see I'm not wearing a bra, Mr. Gwynn. You can see that, can't you.”

 

“Jill Pell. This is not appropriate behavior, and I am leaving this room right now,” he said, backing away.

 

She followed him toward to door, “Oh, you can go, Mr. Gwynn. I wasn't going to keep you here. I wasn't going to let you touch them, as warm and soft and sensitive as they are. Even though I like having them touched and fondled and sucked. Sucked really hard. You would not believe how quickly my nipples get hard, Mr. Gwynn. They get very hard and long. Like they are right now. Can you see them, those dark points pushing out this little top?” His hand was on the door handle. “They're much larger than Lydia's. Lydia Harman. She wasn't as pretty as I am, Mr. Gwynn. Or as smart, was she?”

 

“L-Lydia? I don't know who you're-”

 

“Sure you do. You still keep pictures of her. Six years after she died. They're not very 'nice' pictures, are they? Strange how some girls die in their own bathtubs.” She brushed past him. “I think you better call my Dad for Miss Thompkins, Mr. Gwynn.”

 

She walked through the door and pulled her top back in place a few steps outside. The day was turning out almost exactly as she'd planned. It was amazing how almost everyone in town had secrets, and how easy it was to find out about them, looking in diaries, photo albums, old newspapers. She'd read them all, seen all the pictures, memorized them all, in no time at all. She could spy on everyone she wanted, twenty-four hours a day. All it took was a brief glance. Boys jerked off all the time. It was interesting to see what they looked at, the expressions on their faces. And men like Mr. Gwynn, divorced, with his trove of pictures of students and former students. He was so easy.

 

“Hey, you. Jill.” It was Joey. “You're a real bitch, you know that?”

 

Jill smiled. He was on her list too. “Yeah Joey?”

 

“You better watch your ass. Sticking your nose into other people's business.” He saw an dark, empty shop classroom and grabbed Jill, pulling her in there and closing the door.

 

“Whoa! And what are YOU going to do about it?” she asked. “You wouldn't be threatening me, would you?”

 

“Maybe I am. I have a good thing with Claire. She likes me. I think she's ok.”

 

“You think she'll do? Like Helen and Barbie? You think you'll treat her like you treated them?” She shook her head. “I don't think so.”

 

“That's my business. And hers.”

 

“And mine. Stay away from her Joey. I'm warning you, stay away.”

 

“You're warning ME?” He stood closer to her, feeling his thick biceps. “Girls ought to be careful around guys like me. Didn't your mother ever tell you that?”

 

“No,” she replied, running her fingers up her slender arms and then over her breasts. “She didn't. But even if she had, I wouldn't have listened.” She let Joey look at her. He was getting hard. “I know you Joey. You think you're really tough, right? You think you can do what you like with a girl?”

 

He shrugged. “I've had my fun.”

 

“You think you can take advantage of girls, don't you?”

 

“I think girls who act like teases ought to know they're playing with fire. What the fuck do you think you're doing, Jill?”

 

“Having a little fun with you Joey,” she replied, feeling her breasts and rotating her hips slowly. “And teaching you a lesson. Today I'm going to teach you something very important.”

 

“You're really losing it, Jill. First Friday night, and now today.” He unzipped his fly. “But if you think you're going to come on to me like that and then walk out of here like nothing's happened, you've got another one coming.” He grabbed her and put his hand inside the front of her jeans, pulling open the button and unzipping it. “I hope you can take it, Jill, cause if you can't it's going to hurt you a lot more than it hurts me.”

 

“You don't know, do you? You think you know a lot about girls, but you haven't learned the secret yet,” she said calmly as Joey yanked her jeans below her hips and pushed her backwards against the shop table. She put her hand on his chest. “You're just a boy, you know.”

 

Joey shoved his hand over her mouth. “You are really a weirdo, Jill, you know that? But right now, I don't want to listen to your yapping. I'm sure you understand,” he sneered as he opened up her legs with his foot. Jill was pushing against his chest. “Too little too late Jill. Now you're gonna just relax and en – hey!” he said as Jill calmly pushed him up in the air, balancing him on her hand, his erect dick just hanging down uselessly.

 

Jill pulled his hand off her mouth. “You think YOU were going to rape ME?” she said, mockingly. “What a joke!”

 

“H-how can you-” he said hanging in the air.

 

Jill shrugged, and then started twirling him back and forth. “It's not very hard, you know. What's amazing to me is how males can be so weak. It must be so awful to be so helpless.”

 

“What are you TALKING about?” he said, wide eyed. “P-please p-put me down,” he said, his voice rising as she increased the pace.

 

“So weak AND fragile,” she sighed, stopping. She stood up, keeping him in the air, then dropped him behind her keeping herself between him and the door.

 

“You're … you're Supergirl!” he said.

 

She looked disgusted. “I am not! I'm not from Krypton. I'm an Earthling, a real American, just like you! Well, not just like you, but I'm a totally ordinary GIRL.” She sighed. “You would have found out last week, when I showed up at your car, except you were acting like such a jerk that I decided it was the wrong moment to tell you.”

 

“Tell me what?” he said, watching in horror as Jill played with the top of a metal table, pushing her hand through it, then reshaping it so that it was as smooth as before. “HOW can you DO that – if you're not super?”

 

I TOLD you. I'm a GIRL. Look. Girls are different from boys, right? Anyone can see that.” He looked at her in total confusion. “You think you know all there is about boys and girls. Let's see, girls can have babies, they have breasts that can feed them and a vagina. Boys don't. Boys have flat chests, penises and very sensitive balls. Boys get sick more, die earlier, are more violent, and are less perceptive than girls. Right?” He nodded dumbly. “Good. Now, boys have big muscles, girls have little ones, right.” He nodded again. “Now you've probably always thought that makes boys stronger than girls. Of course you do; that's what you've been taught to think.”

 

“What do you mean? EVERYBODY KNOWS boys are stronger than girls.”

 

“They are?” Jill picked up a sheet of metal and crumpled it into a ball as easily as if it were a piece of paper. “Then this should be easy for you too. Here.” She handed him another sheet. He grasped the sides and bent it but was quickly stymied. She took it from him and finished crumpling it in a couple of seconds. “See?”

 

“If you're not from Krypton, then you're a freak! No one else could do that, except Superboy. No NORMAL girl could do that, any more than a I can.”

 

“ANY girl could do that, and they can do it more easily than Superboy too.”

 

“What?!! Are you trying to say all girls are stronger than Superboy?”

 

Jill sighed. “MUCH stronger, Joey. ALL of them, at least those above a certain age. I know it's hard for you to accept. It's one of those things we only let you boys know about when we decide you're ready. We decided your time came last week. Hey, don't worry. I'm sure that you ARE pretty strong – for a boy. It's just that once we girls reach puberty, our hormones increase our strength by several million times. I guess that's the evolutionary reason girls never had to develop large muscles. Ours just work better than boys' muscles, just like the rest of our bodies.”

 

“But … but that's ridiculous. I mean, I know I'm stronger than girls. I've-”

 

“-pushed them around? Yes, I know. They've let you. It's all part of the pretense we put on. We pretend we're the weaker sex. And men pretend they don't know we're stronger. It's been going on for thousands of years. It's what keeps civilization going. Apparently, thousands of years ago, women made full use of their superiority. They were the dominant sex and treated men like insects. But one visionary – her name was Eve – saw there could be a different world. Somehow she envisioned a society that could be created if men and women lived as though they were part of the same species. She 'ate from the tree of knowledge' and worked out a system that spread throughout the world, beginning with the banishment from the Garden of Eden by a 'masculine' god with her husband Adam. She rigged the whole thing. Instead of keeping her man as her pet, she let him work and 'rule' over her, while she 'bore the pain' of childbirth. The system spread like wildfire, through the existing network of women, who voluntarily gave up their civilization to allow a different world to develop. Women stopped using their strength. Men were taught to disregard it. Soon, they developed the confidence to act as superior to women, knowing that women would hold back and allow them to 'lead,' deferring to their 'bigger muscles and natural dominance.' Of course, without the benefit of the civilization women had developed, the world lapsed into barbarism. The universal world society created by women vanished and was replaced by separate tribes. But Eve had the confidence that something new and wonderful would develop. It took thousands of years, but it has.”

 

“I don't believe it.”

 

“It's all in the Bible Joey, the whole system. If you read it the right way, you'd see exactly what I mean. You just have to understand that it's written to give men the APPEARANCE of being in charge. I'm giving you the key today to understanding it, if you want to take the time. Just think about the story of Samson and Delilah. The story is really about how men live as though they have great strength. Delilah's cutting Samson's hair is a metaphor for stripping away that falsehood; once she does so, Samson's great strength disappears. But look, I know it's hard for you. The system was developed by women and is much too complicated for men to understand. We give you a few simplified rules and then let you run with it, while in the background we women keep things working. There's a REASON for things Joey. Hey, think how you feel now, knowing that I could crush you like a bug – if I wanted to. As could Claire, Helen, Barbie or ANY girl. How old is your sister?”

 

“Fourteen.”

 

“Oh yeah, Mary! I'm sure she could too. She hasn't reached her full potential yet, but she will by the time she turns fifteen or so. Now she's probably just two million times stronger than you. Now, just imagine what it would do to your self-confidence if she used that strength in her everyday life – if women used their full potential, living day to day with that kind of power. Would you DARE ever to say a word, for fear some woman might be offended and destroy you instantly? You'd go back to being an insect – like men were before Adam and Eve. No, this way is better. Once you get used to PRETENDING that you are the stronger sex, and accept that, for the most part, women will PRETEND they are weaker, you'll relax again. And you will help perpetuate Eve's system.”

 

Joey stared at the Jill, then at the table, then back at Jill again. He shook his head violently. “Naah. I can't believe it. You're telling me that everybody, all over the world, is in on this secret?” Jill nodded. “Impossible. It would have to come out.”

 

Jill sighed. “Joey, people have believed stranger things without anyone exposing it – until life changed enough for everyone to realize that 'the emperor has no clothes.' The divine right of kings to rule, the inherent superiority of the nobility, the inevitable communist revolution. Think about more recently: everyone used to KNOW that women were incapable of rational thought and that if they exercised, they wouldn't be able to have babies. They used to KNOW that God's plan was for men to rule and women to stay barefoot and pregnant. And what do we KNOW now?”

 

Joey shrugged. “Yeah? Well, so we're more advanced now, more modern. Now we know that those other things were wrong. What does THAT prove? What less advanced people believed before us was wrong. But now we know better. So what.” He laughed. “The REALLY funny idea is you're telling me that GIRLS could keep this a secret without blabbing it?”

 

“Why do you say that?” Jill said, with a smile. “You think girls gossip so much that they'd never be able to stop talking about it? Right! We DO talk about it, Joey, just not with boys. There are LOTS of things girls don't talk about with boys. Didn't you ever wonder WHAT girls talk about when we're together? Probably not. You probably thought it was all boring nonsense-” gossip, make-up tips, who's going to ask so-and-so out next Saturday. Of course that's what you think. That's exactly what you're SUPPOSED to think.” She smiled triumphantly as Joey stared at her, trying to comprehend what she was saying. “Let me ask YOU something Joey. Have you ever felt that things were REALLY different from the way you've imagined it? That the reality you know was just a sham? Like, maybe you were really adopted, and someday your REAL parents would show up and take you away to a totally different life? Or maybe that your life, up to now, was just a test, and that God, or maybe some alien, would suddenly come around and explain it all to you, and tell you what life was really about?”

 

He looked at her strangely, then from side to side. “Yeah, maybe,” he said quietly. “I never, like, admitted it but, yeah.”

 

“Well, Joey, you were right. Things ARE different from they you thought they were. And I'm telling you that today.” She folded her arms across her chest.

 

Joey's jaw dropped. He shook his head and walked to the back wall of the room, turned around, looked at Jill again, looked at the metal table, felt it, pounded it with his fist, rubbed his fist in pain, then walked back to Jill. “Why are you telling me this?”

 

“It's part of growing up, Joey, part of the system Eve developed. You have to learn the facts of life. It's what creates the creative tension in our society, what moves it forward.”

 

He shook his head. “I-I can't believe it. It can't be true. It doesn't make sense.”

 

“Some men never believe it. They deny what their own eyes tell them, just like you're doing now. Hey that's fine. Most of those guys end up dying early. It can't be helped. It's just one of those things that happen when you don't play by the rules. You remember Arnie's older brother? And Mr. Jacobs, the gym teacher?”

 

“Joel died in a car crash, and Mr. Jacobs had a heart attack.”

 

Jill nodded. “Yes, those were the official causes of death. You have a good memory. Listen, Joey, we won't, you see, let you destroy what we've created.” She smiled, sticking her finger through the metal desk again. “But, barring that, you'll just learn to live as if you were the stronger sex, knowing of course that any girl – if she wanted to – could use her strength against you. But we won't of course, except in specific circumstances.

 

Joey looked at the table in shock. “Y-you said you don't use your strength, except sometimes. Like, uh, when? When we're bad? When we abuse women?”

 

Jill filled in the hole. “No Joey, it's not that simple. Women have to let themselves be abused. It's part of the sacrifice we've made to make the world the way it is. There are times when – but that sort of thing is something women know and men don't. Men never really know what makes a woman tick, Joey. You still have to be a little bit scared of us, find us a little bit of a mystery. It's part of Eve's system. As you may have guessed, it's not only our strength that's far superior to men. Our minds are too.” She got up. “So, you still want to rape me Joey?”

 

He shook his head, vigorously. “Thought not. Remember Joey, the pretense is everything. If a woman thinks there is a reason to drop the pretense, SHE'LL let YOU know. Otherwise, act AS IF we're the weaker sex. And you're not to talk about it with men AT ALL. This is ABSOLUTELY forbidden. Any man with any intelligence will just deny it. That will show you he's been well trained. If a woman EVER finds out you've broken that rule, you can expect to be dead within the day. Understand?”

 

He nodded.

 

“Good. I'm glad we had this little chat. Claire wanted to do it, because she likes you – not that I understand why – but I was the one who was assigned to telling you, so I insisted.” She pulled her pants up and snapped them. “Don't forget to get dressed before you leave the classroom, Joey. There are rules about THAT too!” He nodded and quickly left.

 

Jill followed him out. He walked quickly, trying to get away of her but she kept pace, about 10 steps behind him. He turned around to check on where she was and walked right into a short senior girl, who was standing in the hall talking with her friends. He knocked her over, sending her books and glasses flying.

 

“Hey! Excuse ME!” she said, glaring up at him.

 

He jumped, frightened. “I am SO sorry.” He bent down and helped her stand up and then scurried around, picking up her books and glasses, dusting them off and handing them to her gently. “Are you all right? I wasn't looking. You're 'ok' right?” He looked at her significantly.

 

She looked at him strangely. “Well, yea-ah. Like, take it easy.”

 

“Oh, sure. I mean. I'm sorry if you think I'm overdoing it, but …” he looked over at Jill, who was wearing a mocking smile. She gave him a sad nod, and then walked away.

 

“You ARE. Just leave me alone, please.” She turned her back on him and went back to her friends.

 

“Ok. I'm sorry,” Joey repeated and edged away slowly and then walked back down the hall.

 

“Did you see that?” the girl's friend said. “He acted like he was scared to death of you!”

 

“I know.” She laughed. “I guess I had my mean face on.” They all laughed.

 

Jill was waiting for Claire as she came out of her class. “Hi! How did it go?”

 

“Oh, hi. Um. OK I guess. I'm not very good with those African names. How come you're out of class so early? Miss Thompkins always keeps everyone until even after the bell.”

 

“We got out early. Miss Thompkins had a stroke. She's won't be teaching anymore,” she said in a matter of fact tone of voice.

 

“What?!” Claire stared at Jill and gripped her arm. “Jill. Y-you didn't have anything to do with it, did you Jill?”

 

Jill looked at her. “You mean, did I aim some heat vision at her and burst a blood vessel in her brain? No.”

 

“You did something else, though?”

 

“I gave her my topic for the history presentation. It upset her. She had a stroke. It's not my fault. She was pretty old.”

 

Claire closed her eyes and leaned against the wall. “Jill, Miss Thompkins was a strict teacher, but she was my grandma's best friend. She'll be crushed!” The bell rang. “Oh god! I've got to get to math. Jill, PLEASE don't do anything else to anybody. PLEASE let's talk at lunch. I'm really worried about you. I'm scared.”

 

Jill smiled. “Not as scared as Joey is right now. I think he'll behave a lot better from now on.

 

“JILL! Did you DO anything to HIM?”

 

“NO. Not really. We just talked – about the Bible.” She patted Claire on the back. “Don't worry so much. Everything's great. I've got something to do. I'll see you later.”

 

Claire watched Jill saunter down the hall. She was used to walking around school with Jill. What else did she have to do all of a sudden. And how could she say things were great. Miss Thompkins had just DIED, and yet Jill went on completely indifferently. Things were NOT great. Well, she'd see Joey in the next class. At least she could decide about him for herself. She walked in tentatively. He was at his desk, his eyes immersed in his book. THAT was strange. Usually he'd be standing with Arnie, looking at whatever girl was wearing the tightest blouse this morning. It didn't bother her that much. That's what Claire expected him to do. He saw her come in and met her eye, then looked away, then looked back at her. Claire took her usual seat in the next row, diagonal to him. She had already decided what she was going to say about Friday night.

 

“Hi Joey. Uh, sorry Jill and I gave you the slip Friday. I hope you're not too mad. It was, uh, just a little too much for me, you know, on our first date.” She gave him a nervous smile.

 

“Uh, hey Claire. That's ok! I was, uh, being a jerk, as usual. You know.” He smiled, a little strangely, like he was afraid of something.

 

“Are you ok Joey? You look a little, uh,” she was going to say nervous, but she didn't want to embarrass him. He was a boy, after all. Boys liked to be built up. “tired,” she said, finishing.

 

“Look, what happened. It won't happen again, ok?”

 

He WAS afraid. That Jill! Had she threatened him? Claire groaned inside. Oh, no! He'll NEVER ask me out again. “Uh, Joey, really, I'm willing to forget about it, if you are.”

 

“You ARE?” he said, relieved. “Oh, that's great. I mean, Jill told me-”

 

“JILL spoke to you? I KNEW it. Whatever she said, just forget it, ok?”

 

Joey looked confused. “Forget it? How could I forget it?”

 

Claire sighed. “You know what I mean. Whatever she said, just pretend she didn't say it. Just act the way you usually do, ok Joey? I, uh, I like you the way you are. I'll take care of Jill, ok?”

 

He looked at her and suddenly burst into a grateful smile. “Oh! I GET it now. Sure. Sure. 'Cause … I like you too, Claire.”

 

Claire beamed at him and he smiled back. It was all going to be all right then. Then she thought about Jill and started worrying again.

 

Jill got through her biology and math classes without incident, although she was annoyed that the other students kept whispering about her. She could listen to what everyone in school was saying. She couldn't believe that they actually were ANGRY at her for the way she'd treated Charlotte this morning, and for somehow being responsible for Miss Thompkins. Nobody liked them. The students should be grateful to her that those two would no longer be able to bother us again! And Claire's attitude was very strange. Jill had enjoyed listening to her little chat with Joey. Claire had said exactly the right thing without even knowing it. Jill thought she was getting pretty good at this. There were surely other tricks she could play, if she just thought about it.

 

While she waited for Claire to get to their corner in the lunch room, Jill cast her vision to Rio de Janeiro. There was Paulo, sleeping. Well, he'd been up most of the night. He needed his rest. She felt a tingle in her crotch. She could zip down there for some more fun at two and then come back to check on her father and Superboy at three. Yes, she liked that plan! She was checking out some alternatives on the beaches of Rio when Claire walked up.

 

“Jill. JILL!” Claire was tapping her on the arm.

 

“Oh! Hi Claire.”

 

“Aren't you eating?”

 

Jill wrinkled her nose. “That stuff? No way! It's such crap. You would not believe how much better the food is in Brazil, and Thailand, and France. But that's ok. I'll sit here and talk to you while you eat.”

 

“I didn't think the foot in France was so great. It was the same McDonald's we have here.”

 

“I'm not talking about McDonald's, Claire. I mean real French – oh never mind. So, was Joey nicer to you this morning?”

 

“What did you SAY to him, Jill? You threatened him, didn't you. He was acting really scared.”

 

“He should be. But he's not afraid of me. He's afraid of you.”

 

“Of ME? Why of me?”

 

“I convinced him that ALL girls have super-strength. That we only PRETEND to be weak.

 

“And he BELIEVED you?” Claire said, amazed.

 

“Well, he was believing his own eyes. He SAW me put my fingers through the metal shop table, but I TOLD him all girls were as strong as I, that it was an open secret, that everyone ACTED as though men were stronger, and that probably no one would ever talk to him about it again, but if he stepped too far out of line, some woman would take care of him, as easily as you swat a mosquito.”

 

“I still don't believe that he took you seriously. It's such a crazy idea.”

 

Jill shrugged. “No crazier than the idea that any one girl could have powers like mine. Once you accept that, Claire, anything would be possible.”

 

Claire looked down at Jill's fingers. They looked like such ordinary fingers, just like hers. In fact, because she played piano, Claire's used to be a little stronger. And yet now Jill could stick them through metal. It WAS incredible. “Jill, I'm really worried about you.”

 

“Why Claire? Nothing can hurt me now.”

 

“It's the way you're acting – not like yourself. You're doing all these things to people, hurting them! It's not like you.”

 

Jill looked into Claire's eyes. “What, you're worried about my soul? You going religious on me?”

 

“No! It's not that. It's the kind of person you are.”

 

“But I'm doing the kind of stuff we always used to talk about – how we'd get back at those cheerleaders if we had the chance. Now we have the chance.”

 

“But that was just talk. We never would have really done it.”

 

“Maybe you wouldn't have. Maybe you're a nicer person than I am.” Jill was actually thinking wimpier.

 

“No! That's not it. I just would – don't you even feel a little bit GUILTY?”

 

Jill thought a few seconds. “I feel bad about your Grandma. I wish I'd known that. She's always been nice to me. I can probably find a way to make it up to her, though. What do you think I can do?”

 

Claire shook her head. “No, no! You CAN'T make it up to her. You CAN'T replace her friend, someone she's known practically her whole life!”

 

Jill looked down. “Maybe not. I'm sorry.”

 

“And Charlotte, and Margie and Sue. Sure, they're mean now, but maybe they would have changed when they got older. Now they'll be crippled or disfigured forever! You've done that to them.”

 

“That's different. They deserved it.”

 

“But did their parents deserve it? The rest of their family? You've hurt ALL of them.”

 

“Maybe, maybe not. Maybe they'll become better persons because of it.” She thought. “Of course they might become worse.” She smiled. “Twisted, bitter, and friendless.”

 

“Jill! You … sounded, almost evil there. Like a wicked witch.”

 

“Did I? I don't FEEL evil. Is that how you see me, Claire? Because if you think you can-”

 

“It's NOT how I see you! You're my best friend, Jill. But I'm scared you're changing.”

 

“I AM changing. Claire, I've learned things in the past three days I have trouble believing myself. I always knew my father fooled around – I told you about that before. But now I know things about him that I never would have guessed. And Miss Thompkins – sure I feel bad for your Grandma, but what about her old boyfriend, who killed himself after she aborted their baby? She ran away, changed her name and started a new life. Well, now it caught up with her. And Mr. Gwynn-”

 

“Jill! Stop!! I don't want to know!”

 

“You can close your eyes to it, Claire, but it's all around you. Ugliness, evil, crime. Superboy fought against criminals – people who rob and steal and murder. What people did in their private lives didn't interest him. It interests me, though. Not because I'm going to right every wrong that's been committed. But knowing who is good and who isn't – well, if they're not, then I feel justified in paying them back a little for what they've done to me.”

 

“You can't judge everyone. You're playing God, Jill. That's what you're doing.”

 

“Am I? Maybe I am. But it's no more than anyone else would do if they had the chance.” Claire looked at her, hurt. “Maybe not you, Claire. Maybe you're the one who should have gotten Superboy's powers. Maybe the world would have been a better place if you had, instead of me.”

 

“That's not what I'm saying, Jill.”

 

“I know it's not.” She put her hand on Claire's. “Will you always be my friend, Claire, however, BAD I get?” Claire nodded and squeezed her hand. “Maybe that'll make a difference. I don't know. I'll think about what you said – I can't promise – it's a lot for me to handle – all at once.”

 

“I KNOW it is. I mean, you're just sixteen, Jill! You shouldn't know all these things, see all these things. It's GOT to affect you. You need to try to live normally again, stop prying into people's lives.”

 

“I can't do that Claire. I'm not like that. I'm curious. I have to try things, to know things. I've got to use my powers. I have a wonderful gift. I'm not going to waste it.” She squeezed Claire's hand again – gently. “But I'll try to be kinder. I really will. I guess I had a lot of things stored up inside. Maybe I should trust people more, believe in people. Maybe if I do, people will be different to me.” She looked around the lunchroom. “'Cause you know, Claire, people don't like me. I know that. I hear what they say about me. Except you … and CJ. He thinks I'm a 'goddess' you know.”

 

“CJ's had a crush on you since fourth grade!” Claire said.

 

“Yeah, if he only knew!” They both laughed. The bell rang. “Oh Claire, you are the best friend a girl could have!” They got up and hugged. “I won't see you at study hall. I'm going to pop down to Brazil, but I'll come by your house this afternoon. You'll PROBABLY need some help with your algebra.”

 

Claire smiled. “But don't you have better things to do than help me with my math?”

 

Jill smiled back. “No.”

 

40

 

Martha dropped Superboy off on the edge of Chester. Even without his powers, or his uniform, he was adamant that he needed to preserve his secret identity. He couldn't put Ma and Pa Kent at risk when he got his powers back! Besides, he hated being dependent on his mother to drive him. Having a driver's license had never seemed important before. He hoped that after today it wouldn't matter again. He walked quickly through town. A few people looked at him closely, thinking they recognized him, then turned away. It was amazing how little people noticed. Without his uniform, he wasn't Superboy in their eyes. He probably never needed the glasses at all for his disguise as Clark Kent. He'd have to remember that. He hated wearing glasses.

 

What did Dr. Pell have in mind? Would he really use the kryptonite on his own daughter to subdue her and force her to give back his powers? Superboy was amazed that he would take such a principled view of things. But he guessed that behind his pompous appearance there must be a strong moral drive. It was probably what made him such a good doctor and so successful. He should have called him right away. Then things might not have gone so far.

 

He let himself in by the back door, just as Dr. Pell had told him. Dr. Pell had given his nurse the afternoon off. Jill and Allen were at school, Mrs. Pell was at her Garden Club. They'd have the house to themselves until well after four. There would be plenty of time.

 

“Ah, Superboy. Right on time. I should have known. And you brought the kryptonite. In a lead case I see.”

 

“Yes sir. It, uh, still affects me. I was curious so I opened it, just a bit, but I'm as vulnerable to it as ever. It's a good thing the box closes easily.”

 

“Yes it is, Superboy. That's very interesting and very promising. That tells me you still have whatever essence in you that makes you a Kryptonian. Those powers should rightfully be yours Superboy. I'll do my best to make sure they go where they can do the most good.”

 

“Thank you sir. I … I have to say I was surprised by your reaction. I mean, Jill is your daughter.”

 

“She abused the trust I placed in her. No words can express the shame I feel at what she has done to you. It is only proper that I should be the one to right this wrong.” Superboy nodded. It warmed him to know that there were men like Dr. Pell. It made him believe even more in his mission. He'd have to tell Ma that when he got home. She'd misjudged him for sure.

 

“Would you let me examine you first? You understand: it's a unique opportunity to understand your Kryptonian physiology before you get your powers back.”

 

“Of course Dr. Pell.”

 

Superboy submitted to being poked and prodded for forty-five minutes. Toward the end, Dr. Pell began to explain his plan.

 

“Just so you understand, I have the Collector all set. Jill expects you here at three. She will immediately be suspicious that you've been here early, and even more suspicious when she listens in on our little talk. I expect her to burst in here as soon as she sees where our visit is going. When she does, I will expose her to the kryptonite. She'll have no resistance to it at all and will collapse. I will try to keep it as far away from you as possible, but I don't know how sensitive to it you still are. It will have to be trial and error. The important thing is the she be knocked out. Then, I should be able to penetrate her skin with the needles. I'll hook both of you up to the Collector and then return your blood to you and hers to her.”

 

Superboy nodded. “It could get difficult Dr. Pell. It took almost a week for me to lose my superpowers completely. I don't know how quickly I'll regain them, and she may use her remaining powers to try to reverse the blood again.”

 

Dr. Pell nodded. “Yes, you'll have to get away and hide until you're strong enough, and I'll have to keep her weak with the kryptonite until she's of no danger to anyone.” He sighed. “It will be painful to her, I know, and to me, but this will be an important lesson for her to learn. Given her behavior, I see no other way.”

 

Superboy nodded reluctantly. He didn't wish to impose the pain of kryptonite on anyone, not even his worst enemy. But there was no other choice. Dr. Pell reviewed with Superboy his analysis of his examination, as they worked together to prepare the collector. When it was done, Dr. Pell said. “I will do everything in my power, Superboy to restore your powers to you. As soon as-”

 

Just then there was a loud noise and Jill burst through the window. “Father! I should have known you would scheme against me! You are even more of a devil than I had imagined.”

 

“And you Jill. I should have known you would spy on me!”

 

She walked closer to him. “You won't succeed. You will never-”

 

Just then, Dr. Pell opened the box of kryptonite. First Superboy and then Jill gasped in pain, Superboy collapsing onto the floor and Jill quickly following suit. Dr. Pell moved the kryptonite closer to Jill and she moaned more loudly. “I WILL succeed Jill. More than you ever imagined.” He propped her up on the floor and turned on the collector.

 

Superboy groaned. “Too close … Dr. Pell. You must … move me. Can't last.”

 

Dr. Pell looked at him, sighed, and then grit his teeth, rolled up his own sleeve, and pierced his vein with the needle and hooked it up to the IV. “I'm so sorry Superboy. You were wrong to trust me. Those powers will not be yours again. They'll be mine!”

 

“NO!” he cried softly, prone on the floor.

 

“Yes. Like father, like daughter I suppose. But you see, only I have no illusions. Only I-”

 

“Daddy! Daddy! You can't do this to me! Daddy, please!” Jill gasped. Dr. Pell looked at her sadly. “Daddy, it hurts so much!”

 

“Does it, dear? I'm so very sorry indeed that I must cause you such pain, but you left me no choice.” He shook his head. “I admire you for your boldness, your plan. I would never have dared to do what you did – not that it hadn't occurred to me. No, my plans were much smaller. To lure Superboy into the unlawful practice of medicine, to blackmail him a little in exchange for a few favors. I never imagined his plan would work! I never imagined mixing his blood with that girl's would do anything but kill her. But it did work, just as he naively believed it would. And you ended up with super-powers, infinitely more powerful than me! How humbling that has been. But then, YOU thought YOU could blackmail ME? How ironic. You have no idea what I've done, what I'm capable of doing. And when I have super-powers nothing will stop me!” He looked down at her sadly. “So sad to lose my only daughter, so sad. But then, I can have more, HUNDREDS more. I'll have every woman I want, ten a day, a hundred a day, a THOUSAND a day. No one will be able to stop me. And with your death, your knowledge of my petty thefts will be irrelevant. No one else will ever stand in my way!”

 

She whimpered pathetically while he finished connecting himself to the Collector and then approached his daughter. He moved the kryptonite closer and she tried weakly to turn away from it but could not. He was ready now to stick the needle in and jabbed it, but it bounced off her skin. “That's strange, you're still invulnerable. I do wish I could use the kryptonite needles on you. Instead I'll have to move this lump of kryptonite closer still.” He reached over to the kryptonite, ignoring Superboy's cries, then gasped himself as a strong hand closed around his wrist and lifted him into the air.

 

“I don't think the needles would work either – Daddy!” Jill said coldly. She stood up and held her father in front of her.

 

“What! How is this possible?” he said.

 

“I guess I'm not vulnerable to kryptonite – not being Kryptonian.” she said, angrily. “Another stupid mistake – Daddy!”

 

His eyes grew wide as saucers. “N-now Jill. This is all a misunderstanding. I AM your father, you know, and I was just uh trying to show you how-”

 

“You were going to kill me, weren't you. You were saying you have no illusions, but I'm the one without illusions now. I thought you loved me. Even with my faults, even with my superpowers, I still believed in that!” Jill shuddered and her lip quivered. “Well, NOW I know. NOW I understand.” Her face grew even colder. She held him in the air and shook him.

 

“Jill! Please. Don't do this. Don't … don't follow me. I know I'm bad. I'm not a good father, or a good example, but don't do as I've done. Be better than I am. Listen to me. You'll thank me, I promise. I'll leave, disappear. You can tell everyone whatever you like but just don't-”

 

She carried him to the window and held him outside it. “JILL! Don't drop me. No!” He struggled in her super-powerful arms but she held him rigidly.

 

“I won't drop you, Daddy. And you WILL disappear, but not anywhere on earth.”

 

She looked up, locating the moon, hidden in the bright November sky. “You'll be the second Pell to visit the moon. But unlike me, YOU won't be coming back!” She flicked her wrists and in moments he was airborne, flying at escape velocity through the atmosphere, his body crushed immediately in the intense acceleration but continuing irresistibly through space and smashing itself on the moon's surface in a cloud of dust, invisible to the eyes of any human observer, except those of his daughter.

 

She turned back to the room.

 

“Jill, please, put the kryptonite away,” Superboy said, almost inaudibly. “I'll die.”

 

She walked over to him and looked down, first at the green glow of the kryptonite, and then at the green pallor of his face. “Yes, Superboy, you will. You wanted to team up with my father to take away my powers. Now, instead, you will die of kryptonite poisoning in his office, and he will disappear. This will be a mystery no one will solve.”

 

She looked at him sadly. “Somehow, you know, somehow even with the super-powers I've gained I feel … I feel it's all been … it's all worse. I wish … I almost wish … that … if you had come to my party – if you had ONLY COME,” she repeated, her voice shaking – “or the next day … when you held me in your arms and kissed me, and we floated up in the air … that was … that was when I really flew.” She looked down at him, sadly, then her face hardened. “But having your powers will be compensation enough for the innocence I've lost! Goodbye Superboy.”

 

“Jill,” he croaked. “Jill … if you …” He moved his lips but no sound emerged. She blinked, then turned and flew off.

 

Superboy lay there, the room becoming darker, the pain so strong that it seemed a physical thing, more real than his body, more present than any sense of the outside world. He heard a sound. Was it a bird? Or perhaps an angel. A wave of relaxation passed through him. He must be dead. Was death pleasant then? He felt a strong hand lift him off the floor. His eyes flickered. He looked but couldn't focus.

 

“Superboy! Superboy! You all right?”

 

He shook with cold and felt large hands press him to a warm body, and he wrapped himself around large comforting breasts. “Gudrun?” he murmured, seeing the red hair that filled his field of vision as his sight slowly returned.

 

“Superboy! You alive!” She smiled at him, then held him close again, massaging his body against hers. He held her, his still feeble arms barely grasping her, while she responding firmly, kissing his cheek and neck and continuing to rub life back into him.

 

“But how did-”

 

“Sshh. I know your plan. I watch. I hear. Hide. See his body fly. When she go I climb in. I here … for you.” He looked at her gratefully.

 

“The kryptonite?”

 

“In box. Closed.”

 

He stood shakily, leaning on Gudrun. “We must find a way to destroy her, or else she will kill me, you, anyone who stands in her way.”

 

“How? No weakness. Kryptonite not work.”

 

“I have some ideas but I need help. Let's find my-”

 

“Dad? Dad? Are you in here?” The door opened. “Who ARE you? What are you two doing here in my father's office? Dad?”

 

“He's not here. He's-”

 

“WHERE is he? And why are you here if he isn't? Are you trying to steal something? That's his new invention, isn't it? You were trying to steal it! Listen, I'm his son and I'm calling the cops.”

 

“No, don't!” Superboy said. Gudrun crossed the room quickly and grabbed him.

 

“Hey let-”

 

She covered his mouth. He twisted and Gudrun squeezed him, then hit him in the stomach. He fell to the floor, then started to yell again. Gudrun jumped on him and pressed him to the floor, hitting him several times in the head.

 

“Gudrun, stop! You'll hurt him.”

 

Gudrun looked at Superboy, then back at Allen and hit him several more times in the stomach and head until he lay still, unconscious. She was breathing hard, glowing, smiling.

 

“Gudrun! You didn't have to hit him so hard.”

 

Her eyes were bright and her skin red. Her nipples pushed out her top. She stood and walked close to Superboy and held him to her.

 

“Sorry. Might talk.”

 

“Yes, but – you enjoyed that, didn't you?”

 

Gudrun gave a small smile. “Yes,” she said simply. She tried to slow her breathing, but she still glowed. “Must go!” She climbed out the window and Superboy followed, then they ran to the grocery store where Ma Kent had agreed to meet him.

 

“Ma! We have to go, quickly.” She saw the alarm in Superboy's face and dropped her shopping immediately. They walked to the car and quickly headed out of town. “I have a plan. I'll have to go to Colorado, Ma. I have an idea, but I need to find the spot where I battled some aliens, called Mallians. They may give me another way to get back my powers. But first I need to get into my hideaway to get a special gun. An alien was going to use it to steal my powers – I think. She had come from a world where females were dominant and must have thought my powers violated the natural order of things. But I defeated her, thank God, before she had a chance to use it on me.”

 

“Clark, do YOU know how to use it?”

 

He sighed. “It's a gun Ma. I know how to shoot a gun! Besides, it's just for defense. I have a better plan. I just need it to use in case Jill shows up. If my first plan works, I should be able to handle her myself.” He sighed. “We'll need explosives to get the hideaway open.”

 

“I get from circus. I meet at house.” Gudrun suggested.

 

“Pa can drive you to Colorado, though it's a bit far for him,” Martha said, betraying her concern.

 

“No Ma, we can't let him drive. I'll have to.”

 

“But Clark, you have no license.”

 

“I have license. I will take to Colorado,” Gudrun declared.

 

Superboy looked at her. He didn't like the way she had beaten Allen. It reminded him of how she had taken pleasure in beating Timmy – and him. Since then, she had been good to him, but he could see she had not changed. She took such pleasure in using her incredible muscles against others. She was the same bully he had thought she was originally. Still, she had already saved his life once; he needed her help. “OK,” he said.

 

They met at the hideaway, and with their combined efforts, and Pa Kent's tractor, they were able to open a hole in one wall. Superboy crawled in, emerging with an odd looking gun, then they repaired the wall as best they could. “This should be good enough for now, until I return with my powers. No one ever comes to this remote part of the woods,” Superboy declared. They dropped Ma and Pa Kent off at the farm and headed west for Colorado.

 

41

 

The drive in Ma and Pa Kent's old car was slow and uncomfortable, but with Gudrun's amazing stamina, and Superboy's grim determination, they made it to the mountains by midday Tuesday. They parked at a service station. “I'll have to leave the car here. It's a long walk from here to the place. You go back.”

 

“No. I come with.”

 

“Gudrun, it's dangerous.”

 

“And for you. I help. You know place?”

 

“Fortunately I still have a little power left. I have a sense of the mountains. It's 30 miles walk, at least, to the foothills where I had my battle.” He started off.

 

“Wait! You not super. For 30 miles, need food, water.”

 

He stopped, sighed, and then went with her into the service station for supplies. They set off together.

 

“Tell me about battle.” Superboy relayed what he knew about the Mallians, their special powers and how they had almost defeated him. When he got to the part about the last Mallian, Gudrun listened in rapt attention. “So, she stronger than you with superpowers?!”

 

Superboy nodded. “Much stronger. Her muscles were enormous too. I don't think I've ever fought a more powerful opponent. She was stronger, faster, completely invulnerable to my punches.” He shook his head. “She nearly defeated me. If it hadn't been for my heat vision, I would have died then.”

 

Gudrun stood, staring into the distance. “You have plan?”

 

“We had established some kind of mystical connection when I killed her. I could feel her trying to drain my powers. But I can still sense her presence, in a way, and it's gotten stronger the closer we've come. I'm hoping that something in that area will enable me to connect with her source of energy and use it myself. Even if I never regain my own powers, at least with hers I could return to my life as a super-hero.”

 

Gudrun nodded. “And you think you grow muscles too?”

 

Superboy shrugged. “Maybe. Certainly the Mallians did. The last one – she was even more muscular than you, Gudrun. I've never seen anyone look so powerful.”

 

Gudrun looked ahead and said, “Muscles make you look good.”

 

Superboy smiled. “Thanks Gudrun. I can't thank you enough for what you've done for me.”

 

She smiled back. “Ach. You no thank me. I thank!”

 

They set off on foot, making a good pace. As night fell, they stopped in by a small stream and slept close together, resisting the temptation to do more than kiss and hold each other, so as to conserve Superboy's powers. By ten the next morning, they had reached the spot.

 

“You feel connection now?”

 

He nodded. “We're very close. It's almost an electric feeling, but I can't quite tap into it.”

 

Gudrun closed her eyes. “Ya. I can sense too. Here.” She walked closer to the hills.

 

Superboy watched her, but stayed where he was, his eyes closed. “It's almost like a river of energy, the flow right through me, rising and falling slightly, eddies in a current.” He breathed in and opened his eyes, noticing now seared bits of flesh scattered around. “Gudrun. It's here. Her body!” he shouted. Gudrun nodded, still walking around a small rise in the ground.

Superboy knelt down and touched the charred flesh and dropped it quickly. “Oh! That was it!” He looked down at his arms. His boyish muscles had suddenly grown in size, not greatly, but noticeably. More importantly, he felt stronger. He tried harder to sense the connection, and now he could feel the current gathering in him slowly, not just flowing through him. He concentrated harder and drew the power into him. Yes, it was working, almost as though he now attracted the power, as though it sought him out, as a center, as a new home. It was restless, it wanted a home. “IT'S WORKING!!” he cried out.

 

“YA!” Gudrun said loudly.

 

“What's working, Superboy?” said another familiar voice. Superboy opened his eyes. It was Jill, wearing her super-costume! “So, you're still alive. Do you know all of Kansas is looking for you, talking about you?”

 

“About me? Why?” he said, his growth slowing, but still continuing.

 

“For the disappearance of my father, of course. Your name was in his appointment book. With Allen in the hospital and his story about Gudrun and you beating him up when he discovered you, and my father's body missing, you're a natural suspect. I might even bring you in myself,” she chuckled. “Except, as you know, that's NOT the way I do things.”

 

She grabbed him. “What's this, some new muscle, some new strength! What are you up to here?”

 

The pain of her grip distracted him, but he tried to pull in the energy more rapidly. He needed ALL of it to fight Jill, to defeat her. But he was failing. He wasn't getting it quickly enough!

 

“There's an energy here, isn't there? An energy you're tapping into. What is it?” She shook him and then pressed him to the ground. “What IS it? It's powerful, isn't it? I WANT it. I want IT too!”

 

“No! Never!” he said, kicking her with all his strength. “Aggh!” he cried as his foot collided with her invulnerable thigh.

 

She laughed. “You're stronger, your muscles have gotten larger, but you're not in my league, Superboy. Not even close!”

 

She hit him with a quick jab slamming him against the ground, the pain flooding his face. The power flow was just a trickle now. She picked him up with one hand and held him in the air, waving him around.

 

“Fly, Superboy, fly!” she said, laughing, then smashed him against her chest. He groaned as she pulled him closer in an embrace.

 

“I can do so much with my powers, Superboy. I bet you never explored all the things that are possible. Like this, feel THIS!” She held him to her breast, and he groaned as two invulnerable nipples started to push into his chest. “Isn't that funny? I have complete control over them. They LOOK really hot too, Superboy, especially with nothing on. Would you like to see them? Remember when you tried to look through my shirt, with your X-ray vision as it failed you? Just one little peek, Superboy? Before you die?”

 

She relaxed her hold and held him at arm's length so that he could see her inch thick nipples pushing out her top. “Go on, Superboy, reach in through the cutout. Get a better view.” She put him down and pulled open the cutout in her top, letting him look at her enormous round breast with its thumblike nipple. Then she pulled his hand inside, and let go. He screamed in pain as the material closed in on his hand. “Got your hand caught in the cookie jar, huh, Superboy? But it's just my soft breast in there, isn't it? Don't you like feeling my breast?” She pulled open her uniform again and let him withdraw his hand, a deep red mark cut across the back of his hand. “Did my top do THAT to you?” she teased, grinning.

 

“You've become cruel and EVIL, Jill. Don't you see that?”

 

“I am what I am, Superboy,” she replied. She looked at him. “I must have gotten here just in time to stop you. You're not growing anymore, Superboy. In fact, I think you're shrinking slightly.” She smiled. “I've foiled your plan, haven't I. I've defeated you yet again!”

 

Superboy looked down at himself. She was right! He tried to recapture the energy. He sensed the flow around him, but now it was merely flowing through him again. The magnetic quality of touching her flesh must have been only temporary. So it wouldn't work after all! He was beaten. There was no hope.

 

“You've given up then? So sad to see you slumped down, limp. Your body is just about back to normal now. Tell me. How would you like to die? Like my father? Or perhaps flying into the sun? That would be appropriate, since it was the yellow sun that gave you your powers.” She picked him up again. “I can take you there myself.”

 

“You put Superboy down!” Gudrun ordered.

 

Jill and Superboy turned around. Gudrun stood before them, more muscular than before. “Oh, there's the 'strongest girl in the world'. I should have realized you'd be here with him. Are you taking muscle pills too?” Jill joked. She put Superboy down and approached her. “It didn't work, Gudrun. As you can see from Superboy.”

 

Gudrun snarled. She jumped at Jill with her fists and punched her hard in the stomach. Jill stood her ground. “Nice try Gudrun. You're stronger than he is, for sure, but it won't do.” She hit her back and Gudrun staggered.

 

Superboy was aghast. “Gudrun! How did you-”

 

She ignored him and focused her attention. Almost immediately, her muscles grew by another 25%, the bulges in her arms stretching her sleeves out. Superboy felt the energy flow quickening, rushing to her. She leapt forward again at Jill, grabbing her. The two girls struggled, until Jill threw her down to the ground, but she was panting, and fear showed in her eyes.

 

“This is impossible!” Jill said. “You can't be as strong as I am. I have Superboy's super-strength!”

 

Gudrun reached into her pocket and put something in her mouth and swallowed it. She closed her eyes and her muscles suddenly jumped in size by another half, ripping through her sweater and the thighs of her pants. She stood up slowly. Her muscles continued to grow. Her chest pulsed while her biceps grew larger and even more defined. She towered over Jill and thrust her chest out at her and grabbed her shoulders. Jill tried to free herself, but she couldn't move. Gudrun smiled, holding her in place with only one hand. She reached back with the other and hit Jill hard in the stomach. Jill cried out in pain. Gudrun hit her a second time and a third and then dropped her. Jill lay prostrate on the ground, shaking in pain.

 

“Gudrun, you figured out the secret! You've saved me again!” Superboy said.

 

Gudrun looked at him, then saw Jill getting up slowly and flying into the air. Immediately, Gudrun jumped up in pursuit. Superboy watched open-mouthed as Gudrun overtook her barely one hundred feet above and reached around her waist with one arm and threw Jill back to the ground. The earth shuddered on her impact. Gudrun followed her down, picking her up and throwing her to the ground, again and again.

 

“No, please!” Jill begged. “I can't take the pain.” Gudrun smiled and picked her up with one hand under her arm. She put her hand on Jill's chin and squeezed it. “Aggh,” Jill cried. “ur onna bray it!”

 

“Ya. I could! No?” She flexed the biceps of her free arm, which soared thick and high into the air. “Ach. So beautiful! Is a wonder!! Now I have power and you feel weak, not super! I have greatest power!!” She breathed in, creating a tornado-like funnel into her lungs, and then out, the power of her breath gouging a tunnel in the loose soil.

 

“Gudrun! Gudrun!!” Superboy called out. She turned to him, her expression exultant, her arousal in her own power unmistakable. Her scent was strong in the air. “Gudrun. You ate something. What was it? Where can I find it?”

 

She turned to him impassively. “From dead Mallian. Her flesh. No more left, Superboy. I ate all. I the super now!” She flexed her biceps again and leaned over and kissed them. “I strongest in world now!”

 

“Gudrun! But, you were helping ME to get MY powers back. I have to be super again.”

 

She looked at him with pity. “We had good night, Superboy. I saved your life – twice. You be grateful.” Still holding Jill, she floated into the air and then, more and more quickly, zoomed around the prairie sky, enjoying her power. “Is WONDERFUL!!!” she cried out loudly, before settling back on the ground. “Understand way you feel. You feel bad.” She shrugged.

 

“How could you DO this to me? I trusted you!!”

 

“You made mistake.” She puffed out her chest. “I LOVE muscle!!” She looked him in the eye sadly. “Not you. Tricked you. Sorry.” She turned away, smiled and threw her fist again into Jill's stomach. Jill moaned loudly and Gudrun laughed, her eyes bright with pleasure. She rubbed her immense breast and then her crotch, then squeezed Jill's biceps, compressing them easily, painfully and then rubbed herself again. “I to have such fun!” she exulted.

 

Superboy's eyes flashed. He reached into his pack and drew his gun. “I WON'T let you do this!” He fired it at Gudrun. She groaned and dropped Jill, who backed away slowly. Superboy continued to fire the gun at Gudrun, who stood paralyzed. Jill looked from Superboy to Gudrun and back to Superboy, then as Gudrun began to glow more and more brightly, Jill flew into the air and straight into space where she could watch safely. Whatever Superboy planned for Gudrun, no doubt she'd be next, and she needed to make sure he finished off Gudrun and then either prepared herself for battle or get away.

 

Gudrun moaned. “No. Won't let you!” She glowed more and more, still frozen, but still muscular and powerful looking. Superboy frantically adjusted the settings, trying to increase the power of the gun. The ray streamed more brightly, the aura around Gudrun grew more intense, shading slowly from yellow to orange to red, then to a deep violet. The aura began to pulsate, and through it Superboy could see Gudrun's physique start to change, first smaller, than just as large. The pattern was irregular, but clear. She must be losing her muscle, the rays must be sapping the strength from her, even as she struggled to resist. He could not increase the power of the gun any further, but he kept it focused on her, kept it on the highest setting. The aura began to sparkle and then there was a massive explosion. The gun stopped firing, the aura burst into a shock wave that spread in every direction, even through the earth. Superboy felt it pass through him without effect as he dived down. Jill saw it from space and deducing that it would rob her of her powers, used her super-speed to outrun it until it dissipated near Mars' orbit.

 

Superboy's heart beat rapidly. He looked at Gudrun, who lay on the ground, immobile. She was still as large as ever. He picked up the gun and tried to fire it at her again, but it didn't fire, seemingly out of power. Gudrun slowly picked herself up. She looked at Superboy and took a deep breath. The atmosphere swirled. She smiled and blew a gentle breeze at him, then stronger, lifting him into the air. She maneuvered him above her, so that he rose and fell on the warm cushion of her breath until she stopped and he fell into her arms.

 

“You failed,” she said simply. He shook with fear. Her outsized muscles were even more intimidating than ever. “I not kill you. Understand you. I go back to Sweden. For fun with weak, blond Swedish men. First, I take you home. You just Clark now.” He clutched at her muscles. “Ya! I so big and powerful now. You so weak. Your hand not pleasure for me. Sorry.” She firmly pushed his hand from her arm. “You no touch Gudrun, Clark.” She leapt into the air, with Clark in tow, toward Smallville.

 

Meanwhile, the shockwave was passing through the rest of the earth. It was one p.m. In Chester. Claire sat at the lunch table with Joey and the rest of the football team, along with the cheerleaders. She felt strange being there, especially with Charlotte sitting in Claire's usual corner of the lunch room, alone, and Sue and Margie gone, having eaten quickly and disappeared to a less public part of the school. She liked Joey, and he was being so nice to her now. Jill's story was ridiculous, and she was a bit embarrassed that Joey had actually believed it. Still, it seemed to have worked well. She couldn't wait to thank Jill – if she ever showed up at school.

 

Suddenly, there was a rumbling in the school. A few girls screamed. Josh laughed and shouted “Earthquake!” and some of the gullible freshmen ducked under the table. Claire could see something, feel something move through her, and then recede through the other wall. She felt an electric current, and then suddenly she was growing, her muscles developing rapidly, tearing through her blouse and her blue jeans. She stood up. She was growing, her 5'3” frame rising to 6'. She felt wonderful. She looked around. The other girls were growing too, becoming far more muscular than the boys. She put her hand on the table to steady herself, and bent the metal table in half! Why, she had super-strength, like Jill's! The boys were unchanged, but all the girls in the lunchroom were at least as tall as the tallest boy and were several times as muscular. But their power was far in excess of that! And then one girl floated into the air, and before long half the girls were flying around the lunchroom, laughing and giggling. Claire tried it too. It was so easy! There was a roar coming from the school. Everywhere, girls were flying through windows and walls, the concrete breaking against their invulnerable skins as though it was paper. Claire settled back down on the ground. Wait until Jill saw! She turned to Joey and touched his face gently.

 

“What's happening!” Bill said, in panic. “What's happening to all of the girls?”

 

Charlotte flew across the room and landed beside him. “We're SUPER, you idiot. All the girls here are SUPER now.” She picked him up like he was a doll. “That thing didn't affect the boys at all, but we all have superpowers! And I can move again. I'm cured.”

 

Ellen grabbed her arm and pushed her. “Not so fast, four eyes. Bill's mine now.” She grabbed Charlotte's glasses and pushed her out of the way. “Looks like I'm more super than YOU are,” she said, crushing Charlotte's glasses and laughing at Charlotte's attempts to find her. “Come on, Bill, let's see what it's like to fly.” She grabbed him and flew straight up through the already shattered roof, disappearing with him into the sky.

 

All around them, there was a high-pitched torrent of voices, as the girls flexed their muscles, grabbed the nearest boys and toyed with them. Cherie and Monica faced off against each other, then each took one of Arnie's arms and marched him out of the school.

 

“It's all changed,” Joey said in wonder. “We're all gonna be like bugs again,” he said.

 

Claire held his arm. “Don't worry Joey. I'll take care of you,” she said soothingly, and kissed him. He rested his head on her bowling ball biceps.

 

Jill watched all this from beyond Mars' orbit. What had happened? She flew back at super-speed to the lunch room, landing next to Claire. Joey turned to look at her. “Hey look, she didn't get big like the others. What happened Jill? How come you're not super too?”

 

Jill sighed. “Of course I'm super! You saw me before all this happened, didn't you Joey? I've been super for ages!”

 

“Yeah, but you don't have big muscles like Claire does! You look like a regular girl still.”

 

Jill lifted him in the air with one arm. “There, satisfied?” She put him down and turned to Claire. “You wouldn't believe what happened. Superboy and Gudrun found a way to get super-strong too so they could take my powers away, but Gudrun tricked Superboy and took the power for herself. Then Superboy aimed some kind of gun at her to take away her powers. But instead, it's given every girl on earth super-powers.”

 

“You mean, this has happened everywhere?” Claire asked.

 

Jill nodded. “It's happening as we speak. Not every female is affected. It looks like young girls and older women were unaffected. Maybe it only works like after puberty and before menopause, or something. But it's all over the world. The whole world is going crazy!”

 

“Oh Jill, this is so exciting. Now we're both super!” Claire put her arms around Jill and squeezed with all her strength, but stopped suddenly as Jill screamed in pain. “What IS it Jill? Did you lose your invulnerability?” Jill stared at Claire uncertainly, then realized at once.

 

“No. I, uh, I ran from the shockwave, thinking it would take away the powers I took from Superboy. But the powers it gave you and everyone else are much greater than his were.” Her eyes widened. “I'm the weakest girl in the world now!” she moaned.

 

“Did I hear Jill Pell say she's the weakest girl in the world?” Charlotte said, grabbing Jill's arm tightly. “You said you had superpowers before! You did this to me, didn't you? You used Superboy's heat vision to ruin my eyes that night, didn't you?”

 

“Let go!” Jill screamed. “You're breaking my arm!”

 

“Ha! And I'm not even squeezing hard.” She slapped Jill and Jill flew across the room, smashing through one of the remaining walls of the lunchroom. She looked around confused. “Damn, now I can't find her.”

 

Claire grabbed Charlotte. “You leave her alone, Charlotte. If I see you bothering Jill, I'll come after you myself.” Jill crept back toward them, making sure not to get too close or be too noisy. She knew Charlotte didn't have super-vision, but what if she had super-hearing?

 

Charlotte glared at Claire. She pushed her, but Claire was just as strong and pushed back. “OK, Claire. OK for now.” She flew off, leaving the school, no doubt to search for another pair of glasses.

 

Jill saw CJ at the next table, staring at a group of muscular freshmen girls, throwing a large heavy ball around that used to be a lunch table. “Hi CJ!” she called.

 

He looked over at Jill. “Oh, hi,” he replied, looking over her body. “It didn't happen to you, did it?”

 

Jill shook her head. “But I'm still super-strong!” she replied.

 

“That's nice,” he answered, turning back to look at the other girls as they flexed their new muscles for each other.

 

“I can't believe this has happened. I can't believe I'm the weakest girl in the world!” Jill moaned plaintively to Claire. “Even CJ doesn't want to look at me anymore!”

 

“Well, you still have other super-powers. I don't have super-vision, and I don't feel any smarter. You'll do all right.”

 

Jill sighed. “I guess so. Maybe it wasn't so good to be super-powerful. I did some bad things.” Suddenly she thought about her father and about the others she'd killed. She could be caught now. While the police could do nothing to her, it was only a matter of time before they'd be replaced, and she'd have no chance against the female policemen with their enhanced strength. But no, her father had other reasons to disappear, and Superboy was nearly unconscious when she'd killed her father. He couldn't have seen anything. And Allen would back her up. But even if she wasn't caught, it frightened her to think of what she'd done. She'd have to figure it out. She needed some help.

 

“Claire, can we talk? I-I have some things I need to tell you.”

 

“Sure Jill. Joey, can you excuse me? I have to talk to Jill. Maybe we can do homework together tonight?”

 

Joey looked around. “Yeah, but I don't think there'll be school for awhile. This place is pretty wrecked. But you can come over anyway.” Claire smiled and kissed him, then she and Jill flew off.

 

Joey looked at Josh. “Shit man. I TOLD you.”

 

“You didn't say anything about THIS.”

 

“Well, OBVIOUSLY, Jill didn't know the WHOLE story.”

 

“Or maybe she didn't tell YOU.”

 

He shrugged. “Doesn't matter now. I guess they got tired of pretending. Man, things'll never be the same, will they?”

 

Josh shook his head. “But hey, did you see the way Melanie looked with muscles? It was kind of cute, in a way.”

 

Joey nodded. “Uh-huh. They looked pretty good on Roseanne too.” He looked around. “Do you think Claire heard me say that?”

 

“I don't know. Reckon we have a lot more to learn about girls, Joey.”

 

In Smallville, Martha Kent had been sitting nervously with Emily, while Jessica boiled water for coffee in the kitchen. “I never used to worry quite so much when he was gone. But now I worry all the time.”

 

“I know. You ALWAYS worry about your children. Even when they're as good as Jess. She does so well with her home schooling! I wish Clark did that.”

 

“She is a gem. I always hoped, Emily, in my heart of hearts, that she and Clark would get together.”

 

Emily leaned forward and spoke quietly. “You know how I feel about that, Martha. But when you told me Clark was Superboy – well, you and I know that Jessica is not exactly the 'wife of a super-hero' type.”

 

“But she has such wonderful values, Emily. You've brought her up so well.”

 

“Thank you Martha. Well, there's always hope. Clark is a lovely boy, and maybe, given his recent troubles, he'll see something different in Jessica.”

 

Martha nodded knowingly, as Jessica brought the coffee and cake into the den. “Thank you dear. I can't believe I've let you make coffee for me in my own house!”

 

“Why Mrs. Kent! It's really my pleasure. And it gives you and Mom a chance to chat – without my getting in the way.”

 

“Jessica, you would never be in the way! It's such a joy to see you well again.”

 

“We were just talking about Superboy, err Clark. Gee, I don't know what to call him now,” Emily said.

 

Jessica's eyes widened and she blushed. She struggled not to show any emotion. “I'm sure that has nothing to do with me,” she said, her voice shaking.

 

Emily replied, “Now dear, don't give up so easily. Men are different from women. You just have to learn how to handle them.” Martha winked at Emily.

 

“But Ma, we don't share the same values – that's clear. And I've seen what kind of girl he wants. Just looking at Jill Pell, or that Gudrun – it's obvious, isn't it?”

 

“Jessica – what men think they want and what they really want are two different things. And it's up to the woman to show a man what he really wants,” Martha lectured. “You have the kind of character that Superboy, or Clark, truly admires, even if he doesn't yet understand that. And with a little bit of help, you can learn to make yourself as pretty as any girl.”

 

“But our minister says-”

 

“Jess. Pastor Brown is a man and he doesn't necessarily see everything that's going on around him. I knew him and MaryBeth before they were married. I can assure you that MaryBeth used more than a few feminine tricks to attract the good Pastor. But she managed to do it without him realizing.”

 

“But that's trickery – manipulation.” Martha and Emily burst out laughing. “I don't understand what's so funny. It seems ungodly to me.”

 

The two women settled down. Martha put her hand on Jessica's shoulder. “My darling girl, no one is asking you to dress like that Spears girl. But there are things you can do to your hair, your clothes, your make-up that would make a difference. You're growing up now. You're healthy again. You can start to think about those things.”

 

Jessica looked at them. “I'm a bit shocked. You're my mother, and you're my mother's dearest friend, and both of you are good Christians, so I have to respect what you're saying. Still, honestly, no matter how I dress or do my hair, nothing will change, uh, my figure. That's what Gudrun and Jill have, and what I don't have.” Emily and Martha looked at each other. “And I'm NOT having surgery. I won't believe that is what Jesus would want me to do.”

 

“Perhaps some dieting?” Emily suggested meekly.

 

“That'll just make her breasts even smaller,” Martha observed practically.

 

Jessica blushed. “You see! Talking about making my body more attractive is hopeless. Jesus made me this way. If He wants a man to be attracted to me, then He will either so incline his heart or He will change my body Himself!” she said adamantly.

 

“Jess dear that's fatalism!”

 

“There's nothing unchristian about helping yourself!”

 

Jessica crossed her hands across her chest. “Mom! Mrs. Kent. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but can we talk about something else? I promise I will pray on what you have advised me to do.”

 

“We can't ask you to do more than that, my dear. God will provide,” Emily said.

 

“Yes, that's always a good idea,” said Martha. “Why, it was nearly 16 years ago when I was praying for a son. Jonathan had told me I was just too old and – what's that sound?”

 

The wave rumbled through the farmhouse, passed through Martha and Emily without affecting them, but deposited its special energy into Jessica. She shouted, “Oh sweet Jesus! You have FILLED me with your love!” Emily and Martha stared in wonder as Jessica's shapeless body transformed, her chest growing and bursting her blouse, revealing her initially thick waist which rapidly compressed into a narrow form as she developed first a six pack, then a twelve pack of hard abdominal muscles. Her soft biceps firmed into large, powerful muscles and she quickly grew in height to nearly six feet tall. She flexed her muscles in wonder, marveling at the mountains of power in her arms. The women stared at her new hourglass figure, her imposing height and her shocking musculature. “Will you look at what God has given me? I am more muscular, more powerful than that Gudrun girl. He hath surely blessed me in so many ways!”

 

“It is surely wondrous my dear! I have never seen such a sign of the Lord! Hallelujah!” Emily declared.

 

Martha shook her head. “You will be more powerful than Clark too. I wonder what he will say. My goodness, you can fly too!” Martha added, as Jessica rose off the ground and flew tentatively around the room.

 

“Let us praise Jesus!” she declared and they all bowed their heads to give thanks.

 

Meanwhile, Gudrun was flying Superboy back to Smallville at great speed over the empty prairie. She descended briefly to the farm gate, dropped him and soared back into the air without a wave goodbye and headed east, back to Sweden. Superboy watched her disappear, then slowly trudged up to the house in complete despair, realizing only then that the Kent family car was still parked at the service station in Colorado. What would he tell Ma and Pa? They NEEDED that car. He briefly considered running away and turned toward town, then noticed something in the sky. There were tens of small figures flying in the air over Smallville, but they were too far away for him to distinguish. Was this a new alien invasion? Who now would defend Earth? He couldn't imagine Jill or Gudrun bothering. There was nothing HE could do now, that was for sure. With the traces of his powers nearly exhausted, he was just an ordinary – no, WEAK – boy.

 

He neared the door and heard loud shouting inside. Was it one of Ma's prayer groups? He hated to interrupt. But no, there was just one car – Mrs. Carson's. He may as well go in. Besides, he was hungry. He pushed open the door, only to see Mrs. Carson and his mother bowed in prayer, while a fantastically muscled Jessica floated in the center of the room, arms outstretched as she emotionally and triumphantly proclaimed her gratitude and her devotion to God. He stared at her nearly naked form, her plain features infused with joy. She looked completely different, with her broad chest and the replacement of her soft limbs with bulging muscle as large as Gudrun's. But she still didn't have much of a bosom, he further observed.

 

“Clark! You're back!” Martha said happily, rushing over him, then stopped, realizing from his face that he had failed to regain his powers. She closed her mouth. She knew he would tell her what had happened later. For now, what was between Jessica and him was far more important.

 

“Y-you're super too!” Clark said, looking up to her in awe.

 

“Yes Clark,” she said, slowly descending to him. “God has BLESSED me.” She looked down at him slightly and put her hands on her hips, flexing slightly. She wanted him to see how powerful she was. “Do you understand NOW the power of God? He hath RAISED me and made me GREAT! What was taken from you hath been given to one more HUMBLE, more MORAL, more DESERVING, more-”

 

Just then the door flew open. Carol Winters, the fifteen year old daughter of a neighboring farmer, burst in. “Isn't it WONDERFUL Mrs. Kent?! Girls have super-POWERS now! I just finished all the farm work at my house. Mom said I should do yours – your being too old to get the super-powers and having no daughter to get them either. Oh, HI Clark!” she added shyly. She smiled at him, turning slightly to give him a better look at her new body and flouncing her long blond hair. “It'll just take me ten minutes or so. I can do it with super-speed. And then I can take you FLYING Clark – if you want to go with me! But you HAVE to – it's SO COOL!! You really just HAVE to try it!”

 

Clark looked at Jessica and then back to Carol. Her slender body and softball breasts looked great with her new muscle. “Uh, sure. I'll just grab some lunch first – if that's all right!”

 

“Sure! I TOTALLY forgot it's lunchtime. I guess I don't need to eat anymore, but YOU DO! You know, I'm invulnerable too?! I'm really glad to help! I'll get all your work done every day, OK? Just tell me if you need anything Mrs. Kent – or you Clark!” She paused a minute, grinning at him while he gazed at her. “OK! Back in a flash!” She was really cute and so sweet.

 

Why had he never paid attention to her before? His heart was pounding just THINKING of her lifting him into the air and holding him. He thought about the contrast between her hard muscles and soft breasts and to his embarrassment felt his penis stiffen, right in front of Ma, Jessica and Mrs. Carson. Well, maybe they didn't notice.

They didn't have X-ray vision, although he could see Ma turn away from him with a little smile. She always knew just what he was thinking!

 

He bet Carol would agree to fly down to Colorado with him and fly the car back too. Then Ma and Pa would never know he'd forgotten it. He turned back to Jessica, whose disappointment that she had not in fact been singled out by God to be Superboy's successor was clear. How could he EVER have thought he liked her! Why, even if she had been right, and she had been the only beneficiary of Gudrun's powers, life with her would have been awful. She would have lorded her moral and spiritual superiority over him for the rest of his life, and probably her physical superiority too. And in his guilt and shame at being reduced to a normal human, he might have accepted it.

 

He realized now that he'd completely misunderstood the purpose of that “strength draining gun.” It hadn't been meant to steal his power. It was a tool developed by a race of dominant women to make women dominant on Earth. The alien had intended to use it to spread his powers among all the women of the planet. Instead, when he had used it on Gudrun, he had inadvertently spread the powers of the Mallians to them. Now Earth's women would all share those powers, and if Clark guessed correctly, as each girl matured into a women, she would gain the same power too.

 

“Come on, Ma, let's go!” Jessica said, too hurt by the obvious loss of Clark's interest to stay.

 

Emily nodded. “All right dear. Is it all right if we drive? I'm not sure I'm ready to fly.” Jessica took her mother's arm and sent a hurt look Clark's way. He looked at her sympathetically, but kept his distance.

 

As they left, Martha moved beside her son and put her arm around him. “It's a new world, isn't it son? Will you be able to adjust?”

 

“I'll never stop trying to get my powers back, Ma.” He looked out the window, watching Carol effortlessly lift some fallen rocks to repair a fence. “But I think I'll manage for now. Is there anything left for lunch?”

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