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This is a safe, sexy, over the top, instalove with a Halloween vibe. Are you ready for the Salem Experiment?
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Dr. Francis Stein
I wake with a jolt from the nightmare. As always, I’m drenched in sweat and it feels like a car is sitting on my chest. This is the same nightmare I’ve had every night for the last ten years. It’s been that long since it happened, but it seems like it was just yesterday. I refer to it as the incident. The experiment that went awry. October 31st, 2009 was just like any other night until it wasn’t. I didn’t just ruin my life. I ruined my two best friends’ lives as well. I also ruined the lives of a cat who now lives as a dog and a mouse who is now a cat. I was in my second year of med school when it happened. Max, Aaron, and I shared an old Victorian house on Salem Street. We’ve lived in Salem our whole lives. Best friends since kindergarten. I commuted the thirty minutes to Boston every day for class, while they did for work. After college, they had entered their preferred professions, while I went to Harvard Medical School. My focus, at the time, was gene splicing. I was trying to discover a cure for cancer as my doctoral project, but I was playing with fire. Everything was going great, then this happened. It derailed us all for a bit, but things are finally looking up.
I was working with the DNA of plants, animals, and humans trying to come up with a disease-fighting combination. Unbeknownst to me, when you mix that shit up extraordinary things happen. I thought I had it all under control, but fuck was I wrong. It was a pretty basic experiment, but a night of drinking and an impromptu game of indoor football changed all that.
We had been drinking since early evening, by ten we were all drunk. Max suggested the game and we didn’t stop him. Aaron caught the ball that I threw, but his hip crashed into my lab table. The beaker that was on a low boil spilled, somehow causing a fire. The rest of the beakers exploded showering us with glass and the now sludge-like contents. I watched in amazement as my skin absorbed the liquid instead of it pooling or burning me. We sobered up quickly after that. Panic set in and it was all I could do to save my notes. The fire raged out of control for hours while the fire department tried to put it out.
Eventually, it fizzled out on its own. The house was destroyed. The EMTs checked us out and other than some smoke inhalation, we were seemingly fine.
Until two days later.
Aaron had issues first. He was changing into a wolf every few minutes until he got it under control. Max was turning into a bear, he learned to control it after the first shift. Me, on the other hand, got strong. Like a certain Marvel green giant without the green. It started out when I lifted a car. I just felt as though I could, so I did. I flexed my muscles and they expanded. It was like an out of body experience. I have had to teach myself that I shouldn’t be able to lift certain things by myself. That was the hardest part. Prior to the experiment, I was 5’10 and weighed only one hundred sixty-five pounds. Now, I’m 6’7 and three hundred pounds of pure muscle. I’m a fucking giant and I don’t hate it. Before, I was a pimple-faced nerd. No woman wanted to date me, not that I tried. Now that I’m a big fucking beast they are afraid of me. I don’t blame them though. I scare myself sometimes.
Since the incident, I’ve finished med school and am now the head of the emergency department at Salem General Hospital. I almost quit altogether, but Max and Aaron convinced me that this wasn’t my fault. I live outside of town, on a hill that I swear is haunted. Aaron lives in a cabin in the woods, and Max, well, I’m not entirely sure where he lives. He’s a park ranger and that allows him the freedom to be a forest-dwelling bear whenever the need arises. So, alone I navigate through my notes, both pre and post-experiment. I’m desperately trying to figure out what happened to us that night, not to change it, but to understand exactly what happened ten years ago on a night just like this. I hear talk of other shifters, but I’ve not yet seen another. It’s the three of us against the world. I should want to reverse the experiment, the curse, or whatever you want to call it, but the thing is, I don’t want to anger it or try to change it in any way. I don’t know enough about it to try to make things right again. As much as I hate it, I also love it. It’s our new normal.