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Timothy just wanted to be like all the other kids in the neighborhood, to run, to play, and generally to be a 10-year-old child. However, unlike most kids in the area, Timothy was born legless. Otherwise, he was a typical ten-year-old kid, playing video games and browsing the Internet. Timothy didn't have many friends, but they became his lifelong friends. Both of them had something special about them that set them apart from other children. Brian, over 6 feet tall, was a giant of the band. He had yet to rise to his height, making him a little clumsy. Then there was Charlie, the runt of the litter, standing at just under 5-feet but possessed of a bravado twice his stature. Rounding out the group was Paul, he LOVED to eat. It didn’t matter what, where, or when, Paul was always eating. The group had been dubbed by the town as “The Extremes.”

The Extremes gathered at Timothy’s house on Friday night for a sleepover and were sitting around playing video games when the precocious Charlie piped up “You guys ever wonder what it’s like to be normal?” This was an odd question, even for Charlie. “No really,” Charlie continued, “have any of you ever wondered what it would be like to be normal and not have people give you a second look?” The boys looked at each other, shrugged, shook their heads, then went back to playing their video games. “Well, I have!” Charlie said emphatically. Then he turned around and pulled four shiny wristbands out of his backpack. “The magazine ad said that these would cure whatever your ailment was overnight.” It was Brian who spoke next, “Good Lord, Charlie, you’ll believe anything if they put it in a magazine won’t ya? How much did those things cost you?” Charlie looked sideways at Brian, “Not as much you think, Stilt-boy!” Charlie continued, “The ad said all you have to do is put these on and the next day whatever your suffering from would be gone. They came with a 100%, no questions asked, money-back guarantee, so what’s the hurt in trying them?” The boys looked at each other, shrugged once again, and agreed to wear the wristbands to bed that night. Just before he turned the lights out Timothy said to Charlie, “If this thing turns my wrist green, I’m gonna pound you, you runt!”

The next morning Paul was the first to wake up, which was normal because he needed to start eating. “Anyone want to go for a run?” The words had come out of Paul’s mouth. Shocked, the other boys woke to see Paul standing there, dressed in jogging shorts ready to go. One by one they noticed that all of them had somehow transformed overnight. Timothy was the most shocked of all as he stared down at his legs, which hadn’t been there when he went to sleep. Charlie was no longer short, Brian was no longer a giant, Paul was no longer fat, and Timothy had legs. When they got over their initial shock, the boys noticed everything subtly changed, even their clothes were slightly different. They got dressed and went downstairs to find Timothy’s parents waiting, also subtly changed. “Hey sleepyheads!” Timothy’s mother said. “We thought you might sleep all day.” Timothy, still in a bit of shock said, “But Mom, I have legs!” To which she replied slightly amused, “Well, of course you do honey, everyone does!” Just then there was a knock at the front door. Charlie being nearest the door answered it. “Hello son!” the man at the door exclaimed. “I just came by to make sure your wristbands are working correctly, but I can see that they are.” The man continued, “Your satisfaction is important to us.” The man turned, and in a flash of light he was gone. Stunned and still not knowing what was going on, the boys looked to Timothy’s mom for answers. “Oh, my goodness boys,” she said finally, “we were wondering when you would discover the secret and join the rest of us.” “The rest of us?” asked Timothy. “Why, yes dear, the whole town has the wristbands”, Timothy’s mom continued, “They were provided to us by the Talaxians years ago with the proviso that each person would have to discover the secret on their own. You boys were the last ones.” Timothy’s dad spoke next, “Now, who wants to go to the park and play some football?”

July 24, 2021

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