Gruntnash used a log to stir the coals in the fire pit. His incantations caused flames to leap from them. He could see the answer to his questions taking form in the flames. What was happening to the other ogres of his clan? Who was killing them off? Who in what tribe could so easily do it? The flames came together and formed the image of a diminutive elf bouncing her way into a cave at the base of his mountain. It was the elves’ fault. He knew it. It was –always- the elves’ fault. How could the others be so stupid as to let themselves be defeated by an elf? Gruntnash walked to the mouth of his cave and took the form of a vulture. He leapt into the air and slowly circled his way to the cave he saw in the vision. He was going to find out how she could defeat his warriors. Then she and the rest of her tribe would pay.
Willow used her magic to cause lights to sparkle around her once she entered the cave. It wasn’t that the darkness in the cave was a hinderance to her. She just liked the way that the gemstones reflected the lights off the cave walls in really pretty colors. After retrieving her bag of gemstones, she walked to the edge of what was called the genie’s tomb.
In the center of the cave, the floor had a set of large steps that led into a pit with an ugly little statue that sat on the floor at the bottom. The statue was supposed to have a genie in it that would grant wishes. All anyone had to do was to take the statue out of the pit. Willow crossed her arms, cupping the peaks of her biceps with her hands. She thought, “Getting the statue out shouldn’t be too hard for me now.” Willow dropped from each step to the next, eventually getting to the bottom of the pit. She picked up the ugly brown statue. She said, “Now to get you out of here so I can get some neat stuff for my friends.” The statue changed colors to red, orange, and then yellow as Willow climbed the bottom three steps. It now weighed a thousand times as much as it did at the bottom. Willow thought, “I don’t remember hearing about anyone getting it this far before. I’ve only seen it brought up the bottom two steps. This is gonna be easy.” She had to climb up the next two steps carefully because the statue ‘s weight was so much greater than her own. Willow placed her right foot up as high as her left knee to step up to the sixth landing. As she did so, the statue’s weight increased another tenfold. She looked at the deep indigo statue and said, “I see. You’re not giving me any trouble until I’m almost done.” Her muscles swelled a little to accommodate the statue’s increased weight. As she stepped onto the sixth landing, she said, “Maybe I should just keep you because it makes my muscles feel good to hold up this much weight.” Willow did several one arm curls of the statue and frowned. “You just need to be a bit heavier, though.” When Willow placed her left hand on the seventh landing, the statue turned a bright violet. Her right arm was pulled out straight from the strain of holding the statue up. “Woah!” Willow’s arm throbbed as she strained to lift the statue. Her body shivered from the effort. “Mmmm. That’s good.” She placed her hand with the statue onto the top landing and climbed up onto it.
As Willow stepped off the landing and onto the cave’s floor, the statues returned to normal. She sighed “Y’know. I really wish I had a couple of things that I could hold that would get as heavy as I wanted them to. That way I could work my muscles so they’d really feel good like they do now whenever I want.”
The statue vibrated in Willow’s hand as a hollow voice said “And thus is the first wish granted.” In a flash of light, a pair of hand weights appeared near one of the cave’s walls.
“Whoops. I’d better be careful with the other two.” She said.
Gruntnash flew into the cave’s entrance and saw the elf holding the genie’s statue. He landed next to her and transformed back into his regular self. “I will begin your torturing after you give that to me. If your suffering pleases me, I might let your village live.” He put his hands on his hips and laughed.
Willow replied “I… I wish you were sent somewhere far, far away until you weren’t so mean any more.”
Gruntnash tried to grab the statue away before the little elf could finish, but was unable to pull it from her grip. “I wish you were sent close to where I will be until only one of us remains. Then the other will come back here right away.”
“Hey!” Willow shouted.
The genie’s voice filled the room, saying ,“The second and final wishes shall be granted.” The room appeared to swirl about. It faded as other scenes came into view for the two of them.
Gruntnash saw the cave fade from around him. He found himself standing on a paved street, surrounded by the tallest brick buildings he had ever seen. It was night, but powerful lanterns illuminated the area. A strange painted metal wagon went past him and stopped. Several oddly dressed humans got out. They took a moment to stare at him before running inside a building. Gruntnash decided to follow them. If he could find out who was the leader of this area, he could set himself up in a good position, possibly court magician. Then, after learning the ways of this land, he could take over without much effort. When he stooped into the entryway, someone dressed similar to the people who came out of the vehicle confronted him. “Out of my way, insolent one!” Gruntnash bellowed.
“Who and what the hell do you think you are? No one comes busting in here like that.” Was answered. The man then pulled out a short metal rod and brandished it at Gruntnash.
Gruntnash uttered a protection spell and challenged the guard to use his weapon. His laughter seemed to shake the building when the gunshots bounced off the magical wards. He found it a simple matter to gain an audience with the head of this thieves’ guild. The man wasn’t too hard to convince of the usefulness of having an ogre magician in the organization.
Willow found herself standing in a rocky desert. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the starlight, allowing her to see as well as in daytime. She could see mountains in the distance. She thought, “From there I’ll be able to see where the nearest town is.” She jogged through the desert for a few hours, until she reached the foot of the mountains, before stopping for a rest. Willow sat down cross-legged and picked up a rock about the size of a grapefruit. She rubbed it between her hands, smoothing it. When she stood up, Willow gripped the rock in one hand, sinking her fingers into it. Willow looked at a barrel-shaped cactus she had passed a little before stopping. She wound up and threw the rock, sending it whooshing through the air. The cactus exploded from the impact, while the rock continued through it to shatter against some larger stones with a loud ‘crack’. She set about climbing up the mountain’s sharp slope. Willow found the easiest way to proceed was plunge her fist into the rock to make handholds. She made it to where the mountainside became a gentle enough slope to walk up after about an hour’s climb. When she reached a flat place near a stream at the top of the mountain, Willow decided that it would be just as easy to find out where she was in the morning.
Mark liked taking the road over the mountains when he got a contract northeast of his home. He always made sure to stop in time to see the big freight train go over the old 1870 bridge. Mark parked his truck and walked the 100 yards to where he could get the best view of the valley.
Willow woke up to the sound of heavy footsteps. She yawned and stretched, then sat up and tightened her arms a couple of times. It felt good doing that. Willow then got to her feet and walked over to the strangely dressed man.
Mark stopped to see a short blond girl lying near a bush. She was wearing some sort of bathing suit. The bottom was made of two small pieces of fabric in front and back attached by ties at the waist, while the top was an open vest. One side of the vest was slid to the side, exposing her cantaloupe-sized breast. She woke up and stretched out. As she did so, her calf and thigh muscles grew to several times their resting size, showing deep cuts within them. Her abdominals thickened, and her breasts seemed to grow. The girl’s triceps enlarged, gaining deep v shapes. She sat up and yawned. The girl then pumped her biceps a few times, raising her peaks higher each time. The last time she did this, her peaks went higher than her clenched fists.
Once she felt fully awake, Willow walked over to Mark. She looked up into his eyes and said “Good morning. I’m Willow. Are you from anywhere near here?”
Mark took a few seconds to realize that the girl had spoken to him, as he was busy being mesmerized by her cleavage. “No…I mean, yes. I stop here whenever I can. I like to see the trains pull themselves by.” He nervously smiled and ran his hand through his hair.
“Trains?” Willow asked.
“Over there.” Mark pointed to the bridge. In the meantime, a slight drizzle began.
As the chain of diesel locomotives came into view, Willow shouted “Oh, neat! Lets get a closer look.” She jogged over to the railroad tracks. The bridge shook and groaned as the train moved across it. A series of loud cracking sounds came from the bridge as the train passed the halfway point. Wood and steel support elements fell from the old structure. As the front locomotive passed the end of the bridge, the supports in the center of the bridge gave way. The weight of the falling cars brought the train to a stop and began to pull it backwards. Willow could see people panicking inside the locomotive as it was pulled back by the falling cars. She thought “I can’t let those people fall all the ways off the mountain in their ‘train’ thing.” She grabbed the coupling on the front of the locomotive with one hand and lifted it up, raising its front wheels off the ground. She dug her heels into the ground, but was pulled forwards as the train continued to slide back. The cross ties snapped and Willows feet left furrows in the gravel. The weakened bridge crumbled away from beneath the train. The coupling that Willow was holding bent away from the locomotive as it went over the cliff side.
Mark was able to catch up by then. He walked the last ten yards up to Willow as she lifted the coupled locomotives and train cars up the cliff side.
Willow was supporting the locomotives along with several cars with one hand. She turned to Mark and said “Its not too heavy. I’ll get it up onto its trail so those people in it can take it wherever they were going.” She wiped the rainwater off her face with her free hand.
“Y…you can lift all that…with one hand?” Mark asked.
“Yeah. It looks like it’ll be really heavy. But its not too bad. See.” She lifted the chain of locomotives and cars a couple of times. Each time she did so, the train’s wheels dug themselves a little deeper into the cliff side.
“Is this for real?” Mark asked. As Willow bobbed her head up and down signifying yes, he placed his hand up onto the top of her biceps. “Illusions aren’t hard and warm.” He said quietly.
Willow chuckled and said, “I hope I’m real. Watch out. I don’t want to bump you in the head with this.”
Mark stepped to the side as Willow lifted the locomotive up hand-over-hand. Its front end came down to rest on the tracks as she continued on to lift the next locomotive the same way. She eventually got the locomotives and the few cars that had stayed coupled up and onto the tracks.
“I…um…think we should be going now.” Mark said, looking up to the windows on the locomotive.
“How come?” Willow answered.