Emmett grumbled as he slowly trudged through the rain soaked streets. He'd missed the last bus home for the second time that week after his biology teacher caught him passing notes. It wasn't even that big a deal, yet he was still forced to spend an hour after school. He spent the time fuming about his teacher and wishing he could just be finished with school. Alas, he still had several years to go. To make matters worse, he hadn't even bought an umbrella or jacket with him as the day had started out so bright and warm. Now he was soaked to the bone and only halfway home. Emmett crossed the road and ducked into the woods without a second thought. Its secluded pathway winded through an overgrown nature reserve that ended somewhere near to his house. It was a longer route than walking the streets, but it was far drier and rather scenic. His parents often warned him that it was dangerous to walk through alone but he'd done so many times before without trouble. He thought he was old enough to be wary of his surroundings by now.
While Emmett listened to music with headphones in, he wasn't as aware as he believed himself to be. About 5 minutes into his walk, he caught his foot under an exposed tree root and fell roughly to the ground. He dug into his pockets to make sure his phone hadn't cracked, then attended to his aching body. Although he felt sore from the impact, nothing felt broken to his relief. Just as he was about to pull himself up, Emmett caught a glimpse of something sticking out from underneath the root. It had to be something important if it was buried in the woods, it wouldn't even be noticeable unless you were on the ground like Emmett was. After a bit of struggle, he finally managed to pull out a thick, wooden carving of a person. Its features were crudely carved into a menacing glare, while its faded, painted body looked like it was boldly coloured in the past. In its clawed hands, it held what looked like a ball with faint markings around the outside.
Emmett rotated the model around in his hands, wondering why it was buried in the woods. He was tempted to take it back home, yet every single movie and TV show he'd seen told him that would lead to terrible things. Dangerous curses, evil spirits, or supernatural killers could be in his future if he brought it home. After a moment's thought, Emmett brushed off those thoughts with a laugh. He wasn't some character in a twisted story, this was real life! Boring, dull real life. He grabbed an empty plastic folder from within his backpack and stuffed the carving inside before continuing on home.
Once inside his house, Emmett called out for his mom and heard nothing. He wandered into the kitchen to find a note attached to the fridge along with money to order pizza. He slapped his head in remembrance, his parents had left for a short weekend break. Which meant he had the entire house to himself! Emmett grabbed a bag of fun-sized chocolate and turned on the TV, putting the volume up loud enough to vibrate the floor. Nobody could tell him off for doing so. While watching some afternoon cartoons, an episode came on where the main character found a cursed stone that gave him bad luck until he passed it off to some other clueless sap. It reminded him of the weird carving he found in the woods. Turning the volume back to acceptable levels, Emmett turned on his laptop and was glad to see Jacob, his best friend, was online. He started up a video conversation and said "Hey Jacob, you won't believe what I found today". Emmett dug into his backpack and pulled out the carving, holding it up to his webcam.
"Woah, what is that? Where did you find it?" Jacob asked him.
Emmett shrugged and said "I dunno, some sort of wooden statue? I found it half-buried in the woods near my house".
Jacob said with a hint of concern "You found a creepy statue buried in the woods and decided to bring it back home with you? I'm sorry, are you the guy who gets killed in the first 10 minutes of every horror movie?".
Emmett rolled his eyes and said "Nothing like that actually happens in real life".
"How do you know it won't come alive at night and steal your soul?"
"As if! Besides, it could be like one of those Saturday morning specials that, I don't know, makes you swap bodies with your pet dog until you learn the importance of friendship or something"
"And you get into misadventures trying to keep your dog self from ruining your first date with the girl you've loved since kindergarten?"
"Exactly, it's not all bad. Maybe in writing and acting, but not every object is deadly"
"OK, all I'm saying is it's your fault if some ancient spirit murders you in your sleep tonight because you thought it'd be a good idea to disturb his burial site".
Emmett snorted in disbelief. "Come off it, I know you'd do the same in my situation. You'd probably have washed it and given it a plaque before showing me as well. But enough of that, are you still up for the cinema tomorrow?".
They continued to chat about their weekend plans until Jacob had to leave for football practice. Emmett stood up from the sofa and stretched. He was still in his school uniform which was unusual for him. He picked up his wooden trophy and gave it a final look-over before chucking it back into his bag carelessly. Emmett grabbed the back and dragged it up the stairs, causing the carving to slip out of its plastic cover and to bounce about inside. When he entered his bedroom, he threw the bag onto his bed and said aloud "If that stupid thing was really cursed, I'm sure it would have done something by now". Emmett opened his wardrobe and flicked through his multitude of shirts and pants, trying to find his most comfortable pair of pyjamas. While he searched, he begun to be aware of how stuffy he felt in his school uniform. It was like they were a size too small for him, even his tie had become uncomfortably tight around his neck. Reaching up to loosen it, he felt a slight tug on his shirt sleeves. Emmett turned around in surprise, expecting someone to be behind him and sighed with relief to see he was alone. Reaching up again, he found the tugging was caused by his shirt being too small on him. He frowned, not remember it being so tight earlier, but the tie choking him gained his attention. He pulled the long strip of fabric off and rubbed his neck. Jacob was getting to him with all that talk of a murderous statue. He laughed to himself to lighten the mood, but as he looked at the bag on his bed, his smile faltered. A faint glow and light fog was pouring out from within.
He rushed over to the bag found the carving looked completely new, the glow and fog emanating from the circle it held. Emmett reached in to grab it, only to snatch his hand away as it burnt his skin. He backed away and ran to his bedroom door, unable to open. "Oh my god, this can't be happening. I'm not going to be killed by a piece of wood!" he yelled before covering his mouth. His voice was different, altering in pitch with every word. He cleared his throat and said "I'm not letting that... Damn it, my voice is breaking at the wrong time!". But that was the least of his worries as he tugged at the waistband of his pants. He looked down to see they'd more than shrunk and were starting to give way at the seams. Meanwhile his shirt was looking less hand-me-down and more give-it-up as it exposed more and more of his stomach. Emmett was panicking even more now, the statue was legitimately cursing him like an 80s movie! But what was it doing to him? He was growing taller, his voice was breaking, it even looked like the faint hairs on his arms and legs were increasing in density. It wasn't too hard to see he was aging at a rapid rate. Unless he was turning into a werewolf, the carving was holding something spherical after all...
Emmett was struggling to breathe as his body kept growing beyond its limits. His pants were riding up his legs, the seams coming undone. The buttons of his school shirt popped off and bounced across the room. His jaw was aching as it reshaped itself into more chiselled and angular features, more like a man than a child. He suddenly fell to the floor, no long able to stand the pain of his feet stuffed into the tiny shoes made for a boy. he stretched over, more buttons flying, and tried to free himself but they were too tight. Finally with a loud tear, the very fabric of the shoes split open, allowing his wide, massive feet the freedom they so craved. He rubbed them, feeling rough and hairy to the touch. More hair sprouted across his forming body, making him itch all over. Prickles flowed across his cheeks and neck, a dark stubble that looked several days unshaven. Emmett groaned as his stomach seemed to vibrate, the last of his baby fat melting away. Left behind in its place were solid abs covered with a light fur. His arms throbbed as every heartbeat made them inflate, stretching the limits of his shirt until the sleeves ripped and bunched up behind the massive bulges.
Finally, the light and mist that filled the room begun to subside and recede back into his bag, back to the wooden carving within. Emmett noticed this and clumsily pulled himself to his feet. He grabbed the bag and looked inside, the carving was as faded and cold as when he found it in the woods hours earlier. Emmett sighed and rubbed his head, this couldn't be real. He slapped his face hard, wincing at the pain it caused. He stared dumbstruck at his hand, his mouth open in shock. It wasn't a dream. The hand was twice as large as usual, connected to a meaty forearm coated with wiry hair. He brought it closer to his face, and placed it on his sore cheek. He stroked it, stubble feeling like sandpaper. He whimpered at the unusual sensation as he felt every contour of his unfamiliar face. Looking down at his tall, buff body, Emmett grabbed his shirt and ripped it straight off his body, revealing the pecs coated with swirly hair that were hiding underneath. He had to find a mirror to ensure what had really happened. He stumbled to his bedroom door and was relieved to see it now opened.
Leaving the confines of his bedroom, Emmett walked down the hall, running a hand along the wall so he wouldn't trip over his longer legs. He nervously opened the door to the bathroom and covered his eyes, feeling his way towards the sink. With a few anxious breaths to prepare himself for the inevitable, he forced his hand away and looked into the mirror. His eyes widened in disbelief and he stuttered uncontrollably at the sight before him. The scruffy faced man in the mirror copied his nervous movements, his large chest shaking from his quick, sharp breaths. Emmett finally muttered to himself in a wavering tone "So just like the movies..." before collapsing to the floor unconscious.