When you're a professional football player, you're constantly on the lookout for any edge you can get, and Phil Adler was as dedicated a player as you could find, to the point of wearing his field uniform like a second skin, even when out doing menial tasks. Such was the case as Phil found himself in the supplements aisle of a local grocery store. For despite his hyper-concentrated efforts, Phil had plateaued physically. He was fit and fast, and even strong! But one thing he wasn't was big. And he was looking to get really big. So Phil searched the shelves. Anything that claimed it would bulk him up, he picked up and scrutinized, scanning for any of the hundred plus chemical compounds that would disqualify him from play. Frustrated by the search so far, Phil sighed as he put down what felt like the thousandth container. Of course, that's when his eye caught quite a horrendously designed label, seemingly slapped on one of those typically large protein powder containers. The container itself balanced on the edge of the top shelf. There appeared to be no similar containers within easy reach.
"Dragon Strength?" Phil muttered to himself as he reached for the container. "Can't be any worse, I suppose." He had to exert himself to reach higher, no small feat in full football gear. "Why is the good stuff always placed so high?" As he tapped its underside, the container frustratingly rolled backward before falling over. The apparently tampered-with lid flew right off. Phil reflexively shielded his eyes as pink powder exploded out from the container, coated him thoroughly, and filled the air with an almost chokingly sweet cherry fragrance. As the powder coated him, his skin began to tickle and his muscles started to twitch. Before he could even begin to brush the powder off, his clothes suddenly felt...tighter? This stuff couldn't possibly be legal, and now it was all over his uniform and even possibly absorbed through some of his skin! He cursed loudly as his helmet now suddenly felt as if it had shrunk to one size too small. As a matter of fact, everything felt that way. Did this stuff shrink his precious uniform? He opened his eyes and noticed in a kind of horror-elation that his perspective seemed higher! He was really getting bigger!
*rrrrrrrRRRRRR!*Phil’s clothing began to protest with creaks that grew louder as he grew bigger with each moment that passed. The tingling feeling increased underneath his clothes to the point that he started to feel extremely strange. Or was that something else entirely? Looking down at his arms, Phil noticed that bare patches of skin were gradually taking on a red color and a pattern that reminded him of reptilian scales. At the same time, his hands were growing and straining the seams of his gloves, especially near the fingertips, where there appeared to be pointy protrusions poking through the perforations on the phalanges! One, then two, then eventually all of his fingertips sprouted black, curved claws that tore through the gloves. Now there was no doubt about it, he was not only growing, but changing into something beastly! *Pop! Popop! POPOPOP!* All about his growing body, Phil could hear a number of snaps, as the weakest points in his clothing gave way to his expanding muscles. It was a sight simultaneously impressive, amazing, exciting, and horrifying.
*SHHRP!* The seams on Phil’s clothing began to give under the stress of his swiftly growing body, providing some small relief. However, pieces of his protective gear were especially constraining and caused sharp discomfort. This made sense as they were designed to stay on through heavy impacts, but unfortunately, they were not designed to contain the sheer force of this particular rapid body growth and transformation. So *PFOP PFOP SHHRP* went his cleats, as large, red-taloned feet burst out of them. And *SNAP!* went his helmet's face guard, as a long, red, scaly muzzle powered through it. And *SHRR-RRRIP!* went his pants, as a big, long, muscular, red, tapering reptilian tail slither-sploded out from between the threadbare seams that once covered his end zone. *CRRRRACK-THRRRK* went his chest guard and jersey round the backside, as new wings forced their way out violently. And then came the helmet. The helmet was the worst. Phil’s growth inside of it made all sides of the cranial protector feel compressed on him with what seemed to be the unyielding force of a hydraulic press. It gave twice to pressure Phil guessed was from his new horns *POK! POK!* and then with the loudest crack of all *CCCRRRRAKKA!* it split into two pieces before they hit the ground. Out flew his new, large ears, which he felt flap gently against his head as he shook it about in relief. As the funny feeling subsided, Phil blinked his now large sapphire-blue eyes, looked down at himself, and was quite amazed at the changes his body had undergone. Somehow, not all of his clothing had been completely obliterated.
"Wow! Dragon Strength indeed!" Phil said, looking over and admiring his new humanoid-dragon body from a height of what he guessed was about seven feet. He couldn't help but flex his muscular arms in front of him, give his wings a forceful flap, and give his tail an energetic and air-rippling wiggle. He felt amazing for a full minute, before realizing that this rather drastic change would present some substantial complications when it came to playing football. It was at this moment precisely when the tingle from before hit his body like the entire defensive roster had ganged up on him. "Oooh no! It's not over!?"
The chaos his body felt in the following moments was reflected closely by the destruction of his immediate environment. Phil bent over in discomfort, rivaling what he'd felt moments before, as his body surged even bigger in a series of contractions. "OOoof! AAAgh! UNgh!" He flailed wildly, knocking many products off their shelves as he fell to a quadrupedal stance, cracking the tile beneath him. *SHHHRRRIP* His pants were the first to give out entirely, as his rear end bulk increased dramatically, starting from his dragon legs and rear, and flowing out through his tail. He tried to turn around, knocking even more things over with his lengthening tail as he did so. Another surge flew up through his waist, torso, and arms. *RRR-CRRACK* The growth forced his chest guard and shoulder pads to constrict a bit around his growing neck, choking him slightly before cracking and breaking off. Yet another wave of growth hit his neck and lengthened it too, causing him to ram the opposing shelf with his head painfully. Another wave hit, flowing through his entire body all at once. His wings grew, his body grew, his tail and neck lengthened even more, and the whole of it caused the shelves to bend and tip over, spilling hundreds of cans and boxes onto the surrounding floor and causing a mess legendary among all grocery employees to this day.
Then, as suddenly as it had come on, the tingling feeling left again, leaving Phil as a massive and massively embarrassed red dragon. Customers either ran in fear or approached in curiosity. Store employees were either laughing or furious. Phil felt a little insulted too when one said "Can somebody please lure him away with deli meats or something!? Geez, this day only gets worse!"
But one joker only laughed and said, "Guess you'll be buying in bulk from now on, eh?" And I tell you, you couldn't imagine a more magnificent dragon grin than the one Phil gave at that line.