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Mad scientist holding up a test tube

Filed Under , , on March 2nd, 2019

Ammo Arms (part one)

By Seth Kabala

Ella was hugging my arms. She said she wished she had arms as big as mine while keeping her same size body. That’s freaky, so let’s explore this. In fact, let’s do more than explore it. Let’s blow it out of proportion. That’s always fun. What turns our cagey seven-year-old into a quasi super hero with gargantuan arms? I’m going with a modern-day Annie situation.

* * *

I was happy when the Osterdorfs first adopted me. Food was on the table each night, and not just anything edible—amazing delicacies of seemingly infinite variation. The parties went on like a self-circulating hour-glass, always renewing themselves with each passing tick of the clock or drop of a grain of silica. So, too, went my waistline. But that didn’t matter. I’d been underweight before the Osterdorfs. Life in an orphanage was a long ways removed from Russian royalty. A little plump never hurt anyone, especially considering how quickly things could shift from good to bad. Some of that savor might have to serve a dual role as savior when the party reached its inevitable end.

That end came when the Ratterlies showed up at the front door. At first, they looked like common door-to-door sales folks, a man and woman in expensive-looking clothing that didn’t quite fit their frames, nor their countenances. You’d expect someone wearing a $10,000 mink coat to behave with the air of stuffy superiority, perhaps even feigned nicety. Not the Ratterlies. It was like they were always one wrong word away from bursting out of their false skin.

In the end, that’s exactly what happened, metaphorically speaking. They discovered I was the sole-surviving heir of the Romanovs, Anastasia, and I had billions of dollars locked up in trusts. News to me. I’m only seven. That’s what I look like, anyway. But apparently, I’m over 100. Weird. From my earliest memories, I’ve always been an orphan, until the Osterdorfs, of course. But before that, I have no memories of gilded halls and trust funds. It must have all happened before I started to form permanent memories. Or maybe the permanent memories I have are what someone decided I should have? If I’m really 100, somebody owes me a lot of missed desserts, and an explanation.

The Ratterlies weren’t the brightest criminals under the interrogation lights, but they could smell opportunity. They followed the paper trail from Russia all the way to Portland, OR, where I now live. They stole DNA from me (my hair, I think) and got a match to Anastasia. Once they had their mark, they posed as distant relations–who, of course, were suited to be my legal guardians–and tried to force me, under threat of my life, to access my family’s money—my money—and give it to them.

The day they kidnapped me, they thought they’d planned for everything, but they missed a crucial detail: before they were killed, my family was involved in high-tech genetic experimentation. Their favorite test subjects? Humans.

I was born with fast healing ability. That much I’ve retained. See, my permanent memories aren’t linear. They jump around. My healing ability made me an ideal candidate for their experiments. The full extent of what they did to me is unknown, but one thing I do know: when I get mad (like steam coming out of my ears mad) or when I get scared (like my life is in danger), my arms get huge. Like the size of telephone poles huge. Like an oak tree huge. It looks ridiculous, because I weigh maybe 50lbs. When my arms grow, though, my weight instantly clocks in at 250, a 200lb instant muscle gain.

I don’t understand much of the science (or whether it’s science at all. Could be magic), but I do know that my Ammo Arms have a separate consciousness, acting without my consent, but always in my best interest. I call them my Ammo Arms, because they kind of look like huge grenades welded to tank turrets bolted to shotgun stocks. I describe them that way on purpose. They are weapons.

The Ratterlies found that out right quick.

* * *

I knew there was a good reason for spending so much time working out over the last 25 years. Big arms = big ideas. How much more ridiculous can we make this story? Check back next week to find out.

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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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