Jack wasn’t having a good day.
He tried to concentrate on the equation in front of him, but his mind kept wandering, causing him to tap his pen repeatedly against the side of his glasses. He looked around, watching the other students quietly getting on with the test, but there was no chance of him copying their answers, what with their desks being a good foot higher than his head.
Jack was one of the few remaining ‘Betas’ at his school; a colloquial term used to refer to people of what you and I would consider to be normal height. Almost all the kids attending Oakwood High were products of society’s never-ending quest for physical perfection, specifically in the form of the highly effective growth hormone GH-X2.
Children, not adults, could be administered the compound, specifically between the ages of 6 and 16, which increased their growth rate dramatically and practically created a new class of superhuman averaging over 11 feet tall; an increase in projected height of around 200% i.e. double. These giants liked to refer to themselves as ‘Alphas’, and all public buildings had been rapidly rebuilt to accommodate this new, predominant ‘tier’ of humanity.
Looking to his left, Jack was only a few feet away from Alex, a sporty, raven-haired Alpha girl wearing black sweatpants and a tight-fitting sports vest. From his perspective, all he could really focus on was her colossal right leg jigging up and down as she concentrated on her paper, bouncing her heel against the floor.
Almost all Alphas were in tremendous physical condition, as the treatment optimised their bodies to cope with their increased size and process the food they consumed more efficiently. Even without much exercise, most were toned and athletic, and with even a modicum of effort, girls like Alex could have muscle mass that dwarfed that of Beta men. The thigh Jack was failing to avoid looking at was much longer and thicker than his torso, and as his eyes followed her form up her firm midriff he stared up at a mammoth white vest top containing breasts larger than his head. It was at this moment that he realised she was looking down at him disapprovingly through narrowing eyes, causing him to jolt involuntarily and drop the pen, which rolled under Alex’s oversized sneaker. With a cruel smile, she pressed her foot slowly into the floor, crushing it flat.
This was exactly the kind of shit Jack had to put up with all the time, it wasn’t like he could do anything about it either, as the huge girl would probably just hang him on a coat hook by his underwear if he made any kind of fuss. It wasn’t just the unfairness of this specific situation that rankled him either, there hadn’t been a Beta girl at the school for a few years now, and there was this kind of universal indifference that the Alpha girls had for the few Beta guys that remained.
Jack had long since resigned himself to an adolescence free from meaningful connections with members of the opposite sex, let alone any kind of intimacy. He had only a couple of brutal rejections to show for many years of pent-up feelings and frustration, exacerbated daily by the presence of intoxicating giantesses with essentially no regard for him at all.
During early puberty, realising he was going to be a virgin for at least the next 7 years, Jack developed a strong fixation towards Alpha girls, both resenting and at the same time fascinated by the tremendous femininity of their magnificent bodies and his own unattainable, futile desires. Most nights he couldn’t help but touch himself to thoughts of their enormous, sexy limbs and large, pouting breasts, dreaming up fantasies revolving around experiencing the soft, abundant flesh of someone much, much larger than him. In part, this was to counteract the scarcity of physical contact with girls that he had in real life, which was restricted to being bumped into, pushed against, or physically intimidated, none of which could readily be classed as ‘intimate’.
The reason why there were no longer any Beta girls at Oakwood High was because the risks faced by normal-sized women in an Alpha-size world meant female uptake of GH-X2 was as good as universal. In fact, a government initiative to provide funding towards the treatment for girls had been set up within the last decade after countless high-profile rape and abduction cases.
For men, however, there was no such protocol, due to lingering assumptions about their perceived ability to withstand the mental and physical challenges of life in the shadow of the Alphas. Boys from poor families, or, in Jack’s case, families that didn’t believe growth hormone treatment was ethical, went without.
There were still many areas of the globe which were untouched by GH-X2, a lot of Africa, South America and Asia was too impoverished, but in developed areas Betas were a demographic in sharp decline as jobs and infrastructure were repurposed to make space for Alphas.
Jack’s best friend Delon was a fellow Beta, a black kid with a gangly frame and short scrubby hair, he was pretty tall for a Beta kid at 6’ 4” which meant that he tended to avoid getting into too many scrapes and had made friends with a few of the more tolerant Alphas.
“How’d the test go?” he asked as he and Jack waited against the wall for the Alphas to stride their way past.
“Fucked it,” Jack replied, “No way am I going to be ready for June.”
Delon laughed, moving through the wide doorway into the corridor, “Mate, you can’t have done worse than you did in the mock last week,” he joked.
Jack gave a pained smile, “I might’ve got a better score but for Alex pissing Eberhardt crushing my only pen with 5 questions to go. You know how expensive these Beta-size pens are getting, and that was my last one.”
Delon eyed his friend with a mixture of pity and amusement, rooted in his coat pocket and pulled out a pen, handing it to Jack.
“Don’t let any of the big girls step on this one, promise me, I want it back”.
They made their way down the corridor, sticking to the right hand-side with the younger, less gigantic kids to avoid getting trampled, and Jack peeled off to head to English class. He tried to gauge the flow of Alphas as he headed for the classroom, but at the last second a large saddle bag swung into view and caught him on the forehead, knocking him to the ground.
“Oh god, sorry!” said the Alpha girl, stooping down to check he was unhurt and picking up his fallen glasses before anyone stepped on them.
Taking them from her large fingers, Jack recognised her as Penny, a tall, sandy-brown-haired girl from the year below. She was wearing a long-sleeved purple top, and a mid-length black skirt over tights on her lower half.
“I’m ok, don’t worry, I’m fine,” he said, as her long arms enveloped him and helped set him to his feet.
“I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you,” she went on, looking at him apologetically with her large green eyes.
Jack was suddenly highly aware of their proximity, something he was unused to without associating it with some form of intimidation, and stared at Penny’s tremendous face blankly for a brief moment before continuing his insistence that he was quite all right. He straightened his glasses on his face, surprised that her pretty features seemed full of concern, and despite her size she had treated him delicately and tried not to crowd him.
“I’ll see you around, then,” she said finally, smiling warmly and rising up to her full height, allowing him to walk past her into the classroom.
He looked back at her, and smiled back, not quite sure what to make of her unexpected kindness, before making his way to his Beta-size desk.
All through class, Jack replayed the incident with Penny in his head.
He’d seen her around the school before, but she was a quiet, slightly odd sort of girl, not noticeably unpopular or anything, but definitely more studious than most. He’d usually spot her after school in the library, or doing something extra-curricular, but their paths seldom crossed. He was also confused at the feelings it was awakening within him, as he was so unused to being treated with respect by bigger folk it was triggering dormant memories from when he was younger, back when kids were still used to behaving as equals in spite of the slowly increasing size differences between them. He’d gotten used to being treated like trash by all of the Alpha girls his age, fully aware they wouldn’t be caught dead with a Beta-size man, or ‘manlet’ as they sometimes joked, instead choosing to torment their feelings whilst dating the Adonis-like Alpha guys.
When the bell went, Jack slowly collected his things and packed them away in his bag before following the Alphas out of the doorway. Instead of walking straight home, he’d already decided to stay in the library for a bit to read up on old film books and the like.
Jack had always found films predating the growth hormone era mysterious and fascinating, as they documented a world he envied and in many ways yearned for. He’d often spend an extra hour pouring over some books, and grab a movie to take home with him, it was one of the few things that made him feel truly happy.
Upon entering the library he felt a slight sensation of butterflies at the prospect of Penny being there, but after a brief scout around he couldn’t see her anywhere. A little disappointed, he grabbed one of the books from the cinema section, hauled himself atop one of the high stools for Betas to use the library desks, and spent a good while immersed in another time and place.
When he left the library, he went straight to his locker to sort out what books he needed to take home. After entering his combination, he swung the oversized door open, put his bag down, and began organising himself when he realised he could hear the sound of raised voices travelling down the vast and empty corridor. He packed his bag and closed the locker firmly, he decided to quickly run and check out the commotion, which seemed to be coming from the main hall just off the corridor.
The voices got louder as he approached the pair of large theatre doors that led into the hall, and as he peeked through the rectangle of safety glass he could make out half a dozen Alpha girls and boys energetically dancing around under the watchful eye of an irate-looking drama teacher. Jack’s heart skipped a beat as he realised that Penny was one of the 6, dressed in a long black dress and flat dance shoes. Her long hair was pulled tight into a 1940’s-style bun, and she was fiddling with a theatrical cigarette holder in her right hand.
After a good thirty seconds of staring, he was startled when he felt a large, soft hand enclose his right shoulder in an unshakeable grip as he was manoeuvred around to face the waistline of the very statuesque Alex Eberhardt. The massive girl’s eyes bore down on Jack, who could barely see up past her prodigious rack.
“Oi nerd, who you perving on?” she asked, with a hint of a smile.
Jack’s mouth moved to respond, but no sound came out, and when he did force himself to reply his voice broke a little as he did.
“H-hi Alex,” he said, “No-one, I just wanted to see what was going on,” he continued bravely.
As he stared up at her, he noticed one of Alex’s friends, Hannah, walk over to join them. Hannah was noticeably shorter than Alex, but still almost twice the height of Jack. She was much curvier than most Alphas, with short blonde hair and a copious amount of make-up.
“What’s the manlet up to?” she asked, talking miles above Jack’s level. “Oh nothing, he’s fine. Have you seen Caitlin?” replied Alex.
Not Caitlin, thought Jack.
Caitlin was renowned around the school for being on the one hand an incredible female athlete, and on the other a merciless bully. Her wealthy family were one of the privileged few to have had access to GH-X2 for every straight iteration, and it was rumoured her parents had paid a small fortune for her to be given an experimental formula, causing her to grow taller and put on more muscle than most.
She was the tallest girl in school, standing at 13’ 1”, and with her fire-red hair and intimidating physique even the most self-assured of Alpha guys were wary of her. Jack himself had managed to stay under her radar for years now, ever since the horror stories had started to do the rounds around school.
“Caitlin’s just getting changed, she’s been doing extra training, “continued Hannah.
“I think she wants to head to the mall after she’s freshened up, if you want to come?”
Jack felt Alex’s powerful hand knead his shoulder painfully as she weighed up her response, “Yeah, I’m up for that. What about you, little dude?” she said, angling her head down.
Jack tried to force a smile up at the two enormous girls, trying to play ball with them.
“Oh I dunno,” he said nervously, “I’ve got to be getting home.”
He was used to getting teased by Alpha girls, they usually enjoyed intimidating him for a bit before growing bored.
“But we know you love shopping,” grinned Alex, emphasising the word ‘love’ with a playful squeeze on his shoulder, before she and Hannah resumed their conversation.
In some ways he felt like a little brother stuck with his sister and her friend, though he’d never actually experienced that either; the joys of being an only child.
Jack tried to twist his shoulder out of Alex’s grasp, and surprisingly, the big girl let him go as she was much more interested in talking to Hannah. He returned to his position looking through the theatre door, but he could only see a couple of the girls from his perspective; the others were further round than his restricted vision would allow.
Resisting the urge to push the heavy door forward, which might attract their attention, he instead decided to make his exit in case the two gossiping behemoths decided they wanted to antagonise him further. Expertly rounding their two pairs of enormous legs, a skill he’d had a lot of practice with at school, he headed back towards the corridor, looking over his shoulder to check that the two girls were still busily chatting.
If he had been looking where he was going, he might have seen Caitlin’s hulking form rounding the corner at exactly the same time, and he might have avoided colliding meatily with her bare thigh.