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Mind of my own by Gymdude
Todd was a pretty regular guy. At 23 he'd done well for himself as a tree surgeon but his real passion was music. He had a great voice but had never done anything about it. Mainly because he was worried what his mates would think. Todd and the guys were all regular blokes, Jamie was a builder, Travis a painter/decorator and Josh was a plumber. The only one of them that knew about Todd's singing talents was Josh who had walked in on Todd singing one day. He was always trying to get Todd to do something with his voice but Todd was never up for it.
They were all blokey blokes and would meet up every Friday down the pub for a pint and a catch up on each other's week. They'd often take the piss out of the pretty boys trying to chat up girls at the bar. Todd couldn't believe how vain some of these guys were with their overly styled hair, and neatly trimmed stubble, low cut t-shirts revealing big pecs and tattoo's. Todd and the guys thought they looked ridiculous. That's not to say Todd wasn't a good looking guy. Considering he didn't go to the gym he had a fairly decent body, gained from lugging logs around all day. He wasn't into keeping up with the latest fashions and always wore jeans and a t-shirt, nothing special. The only thing Todd liked to take care over was his thick curly black hair. It wasn't in any particular style but he kept it trimmed often to keep it looking good. He often got compliments from the ladies about his hair which probably made up for him not making an effort with his clothing.
One Friday night down the pub the guys had all met up as usual but their peace was shattered as the pub had decided to start doing karaoke. Josh saw his chance and told Todd in front of everyone that he should get up and sing something. The cat was out of the bag and with a few more drinks and encouragement from his mates Todd eventually agreed to get up and sing. He was amazing and the whole pub erupted in applause when he'd finished. Jamie and Travis couldn't believe how good Todd was and to his relief they were all really positive. As they were talking a guy in a suit walked up to Todd asking if he could have a private word.
The suited guy introduced himself as Stuart and explained that he was a talent scout for a record company. He explained that he had just come off the phone with his boss who was now really interested in hearing Todd sing too. Stuart thought Todd had an amazing talent and was also easy on the eye. He told Todd he thought he could be really big and passed him a business card telling him to get in contact.
On hearing the news all the guys encouraged Todd to go for it. In the following weeks Todd travelled to London and went through various auditions, ending up in a meeting with the big bosses. They were all very keen to sign Todd and were willing to pay him decent money right from the start. They passed him a contract that was pages and pages long. Todd started to read it but he figured how bad could it be? All he could see was the big sum of money at the top of the first page. Without much further hesitation he turned to the end and signed. The bosses explained that they wanted to get Todd in the public eye quickly but he had some work to do first to really get his voice up to recording level and to work on his image etc.
Within days Todd was saying goodbye to his friends in Manchester and moved into his new apartment in London. Stuart came round and gave him a schedule for the next 4 months. It included lots of vocal training, studio work and also a 4 hour period each day with a personal trainer. He explained that not only did Todd need to sound good he also needed to look the part. Todd had his first session with the trainer Dan that day. Dan looked like a body builder and soon had Todd working hard. At the end of the session Todd was given various supplements and pills that he would need to take daily. Todd also had a chef attend the apartment 3 times a day to make sure he was eating correctly to maximise his efforts at the gym.
Over the months that followed Todd had never worked so hard in his life. Between the gym and the studio he never had time for anything else. He didn't get to go home at all. He noticed that his old clothes weren't fitting anymore and was given new ones by the team but he didn't think anything of it. He could tell the gym was affecting his body and his muscles were growing but he wasn't a vain guy and never looked in a mirror unless to check his hair. He did notice tho that he was needing to shave twice a day as his black stubble seemed to be growing faster and thicker.
Finally after the 4 months had passed Todd was called into a meeting with the producers and managers. His first single "Mind of my own" was due to be released the following week so now he was due to see the stylist. Todd was a bit nervous but figured he was chosen for his voice and for his look so he didn't need to be too worried. He walked out of the meeting, into a waiting car outside and was whisked off to meet Stuart and a team of stylists at a nearby hotel. He tried on various clothes that were not to his taste before Stuart told him the piercing woman had arrived. Todd looked confused. "What do you mean piercing woman?" "She's here to pierce your ears" said Stuart. There was no way Todd was having that, earrings were for girls and imagine what his mates would say. He told Stuart there was no way he'd have his ears pierced. At that point Stuart advised that it was in the contract Todd had signed. He was under contract to go ahead or he would be liable for the £30 000 the record company had paid out in the last 4 months. "£30 000? What for?" asked Todd. Stuart explained that covered the Personal Training, Studio time, Chef and not to mention the supplements and steroids that Todd had been taking. Todd nearly fell over, it was like the ground had gone from underneath him. He'd been on steroids? He had no idea and not only that it now seemed that the record company owned him. He didn't have £30 000, they could do what he liked and there was nothing he could do about it. He could feel tears welling up in his eyes but he figured there was nothing he could do now, he was contracted for the next 3 years.
Todd agreed to follow Stuart into the next room. He was still only wearing his boxers but he didn't care anymore, he just followed. The piercing woman showed them a choice of studs, Todd hated all of them but Stuart picked the biggest pair of diamond studs on the board. Within minutes he was asked if he wanted to see the finished result. He was led to a full length mirror that was spun round so he could see. First he looked at the massive diamonds now shining from his ears. It looked so gay he couldn't believe this had happened to him. Then he noticed the nearly full beard that was on his face. He hadn't shaved since yesterday, he could only assume it was the steroids. Only then did he see his body. He'd noticed his muscles had got bigger recently but he hadn't seen a mirror. His pecs were ridiculous, he had cleavage! His arms were bigger than most peoples legs, he had a full six pack, his traps and shoulders were giant and his legs were something else. He looked like some sort of body builder/fitness model. Todd was in shock, how could he have not noticed before?
Stuart asked if Todd was ready for the next faze? Todd asked what this was? "Getting your teeth whitened and veneers fitted". In a daze Todd followed him into the next room. He agreed to be knocked out for the procedure as it could be quite painful. As he was going under Stuart asked if Todd was happy for the last few bits on the contract to go ahead while he was out? In his barely conscious state he agreed.
Todd came to and looked at the clock, it was 11am. He was confused when he last looked at the clock before going under it was 1pm. Surly he hadn't been out for a whole day? He climbed off the bed and went back over to the mirror. He was now fully clothed in a tracksuit and baseball cap. He opened his mouth to see his brilliant white hollywood teeth surrounded by what now was definitely a full beard. He then saw that not only did he have diamonds in his earlobes but he also had rings hanging out of the top of his ears. Then it came back to him....what did Stuart mean by the last few bits in the contract? He felt nervous as he unzipped his tracksuit top. Over his massive pecs was giant tattoo'd script spelling out the name of his single "mind of my own" it ran all the way across his newly shaven chest. "What the?". Now really panicking he spotted two big rings hanging from his freshly pierced nipples. He couldn't believe this was happening. They'd tattoo'd and pierced him? He removed the top all together and then nearly passed out. He looked down at his muscly arms that were both now completely covered in full tattoo sleeves from his shoulders down to his wrists. They had tattoo'd more song lyrics, clouds, flowers, birds there wasn't any space left. How could they do that without asking him? He would never have agreed to even one tattoo let alone all this. The tears were really flowing now particularly when he spotted the sprawling tribal tattoo that covered his back and proceeded halfway up his neck, what the hell had they done to him? They'd also given him a really deep spray tan. He looked like some sort of beefed up pretty boy that he used to take the piss out of.
Stuart then walked in, he saw the look on Todd's face and apologised, he really meant it but told Todd he should have read the contract. Todd wanted to fly into a rage but what was the point? It wouldn't change the permanent damage they'd done to his body. Todd looked in the mirror again, and removed the baseball cap expecting to see something awful underneath he was so relieved to see that they had left his lovely curly hair alone. It was the only part of him that still felt like him. Stuart quickly put an end to that though by announcing that the hairdresser and final styling team had just arrived. Todd was due to go on stage in the hotel lobby for a press conference in 2 hours time and they needed to get him finished.
Todd just stood staring at the stranger in the mirror while the team dressed him in skintight leather trousers, biker boots and the smallest, tightest muscle vest he had ever seen that stretched across his tattoo'd body and was low enough over his new pecs that his nipple rings could be seen. This was his worst nightmare, what were they doing to him? How had it gone this far he thought as they draped the thickest and heaviest silver chain he'd ever seen around his neck. This was followed by silver rings on every other finger and masses of leather and silver bracelets around his wrists hiding where tattoo'd flesh met his hands - one of the few non inked areas of his steroid filled body. When they had finally finished making him look like some sort of meat head boyband member he was led through to meet the hair stylist. Todd was surprised to see a male and not a female.
Stuart asked if Todd wanted to know what they had planned. He didn't. He didn't care anymore, they couldn't make him look any worse. He just told them to go ahead. They draped a cape around his huge shoulders. For a second Todd felt a little better. With his body covered he almost looked like himself...well, apart from the beard, the earrings and the teeth. He watched as the guy picked up a pair of clippers and thought the worst. He was pleasantly surprised though when he went to work on his beard. The pleasant feeling didn't last long as he saw what was happening. His manly scruffy beard was shaped up to form a chinstrap that follow his jaw but then went up the middle of his chin to meet his mouth. He was also left with a thin moustache that joined the chinstrap. He had thought he couldn't look more ridiculous but he was wrong when the barber then shaved 3 lines into his left eyebrow and 2 into his right. The barber then put down the clippers, and Todd let out a sigh of relief. They weren't going to give him some pretty boy haircut, he was going to keep his lush black locks. Todd was partly right, he wasn't getting a pretty boy haircut.
Unseen by Todd the barber picked up a pair of balding clippers. Todd only realised when they were put against the base of his neck.
Todd could barely take it now, nothing was worth this. His dream was to sing but not when he was going to look like a joke. The tears started to roll down his cheeks and into his designer beard. The clippers fired up and were pushed higher and higher up the back of his head and the buzzing reverberated into his skull. Not his hair, they were turning him into somebody else. Todd couldn't even see what was happening but he knew he was going to hate it. The full extent of how much he was going to hate it started to become clear as the barber started on his left side. Careful not to catch Todd's newly pierced ear he moved the clippers up the side of his head. Only then did Todd see that there was no guard on the clippers. As they went higher up his head he could see all that was left was stubbly white scalp that stood out all the more due to his mahogany tanned face. The same happened on the right side until Todd had a severe high and tight with long curls on the top. He'd seen guys in the pub with this style and couldn't believe he now sported the same one. He didn't realise then that he'd soon be wishing to have kept that style.
It was only seconds but it was long enough for the shock of the clippers touching Todd's forehead to make him jump. They hadn't finished with him after all. They were totally stripping him of everything he loved. He felt the metal moving across the top of his head pass after pass, long locks tumbling down his shoulders reducing his whole head to stubble. He stared at his reflexion trying to make sense of the skinhead guy looking back at him. But the humiliation wasn't over. Todd watched in horror as the barber applied warm lather to his entire head and then produced a straight razor. The guy scraped off the stubble, every stroke felt like torture. Todd saw his virgin scalp slowly appear as the lather and stubble were removed. The guy did it once and then repeated going against the grain. Todd felt dizzy as a makeup artist walked over to him. She applied a coat of fake tan to his scalp and then a glossy head lube that made his head really shine. He couldn't believe he was bald and by no choice of his own. She finished with a hint of guy liner just incase Todd couldn't feel any less like the man he was.
In a daze Todd stood up and walked back to the full length mirror. He looked at his gleaming bald head in disbelief and moved down to the patterns shaved into his eyebrows, his beard, his piercings, his tattoo covered body and down to the skin tight leather trousers that were clinging to his huge muscly thighs. His ringed fingers raised up to touch the alien feeling silky smooth surface that was his scalp and he dropped to the floor in tears. He felt so humiliated, he grabbed the baseball cap to hide his shaved head and put his tracksuit top on with the hood up, trying to hide what they had done to him. He felt like a stranger in his own body.
It was only then that Stuart appeared saying he had a surprise for Todd. Todd looked up to see his mates Jamie, Travis and Josh running in to see him. They looked so excited and were shouting encouragement about the press conference that was just ahead. Before Todd had a chance to say anything Josh pointed at the leather trousers and burst out laughing. "Wow mate, are they seriously making you wear those?" Todd burst into tears and the other guys looked shocked. They'd never seen him cry before. Todd pulled down his hood exposing the earrings and beard from shadow. "Wo, dude what have they done to you?" said Travis. Still crying Todd then removed his tracksuit top. The guys stepped back in shock not believing what they were seeing. Their mate had trebled in size. What had happened to their friend from the pub? He'd been replaced with a body builder covered in tattoo's piercings and jewellery, this wasn't their mate. "Dude, what the hell?" Todd just stood staring at them. Realising they hadn't quite seen the full makeover Josh reached forward and removed the Baseball cap from Todd's head revealing his shining skinhead. "Mate what have you done to yourself?". "You look like a roid ripped nancy boy!" Said Travis, "worse than those idiots down the pub". "Yeah man, and your hair, you're bald dude. Why would you shave it off, you loved your hair" "Are those nipple rings?" "Are you wearing makeup?" "You're covered in tattoo's man!". Todd couldn't answer them.
He took one last look at himself knowing he couldn't ever be the same person again, he pushed passed his friends and slowly walked towards the press conference that was his destiny. "Mind of my own? Yeah right!" he thought. As he walked he stroked his smooth head and walked out onto the stage to start life as the new Todd.