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Transgender / Transformation stories in English
In  the late fifties I was twentyone, and just graduated from college. I'd 
been slow in getting a job lined up, and as I really wanted a break anyway, 
I went back to visit my sister Ellen in the family home. Ellen was the only 
one at home. Our father had been killed nine years previously in Korea, 
and our mother had died of cancer when I was still a freshman at college. 
Mom and Dad hadn't been rich, but Dad's parents had left us with some 
money in their will. I had used my portion to support me while getting a 
business degree at the state college, but Ellen had decided not to go to 
college after  high school. Instead, she had kept on with the bookstore that 
Mom had started. Mom had left the business to both of us, but I hadn't see 
my future in my home town at that time, and  I  sold my share to Ellen to 
help pay my way through college. 

When I returned home, I soon discovered most of my closest pre-college 
buddies were no longer around the area.  Feeling a bit bored, and as Ellen 
found the bookstore was keeping her really busy, I started helping her out    
while I was waiting for replies to some job applications I had sent out. I 
had always fancied myself as a potential executive type in some big 
corporation, but I soon discovered, a bit to my surprise, that I liked 
working in the bookstore. We had the usual selection of current books, 
hardcover and paperbacks, but we also stocked a large section of second-
hand and antiquarian stuff. 

When we were kids my relationship to Ellen  had been of the  typical 
younger brother to  bossy older sister,  but since Mom died she and I had 
become a lo tcloser. We now got on quite well together, and our interests 
at work dovetailed. She liked sales and interacting with the customers. I 
was happy enough at sales, but I didn't mind keeping track of our 
inventory, and doing the bookwork. What  I really liked was going out to  
estate sales  and getting old books for the antiquarian side of the business. 
That was how I met Fred Gymbal.

Fred was a midwesterner, like me. He ran a small antique business in the 
Chicago area. We pretended a kind of rivalry, but we really specialized in 
different areas, he in furniture, china, and so on, me in books,  and in fact 
we had given each other good leads. We  became fairly good buddies, and 
when I ran across him at any sales we would usually go out for drinks and 
other entertainment together afterwards. I had had a rather innocent 
upbringing and it was Fred who had introduced me  to strip clubs and even 
the establishment in Memphis where I lost my virginity. I  suggested to 
Fred he drop in on us any time he was coming through our way. 

One Friday afternoon in early Spring I was working in the back of the 
bookstore when the telephone rang. Ellen picked it up first.
" It's for you," she yelled. " Somebody wanting John Tully."  She handed 
me the receiver. 
"John Tully here." 
"Hi, John! " was the answer. It was Fred. He had been at a sale in 
Tennessee and was driving  back home on Saturday. I invited him to drop 
in for a visit to our store and suggested we  have supper together. I  made a 
note  to get out a couple of steaks from the freezer and put some more beer 
in the refrigerator. 

It was about four on Saturday  afternoon when Fred arrived at our store.  I 
introduced him to  Ellen. She was just leaving for home to get ready to 
meet  her fiance Roy at six. I was showing Fred around the store  when  
some last-minute customers came in. I had to leave  Fred sitting in front of 
our old-fashioned wood stove leafing through one of our  books on 
antiques while I saw to them, and it was about six before I was able to 
close up. Ellen had taken our car so  we used  Fred's old Dodge to get 
home. I fired up the barbecue for the first time that year, but the coals must 
have been damp and it seemed to take a while to get hot so Fred and I had 
downed a beer or two before the steaks were ready. When we were 
finished I piled up the dishes in the kitchen sink and  brought out a bottle 
of single-malt Scotch that I had got for special occasions.

We  were sitting  in the living room drinking and talking about business, 
and or conversation got around to our successes and finds. I was boasting  
to Fred about a set of  antiquarian books I had picked up  recently. 
"That reminds me," said Fred. "Just a minute." He grinned at me, went out 
to his car, and returned with his brief case. He  took out a package,  
unwrapped a book and held it out to me. It looked really old. 

"Just a minute," I said. "I'll get some gloves before I handle it."

"Don't bother," Fred replied. " It's really in pretty bad condition. I don't 
think  handling it can cause it much more damage."

I put on gloves anyway and examined it. The book was bound in some 
kind of thin leather, but it really was in terrrible condition. I opened the 
tattered pages. They were badly blotched with mildew and yellowed with 
age. "It really smells damp." 

"Yeah," said Fred. "It 's been badly kept. " 

I peered at the pages closely. I could make out some faint writing on them.  

"It's handwritten. It seems to have two sets of writing on it. On one side of 
the page I think  it's  German, and  I think it's in a Gothic script. The  page 
facing it is in a  different writing. It's in a kind of Gothic writing too, but I 
don't recognize any of the words. What is it ?"
" I'm having a hard time reading it too. I've only read as far as the first two 
or three pages, but it's supposed to be a spell book, as far as I can make 
out."

"Spells?"

"Yes, you know, magic."

"Yeah, pull the other leg."

Fred grinned. "The trouble with you, John, you've got no imagination."

"Where did you get it ?"

"It was in a hidden drawer in an antique chest.  I got  it at a sale in an old 
mansion in Baton Rouge just last week." 

I turned over the  cracked pages. "Well, Fred, I took some  some German 
at college, so let's see if I can read this so-called magic, you say, and see if 
we can find treasure, cast spells, slay dragons, save princesses..."

Fred snorted, "Fat chance of finding dragons, or princesses, in your area. 
Now, take Chicago, we've got all sorts of princesses there, ....and queens." 

We both laughed.

It was getting on towards ten o' clock  by this time. I heard a car door shut 
outside, and Ellen came in the front door.

"You're early." I said. "I didn't expect you until after midnight. By the 
way, your lipstick's mussed up."

She made a face at me. "Roy is going off early tomorrow, and he still had 
to get packed."

She gave Fred a wave." Hi, Fred, I didn't expect to see you here still." 

Then she nodded to the Scotch bottle. "You two having a good time?"  She 
pointed to the old book."What have you got there?"

"It's an old book Fred picked up in Louisiana. It's a book of magic spells."

Ellen rolled her eyes. " Really!  How much Scotch have you guys been 
drinking?"

Fred passed the  book to her. She leafed through it, handling the pages 
carefully. "It's pretty old. It smells pretty bad too."  She wrinkled her nose. 
"It's been poorly kept, and  it's funny writing. Magic, is it ?" She shook her 
head sadly at us.

"Yes, of course," I said. I took it from her and began looking through the 
pages. "We were going to try some of the spells in it."

By this time,with the Scotch I had consumed,  I was feeling few 
inhibitions. I leafed through the book again. Something near the end 
caught my eye.

"Here,  Fred. Here's a spell. Something about a woman."  I could only 
translate  it slowly. The Gothic script was hard to read. " 'To make...' , Uh,  
It's a bit mildewed here. I can't read the next words."  I turned the page to 
the light and  read triumphantly, " '..a beautiful woman.' That's what we 
need Fred, conjure up the women of our dreams." Slowly I began to read 
the incantation out, carefully deciphering the faded script. " ' Nahaa etai...' 
That doesn't sound German at all. I wonder where that came from ?"

Ellen snorted. " You two losers would be better to be out meeting real 
women, rather than sitting here drinking and fantasizing."

I thought 'loser' was a bit extreme.  I liked girls and usually did have a girl-
friend although I had broken up with Jane Farrel, my most recent one. Jane 
and I had had some good fun together, but we'd had a fight two weeks 
before, and it didn't look like we would make it up.  I held up my hand to 
quieten Ellen and began to sound the words out again. 

"I really think you  should be careful." said Ellen warily.

"What's to worry ?" I laughed. "If it works, Fred and I might get the 
women of our dreams. If it doesn't, it doesn't."

Fred and I  slowly recited the  words together, reading them from the faint 
script. When we were finished I pretended to look around eagerly ."Well,  
what a swindle, no beautiful women!" I laughed."Oh , other than you, Sis."
Ellen tilted her head in an exaggerated way, then made a face at me.
I was now feeling slightly tipsy.

Fred got up and stretched. "Well, I'm just so  disappointed, but  maybe I 
better be going, John, at least if I want to get back to Chicago tonight."

"More like tomorrow morning now," I retorted.

"Yeah," said Fred. "I'd better get a move on."

"Just a minute," said Ellen."Let me see the book again." She picked up the 
book gingerly." My God, do you know what it's covered with?"

We looked at her apprehensively.

"It's human skin. I'm sure of it. I've seen it in some museums. They used  
to cut  the skin off executed criminals, tan it,   and use it for  covering 
books." 

"Yuck!" I said . I shivered. 

Ellen handed the book back to Fred. He shook his head in disgust. He 
seemed to shiver too."Well, on that pleasant note, I'd better be on my way. 
I'm not sure I want the book now. Do you want it, John ?"

"It's not the thing I usually  carry, but sure, for a conversation piece in the 
store. How much? Thirty bucks okay ?"

Ellen shook her head at me, but grinned. "There go this week's profits."

"Okay," said Fred. "It's getting too late in the evening  to haggle with you,  
but I'd like to keep it for a week or two, just to read it over.  I'll mail it to 
you in a week or so." 

"Are you sure you don't want to stay over, Fred?  You okay to drive?" 

"Thanks, John, but sorry, I've got a lot of work to catch up on. I haven't 
been drinking as much as you so I'm okay for driving. Anyway, I really 
should get into work tomorrow, even though it's Sunday. I've been away 
for a week, and owners of one man businesses, like me, can't take holidays 
like you guys."

I saw Fred out to the car. " Let me know how many beautiful women you 
meet." I called out. 

"Maybe dragons!" he chuckled and  pulled his coat collar up. I  gave him a 
wave  as he  drove out of the driveway and I went back in. It seemed to be 
getting colder.

I closed the door, and sat down in the armchair opposite Ellen. We began 
talking. She was annoyed. Her fiance Roy was a partner in a construction 
business, and was going to be away on business for the next few days in 
St.Louis. I shivered yet again, briefly. I thought it must be the idea of the 
human skin covering the book. Ellen and I began talking about the store 
but then I began to shiver almost continuously.

"Gee," I said. "I feel really cold."

Ellen raised her eyebrows. "Well, it's a cool Spring evening, but it's not 
that cold. Are you coming down with  a flu or something?"
I shrugged."I don't know, I'm going to get a sweater, or maybe I should get 
to bed."

I rose to my feet and stumbled through to my bedroom. All at once my 
body was taken over by violent shaking. My teeth were chattering. I 
collapsed on the floor. I remembered no more.

"John, are you awake?"

I heard Ellen speaking my name. Her voice seemed to be coming from a 
long distance away. She was shaking me gently.

"Uhmm." I mumbled. I had difficulty speaking.

I felt her shake me  again.

"Yeah, Yeah, what is it ?" My voice sounded funny, more high pitched. I 
tried to clear my throat, but it felt rough and painful.

"John, do you want a drink of water ?"

"Yeah," I said groggily. I was still speaking funny. I managed to get my 
eyes open, blinking at the light. My mouth was dry and I had  a raging 
thirst. My eyes felt as if they were full of grit.

Ellen held a glass to my mouth and I tried to sip the water from it. I 
couldn't seem to move my lips properly and I had trouble drinking. Some 
water spilled down my neck and soaked my T-shirt, but  I kept at  the glass 
until I had drained it.

"Do you want some more ?" 

I nodded. "Yeah. Ohh, my head hurts." I vaguely heard Ellen go into the 
kitchen. I was aching all over. My brow was throbbing and I raised my 
arm to rub it. The feeling was subtly different, smoother somehow. 
Something had changed. I squinted at my hand, holding it in front of my 
eyes. It seemed smaller. My vision was hazy. I rubbed my eyes and looked 
at my hand again. It still seemed smaller. Puzzled, I looked at my wrist, it 
seemed narrower, but smoother. My arm was also  smoother, slimmer.

My chest felt cold and damp where the water had spilled down my T-shirt, 
and I slid my hand down to rub it. Puzzled, I felt the heavy fullness of two 
female breasts. Fuzzily, I wondered at first if there was a woman in bed 
beside me, but then I realized I was feeling my own exploring hand.  
Desperately trying to concentrate, I slid my hand down into my shorts and 
found a patch of pubic hair, but  - nothing else below. My penis and 
testicles were missing. Instead I felt the flesh only as a set of sensitive 
folds edging  a cleft.

Gasping, in  growing panic, I struggled out of bed and tore off my T-shirt 
and shorts. I looked down. In my vision was a set of female breasts, over a 
slim waist, wide female hips and well formed legs. I was completely 
missing my male anatomy, yet all was still  ridiculously supplied  with a 
generous covering of my male pattern hair. I started screaming. My terror 
was made more intense by the shrill female voice I was hearing. Ellen 
rushed in and held me.

"Ellen, what's the matter with me ? Tell me it's a trick." I was shaking 
uncontrollably. My voice was shrill.

"John , I'm sorry. It's not. You've changed somehow. You went into a 
coma on Saturday and then you started changing until you got like you are 
now. It's now Monday. You've been unconscious about a day and a half, 
and you only started to wake up about an hour ago. It must have been that 
spell in Fred's book. Maybe it went wrong somehow, or you read it 
wrong."

With horror I remembered  the mildewed pages, the stains and the faint 
Gothic  writing. It was certainly possible that I had read something wrong, 
or missed out something. I had thought I was making a new woman. 
Instead the spell had changed me into one. I had a sudden desperate hope. 
"Fred! Yes", I babbled. "Maybe I can contact him and see if there is 
something in the  book can reverse the spell."

Ellen shook her head. There were tears in her eyes. " I'm afraid not, John. 
There was a report on the local radio yesterday. The police  found a car on 
the outskirts of town. It had crashed and burned on Saturday night. From 
the license plate they know it belonged to Fred Gymbal of Chicago, but 
the body, and the rest of the car's contents were almost completely 
incinerated. The police are looking for help, and any witnesses to the 
crash."

"Oh God, Poor Fred! Maybe the change was affecting him too,  and the 
alcohol didn't help." I was devastated at the news, and I sat bewildered for 
a minute before  my mind jumped back to my own serious problems. I was 
thinking wildly. "I know, maybe I can go to a hospital and see if they can 
do anything about me."

"Are you crazy?" Ellen hissed. "They would not believe you at all. 
Nobody believes in magic now, and you can't prove it. The book will have 
been destroyed in the crash and fire. They would more likely lock you up  
for being crazy. Even on the small chance they did believe you, they 
would stick you in a medical laboratory and  you would spend the rest of 
your life as a guinea pig. And can you imagine the hoopla in the 
newspapers, the radio  and  the TV?  You would never have any private 
life again. You'd be in every tabloid and magazine at every grocery 
checkout. Another thing, I'm sure the police would want to know about 
Fred's death. You might be  implicated somehow. I think you are going to 
have to keep it quiet. Face it.  You may have to live the rest of your life as 
a woman unless the spell wears off."

I thought her suggestions were utterly ridiculous. "No! I am a man. I am 
John Tully."
She grabbed me and pushed me in front  of the mirror. "Look at yourself."
I only saw a young woman, with a well-shaped figure, but  covered in 
male pattern hair,  and with a terrified look in her eyes.  Her face was a 
cruel joke. She had the chin beard that I had started at college, but set on 
her  female face it made her  look like a freak. In horror I saw that she did 
everything that I did. Every motion that I made, she made simultaneously. 
I tried to turn away, but Ellen forced me to face the mirror again. 
"Look at yourself. You have the body of a woman. You have certainly 
have no male parts left that I can see. You are going to have  to  live as a 
woman. You are hairy, yes, but maybe we can do something about that 
with shaving or wax, or electrolysis.  It's crazy that the spell changed you 
completely otherwise, but left you with all that male hair. Maybe it's 
another thing went wrong with the spell or  maybe the person who made 
up the spells liked hairy women ." 

I grimaced. I was not in the mood for  humor.
She went on.  "Now, first things first. I think you probably need to use the 
toilet."
At that I had an overwhelming urge to go, and I lurched to the bathroom. 
Something seemed to be wrong with my balance. I stood in front of the 
toilet, lifted the seat,  and  immediately found I had a problem. 
Ellen was standing behind me. "Women sit down to pee, or didn't you 
know that?"
I did so. I was almost immediately rewarded by a strong stream of urine. 
With disgust I realised I also smelled of stale urine. I must have wet 
myself sometime when I was unconscious. 

"At least you can pee. Now wipe yourself with the toilet paper."
I gasped slightly as the paper rubbed against a sensitive part.
Ellen was still standing over me. " What about the other ?"
Sighing, I strained, and in a minute or two I was successful.
"Now " said Ellen, handing me some more toilet paper, "Wipe yourself 
carefully, and backwards. Women's parts are closer to the rear than men's.  
You don't want to get an infection."
Bewildered, I got up and washed my hands. Ellen handed me my dressing 
gown. It was now far too big for me. It  draped  loosely over me.
Ellen took my hand. "Let's go and sit down,  maybe in the kitchen. We 
have an awful lot to talk about."
In a daze, I let her lead me to the kitchen. She poured two cups of coffee 
and set one down before me. I could only sip at it, the  small female hands 
I saw in front of me were shaking so much. Ellen took them in her own 
hands again.

"Now, John, you have had a terrible shock. Your whole life has changed. 
You are feeling devastated and overwhelmed. You have trouble accepting 
what has happened. I'm terribly sorry for you. I also have trouble accepting 
that I have lost a brother, but unless all this is temporary, it looks as if you 
are going to have to live with your changes. I don't have to tell you that 
you are going to have a lot of problems with that,  but you are going to 
have to deal with them properly  if you want to fool people and keep them 
from finding out what has happened.We have to keep it to ourselves."

I was shaking my head in denial, but she ignored me.
"First, you will have to try to get a new identity for yourself, if you don't 
want people to discover what has happened. So we will also  have to come 
up with a reason for the disappearance of John Tully. But it's you that will 
have the most difficult part of all. You will have  to live with your change. 
I mean that you will have to adapt, adjust to  life as a woman and 
eventually  get out to earn a living as a woman. We don't have a lot of 
money and I certainly can't support you. You will have to pull your weight 
in the business if you want to carry on there. Also, I am getting married in 
a few months. Eventually Roy and I will be starting a family, and I can't be 
responsible for you. So you'd better get used to what you have now 
become. Half the world's population are women and mostly they get on 
okay. You  will have to manage just like them."

I was still in a state of denial. "No, I'll live as a man," I shouted 
desperately. I winced at the shrill female voice.
She shook her head. "Well, it's your life, but you'd better think about it.  
For instance, what do you think you are  going to do for clothes ?"  I got 
up and stumbled through  to my room, banging my hips on the door frame. 
I realized now that it was the wider female hips that made me feel 
unbalanced. I opened a drawer and pulled out some underwear. I tried a 
pair of  my shorts, but  they were now loose around the waist and tight on 
the hips.  My  T-shirt fitted me like a tent, except for the two breasts on 
my chest  pushing it out in front. Nowadays no one would be too 
concerned with wearing loose baggy clothing, but back then in the fifties I 
just looked ridiculous, like a clown.
"You see. Your clothes no longer fit you. Even if you bought a smaller 
size in men's style, they would look stupid on your female body. You will 
have to get women's clothes. " 

This was too much. I was overwhelmed. I folded up crying. With disgust I 
realised I was crying like a woman, keening in a woman's voice. Like  a 
woman! I was indeed a woman. I was racked with sobbing for my lost 
maleness. I felt Ellen holding me. I tried desperately to stop, but I felt so 
lost. Eventually I gave in  and let her hold me until my crying had just 
about run its course. I vaguely remember her giving me a pill with another 
glass of water then putting me back to bed.

I did not sleep well. The turmoil of the terrible change in my life 
continually intruded on my sleep. I kept waking, hoping, wondering if it 
had all been a bad dream, but each time I was continually reminded of the 
terrible reality when I forced myself to check my body and found only the 
unfamiliar female anatomy. I think I must have only slept a few hours in 
total. When  I roused myself eventually from a tormented sleep, it was 
raining and grey. Just to match my mood, I thought bitterly.  I crawled out 
of bed, but still unbalanced, I knocked over the bedside lamp. I sat down  
heavily on the floor. Ellen must have heard me and came into my room. 
She lifted me up gently onto the bed.
"How do you feel today ?"
"I  am not sure how to describe it. Lost, confused, bewildered, scared."  I 
was almost crying again.
She sat down beside me and held me, her comforting arms rubbing and 
patting my back until I was breathing more easily. She stroked my brow.
" I think the fever has gone now. Come on, and get something to eat," she 
said encouragingly.  She pulled me to my feet and held out my dressing 
gown for me."You must be hungry. It's now Tuesday and I don't think you 
have eaten anything since Saturday." She laid out juice, coffee and a 
Danish pastry for me. I nibbled at the pastry. 

I looked at Ellen carefully. I had used to be taller than her, by about six 
inches, but now I was shrunk to about her size. She seemed different too. 
She had always been a pretty girl, but now it looked as if her face and 
body had changed  too. Her skin was clearer, her hair more lustrous, her 
lips slightly fuller, her waist slimmer, her breasts higher.  A whole series 
of subtle changes had changed her also. She was still recognizably Ellen, 
but now a graceful radiant beauty.
"Sis, are you changed too ?"
Ellen nodded slowly. "I was wondering when you would notice. Yes, I 
must have been affected too, but I didn't get any shakes like you, or go 
unconscious."
"Won't  Roy and others notice the changes in you ?"
"Oh yes," she said happily. " They may, but I'll get my hair restyled and 
maybe a facial and makeover. Maybe also  a new push-up bra and a firm 
girdle, a new dress. Then I can pretend that my changed appearance is due 
to them." 
I had now finished the pastry . I was now ravenous and I took another 
from the plate. Despite my hunger I had to eat slowly. My mouth felt so 
different.  Even my voice was  different and  I stumbled over some words. 
In the unfamiliar female tones I  again asked  Ellen about what had 
happened. She described how  after I lost consciousness, I had soon gone 
into  a fever. A  series of continuous ripples had rolled over me, each 
bringing subtle changes. After six hours I had reached my present 
appearance, but  I had  lain in a coma for  another  day. In fact I had only 
begun to  show signs of consciousness early on Monday morning. She had 
taken off my outer clothes and put me into bed but  she had been too 
scared of the changes  to call for medical help.  Although she had also 
gone through periods of mild shivers, she had not lost consciousness.

Ellen stroked my head. "John, I've been thinking about things, about 
getting a new identity for you. We had a cousin Rachel Grant died  near  
Louisville when she was three. She was about your age. Her parents are 
now dead too,  so maybe you could get a copy of her birth certificate and 
take over her identity. Then we also have to think of a reason for John 
Tully to disappear. You can't keep that identity. You don't want people 
asking questions. If anyone does ask, we will have to pretend John has 
gone on a trip to California or some place to look for work. I can hint that 
he and I had a falling out. We will have  to backup the documentation for  
your new identity, so  you should  get a  new driver's license as soon as 
possible. But for now, we are going to have to do something about that 
hair, unless you want a job in the circus as the bearded lady."
I did not appreciate this latest humor.
She went on. " I  can do a bit of hair removal here, at home, and we can 
get you looking more like a woman."
I shook my head. "I don't want to. I'll get new clothes and live as a man."

"John," she said wearily, "We have been over this yesterday. At the 
moment you just look like a freak. You now have a woman's face, skin, 
figure, voice.  The only male thing about you left is your hair. You might 
try to live as a man, but you couldn't get away with it. You've definitely 
got a woman's voice and  figure, not a man's, and you will need women's 
clothing. If you tried men's clothing,even if you bound your breasts,  even 
with that hair, people would only think you are weird, or have some 
medical or sexual identity problem. I certainly wouldn't want you working 
in my store. So I think, considering your appearance, that  the best thing is 
to try to live as a woman.  That  may be the most difficult of all for you. 
You have had about twenty years of thinking of yourself as a man, and all 
the male conditioning that your family, friends and society in general have 
given you. You haven't had any of the experiences of growing up as a girl, 
being treated as one, wearing dresses, and other pretty clothes, talking 
about them with other girls, playing with dolls, slumber parties, makeup, 
getting your first bra, your first nylon stockings, even having periods. We   
will now have to try to fix that. You've no real alternative to living as a 
woman."

I felt my eyes fill with tears. Ellen pulled out a kleenex and wiped my 
eyes. 
She stressed again. "Unless you want people to think you are weird, you 
have to be a convincing woman. If we get rid of the male hair we can give 
you most of  the appearance of one, although you will have to practice to 
get the mannerisms and behaviour right.  You can't stay in hiding  here. It's 
not like we are so rich  that you don't have to work."
She patted my shoulder. " Now, first thing for today,  I think it's time you 
had a bath. You stink. I'll run a bath for you." 

By this time I really did smell. I hadn't washed now for three days. I felt 
sticky, and my arms and body  smelled stale and sweaty from the fever.
I sat in the chair miserably. I could hear the bath being run. It seemed I 
was no longer in control of my own life.
Gently, Ellen pulled me up and led me to the bathroom. I tried to resist but 
she stripped off my dressing gown,  T-shirt and shorts. "You needn't be 
shy.  I saw you without you clothes yesterday. Remember ?  Anyhow, I've 
seen naked women before."
"But I'm not a wom... "  I gave up. I was too depressed to resist.
Moving carefully, still unused to the female hips and small female feet, I 
stepped into the warm water and sat down. The water was scented  and  
covered with bubbles. 
" I've run you a bubble bath. Lie there and soak a bit. I'll be with you in a 
minute. I gotta get my razor and wax."

I lay back and tried to take stock of my situation. The bath felt really good. 
Despite my troubled mind I even began to relax, ever so slightly.
Hesitatingly, still not used to my body, I began to wash myself with my 
now small and delicate hands. The breasts on my chest were so strange. 
Soft, yet firm, with  sensitive  nipples and areolas, but covered with my 
curly male chest  hair. I rubbed my chest  carefully with the sponge. The 
nipples were very sensitive and I tried to rub them carefully. I noticed that 
there did not seem to be as much hair left on the breasts, then it was all off, 
and  it was loose in the bath. I rubbed my arms. The hair stripped off. 
"Ellen ,"I yelled. "I am losing my hair."
I was scrubbing my face with a washcloth when Ellen rushed in.
"My hair is falling out." The washcloth was covered with the remnants of 
my beard and the short specks of hairs from my  upper lip.
She examined me. " It seems to be falling out at the roots. Actually, it's not 
all of your hair, just the male pattern hair, so now you are going to look 
like a normal woman after all. Well, at least you can be glad you won't 
have to suffer through waxing or electrolysis." 
I did not know whether to be glad or sorry at the loss of yet another of my 
male characteristics.
"At least you've been left with the hair on the top of your head. Do you 
want me to wash it ?" Ellen asked.
"Yes" I nodded.
"I'll need to get more shampoo from my room."
I lay back in the bath again. I started exploring the female body. It seemed 
so different. I squeezed the breasts, feeling their fullness, their 
texture.Wondering,  I slid my hand between my legs. I felt the springy 
pubic hair on a small mound, below it the soft folds and the sensitive 
interior.
"I see you have discovered the pleasure of female parts."   
Ellen was standing holding the shampoo bottle,  with a slight smile on her 
lips. Embarrassed, trying to keep from blushing, I took my hand away and 
looked up.
"Anyway, are you ready for me to do your hair ?"
I nodded hastily.
"I'm using my own shampoo and conditioner. It will give your hair a nice 
shine, but  you will have to let it grow quite a bit. Your hair is long for a 
man, but it's still too short for a woman. In a month  or so you can go to a 
hairdresser or salon and get it styled, and then let it grow out a bit." 

As she washed my hair some of it stripped off as well, but fortunately not 
too much. At last she rinsed me off and I stood up. She handed me  a big 
towel. "Dry  yourself with this."
The water had now run out of the bath.  The bottom and drain hole were 
covered with a thick  mat of my body hair.

She handed me a small towel. "This is for your hair. It helps to wrap a 
small towel round your hair to dry it better and keep it out of your face. 
That is, when it has grown a bit. You should get used to it."  She wrapped 
it round me like  a turban.
She pointed to my crotch. "I see the change left you with some cute pubic 
hair too." I blushed again. My thick male pubic hair was almost gone, 
leaving me with a neat roundish patch of soft female hair. Ellen examined 
me. " You  won't have to bother about a bikini wax now."  She lifted up 
my arms. " But I see you still have  some underarm hair, and you'll have to 
shave that. I'll show you how." She got out a razor, lathered  under my 
arms and carefully stroked them  with the razor . "Much as I love you,  
John,  this is the only  time I do this. It's your responsibility from now on." 
The razor tickled slightly. "Hold still, " she commanded. " This way  you'll 
look better with sleeveless dresses and tops. Now let's have a look at you. 
Take off your towel and have a look at yourself in  the mirror."

I did so. In the mirror I  saw the young woman again, now free of the 
incongruous male hair. She had a beautiful oval face, flawless features, 
with  slightly prominent cheekbones. Her eyes were bluish grey, like mine 
had been, but they now looked from under delicately curved eyebrows. 
Her lips were beautifully curved, with a hint of a pout. Her head was set 
on an  long elegant female neck, now missing a prominent adamsapple. 
She had a slim, but well figured body, a slender waist, and wide hips. Her 
breasts were perfectly shaped, with just  a hint of a sexy droop, and tipped 
with pink nipples.  Her long legs tapered from the  wide hips to slim 
thighs, delicate knees, shapely calves, neat ankles and small feet. I turned 
slightly. The image had  a well shaped female rear, just prominent enough 
to be sexy, yet perfectly balanced with the rest of her figure. The only 
problem was her dark blonde hair. It was entirely too short for her. It was 
the same length as John Tully's had been. She had a slight look of John 
Tully, yet an entirely feminine face. 

"Actually, I should be jealous. You are very pretty," said Ellen, "but your 
hair is much too short. So are your eyelashes, but I bet they will grow too, 
with your hair. You've also got quite a nice slim figure. That  kinda 
puzzles me. I suppose that spell book was made up two or three hundred 
years ago, and a female beauty of that time would pretty hefty by today's 
standards. Be thankful you don't have to get on a diet right away. Maybe 
the spell adjusts to the ideas of female beauty at the time it is used."

Frankly, at that time, my weight was the least of my problems. I looked 
closely at the unfamiliar reflection again. Despite the girl's short hair and 
eyelashes, I also thought she looked very pretty, but I only felt  despair 
that I was now this beautiful being. Indeed she still had a troubled  look on 
her face, a quiver on her bottom lip.  
"The next thing is to get some more appropriate clothes for you. Let me 
get your vital statistics." Ellen brought out a tape  and carefully measured 
me all over. She seemed to take so long, and I was too agitated to stand 
still for very long. My exasperation must have showed.
She glared at me." John, I am only trying to help you. If you don't want me 
to help, say so. Then you can do as you damned well want."
I was angry, but I knew she was right. I needed her help and I forced 
myself to apologize. I was almost crying again.

Finally she was finished. She kissed me on the cheek. "I know, it's all very 
strange, but I think you'll manage. Now, would you be all right while I go 
out and get some new clothes for you ? Why don't you put on some 
clothes, wash up and make us some lunch. I will be about an hour." 
I nodded.  I pulled on a T-shirt and a pair of boxer shorts, and my robe on 
the top. They just looked strange  on my female anatomy, but it was better 
than going around naked. I washed the bath out and tidied up, trying to 
keep busy to get my mind off my predicament. I opened a can of soup and 
cut  some bread for our lunch. 
Ellen returned in about an hour and a half with  a large shopping bag from 
a department store in the nearby mall. She shook it onto my bed and a 
number of smaller packages slid out.
" I've been shopping for some new clothes for myself, and I've also got an 
outfit for you, but let's have lunch first. I'm getting hungry."
I was not very hungry, but Ellen had no trouble eating. Finally, she wiped 
her mouth.

"I got you  a very basic bunch of clothes, enough to do you for a day or so. 
We will have to go out again tomorrow and get you more, and  you should 
really try on clothes before you buy them. Now, off with your clothes and 
try these."
I was removing my robe when with dismay I saw her pulling  a white  bra 
from one of the  packets.
"I'm not wearing a bra."
"Oh yes,  you are, " she said firmly."For a number of reasons. If you don't 
wear a bra you'll find some of your clothes may chafe your nipples when 
you move around too fast. And that will be uncomfortable, believe me. 
Also, proper women wear bras. Finally,  if you don't wear a bra, you will 
eventually start to droop. With the figure you have been given, it would be 
a shame not to make the best of it.  Now take off the T-shirt and stick out 
your arms. " She giggled, "Look on this as if you were a girl getting her 
first bra. So you should be pleased, proud." 
Sighing, I held out my arms and let her slip the bra straps over them, and 
onto my shoulders.
"Lean forward a bit so your boobs fall into the cups." I did so and I felt her 
hooking it in the back. "Now stand straight." She stood back and surveyed 
me. "Hmm, needs just a little adjustment on the straps." She fiddled with 
the strap adjustment at the top of the cups and I felt myself lifted and held 
firmly. " Actually that's not  a bad fit,  but next time you should get fitted 
professionally. "
I looked down. I now seemed to be jutting out very noticeably.
"Are you sure it's not too tight ?" I asked. It's confining. It feels like  a 
harness." 
"No, I don't think so. It's just that you are not used to it. Now for your 
girdle."

"A girdle! " I yelled. 
She looked at me in exasperation. "John, If you want to look like an 
ordinary woman, you'll have to wear a dress or a skirt. Pants are okay for 
casual wear, but they are not acceptable for women working in offices or 
stores, not yet anyway. Then,  if you wear a dress, and  you don't want 
your rear poking out,  you will neeed a girdle. Proper women are wearing 
girdles. You will also need it to hold up your  stockings and in turn 
stockings  keep the girdle from riding up. If you don't want to wear a 
girdle you can wear a garter belt, but most well-dressed women are now 
wearing girdles. Some girls are wearing pantie girdles, but  I like  the 
regular open type, and I think it would be better for you." 

She pulled a white girdle from a packet, slid down its zipper and  held it 
open for me. I heard its garters rattling against each other. "This one's side 
zipped and it has six garters. It's slightly high waisted, so it has some small 
bones at the waist to keep it from rolling over. You've got a girl's nice slim 
waist, but I notice you slouch, like a man, I should say. This will help your 
posture, get you walking like a girl."

I looked at it warily. "What about underpants ?" I asked. 
She scowled at me. " Girls are starting to call their's 'panties'. You can 
wear panties under your girdle  if you want, or even on top,  but it's just 
another layer and more complications when you go to the toilet. You are 
still a learner in that department so I think you would be best without 
panties.  Boxer shorts would be even dumber so you'd better take them off. 
Now, with this  this style of girdle, you have to step into it. Hold onto me 
for balance if you want. "

Resignedly,  I did so. She pulled the girdle up my legs and thighs, and 
eased it over my hips. "Breathe in," she commanded. I did so and she slid 
the zipper up. I gasped. My hips, waist and belly felt compressed by the 
stiff fabric. 
"Stop complaining. You will get used to it, and anyway, it's what women 
have to wear. Now for your stockings. Better let me see your feet first."  
She looked at my feet and toenails. "I thought so. I'd better give you a little 
pedicure to save your stockings." She looked at my fingernails."Yes, and a  
manicure too. Sit down."
I immediately discovered a problem. I could not now bend nearly as well 
as before. The high waist of the girdle held me upright. Even if I tried to 
bend, the little bones at the waist poked uncomfortably at my ribs.  I 
looked at her in exasperation. "I can hardly bend!" 
She was not sympathetic. "Yes, that's a better posture already." She 
fetched her manicure set and started on my nails, ignoring my discomfort. 

I was  embarrassed with my state of undress, or maybe I should say  my 
partial dress,  especially the view of  the lacy tops of the bra jutting 
prominently from my chest. The shiny metal fittings of the garters, so 
typically female, sitting on my thighs under the satin garter flashes, did not 
help either. The pedicure seemed to be taking a long time, and I started to 
fidget. 
Ellen looked at me and sighed. "Hold  still or I'll put some polish on your 
nails as well and then  you will have to sit still another half hour while it 
dries."
At last she was finished with my nails. I looked at them.  She had rounded 
them slightly and they looked much neater. "I've shaped them more in a 
woman's style . You 'll need to let them grow a bit, but this will do for a 
start. At some point you can get a professional manicure and hair styling 
when your nails and hair grow a bit. Anyway, now let's get some stockings 
on you." She  drew out a pair of pale tan nylon stockings from another 
packet, stretched them out  then bunched one up. She held it to my right 
foot.
"I got you some medium weight stockings. You can get sheerer or heavier 
later, as you want. Now, point your foot," she commanded.
I did so and she slid the stocking over my foot and up my leg, smoothing 
it carefully as she did so. "Now stand up."  I  got up and she fastened the 
stocking to the three garters on one side. "That seems to be a good length. 
When you put on your stockings make sure the garter is attached  onto  the  
reinforced stocking top, like I've done here. Otherwise you may ladder 
your stockings. Now you try the other one." She bunched up the other 
stocking and handed it to me. Self-consciously, already feeling my 
movement restricted,  I pulled it up onto my leg. I had little trouble with 
the front garter, but the others were more awkwardly placed and I fumbled 
with them a bit. Red-faced, I straightened up. 

Ellen turned me round and checked me. She did not notice my 
embarassment, or if she did, she didn't comment on it. "That's looks fine.  
You should be glad that stockings are now seamless, otherwise you would 
also  have to be making sure your  seams were straight. Now try walking 
up and down a bit."

I did as she said. The bra felt confining, and the girdle hindered my 
movements, but  the nylon stockings  felt  cool and smooth on my legs.  I 
looked at myself in the mirror. I saw a pretty girl in her underwear and 
stockings, looking like a girdle advertisement. I thought she looked very 
attractive,  even  erotic, my male conditioning, I guess, but yet I was  
devastated with the  realization that it was now  my own reflection. I felt 
like crying.

" How does that feel  ?" 
I shrugged. "I don't know," I said helplessly. "How's it supposed to feel ?  
It feels tight, I guess, and I feel exposed." 
Ellen smiled. "Yeah, you've really had nothing to compare with it, but it 
looks okay. The spell's given you a very nice figure. By the way, your bra 
size is thirty four, a  B cup. Not really enough for the Miss Universe 
competition, but still a nice average size for your height.  Now your slip." 
She held out a white nylon slip for me and  slid it over my head. The 
material felt really smooth on my body. The lacy hem came to just above 
my knees. " I got you a fairly simple dress". She pulled out a dress in a 
soft blue faintly patterned material. "It zips up  at the back, but  it also has 
a tie belt at the  waist. It will do you for a start. But, before you try it on, 
we should  try some makeup on you."
"I don't want makeup, " I protested
"Well, you don't need it today, but you will need some when you go out, 
just like other women. Remember, I am trying to help you, get you used to 
behaving like a girl. The least you can do is cooperate. Now, come into my 
room." She pushed me ahead of her.
I was still not used to these female hips, and even with the restraint of the 
girdle on my walk I seemed to be moving my hips more. I tried to hold 
myself stiffly to stop the sway.
"Stop that." Ellen gave me a slight smack on my girdled rear. You look 
like a prissy old maid. Women are allowed to sway their hips, well, a bit at 
least."

She sat me down at her dressing table and rummaged around, pulling out a 
number of jars, boxes and tubes.
"You  have got a lovely smooth complexion, but a little makeup will still 
be a nice added touch. Girls will usually put on most of their makeup 
before they put on their dresses, just so they don't smear powder or lipstick 
on them. Now, hold still. I'll show you some evening make up. You 
wouldn't wear as much as this for daytime, but you might as well get used 
to it." She then proceeded to apply makeup to my face.
She started with some cream that she said was to clean my face, wiped it 
off and applied a light powder, blusher, a  blueish eyeshadow and a darker 
mascara. " Now,open  your mouth slightly. When you put on lipstick, 
make sure it follows your lip line." She carefully applied a deep pink  
lipstick. "Now rub your lips together,  like this." The lipstick felt slightly 
sticky, but its faint scent was pleasant.  "You should get your own 
cosmetics, and you may want to get your own dressing table. You can use 
my table in the meantime, or put your makeup on in the bathroom, using 
the mirror there. How do like that now ?"  I shrugged, but I was amazed to 
see I had been transformed into a stunning beauty, that is, except for my 
hair. It had seemed fairly long when I was a man. Now it was too short and 
severe for the lovely face that looked back at me. 
"Now your dress. " She slid down the zip at  the back of the dress and 
handed it to me. I hesitated. It made my female costume more complete, 
but at least it covered up the  underwear, so distinctively female."Well, go 
on,  put it on."

Sighing, I pulled it over my head, put my hands in the arm-holes and let 
the skirt fall over my hips. 
Ellen smoothed the dress on me ."Let me help you zip it up." She  stood 
back to view me.
"Not bad at all. In fact, fairly good. You will have no trouble passing as a 
girl, as far as your  appearance, anyway. In fact I can hardly believe you 
were a man just a few days ago."
She pulled out a shoe box. "I  also got you a pair of flat shoes to begin 
with. As you get used to things you should get some dressier shoes with 
higher  heels. Anyway, one thing at a time." 
She slid them on my feet and smiled at me affectionately. " You know, I 
always wanted a sister." She kissed me on the cheek again. 

I wanted to push her away. I was not in the mood for her comment. I felt 
that I was unwillingly adrift in  a torrent  of events over which I had no 
control, carrying me into an unknown future. 

I did not know whether to be glad or sorry when Ellen opened yet another 
box and produced a wig. "Your hair is too short  for the way a woman 
wears it.  Until it grows you'd better wear this wig." She adjusted it on my 
head and  in the mirror I saw my transformation was complete. There was 
only now a trace resemblance to John Tully.
"Now, I think its time for a little practice," said Ellen.
"How do you mean ? " I asked.
"I want you to get used to your clothes, and maybe you should practice 
moving like a girl. I mean gracefully, elegantly. Walk up and down the 
living room. We have to get your posture right." The next hour Ellen kept 
me walking up and down in the room. I found my movements restricted by 
both the  skirt of  the dress and the girdle underneath, and I was still not 
used to the female hips. I was forced to move in a kind of sway. All the 
time I could feel the slight yet insistent pull of the garters on my stockings. 
The bra felt like a harness, but at least it  kept my boobs from swinging 
about.

After an hour of this, she had me practice sitting and rising, from  a dining 
room chair, then from the sofa .
"When you sit down in a loose skirt or dress, don't make a big deal of it, 
but sit down carefully and gather your skirt under you so you are sitting on 
it. Don't flop down, or the  back of your  skirt may lift up and  you end up 
sitting on the bare skin at the top of your stockings. On vinyl car seats it 
can be cold in winter and it's hot and sticky in summer. Also, when you 
sit, the best way is to keep your knees together and cross your legs at the 
ankle. You can cross them at the knees, but it's not so elegant and if you 
are wearing a short skirt it will show off more of your legs . You may end 
up showing some off some of your thighs, even your stocking tops if you 
are not careful. Of course, if you want to attract a man, you can try that. A 
little glimpse of stocking tops can do wonders in getting guys' attention."

She gave me  a wicked smile, but I was left  with a hollow feeling. I was 
horrified that I might even accidentally attract the attention of a man. I 
remembered that at college the guys had tried to position themselves at 
classes to see more of the coed's legs. It had made our day if we caught 
sight of a dark stocking top or, better still, a garter or even the pale skin 
above a stocking top.

After another half-hour of this drill  I felt exhausted, but Ellen was still 
not done with me. 
"Next, I want you to make supper. That will get you more used to moving 
about in the girdle and the dress. I will be watching you, and correcting 
you, if necessary."
"You're worse than a drill sergeant, " I burst out.
"I'll take that as a compliment. I know, but it's for your own good. We've  
got  your  appearance nicely changed, so we now have to keep working on 
your behaviour and mannerisms so no one suspects that you were John 
Tully. That reminds me. From now on we should only use the name 
Rachel, Rachel Grant, for you. "
My stomach gave a lurch. It seemed so strange to be talking about  my 
John Tully identity in the past, as I was propelled along in a new identity.
"Another touch."  Before I could object she tied a frilly apron round my 
waist. I reddened. It seemed one thing after another. 

At least I was used to working in the kitchen. I had done my own cooking 
in college, and Ellen and I had shared the work when I  returned from 
college. Now I found my movements restricted by my female underwear. 
It was not long before the bra began to feel uncomfortable. When I 
reached up to the top shelves, the shoulder straps hoisted the cups with my 
breasts in them. Eventually the skin under the shoulder straps began to feel  
tender.  Also, I now found it difficult to bend at my waist or hips. Either 
the bones of the damned  girdle poked into my ribs if I tried to bend at the 
waist, or if I tried to bend my knees more to compensate,  the constraint of 
the stretched rear garters  hindered my movement.
Ellen was watching me." Careful how you bend. If your garters are too 
tight you may rip your nylons." 
I gritted my teeth. 
Next, Ellen had me lay and serve supper, continually commenting on and 
correcting my mannerisms and movements.
I tried desperately to do as she said, but I was getting more and more 
frustrated and tired with her  comments. Finally I, had had enough. I was 
overwhelmed and I  burst into tears. She rose and held me,  patting my 
back.
"Rachel, I'm sorry, I know its hard for you , but actually you are doing 
very well. You are already moving a lot more gracefully than some 
women." She wiped my eyes and kissed me on the cheek. She untied my 
apron and led me to a soft chair.
"Why don't you sit down now, Rachel. I'll tidy up." 
Thankfully, but remembering Ellen's instruction, I sat down carefully into 
a chair, as  gracefully as I could.  Ellen nodded approvingly. My crotch 
still felt exposed in the open girdle and dress. Automatically I crossed my 
legs, and I heard  the rasp  of my nyloned legs rubbing together. I shivered. 
It was  a  sound I had associated with women.

I smoothed the skirt of my dress. It slid easily over the smooth material of 
my slip. Underneath my dress  I felt  the unaccustomed firmness of my  
girdled hips. Exploring further down, I felt the girdle's taut lower edge in 
my lap, and the hard ridges of the  garters, tautly fastened to my stocking 
tops, pulling imperiously on them. My knees felt  smooth under the 
stretched nylon of the stockings. I could also feel the bra holding and 
lifting me. I wriggled my shoulders but it remained firmly in place. Its 
embrace was not to be denied.

I tried to take stock of the changes in my life. I  now looked like a girl. I 
was dressed as one, I was even using a girl's name, but I certainly did not 
feel  like one. I knew I would still be attracted to girls. I might be able to 
have girls as  intimate friends, but if I now showed sexual interest, people 
would think I was a lesbian. With the guys, I might still find it easy to talk 
to them as if I were still a man, but  to them , with my female good looks I 
might be  foremost only a female sex object. I wondered if I would be 
stuck this way for ever. If I was, however would I manage ?
Ellen had finished doing the dishes and came through, wiping her hands 
on the dish towel. She sat down beside me.
"Why the long face ?"
I tried to explain to her.
"I don't know,  Rachel, but if  the spell has made you into a woman, it 
would be cruel if it did not change you mentally as well. Maybe it has to 
take some time for the male hormones to leave your body. You look very 
female, and I know you pee like one, so I bet everything  is as a woman 
should be internally  too. So I expect you should now be getting a monthly 
cycle with some good doses of female hormones from your ovaries. If I 
was a psychologist I might have some fun studying the effect of your male 
upbringing versus the effects of your female hormones." She saw my 
mouth drop as another realization hit me.
" Oh yes! You should be thinking about that. If everything is working 
okay, you will be getting a period sometime." 
This was about the last straw, to be faced with  the monthly fuss and 
bother of female pads or tampons.  I felt broken. I closed my eyes as they 
filled with tears. Ellen lifted my chin up. 
"Poor little sister," she said softly. "You are having a time of it." She 
hugged me again. "A lot has happened, but I think it may improve."
She was suddenly brisk.    
"Now, tomorrow, we'd better get into work sometime. There are a lot of 
things to be done but first we will need to get some more clothes for you, 
maybe in the morning. I'd better go with you. I'm sure you wouldn't have a 
clue about what to get, or what might suit you, and I'm sure you want me 
for moral support."
I nodded. "What will we do about paying for all of the stuff ?"
"Yes,  I was coming to that." She got a piece of paper and a pen. "Try 
signing your name as John Tully."
I did so, my signature was recognizable, but  my writing now seemed to be 
more rounded and feminine. Sadly, I shook my head."God, even my 
writing is changing."
Ellen  nodded." I wondered about that. Your signature is changing, but it's 
still recognizable. You  can write me a cheque for the balance of your 
account. I will then deposit it in my account and in turn I can write a you 
cheque in the name of Rachel Grant when you have started an account. 
How much money do you have ?" 
"About twelve hundred, but I was keeping it for emergencies. "
"And this isn't ?"
I grimaced. I had to agree with her.

"Tomorrow you can put your new stuff on my store account and pay me 
back when you get your new bank account . Maybe you should also open 
your own  account with the store after you have established some credit.  
You'll have to start gettting a complete wardrobe, and makeup,  toiletries, 
in fact, the works, all the stuff a woman uses."
I looked at her in exasperation, but she continued.
"Another thing,  Roy will be back tomorrow night so I will introduce you 
to him as Rachel Grant. Remember, you are supposed to be new here. You 
are not supposed to have met him before. You will need to do some pretty 
good acting with him, and others. For instance, the fiance of  my friend 
Lois is a cop. He's called Joe. You may meet him sometime, so remember 
that cops have naturally suspicious minds.Also, you'd better move 
tomorrow into the spare bedroom, and tidy up the room you are using. 
Remember that supposedly 'John' has now left, so we should keep up the 
pretense of it being his room for a month or so."

She was getting me worried, but my eyes were now getting heavy and I  
had  a sudden spell of yawning . "Sorry,  Ellen , but I am beginning to feel 
very tired." I rubbed my eyes. 
"Yes," Said Ellen. " I think it's time for your beauty sleep. How did you 
sleep last night ?"
"Not very well. I kept waking up."
" No wonder. Your life has been turned upside down. It must very 
upsetting and confusing, to say the least." Her voice was tender. "Maybe  
you should take another sedative. There are some left in the medicine 
cabinet. I had them for when Mom died. I gave you one last night."
Ellen got me  a sedative and a glass of water. When I had drunk it she took 
my hand and led me to the bed room .
"Come on, I'll unzip you." She slid down the zipper on the back of my 
dress and  helped me undress. She handed me some cream and tissue. 
"First, you should remove your makeup, unless you want it all over the 
bed sheets." 
I was about to put on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, but she stopped me, 
and rummaged through the packages."I've got something more suitable for 
you here."
She unwrapped a long cotton nightdress and,  before  I could object, she 
slid it over my head.  "This is a nice practical nightie. Maybe you can get 
something more glamorous later on."  I was too tired to react and as she 
tucked me into bed, I fell asleep almost instantly.

Bright sunlight was shining in my room when I awoke. I listened, but I 
could not hear Ellen moving around. I eased myself out of bed and went to 
the kitchen, the hem of my nightdress fluttering around my legs. Ellen had 
left a note on the kitchen table. I read it.
"Good Morning, Rachel, you looked so  sweet  I decided to let you sleep. I 
have gone to the store to do some urgent stuff, but I will be back at lunch.  
So you should wash, and get dressed, etc. Maybe you can start tidying up 
'John's' room.  Love Ellen."

After breakfast and a shower, I began to think about getting dressed. For 
several minutes I sat and, depressed, contemplated the  pile of women's 
clothing lying by my bed where I had left it.  Swallowing, I began to put 
the garments back on, cursing, in turn, the little hooks in the back of the 
bra, the rigidity of the girdle, the twisting and fumbling to fasten the back 
garters and  the zipper at the back of the dress. 

I was tidying up 'John's' room when Ellen came back. I looked at the 
clock. It was about one o'clock.
" I expected you earlier. Do you want some lunch ?"
"Oh,  no thanks! I already picked up a coffee and a hamburger. I'm sorry, 
Rachel, I should have called you. Anyway, Roy called me and I've given 
him the story that John has gone off to California, and that my cousin 
Rachel, is visiting from Kentucky, so when you are talking to Roy, keep 
with that story. I've done the most urgent stuff at the store so when you are 
ready we can get off to the stores and find you some more clothes." She 
stopod back and examined me. " You look fine. Get dressed okay ?" 
I scowled at her. "Yeah, if you don't count the contortions doing up zips, 
hooks and garters." 
She laughed. " Well, if it makes you feel any better, you look quite good, 
although I see you don't have any makeup on yet. I'll help you with it."

My heart sank. "Do I need to ?"
"Yes!" She was quite definite.
She sat me down at her dressing table and handed me her powder and 
lipstick.
"All right, you can try it. It's daytime and with your nice complexion  you 
won't need much more than lipstick, maybe just a light touch of powder.  
Anymore makeup  in daytime and it has to be done carefully or it may 
make you  look a bit cheap."
I carefully applied the cosmetics to her direction. She nodded her approval 
when I was finished.
" That's good, Now your wig." She handed it to me  and I eased it over my 
hair. 
She adjusted it slightly and examined me. "That's fine. Now, do you want 
to have lunch ?"

I shook my head. "I've just finished breakfast. I'm not hungry."
"All right, let's get going. It's fairly warm, and we are driving there, so you 
won't need anything over your dress." 
We were out the door and almost at the car when  I had a sudden attack of 
nerves. This was my first time out of the house dressed as a woman. It did 
not help that a slight breeze was  blowing up my skirt. I felt naked and 
exposed. Ellen saw me hesitating, and squeezed my hand. "You really 
needn't worry. Anyone seeing  you  will have no idea that you are anything 
other than a woman, and an attractive one at that."  Nevertheless, I wanted 
to rush into the car in case anyone saw me. 
Ellen still kept hold of  my hand. "Take your time," she emphasized. " 
You are a lady. Act like one. Another little lesson." She opened the 
passenger door. " When you are wearing a skirt, especially if it is a tight 
one, the best way to get into the car is to back in, slide your rear onto the 
seat and then swing your legs round."

She parked the car outside one of the mall entrances ."Now, remember, 
you are now completely a girl in appearance. No one will think anything 
strange about you. If you attract any attention at all,  it will be the normal 
attention that men give to a good-looking girl, or maybe some  women 
will be slightly jealous of you. You really are quite pretty. Now, out we 
get. Keep your head high and walk confidently."
I blushed and, taking a deep breath, got out of the car.
"Stand straighter," Ellen said." Hips forward. You are starting to slouch."
I followed Ellen through the glass doors. I momentarily panicked as the 
breeze ruffled my skirt. After that  I did not have nearly as much difficulty  
as I expected.  On the way  to one of the department  stores we passed two 
men, and I knew they were giving me a quick visual onceover, but, 
remembering what Ellen had said, I hurried on with her.
She caught my arm. "Did you see those guys ?"
"Yes, what about them?"
"They were checking us over." She giggled, but I felt humiliated.
"Relax," Ellen said, "Enjoy it." To my relief, apart from that,  I mostly 
only got a few disinterested glances from the other shoppers.

Ellen had an account at one of the big stores. The shopping took us almost  
three hours. Ellen had  shepherded me through the various departments in 
the store.  I was exhausted at the end, but I was finally outfitted and 
accessorized to Ellen's approval. In fact we got loaded with so many 
parcels and bags we had to take  a trip out to the car and dump them in the  
trunk before starting again. It seemed that I had got about one to three 
samples of everything a woman might want to wear. 

First, she had pushed me, blushing, into the foundation garments 
department, and rounded up one of the  saleswomen to get  me personally 
fitted. After an hour in this alien territory, I had got out with two more bras 
and two more girdles. She had insisted  I get  yet another in  the high 
waisted style I was already wearing,  but she relented at my complaints 
and  instead she allowed me to get another in a lower waisted style on the 
condition I also got an all-in-one garment she called a corselette.  Next,  
trailing me  in her wake, she ploughed through the racks selecting a 
housecoat, and a variety of nightdresses, panties, slips, stockings. I lost 
count of the number of the other departments we visited, but I ended up 
with two dresses, three skirts, three blouses, two sweaters, a topcoat and a 
lighter coat, even a hat. I was in and out of fitting rooms so much I felt 
dizzy. At one stage, as I was trying on a  dress in a dressing room, in one 
of the many mirrors  I caught sight of a young woman in her underwear. 
She was very pretty, then with  shock I realized she was moving as I was. I 
was looking at my own reflection.

Then it was off to the shoe department for  more shoes, another flat pair, 
two pairs with  heels, and a pair of summer sandals. Next we had to find a 
purse. By this time I was bored with the whole business and I would have 
been glad to take the first one the asistant showed me. Ellen looked at me 
in exasperation and insisted holding several more against my new coat and 
shoes before she had made up her mind. The sales assistant looked at me 
curiously but I was past caring. I thought that by this time we would be 
finally finished, but I had forgotten the cosmetics department and its 
feminine supplies. Lotions, cleansers, lipsticks, foundation, powder, 
mascara, eyeshadow, eye liner, perfumes, nail polish, toilet soaps, 
shampoos, conditioners and bath oils, it seemed the works, completed my 
purchases. 

By  this time it was half past four.  Ellen had been having a marvelous 
time with the shopping at first, but even she now seemed to be running out 
of steam. I was totally fed-up and tired. I was also getting  hungry, and I 
mentioned  supper to Ellen.
Her hand went to her mouth." Oh God!, I forgot all about it.  Roy and I are 
going out to eat. So you'll have to fix your own.  I've just remembered too, 
I think we also need some groceries. We can stop at the drive-in for a 
hamburger for you  on the way home, but do you feel up to getting some 
groceries tonight ? By yourself ?"
I took a deep breath, feeling the unaccustomed constriction of the bra on 
my chest. "Yeah, okay I guess, but I had been looking forward to putting 
my feet up."  
Ellen grinned at me. "In a ladylike fashion, of course ?"

I gave her a weak smile. I really had been looking forward to sitting down 
after the shopping this afternoon, but  my female outfit now seemed less 
strange, and I thought I could put up with it for another hour or so.
It was about five o'clock before we got home.  Roy was coming  at six to 
pick Ellen up to go out, and we scurried around  to get my new clothes 
hung up or put away in drawers in the spare room. Fortunately I had 
already got  'John's' room tidied up to make it appear that it was 
unoccupied. At last we had most of my new stuff put away and while 
Ellen went to change for her date with Roy, I sat down with a cup of 
coffee. I began to feel  slightly revived. 

"Okay," said Ellen. " Here's a list of what groceries we need."
She handed me a list and some money. "Roy and I can let you off at the 
store, but take a taxi back."
"I can take the car," I began to say, but Ellen shook her head.
"Remember, you are now Rachel Grant,  and you haven't got  a driver's 
license in that name. It's unlikely you would have an accident, but let's not 
take any risks. By the way, freshen up your makeup. You're starting to 
look a bit scruffy."
"Yes, Ma'am," I sighed. I trudged off to the bathroom, washed my face 
and reapplied some lipstick as Ellen had shown me. Curiously, I felt a bit 
better afterwards.

Roy arrived just after six.
I saw his eyes light up when he saw Ellen.
"Hi,Honey. " he breathed."It's so nice to see you again. Gosh, you look so 
good." They kissed and hugged. Ellen winked at me over Roy's shoulder, 
then introduced him to me.
"This is my cousin Rachel I was telling you about."  I pretended that it was 
the first time we had met. Roy did not recognize me, but he looked at me 
with approval. "Glad to meet you, Rachel. Say, you have a slight look of 
John, but you're much prettier, I must say." 
I tried to smile sweetly. " I guess it's just these family resemblances 
coming out."  
Ellen glared at me behind Roy's back and motioned to my room so I 
quickly excused myself  and  pretended to be busy. I heard Roy and Ellen 
speaking softly and a few giggles from her.  
In about ten  minutes  Ellen called me. "You ready to go, Rachel ?" 
"Yeah," I shouted back. She was standing at the front door with Roy. Her 
face was flushed. She was smoothing her skirt.

Unfortunately, Roy's car was a two door model.  Roy dutifully held the  
door open  for me  and folded the front seat forward for me to climb in. I 
clambered in as gracefully as I could, but I showed more of my legs than I 
wanted. Nervously I tried to straighten out my clothes while answering 
Roy's small talk. 
"How long are you going to be in Indianapolis, Rachel ?"
"I don't know, for  while maybe. I wanted a change of scene from  
Louisville."
"What did you do in  Louisville ?" 
"A number of things, mostly I worked in a bookstore."
Ellen caught my cue. "Maybe you can help me out in our store? Now that 
John is away I need a hand."
"Sure,  I would like that."  I replied.
The ride was torture. I kept waiting for Roy to discover my secret, and  I 
was nervous in case I didn't have plausible answers for his questions. At 
last we reached the store and I clambered back out of the car, desperately 
holding my skirt down.
Ellen called out as Roy swung the car round the parking lot. "Remember, 
take a taxi back."

I waved to them, grabbed a grocery cart from the parking lot and pushed it 
into the store.  I pulled out Ellen's list and started winding my way through 
the shelves and racks. I had no trouble with reaching for most items, but, 
as I had found in our kitchen, when I tried to stretch up to the top shelves 
the bra's  shoulder straps  hoisted up the bra cups, and  my breasts  in 
them, and I was gasping with the girdle's pressure and restriction when  I 
bent to look at the lower shelves.

By the time I was finished with the  shopping I was into a foul mood, hot 
and bothered, almost crying with frustration, cursing my sister's insistence 
on a girdle, the girdle itself, women's clothing in general, but most of all, 
my own stupidity for getting into this mess.  The taxi driver must have 
taken pity on me as he even helped me to our door with the four grocery 
bags.  When I got inside I hurriedly put the groceries away, then ran 
myself  a bath and thankfully peeled off my clothes. I examined my waist 
and shoulders. They were  red from chafing, but not as  bad as I had 
thought.  On an impulse I added one of the scented balls of bath oil, and 
eased myself in. I lay back in the water for some time and let its warmth 
relax me. I also washed my hair and and put on the nightdress, and over it  
my new  housecoat.  I was starting to get hungry again so I  made myself a  
snack from crackers and cheese.  I was about to get into bed when  I 
remembered Ellen's instructions to wash out my underwear and stockings 
and hang them up to dry. I finally collapsed into bed and I was only 
vaguely aware of Ellen looking in my room when she came home.

I was wakened on Friday morning by Ellen shaking my shoulder. She was  
dressed only in her bra, girdle and stockings.The last time I had seen her in 
her underwear  was when we were kids. She did not seem embarrassed. 
With chagrin I understood  she no longer saw me as a man, but  as another 
woman. 
"I'm showered, so why don't you get washed ? Wash your hair too, and get 
dressed. We really should get into work today. We've got a lot to do. Oh, 
how did you manage  last night ?" 
I grimaced."Let's say wearing a bra and girdle doesn't help getting stuff 
from the grocery shelves."  I pulled off my nightdress and showed her the 
redness at my waist and shoulders.
Ellen shrugged." Yeah, I guess you have a bit of chafing. Next time you go 
grocery shopping you should wear a girdle with a lower waist. Now, I'll 
lay out some clothes for you, then you can get breakfast.Toast and jelly 
okay ?"

I obviously wasn't going to get much sympathy from her. I muttered some 
approval,  and groaning, hobbled into the  shower. My feet still felt tired . 
When I got back to my room Ellen had laid out fresh clothes, a slightly 
flared dark skirt and a floral blouse, and of course, a fresh  bra, girdle and 
a pair of stockings.  "I must be getting used to them, " I thought. I no 
longer felt as self-conscious putting them on, and the various fastenings 
now seemed easier, other than the blouse buttoning on the opposite side. 
Ellen slid the wig on my head and examined me. "Yes, not bad, but for 
goodness' sake undo the top button on your blouse, and put some lipstick 
on."

On the way to the store, Ellen was driving the car as usual. " I could see 
you were nervous last night, with Roy, I mean. But you needn't have 
worried. He thought you seemed a bit edgy, but I explained it was just that 
you were a bit shy. He thought you were good -looking, by the way.  
"Thanks," I replied, my stomach twisting that Roy would find me 
attractive.
Ellen went on," I don't know if I mentioned it, but I'm having a bunch of 
my girl friends over next Friday evening. I arranged  it some weeks ago, 
but of course you weren't invited then. Now you are. Two of the girls are 
going to be my  bridesmaids."
I remembered vaguely that she had mentioned about the girls coming over.
"Who are you going to have  give you away at the wedding?" I asked. "If 
'John' is no longer here?"
" I had thought of asking Jake Henshell from next door. He has been a 
neighbour for a long time. If he doesn't want to, I'll break with tradition 
and walk up the aisle by myself."

We got into the bookstore just before nine. There was a  pile of mail and 
other stuff to attend to, orders, bills and shelving of an order of books that 
we had got a week or so earlier.  I sat down to work at the bills and the 
orders, and Ellen set to the rest.  Fortunately we did not have many early 
customers in and  we were able to get a good run at the stuff. We took a 
coffee break about eleven and a snack at one. It was nice to sit back in one 
of the chairs in the office by the old wood stove. In the afternoon some of 
the regular shoppers dropped in, and Ellen introduced me as her cousin 
Rachel. By this time I was getting practised at giving a sweet smile and 
smooth answers to their questions. By three we had finally caught up with 
our backlog. We looked at each other in triumph.
"What a great team!" We laughed.
"How do you feel today ?"
I was taken aback. I had been so busy I had hardly thought about myself 
at all, even when I went to the washroom.
" Great, actually," I replied." No, change that. My feet still hurt from 
yesterday."
Ellen laughed." Yeah, you sure did a lot. By the way, I'm going out with 
Roy again tonight. Do you have any plans ?"
"No"  I looked at her wryly."I don't know anyone to go out with, other 
than you, at least in my role as Rachel Grant. Anyway, I'm still having to 
get used to everything. I'll  need some time before I feel confident about 
going out by myself."
"Well, hurry up, or I'll have to start pushing you to get out and about 
more." 

After supper  Roy called for Ellen and they went out. I cleared up the 
dishes, did some housework, and put some laundry in the washing 
machine. While it was going through its cycle I thought I needed some 
fresh air and I took  a walk outside to look at the yard. I was picking  a few 
weeds from the flower patch when I was startled by a "Hi!"
I jumped up. It was our neighbour Jake Henshell looking over from his 
yard.
"Oh, Hi!" I returned automatically.Then I remembered that I was supposed 
to be a visitor "Oh. we haven't met. I'm Rachel, Ellen's cousin. I'm staying 
with her a bit."
He nodded and smiled. "Pleased to meet you. I'm Jake, a neighbour of 
Ellen's.  Are you going to be visiting long ?"
"Yes, I hope so. I'm going to help Ellen in the store, now that John is 
away." 
The last words were out before I had time to think. I knew what his next 
question would be.
"Yeah, I haven't seen John for a day or so. He's away, is he ?" 
"Yes. Ellen said  he wanted to go off to California, at fairly short notice. I 
arrived here just after he left. I hope it wasn't me that frightened him 
away."
Jake gave the kind of grimace that served him as a grin.
"I can't see a pretty thing like you frightening no-one. But it's funny, John 
never struck me as a type who did things without thinking a lot about it."
"Little does he know," I thought bleakly, remembering the  events of the 
previous Saturday, but I just shrugged.
I was still on edge until Jake began talking about the yard and  problems 
with his grass. Jake was a keen gardener and this was his usual 
conversation topic, so I knew he was not suspicious and gradually I was 
able to relax. A little later his wife Becky came out and I pretended I had 
not met her before either. After some minutes of chatting I excused 
myself, pleading that the laundry need finishing and I went back indoors, 
feeling I had passed another test. I washed my face and went to bed. I slept 
soundly again and did not hear Ellen returning.

As usual, Saturday was  one of the busiest days in the store, and we were 
kept busy with customers. Ellen again introduced me to all of the regulars 
as her cousin, who would be helping in the store. To my relief, after  the 
first introduction, nobody  paid me much attention except for two of the 
younger men who seemed to be extra chatty. A few customers enquired 
after John, but were satisfied by Ellen's tale of him going off to California. 
Around midday Ellen took my arm. "Rachel, I have to rush out for about a 
half-hour. Can you look after things while I am out ?" I was surprised, but 
there was  a bit of a lull in business at the time."Sure, " I answered. " I'll be 
okay."
"Also, I don't know if I mentioned it, but I am going out with Roy again 
tonight."
"No ? What a surprise."
She hit my arm playfully, kissed my cheek and ran out the door.
Actually I had expected Ellen would be out with Roy again. It was getting 
closer to the wedding and she and Roy still had a lot to arrange.

Ellen was back in half an hour carrying a small package. The pink 
wrapping had the name of one of the department stores, but I didn't bother 
asking her about it. We were fairly busy the rest of the afternoon and  I 
was glad when we closed at five . Roy was picking Ellen up at six, so 
when we got home she dashed off to her room to get ready. I sat down 
with a cup of tea and read a magazine. I thought I could fix  supper for 
myself after she had left.

Ellen was still getting ready when Roy arrived. I let him in and chatted 
with him for a few minutes until Ellen came downstairs.  I was pleased 
with myself. I  no longer felt as awkward speaking to Roy. Ellen handed 
me the package she had got earlier. "A little present for you. Open it after 
you have a bath." I was taken aback and had hardly thanked her when they 
left . 

I was left to my own devices. By the time I had eaten  a TV dinner for 
supper I was beginning to feel sorry for myself. I was feeling bored and 
lonely. The television was no help, so I picked out some of Ellen's 
magazines and read them through.  I tried to read one of the stories, but the 
plots seemed trivial and I could not concentrate.The rest of the material 
seemed to be all about  cooking, makeup, grooming, fashion,  and 
occasionally  women's relationships. "Was this what women were 
interested in," I wondered. It was all very complicated  and unfamiliar, 
almost overwhelming.

I leaned back in the armchair and mused over my life. It was now a week 
since Fred had been at the house. It had been a tumultuous week, with  
changes in my life such as I could never have contemplated. I thought 
sadly of Fred. I had lost a good friend. I wondered how he had died. Had 
he been unconscious , like me, when he crashed ? Had he known what was 
happening ?  I supposed that like me and Ellen, he had started to be 
changed by the spell. I poured myself a drink from the remnants of the 
scotch, but I seemed to have lost my taste for it and  I opened a bottle of 
wine instead. It tasted better, but even after a glass, I was slightly 
depressed. To try to cheer myself up, I made myself a leisurely bath with  
a  scented bath oil and lay back in the warm water until it began to cool 
down. I was beginning to enjoy baths more than I had. I had just dried 
myself in a fluffy towel and put on my cotton nightdress when  I 
remembered Ellen's package. I opened it up. It was a beautiful nightdress 
and peignoir set in peach satin. There was a card with it. I read it. " To 
Rachel, who is like a sister to me. Ellen."

It looked very beautiful, very feminine. Curious, I took off the cotton 
nightdress and slipped the new one over my shoulders. The smooth satin 
slid sensuously against my skin. It was in a long style, with  spaghetti 
shoulder straps. The lacy cups on its close fitting bodice held me closely 
and just disguised the pink of my nipples. The slippery material  felt nice 
against  the skin of my hips and thighs.  I put the peignoir on on top. It was 
also a long style,  with  lacy trim at the cuffs and collar. I looked at myself 
in the mirror.  The image that faced me  was sexy and  elegant,  but there 
was something wrong. I got out the wig and put it on too. The image was 
now perfect. I looked at it sadly, yet with a certain satisfaction. The girl in 
the mirror was really beautiful. I turned around slowly, then twirled faster, 
watching in the mirror how the satin flowed around her graceful figure. 
For all the world she looked like a lingerie ad. On an impulse I put my 
arms behind my neck and stuck out my chest, posing like a model in one 
of the men's magazines. The girl in the mirror could have easily passed for 
one. 

My lingerie rustling, I went and lay on my bed. I tried to read, but mostly I 
found myself again trying to take stock of my life. I could not really 
contemplate what my future now held. It was being reshaped, just as the 
girdle and bra were remolding my body, I thought whimsically.  My 
original terror at my change, my desolation, had now gone, and  I felt 
better able to face my new future than a few days ago. I was beginning to 
cope.  I took off the peignoir and lay back to sleep. 

I woke by myself on Sunday morning. I did not rise immediately.  I was 
feeling lazily comfortable, and  lay back and again mused over my new 
life.   I was looking forward to some relaxation, when  Ellen breezed into 
my bedroom.
"So, how are you feeling today ?"
"I don't know. Still getting used to things, I guess. Oh,  thank you for the 
gift. It's really lovely."
"That's okay. I felt guilty about leaving you alone so much, and  I thought 
it would cheer you up. Well,  let me see how you look."
I got out of bed and stood up.The material of my nightdress was slightly 
wrinkled and I smoothed it over my hips.
"Yes, that's really nice. You're a real stunner, you know."
I actually felt slightly pleased with her compliment.
Ellen continued," Anyway, you should get dressed. We have to  go to 
church today. We missed it last week."
I was horrified." But the congregation  may recognize me."
"No, they won't. You had no trouble at the store,  did you ? And you had 
no trouble with Jake or Becky, did you? Anyway, it will be more practice 
for you."
I gave in. "All right, but you'd better help me decide what to wear."
"I have trouble enough deciding on what clothes to wear for myself." Ellen 
retorted. " I'll be glad when you finally develop some dress sense of your 
own. I thought the spell would have given you some , as well as all the 
rest. Maybe your dress sense will develop over time. But okay, I'll look 
through your closet and get out something suitable out for you."

So, after breakfast, I got dressed and accompanied Ellen to  church. She 
had laid out a dark blue dress for me, and white shoes, and she loaned me 
one of her hats. Feeling very self conscious, I followed Ellen into our 
usual pew. It was close to the front and I could imagine the  congregation 
scrutinizing me.  I suppose I should have expected it, but my new singing 
voice surprised me. It would certainly never do for an opera soprano, but I 
had  a clear high voice nevertheless.   We were leaving the church after the 
service when Ellen nudged me. "Look out, Rev. Schuyler is heading our 
way."
The Rev. Schuyler was our minister. Ellen introduced me to him as her 
cousin Rachel Grant. 
"It's nice to meet you, Miss Grant. Ah, can I call you Rachel ? Such a 
pleasant biblical name. Are you just visiting?"
I went into the usual explanation, and hinted I would probably be living 
here from now on.
"Well, Rachel, I hope you enjoy living here and  I hope we will see you 
here again." He turned to Ellen. 
"I didn't see you here last week, Ellen, or John. Is everything fine ?"
"It was a little family problem, Mr. Schuyler. It's settled now, but John has 
gone off to California. He said he wanted a change."
He looked at Ellen with concern." That's a bit sudden. Is everything okay 
with you?"
"We had a rough patch, but things are fine now. I'd rather not talk about 
it."
"Could I help?"
Ellen shook her head. " Thank you, but no, I don't think so."
"Well, don't be afraid to ask for help, Ellen. I mean that." He turned to me 
again." It was nice meeting you,  Rachel." He shook my hand and moved 
off to speak to an older couple.
"I hate lying to him,"  Ellen said quietly."He is a fine man, but we can't 
take any risks that anyone would find out what happened."
I gave a rueful laugh. "Well,  he wouldn't believe us anyway, and if he did, 
what do you think his reaction would have been me using magic ?  Two or 
three  hundred years ago these guys would have had me up on trial for 
witchcraft, maybe executed me."
Ellen nodded slightly. "Maybe that's what happened to the book's original 
owner. Maybe his skin ended up on a book too." 
"How do you know it was a him ?" I commented.
"Maybe both!"  she replied. 
I had a  shudder at the thought. 

"Hi,  Ellen, who's your friend ?"
We turned around and I almost collapsed. It was Chuck, with his brother  
Dennis, a couple of my old buddies  from high school.  What was worse 
was that both were looking at me with great interest. Ellen introduced me 
and we went through our usual charade.  I tried to speak to them evenly, 
but my heart was thumping and  I kept stumbling over my words. I 
muttered some excuses and almost ran to the car.

Ellen was at the car right after me. She unlocked the passenger door for 
me,  let herself in, and turned the key in the ignition. She was annoyed. 
"Look, I can see why you were nervous, but these guys were not going to 
realize who you were. They were only interested in you as any guy would  
to an attractive single girl. Don't run off like that again or you will be 
getting a reputation as a screwy dame, maybe even a man hater. 
Remember that no one can now possibly view you as a man, unless you 
are dumb enough start dropping hints. They would only think you are a 
woman with emotional problems."
"I'm sorry, I almost panicked, but it was the way they were looking at me."
"Get used to it. Men will like looking at someone like you.  You may even 
get to appreciate it."  Ellen squeezed my hand, but the possibility that  men 
would be looking at me, or even that I might enjoy it,  did not make me 
feel any better.

"Maybe this next week you should start to get  documentation for your 
new identity like we discussed. So  how about arranging for  a birth 
certificate first ?  You could take an early bus  to Louisville next Thursday 
and be back in the afternoon.  Then you can get a driver's test next Friday 
morning. By the way, did you remember.  I have some  girl friends coming 
over on Friday night ? "
Actually I had forgotten all about it. I shook my head." No, I guess  I've 
had other things on my mind." 
Ellen smiled. " I'll bet  you have. Anyway, you're now invited too.  Make 
sure you  watch the girls  closely  to see how they talk and behave, and 
their mannerisms, so you can practice them later."
.
The first three days of the week passed by uneventfully. We had another 
bunch of new aquisitions to shelve and inventory, and I needed to work on 
some tax stuff for our acccountant. Altogether that took three evenings. On 
Thursday I took an early bus to  Louisville, and, as Rachel Grant, got some 
documentation arranged. I was back home in the  afternoon and spent the 
rest of the day studying for my driving test on Friday morning.

Ellen drove me to the driver testing area. I passed the written test then a 
young male driving examiner took me out for the test. When we were 
back, he nodded. " Quite good, but maybe a little too confident. Just be a 
little more cautious." He signed my forms and I soon had a license in my 
new identity. On my way out to meet Ellen in the waiting area. I passed 
the examiner again. He  now acted very friendly and congratulated me. We 
chatted for a minute then with a shock I realized he was interested in me. 
My first instinct was to get out of the place, but I saw Ellen watching me. 
As graciously as I could, I blurted out my apologies and  thanked him then 
went over to meet Ellen. My knees felt weak. Ellen had been watching me.
She saw my red face."He making a pass at you ?" 
I nodded. "I think he was about ready to."
She grinned. "So you're still embarassed with men's attention. You'd better 
get used to it, like I told you."  

Ellen's friends came over on Friday evening. Three of them, Sharon, Lois 
and Maureen, were some of  her friends  from a long way back. They had 
been frequent visitors at our house while Ellen was a teenager. Another 
girl, Bonnie, was a newer friend, but I had met her on my recent vacations 
home from college. I had not met the other two, Sophie and  Marlene, 
before. I asssumed they were friends she had made while I was at college.  
Sharon and Lois were going to be bridesmaids at Ellen's wedding. Both 
Bonnie and Maureen were married.  All were wearing makeup, and had 
dressed quite smartly, much better than guys would have been at a get-
together. I was glad Ellen had suggested I wear a nice dress.She had also 
helped me with lipstick and other makeup. She had even given me a light 
touch of scent.

Mostly  I watched and listened to the girls' conversation. The range of 
their  conversation astonished me,  starting off with Ellen's approaching 
wedding, then to marital relations, birth control,  Ellen's trousseau, 
clothing, shopping, men, boy friends, jobs, work, bosses and so on. It was 
all laced with mild ribaldry and an  attitude to sex and men that was more  
more romantic and personal, yet in many ways more down-to-earth  than 
men's conversation. There was an air of  easy laughter between the girls, 
uninhibited by men. At one point in the conversation Bonnie announced 
she was pregnant. All the girls erupted into squeals of excitement and 
started another round of chatter on pregnancy and babies. The 
conversation had an easy intimacy from what seemed to be the greater  
intensity of  their personal lives,  the  mutual support, and their shared 
confidences. Two of the girls were smoking. I was fascinated by the way 
they  held their cigarettes, and their expressive hand gestures, their red 
nails flashing. 

As a newcomer, the girls were naturally interested in me. I repeated the 
usual line, but they were curious about me and my past and kept  pressing 
me for details. I had to embellish my story with faint hints about a broken 
romance, but I hinted I did not want talk further and they eventually 
seemed satisfied with that. I saw Ellen rolling her eyes in the background. 
I knew they would be wanting more details at later times, so I made a 
mental note to always steer the conversations away from me, and  work on 
my story a bit more, just in case. 

I guess I made one mistake. Marlene got talking about the trouble she was 
having with her boy friend. I actually knew the guy from high school andI 
remembered I  hadn't like him. The other girls were listening and making 
comments, but none seemed to be giving her any real advice.
Exasperated, I blurted out " Why don't you ditch the bum ? He's a loser."  
I was rewarded with some cold stares,  and  Lois asked, "How would you 
know ?" I made  some lame excuse about how it seemed obvious, and 
fortunately Ellen got the conversation going again on another tack.

After that it all went smoothly and, except for Bonnie, we had all 
consumed a glass or two of wine during the evening,  and  ended up  
sitting  on the floor, laughing and giggling. Occasionally several dresses 
and skirts got partly worked up the girls'  legs, but as the evening wore on 
the girls  bothered less and less with pulling them down. Some of them 
showed more than the usual amount of thigh, even a hint of stocking top. 
Sophie had been complaining earlier about her girdle, and at one point got 
to her feet, hiked up her skirt and peeled off her girdle, the garters still 
attached to her stockings. At least she was wearing panties underneath. 
The other girls laughed and clapped. Bonnie even put her hand behind her 
head and ground her hips like a stripper, but nobody copied  her. I saw 
Ellen shake her head at me slowly. I didn't know whether it was 
disapproval of Bonnie's behaviour, or a warning for me not to do the same. 
She needn't have worried. I hadn't any panties on underneath and anyway, 
I guess I had now got more used to the bra and girdle. I liked the lovely 
smooth lines  they  gave my bust, waist and hips. I no longer felt like a 
transvestite. I actually felt pleased that I had a nicely shaped bustline to 
compare with the other girls.

When the girls had left, I  helped Ellen tidy up and wash the dishes.
"Well, " I said, that was quite an eye opener. If ever I was a man again, I 
could have a lot of dirt on the girls."
"You'd better not try. I'd have to kill you." said Ellen. She gave me an 
appreciative look. " You're getting to be an acccomplished liar, about your 
background, I mean. But say, If you got the chance, would you now turn 
back ?"
"Yes!" I said immediately, but she  gave me a curious half smile. I was 
taken aback. It seemed an obvious answer, but later I got to thinking about 
the women's support and intimacy. It was a long time since I had  such a 
fun evening.  
"That was quite a lot of excitement with Bonnie's announcement. I thought 
I would be deafened by the squealing."
"I think Bonnie's been trying to get pregnant for a while, and it's a very 
important part of a woman's life," Ellen explained, "Having children, 
nurturing them, making a home. It's natural we would feel happy for her. 
By the way, you almost put your foot in it with Marlene's boy friend."
"I still don't understand, " I said. "The guy really is a loser. I was giving 
her good advice."
"I know, but she really didn't want advice. Just someone to listen to her. 
She's in love with him, you know."
I shook my head sadly.

We went to church again on Sunday morning, and once more Rev. 
Schuyler made me feel very welcome. Ellen introduced her 'Cousin 
Rachel' to more of the congregation, and this time I was able to talk easily 
to them.

I was not exactly relaxed, but at least I didn't panic when Chuck and 
Dennis spoke to us again. I even got a kick out of direction their 
conversation was going. I recognised the opening moves I would have 
used before my change when I was trying to make conversation to an 
attractive girl. Even Ellen commented on it  later."That was a bit better 
than last week. You're still a bit of an ice maiden, but at least you didn't 
come over as a man-hater."

On Sunday afternoon I began to be aware something was not quite right. 
My clothes felt uncomfortable and my bra tighter. Even my stockings, that 
had seemed to be so smooth before, now seemed to be itchy on my legs. In 
general I seemed to be uncomfortable and constantly irritated by 
something or other and I got into  bad mood. I had a mild headache. Three 
days later, when I was sitting on the toilet, I discovered the reason. When  
I wiped myself,  I found a spot of blood. With a heavy feeling I realised I 
was having a period. The spell and its effects were still working their 
inexorable ways on my body. 

Ellen must have noticed my sombre face as I went into the living room 
and slumped down heavily on the sofa.
"What's up, Rachel ?"
I explained what had just found.
She smiled knowingly. "I thought so. You have been as grouchy as Hell 
the last two days." 
"I'm sorry. Have I really ?"
Ellen nodded knowingly." Welcome to the world of premenstrual tension, 
bleeding, and cramps!  I suppose you already know about women having  
periods ?"
I shrugged and she went on .  "Well, you usually get more or less 
uncomfortable with it for several days, then at the end of that you get to 
bleed for three of four more days. You may get a backache. And this will 
happen every month, until your late forties, your menopause. The only 
time you won't is when you are pregnant."
Monthly bleeding did not appeal to me in the slightest, and the idea of 
being pregnant, having a child growing inside me was even worse.
"Maybe I'll get  a hysterectomy." I blurted out angrily.

At that  Ellen began to look pretty mad. She was about to reply, but she 
swallowed and wrapped her arms round me. I did not want any comforting 
and I struggled, but she kept holding me.
"Rachel, again, I think you have to have patience. You are physically a 
woman now, internally and externally. I guess your mind is still not 
completely used to the changes, but, you know, be patient, even that may 
be changing,  and then you will accept your new sexuality, and be happy 
with your new body." I felt the anger slowly draining from me, and I 
began to cry. She kissed me on the cheek." Now come on. I'll show you 
how to use tampons." She took my arm and led me to the bathroom.

I felt helpless, still embarassed after all I had gone through, but I knew I 
had little  choice. In a few minutes, under her supervision, I had slid a 
tampon into me, and its little string dangled just below the hem of my 
girdle. I knew I had to accept it. It was better than bleeding all over my 
nice clothes.  

Several days later I got to  thinking seriously about my future.  Ellen's 
wedding was getting much closer, and I spoke to her about my decision. "I 
don't know if you've thought about it, but I just remembered you are 
getting married in two months. I assume you and Roy will be living here, 
so maybe I should think about moving out."
"Rachel, no!" she protested." You can certainly stay here."
"No,  I think that's a bad idea, for two reasons at least. I think it's only 
right that as you are going to be newly married, you need a place to 
yourself. You need privacy. The other is that I am supposed to be your 
cousin, remember ? Newly weds wouldn't want  a relative staying with 
them. Anyway, it's more practice for me. You've done a good job of 
training me, and I think I can now manage on my own. I'll still work at the 
store."
Ellen bit her lip, but nodded." Yeah, I guess you're right. Have you 
thought where you will move to ?"
"There's an apartment block down the street from the store. I've noticed 
they have  an apartment to let and I could move there. It would be handy 
for the store."
So, a week later,  I arranged to move into the apartment. It had a only a 
living room and one bedroom, and it seemed small after the house, but as a 
student I had been used to living in a studio apartment and I knew I could 
manage. Unfortunately, I had now to buy some furniture, and kitchen 
stuff,  shrinking my bank account even more. Ellen 'loaned' me some  of 
'John's' stuff while he was supposedly away.  

As the days and weeks slipped by I got increasingly used to my new 
status, and gradually,  from resenting, then  accepting womens' clothing, I  
actually began enjoying it.  I began to look forward more and more to 
dressing up and trying out different styles.  I even began to have fun 
shopping for clothes. There was a much greater variety of  styles and 
colors for differerent occasions  and to match my moods. One day, on a 
whim, I tried leaving off my girdle, but I was uncomfortably aware my 
rear stuck out more. Ellen may have noticed, but she did not say anything. 
I could see how my dresses and skirts  fit much better with a girdle 
underneath and anyhow, I was starting to appreciate the  girdle's firmness 
and restraint, the way it molded me to a  slim waist and flat tummy, and  
smooth and shapely hips and rear.  The continual slight pull of the garters 
on my stocking tops and the feel of the smooth nylon of my  stockings 
were a sensual  reminder of my new role and status. 

I  usually wore a  slip.  I liked the feel of the smooth nylon material  on my 
midriff and the patch of bare skin at the top of my stockings. I had also 
taken to wearing high heels, at least for dressy purposes,  when  went  
shopping,  or to church. They gave a little  extra sway  to the way I walked 
and clicked nicely on floors. I liked shoes and would have bought more if I 
had the money. Most times at the store I wore a dress or a skirt with a 
blouse or slightly loose sweater if it was cold, with flattish shoes if I was 
to be on my feet a lot. I had started wearing a light flowery perfume, and I 
had got into the habit of taking some time each week to attend to my 
appearance, filing and polishing my nails, smoothing my feet, and shaving 
under my arms. My legs had only a few fine hairs and I hardly needed to 
shave them.

One day we were tidying up in the store when I saw Ellen looking at  me. 
I knew the expression meant she had something on her mind. 
"What's up ?" I asked, getting worried.
"How is your hair ?"
"How do you mean ?" I'm still wearing the wig."
"Take it off. Let me see how long your own hair is."
Flushing, I eased off the wig and shook my hair.
"You know,  it's growing out quite nicely. I think it's now long enough for 
you to get  to a salon and have it styled."
"That will be a relief. I'm getting fed up with the wig. It's hot, and I'm 
always afraid of it coming off accidently ." I replied.
Ellen continued. "Also,  I think you'll enjoy  get a professional manicure 
and pedicure, in fact, get a facial and a makeup as well,  before the 
wedding. With your looks and complexion you hardly need it, but it's nice 
to pamper yourself. Maybe you can get your ears pierced at the same time, 
and then you can start wearing  earrings."   
I got a funny twisting feeling in my stomach. I had always thought 
earrings were so feminine.
"No! on second thoughts, get your ears done  earlier. That way the 
piercing will have healed and they will not be so tender at the wedding."
"Does it hurt ?" I asked, alarmed.
"No, not really. The actual piercing  happens so fast that you hardly feel it. 
But your ears are tender for a week or so after and you have to put alcohol 
on them too, and that stings, but it's worth it . You can then wear lovely 
glamorous dangly earrings  if you want. Why don't you get that done first, 
then you can get another makeup along with Sharon, Lois and me ? We 
are getting  our hair and makeup done  on the morning of my wedding."
I shrugged. I knew Ellen and her friends usually went to the salon in the 
new mall about once a month.  I was no longer uncomfortable with my 
female role, but  going out with the girls had not crossed my mind.

Ellen's wedding was now just about a month away, and the preparations  
occupied almost all of her thoughts and time. I was not  a bridesmaid. Her 
bridesmaids had been decided long before,  but of course I was invited to 
the wedding. 

So the next day I called up to make an appointment at a salon to have my 
hair done and my ears pierced. A  day or so before the appointment I was 
having coffee with Maureen Maureen and I were becoming fairly friendly 
and occasionally went out for coffee, lunch or even movies together. She 
had a large extended family and I was nervous in case she asked about my 
past, but she never did. She confided that she had been trying work up 
enough courage to have her ears pierced as well, so we went along 
together for mutual support. As Ellen had said, it didn't hurt much, and 
Maureen and  I walked out of the salon, self-consciously wearing small 
golden studs in our ears. I was pleased with myself, but for a week  
afterwards my earlobes were red  and slightly swollen. I persevered with 
the alcohol, despite its stinging. I even remembered some appropriate male 
swear words. When  the swelling had gone down,  I treated myself to three 
sets of earrings, a dangly pair, a pair of gold hoops and  small pearl  studs.

My hair was still short, but it was now styled  appropriately for a girl. I 
looked at it in the mirror, turning my head in in different ways so I could 
see it better. I thought I would let it grow out a bit more. 

The next weekend  Ellen had been invited with Roy to a barbecue, and she 
suggested I come along too.
I had mixed feelings about it. I knew I was  getting fed up and bored  and  
I knew needed more friends, but I was still unsure of myself with  both 
men and women.  However,  Ellen insisted. "Look on it as more practice 
in your role.  Now, there may be a  ball game, so it will be casual dress, 
and it's warm, so you should wear a light dress or skirt, or shorts."
" You mean, I don't have to wear a girdle ?"
Ellen  smiled. "No, it's not an occasion for stockings, but you can wear a 
panty girdle if you feel you're missing one." 
"No thanks." I  laughed and shook my head, but on the morning of the 
barbecue I tried on a light summery dress. I wasn't happy with it. I found I 
missed my girdle, but  I decided anyway that a dress wouldn't be 
appropriate . I didn't want  my panties to show if it  flew up when we were 
playing ball. Finally I gave up on the idea of a dress and borrowed a pair 
of Ellen's shorts. They seemed funny, zipping up on the side.

Roy picked us up and drove us to the party.   It was a little ways out of the 
city, at an old farmhouse owned by one of Roy's buddies. When we 
arrived Roy got out of the car and carried his cooler over to one of the 
picnic tables, but  Ellen took me aside by my arm and muttered, " I see 
there's beer here. I bet there's harder stuff as well. Be careful how much 
you drink. Women don't have the same capacity as men, and you don't 
want to blab out anything. No loose lips!" 
I  pretended to blow a kiss to her, but she shook her head " No, I mean you 
don't want anything to slip out about your changes. Stick to our usual 
cover story."

We heard Roy calling to us and Ellen  climbed out of the front seat.
"Anyway, have fun." She kissed me on the cheek. 

I was very careful to remember her advice, and even managed to enjoy 
myself most of the time.  The other girls were all friendly enough, but 
none of them  was really interested in me. On the other hand,  I never 
seemed to lack for  attention from the unattached guys. Despite my 
nervousness, I was actually flattered, although I really did not know how 
to behave around men as a woman.I felt tongue-tied. I listened to a couple 
of the girls  flirting mildly with the guys, but I could not imagine myself 
doing it.

As Ellen had expected, a ball game got started. The   men and women 
were divided evenly between the two teams. Our side was batting first. 
While I was waiting my turn I watched the pitcher, Joe, in action. He was 
quite good. He was giving the guys a good test. but he was going easy on 
the girls. Now,  I had been quite a good hitter when I was younger, so 
when it came my turn and he sent me an easy ball I easily knocked it out 
to the far side of the pitch. If it had  been before my change, when I was 
stronger, and faster on my feet,  I might have got  it further. Anyhow, I got 
to second base and two of our side completed runs.
Our side gave a great cheer, but I saw Joe staring at me in surprise, and I 
knew he would not go as easy on me a second time. When it was our next 
turn to bat we faced each other again. His first ball was a good one, for 
him, but it was curving wickedly for me and  I decided to leave it. His 
second was too low. His third was a repeat of his first, another curve ball. I 
left it too. He got a little careless with  his next ball. It was  just a little 
wide, but I caught it fairly cleanly on my bat and drilled it past him. It was  
bouncing unevenly on the rough grass,  so the fielders had trouble getting 
it, and  I got to second base on that one too, amid the yells and cheers of 
my team . Joe grinned at me and nodded his head. I was not sure how to 
read Ellen's face.Maybe she had not wanted me to draw attention to 
myself, but the temptation of the ball game had been too much for me. As 
it turned out, we still lost the game, but a number of the guys 
complimented me on my batting.    

When the game was over someone  brought out a record player, and  put 
on some rock and roll. Some of the couples started to dance and one of the 
guys, called Steve, asked me to dance. I had had no intention of dancing, 
but he virtually dragged me up and I did not want to make  a fuss.

It was awkward at first, dancing as a woman, mainly moving backwards, 
occasionally twirling under his hand, but in a minute or so I got the 
rhythm. Then the music changed to a slow  tune, and Steve pulled me 
close to him, with his hand to the small of my back, and I knew he would 
be feeling  the closure of my bra. I had never been held close by a man 
before, and I tried to relax.   I fought down my uneasiness and I began to 
enjoy the feeling of his strong hand guiding me through the dance.   All 
was going well, I was even starting to like the pressure of his chest against 
my breasts until I realized  there was a bulge between his legs. That was 
almost the last straw. With an effort  I forced down my panic and finished 
the dance. I thanked him and walked back to Ellen, my knees knocking . 

She looked at me with concern."You're trembling. What is it ?"
When I took her aside and explained she gave a superior smile. "You can 
look at it two ways. Either you can act like an old maid and be offended, 
or you can be pleased that you can cause such a reaction in a healthy male. 
It shows you are getting good at being a woman, a desirable one at that, 
one that gets men's interest. My training is paying off!  But, , as I keep 
telling you, you are going to have to get used to it, and please, don't come 
running to me each time. I want to enjoy myself with Roy. Now, why 
don't you go back and speak to Steve again, and the guys he is with ?"

I hesitated. I knew I had started to enjoy the close physical contact with 
Steve. He seemed to have a nice male smell about him, but the thought of 
having sex with him, or any man, did not turn me on. I dreaded the  
thought of a penis being thrust into me, filling me with  semen .

"Go on. " Ellen ordered, and she turned and went back over to Roy. I was 
mad with her, but deep down I knew she was right. My heart pounding, I 
went back to join Steve, and tried to make conversation. Actually it was 
not as difficult as I had feared. The guys were relaxed  and I was soon 
enjoying their attention. I even danced with another two of them. I even 
began to get an idea of the fun I could have with guys competing for my 
attention.

In fact , the week after, one of the guys called me up for a date. More out 
of curiosity than anything, I went out with him a couple of times, but he 
didn't call me for another date. I think he sensed that I was uncomfortable  
when we kissed.    

The morning of Ellen's wedding I accompanied Ellen and her two 
bridesmaids to the salon.They were laughing and joking  with the 
beauticians, but I knew Ellen was nervous. I found the procedure really 
strange at first, the fussing over my hair, eyes, face and nails, but  
eventually   I started to relax and enjoy the  pampered feeling.

So, when Ellen walked up the aisle, shepherded by  our neighbour Jake,  I 
stood in a front pew watching her. I felt very poised in my new  pale green 
linen sheath dress with  a matching broad brimmed hat, sheer stockings 
and high heeled shoes. I was really glad I had gone to get my face made 
up, and it was so nice not to be stuck under a wig. I thought my  stylish 
new hairdo was really smart.  They had also made up my face really nicely 
and  my fingernails and toenails were polished smooth.  The girl at the 
salon had used a silvery pink nail polish.  I wore a  string of  pale green 
beads at my throat with my dangly earrings in my  ears.  Whenever they 
brushed my neck, I got slight shivers down my spine.
Ellen was a picture. I felt a lump in my throat. And Roy looked so 
handsome, waiting at the front with Rev. Schuyler. I just managed to keep 
from crying when they kissed. I thought it would be nice to stand in the 
front of a church with a man who was to be my husband.

Ellen and Roy had a small reception after the ceremony, and with all the 
other unmarried girls I stood in a bunch waiting for Ellen to toss her 
bouquet. I saw it coming my way but Sophie was taller and managed to 
grab it first. Sophie was wearing a tight blue satin dress. She had  
obviously decided to put up with a firm girdle for the day, judging by the 
shape of her rear.

Ellen and Roy took a brief honeymoon at Niagara Falls so I was kept busy 
while they were away, but two weeks  after they returned  I finally got 
back on the road to a book sale and auction near New Orleans. I had 
driven to an auction in an old antebellum plantation nearby, and made a 
successful bid on several sets of old Louisiana journals. I discovered good 
and bad things about being a woman at auctions . I was no longer as tall as 
John Tully had been, and I now had to sit or stand in conspicuous spots. I 
also attracted attention as a woman, but it was the wrong kind. I had not 
realised earlier how many sleazy men there were at sales. It was  the late 
afternoon before I was done and as it was too late to be driving far, I 
booked in at a hotel near the French quarter in New Orleans. After  a 
shower, I put on a sleeveless black dress that showed off my figure and 
went down to dinner in the hotel dining room. Dining alone had not 
bothered me before my change, but as a single woman I began to feel 
awkward , even vulnerable.  As I ate my meal,  a Cajun seafood dish, I 
looked round. I noticed a dark haired young woman in a tight red dress  
sitting on a stool in the adjacent lounge. She was wearing gold hoop 
earrings, with  a gold chain round her neck.   I was watching her when she 
caught my gaze and smiled at me. I returned her a  smile  but  then the 
waiter distracted my attention with the dessert tray. When I looked around 
again she was gone.

Afterwards I strolled around the area, enjoying the atmosphere, but 
making sure I kept in busy, well lit areas.  I wanted to stay and hear some 
of the jazz, but a pair of hookers, with their pimps hovering in the 
shadows, made me nervous  and after an hour I returned to my hotel. I 
thought I would have a drink before I went to my room and I went into the 
lounge for a drink. I would have loved a long cool beer, but that wasn't in 
character, and  I settled for a cocktail. I had just taken the first sip when I 
the woman I had seen earlier strolled up beside me. 
"Hi! Do you mind if I join you ?" 
"Oh sure, not at all!" I was a little taken aback,  but she seemed to be 
friendly and I was  feeling a bit fed-up being on my own. She was very 
pretty. She signalled the waiter  and ordered another drink. "Are you 
visiting New Orleans ?"
"Yes, I'm here on business." I found myself telling  her about the store and 
antiquarian business.

She was bright and fun to talk to and I found myself very attracted to her 
flashy good looks and her sense of humour. Her name was Arlene. She 
was a stewardess on a small airline based in Atlanta, but she was staying 
overnight in New Orleans.  We sat and talked, and talked through another 
couple of  drinks.  I guess  the remnant  of my male past  was flattered 
with the close attention she was giving me, and I knew I wanted her. The 
bar was becoming noisy, and I was half expecting it when she  invited me 
up to her room for a drink."Where it's quiet," she whispered conspiratorily. 

We were hardly in the door before she caught my wrist and kissed me, on 
the lips. I was momentarily startled, but  I kissed her back, hard. I felt her 
tongue push into my  mouth and my nipples grow hard. In a minute we 
were unzipping  each other's  dresses. Part of me wanted to stop, but she 
was so desirable, the kind of woman I would have dated before my 
change. 

She looked amused at my  high-waisted girdle and pursed her lips in a half 
smile. "Let's get you out of that armor". Thrilled, yet guiltily, I let her 
undress me completely. Her fingers felt deft and nimble. She  lightly 
kissed my erect nipples and ran her hands over my cleft.  She herself was 
wearing a matching  bra, garter belt and  panties set,  in red lace.   
She laughed when I complimented her on them. " The airline makes me  
wear a white girdle at work, so I make sure I dress in something racier 
when I'm off duty."
My hands were shaking as  I unfastened her stockings from her garters 
and slid them down her smooth tanned  legs. I turned her around and 
unhooked her bra and garter belt, then peeled her nylon panties off. I ran 
my hands over her belly, her hips and her breasts.  Her skin felt warm and 
charged, her nipples were hard and erect. She reached out and cupped my 
breasts in her hands. Her thumbs and forefingers found my nipples.  They 
were  swollen hard and her gentle pinching sent  shivers through me. We 
embraced and fell onto the bed,  kissing  fiercely.
I took charge and kissed her  breasts and nipples, sucking and gently 
nibbling the erect flesh . She was moaning under me. She gasped and 
squealed as  I slid my hand to her cleft and I stroked her until she writhed 
and bucked. She was warm and moist. At that point, through my 
excitement, the realization hit me the hardest. I could not penetrate her.

"My turn now." She rolled me onto my back and began to play with my 
nipples, alternatively rolling and pulling them with one hand, and  sucking 
them.  Her other hand was at my cleft, stroking and teasing me until 
electric sparks played up and down my spine. Then she  turned so that she 
was over me,  her face to my crotch, and I felt her her tongue part the soft 
hair and my nether lips, and  begin to lick me. Her own cleft was over my 
mouth. Tentatively I licked her. She was wet. Her taste was faintly sour 
and salty. She licked harder and harder and I followed suit until, faster and 
faster until I felt her beginning to tense. Neither of us showed any  mercy, 
ruthlessly forcing our will on each other. Her hips were in a commotion 
over me, my muscles convulsing simultaneously,  and we climaxed 
together. Gasping, we fell apart.

Later, lying in bed together, our arms intertwined, I asked her how she had 
noticed me. 
" It was just the way you looked at me. I could see you were  attracted to 
other women. By the way, you are a great lover. I must have come two or 
three times"
" Thanks, " I said, but I thought how little she really knew.

The flush of our lovemaking was now passing, leaving me deflated, 
slightly uneasy, and at last I knew something was missing. No, it was not 
that I had been physically unable to penetrate her. Rather,  I now knew taht 
it was me who  had needed it. I had needed to be filled, and with 
something only a man could give me. I began to cry softly.

Arlene,  mystified, took me tightly in her arms. Her breasts were soft and 
warm against my own. Her arms were comforting, but I had now passed a 
crisis. Looking back on it now, I realize that it was then that I finally 
relinquished the vestiges of John Tully,  from that time  any lingering 
traces of  my sexual desire for women finally vanished. As Rachel Grant, 
now completely a woman, mentally and physically, I could have other 
women as close, even intimate, friends. I  might recognize their beauty, 
but I would no longer be attracted to them sexually. From then only men 
could hold  sexual attraction for  me.

I dried my tears, pulled myself from her and  got up." I have to go."
"What's the matter ? Can't you stay ?" Arlene asked.
I shook my head, and began to put on my  dress. I gathered up my 
underwear and stockings and stuffed them in my purse. Arlene, hurt, was 
looking at me. I leaned over to her and kissed her, this time on the cheek. 
She tried to kiss me on the mouth, but I avoided her lips.
"Thank you, Arlene. You've given me  a great gift." I embraced her, but 
misunderstanding, she squeezed my breast. I gently removed her hand and 
slipped out into the corridor and to my own room.  I did not see her again.

Bonnie's baby, a boy, was born three months after Ellen's wedding. Bonnie 
asked  Ellen  to be the godmother at the christening  two weeks later. 
Bonnie's  brother Elmer was to be godfather. Bonnie and her husband also 
went to our church. Ellen and Roy  picked me up at my apartment. I had 
taken a lot of effort to look smart for this affair too. In fact I was beginning 
to enjoy dressing up. I had chosen  a fairly slim  dress in dark blue, with a 
broad brimmed hat and medium heeled shoes, also in dark blue, but  
trimmed in white. I was wearing my high-waisted girdle and a new 
underwire bra so I felt firm, stylish,  braced and confident. I was pleased 
with the way  my bodice stuck out so nicely,  my slim waist, and my 
nicely shaped rear. As it was a church service, I had only used light 
makeup, but a nice red lipstick.  I had put my hair up, to emphasize my 
neck. I felt really good about the way I looked. In fact I knew I looked 
terrific, and it gave me a little thrill to know  I might be attracting the 
attention of the men. 

After the service I was standing outside the church with Ellen. She and 
her friends were taking turns holding the baby. They passed him to me. It 
was the first time I had held so young a baby. I thought he was so sweet, 
resting against my chest. I had not realized before how nice babies 
smelled.

I saw Bonnie  and Elmer chatting  standing with another man. He was red-
haired, just about over six feet tall. He  appeared to be  a friend. Bonnie 
beckoned me over. 
"Bill, this is  Rachel, "  said Elmer. "Rachel is Ellen's cousin. She works 
with Ellen in a bookstore."
I handed the baby back to Bonnie and I shook hands with their friend. His 
name was Bill Lawson. His  gray eyes seemed to hold me. 
"Hi, Bill, are you a relative of Bonnie's ?" I asked.
"No, just a friend of Elmer's, we work together."
There was something different about  Bill's accent.
"Are you from around here, Bill ?"
"No,  I'm from Canada originally.
"Oh, is that a French accent I hear ?"
Bill's eyes flickered briefly, and he gave a faint smile.
"No. I don't think so. I'm from London, Ontario." He raised his eyebrows. 
" Most people  speak English there."
I saw  Elmer grinning in the background. I felt myself flush. I felt a fool.I 
wanted to kick myself.  "I'm sorry. I'm showing my ignorance."
I saw Bill's eyes crinkle and he smiled. Obviously he did not mind my 
slip. He seemed very nice, and I noticed he was not wearing a ring. Just 
then Elmer and Bonnie got talking with Rev. Schuyler and I was left alone 
with Bill. I  found him easy to tralk to, and I asked him  how he had come 
to be in this part of the country.

Bill had been living in our area for two years. He was an engineer with 
Elmer's company and  through the company baseball team he had become  
buddies with Elmer.  We soon got talking about our interests and I found 
myself liking his manner. He was just over six feet, with dark hair and 
grey eyes. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Ellen looking at  me and 
trying to catch my attention. She  fluttered  her eyelashes, gave me a 
conspiratorial smile,  and a discreet thumbs up. I hastily looked away and 
only just managed to keep from blushing .

Bonnie had invited us all back home for a christening lunch. In the general 
scramble for transportation, Ellen and Roy took two of the girls, and I 
ended up in the back of Elmer's car with Bonnie's aunt and Bill. Bill said 
he had left his car at Bonnie's earlier. Bonnie's aunt was rather large and I 
found myself squeezed against Bill, but I did not mind. In fact I rather 
liked it. I thought it would be nice to be squeezed by a guy like that, in 
other places, and at future times. Feeling a bit mischievious, I wriggled 
carefully so my dress  'accidently' eased up to show  just a little more of 
my smooth stockinged knees and thighs. I had to take off my hat, but I 
didn't mind. I knew I looked very elegant with my new hairdo. 

We had no sooner got to Bonnie's than I got  drafted into setting the tables 
for a buffet, then handing out slices of the christening cake. By the time I 
was free, Bill was sitting in a corner with Elmer and another guy. There 
were no seats, or even any space at all  next to him. Ellen was walking 
around carrying the baby. She stoppped to talk to me and I took the baby 
again. I was stroking his little cheeks when I noticed Bill looking at me. 
He smiled and I smiled back to him. He got up and started to head in my 
direction. "Aha," said Ellen under her breath. She took the baby and left 
me alone with Bill. Was I mistaken, or had she squeezed my hand as she 
left ?
"I was hoping I could speak to you again," he said.
"So was I," I replied." Are enjoying yourself? What brings you to a 
christening? It doesn't seem like a guy thing."
He laughed. "I'm not sure. I was playing baseball with Elmer yesterday 
and he invited me. Maybe he thought I was lonely."
"Well" I said, "I hope you enjoyed the ceremony." Just then Bonnie passed 
by with a tray of appetizers. We both took one. 
"Actually, I came for the food, and the booze." He held up his wine glass. 
"And the company." He looked into my eyes and gave a half smile. My 
heart gave a jump.

Bill and I seemed to have a lot to talk about and when the lunch was over 
he offered me a lift back to my apartment.
I tried to act casual about it, but my heart was thumping. As we left I tried 
to avoid the looks of Bonnie and Ellen and the other girls. I knew they had 
been watching us.
"Hell," I thought, when we arrived at my apartment, " Do I invite him up 
or not ? What is the proper thing to do ? I want him up, but I know what 
may happen. What would he expect? What is a girl supposed to do ?"
My dilemma was solved when Bill said he had to get home, but he asked, 
"It's been nice speaking to you. Can I see you again ?"
"Yes,  I'd like to." My heart was beating furiously again. 
"How about Wednesday , about seven thirty ?  I can pick you up. Would 
you like to have dinner ?"
I was desperately trying to act nonchalant. "Sure, that would be nice."
"Okay, he said. " I'll See you then. I'll call for you at your apartment ?" 
"Sure , just outside  would be fine." I gave him a slight smile and turned  
to my  apartment, trying to give him a discreet flash of my legs as I did so, 
and  walk with just a little more sway in my hips.  He had waited until I 
opened the apartment door. I turned and gave him a small wave as he 
drove away.

I was barely in the door before Ellen was on the telephone.
"Well, you certainly monopolized our visitor. " 
"I'm sorry. I guess we got carried away "
"That's okay. I'm just kidding. So, are you seeing him again ?"
"Yes, next Wednesday." 
Ellen's scream of excitement just about deafened me. "He looks a hunk. 
Where are you going?"
"Out for dinner."
"Do you know where ?"
"I didn't ask. Does it matter ?"
"Well,  what you wear might depend on where you are going." 
I still felt pleased with myself, but now I was getting embarrassed. "I 
didn't think of that. Wouldn't that have been a bit rude ?"
"Well, it depends on how you bring it up. Tell you what , wear a plain 
black dress, but take along a fancy pin, and if it's not a dressy place you 
can slip the pin off in the washroom. Or, even better, I'll loan you the 
pearls Mom left me. They will look really classy with a black dress."

Bill picked me up just outside my apartment promptly at seven. Following 
Ellen's suggestion, I had pretended to be not quite ready, and to make  him 
wait five minutes. In fact I really had been  ready before he arrived , but I 
checked myself in the mirror to made sure my makeup was perfect. I was 
wearing a sleeveless black dress with Ellen's pearls, and  medium heeled 
shoes. I smoothed the dress on me and licked my lips nervously.  I hoped  
I looked good.
His eyes lit up when he saw me. "You look beautiful". He took my hand 
and squeezed it.
I felt I was walking on the air. "Thank you. It's nice to see you again, Bill."  
It passed briefly through my mind  that I  would never  have thought a 
year before that I would be pleased with a such a compliment, and from a  
man. 

He held the car door open for me and I slid in, gracefully, I hoped.
"So? Where are we going ?"  I asked, as we drove off . 
"Oh, it's a little restaurant that was recommended to me."

We began talking about what we had been doing in the last week. I felt 
just a little nervous, but it soon passed, and I realized how attracted I was 
to him. 

As it happened, the restaurant was not one of the city's fanciest, but it was 
still very nice, done up in an Italian style, wtth lots of nooks and crannies, 
so we had virtually a private area. I was dressed just right, and it bucked 
me up when I noticed a waiter giving me an appreciative glance as the 
maitre d' escorted us to our table. Bill was so easy to talk to and I was 
enjoying myself, except for the slight lingering fear that I would let drop 
some hint of my past .

He took my hand when we left the restaurant,  and we strolled back to his 
car. I was not surprised when he stopped the car on the way back. We got 
out and walked along beside the river. It was pleasantly warm. The river 
ran into a small lake,with  a paved walkway with some benches. We sat 
down on one , and he put his arm round me . In a few seconds we were 
kissing. I was happy. It just seemed so natural.

Bill and I dated regularly for several months, seeing each other more and 
more until we knew that we were very serious about each other. 
One weekend we took a trip to his parents' home in Ontario. I sat closely 
beside him in the front of the car. We were chatting about his family, then 
he made the comment I had been dreading since we met. "You never talk 
about when you were a kid, or your parents."
I tried to keep my voice light and steady, despite my thumping heart. "Not 
much to tell, Bill. They both died when I was eighteen.  I had to look after 
myself so I worked in a bookstore until I came here."  I was relieved when 
Bill left it at that. I think he sensed that I was somehow uncomfortable. I 
felt terrible that I had lied to him, but the truth would have been much 
worse.

I liked his parents. His mother was a friendly white-haired lady with  a 
wonderful supply of anecdotes. His dad had a gruffer manner. He was 
from Scotland originally, with still a trace of  an accent, that he said was 
Glasgow. Bill had warned me. "By the way, we will have separate 
bedrooms." I smiled and squeezed his arm.  I knew that 'nice girls' were 
supposed to wait until they were married, but I knew I desired him and he 
me.

The next weekend we were at a celebration party run by Bill's firm. They 
had just won a really big contract. There was dancing after the meal and as 
we swayed to the music I knew that I did not want to wait for him any 
longer. So, when Bill drove me back home,  I invited him in. I knew that  
we were both ready.  We kissed deeply,  his right hand began squeezing 
my breasts and  delicately pinching my  nipple through the thin fabric of 
my dress and my bra, sending shivers  over me. Then we   undressed each 
other,  slowly, almost seriously, wishing the time to last forever. He 
picked me up and laid me on my bed. He was kissing my lips, my neck 
and my breasts. His hands were caressing me, stroking over my rear, my 
hips, my belly and my waist . His own back was so strong and muscular. I 
felt  wetness between my legs  and with relief I knew I was ready for  him, 
as a woman should be for a man.When at last he thrust into me, I felt a 
sharp stab and I gasped. Then there was only bliss as he moved inside me.

I lay on my back, no longer troubled by the now distant memories of what 
I had once been, only concentrating on the delicious feelings  starting 
between my legs, and washing over my entire body util I was aware of 
nothing else.  It felt so right to have him in me. The waves of pleasure 
washed over me in increasing frequency and heightening intensity until I 
gasped and shuddered. I was clutching at him. I may even have screamed. 

When I woke up it was daytime. Lazily I turned over to embrace him, but 
Bill was not beside me.  I panicked  momentarily, but then I detected the  
delicious smell  of fresh coffee in the air.  Next thing I knew he was 
kissing me  and I was handed a tray with orange juice, coffee and two 
slices of buttered toast with jelly on the side.  
"Good morning! Did you sleep well ?" I sat up in bed, brushed the hair out 
of my eyes  and looked at him. My breasts were bare, but I did not care. In 
fact I felt rather smug about the slightly erotic, slightly dissolute look it  
gave me. Bill was only wearing a pair of shorts. Happily I noticed the  
bulge at the front.
"Mmm, yes,  I did. Thank you."  I blew him a kiss and started breakfast. 
"Where's yours ?"
"Just getting it." He disappeared into the kitchen. With dismay I  
remembered to check the bed sheet. There were one or two spots of blood 
on it, and  I made a mental note to wash the sheets as soon as I could. I 
was slightly sore between my legs, but it was nothing to the pleasure I was 
feeling, my sense of fulfilment.  Bill came back with another tray for 
himself and climbed into bed beside me. It just seemed so natural, the two 
of us in bed together, having breakfast. I noticed my dress was hung neatly 
over the back of  the chair, not on the floor where I had dropped it as we 
undressed each other. He had even picked up my underwear and stockings 
and laid them on the chair. 
"Thank you for tidying up my clothes, but I hope you are not a neatness 
freak?.
"No, it's just that I didn't want to trip over them."

Bill had even thought of  a napkin. I wiped my mouth with it."Thank you 
for breakfast. I hope you found everything okay. That was a nice thought." 
"Well, it was one way to show respect for you in the morning. You know 
what they say."
I put my own tray down, and took his from him. I reached for him. "I don't 
want respect from you just now. I just want you to make love to me 
again." 

Later we  showered together,  laughing as we washed each other. It felt so 
nice to have his soapy hands rub over my breasts, waist and hips. I washed 
him too. I even offeredto shave him but he drew the line at that. I did not 
feel like getting dressed right away so I put on a  pretty lacy bra and 
matching panties with my peignoir on top. Bill put on his T-shirt and 
shorts and we worked through the crossword in the Sunday paper and 
lazed around the rest  of the morning. I tried to feel guilty about not going 
to church, but I wasn't really. However I knew Ellen would miss me. She 
knew I was seeing Bill on Saturday night and I expected I would be 
getting a lot of questions on Monday morning at the store.  I opened a can 
of  soup for lunch then we dressed  and went out for  a walk, my arm 
linked in his. We had supper together in a small cafe. I wanted him to take 
me home and make love to me again all night but  he explained he had to  
to get to his place to pack for  a  trip to Detroit for some days. He drove 
me home and  we kissed goodnight . I loved the feel of his embrace.
"I'll be back on Friday. Do you want to go out for dinner ?"
"I'd love to." 
We kissed again and he left, leaving me feeling slightly depressed that I 
wouldn't see him for several days.

I guess  my weekend's activities showed at work on Monday.
Ellen gave me a conspiratorial smile on when I got into the store.
"Well, you look like the cat that got the cream. So how was your weekend 
? I noticed you didn't make church." 
I began to blush  and she gave me a broad grin. "Well ?" .
I told her about the weekend, omitting the more intimate details. She 
laughed and kissed me.

" That's wonderful. I'm so happy you had a good time. So tell me, is sex 
better as a man or a woman ?"
"How do you mean?" I tried to ask innocently.
"Come off it. I know that John Tully and Jane Farrel had got pretty pally 
last summer."
"How did you know that ?" I gasped.
"Oh, word gets around. You'd be surprised what women tell each other. 
So, was it better or not ?"
"I'm not sure. I think I've just about forgotten what it was like to be a man. 
I think I like it better now. It seems to be more fulfilling, intimate,  more 
of a glow all over."

Then Ellen's face got serious. "I suppose you know where this is leading ? 
I mean he's likely to ask you to marry him sometime. You've been going 
steady with him for some months now. Are you going to tell him about 
your past ?"
I felt my face go red again and I began to cry. I shook my head slowly. 
"No, I don't think so. He asked about it a week or  so ago, and I had to lie 
to him. But I don't feel guilty about it.  It's now as if my past belonged to 
another person. What do you think ?"
She shook her head. "It's your decision. So ?"
" I can't see what good it would do to tell Bill. In fact it would probably  
cause all sort of problems. My male past now seems like only a dim 
memory anyway." I was trying to be cautious. "I think I have got used to 
being a woman now, and anyway I seem to have no alternative. No, that's 
not right." I hesitated. " The truth is, I think I am finally, totally, happy 
that I am a woman."  My tears were now flowing freely out of happiness 
and relief at my admission.

Ellen hugged me. She was crying too. Then she  wiped her eyes and she 
spoke, seriously. "Another thing, I know it's being  very unromantic, but I 
hope you took precautions, against getting pregnant, I mean."
"No,  I'm sorry. We didn't, but I'd just finished my period and I should be 
okay." Actually I did not think it would be a disaster if I did get pregnant. 
Ellen was going  on. "Bill looks like a nice guy and he's very good-
looking, but make sure he uses a condom in the future." Then Ellen gave 
me a big smile. "By the way, I suppose you should know. I'm pregnant, 
about two months."  I squealed and hugged her again . I was overjoyed for 
her, and I was delighted with the idea that I was going to be an aunt.

Bill picked me up promptly on Friday. We were going out to one of the 
classier restaurants, and I had put on one of my smarter dresses, one that I 
knew he liked. I had even paid a visit to the salon to get my hair tidied up 
and my nails done. I was surprised when after dinner Bill drove into one of 
the parks and he suggested we go for a walk. We walked along slowly for 
a bit, me trying not to sink in the gravel path in my high heels, and we sat 
down on one of the benches. 
"I have something for you," and he handed me a small box. I think I knew 
what to expect, and I opened it, my heart pounding. It was a beautiful 
diamond engagement ring. I looked at him mischievously. "Well?"
Bill got down on one knee. "Rachel, I love you. Will you marry me ?" 
Dramatically he flung his arms wide.
Affecting the best Scarlett o'Hara imitation I could muster, I replied. 
"Indeed , sir, I would be honoured to." Then, giggling, I let him slip the 
ring on my finger and we kissed. I was so happy.

Several weekends later Ellen and Roy invited us over for dinner, along 
with Lois and Joe, now her husband.  Ellen was now about four months 
pregnant, her figure just beginning to show. She looked absolutely 
beautiful in her maternity dress.  After dinner, Lois and I helped Ellen 
wash up in the kitchen. I was drying so  I carefully took off my beautiful 
new ring and laid it aside. I had felt really smug showing it off to Lois. 
Ellen had already seen it at work. While we tidied up we chatted happily 
about Ellen's pregnancy, Lois' new job, the tentative plans for  our 
wedding. In the background I could  hear the three men  talking about 
Joe's police work and then  fortunes of the baseball team. I was amused  
thinking about it. A year previously I would have been with the men. Now 
I was completely happy to be chatting with Ellen and Lois. After we had 
got the dishes put away we rejoined the men. We were talking over some 
coffee and the conversation got to the antique business and  old books.

"Oh,  I forgot," said Joe. He got up and looked in the pocket of his coat. 
"There was something down at the police offices might interest you. We 
were clearing old stuff that had been found and there was an  old book. I 
thought you might be interested in it as it looks really old. " He brought 
out  a package and unwrapped it. I felt my blood turning to ice. It was the 
book. He handed it to Ellen. She stared at it, then she handed it to me. Her 
face was expressionless, but she had gone pale.
"Where did you get the book ?" I asked."I mean, how did the police get it 
?"  I was  trying to keep my voice relaxed. 

Joe thought for a few seconds. "Do you remember that  car that was found 
burned more than a year ago?  No, maybe it was just a bit before you got 
here, Rachel. Well,  a guy from Chicago was killed in a car crash just 
outside town. It was a bad one. The car was badly burned, and there wasn't 
much left of the guy.  When  the investigating officers were  looking 
around the crash site,  they picked up this old book nearby. We don't know 
if it belonged to the poor guy who died in the crash, or if someone just 
dumped it there. Anyway, nobody has claimed it and we want to clear 
some space. You are welcome to it for the store, if you want."

I  stared at the old binding, yellow and discoloured, thinking of the trouble 
and changes that the mildewed pages  had caused me, the great changes in 
my life. My heart was pounding.
"Thank's Joe," I said casually. " Ellen and I can look at it at the store 
tomorrow." I handed it back to Ellen, but she stopped me with her hand. 
"Why don't you look after it overnight ?"
"Okay," I said. 
My voice was hoarse. I pretended something had got caught in my throat, 
and I coughed.  Ellen was looking at me apprehensively. I made small talk 
for a few minutes more, then I pretended to stretch. 
"Gee,  I feel tired. I guess I'd better be going."
Bill drove me home. He squeezed my hand." Anything wrong, Rachel ?" 
he asked.
"No, not really." I tried to answer lightly." Maybe it's just thinking of that 
accident."

I did not hear from Ellen that night, although I was half expecting to. 
Maybe she did not want Roy to hear our conversation. I  hardly slept, 
thinking of the book. I desperately wanted to look at it, but I needed Ellen 
with me for support.

The next day I took the book with me to the store. The stove in the back 
office was still alight, and I threw a couple of logs into it.  I laid the book 
on the desk,  unwrapped it and looked at it for several minutes. I heard 
Ellen come it. She gave me a kiss on my cheek, put her arm around my 
shoulder and squeezed me. With a deep breath, I opened the book up,  the 
pages fluttering in my shaking hands. It was definitely the same book. 
Turning the pages I could even find the spell responsible for my 
transformation. My head spinning, my heart thumping, my stomach in 
turmoil, I turned another  page. There it was, the incantation that could 
reverse the spell. I sat back in my chair. I was almost fainting. I pointed 
the page to Ellen. 

"Well ?" said Ellen .
I tried to speak, but I couldn't.
"Rachel," said Ellen softly. She squeezed my shoulder. "Whatever you 
decide is up to you. It's your life. You have had the greatest changes. Just 
let me know so that I am not in earshot if you decide to use the reverse 
spell. I am a woman, I'm happy that I'm a woman. I am pregnant, I want 
the baby and I don't want any problems. Also, I like my appearance and I 
want to keep it."

I thought of the trauma of those terrible days a year ago, the terror and 
horror as I discovered myself in a new body, my long struggle to accept, 
then work with the tumultuous changes, my life now more circumscribed 
as a woman, the greater freedom of men. I thought of my weaker body. I 
thought of the nuisance of the monthly periods and cramps. I thought of 
the risks and discomfort of bearing  a child. But I  thought of the intimate 
friendships and support of women, the pleasure I had found, the sheer fun 
I had eventually discovered in being female. I thought of the happiness 
and comfort I had found in Bill's arms, and our hopes for the future, my 
desire to have his children.  I took the book and threw it into the wood 
stove.   

The End


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