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Transgender / Transformation stories in English
I didn't know it at the time, but while I was enjoying one of the
happiest days of my life, I was being cursed.

It was a fantastically beautiful spring day in Boulder. Even without
the enhancement of magical weather control, I think it would have
been beautiful. The skies were virtually cloudless (rain was only
permitted at night) and the temperature was warm without being hot.
It was shorts and halter-top weather for girls, and the coeds
strolling to their afternoon classes were a sight to behold. 

And I had beheld one at lunch that day. Becky Samuelson, so lovely
that she was truly a Kappa among Kappas, had consented to go out with
me Saturday night. Oh, I knew she had just broken up with her latest
boyfriend, and I had no illusions about how long I would last with
her, but Becky had a reputation that involved going all the way with
all her dates. Saturday was truly going to be a night to remember. In
a little over forty-eight hours, I was going to get laid. And no, it
wasn't the first time, but it happened infrequently enough that it
was an exciting prospect.

And even better than Becky's consent (if such a thing were
possible), I had aced my History of Magic class. Professor Morley had
actually given me an A on my final paper. Since there was no test in
the class, I could coast for the last three weeks. I really didn't
even have to attend lectures but I would. It had actually been an
interesting class. Professor Morley was not a particularly talented
wizard, but his commitment to the fledgling field of magic had made
him one of the most respected names in the discipline and had made
the University of Colorado one of the acknowledged leaders in the
field. Under his direction, the department of Magic had attracted
some of the top magical instructors and students in the world.

I hadn't expected to do very well in the class. My magical aptitude
according to the Webster-Kline scale was only twelve. That meant I
couldn't even do decent card tricks. You had to have a score of at
least ninety before you could take any technical magic classes. To
major in the field, you had to have a WK score of at least
one-twenty. That's how I ended up in History of Magic. It was the
only three-hour course I could take which would meet my Magic
requirement. 

To my surprise, it had turned out to be an interesting course. I was
only barely out of elementary school when Peter Webster and Avis
Kline discovered and quantified magical essence in it's virus form. Of
course, even they had no idea that it couldn't be contained in a lab.
They had done their research under the auspices of the Pentagon. The
idea was to create a magically adept corps of soldiers to aid in
combat. All it took was one lab technician who got a little careless
and the virus got loose. It infected both Webster and Kline and they
infected others. Within a year, nearly everyone in the world had been
exposed to the virus. So much for military secrets.

Unlike other viral infections, this one was something everyone
wanted to get. Its symptoms were mild - just a slight sore throat and
a little aching in the joints. But once contracted, the virus attuned
it's "victim" to the magical forces which had always been there but
had been inaccessible to most people.

"Milder, natural cases of the virus explain shamans and other
magical practitioners," Professor Morley would explain from the
podium. "But these cases almost always involved a single individual
who was probably already attuned to magic. What Webster and Kline did
was improve upon the virus; they made it able to survive in air and
spread." He had been a terrific instructor. As Department Chairman,
he didn't need to teach the course, but he did it because he enjoyed
it. He had made his subject come alive. He energetically described
the rise of magic into the incredible force for good we now enjoyed.

In the last five years, magic had become a potent force in the
world. We can influence the weather, cure troublesome diseases, solve
crimes - you name it. Of course, it's an infant science, but we're
learning. It seems as if there's a new magical discovery every week -
some important and others not. 

The only downer was that I realized that for all the wonders magic
promised, I was forever locked out of the growing field. That doesn't
mean I wouldn't have majored in biology if my WK score had been high
enough to major in magic, but it would have been nice to have the
option. Besides, biologists who could wield magic were making
incredible progress in communicating with animals. There had even
been advances in modifying certain species - even raising their
intelligence and that sort of thing.

None of that was for me, though. Back in high school, I really
looked forward to getting the virus. I had dreams of contracting the
virus, raising my magical ability though the roof, and becoming a
first class wizard. But then I took the WK test and... Zip. Nada.
Nothing. I had all the magical ability of a rock. It wasn't all that
uncommon. Thirty percent of people who contracted the virus
demonstrated no magical skills. Another forty percent could bend
spoons and that sort of thing but had no practical skills. Only a
very few had what could be called useable talents. I think I would
have been satisfied just to be able to bend a spoon. 

But so what if I couldn't use magic? It was a beautiful day, I had a
date coming up with Becky Samuelson, and I was acing the course I had
worried about the most. What could go wrong?

That was a question I should never have asked myself. In the midst
of happy thoughts, my body unexpectedly shuddered. It was like having
my own little personal earthquake. It seemed as if every part of my
body involuntarily trembled. Then, before I had a chance to really
panic, the trembling went away, leaving me swaying from side to side
as I stood there.

"Hey, Mitch, are you okay?" a voice called from behind me. I turned
to see a very concerned look on the face of my best friend and
roommate, Warren Hobbs. 

"Yeah, I'm fine," I replied, trying as much to convince myself as
Warren. 

"You don't look fine," he said with concern. 

Since he had upon occasion held my head over the toilet while I
barfed up about a gallon of beer, he was something of a judge of my
condition. To be honest, I wasn't fine. My stomach was churning and I
was a little dizzy. Finally, unable to fight it any longer, I plopped
to the ground, my class notebook which contained my A paper spilling
out of it. Warren rushed to collect the papers before the light
spring breeze blew them away.

"My god!" he exclaimed as he saw the grade on the paper. "You did it!"

"Yeah," I managed to agree weakly. "Professor Morley really liked it.
He said I might even be able to get it published."

Warren frowned at a smudge of dirt that had marred the front page. He
absently made a magical sign and dissolved the smudge at once. I
sighed. Even Warren had some magical power, even if it was limited to
simple things like cleaning dirt off my paper. I would have killed
just to have his simple powers.

"Yeah, well maybe so," he allowed. He had already read the paper. I
had shown it to him before I turned it in. I knew he wasn't terribly
impressed with it. It dealt with the development of transformation
spells to cure human ailments. It was a relatively new field, but in
the past few years, spells had been devised to cure or at least curb
most serious human ailments. I think Warren didn't like it because he
had once planned to be a doctor. Now that career was closed to him
since his magical skills were far too weak to be of much use in
medicine. The paper was a reminder of that. Now he was a business
major who would probably go home to Omaha and help run his father's
multi-million dollar consulting company - all the time making a nice
fat salary. Yeah, poor Warren.

The paper had actually been inspired by my former girlfriend Amy.
She had the magical skills to eventually be a doctor. In fact, that
was her plan. She had helped me with my initial research but that was
all. We had broken up in February - just before Valentine's Day. So I
had written most of the paper on my own. Bummer.

Warren seemed to be reading my thoughts, but I knew that was far
beyond his magical abilities. "Hey, maybe you should tell Amy. It
might be a chance for you to get back together with her," he
suggested.

"No," I replied, shaking my head. "That's off for good."

And it was, too. I had been the one to break it off. I had liked Amy
Witherspoon - I mean I really liked her. But she had a strong magical
talent. There was no way in the world I would be able to keep up with
her. I liked to think I was being noble, but I wasn't. The fact was,
I was just a little bit frightened of Amy. It's funny, but there was
a time when a woman sometimes feared getting too involved with a man
because, being bigger and stronger, the man might hurt her. Those
days were pretty much gone now, but a new form of abuse had reared
its ugly head - magical abuse. Sex didn't matter now since masculine
strength could be counterbalanced with magical ability. It was a
little hard for an aggressive man to hurt a weaker woman when she
possessed the ability to paralyze him. In our brave new world, it
was actually more likely that a wife might abuse a husband.

That wasn't too far fetched. On the whole, women were far better at
magic than men. It seemed to be at least partially gene linked. Women
on the average scored twenty points higher than men on the WK tests.
A man might have the physical strength, but he could be powerless
against a spell-casting woman.

So there it was: Amy frightened me. She had been wonderful at first,
but over the nearly six months we had dated, she became more and more
dangerous as far as I was concerned. It had started just before
Thanksgiving. We were at a fraternity party and I had decided along
with some of my fraternity brothers to light up a cigar. Amy hated
smoking - or at least she hated my smoking. Even though magic was in
the process of making cancer pretty much a thing of the past, she
said kissing me after I smoked was like kissing an ashtray. But I
defied her that night, slowly puffing on that cigar.

"You should be careful," she said calmly, pushing a golden lock of
hair behind her ear. How was I to know that was the start of a spell?

"Why's that?" I said, taking a deep drag on the cigar. Then I felt
something hot near my lips. As I felt a burning sting on my lips, I
spit the cigar out of my mouth. When it hit the floor, it was nothing
but dead ash.

"You might get burned," she said with a smirk.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" I yelled, practically
bringing the party to a quiet halt. "You might have burned my face."

She shrugged. "I could heal it."

Our argument was interrupted when one of my fraternity brothers came
over to talk to us. That effectively ended the discussion, but as the
evening wore on, I found myself still agitated by the incident. She
might have hurt me, I realized, and although she could probably heal
me as she had said, I would have experienced a lot of pain. And all
of that just to prove a point.

Things had gone downhill from there. We continued to date, but at the
risk of using an ironic turn of phrase, the magic had gone out of our
relationship. I shouldn't have been surprised. The lovelorn columns
in every paper were filled with mixed relationships between the
magically adept and the magically deprived. They seldom worked, it
seemed. 

So with considerable trepidation, I broke off our relationship just
before Valentine's Day. She had been calmer about it than I thought.
I was grateful for that. I thought we managed to at least part as
friends. Little did I know...

Warren walked me back to the fraternity house. I felt okay, but I was
happy for his help. It must have been a stress reaction, I thought.
Or rather the aftermath of stress. Too much excitement in one day had
probably set off a little extra charge of adrenaline. 

I charged up to the third floor room I shared with Warren and dived
onto my bed, closing my eyes.

"Are you sure you're okay?" Warren asked with concern.

"Sure, I'm fine," I replied. "I'm just a little tired." I was telling
the truth. I was tired. Even the short walk back to the house had
worn me out. All I wanted to do was sleep. I hoped I wasn't coming
down with something.

"You want me to wake you for dinner?"

"Nope," I managed to say, my reply muffled by the pillow I had buried
my face in. "Not hungry."

That was my last clear thought as I drifted off to sleep.

Thursday morning came with Warren shaking me gently. "Rise and shine,
pal."

As I grunted and rolled out of bed, I was somewhat relieved. Whatever
had bothered me the night before seemed gone now. I felt like my old
self. It must have been nothing more than a mild virus, I thought to
myself. What a relief! I would have hated to come down with something
serious that would have kept me from a little action with Beck on
Saturday night. Here it was, Thursday, and I felt fine. Saturday
would still be on.

Warren suggested I take a couple of aspirins, just to be on the safe
side. I took his advice and rolled right on through Thursday as if
nothing had happened. Of course with finals coming up in a few days,
I had plenty to keep myself occupied without worrying about the
aftereffects of a little virus. Little did I know that my problem on
Wednesday was merely a foretaste of what was to come. While I had no
inkling when I got up on Friday that there was something wrong,
little clues began to crop up. But how could I have anticipated what
was to come? 

"I need a haircut," I told Warren that morning, staring into the
mirror.

As he gathered his notes for class, he laughed, "You always say that.
As it is, the only guy in the house with shorter hair is Ralph."

Yeah, and Ralph was in ROTC. With my short hair, I'm sure some people
thought I was, too. Well, I had just always liked short hair. That
way, I didn't have to mess with it much. That Friday, though, it was
actually threatening to hang over my ears. And it looked a little
different, too. It appeared - how to say it? Shinier. Yes, shinier
was the word. My hair was normally a dull brown. That was one of the
reasons I kept it short. It wasn't one of my best features. I had yet
to have any girl want to run her fingers through it. Now, although
still brown, it had picked up a sheen that made it look almost bright
with just a touch of red or maybe dark blonde in it. It had to be my
new shampoo, I reasoned. Maybe all the hype on that stuff was for
real.

I got dressed quickly in a dark blue fraternity T-shirt and a pair of
cutoffs. It looked like a nice warm day, so shorts were certainly in
order. Then I headed off to class. 

At the time, I considered that day just another normal day. My
classes were moderately interesting, but my mind really wasn't on
them. I was a little groggy; I had had trouble sleeping Thursday
night - probably because of all the additional sleep I had had the
night before, and the fact that it was a beautiful spring day didn't
help much. 

The only indication I had that something was amiss was the sudden
heightened sensitivity of my skin, but that wasn't enough of a
problem to set off alarms. It seemed as if every square inch of my
skin itched. It was a mild itch - not the kind where you feel the
need to scratch it until it turns red and raw. The worst of it came
from my chest and crotch, causing me to wonder if I was allergic to
the laundry detergent I had been using. In class, I scratched at my
chest, carefully avoiding the nipples, which seemed particularly
sensitive, but decorum prevented me from scratching my balls which
seemed to itch persistently.

As my last class ended, I stayed behind until everyone else had left
the room. Then I scratched furiously at my balls until I got at least
momentary relief. I also scratched my legs and was suddenly alarmed
as I noticed small amounts of leg hair embedded in my fingernails.
Jeez, I hadn't meant to scratch that hard, I thought. I decided to go
back to the house and take a long shower. Maybe that would get rid of
whatever was bothering my skin.

It did help, I thought with relief as the water coursed over me. I
closed my eyes and let the water sooth my troubled skin. The itching
was going away, slowly but surely. I sighed with relief. Getting out
of the shower, I felt like a new man. I toweled down briskly, feeling
great until I noticed a problem - my towel was covered with hair. I
looked down at my body. 

Now, I have been as hairy as an ape since I was a junior in high
school. I had to shave twice a day if I wanted to look well groomed.
Every part of my body with the exception of the soles of my feet and
the palms of my hands were at least somewhat hirsute. Yet here I was,
shedding hair faster than a longhaired cat. Oh, I still had plenty of
hair on my body. In fact, I was still hairier than most guys, but
there was still no denying that I was losing hair. 

I wondered with unease what could be causing it. Was I allergic to
something? Or worse yet, was I ill? In the back of my head, I
realized that many of the things that could cause my hair to fall out
were serious - even fatal. The back of my head? My head!. Oh my god,
was I losing the hair on my head? I didn't want to be bald. Bald guys
are old - or at least they look that way. Girls usually were turned
off by baldness; I was sure of that. And what about Becky Samuelson?
What would she say when I picked her up, my head as smooth as a
bowling ball. With trepidation I reached up and touched my hair,
expecting to pull loose an entire handful of brown hair. 

I was relieved when my hand came back empty. Whatever was causing my
hair loss was not affecting the hair on my head. As my panic level
dived downward, I noted again that I could use a haircut.

Something was wrong with me, I told myself as I toyed with my food at
dinner. Now I was no fool. Magic curses were a fact of life, and I
wouldn't put it past one of my fraternity brothers to use one for a
little practical joke. Many of the guys, unlike me, had a little
magical ability. Usually, it wasn't enough to be of practical value,
but it was great for playing pranks. So maybe I was sick and maybe I
was cursed. Great. But no one had owned up to cursing me. 

"Hey, man, you gonna eat that meatloaf?" Dustin asked me from across
the table.

"Uh... no," I replied, pushing the plate in his direction. I just
wasn't hungry.

"Thanks, man," he said, stuffing half a slice of meatloaf into his
mouth at once, leaving only a small corner of his mouth unblocked.
That was where he stuffed a slice of bread. Dustin was something of
an intramural jock, so I supposed he would burn off the calories. It
almost made me sick though, to sit there watching him stuff his face.

"Still under the weather?" Warren asked from the end of the table.

"Yeah," I agreed. Jeez, apparently I looked so bad Warren could tell
from most of the way down the table. "It must be that virus I had."

"Or a curse," Fergus suggested from across the table. We all looked
at him. Fergus was our duty weirdo. Every fraternity seems to have
one. He looked at our skeptical gazes and explained, "Last summer in
Chicago, there was this guy I knew. He put the moves on this girl,
see? So she got all turned off but he wouldn't stop, you know? And
anyhow, she cursed him. He felt like shit for a couple of days."

"And that's all?" Phil asked from his seat next to Fergus.

"Hell, no it wasn't all, man," Fergus said. "He couldn't get it up
after that. He had to go to a wizard - a specialist no less. It set
him back a bundle."

"So is he okay?" somebody else asked nervously. After all, in an age
of magic this was sounding a lot like every guy's nightmare.

"Yeah, I guess so," Fergus said.

"What do you mean 'I guess so'?" I asked. The last thing I wanted was
a date with Becky with no steam in the pipe.

Fergus shrugged. "I mean I guess so. Hey, man, I didn't fuck him. If
he told me it was okay after that, I'll just have to take him at his
word."

Was I cursed? I began to seriously wonder as I climbed into bed that
night. And if so, who had done it and what was the nature of the
curse? I still didn't think it really was a curse. It seemed more
like a virus or something. A virus could make you feel weird, make
you tired, and hit suddenly. I exhibited all of those symptoms. Of
course, I realized darkly, a curse could do all of that, too. 

But it had to be just a virus.

It had to be.

Next question: on the offhand chance that it was a curse, who could
have done it to me? Well, the answer to that wasn't as easy as it
sounded. Curses could actually be accidental and often were. It was
like that old science fiction movie, Forbidden Planet, with its
"monsters from the id." People often exercised "curses" without even
knowing it. Comments like "I wish he knew how I felt" could manifest
themselves in strange ways. Of course, unintentional curses were
usually very mild, resulting in little disorders such as a sneezing
fit or, in my case, a little virus. And I couldn't think of anyone
who would dislike me enough to intentionally curse me. I hadn't
pissed anybody off in quite a while.

But if it was a curse, what would it do? Well, for starters, it
couldn't be too bad. Why? Well, say you had magical powers and were
feeling particularly mean and nasty. You decide to give someone a
cancerous tumor. Fine, but how do you create cancerous cells? Without
a detailed knowledge of how cancer works, you could never recreate it
in someone. It was fairly easy to make cancer cells disappear (if you
had magical talent), but creating them was something else again.

So in conclusion, it was likely it wasn't a curse, but if it was, it
shouldn't be too bad. I kept repeating that as my mantra as I slowly
fell asleep.

I seldom remembered my dreams, but I remembered the one I had that
night. It started out great. I was out on a date with Becky. We were
apparently going to a fraternity formal at some nameless hotel. She
was looking fine in a short white dress that exposed both her long,
slender legs and a hint of her full, ripe breasts. We were on the
dance floor together when the dream got weird. I looked down at her
and noticed something was wrong. Her hair was short - almost a
crewcut. And her chest had become flat. But if her chest was flat,
what was that pushing out? Oh shit, she had a... I looked away
from... her and down at myself. I gasped in horror as I stared at my
shirt. It was bulging forward from the pressure of what were
obviously breasts. Something was tickling on my neck. I reached up
with suddenly delicate fingers to feel long hair. And then...

...I woke up. I was breathing heavily and soaked in sweat. My mind in
a state of panic, I reach down to my chest and discovered to my
sudden relief that it was flat and hairy. I sighed. The dream had
been so real. I scratched my head. Well, one thing in the dream was
right - my hair was too long. But it wasn't long as it had been in
the dream. It was just getting a bit too shaggy. I again reminded
myself to get a haircut and drifted back to sleep.

Everything seemed back to normal on Saturday. I was continuing to
lose a little body hair, but it seemed like nothing serious. Still, I
resolved to get it checked out if it continued. The itching was
coming back again, but not as bad as before. My self-diagnosis led me
to conclude I had some type of skin disorder probably brought on by
an allergy - or maybe by the virus. It was the only reasonable answer.

Then at last it was Saturday night. Becky and I decided to see a
movie. It was one of those chick flicks that all the girls went for -
something with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. It was about a girl who
was a well-known sorceress and a guy with no magical ability. It
reminded me a little of my relationship with Amy, only unlike that
relationship, this one had a happy ending. 

Becky had curled up in the theater seat next to me. It seemed as if
her reputation was well-deserved. Her hands were moving over my
crotch and mine were in her bra. It was going to be a great night.
Then, as the final credits began to roll, she whispered, "I have a
key to a friend's apartment. She's out of town this weekend."

Yes, it promised to be a better-than-great night.

It wasn't, though.

"Don't worry, stud," Becky said with a wan smile as she lay back on
the bed. "Everybody has a problem every now and then."

I didn't. Or at least, I didn't until then. Here we were. I had taken
her to the sexiest movie I could find. Then, we had headed back to
her friend's apartment. Since she was out of town for the weekend, it
was all ours. Becky had been more than willing to go, even though it
was a first date. I was busy thanking my lucky stars - all the rumors
about Becky were absolutely true! Then...

...nothing. The big zero. The wilted weenie.

A couple of days earlier, I had been hard as a rock just thinking
about Becky. Now, here I was, in bed with her and no trace of a hard
on. It wasn't that I hadn't been turned on by her - at least inside
my head. Becky could make any guy hard. Well, almost any guy. I
almost felt like crying.

"I'm... I'm sorry," I mumbled, sitting on the side of the bed. I
couldn't even look her in the eye.

She rose up to a sitting position next to me. "Hey, there's other
things we can do."

"Like what?" I asked, looking at her naked body while deciding that I
would sell my very soul for a Class One hard on.

She grinned, dragging me down until my head was stuffed into her
crotch. "Like this, stud," she laughed.

Well, at least Becky was satisfied," I reminded myself as I dropped
her off at her sorority house. Not that it helped me, I realized as I
slipped my little Mazda into gear. I hated to think of what I would
say when I got back to the fraternity house. All the Saturday night
dateless crowd would be waiting for guys like me, trying to live
vicariously from our experiences. There was only one thing I could do. 

"A gentleman never tells," I told them with mock indignity. Then I
rushed off to my room while the brothers whooped it up figuring I had
scored big time. 

Even Warren wanted to know. He had dropped his date off earlier.
Warren was from Omaha but his girlfriend he had dated since high
school was in Colorado, too. Then, at Christmas, they broke up. She
was going to school in Greeley at Northern Colorado and had found a
guy there. So since the beginning of the semester, Warren had flitted
from girl to girl, never finding one that satisfied him. Obviously,
whoever he had been out with that night hadn't been interesting
enough to keep out late, for he was already stripped down to his
skivvies relaxing when I walked in.

"So how did it go?" he asked, looking up from a Stephen King novel he
had been reading.

"Okay," I said, trying to sound as noncommittal as possible. I really
didn't want to talk about it. I hoped my roommate would take the hint.

He didn't. "You just got back from a date with Becky Samuelson and
all you can say is that it was okay?" He looked at me with concern.
"There's something wrong, isn't there?"

I hadn't cried since fifth grade, but I felt like it just then. "It's
just the aftermath of the flu," I told him, not really believing it.

"The flu doesn't make your hair fall out, pal," he replied.

I looked at him with alarm.

"It's no big secret," he explained. "Just look around. You're
shedding more than a longhaired cat. Except on your head. You could
use a haircut there."

I opened my shirt to display a chest that still had plenty of hair.
"And there's a lot more where that came from," I reminded him. Sure,
I still had plenty of hair, but I had lost a lot, too. Who was I
trying to fool anyway?

"Face it, Mitch, it's a curse."

"Bullshit!"

Warren looked me in the eye, his expression serious. "No, it's a
curse. Sometimes I think you are completely oblivious to magic. Maybe
that comes from not being able to practice it. In any case,
something's going on. You need to see a doctor - or maybe a wizard."

The doctors over at the health center were mediocre at best. The
standard joke on campus was that if you were a guy, they'd just tell
you that you had mono and if you were a girl, they'd tell you that
you were pregnant. In my experience, it wasn't far from the truth. As
for a wizard, I didn't know any very well.

Then I thought about Professor Morley. He wasn't really a practicing
wizard, but he was one of the best authorities on magic in the
country. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to talk to him about it, I thought.
It was better than sitting around waiting for all of my hair to fall
out. I resolved to talk to him after classes on Monday.

"A curse?" Professor Morley asked with a faint smile. He was leaning
back in his office chair, his paunch causing his open dress shirt to
bulge a little at the button line. He fiddled nervously with his gray
beard as he looked at me over the top of his glasses. "What makes you
think you have a curse, son?"

"As I told you," I said, "my hair is starting to fall out. Look at
this." I thrust my arm at him. Only yesterday it had been covered
with a fair quantity of dark wiry hair. Now, the hair was sparse and
turning so light in color that it almost blended into my tanned skin.

He looked, but commented, "I'm afraid I have no basis for comparison.
But just for the sake of argument, Mitch, let's say that you have
lost some body hair. That doesn't mean you've been cursed. It could
be something entirely natural. Besides, why curse you to lose body
hair and not the hair on the top of your head? Looking at your head,
I'd say you have nothing to worry about."

He had me there. If anything, my hair on my head felt thicker than
usual. Reluctantly, I pressed on. "There are some other things,
Professor. I... I nearly passed out a few days ago."

He looked a bit more concerned. "Oh?"

"Yes," I confirmed with a nod. "And then, there was this girl. I
couldn't... I mean..."

The smile was there again. "You couldn't get it up?"

I felt my face redden. "Yes, that's it. Professor, what's wrong with
me?"

He shrugged. "Probably nothing magical. Still, we know so little
about magic. It's such a new science. We don't understand all the
rules just yet. Mitch, you've been doing very well in my class. I
hate to see a fine student like you so distressed. If you don't mind
spending a little money, I know a local doctor here who has been
fairly successful at diagnosing magical maladies. Would you agree to
see him?"

I agreed in a heartbeat. Professor Morley called Dr. Barnes and
arranged for a physical the next day. That seemed almost magical in
itself. Usually, doctors were backed up for days in my experience.
Apparently Professor Morley had a good working relationship with the
physician.

It stood to reason, I thought as I walked slowly back to the
fraternity house. Magic could be used to induce illness - or even
death. No magic expert would proceed though without first making
certain that any health problem wasn't natural. As Professor Morley
had said, magic was a new science. Using it unwisely when a simple
antibiotic might have been the answer was downright dangerous. I
actually began to feel a little better. Whatever was wrong with me,
physically or magically, I was finally doing something about it.

So suddenly it was Tuesday - nearly a week since I had almost passed
out. I had had one of the worst weeks of my life, worrying about what
was wrong with me. There seemed to be no new developments, but I
continued to feel weak and tired. It was a general feeling, from my
head to my toes. I literally dragged myself to classes on Tuesday,
and I didn't hear a word any of my instructors said, so worried was I
about my physical. I had actually begun to worry that the problem
might be physical. Was I dying? Was it something even magic couldn't
cure? I was a nervous wreck when I presented myself to the doctor.

Dr. Barnes was good at making you feel at ease, though. A ruggedly
handsome man of perhaps forty, he shook my hand in the small
examination room and introduced himself as Rick Barnes rather than
Dr. Barnes. Pushing his short blonde hair out of his face, he
listened carefully as I described my symptoms.

Have you ever noticed how people tend to downplay their ailments once
they get in the doctor's office? It's as if by doing so, they can
convince the doctor that there's really nothing wrong with them.
Then, when the doctor tells them that it doesn't sound very serious,
they are relieved, as if there is magic in the words.

I'm no different. In spite of the concerns that had kept me awake
over the weekend, I began with, "Well, I probably shouldn't even
bother you with this, but..."

Dr. Barnes was very good. He listened well and asked good questions.
I found myself trusting him as I truthfully answered each question
about my mysterious condition. Had I eaten anything unusual? Did I
have a history of this or that in my family? Then came the question
that shocked me.

"Are you gay?"

"What?"

"Mitch, are you gay?"

I could feel my face flush. "No, I'm not gay. Why are you even asking
that?" I queried indignantly.

He shrugged. "It's just a question."

But it wasn't just a question. He had asked that for some purpose.
Was there something I had said or done that made him wonder? I looked
at him for some clue. Then I realized what the clue had been. I had
already been staring at him. Oh, it was unconscious on my part, but I
had been staring at him nonetheless. I remembered my thoughts about
him when he had walked into the room. I had described him in my mind
as being "ruggedly handsome." It was an odd description for me to
make. Why would I care if he was handsome or not? What was happening
to me?

"I understand you told Professor Morley that you thought you had been
cursed," he said.

"Well, yes," I admitted. "But I don't know. I mean, what kind of a
curse could do what's happening to me?"

He didn't bother to answer my question. "I'd like to take a few tests."

I shifted uncomfortably. So there was definitely something wrong with
me. "When?"

"Now, if you have the time."

And so the process began. For the next hour, I was poked, prodded,
and put through my paces. Blood samples were taken and measurements
of every part of my body were made. And yes, he measured that, too. 

As I waited pretending to read a month old Time in the waiting room,
my mind was really on what I would be told when the tests came back.
Maybe I was dying. There I was, a mere twenty-one years old with my
life before me. Was it cancer? Sure, I knew magic had meant most
cancers could be cured if caught in time, but it could be a long -
even painful - process. And maybe my earlier hypothesis had been
correct. Maybe it was a curse. But what kind of curse? Was it deadly?
Could it be stopped? I tried in vain to read my magazine, but found I
was unable to concentrate. I had to content myself with staring
mindlessly at the pictures.

The Doctor had told me the results would only take thirty minutes.
There was a lab right in the building with the finest in technical
and magical staff. Ah, the wonders of modern science since magic had
stepped in to lend a hand. I supposed it was better than waiting on
needles and pins for days. Still, the thirty minutes felt like thirty
hours.

"Mr. Mitchell?"

I practically jumped to the ceiling when my name was called. I looked
in the nurse's pretty blue eyes for some clue as to the results. Was
it my imagination, or was she looking at me with... pity? No, it
wasn't pity; it was curiosity. It was as if I had just landed in
front of her from another planet. What had they discovered?

I was ushered into Dr. Barnes' office. It was comfortable, furnished
in warm colors, but I felt a cold chill as I sat opposite his desk
while he studied what had to be my test results. 

He looked up at me. His eyes had the same curious look his nurse had
displayed. "Well, Mitch," he began smoothly, "we've come up with some
interesting results."

I actually felt a little relieved. If I had a fatal condition, I
didn't think he would have used the word "interesting." Of course, to
a doctor, a fatal condition could always be described as
"interesting."

"Do you know anything about genetics?" he asked me.

"I'm a biology major," I told him proudly. "I have six hours in
genetics courses. And the subject comes up in most of the other
classes, too."

He nodded. "Good. Then you understand the fundamentals. We were
making pretty good headway in genetic research even a couple of
decades ago. Then, with magical talents in play, genetic research got
turned on its head about three years ago. Gene splicing got to be a
snap. But I've never seen anything like this."

He shoved my lab results over to me. I looked down the sheet,
understanding most of it until... I looked at the results again.
There had to be a mistake. This wasn't possible. I looked up at Dr.
Barnes. He nodded again. "That's right. Your genetic structure has
been altered at the most basic level. Every trace of the Y chromosome
has been removed from your body. Technically, you are a woman at the
genetic level."

I looked down at myself. This wasn't possible, I thought to myself. I
looked like... me. I was still Austin James Mitchell - Mitch to my
friends. I looked as male as I had ever looked. 

I looked at the doctor with disbelief. "Wait a minute. That can't be
done. I mean even magic can't do that... can it?"

He sighed. "I wouldn't have thought so - at least not until today.
When you told me you thought you had been cursed, I was looking for
something a little more modest. You mentioned you had lost some body
hair. That's really a fairly common curse. In fact it's a growing
business - women don't view it as a curse. And the problem with your
girl the other night - that's a fairly common curse, too."

"So maybe that's all it is," I said hopefully. "Maybe that genetic
thing - maybe that's a mistake."

He shook his head grimly. "I'm afraid not, Mitch. I checked the
findings myself. It's really a very elegant spell. Whoever did this
to you is a real master. I didn't even think this level of magic was
possible. To my knowledge, it's never been accomplished before."

"But it can be stopped, can't it?" I asked, almost pleading. I was
frightened as it was, and the full impact of what was happening to me
hadn't even soaked in yet. "It can be reversed by a good wizard, right?"

"I doubt it," he told me. "You see Mitch, in theory, this shouldn't
be that hard to do to any male. You already have one X chromosome. To
make you genetically female, all you have to do is change the Y
chromosome into a duplicate of the X. We can't postulate the Y again.
It's completely gone. And even if we could, there's another problem.
The problem is to keep the body in control while the genetic changes
force physical changes."

I frowned. "I'm not following you." I should have understood him, but
I think I was so shocked that I couldn't comprehend what he was
telling me. Either that or I didn't want to understand.

Dr. Barnes leaned back in his chair. "Well Mitch, you see your sex
was determined by your chromosomes before you were born, so that's
the way your body developed. Now, your fully-developed male body is
being told that your sexual development was all wrong. Wizards have
tried to change a person's sex before, but it hasn't worked. The body
goes out of control, and the results can be very painful or even
fatal." He saw the sudden frightened look in my eyes and added, "No,
Mitch. That isn't what's happening to you. Whoever did this to you
really knew what he was doing. He managed to not only change your
genetic sex but also created some rudimentary female organs inside
you as well. You have non-functioning ovaries right now, but I
suspect they'll begin to function over time. Then, your male organs
will begin to atrophy while your female ones thrive."

"How... how long have I got?"

"Mitch," he said softly, "you're not dying. Don't think of it like
that. This is a process. Your cells will steadily replace themselves
over time. The curse may speed that up. I would estimate that you
will be fully female in a few weeks. That's just an estimate. I may
be able to pin that down a little more by tomorrow. It could be more
time and it could be less. In fact, it might be better if we speeded
the process up."

I felt sick. "Speed it up? Why would I want to do that?"

"Well," he explained carefully, "if we can't restore your male body,
you might think about how you'll handle the transition. You'll start
to look like an effeminate man, and I doubt if that will be something
you want to happen. So the quicker we can make you look like a normal
female, the quicker you'll be able to fit back into society."

In other words, I thought, I was going to look like a freak for a
while. I shuddered a little thinking about what would happen. Over
the next few weeks, I'd start to look more and more like a girl until
the process was completed. That meant I'd start to look like some
kind of fairy for a few weeks, swiveling gracefully across campus but
with otherwise male features - or something like that. The problem
was that I didn't want to give up the masculinity I had left. I
wanted to appear male as long as possible since I had no desire
whatsoever to be female. After all, there were advances in magic
every day. If someone had managed to figure out a way to do this to
me, maybe someone else could figure out how to undo it. It was
important that I not give in to this curse.

"I could prescribe estrogen for you," he offered. "It might
accelerate the process."

"I'll think about it," I replied dully, knowing that there was no way
I would agree to accelerate the process. I was a man, and I'd be one
for as long as I could no matter what my chromosomes looked like. 

"Fine," Dr, Barnes agreed. I could see in his eyes that he knew I had
already made my decision. "Mitch, what are you going to do now?"

What was I going to do? Well, if it wasn't giving in to the new
hormones that my body must have already started producing, I'd go
back to my room and have a good long cry bemoaning the loss of my
manhood. Oh, I could check with other doctors and wizards, just to
convince myself that Dr. Barnes hadn't screwed up with his diagnosis.
Of course, I knew he hadn't. There were already too many telltale
signs of the transformation that was yet to come.

"I'm not sure," I answered, realizing it was an honest answer.

"I'd like to have a meeting with you and Professor Morley," he
suggested. "He and I have worked together before. We need to get you
the help you'll need but do it discretely. Otherwise, I'm afraid
you'll be front page news."

I hadn't even considered that. He was right. This would be big news.
It was something science and magic had been talking about for years.
I had read enough about it to know that magic had been used to avoid
rejection when female organs were transplanted into male
transsexuals, but this... Nothing like it had ever happened before.
No one had ever figured out the process to change genetic structure
this way. The last thing in the world I wanted right then was to be
newsworthy. It was bad enough to be slowly changing into a woman, but
to have everyone in the world know about it would be too much.

"Mitch, do you have any idea who did this to you?"

"I have an idea," I said slowly. "I'd rather not discuss that until
tomorrow. I'd like to be sure first."

He nodded. "Fine Mitch, but be careful. Whoever did this to you is
the most powerful wizard I've ever seen - possibly the most powerful
wizard the world has ever seen."

"What makes you say that?" I asked uneasily.

Dr. Barnes replied, "It isn't just a matter of ingenuity, Mitch.
There may have even been other wizards who have thought of this
technique. It's also a matter of extremely high magical power.
Whoever has done this probably has a WK score that's off the charts."

Unless that person is smart enough to hide that ability from the
test, I thought.

"This person, whoever he is, has to have the power and the anatomical
knowledge to keep your body in balance during this transformation,"
he went on. "He's given you the genetic code you need to be female,
but matching up physical aspects of your body with that code would
take years if allowed to occur naturally. He's speeding that process
up."

Or she is, I thought to myself.

Of course it was Amy, I told myself as I drove back up to the campus
and my fraternity house. Who else could it be? She had the
physiological knowledge, the magical ability and, of course, the
motive. I knew she was mad at me, but I never expected her to curse
me. What exactly did she have in store for me anyhow? She wouldn't be
content just changing me into a woman. That would just be the start
of things. Amy, I had begun to discover just before breaking up with
her, wouldn't just turn a turtle on its back to watch it thrash.
She'd tease it to make it even more frantic.

My mind ranged back to that day a few months ago when I broke up with
her. She hadn't appeared particularly angry. But what is the old
saying - something about revenge being a dish best served cold? She
must have hated me, I realized. I didn't think it was because she
loved me. I was beginning to think she wasn't capable of loving
anyone. I just think it was because it was my idea to break it off.

So what had Amy done since that day? She must have spent a lot of
time planning her revenge. She probably read up on everything she
would need to know from a scientific perspective and then applied her
magic to get it in motion. Given what Dr. Barnes had told me, I was
sure some wizard somewhere had tried her technique and probably
failed. But Amy had no intention of failing. Apparently Amy was even
more adept at magic than I had suspected. Her powers must have put
her in the top rank of all wizards. Great. And I had to cross her.
Stupid me.

I rushed up the stairs at the fraternity house without speaking to
anyone. I was in a hurry to try to reach Amy and plead with her to
end this curse before it got completely out of hand. Dr. Barnes had
offered little hope for relief, but I was sure in my own mind that
Amy could reverse it. If anyone could re-postulate my Y chromosome,
it would be Amy.

The other reason I rushed up the stairs was embarrassment. True, I
still appeared to be a normal male, but the very knowledge that I had
already genetically become a female was enough to cause me to hide my
head in shame from my fraternity brothers. How long would it be
before I would begin to appear effeminate to them? Would I wake up
some morning with budding breasts and a mincing walk - the sudden
subject of ridicule to all the guys who had once been my friends? The
thought was extremely disturbing.

I dialed Amy's number over at her dorm. Her roommate, Peggy Tilden
answered.

"Peggy, I've got to speak to Amy," I began without preamble.

"Mitchell, you shit!" she yelled at me, causing me to momentarily
move the phone away from my ear. 

"Peggy!" I cried. "What did I ever do to you?" And here I thought
that Peggy and I had gotten along well together. I suppose I should
have expected it. Amy had probably enlisted Peggy's sympathy after
the breakup. 

"You cost me a roommate," she growled. "Amy dropped out of school
right after you dumped her. She said she was so upset that she
couldn't even finish out the term."

Now that didn't sound at all like Amy. The night we broke up, she
seemed almost calm. But she had dropped out of school? Now that
really didn't sound like Amy. She had been determined to get her
degree and go on to med school. The combination of a degree in magic
and an MD would put her into the big money. Surely she wouldn't drop
out just because she was distraught about a broken romance.

I mumbled a quick apology to Peggy, wondering what terrible things
Amy had told her about me. If Amy had dropped out of school, she had
probably gone home to her parent's home in Colorado Springs. That was
only an hour and a half from Boulder, so I could drive down there and
beg her to reverse this curse - assuming it could be reversed. I
fumbled through the papers in my desk until I found my address book.
I had written her home phone and address there so I could call her
when I was home for Christmas. Relieved when I found it, I looked up
the number and called Amy's parents.

"Hello?" It was Amy's mother. I had met her a couple of times on
campus while Amy and I had been going together. 

"Uh... Mrs. Witherspoon, I'm a friend of Amy's from Boulder." I didn't
give my name in case Amy had told her mother not to take calls from
me. "Is Amy there?"

"I'm sorry, she isn't. She's in Europe with some friends. She'll be
out of touch until the end of summer."

I didn't know if she was telling the truth or not. She sounded almost
like she was reading a script. I suppose I could have asked her if
she could relay a message to Amy, but what could I say? Gee, Mrs.
Witherspoon, could you have Amy call me? She seems to be changing me
into a girl and I really don't want tits and a big ass. Right. No, I
thanked her and hung up.

I was more convinced than ever that this was Amy's doing. And I was
sure she wasn't in Europe, no matter what her mother thought. She had
done this to me and gone underground until I was transformed into a
girl. Then, she'd reappear just to watch the fun as I tried to cope
with life as a female. The bitch. I'd like to... to... what? Scratch
her eyes out? Pull her hair? No, if I saw Amy, I'd have to get down
on my soon-to-be-shapely knees and beg in a sweet high voice that she
return me to normal.

There seemed to be nothing I could do now except wait for my meeting
with Dr. Barnes and Professor Morley. I'd tell them about Amy and see
if they could help me find her. I decided to get ready for bed before
Warren got back. I didn't want to have to answer any questions.

I stripped out of my clothes as quickly as possible. I usually went
to bed in a T-shirt and boxers, but decided for once to use the pair
of dark blue pajamas my mother had gotten me for Christmas. They
would be less revealing, and no one would be able to see the thinning
hair on my arms and legs. I got on the pajamas and dived into bed
moments before Warren opened the door.

Good old Warren, I thought to myself, pretending to sleep while I
watched him moving around in the dark. We had been good friends since
we met as fraternity pledges back in our freshman year. Warren was
from Omaha and I was from Kansas City, so we shared a Midwestern
background. And Warren had started as an anthropology major while I
was majoring in biology, so we took many of the same courses
together. Then he transferred to business when it became obvious he'd
never make it in the medical field. Also, neither of us had much in
the way of magical talents -Warren's being rudimentary and mine
nonexistent. And, of course, being pledge brothers had made us close.

What would Warren think if he knew the guy sleeping in the bunk over
him wasn't really a guy at all? Sooner or later, he'd find out. The
entire fraternity would find out. A few years earlier in a world
where magic was not widely recognized, I could have hidden the change
longer. After all, who would have believed that a normal guy could
change into a girl? Now though, subtle changes that in an earlier era
would have been dismissed as mundane would be quickly recognized as a
magical transformation.

So how long did I have before my fraternity brothers noticed? A few
days? A week at the most? I would finish all of my finals inside of
two weeks, but the changes might be too noticeable for me to stay in
the fraternity house. I'd have to find somewhere else to go, I
thought. There was even a tear in my eye at the thought of moving out
on Warren. Our friendship was nearly over and he didn't even know it.
I tried not to think about it - or anything else for that matter -
and slowly, I drifted off to sleep.

I met with Dr. Barnes in Professor Morley's office the next day after
classes. I started the session by telling them my suspicions about
Amy. When I had finished, I asked, "Do you think I'm right? I mean,
this seems like a lot of trouble for her to do this to me. She could
have taken a much simpler revenge."

"Yes," Professor Morley agreed with a twinkle in his eyes, "but it
wouldn't have been as satisfying."

"Satisfying?"

"Are you familiar with the Roman writer, Juvenal?" he asked me.

I shook my head.

Professor Morley rose from his chair and pulled down an
ancient-looking text as he explained, "Juvenal was a First Century
Roman author. In his Satires, he spoke of something, which you might
find interesting. I think I know where... Ah! Here it is. Read this
passage out loud."

He handed me the book, which I took gently in my hands so as not to
damage the frail volume. I began: "For revenge is always the delight
of a mean spirit, of a weak and petty mind! You may immediately draw
proof of this - that no one rejoices more in revenge than a woman."

I looked up from the book at the amused looks on the faces of my two
companions. To tell the truth, I was a little insulted. I was about
to be turned into a woman, and I hardly wanted to be thought of as
the possessor of a "weak and petty mind."

"I hardly think Amy's mind is weak," I told them.

"Oh, she's bright enough," Professor Morley allowed, "but weak in the
sense of moral character I'm afraid. So Rick, how will this all take
place?"

Then Dr. Barnes rattled off the technical description of what was
happening to me as Professor Morley calmly lit his pipe with a snap
of his fingers. Could everyone perform some magic except me?

"So how long will this transformation take?" Professor Morley asked
at last. I was grateful that he had asked the very question I had
been too frightened to say.

"About three weeks, give or take a few days. Maybe four weeks at the
most," Dr. Barnes said. I felt as if he had pronounced a death
sentence on me. I suppose in a way he had. The person I had always
been would cease to exist in a few short weeks. What was that if not
a form of death?

It's hard for me to express how I felt during that meeting. It was
almost as if we were talking about someone else - someone not in the
room. Dr. Barnes and Professor Morley were both so clinical. I felt
as if I might as well have been a lab rat. Oh, they would
occasionally express emotion, but not of a sympathetic nature. If
anything, they were almost excited about the whole transformation. I
suppose I couldn't blame them in a way. What they were witnessing in
me was something they had previously believed to be beyond the
capabilities of either science or magic. Now, they would have the
opportunity to observe the nearly impossible - close up no less.

"Look, can't we find Amy and get her to stop this? I mean, why not
call in the Police?" I finally blurted in exasperation.

Dr. Barnes and Professor Morley looked at each other - unsure at
first, and then a little embarrassed. I had just reminded them that
the lab rat had a say in this as well.

"Mitch, that may not be easy," Dr. Barnes began.

"I didn't think it would be easy," I shot back as I leaned back in
the deep leather chair of the conference room, my arms folded. Would
I still be able to fold my arms like that when I grew... breasts?

Professor Morley shifted uncomfortably. "Rick, we owe him more of an
answer than that." He turned to me with a fatherly gaze. "Mitch, the
problem is that we don't think we should tell the authorities."

I gasped, "You two want this to happen to me, don't you? That's why
you don't want to go to the authorities."

Dr. Barnes shook his head. "Henry is right, Mitch. Going to the
authorities is a guarantee that this will be allowed to continue."

I looked at them, confused.

"It's like this, Mitch," Professor Morley began. "Magic is a new
phenomenon as far as the government is concerned. The authorities
know no one has ever succeeded in changing anyone into another person
or an animal. It's just too complex a task. But if we tell them
what's happening to you, they'll want to find a way to use the power."

"Just think of it, Mitch," Dr. Barnes added. "Physical transformation
could be used for espionage, punishment, rewards - you name it. A spy
could be sent in looking like a trusted advisor. A rapist could be
permanently changed into a woman. This Amy holds the key to
incredible power. If the authorities are brought in, they'll try to
find her all right, but not to take the curse off you. No, they'll
let it happen just to be sure it works. Then they'll try to figure
out how to duplicate it. You'll never have a chance to get Amy to
change you back. She'll be bottled up in some government lab."

"So there's no hope for me," I sighed, feeling the start of tears in
my eyes.

Professor Morley shook his head. "I wouldn't say that. I've talked to
the Chancellor. He agrees with me that the resources of the
University should be used to study this curse and reverse it if we
can. He's also agreed with me that we need to keep this quiet for
now."

"So are you going to send the Campus Police after Amy?" I asked
derisively.

"Hardly," Professor Morley replied. "The University is not without
its resources. A private investigative firm has been retained and
will be given the assignment of finding your former girlfriend." He
leaned forward and looked into my eyes. "Mitch, I know this is very
difficult for you, but we are on your side. What you must understand
is that most magic is the level of parlor tricks. In the few years
since the virus gave us the ability to tap into magical powers, very
few individuals have shown advanced talents."

"That's right, Mitch," Dr. Barnes chimed in. "Think of how much time
passed between the discovery of the nature of electricity and the
electric light. The time span between discovery and practical use is
a long one."

"But we have weather control," I pointed out.

Professor Morley explained, "We have a few bureaucrats who can alter
wind direction and keep rainstorms from forming or break up a few
clouds to give us more solar warming. It's hardly above the level of
a stage magician's tricks and done mostly for show. That way, the
politicians can brag that they're in control of the situation." He
snorted. "Control! Most of them can't even do decent card tricks."

"All right," I agreed reluctantly. "I guess my fate is in your hands
whether I like it or not. So can anything be done to stop this or
slow it down?"

Both men shook their heads. It was Dr. Barnes who answered. "Mitch,
when I first examined you yesterday, I would have said this process
might take as long as three months. I looked at the blood samples we
took from you again this morning. Based on the cellular activity I
observed, I reduced that to three weeks. If this Amy is responsible,
she's been able to disrupt your cells in ways I can't understand. My
guess is that her ability to use magic transcends an understanding of
the physical and goes into a realm we've only theorized."

"You're telling me I ticked off the world's most powerful wizard," I
pointed out.

Professor Morley nodded. "In a word, yes."

The look on his face was so serious that I think for the first time I
really realized the predicament I was in had only one possible
solution: I was going to become a woman whether I wanted to or not -
and I certainly didn't want to be a woman. There would be no slowing
down the process. There would be no miracle cure. Amy would be too
smart to be found if she didn't want to be found, and no one else
could undo her magic. 

"So where do we go from here?" I asked resignedly. My fate was in
their hands. I had to trust both of these men. I didn't want to end
up a government lab rat and I didn't want my story plastered all over
the newspapers. The only alternative was to do whatever they wanted
me to do.

"Where do you live now?" Dr. Barnes asked.

"A fraternity house," I replied. 

He shook his head. "That won't do. We'll have to get you an apartment
or something."

"An apartment would be too public," Dr. Morley objected. "He can stay
at my house. There's just my daughter and I, Heather can probably
be a big help to Mitch during the transition."

"I don't want to impose..." I began quickly. Actually, I wasn't too
keen on the idea. I didn't want that daughter of his to know about
what was happening to me. It was bad enough that these two men knew
about it. The more people who knew, the more embarrassing the whole
thing was.

Professor Morley understood my reluctance. "Look, Mitch, all Dr.
Barnes and I can do for you is study this phenomenon. It may not do
you a bit of good. Heather can help you cope with being a woman. She
can pass on to you all the details of being a woman that her mother
passed on to her before she died. She's just your age and the two of
you will get along well, I'm sure."

"But..."

"It's probably the best solution," Dr. Barnes agreed. "Make up some
excuse to move out of the fraternity and move in with Walt here."

Walt? Oh, he meant Professor Morley. Until then, I hadn't even known
his first name. Reluctantly, I nodded in agreement, but I wasn't
looking forward to meeting his daughter. What could she really do for
me? Swap clothes? Compare lipsticks? Discuss boys? Please...

The walk back to the fraternity house was a difficult one for me. I
couldn't help but notice all the girls walking along the campus
paths. They seemed so comfortable being who they were, with their
long hair and their full breasts and their swaying hips. I was about
to join them whether I wanted to or not - and I was sure I didn't
want to. I didn't know if I could do it. How could I shave my legs?
How could I wear makeup? How could I laugh and giggle as they did as
they talked to guys? How could I pee sitting down?

I would have to learn, I realized, unless I wanted to go be a monk.
No, that was wrong. I couldn't even do that. I'd have to be a nun.
There she goes - good old Sister Mitchell. Hell, I wasn't even
Catholic.

I was pretty circumspect at dinner that evening. Fortunately with all
the other conversation at the dinner table, no one seemed to notice.
And with finals coming up, few of my fraternity brothers wanted to
sit around the dinner table for another cup of coffee while they
lingered over conversation. I was relieved at that. As far as they
were concerned, I was one of them. I was good old Mitch - a decent
student and a fair athlete. I was one of the guys who always had a
cute date for a party, always did my part in every fraternity event,
and had the reputation of being a pretty decent all-around sort of
guy. If there was anything to set me apart from the brothers, it was
my lack of magical ability, but since virtually all of the magical
talents in the fraternity were minimal at best, even that didn't make
me stand out.

I wondered what they would think if they knew that genetically, I was
already a girl. They wouldn't believe it even if I told them. They
would think it was some sort of prank. I couldn't blame them. I
didn't look like a girl and I didn't act like one. But I knew. Deep
down, I knew it was only a matter of time. Sure, I had lost some body
hair, but I didn't think anyone would notice. According to Dr.
Barnes, I was losing height as well, but not more than an inch or so
thus far. Over the next few days, I would start to look more delicate
- more feminine. Then, the shape of my body would change. Then my
fraternity brothers would believe me, but I'd be long gone before
then.

I felt very sad and alone as I headed back to my room. I still had a
few days to live in the fraternity house, but just a few. I had to be
gone before the obvious signs of my approaching girlhood were
visible. I'd just tell them I was moving in with a friend to study
for tests for a few days. I'd make sure they thought that friend was
female. That way I'd be assured of some privacy. Some of the brothers
were in my classes though, so I'd have to get in and out of the exams
as quickly as possible, before they could question me or see the
changes for themselves. For the first time (but not the last), I
found myself wishing that this whole thing was over - even if it
meant I was a girl to the world. Then I wouldn't have to do all the
sneaking around I would have to do for the remainder of the change.

"Want to tell me about it?"

I hadn't heard Warren climb the stairs behind me. "Tell what?" I
asked as innocently as I could.

"You went to the doctor yesterday, but you didn't tell me what
happened," he said.

I shrugged. "Just a virus."

I tried to avoid Warren's eyes. He knew I was lying. "No shit, Mitch?"

"No shit," I replied firmly.

He was silent for a minute, then said, "Okay, Mitch. If that's the
way you want to play it. I've got to go now - a study date. But I'll
be back about ten if you want to talk about it."

I made it a point to be in bed by ten. That way, I didn't have to
talk about it.

I didn't last a week at the fraternity house. It only took a couple
more days until while in the shower I noticed evidence of growing
breasts. Fortunately, no one else saw them. I rushed out of the
bathroom and back to my room before anyone had a chance to see them.
They weren't much at first. My nipples had been irritated and a
little swollen from the first. Now though, flesh was starting to push
up behind them, and the nipples were starting to expand. I had to be
careful to wear a loose-fitting shirt. A T-shirt or polo shirt fit
too tightly across my chest, making my nipples obvious.

I lost another inch or so of height as well. Normally, I would have
compensated by wearing shorts, but my legs while not hairless didn't
look exactly normal. They were starting to reshape and the hair
didn't look as thick or wiry as normal. The problem was that wearing
my long pants just spotlighted the fact that I was shorter since they
were now too long. I slipped over to the mall and bought a couple of
shorter pairs.

My hair was getting longer as well. Oh, I got it cut when it started
to curl a little over my ears. The problem was it was growing back
even faster. The same thing was happening with my fingernails. I had
to trim them every morning, and each time I did, they were a little
longer than the time before by the next morning. Dr. Barnes told me
the part of the spell that did these things was pretty well known.
Beauty salons often had a wizard on staff who could accomplish hair
and nail growth spells. The logic was available in any decent magic
text.

If it were just one aspect, I might have been able to hide it longer.
But when several things were changing at once, it was pretty obvious
that I needed to get away from the fraternity quickly. I made the
excuse that I was moving in with a girl until finals were over. I
suppose I wasn't really lying. After all, Dr. Morley's daughter was a
girl.

And what a girl she was. Heather stood about five six with long
blonde hair and bright blue eyes. She wore a short skirt and a pair
of low heels. I found out later that that was her standard attire.
Heather not only looked sexy; she dressed sexy. I met her the day
after the big meeting with Professor Morley and Dr. Barnes. She had
come down to the Professor's office and he introduced her.

"I understand you're going to be living with us," she said with a
smile, offering her hand.

"I guess so," I said warily. I wasn't sure how much her father had
told her.

She guessed my concern. "Daddy told me all about your curse," she
explained with the sort of expression on her face that said she did
indeed know everything. "I know this is going to be hard on you,
Mitch, but I'll be there to help."

I mumbled my thanks. It was ironic. A few days earlier, I would have
jumped at the chance to be under the same roof with a girl as cute as
Heather. Now though, I wasn't looking forward to it. She reminded me
too much of what I was about to become.

I thought about having her pick me up when I moved out of the
fraternity house. That would preserve the illusion that I was going
to be shacked up for the rest of finals. Oh how I wished it were
true. After further consideration, I thought it best that the
brothers didn't meet Heather. I didn't think anyone would recognize
her, but she was a coed at CU. If one of the brothers knew who she
was, he would know where to find me.

It was that last full day in the fraternity house that I got the
first of the letters. I recognized the handwriting on the envelope
and nearly had a heart attack. It was from Amy! She had gotten in
touch with me! Maybe there was hope of ending the curse after all. I
rushed back to my room and excitedly ripped the letter open.

"Well, Mitch, by now I'm sure you know what's happening to you," her
letter began. 

"I thought you were different, but in the end, you were just like all
the other guys. The minute the relationship started to get serious,
you wanted out."

That wasn't true, I thought to myself. Well, maybe it was from her
perspective. The fact was I was frightened to continue seeing her any
longer. But it was her magic I feared - and as it was turning out,
with good reason.

"The good news is that you aren't going to be like all the other guys
much longer. 

"Do you like your new tits? I know they aren't very big yet, but that
will change. How big do you think they'll get? A tiny little 32A? Or
maybe they'll be a lot larger than that. I'd bet on that if I were
you. It's almost as if you were a little girl going through puberty.
And surprise, Mitch; that's exactly what's happening.

"I'll bet you can't wait to have a nice little pussy to go with it.
Do you like the sound of that, Mitch? A pussy? Maybe you'd prefer
another word - something like box or snatch or (shall I say the
word?) cunt. Maybe I shouldn't say that. Maybe I should just say
vagina like one nice girl to another. But whatever you decide to call
it, it will be all yours before you know it.

"Well, I have to close for now, Mitch, but I'll be sure to keep in
touch.

"Bye for now,

"Amy"

The bitch! I nearly crumpled the letter but decided to curb my anger
and carefully placed the letter in my pocket. It might be valuable in
the search to find her. I picked the envelope up from the desk and
looked at the postmark. I gasped in surprise. It was postmarked from
Westminster, Colorado. That was a suburb of Denver and just a short
drive from Boulder. She could be in the Denver area or even still in
Boulder. So she had stuck around. I had begun to suspect that she had
moved far away from Boulder. But I supposed she couldn't really do
that. She wanted to stick around and see her handiwork. 

As angry as I was, I realized that if she was still in Colorado, I
had at least a faint hope of her being found and of being returned to
my old life. If Professor Morley's contacts could find her and bring
her back to Boulder, there was at least a slim chance she could be
coerced into turning me back to normal. My rational mind knew the
chances were slim, but hope really does spring eternal.

It was the very next day that I moved out of the fraternity house. I
had to do the greatest acting job of my life. I moved most of my
possessions into the storage room - a sure indication that I would be
returning to the house in the fall for my senior year. Actually, I'd
have a moving company get the stuff over the summer. It had been
decided by Professor Morley that it would be best for Mitch to drop
out of school. The official story would be that my family had had
some financial reverses and I was forced to finish school closer to
home. Given CU's massive out of state tuition, it was a plausible
story. 

My records would then be quietly changed to a new - female - identity
and I would be able to finish my education. The Chancellor's office
would take care of the details. As far as my fraternity brothers
knew, Austin James Mitchell would disappear, never to be seen or
heard from again. That was a common fact of college life. No one
would be any the wiser.

So I was really saying goodbye to my old friends and my old life. As
far as they knew, I was moving in with a girl to study for finals. It
wasn't common, but it had happened before. I let them speculate as to
who the girl was but was careful not to give them any clues. Then,
they'd see me again before the end of school - or so they thought.
Mitch would miss the end of the year blowout. But again, it wouldn't
be any big deal. They would just figure I was shacked up with the
mysterious girl. Maybe next fall I'd write a letter saying I didn't
like going to school in Missouri and had run away with my mysterious
girlfriend to Europe. Sure. The brothers would like that. Good old
Mitch, he always had a way with the girls.

After all that, they might notice a new girl around campus who looked
vaguely familiar. They might even hit on her, but they'd find that
even though it was as if she knew them, she had no interest in them -
or any guy for that matter. They'd quickly lose interest in her,
unless she was unusually attractive.

I doubted if I would be. The women in my family were attractive,
but not unusually so. There was no reason to think I'd look any
different. I'd probably end up looking like my sister. She was just
finishing her junior year of high school. While she was never hurting
for dates, she wasn't exactly homecoming queen material.

I carefully packed my one suitcase. Everything else was either out in
the car or in storage. In the car were my books and some personal
items, and in storage were most of my clothes. Most of them already
were too large for me. I had packed just some shorts, jeans and loose
fitting shirts - the sort of stuff I could wear at least for a little
while longer. Although it was a warm day, I was dressed in a long
sleeved denim shirt and jeans. I was a little warm, but at least no
one could see how much I had changed.

The changes seemed to be coming more often now. When I had awakened,
my prepubescent breasts had actually visibly grown. I had nearly
exposed one in the bathroom when I went in to brush my teeth that
morning. I was getting out of the house just in time. In another day
or two, I might look even more girlish - too girlish to hide.

I knew the tiny breasts weren't the only change. My genitals were
smaller; I was certain of that. Of course, I didn't exactly stand
around with a ruler in hand measuring how long my penis was, but
still I knew it was smaller. And it hadn't been hard since this whole
ordeal had begun. I would have given anything to experience an early
morning woody, but I knew I'd never have one again. At least my face
had looked the same, even though the hair was a little longer. 

I looked around my room one more time to see if I'd missed anything.
The room held a lot of memories for me. Warren and I had roomed there
together since we had gone active in the fraternity. Now, I wouldn't
even be able to say goodbye to him - or any of my other fraternity
brothers for that matter.

It was a Saturday morning and most of the guys in the house were out
playing an informal baseball game against a rival fraternity. Of
course, I had been invited, and before my curse had begun, I would
have been there. I had always been a reasonably good baseball player.
Not now, though. Any attempt to play would have exposed me. Already
the muscles in my arms were weaker, and I suspected the old phrase
"throw like a girl" might now apply to me.

As I turned and opened the door, I gasped in surprise. Warren was
standing in the doorway, a determined look on his face.

"I thought you were playing baseball," I blurted out.

He shook his head. "Not today. I've got something more important to
do."

I felt a little uneasy. Warren was staring at me very intently. There
was no rancor in his face - only curiosity. But curiosity was more
than enough to make me feel uneasy. Did he know? No, he couldn't I
had been very careful to keep my changing anatomy under wraps. But
Warren was an old friend. He had been the first to suggest that I had
a curse. He had to suspect something.

I tried to smile as best I could. "Well, good luck with it, pal.
I've got to get going."

"I ran into Becky Samuelson this morning," Warren said
conversationally, not moving from the doorway. "She didn't say
anything about you moving in with her for finals."

"I didn't say it was with Becky," I pointed out carefully. I hadn't
either. Most of my fraternity brothers had assumed it was with Becky,
and I had done nothing to disabuse then of that assumption.

"Then who is it with?" Warren asked pointedly. "You're not back with
Amy, are you?"

I shrugged and tried to get around him. "I'd rather not say."

"Something is going on here, buddy," he said as he pushed me gently
on the chest to hold me back.

I don't know whose eyes were wider - his or mine. My breasts hadn't
developed much, but the tissue around the nipples had grown soft and
fatty unlike my normal male pectorals. Warren's hands met that soft
flesh and rubbed along one of my enlarged nipples. He stared down at
where his hand was resting with shock.

As for me, I gasped in surprise. My skin was far more sensitive that
I had ever dreamed. As a male, I couldn't remember having much
sensation in the nipples, but with my changes, I felt a stimulating
sensation that I had never felt before.

"Jesus!" That was from Warren. I could say nothing.

Slowly, he drew his hand back. "Amy... she did that to you?"

With a sigh, I nodded.

"Is it... just breasts?"

"I wish," I muttered. If it were just breasts, I could always have
them surgically removed. Where my body was going, that wasn't much of
an option for corrective surgery.

"My God, Mitch! Why didn't you tell me?"

"Tell you what?" I asked, pulling him back into our room and closing
the door so that others wouldn't hear us. "Tell you that I was being
changed into a girl? Tell you that... that..." I didn't know what
else to say. I sat on the side of Warren's bed and fought back a
terrible urge to burst into tears. It took a supreme effort to resist
such a feminine response, but I managed. Still, I couldn't face him.
I knew the corners of my eyes were moist and red.

Warren started to sit and put his arm around me. Then, at the last
second, he jerked back up and drew his hand back. If I had looked up,
I'm sure his face was red. I wanted to scream. He had tried to treat
me like he would have treated a girl! I was still a guy. Well, mostly
I was still a guy. Okay, I was genetically already a girl, but I
still looked like a guy... mostly.

"How... how long...?"

I managed to look up. "How long until it's complete?" I shrugged.
"Maybe three more weeks, give or take a few days."

"So where are you going?" he asked. "I don't think you're going to be
shacking up for finals." He actually had the audacity to give me a
little grin.

"Not hardly," I replied. I actually managed to return the grin. "Sit
down. I'll tell you the whole story."

It took me about half an hour to tell the story and answer all of his
questions. As strange as it may seem, that actually made me feel
good. Why? Because Warren wasn't judgmental. He listened as a friend,
and I found I was able to actually open up to him even more than I
had to Professor Morley or Dr. Barnes. I was able to tell him how I
felt about the whole transformation - and how frightened I was.

When I had finished, he asked, "So what are you going to do when this
is... finished?"

"I don't know," I told him honestly. I sighed, feeling slight motion
from my tiny breasts as I did. "I haven't thought that far out yet. I
guess I'll finish school and get a job. I've got to earn a living no
matter which sex I am." I had sudden unpleasant visions of myself
going to interviews in a skirt and heels. 

"Does your family know yet?"

"Not yet," I admitted. I had been putting off calling them. How could
I manage to do it? Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad. This is your son, but not for
much longer. That's right, I'm turning into a girl. Don't worry, Dad.
You've still got another son. And Mom, you always wanted another
daughter. 

No, there was no good way to tell them, but I'd have to tell them
soon. I guess I had just been clutching at straws hoping there was
some way to stop this terrible curse. As soon as I got settled in at
Professor Morley's house, I'd have to call them.

Warren offered to follow me over to Professor Morley's house and help
me unload all my stuff, but I said no. I could have actually used the
help. I noticed that I was already losing upper body strength, and
carrying in all my junk from the car was going to be difficult. But I
just didn't want to seem like a damsel in distress, helped by Warren,
the charming white knight. 

So I said my good-byes to Warren. Since he knew the truth, we could
at least remain friends. That made me feel a little better. I wasn't
sure how much I would be able to see of him, though. There was this
little problem... I had begun to notice Warren as a boy. If I wasn't
careful, I found myself thinking he was rather good looking, with his
nice tan and well-groomed brown hair and those brown eyes and... Oh
my god, what was happening to me?

Dr. Morley and his daughter lived in a rambling house on the side of
a hill on the west side of Boulder. It was an area not far from the
campus that was popular with some of the more affluent faculty
members. Most of the houses were older, dating back to the forties
and fifties or earlier, but they were well kept and close to
Boulder's magnificent mountains.

Dr. Morley and Heather were waiting for me in front of the house.
Heather was every bit as beautiful as I remembered her. Even in more
casual clothing than I had seen her in before, she was fantastic.

Oh how I wished I was a normal male in that moment. She smiled at me
with perfect white teeth. As I've mentioned before, she was about
average height - five foot six or so. But that was the only thing
average about her. Her dark blonde hair flowed down to rest on
perfect breasts. Her blue eyes twinkled when she spoke. My mind was
in love with her but my body refused to cooperate.

"Nice to see you again, Mitch," she said, extending a lovely hand. 

She knew all about me, I remembered as I shook her hand. Oh, she was
subtle about it, but I watched her eyes as she tried to detect if
there was anything overtly feminine about me. I just smiled at her
and mumbled a quick "Hi."

"Heather will show you to your room," Professor Morley told me. "As
soon as you've settled in, come down to my study and we'll discuss
where we go from here."

Heather helped me get my meager belongings out of the car. "Your room
is right next to mine," she explained as we climbed the stairs. "In
fact, we get to share a bathroom. It's one of those Jack-and-Jill
arrangements. You know what I mean. Both of our rooms open onto the
bathroom."

That would make for a few logistics problems, I thought. At least
there would be problems at first. The more girlish I became, the less
it would probably matter. I hated to even think about that, but what
was my choice? Over time, I would be completely female, and it seemed
there was nothing to be done about it.

"I worked on your room for you," Heather explained, showing me where
to put my few belongings. "I hope it isn't too... you know... feminine."

It really wasn't, I was pleased to note. Oh, the curtains were a
little flowery, but there was nothing to be done about that. The rest
of the room was pretty much a standard guest room with the addition
of a desk. Good. I'd be able to study for my finals. The desk was
even big enough for me to set up my computer. "No, it looks fine," I
replied.

Heather smiled. It was an attractive smile. After all, Heather was an
attractive girl. After seeing Dr. Morley, I had to wonder again how
so ordinary a man could have such a beautiful daughter. Her mother
must have been Swedish or something, I thought, to give her such fair
skin and blonde hair. I could imagine her on the streets of
Stockholm, long blonde hair billowing behind her as her full hips
swung hypnotically and her long, lovely legs enticed every man in the
city. Even there in my room, wearing a nondescript short-sleeved
sweatshirt, conservative jean shorts, and little makeup, she looked
lovely.

She shifted a little uncomfortably at my stare. "Uh... I think Daddy
wants to see you if you're ready."

"Sure," I said, quickly trying to hide my obvious stare.

Dr. Morley was waiting in the study with a large man. The man had
short, thinning hair which was turning from brown to iron gray - and
oddity in a time in which baldness could often be cured with a simple
spell. He apparently didn't care. His suit was neat but showed signs
of wear. Again, I suspected he could afford better but just didn't care. 

"Mitch, this is Alan Cane," Dr. Morley said.

I shook the big man's hand. It swallowed mine. I wasn't sure if it
meant my hands were becoming a little smaller or that his were just
large. Actually, I suspected it was a little of both. The handshake
was firm, but not uncomfortable. I was certain if he had wanted to,
he could have crushed my hand without much effort.

"Alan is a private investigator," Dr. Morley explained. "I've hired
him to find your ex-girlfriend."

I wasn't surprised. The cold, calculating eyes and the steel jaw,
couple with my other observations, spelled "cop" all over. I was sure
the man had once been a police officer - most likely a detective.

"What can you tell me about Amy Witherspoon?" he asked. Apparently he
wasn't one for pleasantries. Cane was all business.

I told him about my relationship with Amy - how we had dated and why
we broke up. I also showed him the letter I had received from Amy.
Cane listened carefully, stopping me only to clarify points. It took
about an hour for me to tell him everything. Then, he had questions.

"Did you ever visit her home in Colorado Springs?"

"You mean did she ever take me home to meet her parents? No. I met
her mother a couple of times when she was up here. Why? Is it
important?"

"It might be," he replied with a shrug. "They were only a couple of
hours away, and the two of you dated for some time. If she was
serious about you, it just seems as if she might have found a reason
to take you home to meet momma and poppa."

"I told you I met her mother here in Boulder." I shifted
uncomfortably in my chair. "If she wasn't serious about me, why did
she curse me?"

Cane smiled for the first time. "That's an excellent question. My
guess is that she wasn't terribly serious about you. Let's face it,
Mitch. You're a nice looking kid but you don't have any magical
talents at all. That sort of limits your prospects in the eyes of
someone with her abilities, don't you think?"

I wanted to argue with that statement, but I couldn't. He was right.
With Amy's magical abilities, she'd be rubbing elbows with people
with great magical talents. I wouldn't fit in. I'd be like a blonde
bimbo at a Cal Tech reunion. 

"I think she would have dumped you eventually," he went on, "but you
didn't give her the chance. You dumped her first. That had to be a
blow to her ego, don't you think?"

"But why change me into a... girl?" I asked. 

"Why not?" he countered. "Maybe she thought she'd make sure you never
dumped another girl again. Maybe she could tell herself you never
were a real man. Who knows how someone like that reasons? In some
ways, she may not even think like normal people."

"So if she's not even normal, how are you going to find her?" I asked.

"Send a thief to catch a thief," he replied, and disappeared in
between the blinks of my eyes.

"Where did he go?"

"Who knows?" Dr. Morley laughed. "As you can see, Mr. Cane possesses
some rather significant magical powers himself. He scored over one
fifty on the Webster Kline scale."

That was very high I realized. I wondered what Amy had scored on the
test. Come to think of it, why hadn't the authorities become
interested in Amy when she took the test? Maybe she had purposefully
lowered her own scores by holding back her ability. She had to know
early on that exhibiting too much power might get her into trouble.
Of course, it was also possible that the WK test couldn't even
account for someone with her abilities. I don't think Webster and
Kline could have imagined someone as powerful as Amy.

"What did you think of Mr. Cane?" Heather asked later with a wide
grin. We were sitting together in the kitchen while she prepared a
salad for our dinner.

"He seems capable enough," I allowed, helping her by slicing up come
carrots. "Do you know him?"

"Not really," she replied. "Daddy has used him a couple of times
before, but I try to stay out of his way. I think he would suspect
his own mother of child beating even if he were an only child and
didn't have a bruise to prove it."

I had to laugh at that.

Heather looked at me. "It's good to hear you laugh, Mitch."

I stopped my cutting and looked back at her. "I laugh a lot," I told her.

"Well you could have fooled me," she said. "Of course, I guess with
this curse, you haven't had much to laugh about."

My smile disappeared. There for just a moment, I had been a normal
guy sharing a private moment with a very attractive girl. I had put
my curse in the back of my mind - at least for a few minutes. Now, I
began to feel all the subtle changes, which had already occurred. 

Heather put her hand on my arm. "Oh, I'm sorry, Mitch. I wasn't
thinking. I didn't mean to bring it up." She sighed. "But then again,
I suppose we'll need to talk about it sometime."

"Sure," I agreed reluctantly.

"I think we can be good friends," she said.

Right, I thought. Just like sisters.

She must have noticed the skepticism in my eyes. "No, I mean it,
Mitch. Look, it's not so bad being a girl. I mean, I wouldn't even
want to be a boy for a minute. I can show you it's not so bad, and
I'll be here to help you as it happens."

She was trying to help, but she was just making it worse. She finally
appeared to realize that herself and changed the subject. But the
damage was already done. I sulked all the way through dinner.

The next day was a Sunday, and it was a day I had been dreading. It
was the day I would have to call my parents and tell them what was
happening to me. I had an older brother, Zack, who was several years
older than me and recently married, so I didn't have to worry about
someone to carry on the family name (as if there weren't enough
Mitchells in the world). And I had a younger sister, so I wasn't
about to become the girl my parents had always wanted. And it wasn't
as if I was going to be telling them I secretly wanted to be a girl,
because that just wasn't so. Still, it was going to be hard to tell
my parents that my sex was being changed, even if it was involuntary. 

I let Dr. Morley tell them most of it. I was on an extension phone
listening as he carefully explained what had happened. To their
credit, my parents took it calmly. 

"Is he going to be all right?" Dad wanted to know. I loved him for
that. It meant he was worried about me and not what others might
think or why it had happened. I wondered if I would want to start
calling him "Daddy" like Heather did with Dr. Morley. Would he still
want to toss the football around with me? I hoped so. I had a great
father and wanted our relationship to stay strong.

"I'm fine," I answered, reminding my parents that I was on the phone,too.

"Oh honey," my mother said, worry in her voice, "are you feeling
okay? I mean, this doesn't hurt, does it?"

"No, it doesn't hurt at all," I assured her. "Whatever was done to me
is completely painless." So far, I could have added. Some of the
bigger changes were yet to come. What would it feel like when my
penis and testicles changed to their female equivalents? Come to
think of it though, Dr. Barnes said I already had the beginnings of
ovaries, so I guessed my testicles would just wither away. 

We talked for a few more minutes, mostly about how my classes were
going and how finals had been - that sort of thing. As we were ready
to hang up, I asked suddenly on a whim, "Mom what were you going to
name me if I had been born a girl?"

There was no reply for a moment. Then she replied, "Melissa, dear.
Melissa Ann." There was a pause and then, "Do you want us to call you
Melissa, dear?"

It wasn't a bad name, I supposed, but I wasn't ready to have a girl's
name yet - or maybe ever. "I'll let you know, Mom."

I threw myself into my studies for the next few days. Finals were a
great distraction for me. If it hadn't been for the ever-increasing
physical changes, I might have forgotten all about the curse. But my
hair continued to lengthen. It wouldn't have accomplished anything to
get it cut again. It would just have grown back even longer. It was
long enough now to hang over my ears and tickle the back of my neck.
I knew some girls who had shorter hair.

My fingernails were growing more, too. I had to hide them by balling
my fingers into loose fists. Heather suggested I file them down into
a more feminine shape, but I wasn't ready for that yet - or maybe
ever.

I had lost about eighty percent of my body hair. As hot as they were,
I continued to wear jeans so no one would notice how sparse the hair
on my legs had become. And also so they wouldn't notice the shape of
my legs. Yes, they were losing masculine definition, becoming more
slender and less muscled. My arms were changing in a similar fashion,
although not quite as fast as my legs. I took no chances though and
wore long sleeved, loose fitting shirts.

There were changes on my torso, too. According to Dr. Barnes, I had
lost to inches around my waist, but I had gained a couple at the
hips. It seemed as if I had a lot more padding in my rear, and I knew
that that was just the beginning of the rearrangement of my ass. I
was thankful that I had only a couple more days of finals, for I
wouldn't be able to maintain the illusion of being male much longer.

As it was, running into my old fraternity brothers was embarrassing.
They couldn't help but notice the changes.

"Jeez, Mitch, have you seen a doctor?" Grant Davis, one of our guys
on the football team asked me after a final. "You look like shit."

"It's a virus," I told him vaguely. "Don't worry though, Grant. I
don't think it's contagious anymore. Or at least I hope it isn't." I
pretended to cough for an added effect.

The big guy backed away slowly. "Yeah, well you take care of
yourself, okay?"

I had to chortle as he hurried away. Grant was one of those guys that
did everything short of magic to stay in shape. But he was always
deathly afraid of illness. I ended up using the virus story a couple
more times to ward off the brothers. It worked like a charm. I only
wished the virus story had been true.

It was funny, but the people that knew me still saw me as Mitch, even
with the changes. I guess if someone changes appearance slowly, our
minds constantly update our images of that person. Take aging for
example. As someone you know grows older, you don't always notice
because your image of them is updated with every contact. But take a
look at a picture of them taken - say - five years earlier, and the
differences become apparent.

As I was soon to discover though, people who had never seen me before
didn't see the image my friends saw.

"Mike, look at the fairy."

I was in a convenience store on the Hill, a business district which
catered to CU students. I looked up involuntarily myself, only to
realize the two guys looking at the munchies further down the aisle
were talking about me.

"Man, what a fruit!" the other one replied.

"Yeah," his friend agreed. "Did you se how he walks? I wish my
girlfriend walked like that."

They both laughed.

They were about my age - probably fellow students. They hadn't spoken
loudly to embarrass me, but it was obvious that they didn't care if
they did. What was I going to do about it? I was shorter and more
slender than normal - not much taller than Heather. And I knew my
newly-configured body was beginning to move with a fluid grace that
no male could manage. I began to realize I probably was starting to
resemble one of the effeminate gays that inhabited every college campus.

I could feel my face redden. I had never had a gay thought or urge in
my life. Like most heterosexual men, I had at best a reluctant
tolerance of gays. How could a man be sexually attracted to another
man for God's sake? I had always subscribed to the philosophy of live
and let live though. If someone wanted to be gay, that was their
business. Of course, if a gay guy were to put his hand on me, I'd
probably have punched him out.

Now, in the eyes of people like the two guys down the aisle, my body
language said I was gay. In all fairness, I had to see how they had
reached that conclusion.

I hurried out of the store, leaving my selected items behind so I
didn't need to listen to the snickers of the two men. I looked around
to see if anyone was paying any attention to me. Were there others
snickering as well, just out of range of my sight or hearing? Was
that what I appeared to be? A fruit? A fairy? A swish? A... queer? 

I made a conscious effort to walk in a more masculine manner. It
wasn't easy. As my hips had begun to reconfigure themselves, I was
being forced to walk with a slight sway. I knew it would only get
worse with time, but I did my best to affect a masculine swagger.

By the time I reached my car, I was convinced that everyone on the
Hill must think I was a raging queen. And what about the real gays?
Would they see me and decide I was fair game? After all with a walk
like I was starting to develop, was I trolling for some gay action. I
almost cried thinking about it. Great, I thought. That's all I need
to do now - break down into hysterical tears.

"What's wrong?"

That was Heather's question when I stormed into the house after the
convenience store incident. She had been sitting on the couch in the
living room reading a romance novel. Her own finals had ended the day
before and she was taking a break for a few days before beginning
work for the summer.

"Nothing," I mumbled, throwing my books into a convenient chair. 

"Come in here and let's talk," she coaxed in a soothing voice.

I did as she asked. The fact of the matter is that I did need to talk
to someone about this, and Heather was becoming a good friend.
Besides, who else could I talk to? Her father and Dr. Barnes would
have listened, but their answers would have been clinical and
detached. I had talked on the phone to Warren a couple of times, but
I hadn't wanted him to see what I was becoming - and I certainly
didn't want to talk to him about my latest problem.

"Now what happened?" she asked gently.

"Everybody thinks I'm a queer!" I blurted out, barely holding back
the tears. Heather finally got me calmed down enough to tell her the
whole story. By the time I had finished, the tears had broken
through. She got me a Kleenex and dried my eyes for me.

"Poor Mitch," she soothed. "I can't imagine how hard this must be for
you. Oh, before I forget, you got some mail."

"Probably my mother," I said, accepting the envelope from her. But it
wasn't. I stared at the postmark - it was Westminster again, and the
handwriting on the envelope was most certainly Amy's. My hands
trembling with anger, I ripped open the envelope and read the letter:

"Dear Mitch,

"Are you still calling yourself Mitch? Maybe something like Misty
would be a better choice by now.

"How do you like the changes so far? I've noticed you picked up a
cute little walk. My dear, you almost prance when you walk. I can
hardly wait until you try it in heels.

"Yes, I'm watching you, but don't depend on that big stupid idiot
your friends have hired to find me. He couldn't find a flea at a dog show. 

"Well, that's all for now, sweetie. Enjoy the changes. They should
get more obvious about now. It won't be long before you're just the
sweetest little coed on campus.

"Bye for now,

"Amy"

"The bitch!" I muttered, throwing the letter down. How had she known
where I was? She had to be using her magic to track me. She was going
to enjoy this entire transformation from a safe distance.

Heather picked it up and read it for herself, her eyes wide. "My God,
she really hates you, doesn't she?"

"No shit."

"Look, Mitch, we've got to do something about this."

I looked up at her, questioningly. "So what can we do?"

"Look, I mean what you told me and what's in this letter - it's
obvious what we need to do. You're going to have to start appearing
in public as a girl," she said decisively.

I knew deep down that eventually I would have to start appearing to
the world as the girl I technically had already become. I had known
it from the first time Dr. Barnes had told me what was happening. But
somehow, I had managed to delude myself into thinking that the time
to appear as a girl lay far out in the future. To my relief,
Professor Morley and Dr. Barnes had not broached the subject with me
- except in passing. To them, too, my eventual fate lay in the
future. I hadn't expected Heather to suggest it - at least not yet.
But now the cat was out of the bag.

"I... I don't think I'm ready for that just yet," I mumbled.

Heather snorted, "Not ready for it? Just when are you going to be
ready for it, Mitch? When your boobs stick out six inches from your
chest? When your hair is down to your ass? Maybe when your ass
wiggles enough to churn butter? Come on, Mitch, face the facts. You
already look more like a girl than a boy. You as much as told me
that."

"I did not!"

"Not in so many words," she said in a soothing tone. "But what about
those guys in the store who spotted you? Think about it, Mitch. Would
you rather have the world think you're a girl or a queer?"

My mouth dropped open but no words came out. She was right, of
course. I would never look any more masculine than I did at that very
moment. Every hour turned my appearance more and more female. If I
was already being mistaken for an effeminate male, why not appear to
be a woman?

I wasn't quite ready to give in, though. "I'd look too butch. I'm
still partly male in appearance."

"I can fix that," she replied confidently.

The moment of truth had arrived. I could either refuse her offer to
help and go hide in my room until the entire process of
transformation had run its course, or I could give in to the
inevitable. Neither choice was very appealing. What it came down to
though was that I could either dwell in a past that I could never be
a part of again or I could face the future with as much courage as I
could muster.

"Okay," I sighed. "Do your damnedest."

If I had had any idea how far Heather planned to go in changing my
appearance, I would have fled to my room no matter what the
consequences. But it was too late to back out. Meekly, I let Heather
lead me into her room. I had been in her room before of course, but
for the first time, I saw it in an entirely different light. The room
had an essence of femininity I had never fully appreciated before.
That essence was now about to be imparted to me - whether I wanted it
to be or not.

Heather started by giving me a critical once-over from all sides.
"You've still got a ways to go. We're going to have to be creative
here. Strip off your clothes."

I could feel my face turning red. "All of them?"

"All of them," she confirmed. "Now don't start going modest on me."

Reluctantly, I complied. I still appeared male where it counted,
although I had long since lost the ability to perform as a male. My
penis was only a fraction of its former size and my testicles were
for all practical purposes nothing but loose skin. Still, it was with
considerable trepidation that I complied. 

"You're still wearing jockey shorts?" she asked when I had gotten to
that point.

"What did you expect - French cut bikini panties?" I growled - or
tried to growl. My voice had been sliding up in tone lately.

"You'll have to try those some time," Heather said with a wicked
smile that did nothing to alleviate my fears. "Hmm, not much left
down south, huh?"

"Don't remind me."

"Well here," she said, pulling a package from one of her drawers,
ripping it open and tossing the contents to me. "See if these fit."

"But they're pink!" I practically yelled, holding up a pair of
panties that looked too small to fit on a Barbie doll. "And they're
way too small."

"They stretch," she informed me. "And as for the color, would you
prefer lilac?" 

I could see I wasn't going to get much sympathy. Sitting down on the
bed, I carefully pulled the panties up. Two things surprised me. The
first was that they fit at all. Oh, they were a little snug, and even
the reduced male equipment I still had was squeezed uncomfortably in
them. The second thing I noticed was that they didn't feel half bad.
Still, I missed my jockey shorts and told Heather so. "Couldn't I
just wear male briefs for a little longer?" I suggested. "I mean, it
isn't as if anyone is going to see what I'm wearing underneath."

"Unless you're wearing a skirt," she pointed out.

I shook my head firmly, feeling my ever-lengthening hair bouncing
against my ears. "Oh no. No skirts."

"Not ever?"

"Well, maybe someday," I allowed. "But no time real soon."

Heather sighed. "You're going to be a problem, aren't you?"

I gave a sigh of my own. "Look, Heather, I'm a little new at all of
this girl shit, so cut me some slack, okay? The only reason I'm going
along with this is because I'm getting tired of looking like a fruit.
That doesn't mean I'm anxious to wear skirts and heels and all that crap."

Heather looked at me, silent for a moment with her arms folded.
"Okay, we'll take it slow," she agreed. "But work with me, okay?
Unless we do this right, you're either going to still look like a
fruit or you're going to look like some butch girl. People snicker at
them, too. Try to cooperate. I won't ask you to wear a skirt, but I
am going to try you make you look like a normal girl - okay?"

"Okay," I agreed reluctantly.

She nodded, reaching back in a drawer. "Then let's go on with the bra."

"Bra!"

"Come on, Mitch - you promised."

I became suddenly aware of my small breasts. They weren't much to
look at. My nipples had become larger and more sensitive, but Ally
McBeal had a bigger chest than me. "I don't think I really need one, do I?"

"Probably not," she agreed to my surprise as she held the bra which
matched the panties I had on. "But remember that women's shirts tend
to be a little more see through. If you don't wear a bra, it'll look
odd, and everybody will get a good look at what little you have."

People staring at my... my breasts? It wasn't a happy thought. "All
right," I finally agreed, taking the bra and holding it out as if it
were a dead animal. "How do I put this on?"

It proved to be an easier task than I had thought it would be.
Heather coached me but didn't help me put it on. Maybe women are more
limber, I thought, for I didn't seem to have any trouble reaching
behind my back to fasten the clasps. Heather then cinched it up a bit.

"It's just not fitting right," she mumbled.

"What size is it?" I asked. "Maybe I need a smaller one."

"It's a thirty-four B cup," she told me. "And I don't have any other
sizes. That's my size, by the way. But never fear. I've got a
solution."

"Wait! What are you doing?" I screeched as she began to stuff my cups
with tissues. The tissues pushed against my suddenly sensitive
nipples in an odd if not uncomfortable way.

"Oh settle down, Mitch. This is a trick every girl learns when she's
still developing," she explained as she stuffed a few more into my
bra. "We can use this method until we see how much bigger they get."

In her full-length mirror, I had to admit the illusion had the
desired effect. My body hair was essentially gone and my hips had
flared some while my waist had retracted. Now, with the illusion of
having full breasts, my figure did look quite feminine. What little
body hair I still had was on my legs and under my arms; my chest was
completely hairless. Oh, I wasn't ready to pose for Playboy just yet,
but no one who saw my enhanced figure would mistake me for a guy. I
had crossed the line. I wasn't just technically a female now - I was
going to have to act like one.

"What's next?" I sighed with resignation.

A few minutes later, razor in hand while Heather lathered my legs and
under my arms, I was sorry I had asked. Shaving had precipitated
another short discussion, but I had to admit the necessity of doing
it. Something as simple as wearing shorts would require shaved legs,
and as for under the arms, well in for a penny in for a pound. 

I halfway contemplated using the razor on my wrists. It was taking
more courage to go through with all of this than I really thought I
had. Still, I had to admit it was no more difficult than shaving my
face - something I hadn't had to do in a number of days. And Heather
told me if I was lucky, I'd only have to shave every few days. 

"Not bad," she critiqued when I had finished and was in the process
of drying off my legs. I was rather proud of my efforts as well. I
had shaved without nicking myself, and I had to admit - only silently
of course - that I had a decent pair of legs. They were still a
little more muscular than most girls' legs, but I knew they would
become more feminine in appearance as my transformation continued. 

Heather was true to her word, giving me a loose-fitting white shirt
and a pair of jeans shorts which weren't cut too obscenely. The only
problem was that they were Heather's clothes, and I was still a
little large for them. The net effect was that they were tighter than
I wanted, making me look like a girl who was trying to show off her
assets in tight-fitting clothes.

"We need to get you something better," Heather declared as I tried on
a pair of too-tight sandals. "We should take you shopping."

"This will do," I told her. The outfit was uncomfortably tight, but I
wasn't ready to be taken shopping. Like most men, I spent as little
time in the malls as I could, and the idea of Heather leading me
around to try on new clothes - new feminine clothes - was too much for me. 

"I suppose you'll grow into them," Heather said with a wicked little
smile. "Now for the makeup."

"Makeup!"

"Don't screw with me, Mitchell."

I gave yet another sigh. If only she knew how much I wished I could
screw with her. Reluctantly, I followed her into the bathroom.

I had to admit, the results were stunning. When she had finished with
me, I didn't exactly look like a fashion model, but no one who looked
at my face would think I was male. She had "gone lightly" according
to her standards. Heather didn't wear particularly heavy makeup. But
what she wore, she wore well.

"The secret is to look as natural as possible," she told me as she
worked on my eyelashes. "Too much of this stuff and you look like a
clown."

"Uh-huh," I agreed, afraid to move as she applied the mascara. I ran
my tongue over my newly-painted lips though, tasting the odd
fragrance of the lipstick. It wasn't particularly unpleasant, and I
supposed I would have to get used to it. The things women did to
themselves to look presentable.

"Stop that!" she admonished me. "If you keep licking them, I'll have
to do them again."

I did as she told me, but reluctantly. The strange waxy feeling on my
lips was so different, I had to consciously force myself not to lick
them.

"There!" she said with an approving stare. "Want to see?"

Before I could answer, she led me out to the full-length mirror
again. I gasped at what I saw. If I looked closely, I could still see
my old self, but only if I tried very hard. Instead, I saw an
attractive young woman, dressed in a loose white shirt and jeans
shorts. My hair was the closest thing left of a male attribute,
having grown considerably but not to its final length I was sure. But
even there, Heather had worked on it until it looked like a feminine
style. She had changed the part so it seemed even longer than it had
grown. Also, its color had become so light that it appeared to have
almost blonde highlights. It framed a distinctly feminine face. Oh,
the nose was a little large and the chin a little pronounced, but the
face was more female than male, particularly when highlighted by
makeup.

"You could use some earrings and I should do your nails," Heather
observed.

"Heather!"

"Okay, okay," she chuckled. "Sorry, Mitch. Let's go downstairs. I
want o see how this look holds up for you in sunlight."

I followed her down the stairs, noticing the odd feel of the bra as I
did. Even with just tissue inside the cups, it was bouncing around a
bit too much for my liking. I had a distinct feeling it would be even
more disturbing when my breasts grew out. I hoped they would remain
small, but something told me Amy would have made certain that I had
big hooters.

"Maybe a little more blush," Heather said critically as she examined
my face in sunlight.

"Excuse me?"

Heather and I both jumped at the sound of a male voice. We turned to
the doorway.

"I'm looking for Mitch and..." Warren's voice trailed off as he
looked closely at me. "Mitch?"

I was sure I didn't need any more blush at that moment. I felt my
face redden. "Hi, Warren." I even tried to pitch my voice down a
little bit. All I succeeded in doing was making it sound unnatural.

Warren was trying to look me in the face, but I could see his eyes
shifting up and down my body, lingering at my chest and my legs. "Is
that really you, Mitch?"

Now how was I to answer that question? I didn't have to, though.
Heather jumped in grasping Warren's hand. "Hi, Warren. I'm Heather.
What do you think of Mitch here?"

Warren's mouth moved but nothing came out. Any answer he came up with
would probably involve inserting a size ten foot into that gaping
mouth. 

Heather smiled to break the ice. "Look, I'll just leave the two of
you alone for a few minutes."

"No!" Warren and I said at exactly the same moment.

"I mean, you don't have to leave," Warren added, recovering first
while I just stood there looking sheepish.

"That's right," I at last agreed. How was I going to talk to Warren?
He'd treat me like a girl! So okay, I would have treated me like a
girl, too.

Heather took one of my hands in hers and one of Warren's in her other
hand. "Look, you two. I know you've been good friends for a long
time. And I know both of you are upset about this. But you need to
talk it out if you're going to remain friends. I'd just get in the
way." Before we could stop her, she placed my hand in Warren's
now-larger one. "Nice meeting you, Warren."

It wasn't until Heather stepped out of the room that Warren and I
released hands. It had felt so strange to hold his hand. He and I
used to have hands about the same size, I realized. Now though, mine
was far smaller. And how wide his fingers seemed compared to my
slender ones. I noticed, too that his fingernails were trimmed short
while mine had been subtly filed into a more feminine shape. That
hadn't been my idea, but we had found that by letting them grow out
and be shaped that way, they didn't continue to grow at an
unnaturally fast pace. I supposed next I would have to give into
Heather's suggestion that I keep them shaped and polished.

"So, I guess you weren't kidding about the curse," Warren managed at last.

I had to look up to meet his eyes now. I was several inches shorter
than I had been the last time I had seen him. "No, I was pretty
serious about it," I replied. "And to make it worse, Warren, Dr.
Barnes doesn't think I'm anywhere near finished."

"You mean..." He couldn't think of how to say it, so I said it for him.

"I mean I'll get even more feminine," I told him. "I'll probably lose
a couple more inches in height. As for the rest, well that will
probably change, too." Yes, I still had fairly narrow hips for a
girl, and my waistline had been getting smaller almost daily now. As
for the breasts... well, I didn't think I'd have to buy a lot more
Kleenex tissue before long.

"Well, at least you're going to be an attractive girl," Warren
observed. Then suddenly, he looked a little embarrassed at what he
had said.

"I suppose I am," I said. I really already was. And judging from the
fact that I hadn't transformed completely, I would probably be even
more attractive in a few days. Hell, I would have to beat guys off
with a stick. In fact, upon closer observation it appeared I might
have to beat Warren off with a stick.

"Hey, what do you say we sit down?" I asked after a moment of
uncomfortable silence. "I'm not used to having to look up at you."

"Sure."

We sat down together on the couch. Although we maintained distance, I
was still a little uncomfortable. I was still nominally male - or at
least what was between my legs was. But not by much, I reminded
myself since that was changing, too. The thought of sitting next to
Warren like some girl being courted was disconcerting. But maybe I'm
being hypersensitive, I told myself. After all, it's just Warren.
We're just friends, aren't we?

"So," he began, changing the subject for our mutual benefit, "have
they had any luck finding Amy?"

I shook my head. "No, but we've found out some interesting things
about her. She's probably one of the most powerful wizards in existence.
That detective Dr. Morley hired - Alan Cane - has learned a lot about
Amy."

"I'm surprised the feds didn't know about her then," Warren said
plopping down on the couch. "The rumor has always been that the
government keeps track of all the powerful wizards."

"Not Amy," I replied, sitting as demurely as I could in jeans shorts
in a chair across from him. "She was always careful to cover her
tracks. Plus Professor Morley thinks she doesn't just change things.
She can warp reality - or so Professor Morley believes."

Warren frowned. "I'm sorry, I guess I don't understand the
difference."

Professor Morley had had to explain the difference to me as well.
"What Amy has done to me is change me. She's changing every cell in
my body, but everybody remembers that I used to be a man. Are you
with me?"

Warren nodded.

"Warping reality is different. It means making people believe
something has always been the way it is, even though it hasn't been."

"So if Amy were to warp reality after you've finished transforming,
she could make everyone believe you had always been a girl."

I shifted uncomfortably on my widening rear. "That's right. But
Professor Morley doesn't think that will happen in my case. Amy wants
to embarrass me. What better way than to do this? In a few days, I'll
be all girl, but everyone - including me - will remember that I used
to be male."

"Speaking of that," Warren said suddenly, "the guys back at the
fraternity house have been asking questions about you. Of course they
have no idea what's happening to you, but they smell a rat. Is there
anything I can tell them?"

Well, I certainly wasn't going to let them know I was being changed
into a girl. There was no choice then but to perpetuate the lie.
"Just tell them I finished finals and headed home and I'll see them
all in the fall, okay?"

Warren managed a thin smile. "Sure, they'll buy that. It's just like
you to leave without saying good-bye, Mitch. But what if they see
your car around town?"

I hadn't thought about that. Sadly, I replied, "Well, if they see
it, they'll see a girl driving it. I guess you'll have to tell them
the girl I was staying with is keeping it for me for a couple of
weeks while I bum around."

"No problem," he said with a chuckle. "They all know you're
perfectly capable of letting some girl sucker you out of your car for
awhile."

I actually managed a little laugh at that and threw a mock punch at
his shoulder. Just for a moment, it was like old times. But just for
the moment. For the most part, we were uncomfortable with each other.
Warren kept grasping for things to say to keep the conversation
moving while I kept wishing I was anywhere except sitting on the
couch with my best friend.

Now don't get the wrong idea. I wasn't turned on by him or anything
like that. If anything, I was embarrassed. Warren and I had spent a
lot of time together chasing the same girls and drinking in the same
bars. We had been not just fraternity brothers but almost like real
brothers, studying together, working together on fraternity projects,
and playing together. We had confided in each other through the years
as we could never have confided with our girlfriends. We both
realized though without saying it that those days were gone.
Mentally, we were still friends, but physically, I had become a
stranger.

"Well," Warren finally managed, getting to his feet, "I guess I'd
better get going."

I smiled and mumbled something about it being good to see him again.
Then we stiffly shook hands and Warren was on his way.

"He's really cute," Heather called out to me when I joined her on the
patio where she was reclining with a book and a tall iced tea.

"I'm glad you think so," I practically growled. "Why don't you try to
get a date with him instead of throwing me at his feet?"

She looked up from the lounge chair she was sitting in a pulled her
sunglasses down on her nose, exposing her innocent eyes. "I wasn't
throwing you at his feet. I thought he was your friend. I was just
trying to give you some time with him."

Heather looked hurt. I felt like a real heel. Heather had been taking
a lot of her own time to help me and I had just snapped at her. "I
sorry, Heather," I said hesitantly. "I guess it's just that so much
has happened. And then my best friend had to see me dressed up like a
girl."

"But you are a girl," she pointed out.

"Not where it counts," I returned. "I guess that makes me some sort
of freak. I just wish this whole change was finished."

I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said, "Be careful what you wish for;
you might get it." It only took three more days. The three days went
by quickly. Every day I was examined by Dr. Barnes and Professor
Morley. And Alan Cane seemed to be calling constantly, asking me
little details of Amy's life. The good news was that I was officially
on the university payroll as a summer assistant to Professor Morley.
The only problem was that they had to give me a female identity. I
had mentioned the name my mother would have given me if I had been
born a girl. As a result, I was now Melissa Ann Mitchell. Well, I
thought, it was as good a name as any. A cute name for a cute girl.
Yuck. 

My breasts grew out rapidly, and each day it took less and less
tissue to make them look right in the bra. By the third day, I even
had to remove some of the tissue by early afternoon. That should have
been a clue about what was about to happen - that and the fact that
my penis had become so small that I had to sit to pee as if I were
already a girl.

The third evening after I had started wearing girl's clothing, it
happened. It started with an itching in my crotch. I had so little
left there I was surprised there was anything left to itch. I went to
bed and tried to get some sleep. I knew what was happening. Dr.
Barnes had noted in his daily examination that my crotch seemed to
lack only an opening to be fully feminine. That could happen at any
moment.

I awoke from a fitful sleep to feel a sharp but highly localized pain
in my groin. It passed quickly, but the damage was done - I was
awake. I lifted myself over the side of the bed, grimacing at the
feeling of my now-full breasts as they shifted inside my pajamas. I
needed to go to the bathroom, but the ebbing pain in my groin made me
wonder if I could do so without irritating whatever was wrong.

On the toilet, I managed to doze a little. I hadn't bothered to turn
on a light, so closing my eyes and dozing was the order of the day -
or rather night. I began to release my urine, but the very act of
doing so woke me up with a start. Something didn't feel right.
Something didn't even sound right. When I finished, I could feel
muscles contracting to stop the flow, but the muscles felt more as if
they were inside my crotch instead of outside. When I thought about
it, the urge to pee had come from inside as well.

I might not have had any magical powers, but I knew what had just
happened. It had only been a matter of time anyhow. With a sigh, I
got up and turned on the bathroom light. After my eyes had adjusted,
I looked down past breasts which had grown larger, past my smooth,
hairless stomach, into the soft hairy patch of hair, which was now
between my legs. There was nothing there. 

No - that's not right. There was something there, but not what I had
grown used to during my entire life. My testicle sack was completely
gone, forming my labia now. What was left of my penis was now, I was
certain, a clitoris. Carefully, so as not to touch the little magic
button I had heard about, a used a delicate finger to touch my new sex. 

To my relief, as long as I avoided my new clitoris, there was nothing
particularly stimulating about touching myself there. In fact, I got
an unpleasant surprise, noting that I was still wet with urine there.
Oh, that's right, I remembered. Girls have to wipe there. Resignedly,
I did so. 

Then I went back to bed. It seemed like a mundane thing to do given
that I had just received my new sex in spades. But I was tired. The
pain had awakened me, but now it had subsided. I was too tired to
ponder over the fact that I now was a woman in every way that was
important. There'd be time to mull that over for the rest of my life.

"Wakey, wakey."

Heather could be just too damned cheerful in the mornings I thought
as I rolled over onto my growing breasts. A little less tissue in the
bra today, I told myself. Soon, I wouldn't need any tissue to fill
the cups. In fact, Heather's cups might even be too small. And I
needed more sleep. Finals were over and my summer job with Professor
Morley didn't officially begin for a few more days. Besides, I really
didn't feel like getting up to face the world as a one-hundred
percent grade-A, certifiable woman. I mumbled something incoherent
and brushed a strand of hair back from my face. Just great - now my
hair was even longer, too. 

"Get up, sleepyhead," Heather ordered as she tugged at my covers.
"Daddy and Dr. Barnes want to run a physical on you."

A physical? Well, they'd get their money's worth this morning, I
thought. Then I grimaced. Now that I was all girl down below, they'd
probably want to do a pelvic exam on me. From what I had heard, that
wasn't exactly something to look forward to.

Unfortunately, I was right. I had never felt as helpless as I did
that morning, feet up in stirrups while Dr. Barnes checked out all
the new plumbing. "This is absolutely amazing, Mitch," he commented
as he examined my labia with a gloved hand - a cold gloved hand I
might add. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you were born a girl. I
don't think anyone in the medical community thought magic could ever
go this far."

Professor Morley had the courtesy to stand aside while I was put on
display. As a new girl, I was beginning to realize that he was a
gentleman of the old school. He treated women - meaning me - with
courtesy and respect. If all men were like him, I thought, this new
sex wouldn't be quite as bad. But most men weren't like him. Hell, I
hadn't even been like him.

"So I'm finished changing?" I asked hopefully as I was finally
allowed to get up an slip on a robe.

Dr. Barnes shook his head. "I'm not sure. All the major changes have
been completed, but your breasts are still on the small side."

Small, I thought! I felt like I had two cantaloupes glued to my chest
and he thought they were small? Of course I knew that they were
small. I still couldn't quite fill Heather's 34-B bra. Besides, it
wasn't like Amy to leave me with small breasts. Knowing her, she
probably planned to give me tits that would hang to the floor. It
wasn't a pretty thought.

"So I look for your breasts to grow a little larger," he continued so
matter-of-factly that I could have cheerfully strangled him. "As for
the rest... well, your hair seems to still be growing quickly. There
may be a few other minor things. Remember, Mitch, were all a little
new at this."

"Doctor?"

It was a woman's voice coming from the doorway. I nearly jumped,
embarrassed that a woman could see me with my legs up like that. Then
I calmed myself by realizing that I didn't have anything she hadn't
seen a thousand times in the mirror. Besides being his nurse, she had
probably experienced this same exam a number of times.

"What is it, May?"

"There was a man in the lobby a few minutes ago. He said he had an
appointment to see you and wanted to go to your office. I wouldn't
let him, of course, and he just disappeared."

"You mean he went away?" Dr. Barnes asked.

"No... he just disappeared."

"That's Cane," Professor Morley laughed. "Don't worry, Rick. He's
probably waiting in your office right now."

Professor Morley was right on both accounts. Cain had made himself
comfortable, even finding a cup of coffee somewhere. He was relaxing
in one of the doctor's guest chairs when we entered the office. I
felt a little uncomfortable when he gave me an approving if somewhat
lecherous stare. It made me wish I hadn't worn shorts and sandals
that morning - or such a snug T-shirt, which showed off my growing
breasts. At least he had the manners to say nothing about my new
look. I noticed he gave Heather the same look when she joined us.
Well why not? We were both girls, weren't we?

"Have you learned anything?" Professor Morley asked when the
appropriate salutations had been made.

"A few things," he allowed gruffly, pulling a weather-beaten notebook
from the pocket of his rumpled sports coat. "Our friend Ms.
Witherspoon hasn't made it easy for me."

I thought about her comment on Cane not being able to find fleas at a
dog show. It took conscious effort to keep from smiling.

"She's clever, I'll give her that," he said. "Her roommate was
telling the truth. She left school back in February and nobody has
seen her since. But apparently, we aren't the only ones looking for her."

"Oh?" Dr. Barnes and Professor Morley said at the same time.

He shook his head. "No. The FBI is looking for her, too. It seems
Mister... uh... Miss Mitchell isn't the only person she's had her fun
with."

"You mean... she's changed other guys into girls?" I asked, almost
hopefully. Maybe misery really does like company.

He shook his head. "Nothing quite that drastic. Mostly, it's little
things, but when you add them up, there's a pattern. A few months
after she initially caught the virus back in high school, her chief
rival for homecoming queen had an unfortunate condition, which caused
all her hair to fall out just before the voting. Incidentally, her
bald friend won on the sympathy vote.

"Then a guy she was dating up here at CU a couple of years ago was
dropped off the football team. He had been a wide receiver who
suddenly lost the ability to catch a ball."

Dr. Barnes nodded. "That would be easy to do. All she would have to
do is change a tendon here and there or maybe the dexterity of the
fingers. It would take a lot of magical skill but it's been done
before. It sounds like she's been practicing."

"The list goes on and on," Cane summed up. "Even her roommate got a
nasty rash when she borrowed a sweater from our girl without
permission."

"But this is all fairly mundane magic," Professor Morley protested.
"Yes, I know, it's irritating to the victim, but in most cases, it
can be fixed. It isn't the sort of thing the FBI would be interested in."

"It's because they suspect she can warp reality, isn't it?" I asked.

Professor Morley smiled. "Good for you, Melissa. You were listening
in class. I'm pleased that I gave you an A."

"What does... she mean?" Cane asked.

"She's referring to the ability of a strong wizard to change things
so completely that it is as if they have always been this way. Do you
have any siblings, Mr. Cane?"

He nodded. "A brother. He lives in Los Angeles."

"Well, our dear Ms. Witherspoon could wipe your brother out of
existence if she wanted. She could make you believe you were an only
child. No one would remember your brother at all - even the mother
who gave birth to him."

"Such power is possible?" Dr. Barnes gasped.

"Possible?" Professor Morley shrugged. "Possible - yes - at least in
theory. The problem is that anyone that powerful would also have the
ability to cover his or her tracks. As far as the rest of the world
would be concerned, nothing would have happened. Now I don't think
her powers have quite reached that level just yet, but we have
believed for some time now that a very powerful wizard could do just
that. To be able to do that though, theory holds, the wizard would
have to exhibit a wide variety of talents. I suspect that the FBI has
evidence that she is reaching that level. Anyone who can make so many
apparent alterations to the human body may have the potential for
warping reality.

"Just think of what you could do with that talent. You could take the
loser of an election and make the world think he had been the winner.
You could change history in a heartbeat. Or on a more modest scale,
maybe our friend Melissa has always been a girl."

"What?" I yelled, practically jumping out of my chair.

Professor Morley nodded with a small smile. "It's true, my dear. By
warping reality, your Amy could just be making all of us think you
were once a male. Maybe you've always been a girl."

"But all my memories..."

He laughed, "Don't worry. That would have to affect a very large
number of people to be valid. That's not to say it couldn't be done,
but it would take a talent far beyond what I suspect she has."

"I don't understand," I said.

"Well, think of it this way. How many people do you know well?"

I thought for a moment. "Well, there's all of you, my fraternity
brothers..." Now why did Warren's face flash before my eyes?
"...there's my family. Then there's my high school friends and
teachers, and - "

He waived his hand. "That's enough. You see, hundreds of people
remember Austin Mitchell. No one remembers Melissa Mitchell. I've
checked. I called your high school and you still exist as a male. If
you had always been a girl and just had the reality around you
readjusted, I doubt if she would have had the ability to change so
many minds. Still, I had to check. Her ability to change you into a
girl was so impressive that I had to make sure she wasn't just
warping reality."

It was confusing. But no wonder the FBI was after her. Apparently the
theoretical ability to change reality was to more common magic as the
atomic bomb was to small explosives. It was the ultimate weapon. But
anyone who had such a power would be hard to catch. And how would you
confine such a person? It was like the old story of the universal
solvent - if it could eat through anything, how do you build a
container to keep it in? I shuddered. I didn't envy the FBI its job.

The meeting broke up after that. Not much was really accomplished, I
guess. Cane went back on the trail, now having to be wary of the
government in his search. I began to fear that Amy might be right
about him. And even if he did find her, what could he do? His magical
powers seemed significant, but they were nothing compared to hers.

Dr. Barnes for all practical purposes certified me to be all woman.
There were a few minor things that might still change according to
him - like my breast size. To him, that was minor. To me, starting to
feel a little bit squished in Heather's 34-B bra, it was pretty
damned major. There was one part of me that hadn't changed, though. I
still had my male mind.

Or did I? How would I know? Men were starting to look attractive to
me - even though I didn't want them to be. I chalked that up to a
whole new set of sexual hormones and equipment. But I still liked
sports. I still didn't want to wear dresses. I still thought of
myself as Mitch, even though everyone had started calling me Melissa. 

But on the other hand, some things were changing. I was more
emotional. Again, that was probably the hormones and all, but it did
change my thinking. I found myself experimenting a little in front of
a mirror with makeup and hairstyles, but I wrote that off as just
trying to do my best to look normal in the new body I had been given.
And I found myself feeling a little more vulnerable, but that was
probably because my female muscles weren't as strong and I was much
smaller.

Okay, so maybe I didn't still have my male mind. The funny thing was,
I didn't think Amy had done anything in particular to it. I think my
body was doing it for her. When you look like a girl and smell like a
girl and sound like a girl and move like a girl - and produce
hormones like a girl - eventually, you're going to start thinking
like a girl. So okay. So I was a girl. I could accept that.

So why was I crying softly to myself as we drove back to Professor
Morley's house?

"Here."

I looked up for the first time since I had sat down in the Morley's
living room. Nearly an hour had gone by, and the gathering clouds
outside that had apparently been too much for weather control to
handle only darkened my mood. I had been staring at a point on the
floor so I wouldn't have to look at anyone - or at my breasts.
Thankfully, the Morleys had left me alone.

Heather was holding a book. "Read this." There was no real emotion in
her voice. She was being purposefully neutral.

"What is it?" The last thing I had read was the latest letter from
Amy. It was waiting for me when we got back from Dr. Barnes' office.
It had been much like the others, telling me what a pretty little
thing I was now and how all the boys would just be panting to get in
my pants. I hadn't gone into a funk because she had merely said this.
I was in a funk because I knew she was right.

"See for yourself," was all she would say.

I took the book from her hand and read the title out loud. "What
Every Girl Should Know..." I looked up at her. "Shit, Heather."

"Now that isn't how nice girls talk," she said primly.

In spite of myself, I laughed. Or to be more accurate, it was sort of
a giggle. 

"Seriously, though," she continued. "You need to read this. I can't
remember to tell you everything."

"But this looks like it was written for a twelve year old," I protested.

She nodded. "Right - it was. But you didn't get to go through puberty
as a girl, so there's a lot of stuff you missed. Look, just read the
book, okay? I'll let you off kitchen duty if you promise to read it."

"All right," I promised, opening the book with a sigh.

I hate to admit it, but I did learn quite a bit from the book. I
thought with my sexual experiences as a male that I knew a fair
amount about women. The book opened my eyes though. They - we - were
really quite complex creatures. Men had very simple bodies by
comparison. Of course, I cringed a little when I read the parts about
the reproductive system and how it all functioned. I had one of those
dandy little systems myself now. What would it be like to get
pregnant... to have a baby? 

Well, maybe I'd never know. I couldn't imagine sex with a man. Or
maybe I could. After all, I was already starting to feel an
attraction to men that I had never experienced before. Maybe it
wouldn't be so bad after all. I tried to put those thoughts aside for
the time being. But I couldn't. The thoughts about my sexual
orientation preyed upon me every day.

A couple more days passed. Heather could read my moods and knew what
I was thinking. Of course, she didn't think there was anything wrong
with my thinking about guys. She didn't say it - at least not in
exactly those words, but she had a good argument for why I should
start thinking about guys in a sexual sort of way.

"Think of it this way," she told me, "Amy would probably like it if
you hid in your room and never came out. The last thing in the world
she wants is for you to be a happy, healthy girl. That's probably why
she's teasing you the way she is. Now what do you say?"

It was the last non-working night we would have for a while. Both
Heather and I were scheduled to start working for the summer. The
next night would be an early night before a working day. So Heather
had suggested we get dressed up and go someplace for a few drinks and
some dancing.

"With guys?" I had blurted.

"No - with Cocker Spaniels," she had replied. "Of course with guys. Duh!"

"No... no," I protested. "You go by yourself." I was getting fairly
comfortable dressing as a girl. Heather had gotten some clothing for
me - just some simple tops and a few pairs of fairly sexy shorts. I
had balked at first, but ended up wearing them. They were sized a
little different from Heather's clothes and fit my new body better.
And yes, there were some new bras. I had topped out at a 36-C. Or at
least I hoped I had topped out there. I hadn't grown for a day or two.

It took her some time, but she finally wore me down. I think her
argument that it was just what Amy wouldn't want me to do finally
wore me down. I was becoming very frustrated with the fact that Amy
seemed to have disappeared off the face of the Earth. Cane had come
up empty, just as Amy had predicted. Undoubtedly, Amy was out there
somewhere, watching me and laughing her butt off. Maybe Heather was
right. Why not let Amy see me having a good time, even as a girl?
Maybe she'd get bored and move on.

I realized as I thought that that it meant I would be a girl for the
rest of my life - if Amy were to move on, that is. There was little
hope to begin with. Well, magic was an evolving science. Maybe some
day wizards would find a way to change me back. Sure, I thought. At
the present rate of development that would be right after I went
through menopause.

"Okay, Heather," I sighed. "What have you got in mind?"

What she had in mind was more than I did. An hour later, I was
standing in front of a mirror stunned at the result. For someone who
didn't want to wear skirts, I had to admit I looked damned good in
one. It seemed Heather had held back on some of the clothing she had
bought for me. She chose that moment to spring them on me. There I
was - a short denim skirt showing off my feminine hips and exposing
long athletic legs encased in dark nylon. I was even managing to walk
in a small heeled sandal. Of course, the heel caused an even more
obvious sway in my walk.

For a top, Heather had talked me into a black tank top that made my
breasts stand out. I was thankful the bra at least hid the nipples,
but that was about all it hid. I was even wearing a woman's watch, a
gold bracelet and a gold necklace. Fortunately, Heather had not
approached me before about piercing my ears, so I went without
earrings.

"You really should get them pierced," she mumbled as she fussed with
my hair. "At least your hair is long enough now that nobody will
notice."

My hair was indeed long enough now. No longer mousy brown, it was now
a dark blonde, and it hung naturally over my bare shoulders. I could
feel it tickling my back between my shoulder blades. I had given up
on trying to cut it. That just seemed to make it grow faster. Knowing
Amy, I thought, it would probably be down to my ass before long.

"You are hot!" Heather said with a grin.

"But I don't want to be hot," I told her with a sigh. I had to admit
that she was right though. "Look, Heather, this is a bad idea. Guys
are going to be ogling me the minute we walk in the place."

"Actually, they'll be ogling both of us," she pointed out. That was
true. Heather's outfit was every bit as sexy as mine, consisting of a
tight white dress and three inch heels. I suppose if I had still been
male and seen two girls that looked like Heather and me walk in the
room, I'd go after Heather first. But if she had turned the male me
down, I would have gone after the new me without a second thought.

That thought suddenly bothered me. Wasn't I as good looking as Heather? 

Now wait just a minute, I told myself. If Heather was hotter than me,
the guys would all be buzzing around her. Maybe they'd ignore me.
Wasn't that what I wanted? I wasn't really going out to have a good
time; I was just doing it in case Amy was spying on me - to make her
think I was okay with being a girl. That's all I was doing, wasn't I?
Well, wasn't I?

There was a sudden mixture of emotions surging through me as I stood
there in front of the mirror. In the weeks in which I had watched
myself slowly transforming into a girl, I thought I had come to grips
with my new sex. Yes, I would be a girl, but I didn't really think
about what that meant. In fact, I tried hard not to think about what
it meant. Sure, I had to deal with different clothes and being seen
in a different light, but inside, I was still the same old Mitch.
Then, as my body became completely female, I did my best to deny its
sensuality. Sure, I dressed in shorts, but only because it was hot.
Yes, I wore a little makeup, but only because I might have drawn more
attention to myself by its absence than its presence. But this...

It was like a hot car, I thought. You see it parked in a parking lot
and you tell yourself, yep, that's a hot car. But you really don't
get excited about it until you see it waxed and perfectly prepped on
the showroom floor. Then you say to yourself, "Damn! That's one hot car!"

That was me. Sitting around the house, I was just that car in the
parking lot. But dressed as I was now, I was waxed and prepped - and
I was about to be wheeled onto the showroom floor where every guy in
the place would say, "Damn! That's one hot girl!"

It took every shred of courage I had to wiggle out to the car with
Heather. With a black purse over my shoulder and my long hair flowing
in the breeze, I must have looked perfectly natural. I was just
another coed in Boulder, on her way out for a good time. Yeah, right.

Please, God, I silently prayed, when we get to the bar, make them
notice Heather and not me. Sure, I thought looking down at myself.
With a rack like I had and these super legs, nobody was going to
notice me. Sure.

The Dark Horse has been a college hangout for about as long as anyone
can remember. I don't know for sure where the horse part comes from,
but I know all about the dark part. It's designed to look rustic with
dark walls and minimal lighting. And it's divided up into a number of
smaller rooms, making it even a little darker.

When Heather and I walked in the door though, it was as if someone
had shined a spotlight on us. Heads turned. Female heads showed
narrowed eyes as the girls saw us as two more rivals for the best
guys in the place. Male heads showed eyes that seemed to be trying to
undress both of us. Heather was taking it all in stride, but I could
feel my face flush as I froze in place like a deer caught in the
headlights. Shit! I couldn't take this, I thought.

But before I could turn and run, I felt Heather's fingers gently
grabbing my bare arm. "Just stay by me," she whispered. "I'll keep
you out of trouble."

Now I knew how a lobster in a restaurant tank felt, watching the
hungry patrons, wondering when someone would select him for the pot.
Every man in the room who was unattached - and even a few who were
attached - were plotting his next move. I could even see a couple of
guys whispering to each other and imagined them saying, "You take the
one in white and I'll go for the one in the denim skirt." How did I
know? Because I had done the same thing dozens of time before - back
when I had something more formidable between my legs.

Heather confidently ordered us a couple of beers - light beers no
less. I had always hated light beer. She acted completely at ease,
as if we were the only two customers in the room. How could she be so
calm? The place was crawling with guys, all of who probably wanted
to... wanted to...

"Can I buy those beers for you?" a male voice asked over Heather's
shoulder. I recognized the voice and cringed. Someone had told me
Grant Davis had been required to go to summer school if he wanted to
keep his football scholarship. But I had never expected to run into
my old fraternity brother. 

I waited anxiously for Heather to tell him to fuck off, but instead,
she smiled. "Sure, why not?"

I could tell her why not. Grant had a reputation. I suppose from my
former perspective, it was an enviable reputation, but not now. Grant
had bedded more coeds than any other guy in our fraternity. Given his
wavy brown hair and solid good looks, he scored points just by
honoring a girl with his winning smile. He was favoring us with such
a smile right then.

"We've got a table over there," he said with a nod of his head as he
paid for the beers. "Care to join us?"

"Sure," Heather said glibly. Again I cringed. If she said "sure" one
more time, we were both going to be in big trouble.

Meekly, I followed them to a table. Grant sat next to Heather,
forcing me to sit next to... oh my God! "Shark" Malone was a nasty
character - mean and nasty, both on the football field and off. He
wasn't a member of my fraternity, but Grant had invited him to a
couple of parties as a guest. Word had it that the only reason he
wasn't in jail for attempted rape was that he was one of the top
defensive ends in the country. Now I was going to have to sit next to
him.

"Hey, babe," he crooned, draping a massive arm over the back of my
chair. "I'm 'Shark.'"

Apparently I didn't rate being given his last name.

"And I'm Grant Davis," Grant said more to Heather than to me. Heather
smiled and introduced us - first names only thankfully. I didn't want
Grant to connect the last name of Mitchell with his old fraternity
brother. Fortunately and to my surprise, Grant didn't find me
familiar. I still looked a little like Mitch - or rather like someone
who could have been Mitch's sister. Maybe if he'd heard my last name,
he might have gotten curious. Shark on the other hand didn't seem to
hear my name. He was too busy trying to look down the front of my
top. I felt like crawling under a table and dying.

When we had walked into the Dark Horse, I had thought that I wanted
Amy to be there someplace, watching as I handled my new femininity
with aplomb. Now, I prayed she was a thousand miles away. The last
thing in the world I wanted her to see was me sitting next to Shark
Malone cringing as he slipped his arm unbidden over the back of the
booth and behind me.

"Better watch it, Melissa," Grant laughed. "Shark's a real charmer."

"You better believe it," Shark agreed, his eyes predatorial slits.

"Melissa!" a familiar voice called from behind us. "Hey, I'm sorry
I'm late."

It was Warren! Oh thank God! Chivalry was not dead. There really were
white knights in the world. I jumped up, barely avoiding Shark's
cloying grasp. It was the first time in my life I had ever wished for
someone to shake Shark's grasp.

To my surprise, Warren slipped his hand around my waist and suddenly
kissed me. My eyes opened further than I thought they could. What...?
Then I realized what was happening. This was all for Shark's benefit.
Warren had seen me at the big clown's mercy and decided to make it
look like I was his girl. So okay, I've never been much of an actor,
but I melded myself to Warren and returned the kiss, closing my eyes.
The funny thing was, it felt sort of... interesting.

"Hey, pal!" Shark growled, jumping out of his seat.

The bar became suddenly quiet.

"Cool it, Shark," Grant said good-naturedly. "This is Warren Hobbs.
He's one of my fraternity brothers."

Shark's eyes narrowed. He wasn't in any fraternity himself, but he
realized what it meant. There was a connection between Grant and
Warren that he dared not disturb. If he tried to scare Warren off, he
risked pissing off Grant. Beside, what did it matter? I was only a
chick. If I didn't know a good thing when I saw it, then fuck it. Let
the little wimp have her. He didn't bother to apologize, but he did
sit back down and take a long drink of beer. I was apparently
forgotten now, like a toy that was no longer interesting.

"Been waiting long, sweetheart?" Warren asked when we were safely in
the next room. His arm was still around me.

"What?" I asked, then saw the wicked grin on his face. "Thanks,
Warren," I mumbled. "I'll get Heather for this."

"Don't bother," he chuckled. "She's the one who told me you'd be here."

I stared at him stupidly.

"She called just before you guys started over here," Warren
explained. "I guess she knew you'd be hit on and thought it might be
a good idea to have me pose as your boyfriend for the evening."

My plans to murder Heather suddenly vaporized. I would now be happy
to leave her in serious pain without any visible scars. After all,
coming to the Dark Horse had still been her idea.

"Okay, you're mad at her," Warren observed. "Don't worry though. I
think she just spotted a guy she wanted to be with and knew I'd be
along any minute. She probably didn't even know about that other guy.
No harm done."

"Taking her side, eh?" I muttered, moving out of his grasp.

"Don't look too unfriendly," he advised. "If you're not see to be
with me, there's a lot of guys out there ready to pounce."

I looked around, observing that he was absolutely right. I might be
talking to Warren, but that hadn't stopped other guys from looking at
me. With a small shudder, I moved closer to him again. "Warren, get
me out of here."

He looked around. "Okay. You hungry?"

I nodded. "A little." One advantage to my new form is that I didn't
seem to need as much food, but I hadn't eaten since morning.

"Let's go get a bite." He put his arm around me protectively and we
strolled out together.

I gave a sigh of relief when we got into his car. "Thanks, Warren. I
owe you big time."

He seemed to consider that for a moment. "Don't mention it. What
sounds good to eat?"

I shrugged. "You pick."

"You like Nepalese?"

"Huh?"

"You know, food from Nepal. It's sort of like Indian food. There's a
great place for it down on the Mall."

Like Warren, I had grown up in beef country. In cities along the
Missouri River Valley, many men wouldn't eat meat unless it's last
words included "moo." I had always been a beef and potatoes kind of
guy. Warren on the other hand, liked to experiment. He had plenty of
money and found it entertaining to take his dates to exotic
restaurants.

Was that what I was? I asked myself as he helped me down the steps to
the restaurant's basement level. I suppose I was, but for some
reason, it didn't seem to bother me as it should have. I was just
happy to have company - someone who I could talk to, and if the truth
be known, someone who could protect me. One of the biggest problems
with being female I was finding was the vulnerability. Just that few
minutes with Shark had taught me that I was no longer protected by an
aura of presumed male strength. So if all of that meant I had to be
Warren's date just to get a decent meal without being hit on, so be
it. Besides, Warren was still my friend. Just because I was having
dinner with him didn't mean it was a boy-girl thing, did it?

The restaurant was an unexpected joy. I had never eaten food quite
like it before. The waiter was good as well, levitating the trays of
food with a magical skill that delighted me. Dishes would float to
the table, circling each other as their enticing aromas wafted
through the air.

"He's quite talented," Warren observed after the waiter had floated
two dishes of khir to our table to finish the meal. "I wish I had his
skill."

"You have magical talent," I told him with just a touch of envy.
"I've seen you move things around."

He smiled. "Move them around, yes, but not like our waiter can. Watch."

As I looked where he was pointing, I could see my chai cup move from
my right to my left.

"Pretty good," I commented.

He shook his head. "Sure, I can move it from side to side, but I
can't lift it. That takes a lot more skill. I just don't seem to have
the ability."

"Well it's more than I have," I told him. "My WK Index is practically
in negative numbers."

At that moment, we seemed to have both run out of things to say.
Warren and I had always been okay with that when I was male. We might
be sitting at Starbuck's drinking coffee and talking and suddenly run
out of things to talk about. So we would look around, sipping our
drinks and be comfortable not saying a word. Something had changed
though, for now, instead of looking around, we found ourselves
looking at each other. 

I suddenly realized that Warren was attractive. I had been noticing
men's looks since the transformation had made me more girl than boy,
but it hadn't been the same as it was there in the quiet restaurant
looking into Warren's eyes. I was beginning to see why he took girls
to places like that. They were... romantic. I began to feel oddly
stimulated, my new anatomy sending signals to my brain that were
different but reminiscent of stirrings I had felt when I had been
male and in the presence of an attractive girl. I tried to look away,
but somehow couldn't bring myself to do so.

I'm not sure what thoughts were running through Warren's mind, but I
could guess. His brown eyes looked at me quizzically, as if he was
trying to figure out who I was. Then, the eyes clouded. "We'd
probably better be going," he mumbled. "I have to work tomorrow."

"Oh," I said, the moment lost. "That's right - you're working for
your father this summer."

"Well, I'm working in his Boulder office," he pointed out. "It's a
small branch, but consulting is consulting whether it's in Omaha or
Boulder."

I smiled as we got up. "And you'd rather spend the summer in Boulder
than Omaha."

"Have you ever been in Omaha in the summer?" he asked lightly.

"No," I admitted with a little laugh that unfortunately sounded like
a giggle, "but I know it's hot and humid in the summer - just like my
home. I grew up in Kansas City, remember?"

"That's right," he said slowly, as if he suddenly remembered who I
really was.

I could understand his confusion. If the truth be told, I was having
a little trouble remembering who I was, too. Oh, not in the literal
sense. I hadn't forgotten my male life, but this was just so...
different.

It was still fairly early when we got home, but the lights were
already off in Professor Morley's room. I could see the light from a
reading lamp in Heather's room, so she was already home. That meant
Grant hadn't scored.

"I'll walk you to the door," Warren offered.

"I'm fine..." I started, but he was already out of the car and coming
around to my side to open the door. Strangely, I didn't know whether
to be irritated or pleased. I felt irritated because this was my old
friend Warren, treating me like girl. On the other hand, I was a
little pleased, because this was my old friend Warren, treating me
like a girl. I wasn't sure if I was irritated or pleased, but I knew
I was confused.

He had his arm gently around my waist. I didn't really mind that. I
had let him do that earlier when I was a little wobbly on my new
heels. Somehow, it just seemed right for him to do it. Besides, it
wasn't as if he was possessively squeezing me. It was more like a
token of respect.

At the door, I smiled and said, "Is this the part where I'm supposed
to tell you I had a wonderful time?"

He returned my smile. "Well did you?"

Well, did I?

"Actually, I did have a good time," I replied, a little coyer than
I had intended.

Then Warren did what I would never have expected him to do. He leaned
down and kissed me on the lips. It wasn't a passionate kiss, but he
wasn't just kissing his sister either.

"Uh... Warren, I'm a guy, remember?" I managed to say as I felt my
face redden.

"You were a guy," he reminded me softly. "You aren't a guy anymore."

Before I could reply, he gave me a little wave and walked away. I
waited until he had driven off before remembering to go inside.

"So how was your evening with Warren?" Heather asked with a little
grin as I walked into her room.

"I should pound on you for what you did to me tonight," I said,
trying unsuccessfully to sound menacing.

"What? Because you had to sit with Shark? There was nothing to worry
about. Grant was there."

"Oh?" I returned. "Were you and Grant going to pull him off me while
he raped me on the table, or did you just figure he'd get tired of
pawing me before that?"

Heather frowned. "I'm sorry, Melissa. I keep forgetting you don't
know how to handle these situations."

"Oh, I know how to handle them," I said, sitting on the edge of her
bed to take off my heels. "I should have just kicked Shark in the
balls."

She shook her head. "That isn't what I mean. Shark might be dangerous
if you were alone with him, but he wasn't going to do anything in
public. You just need to learn how to be firm with guys like him -
let them know you won't put up with that."

"Won't put up with that?" I repeated. "Look at how much bigger than
me he is. He could have beaten the crap out of Mitch. I hate to think
what he could do with Melissa."

She sighed. "You just aren't listening. In private, he might beat the
crap out of you. He looks like that kind of guy who just might do
that. In public though, he doesn't dare harm you. It wouldn't make
him look good. Do you understand my point?"

"I suppose," I said reluctantly.

She pressed on. "Besides, I called Warren. I happened to think it
might be good if there was a friendly male face in the room." Then
she smiled. "It looks like I was right - in more ways than one."

"Wait a minute," I warned, shaking my head. "Don't get the wrong
idea. Nothing happened. Warren's just a friend."

She shrugged. "That's okay. But if something had happened between you
two, it wouldn't be a tragedy. You're really a girl now. It's okay to
be attracted to guys."

I quickly changed the subject and we talked for a few more minutes
before I trundled off to bed. I really didn't want to talk about even
the potential of a relationship with Warren - not even to Heather.
That was something I still needed to sort out in my own mind. The
truth was, I was finding myself oddly attracted to Warren. I lay
there in bed remembering some of my most pleasant dates with women
when I had been Mitch. Like tonight, those dates had left me wanting
more when the evening ended. 

No, I don't mean more in the sense of sex - although that would have
been nice, too. I just mean I wanted to see more of them - to spend
time with them. That was how it was with Warren. I had enjoyed the
evening with him as a good friend. Sure, I was a girl now, but we
were friends - good friends. I wanted to spend more time with him as
a friend, I told myself.

But if that was the case, why was I feeling that odd little tingle in
my nipples and between my legs? Why was I remembering that little
kiss and the taste of his lips on mine? Why was I thinking about how
good I felt when he put his arm around me or when we looked deeply
into each other's eyes? I was still without answers to these
questions and more when I drifted off to sleep.

Morning found me in Dr. Barnes' office, being poked and prodded once
again. I was getting tired of the frequent exams. I suspected over
the last few weeks I had had as many gynecological exams as real
women my age.

"Well, I'd say you're finished changing," Dr. Barnes said as he
stripped off the examination glove and threw it away. "Go ahead and
get dressed."

Those were words I had come to live for. "So you think my breasts and
hips are done changing?" I asked hopefully. My breasts, although
firm, seemed to drag my whole chest forward and down slightly and my
hips felt like they were going to brush into something whenever I
walked.

"No change for the last few days," he assured me. Then he pulled a
slip of paper out of his pocket and handed it to me.

I looked down and saw it was a prescription. I didn't recognize the
type of medication.

"It's for birth control pills," he explained.

"What?"

"Melissa, you are a woman now," he said calmly, as if explaining
something to a small child. "You will have periods and you will
experience normal sexual urges just like any other young female. But
you lack the experience of a young woman."

"So Heather tells me," I allowed.

He nodded. "Heather is right. You've told me you don't seem to be
attracted to girls anymore. I think it's time you admitted to me that
you have become attracted to men."

Silently, I nodded my head. I could feel my face turn red. I had even
been thinking about what a nice looking man Dr. Barnes was.

"There's nothing wrong with that. You're a woman. So take the pills -
just as a precaution. In addition, they'll help regulate your
periods. They may be a little irregular at first. In fact..." He
turned to a cabinet and produced several boxes of pills. "...I
prepared a two-month supply for you. Start taking them today -
doctor's orders."

Doctor's orders, I thought as I pulled the boxes out of my purse once
I was home. They were neatly arranged in groups of seven for each day
of the week. I was tempted to throw them away. That way I wouldn't be
tempted to... to... Well, I just wouldn't be tempted. But Dr. Barnes
had a good point. What if I did give in to the new impulses of my
body? It was bad enough to be turned into a girl, but to get pregnant
was too much to think about. Before I could change my mind, I took
the pill for that day and swallowed it.

"What are you taking?"

It was Heather. I hadn't heard her come in. "A birth control pill," I
answered through gritted teeth.

She shrugged. "It's a good idea. Better safe than sorry."

I planned on staying very safe - and the best way to stay safe was to
keep boys out of my pants. Tomorrow would be a working day, and I'd
probably meet lots of guys on campus. I made a vow: no dates. That
meant no drinks after work, no casual movie dates, no nothing. I
didn't care if Amy knew it or not. I wasn't going to try to frustrate
her by acting like a normal girl with normal urges anymore. My normal
urges might get me in too much trouble. 

So why the pill? Simple: insurance. I wasn't sure I could trust
myself. I had experienced some weird feelings when I was with Warren.
If these new feminine urges continued to grow, the pill just might be
the last line of defense.

"By the way," Heather said, "Daddy wants to meet with us after lunch.
Cane and Dr. Barnes will be there, too."

"Oh?" I replied . "Does Cane have any news?"

"I don't know. We'll just have to see."

He didn't. The meeting was a big disappointment to me. Dr. Barnes
reported just what he had told me that morning - that I was now a one
hundred percent certified girl. Cane had no new leads. "In fact," he
told us, "I'm becoming even more circumspect. One of my leads told me
that an FBI agent had asked her about Amy as well."

Professor Morley shook his head. "That isn't good at all. If the
government gets wind of this, Melissa here will be spending the rest
of her days in a government lab."

I shuddered at the thought. I had been poked and prodded quite
enough, thank you. I had no desire to be a lab rat. Of course,
Professor Morley and Dr. Barnes had been studying me, too, but they
had done so to help me. The government wouldn't be so gentle. I
remembered reading about the Manhattan Project and the development of
the atomic bomb. Land had been confiscated in New Mexico and people
displaced so that Los Alamos could be built as an atomic research
facility. Magic might prove in the long run a more potent weapon than
atomic bombs, so I had no doubt I would not be treated well. Like the
land owners in New Mexico in the forties, my rights would mean
nothing if national security was at stake.

"I can help," Cane said, producing an envelope from his coat pocket.
He opened it and dropped the contents on a nearby table. "There's
everything you'll need here, Melissa. There's a driver's license,
social security card, birth certificate and credit cards in your
name. This is what we used to get you hired over at the University."

I had wondered how they had gotten me on the payroll without the
right identification. I was relieved to have it. At the Dark Horse, I
had used my old male ID to get me in. Nobody ever checks a cute
girl's ID too carefully. They want cute girls in the bars.

"It will all pass muster," Cane said proudly. "It's all real - or as
real as it can be."

I wondered if the ID's had been somehow magically enhanced or if they
were just the product of old-fashioned forgery. Knowing Cane, it
could have been either. Gratefully, I scooped up the documents.

"Then from here on, there's not much we can do," Professor Morley
announced. "We have no good leads on Amy. The government is getting a
little too curious, and Melissa's transformation is now complete.
There's nothing to do but remain watchful and go on with our lives.
Melissa, will you be all right?"

I nodded. I hated to give up on any chance of getting back to my old
life, but I had always known it was a long shot at best. My parents
would be coming out in a couple of weeks, but other than that, it
would be life as usual - or at least what had become usual in the
last few days. "I'll be all right."

Professor Morley smiled. "Melissa, I hope Amy realizes how badly
she's failed. You've adapted splendidly to your new life. I doubt if
any of the rest of us could have done as well. I've almost begun to
think of you as a second daughter. I hope you'll stay with us - not
only for the summer, but when classes start for you again this fall."

"I'd... I'd like that," I replied with a smile for Heather and her
father.

The next few weeks had their ups and downs. My job was as an
administrative assistant in the Department of Magic. Heather worked
in another department, so I didn't see much of her during the day.
That forced me to make new friends. Perhaps it was my experience with
Heather, but I found making friends with girls easy. After all, I was
one of them.

The talk at breaks and lunch often turned to boys. Only one of the
women in the office was married. The rest were like me - coeds who
were working through the summer rather than going home. It seemed as
if all of the girls had a boyfriend. And when the conversation turned
to me, I realized quickly that if I didn't have a boyfriend, I would
be deluged with offers of dates with friends of their boyfriends. So
I became Warren's girlfriend.

Not really, though; I just used him as an excuse. I knew enough about
Warren to make it sound convincing. After all, we had roomed together
when I was still male. The odd thing was that when I found myself
talking about Warren, it was almost as if he really was my boyfriend.
When I described his looks, one of the other girls commented, "He
sounds yummy!" When I talked about his personality, I would often
hear one of the girls grumble, "I wish my boyfriend was more
sensitive like that."

As far as the downs were concerned, the letters from Amy continued to
come. In one, she ridiculed Cane again, reminding me that she had
told me he wouldn't be able to find her. In another, she noted with
glee that I had finally given into convention and gotten my ears
pierced. Most of her letters were just more of the same, though,
laughing at my newly-made womanhood. I had gotten to the point that I
would just read them as if they were junk mail and pass them on to
Professor Morley. I suppose the phone call shouldn't have come as a
surprise.

"Department of Magic," I said cheerfully.

"Oh, you sound so sweet!" a laughing voice said. My blood froze. It
was Amy's voice.

"Amy, why did you do this to me?" I was thankfully alone in the
office. It was my turn to man the phones over lunch hour, so I was
the only one there. No one else could hear me or note the tension in
my feminine voice.

"If you still have to ask that, you haven't been a girl long enough,"
she replied coldly.

"What? Because I broke up with you? You would have broken up with me
eventually," I told her. "I had no magical talent. I couldn't keep up
with you."

"But I loved you."

I wished she could see me shaking my head. "No you didn't. I don't
think you know what love is, Amy."

"You'll never get changed back talking to me like that," she threatened.

"You'll never change me back anyway," I countered. 

"Well, well, see girls really are smarter than boys."

The line went dead. Well, if I needed any confirmation that Amy had
no intention of changing me back into my male self that call
clenched it. Even thought I knew she had no intention of changing me
back, I caught myself sniffling as I mourned my lost manhood. At
last, I picked up the phone and called Professor Morley. 

Meetings with the Professor and his associates had trickled off to
about once a week. There was really nothing much to meet about
anymore. My womanhood was complete, Amy was nowhere to be found, and
even the FBI had apparently moved on, so what was there to talk about?

Dr. Barnes had shifted to more of a counselor than a doctor. While
Heather was fine for helping me deal with the social aspects of being
a woman, Dr. Barnes helped me deal with the physical aspects. I
suspected he might even be using a little magic to calm me down. Most
successful new doctors had at least some magical talents, although
Dr. Barnes had obviously gotten his MD before magic had begun to play
a part in medical treatment. Still, I always felt better after
talking with him.

Cane continued to meet with us, although his role had been reduced to
making certain no one found out whom I really was. The trail to Amy
was completely cold. It was as if she had disappeared completely,
only returning from the Great Beyond to write me a letter or call to
taunt me. He had even been unable to trace Amy's phone call.

As for Professor Morley, he remained active, still gathering
information pertinent to my situation. After I had told everyone
about the phone call, he gave his report. 

"I've had to be careful obtaining this information," he began, "but
I'm starting to believe Amy is not unique. Of course, the government
tries to suppress any instances of magic this powerful."

"They can do that?" I asked.

He nodded. "It's not surprising really. Think of what they would have
done before magic if someone had built an atomic weapon in his
garage. It's the same thinking. Magic can be a powerful weapon. I
have a list in my office of magical talents, which must be reported to
the government under the latest National Defense Act." He stopped and
smiled. "Of course, I haven't read it in a while, so I can't be sure
if Amy's talents fall under the Act."

We all chuckled at that.

The meeting broke up shortly thereafter, but Dr. Barnes stopped me
before leaving. "I understand your parents are coming tomorrow."

"That's right," I told him. In a way, Amy's call had been helpful -
it had taken my mind off how my parents would react to me. We had
talked on the phone many times, and they had had the opportunity to
hear my voice become sweeter and more feminine with each call. But
this would be the first time I would have the chance to see them
since my transformation. I was understandably nervous.

"Did you want me to meet with them?"

I shook my head. It still felt so strange to feel my long hair move
about when I did so. "No, I'll be fine. I need to do this myself."

But the next day as I went over to their hotel to meet them, I found
myself wishing I had Dr. Barnes along for moral support. My parents
had been calm and understanding through the whole process. They had
offered to come out before, but I hadn't wanted them to see me part
male and part female. Now though, I was to meet them for the first
time as their daughter. 

I had decided to wear something simple to meet them - just jeans and
a T-shirt and sneakers. It was an outfit they would relate to. Of
course, I filled the outfit much differently than they were
accustomed to seeing. The jeans were tight and displayed my feminine
ass in all its glory. The T-shirt of course bulged forward over my
breasts, and even my sneakers with their pink laces screamed "girl"
all over the place. To make it worse, putting little gold hoops into
my ears had gotten to be so normal that I had done so without
thinking. What was my father going to say when he saw his younger son
wearing earrings? Of course, I wasn't his son anymore, I reminded
myself. Meekly, I knocked on the door to their room.

It was my mother who opened the door.

It was a little disconcerting to find that I was now only an inch or
two taller than my mother. I was used to looking down at her, but no
more. For the first time in weeks, I realized how much smaller I was.
"Oh, Melissa!" she cried, hugging me. The feel of our breasts pushing
against each other was strange at best.

Then, she moved away from me, admiring me with a brave smile as she
looked up and down my body. "Melissa, you're absolutely beautiful!"

I gave a weak smile of my own. "Well, I don't know about beautiful,"
I mumbled.

"I do," my father said as he came up to give me an unexpected hug.
Mostly in recent years, we had just shaken hands or maybe enjoyed a
quick hug that was more like a pat on the back. This time though, it
was a true hug. Dad was now so much bigger I thought he would
suffocate me.

My little sister, Ramona, was there, too almost in awe of the girl I
had become. I was her big sister now. She added her hug to the others.

So I was accepted by my family, I thought tearfully. In the endless
parade of ups and downs, this was definitely an up.

They only stayed through the weekend, but it was good to know I still
had a family that cared. Mom even took Ramona and me shopping,
although I think the two of them enjoyed it far more than I did. It
was just a little weird to be bonding with the two of them while my
father used the time to get in a round of golf with Professor Morley.

Ramona caught me alone just before they all left. "I just wanted you
to know," she said a little shyly, "I really liked having you for a
brother, but it's so neat to have a sister now."

"Okay," I sighed, "but it doesn't mean you can borrow my makeup."

I had said it so deadpan that Ramona looked at me in surprise. Then
we both giggled. We gave each other a sisterly hug, and I realized
that everything was going to be all right with my family.

Then another one of the downs hit within a few hours after my
family's departure - I experience my first period. If I had to
describe to one of my male friends what men experience that is the
equivalent of a period, the closest thing I could come up with is the
flu, but even that doesn't do it justice. Sure, the cramping and the
bloating are flu-like, but not exactly. And then there was the
strange sensation of walking around with something shoved up inside
of me. It made me wonder how sex could be pleasant for a woman when
the presence of a tampon was so downright unpleasant.

Then it was two days after my period mercifully ended - a Friday -
that the next up occurred. 

"Hi."

I looked up from my desk. It had been a quiet morning in the office,
and I had managed to lose myself in an article in the latest issue of
Magic Today. It was on advances magic had made on work with the
mentally ill. 

"Warren!" I cried. I was actually very happy to see him. He had been
busy the last few days, even having to take a trip back to his
father's office in Omaha. Even when he was in town, our contacts had
been limited to phone conversations. 

Of course, I can protest that we were both too busy to see each
other, but that wasn't the truth. The truth was that although we had
been good friends for years, the equations had all changed. It was
one thing for good old Warren and good old Mitch to be good friends.
It was something else again for handsome Warren and pretty Melissa to
be good friends. I was becoming attracted to Warren in a way I had
never imagined before transforming. And I had reason to believe he
was becoming attracted to me. Neither of us was ready for that, it
had seemed, or we would have seen each other before now.

"I was just in the neighborhood," he said glibly, "and wanted to see
if you would have lunch with me."

"I'd love to," I told him, grabbing my purse. His timing had been
perfect as my lunch relief was standing just outside the door with
two of the other girls from the office. I could see that they were
taking the time to appraise Warren. I had no doubt that the
attractive, personable guy standing at my desk wearing a sport coat
and polo shirt was getting high marks. 

I had expected him to take me to one of the little places around
campus, but instead, we drove downtown to the Pearl Street Mall where
he admitted he had already gotten us reservations.

"So you were sure I'd have lunch with you," I laughed.

He shrugged as we waited for our table. "Well, I figured if you
couldn't go, there were other cute girls in the office who might want
to. I could have held a lottery..."

I punched him playfully in the arm. "You're awful."

In retrospect, it seems odd that we would be bantering like that. I
sounded so much like the girl I had become that I'm sure no one who
saw us would have thought we were anything but a couple who had been
dating for some time. I suppose in a way, they would have been right.
Warren and I had lived together and we had dated. We just hadn't done
it at the same time.

We got the usual small talk out of the way within a few minutes of
being seated. Warren was actually enjoying working in his father's
Boulder office. It turned out his father's firm was a consulting firm
specializing in telecommunications. With the big push toward
integrating magical protocols in the switching networks, his office
was very busy with local clients such as US West.

I in turn told him about my job. The restaurant was fairly public,
even though we had a somewhat secluded table, so I had to be a little
careful about what I said. It wouldn't do for someone to overhear an
attractive girl start reminiscing about her days as a boy, even in a
time when magic was possible.

Then Warren got serious. "I've missed you."

"Why?" I asked blankly. "We've talked on the phone and you know where
I live. You could have always come over."

He sighed, "I know, but I wasn't sure you would really want to see me."

So okay, I was a little naпve. It took me a moment to realize he
wasn't talking about missing his old friend Mitch. He was talking
about missing Melissa. That meant...

"I'm always happy to see you," I told him with a nervous little
smile. Sure, now I knew what he meant, but the funny thing was that
when I stopped and thought about it, I had missed him, too. That
night when he had picked me up at the Dark Horse and we had gone out
to dinner together was the happiest night I had had since my
transformation. I knew deep down from the little tingles I got in
sensitive places when I thought about that night that I was attracted
to Warren. After all, I was a girl and he was a boy. Maybe it hadn't
always been that way, but that was the way it was now - and chances
were that was the way it was going to stay. And we had been friends
for a long time. We knew each other well, and I realized that this
boy who had been my best friend when I was male was now not just a
friend, but an attractive friend. Sexually attractive. Oh God, had I
really changed that much?

His face brightened. "Do you mean that?"

"Yes," I replied confidently. It was good to see him smile at me like
that.

"Maybe we could go out tonight," he suggested. "I haven't eaten
Nepalese since that night with you. Maybe about seven?"

I nodded my head with a smile.

We continued to laugh and talk through lunch like the old friends we
were, but we both knew a bridge had been crossed. When I examine my
feelings closely, I realize I had wanted to cross that bridge for
weeks but hadn't even admitted it to myself. I suppose I could be
excused for being so truculent when it came to admitting to my
feelings. After all, it had only been a few weeks ago that I was a
male - content with being male. My sexual stirrings were focused at
that time on getting Becky Samuelson in the sack. I would never for
an instant have imagined myself in skirts and pantyhose looking at
some boy in a sexual way. Even now, it was intellectually difficult
to accept. But physically, it felt right.

Physically, I thought after Warren had left me back at my office -
what exactly did I mean by physically? I suppose I meant that the
mixture of female hormones and female body parts that made Melissa
different from Mitch had finally taken their toll. I found men
attractive now with only a tiny pang of guilt and shame. And I found
Warren particularly attractive.

I rushed home from work that day, finding myself alone in the house.
Good. That gave me more time to think about what I was going to wear.
Something revealing or something demure? Decisions, decisions. This
was insane. I was as indecisive as a... as a... As a girl going out
on a date with a guy she really liked. So okay, that's exactly what I
was.

I mentally wrung my hands as I examined my limited wardrobe, cursing
myself now that I had ignored Heather's admonitions regarding the
lack of variety in my clothes. I suppose it had been one last gasp
from Mitch, attempting to avoid a too-feminine wardrobe. Where was
that perfect outfit now that I needed it? 

I settled on a white knit sleeveless top, a black leather miniskirt
that Heather had bought for me when I refused to buy it myself, and
one inch black heels. Hmm... just one-inch heels with a leather
miniskirt? I kicked them off and went for a sandal with a two-inch
heel. Better. Too bad I didn't have anything a little... sexier.

Fluffing my dark blonde hair out as soon as I had finished
accessorizing the outfit, I thought I looked fine, but something was
missing. Oh yes - the makeup. What was it Heather had told me -
something about day makeup and night makeup? I experimented for a
while until I had just the right look - darker eyes, fuller lips and all.

As the time approached for Warren to pick me up, I had a momentary
panic well up inside me. I think it was what was left of Mitch again,
mentally chiding me for looking so damned hot. But what was I
supposed to do? I asked my ebbing male self. I couldn't very well
dress and act like I had when I was male. Even the most masculine of
attire and complete lack of makeup wouldn't disguise my new sex. If I
was a girl, I might as well be the most attractive girl I could be,
and if I had to be interested in boys, I might as well look good for
a boy like Warren who I really liked. Sure, it was my hormones trying
to rationalize, but it was what I needed to tell myself. 

"You look great," Warren said admiringly when he picked me up.

"So do you," I responded, meaning it. Why had I never really
appreciated how handsome Warren could be even when dressed simply in
a knit shirt and dark slacks. Why hadn't I noticed how strong and
masculine he appeared to be? Why hadn't I realized what a gentleman
he could be as he slipped his arm gently around my waist?

Dinner at the Nepalese restaurant was even better than the last
dinner we had shared there. Now I don't mean the food was tastier or
the wine more sophisticated; I mean just being there with Warren.

Did I know where the evening was taking us? I think in my heart of
hearts I did. Of course the wine helped a little, but I think I would
have done what I did even without it. The decisive moment came as we
strolled out of the restaurant into the cool summer Boulder evening.

The Pearl Street Mall was alive with young people, many of them
well-dressed couples just like us. I watched as one couple passed us,
the boy's arm securely around the girl's waist as she leaned into
him. I quickly emulated the pose. I found to my delight that it was
very natural and pleasant.

"What would you like to do now?" Warren asked gently.

"Well," I said softly, realizing as my body tingled where this would
lead, "didn't you tell me your apartment wasn't far from here?"

He smiled a knowing smile. "Are you sure?"

"As sure as I can be," I told him, meaning it sincerely.

We said little to each other from that point on. We both knew what we
wanted. Once we were in his apartment, the door closed and low lights
on, I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him deeply. I sighed
contentedly as he returned the kiss with equal fervor.

A little clinical corner of my mind tried to analyze what was
different about kissing a boy. Of course his face was rougher than
that of girls I had kissed, and even though he had shaved closely,
the little hint of whiskers was there. I think the difference I noted
more than any other was his strength. I felt warm and protected in
his arms. It was such a different feeling than as a male. When I had
been male, this moment was one in which I felt I needed to take the
lead, pressing my partner gently until she yielded to my desires.
Now, I was the woman, and I found it felt good to be the one
yielding, letting Warren take the lead as he slowly removed his shirt
and my top. 

Perhaps I should have felt fear and trepidation, but I didn't. I
felt... desire. There was an emptiness in me that needed to be filled
- a craving, which had to be satisfied. I wanted Warren in that moment
more than I had ever wanted anything else in my life. Had I once been
male? It was hard to recall. Had I once thought my female body was a
curse? It was hard to imagine. Had I ever felt such joy?

No. Never.

Exhausted at last, Warren slept peacefully by me. I now knew why
women became so exasperated when their lovers fell asleep. Because
their - our - orgasms ebb away slowly, we enjoy the aftermath almost
as much as the lovemaking. If only I had known what it was like to
make love as a woman, I thought to myself as I gently played with one
of my nipples, I might not have waited so long to try it. I still
amazed myself that I had had the courage to go through with it. Maybe
leaving the note for Heather and her father indicating that I
wouldn't be back that night was part of it. I would have been too
embarrassed to back out after writing the note.

I examined my feelings as I lay there. I knew I felt no shame. I
hadn't been a virgin as a man, so why would I want to remain one as a
woman? Did I feel as if I had just committed an unnatural act? No, I
had all the right plumbing. What Warren and I had done together was
as natural as breathing. But in fact, up until that night, I wasn't
sure what I was. Was I a man with the body of a woman? Was I some
sort of magically created freak? Those were questions for the past.
This was now. And now, I knew what I was.

I was a woman.

Warren dropped me off at Professor Morley's house late Saturday
morning. We had spent a comfortable morning together, smiling and
touch each other like newlyweds. We had enjoyed a leisurely breakfast
at Warren's place and almost ended up back in the sack together. Why
didn't we? Well, I think we both had a lot to think about. I had come
to grips with my new womanhood. This was a metamorphosis almost as
strange as my physical change. But I knew now that I had resolved to
be a woman right down to my soul, I needed to decide what I was going
to do with my life.

For Warren, the decisions were there as well. He didn't voice them to
me, but I knew what they were. He had lost a best friend and gained a
lover. No, that wasn't quite right. He hadn't lost a best friend; his
best friend had just become his lover. In some ways, that had to be
more confusing for him than it was for me. Why? Because there was no
doubt in my mind what I had become. If my period hadn't been enough
to convince me what my sex now was, I don't know what would have
been. But for Warren, the night before was a confirmation of my
womanhood. In some ways, he was just now coming to grips with issue
which had plagued me for weeks.

"How about this evening?" he asked after we had pulled up in front of
the house.

I gave him a charming smile. "What did you have in mind?"

He smiled back. "I'll think of something."

I was already thinking of something. I practically got wet just
thinking about it. "Come by at six," I told him, leaning over to give
him a chaste kiss on the cheek before getting out of the car.

Heather was reading in the living room when I bounced in. "Well,
don't you look happy this morning," she commented with a wide grin.

"You have no idea," I told her.

She gave me an enigmatic smile. "Oh, I have a very good idea, but
don't tell Daddy that. He might get upset."

I had been so wrapped up in my relationship with Warren I hadn't even
given Professor Morley a thought. "Do you think your father is upset
with me?"

"I doubt it," she replied with a shrug. "Actually, I got the note and
just told him you were staying over with friends. I doubt if he
realize what was going on. He can be like that, you know. I think all
professors tend to get a little absent-minded at times - or at least
naпve. The less he knows about what you and Warren were doing, the
better. But tell me everything."

"Heather!"

"Oh come on," she urged. "It's just us girls. Was it fun?"

I managed a small smile.

We both giggled. 

Let's just hope Daddy doesn't find out. He'd never understand this."

I certainly didn't plan to tell him. I wasn't in a mood to go through
another battery of psychological tests to determine my mental state
and sexual preferences. I had been through quite enough of those
already, thank you.

"So tell me more," Heather said in a quiet, conspiratorial tone. "How
was it - in detail?"

"It was..." Different? Strange? Weird? No. "...fantastic!"

She giggled. "I thought you'd like it. And Warren is a hunk. If you
hadn't gone after him, I think I might have had a try at him myself."

"I didn't go after him!" I protested as I felt my face reddening. "I
mean, he was... He made the first... He came after me."

"And tell me you didn't want him to," Heather laughed. "Oh Melissa,
you still have a few things to learn about being a girl. You've
wanted him for weeks."

I didn't think my face could get any redder, but I'm sure it was.

She got up and put a sisterly arm around my shoulders. "Oh, don't be
embarrassed. It's perfectly natural. When you got this body, you
apparently got the full sexual orientation as well. So you like boys
- so what? So do I."

"Well, yes I like boys," I admitted. "But I really wasn't after
Warren." I thought for a moment before adding, "But I'm glad I caught
him."

That provoked girlish laughter from both of us.

So life became fairly normal for me after that. If Professor Morley
disapproved of my frequent liaisons with Warren, he had the good
graces to say nothing. Dr. Barnes did ask at our weekly meeting if I
was sexually active, and I told him the truth. To my relief, he just
nodded and asked if I was taking my birth control pills. Fortunately,
I was.

It was exactly one week after I became intimate with Warren that I
received another letter from Amy:

"Dear Melissa,

"So you and Warren have decided to play hide the sausage, eh?

"Well good for you. I knew you'd make a perfectly wonderful little
slut. Have you given him a blowjob yet? I'll bet he'd really go for
that!

"So how does it feel to be a some guy's fuck toy? Pretty good?

"Well, just keep it up, honey. The best is yet to come. You'll see.

"Amy"

What did she mean by "the best is yet to come"? I wondered. In any
case, she was still spying on me. But now, I no longer cared. Without
another thought, I tucked the letter in my purse. I would show it to
Professor Morley later. I had a date to get ready for. It was Friday
night, and I had big plans for our one-week anniversary.

And so it went for the next few weeks. Each time Warren entered me, I
felt a burst of joy that I was now a woman. How much better for women
sex was, I realized. And Warren was always affectionate and
considerate. I felt like royalty. I suppose I should have realized it
was too good to last. It was Heather who burst my bubble.

"Shouldn't you have started your period by now?" she asked just after
Warren had dropped me off after a weekend together.

I frowned. I really hadn't thought about it. The one period I had
experienced had not been exactly fun, but it had been tolerable. I
suppose women who had experienced periods for much of their lives
learned to anticipate them by the time they reached my age. It only
made sense. They didn't want to be embarrassed by starting a period
without available protection. I counted up the days since my last
period - or first one as it was. Then I remembered what Dr. Barnes
had told me about when to expect my next one. With a sudden sinking
feeling in my stomach, I realized I was three days late.

Heather read the expression on my face. "Oh-oh."

"But I'm taking my birth control pills," I protested.

"No method is absolutely foolproof," she reminded me.

I thought back to the days when I was male. I had been like most
males very casual about protection. If the girl wanted me to wear a
rubber, I did so, but in an era where venereal disease had been
magically cured, few guys bothered with them. The pill was good
enough for most people. "What do you mean it isn't foolproof?" I
asked.

"Just what I said," Heather answered. 

"Do you think I'm..." I just couldn't say it.

"Pregnant? You might be. What are you going to tell Warren?"

What was I going to tell Warren? What if I really was pregnant? I was
still getting used to the idea of being a girl. I wasn't ready to be
a mother - I wasn't sure I would ever be ready for that. What would
Warren think? It was one thing for us to be exploring our affection
for each other, but were we ready for marriage and a family? Would
Warren even want to marry me? Did I want to marry him?

I had a sleepless evening and a long workday to think about it.
Before I had realized I might be pregnant, Warren had made
arrangements to pick me up at home after work. We had planned on a
casual dinner together. We hadn't planned on rushing back to his
place to jump into the sack together, but somehow, we knew that was a
distinct possibility. Now, I suspected out evening would be quite
different.

"Invite him to come in," Heather urged me. "Daddy's at a late
meeting, and I'll go out on the patio. You'll have the house to
yourself."

"I can just tell him in the car," I insisted.

Heather shook her head. "No, tell him here in private. Don't tell him
in the car. He might have a traffic accident or something. Besides,
you need to look him in the eye when you tell him."

So I agreed to her proposal. I think those few moments waiting for
Warren were the longest moments of my life. How would he take all of
this? I knew I loved Warren in a way I would never have dreamed I
could love someone before my transformation. I hoped he would see my
pregnancy for what it was - the ultimate expression of our love. 

My heart nearly stopped when I heard Warren's car pull up in front of
the house. I started slightly when I hear the car door close and felt
a nervous tingle rising in my body with each of his footfalls on the
sidewalk. By the time he rang the doorbell, I was a nervous wreck.
With all the courage I could muster, I opened the door.

He smiled. "Hi, beautiful."

I flushed with pride. "Hi yourself. Come on in. There's something I
need to tell you."

I led him by the hand to the couch where we sat down together. Warren
was rubbing his eyes. Well, he did have allergies, but...

"Is there something wrong?" I asked.

He shook his head. "No, just a little headache. I felt fine a minute
ago. Hopefully it will pass. Now what did you have to tell me?"

I looked him straight in the eye. There was no subtle way to tell
this. "Warren, I think I'm pregnant."

He frowned in confusion. "What?"

"I haven't started my period. I'm four days late. I... I think I'm
pregnant."

I don't know what I expected from Warren. Of course, the ideal
reaction would have been a smile followed with, "Darling, that's
wonderful!" I didn't have any right to expect that. But I didn't
expect what happened either.

"Do you... want me to pay for an abortion?" There was an angry tone
in his voice.

"No... of course not," I responded. Abortion? I hadn't even considered
such a thing. "I... I was hoping you'd be... well, happy about it?"

"Happy?" he repeated, his voice rising as he jumped up from the
couch. "Why in the world would I be happy?"

I was near tears now, sitting there alone on the couch. "I thought
you loved me," I said softly, my head hanging down.

"Look, Melissa, it's been fun. I mean, you turned into a pretty girl.
But this was nothing serious."

"It was serious to me!" I cried, tears beginning to flow. How could
he be so... so... heartless. I thought he liked me. No, I thought he
loved me.

"Oh, what's the use?" Warren said in exasperation, jumping up from
the couch. "I'm going home. Call me when you're ready to be
reasonable about this. I'll pay for an abortion if that's what you
decide to do."

With that, he stormed out of the house, slamming the door behind him.
I just sat there on the couch, stunned. I never imagined anyone -
particularly Warren - could be so cold and insensitive. I had known
Warren all the way through college and known him to be warm and
considerate with girls. What had happened to him? Was it because I
used to be a man? Was it that he just couldn't stand the thought of
marrying a former man? 

I was still sitting there on the couch, crying my heart out and
asking myself what had gone wrong, when Heather came in. She put her
arm around me. "I couldn't help but hear. I'm sorry," she said.

"Oh Heather!" I cried, burying my head on her shoulder. "He doesn't
love me. He was just using me as a fuck toy."

She stroked my hair. "Now Melissa, just because Amy called you a fuck
toy doesn't mean you have to believe it."

"I suppose you're right," I said, trying to hold back the tears.

Something wasn't right, but what was it? Was it something I had said,
or something Heather had said? Then, I had a moment of clarity in my
grief. Stunned, I pulled away from Heather and asked, "What did you
say?"

"What? When?"

"Just a moment ago," I explained carefully, remembering Heather's
every word. "You said something about Amy calling me a fuck toy."

Heather looked uncomfortable for a moment. "It must have been
something you said to me."

I shook my head, sniffling back more tears. "No, that was what she
called me in her last letter. It came Friday when you weren't here. I
read it and stuffed it in my purse. Then, since I was with Warren all
weekend, I forgot to show it to anyone. But you knew about it; you
knew what she called me. How?"

Heather's whole mien changed. She was still Heather, but there were
subtle things. The sweet friendliness of her face faded away. Her
eyes became hard and cold. Her body became tense unlike the relaxed
poses Heather favored.

"Well, I guess you're smart enough to figure it out after all, but
I'll soon change that," Heather said. But it wasn't Heather. I
recognized that superior tone she was now using. I had heard it many
times before.

"Amy..." I managed to say.

"Aren't we just the brightest little thing?" Heather - no, Amy -
said. Her smile held no warmth. She looked like a cat toying with a
mouse. "I'm surprised this Heather thing worked as long as it did. If
Cane had half a brain and had checked to see if Professor Morley
actually had a daughter, the game would have been up."

This was all going too fast for me. If she had made her move then, I
think I would have been too stunned to react. Fortunately, Amy was in
an expansive mood. She had pulled off the magical revenge of modern
times but hadn't been able to tell anybody about it. Now, I was not
just her victim; I was her audience.

"Can you imagine someone like Professor Morley having a daughter like
me?" she laughed. "He's never even been married! He's so married to
his work, I'm not sure he's even had sex except by himself in the
shower."

I was getting it now. "So you used your powers to make him think he
had a daughter."

"Close, but no cigar," she grinned. "I made everyone around him think
he had a daughter. It's what you called warping reality. Reality
doesn't really change - just people's perceptions of it. I suppose it
comes down to about the same thing. That's what I was doing in his
office the day you met me. I have to be fairly close before I can
influence someone's thoughts that way. That's one of the reasons I
wanted to pose as his daughter - so I could work on you mentally."

I hadn't thought of that. "Then the way I adapted to being a girl,
and the way I fell for Warren..."

She nodded. "Oh, it would have happened naturally over time, but I
wanted it to happen quickly so I could be here to watch. It was fun
playing matchmaker with you and Warren. If I could stick around, I
might even go for him. Wouldn't that be funny if I did that? Here you
are, his former best friend, now pregnant by him, and I - your
ex-girlfriend - would be fucking him."

I remembered Warren's sudden headache when he came by for me. "You've
messed with his mind, haven't you?"

"All part of the plan," she confirmed. "The funny thing is the stupid
klutz really loves you. It wasn't all that hard to get inside his
head and move a few things around. A block on his moral centers was
about all it took. The blocks may break down eventually, but they'll
hold long enough for my plan to work."

In the middle of this terrible dark nightmare there was a ray of
hope. Warren loved me! I could get through this knowing that. But how
could I get the mental blocks removed from him? After all, I had no
magical power.

"I see what you're thinking," Amy said. "Forget it. It would take a
talent nearly as strong as mine to reverse that block on his mind.
And I have no intention of removing it. In fact, my dear, things are
going to get a lot worse for you."

"Amy why are you doing this to me?" I practically wailed. "Is all of
this just because I broke up with you?"

"Just?" she asked mockingly. "Just? You dumped me. No one has ever
dumped me - at least not since I developed my powers. You had no
right to dump me. If I had seen it coming, I could have made you love
me, but I didn't think that was necessary."

"You didn't love me," I countered. "I was just something for you to
play with. The fact that I didn't have any magic talents made it all
the more fun for you. You weren't finished playing with me though,
were you? What did you have in mind for me? Were you going to change
me into a girl anyway? Or did you have something else in mind?"

I felt my own temper rising. She had proven that she could make
drastic changes to me to carry out her revenge, but I had had enough
- and I obviously scored with my remarks. Her face flushed, as if the
truth burned her very skin.

"I can see it wasn't enough to change you into a girl and neutralize
your birth control pills to get you pregnant..."

So that was how it happened!

"...I have a few other changes to make in you. These won't take quite
so long, Melissa. I can accomplish them right now before I leave. I
think I'll reduce your mental ability quite a bit. A low IQ and
limited skills should be just what you need. And maybe I'll make a
few changes to your body as well. You're entirely too cute. Maybe a
few extra pounds and a less attractive face are in order. I'll make
you a little on the dumpy side. Then you can live out your life as a
single mother with nothing to recommend you to any man with any
prospects."

As she spoke, I could feel my body starting to tingle and feel my
thoughts starting to scatter. But I was still angry, and the anger
seemed to cause feelings within me that I had never felt before.
Suddenly, I could feel my mind clearing. It was like a rush of
energy, causing little lights to burst in the back of my eyes. At
first, I thought it was Amy's magic, but then I realized Amy had
nothing to do with it. In fact, the tingling she had caused stopped
and my thoughts became more organized than I could have ever imagined.

Amy sensed something as well. She frowned and took a step back. "What
do you think you're doing?"

I wouldn't have answered her if I could. Every part of my mind and
body seemed to be fixed on Amy. It was a level of concentration which
cannot be explained; it can only be experienced. I could even see her
spells in the air, waving like shimmering green ribbons in a mild
breeze. But as I watched, the ribbons began to fade and break apart
as if they were nothing more than smoke. 

"You can't stop me," she growled, but there was a note of fear and
uncertainty in her voice. I had no magical powers - or did I? A tiny
part of my mind reminded me of something I had learned in class. That
was that females usually had more magical talent than males, as if
the Y chromosome somehow dampened magical influence. That probably
was why I had no magical powers when I was male. I had even
speculated that becoming female might give me some minor powers, but
I was starting to realize that the effect was not complementary - it
was reciprocal. A male with no magical power if suddenly turned into
a female would find herself gifted with great powers. So why hadn't
anyone realized that before? Well, probably because I was the first
male to be so completely made female.

I think Amy may have realized what was happening at the same time I
did. She began to back away from me, her attempts at magic no more
than feeble defensive spells which I instinctively pushed aside. I
had no intention of letting Amy escape. She was still dangerous. Her
megalomania would just resurface again. Who knew how many innocent
people had already suffered from her spells - or how many would
suffer in the future? 

My own magical probes became more aggressive. First, I willed her to
stop where she was. It wasn't that hard. All I had to do was form a
thought and it became deed. She could move about, but it was as if
her feet were nailed to the floor. That was the simplest way to do
it, I thought with a smile. The simpler the spell, the more effective
it could be. 

Then, I entered her mind. It was like entering a room where something
had died, filled with foul smells and unpleasant sights. There was a
sickness in her. What had the passage Professor Morley had noted
said? It was something about a mean spirit - a weak and petty mind.
So this was what one looked like. It was disturbing. Still, I
persevered. I wasn't about to let her go yet.

The mind shines brightly to magical sight. It is made up mostly of
iridescent blues and greens, and the places where magic lies 
twinkle like bright stars among the physical materials of the brain.
They were beautiful! It was hard to imagine that anything so
beautiful could exist in such a treacherous mind. I had to absorb
those twinkling lights, I realized. They were the source of magical
energy. I envisioned myself in a warm forest, picking ripe fruits
from a tree and putting them in the soft cloth I held between my
breasts. They came to me easily, and as I took them, I began to feel
even stronger magical influences. I could see what was happening all
around me. I could watch Amy shuddering as she stood there. I could
sense Professor Morley, driving home from his meeting as he suddenly
realized he had no daughter. I could feel Warren's pain as he sat
there in a bar, nursing a beer as he pondered what was wrong with
him. It was as if I could be wherever I wanted - even several places
at once. It was more powerful than any orgasm I had ever felt, male
or female.

"What have you done to me?" The words spilled out in a panicked
scream. They were words Amy would have wished for me to say, but they
came from her own mouth. The words brought me back from the place I
had gone, and I could see Amy standing there, flattened out against
the front door with a look of fear on her face. "I... I can't feel the
magic!" she gasped. "What have you done to me?"

"I'm... not... sure," I replied truthfully, my breath reduced to short
pants. Something was coursing inside me. I could feel it from the top
of my head to the ends of my toes. It was a feeling unlike any I had
ever felt before. I looked up at Amy. Yes, she looked like Amy - not
Heather. Heather was gone. I suspected she had never looked any
different. She didn't transform herself at all; rather she had
somehow created the illusion of Heather's appearance. 

Such power she has, I thought enviously. Then it dawned on me that I
had no reason to feel envy. I knew what the feeling was that was
racing through my body. It was magical energy. For someone like me
who had never felt the force of magical energy inside me before, it
was like a person who had never even seen the ocean being suddenly
overwhelmed by the surf.

Amy didn't wait to see what I might do next. She bolted out the door
without a word. Moments later, I heard her car engine fire up and the
squeal of her tires as she hurried away. I think she sensed that my
power was now far greater than hers had ever been. She had changed me
into a girl and caused me to become pregnant. Just moments before,
she had threatened to add to my misfortune by making me less
attractive and less intelligent. Now it was I who could probably do
all of that and more - if I wanted to.

The truth was I wouldn't have done anything to her. It wasn't that I
didn't think about it - at least for a moment. But the strain of what
I had already accomplished had taken a lot out of me. I was as weak
as a proverbial kitten. I wanted to do nothing but stagger over to
the couch and rest. As it turned out, I didn't even make it to the
couch.

"Melissa, can you hear me?"

It was Dr. Barnes. I recognized his voice, but it sounded as if it
was coming from a long ways away. I grunted something that to me
sounded like "yes."

"Melissa, I've got a nurse here with me. We're going to help you up
to bed. You'll be fine in the morning."

I tried to mumble something to Dr. Barnes. I think I wanted him to
know that Amy had gotten away, but as I felt hands lifting me to my
feet and supporting me up the stairs. That was the last thing I
remember.

I felt oddly refreshed the next morning. Sunlight was streaming into
my window and there was a cool breeze blowing over my breasts. I
managed to open my eyes and look down at the nightie I was wearing.
It was light and lacy. I realized with a sudden sense of loss that it
had been Heather's.

"Dr. Barnes, she's awake!" a woman's voice called. I seemed to
remember something about a nurse...

I managed to open my eyes just as Dr. Barnes and Professor Morley
came in the room. The smiles they both wore looked sincere, and that
assured me that I was going to be all right.

"How do you feel this morning?" Professor Morley asked, taking my
hand tenderly in his.

"I'll live." Then I looked at Dr. Barnes. "I will live, won't I?"

"For a long, long time, I suspect," he replied. "You just had a
nasty... well, shock is probably the best way I can put it."

I looked to make sure the nurse had left. "You know about Heather?" I
asked.

"I know she wasn't my daughter," Professor Morley replied, a little
sadly I thought. "We still don't know what happened though. I got
home and found you passed out on the floor. Dr. Barnes came at once."

I filled them in on what had happened between Amy and me, omitting
nothing. My strength was returning quickly, and I felt even better
after a shower and a light breakfast.

"I'd like to run a WK test on you," Professor Morley announced as I
sat at his kitchen table, a tall glass of orange juice in hand. I was
dressed simply, just a light blue lacy T-shirt and denim shorts. I
hadn't even bothered with makeup.

"I wouldn't advise it yet," Dr. Barnes cautioned. "She's still tired."

"No," I said, "I'd like to take it now. I'm curious myself." I knew I
had considerable magical ability, but how much was "considerable"?

"All right," Dr. Barnes agreed reluctantly, "but I do have a couple
of tests I need to run on you first."

So as soon as he had gotten blood and urine samples from me, there I
was at the kitchen table, taking a test that had always been
incomprehensible to me before. Questions like "Touch the square on
the page which emanates the highest magical resonance" might as well
have been in Greek the last time I took the test. Now though, I
touched confidently the little square that glowed the most. When I
had taken the test as Mitch, none of the squares had glowed even
faintly for me.

Half way through the test, I began to realize my abilities in magic
were greater than I could have ever imagined. Not only was I able to
answer the questions on the test - I could answer them easily. Too
easily, I realized. I stopped and looked up at the two men who had
helped me through my transformation. "What's the highest recorded
score on this test?" I asked.

"One-eighty," Professor Morley replied. Then he added, "So far."

I looked at him with new respect. "You know, don't you?"

"Know what?" Dr. Barnes asked, his confused eyes looking back and
forth at his old friend and me. Is there something here I haven't
been told?"

Professor Morley had the answer. "She's half way through the test in
twenty percent of the time allotted. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd
say her score is perfect so far. A perfect score, by the way, is two
hundred and forty, but I suspect even if she got that, it wouldn't be
a true measure of her powers."

"What I don't understand is why?" I told him. "As Mitch, I had a WK
score of twelve. Girls usually have a score twenty points higher on
the average than boys. That would but my score somewhere in the
thirties. When I was battling with Amy, I wondered if power could be
reciprocal. You know, when a powerless male becomes a female, maybe
his - now her - power is the reciprocal of her male power."

Professor Morley just shook his head. "It's possible, but I just
don't know, Melissa. There are still a number of things we don't
understand about magic. A decade ago, we would have been considered
crazy to even be having this discussion. My guess is that the Y
chromosome acted as a retardant to your natural powers. Perhaps all
males have a chromosomal retardant when it comes to magic, but some -
like yours - are extremely efficient."

"So take away the Y chromosome," I surmised for him, "and magical
ability flourishes."

"Just so," Professor Morley said with a smile. "It may be nature's
way of keeping males from getting too good at magic. Males already
have physical strength, so perhaps giving females magical strength is
some sort of natural balance. If your abilities are any indication,
perhaps men, unfettered by the retardant, have much more magical
ability than women. In any case, you've given me a new area to study."

"Has anyone seen Warren?" I asked, changing the subject. I was
worried about him after Amy had obviously played with his mind.

"Cane is bringing him over in about half an hour," Dr. Barnes told me.

"Half an hour!" I practically screamed. "I can't let him see me like
this!" I jumped up from the table and rushed to my room, oblivious to
the laughter my actions had provoked in the kitchen.

Warren didn't look exactly happy to see me. He looked very tired, and
it appeared that he had slept in his clothes. He could have used a
shave, too, but I was still happy to see him. He frowned when he saw
me. "Strong arm tactics aren't going to help you," he growled at me,
shaking himself free of Cane's grip.

"I didn't ask him to bring you here," I replied carefully. I had
finished slipping on a tastefully short skirt and low heels just
before Cane drove up. I would have liked more time to get ready, I
realized, but I thought I looked pretty good. I know it wasn't
entirely rational. Warren had been magically influenced and here I
was just trying to vamp him a little. Well, I suppose my feelings
toward Warren weren't just rational, and I offer that as my only
excuse.

Dr. Barnes put his hand on Warren's forehead. Warren tried to pull
back, but Cane held him firmly in place. The doctor concentrated for
a moment and Warren fell asleep. I had forgotten for a moment that
most successful doctors these days had some magical abilities. Once
Warren was asleep, the doctor closed his eyes and seemed to shudder
for a moment. When he had finished, he removed his hand and looked at
me. "It's definitely a spell. It's a rather dangerous one."

"Dangerous?" I asked, my head swimming. Warren was in danger!

He nodded. "That's right. It would explain the way he was acting a
few minutes ago. I've seen this before. Someone will create a mental
block in another's mind that conflicts greatly with that person's
normal thoughts and attitudes. There's a case in a recent article in
the New England Journal of Medicine and Magic about a black man who
was made to hate blacks. He nearly killed himself before the block
was removed."

"Then Warren might kill himself?" I asked fearfully. I couldn't lose
him; then Amy would have won no matter what else happened. I had come
to love Warren, and life without him wouldn't be worth living.

"Maybe indirectly," Dr. Barnes said. "When Cane found him, he had
been drinking himself into a stupor until he passed out. Apparently,
his mind is so conflicted, it was the only thing he could think of to
do. If he were more violent by nature, he might have harmed himself
even worse."

"Conflicted about what?" I asked.

He shook his head. "I can't be certain. If I had to guess though, I'd
say that his refusal to accept responsibility for your suspected
pregnancy was induced and was totally contrary to his nature. Warren
impresses me as a decent young man. I would have expected a normal
Warren to accept the possibility of a baby rather than suggest an
abortion."

"Can you help him?" I was practically in tears. At that moment, there
was nothing more important in the world to me than Warren. "Can you
remove the block?"

His expression told me the answer even before he said anything. "I'm
sorry, Melissa. It would take someone with far more magical skills
than I have. The problem is that unless it's removed quickly, it
could cause permanent mental damage. You're going to have to do it."

"Me?" I practically screamed, my heart raging. "But I don't know
anything about removing mental blocks."

"That's true," he agreed, "but from what you've told us, I suspect
that you have the ability to take magical power from others. What you
did with Amy is a perfect example. My guess is that you were able to
unconsciously drain much of her magical power. That power is now
yours. Hopefully, you have her magical knowledge now as well."

"But you're not sure," I concluded for him.

"No," he admitted, "I'm not sure. But she was sloppy with Warren, and
if you don't go in there now, Warren may suffer for the rest of his
life."

I had no choice. I knew I loved Warren, and I couldn't leave him in
that terrible state. I wasn't sure what the result would be. Maybe he
didn't really love me. Maybe he still wouldn't want to acknowledge
the child I might be carrying, but I had to take the chance and try
to help him. If I didn't, he would never be the Warren I had known
for so long and come to love again. "All right," I said with a sigh.
"What do I have to do?"

It proved to be amazingly simple. All I had to do was relax and
concentrate. As Mitch, I could have tried all day and gotten nowhere,
but as Melissa, it was almost as simple as breathing. Dr. Barnes
walked me through the process of reaching Warren's mind. Within a few
minutes, I could no longer hear his instructions. I was on my own.
Warren's mind looked much like Amy's mind but with a little less
green and far fewer twinkling lights. I reminded myself that Warren
had only minor magical ability. I wished I could give him a little of
mine, but I wasn't even certain how I had taken power from Amy. I
wouldn't know where to start in attempting to transfer any of that
power to Warren.

Then, to my surprise, a few more twinkling lights appeared in his
mind. I had done that. Simply by wishing, I had moved a tiny bit more
magical talent from my mind to his. I would have to be more careful.
It seemed as if all I had to do was will something and it became
reality. In my male years, I had thought magical talent required a
great deal of mental concentration. Now, I was finding that if I had
the raw magical power, directing it was fairly easy.

Finding the block wasn't all that difficult either. With the help of
Dr. Barnes, I knew just what to look for. It was like a small globe
with knife-like projections, shining a bright red-orange amidst the
normal blues and greens. The knife shards actually seemed to block
the flow of normal energies, causing a black irritation that seemed
to be spreading even as I watched. The black had to be the conflict
between Warren's healthy mental energies and the block.

I reached out with my mind, probing at the block as Dr. Barnes had
instructed me. I wasn't sure how it could feel razor sharp to my
mind, but it did, slicing like a blade into my own mind, scattering
my thoughts. As calmly as I could, I fought for control, gathering my
thoughts once more. 

The blades of the block were too dangerous, and even if I could
destroy one, I was sure a new one would form. I had to go after the
globe itself. Probing carefully to avoid the blades, I found an
opening on the skin of the globe. Gently, I applied mental pressure
to it and was rewarded when it flared slightly. It appeared to be the
same size, but I could tell it was not. It was infinitesimally
smaller - but at least it was smaller. I probed again, sending a
little more energy at the globe. This time, not only was it slightly
smaller, but one of the blades faded out of existence.

I had no way of knowing how long I remained in Warren's mind. Time
seemed to have no meaning. I just "stood" there (at least mentally)
and chipped away at the globe. I began to realize that by compressing
it slightly each time I applied mental pressure, it lost all or part
of a blade, as if the energy it needed to fight me had to come from
the sharp blades. Eventually, it was gone, the last particle of its
existence absorbed by the mental energies of Warren's own mind.
Satisfied, I concentrated on getting out, and in a flash, I was back
in Professor Morley's living room.

"Are you all right?" Professor Morley and Dr. Barnes asked together.

I rubbed my head, feeling a slight headache. "I think so. What about
Warren?" 

I followed Dr. Barnes' nod to a couch where Warren sat, groggily
rubbing at his temples. "I think he'll be fine," he told me. "I don't
sense the conflict in his mind anymore." Then he smiled at me.
"Pretty good for a beginner."

"It was just like you thought," I said. "I guess since it was Amy's
magic that I absorbed, I knew just where to go and what to do. It was
frightening though, to think that she could do something that twisted
to him."

"Melissa?" Warren called out to me. His voice sounded so weak, I
looked at him with immediate concern.

With the help of Professor Morley, I got shakily to my feet and moved
over to sit beside Warren. Tentatively, I put my hand on his. "How
are you feeling?"

He looked at me through bleary eyes. "I'm feeling like an asshole."

"It's okay. It wasn't your fault."

He shook his head and gripped my hand. "No, it isn't okay. I hurt you
and I didn't mean to. That wasn't me who... who..."

"I know," I told him, smiling for the first time in a day. "It was
Amy's magic. But it's going to be okay now. I don't think she can
ever bother us again."

"Melissa," he began, "I wanted you to know... about the baby. It will
need a father. If you can forgive me, I'm still available."

"Oh Warren!" I cried, hugging him tightly to me. 

We were oblivious to the others in the room until I heard Dr. Barnes
make an attention-getting "Ahem." We looked up at him.

"I think there's something you both need to know before you get too
committed. Melissa isn't pregnant."

Professor Morley, Warren and I all yelled, "What?" together.

"It was part of the tests I gave you this morning," he explained.
"The blood and urine tests show that you aren't pregnant. You're just
late in starting your period. It isn't all that uncommon. As you
know, the ovaries alternate each month. This will be your first
period with that ovary, and apparently it just kicked in late. You
can probably expect it to start by tomorrow. I'm surprised Amy didn't
think about that. It may have even happened to her when she reached
puberty since it's fairly common. In any case, I suspect she was just
so sure she had successfully tampered with your birth control pills
that she assumed you must be pregnant."

"But she told me she neutralized the pills," I pointed out. "Are you
saying the pills weren't tampered with?"

"I'm sure she tried," Dr. Barnes said with a smile. "That's been one
of the biggest problems with food and drugs since magic became
possible. It doesn't do any good to put a magic seal on a bottle cap
if a magic spell had been applied directly to the contents. In the
last few months, though, the medical community has developed a spell
that wards off any magic that would change the contents of a pill.
It's a simple spell, but not always effective, so the FDA hasn't
approved it yet. Still, I took the liberty of putting that spell on
your birth control pills."

"So you thought Amy might do this," I said slowly.

"Actually, it was the good Professor here that thought of it."

Professor Morley nodded his head with the complement. "Of course I
had no idea Heather was really Amy, but I knew she had to be close
enough to work more of her mischief. It seemed like a good precaution
to take, given that you were almost certain to become sexually active."

I blushed. "I'm not sure I like being that predictable," I muttered.
"Besides, it makes me sound like a slut."

"Nonsense!" the Professor scoffed. "You were a normal heterosexual
boy with normal heterosexual urges. When you were transformed into a
girl, your sexual orientation changed with your body. What you've
done is act like a normal, healthy girl."

"With maybe a boost or two from Amy," I groaned as my face reddened.
"She was giving me advice and I was taking it."

"That's true," Professor Morley agreed. "But for the most part, her
advice made sense. If it hadn't, you wouldn't have followed it."

"Besides," Warren pointed out, squeezing my hand, "she got us
together."

I looked at Warren. I had to smile. "You've got a point there," I
said, squeezing back. Maybe this whole girl thing was going to work
out after all. Screw you, Amy.

				*****

They might as well have been holding hands, for it was easy to see
they were in love. They were both undergraduates, their neatly
pressed white lab coats a dead giveaway that this was their first
time in the magic lab. The girl, apparently the braver of the two
asked, "Are you Mrs. Hobbs?"

I smiled at her. She was only three or four years younger than me,
but she looked at me with such awe that I felt much older. "I am.
Please, call me Melissa."

That tiny driblet of informality was enough to make them both relax a
little bit. I suppose I shouldn't blame them, I thought. After all, I
had become something of a local legend on campus. Melissa Hobbs, nee
Mitchell, had burst on the scene three years before working on a
degree in biology and exhibiting a high WK score. Now, with an MS in
Magic in her pocket, she was working on a Ph.D. in Magic and she was
an obvious favorite of Professor Morley, one of the acknowledged
stars of Magical Science, as the field was coming to be called.

"I'm June - June Daniels - and this is Frank Jeffries. We're from Dr.
Henderson's class?"

"Oh yes," I replied, looking down at my chart. "Hair color change
experiments. You'll want one of the guinea pigs." I reached up on the
shelf behind me and produced a cage with a small brown-furred animal
in it, setting it down on the counter in front of them.

It was always entertaining to watch the undergrads do their first
college level experiments. I think that's half the reason I liked
working in the lab. It also paid for part of my tuition, and although
Warren had a good job in his father's Boulder office, education at
the University of Colorado did not come cheaply. Besides, with a
child on the way, we'd need every nickel. 

I thought back for a moment about all that had happened in the three
years since my transformation. How could I have ever known then that
it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me? Warren and
I continued our relationship after Amy's flight. Without her
interference, things just seemed to develop naturally.

I was given records which indicated I had transferred into CU from a
school in the Midwest. That was Cane's work, with the obvious help of
the Chancellor. No one recognized me, even my old fraternity
brothers. It was actually fun to talk with them when Warren took me
to fraternity parties. They all liked me because I seemed to know so
much about them. None were surprised when Warren and I got married
right after graduation.

Warren stayed at CU, getting an MBA while I got my Masters. We both
planned to stay in Boulder where Professor Morley had assured me a
teaching position would be waiting for me when I got my Ph.D. - an
unusual circumstance since a Ph.D. from another university was
usually preferred. The rules would be waived in this case because CU
was considered the top school in the nation in the study of magic and
I was obviously a top talent the school didn't want to lose to
another school. 

Professor Morley, as I've already mentioned, is a star in the magical
field. The papers he's written with Dr. Barnes have advanced the
combined fields of magic and medicine to new heights. No, they didn't
reveal my story, but it was my transformation, which led them to begin
new fields of inquiry that lead to their startling papers. 

We never heard from Amy again, and I don't think we ever will. She's
afraid of me - of that I'm certain. In my fantasies, I've often
imagined meeting her on the street, watching her shrink from me as I
approach. I can almost see the surprise on her face as I give her a
warm sisterly hug and tell her, "Amy, thank you - thank you for
everything!"

"Mrs. Hobbs - er, Melissa..." June called out.

"Yes?"

"Did some of the lab animals get put back in the wrong cages?" she
asked, holding up the guinea pig. "The cage tag says this is
Patricia, but it's a boy."

"Let me see," I said, taking the animal from her. I reminded myself I
would have to be more careful with my own experiments in the future.
It had been mostly idle curiosity, I realized, as I let my magic flow
back into the little animal. I could feel him change, his tiny body
calm as I soothed his little mind. "Oops," I said when Patricia was
back to her normal self. "It was just a bit of matted hair on her.
This is Patricia." I handed her back to June.

The girl looked a little embarrassed - and confused.

"Don't worry," I said in a soothing, almost hypnotic voice. "It's a
common mistake. I've done it myself. Sometimes it's hard to tell the
boys from the girls."

That seemed to relieve her. She gently took the small animal in her
hands and retreated with her boyfriend to the experimental lab.

What Amy had done to me had been cutting edge stuff three years ago.
Now, a person with a high degree of talent such as me could change
the sex of another - or themselves - in a few seconds instead of the
weeks Amy had required. Of course, to do that, you had to have a WK
score that was off the charts - such as me. 

But why in heaven's name would I ever want to be a male?

The End


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