Saturday, March 10, 2007
Ecila stood in the doorway of the Gillman house and she looked terribly, utterly, completely shocked. Which was nothing compared to the reactions on the Gillman's themselves, both mother and father, to what appeared to be a soul-vacant corpse belonging to none other than their own lost son!
Neither Mr. nor Ms. Gillman were quite sure what the strange sickening violet light that had vomited forth their child some twenty feet in the air was, but the results lay at their feet in a beaten and bloody body. Without a doubt, it was their son that had gone missing so many days ago. Josh was no more. He was dead! He was not resting. Most there knew a dead body when they saw one, and that was it! He was definitely deceased, bleeding demised! Passed on! He was no more, he had ceased to be. He had expired, and gone, and went to meet his maker! This was a late Josh.
Though, before the choked sobs of Josh's mother could lament their ex-son, more violent purple light blossomed in the sky above. Ecila, who had been busy determining the exact stage of death young Josh was currently undergoing (because there was always the possibility that he was only mostly dead) by means of a pointy stick being jabbed into his side repeatedly to the chorus of her insisting he was just being lazy and that he should get up, suddenly froze, and peeked up at the sky with an irksome grimace.
"Oh, this can't be good," she murmured.
Not unlike before when the strange purple light had flashed, another body came sailing out to slam against the side of their house and slip down into a crumbled heap of scrawny kid on the opposite side of the walkway as the previous body.
Frowning, Ecila turned about to start poking at this body with a stick as well, much to the stunned, wide eyed stares of the two adults trapped in the doorway of their own home, unable to look away from the gruesome sight.
For this other dead body was also, quite obviously, Josh.
As clearly as the first body to come flying out of the violet void had been their special snowflake of a son, so this body, broken, burnt, and battered in a completely different way, was also their son. It was a difficult quality to identify, as the two bodies clearly had no more life to them, but there was no doubt left with the manner of the corpse's dress, and with what was left of the boy's features.
Josh's father's face turned pale as he looked quickly from one corpse to another, head jerking violently in the motion. "What... what... what the hell is...?!" He began to say, when Ecila interrupted him with a glare.
"Geez, I see where Josh gets his potty mouth! Now, clearly, the problem that we have here is-." What may or may not have been a logical explanation was cut off sharply when another violent violet light sputtered into existence in the sky, and the young girl winced. "Oh, bother. Can I borrow an umbrella, Mr. or Mrs. Gillman?"
Soon another dead Josh was sailing out of the sky, and then another, all meeting similar bloody crunching fates with the uncompromising ground, or the side of the house. The street, the sidewalk, the roof were all soon littered with Josh bodies, but long ago the Gillman parents had closed (and locked) the door, and gone running to the phone to alert the police of the extraordinary circumstance plaguing their home. This was some shit far more serious than a few locusts, beer turning to blood, or dead babies.
After thirty some bodies had manifested themselves out of thin purple air the tide of corpses raining down seemed to taper off, and Ecila quietly folded up the umbrella she'd produced somewhere in the middle of all the chaos. As calm and composed as she ever was, she picked her way down the walk way carefully, bounding over bloody twisted limbs and skipping over smashed skulls until she came to the side walk, and surveyed the damage with pursed lips.
Reality had gone thin in this place, as it apparently had taken a few too many in the chin from deceased nerds swiss-cheesing their way through it. However, things hadn't quieted down just yet. The fabric of space-time in that particular place (and time) gave one last shudder, quivering like a beached whale about to give violent and projective birth.
Once more, violet light began to sputter and sparkle in the air, this time more towards the ground, and a yard or so away from the position of the patiently waiting Ecila who had chosen to use this time to polish the lenses on her glasses with the corner of her suit jacket. Much less violently than before, the violet light glinted, and a battered youth slowly stepped out of it. It seemed he was just in time, as the thin veil of reality about the front lawn of his parent's house sogged down in on itself, oozing about like lime jello with too many holes shot through it. For a moment, all the Josh bodies and everything else visible seemed to ripple and ooze in on itself.
Then, existence itself belched rudely.
What exactly that sounded like, or felt like, only Josh and Ecila could know, for they were the only two left to witness it. But one might judge from their twisted and revolted expressions after the fact that such a thing was not something a person might list as a 'good' thing (if one were making such a list).
Thankfully once everything had settled back into some semblance of normality, nary a drop of blood was left to mar the doorstep of the Gillman house. Indeed, it was as if nothing outrageous or existence shattering such as multiple persons existing in the same place, at the same time, had ever even occurred.
When they had finished looking disgusted, and covering their mouths, the battered kid that looked quite the worse for wear, and the rather primly and conservatively dressed girl exchanged worried looks.
Lightly, Ecila slapped the back of Josh's head.
"Ow!" I yelped, holding the back of my head. It was still bruised from when I'd bonked it off world, and I wasn't sure my landing here was doing it all that much good, either.
"Nice re-entry there, Josh!" Oddly, I couldn't recall a time when Ecila had used sarcasm. She must have been picking it up from me, because I can't imagine she actually meant it.
Defensively I rubbed the back of my head, my expression something dangerously close to a pout. No, girls and kids pout. Men look wounded! Yes, I look wounded. "H-hey, I was doing my best! Some warning would have been nice, you've never told me anything like that could happen! What the hell was that, anyway!?"
I thought I heard her say something that sounded suspiciously like 'like father like son', before she settled on just glaring at me, and folding her arms. "You forgot to carry the one."
Blanching, I rubbed away a slight nose bleed I'd apparently recently developed when jumping from the unique air pressure of a world with three suns to this one, mentally running through the calculations in my head. It would have been crude to simply refer to the means by which I'd learned to navigate (or perhaps it was more a case of compromise) that interstice as 'calculations', I would like to note. Mathematics was part of it, I'd learned, but there was also a certain poetry to the way it all meshed together, and mixed with a fair amount of instincts I hadn't known I possessed.
Oh, dangit, she was right. Someone snuck a one in on my non-euclidean theorizing! Major bummer.
"Oops." Frowning, I took another look at my home to make certain nothing else was out of place. Luckily, every blood trace of the many dead I's had vanished. Then again, it wasn't just any kid that could make the claim that he'd died fifty times in one day, and had little more than a headache and some scratches to show for it!
Weird, I thought I saw someone peeking out through the curtains in one of the windows. "Well, at least I got to the right spot, this time."
She rolled her eyes, tucking an umbrella under her arm. "Josh, Josh, Josh. Have you learned nothing from what I've taught you? The right spot, and right time have almost nothing to do with it!"
Resentfully, I glared at her. "You haven't taught me anything! You just follow me around and steal my food! AND my genitals! You still haven't given me back my genitals!"
A hand was raised in a calming gesture, and she quickly explained. "I teach by example, Josh. And I'm still working on your, um, little problem. It isn't like I took them out and keep them in a little jar over my mantle with a label proclaiming to all my visitors that here swims one water willy once belonging to a skinny earth kid! So, rest assured, soon you too will be the proud purveyor of manly bits the likes of which the world has never seen!"
I opened my mouth to argue with her, then quickly closed it. "...Well... I guess I could always go bigger," I reasoned while chewing at my lower lip thoughtfully.
"That's the spirit! Now, I think you should go have one of those happy homecomings, or some such. Your parents might think that you're a little less alive than you are after that extra sloppy landing of yours. So I should think the trick is to try to look EXTRA alive to counter that."
I massaged the temple of my skull with two fingers slowly, my jaw set. A days worth of listening to her and eating extraterrestrial finger foods was having its affect on me, I realized. It would be quite nice to be home, and to use toilets that flushed, and didn't try to eat you.
Still, I'd learned aggravating Ecila did very little good in the world. I decided I'd humor her. "Okay. And how do I do that?"
"I don't know, man. Wo... man... uh..." She trailed off as I glared at her. "...Man. Maybe you could do a little jig? you know, like the ones those tiny green guys do?"
"Haha, silly, martians don't know how to jig! You know, the real colorful ones!"
Frowning, I worried my lip, dusting other worldly dust from off my pants, scaring away some curiously 5 winged insects that had been trying to nest in my knickers. Gosh. I hope they go off and mess up the ecosystem or anything like that. "You mean gay midgets...? OH! Leprechauns. Well, I do know an irish jig I did a few months back, but..."
Before I could worry about how I'd carried on a reasonably coherent conversation with the craziest girl in the two universes without bleeding out of my nose (anymore than I already had), the scream of angry sirens left us with stupid, wide eyed looks, as several police cars came to a screeching halt in front of our house.
"Great. GREAT. What'd you do this time, Ecila?!"
She scoffed, gaping at me next. "Me?! I was cheating the fish people out of their gil!" Frowning, she stopped to think about what she'd just said, and glanced over the line of crown victoria bumpers and government plates, then at me. "Um, and on that note, I think I left a bun in the oven! Have a nice homecoming Josh!"
"Wait, what?" I stammered as she tossed my backpack into my arms, took a flying nose dive into the side of a tree that the police apparently couldn't quite see from their vantage point, and vanished in a flash of purple light.
Laughing nervously, I held my backpack tightly to my chest and gave the rather annoyed looking police men my friendliest smile. "Eh-heh. Is there a problem, officers?"
Elsewhere in the city;
A worn old van rounded a corner several blocks away to the beat of loud rock music playing out of a badly tuned radio. Ray cranked a hard left on the steering wheel while laughing loud enough to be heard over the bulging speakers, cutting off some poor soccer mom in a station wagon from traffic.
"Man, my life is awesome! I am totally getting the credit for kicking that mutey teacher's ass! And I saved the school! I'm on the news and famous and shit!"
Henry agreed with a quick swig from a beer bottle. "You totally are, dude. You're gunna be like, the most famous... famous kid in the school on monday! Money, new cars, bitches!"
"Hells yah! Women are gunna be FALLING all over me!"
Ray screamed at a particular pitch most women can't manage as the body of a familiar female smashed into the front of his vehicle from out of a literal nowhere, heralded by a violet light that nearly blinded him. He cranked the wheel hard to the right, and went crashing bumper and body first into the trunk of a tree off the side of the road.
By the time he'd regained consciousness and paramedics and police officers had come, the flying near naked body of Joshua Gillman that had embedded itself into the van's hood had faded from reality. All that was found by the annoyed authorities were two confused and somewhat inebriated teens, a wrecked van, and several empty bottles of beer.
Russel City Community Hospital;
Josh's parents were huddled together within the waiting room outside their family doctor's office, flanked by a detective in an ugly suit. All three of then waited patiently, their eyes locked on the door the doctor had admitted their battered son through, and they found few distractions in the hospital's ready and full supply of Seventeen magazines.
"Well, it's a girl," deadpanned the doctor as he walked out of his examination room while tugging off a rubber glove, wearing a wry smile. A brief glimpse was allowed into the room behind him showing a violated looking Josh sitting on a bed in a green paper hospital gown, her legs pressed firmly together.
"My baby isn't a girl...!" protested Mrs. Gillman with a gasp, squeezing her husband.
Mr. Gillman straightened. "Doc? You've known Josh his whole life. What's going on?"
The doctor gave a dry laugh, and flexed his apparently slightly stiff hand. "Oh, she's a girl. I checked. It's definitely Josh, too. No one complains quite as much as he, er, she did during a check up. Also, the dental records match, her blood matches more or less with some older samples, and I'm told the fingerprints are the same as well. Other than that, Josh is a fine specimen of a healthy teenager girl. Er, healthy teenage mutant girl, I expect. She could use some exercise, however. Too many video games, I expect."
Officer Walters fit his hands into a rather ratty looking pair of pants pockets, sighing, as the hospital's no-smoking policy had been wearing on his nerves for the past hour. He had already pulled out a worn pack of cigarettes and a lighter, and tapped the box against his forearm. "Well, I'm glad we could clear that up. It's always good to know what you got between your legs. The kid's already given us her version of the events last friday, so aside from a suggestion that you get her registered with the MCO, I'm guessing my job here is done."
Mr. Gillman glared at the man's back after he left, and then stood up to the doctor urgently. He spoke quite firmly, his brow creased, "There's no way Josh could be a mutant, it must be something else! Maybe... maybe it was that girl from school, the mutant girl! She must've done something..."
"Ah, no, Mr. Gillman. From what Josh told me, he's, ah... she's being changing long before she was having altercations with Ms. Chylds. I've never seen it first hand, but I understand changes in the body are fairly common when a mutant manifests. Some do stay the same, but they almost always have a change to their eyes, at the very least. Some undergo rather extreme changes to the point where it's difficult to recognize them as human, or at least as their old selves, and others turn into what most consider their ideal of a perfect male, or female. Though, I don't recall ever hearing anything about a male turning into a..." He cast an uncertain glance back towards the examination room.
Mr. Gillman let out a sigh, folding his arms. "Well... at least he didn't fly off to Brazil to get a sex change."
Mrs. Gillman gave him a weird look, and he responded with an abrupt 'ahem'. "I found some strange money and a ticket to a, ah... club there. In his room." Though, he then turned somewhat pale. "So, what you're telling me is that Josh... wanted to turn into this?"
"Maybe. It might not have been a conscious choice, it isn't usually caused by an effort on the childs part to change, thought there's always an exception. There's still much we don't know about mutant physiology, or why they change, or what causes them to change into what they do, however I believe that because his body is in fact changing somewhat slowly that he may be what is known as an exemplar. Quite possibly a shifter." Thoughtfully, the doctor took a lolipop from his pocket and started to snack on it. Then frowned, and tilted it towards the worried parents. "Sucker?"
"Uh, no thanks," grumbled Josh's dad, and frowned. "So you think Josh was the one that did that... whatever happened outside the house?"
Nodding, the doctor gestured at them with the sucker. "I believe so, Mr. Gillman, but I couldn't tell you how. Manifesting extraordinary abilities isn't independent of the physical changes a mutant goes through, they're a result of it. So, for whatever reason, Josh's body had to change into this shape to be able to do whatever it was you saw. He, er, she, might have also had something to do with what happened at the school, but the police seem satisfied that he wasn't at fault for it."
Mrs. Gillman sucked in a breath of air bravely. "As long as my baby is alright, that's all that matters!"
"Oh, yes ma'am. As I said, he's quite alright. He's a she, but she's alright." He smiled, and folded his hands behind his back.
The two parents squeezed each other's hands in concern, and Josh's father spoke up again, clearly uncomfortable with the current topic of conversation, but doing his level best to get through it. "So, what do we do, doctor? Is there a way to fix his... female... problem?"
"I recommend you bring Josh home and let her rest for a few days, changes like this can be traumatizing to a young, um, person. Also, I know several very good psychologist for Josh to talk with, when you feel the time is ready."
Josh's father looked to his wife, nervously. "S-so there's no way to... to fix... it? Is he going to be stuck this way forever?"
The doctor frowned, snapping off a piece of the sucker and crunching on it loudly. "That's difficult to say, Mr. Gillman. It all depends on exactly how his body is changing. However, if his body has changed this quickly in so little amount of time, it stands to reason that even trying to correct the changes surgically might not last long before his body tries to revert to how he is now. Until he's been properly tested, it may be best if you all simply try to adjust."
Mr. and Mrs. Gillman exchanged worried looks once more, and went to retrieve their daughter, who as she finished dressing herself, muttered something dark and mysterious about cold hands in horrible, forbidden places.
The ride home was perhaps one of the most awkward rides in my young life. But at the same time, it was one of the more comforting ones. I slumped into the back seat of my parents car, letting out a sigh of relief. No more police men, no more doctor's cold hands, no more frightening alien lands. Finally, I could go to nice, normal, un-freaky home, and sulk for a good week. Maybe lay low, until this whole girl thing blows over.
My parents were oddly quiet, but somehow that suited me just fine. They would no doubt ask the kind of questions that I didn't particularly want to answer, and I honestly didn't know exactly what a person was expected to say when they vanish from home one day, and came back days later as the wrong gender with the kind of dramatic entrance that would have no doubt have gone down in the books, somewhere. I'm not quite certain which books it would have gone down in, exactly, but I imagine they'd be right in there next to other such epic and grand entrances, like the Trojans and that horse of theirs.
"Well, the doctor suggested you stay home a few days... to... acclimate to your... changes," my mother nervously said from the passenger seat, trying to break the silence.
Oddly, I felt my cheeks flush with warmth. "Geez, um... mom, I don't think this is gunna last very long. I got a... well, a friend, I guess, working on it. I'm pretty sure this... girl thing is just temporary!"
I saw the two of them exchange worried parental looks, before she continued. "Son... well, Josh, the doctor didn't seem to think you'd be... changing back any time soon, darling. And really, is it so bad?" She gave a nervous laugh, her gaze intently focused out the side window. "It could have been much worse than you turning into a... w-well, what you are now. There's some mutants that get... tails, and horns! Oh, or claws! Really, you got off light! And... and I suppose another daughter isn't so bad a thing."
Ugh. Why did I feel like I was somehow letting them down? Frowning, I squeezed the singed and scratched hem of my shirt, wringing it nervously. "Mom... I... yah, I guess it isn't so bad when you put it that way, but I'll probably change back sometime soon. I just got this feeling, you know?"
I could tell right off the bat that she was humoring me, when she said,"Oh... of course, honey. But if it isn't... well, the doctor suggested we go make some changes to your records." She quickly turned in her seat, looking worried when her gaze met mine. "Just for now. So you can have a normal life." She then added rather hastily,"...you know, until you get back to being a boy."
A bitter chill shot up my spine just then, causing the hairs on the back of my neck to stand on end, and my insides to shrink in on themselves in unsavory ways. "What... sort of changes, mom?"
"W-well, we'll have to go to city hall, dear. We'll have to change your birth certificate, and talk to the school about altering their records so people don't get the wrong idea about you."
Groaning, I let my head tilt back and hit the head rest. "Mooooom! Don't put the last nail in my Y chromosome's coffin! I don't wanna me a legal girl! That's... that's creepy! Can't we just... I dunno, hide it for a few months?" Secretly, I was hoping the whole vagina thing wouldn't, ya know, take.
I heard my father give a heavy sigh. He was trying to fit the bizarre subject into his usual lecture, and it wasn't quite fitting the way it should. "Josh, we aren't going to let you burry your head in the sand. This... change you're undergoing is a very, ah, real and... a medical one. No son of mine is going to be dragging his feet to... girl...hood..." His voice trailed off near the end uncertainty, and I had the impression he was quite possibly more weirded out by all this than I was. Which was oddly comforting.
Mom bit her lip. "We love you, Josh. We're just worried about you. We want to make this as easy for you as we can. Changing a few words on paper wont change who you are, but it might make living with your... changes a little less stressful."
Sulking, I folded my arms and scowled out one of the windows. "Less stressful... well, I guess it isn't like you're sticking me in a skirt and slapping a bra on me right off the bat..."
Mother hesitated, glancing back at me. "Um, dear, actually..."
My eyes widened in a panic. "Mom! You AREN'T... gah, there is NO way you're getting me to...!"
"Oh, alright, calm down dear! I promise I wont push you. It's... it's just a little shocking. My baby boy's a... my... baby girl, now, and I just want to help you through this as best I can."
I grimaced distastefully, the shock of her earlier implied suggestion that she may cart me off and start fitting me for girly clothes and feminine support garments still bothering me. Actually, it frightened me in ways previous to this only playing Silent Hill at night, alone in the house, with the lights all turned off had managed to do. "Well... well I'm still the same Josh! I just got different plumbing, I guess. You don't need to start treating me any different."
Mother got that look in her eye again, and she twisted around in her seat to look at me worriedly. "Honey, about the 'plumbing'... have you started to...."
"Huh? Started to what?"
"Well... have you had a period, yet?"
I nearly choked, and dad followed suit, hitting the breaks to the car a moment too late to stop for a red light, but just soon enough to leave mother and me grasping onto our seat belts and door handles with white knuckles.
He quickly made a grumbled apology, and pulled us out of traffic. "Sorry, distracted."
Still pale, I cleared my throat. "M-mom, I am not... I mean, I haven't... N-no! Just, no! Gross! I refuse to bleed down there! That will NOT happen!" My face went from ghostly white to a nice shade of red a bit too quickly for comfort.
She tried to sound calming and raised her hand gently. "Alright, alright dear, I was just checking. We can talk about this later, I suppose, there's no rush."
Whimpering, I sunk down into the car seat, my eyes squeezed shut. God, how could this day get any worse?
"Oh, Josh! I forgot to tell you. When you disappeared, we called your sister. We thought you were dead back then, so she dropped everything at college and said she'd take the first flight home that she could catch."
I felt the color drain from my face once more, and that chill, ominous shadow crossed my soul. Opening my eyes, I cast a fearful, hallow look to the front of the car. "Sis is coming back? Oh, god, no...!"
It was a dark day at the downtown Russel City Police Department. It wasn't particularly ominous, and there weren't more people plotting the ultimate destruction of anything in particular more than there had been normally, but the sky was quite overcast with the kind of clouds that promised rain in the near future, or at least some temporary shade.
Contrary to the rather glum weather, Officer Stone was in light spirits that fine monday morning. The case was done. Closed. Finished. No more weirdness, no more exploding kids, or freezing girls, or mind controlling teachers, or mysterious shadow girls that only showed up on cameras while she was stealing her coffee. She hit the enter button on her keyboard with kind of grim satisfaction certain overweight felines had when mailing talkative kittens off to arabian cities. It was someone else's problem now, and she'd done all she could do under the circumstances.
Grinning to herself, she leaned back in her worn and battered chair, and folded her hands behind her head. She didn't particularly care if it was a monday, because tonight she was going to go to the bar and do her level best to drink the memory of this headache of a case into oblivion.
"Ahem. Officer Stone? I'm Doctor Deth. We met the other day at the incident at Russel High School. If you'll recall, I'm the consultants called in from ARC," spoke a familiar looking man in a worn brown suit and parcticularly angularly shaved facial hair.
The corner of Officer Stone's eye twitched, and she leaned forward in her chair, folding her arms across her desk while eyeing the man cautiously. "Not me."
"I'm not the cop you're looking for, move along. I'm finished with it. Case closed, you can go back to Area 51, or wherever."
Mr. Deth gave a dry chuckle, "Ah. Ahem. Actually, I had heard you'd finally located the missing kid, and gotten a statement out of him. I was hoping I could take a look at it."
The brunette woman grunted, and waved at a manilla folder on the corner of her desk. "It's all there, look all you want. If you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to check out for the day. Hope I never see you again. Later."
"Right, of course," he apologetically muttered, and retrieved the folder Officer Stone had indicated from off her desk. He flipped through the papers slowly, gaze flickering over the various reports. The assorted pictures, and the reports he'd already seen were old news at this point. However, the few pages detailing the circumstances of a certain missing kids return gave the suited man pause.
The distinguished man looked grimly over the quickly scrawled handwriting on the page, and held up a bundle of papers from the stack, muttering to himself in a shaking voice, "This is the statement from that kid that showed up yesterday, Joshua Gillman... this..."
He swallowed, and picked up a tricked out cellphone with more lights and modifications done to it than the insurance company would have liked. Calmly he dialed a quick number and held the device up this ear, waiting to tell the person on the other end of the line with a pale face and an ominous, worried tone, "Looks like Ecila's back. I'll go secure the aid of Officer Stone, though I can't imagine she'll be very thrilled..."
Tuesday, March 12, 2007
"This is horrible..." I muttered to myself over a bowl of cold cereal, dutifully spooning mouthful after disappointing mouthful down my gullet as I gloomy glared into the soppy mess. I can't conceive of how milk soaked flakes of bran could in any way be the breakfast of a champion, unless perhaps said champion was some kind of a horse.
My mother smirked at me as she went over paperwork far too complicated to have been designed by anyone that didn't work for the government, or hadn't been paid by the hour to fill it out. Somewhere amongst the sea of bureaucratic bliss was a simple pamphlet our family doctor had provided, with the clever title 'So your son and/or daughter is a mutant'.
"Oh, you think that's horrible? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get someone's gender legally changed, young ma-." She stammered, looking embarrassed before continuing. "Ah, young lady? Your father and I have to fill all these out, submit them with a fee, and a statement from your doctor to the local court house. I didn't even know our town had a court house! Then, we have to place an ad in the local newspaper classified section stating our son has changed gender! Luckily hardly anyone ever reads those things... Then-"
"No! Not that!" I argued, blushing over my cereal.
"Josh, dear, I was thinking... it may be prudent to change your name, while we're at this. We don't want anyone to think you're... strange... I've heard school can be dangerous for a young mutant these days, let alone a person of um... a confused state of gender... and if you use your old name, and people see your a girl now, there may be some questions that might..."
"M-mom! I don't wanna change my name! Why do we gotta talk about this NOW? I just-"
Pensively my mother looked up, setting the pen down. "Dear, we're doing this for your own good..."
"Yes, yes I know, but..."
She sighed. "I know you're depending a lot on your... strange... friend, and she seemed... nice, too. But I don't honestly think your friend Ecila is going to be changing you back to normal any time soon. It just isn't realistic. You're a mutant, dear. It's... sort of natural, in a way, although the body thing was... strange. We went over all this with the doctor. Your body is telling you to grow one way, and it would be dangerous, costly, and impractical for us to try to force it back. Your friend, Ecila, must know this. She's a reasonable girl."
"That's not even... what?" I almost dropped my spoon, staring at her in disbelief. "Are you crazy?! She's the diametric opposite force of reason! Don't you see the insane things that happen when she's around?! This is all her fault!"
Mother gave me a stern look that cut me off almost as sure as if she'd interrupted me would have. Composing herself, she went on to say, as though it were no big deal,"Well, we had a talk with her after we got back from the hospital, dear. She showed up at the doorstep asking about you, and it seems like she's doing her best to help you."
"W-what!? You were TALKING to her? There's no way you can believe anything that crazy-"
"Joshua Gillman!" Mom snapped at me. "That's no way to be talking about your friends! Sure, she's a little odd, but we had tea just yesterday while you were resting..."
My eyes widened, and flashes of terror numbed my brain at the mention of 'tea'. Ugh. I couldn't even look at Mr. T these days without twitching, and iced tea made me sick.
"...And she explained everything to us. She knows you're different, and she's been trying to help you come to terms with that, and to help you out. She's a very responsible girl for a child her age, you're so lucky to have run into someone so knowledgable about your changes when you needed the guidance." She got a wistful look, smiling. "And such a proper dresser. Now, your father and I were talking, and we think the best thing you can do right now is to try to listen to her when she's helping you, and if she can't... turn you back... then to at least try and let us help you cope with these... changes you're going through. Having another daughter isn't going to be bad a thing, I think... you might actually like it. "
"You've been drugged," I hissed.
"Joshua... what's bothering you, exactly? You know, it's alright to talk about your feelings. Certainly, you must having many strange and exciting feelings lately, and-"
Mother blinked, and then sighed. "Honestly, Josh... You have so many things to worry about right now, that shouldn't be one of them. She's your sister. She's coming home from college just because she's worried about you! Can't you two get along this once?"
Worried even more, suddenly, I looked up at her. "Um, mom... did you tell her about my... condition?"
"The, ah, girl thing...?" She turned an uncomfortable glance to my father over the breakfast table.
Twitching, I replied as my thighs pressed together instinctively, as though the words themselves had been a verbal kick to the ghost of the appendage that once dangled proud and free in my pants, "Yes. The... girl thing."
I apparently had some time off from school to rest up before they'd make me go back again, but he still had to work the nine to five. Loosing your genitals was apparently enough psychological damage to warrant a few days off from school, while the parents tried to adjust the records to provide me with the least bit of difficulty once I was forced to start attending school again. So I was still in pajamas, and he was dressed for work.
Dad looked up at Mom from his newspaper with a nervous expression, as though he really didn't want to be dragged into this whole mess.
Mom took the hint, and smiled back at me bravely. "Well, honey, she thought you were dead! We all had, when the police called us after that explosion at the school! She was distraught, and I couldn't let her rush all the way here thinking her little brother died. She... she took it well. I think."
I dropped the spoon into my bowl of sugary lies and milky shame, suddenly feeling far less than hungry.
"Aw, Mom! I... I gotta go to my room for a bit..." I got up, feeling a little light headed, then paused. "Um... when is she gunna show up?"
Many would question as to why the current source of my fears and troubles is not the fact that my genitals have inverted in on themselves in a manner I can only describe as comically, and cosmically humiliating just before I'd arranged a date with the most attractive woman I'd ever met, nor the trans-dimensional hot-dog thief that appears to have taken an interest in my education in as helpful a way as a 5 year old that's given free range of a kitchen is helpful to their mother in cooking dinner, when said 5 year old's previous experience with cooking was limited to mud pies and eating their own boogers (that is to say 'not at all', and potentially harmful), and many would have thought carrying about a demonic tar baby in ones' backpack might be cause to loose a few hairs (in fact, Schroedinger had been quite well behaved the last couple of days, and WAS rather cute for an alien forklift). No, I tell you, these middle fingers to the natural order of the universe have only recently started to get on my nerves, and I'd found myself acclimating to them in the oddest fashion.
The real cause of my current unhealthy levels of stress, is, and always has been, my sister, Melissa.
My older sister.
I believe that ever since my mom gave my dad a bouncing baby boy to be proud about and brag to his friends over, my older sister had held it against me. As if my not so very vaunted masculinity were a personal affront to he existence!
Older sisters have plagued the lives of younger siblings since the dawn of time, you know. When the Titanic sunk, her sister ship the Olympic thumbed her nose and served a long and fabulous career. When Gaia gave birth to all life as we know it, all her little sister Luna could do about it was moon her every now and again. I'm pretty sure that if Ghandi had had an older sister, she would have given him wedgies constantly, and teased him for being such a push over.
Let me give you a brief history of the long and illustrious relationship I've shared with my beloved older sister, Melissa.
Josh, 1 year old;
"There there, little stinker!" said Melissa comfortingly to the baby as it squirmed on the table. She was several years older than Josh, her innocent face framed in angelic dark curls. "You were way too cute before... but now I'm the prettiest in the house, again! And mom and dad will love me more!"
Pleased by the expression on his older sister's face, baby Josh cooed and babbled indifferently as his hair was cut into uneven shocks by the 6 year-old untrained hair stylist.
Josh at 3 years old;
"Moooom!" squealed Melissa as she stomped indignantly out of her room, a soiled and stuffed black cat toy clenched in her hands. "Mom, he's been in my room again! Look at THIS!" With a cry, she shoved the drooled on, soiled, and abused toy under her mom's nose.
Misses Gillman let out a tired sigh, eyeing the spattered stuffed animal in an appeasing manner. "Yes, Melissa, I see that. He's your younger brother, he idolizes you, of course he's going to want to play with your things. It's just a little dirty, I'll throw it in the wash later."
"This isn't about that! This is about him coming into MY room and playing with MY things! I have a right to privacy, you know! It's in the constitution!"
With a groan, Misses Gillman sunk in her seat and said, "Oh god, is she at that age already...?"
Josh at 5 years old;
"Ooooh Joshy! Want some yummy vanilla ice-cream?" called out the familiar tone of his sister in a manner that made Josh pause mid-step and evaluate the area for buckets of water, water balloons, or some other evidence of malicious intent.
Seeing no such suspicious evidence, he answered tentatively while trying to conceal his interest, "Yah...?"
Melissa grinned from the refrigerator, and held out a big spoon full of a white ice-cream looking stuff, and little Josh inched closer before reluctantly opening his mouth, and closing his eyes.
It wasn't quite vanilla ice-cream that she shoved in his mouth, as Josh soon found out when the spoon was already crammed into his cheeks, and he spotted the lidless mayonnaise jar in her other hand.
Josh at 7 years old;
Josh whistled to himself tunelessly as he strode into the bathroom with a box tucked under one arm. Once the door was securely closed, he lifted the toilet seat up and opened the box he'd smuggled in. Carefully, he measured out about a foot of the plastic sheet from the box of seran-wrap and laid it down seamlessly on the toilet bowl, meticulously smoothing it out before he lowered the lid and took a step back to grin, and admire his work.
Someone was knocking heavily and quite rudely at the door, and the voice Josh pretty much expected to be on the other side screamed at him. "Get OUT of there you little bugger! You know I have a date tonight, I need to use the bathroom!"
Taking in a deep breath to properly enjoy the well laid trap before the shit hit the fan (he was actually hoping for more a number one than a number two, honestly), Josh hid the box of seran-wrap under his shirt and put on a big grin, opening the door for his sister. "Why of course beloved big sis, how inconsiderate of me!"
He barely had time to gloat before she'd shoved him out of the bathroom in frustration and locked the door. The screams that would happen moments later would be the stuff of legends.
Josh at 9 years old;
The first day of a school year was a special time for a child. Even if it was the same classmates and kids you'd spent the previous year with, this was the chance to get a fresh start and show them how much you'd changed over the summer! To make a better impression, and to start over!
Melissa knew all of this, and that's why she was cheerfully giving her little brother a hug to bolster his spirits on the first day. Because if he was looking forwards, with hope, he might not look back to notice the tampon she'd dipped in ketchup and attached to one of the zippers of his backpack.
Josh at 12 years old;
"So this college I'm going to, it... the newspaper?" Melissa asked into her cellphone with a frown. "No, why would I have read the newspaper? If it isn't on E!, it isn't news, girlfr-" Her face turned pale as she listened to the panicked voice, and she snapped the phone shut and scrambled into the dining room, snatching the sunday newspaper from her dad's hands.
Bewildered, he looked at his eldest daughter with a raised eyebrow as she tore through the sports section, the comics, and yanked out the personal adds. Her eyes skimmed down the sheet until she found what she was looking for, and her expression turned into that of a mask of undying rage.
"JOSH! I'm going to KILL YOU!" sputtered the teenager as she slammed the newspaper down on the table and stalked off to go find her beloved little brother.
The eyebrow still raised on the stone like visage of Mister Gillman's face, he cautiously picked up the personal section and perused the advertisements until he came across one with his daughter's cellphone number on it. He recognized it right away, because it was the source of much grief on the cellphone bill at the end of every month.
Dubiously he read it out loud. "I stuff my bra... Want to find out how... No one will ever know if you do it right... Call me at..." He let out a troubled sigh. "So that's what he was saving up his allowance for."
Exasperated, my mom put down the form she was currently muddling through. "Josh, this is completely unnecessary. Your sister loves you, or she wouldn't have dropped everything like she had! You two have to start getting along at some point...!"
"So get THIS..." my sister's familiar phone voice sounded from outside the front door, "...my mom calls me and tells my little stinker of a brother died in some classroom explosion, then tells me he's fine when I'm half way home! So since I'm already here, you wanna get the girls together and have a sleep over? Oh, I'm sure I can get the house! 'Kay girl, see you!"
"...I'll be in my room," I said resolutely, glaring at my mother.
Melissa waltzed into the house with a toss of dark hair over one shoulder, dark like the heart of a murderer, and a bright grin on her face, bright like the white of Hitler's bleached skull!
"Hey fam', I'm home!" she said as she swooped in and gave mother a big hug, and favored father with one much like it. "So! What's the little stinker done now, huh?" she said, grinning right at me as I tried to shrink off to my living quarters, but somehow found myself petrified in mid-step, frozen by her gorgon like stare.
A familiar sense of dread settled upon me as I faced against my ancient enemy, and my glasses started to slip down the bridge of my nose. Tactfully, I turned to face her and pushed them back with my middle finger. Nice and slow, so she'd see which digit I was pointing at her. "It's no big deal, Sis. I don't really want to talk about...."
"Oh, but mom tells me you've been having girl troubles!"
My dad nearly choked on his coffee, and she leaned forwards with interest, showing off two rows of pearly white teeth that Jaws would have been proud of.
"Come on, what 're big sister's for? Who's the victe-errr, lucky lady? You can tell me everything!"
"That... isn't quite what I meant when I talked with you on the phone, dear," mother started to say, looking generally more worried than earlier. When Melissa looked back at her uncertainly, mom took a deep breath. "Well it seems that your little brother is a mutant, and... as part of that he's been going through certain changes. Natural changes. The doctor told us after a, um, thorough inspection, that... he's going to be... well, IS your little sister now," she said with great difficulty, her jaw stiff.
I stood there in horror, my face apple red with humiliation.
Melissa just stared at mother blankly, as though she were waiting for a punch line.
"It's no joke, honey." Father said, his tone much more grave than I would have liked, as I stood there and my family discussed what no longer lay between my legs. "We were worried, so we took him to the hospital. The family doctor confirmed everything. Apparently, it could have been much worse. Some of these mutants grow... horns, and tails."
Incredulously pointing at me, Melissa said to my parents, as if I wasn't standing there glaring at her,"...So, it's a girl now?"
"Ahem. He... she's... your sister, and it's still Josh, and you wont be referring to your... sister as an 'it', young lady," mom said, apparently having a not-so-fun-time with the change in pronouns.
Not that I could blame her, but these were mental territories I was still raw about, and didn't particularly want to dwell nor venture into unless I'd been physically forced, kicking and screaming, biting and clawing... wait, scratch that... head-butting and punching! Yes, that sounds more manly.
Holding her head, Melissa said in a tone riddled with disbelief, though with a hint of humor edged in,"Wait wait wait... are you trying to say my little brother is a little sister, now?"
"Ahem," mother said again, giving my older sister a glare. "Yes, dear. That's right. This is a difficult time for him, though, and I think it would be nice if you two would support one another for once."
"Mom!" she exclaimed. "I don't know what he's told you, or what he bribed the doctor with to trick you, and I KNOW I've been calling him a mutant for years now, but there's no way MY dorky little brother is a REAL mutant, and there's no way he's a girl!" Then she added, after a moment of thought,"not that I'm saying he's a man. Hardly a boy, really... he's really kind of a sissy, but definitely not a girl."
Forces of utter shame and mortification kept me frozen in the doorway with my back turned to the room, leaving me unable to do anything but tremble there in horror, listening to every word, my face growing more crimson, and cherry-like in its redness by the moment, my eyes wide.
I knew I should have stuffed a sock down my pajamas that morning.
I'd have slept with it there to comfort me, nestled like a pillow between my legs, but the other day I woke up and it had miraculously slipped around to the back, and my dad had given me a funny look when I stumbled out to the dining room with a bulge in the back of my pajamas that morning.
Mother let out a pained sigh. "Dear..."
"This isn't Jurassic Park, mom!" my elder sister insisted, obviously not quite yet having finished with her humiliation of myself just yet. I was starting to suspect she'd spent her time in transit writing all this potential material down ahead of time. "I have my suspicions about him being part frog, but people don't just switch from a boy to a girl, even in those all boy schools!"
"Sure, he's gangly, skinny, and there were those acorn rumors I was spreading a few years back-"
"Dear! Honestly, that is enough!"
She sighed, giving me a look of annoyance. Well, the sentiment was shared. "So if you're a mutant now, what's your super power? You don't look any stronger... do you shoot laser beams, or is your super power pretty much relegated to being a girl? Ohmygosh, your super name can be Girl power!"
Looking as though she wanted to snap at Melissa again, mother pursed her lips, and eyed me thoughtfully. "Actually, I was sort of curious as well. There was that... incident at the doorstep the other day, but have you noticed any other changes besides the obvious that we may have to deal with?"
I felt three pairs of eyes on me, and I nervously swallowed, feeling oddly small under my families' attention. "Um..." My eyes dropped, and I prodded my index fingers together. "...Actually, I'm not all that different. I'm a lot better with math, and when I take my glasses off I see funny stuff, and, uh... I can sorta teleport, or... travel or... something, but I'm not really good at it yet, so stuff like when I showed up the other day tends to happen, so it's really not something I'm trying to do all that often, if I can help it..."
"No heat vision...? Can you fly, at least? Come on, show us something cool! Do a mutant thing!"
I fidgeted further. "I... don't really, um... oh! I know! There's 345 tiles in the kitchen floor!" Then I squinted at Melissa, and said,"And sis gained weight. Like, 6 pounds I'd say, since I last saw you." I then added after a moment of visual inspection, "Looks like it went straiiiight to the hips."
Melissa blushed suddenly, looking mildly offended by my no doubt amazing show of mutant prowess, and snapped, "So, basically, you channel Rain man. Nice, bro."
Glaring at my sister, mother caught our attention with a prompt clearing of her throat. "Be nice, Melissa. We've already been through this with a doctor, and the police, and Josh doesn't need his... ah, her older sister giving... her... trouble as well! Now your father and I will be busy most of the evening down at city hall seeing all this paper work through, so it'll be just you and your brother tonight. What I don't want to hear when I get back is how you were in ANY way not being supportive and helpful. Is that understood?"
I could feel Melissa's scowl leveled on me like a heat lamp, and could hear the almost audible sound of the gears turning in her head in the tell-tale silence that followed. "You'll be gone... almost all of tonight, then...?"
"Yes, your father and I thought the sooner we could get this over with, the sooner Josh could start to adjust to the... changes he's going through, and get on with, ah, Josh's life," said my mother, troubled that this conversation was still happening, and yet still having trouble with pronouns. She wasn't the only one.
"Hmm... I think you're right, Mom."
She let out a sigh. "Honey, I wont be taking any more negativity from-wait, you do?"
I squeaked, "She does?"
"Of course I do!" said my sister, sounding mildly offended. "My new little sister needs all the support she can get! So, I was thinking," she continued, trying to hide a broad grin with a mischievous smirk,"...the BEST way to initiate a freshly formed female to the ranks would be a good old fashioned sleep over. Girl talk, make-up, stuff like that."
Father nearly choked on his coffee, and there was a marked amount of caution in mother's tone. "...Do you, now. So, what you're saying is you want to have a sleep over while your father and I are away... for your br... for Josh's sake."
Looking back over my shoulder in morbid, heart thumping fear, I saw Melissa flashing her pearly whites to the parents, eye lids fluttering in innocence. "Of course! I'll call a few girls over, and we'll give him the crash course, so to speak." Her tone then turned soothing. "This has obviously been way hard on you and dad, and anything I can do to help take a burden like this from off your collective shoulders I would gladly do, as your loving and beautiful... OLDER daughter."
Gaping, I spun around to face mom. "You can't be taking this seriously, Mom! This is a terrible idea...! This is an idea on par with the teenage kids in a slasher movie suggesting they could cover more ground if they split up!"
"Now... Josh, maybe not," she said, looking at her older daughter appraisingly. "Maybe this would be a good chance for you two to bond, to set aside your differences. Really, Josh, at some point you're going to have to face what's happened to you, and... it would be nice if while you were doing that, you and your sister could pull together through this... crisis."
"I'm facing it! I'm facing it! See this?! This is me facing it! I'll deal with it, I told you, and it's entirely temporary just like I told you, so there's no need for you to-"
"So they're going to sew it back on, or something...?" said my sister as she smirked, looking me over.
"No, they're not going to-it isn't like that! It didn't fall off!"
"Oh, so they still can't find it? I have some tweezers and a magnifying glass I could donate to the cause, dear 'sis", Melissa said, grinning wide.
"It didn't fall off! And there's no way being surrounded by Melissa and her gaggle of giggling girlfriends is in any way going to improve the state of things!" I rebuked.
"Oh, I dunno... little sis'," Melissa said, savoring her new title for me with the blissful sadism all older sisters share on a genetic level for their younger siblings, and enjoying just as much the way the words made me twitch under her gaze. "You can't go dragging your high heels on something like this... you keep acting and dressing how you were, and people are going to think there's something a whole lot stranger about you than just a simple case of vagina. They'll start thinking you're some kind of dyke, or worse!"
Gaping, I turned to Mother for support. "Mom! Are you going to let her say this crap!? You can't be buying any of this bull-"
"Now Josh! You KNOW language like that isn't acceptable in the house!" As she spoke, father grumbled in agreement.
"No buts, young... young lady!" said mother, apparently developing the sort of headache after all this talk that often left her to make rash, and troublesome decisions.
The sort of decisions that tended to make my life more difficult. Like the time my sibling and I were arguing over the ownership of a certain stuffed black cat, and she decided to cut it in half and give each of us part (I ended up with the rump), or the time I'd spent too long deciding on what costume I wanted out of the costume shop for Halloween, and I ended up dressed as a sailor in short-shorts and a 'darling little hat'. "We know this is difficult for you, but you should at least listen to what your sister and her friends have to say when they're visiting. I don't expect you to be wearing skirts, and reading fashion magazines right off the bat, but you should at least be aware of how a young lady acts... I... I think. And sooner or later, we may have to change your wardrobe of clothing to make life more easy for... how you are now."
Melissa squealed, and I wilted. "So, I'll like, start calling the girls up, then! Oh, this'll be so fun!"
Quicker than it took for the last ghost of my male pride to be laid to rest, she had her cellphone out and was speed dialing and making calls with a chipper kind of psychotic glee.
"Agh!" I raised a balled up fist at the stressed looking faces of my mother and father, and then waved it at Melissa's back with equally ineffectual vigor. "This... is... so... NOT FAIR!" That said, I stormed off to my room to sulk, and to think of a way out of this trap of lipstick and lace.
Melissa paused to watch with an expression of mock worry as I left, putting her hand over the receiver on her phone, and then turned to Mom and Dad with a small smile on her face. "Teenage girls, huh? They can be soooo dramatic."
Mother winced, and Father groaned, quickly folding his newspaper and mumbling something about heading off to work extra early.
Meanwhile, at the Hospital;
Late into the night the Gillman's family doctor had been up in the sub-par hospital laboratory, so late in fact that it had soon become morning.
His usual practice at the Community Hospital was quite mediocre. Boring, in fact. But this was the charge of the family doctor, and their reward for an expensive education. It wasn't the family doctor's job to go carting around in ambulances downtown at break-neck speeds, nor patching up gunshot wounds, or performing dangerous heart surgery that little Timmy's life depended on. Their excitement was the look on a child's face when they got that sugarless sucker at the end of an uncomfortable examination, or when the mysterious rash on a patients ass turns out to have been caused by an allergy to whatever their new underwear was made out of. It was very rare that a family doctor was called in to deal with anything extraordinary, or potentially dangerous like the examination of a newly turned mutant. Given the nature of the child's changes, however, it seemed prudent to involve a physician that was familiar with the former-boy before his changes had altered him.
The Gillman's family doctor was perhaps slightly more well versed on the theory and study of mutant physiology than your average pediatric specialist, for there was a time back in college when he had wanted for something more. There was a time when he'd wished to discover new cures, or perhaps new causes of the diseases that ail and ill mankind.
It was because of this rekindled fire that he'd switched to the sugary suckers he kept hidden in his desk to keep himself sharp and awake all night, bent over microscopes and petri dishes in keen study of that peculiar entity known as Joshua Gillman.
Everything he had told the family had been absolutely true. Joshua was most certainly all female now, all the time. The blood samples, though still the boys original blood type, bore all the hormones and markers of having been taken from a teenage female, with slightly high estrogen levels. The x-rays had proven this as well, as well as the hands on examination he had reluctantly given the squirming and stressed former boy.
However, when he had tossed off his doctor's lab coat for the evening, and picked up his brief case, all set to return home to his own family, a lab technician had come running up to him with the stark kind of urgency that spoke of ground breaking, shocking revelations!
And those revelations lay within the young Gillman girl's stool samples.
When the Gillman family had shown up with the police, with a son that was now mysteriously their daughter, the full battery of tests a family practice doctor could imagine had been run. Every kind of sample imaginable had been collected, for the sake of thoroughness. The results they had gotten were not all that strange, even for a human female, let alone a mutant, but something had happened to the poop.
Something unnatural, even for a mutant.
The results from the lab, and his own personal retesting soon gave raise to results both mysterious and positively extra-terrestrial. Things had begun growing in the petri dish over night, things that had to be restrained quickly in biohazard containers and put in locked freezers, while small samples were cut away for further study. Some of the elements, and compounds found within the errant mutant girl's feces were like none the good family doctor had ever seen, or had ever even heard of, or could find the like of while searching through the many resources available to him both in his own personal library and anything he could find in the one made available to him digitally. There was only one explanation.
Josh's poop was alien.
It was at a disheveled and disbelieving 8:00 am the next day that the Gillman's family doctor took a shocked step back from his microscope, where beneath in a small glass slide tiny tendrils had started to curl out from in a staggering show of growth, that he had realized what he was looking at.
At first, all he could do was stare up at the ceiling in shock, and then laugh in amazement.
"This... this is amazing! I could become famous for this! I've discovered something the likes of which no man has ever seen! The likes of which this planet has never seen! This is the most fantastic day of my life!" He stammered, standing over a slide of Josh's fecal sample. It didn't bother the doctor that he was talking to an empty room, such was the extraordinary nature of this discovery that sanity could take the back seat for a while.
"This life form in her feces is growing, and at an astounding rate! This sort of plant life growth is unheard of, unprecedented! It could be the cure to world hunger, to the deforestation of the rain forests!"
Just as the dawning dreams of fame and fortune danced before his eyes, the doors to the lab swung open and a man and a woman in mismatching suits strode meaningfully into the room, official looking identification at the ready on their lapels.
"Doctor Smith?" the older one with the sharp features and angularly groomed facial hair said crisply to the bleary eyed, confused family doctor.
Slowly, he lowered his hands, unsure of at what point he'd dramatically raised them into the air. "Huh? Uh, yes. Is there something I can help you two with?"
"Yes, Doctor," apologized the dignified man. "I'm afraid there is. I understand you're the doctor of a certain Joshua Gillman. Is that correct, sir?"
Self consciously he took a step back towards the microscope. "Yes, yes I am. May I ask who both of you are?"
Official looking ID's were flashed in a quick, professional manner, with an air of annoyance from the middle aged female. "This is Officer Stone of the Russelville Police Department, and I'm Mister Deth - or Doctor, if you prefer, Doctor. I've been contracted out by ARC, and Officer Stone has been kind enough to assist me." A grumble on behalf of the steel faced woman implied it wasn't exactly her pleasure to do so. "We understand certain samples were taken from patient recently. One Joshua Gillman? We'd like to have a look at them, if it isn't too much trouble."
Doctor Smith rubbed the back of his neck, conscious now of how badly he needed a bath. "Wait, you're... Officer Stone...?"
The woman nodded primly, giving a no-smoking sign a baleful glare. "What of it?"
"And... you're... Doctor... Deth?" asked Doctor Smith with furrowed brows, probably wondering if he was hallucinating all of this.
Smiling magnanimously, Doctor Deth nodded. "Quite, you've heard of me?"
"Well no, but..." Doctor Smith cleared his throat, chuckling shortly after. "Stone? And Deth? Stone Deth? You two must be very good at reading lips."
Officer Stone gave a pained sigh, and muttered, "And this is why I refuse to work with Detective Coyld, or Sergeant Graves."
"...I see. Well, I was actually just looking at a sample, and it's quite extraordinary...!"
Nodding to him, Doctor Deth stepped towards the microscope and bent over it with famliarity, adjusting the knobs slightly. He paused a moment, then turned to Officer Stone and nodded. primly. She in turn nodded behind her, where suddenly, a rush of men in yellow decontamination suits barged into the room, and immediately began bagging the samples.
"I've never seen anything like it, it's..." Doctor Smith stood there with a sleepy, confused expression, his hand held in the air and frozen mid sentence as he watched the people shielded from toxic biohazards rushed about him. After a long pause, he ventured to ask the other Doctor and annoyed looking Officer, "Ah... should... should I be wearing one of those too...?"
Mister Deth chuckled casually, pulling out a pipe from his tweed jacket and began tipping some tobaco from a pouch, despite the dirty looks from Officer Stone. "Doctor Smith, could we ask you to step out of the room? One of our men will see you through the three stage decontamination, and de-briefing."
The good doctor looked on in dismay, and one of the men in the yellow decontamination suits took his arm and started to lead him out. "Oh.. oh dear, is there something the matter?"
Mister Deth smiled at him still, and waved reassuringly as he left the room. "No no, sir. It's just safety precautions." Once he was gone, Deth pulled out a match and began to light it over the pipe while attempting to puff on it, until Officer Stone walked past him and snatched it from his hands.
"If I can't, you can't. Now get back to work, the sooner we can get this whole thing under wraps the sooner I can forget this whole mess," she said with a sharp glare.
Ruffled only slightly, Deth strode over to the desk where most of the late night research had been taken place. Carelessly, he picked up one of the sugarless suckers from a small pile, pulled off the plastic wrapping, and popped it in his mouth while examining the research notes and test results with deep interest. "Mmm. Purple flavor."
Officer Stone gave another pained sigh that had Doctor Deth quickening his pace. He reached into another pocket and pulled out something that looked like a tricked out smart phone, if they had smart phones back in the 1950's. After a few moments of directing it towards the microscope slide, the Doctor nodded. "Ah, yes. There's traces of off-world compounds. The boy's most certainly been to some strange places. Hm. Interestingly, he doesn't seem to be a boy anymore."
Stone shook her head. "Yes, I'm sure after all of this he's going to be quite the man. So what do we do next?"
"No, quite the contrary... somehow, he's managed to switch genders. I'd like to have a first hand examination... more so, he's no doubt, from the police reports, met with the Ecila girl and lived to tell the tale. We'll have to move very carefully now, there's several dangerous elements in play... do you have the Gillman child's home address?"
"Of course we do. In fact, I still have a patrol car watching the place."
"Very well, but we may want to exercise caution, especially now. If we wait for the right chance we may be able to detain both the Gillman girl and Ecila at the same time."
"Right, so we'll just put him under surveillance for now." She eyed his pipe and dropped it into a biohazard trash bucket, and looked back to Doctor Deth. "So this Ecila chick is dangerous?"
He gave a dry chuckle, dropping the lab report he'd been glancing over. "Very much so. I'd say it's only a matter of time before she finds some imaginative way to break Joshua Gillman."
Frustrated with the events of the day, I decided I'd take a break.
I cast a nervous glance around my room, making certain I wasn't being watched, and cautiously lifted up my bed mattress to grab the topmost of the many fine printed examples of modern literature I kept hidden there. Such as Playboy, Sexy Skanks, and Big Boobied Babes.
Quickly tucking it under my shirt, I stole off into the restroom, closed the door behind me securely, seated myself comfortably on the toilet and with my pants around my ankles opened up the magazine to find a giant, steaming, bulging penis looking back at me in the way that they tend to do, that is to say, with one squinting eye.
I would lie if I told you the shrill squeal of terror that escaped my lips was anything less than girly, or that it was something that any slasher movie female wouldn't have been proud of. I was not even given enough time to ponder how feminine my scream had sounded before my sister came rushing into the restroom in mock concern, proving I hadn't closed the door as securely as I thought.
"Josh, oh Josh, are you alright?! What's...!"
She hesitated when she saw me sitting on the toilet, my drawers down to my ankles, a magazine depicting epically well endowed men opened at my feet, and a horrified, deer-in-the-headlights look on my face.
Wincing, she slowly eased out of the room, closing the door behind her. "Ooh... someone needs their alone time."
Melissa walked away from the restroom with her hand over her mouth, and a look of disbelief over her face. "Oh my god... it's true. He really IS a girl, now..."
It took my several moments to realize that she must have not only pilfered my porn collection, but replaced it with that very atrocity that glared up at me from the ground, mockingly, erect in defiance of my inability to do so. I poked my head out of the restroom angrily, pulling up my pants and shouted after her. "KNOCK next time, dammit!"
"JOSH! There will be NO cussing in this house!"
My usual means of stress relief weren't quite as satisfying to me as they once had been, ever since my dear sister had arrived. To be fair, that particular means of stress relief hadn't been something comfortable for me for about a week now.
I'd spent a good hour now at my neglected computer screen, slumped in a chair, trying to find solace and peace in simulated violence. Dully, I logged into the latest first-person shooter I'd acquired months early to peruse the rankings, and check the high scores before joining a game in progress. I soon found that no amount of digital explosions, hulking aliens fighting growling space marines, or kung-fu fighting could sooth my savaged soul. Ever since I'd started to change, the games that had previously given me certain thrills seemed dull and remedial in comparison. The movements, the stats of the weapons, their range, damage, and ammo payload, everything about them were comprised of the simplest mathematical formulas that I found myself unable to not run through my head like some obsessive compulsive head-case. The only real variance came from the movements of the other players, but they could only move in so many ways, go in so many directions, or shoot at a certain range when the opportunity presented itself, although I did find myself flanked more than once. I actually found myself rather bored with anything but the multiplayer games.
There wasn't all that much else to do, either.
I wasn't EVEN ready to start looking at porn again, mostly due to my earlier accident, but also partly because I was growing steadily more afraid what my reactions might be in this mutilated form.
Melissa was out there, even as I sat there wasting time feeling sorry for myself, plotting my further humiliation. She was marshaling her forces, picking out torturous movies about people who hate each other, and then suddenly, comically love each other half way through the film to force upon me and a room of sniveling bawling emotional wrecks, and she was without a doubt getting out make-up by the bucket load to slather onto faces. Those are the sorts of things I believe are typical for a female sleep over, anyway. I could only wish for an underwear clad pillow fight... although, not if I was the one who had to be wearing the underwear.
What made the whole thing worse, was that I was certain that a week ago, I might have been slightly more willing to sit down amongst all that horror and weather it for the sake of being in a room of attractive women for the majority of a night, even IF my sister was amongst them. Now, I would have to be directly subjected to all these terrible things, and there was little I could do to stop it, it seemed.
No sir, that bottle wont spin.
I soon decided maybe a little research was in order. Know your enemy, and all that. My early televised and animated education in warfare had taught me this to be an important thing. Intelligence gathering was known to be at least half the battle, or some fraction there-of.
So, I googled "Sleep over".
Just then, the door to my room swung open, and as I turned to snap at whoever dared violate my privacy, Melissa strode in with both her hands behind her back, and a big smile on her face. Though, at first, she looked sort of disappointed. As though she had expected to catch me doing something. She glanced over my shoulder at the screen full of images of scantily clad women and pillow fights, saying,"Aw, should I give you a few more minutes? I thought you got this out of your system in the bathroom."
"Oh, what the hell do YOU want?" I growled, narrowing my eyes from behind the squarish lenses of my glasses.
In mock surprise, her eyebrows went up and her mouth opened. "Little sis, is that anyway to treat your older, wiser sister? We should be having heart-to-heart's, sharing our secrets and troubles! You know, any time you want to borrow any of my clothes, I'd be glad to share. I mean, what ARE big sisters for?"
This was not good, she'd had me unbalanced and on the defensive ever since she'd stepped into the house this morning. Attempting to regain control of the situation I sat up straighter and crossed my arms, my eyes narrowing further. "I am NOT in the mood for this, Mel'. Don't you have somewhere else to be, or hair to dye? Your roots are showing."
She gave a slight sigh, plucking at a lock of her hair and eyed it out of hand. "Alright, alright, calm down. I was talking to Mom and Dad for a bit, and I felt a little sorry for you, is all. I mean, it's one of the weirdest things I've ever heard happening, but it must be rough on you. You're not even turning into one of the good looking, hot mutants. So... I made you this mixed CD." Holding up a shiny silver disk with my name written on it with black marker next to a big heart, she flashed a smile at me.
Cautiously, I eyed it, looking it over to make sure razor blades weren't taped to the underside, or astro-glide or something wasn't smeared over it with the aim of damaging whatever device was chosen to play it. "Um... thanks..." I said slowly, once I turned it over a few times in my hands.
"Oh, no big deal." She paused then, putting a finger to her chin and peering at me curiously. "Just one thing, little sis... I was thinking about it, and I'm kind of curious."
"I haven't the faintest idea what you know, but I imagine whatever it is could fit on a post-it written with a fat marker."
She grinned. "Is 'it' any better, now?"
I glared at her sullenly.
"Aww, don't look at me like that. This is a serious scientific inquiry, Joshette. Since you hurdled the gender fence, is 'doing it' any better than it was before?"
My face suddenly felt very hot, and I was sure I must have looked flushed. "H-how the hell would I know?!"
She looked doubtfully at me. "How the hell wouldn't you know? You were a boy, now you're a girl. So I'm asking, which way feels better doing it?"
"I... I'm 14!"
Blinking at me, she nodded slowly. "Yah. So? I was 14 once, you know."
"W-well I... I wouldn't know! I n-never, with, uh, a-anyone else..."
Rolling her eyes, she shook her head. "Well DUH. I know you're a virgin. You'll probably be one up until your late 20's, when you get some poor guy drunk enough that you start looking good, but I KNOW you've been polishing the ole' bed knobs and broom sticks before this. So, now you don't have it, how's it different?"
"I... I... how would you... I mean, I... I wouldn't! I haven't! Th-this isn't going to last, anyway, and I don't intend to find out if it's any... I mean, just... ewww!"
Clearly amused, Melissa shook her head. "You think so? It's sort of funny, when you think about it. This is probably the closest you've ever gotten to a girl, and you still aren't going to get 'lucky'. My poor little sibling..."
Stammering, I stood up, and pointed firmly at the door, too furious to even respond.
"Well, see ya later, lil sis, I got done what I 'came' here to do!" she said in a way that made me wince, and left skipping out of my room.
After she left, and I had calmed down, I thoroughly scanned the disk for viruses, and any other malicious secrets she could have hidden within. Not that she possessed the technical expertise to pull off such an endeavor, but she might have had sex with someone who had. Oddly, it was clean. More suspicious than before, I looked over musical tracks she'd burned onto the disk with a studious eye towards file endings, and names, but that left little clue as to what the inevitable trick might have been. They were named innocent things, like; Song1, Song2, Song3...
It was remotely possible that she'd listened to our parents, felt sorry for all my bad luck, and this was a genuine peace offering between the two of us. Anything was possible, really, after a squid monster ate my genitals and a space woman replaced them with girl parts. Such things tend to open up your mind to the possibilities of the universe.
Cringing slightly, I pulled out a pair of earphones and plugged them into my computer, and nestled the rig on my head, then clicked the 'play' button to listen to the first track.
It wasn't that bad, really. The song started out rather cheerfully. It had an up-beat, happy tune, that I found, while unfamiliar, was actually sort of nice to listen to. Then the lyrics started;
"Take this big ribbon of my eeyeeees..."
It wasn't so bad, still. The girl's voice was sort of cute, and then part way into the song, I cringed.
"Because I'm just a girl, a little lonely, well don't let me out of your sight..."
I gritted my teeth, and hit the 'next' button to skip the first song and listen to the following one. Surely it couldn't be as bad as THAT one was.
"When I think about you, I touch myself-"
I hit the next button again, glaring silently.
"My hump, my hump my hump my hump! My lovely lady lumps! Check it out!"
"My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and they're like, it's better than yours, damn right, it's better than yours"
Soon, a song called "Detachable Penis" began to play, then more from the band that did the first song, and I just ejected the whole CD from where it was defiling my disk drive.
"...Well played, Melissa. Well played..." I mused to myself, slumped in my computer chair with my fingers arched before me. I'd suffered blow after blow to masculinity this day, and it wasn't even noon yet. No doubt, her plan was to keep me beaten down and humiliated, so much so that I wouldn't be able to come up with a proper counter attack. It was working, actually. The thought of having to sit through hours of female bonding frightened me in ways I can't describe, and it seemed there was no means I could find to avoid it, with my parents insisting on the whole thing.
After a half hour of searching and exhausting the resources at my finger tips, I turned away from an erotic-themed website dedicated to teenage sleep-overs and pajama parties, and groaned. An other worldly, lazy sounding 'yowl' soon had me peering up through my fingers at my backpack where it lay at the foot of my bed, the thing swelling and churning like a great lung, before a slick black feline shape slipped out, and started to stretch in ways that were, while convincingly cat-like, properly unnecessary for an entity made of black goo.
"Hey, Schrodinger. Heeereeee Schrodinger...!" I whispered, holding my hand down near the ground, indicating I might have food in my hand, and that the kitty should probably come over to see if it's true or not. A common trick used by cat owners to entice a feline.
The latex smooth feline sat its' rump down indignantly, eyeing my movements with a mildly offended look, then started to practice licking it's own spindly paws.
Shocked by the creatures attitude, I sat back up. "W-what? Don't look at your mom-errr, me like that! You know, if you'd actually talk, maybe I'd start treating you less like an animal and more like a... talking animal. Ya' know?"
The creature narrowed it's eyes at me, and then opened it's needle fanged maw to let out an experimental sounding,"Yoooowl... Mrrrooor...." Soon, it's mouth started to widen, mouth splitting down the sides of its cheeks until it looked like it's whole head was on hinges, and the sounds started to sound other worldly, as though it were speaking with two sets of vocal cords, one of which somehow seemed to vibrate the very fabric of reality, "...Rrooo.... Nyoooo... Myaaa...?"
Thoroughly creeped out by the creatures attempts at speech, I waved my hands in the air hurriedly, wincing. "Uh, no, never you mind. That's... that's just fine."
"Food," the word suddenly blossomed into my mind with a voice that wasn't anything I could have come up with.
I stopped, and looked down at the feline with a cautious express. "...What?"
"Food," the smug looking thing repeated to me, the word impacting my brain in a way that had someone bypassed my ears altogether.
"Oh my god. Oh my god, you can TALK!"
Melissa opened the door to my room again just then, a training bra in one hand, and a roll of toilet paper in the other, and stopped just short of saying anything when she saw me holding the weird black cat up in the air and anouncing in total triumph, "You can TALK to me that is so AMAZING!"
Schroedinger sniffed down at me, and said once more in the queer manner of brain talking, "Food?"
I turned to look at my sister, who was giving me a weird look, the enthusiasm she'd had on her face prior to breaking into my room again rapidly diminishing.
"Uh... should I... leave you two alone?" she questioned uncertaintly.
"Sis, this is awesome! Check it out, the cat can talk! See! See!" I held out Schroedinger to her, its' long spindly body wagging in the movement. The two of them stared at one another for long silent seconds, then...
"THERE! There, you heard that, right?!" I asked franticly.
Melissa gave me the strangest look, and started to back away. "Uh, look... I can see you're really busy... pretending to... talk to your cat, or whatever, so I'll just... leave you to it."
This time, however, I wasn't releaved to see my sister fleeing my room. Because now she probably thought I was also slightly insane.
Beyond my control, the thing in my lands wriggled and melted through my fingers and landed in a cat like shape to the ground, then scampered over towards the window, and started sniffing at it.
"...What, you want out?"
It looked back at me, then back at the window, and the latch.
Smirking slightly, I walked over. "Well well well, talking space cat... looks like the hand is on the other foot. Looks like you need me now, huh? Well I'll let you out, but you gotta say you want out!"
Before I could get half way to the bed and gloat, the little creature's spindly paw tips had started to swell, turning in moments into a shiny black pair of latex like gloved hands. Human hands, with thumbs, and fingers. One of these fingers stretched out to the window latch, snapped it open, and then the creature proceeded to lift the window up with a flick of one suddenly-paw, and spring out through the crack.
I stood standing there in mild shock, and slight depression, long enough that when mom walked into the room holding a phone she looked even more worried than she had this morning.
"Um, dear, are you alright? Your sister just walked by saying how you were acting funny, and you have a phone call from one of your friends, but if you're not feeling well enough to take it, I can tell her to call you back," she asked, concerned.
Quickly trying to regain my composure, I smiled at her. "Um, it's no big deal, I was just thinking of stuff... you know, I'm not really in the mood to-did you say her?"
"Yes, a friend of yours by the name of Beth. I don't think I've met her, though." She regarded the phone in her hands, and I quickly made the move to grab it from her.
"Ahaha, n-no big deal mom, I'm suddenly feeling a ton better. Uh, can I have some privacy?"
Mother smirked somewhat, but seemed slightly less worried for my mental well-being after she left and closed the door to my room than she had when she'd first entered, and found me staring at an open window.
Self-consciously, I answered in a valiant attempt at a deep masculine voice that cracked with my efforts, before I gave up and tried to talk normally. "Uh, hello?"
"Josh?! Is that you? Are you all right?! Where have you been! You never showed up friday night, there was that explosion at school they said was from some mutant attack, and your friend didn't know what happened to you, and your parents-"
The fact that Beth sounded worried about me somehow felt like a compliment. "Uh, yah, I was there, but..."
"Oh my god! Were you in the hospital?! Is that why I never heard anything from you?"
"W-well yah, but I'm fine! Really, I'm totally fine! Not even a scratch on me. I was just out of... 'it' for a few days." Musing, I pondered the truth of that statement. Technically, I'd been out of everything, not just it. Like, way out! Outer-space out.
Letting out a sigh of relief I could hear over the phone, she sounded calmer. "I was so worried! Why didn't you try to call me, or tell me anything?"
I scratched the back of my neck, sitting on the edge of my disheveled bed. "Kinda been busy the last few days... I had to talk to the police, and my parents took me to the doctor, and everything is all messed up... I'm really sorry, Beth. I... I totally forgot. I wanted to go, honest. It was all I could think about that day, and then..."
Her coy response warmed my dull mood. "Really...? I... I really wanted you to go, too... maybe we could make it up, if you're feeling better?"
I sat there rather dumbfounded, my heart thumping audibly in my chest. After all that, and me standing her up unintentionally, she still wanted to go out? With me? Finding myself squirming in ways I'd hesitate to describe as 'good', but certainly pleasant, I suddenly thought of the little problem between my legs. Then, I thought about Melissa, and the sleep-over of horror she was planning at this very moment.
"Um, Josh...? You still there?"
Bumbling when I realized I'd gone silent in shock, I responded quickly,"Y-yah! I am, sorry. I'd... I'd love to make it up, sure!" I swallowed nervously. "Is... is tonight okay with you?"
The pause she gave made my heart skip another beat. "Hmm... sure! I got a little homework, but I can finish that up earlier, I think... do you wanna try to meet at the theater again? I think the new Lady Lightning movie is out, there's a showing around 7 we could catch."
Bubbling, I answered with a light heart. "Yah! That'll be great! Tonight!" Wow, not only was she cute, and talented, but she also liked watching super hero movies! I was loving this girl more every minute!"
"Cool! I'll meet you out front. Don't be late this time, or I wont forgive you! ... And, call me if you can't make it, alright?"
"Sure...! I wouldn't miss it for the world, though!"
"Me neither, Josh. See you there."
"See ya!" letting out a happy sigh, I clicked off the phone, and sunk into my bed with a wide, wondrous look on my face.
This was great.
This was greater than great! Not only did I have an excuse with which to bail on my sister's torture party, I had a date! I had a date with an attractive girl, that I actually liked, and who seemed to like me back!
Triumphantly, grinning brashly, I got up to go brag my victory to my sister.
Unbeknownst to the residence of the Gillman house, a delivery flower van had been parked across their street for the better part of the day. Most of the folks that lived on that street didn't pay it any particular notice, save for one.
This resident was curious, as well.
Because within this van was no bank of floral supplies, nor baskets of colorful arrangements. The reds of roses were absent, replaced by blinking crimson lights, and the majestic beauty of baby's breath, lilacs, daisies, and birds of paradise had been absent in favor of high definition screens showing the Gillman home from various angles, and through various methods of detection. Infrared, night-vision, day-vision, and means of visual study that weren't at the general availability to the public were all pointed at that house, while scientists and men in professional suits read the equipment.
Doctor Deth, and Officer Stone were there (as it was quite a roomy van), looking rather bored at the prospect of surveillance duty.
"Ma'am, the Gillman girl will be leaving on some sort of a date later this evening," said one of the men studiously bent over an instrument panel, with a pair of large radial shaped earphones adorning his ears.
Officer Stone looked at her temporary partner, "We'll have to get a remote unit to tail them."
At the word 'tail', the curious resident that had been prowling about, undetected as it surveyed the surveyors made a sound on the hood of their car.
The two men looked startled, and one stuck his head out to look into the driver's compartment. Moments later, he smirked, and looked back into the cavity of high tech wizardry. "Eh, just a cat."
"...Weird sounding cat."
"Cat's make a wide variety of sounds, Officer Stone. I had one once as a kid that made more of a howl sound (after I made a few modifications to it), and I recall on that 'America's Funniest Home Videos' show, there was that one that screamed "No" or "Help" or something when they tried to give it a bath."
"Huh. You were a kid?"
Outside, Schroedinger sniffed indignantly at the van of strangers, and then bounded off to satisfy whatever else might give raise to an alien shape changer's curiosity.
It turned out she was in the bathroom, again.
When I walked to the bathroom the snap of rubber made my rear clench reflexively, and I backed up a step, flashes of a doctor with cold rubber clad hands causing my guts to chill. It took great courage and girding of ghost loins (you know, like phantom wang syndrome?) to get myself to poke my head into the partially open doorway. There, my sister had her head under the bath faucet, rinsing something dark out of her hair that apparently required her to wear rubber gloves on her hands.
"What the heck are you doing to your hair, now? Trying to wash the snakes out?"
With a smirk, she turned the water off and let her hair drip into the tub. "I'm giving myself some panther black highlights, dingus."
"...Yah, but your hair was already black."
"It was, but now it's a different shade of black. Duh."
"You think guys can honestly tell the difference from when you dye your hair panther black, or when you leave it your usual dung beetle black, sis? Honestly?"
A glare was shot back my way as she reached for a hair dryer. "What do you want, twerp?"
I rolled my eyes a little, reveling in my momentary triumph. "I just wanted to tell you that I wasn't going to stay around for your giggling girlfest. I got plans for the night."
She scoffed. "When did I say you were invited?"
Blinking, I gave her a funny look, momentarily at a loss for words. Was this reverse psychology, or something equally lame and tricky? "But you told mom and dad..."
The hair dryer went on, and she talked extra loud to be heard over it while blasting hot air from an ineffectual gun shaped machine at her head that I wished had been loaded with bullets. "So? You think I want my gender confused little brother-sister hanging around and embarrassing me around my friends? As if. I'm in charge while they're gone, and you're staying out of sight, and out of mind. Lock yourself in your room and play those shooting games of yours, or go date some big guy with a german accent named Fritz, for all I care."
Trying to hide my relief, I just smirked at her. "Fine, that works for me... w-wait, it's NOT some german guy! It's a girl!"
Raising an eyebrow, she briefly turned the hair dryer off. "A girl named Fritz? Geez, sis, you really ARE genderly confused."
Stammering, it took me a few seconds of looking at her satisfied smirk before I could respond properly. "It... she... she's a NORMAL girl! And you know what? She's hot! Way hotter than that coven of hags you hang out with!"
Her eyes rolled indifferently, and she flicked the hair dryer right back on. "Whatever, little sis. I don't care what you do, as long as none of MY friends see you doing it."
I felt slightly flushed, and glared at her. "That's fine with me. Oh. And I'll need the bathroom later on! To get ready for my date. So... don't spend all afternoon in here trying to scrub off your ugly, or whatever it is you do."
"Right, little sis. I'll leave you PLENTY of time to scrub off your own ugly before your hot lesbo date."
Fuming, and probably having said far more than I intended to say, not really realizing I should have shut up minutes ago, I snapped at her. "She's NOT a lesbo, not-that-there's-anything-wrong-with that!"
She looked at me with that artfully arched, carefully plucked eyebrow. "Does she know you're a girl?"
"I-I... w-well, no, I mean, it's only temporary..." feeling the wind leave my sails, I dropped my gaze self-consciously.
"Aaaah, so you didn't tell her... well, it's probably no big deal. I mean, the chances of her doing anything that she'd actually find out you're lying about being of the smellier gender are slim to nil. Unless... is she a drunk?"
"NO! She isn't!"
Clicking her tongue at me sadly, Melissa set the hair dryer aside and started to wrap her hair up in a towel. "Then you got no chance, little sis."
I glared at her for a few moments more, trying to come up with something clever and biting to say to her, and thinking about how very unfair the universe was before saying, in a low whisper, "You are such a bitch."
Just then, mom's shrill voice sounded somewhere behind me, rooms away. "JOSHUA Gillman! I have told you once, and I wont tell you again! We do not curse in this house!"
I gritted my teeth, and mumbled a, "Sorry Mom," while Melissa snickered at me smugly.
Deciding to cut what few further losses I could incur, I slunk back off to my room.
Much later that day, after my father had gotten back home from work, and my parents had both left for the evening to deal with the judicial difficulties of having a son that spontaneously switches sex, I was standing before the bathroom mirror with my glasses on (it was too distracting to look at anything with them off) trying to deal with the physical aspects of such a change.
A nice hot shower had refreshened my outlook on the evening, and cheered myself up somewhat, but the reflection in the steamed over mirror had done the opposite. It hadn't been more than a week or two before all my troubles had started, and a normal, if not abnormally skinny and maybe slightly feminine looking boy had stood in that very same mirror, looking back at me. Now, there I was, girl in all the parts that mattered, and finding myself picking out a dozen other little changes and differences that I'd been trying to avoid noticing that would almost certainly sabotage my attempt at passing as my former, glorious gender.
Before, my body wasn't exactly a temple to testosterone, but now my slim figure just looked somehow... smoother to my eyes. Curves threatened my sanity. My features hadn't changed all that much either, but to my nervous, paranoid senses, they seemed smoother as well, and possibly more feminine than it had already been. I dared not make any judgments on my chest area, which felt markedly softer than it had before, and even terrifyingly swollen to the point where I couldn't deny the slight way they jiggled when I jumped up and down (I had to do this several times to be sure you understand I most certainly had a "they" there, a pair!), the same way my hips were starting to feel slightly swollen, but there was something about my over-all look that, while didn't look terribly different before, was just slightly different enough now to look female.
What made everything even worse, was how very little I soon realized it had taken to make me LOOK like a girl. Apparently I had been closer to the gender divide previous to this than I had originally been willing to accept.
Well, my clothes would cover up most of that. Luckily, they were for the most part just baggy enough to hide most of these dreaded feminine points. I wasn't so far from the gender divide, still, I think, that it was too difficult to conceal the fact that I'd crossed it involuntarily. Most of it was psychological, anyway.
That shouldn't be a problem for me. Psychologically I was a male, after all. I just required some artificial confidence. I'd just roll up some artificial confidence when I got dressed in my room, and stuffed the socks down the front of my pants. Ah, good, supportive socks. What would a budding cross-dresser do without you?
Taking a deep breath, I wrapped a towel around my waist, and paused at the door, suddenly feeling self-conscious. Cautiously, I unwrapped it, and tried pulling it around my body at chest level, just under the armpits, and found it was just wide enough to cover all the parts I'd been worrying about.
I glared at myself in the mirror, when I realized what I'd done. I don't have anything to hide up there, really. I was a man, wasn't I?
Swallowing nervously, I lowered the towel around my waist, and exited the restroom to move quickly to my room to get dressed, and cover my shame.
Sure, I knew it was just me and my horrible sister there at this point, but she probably wouldn't have let me hear the last of it if she saw me wearing a towel like a girl.
"Oh, so it's down here?" an unfamiliar voice sounded around the corner.
"Yah, just kick my little brother out," my sister's voice followed, absently.
I had barely a minute to realize what that meant, when I found myself almost walking directly into a rather stacked older girl. I say stacked, because the first thing I found myself staring at was ample acre's of scantily clad flesh that preceded her passing by seconds, that seemed to be eye level with me.
Shocked at first, I looked up at the unfamiliar brunette girl and stammered,"Um, s-sorry, I was just heading to my room."
Oddly, she looked equally bewildered when she gazed down at me. Actually, I realized, she was staring at MY exposed chest.
I felt my face flush, and crossed an arm over the general area for reasons I can't fathom, and stepped to move around her, when she called back into the other room.
"Uh, 'lessa, who's the little girl that just came out of the bathroom? She staying over tonight too? ...You said your brother was in there."
"Huh?" came the confused answer. "Oh! Ah, no, that's... that's my... my other... little sister!" I heard her hurried footsteps rounding the corner, and my sister tried to guide her curious friend on past me. "She... she's really busy, we shouldn't keep her! She has a date tonight, so she can't stay. She REALLY has to be going, so-"
Undeterred, the brunette's eyes lit up at the mention of a date, and three more very curious female heads with pairs of eyes lit up in a similar fashion popped into view from around the corner to see the 'new girl'.
"Ooh, a date?"
"Aw, she's cute!"
"You never told us you had a cute little sister, 'Lissa!"
"I can see the resemblance, I think she has your hips..."
"Aw, look at her little booblettes! I remember when I was that small. Don't worry, hun, they'll get bigger with proper feeding and watering!"
"We should make her up, she's not ready for a date yet. Just look at her!"
"Ooh, that sounds like fun!"
Much to my own utterly ashamed, red faced attempts at extricating myself from the throng of babbling babes, and to my own amazement my sister's own weak efforts at convincing them to let me run away, I found multiple hands taking me by the shoulders and arms, guiding me out to the living room where the women had started to nest with sleeping bags and pillows arranged in a rough circle that was somehow reminiscent of a coven's circle with candles and stacks of DVDs strewn about the room like forbidden tombs, bottles of make-up and lipstick arranged like witches potions before them. Somewhere, I think I spotted an open bottle of wine.
I bet it was witch wine.
To my continued horror, I found myself seated in the center of this circle wearing nothing but a towel, like a virgin sacrifice, as the older, gorgeous women flopped down around me in un-lady like arrangements wearing underwear and T-shirts.
Even worse, small tubs of ice-cream were being prepared to be devoured, and "Pretty in Pink", or "Breakfast Club" might have been playing on the TV, like a forbidden flame in an altar to the forgotten gods of the 80's.
They quickly removed my glasses much to my own, meek, but vocal dismay, and I found myself equally paralyzed by the confusion of extra-dimensional vision, and by the prospect of being surrounded by scantily clad, attractive women that weren't quite watching how they sat. Hey, I was still a guy, inside! Being near that much ample cleavage and exposed flesh was more than enough to short circuit my urge to escape at all costs.
I mean... boobs!
"Hmm, I really think the pretty pony pink looks better on her..."
"No no, blow job red!" advised the older girl as they held sticks of lipstick to my face. My wide eyed, nervous face.
"Geez, Melissa's little sis! Haven't you ever heard of tweezers? Those eyebrows are starting to look kinda manly."
"OW! I...I really gotta go, I can't stay for this!" I urgently protested.
"Now, relax, Melissa's sis. Let your new older sisters take care of everything, we'll make sure you look totally hot by the time you have to be at your date. Besides, it's okay if a woman shows up a little late - guys expect it!"
"Oooh, she'd look so sweet in this lip gloss! It's got sparkles!"
"Now stay still while I straighten your eyebrows out some!"
"Wow, she's got a healthy set of lungs!"
"You can't dress her in that!" one of the girls, squeaked. "She's way too young, she has to be, like, 14!"
"You haven't seen how girls her age dress, have you? Short skirts are ALL the rage with teenage girls. Whore is in, trust me. She'll look so cute!"
"Ooh, she can wear this pretty pink glittery "Skank!" shirt, too! Awww, that'll look soooo adorable."
"H-hey, where'd you get that?"
"You had it in your room!"
"Guys, don't raid my room for date clothes for this little brat!"
"Uh, is Hank there?" a blonde asked with a serious expression, cradling the phone against the side of her head amidst a circle of girls all trying to stifle laughter. "Yes, I'd like to talk to him. This is his girlfriend."
There was a pause, in which it appeared as though everyone but the girl doing SOMETHING to my hair was holding their breath.
"Oh, hi baby! I got some great news. Well, you see... I'm pregnant."
Snickers sounded behind hands, and the blonde suddenly broke into laughter when the sound of the guy's voice on the other end of the line seemed to quickly grown frantic and urgent, right before she quickly hung up the phone.
"Hey, 'Lissa's sister, try these slippers on! I think they totally go with that bow we put in your hair."
"W-what bow!? Don't put anything in my-!"
"Caaaalm down! It's fine, you look adorable! Now get up and turn around a few times, and lets see what we have so far."
"Hmm, that skirt really does work her ass."
"Carole! Don't say ass!"
"Yah, say badunkadunk!"
"Oh, wow, is that what we're calling it now?"
"Okay, that's kind of cute... now try on these pumps, I think they'll really bring out your eyes."
"Should we stuff her bra?"
"Well duh! I'll go get the toilet paper."
"Oh, stay STILL... stop squirming, you'll mess it up! ...So, what DO guys like?" one girl asked as she did things to my face. Long ago my sister had given up trying to convince them to let me go, and had joined in on the fun in my general humiliation.
Heads WOULD roll.
Bursts of giggles echoed about the room as I sat there, petrified.
"Well, this is 'Lissa's little sister's big night... maybe we should give her some tips? You know, in case her date goes well."
"But she's 14!" a girl squeaked.
"What, don't you remember being 14?"
Before I could comprehend this, one of the older girls had a banana in one hand, and a condom in the other, and a very serious look on her face.
"No no, here's the most important thing. Are you watching, 'Lissa's sis? Now, imagine this is a guy's thing." She paused to consider the banana, then smirked at the group of girls. "In a world called every guy's dream. Now, no guy's going to do this on his own, and if you can pull this trick off, you're going to be the most popular girl in high-school. Trust me, I used to go to high-school."
One of the girls blurted out amongst giggles, "Hussy!"
"Shut up, skank!"
More giggles followed, before she continued her demonstration. In one hand, she bit the condom wrapper off and slipped it in her mouth. Then, she slowly swallowed the banana to the cheers and applause of her friends, taking it into her mouth until just the stem was poking out.
The applause and squeals of laughter continued, when as she pulled it out of her mouth, the condom was wrapped perfectly around the fruit.
"Now the trick to giving a REALLY good blowjob is..."
What seemed like an eternity of violation later, they finally decided I was properly prepared, and pushed me out the front door cheering me on with unhelpful bits of advice on how to please a man, with a borrowed purse, and a pleasant cotton candy like scent floating around me.
Traumatized, I stood there with my knees pressed together, a glittery pink baby-tee-shirt with the words "Skank!" brightly emblazoned across a bra stuffed with a generous amount of tissue paper, a frilly white skirt that covered so very little of my legs that I felt any eyes directed my way would somehow taint my body, a pair of pink pumps on my feet, and with no real idea of WHAT they'd done to my face. I had the inclination that it involved lip gloss, eyeliner, and perhaps a light sprinkling of glitter. There was some kind of a barrette in my hair, too, that they claimed made me look absolutely kissable.
Even though I was dressed, I felt naked, exposed, and like a complete dork standing out on my own front porch dressed up like a girl. My hand shaking, I fumbled for a watch in the purse to discover that I had a scarce 20 minutes or so to get to my date.