“Oh, oh oh! Take that!” Sam said, energetically.
David couldn’t help but smile; apparently, she became much more confident and aggressive when she played video games. “Yes! I win again. Did you see that David?”
“Yes, yes. I was the one you killed,” David replied. He turned to look at Riley, who was sitting on the other side of Sam; David didn’t want to accidentally touch him. “You up for another round, Riley?”
“Next game,” Riley said determinedly.
David had been at Riley’s house playing various games; they moved the system into the living room so they could have more room. Riley and David were about the same skill level, which made them have a friendly rivalry. However, after about two hours, Sam came back from work, and she joined them. Her skill level was way ahead of both of the boys, no matter what game they played. Even when they teamed up, they couldn’t beat Sam.
The next game ended quickly. Riley threw the controller to the ground and stormed out of the living room.
“Did I do something wrong?” Sam asked innocently.
“No, I think he’s just mad he got beat by a girl,” David said.
“That’s weird,” Sam said, putting a finger on her chin. “Video games are something that boys and girls can compete in evenly. Why would he get mad I could beat him when you beat him plenty of times as well?”
David laughed. “Good point. Anyway, I’ll go check on him.”
Once Sam had come over, Riley had become much quieter. It must have been awkward for him to have such an attractive girl in his house. David caught him a few times looking at her breasts before quickly looking away.
“You alright, man?” David asked.
“Yeah,” Riley said. “How did she get that good?”
“She plays all the time,” David said, guessing. “She did become a programmer because of it.”
“I see. Hey, do you think I could invite a friend over? He’s pretty good. He stays in the same apartment complex as us.”
“Sure, I don’t mind,” David replied.
Riley made a quick call, and the three of them continued playing. Within a few minutes, the doorbell rang. David heard Simon answer the door.
“Oh, Alec, it’s good to see you,” Simon said. “The others are playing games in the living room.”
A short skinny guy with red hair walked into the room; he looked to be about eighteen years old. He had a smile that didn’t reach his eyes, which immediately disappeared once Simon left them alone.
He glared at Riley, who had stood up to greet the newcomer. “What did you call me over for? Something about video games and a girl . . .” Riley’s apparent friend caught a glance of Sam sitting on the couch, and his voice trailed off. He pushed Riley aside and greeted Sam with the fake smile back in place. “Why, hello there beautiful. My name is Alec. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
David felt Sam tense up and grab his arm, pressing it against her breasts. David could feel Alec’s hot stare being directed at him.
“Sorry,” David responded. “My cousin is a little shy around strangers. I’m David and this is Sam.”
Alec visibly relaxed once he heard the word cousin. David had no doubt what was going through his mind; David would probably be thinking of the same thing, though probably in a less sleazy way.
“We spent a lot of time together as kids,” Riley said, trying to join the conversation; David could almost see Alec wince at the memory. “Alec, Sam’s good at games. I thought you might like to try playing against her.”
“Really,” Alec said slowly. “Alright, I’ll play a few games with you guys.”
The couch could only fit three people, so Riley offered to sit on the ground. Sam sat in the middle between David and Alec; David didn’t want to touch the other guys by accident, and Alec just wanted to get closer to Sam.
In the first game they played, Alec didn’t focus on the game, only on Sam. He tried telling jokes or casually touching her arm, but Sam ignored him. Once Alec realized he wasn’t getting anywhere with Sam, he turned his attention to the game, hoping he could connect with her there. Alec was a really good player, much better than David or Riley, but he still paled in comparison to Sam. They did manage to beat her when it was three versus one.
“What was that, Riley?” Alec said angrily as they lost another game.
“Sorry,” Riley said, a little dejected.
“Sorry isn’t going to win us games,” Alec replied testily.
“It’s just a game,” David said. “Cool down a bit.”
Sam tensed up a bit; she didn’t like confrontation. “I can let you guys win a few if that would make you happy.”
David chuckled. “No need. I think that’d be pouring salt over a wound.”
The room had become more uncomfortable since Alec had come over. Alec shot David a sharp look, but held his tongue, probably because he still wanted to be on Sam’s good side.
Simon walked in. “I’ve got some snacks for you guys. Don’t get too competitive now.” The tension in the room seemed to relax. David suspected Simon came in to help them out a bit; Simon looked happy Riley was hanging out with others.
“Thanks, Dad,” Riley said. “I’ll take it from here.”
“I’m going to be leaving for a bit,” Simon said. “Give me a call if you need anything.”
After Riley took the snacks, Simon left the room, and a few minutes later, he left the apartment.
“Hey, Riley,” Alec said. “Is there something wrong with your dad? He seems a little different than he did before.”
Riley shrugged as he handed out the snacks. “I’ve noticed that too. Maybe he’s going through a mid-life crisis.”
David had almost forgotten to keep an eye on Simon; he had gotten caught up in the movie, and then the video games. He decided to keep a better eye on Simon.
After they finished the snacks, David said, “I’ll take the trash out. I need to use the restroom anyway.”
David went around the room collecting trash, careful not to touch anybody.
As he was leaving the room, David felt a hand grab his arm. “Hey, David, you missed one,” Riley said.
David’s heart skipped as he looked over his shoulder. Riley was looking strangely at his hand. Memories of Karl and Sam returned to him right before they transformed. He hoped that since Simon hadn’t changed, his son wouldn’t change as well. David asked, “You alright?” Riley nodded as he handed the trash to David.
As David washed his hands in the bathroom, he beat himself up for taking so many risks during the day. He shouldn’t have left his apartment.
After David returned, he noticed Riley’s hair was noticeably lighter; it was no longer a dark brown, but a light brown. Riley was a bit overweight, but he looked visibly thinner. There was no question he was changing. David knew he needed to get Alec away, preferably out of the house. David saw Alec unsuccessfully trying to flirt with Sam. He gave a silent apology to Sam.
“Sam,” David called, “Could you come with me for a bit?” Sam seemed grateful to escape from Alec and rushed to join. David looked back into the room and said, “We’ll be right back.”
After David and Sam left, Riley sat there with Alec in awkward silence. Alec took out his phone and began texting.
“Um,” Riley said. “Do you want to play another game?”
The stare Alec gave him gave Riley his answer; Alec put all of his attention back on his phone. Riley thought that inviting Alec and showing he was friends with a hot girl or at least friends with the cousin of a hot girl, would help Riley be cool in Alec’s eyes. But no, they had drifted too far apart, and Riley was hardly confident to change his lack of social skills.
Despite himself, Riley sighed in relief. He was used to playing alone; talking with others always created unwanted stress. It was fun with just David, but as more people showed up, Riley had less and less fun. Riley started a single-player game where he could easily end when the others returned.
As Riley played the next game, he felt his right hand beginning to fall asleep. He tried his best to ignore it, but as the game progressed, the numb feeling persisted. It even started to creep up his arm.
Riley put the game on pause to flex his hand, trying to get some feeling in his hand. As he looked down at his right hand, he had to do a double-take. It looked like all of the fat had been sucked out of his hand. He grabbed his right hand with his left, but, immediately, his left hand also started to go numb.
Riley let out a surprised yell. Alec looked up from his phone with an annoyed look on his face. Embarrassed, Riley hid his hands behind his back and gave a nervous laugh; Riley noticed that the part of his back where his hands were touching went numb. Alec returned to droning the world out by returning to his phone.
Riley once again looked at his hands. His left hand mimicked his right hand as the fat drained out of it. On his right hand, it started to spread up his arm. Even though Riley didn’t mind being fat, since it was who he was, he couldn’t handle having a fat upper arm and a skinny forearm. Riley turned away from Alec, so Alec wouldn’t see his skinny arm by chance.
Riley was uncertain about what to do. He wanted to leave the room, so he didn’t have to worry about anybody looking at him, but he was afraid Alec might see something if he stood up to leave. Alec was always vicious with his insults. As he was being indecisive, the numbness from his back circled to his stomach. His stomach began to burn. Riley leaned over to try to suppress the pain, but it only made it worse.
Just then, Riley heard David say, “Hey, Alec, Sam wants to talk to you in the kitchen.”
Riley turned his head. He saw David’s eyes widen in surprise as he saw Riley; Riley’s face turned bright red. David motioned Riley to stay put. Alec got up without even glancing at Riley and walked to the other room.
The pain his Riley’s stomach stopped. Riley felt his belly; it was completely flat. However, his chest still had all of the fat; it made him feel very top-heavy. Riley’s clothes also felt a little off, like he was wearing a shirt three sizes too big. It felt like he didn’t belong in his own body.
Riley tried to hide the strange parts of his body, knowing full well that David had already seen them.
David saw Riley sitting on the couch, trying to hide his arms and the front side of his body. His stomach seemed to be squeezed into his chest area. David could almost see breasts being formed on his chest. Riley’s hair had turned completely blond, and it was a little longer, as it covered his ears; Riley seemed oblivious to the longer hair.
David looked over his shoulder at Alec talking to Sam. David had convinced her to go on a walk with Alec, to get him away from the house. David knew she couldn’t stand Alec, but she said she would try. David promised her a treat in return.
David turned back to Riley. He sat down on the couch next to him. “Are you feeling okay, Riley?” David asked.
“Leave me alone,” Riley whispered. He tried to push David away, and then curl up in a ball. He looked to be shaking.
“Riley, it’s alright. Calm down,” David said, putting his hand on Riley’s shoulder.
Riley tried to flinch away, but David kept a firm grip. After a few moments, Riley stopped shaking.
“What’s happening to me?” Riley said.
“Um,” David replied. “The simplest explanation is you’re turning into a girl.”
Riley sat straight up. “Turning into *cough* a girl?!” *cough* What’s that suppo . . . *cough* supposed to *cough* to mean? What’s *cough* happening to my *cough* voice?” Every time Riley coughed, his voice’s pitch would go higher. By the time he finished talking, his voice was in a soft soprano. He held his hands to his throat. “My voice? How could this happen?”
“I’m sorry,” David said. “This is my fault.”
Riley shot him a glare, full of confusion and anger. However, he appeared too tired, physically and mentally, to make any retort.
David felt a pang of guilt spike through him. He knew the transformed girls gradually accepted their change, so he just needed to distract him for a short while. “Okay, let’s try this,” David said. “What do you do to relax?”
“I . . .” Riley said, thinking for a moment; his eyes glazed over a bit. “I like to read books.”
“Perfect,” David said. He walked over to a nearby bookshelf and picked out a book. He handed it to Riley. “Here, I hope this will help you take your mind off things.”
Riley took the book and started reading it. He found a comfortable position and lost himself in the words. David let out a sigh of relief; at least he wasn’t freaking out anymore.
David heard someone running into the room. He looked over and saw Sam rushing towards him. She grabbed his arm and hid behind him. She said, “I’m sorry, David, I just couldn’t do it.”
Predictably, Alec came running after her. David glared at him and said, “What did you do to her?”
“I didn’t do anything to her. Man, your cousin is way too . . . too . . .” Alec’s voice trailed off as he caught a glimpse of Riley reading on the couch. Riley glanced at Alec but dismissed him as uninteresting immediately and returned to his book.
David couldn’t resist looking at Riley as well. Riley’s hair began to grow at a much faster pace. It would occasionally fall in front of Riley’s face, but he would only brush it away as it would get in the way of him reading the book. His chubby face lost its fat and became more feminine, as the cheekbones rose and the structure of his face became narrower. He could see the fat on his chest begin to take more form as two mounds began to shape through the oversized shirt. Riley ignored everybody else in the room.
“What the . . . Who is that?” Alec said, finding it difficult to form words. “Riley? Don’t tell me that’s Riley. Kid, you better tell me what’s going on.” Alec started to step towards David as if he was going to grab him.
David stepped backward, which was pretty awkward with Sam holding on to him. “Alright,” David said. “Alright, I’ll tell you, just don’t touch me. Every person I touch turns into a girl.”
“You . . . what? What?!” Alec said.
David then told the story of going hiking and finding the crystal. He told him about Karl, Sam, and even Simon. Alec first appeared to be skeptical, but as he watched Riley become more feminine, his skepticism waned. Alec moved away from David, to make sure he was out of reach. Even though David didn’t like Alec, it still felt good to tell someone else, like a weight was lifted from his shoulders.
As David finished the story, Riley was completely a girl. Her blond hair fell to the middle of her back, and almost all of her excess fat was gone. Her breasts weren’t large, but they appeared to be firm. She did look a little strange in her oversized boy clothes, which David knew would change soon enough. David, Alec, and even Sam watched the rest of the change in silence.
Riley’s shirt began to shrink. The sleeves disappeared to show her shoulders, and the neckline dropped, revealing a bit of cleavage. Her shirt, now a purple tank top, wrapped around her tightly, showing off her fit body. Riley was wearing jeans, but they crawled up her legs until they became short shorts. Her long hair came alive and wrap itself around until it became a tight braid that rested over her shoulder.
Riley’s whole attitude seemed to change as well. At first, she looked like she was trying to escape from the world, but as the transformation ended, she appeared lazy and enjoying herself in the book. She shifted positions, so she could get a better spot to read. She ended up lounging on the couch.
Compared to Sam, Riley was somewhat plain. She had a great body, but the way she held herself made it look like she didn’t want to stand out at all. Like the other transformed people, David was amazed by the personality changes.
“So, let me get this straight,” Alec said, once the changes had stopped. “Whoever you touch becomes a hot girl? So, Sam was just a random guy you met on the bus? That makes things a little strange. Who else knows about this?”
“You’re the first person I’ve told,” David said. “I guess the girls I’ve touched know, and I wrote a letter to my family explaining the situation before I ran away.”
“This isn’t some grand prank you’re playing on me?” Alec said.
“I can touch you if you want to find out,” David replied.
“No, no, I believe you,” Alec said, stepping back. “Still, it’s a little surreal. Do you know why Simon hasn’t changed?”
“It might be taking him longer to transform,” David said. “It might be because he’s older. Everybody else has been somewhat young.”
“And there’s no cure that you’ve found?” Alec asked. David shook his head. “I see.” Alec stepped towards Riley. “Riley? You are Riley, right?”
The girl reading the book looked up. “Yeah, of course, I am.” She turned her attention back to her book.
Alec shook his head. He turned back to David and said, “You’ve got something amazing there. Do you think there’s a way to control it? Like, do you think you could make the person become a specific type of person? You might even be able to control not changing that person at all.”
“I don’t know,” David said. “It’s not like I go around testing it on random people. Every time I touch someone, it’s like that person dies. They might still have the same memories, but their personality is completely different.”
“I see,” Alec said thoughtfully. “You know what; I think I have the perfect idea where you can test it out with no repercussions.”
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