Simon adjusted his glasses as he peered out the window. Even though he had just gotten his glasses a few days previously, they didn’t fit very well. He saw David return to his apartment with two girls. Every time he saw David, Simon saw him with a new girl. Simon couldn’t help but worry about David. He sort of had a motherly feeling for him.
Motherly? Simon shook his head. Why did he think that? His mind was getting fuzzier and fuzzier. He would often say or think strange things. Not only his mind was weird, but his body was acting up as well. Not necessarily in a bad way.
He was in his late fifties. He was already greying and going bald. He had bad posture by hunching over his computer so much. His skin was somewhat pasty, and he was too thin. He often had difficulty getting out of bed because he lacked energy.
That was before. Over the week, his hair was growing thick and long, even after cutting it. His skin color was much healthier and gained more color.
He had much more energy; he was more productive, and his apathy was minuscule when compared to the past. Many people he met remarked how much better he looked. The only negative aspect was that his vision went bad. Small price to pay.
The doorbell rang. Simon stood up excitedly; he had never been a very social person, but now he enjoyed talking with others, even if they were just talking about their rent. However, as Simon opened the door, all joy evaporated. A woman in her fifties stood casually in the doorway. Janice, his wife.
“Hello, Simon. My, my, aren’t you looking good. I barely recognized you.” Her voice had a slightly mocking tone to it. They had been separated for a few years, and the only time they saw each other was to exchange guardianship of Riley. Simon had completely forgotten she was coming.
“Janice, had a nice trip?” Simon greeted curtly.
“Quite. Is Riley ready to go?”
“Um, he’s at a friend’s.”
“Oh, he has friends here? That’s a surprise. I thought you allowed him to play video games all day.”
“See! This is why Riley doesn’t like being around you. Degrading woman.”
Janice’s eyes widened a bit. “A new spine to go along with your appearance. Well, Simon, I don’t have time for this. Go get me my son.”
Her eyes flared with anger. “Enough of this farce. He begins school in a week. He needs to get ready.”
“I am aware,” Simon said. “I will bring him over when he’s ready.”
Janice tried to stare Simon down, but he held his ground. His newfound confidence was thrilling.
Janice sighed. “Fine. I’ll let you have this one. Five days. You have five days to bring him home to me. One day late, I’m taking this to court.”
Simon gave a sharp nod. “Fine.”
As Janice walked out the door, she looked back at Simon. Was there a bit of warmth in her eyes? The moment passed and she was gone; must have been his imagination.
Simon had to sit down to calm his emotions. For years, they had passively grown apart. They didn’t argue. Janice would complain, and Simon would ignore her. However, the brief moment of tension they just had held more passion than most of the years they were together.
Janice aside, Simon was getting a little worried about Riley. It had been a few days since he had started hanging out with David. Simon did get texts every once in a while, but he never saw or talked with him. Simon had always been a hands-off parent, but now it felt like he needed to do more.
Over the next few days, Simon kept a watchful eye over David’s apartment. A lot of girls walked in and out; it was hard to keep track of who was who. However, he never saw Riley. He was worried they cooped themselves up in the apartment. Or, doing questionable things with the girls. “No,” Simon chided himself. “Trust your son.”
Over the next two days, the changes continued to Simon’s body. Simon checked himself over the mirror. His hair was growing longer and longer. He decided to pull his hair back into a ponytail rather than cut it, at least until it stopped growing ridiculously fast.
His face had been changing subtly; nothing drastic from day to day, but when compared with earlier in the week, he could notice the differences.
The major difference was that he looked younger. He looked like he was in his early thirties. However, he didn’t look like he did when he was younger, even though his identifying features remained intact, like his eyes and nose. The shape of his face was smoother and oval.
Any flaws, including scars and moles, disappeared. The position of his eyes shifted, his mouth shrank, and his mouth became thinner. He was more attractive than he was before; however, he was more pretty than handsome. It was rather disconcerting.
His body shifted. He was shorter by at least a few inches. It took a while to notice because his clothes still fit properly. One day, he tried to grab a plate from a high shelf, but it was out of reach. Ever since then, he had measured his height every morning with his self-check-up. His shoulders and hips felt a little sore; his shoulders were narrower and his hips wider.
Alarmingly, his private parts began to shrink. He was never well endowed, but now it was getting difficult to go to the bathroom. He had to start sitting down because it was easier. His chest began to itch a little as well, but that was the least of his worries.
During this time, Simon spent most of his time inside. He was a little embarrassed by the way he looked. Occasionally, tenets would come by with a problem with their apartment; they would stare at Simon with confused eyes as if they were testing if their memory was right. Simon began to play as a nephew who was watching the apartments while Simon was on a trip. It made it easier to not deal with the stares and awkward questions.
Three days after Janice came, another knock sounded at the door. Simon answered and a tall man in formal clothes stood in the doorway. “Hello. Can I help you?” Simon asked.
“Sir- mi- . . . Excuse me,” the man started; he seemed a little confused about how to address him. “I am Detective Jaques. Are you the owner of these apartments?” He showed his badge to prove his profession.
“Yes, I am.”
“Are you familiar with Alec Hutchins?”
“Yes, he is a friend of my son and his family members are tenets here. Is something the matter with him?”
“I need to ask him some questions. I visited his family, but they haven’t seen him for a few days; though, they didn’t seem to be too worried. When was the last time you saw him?”
“Um, I think it was a week or two ago,” Simon said. “He came over and played games with my son.”
“Did anything seem off?”
Simon shook his head. “Not that I’m aware. I was only here for a bit during that time.”
“Is your son here?” the detective asked. “Could I ask him some questions?”
“Not at the moment,” Simon said. “I can ask him if you’d like.”
“Please do.” The detective took out a card. “Call our office if you find him. Thank you for your help.” Simon nodded as he took the card and closed the door.
Simon steeled himself. He hoped his son wasn’t involved in something he shouldn’t be. Time to visit him.
Richard Jacques walked away from the landlord’s apartment. He shook his head; he always had a hard time with androgynous people. He took out a notepad to mark down minor notes regarding the case he was working on.
About a week before, five people had gone missing. First, three people from a rest home disappeared after a group of teenagers volunteered to visit. The secretary on duty during the disappearance specifically mentioned a red-haired guy. In addition to the three people gone missing, their bank accounts also received large withdrawals. Richard looked up the recordings of the ATM and saw a group of young women with a red-haired guy withdrawing money.
On the same day, two teenagers went missing from a water park; their car never left the parking lot. After talking to a few people, Richard managed to find out that there had been some sort of magic show with the missing guys and some girls. He received the video recording of the water park’s entrance and parking lot. After painstakingly watching the dull recording, he learned that the two missing guys never left the water park and that two girls who had left the park had never entered.
The two girls entered a car owned by Alec Hutchins, a red-haired teenager. Richard went back to the rest home and showed the secretary Alec’s picture. She confirmed that he was the same person. After tracking down Alec’s home, he was gone. His parents said he was on a road trip with friends. When he pressed them, they said Alec was of legal age and could do what he wanted.
Something odd was happening. Richard couldn’t quite figure it out.
David heard the doorbell ring. As Rachel answered the door, David heard a voice, “Hello, miss. Is David or Riley here?” The voice was unfamiliar and familiar at the same time.
“D-David! My . . . Er . . . The landlord’s here.” Rachel sounded a little flustered, probably because this was her first time meeting her father as a girl.
Suddenly, David felt very grimy. He remembered he hadn’t gotten in the shower yet that day. He hadn’t been meeting with anybody, only with the girls that he had transformed. He found his brother’s hat and covered his greasy unwashed hair.
David saw Simon for the first time in a few days. He looked younger; his long dark hair pulled back in a ponytail gave him a distinct look. He also looked like he had more energy, much livelier than he was before. His hips were slightly wider, and there was a hint of incline on his chest. The shape of his face made him appear more innocent. Rachel quietly walked to the back of the apartment, out of view.
As Simon saw David, a look of concern passed his face. The bloodshot eyes and pale skin from spending too much time inside on a computer were starting to show. Gratefully, Simon didn’t say anything.
“Simon, it’s good to see you. What can I do for you?”
Simon wrung his hands nervously. He seemed happy and scared at the same time. He also seemed confused that he was nervous. “D-David, it’s good to see you too. I . . . Um, I’m just wondering where my son is.” His voice lost the gruff voice it had before, not quite feminine, though not masculine either.
“Well, um, you see, he’s in the middle of an online game,” David lied carefully. “Also, he doesn’t want you to see him at the moment. Sorry.”
“Has he given any reason why? Did I do something wrong?”
“No, I don’t think so . . .” David said slowly, glancing in the direction Rachel went. “He doesn’t talk about it much, and I don’t press it. He does seem grateful you’re allowing him to stay over though. It’s been fun for me too.”
“I see,” Simon said. “Um, also, have you seen Alec? A detective came by to ask him a few questions. I hope it’s nothing too serious.”
David began to feel a little sick to his stomach. Did he make a mistake somewhere? He thought Alex cleared it with her parents. “Ah, no, I haven’t seen him for a few days. Is something wrong?”
“Not that I know. The detective didn’t tell me anything. Anyway, tell Riley I stopped by. Also, tell him I need to take him to his mother’s place in two days. He’ll need to come home before then. Take care.” Simon waved goodbye and left the apartment.
David watched Simon leave through the window. He had a sway to his hips that made him appear more feminine. The transformation was progressing slowly but surely.
“Rachel, he’s gone,” David called to the back. Rachel emerged. “Did you hear that conversation?”
She nodded. “Yeah, what do you think we should do? My mom’s not the most . . . kind woman in the world.”
“I see. Well, your dad will hopefully be fully transformed by the time she comes. Maybe he’ll have an idea of what to do. We can ask the others as well.”
Rachel looked skeptical, but she nodded her head. She walked over to her favorite couch, laid down, and took out a book; she did that a lot. David went back to his room and got on his computer.
David updated Rachel’s profile. ‘She gets flustered around her father. Perhaps she is embarrassed about her appearance, or even about her father’s appearance. Not the best relationship with her mother.’
Every day, David tried to add something to each of the girl’s profiles, what they were doing, and the type of personalities they had. He told the girls about it, and they didn’t have a problem with him making notes. They seemed to enjoy the extra attention he was giving them. He reviewed the list again.
Rachel stayed in the apartment with David most of the time. She mainly stayed by herself reading her book, but she would play games with David every once in a while. David found it easy to talk with her, and their discussions usually ended with them laughing uncontrollably. True to her word, she tried to be the best friend she could without making sexual advances or relying on David.
Ellie and Aubrey had found a part-time job at a nearby diner. Ellie was very protective of Aubrey, like an older sister. However, even though she was protective, Ellie also encouraged Aubrey to be outgoing socially. Aubrey appeared to be very smart, though very shy. Ellie was more outgoing, but a little on the ditzy side.
Alex also worked at the same diner; apparently, she was a favorite waitress for some customers. She still had an emotionless personality, but David could convince her to act a certain way for short periods. Though, accidents would always happen where her shirt would somehow fall off. David told her to act quiet and reserved at the diner; since David had never been to the diner, he wasn’t sure how she acted. Alex was very smart, but it was difficult to get her to display that intelligence. Ellie had taken Alex under her wing along with Aubrey. She found it very amusing whenever Alex took off her clothes.
Leah had started to volunteer at a daycare. Her spunky attitude and kind nature fit the occupation well. She and Ellie were the most outgoing girls, but Leah had a bit more experience dealing with others. She loved to tease the other girls and David.
Cassidy went out in the morning and came back in the late evening; she never explained exactly what she did, though she did say she was working on getting a new place to stay. She didn’t get along too well with the other girls, and she always looked down her nose at them. She used her body to make sure David noticed her; she knew how she looked and was not afraid to use it.
Sam still worked as a programmer. David had watched her closely to see if there were any side effects from Alec’s attack. She appeared to be even more conservative, even when David was alone with her.
Sophia kept things managed in the two apartments. She made most of the meals; it took some time to convince Sam that not everyone liked her food. Sophia was the most reliable and normal of the girls, without an extreme personality. She still retained that grandmotherly feel.
David looked over the list one more time. The girls, for the most part, appeared to be happy. David had a lot of time to think, especially since he got back from the cave with the translation. It was almost guaranteed that he would be stuck with this power forever, or at least until he died. The protector, or whatever he was called, might know more about the power than he did, but there was no assurance one still existed.
After reading the note from the cave, David came to the conclusion he had two choices. One, live life stuck inside, avoiding all human contact. Or two, use his power to change people on purpose. Spending the last month or so inside made him realize the first option was not very appealing. He would eventually relapse and go outside; mostly likely, an accident would happen. He would also have to be on the run, especially with the new information about the detective looking for Alec. If he was ever caught, the government would try to study.
The second option would have repulsed David earlier, but he was warming up to the idea, mainly because of Alec. Even though he was corrupt and perverted, Alec did bring up good points. Touch people who were about to die anyway. He could even extend it to those who were considering suicide and hardened criminals.
If he played his hand right, David had the power to make the world a better place. Or, take over the world. It scared David how much power he had; he had been looking at it too small. For him to stay in control, he needed the right plan. Above all, he needed to keep his power secret from others; else, they would either try to lock him up or try to manipulate him. Another lesson from Alec.
“David,” a voice said from the doorway. David looked up to see Sophia. “Dinner’s almost ready.”
“Thanks, Sophia. I’ll be right there.”
David turned off the computer. The coming of the detective pushed up his schedule.
Sophia could hear the soft sound of chatter behind her as she washed the dishes. The others had offered to help, but Sophia said she could do it by herself. It brought her memories of home, and the warm water had a cathartic feel.
Most of these girls were teenagers, in body and mind, regardless of their age before. Sophia was a teenager too, but her personality had remained intact. David tried to take care of all of them, but he was also a teenager. Sophia took on the role of a motherly figure.
Sophia looked over her shoulder. Most of the girls seemed to get along well enough, though there did seem to be a rivalry on who could get David’s attention the most. Speaking of David, he was talking to Cassidy in the back corner. The serious expression on his face denoted they were talking about something important.
Sophia turned her attention back to the dishes, but a few minutes later, David said in a loud voice, “Everyone, can I have your attention? I have something important to say.”
The room quieted; all eyes were on David.
“Um, right,” David said, clearing his throat. He didn’t look too comfortable talking in front of others. “Earlier today, a detective came by. He was looking for Alec. I think I made a mistake somewhere along the way. I asked Cassidy to start looking for a new place to stay, and it looks like we’ll have a new home in a couple of days.”
“Where will we be going?” Rachel asked. “And what about my dad?”
“Cassidy found a place where we won’t draw too much attention,” David said. “I think it’s on the edge of the city. She says she needs me to go meet with him in two days to finalize the deal. I’d like to meet your dad tomorrow; I think he’s progressed far enough to convince him to come with us. We won’t leave without him. Also, we don’t want any complications with your mom.”
“Can’t you just touch the detective and get it over with?” Cassidy asked. “My contact might not agree. We need to have a backup plan.”
“If he did that, it would cause more problems,” Rachel responded. The two glared at each other; just because all of the girls loved David didn’t mean they liked each other.
“Rachel’s right,” David continued; Rachel shot Cassidy a satisfied look. “If a detective goes missing, they would investigate even more. Do the best you can Cassidy; if it doesn’t work out, we can try something else. I’d like to leave touching the detective as a last choice. The best option is to run now and let the trail run cold. Don’t worry; I’m forming a plan where we won’t have to run anymore.”
“So, start to get your things together and be prepared to leave in case there’s an emergency,” Cassidy added.
Everybody nodded, and they started to talk among themselves again. Sophia didn’t know what to think. David wasn’t a bad person, but she got a sick feeling when he said he had a plan. Was he planning on transforming more people?
“Sophia, can I talk with you?” Sophia jumped as David appeared right beside her.
“What is it, honey?” Sophia asked, calming her heartbeat.
“Thank you for all the help you’ve given us the last few days,” he said. Sophia nodded graciously. “I’ve been thinking . . . you see . . .” David couldn’t quite get the words out. Sophia waited patiently for him to say what he wanted to say.
“I think it would be best if you didn’t join us in the next house,” David finally said in a single breath. “You’ve done so much for us, but I don’t want you to get tied down. You can live your own life not tied to me.”
“I can’t leave you . . .” Sophia started.
“Don’t worry about me, about us,” David interrupted. He handed her a piece of paper. “This is my e-mail address, in case you need me. You’re young again. Live life to the fullest. You’re welcome to join us, but I don’t feel like that would be the best choice. Things might not be pleasant for a few months. Please, think over it.”
Sophia nodded, and David walked off to go talk to the other girls. Sophia looked at the paper in her hand, with blurry vision. On the paper below his email, were her children’s names with their addresses; she had mentioned before she had lost track of where her family lived. Somehow, David had located them. Even though her children never visited her, she still loved them. Maybe with her younger body, she would be able to connect with them somehow.
She gave a silent thank you to David for the gift of youth and freedom. She started to plan her departure.
The day after Simon visited David’s apartment, Simon received a text from Riley asking him to come back over. Riley was ready to meet with him again. Simon couldn’t help, but smile. He would get to see David again. Wait, no. He’d get to see Riley again. Simon’s brain was getting fuzzier.
Simon looked at himself in the mirror. It was hard to consider his reflection as a male. He had once again gotten younger; now he appeared to be in his late teens. His hair had grown down his back to his wider waist; he stopped putting it in a ponytail and spent a great deal of time brushing it out. It just felt right.
His chest had two distinct mounds. Breasts. Simon remembered waking up that morning to the new body parts. It scared him, he refused visitors that whole day. He tried to tape them down, but that just caused incredible pain. His manhood had also completely disappeared. There was no question that he was turning into a girl. Had turned into a girl.
The reflection was wearing a red skirt and a green sweater over a collared shirt. No matter what Simon would wear, his clothes would shift to female attire. Simon straightened his clothes to make them look nice.
The young woman stared back at Simon in the mirror. She was cute and bright; the glasses made her look more studious. Simon didn’t want to go to the doctor. They would either think he was crazy, or they would run experiments on him. He didn’t want that. He was determined to tell Riley and David what had happened. He couldn’t keep it inside any longer.
Simon nodded at the reflection; time to do this.
A few moments later, Simon nervously rang David’s doorbell. David answered. “Welcome, Simon. Come on in.” The moment Simon saw David, his chest tightened; he couldn’t help but notice how handsome he looked. He also looked much better groomed. Simon recognized that he was physically attracted to him. Every little movement, every little glance made his heart beat faster. It was a very odd experience to be attracted to a guy.
“How . . . how did you recognize me?” Simon was surprised by his voice since he hadn’t talked since the previous day. The voice was peppy and delicate.
David just smiled. “Come on inside.”
Simon sat on the couch inside the apartment and waited expectantly for David to talk.
David sighed for a moment, and then looked at Simon with his beautiful eyes. Yep, Simon was definitely in love. “I have to tell you something that might be a little hard to hear. I’m sure you’ve noticed, but you’re turning into a girl.” Simon nodded. “Well, I’m the cause of that. A few weeks ago, I went on a hiking trip with my brother. I found a magical crystal. Now, whenever I touch a person, he or she becomes a girl about my age. I touched you around the first time I arrived, so you’ve been transforming ever since then.”
Simon nodded as the information started to seep in. Sure enough, around the time David arrived was the time when Simon began to change. She felt numb.
David continued. “You aren’t the only person I’ve touched. You might have noticed girls walking in and out of this apartment. Well, most of them were guys before. There’s someone I’d like you to meet.” In a loud voice, he called, “Rachel, come on out.” The blond girl with a braid laying across her shoulder walked out. “Simon, I’d like you to meet Rachel, formerly Riley.”
Rachel smiled timidly. “Hi, dad. Long time no see.”
Simon stared at her for a long moment. He stood up and touched her face. “Riley? Is that really you?” The girl nodded, not looking him in the eyes. It was hard to believe; his son had now become his beautiful daughter. However, as he studied this girl, he found Riley. Simon hugged the girl, his daughter. Simon whispered, “How did I not notice before? I’ll love you no matter what you look like.”
They hugged each other for a long moment. As they hugged, something inside Simon snapped. She accepted everything. Her body, her feelings, her new daughter, her life. Everything felt right. Tears began to stream down her face.
“Dad? You feeling alright?” Rachel asked as they withdrew from the hug.
“I’m feeling better than alright. I feel great. You don’t have to call me dad now.” She giggled. “I’m closer to your sister now. Just call me Susan.”
Rachel giggled as well. “If we’re sisters, does that make David our mom?”
“That would make sense,” Susan replied. The two girls stared teasingly at David.
“Hey, let’s not go that far,” David laughed. “Susan, welcome to the team.”
Susan couldn’t help but smile at David. She ran towards David, wrapped her arms around his shoulders, and gave him a big kiss. With her face bright red, she looked him straight in the eyes, and said, “David, I love you.” Her embarrassment wouldn’t allow her to stay for very long, and she retreated to one of the back rooms.
Rachel stood next to David as she watched her father run away like a giddy schoolgirl. “No matter how you look at it, this is pretty weird.”
David nodded in agreement; his face was bright red. “You can say that again. Anyway, I’m glad she finally came. Time was running out. Cassidy said her contact set the time for tomorrow morning. Hopefully, we can have everybody moved in by that afternoon.”
David’s determined look made Rachel’s heart beat faster. She grabbed his hand. “You’ll do fine. I’ll go tell my dad the details. She might have a hard time comprehending if you tell her,” Rachel said with a smile. “I can finally go grab my stuff from my room.”
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