Vincent paced back and forth on the front doorstep. It had been years since he’d visited his grandma. They had not left on the best terms the last time they had met. But, Vincent was desperate. He rang the doorbell.
The door creaked open to reveal a shriveled old woman. Vincent forced a smile. “Hi, Nana. Long time no-”
Before Vincent could finish his sentence, old but strong arms embraced him. “My sweet child, come in, come in.” Nana dragged him inside without giving him time to talk.
“I’ll get some tea on the stove. You always liked that right? Ah, this brings back so many memories, having you be home. I just talked to Justice Smith down the street about how I’d like to see you again. Don’t dawdle now. Take a seat!”
Vincent sighed and accepted her hospitality. She was kind but overbearing. The sweet aroma of tea made his childhood come back. Nana had raised him after his parents had passed away when he was a baby. Her strictness drove Vincent to run away when he was seventeen. That was six years ago. Gone was the conservative woman who forced her ideals on an unwilling grandson. Gone was the teenager who rebelled against anything and everything. Now, they were just a lonely old woman and a young man who had maybe seen a bit too much of the world.
“Oh!” Nana said in the middle of gossiping about her next-door neighbor. “I should get your room ready. I’m sorry to say, I’ve been using it for storage, but all of your stuff is still in there.”
“Nana,” Vincent said with a sad smile. “I won’t be staying long. I, um, have a question.”
Nana deflated. “Oh, I see. What do you need? I can’t say I have too much money, but I can help-”
Vincent laughed. “No, no. Nothing like that. Do you remember those old stories you used to tell me? About the Judge?”
Nana’s eyes sparkled. “Of course! It is our family’s heritage. For generations, our family has passed down the legend of the Judge. When a Tyrant is born, only a member of our family, one chosen to be a Judge, will be able to judge if he is worthy. All else will fall before the Tyrant’s power.”
“And,” Vincent said, “what does it feel like to be chosen?”
“Feel like?” Nana asked in confusion, but then passion sparked in her eyes. “Don’t tell me, you’ve been chosen?”
“I don’t know. I feel . . . something,” Vincent said. “About a month ago, I got this feeling there was something far to the east, but it passed a few moments later. Then, it happened again and again. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen for days, but then a few days ago, it almost made me pass out.”
Nana’s eyes went wide. “Oh my! Vincent! You have been chosen! I never thought this day would come.” She rushed to the back of the house and came back with a chest. As she opened it, she revealed an old robe, a rusty sword, and a burnt book. “These are the only relics from the First Judge. I was going to give them to you when you turned eighteen, but this is the perfect time. Take these and go find the Tyrant!” She dropped the items in his lap.
Vincent stared at the old items. “Nana,” he sighed. These stories were part of the reason Vincent ran away from home. Nana was very overbearing. “I’m not who you want me to be. I’m not some great Judge from your stories. I don’t want to be. I just want to know if there’s a way to turn it off.”
“It is your heritage,” Nana smiled. “It is a part of you like the blood flowing through your veins. The Tyrant and Judge will be drawn to each other. I’m sure you’ll rise to the challenge. The world may depend on it.”
“Really, Nana? The world? I’m a high school dropout whose only possession is a motorcycle. I doubt I can do anything. I don’t even know if this is real or not. I feel like I’m going crazy!”
Nana put her hand on his leg. “Vincent, you’ve always been the person I thought you could be.”
“Yeah, no,” Vincent glared. “Maybe you’ve forgotten my childhood, but you drove me into a corner. Every little mistake would be punished. Every day, you’d say, ‘You must be better in case you get chosen as a Judge’ or ‘A Judge wouldn’t do something like that’. And now you say that bullcrap?”
“I was only trying to-”
“No, I don’t want to hear about it,” Vincent cut her off. “I thought you could help me. I shouldn’t be surprised you only put more pressure on me. I’m leaving.”
“Wait-” Nana said, but Vincent had already slammed the door shut.
Vincent angrily jumped on his motorcycle. He had taken the old robe, sword, and book. He stuffed them away and started driving without a clear destination. After a few minutes, he realized he was heading east. He sighed.
Time to confront his heritage.
David watched the last of the workers leave the house. Marci had hired a small army to begin working on the landscaping. The previous yard of the estate didn’t look bad, but Marci had made it into paradise.
David wanted to go out while they were working, but Juliet convinced him that it was stupid to do so. The government was actively looking for him now and his picture was much more prominent on flyers and even a billboard or two in the area. He couldn’t leave the mansion without a disguise.
Finally, it was safe for him to step outside. He jogged over to Marci who was looking over all of the details.
“Marci,” David called out.
Marci turned and a smile lit up her face. Her smile was infectious. He knew most of the transformed girls’ emotions were based on the transformation, but, dangit, it felt good to be smiled at by a beautiful girl.
“David, how do you like it?” Marci asked as she motioned at the new landscaping.
“It looks wonderful,” David grinned. “We live in a palace now.”
“Nothing less for my king,” Marci bowed, showing off her cleavage. After a few months of being surrounded by women, David only blushed a little bit. He was getting better.
David laughed. “Don’t even joke about that. Juliet is already setting our own country.”
Marci nodded. “I’ve been looking over the plans. Julius was always ambitious, but Juliet blows him out of the water.” She smiled mischievously. “Good thing I’m here to keep her in check.”
David chuckled. He had heard them fighting constantly over the last few days. Every time they met, one of them would get underneath the other’s skin.
“I thought you wouldn’t get involved in the plans?” David asked.
Marci waved it off. “I’m not going to be your full-time lawyer, but I can still look it over. Nancy asked me for a favor in return for more resources for the landscaping. Oh, she also asked me to find a suitable lawyer to take my place.”
“Did you find someone?” David asked.
Marci sighed. “Possibly. He’s scummy; most lawyers are. But, he has a thing for pretty lawyers, so he’ll be a perfect fit. I’m surprised he didn’t get sued for sexual harassment.”
“Great,” David said. He was getting tired of the old posh men he had been transforming. Nothing against Juliet, Marci, and the others, but some of their old mentality seeped through to their female sides.
“David!” a voice called out. David and Marci looked over and found Nancy running towards them.
“What’s wrong?” David asked getting a little worried.
“You have to . . .” Nancy said, trying to catch her breath. “. . . talk to Rey. She is making a mess of all of the cars we have.”
“What?” David exclaimed. He had permitted the newest girl to be their mechanic. He usually encouraged the girls to pursue hobbies, like Marci with her garden. He didn’t want to pigeonhole them to do something they didn’t have passion for, much to the frustration of Juliet. “What happened exactly? She’s only been here for two days.”
Nancy caught her breath. “Yesterday, she started working on one of the cars with engine problems. She appeared confident, so we didn’t think too much about it. But, she completely ruined everything! Not just that, she moved on to the van and truck as well. Now, we only have two cars that work. She just cost us thousands of dollars and won’t listen to us.”
“Great, this is Samantha’s issue all over again,” David groaned, remembering the horrible food that she had made in those early days.
However, before David could run off, Marci grabbed him by his arm. “Mind if I come with you?”
David looked at her questioningly, but then he shrugged. “Sure, why not.”
Nancy directed them to the garage before going about her other duties. David and Marci approached Rey who was working on one of the broken-down vehicles.
“Hey, Rey, how’s it going?” David said tentatively.
Rey looked up with her impassive expression. “David. Perfect timing. I’m just wrapping up.” She turned back to adjust things under the hood. David peeked inside and winced. Even he could tell things weren’t connected properly. Various liquids were leaking all over the place, and wires were running through places they didn’t belong.
Rey slammed the hood of the car, showing signs of self-satisfaction, one of the few emotions David had seen her give. She climbed into the driver’s seat and turned the keys. David and Marci stepped back in fear, but nothing happened. The engine didn’t even turn over.
“I thought I had it this time,” Rey said. She looked over at another car. “Maybe if I take a part from that car, I can make it work.”
“Rey,” David said. “I know I said you could work on the cars, but . . .” His words died on his lips as Rey looked at him expectantly. But, he pushed on. “We need to you stop.”
Rey’s face remained impassive, but her eyes showed extreme pain. David felt his heart get stabbed. Rey spoke, very voice cracking. “I . . .I can get it to work,” she proclaimed. “I just need a bit more time.” David hesitated; since she usually didn’t show emotion, the little she showed here drove home how important this was to her.
Marci placed a hand on his shoulder when she saw David didn’t know what to say. “I got this.” To Rey, she said, “Rey, sweetie, can I ask you a question?” Rey nodded. “Before you transformed, did you ever work on a car?”
Rey thought about it but shook her head. “I spent the majority of my life in prison. I only had a car for a short time. But, my sister was a mechanic. I spent a lot of time in her shop as a kid and saw her work.”
Marci nodded. “I’m sure that left a huge impression on you.”
Rey nodded. “It’s one of my happiest memories.”
“Did you know, I love to garden?” Marci asked.
“Yeah, you’re in charge of the landscaping here,” Rey said, tilting her head at the sudden change of topic. “The yard looks beautiful. You must have talent.”
Marci smiled sadly. “I wish that were true. In fact, any plant I touch usually dies within the day. I can’t personally grow anything.”
“What?” David exclaimed. “You never said that. How did you get around that?”
“I didn’t,” Marci replied. “I delegated my job to others. I know what the garden is supposed to look like, and I hire others to do the job. The point is, I know my weakness, and I don’t think there’s any way around it. You know Samantha, right? She can’t cook. At all. Even if she follows the recipe exactly, it still comes out as garbage. I think the same is for both of us.”
“I hate this curse,” David said. “It gives you a hobby you can be passionate about but makes you horrible at it.”
“You mean, I will never be good at being a mechanic?” Rey asked, looking like a kicked puppy.
“Perhaps,” Marci replied. “But, I don’t think you should stop working on it.”
“What? Why not?” Rey asked. “Won’t I just be ruining everything I touch?”
“There’s something supernatural going on,” Marci said. “Maybe, one day, Samantha will create a wonderful meal. Or, I’ll be able to grow a plant nobody else can. Or, you’ll be able to put together a car nobody else could dream of. But, it needs to be contained. The problem is you started taking apart the cars that we needed. I’m sure we’ll be able to put a garage and a bunch of old cars that you can freely work on.” She looked at David for confirmation.
David nodded. “Yes, of course. It’s not like we’re lacking money. And, I’d love to see what you’ll be able to come up with. Even if it never works out. Just be careful it doesn’t explode.”
Rey brightened. “I will! I promise!”
“Let’s go talk to Nancy, then.”
Rey ran off like an eager schoolgirl.
David sighed in relief. He turned to Marci as they followed Rey, “You handled that well.”
“As did you,” Marci replied. “I only gave her my own experience that was similar.”
“Still, it helped a lot,” David said. “Why didn’t you tell me you couldn’t grow anything?”
“I didn’t think it was important,” Marci said. “You and everyone else seemed busy, and I didn’t want to intrude. I could handle it myself.”
David gave her a flat stare. “Really? You’re the selfless type that sacrifices her own happiness for others? Nope, not on my watch. Have you at least created a private garden for you to practice gardening?”
“No, I just barely thought-”
“It’s a great idea!” David exclaimed. “We’ll get Samantha a kitchen as well. She’s been feeling a bit bad her food is being treated as punishment.”
Over the next hour or so, David and Marci talked to Nancy about setting up private areas for the girls with supernatural qualities to practice. Nancy was skeptical about it at first but came around as they discussed the possibilities of making something impossible. They met with Juliet and Florence to talk about a budget and find other supernatural qualities among the girls that weren’t quite as obvious.
“It’s an excellent idea,” Juliet beamed at David. “Who knows what we’ll be able to find out? We do need some sort of scientist to study all of the experiments. I’ll see if I can find someone who would fit.”
“It wasn’t my idea,” David said with a smirk, glancing at Marci.
Marci grinned. “I shall humbly accept your high praise, Miss Juliet. Do you think I could get a reward for my efforts?”
Juliet’s smile slipped. “Yes, well, um, keep up the good work. But, don’t let it go to your head.”
“I shall try my level best,” Marci said.
Juliet turned back to David. “Do you have time to head to the mall, David? We are finalizing the plans, and I think it would be good for you to be there.”
“Yes, of course,” David said.
Gavin looked out the window as a car pulled up to the mall. They watched three women and a teenage kid climb out. “Caleb! They came.”
“Back up, don’t let them see you,” Caleb said, as he nearly dragged Gavin back. “We can’t let anything go wrong. This could be our big break. Nolan, are you ready?”
Nolan smiled as he cracked his neck. “You bet I am. Are we still going after the blonde?”
“The kid,” Caleb said. “The bodyguard always protects him and no one else. He’s too old to be their son, but he must be someone important. Either find him alone or knock out the bodyguard. If you have a chance for the blonde, take her as well. We don’t need the silver-haired secretary. Think you could do that?”
“No problem,” Nolan said.
“What about me?” Gavin asked nervously as he adjusted his glasses. He had done a few jobs with Caleb before, like minor thief work, but nothing as extreme as kidnapping. They had made this rundown mall their base of operations for the last few months. When they learned someone had bought it and were going to do renovations on it; they were about to move out, but Caleb had the idea of striking it big and kidnapping one of them for a boatload of money.
“You’ll be closing the gate, Gav,” Caleb said. “Also, you’ll need to leave the ransom note if all goes well. Think you could handle that?”
“Yeah, I think so,” Gavin said.
Caleb smiled. “Don’t worry. This will be a piece of cake.”
They watched the group talk in the main lobby. Mostly, the blonde talked to the kid; it seemed like she was telling him her plans for the mall, and he was approving them. The secretary would make notes on her tablet. Finally, the kid and bodyguard started walking through each of the rooms as the blonde was talking with the secretary.
Caleb motioned them to get into position. They had filled an empty store with boxes and miscellaneous items to draw their attention. Gavin watched the kid and bodyguard look at the store.
“What’s all that stuff?” the kid asked.
“I don’t know,” the bodyguard said. “I thought they cleared everything out. I guess they missed a stall.”
“Let’s go check it out,” the kid said excitedly.
Gavin let out a sigh of relief as the pair entered the store. If they hadn’t, they’d have to take a much larger risk. Gavin snuck out from his hiding position and hit the switch to close the door. Predictably, the bodyguard spun around and drew her gun in a fluid motion.
Gavin raised his arms. “Please, don’t shoot!” he begged. He hated being bait.
The bodyguard hesitated. But, it was large enough of an opening for Nolan to quickly move into her blind spot. By the time the bodyguard noticed him, Nolan had slammed his arm into the hand holding the gun, forcing her to drop it. The next moment, he used his stun gun and knocked her out.
Nolen cracked his neck again and stared maliciously at the kid, who was standing in stunned silence. “Easy.”
Caleb and Gavin circled the kid. Gavin felt a little bad for the kid, but he put on his best intimidating face. The kid looked around nervously.
Caleb addressed the kid. “Now, now, no sudden movement. We don’t want to hurt you. We just want a bit of money for your safe return.”
Suddenly, the kid relaxed. “A kidnapping?” Gavin felt scared at his sudden calmness but didn’t want to say anything.
Caleb smiled eagerly and put his arm around the kid’s shoulders. “Attaboy. Let’s make this nice and easy.” Caleb suddenly backed up. “Wha-what did you just do?”
“I didn’t do anything,” the kid said with a light smile. “You touched me.”
Gavin stared at the kid for any signs of weapons, then at Caleb to see if anything was wrong. Gavin had to do a double take. Where Caleb was a moment before, a girl stood in his place. Caleb had short black hair, but this girl had light brown hair. And it was getting lighter. The hair grew and became a goldish color as it wrapped around into two braids that rested on her shoulders. She was getting shorter and her breasts were swelling. Her clothes shifted from a t-shirt to a tank top, which displayed her impressive breasts.
What scared Gavin the most were her eyes. They looked like Caleb’s, even when they changed color to match her hair. They looked terrified as she watched her body change. Then, suddenly, they went vacant. When her eyes focused again, she only looked at the kid with love and devotion.
“Hey there. You’re pretty cute,” the new girl said to the kid. “Want to get out and have some fun?”
Before the kid could respond, Nolan broke out of his shock. He stepped forward and grabbed the kid by his shirt and pushed him against a nearby wall. “What the hell just happened? What did you do?”
“I-” the kid gasped as he got his breath back. “I didn’t do anything. He touched me. And so are you.”
Nolan jumped back violently. He looked at his hand in shock. It was a girl’s hand. The changes crept up his arm, quickly eating away all of his muscles and making his arms thin and dainty. Once the spread got to his body, two huge breasts popped on his chest, even larger than girl-Caleb’s. His shirt adjust to fit his new assets and became a loose blouse revealing a lot of cleavage.
The changes hit Nolan’s face and his features warped into a very pretty girl. His lips puckered and became glossy as his eyes became large and innocent. His hair lengthened out and became dark and wavy.
At the same time, Nolan’s body became more petite as he shrunk about a foot. Nolan lost his balance and toppled to the ground, his now soft legs visible under her new skirt. His feet shrunk and his shoes shifted to high heels.
Like Caleb, Nolan’s eyes went vacant. When they returned to focus, Nolan was no longer there. In his place, a short girl fiddled with her hair staring longingly at the kid.
Gavin bolted. They had a secret exit within the store, and he desperately tried to escape. But, he felt a presence behind him. The kid. Gavin turned around and begged. “Please, I won’t tell anyone. I promise. Just let me go.”
The kid shook his head. “Sorry.” The kid poked him on the forehead.
Gavin’s body rippled. He tried to run back to the closed gate at the entrance, but he tripped. Groaning, his voice came out rather sensual. “No no no no.” His high voice sounded alien to his ears. His chest burst out and almost touched the floor as he lifted himself. The breasts pushed out against his shirt until the buttons on his shirt began to pop off. He sat on the floor looking down at his incredible bosom. He could feel his hair flow down his back and his jeans transform into a skirt.
Gavin’s heartbeat in his chest as a cloud enveloped his mind. “No no no,” he cried. A female’s voice in his mind comforted him, telling him it would be alright, to give in to the changes. Gavin fought against it, but he felt so tired. The girl in his mind gave him a mental hug. From Gavin’s perspective, the girl was smothering him with a pillow. Gavin slowly . . . slowly . . . slowly faded into oblivion.
Gabriel shook herself awake and breathed in and out. She felt alive! Her memories as Gavin faded into the background. Gavin was weak and a pushover. He was a frightened weakling following Caleb around because he couldn’t do anything on his own. Gabriel on the other hand was confident, assertive, and ambitious. And the first thing she wanted was . . .
She turned to the kid who had set her free. He was being swarmed by two girls, vying to get a better position. The kid was gently trying to prod them away. Anger built up in Gabriel’s heart that another girl had the gall to touch her man. Turned out Gabriel was also incredibly jealous.
Gabriel stepped forward and punched the former Caleb in the face.
Debby opened her eyes groggily. Her entire body ached and her mind was murky. However, her eyes snapped open when she remembered what had happened. “David!” She jumped to her feet and looked around.
However, one look at her surroundings made her relax. Three girls were in the middle of a catfight with David standing over them trying to get them to separate. Debby sighed and joined the fray. A few scratches and bruises for all involved later, Debby had them sit separately.
“Two minutes after transforming and you get into a fight!” Debby scolded the new girls. “Do you think you’re trying to impress David with that attitude? Many other girls are in a much better position than you, and that was before you started fighting among yourselves. You’ll be lucky if you don’t get toilet duty for a month. Now, who knows how to get us out of this place?”
The three girls still glared at each other, but the girl with glasses raised her hand. Debby allowed her to go to the gate and open it. A few moments later, they reunited with Juliet and Nancy. Juliet was furious at everyone for putting David in peril. She called a second car so they could transport everyone back.
As Juliet and Nancy were getting the new girls oriented to their new lives, Debby pulled David aside.
“David,” Debby said with downcast eyes. “I’m . . . sorry. It was my job to keep you safe, but I got taken out within the first couple of seconds. I’ve failed you. I don’t deserve-”
David cut her off. “I was being too relaxed. I thought since we had bought it, nobody would trespass. I was feeling pent up back at the house and wanted to stretch my legs a bit.”
“I should have secured the premise,” Debby said.
“I know you won’t make the same mistake again,” David said. He looked over at the new girls and smiled. “It looks like you finally might have a bit more help. I’m sure you’ll be able to whip them into shape.”
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