Roger Johnson a self made multi-millionare is on top of the world, till he runs into a witch with the power to bring it all crashing down. She switches bodies with Roger and has it all, or does she.
Bewitched & Beswitched
Roger Johnson was a self made man. He worked hard in college to understand Business, earning himself an MBA not at some Ivy League school, but at some back water state college. That kept some doors closed to him, but a few years later he kicked down some of those very same doors that had been shut to him. He had a very analytical mind and used that mind to hunt out business trends.
He then used that knowledge and a meager investment to begin trading in stocks and bonds. His big break came when he sold short on companies like Enron, World Com, and Yahoo before the dot com bust. It had been a big gamble when those businesses had been soaring, but he didn’t feel that those companies could sustain the growth they had. It was all just a matter of timing.
He made a bundle buying for dollars and tens of dollars, what would have cost hundreds of dollars just months earlier to fulfill his short. He had turned a modest forty-five grand into a modest three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. He had been leveraged to the hilt before the collapses of Enron and World Com and the fall of the mighty Yahoo began. It was a small gain in capital that launched him on to bigger and better things.
Still a man from the SEC had come to talk to him. He produced his research and showed why he had done what he did. The man investigated his ties trying to find a possible link to inside trader information, but Roger was confident there were none.
Five things that he did he would really be glad for. He always paid his taxes. He was meticulous in seeing that every penny he earned was accounted for, and duly reported to the IRS and other regulating agencies. He may have even paid slightly more than his fair share of taxes. Choosing not to take some deductions that others might think were highly questionable, but which were perfectly legal. He had all the money he would ever need already.
He never listened to or allowed his decisions to be influenced by information not available to the general public. He made sure he had mountains of meticulous researched data on any of his investments. He had taken some hits, albeit minor hits due to the diverse nature of his investments but he was batting well above average compared to the thousands of other traders out in the world.
He never used other people’s money. He could’ve gotten rich sooner, investing for a big house, of that he was certain, but then he would have other people’s claws in his hide to deal with. He couldn’t have been as free with his trades and there was the very real possibility of breaking the taboo on his rule on inside trader information. Even the suspicion of using inside information was enough to ruin a career, and lead to bankruptcy.
He believed in computer security. It would take an organization like the NSA (National Security Agency) many weeks on their big fancy super computers to hope to break his encryption system. He knew it wasn’t totally foolproof security but it would take a really dedicated person and they would have to have resources out the yazoo, to break into his laptop and desktop systems. He spent a pretty penny on that security.
Finally he kept eighty percent of his considerable liquid assets in several offshore numbered accounts. The remainder of his assets could be liquefied simply by anybody calling his attorney and after some verifiers that would test the authentication of such request. The attorney, would then be empowered to use the ‘power of attorney’ over the assets, and would follow the instructions of the caller. The key to it was a two part encrypted system and included a validation code that was keyed to a book code, which was a certain passage, in certain edition, of Les Miserables. The attorney, even though Roger was certain he was an honest attorney, couldn’t even act on his own, at least not without a death certificate in hand. Still he wouldn’t know what to liquidate or could be liquidated without the two-part code. It was all perfectly legal. You see Roger was a little paranoid about his money after he earned it.
Nothing could go wrong. Nothing could go wrong, the famous last words of many a former, hero, tycoon, villain and business.
Roger ran afoul of a witch. Not that he really believed in witches he didn’t, but his disbelief didn’t protect him from what happened.
Stacy Parker was a twenty-two year old witch; a Wiccan was a more accurate description of what she was. She had been cast out from her circle because she lusted for power, money and fame, and unlike many of her fellow Wiccans, she didn’t care how she got it. She hated the fact that men had it so easy in life, and lorded what they did over women.
How she came in contact with Roger Johnson was purely coincidental. She sat in a Starbuck’s reading her paper and just happened to see Roger enter the store. She had seen his picture a few times on the cover of some of the magazines she sold at her newsstand and in boredom, even read some of the stories about him.
Roger had come into the store with his laptop to log onto the Internet and several publications to do some research. He liked the relaxed atmosphere the store presented. The research he did was not the critical research he needed to make his decisions, but it was a precursor to his more important research. He had to know what the business world was saying about itself.
After an hour of doing general business, Roger packed up his laptop and his publications and left. He left his coffee cup on the table a decision he would later come to regret.
Stacy went over to his table, picking up the cup and making a show of disposing of her own. Walking out of Starbuck’s she now had a link to everything she could ever want, she thought. She had the DNA link to Roger Johnson and all his millions.
It took her a couple of months to research the spell she would use and to gather the various components, that the spell called for. It then took a couple of more months for her to brew the potion and to inscribe perfectly, the spell in her own hand, on a papyrus she had made. Major works, like she was attempting, were not entered into lightly. Everything had to be just perfect, anything less could lead to a major disaster. She obtained the finest volcanic sand, sea salt and edelweiss. She bought the finest Athame she could afford, candles, and mistletoe. She even upgraded her crucible and brazier. She made her own charcoal from the finest Ash wood she could find. She would be nearly penniless when she was through, but then she would also have, what seemed to her, to be unlimited resources by then.
All she needed then was a solstice. A solstice was a night when magics, like she planned, had their greatest effects and chance of success. It was her luck, or destiny she felt, that she finished with everything she needed, just two weeks before the summer solstice.
Three hours before midnight, Stacey put her plan into action. She had already cleared off a large section of floor, in her ratty old hovel and had ritually cleansed the entire area. She set her brazier in the center of her room and made sure she had all the articles she would need to complete her work there. Once she had constructed the pentagram she couldn’t break the circle for any reason before daybreak. She then started the coals burning in the brazier. She ground the sand, sea salt and dried edelweiss together, using her mortar and pestle.
Those actions complete, she carefully defined the pentagram with five red candles, lighting each from the Ash wood coals, in her brazier. She then began her construct. She took the sand, salt and edelweiss mix and drew her pentagram. The star completed, she drew the circle around the star and left one small section open. She then cleansed herself, taking a bath, using lavender oil in the water, before dressing in a silk robe.
Everything ready, she entered the pentagram and closed the circle. She was now locked in till daybreak. She called for the four winds to ward her and the work she was about to enter in. She took her cup and Athame; she pricked her hand and spilt some of her blood into the cup. She then added the potion; she had brewed, to the cup. She burnt the mistletoe in the brazier, along with incense of sandalwood. She then read the spell she had painstakingly written. As she reached the last line, she burnt the cup that had Roger’s DNA on it. She drank the potion and burnt the papyrus. As the last section of the papyrus carbonized, she felt herself struck down by a huge force.
Across town, Roger had been asleep for two hours. He awoke in a sore distress, he was certain he was having a massive heart attack and was afraid that he was dying. At thirty-four he felt he was too young to die. He tried to move, but it was like he was being held in place by an eight hundred pound gorilla. The pressure and the pain he felt continued to grow, till at last he passed out in pain.
Joyce Llewellyn moved in a rush, she had felt the tremendous burst of power, just minutes after midnight. She knew where and by whose hand the magic had been wrought. Stacey, who once had been a member of her circle, had been expelled from her group for her flagrant misuse of power. It seemed that she had gone and worked some great magic, under warded again.
She waved her hand at Stacy’s door, any locks that had been locked and any other restraints to entry just winked out of existence. The door opened under its own impetus, and Joyce entered. She followed the tendrils of power into one room. There she saw the prone form of Stacy, just beginning to stir. She couldn’t sense beyond the circle though, so she didn’t even try.
“Stacy! Stacy Parker, wake up!” Joyce said using the power of, “The Voice.”
There was this voice reverberating inside Roger’s head. Good at least that meant he wasn’t dead.
“Stacy! Wake up girl, you have much to explain!”
Roger weakly said, “Who… Who… is Stacy, is… that what you said?”
“Is that you Stacy?”
“Who is Stacy?” Roger said. He tried to move but was too weak.
“Who are you? What is your name?”
“Roger… Roger Johnson… Who… Who are you?” Roger said weakly.
“I am Joyce Llewellyn, Roger and we have much to talk about, but for now just lie back and rest, whatever you do, don’t move!” Joyce said in commanding, “The Voice.” It was the only power she had that could touch the figure inside the circle right now, and now he wouldn’t move if he could.
Joyce got out her cell phone and called Rita, “Hello Rita, it is just like we thought and worse. Get the others and come over to Stacy’s place and hurry.”
Stacy woke, but she was very weak, it may be days before she was strong enough to do much more than to sleep, eat and hydrate this body, but at least she was in this comfortable bed, lying on silk sheets, wearing silk pajamas, she smiled. Her spell had worked.
It was almost daybreak before Roger could even begin to open his eyes. He was weak, tired and very dehydrated. What had woken him was chanting coming from all around him. He seemed to derive some strength from it.
“Roger! Sit up and listen to me! Don’t do anything till we tell you to do it! Then do exactly what we tell you to do, when we tell you to do it!” Joyce’s “Voice” commanded.
Roger did what he was told; he felt that it would be impossible for him to do otherwise. He felt his strength increase enough to start moving a little, and in minutes he was in a sitting position, his eyes though were still closed.
“Good, we are sorry this has happened to you Roger. Your body has been stolen by a rouge witch.”
This didn’t make sense at all to Roger; the voice was saying something about a witch and his body being stolen. Jesus, these people are crazy. He just didn’t have it in him open his eyes, or to talk to the people he heard and straighten all this craziness out.
He could feel a shaft of light enter the room, the chanting increased and his eyes opened. He could see himself sitting inside a circle, with people all around it. He then saw his body and panicked.
“Easy Roger! We are here for you. We will explain everything we can to you in a few minutes, but if you ever want to return back to your old body, you are going to have to do everything we tell you to do in a few minutes, or you will be stuck like you are forever!” Joyce said in her soothing voice, not so much in a commanding way but to lend added strength to Roger. “Shake your head up and down if you understand me.”
Roger gingerly shook his head up and down. He felt like it was the morning after a New Year’s Eve party, a Saint Patty’s day, the fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day all at once in his head. He had a super massive hang over.
“Okay, you need to begin to disassemble the pentagram and the circle you are in and begin it now.”
Joyce told him step by step how to unmake the circle and wards. Roger found himself doing just what she said, even though he didn’t understand what she was saying. When the pentagram was unmade and the last candle blown out by Roger, he brushed open a door in the circle and collapsed into Joyce’s arms.
Very good Roger, we will take good care of you till you are strong enough to wake again.
Stacy wished that Roger had the things that would have helped her regain her strength faster, but she would have been disturbed and confused, if she had found those things in this house.
She had fielded a few calls about missed meetings and such. She had handled them with her assurances that she was as sick as a dog, and no, she didn’t need to see a doctor, she needed just a few days sleep to get better.
She didn’t know it, but that response was so like Roger, that nobody would doubt it wasn’t him.
The circle did have what they needed to help Roger and he felt himself getting stronger with every hour. Hours later he heard the voice telling him to sit up again. He appeared to be in a different location, this was the first thing he noticed, and then he started to panic, as he saw his female form dressed still in a silk robe.
One lady stuck a cup at his lips and urged him to drink. It wasn’t ten seconds later till he felt himself calm down and a sense of calmness overwhelmed him.
“Roger that cup you just drank from, contained a potion to help you cope for the time being. It will give you a sense of well-being and it will do one other thing. You will be able to sense whether what we tell you is the truth. If I were to tell you I was twenty eight.” Joyce said.
Not an unreasonable assumption, Roger thought, given her appearance, but Roger knew it to be a lie.
“You would know immediately that I did not speak the truth. I am fifty four.”
Roger knew that she spoke the truth.
The glamour she had cast faded and Roger saw a mature but lovely woman now.
Roger knew this to be her true form.
Now it is important for you to tell us what you can remember. The potion will also help you to do this.
What Roger said wasn’t much. The last things he remembered were waking from his sleep, he was in pain, and he was filled with fear and a foreboding. It was like he was under a tremendous amount of pressure and couldn’t move. He didn’t remember anything else until he was awoken by this voice that boomed inside his head.
“Well, know this Roger, you are safe now. We have moved you to my home and some of our numbers are sanitizing the place where we found you; others are warding this location and finally a few of us are here to help you recover. No trace of you will be at Stacy’s home for anybody to do anything else to you and hopefully we will be able to undo what was done.” Joyce said. “Are you the Roger Johnson, the papers called the ‘Wall Street Wonder’?”
“I never liked that name. It implies I did things other people couldn’t do.”
“Well let me explain what we think may have happened to you. We had a member of our group, or circle if you wish, that we expelled from our presence for misusing her powers. Yes Roger, we are witches, we prefer to be called Wiccan though. She apparently stole something you had used and contained your essence. Your DNA if it pleases you to call it such. She then cast a spell and the two of you traded bodies. She is now in your body.”
Roger knew that what Joyce spoke was the truth.
“But I think she may have made a terrible mistake, Roger. A mistake she would not have wanted to make. I still sense a lot of her power in this room.”
“You mean?” Roger didn’t complete the question, instead just pointing at himself.
“Yes, a lot of her power now resides in you. It is untrained and we will train you enough that you won’t harm yourself, or others, but yes it is yours.” Joyce said to him. “If we are able to reverse what was done, we will see that you will still have it. We will Not Have Stacey present us with anymore problems.” She said as her eyes flashed in anger.
At this moment, Roger knew he wouldn’t really enjoy having Joyce mad at him.
“Too bad she has access to all your money.”
“She doesn’t, unless she has what I have up in my mind. I can have her next to penniless and out on the street homeless in a few hours, with a phone and a computer, with a secure Internet connection. She could run up some credit card debt and bounce some checks but the access to my real money is up here, unless she has access to that also.”
“I don’t think she does. She wouldn’t have wanted her female mind to be contaminated by your male thoughts. She was much like that; she hated the male in the world. We can get you those things you need Roger, but we cannot cause her harm. We can leave her like she left herself though, like she left you.”
“I am pissed at Stacey, I already don’t like her. It borders on hatred, but I am not that way. I think she wanted to be me, so that she could have my riches and apparently what she thought was my power. She has neither. My power was, or rather is in the power of my mind. I have never sought out to destroy someone. Although I have profited in others miseries, I was never the cause of those miseries. I have even tried to help, after a number of the companies crashed, that I sold short on.”
Joyce felt what he said to be true. Roger couldn’t lie to her without her knowing it, that was in the potion also. “Well Roger, I have a computer and you may use my phone if you like.”
“No offense Joyce, I won’t use your computer, I need a secure computer. Let me use your phone and I shall have what I need, in a few hours.”
“Roger made a call to the computer company he customarily used. They were good, very good at what they did in producing secure systems for businessmen and others who were keen on having secure computer systems. He spent an hour detailing what his requirements were for laptop and desktop computers, software, security software and systems. He then gave out an account number he uses from memory. When asked for an address. He mouthed where am I? Joyce showed him an envelope with her address on it. The last thing he said over the phone was, “There is an extra ten grand if you can get it to that address in four hours. Hold on for just a second.”
“Is it alright if I stay here for a few days, at least till I get my feet back under me?”
The request staggered Joyce, “Of course we wouldn’t have it any other way. We were worried you wouldn’t want to stay. We would like for you to stay for at least a couple of months, you have much to learn.”
Roger returned to his phone call, “Go ahead with everything I talked about, and deliver it to that address,” Roger said, and then he hung up.
“I ordered a desktop computer, two laptops, a software firewall and security system, a hardware firewall, a couple of secure cell phones, a sat phone and a couple of other toys. They will be here in three hours, I’ll bet.”
“You told them four hours.”
“Would you waist time knowing ten grand is riding on the clock, and yet knowing these people, they won’t send it over if they detect a problem with the stuff. They will bring the equipment over set it up and have backup equipment with them in case it doesn’t work right. They are good people.”
“We will see if you re right. You are an unusual person, Roger and I can’t keep on seeing Stacy and calling you Roger. At least for now we need to call you by a female name.”
Roger thought for a few seconds and said, “Your right, it would really freak out the delivery people. Okay, call me Carrie… Carlyle… Yes Carrie Carlyle sounds good. I won’t use that bitch’s name. Okay what is next?”
“Well I don’t think you want to greet them dressed like that, either.”
Roger hadn’t looked too closely at the body he was in, or the thing he wore. Looking now at the robe, he could faintly see the color of his nipples and he could even see the tuft of red hair below his navel through the material.
“Please don’t be embarrassed Carrie, but I would like to have at least one of us to help you bathe, take care of you and help you to get dressed, if you don’t mind.”
A little embarrassed, Carrie knew there was a lot she didn’t know about her new body. She also found it interesting that she hadn’t taken time to look at herself, before now. She really didn’t know much about what she looked like.
Two ladies approached and said, “Come on Carrie, we will take care of you. I am Rita and this is Courtney,” one girl said with a thick Irish brogue.
Rita and Courtney were two lovely ladies. Carrie figured they were identical twins, about twenty, to twenty-three. Both were about five foot six, no more than a hundred and twenty five pounds soaking wet, had emerald green eyes, auburn hair, that fell to the middle of their backs, full busts, that jutted out proudly, slim waists and nice hips, that were not too large for their size. They both wore matching chiffon dresses, fitted at the bust and flared down to just below mid thigh, in a green that enhanced their eye color.
The girls led her to the bathroom. It was then in the clean freshness of the bathroom, she noticed her stench, a cacophony of odors the body had been subject to over the past two days.
“Good God, how could you people stand the smell around me?”
“We cared for you, we didn’t mind, Anyway a lot of it is your better sense of smell. You are noticing girl’s noses, generally, can detect more smells. We are use to it, while you are new to the phenomena.”
The girls began getting Carrie ready for her bath. One girl, Rita if Carrie remembered correctly, began filling the tub, pouring lavender oil into it, along with some bath salts of some sort. Courtney then helped Carrie out of her robe and then disrobed herself.
“I hope you don’t mind, we don’t want to get our dresses wet.”
Seeing the girls naked, as they had not worn anything beneath their dresses, Carrie was stunned. If she had been Roger she would be drooling over these goddesses, she thought. She still found herself getting moist between her legs and she could feel her own heart beating faster.
Courtney then assisted Carrie into the tub. The fragrance of the tub was mesmerizing and soothing. The girls let Carrie soak for a few minutes, relaxing in the warmth of the bath. Roger had always been one to shower, he could be in and out fully clean, in less than a quarter of the time it took to take a bath, but Carrie relished what the bath did to her senses.
Then one of the girls started shampooing her hair, while the other was shaving her legs. They worked with Carrie till they were satisfied. Then they opened the drain and helped her to stand and dry off her body. When she got out of the tub, the mirror was fogged. The girls turned her away from the mirror and started working on her hair. It took a while for them to blow dry her hair, boy was it long; it came to just above her hips. They had her hang her head and they flipped her hair in front of her. It was all Carrie could do to keep her hair off the floor, as the girls brushed and dried her hair. They had Carrie straighten back up and flipped her hair behind her, when they finished.
Sometime during the bath, a pile of clothes appeared on the counter. The girls helped her dress in a white satin bra and panties, and a green, short, kimono style robe. Somewhat dressed, they turned Carrie toward the mirror. It was a shock to see how beautiful she was. She couldn’t help but stare, Carrie had bigger breasts and she was an inch or two taller than the girls. Her hair was a darker Auburn and she had the greenest eyes she had ever seen.
Carrie’s face then turned dark, as she realized that she had seen this body before, “I know this girl Stacy,” she said, “Sort of at least. She works at a newsstand, at a building near where Roger has an office. I have also seen her at the Starbucks I go to, drinking coffee.” Carrie’s voice showing the anger she felt.
“Okay, we know how she at least might have come into contact with you.” Rita or was it Courtney said.
The girls escorted Carrie into the bedroom, where Joyce had some clothes ready for Carrie. It was an outfit similar to what the girls wore and included pantyhose and a pair of flats, that went well with the dress.
Carrie explained to Joyce, how Roger and Stacy’s lives had intersected, as the girls helped her dress.
Joyce pondered on what Carrie was saying and said, “That can explain how she got your DNA, to make a connection to you. She had to have something you came in contact with and left a trace of yourself on. She would have needed some hair roots, skin cells, blood, saliva or semen from you, to complete the magic she worked.”
“I meant to ask you earlier, why can’t you just zap me back into my body?”
“That’s not possible; the spell that forced the switch has to be unmade. This leaves several problems. There are several spells that could be the root of the switch. Stacy would have taken one and worked with it till it became a unique spell. We would have to know exactly how the spell was worded and what components she used. Our research may discover enough about the spell to counter it, but that could take months, or we might be able to force her hand and have her tell us.
Lastly you are not strong enough. It is by our magic that you have recovered so quickly. She is likely weaker than you were, for it was by her power that the switch was made and she only has a fraction of her power left now. If we were able to force a switch, it is likely that you both could die. I doubt she has recovered as much as you have and you are definitely not strong enough. Our first tenet in our Magic is; we can do no harm. It might be months before the two of you are strong enough to go through that ordeal again.
The soonest you could switch back is either at six months, nine months, or a year, at a solstice or an equinox. Those are the days our powers are at their greatest. No sooner.”
That news was devastating to Carrie; tears began flowing slowly from her eyes. “Okay, I need to create a new identity. I don’t really want to be or look like that bitch. I need to cut my hair, and or change its color. Anything, I just don’t want to be reminded of who did this to me.” Carrie was saying to herself frantically, working herself up and getting emotionally flustered.
“Calm down Carrie, we can handle your identity and appearance in just a second. We can use glamour, or a metamorphosis type spell. I think a metamorphosis spell, would be the best, glamour spells tend to fade with time.” Joyce said to her.
Carrie appeared to calm a bit, but it was apparent that she was still distressed. Rita brought her a cup of tea, its fragrant smell seemed to calm her a bit and after sipping it, the stress seemed to leave her.
Joyce looked at Carrie for a second and watched the potion take effect. “Carrie we have given you another dose of a potion to calm you. You need a clear head, I suppose, to do what you need to do today, but sooner or later you need to face what has been done to you, unaided. Do you understand this?”
Carrie shook her head and said, “Yes I do. Thank you. I am not use to feeling so weak and helpless.”
“No, I don’t think Roger ever felt like Carrie. Not only are you weaker and smaller, you are dealing with female hormones too. Those alone are enough to take you on an emotional roller coaster. From what I have seen though, I don’t think you are helpless. When you have decisions to make, you make them. It’s the times between decisions that are affecting you most.”
“Those were the times that affected Roger the most too. When he…when I made a decision and the die were cast, waiting to see if I crapped out, or rolled a seven. After the planning and research are complete, just waiting the days, weeks, or months, to see if I was right or wrong, nearly gave me ulcers. I had planned on retiring soon. I made my piece of the pie, a big piece I might add, I just wanted to catch up on living, I guess.”
“Well then, let’s hope you can make the most out of this Carrie. How old was Roger?”
“Thirty four, going on fifty.”
“And how was Roger’s health?”
“Oh, I had the best health care money could buy, but I was still starting to show some wear and tear.”
“And now you are twenty two and in very good health Carrie. Stacy did take care of her body, don’t you think?”
“I haven’t had time to really think about it really, I feel ok, besides being a little wrung out right now.”
“Well, I am our healer, and I took the liberty of checking you out. I wanted to be certain that her body was still in good condition. I couldn’t have stood it, if she had stuck you into a sick or dying body. You are in very good health Carrie, and we intend to see that you remain in good health.”
“Why are you being so nice to me about all of this, Joyce?”
“We owe it to you. We feel in some part, responsible for what happened. Stacy was a part of us. We taught her much of her craft and tried to instill into her, our sense of values. We failed on that account, and evicted her from our court. She was always just looking out for herself. She was greedy and vindictive. We didn’t see that, in her, at first. As much as she hates men, I find it hard to believe she actually choose to become one.”
The doorbell interrupted their conversation.
Carrie checked her watch. It had been three hours and fifteen minutes, since she had called. “That should be them.”
Joyce and Carrie went to the door. It was indeed the computer people.
“Where can they set this up Joyce?” Carrie asked.
“Courtney, be a dear and show these gentlemen to the spare bedroom. Carrie you can use that room as your office if you like, while you are here. It has a desk and some other office furniture there.”
“Thank you, Joyce,” Carrie said as she kissed the cheek of the woman who was her benefactor.
Joyce was and wasn’t surprised by those actions. It was a perfectly feminine gesture; coming from Carrie, it confused her a bit. It was a gesture that Stacy had never shown her. She had remained a little aloof from the group, even while she had learned her craft. For that gesture to have come from one who had just been transformed into a girl, was exceptional, but she liked it.
“This is going to be very interesting,” Joyce said to herself, smiling.
Carrie was excited, so much so, she was almost bouncing off the walls, as the guys were setting up the system on a secure wireless network. Two geekie looking guys wheeled dollies that were loaded down with goodies. They had laid out all the stuff on the bed and had included some things not in her order, but that interfaced with it.
The guys began putting things together very efficiently, asking where Carrie wanted this or that component to go. Mostly Carrie just stayed out of their way.
Joyce asked the guys if they wanted anything to eat, since it seemed that they were working overtime to complete their work. The only things the guys wanted was anything with sugar and caffeine.
It took the guys about an hour and a half to get everything set up, interfaced, online and running together. They ran some system integrity tests and security checks, to make sure everything worked properly before they logged off on the system.
As soon as she could, Carrie got to work on her computer. She first worked on several programs before she logged on to the Internet. She spent the next two hours doing what she needed to do. There was very little time that she wasn’t checking this or that, moving money from one account to another.
Joyce let her work. She brought her tea twice while she was working. At one point she asked how much longer Carrie was going to be working, she wanted to start dinner. Carrie responded about a half hour.
Joyce marveled at the focus and deliberation Carrie had as she worked. Carrie smiled as she finished working, logging out of all the accounts she had opened up, backing her way out.
When Carrie finished what she was doing and downloaded her encrypted files to an offsite storage facility she used, she encrypted all the important data and wiped all the temp files off the hard drive. Even if someone were able to start her computer they would find nothing that could help them. The encrypted files were even hidden on a virtual hard drive.
Carrie finally took time to relax. She had not left Roger penniless. She realized she was between a rock and a hard place. If she ruined Roger then when it came time to switch back, all Roger had could be in peril. She would have to contact Roger and inform him he was on an allowance.
Carrie then began to realize that things could get so bad that she wouldn’t want to change back. When that realization came over her she began to cry softly.
Rita came in, at least Carrie thought it was Rita, to announce dinner and saw Carrie crying. “What’s wrong Carrie?”
“I just realized, I may not be able to, or want to change back. I started to ruin Roger, but that would be ruining my good name, if I ever wanted to change back. Roger has the ability to ruin that name. I couldn’t leave him penniless, but he will definitely not like the budget he will be on.”
“It will be alright, whatever happens dear. Cats always land on their feet; it is no different for you. I feel you have the spirit of a Cat.”
“I guess, I feel I will have to confront him sooner, rather than later. It is something I feel inside me. I am not looking forward to that.”
“Either way, you still have some time before you have to do that, maybe not a great deal of time, but you do have some time. Now let’s go eat before you turn into a bag of bones. You haven’t had anything substantial in two days.”
“Ok Rita, I guess I am hungry.”
“I am not Rita, love; I am Courtney the pretty one.”
“Courtney, you both are gorgeous, I don’t know if I will ever be able to tell you two apart.”
“Sure you will, love.”
Courtney led Carrie into the dinning room, where everybody was waiting for her. There were six women, not counting Courtney and herself, already waiting. She sat down and Joyce rose to give her blessing to the Goddess. When she finished, all present said, “So mote it be.”
With that done, they started passing food around. Carrie found that she was famished, but Courtney kept her portions down saying, “We know you are desperately hungry, but you can’t eat like Roger use to eat. Eat what we give you slowly, and if you are still hungry later, you can have more. It is a sin to waste the bounty the Goddess grants us.”
The women kept asking Carrie questions, with the intent to slow her eating down, but also to understand who Roger was. Carrie answered as best she could, not knowing whether or not the information might help them help her.
She began to enjoy eating with these people. They shared a lot about who they were with her. What impressed her was that they showed genuine concern for her. That was something Roger seldom got.
Joyce then asked, “How did your computer work go, Carrie? Did you get done what you were going to do?”
“I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do. First, I need to go to a bookstore and get a rare first edition, English version, of Les Miserables, and then contact my lawyer. It will be expensive, but shouldn’t be impossible to find. I’ll do that tomorrow. Second, it kinda came to me. If I ruined Roger/Stacy, I would be ruining my own good name. I found I couldn’t leave him penniless.”
“Why not Roger, after all she did to you?” Joyce asked.
“If I ruined him, I would be ruining myself. He is a bitch, but I took pride in being a hardnosed, but good guy, in finance. He can drag all I did through the mud, doing enough damage to bankrupt me if I ever changed back.”
Joyce smiled, she liked the fact that Carrie stopped to think over what she was going to do, before she did it. If Stacy had taken the same care, she might not have been in this quandary. “So what are your plans then?”
“I am still going to secure my assets. She won’t be living high on the hog on my dime. I am going to put her on an allowance and make her learn how to earn money. I guess that means I will have to confront her sooner, rather than later. How long before she will be able to get out and about?”
“I am not sure, maybe as soon as tomorrow, more likely the day after that. The only reason you are up and about is because my sisters and I have been giving you strength and potions, to speed up your recovery.”
“Well, it will take him sometime to find my resources. He can’t sell anything legally; the condo, car and most of the things in my condo, are owned by a corporation. He’ll never find the information he’ll need to sell anything. I have a couple of hundred thousand in a safe in my Condo, but I doubt he will find it, much less be able to open it, unless he can use her magic.”
“I assure you Carrie, he does have a trace of power, but his old power came from our Goddess, he won’t be able to use that. He can learn to use the God power, but that will take time and research,” Joyce said.
“Then all she can do is ruin what I was. If she does that, she can keep that body of mine,” Carrie said, tears forming in her eyes.
“It is good that you have considered that possibility, Carrie. You have shown intelligence and compassion to one who wronged you. It will be our pleasure to help you in any way we can, as long as it doesn’t violate one of our tenets,” Joyce said, her sisters joined in voicing their assent.
“Thank you, that means a lot to me, and maybe I can learn something, after going through all of this.”
‘Maybe you will Carrie, maybe you will,’ Joyce thought. She was very pleased with what she had heard this night.
“Ok, when will I be ready to confront Roger?”
“We want you to be able to shield yourself first. We don’t feel Roger will be a threat to you, but it is important that you learn to control your power. It is possible, if you got angry, to lash out with the power you have. You don’t want to hurt someone by lashing out in anger. You also need to learn how to mask your mind and hide the power from others, who might be able to perceive those powers. We might be able to teach you the basics in a week, maybe two, but you can do it sooner, if you have a group of us go with you in say, two days.”
“A week maybe too long, so let’s do whatever we need to do, to make it in two days.”
“Ok, we will start tomorrow. Today we will change your appearance as you requested. Tell us what you want to look like.”
“I want to be tall; I got use to Roger’s six foot five inches. I don’t want to be that tall as a woman, say five foot ten or so. I really like my hair color, although it could be a little darker and a richer auburn. That was my mom’s hair color. I also like the proportions of my current body. I nearly fell in love, the first time I really looked at myself,” Carrie said blushing. “Change my face too, I don’t have to be a raving beauty, but a pretty face would be nice. I want to be where I can buy shoes easily. Roger had a hard time finding fifteens without special ordering them. How does that sound?”
“Not too bad Carrie. You need to get ready for bed, you still have some recovering to do. When you wake tomorrow, you should feel better and will look like you requested. Rita and Courtney, if you will see to our sister, the rest of us have some work to do.”
As Carrie rose to leave, all the women present gave Carrie hugs and kisses to her cheeks. Rita and Courtney led her back to her room. She was a little embarrassed about their helping her undress and then helped her into a long silky nightdress. What really shocked her though was when they dressed in similar nightdresses and joined her in bed, one of them on either side of her. She didn’t stay awake too long though, as they spooned with her, she drifted off in a gentle sleep.
Roger woke, he still felt like shit, but he was starting to recover. If he had known that he would feel like this for so long, he would have made arraignments to be better prepared. It was that he never cast such a powerful spell before. He snickered to himself, as he thought about the real Roger in Stacy’s body; she would really be out of it. He figured it would take two more days before he was up to getting out and about, but he was strong enough, he could get around his new place.
He looked on his dresser, he found a Patek Philippe watch, a gold horseshoe diamond ring and put them on. He found his wallet, but was surprised that it contained so little plastic, two credit cards, two gas cards, and only eleven hundred dollars in cash. In the dresser, he found all sorts of male clothes, jewelry, although nothing overly impressive there, and other odds and ends. The closet held all sorts of three thousand dollar suits, shirts, pants, Tuxes, shoes, ties and other accoutrements one would expect.
Leaving the bedroom she entered the living room. Nice furniture, very exclusive and very expensive, but definitely masculine, no feminine graces anywhere she could see. Into the kitchen, she found a well-stocked larder, nice cookware, cutlery, flatware and dishes. He had a large, well-stocked fridge and about twenty bottles of wine, in a glass walled, wine storage cabinet.
Roger stopped and fixed himself a respectable meal, a four egg omelet, with hash browns, sausage, toast, peach preserves, butter, milk and coffee. More than Stacy would ever eat, but in her famished weakened state, it was just what she needed. He ate as fast as he could, he could feel the energy, the food supplied, replenish his strength.
Feeling a little better, she continued her exploration. She found an office that was very complete. Three computers, one desktop and two laptops, laser and ink jet printers, two very large, 27 inch, flat screen monitors, a large scanner, fax machine, cell phone, sat phone, a PDA, two, four drawer, file cabinets, with combination lock drawers, a large teak, wood desk, several paintings, a small library of books and an awesome office chair. Out of curiosity he checked behind the paintings and only found wood paneling. He sat in the large comfortable office chair and spun in circles. After two rotations he regretted that bout of exuberance, as he became dizzy and nauseated.
It took several minutes for his body to find an even keel and he could move again. He had come close to losing his lunch and knew that he would have to take it much easier.
He checked out the desk. All the drawers refused to open. He looked everywhere, but could find no lock or keyhole. He did find the power switch for the computer system. He switched on the monitors and the desktop. They booted rapidly, faster than any computer he Roger/Stacy had ever used, but the computer stopped. The monitors both showed a black screen with a huge number four as the desktop, a long white box one character tall, with a blinking cursor and nothing else. Damn, he thought, passworded. Just for kicks she typed p a s s w o r d and hit enter. The big number on the desktop became a three.
Damn again, he thought, he only had three shots left, he figured. He rebooted the system and the screen came up with the number two on the desktop. Damn it, damn it, damn it. He just left the machine on.
Roger felt desperately tired and tried to rise out of the chair. He found that he couldn’t do it, so he just leaned back and went to sleep.
Roger had some strange dreams as he slept. He dreamt that he had become a woman, a very horny woman at that. He dreamt, he had his hands on a very nice pair of tits and was massaging them, even as his were being massaged. There was moaning coming from all around. A hand snaked its way under the cover to his crotch and his pussy. He could feel a pressure building all over his body, but centering on his lower abdomen. Just as the pangs of his orgasm began, he awoke and realized that he did have tits. Then it all came flooding back to him, or rather her.
Carrie found herself sandwiched between Rita and Courtney, who were still sleeping, giving off soft, barely audible snores. She felt alright, but she was a she. Then she began to cry silently. She didn’t know why she cried, she had plenty of reason too, but none of those reasons seem to bother her enough to warrant crying. She was just crying.
She found herself clinging to the girl in front of her tighter, as she cried. Looking out the window, she could see the sky beginning to lighten.
Rita awoke and found herself in a vice like grip. What woke her were the tears on her back. Her nightdress was becoming very wet between her shoulders, but her senses told her, that Carrie was doing as well as could be expected. Carrie’s breathing was shallow but even, her pulse was strong, but at resting rate. She figured that Carrie was awake, but chose not to disturb her tears, by showing she was awake and just let the girl cling to her.
After about twenty minutes, Rita rolled over facing Carrie and wrapped her up in her arms, whispering in her ear, “It’s going to be alright, you’ll see, you’re going to be alright.”
“I know. I don’t know why I am crying, I just am.”
“You are releasing all the tension that has built up deep inside you. I can’t begin to imagine what you have gone through girl, but just let it all out now.”
“Thank you, this helps a lot. Are you Rita?”
“Yes, I am Rita, I am the pretty one.”
Carrie felt herself being wrapped by another set of arms and heard Courtney giggle and say, “I am the pretty one love, don’t listen to her.”
Carrie giggled and said, “I think you both are the pretty ones, both of you are such wonderful girls.”
All three fell asleep for about another hour, before Carrie felt a pressure building in her bladder. It took a few desperate minutes to extricate herself, without overly disturbing the twins, but she finally got free and made a mad dash to the potty. Up came her sleep shirt, down went her panties, plop went her butt and she began to relieve herself, just in time.
She wiped herself dry, front to back, after she finished. She took her panties off, and then her nightdress, putting them in the hamper. She found a shower bonnet and put all of her long hair in it. She then turned the shower on, adjusting and waiting till it was as warm as she wanted, then she had herself a quick shower. She dried herself off and wrapped herself with a dry towel, under her arms and around her chest. She shook out her hair and looked at herself in the mirror. She realized that she looked very different. She was taller, her hair was a little shorter and darker, her face was much different but pretty enough and her figure was more alluring if that was even possible than it had been. Unconsciously she had found a new toothbrush, still in its wrapper and opened it, putting a small pearl of toothpaste on the bristles, before brushing her teeth. She rinsed her mouth out, gargled some mouthwash, applied deodorant and brushed out her hair, till it shined.
In the bedroom, she saw the sisters clinging to each other, still asleep. Carrie opened the dresser, got a bra and panty set out, and put them on. In the closet, she found a blouse and a pair of pants to put on, along with a nice pair of sandals. She sat at the vanity, put on a little eye shadow, mascara, a little powder to even out her skin tones, a touch of blusher, to highlight her cheeks and a rosy pink lipstick, to her lips.
Carrie stood and looked at the twins. They looked so cute together, she figured that it was more than just looks they shared, but it didn’t seem to bother her. She blew them a kiss and tiptoed out of the room.
She found the kitchen and started a pot of coffee. The aroma of the coffee was intoxicating. Roger had loved coffee, but he had hardly ever paid much attention to its aroma as it brewed. She found a large mug and filled it with the rich brew, when the pot finished brewing.
Carrie then left the kitchen; she found a sliding glass door that opened to a patio and a garden. She found a chair and sat watching the birds in the air and the squirrels play on the ground. She marveled at how lovely the garden was. There were a hundred or more species of flowers all in bloom and more species of plants than she could count, with a large mix of trees. There was even a Koi pond, that had a veil of fog hanging over it. There was a birdbath fountain and other small statuaries. A small concrete boy was tinkling into the pond. A concrete Pagoda sat on a small island and a pedestrian bridge, that crossed to the island. All of this on half of an acre back yard, Carrie estimated.
Carrie heard the sliding door open and Joyce joined her in watching the sun crest over the backyard fence.
“Morning Carrie, how are you today?”
“Doing ok, I guess. I was a little shocked and pleased to see the changes.”
“Yes we made the changes while you slept, did you notice the other change we made?”
“No, what do you mean?”
“Well did you need help dressing today?”
“No, I didn’t Joyce.”
“We did a little something to help you cope, till you begin to get comfortable in your current situation. You know, getting dressed and presenting yourself as a woman. It doesn’t come easy.”
“I hadn’t thought about what I was doing this morning, I just did it. Thanks!”
“We did that to remove a stressor from your life. You make a great cup of coffee, Carrie.”
“It’s one of those things Roger liked. He spent so much time around coffee shops around the world. I still have the taste for it at least, I am glad about that.”
“Disassociating yourself from your old self, I see.”
“I can’t see myself being Roger, right now. I don’t know if it is good, but I think it helps me right now.”
“You may be right.”
“Let me ask one question, Joyce? If I may?”
“Sure, go ahead?”
“Rita and Courtney are sisters, aren’t they?”
“Well… In the loosest sense they are, but you should talk to them.” Joyce said, with a mischievous smile on her face. “Well, are you ready to start learning, Carrie.”
“You mean right now.”
“Yes, I know you want to get out and get some other things done. I want you to at least be able to shield yourself.”
“Alright, I guess now is as good a time as any.”
“Turn your chair to face me Carrie,” Joyce instructed, “Now put your hands on my temples, as I put mine on yours. My mind is open to you, can you feel it?”
Carrie’s brow creased in concentration. She quieted her own mind and tried to sense Joyce. It took several minutes before she realized she could sense her mind. “Yes I can sense you.”
“I can sense you too, it is almost like you are shouting, ‘I am here’.” Ok feel what I do as I block you out.”
It was like a door closed and Carrie could no longer sense Joyce’s mind. Joyce then had Carrie try to shield her mind. She could sense her presence in her mind, but she couldn’t see the way to block her intrusion. Joyce showed her again and Carrie tried again. They went like this back and forth, before out of nowhere, Carrie slammed the door on Joyce.
“I must say, there was no panache about the way you did it, but it was effective.” Joyce said rubbing her temples from the slight headache she received.
“I am so sorry, I didn’t hurt you did I?”
“No, you did ok. It was like someone put a metal trashcan over my head and beat on it with a baseball bat.”
Joyce taught Carrie how to use her shields, hard shields and soft shields. She learned about things she could sense with her power, such as others with power, how to discern whether their intent was good, ill, or indifferent, towards them, how to send a mental flare, and how to send thoughts to someone with power. Joyce found that Carrie was a quick study.
Joyce and Carrie were both famished, as they finished their early lessons by about ten. Rita and Courtney had anticipated their needs and already had a brunch set out. The girls had prepared Caesar’s salads, with grilled chicken breasts for everyone. Carrie waited till everyone was seated and Joyce said the blessings to the Goddess, before she started eating. Before she started, she was a little disappointed in the proportions, but as she ate she found herself quite full, but not stuffed, by the time she finished.
As they ate, the girls asked Carrie what she needed to do today.
Carrie told them she wanted to go to some rare book dealers, then to head to a coffee shop for a while, to work out the code she needed. She had to send the information in code, to her lawyer, for him to act.
“Ok, Carrie, Rita will go with you, the rest of us still have work to do? Also, Rita will be able to handle any ID you might require from driver’s license, passport, birth certificate and help create an authenticateable legend for you,” Joyce stated.
“Sounds good, I had wondered about that. I also want to thank all of you for your patience. I know there are other things that you could, or should be doing, besides babysitting me.”
“It’s nothing Carrie, I have rather enjoyed the past few days. In fact, I see a lot of good coming out of our efforts, although, there will be some dark days ahead.”
Carrie went to her room and found her purse, she giggled as she realized that they had thought about almost everything, and how she thought to pick up something she had never used before. She opened it up, looking inside, she saw more stuff than she thought it would hold, cosmetics, a wallet, tissues, tampons, chewing gum, keys (what did she have keys for), a can of pepper spray, her PDA and cell phone (when did they have time to put all that together), a pen, pencil and a notepad. Carrie thought of her days, playing RPG’s. She now knew where they got the idea for ‘a bag of holding’. She almost expected to be able to reach in and draw out a sword and armor from the purse. She checked and repaired her face at the vanity, packed the lipstick; she used that day, in her purse, before heading to the office. She packed her less secure laptop into an aluminum, hard cased, wheeled carrier and went to meet Rita.
Rita also had her purse and a laptop in a wheeled carrier too. Together they headed to Rita’s car, a silver 2005 BMW 545i. The ladies put their laptops in the trunk and got in the car.
“Where too first, Carrie?”
“I need to go to my bank, first.”
Rita reached to her GPS unit and inserted the address of the bank and hit enter. The unit began giving directions. Rita drove like an expert, handling the powerful engine with care.
At the bank, Carrie got the attention of one of the bank officers. The woman found it strange to access an account by number only, but it had been approved by a VP. It was stranger when, in lieu of an ID and a signature, access was by a thirty-two-digit number, the girl provided from memory, but the documentation for the account, allowed for such access. Carrie withdrew seven thousand dollars from the account.
Carrie was brought a bank bag with the money inside. She thanked the executive and left.
On the way out, Rita told Carrie “You really had that lady scratching her head.”
“The transaction was legal, but some banks don’t like it. If I had gotten another three thousand, she would have needed an ID, so the transaction could be reported. I will close that account today and open another bank account, after I get some ID as Carrie.”
“Right, I will have some ID for you as early as tomorrow.”
“You’ll see, it’s magic,” Rita said giggling. “Now where to?”
“I located about four rare dealers on the internet,” she said handing the list to Rita. “I believe the first, on that list, will have the book, they showed it on an inventory list they had online. I will buy it, once I verify it is the correct volume. Then we will head to a Starbuck’s, or any other wi-fi hotspot that’s around.”
“Sounds good girl, let’s go.”
They headed for the first bookstore. Yes they had a copy, but it wasn’t the volume that Carrie needed. They headed to the second and the third, finally at the fourth; they had the correct volume of the book. It cost Carrie twenty five hundred dollars.
At a Starbuck’s, Rita and Carrie wheeled their laptops into the store and set them up. Carrie asked Rita what she drank and went off to buy the drinks. They then settled in to work. Rita had Carrie set up an instant messenger account, so they could talk on the computers while they worked. Carrie got out her book and began working on an email to Roger’s attorney, that would liquidate the rest of his assets.
They messengered each other for Carrie’s legend. Rita needed to know what city Carrie wanted to be from and what schools she wanted to have gone to. Carrie told her Roger had been born in Van Horn, Texas, but she wanted to be listed from Huntsville, Texas. She knew a lot more about that town, as Roger had gone to Sam Houston State there and had spent six years at that University.
Rita took that information and began working, as Carrie opened Les Miserables and started working. They worked for two hours, minus a restroom break and a refill break. Finally, at two, Carrie used one of Roger’s online email accounts and sent an email to the attorney.
Rita then sent Carrie an email with an attached .doc file, for her legend, for approval. Carrie went over the legend. Carrie had been born at Huntsville Memorial hospital; she had the same birthday as Roger, except for the year. She was born in 1983, instead of 1972. They lived in the Forrest Hills subdivision. She went to Huntsville High School, graduated in 2001 and went on to Sam Houston State, graduating with a BS in Political Science, with a minor in Criminal Justice in 2004. She had a list of her, teachers, professors, and students who she knew and that knew her. She had a list of friends, accomplishments, work history and everything else a person would ever need. Carrie recognized some of the names of the college profs; Roger had had some of them himself.
“Wow,” Carrie said as she went over the ten-page document. You really have done a complete job on this. If only those people knew me, it would be air tight.”
“They will remember you after tonight. You will also have an authentic birth certificate, social security card, driver’s license, and passport by tomorrow morning.”
“How did you do all of that?”
“You are not the first person that has been transformed, and today it is hard to do anything, without a verifiable past. Especially post 9/11. We build legends for the people who are transformed and use our abilities to make them so. The Internet has been a big boost to us in doing this. So we work our magic two different ways, so to speak. The day after tomorrow, you could have a private detective, or a government agent, back track you, and be satisfied with what he found.”
“I hadn’t thought of that. That is great. Rita I have a question I would like to ask you.”
“Let me guess, you want to know about Courtney?”
“How did you know, did you read my thoughts?”
“No I didn’t read your thoughts, its just I have been asked that question before. To someone who doesn’t know me, she is my twin sister. To my friends, she isn’t my sister, she is my ex-boyfriend now girlfriend/lover, and no, it is what she wanted. She knew I was a lesbian and I just couldn’t love him. He asked me if he were a girl, could I love him. I said yes. He didn’t know all about me, but he started changing himself on his own with surgery, hormones and such. I found out what he was doing and well the rest is history. She is one of us now too. Not as powerful as you or I, but stronger than average, I guess.”
“Wow, I would never have guessed that, and what did you mean not as powerful as you or I? I am not powerful.”
“If you joined us and learned. You could probably be fourth in our group, maybe third. Britney, Shannon’s daughter, is weaker than you, but she can do more than you right now. I am fourth, or fifth. It is all relative, you see, and while precedence of ability is important, it isn’t the only factor that is important in ranking, in our group. Desire to serve, is the most important factor in our group. Stacey could have been first, or a close second; she really needed a lot more training to get that high. It hurt us when we had to shun her, but she just wasn’t a very nice person.”
“Couldn’t she have overpowered your group?”
“Singly she might have, if she had attacked any one of us at a vulnerable time. We didn’t give her the opportunity. If she attacked us as a group, we would have reacted defensively and would have forced her to drain her power. Then we would have put a compulsion to avoid doing wrong, on her. She knew this and we didn’t move against her, we stood united behind Joyce. Together she couldn’t touch us.”
“Wow, that is a lot to think about, Rita. Thank you for all that you have, and are, doing for me.”
“We have a couple of more stops to make before we head back, we need some pictures and we need to stop by Shannon’s place. She is the one making the ID’s.”
Carrie’s laptop chirped an alert, as she received a confirmation of her email from Roger’s attorney. The liquidation of Roger’s assets had begun.
Rita and Carrie returned home just before dinner. The whole circle was there. There were twenty-four ladies along with eight little girls and three infant boys. After Carrie and Rita put their laptops away safely, Carrie was introduced to the group. She then found herself in a reception line; each lady personally greeted Carrie. Hugs and kisses were exchanged by each, who showed genuine concern and wished her well. Then she was led to the dinning room. Joyce then blessed the food that had been prepared.
The food had already been prepared; there were dishes that contained all kinds of delectable treats on the table, the two sideboards, and on the breakfast counter, between the dinning room and kitchen. Each lady had brought a covered dish this night. Carrie found it hard to describe the aromas of all the food. It made her mouth water. Everybody was encouraged to take a plate, load up the food and have a good time.
Carrie took small samples, of as many of the dishes she could, without trying to look like a hog. The more dishes she saw, the more she realized how famished she was. Her plate loaded, Rita then led her to an arrangement of two couches and two easy chairs, with a long wide coffee table between them.
Carrie was shown to one of the easy chairs and other ladies with their children, sat on the couches. The crowd shifted around her, as some left and others took their place. It was hard for Carrie to take more than two bites, without answering some question, or talking to this lady, or that child. Dinner seemed to last forever. She didn’t need to get up for anything. As her glass emptied, an arm appeared to refill her glass.
As Roger, she had been very good at remembering names and faces. She found that she still had that ability. As Roger though, she didn’t get out much, oh there were times that his business required him to attend this function or that, but he spent many days by himself, just doing the kind of research his business required. She was beginning to see how shallow her life had really been. She was having a good time just being around other people.
After two hours, she found herself with Rita, Courtney, and the little girls and infants.
“What’s going on Rita, are they all here to do a big magic?”
“No, not a big magic, but a multitude of little magics. We are going to take care of the little ones, while they work. They are each taking a part of your legend and making it happen. We found that the more bases we cover, the more complete the legend, the less likely it will be uncovered. You will be covered so well, you could pass an NSA security check. We even have you inheriting all those assets you squirreled away. So it will all be legal and won’t raise any suspicion.”
“They are doing all of this for me. Why?”
“Because we feel we owe you and after these past few days, many have grown to like you. You made a real impression on them tonight, by remembering all of their names and their children’s names.”
“Tell me something, all these children and the only boys are infants, ya’ll don’t change them do you?”
Rita choked on a coke she was drinking, and began giggling. After she recovered enough to do so, she said, “No we don’t do that. When we meet like this, it is women’s work, men and boys aren’t allowed. That is why, right now, you are with us. You might go back to being a male, after all. Boys over two have to stay with their papa’s.”
“Shouldn’t you and Courtney join the ladies?”
“No we are warders. This is our job, protecting you, protecting these little ones and protecting the circle.”
The three ladies escorted the children outside to play, till it got too dark. They then took them to a TV room where cartoons were playing. At nine, most of the children were ready for bed. All of them were led to a room where the girls changed into nighties and were helped into their beds that had been set up.
“How long will all this take, Rita?”
“Oh, they will finish about dawn Carrie. They have much weaving to do.”
“Then we will stay up and watch over the children.”
“No, you need your rest Carrie, you and I are headed to bed too. Courtney will watch over the children. You will need to confront Roger tomorrow. Joyce thought it was a good idea. Roger should be able to get out by tomorrow and you will need to let him know what is happening. That is, if you hope to return to being Roger with a good name.”
“I don’t know if I will be ready to face him.”
“You are. Joyce, Shannon, Courtney and I will be with you dear. There is nothing bad that can happen to you by going and much harm that could if you don’t.”
“Your right Rita, let’s go to bed.”
Much stronger Roger was up and about the house. He realized that the place wasn’t as opulent, as the wealth he should have at his deposal. He also realized that he didn’t know how to get at it. The computer locked up and the screen showed a big zero. Even the laptop that was hooked up to the network, had a big zero, when he tried to boot it.
He attempted to open the file cabinets to check for financial documents, but they were like safes, made from heavyweight steel and combination locks. He couldn’t even push the file cabinets around; they were so heavy.
There was no directory, no speed dial function on the telephones, no business cards. There was a PDA, but it required a password also. There was another laptop, but there seemed to be nothing but OEM software on it. The browser had no history, no bookmarks, no cookies and nothing in the many temp folders that would tell where the man had been on the Internet.
He realized that he couldn’t even leave the apartment without setting off the alarm. Well he could always feign memory loss from sickness when the alarm company called, and show them his ID, which he did have at least, when they sent someone over to investigate.
He had some keys for a Mercedes; he didn’t know where it was. He had a hand full of moderately priced men’s jewelry, an expensive watch, two credit cards, two gas cards and eleven hundred dollars. He had an extensive collection of fine clothes and shoes. There were a few paintings; he didn’t know what they were worth.
The kitchen was the room that showed the most about its owner. He had very good kitchen ware; pots, pans, tableware, flatware, crystal and china. The fridge was well stocked with good food. He had a huge spice rack, and lots of condiments. The appliances were all top of the line except there was no dishwasher.
There was a laundry room that was well equipped. The media room was simply superb, including a 52 inch wide HDTV with a sound system to die for.
As nice as everything was, it could be owned by someone who had one percent of the wealth, Roger had. This place just wasn’t as opulent as one would expect, from someone worth an estimated three hundred million dollars.
Roger was more than a little disturbed that his powers didn’t seem to be coming back very fast. He could feel his powers, but they weren’t that strong. He could sense others presence, and shield himself, but not much more. That hurt.
What hurt even more though, was that nobody seemed to want to visit him and the phone hadn’t rung lately. As Stacy, she had lots of friends, and people who came to her newsstand, who treated her as a person. They would have called, or visited her, if she had failed to open her newsstand, the first day she missed opening up. No one seemed to care about Roger though.
It had never occurred to Stacy that she should have followed and eavesdropped on Roger’s thoughts to learn as much as she could have. She really needed more information. Well tomorrow she would get it, somehow.
Carrie was woken up early by Courtney. “Wake up Love; we need to start getting ready dear.”
“Your, Courtney aren’t you.”
“Yes, you’re learning dear. How did you know?”
“You seem more feminine, even when you are dressed alike. What time is it, anyway?”
“A little after six. Rita is already making breakfast.”
Carrie took a quick shower, making sure she didn’t get her hair wet. Although it was now a little shorter, it would still take a while to sort out. She then put on a robe and headed into the kitchen.
The place seemed empty after having been so full last night. The place seemed to be in good shape, even though hours earlier, there had been over thirty people here. Everything was clean and where it had been yesterday morning.
Joyce and Rita met Carrie coming out of the kitchen. They were loaded down with food, heading for the dining room table. Five places were set.
“Who else is here this morning?” Carrie asked.
“Shannon is in a room, just getting ready. She’ll be going with us.”
“I just thought of one more thing Joyce, as much as I loathe it, I really think I need to appear as Stacy one more time. At least till our meeting is over.”
“Oh, that will be easy. I will just cast a glamour spell that will fade later today, or you will be able to cast it off by saying, ‘Carrie return’.”
“I want the best business type suit I can get. Do I need to do some shopping? I hadn’t thought of that.”
“Shopping is fun, but we can do that later. You can appear as well dressed as any Fortune 500 woman CEO, with just a snap of our fingers. It will be a glamour, just like your appearance as Stacy will be.”
Shannon joined them at the table, Joyce blessed the food and everyone dug in, talking about what they were going to be doing later today.
After breakfast Joyce said, “Just put on some clothes, any clothes will do. I will make you look like a million dollars.”
Carrie dressed in a simple skirt and blouse, with the appropriate lingerie. She stood in front of a mirror and Joyce said a few words. Carrie appeared to morph into Stacy and she was dressed better than half the top women executives of any major corporation. A perfect woman’s business suit, perfect hair, makeup and she was well accessorized. She wouldn’t look out of place in a corporate boardroom, or a shareholders meeting.
Carrie winced a bit upon seeing Stacy’s face, eyes and hair, but smiled as she saw how she was dressed.
“Is your clothing okay dear?”
“Excellent Joyce, it is perfect. I would like all of you to dress and appear as nice.”
“As you have spoken, so shall it be,” Joyce said.
In the blink of an eye, Joyce, Rita, Courtney and Shannon all appeared in similar opulence to Carrie. The girls were giggling as they looked at each other. No girl was dressed the same, but all were well dressed.
Shannon opened a brief case and began handing things to Stacy, saying. “The glamour changed everything from Carrie to Stacy, but they will change back after the spell fades,” she said.
“Here is your wallet with your driver’s license, ID card’s, a valid checkbook, six valid credit cards, a phone card, mom and pop pictures, a thousand dollars, from the money that you got yesterday, and most everything a woman would normally carry in her wallet.
Here are your birth certificate, passport, bank statement, a probated will for all of your assets, a car title and other legal paper work. You can go over them in your leisure. Your car is in the garage, by the way.
You are now official, girl.”
“I want to thank all of you. I guess we need to head to my car now.”
“Nonsense dear, our limo is just pulling up now,” Rita said. “We are going in style.”
The limo pulled up outside the exclusive high rise where Roger Johnson lived. The doorman almost fell all over himself as the limo came to a stop at the curb. He held the door open for the ladies, as they exited the limo.
The ladies followed behind Stacy, as she approached the front door. Another doorman opened the exterior door for them to enter. Inside the lobby, the security guard inquired of their destination.
“We are here to see Roger Johnson. I am Stacy Parker and we are expected,” she said.
The guard checked his clipboard. “Yes Ma’am, Ms. Parker, take the penthouse elevator,” he said, anxious to please the women. “He is expecting you.”
The girls got in the elevator and pushed the button for the penthouse.
“Who taught you how to influence people?” Joyce asked.
“What do you mean, Joyce?”
“You reached out with your mind and influenced him to see your name on the clipboard.”
“Is that bad, did I do wrong?”
“No, you did what I was going to do, only faster.”
“I just knew we had to get up there or we wouldn’t be able to do this.”
The elevator stopped and the door opened. In this building there were three apartments to the penthouse level. Carrie could sense that Roger was there and already up. Stacy led them to Roger’s door and pressed the button for the doorbell. She realized that she knew the names of the others who lived on this level, but she never knew much about them, and had never sat down to talk to them.
It took Roger a couple of minutes to open the door. The alarm panel beeped, as the door was opened. Roger paled visibly as he saw who all was there. Stacy pushed past Roger, walked over to the panel and punched a number into the panel to disarm it. She then walked to the phone and called the security company. She spoke the security code and gave her name to the operator.
Hanging up, she looked at Roger. He hadn’t shaved since he had been Roger and looked horrible. Stacy looked him in the eyes and saw how pitiful he looked.
“Well, I can see that you aren’t taking care of yourself, my old body is a mess.”
“Well bitch, I see you are still acting high and mighty. Too bad you are flat broke.”
Smiling, “Oh no Roger, I am currently worth about three quarters of a billion, you are the one that is flat broke. At least figuratively that is. You are currently worth about 200k. I didn’t want to leave you destitute till I am able to return to my old body.”
“What did you do bitch, did you steal all of my money?”
“Roger, it was never your money. You tried to steal it when you stole my body.”
Roger leered at Joyce and her friends, “Did you get these witches to magic the money for you, bitch?”
“No, I did it all myself. Me and my computer, was all it took, Roger. I had it all transferred out of your name and into mine yesterday, at least till I can get my body back. I left enough so you won’t have to live under a bridge, but you won’t be living the life of luxury.”
“Like that is going to happen.” Roger said. “I wrote my spell well, you’ll never unmake it without my help. That help will cost you five hundred million. Even if your friends could put together the spell I used, I will drag your reputation through the mud before they could even hope to break it.”
“Why do you hate me so Roger? What did I ever do to you, to make you do this to me?”
“You’re a man; you’ve had life handed to you on a silver platter. All guys have it easy.”
Carrie looked down at herself with incredulity. “Rita, you lied to me. You said I was a woman like you now, and here Roger tells me I am a man, but then again… I think he better go back and study anatomy.”
Roger’s face glowed red with anger; he hated this woman for mocking him so. “You know what I mean, Bitch.”
“You think so, huh. I worked three jobs and went to a backwater, two-bit, college in Huntsville, Texas, to get where I was. I risked every cent I owned, to earn the money I have. I came within one day of being bankrupt three times, but what I learned helped to make me what I am. I used my head Roger, to make the money I earned.”
“That is bull shit and you know it. Are you going to give me my money or not.”
“No, I don’t think I am.”
“Then kiss your good name goodbye. If you want your body back, it won’t be worth a plug nickel, by the time you can get it back.”
Carrie walked around, but never took her eye off Roger. She had a look of pity, at what he had become. “You can keep it then. You can ruin your own good name, if you want. You can see how hard it is to earn money and respect. You are thirty-four and unless you take care, you won’t make forty-five. I am twenty-three and healthier than I have ever been.”
“To show you I have acted in good faith, you have a home in Van Horn, Texas, that you still own. It was my parent’s old home. They are gone now and I don’t need it. You have another four hundred thousand in that watch and jewelry, although you won’t get that much from it, and another forty thousand in your checking account. I couldn’t bear to leave you like you thought you left me. I guess I have a heart after all.”
“You probably realize by now that there is no way to get to my accounts, and log on to my computers. You probably also realize that my filing cabinets and desk drawers are not easy to be broken into. You don’t even know the security code for the alarm system so you could leave or enter this apartment. You know absolutely nothing about my life. Oh, if you think you can read my mind, to get all of this information, guess again.
The anger inside Roger began to boil over. If Stacy had come here alone, he would have killed her, but he knew what the others could do to thwart that. “Bitch, I will come after all of you,” Roger said, “I will use my power.”
Carrie looked at Roger and just laughed, “That is an empty threat, Roger. Have you tried to use any of your powers yet? Thank you by the way. From what I have been told, I have your power. I’m told that that leaves you with very little. You are now weaker than anyone of our children. How does it feel to be a human ‘MAN’ Roger?”
“You’ll never get this body back.”
Carrie’s eyes showed sadness at the callousness of Roger’s heart. “As you have spoken, so shall it be, Roger.” She realized that there was no going back after she spoke those words. She would forever be Carrie now, but that prospect didn’t seem to bother her anymore.
Joyce, Rita, Courtney and Shannon all spoke, “So mote it be.”
Roger visibly paled at those words. He realized that he had no more leverage to use against Stacy, as she had just given up any rights to being Roger again. Power was being used, he could feel it. Stacy had just created a spell. He realized that he had made a very big mistake, He could never return to being Stacy. He started to shake and his eyes got large with fear.
Carrie continued. “Sisters, I have been grievously wronged, yet I hold no ill will toward Roger. He stole from me and tried to steal more. I have provided for him shelter, food and such sustenance as he might need for a time. Roger, you will see how easy life is in your body. I shall not provide you more than I already have. You will not do any harm to others, nor shall you harm yourself. You shall not speak my name again and you will remember me no more. I shall not abide to be in your presence, nor you in mine.”
The girls repeated, “You shall not speak our names again and you will remember us no more. We shall not abide to be in your presence, nor you in ours.”
The new Roger yelled, “WAIT!” With a terrified look in his eyes.
Then Joyce said, “As it was spoken, so shall it be.”
A thunderclap of power shook the room and Roger fell to his knees. Stacy had put a compulsion on him and had shunned him at the same time. He had been powerless to resist the spell.
“Roger, you have one hour to leave this place, you can take whatever you can carry out of here. Here is you checkbook,” she said handing him a checkbook, “You have forty thousand in your account, spend it wisely, but do with it as you will. Get a job, earn your keep. Now go,” Carrie said with a finality that shook the building, and then she turned her back on him, a rock hard expression shown on her face.
The other girls turned their backs on him one at a time. Roger got up and ran from room to room collecting things he thought might be valuable and that he might want. He packed clothing, jewelry and silverware, amongst other things. In fifty-nine minutes, fifty-five seconds Roger drug three suitcases out the door.
As the door closed, Stacy uttered, “Carrie return,” and then she broke down crying. Rita and Courtney helped her sit down on a couch and comforted her, till she was all cried out.
After she dried her tears, she walked over to Joyce, and said, “Mother, may I join with you and your sisters, and will you teach me your ways.”
“Daughter, you already have joined us, and yes we will teach you, my child,” Joyce said smiling.
Carrie went about the room and removed what things that were left from the apartment that she wanted. The rest of the things there, that were Roger’s, she just wished away. Taking one last look around, she turned her back on what she had been.
“Mother, take us home.”
“This way my daughter. This way.”
The girls left that apartment, never to return.
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