A Reluctant Spirit: Team Spirit


By Ingrid Halb

Yet another tale of magic gone awry. Matt and Adam find the little man. They agree to share the magic and so must take their wishes in turn. Their intent is to help the football team. Their phrasing however, was open to interpretation. Can they survive each other's wishes and lead the team to victory? Go team!

Matthew Johnson and Adam Tolbert had been best friends since the first grade and were still best friends in high school. It was a natural friendship. They were both intelligent and had many similar interests and hobbies. One such interest was a love for the game of football. Unfortunately, neither boy had the strength or manual dexterity to excel at the game. Truth be told, physically, both boys could best be described as dweebs.

Still, that did not stop them from sitting in the bleachers and cheering on their high school team. Either one of them would have given much to be even slightly associated with the team. Unfortunately again, both boys could also be described as nerds and thus to be avoided like the plague by anyone popular enough to be associated with the football team.

And they truly were nerds. They were in the chess club and worked on the school paper. They loved history and excelled in things scientific. Which is why they both happened to be out one day with metal detectors, looking for a lost civil war encampment, when they happened to find their very own genie.

“A genie?” Matt asked skeptically.

“Pretty much so,” admitted the portly three-foot tall man standing between the two boys. Adam could not quite bring himself to believe the little man either, but both boys were hard pressed to come up with a logical explanation for what they had just seen the little man capable of doing.

“Maybe he’s an alien,” Adam suggested. “He could be using advanced technology.”

“I am not an alien,” harrumphed the little man.

“Then it’s some sort of mind control,” suggested Matt. “You’re just making us think we saw that happen.”

“Go ahead and touch it then, if you don’t believe me,” the little man offered, pointing at the recently altered object behind them. Both boys rapidly declined the offer.

“So you can grant our wishes, then,” Matt said.

“Allow the magic to occur that grants our wishes,” Adam corrected.

“Provided they are in the proper format,” reminded Matt.

“Which mean they must include an object, and action, and a time reference!” countered Adam.

“And have no more than three qualifiers!” Matt finished. Both boys high-fived each other, taking a personal pride in being able to follow complicated directions.

“Correct!?!” the little man was clearly surprised at how fast the boys had picked up on the rules. “But only the one who possesses me will get his wishes granted. Which of you is currently in possession of me?”

The two boys looked at each other and shrugged.

“Well, we agreed to split everything we find,” Adam said.

“So technically,” Matt continued. “We both are.”

“Both? This is most unusual,” the little man remarked. “But not unprecedented. Your wishes will be granted under the following provisions. You must both be present to make a wish. Only one wish at a time may be granted. You must alternate who makes wishes. And finally, no one of you may call me or take me away from this place. You must act in tandem.”

“Piece of cake!” Matt said.

“Yeah! We’ve been a two man crew for years!” Adam agreed.

“Please don’t say anything rash,” urged the little man. “Wishes are powerful and usually go very, very wrong. They are incredibly tricky and best avoided.”

“We thrive on tricky,” scoffed Adam.

“I really think you shouldn’t…” the little man started.

“Don’t worry, little dude,” interrupted Matt. “We’ll be careful.”

The two boys conferred privately for some time, appearing to make suggestions and debating ideas amongst themselves. Finally, they seemed to reach a consensus and returned to where the little man stood patiently waiting.

“We’ve decided to take your advice,” Matt said.

“Yeah, we’ll start small and not make any earth-altering changes until we have a better handle on what we’re doing,” Adam finished.

“My advice,” the little man said, rolling his eyes heavenward, “was to not make any wishes.”

“Nonetheless,” Adam countered, “we’ve come up with a small wish to improve our social standing. We’ll build up to bigger things later.”

“Very well,” sighed the little man. It was clear the boys would not be dissuaded. “Which of you is to make the first wish?”

“I am,” Matt said, looking at Adam as he said it. Adam nodded in approval.

“I wish,” Matt started, then took a big breath and started again. “I wish that both Adam and I will make significant contributions to help the football team win next week’s game. That we will acquire the knowledge and natural ability to do so on a continuing basis and that we will be recognized for our contributions.”

“As you wish,” intoned the little man solemnly.


“Notice anything?” Matt asked.

“Nope,” said Adam.

“Hey little man, how come nothings happening?” Matt asked.

“The magic is having a difficult time placing both of you together,” the little man explained after studying the lines of magical energy for awhile. “It is going to have to separate you and insert you individually into the new reality.”

“What do you think he means by that?” Matt asked Adam. Just then, a ripple shot through the surrounding glen causing a shudder to run through both boys.

“Man, did you feel that?” Matt heard Adam say, but when Matt turned to answer him, all he saw was Adam shimmer and fade away along with the rest of the surrounding glen.

“Where did he go? What did you do with Adam?” Matt anxiously demanded.

“Relax, he’s fine,” the little man said. “The two of you are going to have to enter the new reality in slightly different times and places. That’s all.”

Matt was not sure he liked the sound of that but also was not sure what he could do about it at this point.

“We will be able to find each other again, won’t we?” he asked. “You said we wouldn’t be able to make any more wishes unless we were together.”

“The lines of magical energy have tied you two together,” the little man explained. “Whatever happens with this wish will not separate you any great distance.”

“That’s good,” Matt said, reassured but still nervous. “Hey, this is the practice field. This is where the team trains.”

“It certainly resembles an athletic field,” the little man conceded.

“You don’t seem convinced,” Matt pointed out.

“I’ve learned to take nothing for granted when it comes to magic,” the little man said warily scanning the flow of energy around the field.

“Well take my word for it,” Matt insisted. “Adam and I spent some time here. Of course we were always in the bleachers while the team was here but we used to come down after they left and just imagine what it would be like to actually be on the team.”

“I imagine that that would be the team now,” the little man said pointing towards some shadowy shapes solidifying near them. The forms rapidly took on the form of teenaged football players and their adult coaches.

“Yup, that’s them,” agreed Matt. “They’re wearing their practice jerseys. It must be a light workout. They have their helmets on but shorts and no pads. There’s a few people in the stands too. Mostly girlfriends and football wannabe’s like Adam and me. That’s the cheerleading squad on the other end of the field. I used to dream about dating any one of them. They only go out with football players though.”

Matt felt a tremendous shudder as a ripple passed through him.

“Whoa! Damn, that’s a strange feeling!” he said.

The little man said nothing in response but started to study Matt more closely. Matt did not notice the little man’s attention, being more concerned with what was happening to his clothes. The material of his jeans was transforming into a lighter more water-resistant fiber and was turning black in color. The pant legs started to creep up his legs, past his knees, stopping about mid-thigh.

“These are shorts, aren’t they? Am I on the football team?” he asked excitedly.

The little man shrugged, as if to say he did not know. The light jacket that Matt had been wearing sealed up the front. Gradually, it changed into an open mesh fiber that hung over his gangly body.

“This is a jersey, isn’t it? I am on the team!” Matt shouted.

He could feel strength coursing through his body, especially around his legs. Looking down he could actually see his thighs and calves gaining mass. He noted his legs were hairier than they had been. At the same time his socks grew thicker and extended halfway up his shins. He noted he was wearing cleats now, too.

Matt felt his t-shirt shift and used both hands to hold open the front of his jersey. He saw that his t-shirt had changed into a wife-beater style of undershirt which hung loosely on his still narrow frame. At the same time he noticed that his hands looked bigger and stronger. He was just starting to admire his biceps when he felt something hard form up in the front of his shorts. ‘I’m wearing a cup,’ he realized with a smile.

“Hey little man, this is so cool!” he said. “What am I becoming anyway?”

Just then a major shudder passed through Matt’s body, nearly bringing him to his knees. His quick reflexes and strong lower body kept him upright. The little man seemed smaller now but ‘Matt’ realized that he must be bigger

“Isn’t it obvious?” the little man asked, a little puzzled at the question. “You’re becoming a football player.”

“No,” ‘Matt’ explained. “I meant what position do I play?”

“I believe you are what they call a running back,” the little man answered.

“Fantastic!” ‘Matt’ exclaimed. “I wouldn’t have believed it. Where’s Adam? Did he change into a football player too?”

‘Matt’ noticed that his thighs seemed massive to him now and he could feel his chest expand to fill his undershirt.

“I don’t know,” was the little man’s simple answer.

“You don’t know? Why not?” he asked.

“It’s because I have divided my attention between the two of you,” the little man lectured. “Half of me is here with you while my other half is with Adam. I won’t be able to compare notes until I rejoin myself. Then I won’t be able to clue you in until you call me up again. And since you two have to be together to do that, the question becomes moot.”

‘Matt’ thought over what the little man had said before asking his next question.

“How am I supposed to find him if I don’t know what he looks like?” he asked.

“You have time,” the little man said, once again slipping into lecture mode. “The time reference on this wish lasts until the end of the game next week. That’s six days where you will only be able to make minimum changes anyway. By the way, your name is now Mark Jameson and in just a moment, the coach is going to call you over to run a few practice plays. So I’ll leave now and see you again when you find your partner.”

“Okay, see you,” Mark said, but the little man was already gone. The name ‘Mark Jameson’ seemed familiar to him, almost natural. A cool breeze blew across his body, momentarily giving him goose bumps. He looked over his barrel-chested body with growing pride.

“This is going to be a great week!” he said then bent down to pick up his helmet that appeared on the ground in front of him and went to join his teammates on the offense who were already doing their warm-up stretches.


“Notice anything?” Matt asked.

“Nope,” said Adam.

“Hey little man, how come nothings happening?” Matt asked.

“The magic is having a difficult time placing both of you together,” the little man explained after studying the lines of magical energy for awhile. “It is going to have to separate you and insert you individually into the new reality.”

“What do you think he means by that?” Matt asked Adam. Just then, a ripple shot through the surrounding glen causing a shudder to run through both boys.

“Man, did you feel that?” Adam asked, but just as Matt turned to answer him, Matt began to shimmer and fade away along with the rest of the surrounding glen.

“What happened? Where did Matt go?” Adam anxiously demanded.

“Relax, he’s fine,” the little man said. “The two of you are going to have to enter the new reality in slightly different times and places. That’s all.”

Adam knew he did not like the sound of that but had no idea what he could do about it now.

“How are we supposed to find each other?” he asked. “We can’t make another wish if we’re not together.”

“The lines of magical energy have tied you two together,” the little man explained. “Whatever happens with this wish will not separate you any great distance.”

“So no matter what, we theoretically can find each other,” Adam mused. “Where are we now? This looks like the school practice field.”

“It certainly resembles an athletic field,” the little man conceded.

“You don’t believe me?” Adam asked.

“I’ve learned to take nothing for granted when it comes to magic,” the little man said warily scanning the flow of energy around the field.

“Well take my word for it,” Adam said. “Me and Matt used to hang out here a lot. I always wondered what it would be like to be on the team and practicing for real.”

“I imagine that that would be the team now,” the little man said pointing towards some shadowy shapes solidifying on the other side of the field. The forms rapidly took on the form of teenaged football players and their adult coaches.

“Oh yeah.” agreed Adam. “Looks like a no-contact practice. They’ve got their helmets on, but they’re wearing shorts and no pads. There’s a couple of gawkers in the bleachers, too. That’s where me and Matt used to hang. This must be the cheerleading squad on this side of the field. Damn, they’re fine! They never talk to guys like me though”

Adam felt a tremendous shudder as a ripple passed through him.

“Eee Yow! That’s the strangest feeling I ever had!” he said.

The little man said nothing in response but started to study Adam more closely. Adam did not notice the little man’s attention, being more concerned with what was happening to his clothes. The material of his jeans was transforming into a lighter thin cotton material, much lighter in weight and shade to the jeans he had been wearing. The pant legs started to creep up his legs, past his knees, before he realized that they were becoming shorts.

“These are shorts! Am I going to be on the football team?” he asked excitedly.

The little man shrugged, as if to say he did not know. The light jacket that Adam had been wearing sealed up the front. Gradually, it changed into a soft stretchy fabric that clung tightly to his gangly body. The arms had completely disappeared leaving thin shoulder straps. The neckline dropped in front and back. It was peach in color and would have shown a lot of his chest and upper back if it had not been for the t-shirt he had on underneath.

“What, the hell, kind of shirt is this? This isn’t a football jersey!” Adam said.

He felt something tickle his ears and neck. Reaching up he noticed that sometime over the last few moments his hair had gotten thick and shaggy. It also felt very silky, and for some reason, curly. It was not long enough to see without a mirror, but he could tell that it was longer.

A wave of weakness seemed to wash over him starting at his arms and rushing over his body and through his legs and feet. Looking down he first thought that all the hair on his legs had fallen out but when he reached down to touch them, he noted slight stubble not quite visible on his legs. His thighs looked bigger to him while his calves seemed less pronounced. His knees and ankles had become rounder and did not look as bony as they had just a short while ago. He was still touching his altered legs when he saw his socks shrink down to where they were barely visible over the edge of his shoes. Instead of his grubby old sneakers, he now wore a clean pair of low white deck shoes with peach laces. It struck him that his shoelaces matched the shirt he now wore.

Just then, his new white shorts drew his attention. They had finally stopped shrinking up on him. It was probably because they did not have too much more to shrink. At their longest, they were maybe four inches and rode up high on his thighs but low on his hips. This gave him the competing urges to pull them both lower and higher.

He was starting to get a little scared now, but he was more confused than frightened when he felt his t-shirt tighten and start to wriggle up underneath the peach-colored shirt. He saw the sleeves disappear and the neckline plunge out of sight below the neckline of his new shirt. He also felt the bottom of his t-shirt ride up past his belly and partially up his chest before stopping. There was obviously still some cloth right in front of his chest, but there seemed to be nothing else left of his t-shirt except for an irritating elastic strap around the back and two more running over his shoulders. It reminded him of something.

Cautiously, he tugged at his neckline with both hands and looked down the front of his shirt. He was wearing a bra, the empty cups of which rested over his nipples. Moreover, the hands holding his shirt were smaller and more delicate looking. He could actually see the nails growing and turning pink. He was about to say something when he felt his underpants give a little jerk, then he felt them crawl up his ass. ‘I’m wearing a thong,’ he realized with a start.

“Hey little man, what is this!” he said. “What the hell am I becoming?”

Just then, a major gut-wrenching shudder passed through Adam’s body, knocking him to his knees. Long curly blonde hair fell past ‘Adam’s’ face. The little man seemed bigger now but ‘Adam’ realized that he must be smaller.

“Isn’t it obvious?” the little man asked, a little puzzled at the question. “You’re becoming a girl.”

“No!” ‘Adam’ shrieked. “How is this supposed to help the team?”

“I believe you are what they call a cheerleader,” the little man answered.

“This is insane!” ‘Adam’ exclaimed. “I don’t believe it! Where’s Matt? Did he change into a cheerleader too?”

‘Adam’ could clearly see that the tight small shorts she wore neither had nor needed any room for external genitalia. She could also see and feel the front of her chest expand to fill the cups of her bra.

“I don’t know,” was the little man’s simple answer.

“You don’t know? Why not?” she asked, staggering to her feet.

“It’s because I have divided my attention between the two of you,” the little man lectured. “Half of me is here with you while my other half is with Matt. I won’t be able to compare notes until I rejoin myself. Then I won’t be able to clue you in until you call me up again. And since you two have to be together to do that, the question becomes moot.”

‘Adam’ thought over what the little man had said before asking her next question.

“How am I supposed to find him if I don’t know what he looks like?” she asked.

“You have time,” the little man said, once again slipping into lecture mode. “The time reference on this wish lasts until the end of the game next week. That’s six days where you will only be able to make minimum changes anyway. By the way, your name is now Alice Timmons and in just a moment, the head cheerleader is going to call you over to learn a new routine for the game. So I’ll leave now and see you again when you find your partner.”

“Wait, don’t go!” Alice called, but the little man was already gone. The name ‘Alice Timmons’ seemed familiar to her, almost natural. A cool breeze blew across her body causing her nipples to tighten and momentarily giving her goose bumps. She looked down at her rather large breasts with ample exposed cleavage with a sense of horror.

“This is going to be a long week,” she said then bent down to pick up a pair of pom-poms that appeared on the ground in front of her and went to join her teammates on the cheerleading squad who were already doing their warm-up stretches.

_____ o _____

“Mark! Alice! Good to see you both again,” the little man was genuinely pleased to see the two kids again. “So obviously, you two did find each other after all. Did you have any trouble?”

“You might say that,” Alice said icily, shooting daggers at Mark.

Mark turned his palms outward and shrugged his shoulders.

“Hey, it’s not like I didn’t want to find you,” he said with an apologetic smile on his face.

“You just didn’t look very much, did you!” she shot back. “So I had to spend the whole week looking like this!”

She seemed to be indicating the cheerleading outfit she wore, but both Mark and the little man knew she meant the very shapely female body she wore instead.

“You look nice,” Mark offered lamely.

Alice gave a cute little harrumph noise, stomped her foot and turned away. Mark used the opportunity to check out her ass and legs.

“So…” the little man entered into the awkward silence. “It’s been nine days. I had kind of hoped that you kids had gotten used to your new lives and given up on wishes.”

Alice maintained her stony silence while Mark continued to admire her backside.

“How have the last nine days been for you Mark?” the little man asked. “…Mark? …Mark! …MARK!!”

“Huh? Oh, uh… Great, man!” he answered. “I mean I’m hanging with the guys on the team and from like day one, girls are clinging to me and everyone wants to be my friend. Dude, it’s awesome!”

“That sounds nice,” the little man said, somewhat bolstered that at least one of the kids might consider not making any more wishes. “How about you, Alice? Did you have fun?”

“Fun?” she asked over her shoulder before turning to face the little man directly.

“Excuse me, did you just ask me if it was fun? Hmm, let’s see. What did I do that might possibly be described as fun? Was wearing a bra fun? No… That wasn’t fun. How about having to wear lipstick and makeup? No, no fun there. Oh, I know! It must have been great fun wearing skirts and high heels almost every other day because that’s what the cheerleaders were all doing this week! No? Well I wonder why none of those things were any fun? Oh, that’s right. I don’t want to be a girl! I hate being a girl! And will you QUIT STARING AT MY CHEST!!” This last invective had been hurled at Mark who had become enthralled by the way the school’s emblem was being curved sitting on front of Alice’s cheerleader uniform.

“Pig!” she added for good measure.

“She’s just mad because I kissed her,” he said as an aside to the little man.

“You promised you wouldn’t tell!” Alice shouted. “You swore you wouldn’t tell! I can’t believe you! And you didn’t kiss me, you groped me. Pig!”

“I didn’t know it was you!” Mark said defensively. “I didn’t know it was her. I mean him, I mean… I didn’t know who it was.”

“What happened?” the little man asked, happy for now that no wishes were being made but still not liking the direction this conversation was going.

“Check this out,” Mark started talking enthusiastically to the little man. “My main man, Jimmy, he’s the quarterback, asks me if I want to go on this hot date with these two cheerleaders. And I say ‘which ones’ and he says ‘Mindy and Alice’. I say ‘cool, which ones mine’. He says ‘Alice’ and I say ‘sweet’. You know, cause I’ve seen Alice on the squad and I know she was really hot.”

“Watch it!” Alice warned sternly.

“I was just saying,” Mark offered as explanation. “Anyway, like we go to pick up the chicks and Alice comes out wearing this short red dress and she’s got these fine sexy legs and tight little ass…”

“Don’t talk about my ass!” Alice yelled.

“Sorry, babe,” Mark apologized. “Anyway, she keeps coming on to me and breathing on my neck and stuff. And she’s wearing this dress that like barely keeps her in…”

“Stop it! Let me tell it,” Alice interrupted. “You’re making me sound like a total slut. And I should start at the beginning.” She crossed her legs demurely and sat on a nearby log.

“The very day that I became a cheerleader I checked out the rest of the squad to make sure Matt wasn’t one of them,” she continued. “Other than myself, there were two new girls. Things must have gotten shuffled around for me to get put on the team. Anyway, after hanging out with Carla and Mindy for a few days, I ruled out Matt being a cheerleader. Both of them were way too heterosexual for either to be a recently transformed boy.”

“How soon before you figured out he was on the football team?” the little man asked.

“Almost right away,” she answered proudly. “I mean like, our school hasn’t had a decent running back in years. Then suddenly we have one that runs like the wind and can dodge bullets. Plus, his initials are M.J. just like my initials are still A.T., I figured it had to be him.”

“That’s pretty clever,” the little man said. “But why did you go on a date with him if you knew it was him?”

“Because Pig-boy over there was already dating three girls by the time I figured out who he was,” Alice flipped her hair back as she talked. “The rest of his free time was spent with his new best friend Jimmy.”

“Hey, Jimmy’s cool,” Mark objected. “Me and him are buds.”

“You spend way too much time with Jimmy,” Alice responded before returning to her story. “I figured the only way I could talk to him alone and get out of this mess is if I became his number four. I thought I had the assets to pull it off, anyway.” She self-consciously adjusted her uniform.

“And how!” Mark added causing Alice to blush deeply.

“So that’s when the whole date/groping thing occurred?” asked the little man.

“Yes,” she answered somewhat reluctantly. “I tired to make sure he’d call back so we could talk alone.”

“I take it then that you didn’t call her back right away,” the little man said addressing Mark.

“I was busy learning plays,” he shrugged. “The game was only two days away.”

“That’s right, the game,” the little man eagerly. Any thing that went well was likely to help sway them away from making wishes. “I imagine that both of you performed rather well.”

“Oh man! You should have seen,” Mark answered enthusiastically. “I got 163 yards rushing and 46 more through the air! Two touchdowns! Coach even gave me the game ball.”

“Ahem…” Alice interrupted.

“Uh, the cheerleaders did well, too,” Mark added. “Alice was really good. She can kick real high and everything. It really got us and the crowd going.”

“As I was saying…” Alice continued. “I didn’t get a chance to talk to him again until the celebration party after the game.”

“That’s where we wound up on the couch together!” Mark helpfully added.

“Don’t remind me,” she responded. “Anyway, he finally calls me on Saturday except we’re double dating again with Jimmy and Mindy. Finally, on Sunday, we get to be alone together and he freaks out when I tell him who I am. He says he needs to think and goes home.”

“It was freaky,” Mark said defensively. “I mean, like she’s my girlfriend who’s a lot like my old best friend, then like she’s my girlfriend when we’re out with my best friend, then she is my best friend who is also my girlfriend, but she’s only my girlfriend to be my best friend again, but is mad at me because I made her my girlfriend. Does that make sense?”

“No,” Alice answered rolling her eyes. “Now he wants me to consider staying his girlfriend permanently!”

“All I said was think about it,” Mark offered. “I make a real good running back and you make a real good cheerleader. It won’t be good for the football team if we change back. And you can’t tell me you didn’t have a little fun there when we were together.”

Alice just looked disgusted at him.

“The boy makes some very good points,” the little man said.

“What?!” Alice shouted whirling to face the little man.

“Wishes are highly unpredictable and often have disastrous results,” he lectured. “The reality you have now is very stable and has many benefits for both of you. You just need to relax and enjoy being a girl.”

“Yeah relax,” Mark agreed, nodding his head. “You make a wish and you could wind up a monster or something, or really ugly.”

Alice looked back and forth between Mark and the little man.

“Are you two insane?” she asked. “I don’t want to be a girl! I never wanted to be a girl! You, I ought to wish you into skirts just so you know what it’s like. But I won’t do that. You are right, to a point. You are a good running back and Lord knows our team needs one. But I am not going to stay a girl for one more hour. It’s my turn to make a wish.”

The little man sighed and Mark groaned.

“I wish that instead of being a cheerleader,” Alice started wishing, “I was a regular member of the boys’ football team with the qualifiers that Mark remains unchanged, that we both make important contributions to help the team win next week, and that nothing screws up any of this until after the game is over.”

“As you wish,” the little man intoned solemnly.

Alice smiled with satisfaction and stood confidently waiting for the magic to take effect. Mark, on the other hand, looked like somebody had shot his dog. He kept staring at Alice as if trying to get one last look in before she disappeared forever. This, in a sense, was exactly what he expected to happen. Eventually a ripple passed through both Alice and Mark making them shudder.

“At last I can finally say goodbye to this nightmare,” Alice said brushing back a stray strand of hair.

“Was I supposed to feel that too?” Mark asked. “I thought I was going to stay the same.”

The little man looked both Mark and Alice over carefully before commenting.

“The magic does seem to include both of you even though it is centered on Alice,” he said.

“I’m not changing too, am I?” Mark said quite concerned.

“Nothing so major,” the little man reassured him. “But exactly what is happening, is still unclear.”

“It would serve you right!” Alice added in Mark’s direction, but she stopped talking as a shimmer spread over her body. She could feel her clothes start to twist and rearrange themselves. The shifting clothes seemed to settle down and after a brief buzzing feeling in her head, all signs of magic abruptly stopped.

“What happened?” a very confused Alice asked.

“The wish has been completed,” was all the little man had to say.

Alice looked down at herself. Instead of the cheerleader’s outfit she had been wearing, she now wore a pretty, but ordinary looking blouse and a pair of very tight-fitting blue jeans, which did nothing to hide her still very feminine figure. On her feet, she now wore open-toed sandals with a higher heel. These did show off her pretty feet and painted toenails. Other than clothing, she seemed to be completely unchanged.

“What do you mean ‘completed’?” she said. “I’m still a girl!”

“You sure are!” Mark said with a big smile on his face as he followed the contours of her jeans.

“You shut up! And you…” she said returning her attention to the little man. “What happened?”

“You got your wish,” the little man said calmly. “You are no longer a cheerleader.”

“I had wished to be a boy again!” her voice rising with a tinge of hysteria to it.

“No,” the little man corrected. “Your exact wish involved you being on the boys’ football team, which you are.”

“But I’m a girl!” she repeated needlessly.

“Yes,” the little man agreed. “And if I am reading this correctly, you are what they call a kicker. Apparently, though unusual, this is not a precedent and is a very stable solution to the wish parameters.”

“Cool! We’re on the team together,” Mark said sidling up beside Alice. “How about me? How come I felt the magic too?”

The little man studied Mark and the stunned looking Alice for a while.

“It seems that some sort of compulsion has been placed on both of you,” he commented. “Probably as a result of the combined qualifiers that Mark remain unchanged and that nothing be allowed to interfere until after the game.”

“A compulsion? What sort of compulsion?” Alice asked snapping out of her dazed look.

“Apparently Mark has very strong feelings for you, Alice,” the little man started once again in lecture mode. “He considers you to be boyfriend and girlfriend and that too is left unchanged. Adding the qualifier that nothing be allowed to interfere means that nothing will be allowed to alter Mark’s opinion that you two are a couple. This resulted in a compulsion placed on both of you to preserve that opinion. Until the next game is over, you two will have no choice but to act as a loving boyfriend and girlfriend.”

“Really?” Mark asked hopefully.

“What the hell does that mean?” Alice asked angrily.

“The impact of the compulsion upon your freedom of choice will depend very much on you actions,” the little man lectured. “The more you act like a loving couple, the less compulsion you will feel.”

Mark and Alice looked at each other. Mark raised his eyebrows and smiled broadly.

“No way!” she spat. Mark’s expression dropped instantly.

“Listen, you two are about to phase into this reality and there is nothing else I can tell you or do for you until next week,” the little man started to wrap things up. “So I’m going to say goodbye for now and maybe I’ll see you after the game.”

“You’re damn straight you will!” Alice shouted, but the little man was already gone.

Alice looked back at Mark standing there shuffling his feet in the dirt.

“All right,” she said. “Let’s get out of here already.”

With that, she turned and started walking back the way they had come. Mark caught up to her and the two walked silently together. Eventually the path forced them to walk closer together and Mark was very surprised when Alice reached out and took his hand. They walked hand-in-hand with Mark leading the way helping Alice over logs and holding branches out of the way for her. When they reached the main road, Alice slipped her arm around Mark’s waist and snuggled into him as they walked. Mark put his arm around her shoulders and held her close. Looking down at the beautiful blond angel beside him, Mark felt like he was walking on clouds. He felt he was in heaven. Alice smiled dreamily up at Mark, then leaned her head against his shoulder and sighed happily. She felt she was in hell.

_____ o _____

“Alice! Mark! Good to see you both again,” the little man said before noticing Mark’s face. “That’s quite a shiner you have there Mark. Did you get it at the game?”

“More like right after the game ended,” he answered.

“And you deserved it, too. You disgusting pervert!” Alice interjected.

“I take it Alice is the one who gave you that eye then,” the little man suggested.

“Oh yeah,” Mark confirmed.

“What did you do to deserve it?” the little man asked.

“To be honest, I still don’t really know,” answered Mark with a shrug of his shoulders. This proved to be too much for Alice to take.

“You don’t know!!” she shouted. “You raped me, you sick little freak!”

“I didn’t rape you!” Mark said visibly shaken by the accusation. “I didn’t rape her! We made love. You said you loved me! Even afterward you said you loved me.”

“I was being compelled, you idiot!” she said shaking her head. “I never had a choice! Didn’t you notice the compulsion?”

“No,” Mark said carefully.

Alice glared but kept her silence.

“I didn’t feel compelled,” Mark tried to explain. “I mean, I felt compelled but not like I was forced to do something. I did what I did because I love you, baby.”

Alice kept a stony silence, which led Mark to try to coax her.

“Don’t be like that, baby,” he said. “Didn’t we have a good week? Everywhere we went you were laughing. And all those times we made out, you must have enjoyed some of that. Come on, baby. You were so into it that night before the game. You even said you wanted to motivate me special for the game. We kissed every time the offense came off the field for Christ sake!”

“I assume the game went according to the wish,” the little man said trying to divert the topic of conversation away from the unpleasant aspects of the wish.

“Hell yeah! We kicked ass!” Mark said biting on the change of conversation. “I got 142 yards rushing, but she was freaking awesome! She hit five field goals, and her punts! It was like she could drop the ball on their five-yard line any time she wanted to. They never had a chance. If we win next week, we play for the city championship.”

A small smile crossed Alice’s face at the memory.

“I was good,” she admitted quietly.

“Aw baby, you were awesome!” Mark played up to her slight acquiescence. “See, it wasn’t all bad. We had some fun. You can’t tell me you didn’t enjoy it a little. With all that moaning and that little scream you have.”

Mark moved up behind Alice who had been facing away from him. He put his hands on her shoulders and bent down to kiss her. She shrugged off his attempt and turned to yell at him.

“You don’t get it, do you?” she yelled. “I was compelled! I don’t feel that way about you or any guy. I don’t like guys. It’s still me in here. I still feel like I’m a guy. How about you? Do you want to sleep with a guy? I don’t! But thanks to that stupid wish and you, I have to remember it for the rest of my life! How would you like that? Huh? Do you want to close your eyes and remember what it’s like to have some horny guy grope you, or stick his penis between your legs? Or maybe, just maybe you would like to be able to really know what it’s like to give a guy a blow job?”

“You didn’t,” the little man said to Mark.

“Oh yes he did!” Alice said defiantly.

“I just asked. I thought you wanted to,” was Mark’s lame defense.

“Now you get up there and wish me back into being a guy or so help me, I’ll cut your balls off,” she said kicking Mark away.

“But, baby…” he tried.

“Do it!” she shouted.

The little man did not even try to talk them out of making this wish. He could tell it was a foregone conclusion. Mark hung his head dejectedly, looked at the little man then back at Alice once more.

“I wish… I wish…” he started out unsurely before finally blurting out the rest. “I wish for the same wish as last week except that I want Alice sexually attracted to me!”

“WHAT!!!” she shrieked.

“As you wish,” intoned the little man solemnly.

“You take that back!” she shouted. “You make him take that back!”

“I’m sorry,” the little man said. “A wish was made, the magic is flowing.”

“You son of a bitch!” she shouted taking a swing at Mark. “You are so dead when I get my wish!”

“Aw baby, don’t be like that,” he said dodging the punch. “I just thought you’d reconsider if you were more into it.”

“That’s all I am to you now, isn’t it?” she said with resignation plopping down on a nearby log. “I’m just a piece of tail for you, you asshole.”

“It’s not like that, baby. I love you,” he said sitting beside her.

A ripple passed through Mark and Alice, causing them both to shudder visibly.

“You just wait until next week, pig!” she said standing up and storming away from him. Mark stood too but was preoccupied by something else.

“Was it supposed to feel that strong?” he asked the little man. “I don’t remember it being that strong.”

“Curious,” the little man said while studying the air around the two kids. “The distribution of magical energy is similar to last week’s wish except this time it seems to be centered on Mark instead of Alice.”

“On me? What’s it centered on me for?” Mark said starting to feel a little scared right about now. “She’s the one who’s supposed to change.”

“Bastard!” Alice called out over her shoulder with vehemence.

“Magic usually does the unexpected,” the little man explained. “That’s one of the reasons I urge people to not make wishes.”

“What’s it doing to me?” Mark asked nervously.

“I hope it turns you into a pig, you pig!” Alice shouted.

“It’s not turning me into a pig, is it?” he asked the little man.

“I wouldn’t worry about that,” the little man consoled. “The pattern is definitely human. We’ll just have to wait and see for details though.”

Mark still looked concerned. Alice still looked angry. The clothing Mark wore developed a slight shimmer and gradually his jeans began to twist and change. The material began to darken and turn shiny. At the same time, his pant legs began to creep up his legs while the crotch seemed to lower. The crotch met the rising pant hems at roughly knee level, where they coalesced until there was only a single opening for both of Mark’s legs. The hemline however, continued to rise. The material finished changing just after the zipper of his fly disappeared. It was quickly obvious that Mark was standing there wearing a black leather miniskirt. Alice took one look at him and burst out laughing.

“It’s not funny!” Mark protested.

“Yes it is,” she said laughing even harder, the little man just shrugged.

Mark had been wearing his football jersey over top of a t-shirt, but the magic soon began to work on his jersey. The weave of his jersey shrank to a finer mesh while the fiber itself turned bright red and silky. The neck hole increased in size moving partway down his chest and a lot closer to his shoulders. If not for his t-shirt, much of his chest and his entire collarbone would have been exposed. At the same time, the whole shirt tightened up on him to cling more closely to his body. The bottom of the changing jersey even tucked itself under the waistband of his skirt. Finally, a broad frilly collar grew in an unbroken arc across the front of his shirt to meet at the back where Alice noticed a series of dainty looking buttons now ran halfway down his back.

He became distracted by something brushing his jaw line and was greatly surprised to reach up and find he now wore long dangling earrings and that his hair now hung almost to his shoulders. A wave of weakness sped through his body, starting in the pit of his stomach and rushing out through all his extremities. When his head cleared, he looked down to see that his legs were now clean-shaven with very smooth, almost shiny skin. He also seemed to have acquired quite a tan. He seemed to be a light even brown color on all of his skin that he could see. There also seemed to be a lot less muscle mass on his legs. His upper thighs still seemed to have some size to them but the overall impression was one of softness and curving lines.

He only had limited time to inspect his legs though, as his white gym socks began to reach up his legs. By the time they reached his knees, they had turned dark in color but had grown so thin that he could see his legs through the material. They were halfway up his thighs before he realized that they were becoming nylons. He felt the material slip up under his skirt and blouse before settling down around his waist. He looked at his pantyhose clad legs and for a moment thought that his legs had gotten longer. With a start, he realized that this was because he was now wearing bright red high heel shoes. His red-painted toenails were clearly visible through his nylons.

He reached, as if to touch his transformed legs but stopped when he saw his hands. They had gotten smaller and his fingers seemed longer and more slender. Red-painted nails topped each finger and extended noticeably past the tips. Each hand sported several delicate looking rings and brightly colored bangles and fine metal bracelets adorned each wrist. Mark looked up in horror at Alice and the little man. Alice noted with amusement that Mark was now wearing bright red lipstick and heavy eye makeup. His face was more oval with higher cheekbones.

“Make it stop! Make it stop! Make it stop!” he shouted with a voice that was becoming increasingly higher in pitch. “What’s happening to me?”

“There is no making it stop,” the little man softly said. “The magic is flowing and the wish must be fulfilled.”

“What’s the matter Markie?” Alice called in a lilting voice. “Don’t you want your wish?”

Alice continued to laugh. Mark felt the top and back of his t-shirt melt away and the bottom ride up to settle on his chest. The thin red material of his blouse did not do much to hide the fact that he now wore a black bra. The lacy upper edge of the empty cups were visibly peaking out above his blouse as were the black straps over each shoulder.

“Hey, Markie!” Alice teased. “This is your lucky day. Tonight you’re going to get some pussy!”

Alice laughed aloud at her own joke. She was clearly enjoying this. The implications of what Alice had said hit home to Mark when he felt his panties slip between his cheeks and ride up his ass. Mark looked down at his partially feminized body, now almost fully clothed in female attire.

“Nooo!!” he shouted but was cut short by a gut wrenching shudder passed through his body. Off balance in the high heels, ‘Mark’ stumbled and leaned against a tree for support. Reaching down gingerly under the skirt, ‘Mark’ found that she now had a body that matched the clothes she wore.

“Madre dios,” she muttered as long, wavy, jet black hair tumbled over her shoulders. Her breasts were rising to fill the bra cups up to a size that to her anyway, seemed huge. After a short buzzing feeling filled her head for a while, all signs of magical change seemed to stop. ‘Mark’ turned toward Alice and the little man.

“ ¿Qué sucediá³?” she asked, then realized that she was speaking and thinking in Spanish. She found she could think in English but had to concentrate. “Wha… happen to me?” she finally managed in accented English.

“Your wish has been granted,” the little man simply said. Alice just giggled.

“I no wish for this!” the pretty Latina said in a very agitated voice.

“Not exactly, no,” the little man agreed. “But it is a neat solution to the wish parameters, Maria.”

“Maria?” she asked.

“Maria Jimenez, that’s your name now,” the little man explained.

“Si,” Maria agreed, realizing with a start that that indeed was her name now.

“Your wish was to re-invoke last week’s wish” the little man lectured, “so all those parameters are still in effect. Both of you are regular member of the boys’ football team. Alice is still the kicker and Maria is still a running back. Although, I am not sure how long that will last. Nonetheless, both of you will make important contributions to winning next week’s game and that nothing will be allowed to interfere with that.”

“But I was to be unchanged!” Maria protested. “This is unchanged?”

“You did throw in that qualifier about Alice finding you sexually attractive,” he reminded her. “Even I heard her tell you she didn’t like boys that way.”

Alice laughed then sauntered over to the busty raven-haired girl. She slid her arm around Maria’s waist and purred into her ear.

“Don’t you worry, my pretty Chiquita,” she whispered while kissing Maria’s ear. “I think I find you very… very… very… sexually attractive!”

Maria gulped in response. Everything about her situation was disorientating. For one thing, she was not used to looking up at Alice’s eyes. It made her feel small. It got worse when she realized that Alice was wearing sneakers while she had high heels on. She felt exposed in these clothes and was completely unprepared for how her body was responding to Alice’s attention to her ear.

“There’s nothing else I can do for you two until after next week’s game,” the little man said intrusively, intent upon making his exit. “So I’ll take my leave from here with one word of warning. The compulsion to be boyfriend girlfriend will still be enforced. Since both of you are now girls, your initial reactions to each other will define the dominant and submissive roles in your relationship. Well, goodbye until next week then.”

With that, the little man was gone. Alice smiled wickedly, looking down at a very frightened Maria. She ran her hand down the small of Maria’s back and across her buttocks.

“Don’t worry my little Spanish hottie,” Alice whispered. “I don’t think we’ll have any trouble defining our relationship.”

Alice ran a finger slowly across Maria’s bust line before tweaking one of her nipples. Maria gasped at the unfamiliar sensation. This was Alice’s cue to kiss her half-open mouth forcibly. Maria’s mind was in turmoil. She saw the beautiful blonde girl kissing her but instead of a growing stiffness, she felt a moist warmth grab hold of her groin. In her head, she wanted to seize the initiative and have her way with Alice, but her body was sending signals of softness and opening up to sensations. Alice began to minister to Maria’s nipples, which proved to be too much for her mind to overcome. With a sigh, Maria closed her eyes and tilted her head back and to the side and just let her body respond. Alice eventually broke off the kiss.

“Girly girl,” Alice whispered. “I have so very much I want to show you.”

Alice led the pretty Latina back down the path. The wilderness trail was difficult for Maria to walk in high heels. She found she had to frequently lean against the bigger girl for support. By the time they got to the main road, she was still leaning into Alice. While on the inside, she was frightened and desperately trying to think of a way out of her situation, to the outside world she looked to be smiling dreamily up at the face of the blonde beauty whose arm was around her waist.

_____ o _____

“Maria! Alice! Good to see you again,” the little man greeted the two girls. “I had a feeling you’d be back. I just couldn’t see you two being happy with the way that last wish turned out.”

“Not happy, no!” Maria pouted.

Alice just smirked. The little man noted that both girls were wearing jeans and sneakers. They were not exactly embracing their femininity, he thought. Then again, he also noted that both had blouses on as well as minimal makeup and jewelry. This gave him some hope that he would be able to avoid enabling another wish.

“I take it you two didn’t have a good time,” he sighed.

“Oh, I had a blast,” Alice said with a smile. Maria just glowered.

“I mean, how often does one get to go an entire week with their very own girly girl who would do absolutely anything for you?” crowed Alice.

“You bitch!” Maria cursed.

“Payback is a bitch!” Alice shot back.

“You do this on purpose!” accused Maria. “I did not know you no like what I do.”

“That doesn’t change the way I felt!” Alice shouted back then regained her composure. “Anyway, I just wanted you to have a few special memories of this past week. And it was special, wasn’t it? I’m sure your best friend Jimmy thought it was kind of special. He seemed pretty eager when I invited him to help make you the center of attention of our impromptu threesome.”

Maria blushed deeply and turned her eyes downward. Alice laughed some more. The little man tried to think of some angle to get the girls to not make anymore wishes.

“I’m sure there were some good things,” he said. “How about the game? You won, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” Maria admitted, grumpily.

“You don’t sound very happy about it,” he pointed out.

“Let’s just say our little running back isn’t the offensive powerhouse she used to be,” Alice said. “What was it Maria, eight carries for 46 yards?”

Maria didn’t answer so Alice continued.

“Of course, 45 of those yards were on your last carry. It did set up the winning field goal with no time left on the clock. Everyone who saw that last run of yours thought it was simply magical the way you ran down the field.”

“You bitch!” Maria repeated. “You just wait for me to wish again, then we gonna see who is so smart!”

“I wouldn’t threaten the person with the next wish, missy!’ Alice said menacingly. “With that crap you tried to pull last week, I should wish you permanently in that body down in some whorehouse in Mexico.”

Maria blanched at the threat, realizing how vulnerable she really was with Alice having the next wish. The little man groaned inwardly knowing there was no way he was going to talk them into accepting their situation. Mentally he resigned himself to enabling more wishes.

“But that wouldn’t be good for the team,” Alice said in a softer tone of voice. “This used to be about the team. Before we started all this fighting, we cared more about the team than anything else. Now we’ve won that last game and next week we’re in the city championship. If we keep fighting, we’ll screw that up. Now you were a good running back and the team needs that next week. So how about we just bury the hatchet and become regular members of the football team instead of this freakish lesbian couple we are now?”

“Bueno! Yes!” Maria said enthusiastically.

“And I’m willing to forget all about our little fight if you are,” Alice added.

“Si, I agree!” Maria answered wholeheartedly.

“All right then,” Alice nodded. “Little man, I wish that Maria and I were the same sex as everyone else on the team and we stay on the team and continue to help it until we go on to win a championship. And because I don’t want any freaky carryovers from these last couple of weeks, I want to add that we both have strictly heterosexual thoughts from now on.”

Maria nodded her agreement.

“As you wish,” the little man intoned solemnly.

Both girls waited impatiently for the changes to start. They knew that the magic would take some time to kick in but that did not make waiting any easier. Finally, the glen around them began to shimmer and disappear. Nobody said a word while surrounding objects began to coalesce out of the surrounding shimmer. It became apparent that they were inside a large room.

“This look like the gym,” Maria noted.

“Yup, those are the bleachers. This is definitely the gym,” Alice agreed. “Hey little man, how come we’re being brought to the gym?”

The little man shrugged before answering.

“The magical lines of energy aren’t clear enough to read,” he said. “Until they are, your guess is as good as mine.”

Amorphous figures appeared in various positions, mostly centered toward the bleachers in front of the two wishers. The forms gradually began to take shape and were rapidly becoming recognizable. Alice and Maria did not want to admit it, but it soon became obvious that they were standing among a group of girls wearing the same short dress with the school emblem emblazoned across the chest.

“These are the cheerleaders,” Alice said, stating the obvious.

“Where is the football team?” Maria asked looking around.

“Hey, little man!” Alice yelled. “What are we doing here at the cheerleader practice?”

“I would imagine it’s to practice,” he answered.

“Is he trying to be funny?” asked an increasingly frightened Maria.

“Are you nuts, little man?” Alice asked. “We’re football players, not cheerleaders. We just wished to be boys again.”

“No,” the little man answered speaking slowly and clearly. “Your exact wish was to be the same sex as everyone else on the team. The trouble was that you never actually said which team. Evidently, the magic chose to move you over to the cheerleading squad rather than make you boys again.”

“What!!” Alice shouted.

“No football team?” Maria asked in a trembling voice.

“No, my dear,” the little man said to Maria. “I’m afraid that all the football games you’ll be attending will have you cheering from the sidelines.”

Just then, a ripple passed through both girls causing them to shudder slightly. When they regained their composure, both girls’ clothes were beginning to change. Both pairs of jeans shrank up and changed into short skirts that fused to their blouses. The colors of their clothes steadily shifted to their school colors and a large school emblem appeared emblazoned across each girl’s chest. In very short order both girls found themselves dressed exactly like each other and exactly like the other girls in the gym.

“Aiyee!” Maria shrieked, never having been dressed as a cheerleader before.

“Christ, not again,” Alice said disgustedly.

“What do we do? What do we do?” Maria said jumping around pulling at her uniform.

“Calm down,” Alice said, irritated at both her current situation and Maria’s behavior. “We just have to play along until your chance to wish comes up and we can get out of this mess. That’s probably going to be another week, right?”

“Wrong,” the little man said. “It will be more like eight months to a year.”

“Months!?!” Maria said. “Year!?!”

“What the hell are you talking about?” demanded Alice.

“Your time reference was until you win the championship,” the little man lectured. “Since it’s too late to win this year’s cheerleading competition, you will have to wait for next year’s competition.”

“I didn’t… That was supposed to be the football championship!” Alice blurted.

“I’m afraid the wish happens to be clearly centered on the cheerleading team,” the little man said apologetically. “Both of you will have to remain cheerleaders at least until next year’s championship.”

“We no can wish for a year?” Maria asked.

“I don’t think you’ll even get that chance,” the little man said casually. “Both of you will probably be girls for the rest of your lives.”

“WHAT!!” both girls shouted as one.

“Think about it for a minute,” the little man explained. “You two are going to be very popular, very pretty, hormonally driven teenage girls for most of a year. What’s going to make either of you voluntarily give up having your pick of all the boys you want?”

The girls looked askance at the little man then at each other with a confused look and then back at the little man.

“ ¡Completamente loco! I no want boys,” Maria said.

“Yeah, you’re off your nut all right,” Alice agreed. “Neither of us thinks of boys in that way.”

“That’s because that qualifier hasn’t kicked in yet,” he countered.

“What qualifier?” Alice asked.

“The one about having strictly heterosexual thoughts from now on,” he explained. “Given that both of you are currently female, I believe that will mean that both of you will be thinking of boys ‘in that way’ from now on.”

Both girls looked at the little man in shock, and then looked at each other. After glancing over the rapidly solidifying teenage girls of the cheerleading squad materializing around them, both girls got the sick feeling that what the little man was saying was correct. Maria was the first to break the silence.

“Your stupid wish make us girls for real!” she shouted at Alice.

“Calm down,” Alice urged. “We’re not beat yet. We just have to stay focused on our goal of becoming boys again. We can do it. It’s only a year. We just have to remember to stay focused!”

“I’m afraid that’s the other problem,” the little man interjected.

‘What? Staying focused?” Alice asked.

“No, only a year,” he said. “Your wish did not specify that you would win the championship only that you stay this way until you do. Your team has some talent but it is hardly at a championship level, you might find yourselves graduating from high school before you win.”

Alice and Maria stood with mouths open. Neither girl had anything to say so the little man continued.

“I might as well go now,” he said. “There’s nothing more I can do until you do win a championship and you two are just seconds’ away form joining this reality anyway. Cheer up; maybe you can win at the college level. And for what it’s worth, good luck.”

With that, the little man was gone. Maria and Alice stared at each other for a moment. Then Erin, the head cheerleader, called everyone over to start practicing the first dance number. Alice and Maria both grabbed their pompoms and got into position with the other girls. One thing was certain; Alice was the most determined cheerleader out there. She was going to win the next championship if she had to be the peppiest cheerleader in the state. Maria just wanted to cry.

The End

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