Sophia's Choice

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Michael and Jason had been partners in a failed scientific venture. A few years later, when Michael’s wife left him, he blamed Jason. He then used the knowledge they had learned together in their laboratory to exact his revenge.

Sophia’s Choice
By Angela Rasch

Chapter One
You Might Even Say I’m Small-Minded

Cold!

For the last six months, I’ve been freezing — bitterly cold. The clear, polycarbonate cage Michael kept me in offered little in the way of amenities. Why should it? I asked myself sourly. It’s designed as a reusable animal cage.

Michael and I had purchased them for seven hundred dollars for a case of twenty, after you added shipping and handling. Some people look only at the price. But I’ve ruefully learned that you should really consider everything before committing.

If I had known I would be living in one of these things I would have searched the market for something a bit nicer . . . or at least bigger. I couldn’t even stretch out to full length when lying diagonally. I could barely sit fully erect. My head often banged against the stainless steel, wire cage lid that supported the water feeder and food pellet container.

Cold!

His stare had become frigid and mostly unreadable, other than the utter contempt he held for me. Michael’s mind had left the building. I had tried for the first several weeks to reason with him -- but he wouldn’t listen. He took great pains to behave toward me in exactly the same way the two of us had, over the years, treated the hundreds of rats we used in lab experiments.

If only he would be loco enough to forget to lock the heavy chain he wraps around the cage, that he uses to imprison me when he’s not around.

I had just finished an exhaustive hour running the maze he had constructed for me. It was harder for me than the rats because I had to “run” on all fours. As tiny as he had made me, I still was much too tall to stand under its plexiglass ceiling.

Today had been a good day, in that I was able to finish the maze quickly enough to be rewarded with as many food pellets as I wanted.

At first, I had refused to go along with the humiliation Michael put me through -- but I quickly determined I was just like the lab rats he and I had trained. I became more responsive to the allure of food pellet rewards, after I had been starved to eighty percent of my normal weight.

Normal weight? When had I started to think of 9 kilograms as my normal weight?

Six months ago, I had been a nearly six-foot, 175 pounds, male. I’m now fifteen inches tall and my weight has stabilized at just under twenty pounds. I’m shorter than the average newborn and about the same weight as a one-year-old.

Of course, I carry that weight much differently on my frame than I did before the Hindenburg Effect kicked in. For one thing, my thigh muscles have become bigger in the back and smaller in the front.

Michael and I had been awarded a prestigious grant by the Belmonet Society to study our secret project. The Belmonet Society had since ceased to exist -- but at that time it had been a think-tank funded by wealthy liberals who had delusions of grandeur and wanted to solve the world’s problems. That’s also what Michael and I had wanted to be . . . world problem solvers.

We thought by reducing everyone to twenty percent of his or her current size, we could ease the over-population crisis. Resources . . . especially food . . . would become instantly adequate. Our plan included reducing the mass of all the housing and just about everything we used, except the natural items, such as plants.

I slowly chewed on a food pellet. I existed on a diet consisting solely of Constant Nutrition and water. Constant Nutrition was designed so that we could feed the rats that singular food without having to worry about their health.

Back when I was a lab scientist, I wondered what a pellet of ground corn, soybean meal, beet pulp, fish meal, ground oats, and roughly two dozen other ingredients tasted like for the rats. I hadn’t been sufficiently curious then to taste it -- and now I really don’t care because I don’t have a choice.

There had been a time when I foolishly thought I might be able to over-power Michael, if I had the element of surprise. In retrospect, it was only hubris that allowed me to think that someone who was less than twenty percent of his original height could ever be strong enough to escape, when an average-sized man didn’t want him to gain his freedom.

Now that the Hindenburg Effect has run its course, my slim chances for freedom have been reduced to none.

Hindenburg Effect!

Michael and I had come up with that name for the physical change that came over our rats after we miniaturized them. The name came to us a week after our project became a wretched failure.

At least, I thought our scheme had collapsed and called it quits.

Michael refused to give up.

His father had died and left Michael a huge amount of money, so Michael could do just about anything he wanted with his life.

I had taken a job in a commercial lab doing mundane DNA research to earn a steady paycheck to put food on my table.

Someone else must be bored to death in that stupid DNA lab by now . . . doing the job I’d been doing. I obviously haven’t been missed enough by anyone, to cause the authorities to come to Michael’s lab to check what he might know. The closest thing I have to a loved one is my Aunt Karen, who has stage seven dementia.

What happened to me?

My childhood ambitions had always included a loving spouse and a home filled with kids I could nurture.

And, why would they suspect Michael?

He and I had been close friends. I had been his best man. If I had ever met the right girl, he would have been my best man, but the “right girls” rarely find their way into scientific laboratories. Guys like Michael and me rarely go anywhere that doesn’t require a lab jacket and a pocket protector.

No one will ever think to look for me in the lab Michael uses for his personal work. Not that many people even know about it — tucked away in the corner of the basement of his 6,000 square foot house.

I arranged around me the pile of shredded paper that Michael provided for my bedding material and thought about how lucky it had been for Michael to meet Jennifer. . . and also unlucky.

She eventually left him -- because she couldn’t put up with his obsessive behaviors. To be a good scientist you have to be obsessive. Michael hadn’t developed an off switch to flick -- when it was time to set aside science, to enjoy being a father and husband.

Michael’s meeting Jennifer had eventually proved to be horribly unlucky for me. In the end, he wrongly blamed me for his marriage ending up on the rocks.

“You’re a rat,” he’d said, during his indictment of me.

He had asked me to stop by his place for a drink. Of course, I had no reason to think his invitation was a trap. He had drugged me.

When I awoke strapped to the stainless-steel table in his lab, staring up at the business end of our shrinking machine, I realized his mind had snapped.

He explained maniacally that he had observed me talking to Jennifer in a grocery store. She and I had been laughing about something.

It had been the first time I had seen her since they separated. I wasn’t going to be one of those people who picked sides.

What the heck! I probably would have divorced him too had I been Jennifer. He worked almost all of his waking hours. Their marriage consisted of someone to sleep next to when he didn’t collapse at his desk in his office.

Despite his obsessive nature, he had been the nicest person I knew before his divorce. Women threw themselves at him -- but as far as I knew he’d always been faithful.

I couldn’t have asked for a more considerate and caring business partner.

I don’t even mind the taste of these food pellets as much as I once did. There are things that still get me down. If Michael doesn’t clean my cage every day the stench from my urine and feces is something I can’t ignore. Even that lavender-scented air freshener Michael must have concealed somewhere in the lab doesn’t mask my foul odor.

To be fair, even under these absurd circumstances, he isn’t always a total ogre.

Michael had miniaturized some things for me after I begged. I’d never been able to stand having facial hair. After I whined for weeks, he had put a safety razor and several cans of shaving cream through the miniaturization process. They quickly became unnecessary, as things turned out. Other than the long and incredibly thick hair on my head, my body was bald except for soft curly pubes and some downy fuzz in my armpits.

Things have happened to me that would fracture the spirit of most men, but I’m not going to let him win. I’ll keep a positive attitude, do my mental exercises to keep my mind sharp, and wait for something good to happen. It’s been rough acknowledging that I’m less than one-fifth of my regular height, and my manhood, which was always bigger than the average guy’s, has never stopped becoming smaller. It’s now a nubbin between two peas.

My much-enlarged nipples are almost constantly erect in the cold. I have intense dreams that are strangely comforting, in which babies suck on them for hours.

I had developed an impressive set of breasts due to the Hindenburg Effect.

When Michael and I had first realized that the male lab rats we shrunk had developed female secondary sexual characteristics, we studied that phenomenon.

Our research uncovered the Vandenbergh Effect, which is the acceleration of the onset of puberty in female lab rats when exposed to the odor of male rats. I had been the one who had first ruefully named the reason for our project’s demise -- the “Hindenburg Effect.”

As much as the average person wants to help solve the world’s dilemmas, it’s inconceivable that many men would voluntarily consequentially also lose their facial hair, grow breasts, and develop tiny waistlines.

We couldn’t determine why the Hindenburg Effect was happening, or how to prevent it, so our project ground to a halt.

We both were aware of a possible application in the sex trade -- but had no interest in going in that direction.

I would do anything for some clothes and to be able to live in something other than in this cage. That’s all I want -- a place to live where I can stand up . . . and something to wear, to keep me warm.

Cold! I’m frozen in this nightmare.

A sudden, crisp draft announced that the door to the lab had been opened.

“Daddy?” A small voice inquired. “Are you in here?”

Chapter Two
It’s Not Only Cate Blanchett Who Enjoys Being Dressed Like a Doll

Emily!

Michael’s little girl was standing in the lab’s doorway, peering in. Michael had been awarded shared custody. Surprisingly enough, from the comments he made about Emily while he worked in the lab, he was still a doting parent.

It was comforting to me that at least that small part of his humanity lived on. It was at those moments that I felt hope that the Michael I had once greatly admired would resurface.

Emily’s enormous. Cute as a button, but a Goliath compared to me.

I had bounced Emily on my knee, at her last birthday party. She had turned seven nearly eight months ago and now was at least three times as tall as me and also probably two to three times as heavy.

“Daddy?” She inched tentatively into the lab, obviously eager to find her father -- but uncomfortable to be in his inner sanctum.

Should I beg her for help? How can I get her attention without scaring the sweet dear to death?

And why scare her? Michael already hates me for erroneously thinking I ruined his marriage. What would he do, if I convinced his daughter he’s a monster?

She turned toward me and shrieked with glee. “Daddy has a dolly!”

“Not a dolly,” Michael spoke tersely and with authority, while he hurried into the lab carrying a stack of data reports.

“She looks like a dolly,” Emily argued, peering at me from about two feet away.

She?! I suppose my long hair and the way my body has changed does present that image.

“She’s a rat. Six months ago, she was nothing but a rat, but I changed her into what you see in her cage.”

“A rat?” Emily wrinkled her nose and backed away a half step. Then she moved right up next to the cage. “Are you sure, Daddy? She’s too pretty to have ever been a rat.”

“Thank you.” Thank you? My soprano voice matched her false impression of my actual gender. I suppose my now apple-shaped face also suggests that I’m female.

“Oh! I didn’t know she could talk. Can I play with her?” Her nose was pressed against the wall of my cage. “Ugh. She doesn’t smell very good. Her perfume is nice. . .like flowers, but she needs a bath. Can I give her a bath, Daddy? Can I have her, Daddy? Mommy promised me a dolly for my last birthday and then she forgot.” She pointed at me. “Can she be my dolly?”

“You shouldn’t be in my lab,” Michael chided. “You could get hurt in here.”

“Hurt?” Emily’s eyes got big while she stared suspiciously at me. “Does she bite?”

“Of course not!” I said impatiently. “You really don’t believe your father’s little joke about me being a rat, do you?”

Michael laughed evilly. “Just look at what she’s holding in her hand. That food pellet is her dinner. Would anyone who isn’t really a rat eat rat food?”

I dropped the damning pellet, suddenly ashamed of my disgusting behavior for the last several months.

Emily giggled. “I don’t care what she eats. Tommy Parsons eats his own boogers and Cindy still wants to marry him and have kids -- after we get out of school. I’m going to be her bridesmaid.” She skipped to the door. “Mommy will be here in five minutes to take me to ballet. I can’t wait to tell Mommy about the tiny girl you have in a cage!”

“No!” His voice boomed.

Emily froze. She had obviously been taught to obey his wishes without question.

“Your mother doesn’t need to know about your new dolly,” Michael said. “Let’s make it a game. As long as you can keep your dolly a secret, I’ll let you play with her when you come to stay with me. However, if you tell anyone about her, I’ll have to feed her the magic pill that turns her back into a rat.”

There is no magic pill. Michael and I had only discovered how to make things small. We had no concrete hypothesis for how to reverse the process.

Emily walked back to her father and shot out her small hand. “It’s a deal. I’m staying overnight with Mommy -- day after tomorrow. I’ll bring some clothes for Sophia.”

They sealed their pact with a handshake.

Clothes! Wonderful!

“Sophia?” Michael asked.

“That’s my new dolly’s name . . . Sophia.”

Chapter Three
Every Little Girl Loves Playing “Mommy”

Much to my surprise, the fancy taffeta dress Emily had brought fit like it had been made for me.

I’m so happy to finally have something to wear -- I don’t care what it is. I’m sure most of Emily’s doll clothes are for girl dolls, so I’ll just have to live with it.

We were in Emily’s room, away from Michael’s watchful eye. He had created an ankle bracelet for me that he said would inject lethal poison into my veins, if I strayed more than two hundred feet away from the sensor in the lab. He had warned me to be very circumspect, in what I told his daughter, if I wanted to eat regularly.

His eyes had confirmed his malice. . .BUT. . .I was starting to see more glimpses of the pre-divorce Michael I had once been so fond of, as a partner.

He doesn’t have to worry. I have no intention of crushing Emily’s world by telling her that her Daddy is Dr. Frankenstein.

At first, the warm bubble bath Emily prepared for me in her bathroom’s sink seemed completely foolish. After a few anxious moments, I closed my eyes and felt more human than I had for months. Emily scrubbed as carefully as any eight-year-old girl could while washing a thirty-seven-year-old man, who had been reduced to fifteen inches tall.

Even so, at times, she pulled my arms and legs in ways they weren’t meant to go. At times, my twenty pounds challenged her limited strength. If I even slightly grimaced, she apologized profusely and immediately loosened her grip. We were both going through a learning process.

I’m powerless to stop her from doing whatever she wants. I’m sure Michael is getting quite a weird kick out of my predicament. At least, he warned her to be careful with me. I don’t care. I’ve finally got some warm clothes to wear.

The dress, which Emily described as “adorable” had short sleeves and a puffy skirt that ended three inches below my knees.

“Don’t you just love your tights and velvety shoes?”

I might have asked her the same question. She was dressed in a nearly identical outfit, right down to the matching headband.

We’re almost twins. We both even have long, blonde hair. Emily had shampooed and conditioned my hair . . . and then spent fifteen minutes brushing it out using a hairbrush her father had miniaturized, for her to use when playing with me.

“Daddy said I could have anything miniaturized for you that I want. He’s going to take the bed from the upstairs guestroom and make it just the right size for you, so you can stay in my bedroom. Won’t that be fun, Sophia?”

“It sounds delightful.” It actually does. A bed with actual covers and a pillow will be heaven.

“Keep your knees together, Sophia.” She shook a stern finger at me. “I told you before about that. Girls have to learn to keep their knees together when they’re wearing a pretty dress.”

She bent over and picked me off the ground as if I were a big puppy. Afraid that she might actually accidentally hurt herself, or me, I didn’t struggle. A moment later, I regretted not fighting her, when that hairbrush came down on my rump while she administered a spanking.

My eyes smarted -- after she had paddled me at least a dozen times. Luckily, her grip on that small brush wasn’t tight enough so that she could put full force behind her blows. She stood me on the floor in front of her.

“Are you going to keep your knees together, Sophia?”

I nodded.

“What did you say, little girl?”

“I will, Mother.” I curtsied as she had taught me. “I will be a good little girl and keep my knees together when I’m wearing a pretty dress.” I’ll do anything not to get spanked again.

“Now,” Emily said, “finish your tea and crumpets.”

My “tea” was weak Kool-Aid, in which she had put too much water and not enough sugar. The “crumpets” were chocolate Oreos. She had given me two, which was a lot more Oreo than what I really wanted, but Emily could be very persuasive.

She seems to think a spanking is the answer, for even the slightest flaw in my behavior.

“I’m sorry I had to spank you. Mommy always says it hurts her worse than it hurts me, but I didn’t feel so bad.” Her eyebrows knitted in deep thought. “Now climb up on my lap and I’ll read a story to you.”

I did what she asked and made myself as comfortable sitting on her as my bruised posterior allowed.

The book she held was A Tale of Two Cities. She opened it about halfway and began to pretend she was reading. “There once was a girl named Emily who had a beautiful mother who had to go away. Emily’s father was a very nice and handsome man who worked hard and had very little time for his daughter, even though he loved her to bits. After Emily’s mother went to her new home, which was in a country called Utah, Emily was very sad. The end.”

She closed the book.

My heart melted. Her problems make mine seem insignificant.

I turned and looked up at her childish face. “Oh, Emily. Is your mother moving away?”

She nodded and a tear ran down her face.

“When?”

“She left this morning. She didn’t even come to this house to get all her things. Daddy said she didn’t care if she got them, or not, because she had already worn them once. She would go to the stores in Utah and spend more doggone money. But it’s going to be okay because I’m going to live with Daddy all the time now. Daddy said I can play with you every day after school, as long as I don’t tell anyone about you. It’s going to be okay. Isn’t it?”

She looked at me with an infantile and endearing expectation.

I have to take care of the little angel. I nodded reassuringly. “Let’s go to the lab and see if your Daddy put my bed in the shrinking machine, yet. If he has, we can put on our satin nighties and get ready for bed. I’ll read you a chapter book.”

“Dolly,” she gasped. “Can you read?”

“I can.”

She smiled. “I was so worried there wouldn’t be anyone to read me stories anymore. Daddy said he’s too busy and Mommy is gone. . ..” Her face reflected her sadness. “Will you read to me every night?”

“I will . . . if you don’t ever spank me again.”

“That’ll be easy. Mommy told me it’s a mother’s duty to spank a naughty girl -- but I don’t like doing it. You also have to promise that you’ll quit acting like a tomboy and be the girly-dolly that you really are.”

We shook hands on the deal. Even though my hand was dwarfed, her soft paw felt tiny and needy.

Chapter Four
If it doesn’t quite fit, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacement anyway.

“Where did you get these things?” I stared in amazement at two large boxes of adult clothes and other female things that had been shrunk to my world’s size.

“I told Daddy that you had become my new Mommy and that you needed to start dressing in grown-up things.”

My eyes misted at the huge compliment she had just paid me.

The more I get to know Emily, the more I love her. She’s just the sweetest little girl.

When I’m with her, despite the babyish clothing I have to wear, I forget all about our relative sizes and do my best to fill the huge vacuum her mother had left.

That Jennifer! I could just slap her. How could any mother walk away from her child, especially such a perfect little girl like Emily?

I smiled at Emily and silently vowed that whatever present she had brought for me was going to be the greatest gift I ever received.

It had been three months, since Emily had found me in the cage, in the lab. She had dressed me in nearly every Bitty Baby outfit the American Girl doll company offered.

Having been cold for so long I luxuriated in the pink, polar penguin snowsuit.

Emily preferred for me to spend days in the baby ballerina outfit, which she said matched my blue eyes. My eyes had been brown as a male, but they became “Angelina Jolie” blue along with all the other changes.

As Jason, I had sported my brown hair in a brush cut. I now had naturally thick, long, blonde hair that Emily loved to brush into a ponytail. She even tried braiding it, but the results were inconsistent.

She had put me in baby sundresses, dresses covered in pink blossoms and ribbons, almost shapeless white nylon panties, pink Velcro diapers, white and pink lace socks, and shoes that fit, but were as ill-made as my underwear.

Other days, I wore prairie dresses with billowing aprons and bonnets, white flannel nightgowns with pink ribbon trimming and fluffy sleeping bonnets, complete with pink fluffy “lamb-ey” slippers.

She also had us in twin party dresses with huge bows that held down equally outsized underslips. We both wore fuzzy knit sweaters with shorty skirts covered with pink posies.

Some days were spent in bright pink Gingham dresses with equally adorable gingham shoes with doll faces.

I had kitty jumpers and flower girl gowns, with matching Mary Janes.

The clothes that made me feel the most babyish was a three-piece Strawberry Shortcake outfit. With leggings, Strawberry Shortcake print dress and bonnet, and light pink shoes -- the dress couldn’t have been any sweeter without violating the laws of nature.

Blissful days went by. Emily’s intense pleasure in dressing her “dolly” permeated my life.

All of a sudden, I have a purpose.

The glee in her face ran directly into my soul and made me enjoy my clothing in a way that at one time would have seemed impossible.

Whatever makes Emily happy — makes me happy.

There are days when she tells me how sad “her friend” at school is “cuz her mommy left her.” If I can make her forget her troubles by being a “good little dolly” -- who does it hurt?

I worked as diligently as I could to match my mannerisms and vocabulary to my new physique. My new body made certain feminine movements seem perfectly correct for me.

It helped my mental state immensely when Michael used our shrinking device to make a functioning bathroom for me with a commode, sink, and bathtub that worked perfectly and allowed me privacy, for precious moments each day.

Even though I sat on her lap, we easily and naturally fell into the roles of mother and child when I read to her. She loved stories like Charlotte’s Web or The Sheep-Pig.

I absolutely loved reading them to her.

I can see why mothers wish that their children will never grow up. She’s at such a fun age -- but what will happen to me when she gets too old to play with dolls?

The two boxes she had brought had been shrunk accurately to my size. They contained several outfits I’d seen Jennifer wear when she was the hostess for parties. She had seemed so happy with Michael. I had been envious of the two of them for being so good-looking and seemingly wholly satisfied.

She had been such a faker!

“Do you know how to put on a bra?” Emily asked quietly. She picked up a powder blue bra and handed it to me.

She can be so intuitive. Jennifer’s body has marvelous curves. Her bras will never fit me.

Much to my surprise they fit and felt WONDERFUL.

I always thought bras were silly lingerie. Who knew they served such a practical purpose?

The matching panties also were a perfect fit. It’s a relief to have underwear that actually is made for a woman’s body.

Emily had asked her daddy to shrink six dresses for me -- but no pants. Each dress was made to wear to a party. Emily had taken care to bring the necessary accessories: stockings, jewelry, belts, high heels, perfume, and cosmetics. She also had found a book in her mother’s bedroom about beauty secrets that had many hints about how to fix your hair and apply make-up. Everything had been made “my size.”

I probably won’t ever use the perfume because the lavender smell around me seems so perfectly feminine.

“Daddy says I’m not old enough to have make-up,” Emily said. “He said I should ask you to wear make-up all the time, so I can pretend by watching you.”

I’ll bet he did, I thought ruefully. More humiliation.

“Sure, Pumpkin,” I said cheerfully. “We’ll play dress-up as often and as long as you want.” I’ll try my best to use the make-up properly. Moreover, I’ll try to actually enjoy doing so. It will only help my mental health to keep a positive attitude. And . . . Emily will be pleased to watch me use what she’s given me.

The dress she picked out for me to wear, for my first day in adult clothing, carried a Tahari ASL label. It was purple, crepe chiffon with a pleated front and V-Neck. It was knee-length and . . . I simply loved it so much I could have cried.

That is . . . when Emily told me I was the most beautiful mother a girl could ever have — and how lucky she was to have such a beautiful mother.

How could I NOT love that dress?

Truth told -- with my tiny waist, thin shoulders, and delicate, but long legs, I had a body that screamed for a purple piece of fluff to adorn it. My new dress displayed my widened hips in a way that seemed almost scandalous, yet attractive. I spent long moments in front of Emily’s mirror appraising my appearance and developing something that had been missing in my life . . . pride.

With Emily’s caring help, I “fixed” my hair, picked out the right shoes and jewelry, and put on a proper face. I followed the instructions in the “how-to” cosmetic book.

“Is my daughter ready for me to take her out to eat? We have reservations at McDonald’s and we don’t want our fries to get cold and. . . .” Michael stopped short a few feet into Emily’s bedroom and stared at me.

“Isn’t Sophia beautiful?” Emily asked. “I told you she would be really, really pretty, if she tried.”

He didn’t say a word. He scooped Emily into his arms, without taking his eyes off me. His stare spoke volumes.

I’ve never before seen that kind of hunger in a man’s eyes. I like the way his leer makes me feel. I’m going to do what I have to . . . to make sure he looks at me like that as often as possible.

Chapter Five
“Coma, coma, coma, coma, coma, chameleon.”

Emily put away all the baby doll clothes.

I spent the next four months, in exquisite dresses.

In a way, I enjoyed a very pampered lifestyle. All that was asked of me by Emily was that I look my very best.

Michael’s ogling constantly told me I was achieving that goal. If I wore just the right lipstick, his eyes sparkled. He nearly salivated at the sight of me, in my burgundy dress.

It was obvious that Emily wanted to be a little matchmaker. It was also obvious that under different circumstances she would have had a very easy job.

Unfortunately, Michael will always see me as a rat. He seems less crazy now and given how awful Jennifer was to leave poor little Emily, I’m inclined to think she drove him to the edge of insanity.

I feel much more pity toward him -- than anger.

He’s still a fine man who did something really stupid and doesn’t know how to fix it.

One afternoon, Michael finally decided to have a civil conversation with me. “Do you have any idea how good you smell?” Were the first kind words he’d said to me, since the day he made me small.

I blushed. “What do you mean?”

“It’s the Hindenburg Effect,” he explained. “For some reason, your body converts your food into a lavender aroma that seeps out through your pores.”

“I’m so sorry,” I apologized. “Does the odor bother you?”

“No . . . quite the contrary. The fragrance is quite nice and very appealing.”

“Is that why you’ve insisted that I continue to eat two food pellets a day, even though I also eat what Emily eats?”

“No. . .. I believe it’s occurring because of a chemical interaction between the thiamin mononitrate and the BHA preservative. From my experiments I’ve found that you have to eat the pellets to complete the Hindenburg. . ..”

Emily came back from the bathroom and interrupted her father. She looked first at him and then at me, and then she clapped her hands. “You’re both smiling! I wished on the evening star and it came true. How super-duper!”

That night, before I took off my make-up and performed my daily beauty routine, Michael came to tuck Emily in, for the night. She had already nodded off. He knelt down next to me.

“Please put your right foot up on your chair.”

He had shrunk a chair for me, so I would have a spot in Emily’s and my bedroom where I could comfortably sit and read my own books.

I did as I was told by propping my foot on my chair. I’m still a little surprised to see lacquered piggies poking through the open toes of my heels.

Michael sighed. “What I did to you was incredibly wrong. If you want to turn me in to the authorities, I’m ready to accept full responsibility for my actions.”

I shook my head.

“I’m going to take off your ankle bracelet. I suppose you knew all along that it was a fake.”

I hadn’t -- but smiled with the affirmed knowledge that Michael would’ve never put anything on me that could malfunction and accidentally cause my death.

“Michael,” I said quietly so that Emily wouldn’t stir. “I’ve been feeling funny lately. I’m worried that there’s something really wrong with me.”

He bit his lip, and then nodded. “I’ve been expecting this. Tonight, I want you to sleep in my bed.”

What? I have to admit the thought has been on my mind, but he’s so big and I’m. . ..

“I’ll sleep on the couch in the den,” he explained. “There are some things about the Hindenburg Effect that you need to know. You see. . ..”

His voice faded.

I fell into his arms and a world of darkness.

Chapter Six
Change Is Inevitable. . .Except from a Vending Machine

“Easy, Sophia.”

Michael was holding an ice cube to my lips and looking at me with concern.

“Emily?” I croaked. I was flat on my back in bed.

“Shhhhh,” he warned kindly. “Don’t try to talk. Emily’s fine. You gave her a little scare when you went into your coma.” He pressed a glass of water to my lips.

Coma? He must have miniaturized that glass. It’s one of his special cut glass. . .. No. I’m bigger. I’ve turned back into Jason. I closed my eyes. I so didn’t want this to happen.

“The Hindenburg Effect has finished its work on your body. I knew this was coming and should have warned you. I tried to tell you. . ..” His voice faded.

When I opened my eyes, again, his face was inches from mine and tears were pouring down his cheeks.

“I’ve made a horrible mess of things,” he wailed. “You were always my best friend. I never should have blamed you. I know now -- there’s no way you would have ruined things between Jennifer and me. Now it’s too late.”

He said the Hindenburg Effect had “finished its work”, but my hands are still smaller than they were before -- and my arms are hairless and thin. Maybe my bracelet and rings make my hands look girlish?

His wailing continued. “Now Emily loves you and thinks of you as her mother. And. . .and. . .I’ve fallen in love with you. You’re perfect for me and I have no chance of ever having your forgiveness.”

Love! Perfect for him?

I looked down at my chest and saw the same pair of pert 34Bs, only they really were 34Bs not the miniaturized ersatz variety. “I still have breasts.” The water and additional rest had done the trick. I could speak with only small discomfort.

“Of course, you do,” he said quietly. “That’s how it works. When you were in your coma your body finished its metamorphosis. Had you stayed on and worked with me on our experiment, you would have seen what ultimately happened with our rats. You now have shed all of your male organs and have a complete female body.”

My hand went below the blanket and found a moist surprise. “MMMph.” I said while a pleasant jolt shot through me. I feel exactly as if I’ve just ejaculated after thirty minutes of wild sex.

“You can expect that your sexual organs will be hyper-sensitive for a few months,” he said clinically.

He’s a bit professorial, but I still can get lost in that gorgeous dimple.

He went on as if reading from a lab report. “You will experience several weeks of high fecundity.”

“Do you mean to say I could actually become pregnant?” Despite myself, I moaned with delight.

“Not only might you become pregnant, but by my calculations you will DEFINITELY become pregnant, if you have sex within the next eighteen days.”

“Really?” Let’s try it!

“Uh-huh. The Hindenburg Effect leaves you at about eighty percent of your previous size, so you’re about five feet tall . . . more like five feet three in those heels you always wear . . . and you’re perfectly built.” He coughed from embarrassment. “You have a completely female body. The only other lasting effect is that you will continue to process food into your personal aroma of sexy lavender.”

He loves how I smell. That’s sweet. Let’s plant a seed in that big lug’s massive brain. “What would Emily think about having a baby sister or brother?”

“She’s always told me she wants a baby brother AND a baby sister.”

“That’s what she’s told me as well.” I grinned. I love babies.

“First she wants a Mommy.”

“Are you asking?” I caressed his hand as lovingly as I could.

“Do you mean I have a chance?” He questioned hesitantly. “I’ve been such an idiot.”

“You knew what would ultimately happen to me. Did you want me for a wife -- right from the start?” I’m not upset, just curious.

“I wasn’t thinking. It was just blind, stupid rage. I couldn’t stand the thought of what a divorce would do to Emily.”

I can understand perfectly how he felt.

“It wasn’t Emily’s fault -- I wasn’t the right husband for Jennifer.”

Jennifer’s loss!

He went to one knee next to the bed. “Sophia, I love you more than anything. Will you marry me?”

“If you can arrange it within the next week, the answer’s yes — most assuredly, yes!”

He rose and bent down over me to give me the most passionate kiss I had ever imagined — and I had imagined many a passionate kiss from a prince, while reading fairy tales to Emily.

“Why do you want to get married so quickly?” His smile nearly split his face.

“So we can take advantage of my fertile body.”

Emily came screaming into the room. “Sophia! Daddy said you’d be awake when I got home from school. Are you better? Do you like being big again? Daddy said I’d be able to sit on your lap within a day or two. Is that right?”

I kissed her forehead and hugged her to my breasts. “Daddy asked me if I want to be the mother of his home. How does that sound to you?”

She beamed at both of us. “Perfect.”

That’s exactly how it sounds to me.

My new body tingled with anticipation.

The End

Thanks to Gabi for the review and help.

I have donated a group of stories to BC to help generate revenue for this site. Erin has said that these stories have raised tens of thousands of dollars in revenue for BC. I don’t receive any of that revenue.

If you buy a book from this list, you’re supporting this site.

Stories available through Doppler Press on Amazon:
Shannon’s Course
Peaches
Sky
The Novitiate
Ma Cherie Amour
Molly
Texas Two-Step
All Those Things You Always Pined For
Uncivil
Swifter, Higher, Stronger
Basketball Is Life
Baseball Annie
The Girl Who Saved Aunt T’s
Her
She Like Me
How You Play the Game
Hair Soup
Perfectionists
Imperfect Futures
The Handshake That Hides the Snake

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Comments

Wow!

What a very un-Angela Rasch story from Angela Rasch. I may be wrong but I don't think she's ventured so far into weird SF before ... and this weirdness itself :) At least I felt on familiar ground with Angela's signature perfume theme.

I enjoyed the romp but I felt the reconciliation between Michael and Sophie took a bit of swallowing. I guess if we can accept the shrinking/sex-change/re-growing then that's the least of our worries.

Thanks

Robi

Perfume Theme

Are you suggesting my stories reek?

Ill admit to an odiferous side. I'll also admit to making people swallow big chunks of suspended disbelief.

Smell is a huge part of creating enough appetite to eat a large meal.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Nice ending

very nice story. You had me worried at the beginning, but everything worked out in the end.

Dorothycolleen

DogSig.png

Physically forced and Diapers

are usually guaranteed to turn me off a story even before I open it.

I didn't in this case because you have a way of writing that demands that I read.

Another thought-provoking Angela Rasch story that starts with an unusual premise and ends with true romance.

Well written.

S.

Judging a Book by What it Covers

I don't like hunting stories. Therefore I'm out of there in the Wizard of Oz when it becomes about "lions and tigers, and bears. Oh dear!".

I understand the need for disclosure through listing the themes, but as an author -- I hate it. Often I feel like it gives away the plot and destroys the tension.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Zeroing in?

Andrea Lena's picture

...I don't know why, but I always seem to find what seem to be small gems in the midst of the huge cache' of treasure; gems to me, I suppose because of how I think. Here's one:

Whatever makes Emily happy – makes me happy. There are days when she tells me how sad “her friend” at school is “cuz her mommy left her”. If I can make her forget her troubles by being a “good little dolly” who does it hurt?

Not even a sacrifice, but embracing the best of what proves to be not bad a situation at all; making more than just the 'best' of things, but seeing the best in everything? I really appreciate this story; a nice new take. Thank you, Jill!


Dio vi benedica tutti
Con grande amore e di affetto
Andrea Lena

  

To be alive is to be vulnerable. Madeleine L'Engle
Love, Andrea Lena

Selfless

Selfless is considered to be a virtue in some circles.

To be selfless means you've eradicated your "self".

On the one hand this story is romantic . . . but would you consider it was so romantic had Michale given Jason a labotomy? Didn't he do just that in a behavioral psych-kind of manuever?

I think not. (Actually I think quite bit, which is a problem when it comes to reading fairy tales.)

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Great story

I have enjoyed several of your stories but this has got to be among my favorites. I felt empathy for all the characters except for Jennifer. I loved the twist at the end.

Don't Count Out Jennifer

If Michael could make things work out as he did, imagine how he manipulated Jennifer.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

strange journey

laika's picture

Sophia in this story was a lot more forgiving than I would have been-

Or maybe I'm not a good example, since I would have volunteered for the transformation, especially if there was that chance of winding up fully female and somewhere in the normal height range. But if I'd begun the story as a cisgendered male I would've been quite irate, and not so willing to trust that my good buddy Michael wouldn't wig out again at some point and have another huge lapse of ethics (then again if is was a cisgendered I wouldn't even be here reading stories like this, but would probably be playing HALO with my baseball cap on backwards eating a pepperoni Hot Pocket...).

But it sounds like Sophie's equinamous attitude had some help from nature, powerful changes following a course not seen in normal human development in any of its varieties. A byproduct, not intentional (like it is in those "soft forced femme" Julie O stories, where a guy gets captured and transformed in a situation very close to this, and it always seems like a bit of a cheat, to not try and work out how the identity modification would progress, but just have the villian announce: "Ha ha, soon the chemicals will render you passive and compliant, and you'll be happily sucking guys off like you were born to do it...")

But the behavior changes here seemed natural, organic, maybe because we've read about the forced fem laboratory mousies on estrogen, flipping their little tail up showing the boy mouse their eagerness to be mounted in ways they never would have considered a few months earlier. And the way Emily was semi-neglected (another thing that doesn't much endear me to old Professor Mike) and needed someone to take care of her must've helped too, making those maternal instincts kick in. It would feels good to have a real human purpose after being reduced to the status of a specimen for so long; And I can relate to really wanting to be a mom ....... So the whole thing is emotionally believable, even if the science is a bit far fetched. Good story.
~~hugs, Veronica

Mice Are Not People

Would corporations flip up their tails?

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Well, one has to wonder

KristineRead's picture

Well, one has to wonder about the pliability of the hindenburg effect... Or the Stockholm syndrome as it relates to this story!

But excellent as always from Angela!

Thanks for a good read.

Hugs,

Kristy

Stockholm Syndrome

I was thinking about that phenomenon as I wrote this story. It helped me get by the kind of male aggression Jason might have felt toward Michael.

I'm glad you felt it was a good read.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Sophia's Choice

Nuclear Family! WILD!

    Stanman
May Your Light Forever Shine
    Stanman
May Your Light Forever Shine

Never mind.

please delete

I wanted Michael to die... -- GRIN--

That ending was TOTALLY off my radar.

Mind you if I was the poor victim, after having several children I'd make HIM into a little girl only I'd keep him tiny like that.

You sure had me going for a while, Angela.

I wanted the man to DIE for his crimes.

PERFECT as always.

John in Wauwatosa

John in Wauwatosa

Capitol Punishment

You live just down the road from Madison. Maybe you could pop over there and see why anyone would want to punish a capitol. Come to think of it, from the news account of your last legislative session . . . never mind.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Interesting Choice...

That was an interesting choice... Quite a reasonable one (in many ways) given the circumstances you set up... You conditioned "Sophia" to obey, first. Then, to be a girl. Then, to be a mommy. Was it any surprise that she was happy to be a mommy there at the end?

That all said - I hope the "effect" insured a female brain, to go with the female body or she's likely to end up with problems down the road... But, only if "the real world" intrudes. LOL

Given how nice and well behaved the daughter is and how much the father purportedly ignored anything but his work, the mother must have done something fairly right. That the daughter missed her (only natural) and "made" a substitute (out of a willing subject) isn't surprising. This makes me wonder what actually drove the wife away... In a lot of ways, it seems like the partner had the ending planned from the beginning - or near the beginning.

Fascinating story. Thank you.

Anne

Or . . . Before the Beginning?

"Get thee to a nunn'ry."

I'm not saying . . . but what if Michael convinced Jennifer that she was becoming mentally unstable and posed a danger to Emily?

In Hamlet's day a nunnery was an insane asylum.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

An Exercise In Conditioning?

joannebarbarella's picture

The treatment as a lab rat, kept naked, running daily exercises around a wheel, having to negotiate a maze to obtain a reward of food was designed to instil unthinking obedience. But who wouldn't want to escape such an existence for something more interesting?

Anything was better, even if it meant being a dolly. Obedience to a little girl's whims was an easy alternative and behaviour of a certain type becomes natural and automatic when repeated long enough, particularly if one's body is channeling one's personality into acceptance. It would seem that Barbie is as Barbie does.

An intriguing concept and I didn't see where your story was going, since there was no hint of reversal of the shrinking effect until close to the end. Michael knew what would happen, so was it purely an exercise in revenge or did he design the whole process to obtain a replacement for Jennifer?

Nice one, Jill,

Joanne

Joanne and Annette

Conditioning is the process of rewarding approximations of desired behavior in more exacting degrees until you've elicited to response you're seeking.

Did Michael start the project by first establishing a situation in his marriage that Jennifer couldn't stand? My guess is the sparks flew between Jason and Michale long before Jason was miniaturized.

The next time I see any of the characters I'll ask them.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

I hear you...

And, it's quite possible (you know the characters better than I)... :-)

All that said - answering those questions (when did Michael decide" to turn Jason into his wife? Why did the wife leave? etc.) Really are not critical to be known by the readers of the story... In many ways, I think expanding the story to include all that would weaken it (the story). As it stands, the readers can imagine romantic reasons, unromantic reasons, accident, etc.

Another reason the wife could have left could have been health related (physical/mental/both) that she didn't want the daughter to suffer through...

So many possibilities. While it would be "interesting" to hear what lead up to the story, it wasn't necessary to my enjoyment of it.

Thanks,
Anne

Great story!

That shrink ray sounds like more fun than Gru's shrink ray. I wonder what happens if you use it without the rat pellets. Actually, I wonder what it is in the rat pellets that causes the Hindenburg effect.

They might not have solved world hunger (The population bomb has fizzled out, anyhow,) but I'm sure I could find a few customers that would love to try out their shrink ray. I can find even more if it'll fix damage due to illness, injury, or aging.

I can see a couple more stories coming out of this. They can go public with the discovery, with Sophia saying that she decided to become the subject of her own secret experiment.

Aging Causes Damage?

Thanks for your comments.

It's my understanding the shrink ray people have a side deal with the rat food company. It's now a package with royalties*. It's marketed under the tradename WowNowChow.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

*That's like the Clintons only you don't have to go through that embarrassing part of being born pennyless.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

That one

Extravagance's picture

was Supurr! ^_^
*HuggleSnugglePurrHappytailswish*

- - -

Royal catgirl of the court of the Empress of Euphoria. I like fine seafood, and I love huggles! ^_^
Catgirl_Likes_Prawns.jpg

Catfolk Pride.PNG

Sweet and believable and seductive

I really enjoyed this. It was one of those stories that I couldn't stop reading. I usually skim the first page or so and see if it holds my interest. This made me go back to the beginning and really savor every word.

It's hard to find good stories that are not overly harsh or do not have "mean" unlikable characters. Everyone here ends up wholly likable (in the end). The best stories always feature a transformation of a character from beginning to end. I'm not talking about a gender transformation. I'm talking about a personality transformation. Each of these characters did this. The little girl went from a potential unhappy childhood to a new family with a new mommy. Our villain turns out to be just a hurt man in the end, and of course our heroine.

I like the gray areas as well. Now did she change in her attitude and temperament because of the physical effects of her transformation or did she change because she made the best of her situation and fell in love with a little girl that needed her? It doesn't matter which, but it's fun to ponder it both ways.

Good prose. Nicely written. Good descriptions. I feel I can "see" the characters and that always tells me something important about the writer's skill.

Now I have to go read your other items.

ttt

Themes

I didn’t think I was going to like this but it was a sweet story.

hugs :)
Michelle SidheElf Amaianna