Tell Me How Can I Sing Like a Girl - A TG Mixed Tape

A costume party to remember, a young man in need of his family and a smartphone app that changes one person's life. Hit play on the latest TG Mixed Tape and enjoy nine enthralling tales from six unique authors, which also includes MrMarvel, Pepper and Susy.

Tell Me How Can I Sing Like a Girl
A TG Mixed Tape

Groovy Tones. The place looks like it comes straight out of the seventies, and not in a good way. Retro can only go so far, and this place is trying to take it even farther. I can't believe Emilia wants a present from this place. I sigh and walk inside, ready to discover a group of grandparents reliving their favorite memories in musical form.

To my surprise, what I find instead is a mostly empty building, just one employee and a few other guys my age. They all look like they're browsing through the selections. There are tables all over the place, where all the products are. To my further surprise, I see more than just old vinyl. CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, cassette tapes, records, LaserDiscs, wax cylinders and even Betamax; the place is filled with media from across the decades. There's even a small room where I can see comics and books through the doorway.

I walk over to one of the tables and pick up the first CD my fingers land on. There are 10 tracks, and none that I recognize. I go to set the CD back down, but the employee grabs my hand. "Hold on a second, there." He takes the CD from my hand. "Ah, this is a good one. Y'know what I mean?"

"No."

"I didn't think so." He laughs. "Reminds me of when I first came in here. The guy who owned the place when I came in to apply for a job told me that every song he sold had a story behind it. He wouldn't let me go that day before he told me every story he knew."

I reach up to brush my hair back behind my ears. The fact that I have short hair fails to come to my attention. "What?" I ask.

He smiles. "You're here to buy something for someone, right?" He raises his voice so that everyone can hear. "Everybody here is buying a gift, am I right?" There are nods all around. "Well then, everybody gets a story, you just have to tell me which song it is."

Tell Me How Can I Sing Like a Girl
A TG Mixed Tape

Edited by
(literally all of it) Trismegistus Shandy & (very little of it) Hikaro

Table of Contents

A Ghost at the Movies
By Bobbie

Little Me Part 1
By Susy

Miss App
By Hikaro

Unchanged
By Trismegistus Shandy

Costume Party
By MrMarvel

Rather Be
By Pepper

Little Me Part 2
By Susy

The Perfect Gift
By MrMarvel

Costume Jewelry
By Hikaro

Charlie and the Angel (#3)
By Bobbie

Afterword


One of the other guys walks up to the manager with a record. The guy is wearing a pink tank top that I don't remember anybody wearing when I walked in, but I honestly wasn't paying too much attention to anybody's clothes. The manager takes the record and smiles.

"Halloween was just a month or so ago, and everybody likes a good ghost story, don't you?"

I'm not the only one to nod. The girl beside me shivered. I don't remember her being in here, either. I know I was the last one to walk into the building, though.

"Ghost stories make for good movies, but there are some ghosts that just don't care for movies. Whaddya think happens then?"

A Ghost At The Movies
By Bobbie Cabot

ghost-title.png

I was moving into my new place. It was about a month after the operation, and though it still hurt, and I had some more healing to do, my gender reassignment surgery was more-or-less complete. I was done. One would assume that I would be happy now that it was over, but the pain was something extraordinary. In the beginning, it was blindingly painful. Literally. And it’s colored my expectations from the surgeries.

I had thought the expression “blindingly painful” was quaintly funny, and that I rarely heard it used anymore. But the expression was apparently not just an expression. After my operation was done and I had eventually gone home and was slowly weaned away from the painkillers, there were times where I felt shooting pains from my groin that was so debilitating I collapsed and actually went deaf and blind from the pain for a moment.

But that was several weeks ago. I still had pain, but not enough that I was rendered immobile. In fact, I felt good enough that I had already gone and had my cheek implants and the trachea shave a week ago. And I had started dilating already.

The stitches on my neck from the tracheal shave were taken out yesterday, and all that remained of that was a small bandage like a big Band-Aid. There was no need to take out the stitches used inside my mouth from the cheek implant since they used the kind of sutures that dissolved.

I could have waited until I felt better before I had the implants and the tracheal shave, but I wanted to get everything over with. And, as it is, I am now weeks ahead of my own personal “schedule.” I was essentially “done” now. All that’s left now was the final healing.

“It was all a little bit anticlimactic, actually,” I sighed as I looked at myself in the mirror. I’d assumed it would feel more satisfying. But I don’t regret it.

***

I directed the movers where to put most of my stuff, and left the boxes of clothes, personal items and knickknacks in their boxes for the moment. After they had left, I had a quick lunch, a quick shower, got out a very office-y kind of outfit, but no pants – instead, I wore a knee-length pleated skirt, my fancy, new high-heeled boots and my favorite leather jacket, which I put over a formal kind of long-sleeved cream blouse and necktie à la Angelina Jolie at the BAFTAs. I picked a skirt as the slight pinching of pants still hurt.

I lightly spritzed myself with perfume, ran a brush over my hair, clipped it into a ponytail using a blue butterfly clip, and inspected my face. I decided that the minimal makeup I had on was good enough.

Someone rang my doorbell.

“Who’s there?” I called.

“Ms Delaney?” someone said through the door.

“Yes, I’m Deborah Delaney,” I replied.

“I’m Leonard Smits, the building superintendent.”

I hurried to open the door.

“Hi, Mr. Smits. I’m Deborah Delaney. I got the email saying to expect you. Glad to finally meet you.”

The tall, friendly-looking handyman smiled and shook my hand. “I just wanted to stop by to say hi, Ms Delaney, and introduce myself. Welcome to the building. If ever you need me, I’m in unit six on the sixth floor. My door is the sixth one to the left from the elevators.”

“Call me Debbie. Thank you, Mr. Smits. Appreciate you letting me know.”

“I see you’ve already moved in,” he said, peeking in.

“Just about. But I have to leave the unpacking for later. I’m heading out - I have a project.”

“Oh? What is it that you do?”

“I’m a photographer. I do a lot of stuff for fashion and travel magazines, news outlets and science journals.”

“That’s great! Would I have seen any of your stuff?”

“I doubt it, unless you subscribe to women’s fashion catalogs or travel magazines.”

“I’m afraid not,” he said apologetically.

“Oh, wait! Are you a National Geographic subscriber? My pictures were featured there six months ago, on a piece about old houses in New Orleans.”

“I do, actually. Six months, you say? That would be the May issue. I’ll dig it up later and take a look.”

I was able to leave the friendly Mr. Smits, eventually (nothing worse than a chatty, friendly handyman, LOL), and rushed down, my camera travel kit backpack over my shoulder.

My Uber ride arrived as I stepped out of the building, just as my app said it would, and it was a short thirty-minute trip to the Flagstaff University grounds. A campus security guard pointed me to the Spengler Hall, the home of the university’s Department of Parapsychology.

I, of course, had the normal preconceived notions about parapsychology – you know, all that nonsense about ESP, ghosts and goblins and the laughable characters in the Ghost Hunters TV show, but I did some research. Apparently, Spengler Hall was more known for its contributions to the very serious science of Neutrino Particle Detection, and many of the researchers here had worked in a lot of high energy science projects, most notably on the LHC project in Geneva, the Thorium research project of the NEA, and the development of nuclear leaks management policies for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority.

I eventually found the right door, knocked and stepped in. A cluttered room greeted me, typical of the faculty offices of the academics you see on TV or in the movies. A tall, bespectacled man was sitting at a desk, working.

“Dr. Lewis Tully?” I asked. “I’m Debbie Delaney. The photographer? I’m here for the photography job.”

“Ah! Ms Delaney!” the science-y-looking man said. “Just in time. Let’s go.”

And with that, he stood up, shook my hand perfunctorily, and started walking me out.

“Wait, wait!” I exclaimed. “Where are we going?”

“To the theater, of course!”

Huh?

He asked me what camera I used and I said I used a Canon DSLR camera (I didn’t have an MILC yet).

We stopped at a lab for a second, where Dr. Tully picked up what looked like a camera lens bag, and handed it to me.

“There,” he said, handing it to me, “those are the EOS compatible ones.” Ahh. I was right – camera lenses.

He was walking so fast, I was having trouble keeping up. I just gritted my teeth against the ache and walked more rapidly.

We then had a quick ride to the airport, boarded a plane, and after an hour-long trip, we landed.

On the way, Dr. Tully briefed me. Apparently, we were actually going on a ghost hunt – what I was dreading. Apparently he was a crackpot.

He saw my expression and said that, if I didn’t want my name used or mentioned or connected with the project, he could make sure of that. He was used to the reluctance of people being connected with ghosts and ghost hunting and he understood. I felt a little small for wanting it, but I accepted and thanked him.

Apparently, we were heading for the Paramount Theater, an old movie house that opened in 1915, and, over the years, had hosted stage shows and music and film festivals. Though they still do that, what really pays their bills are the movies that they show nightly.

Anyway, their operations had been almost completely halted because of a haunting. Yep, a haunting.

In the past, the Paramount had been known for the Lady in White, whose sad face was usually spotted during pre-production of stage plays, and the Man with the Cigar that paces the the opera boxes in clouds of billowing cigar smoke.

Actually, this had helped attract patrons. Dr. Tully doubted if these were real ghosts. They were probably just a case of wishful thinking. But six months ago, a new spectral entity had appeared, and had been causing trouble. Several people had been hurt already, and one had almost died, all attributable to attacks by this new entity. Naturally, the owners tried to get help, and the Parapsychological Association contacted them when they couldn’t do anything about it.

Dr. Tully and his team had been working on the case for a month now, but they couldn’t understand how this entity was able to manifest itself in this way, and, more importantly, why was it attacking people?

Normally, research into the history of the entity would help in the usual techniques that most “psychic investigators” (the kind that everyone made fun of) used to banish these spirits. However, this one was completely unknown. And these “charlatans” (that was Dr. Tully’s word for them) used that excuse for not being able to get rid of it. For the moment, Dr. Tully and his people had taken to calling the ghost “Jane Doe.”

“So, Doctor,” I asked, “why was I called in? I don’t know anything about ghosts…”

Apparently, they needed a photographer to get better pictures of Jane Doe, and try and find out who it was - they hadn’t had much luck getting pictures. So they decided to get a professional to help, and apparently, I came highly recommended.

“Plus,” he said, “you’re a girl…”

“Girl?” I asked. What has that got to do with anything? And besides, I don’t know if I…

“You see, Jane only attacks men. Women and children haven’t been attacked.”

He then showed me a bunch of Polaroid shots and they showed a creepy, transparent girl wearing what was, frankly speaking, a very weird kind of outfit – long-sleeved, high-necked blouse with a long skirt that reached the floor. The clothes seemed contemporary, so the spirit was probably from this time. But what girl would wear that kind of outfit?

And, if you can believe it, Jane was wearing what looked like a coronet of flowers on her head. And that made her outfit looked even more bizarre. She looked more than a little off. She must have been the ugliest ghost I’d ever seen.

But there was something very familiar about her. I couldn’t put a finger on it.

The shots were pretty scary, with the ghost in various poses that showed she was attacking the photographer, or attacking the men in the shot. But the picture of the girl was always a bit blurry, especially around the face.

I then took out the lenses that he gave me earlier. They looked like pretty standard EOS lenses except that the front lens was bright green. Apparently, the lenses were a special kind of arrangement of filters that makes the energy that makes up ghosts visible. So, they worked like any normal lens except that you can see ghosts with them.

Sure, you can…

I attached one of them to my camera.

***

It was nighttime already by the time the cab from the airport let us off at the old-looking structure. At the front, over the entrance was an old-fashioned marquee surrounded by big light bulbs. A big sign above the marquee said “The Paramount” in big, bold, three-foot-high letters.

On the unlighted marquee itself, it said “CLOSED FOR RENOVATION.”

“It looks pretty conventional,” I said. “Nothing scary at all.”

“How about you pose in front of the entrance and I’ll take a picture?”

I shrugged, not really minding, and he snapped a picture using my camera with his special lens.

ghost-small.png

He then handed me my camera and I saw my picture in the camera’s little LCD display. There was a ghostly image of a scary, partially transparent apparition behind me. The girl in the Polaroids!

The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end and I involuntarily spun around to check. But, of course, I didn’t see anything there.

I shivered, but tried to act normally. I took my camera from Dr. Tully and looked at the picture again.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “The entity has a kind of boundary. She won’t leave the theater.”

I nodded. But even with that assurance of safety, I couldn’t stop shivers from racing up and down my spine.

“What now?” I said in a shaking voice.

“I’m waiting for my team. I’ve already called them. They should be here in… Ah! There they are now.”

A trio of grad students was walking down the deserted sidewalk towards us.

“Hey, Doc!” the one in the lead, a diminutive little brunette, called and waved. The blonde and the tall, dark-haired guy with her just waved.

“Guys, this is Debbie Delaney,” he said when they got to us. “She’s our photographer.” There was a flurry of handshakes all around.

“And guess what? She’s already had an encounter with our Jane Doe.”

“She did?” Jackson, the tall guy said. “But it’s only eight PM!”

“Yeah. She’s out early tonight,” Helen, the blonde, commented.

“Maybe she’s reacting to Debbie’s presence?” Lucy, the other girl, said.

“Whatever it is, we’ll start early tonight. Maybe we can start now/”

The three nodded, went to a van parked nearby and started getting their equipment.

In a few minutes, they were ready. No proton packs for this bunch. All they had were backpacks filled with recording equipment, cameras and lights. I got ready myself: I replaced my Speedlight flash with my big Neewer LED video light, attached my battery grip and replaced my camera strap with a Black Rapid strap. I also made sure I had extra battery packs and spare SD cards in my jacket pockets. With that, I shouldered my own camera kit. I looked as close to a ghostbuster as they did.

“So, what are we doing now?” I asked.

“Ghost hunting, of course!” Helen giggled.

I shivered again. But I wouldn’t be shown up by these pseudo-eggheads.

“Dr. Tully,” I asked, feigning bravery, “what would you like me to do?”

“Just keep close to the team, Debbie,” he said. “Take pictures – as many as you can. We need clear shots of Jane Doe.”

“How will I know if the ghost is around?”

“With Jackson and I here? You’ll definitely know if she’s around. Trust me.”

I nodded, as if I understood.

Lucy led our group inside. She unlocked the metal accordion gate that served as the security door. Jackson pushed it aside and we filed in, with Lucy at the lead.

“Do we have to navigate this place in the dark?” I asked.

“No,” Dr. Tully answered. He went to a room at the back of the snack counter. He probably switched on some breaker because the lights switched on, but there were a lot of areas still in shadow.

“Not all of the lights are on, doctor,” I called.

“Oh, that’s not the light breakers,” Lucy said. “That’s damage care of Jane.”

The lights did reveal a lot of glass on the floor, upturned trashcans, and broken fixtures and furnishings.

“Okay,” Dr. Tully said. “Let’s break up into two teams. Jackson – you and Lucy go into the theater itself, we’ll take the other areas starting here.”

Jackson nodded and they walked through the main theater doors, moving the velvet ropes aside first.

I looked around and I saw lots of movie and TV posters on the walls. One wall was, in fact, covered from top to bottom by these posters. I thought that was a great gimmick – it looked like fancy wallpaper. But some of the posters were ripped, across the face of the people on them, although most were okay.

I tapped Helen on the shoulder and pointed to the poster wall.

“Yeah,” she said. “That’s Jane.”

“But most of the posters are intact. Why did she tear up those particular ones?”

She shrugged. “Just a random thing.”

I looked at the ripped up ones. Something told me they weren’t random. For example, there was a set of the “Lethal Weapon” movie posters side by side. All of them were ripped up, but the rest weren’t. And I noticed that all the Mission Impossible posters were ripped as well, but the surrounding posters weren’t.

That couldn’t have been random…

Putting that aside for the moment, we searched the snack bar and the surrounding areas.

I saw Helen grab a Milky Way. I was about to say something but she rang up the cash register and put some money in the cash register’s drawer. I giggled at her honesty and fastidiousness.

We looked around some more, but it was clear things hadn’t been touched for a while here.

We then looked at other places – the theater manager’s office and the utility room, to name a couple. We then started for the bathrooms. Ekkk…

Just before we were to enter the ladies’ bathroom, I felt a peculiar kind of coldness just in front of the door.

“Wait!” I said, just as what felt like ghostly fingers raced up and down my spine.

“What is it, Debbie?” Dr. Tully said.

“I’m feeling something. Right here.” I pointed to the spot where I was standing. But it was gone, now.

“I felt something at this spot, too,” Helen said, “all the time.”

“You did?” Tully asked. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

She shrugged apologetically. “Sorry, Doctor… I didn’t think it was significant…”

Tully sighed exasperatedly. “Okay. Check the database. See if anything happened here.” He turned to me. “We’ve downloaded all the information we could about the theater. Anyway, turn on your camera and check around if you see Jane.”

I waved it around slowly. I shook my head. “No, nothing at all.”

After typing on her tablet for a while, Helen turned back to us. “There was a short news item, Doctor. I put ‘bathroom’ and ‘paramount’ as keywords. Apparently, about eight months ago, someone got beat up here, in front of the women’s bathroom. There was a 911 call, and the man was sent to the hospital. Someone named Kevin Nyland.”

“Ah. Then that probably isn’t our ghost.”

“Will do, Doctor.”

“Wait,” I said. “Why doesn’t that have anything to do with the ghost?” I got Helen’s tablet and looked at the information.

“Well, it’s a guy, so it’s not our Jane Doe. But you’re right - we need to do more research. We can work on that some more tomorrow.”

I checked the net and looked for anything about Kevin Nyland, and I found an obituary.

As I was about to tell Tully about it, we heard someone scream. It wasn’t Jackson or Lucy. It was blood-curdling and terrifying - it was the high-falsetto sound of the ghost screaming.

The doctor and Helen rushed towards the theater. I followed, but more because I didn’t want to be left alone.

We entered the dim theater, and we saw Jackson being pelted by stuff. Mostly trash and detritus like old soda cans or popcorn boxes.

I brought up my camera and saw the ghost in the little LCD display in all her ectoplasmic glory. She was throwing the trash at Jackson, but was virtually ignoring Lucy. By her movements, clearly, she was getting more and more frustrated since the trash wasn’t really hurting him.

I kept on snapping pictures while Helen and the doctor gingerly approached Jackson and the ghost.

And as the ghost got more and more frustrated and angry, she was becoming more visible. Eventually, I didn’t need my camera to see her. But I continued to snap pictures.

But she didn’t become visible all the way. You could see through parts of her, and see the bones and muscle underneath.

ghost-only.png

She was screaming louder and louder, and I was actually wincing every time: it was so high, loud and piercing.

Jackson had retreated to the stage below the curtained screen, but he wasn’t really being hurt.

But the ghost was running out of junk to throw. I looked at her and we could see her looking around for other things, but she couldn’t find anything.

The ghost looked down, saw the movie house chairs and wrapped her ghostly fingers around one.

With a long and loud, high-pitched falsetto scream, she tore the chair, in fact a whole row, off its bolts. The chairs were connected to each other apparently.

With incredible power, she threw the entire row at Jackson. Jackson jumped to the right, dodging the chairs, and they hit the edge of the stage with great impact, cracking and splintering the stage’s wood surface. The whole row overbalanced, tipped up and then fell into the orchestra pit with a great metallic “clang!”

Instinctively, my finger was hardly moving from my camera’s shutter button, and I was catching everything on camera.

“Jackson!” Dr. Tully yelled from where we were standing. “Are you okay?”

The ghost, upon hearing the doctor’s yell, flew to us, screamed and backhanded the doctor across his face.

Tully flew back and fell among the chairs. Helen ran to him to see if he was okay. I looked at the ghost and saw her absentmindedly adjust her coronet of flowers, then fly towards Jackson. And then it clicked.

“Stop!” I yelled. “For God’s sake, Kevin, stop it!”

***

The ghost stopped.

“Yes, I know. Oh, Kevin, I know…”

The ghost looked towards me.

“We’re the same, Kevin,” I whispered, as she floated near me.

“I’ve felt what you’ve felt,” I said. “I’ve gone through what you went through. I know, Kevin. Believe me.”

I found myself holding my hand out. The ghost looked at it, like she wanted to take it, but at the same time, looking like she was afraid.

“Growing up not feeling like things were right, growing up like you didn’t belong. And when you tried to, you were rejected. Your classmates would hurt you or beat you up, girls you tried to be friends with would think you weird and make fun of you. And your folks…”

She looked at me, and the half-transparent skin started to become more solid, and she started looking more and more normal.

“So you pretend and try and be more ‘normal,’ more like a real boy. And soon, it becomes like a habit. But the pain – the hurt – the longing and the wanting – it grows. Eventually, you say to yourself, you don’t care what people think anymore, and you come out, and try to live the way you want to, but no one understands.”

She floated near me, looked me straight in the eye.

“But the haters and the losers – they’re still there. They haven’t gone away. And one night, at the movies, they catch you when you went to the bathroom.

“And they beat you… they beat you to death…”

I couldn’t stop myself, and I started to cry. The ghost reached for my hand. It was like it was made of smoke. It was cold, but I didn’t pull away.

“But you know, it’s all over now. It’s done. No need to fight anymore. Oh, honey, it’s over now. No need to hold on to it. No need to hold on to the pain, and the hurt, and everything.”

I sighed. “It’s done, Kevin. It is. Let yourself believe it, and you can move on.”

She looked at me, with a question in her eyes.

“I promise you, we’ll find out who did this to you, and we’ll make him pay. On my life, I promise.”

After an eternity, she nodded. Behind her, there was a light. She looked behind her and then back to me.

“They’re calling you, huh?” I said.

She nodded.

“Then you should go.”

She smiled.

Slowly, she moved closer, and gave me a hug. It was like I was surrounded by smoke, but I didn’t shrug it off.

She let go, smiled at me and drifted to the light.

“Hey!” I called.

She stopped and turned to look at me.

“What’s your real name?” I asked.

“Anna Marie,” she said, and slowly disappeared away.

“Goodbye, Anna Marie,” I whispered.

***

A few days later, we were in the local hospital visiting Dr. Tully.

He’d sustained some broken ribs, a broken arm and a concussion, but he was mostly okay now.

They had been poring over the pictures that I had taken, and were marveling at the quality of it. The pictures of Kevin, I mean Anna Marie, were pretty clear, and there were details that I caught that were never seen before. Dr. Tully said that this could open up a whole new range of psychic investigations.

I shrugged. I didn’t care, one way or the other. As far as I was concerned, this was my first and last ghost project.

“But I don’t get it, Deb,” Jackson asked, going back to what we were discussing. “How’d you find out?”

“There were signs, actually,” I said. “It was there, if you knew what to look for.

“The fact that she only attacked men…”

“Not a good enough clue, if you ask me.”

“Also, only certain posters were torn up in the poster wall.”

“Explain that.”

“Only the movies that starred gay bashers were torn up.”

“Wow…”

“Also, the ghost’s entire look. Didn’t she look a little, you know, off?”

“Yeah!” Helen said. “I was just thinking that, but I thought it wasn’t important.”

“Also,” I said, “did you see how she moved, and her voice? It was obvious it was a boy in drag. She was even wearing a wig.”

I reached for the pile of pictures, looked through them, selected the one where I caught her adjusting her coronet and her wig, and showed it to them.

“Ahhh!” Jackson and the girls said in belated acknowledgement.

“It was so, so obvious.”

“Well, it wasn’t obvious to me,” Jackson said.

I shrugged.

“Good work, Debbie,” Doctor Tully said from his bed.

“Thanks, Doc,” I said.

“Hey,” Helen said, and put her arm through mine. “Game for some lunch?”

I blushed. “Sure,” I said.

“Let’s go!”

After saying our goodbyes to Dr. Tully, we left his room, and I allowed Helen to lead me towards wherever we were having lunch. Jackson and Lucy trailed after us, maybe about a dozen feet away.

“I still don’t believe that she used to be a guy,” I heard Jackson say.

“Oh, shut up!” Lucy said in exasperation.

End

There were giggles and laughter all around. I'm one of them, I realize, leaning more toward the giggling than the laughing. I reach up to scratch an itch on my bare left arm, which kind of makes me think about the fact that I was wearing a hoodie when I came in. I don't remember having taken it off, but I must have.

The manager walks over to somebody else and takes his cassette tape. The kid he takes this one from is sitting on one of the tables, his legs together. I realize after a minute that it's because the kid is wearing a skirt. I'm quite certain there was nothing but guys in the building when I came in, and I definitely don't remember any crossdressers. Had I missed this guy?

"Oh, you picked a good one," the manager says to the kid. "I'll tell you part of this story now, and I'll tell you the rest later. This one's a bit of a tearjerker."

I cough out a laugh. A tearjerker? Yeah, right. I don't cry. I lean against the table I'm standing beside and wait for him to start his story.

Little Me Part 1
By Susy

The alarm clock send shivers and vibrations all through my body. My head hurts, as I groggily snap the god damned thing off. Sleeping with the blinds off allows me to get a sneak peek for today’s weather. Even if it’s morning, the sun is hiding behind the clouds, grey, black clouds covering the whole sky. I yawn, stretching my arms hearing my limbs crack from finally being used. My hair covers part of my face, a gentle chestnut color that is long enough to cover both of my eyes and tingle my nose. Pushing the hair out of my face as I stand up, I take a good long yawn, looking around my room trying to come back to reality.

“Stewie! Emi says that you should hurry up! She needs you downstairs right now!” My younger sister yells at me, before running back to her room next to mine. I could hear her door slamming shut, and the songs she puts every morning passing right through the walls. I groggily stand up, barely capable of walking to the bathroom without stumbling with anything on my way there. Turning the lights on in my room, I head immediately to the sink, opening the cold water, making a small puddle with my hands, before splashing my face, finally waking up.

My face greets me in the mirror, big green eyes, soft lips, high cheekbones, and an overall thin face structure. “I need to cut my head…” I say picking a strand of my hair pulling it out of my face. Looking at the razor next to my tootbrush I let out a sigh, my soft pale chin with no signs of hair what so ever. If you don’t know me, your first guess would be that I’m a girl. Short height, soft skin, thin and gentle complexion. No girlfriend, but at least I do sports and have one of the highest grades from my school. At least girls talk about me, about how my hair is silky and smooth, but they at least talk about me.

I walk out of the bathroom, walking to my closet trying to pick up a simple outfit for the day. A pair of jeans, and a simple yellow jacket. Changing takes less than a minute, leaving my clothes in the corner, putting on the new attire. As I walk out of the room, the window in the hall shows but a fair girl wearing her brother’s clothes. I look away, hating my image and walking slowly downstairs. ‘I go to the gym every day, for two years now, why haven’t I grown any muscle?!’ This thought runs through my head each time I stop and look at myself in the mirror.

Since I’m not quite looking where I was going, my head ends up crashing against some form of hard muscle. Blinking quickly, I blush, looking at my younger brother as I crash against him. “Sorry Gavin… I wasn’t looking.” I tell him, embarrassed that I hit him. He lets out a growl, pushing me to the ground, making me fall flat to the floor. “Asshole!” I yell at him as he walks downstairs to the kitchen. I use the wall in order to stand up; even if I’m three years older than him, he is a huge 6’3” muscle bound jock, while I’m a puny 5’3” boy that is almost as tall as my youngest nine year old sister.

I walk downstairs and head to the kitchen. Gavin is pouring his cereal box in a bowl; he just smirks as he sees me enter the room. Like me, he has a light brown hair, but his eyes are blue and his face resembles more my dad rather than my mom. My oldest sister is next to him; she’s around the same size whenever she wears heels, long blonde hair, large breasts, womanly figure. She’s a striking copy of my mom. Wearing a suit and a skirt, her business glasses making her look even more attractive, as her hair is tight up in a bun.

“Stew… You know the house deal…” she says, pointing at the stove and pan a few feet away from her. I groan, ignoring Gavin’s laugh as he pours milk into his cereal. He’s wearing his typical school outfit, his sports jacket and jeans with his hair combed over. I sigh, going to the stove and pouring oil into the pan. “We are also lacking in the food department, Stew. You need to go grocery shopping again.” I simply nod, breaking the eggs into the pan and pulling out a spatula so I could stir the mix.

“Sis, can you…” Gavin starts to say, when the loud steps coming from upstairs come down quickly. I simply spotted my sister’s Jessica angry stomps. “What happened this time…” Gavin says groggily. Knowing him, he’d be resting his head on the table, ignoring the future presence of my sister in the room. I let out another sigh, knowing what’s coming to me. I put some salt and spices into the scrambled eggs I’m making, the small sausages perfect to be mixed in when the whole thing is ready.

“Stewie!” Jessica says, entering the kitchen, practically shouting at us. “Why isn’t my pink jacket clean already?! I used it like, one week ago!” I let out an even louder sigh, dropping the sausages into the pan. Waiting for the eggs to be ready, I drop some spices into the mix, before turning around to face my sister. She’s slightly taller than me, but at nine years of age, I’m fairly certain she’ll grow a couple of inches more.

“Sorry Jess, I was all day with Jason, I didn’t have time to put the drying machine on time.” I yawn, finishing the eggs and turning off the stove. I see her sit down pouting, pulling her chair harshly, clearly mad that her clothes aren’t ready. Walking to get a bowl, I pour the fresh scrambled eggs into the bowl, and place it in the kitchen table. “You still have the light blue jacket, why don’t you use it?” I tell her, making her face blush, a light smile coming from the realization. I just smile, giving her a plate.

The next one to come downstairs is my brother. Wearing a white shirt and some shorts, he crashes in his seat, still asleep. “Morning.” That’s all he manages to say. Knowing that he would be still groggy from his late night work, I give him his cup of coffee with the extra caffeine mixed in. “Thanks bro…” he says before sipping the coffee as if it were a simple glass of milk. As always, because the table was only made for four people to eat, the four chairs are already occupied so I have to pull a little fold chair that fits my frame perfectly. Sitting between my brother Jason and my sister Jessica, I wait for them to eat their share of eggs.

After some seconds I simply pull the bowl towards me, picking up a fork so I could eat the bits remaining at the bottom. “Three years…” My sister Emily speaks up, all of us knowing what she’s referring to. Gavin, in his anger as always, stomps on the floor leaving the kitchen and going back to his room. I ignore him, grumbling at my food as I eat.

“You know he didn’t take the news of our parents well…” Jason said, finishing his cup of coffee and leaving it in the table. A moment of silence sank the table; none of us want to talk about the death of our parents. They died three years ago, in a tragic car accident which involved a truck falling on top of their car. The forensics said that at least they didn’t suffer. And that’s how we ended up sleeping in the same small house. My eldest sister had just finished college when that happened, and Jason my eldest brother was a year away from doing so.

And now I live in a wooden house with my four siblings. Emily and Jason take care of getting the money, Emily being an economic consultant, and Jason a writer for the local newspaper. Being the one in the middle, I have more responsibilities than both of my younger siblings. Dad only taught me his cooking techniques, and I’d always helped Mom with the laundry. We all work together to have a proper household, promising to help each other whenever it’s needed.

I’m sixteen years old, just enough for me to drive the family’s Volkswagen Beetle, a yellow one that barely goes around without stopping after some miles. My sister’s company gave her a nice Honda City, and my brother gets to use my dad’s old charger. Overall, thanks to my grades I’ve a scholarship scheduled for when I finish high school. Gavin looks to have a sports scholarship for when he leaves school, and when Jessica finally reaches that age, I’ll probably have a job that would sustain all of her bills.

“Well… I left the lunch bags at the entrance, be sure to tell Gavin when he finally decides to come down, I’ll head to school then,” I tell them, standing up and heading to the door. With my backpack and old Windows 7 laptop, I open the main door and walk to my school. It’s not a long journey, but my school is located a fifteen minute walk from my house. The wind hits my face, making my hair move along the direction of the breeze. “I do need to get it cut,” I say before walking along the road.

***

I sit in the school’s cafeteria; the only table available was one on the balcony. The weather is still the same as the morning, the grey clouds covering the sky, and the wind constantly blowing at my face. I bought one of those cheap sandwich combos; it came with a carton of milk and a bottle of water. I sigh, my laptop opened with the PDF file of the current book I have to read for the literature class. I laughed, enjoying the satiric work of Voltaire in his Candide book.

I look around as I take the last bit of one half of the sandwich. No one really wanting to sit next to me. I don’t blame them, since I was little I’ve always been teased about and bothered by my looks. During the phase of ‘boys vs girls’ all the boys shunned me away because of my girly looks. Even today, with my short frame and girly complexion, people that don’t know me are constantly confusing me with a girl. As I was looking away, my laptop went to sleep, showing a dark empty screen which reflected my face.

My big green eyes greet me, my eyelashes long and thick, my eyes big and rich with color, I’m being teased for having a set of girlish eyes. I sigh, closing my computer and resting on the table. Checking the clock I’m just in time to get to my final PE class. The day has been boring as usual, working on my own and doing all the work on time and by myself. I take another look at my watch, agonizingly realizing that it was already five in the afternoon, and that I have to take this forced class which it doesn’t even count for my final grade.

I hug my arms, resting on the table and relaxing for a while. “I’m too tired to go…” I say once more, lying on the table. I close my eyes, remembering all the pending chores I have to do for tonight. Balling my hand into a fist, I slam the table as hard as I can, producing more pain than sound due to my lack of strength. “I wish Gavin would help me out... He’s old enough to take care of his own things…” I say out loud, tired and groggy. Jason is the only one that ever helps me, and he does that so I can help him out whenever he needs a perspective on his work.

“What did you say?!” I recognize my brother’s voice, coming along with a harsh pull from my mouth. His strong hands clearly hold my small frame. I try to move and kick, but his strength overpowered mine. With ease he drags me by my neck, slamming me to the nearest wall. I open my eyes wider, using both hands to try to push away his arm.

“Look Stew, you might not understand this, but I’m the one that makes the rules between the two of us. You’ll do all my chores from now on, you understand?” I don’t stop trying to push his arm away, both of my hands barely covering the thickness of his muscle filled arm.

With the air running out of my lungs, I move my legs and aim exactly at his crotch. He finally lets go, dropping me to the ground. Immediately I start coughing, air coming back to my lungs. I can hear him groan, covering his crotch in pain. “What the fuck is wrong with you!” I yell at him, kicking him in his ribs. “What the hell are you doing here in the first place?” I continue to cough, a small crowd gathering around us. Angrily I gather up my stuff, placing it inside my backpack. Gavin continues to lie on the floor; I must have hit him hard in the crotch, because even when I was out of the cafeteria he was barely standing up.

He gives me his ‘You’re Dead’ stare; I simply flip him off and continue my way to the school’s main door. As I pass through the halls, the students from other grades and programs look at me funny. Obviously with the variety of social media outlets, the rumours must have spread fast by now. I stomp down the halls, my long hair covering my face as I walk. Since it was somewhat of an open high school, students could go in and out at their own will. The guards even ignore me, looking at me as nothing more than an angry girl.

I go to my spot in the middle of a bridge over the river at the park. I drop my stuff to the ground, sitting at the edge of the border, mixing my anger with my thoughts, trying to calm down. “Why does he do this?” I say to myself, breathing heavily and rubbing my neck. “I’m always so nice to him, always taking care of him…” A tear rolls down my cheek, as I remember the night when my parents died. “We used to be really close…” I hug my legs, looking at the flow of the water, rolling down the stream.

After relaxing for a couple of minutes, I sigh. No longer with tears in my eyes, I wipe off the remaining droplets of water. “I wish Gavin would treat me like before…” I say out loud, sighing. Out of nowhere I feel a huge pain coming from the back of my neck. Some form of stinger is pinching my neck and sending burning sensations all around it. I yell in pain, falling to the small stream below me. “What the fuck!” I say while the burning sensation travels through the rest of my body.

After a couple of minutes I move my hand to the back of my neck, picking up a huge-ass wasp that just stung me. “You dick!” I tell the bug tossing his dead body into the water. “Just what I needed.” The insect was bigger than the normal wasp, and for some bloody reason the color pattern of the thing was red and black. I growl, trying to stand up as my entire body has gotten soaked from the water. “Fucking perfect…” I say rubbing the place in which the wasp stung me. The sound of thunder trembles my ears. Turning around I see a tree in flames falling to the ground next to me. “Oh come on!” I say, jumping away for some safety. A couple of seconds later the rain came pouring down on top of me. “Well fuck you too…” I say falling to the water behind me.

***

“I didn’t know you were a fan of the band Imagine Dragons.” I look up from the ground, seeing my friend Ericka. She’s also a close friend of Jason, and they work together. He has a huge crush on her; both of them told me that they like each other -- it’s a fucking mystery if you ask me, but it’s none of my business. With four groceries bags in my hands I walked to the door of my house. Ericka (a geeky girl who works with Jason) steps out, clearly from a meeting with him. Looking down at my hoodie I notice the symbol of a band, which I never heard a single song from.

“Oh… no,” I tell her as she moves out of the door and helps me to the kitchen. “I just had a very bad day… A huge-ass wasp stung my neck, I fell into the river in the park, lightning struck next to me, and I got caught up in the middle of the rain of the century.” I place the bags on the counter, dropping my backpack to the ground as well. I notice how her eyebrows moved at the sound of the wasp. “Yeah, it was huge, red and black, the size of my hand,” I tell her, knowing she’s a bug catcher during her free time. We are so close that she and I have gone to the nearby forest, she collecting rare bugs and me simply enjoying the thrill of hiking.

“Oh… R-Red wasp? How odd…” She said clearly nervous and stammering. “Well… Anyhow, goodbye Stewstew!” she says, then picks up her purse and runs out of the house. My brother wearing a flannel shirt and pants comes running downstairs, clearly looking for Ericka. They’d make a nice couple. My brother is somewhat of a slot, long shaggy hair with his beard unshaved, while Ericka was a cleaning maniac. Long black hair, glasses, and an overall fit and thin body, she was quite attractive but nerdy at the same time.

“That bitch!” he says, clearly annoyed by something she did. I can’t help but giggle, walking back to the kitchen and putting all the stuff in its place. I could hear him rambling about, before walking back to the kitchen with a clear fake smile on his face. I tilt my head, putting the pasta in the little jar we have for it. “So… Stewie… My man! How do you feel?” I instantly tilt my head and flip him the bird.

“Not really in the mood for one of your pranks, Jason…” I tell him, taking the milk and Gavin’s favorite cereal out of the bags. “I had a very tiresome day today…” I tell him, sighing, finishing putting the groceries away. “How was work today, Jas? Did you finally declare you love to Ericka?” I tease him this time, making him do the same hand gesture to me. I can’t help but to let out a light laugh as I stored all of the bags in the plastic bag cabinet.

“I don’t understand why don’t you have a girlfriend already, good looks; good grades, good at sports, fucking amazing cook, good with the housework, quiet and calm… Stewie, why haven’t you gotten a girlfriend yet? I barely can cook anything without burning the house down, even when making cereal I almost burnt the kitchen down!” I can’t help laughing, my hair covering my face as my cheeks redden from the laugh.

“You aren’t a morning person Jason. That day you wanted to have cereal with warm milk. You poured the milk and cereal and then placed it in the microwave, using a metallic bowl with the spoon on it.” I laugh, remembering how he woke me up for help, as the microwave had caught fire. I walk out of the kitchen, standing in the middle of the living room about to go upstairs. “And I don’t have a girlfriend because...”

“Girly looks and your social awkwardness.” My sister Emily comes barging into the room. She throws her heels to the couch, jumping at it with the controller in her hands. She places her feet on the table, relaxing her entire body on the old rouchy couch. “Did you manage to speak to the cashier without blushing and stammering?” I look to the ground embarrassed from my sister’s comment. “Thought so.” she says, changing the channels until setting into a silly comedy from Warner.

I clench my fists, embarrassed and angry about the teasing. I can’t socialize, even if I try I’m always afraid and embarrassed when talking to a new person. Emily says it’s to help me with my trauma; she forces me to go out as much as possible. We ran out of milk? Stewie has to go buy it. The sink is broken? Stewstew has to call the plumber. They don’t care that my heart practically beats out of my chest, that my hands sweat and tremble, and to top it all off, I have to deal with Gavin being a dick to me each time he comes back home.

I look away, my girlish face greeting me in the mirror. As I was doing so the main door opened, my brother Gavin entering with a clear look of anger on his face. “I didn’t know you liked Imagine Dragons,” my sister says, walking next to me, towering me as if I were a child. Before I can even react my brother pulls me by my neck and throws me to the ground next to the door. “Gavin, what the fuck are you doing!” my sister yells, trying to stop my brother but it was no use; he stomped over me, completely pissed off.

“What do you think you’re doing young man?” Jason says grabbing Gavin’s arm and twisting it behind his back. I cough from the pain, standing up and making some space between me and Gavin. My younger brother might be big and strong, but Jason practised a lot of martial arts when he was younger. They are both around the same height, Jason being slightly taller than Gavin and obviously the beard makes him look older. “Why are you pissed off this time?” Jason says applying more pressure to his hand.

“Look, the faggot... “ He gets cut off by Jason, applying even more pressure to his hand. “Stew! Stew kicked me in the balls when I came to greet him in the cafeteria.” Jason stops hurting him, now turning his gace at me. Even Emily looks at me with an angry face. They both know how Gavin and I are constantly fighting between us. They are sick and tired of having to deal with the fights. Which is odd, because I’m usually the one with wounds and bruises.

“You don’t believe him, right? You think that I’d kick him in the nuts without having a reason!?” I yell, clearly annoyed. I pull away the part of the hoodie that covered my neck, showing the clear mark of a hand strangling me. “He almost fucking killed me at school!” I yell with all my force, running away from the living room towards my own room. Tired of everything I jump into the bed, placing my head over the pillow as I use some techniques to calm down. “I wish I could get along…” I said before losing the time and falling asleep on my bed.

End

I rub at my eye. Not outright crying, but somewhat on the verge. I can't believe that. The asshole actually managed to bring a tear out of me. I move from the table closer to the wall and sit down. I can still see the majority of the room.

The manager walks over to a girl who is clearly bored and texting somebody, probably a boyfriend. I don't even care that I didn't notice her when I walked in, she's probably been here the whole time.

"You haven't found anything?" the manager asks.

"I came in for iTunes cards."

He smiles. "Ah." He reaches into his pocket and produces a pair of $100 iTunes cards. "On the house, as long as you'll allow me to indulge in a story for you, as well."

"Uh... What kinda story would an iTunes card have?"

His smile widens. "Funny story, that. And, actually, this story is funnier than the last one."

Miss App
By Hikaro

I walked into Kristie's room and asked, “Can I borrow your phone for a little while?”

She was reading a book on her bed. She liked to do that. “What's wrong with yours?”

“Charging. I just need to send Bianca a text.”

She jerked her thumb at her phone on the night stand. I grabbed it, tapped on Contacts, then on Bianca Sharpe, then the text icon. I left a message that said I've got a cold, can't hang out tonight. See you tomorrow. Bianca always made fun of me for not using “text speak”, but I just couldn't. It looked stupid, like people are always in a hurry.

“Why couldn't you do that on your phone again?” Kristie asked.

“I told you, it's charging.”

“I can send texts when mine's charging.”

“I turn mine off to charge it. The charge lasts longer.”

She sighed. “Whatever.”

I cleared her phone back to the home screen. I saw an app I didn't recognize. It wasn't named, it just had a red lipstick logo on a black square. “What's this?”

“You realize I'm not looking at the phone, right?”

“It some sort of makeup app?”

She had a confused look on her face. “I don't need a makeup app, what the hell are you – ” she trailed off.

I was curious. If it was just a simple makeup app, I could goof around and make myself look like a girl for a minute or two before giving her back her phone. I tapped the app and the phone –

– flew from my hand! I couldn't believe what I was seeing: the phone was just floating in mid-air, facing away from me. Kristie jumped from her bed but didn't go near the phone.

“Why'd you open that up?!” she screamed.

“What?!”

The flash from the camera blinded me for a second. Had it always been that bright? I rubbed the after image of the room out of my eyes and blinked a couple times. My eyes were full of water thanks to that flash. The phone landed on Kristie's bed a moment later, almost as if it hadn't been floating in the air in the first place.

Kristie stood there, staring at me. Her eyes were wide as saucers, something I hadn't seen since we were kids. She wouldn't take her eyes off of me, which was outrageously concerning. “What are you looking at?” I asked, and then I clamped a hand over my mouth.

That was not my voice.

I moved my hand a little and sort of whispered, “What are you looking at?”

She grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me in the direction of her closet door mirror. The sight I took in was breathtaking.

The girl resembled Kristie only insofar as it was obvious they were sisters. Kristie had the same dark red hair our dad had, while mine and this girl's were a mix between that and our mom's chestnut brown. The girl's eyes were the same hazel that mine were, while Kristie's were bright green. Kristie had a deep tan from sunbathing every afternoon after school while the girl had paler skin, more like our mom. Her cheeks were dotted with freckles, much like mine were, and she had the same thin scar splitting her right eyebrow that I had, though her eyebrows were thin and arched, whereas mine had been bushy.

I had been wearing a bright red tee shirt with a hole close to my belly button and a pair of cargo shorts. The girl was wearing a bright red tank top with a hole near her belly button and a pair of Daisy Duke shorts that showed off every inch of her legs.

For some reason, the fact that the girl in the mirror wasn't some stranger but was in fact me had yet to fully hit home. I couldn't believe I was looking at this girl who could very much be the sister Kristie and I never had. She looked just as confused as I was, which made sense, considering she was me.

From downstairs, Mom shouted, “Kristie! Emily! Dinner!”

I asked Kristie, “Who's Emily?” That voice again surprised me. Granted, I'd only heard it two and a half times.

She groaned. “That's you, dummy.”

“What?”

“Good job, you just changed your whole life.”

I repeated, “What?”

She sighed. “Look, you stay up here, I'll go downstairs and get our food, okay?”

I nodded.

Five minutes later, she'd walked back into the room carrying a plate of spaghetti and handed it to me. I was still too mesmerized by the girl in the mirror to do anything. “Eat up,” Kristie said, “you already look bulimic as it is. I'm going to assume Emily doesn't eat as much as Eric did.”

“What?” was repeated a third time.

Kristie sighed again. “Look, you found something I should have deleted a long time ago. You found the Miss App.”

I know I misheard her. “I found the what what?”

“The Miss App. It's something a friend of mine showed me when I was really down and about to jump off the bridge a couple blocks away.”

Kristie had almost committed suicide?! “Whaddya mean? Since when have you ever been that low?”

She set her plate down and stood back up. “You don't remember it.” It wasn't a question. “That's what the Miss App does. It rewrites reality.”

I couldn't be hearing that. “That's impossible.”

“Yeah, I said that a few weeks ago when my friend Allie showed it to me. But it's real, and it's worked its magic on you now.” She quickly forked some spaghetti into her mouth. “Now, I need to help you acclimate.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Eat.”

“Answer the question.”

“Eat the food, and I'll answer the question.”

I sighed. “Fine.” I sat down at her vanity and started eating.

“Like I said, the Miss App rewrites reality. As far as the world outside of you, me and my friend Allie are concerned, Eric never existed and Emily always has. Mom and Dad don't remember Eric at all, but Emily has been their second daughter since the day you were born.” She took a bite of her spaghetti. “Just like when I changed from Christopher to Kristie.”

I stopped eating. “What?”

“See? You don't remember when I was your older brother, do you?”

“You've never been my older brother.”

“And here you sit having just gone through the same thing. I told you, reality is different. You don't remember me as your brother because I used the Miss App, just like nobody outside this room will remember Eric. And judging by the pictures I saw when I went downstairs, you're the girly sister.”

I pointed at my torn shirt. “I'm the girly one? I look like the tomboy sister.”

“And I bet if you go look at your closet, you'll find the rest of your clothes are absolutely perfect and mostly pink. The Miss App just feminizes the clothes you're wearing for the initial change. Mom probably thinks you keep that shirt for sentimental reasons, or something. Kinda like that leather jacket that everybody thinks my 'boyfriend' left me.”

Come to think of it, that explanation had always confused me. “So, if they all think I've always been Emily, does that mean they'll notice if I start acting different?”

“Did you notice when it was me?”

“No.”

“Exactly. You are one hundred percent exactly the same, except you've got female parts and a female life.” She picked bits off of a piece of bread and ate them individually. “You're gonna find out that some of the guys who used to just be friends with you may have been your boyfriends, and girlfriends you had will probably still be girlfriends, but in the female sense, as in your closest friends.” She picked up her phone. “That text you sent to Bianca probably didn't change words, but the meaning behind them is different now.”

“But does it really count when you changed? I didn't even know you were a guy until today!”

“That's my point. Nobody but me knows you were a guy, they'll just see the same Emily they know and love. And your body is already used to your new mannerisms and such. Hence you're sitting pretty ladylike right now.”

I looked down and finally noticed that I was sitting awfully ladylike, with my legs together and my feet crossed at the ankles. I hadn't even done it intentionally, it was like... Like a reflex action. Had everything about me changed? I still remembered being a guy, but for some reason, sitting like one felt wrong.

“I know what you're thinking,” Kristie said, breaking me out of my sorta trance. “You're trying to remember how it felt to sit with your legs spread and no fear of somebody taking it as an invitation, right?”

“I...” I was probably blushing. “How'd you know?”

“I did the same thing when I changed. I tried to do all my male mannerisms but they were just wrong to me. Being female was what I wanted, and it was all I could be, even though I still had male memories.”

“So, the only person who's gonna think this is all weird is me?”

“Pretty much.”

I hugged my legs to my chest. “Why did you even have that?!”

She slid across her bed to sit closer to me. “I told you, I was on the verge of suicide. I was a girl living in a guy's body, and it was tearing me up. I knew Mom and Dad would never accept it if I wanted to go through surgeries and treatments and all of that. I told Allie about it and that was when she showed me the Miss App. I didn't believe it at first, but then she used it.”

“She turned herself into a girl?”

Kristie rolled her eyes. “No. She used it on me. Suddenly, I'd become exactly what I wanted to be. Having actual magic used on you about thirty seconds after you've been told about it kinda makes you a believer automatically, y'know?”

I couldn't fault that. I hadn't even been told about magic, it had just happened. “So, wait, why did the app need to be on your phone?” I asked.

She shrugged. “I honestly don't know. Allie just grabbed my phone and installed it, and then I was female – it was a very quick six minutes of my life, I'm not gonna lie.”

“And why are any of my male friends going to be potential ex-boyfriends now?”

“It's just what the Miss App does. If you're straight when you use it, you're straight after the change. If you're gay when you use it, you're gay after the change. Believe me, I had no interest in guys before my change, and now I've dated three since the change. You keep your orientation, just not specifically the gender you were originally attracted to.”

“That's weird.”

“Yeah. Just be happy you didn't have sex prior to the change, otherwise you'd have to go through life wondering which one of your male friends knows more about your new anatomy than you do.”

I could tell I was blushing again. “The very idea of that concerns me.” I uncurled my legs. “Okay, so I'm the girly sister, nobody remembers Eric and some of my guy friends could be ex-boyfriends.”

“That about sums it up.”

I pointed at her. “I don't like this.”

She nodded. “I understand that, but you're gonna havta get used to it.”

“Why don't you just call Allie up and ask her to change me back?”

She rubbed at the back of her neck. “Well... There's a problem there.”

I narrowed my eyes. “What kind of problem?”

“Well... Allie's sorta back home, dealing with her own problems. Plus, she can't change you back. She explicitly told me it was a one-way trip. Once I made the change, I had to accept the change.”

“Yeah, but you wanted it, you said. I didn't want this, couldn't there be some sort of reversal for idiots like me who did it accidentally?”

She shook her head. “Nope. Allie did tell me that she could make a different spell that could do the same thing, as in change you to the opposite gender, but you'd then be a male version of what you are now, not the guy you used to be.”

I coughed out a laugh. “Great. So I can either be the new me or a different new me.”

“Hey, there's nothing wrong with the new you. You're already acclimated to your new gender, it shouldn't take too long to get used to your new life; this is seriously the best option.”

“For you, maybe.”

She sighed. “I'll help you through this, don't worry.”

“You're probably happy about this, aren't you? Now that there's three women in the house means Dad's the only one leaving the seat up in the bathroom.”

She laughed. “Yeah, because that's the only thing that's good about having a little sister. Actually, you and I have more things to worry about now. We're relatively the same size, so our underwear is gonna get confused in the laundry, not to mention our clothes. I'm gonna havta teach you about periods and other feminine health worries without Mom asking us what's going on. We've got plenty of headaches coming to both of us now that you're my little sister.”

I hadn't thought about any of that. Even if my body knew how to put a bra on, I'd never really done it before. I'd never really worn a skirt, or a dress, or anything feminine. I wouldn't necessarily have to wear that sort of stuff, even if I was the girly one. Girly girls didn't only wear skirts or anything like that. And though the new me had had periods before in her life, I didn't have any memory of it, and the idea of pads or tampons was completely alien to me.

At first, I was just annoyed that this had happened at all; now I was outright scared of how I would actually live my new life.

I started to feel tears well up in my eyes, and instantly, Kristie was there, putting her arms around me. “Hey, hey, it's okay. We'll get through this together.”

“But...” I sounded like a little girl. Granted, it was my first girl cry.

“No buts. Remember, you've got a big sister who used to be a big brother. I've been through this. The circumstances are a tiny bit different, but the outcome's gonna be the same.”

I wiped at the tears. “I'm not... totally accepting of all this. I didn't have any problems being a guy.”

“Does it really hurt that you're a girl now?”

I shook my head. “No.” I gently brushed her arms off of me. The hug was nice, but I was a little better now. “But re-meeting my friends is gonna be weird.”

“I know. But just be the person you naturally are. You'll be fine.”

I sighed, then rapidly nodded my head. “Who I naturally am. Yep.”

“See? You're getting the hang of it.”

I wiped the last of the tears away. “But... Okay, I never had sex with anybody, but Stacy Turner let me fondle her.”

“The same Stacy Turner whose brother Kevin is your best friend?”

I nodded.

“Well, congrats, you've probably given him a handjob.”

“What?!”

End

The giggles returned, and not just from me. Several others are bursting into girlish laughter, to the point where I'm not sure there are even any guys here, despite knowing that there were when I walked in.

The girl who'd been given the iTunes cards flashes the manager a smile and leaves the building, but everyone else stays. I can only assume we're all interested in what stories our specific songs come with.

The manager walks over to someone who's quite clearly male and takes the DVD he's holding. "Young Frankenstein. Interesting choice. Like mad scientists, do you?"

The kid shrugs. "It's a gift for my dad."

"Anyone else?" Nobody does anything. "Well, I'll tell you a story about a very mad scientist, and his quite interesting mistake."

Unchanged
By Trismegistus Shandy

I opened my eyes, blinked the bleariness out of them, and tried to stretch, only to find that my hands and feet were shackled. Still shackled. Oh, right, I remember now. I glanced down and saw breasts.

"Huh. What do you know. He wasn't crazy."

Then I looked around and saw my captor, walking swiftly toward me followed by his assistant. He was gleefully wringing his hands, and saying "Ah, I see you're awake now, my pretty."

"On second thought," I muttered, "he wasn't delusional about being able to do *this*, anyway. Jury's still out on whether he's sane."

"As you can see," my captor said, as his assistant held up a mirror to show me my new face and chest, "you are now a beautiful woman, anatomically correct and fully functional. Not only that, but my nanites are even now putting the finishing touches on your brain! Soon, if not already -- I predicted a 94% chance that the change would be complete by the time you awoke, if you recall -- you will be attracted to men -- such as myself."

He was the sort of guy my straight female and gay male friends would call "ruggedly handsome," I supposed. Not your typical mad scientist, except for his expression and mannerisms. From what I'd gathered from his maniacal monologue last night (or however long ago?), he'd already used his new process on himself and his assistant, and I was the lucky bastard he chosen for the third, most daring test yet... and so on and so on. But...

"I'm not feeling it," I confessed. "How is this process supposed to work?"

"Aha! Your curiosity about the products of my genius reveals a subconscious attraction you have yet to admit to yourself! Listen and learn, my pet. The nanites seek out the structures in your brain encoding attraction to women and transform them into attraction to men, by linking the neural structures for sex and romance to a different set of mental images. Not only are you attracted to men now -- or will be within minutes -- but if all went as planned, I am your 'type', so to speak."

The scare-quotes intonation on 'type' told me he was a lot older than he looked. "So," I said, "if a man were straight, he'd come out of your process as a straight woman."

"Exactly!"

"And if he were bi, his attraction for women would be replaced with attraction to men -- maybe doubled? -- and, again, straight."

"Of course!"

"And if he were gay, he'd still be attracted to men afterward, so again, straight."

"You see, I have all the bases covered."

"And if he were asexual, like me, there'd be no effect."

He started to say something, gaped, and stared at me. His assistant backed slowly away from him.

"What," he finally said.

I sighed. Educating the public one person at a time was tedious, and I usually prefered to just walk away rather than explain, when possible. But there was no way to avoid it just now.

"Not everyone is sexually attracted to certain types of people," I said. "A few people, like me, just aren't interested in sex and aren't sexually attracted to anybody. We can still make friends, and some asexuals -- though not me, at least so far -- can even fall in love. Platonic love."

"Then the nanites..."

"Wouldn't have anything to work with, I'm afraid. Sorry. Are you going to let me go, or experiment on me again, or just rape me instead of seducing me like you planned?"

"Of course not!" he said, offended, and for a moment I wondered which of my alternatives he was denying. Then: "I'll have to start over from scratch. No, perhaps not from scratch, I can still use the old reprogramming code when the subject is straight or gay or bi, I'll just have to figure out how to create sexual attraction from scratch when there's nothing there... hmm, how to avoid overwriting something important with the new sexual attraction patterns...?"

He rambled on like that for a while and I finally interrupted.

"So, you don't want to keep me prisoner and have to feed me the whole time you're researching all that, right? It would waste a lot of your attention and resources, keeping me healthy and making sure I don't escape. I promise if you let me go I won't tell the police." (Damn straight, I was going direct to the FBI.)

"Well... perhaps. Belinda, take her to room five, lock her in, and bring her something to eat while I consider the matter." He turned his back on me and went over to a rack of computers and monitors while his assistant, muttering "I keep telling you, my name's Bill," unshackled me and helped me to my feet.

"So he transformed you too?" I asked.

"Yeah, but he hadn't gotten the orientation thing perfected yet, so I'm still into girls. Too bad you're not."

"Sorry. You seem like a nice person. How'd you end up working here? -- By the way, could I get some clothes?"

"Sure, we're the same size. That's not a coincidence, of course."

"I guess we're both his type?"

"Yeah. Come on, this way..."

"Why don't we both just leave? It looks like he's going to be distracted for hours."

"I can't -- staying here's my only chance to get back to normal. Dr. Possibility keeps promising me he'll change me back, and even if he's lying..."

"Okay, but can you at least let me go? You can pretend I surprised you and knocked you out."

"You don't want to change back? If you stick around, sooner or later I'll be able to brew up a batch of the stuff he used to make himself look like that, and we can change back and escape then."

"I'd rather be free than gamble on that. Who knows what experiments he might do on me while I'm waiting? Or on you, for that matter? And besides, I'm agender. Any kind of body's fine with me, as long as it's healthy."

"Well... okay. Come on, my quarters are this way; I'll -- hmm. I guess to make this look good I need to take off my clothes and let you 'steal' them, right?"

So he gave me his outer clothes -- he was wearing a lab coat over a green sundress, apparently required by his employer's dress code -- but kept his bra and panties on. I put on the sundress and his shoes, and gave him back the labcoat.

"Here, let me lie down on the floor outside room five, and you can spread the lab coat over me."

"Sure."

Once I'd gotten Bill arranged, I asked: "So how do I get out of here?" He gave me directions to the outer doors, and I left him.

Unfortunately, it turned out that we were in the middle of the desert. And though there was a jeep parked outside, I couldn't find the keys, and Bill thought they were locked in Dr. Possibility's quarters. Even though I packed up every bottle of water I could find before I left, by the time I got back to civilization, I was dehydrated and delirious, and thoroughly lost; I couldn't give the FBI directions back to Dr. Possibility’s lair. I hope Bill is okay.

End

More people look confused than entertained by that story, but I kinda thought it was funny. I notice for the first time that my pants have gotten tighter, and my pockets too small for my stuff to fit in them. Have I just gotten a purse from somewhere? There's one sitting beside me.

The manager moves to one of the in-between people that could be a boy or a girl and takes the CD they're holding. "The soundtrack to Halloweentown 2?"

The kid smiles. "It's my favorite movie."

The manager has a look on his face that just flat-out says how disappointed he is in the kid's choice. "Interesting choice... But it does bring to mind a story about a costume party. A costume party about a pair of people who eventually learned some very... intimate details about one another."

Costume Party
By MrMarvel

Getting Ready

“I’m not sure I can do this,” Paul said examining his face while he sat on a chair in front of his girlfriend’s vanity desk. He couldn’t believe how feminine he looked with just body paint, but then again his girlfriend was an expert at the trade.

“Don’t back out on me now,” Julia said, with her voice muffled slightly by her fake beard. “I spent hours getting us ready, so we’re going to that party.” She walked over to Paul with a wig cap in her hands. “Besides, this whole headswap costume was your idea to begin with.”

“I know, I know…” Paul said as he took the wig cap off Julia and held it in his hands for a moment. “It’s just, I feel embarrassed looking like this… you know?”

“It’s Halloween, no one’s going to care how you look, besides it’s a lot better than makeup,” Julia countered his protests. “Besides you’re not the one who needs to wear an itchy beard.”

Paul looked up at Julia, surprised to see how much she currently looked like him, from the neck up anyway. He touched his bare face and remembered the amount of prep work that had gone into this costume, Paul had grown a full beard so that Julia could wear the fake one to mimic his appearance, and then last night he had shaved his off completely. This was to help with the costume’s overall appearance and helped Julia look more masculine.

“You’re right, we’ve put too much effort into this for me to back out now,” Paul smiled nervously as he put the wig cap on.

“Good, because I’ve got one more surprise,” Julia informed him as she handed him a small box. Paul opened it quickly and excitedly but quickly dropped that enthusiasm when he saw two clip-on earrings.

“No way am I wearing these!” he protested once more.

“Now honey, remember the story of our costume, we were at a nightclub when a mad scientist drugged us and we woke up on each other’s bodies…” she said as she put her hands on his shoulders. “I don’t go to events and parties without wearing earrings, so if you’re going to be me from the neck up, you need to wear earrings.”

“Fine…” Paul gave in as he clipped the jewelry to his ears. Julia then passed him the straight blonde hair wig to put, finishing of his costume.

“You look wonderful,” Julia assured him as she kissed his cheek.

The Gate

Julia and Paul drove up to the estate’s large gate, left wide open for the party. However just because the gates were wide open, didn’t mean they were unguarded for anyone to crash the party. Paul pulled to a stop, joining the queue of cars in front of him.

“Wow, this party is even bigger than I thought,” Julia said with a smile. “When your boss goes full out, he goes FULL OUT.”

Paul looked over at Julia, barely able to recognise her. “Well he’s not exactly my boss, he’s my boss’s boss,” Paul corrected. “And I’m as surprised as you are with how many people are here. Hell I still can’t believe I got an invitation, I’m just a lowly office drone.”

“And with an attitude like that, that’s all you’ll be,” Julia said as she punched him in the arm to get his attention. “Think about it, Paul, you’re at your boss’s boss’s house. Think about all the other management team that might be here. If you rub elbows with the right people tonight, you could be looking at a promotion,” Julia said with excitement.

“Looking like this?” Paul once again pointed to his embarrassing costume. “Besides it looks like half the company is here, don’t you think they all have the same idea?”

“Hey, that costume shows that you’re fun and bold,” Julia said more firmly. “What’s the bet that everyone else went with something safe or typical? With that costume you’re sure to impress them; it’s just your attitude you need to work on.”

Paul was about to say something when the car in front of him drove past the security checkpoint, and now it was Paul’s turn. He drove up slowly to see a security guard dressed up as an ogre. Julia nudged Paul with her elbow. “Even the security guards are dressed up!” she whispered with a squeal of excitement. Paul just motioned for her to calm down as he opened the window.

“Invitation and ID,” the guard instructed.

Julia reached inside her handbag and passed Paul the black envelope. It had been handwritten and addressed to him so no one else could use it. ‘Probably why they’re also asking for ID,’ Paul thought as he pulled his driver's license from his wallet. ‘Being a costume party, you don’t know who’s who.’

Paul handed the guard what he requested. “This is is my plus one,” he said gesturing to Julia, who waved at him politely. The guard just nodded before handing back the license but keeping the envelope.

“Have a nice night,” the guard said as he motioned them forward.

Paul followed the pitched signs, being held by monstrous looking scarecrows, and assumed they were leading him to where he was meant to park. He wasn’t 100% certain though, as they said things like, ‘Beware!’, ‘Turn Back’ and ‘Last Warning’ as he approached the mansion.

Once they arrived, two goblin valets instructed them to pull over in front of the mansion’s doors. One of them opened the door for Julia and helped her out of the car while Paul got out himself. Like the guard, they were very professional and made no mention of the costumes at all. They wrote down Paul’s details and took his keys and drove the car somewhere out of the way.

“Enjoy your evening,” the remaining valet said as they walked inside the open doors.

The Party

Julia and Paul walked into the foyer and were astounded not only by the the interior of the mansion but by all the people in costume as well. There were all sorts of things ranging from witches to werewolves, zombies and vampires then there were the more amazing costumes like Medusa, a centaur and the headless horseman as well as your standard sexy cats, zombies and werewolves.. Suddenly Julia felt self-conscious about the work she had put into her and Paul’s costumes.

She took in the sight for a moment before spotting a familiar face amongst all the crazy characters. “Hey, there’s Valery,” Julia yelled at Paul to break through the noise. “At least I think that’s her…. Anyway, I’m going to say hi.” She was about to walk off before she paused and turned around. “You go find one of your bosses and introduce yourself!” she instructed before reaching up to kiss him on the cheek, but stopped when she remembered the body paint.

With that, Julia disappeared into the crowds, leaving Paul on his own. He stood there nervously for a while as people shuffled past him. Finally he caught a glimpse of the CEO, dressed up as a wizard, walking off to a side room. Knowing he’d get into trouble for not taking this opportunity, Paul decided to follow him.

He approached the door the CEO had entered and heard some voices coming from the other side. “Is everything ready?” he heard a muffled voice ask.

“Almost. I guarantee you this will be a night to remember,” another voice replied.

Not wanting to interrupt the conversation Paul waited until they had stopped talking before going to knock on the door. He paused when he saw the blonde threads from his wig in the corner of his eye. ‘I don’t care what Julia said,’ he thought as he stood there for a moment, ‘I can’t introduce myself looking like this.’ So Paul turned away and headed upstairs to find a bathroom instead.

Unknown to Paul, Julia had been keeping an eye on him while she was talking to Valery, who was dressed as a mermaid. She was impressed when she saw him follow the person dressed up as a wizard but sighed when he went up the stairs a minute later. “Sorry Val, I need to go talk some sense into Paul…” she moaned as she left her friend and followed Paul up the stairs.

The Change

Paul found a bathroom fairly quickly and entered. At the moment it was empty, which suited him just fine. He walked over to the mirror, once again seeing his reflection. ‘Julia did an amazing job’ he thought, as he admired her handiwork, ‘It’s so lifelike.’

He felt guilty for what he was about to do next, but he wanted to make a good first impression on his boss and couldn’t do that looking as he did now, at least he could keep the stitches effect and say he was a severed head that got reattached so he would still have a costume.

Paul reached up to take the earrings off when the door opened up behind him. “What do you think you’re doing?” Julia demanded as she entered the room.

“I… um…” Paul began to think of something but before he could a shockwave pushed Julia forward into his arms, knocking them both against the shower door. The light above them exploded, leaving them in total darkness though by that time they had already blacked out.

Paul awoke to the sound of screams and yelling and saw nothing but a green hue of moonlight piercing through a tiny rectangle window. He gently moved Julia off him as he sat there in shock and confusion. His neck hurt like hell and he could feel warm drops of blood dripping down his neck.

“Oh shit, oh shit!” He said in a high pitched voice as he reached up to his neck, feeling stitches and drops of blood. “What the Fuu.. ah!” Paul stopped as the pain in his neck became too great. “This can’t be real…” Paul stopped as he heard Julia’s voice, though she was still unconscious. “Julia?” Paul asked as he tried to shake her awake, but paused again when he heard her voice. “Holy Shit!” Paul whispered in shock as he reached up to his face, realising what must’ve happened. The pain in his neck, the feminine voice and the fact he was no longer wearing face paint made it all too clear: he had become his costume. To further confirm this he pulled at his wig and felt pain on his scalp as it didn’t shift or budge.

“Julia!” Paul suddenly cried out, causing pain once again, as his attention returned to his girlfriend lying on the ground. This time he inspected her more closely and even under the pale moonlight he could tell she too had changed.

“Wha…” Julia began to stir, hearing her name for the second time in her own voice, even though she had been too dazed to talk. She felt sore all over, especially around the neck, and her fake beard had become more irritable. She managed to sit up with the help of Paul, who hadn’t said anything yet.

“Julia, I know you must be freaking out right now… so am I” Julia heard her own voice say. “I don’t know maybe I’m dreaming and none of this is real…”

“Paul….” Julia suddenly realised he was speaking in her voice. “Why do you sound like me? Why do I sound like you?!” She suddenly realised the same thing Paul had realised.

“It would appear our costumes have become real…” Paul replied to Julia, still in disbelief.

Julia then examined herself like Paul did, feeling the stitches and blood and confirming her face was no longer her own. “I must be dreaming….” she said.

More Changes

Julia and Paul sat there in silence for the longest time, hearing the screams on the other side of the door. Both of them were in denial that this was real and thought it was all a dream, believing the other person wasn’t really there. The blood draining from their necks, while slow, had drained them of their energy and they were both struggling to stay awake.

They could barely keep their eyes open by the time the bathroom door opened, revealing an ugly old hag in a witch’s costume standing in the doorway. She quickly entered shut the door and held herself against it, clearly afraid of something, or someone. She jumped, startled, as she heard the wheezing breaths of Julia and Paul. “Oh my, you two don’t looks so good,” she said in a crackly voice as she approached the couple, forgetting all about the door. The lady inspected them more clearly, and noticed that they were on the wrong bodies and had also lost a considerable amount of blood. “Let me fix that up for you,” the lady said as she pulled a stick from her side, which sparkled with green energy.

Julia and Paul felt their heads being pulled up from their bodies, breaking all the stitches as they rose. They remained stationary in the air for a moment, unable to feel their bodies anymore though they were still very much alive. They then rotated around each other and gently floated down to the other person’s body; their necks then resealed themselves as the stitches and blood faded away. “There you go, good as new,” the lady said with a smile, revealing her crooked, rotting teeth.

They both sat there confused for a moment as their energy slowly returned. Paul was the first to move, feeling the difference in his new body. He reached up touching his new breasts; he had felt them many times before but not like this.

“What have you done to us!” Julia snapped at the lady as she got up off the ground. “Fix us immediately!”

The witch just stood there confused for a moment. “I’m sorry, I thought I just did.”

“You put us on the wrong bodies you dumb bitch!” Julia yelled.

“Hey when I entered the room you two were half dead on the wrong bodies, how was I supposed to know? Also speak to me like that again and I’ll turn you into a bitch,” the witch threatened Julia, putting her in her place.

“I’m sorry… this is just too much…” she said to the witch before turning her attention to Paul. “Stop playing with my boobs!”

“Hey, it’s all a dream anyway, so I may as well enjoy it while I can,” Paul brushed Julia off as he went to pull down her dress. Julia then walked over to Paul and stopped him from going any further by grabbing his arms.

“I’m sorry about before, this is all too confusing and feels very real,” she said to the witch as she struggled with Paul, until he gave up. “But do you mind putting us in the correct bodies please?”

“It’s okay, I understand, when I came to this party I didn’t expect to become an ugly old green hag but I did, though the upside is now I have magic. So I’ll swap your bodies.”

The witch then pulled out her wand once again, causing a wave of sparks, though as quickly as they emerged they faded once again as the witches skin went from wrinkly green to smooth and gold, reflecting to moon’s rays even more.

“Are you two alright?” A male’s voice said from behind the golden statue. “It looks like I managed to save you just in time.”

“Save us?” Julia asked angrily. “She was about to put us back into our correct bodies.”

The man looked puzzled for a moment as he inspected the two of them, one male, one female, perfectly human. “Wait you mean to tell me you both went as each other for this party? That would explain while you’re still human.”

“No, we went as head swapped experiments but our effects were too good and we were dying; that witch came in here and fixed us, or so she thought. Now we’re trapped in the wrong bodies.”

“Oh I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t know. I thought Mel had wicked intentions, I mean I saw her turn someone into a frog before. I’m just trying to save people from the dangerous costumes, like the zombies, werewolves and vampires. If I had known she meant you no harm I wouldn’t have turned her into gold.”

“How did you do that?” Paul finally spoke up. His desire to self explore was still great but he now realised Julia wouldn’t let him, perhaps it wasn’t a dream after all.

“I dressed up as King Midas,” the man said casually before he became more sombre. “I know that I accidentally prevented you from returning to your true bodies but you have to help me, my wife’s head was cut off by the headless horseman; I managed to contain the threat but I was unable to pick up her head, and now she lies in the hallway vulnerable. Please save her, I beg of you.”

Dangers

Julia and Paul thought about the man’s request for a moment, as they realised they weren’t the only ones to suffer tonight’s events. “We’ll do it,” Julia said eventually. “Though you need to help us find someone who can switch us back to our original bodies.”

“Oh, my boss can do that,” Paul interjected. “He was dressed up as a wizard so surely he’d know a way to switch us back.”

“It’s settled then, you two retrieve my wife and I’ll protect you from harm, we both go find this wizard so he can give my wife back her body and return you two to your own.”

Coming to an agreement they quickly headed out, leaving the poor witch to her golden fate. Midas led the couple to the hallway where he last saw his wife and instructed them to go down it. “It’s a dead end,” he informed them. “I’ll stay up here and make sure we don’t get any nasty surprises. Perhaps one of you should stay with me.”

“Not a chance,” Julia protested, thinking of what Paul might do either alone or in front of another guy. “You keep us protected and we’ll find your wife together.”

Julia and Paul crawled on the floor as it was the safest way to trek the dark path. “I found her!” Paul exclaimed as he felt the long strands of hair. He pulled gently on it until he was holding the head in his hands. He felt around, much to the annoyance of the lady who he was now holding, though she was unable to speak without her voice box. Paul noticed she was trying to say something frantically though, but he couldn’t figure out what.

“Don’t worry, we’re with your husband,” Paul said trying to calm her down. “We’ll get you back to him,” he promised as he tried to stand up, as crawling while holding her would be impossible. Though as he went to do that he stepped on his dress and tripped forward, making the head roll forward.

“What…?” a voice said, startled, looking down at the head that came to a stop at her feet. Without meaning to she activated her glare, turning the head into stone.

“Fuck!” Julia exclaimed as she managed to turn away at the last moment. “Close your eyes Paul, it’s the woman who dressed up as Medusa!” She wasn’t sure if Paul was still with her or not.

“You think you’re so clever?” the woman said as she approached the couple. “You don’t think I could force you to open your eyes?” She walked past Paul and pulled Julia up to her feet with an inhuman strength. Her snake hair was now snapping at Julia’s face.

“Honey?” Midas said as he walked down the hall, “Are you done yet? I saw the flash.”

Julia and Paul now realised this was a trap and the lady they were searching for was just bait.

“I’m handling it…” she retorted as she loosened her grip on Julia. “Go back and… AHH!” the Medusa screamed in pain as Paul hit her in the back as hard as possible with Julia’s high heel shoes, causing her to stumble forward. Julia reacted quickly to the situation, sidestepping her before tripping her so she’d fall into the arms of Midas. Once again without meaning too she activated her glare, turning Midas into stone though he had managed to grab her before that moment and in turn turned her into gold, leaving the both of them as statues.

“Let’s get out of here,” Julia said as they ran out of the hallway and into the moonlit foyer. There they could see the destruction for themselves. Barely anyone remained and those that did were either now stone or gold statues.

“I guess Midas did one thing right,” Paul said as they walked by a golden zombie with its face full of hunger. “This way, I saw my boss come through here.”

Conclusion

Paul returned to the door, no longer caring that he looked like a woman, as he had the body of one too, and tonight’s events had been so crazy he no longer cared about first impressions. He took a deep breath and knocked on the door.

The door opened instantly and there he was, dressed as a wizard standing by an altar. “Well, this is a surprise,” the Wizard said as he put down his book. “No one else bothered to knock, they just came here seeking refuge from the chaos.”

“I saw you enter here earlier,” Paul said nervously. “I was hoping you’d still be here.”

The wizard just nodded at the explanation as he gestured them to enter the room. They wasted no time in doing so and the doors closed after them. He then examined them further. “Where are your costumes?” he asked in a firm tone similar to that of a parent when they know their child has done wrong.

“We went as head swapped victims, but a witch put our heads back on the body they belong to, but now we’re on each other’s body,” Paul explained.

“That’s why we looked for you, Paul said that you were dressed as a wizard, so we were hoping you’d be able to put us back in the correct bodies,” Julia added.

“Why would I do that?” the wizard asked as soon as they had finished their sentence. “I created this party so that people could be different from what they are,” he explained. “To put you back in your original bodies would defeat that purpose, so no, you shall remain in each other’s bodies.” The door then flung open as a invisible force picked the couple up. “You’re lucky you told me that you swapped bodies, otherwise I would’ve had to find something else for you to become,” he informed them with a sly smile as he threw them out.

“Oh and I’ve got my eye on you two, so don’t try to find someone else to switch you back,” he warned as the door slammed shut.

End
"Now, this next story is one of my own choosing," the manager says. I think my shirt got tighter. It had lost the sleeves before, but now it's one hundred percent clinging to my body. "Sometimes, people don't know whether they're in reality or a dream."

Is he talking about me? If I didn't know better, I'd say he is.

"And then, there are the times when people don't know if they would like to be in reality or the dream."

Rather Be
By Pepper

I'm a thousand miles from comfort, I've travelled land and sea.

I wish I had a bike.

But it's all right, I'll keep walking down this street. Have to get to this restaurant somehow. Has the finest noodles in all of...where am I again? I swear I knew a second ago. It's..damn it!

That's OK. Phone still says I'm going the right way. From Little Kyoto towards the bay. I can casually stroll my way there and have time to hit the happy hour lunch. Get a couple dark shots with my noodles.

Huh...must have stepped in a puddle. My shoes weren't that clean...and I had laces. Right?

Must just be a trick of the light.

I hope I can get to the place on time.

Yeah, I'll make it.

My steps feel lighter for some reason. Must be the shoes. It feels like I'm gliding down the street. Like I'm being pulled towards this restaurant by some unknown force.

Yeah, right now, there's no place I'd rather...What happened to my jeans?

They're shorter! They're up past my ankles now!

Or were they always like that? I don't know...

OK, I'm not going to let this disturb me. Keep calm. Keep the inner peace. Keep walking.

There's a breeze on my toes...cause I'm wearing sandals...How are they fitting on my feet? They're so...small...

OK...this is weird. I'm not that simple. What is happening to my feet? And hands? There's polish!

N-n-n-no. No, no. No way this is happening.

I have to find someone to help me! What can I do?

Keep going down the street. To the bay. Someone there will save me.

My arms...they're so smooth...and smaller. My t-shirt is shrinking...no. No, no, my chest is growing!

OK, think. There's a chance this is a dream, but I can't take it. Shot in the dark it's the city causing it, but I made it here a week ago. Why am I changing now?

The breeze is hitting more skin now. My midriff, my toes, my knees. I feel it everywhere. Even my hair.

Wait my hair? I was clean cut. Why can I feel my hair blowing in the breeze?

What is happening to me? There's got to be a window I can see. Yes! That bank will do.

Do I want to know?

Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah I want to.

No...no no this isn't me! That face! That long black hair! That chest! I look like I'm turning Japanese! I don't even like that song!

N-n-n-no. No. It...my eyes...the blue...it's gone...

NO!

Someone! Someone help me! I don't know what's going on! Will someone on this god damn street help me?

Someone's got to be down this street! Someone has to help me! Someone... someone...

Who is that...

That guy is so cute...Oh my...he's looking at me. He's-

“Haruka!” His smile is so cute. “You found me!”

“I...” Haruka...yes...I am...and you're Kazuo...my someone...my boyfriend... “Of course I did, Kaz! I can spot you from a mile away!”

I want to be in his arms...yes...this feels so right.

“Sorry the restaurant is so far out of the way, Haru. But I know with all my heart you're going to love it.”

“Don't apologize to me love.” I'll give him my sweetest peck on the lips. “When I am with you, there's no place I'd rather be.”

End

I actually thought that story was kinda sweet. I had never thought that before. This is starting to screw with my head, now, and not just because my hair is longer. Great.

The manager walks over to the register. "I hope you remember the story I told you about Stewie. Remember that I said it would be two parts? Here is the second, my friends." He smiles a little. "I won't lie, this part of the story gets strange."

Little Me Part 2
By Susy

My vision is spinning, my whole body aches and I feels as if my head was about to explode. “What happened?” I say out loud; my voice sounds somewhat different, groggy, sick, ill. I put my hands to my throat; they tremble and shake as I touch my skin covered with sweat. I can feel my hair drenched in sweat, the smell is covering my room. I try to sit up straight, but find my whole center of balance fucked up. I rest against the wall, feeling my entire body burn. The wasp did this? I’ve never felt so bad before, and this is completely new to me.

“Stewie… How are you feeling?” yy sister Emily says, opening the door to my room, making the lights from the hallway hit my eyes. I try to cover them, but as soon as my hands cover my eyes, she closes the door. I can barely hear her as my entire body shivers, my eardrums feel as if they’re about to explode. I feel her hands on my forehead, her cold soft hands against my skin. The difference of temperature makes my body shiver. I close my eyes and sooner or later, I pass out on the bed.

***

“Stewart… Steeewaaaaaart.” A voice, a voice that I’ve never heard before burns my ears. I try to wake up, opening my eyes to see whatever is around me. I jump up from whatever I was lying on. Whatever sickness I had was gone, I feel fine, everything around me is back to normal. Except that in this reality, I was no longer near where I woke up. I could feel the grass underneath me, the wind hitting my face, even the sound of animals chirping all around me. “Thank God you are awake,” the same voice says, this time I know where it comes from.

I turn around and see my. “Mom?” I can’t help but to say out loud, looking at the woman in front of me. My heart stops as I look at the sheer image of my mother. Light blonde hair, short stature, the lovable motherly face I’ve known for ages. Most of my family resembled my dad, his height, his strength, his everything. I’m the only one who managed to get most of the features of my mom. Her soft face, small height, short frame, everything about her was in me. Even friends used to call me mother clone, since most of the pictures from when she was young looked practically the same as me. “Wait… Am I dead?”

“This is your mom? I thought it was your childhood crush or something… Nice…” my mom says, grabbing her own breasts, squishing them together and bouncing them up and down. I step back, surprised that my own mother doesn’t know her breasts or that she’s my mom! I mean… I have heard a lot of rumours of how mom was hot but… I shake my head looking at my mother still playing with her breasts. “So this is your mom?!” she says, pointing at herself. “Well how awkward this is for you…”

I nod, blushing and stepping away from my supposed mom. “Okay… I think I should set things straight,” she said walking next to me, stepping in front of me, our eyes at the same level. “This is a dream… And I’m your subconscious, you can call me Joshua.” My eyes open widely, this Joshua having the body of my mother, talking in my dream. Was the sting of that wasp that strong?! “Oh, I’m still your mom…” she says before snapping her fingers.

Her entire body vanishes, leaving behind but a silhouette of a person. It’s my exact height and shape, but all black. Some form of shadow of myself standing up and greeting me. “This is much better,” he says, jumping up and down, with a clear loud and hoarse voice. “I didn’t want to introduce myself like this, because you know… Shadow!” He moves his hands, the material that comprises him literally falling off as dust from his palm. “Anywho…” He takes out a paper that was crumbled on his pants. “Name’s Joshua, we’ve already been through that, subconscious… bla bla bla…. Oh here it is!”

“Welcome! Due to fate or a bet you’ve been enchanted! Perhaps you asked for a wish? Or were lucky enough to be hit by a magical item, perhaps you swapped bodies in the most ridiculous way? A witch is taking revenge on you, or perhaps trying to give you a life lesson? Anyhow, I’m the little cricket in your head that was activated by this! I’ll acompanny you through this journey. I hope we have a fun ride and please subscribe, thumbs up and leave a comment on the box down Be-looow.” He crumbles the paper once more and throws it to the floor behind him. “Any questions?”

I step away… clearly shocked by all of this. “Oh… Wait a minute!” He facepalms himself, walking closer to me. “Did I fucked it up already? You haven’t…” He looks directly at my face, seeing directly my eye. “Oh… You haven’t… God dammit Josh, you fucked this up already.” He steps away, pulling a book out of his pocket. “I had this all planned! The sex dream, the boy and girl meeting, the dress! Old schoolers say the dress is the best.” He winks, continuing to read through his pages. “It was tomorrow! How could I be so silly!”

He throws the book away, walking back to me. I naturally step away, trying to get out of this dream. “Tomorrow? What happens tomorrow?” He snaps his fingers, making my whole body go numb. I tried to speak but everything that comes out of my mouth ends up as gibberish. I can see him sitting next to me, pulling out another book which reads: ‘Illusion and Dream Guides for Dummies.’

“Okay, I know what to do!” he says, closing the book shut and placing his hand over my head. “I deserve some Pokémon after this…” he says before my whole vision goes black.

***

I don’t want to stand up. You know that feeling that you know deep inside that there’s something wrong? I’ve been awake for like fifteen minutes, looking at the ceiling doing nothing. Because I know something changed, perhaps it was that silly hippie dream, but I know that there’s something wrong going on with me. I don’t want to investigate, this must be a dream. I move my hands to my face, noticing that they are clearly thinner, more petite, more… feminine. “This isn’t happening…” A soprano voice comes out from my mouth. I cover it, immediately blushing and breathing heavily.

My hair used to be shorter, it now reaches my shoulders and it looks even shiner. “Stewie how are you feeling?” my sister Emily says, as she knocks on the door. I jump and squeal, falling to the floor and landing on my ass. “You okay there Stew… Did you got a sore throat?” I stand up, feeling much more different than before. My vision is around the same spot, I could see things the same way as before, but they looked somewhat different. “Okay then… I’ll come back later…” she says walking out of the room. I can hear her shoes hit against the wooden floor, as she leaves and goes downstairs.

Silence, I don’t hear anything but my own breathing. I look down at my hands, they tremble and shake. I can feel the tip of my hair tickling my shoulders; pulling a strand I look at how long it managed to get. I feel something else, something tingling on my chest. Each time I breath in, and my lungs expand, a weird sensation comes from my chest. I move my hands towards the spot, not sure what I’m looking for, but I know there’s something on my chest. I close my eyes, and quickly put my hands to my chest.

Something soft, something small and soft, something gentle and puffy. They aren’t big, just the size of a small… small something… I can’t come up with ideas, I just know that there are soft small mounds attached to my chest. I move them up and down, trying to know what they are they. I accidentally brush something sensitive at the tips, the shirt I was wearing rubbing against my nipples. I can’t help but squeal, a rare sensation an electrifying one sends shivers down my spine. I jump and cover my mouth, feeling the things on my chest jiggle as I fall.

I can feel my lips tingle, the same way they move whenever I’m about to cry. I cover my mouth, not moving an inch from my position. “What is going on?” The same melodic voice came out of my mouth. My whole body trembles as I make my way to my bathroom. My whole balance is off, I stumble from left to right, trying to get a proper sense of orientation. My hands tremble, trying to grab the door handle and twisting it; I’m barely strong enough to do both at once. I have to push the door with my whole body, so I can enter my bathroom.

I drag my feet through the floor, the cold ceramic tickling my feet as I place myself right in front where the mirror would be. The lights are off, not giving me a complete view of my own reflection. I see a silhouette of myself, the shape of my body looks the same; I can barely see some slight difference on my waist. I can see that my hair is longer, reaching my shoulders. But aside from that, everything about me seems about the same, the same image I see in the mirror each morning. I force my hand towards the switch, trying to turn the lights on, but with some mysterious lack of strength I can barely flip the switch.

The lights blind me; I have to close my eyes in order to see my own reflection. I open my eyes, blinking several times in order to get a proper view of what was going on. Each time I blink I can see something more, my skin, the color of my hair, each time I blink the image gets clearer. I close my eyes, and take a large deep breath. Making fists with my hands I open my eyes in a rush, ignoring the light for a couple of seconds, and when the vision actually returned I had to take a step back.

I’m there, but it’s not me, but it is me, but it isn’t at the same time. My face looks back at me, the same pale skin, the same big green eyes, but different. My eyes grew bigger, my whole face grew softer, I was feminine before, but now it’s something completely different. It’s still me, the same details, but the complexion, the structure, the face as a whole is different. “I’m a girl now…” I say. The soprano voice makes sense now, it matches my new face, my new body.

I look downwards, a slight difference in complexion than before. I notice two small buds poking from my shirt. My hair looks smoother, shinier; I have curves now, pronounced and feminine. I can’t see anything under my waist, I’m not so tall that the mirror reaches that area. I move my hands down my crotch, seeing the reflection do the same thing, dragging her dainty thin arm downwards. I don’t look, my boxers are now loose on me, so my hand simply goes direct to that area.

Something wet, something strange, something that is not mine. I saw the eyes in the reflection, my eyes getting wet and turning red. I move my hand away and slowly crawl out of my bathroom. I’ve never been a kid who does a lot of shows, or tantrums. Even my mother told her friends about how calm and gentle I act whenever something happened to me. So rather than let out a loud scream and cry on my bed, I walk towards Jason’s room, slowly, ignoring my sister coming out of her room and saying my name.

She simply stares at me, she knows something is wrong but doesn’t say anything about it. My mind wanders off towards my brother’s room. My body bumping against the furniture, still my balance off and not functioning. I hear Gavin’s door opening, I crash against him but ignore him, I only want to go to Jason’s room. “What the hell is wrong with you!?” he yells as I close the distance to Jason’s room. “Faggot listen to me!” he says once more. I crash against the door, my hand still shaking as I tried to open the door.

But it was locked. I had to drag my hand towards the door, and three gentle knocks came from my weak arm. “Jason…” I whisper. “Jason…” I try to say at the top of my lungs, but everything comes out muffled and quiet. Out of nowhere I feel Jason grab me from my shoulders, turning me around and slamming me against the door. Pain, pain more intense than before. My head slams against the door, looking Gavin straight in the eyes. His expression immediately changes, he immediately knows what happened to me. My eyes are red and I can feel the tears rolling down my cheek.

“Stewie… W-W-What happened to you?” my sister Emily says, appearing on the staircase.

End

I hug my knees to my chest. I wasn't expecting any of that. It wasn't as depressing as the first part, thankfully. Weirder, though.

The manager makes his way to a table on the far side of the room. I have to stand up to see what he's doing, which brings some of the changes I'd been experiencing to my attention. My body feels almost completely different, and it worries me. Will I end up like that Japanese girl in that one story the manager told us?

The manager picks up a record with Rudolph and Santa on the cover. "It's almost Christmas time, y'know? I imagine most of you have some gifts picked out for your loved ones." He looks at one of the once-a-guys and smiles at her. "Got something for your boyfriend?" She nods. I try to think about my previous life as a guy and everything comes back to me. If I'm lucky, any mental changes won't hit me.

"Christmas is such a magical time, and I don't just mean in the metaphorical sense. Sometimes, people have real magic. And that includes the story I'm about to tell you now."

The Perfect Gift
By MrMarvel

Michael came down stairs, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He wasn’t used to being up this early but his eldest sister Anna had practically dragged him out of bed. “Everyone’s waiting for you,” he recalled her saying as she pulled his pillow out from underneath his head. “Now get up,” she had commanded after hitting his head with the pillow. It had been months since Anna had woken him up this way and it was one thing he hadn’t missed when she had moved out. Though now she was back for Christmas and it was like she’d never left.

“Merry Christmas!” Anna, Zoe and Heather shouted at him as he entered the living room and he couldn’t help but smile at them.

“Merry Christmas,” he replied as he sat down next to them on the couch.

Anna then got up and walked to the pile of presents under the tree. “Since this will most likely be our last Christmas morning together…” she began to say as she put her hands on her pregnant belly to reinforce the fact. “We’ve decided to do things a little differently.” Michael looked confused, he didn’t know about this, but clearly Zoe and Heather did. “Instead of doing it the way we usually do things, we’re going to hand out our presents to one person at a time, starting with the youngest.”

Michael didn’t say a word as Zoe got up and grabbed a present from under the tree. “Merry Christmas, Michael,” she said hand him the gift. Michael took it off her before waiting for the next one but Heather stayed seated for now. “Well go on, open it,” Zoe instructed.

Even though he had permission to open it, Michael didn’t do it straight away and instead tried to work out what it could be first. It was a small box and felt extremely light, though he couldn’t seem to guess on what it was. Giving up, he tore up the gift wrap, exposing the gift box inside. He then pulled off the lid to see what was inside.

Michael froze for a moment as he saw a bra sitting at the top of the box, with matching panties below. ‘This has to be some kind of joke,’ he thought as he just looked at them in shock. ‘Does she know?’

“Do you like them?” Zoe asked Michael. “I thought since you were borrowing mine all the time I thought I’d get you your own set.”

‘Crap, she does know,’ Michael thought as his face turned red and he lowered the lid back down. Before he could say anything Heather was already off the couch and passing him her gift.

“Merry Christmas,” she said before returning to her spot.

This gift was also small but was a lot more flat and heavier. For a moment he thought it might’ve been a game or DVD but the box was too big for that and too heavy. He opened it nervously and slowly, as after the first gift he didn’t know what to expect.

He froze once more as he peeled back the gift wrap, revealing a makeup kit. ‘Crap, she knows too…’ he thought as he set the present aside, not wanting to let the other see it.

Michael’s heart was racing as Anna walked over and grabbed his present from under the tree. ‘How do they know?’ he asked himself, hoping this was all an elaborate joke, but with what Zoe said, he knew it wasn’t; they must’ve found out.

“Merry Christmas!” Anna said as she placed the large box on his lap. “I hope you like it.”

This time he was too afraid to open it. “Look, we scared him,” Heather said to her sisters. “I told you we should’ve given him the combined present first.”

“But that wouldn’t have been as fun,” Zoe chuckled.

“What’s going on….?” Michael managed to speak.

Anna then grabbed his hand. “I know you must be confused and frightened, but we love you very much,” she said in a motherly tone. “The thing is, we’ve known about your secret for a while now, in fact I think to some level we’ve always known and we wanted to make this Christmas something special for you.” She then gave Zoe a glance. “But someone wanted to have a bit of fun first,” she said to Zoe in an accusing tone.

“Hey, you both agreed,” Zoe countered playfully.

“Only because we needed you to contribute for the final part,” Heather snapped back.

“What final part?” Michael asked, even more scared but Anna just held his hand tighter.

“You don’t need to go through with it if you don’t want to, but the three of us found a magic shop that sold a gender swapping spell that requires three people to power. So if you want to, we can use it on you. We’ll all know who you still are but for the rest of the world, it’d be as if you were always our sister.”

“You want to turn me into a girl…?” Michael asked in disbelief; his sisters were offering him something he had always wanted, and from how they were acting, they were dead serious.

“Only if you want to become one,” Anna reconfirmed. “If not, we can return our gifts and get you something more appropriate.”

Michael then shook his head. “No, I want to be your sister,” he said with tears flowing down his eyes. “I always have.”

Anna gave him a reassuring nod as she let go of his hands and pulled out the old piece of paper. Zoe and Heather walked next to her and they began to read the enchantment. The room then lit up in a yellowish white glow as Michael’s body changed from male to female.

The four sisters looked shocked to see that it actually worked. Michael was even about to touch his new body to confirm it wasn’t a dream before she remembered his sisters standing in front of her.

With a massive spring of energy she jumped off the couch and crash tackled her sisters, almost knocking them over. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” she repeated over and over again.

“So what do we call you now?” Heather asked.

“Michelle, my name is Michelle,” Michelle confirmed.

“Well then Michelle, would you like to go up stairs and try on your new presents?” her sisters asked her.

“Yes, please,” she replied.

End

People start to leave. Mostly the ones that already changed, and didn't seem to have any memories of being male. I'm the only one who seems to notice anything's happening, and it scares me.

The manager takes somebody else's CD and looks through the list of tracks. "Some of you kids and your pop music... Sometimes I wonder if you'd even know what's going on around you if your favorite singer didn't do a song about it."

The girl pouts. "I watch CNN, too."

He smiles. "That's a cute necklace," he says, pointing to it. "The story I'm about to tell you involves a rather nice necklace. A rather unique necklace. Changes one young man's life in ways he never thought possible."

Costume Jewelry
By Hikaro

“You look adorable, Sam,” Bridget said as I came out of her bathroom. My clothes were entirely black, a corset, panties, a miniskirt, a bra with a pair of wings on the back, heels, and elbow-length sleeves that ended in fingerless gloves. I had a pair of horns on my head and she was holding a bag of makeup in one hand, waiting to put it on me.

Why had I even thought of this idea?

“Are you ready?” she asked.

“How could you let me do this? Why didn't you tell me the day I suggested this that it was a stupid idea?”

She giggled. “Because otherwise I wouldn't have been able paint your nails.”

“Alright, let's just get this over with and get the party started.”

Bridget led me into her bedroom and told me to sit at her vanity. I sat down and she knelt down next to me. She took my left hand and started painting my fingernails. Just the look of my not-in-any-way-girly fingernails getting painted bright red was goofy as hell. After a few minutes, she started on my right hand, and once my fingernails were done, she started on my toenails. The only reason she was anywhere near my toenails was because the heels were open toe.

Next she set to work on my face. I'd already shaved my beard and mustache off just for this stupid idea, so she had no resistance in making my face look girlish. A little light red blush on my cheeks, some dark eyeshadow, bright red lipstick and some fake fangs later and I looked the part of the cute succubus that I'd promised her I'd go as.

“Oh!” she squealed as realization struck her face. “I completely forgot about this!” She reached into a jewelry box on her dresser. “I saw this at the Goodwill the other day and thought it would go perfectly with your outfit.” She withdrew a red diamond pendant on a chain. “You okay with wearing it?”

I sighed. “I've gone this far. Plus, I'm not gonna be the only guy wearing a chick outfit at a Halloween party, right?”

“Of course not. Debbie Hernandez told me that the football team is coming as cheerleaders. You're probably just going to be the hottest.”

“Ha, ha,” I deadpanned. She walked around behind me and put the necklace on me. Then she handed me a tank top with holes torn in the back so that the wings on the bra could poke through. I slipped it on and looked at my reflection in the mirror. The flat-chested girl wearing a gray tank top with the words Pump It written in a font that looked like blood stared at me. “I look goofy as hell.”

Bridget stood behind me and put her hands on my shoulders. “Please, you look better than I'm going to.”

“Whatever. How long until everybody shows up?”

***

I opened the door and stood there like I was the hostess to some fancy dinner party. “Please, come inside and enjoy yourselves!” I said, trying to sound as seductive as possible.

Amber Grayson and Freddie Williams stood there. Amber was dressed like a slutty nurse, while Freddie was dressed like Doctor Strange. The connection didn't really mix, because Doctor Strange wasn't a medical doctor anymore, but at least he had been. Freddie burst into laughter. “What the fuck, Mather?”

Amber smacked him on the back of the head. “Oh, shut up. I helped pick that outfit.” She turned to me. “And you look precious, Sam, don't let that lack of boobs discourage you, you are a perfect girl.”

“Whatever,” I said. “Steve hasn't gotten here yet with the beer for the punch, but that's not a big deal because the punch isn't made yet.” I stepped out of their way and motioned for them to come inside. Freddie smacked me on the ass as he passed me by, which was thoroughly creepy. I shut the door after they were inside and made my own way back to the mass of people.

Nearly everybody from school was at the party, though there were a few people who'd said they were coming that hadn't shown up yet. Costumes were all over the place, from vampires to video game characters to athletes to seven separate people who came dressed as Michonne from The Walking Dead. They claimed that none of them knew the others were going to wear those costumes, but something told me they were lying. I didn't really care. I wasn't the only one dressed like a succubus, either. Some cousin of Amber's that I'd only met once was dressed far sluttier than I was, and she actually had the assets to show it off.

I reached into a cooler and grabbed a can of soda. Mostly, everybody was just enjoying themselves. The football team caused quite the uproar of whistles and cat calls when they came in dancing to some Miley Cyrus tune that required they shake their asses every few seconds. It had actually been a pretty fun evening, despite being a painfully average Halloween party.

Chris Matthews smacked me on the back, nearly making me spit my drink out. “Sam, dance with me!”

“Fuck off.”

“C'mon, act the part for two minutes.”

“The part is sex demon, and I am not acting like that.” I took another drink. “Aren't you gay, anyway?”

“That's my point. You're crossdressing, act like my boyfriend.”

“No.”

“You'd make a killer girl, by the way.”

I rolled my eyes. “I'm wearing spike heels, man, don't tempt me to step on your dick.”

He smiled and walked away, over to Paul Frees, who was busy pretending to be straight. The two of them embraced and kissed, which was nothing new considering they were dating. They tended to be the token gay couple at nearly every party. Paul grabbed Chris's ass and squeezed it pretty hard.

And for whatever reason, I was... Jealous?

Was I actually jealous of what I was seeing? Chris was having his ass fondled in the middle of a party and I actually wanted that for myself? Why? I'd never felt that way before. I looked away from that display of public affection and found my eyes focused on another. Billy Samson and Rebecca Henderson were making out in the hallway. Billy had his hand under Rebecca's pre-torn skirt (she came dressed like a horror movie victim that had been raped, or something like that, so her clothes were torn and she had a lot of fake blood all over her) and I could tell he was fingering her. My hand went down to my panties and I swore I felt heat coming from my crotch.

I shook my head, closed my eyes and turned away from that now. Unfortunately, the damage was done, as now I was wishing Billy was pressing me against a wall, slipping his hand into my panties. His lips against mine, his other hand gripping my boob. I wasn't even paying attention when one of my hands slid under my shirt and bra and started playing with my hard left nipple.

Find someone, a voice said. I didn't know where that voice was coming from or who it belonged to, but I felt compelled to listen to it. I opened my eyes and looked around the room. I focused only on the guys, for some reason. It wasn't a reason that mattered to me, though, I just wanted to find someone. I wanted to find a guy. I wanted... I don't know what I wanted, but I couldn't get it from a girl.

My eyes locked on Jeff Gibbs, who was standing over by the snack table all alone. Despite looking as down as a guy could get on Halloween without a date, he also looked... Tasty? Was that the word I was looking for? Had he always been that physically large? God, his Frankenstein's Monster shirt was stretched across a muscular chest that I'd never noticed before. I licked my lips and lowered my eyes to his crotch. That was an awful big bulge he had down there. That hadn't always been so big, had it?

It'll feel wonderful, the voice said. She was right, wasn't she? How did I know she was a she? Well... She had to be, I guess. That only made sense, just like it only made sense that I walk over to Jeff. He was so lonely. I could remedy that.

“Hey, Jeff,” I said. Was my voice different? No. It couldn't be.

He nearly choked on the pretzels he was eating. “Holy shit, Sam, that's a pretty good costume.”

I smiled. He was so sweet. “Thanks! Your costume's good, too.”

He chuckled. “Yeah. I bought it at Walmart, it was kinda the last one they had that was my size.”

That thing was his size? No way. His dick was bigger than that costume, as clearly evidenced by the fact that he was practically tearing a hole in it. He should probably take that costume off before he accidentally ripped it. “How come you're over here all by your lonesome?” I asked.

He shrugged. “I just broke up with Betty the other day, and the idea of dating didn't seem all that appealing yet.”

He and Betty broke up? How hadn't I noticed that? How could that bitch break up with a hunk like Jeffy? God, I couldn't take my eyes off him. He deserved somebody better than that cunt Betty. She could go get fucked by the basketball team, Jeffy was way out of her league.

“Um... Can we go upstairs and talk?” I asked, praying my nervousness wasn't seeping out of my voice.

He shrugged. “Sure.”

***

I shut the door behind us and realized that I was even more nervous now that we were alone than I was downstairs talking to him in public. Christ, had I ever had this much trouble talking to a boy before? It always seemed so simple. Boys had two arms, two legs and a head just like I did, so it's not like they're a different species or anything.

He sat down on Bridget's bed and looked confused. My nervousness probably didn't help things, because based on the quick glance at my reflection in Bridget's mirror, I looked like I couldn't decide how to do anything. I had to come up with words, but I was falling short. After a few minutes and several deep breaths, I just asked, “Why would Betty break up with you? You're a great guy, you're interesting, you're the easy on the eyes, what would make her break up with you?”

He shook his head. “I dunno. Why?”

I crossed the room and took him by the hand. “Because you don't deserve that.” A part of me wanted to say You deserve me, but I didn't. I should have. “You deserve way better than that.” I felt that warmth from my crotch again. It was spreading now, but it didn't feel as foreign as before.

He stood up. “Okay, Sam, you're scaring me now. Are you, like, coming out, or something?”

I wanted to answer the question but I didn't have words, so I just reached up and kissed him square on the lips. It would be more fun to do more, the voice said, and this time I knew she was right. I wanted to do a lot more. I pulled my top off and realized for the first time that my bra was a little too tight. I pulled the straps down over my arms, then reached behind and unhooked it. God, it felt so good to have my tits freed. How hadn't I noticed my bra was so tight? The girls were starting to get chaffed.

I reached down and moved his left hand up to my right boob. The way his hand groped me both excited me and made me think he was surprised at what he was finding. I ignored the possibility that he was confused and just lost myself in the feeling of his hand squeezing me. I took his other hand and moved that around to my ass. I was starting to wish I'd found a thong instead of these plain bikini panties. It'd feel so much better if he was squeezing my bare ass cheek instead of through the panties.

Just take them off, sweetie, she said, and I obliged. I wiggled the panties down and then his hand was all over my bare ass, and I was loving it. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pressed my warm crotch up against his increasing hard on. To think, we still hadn't broken off the kiss yet.

Take him in.

I didn't even need to hear that, it was exactly what I wanted already. I broke off the kiss and went to work on his pants. I pulled them down and pushed him onto the bed. Goddamn, that dick was nice and thick. I licked my lips and went down on him, wrapping my lips around his shaft. I wasn't going to let him in my special space without experiencing him in my mouth. I sucked on him, making him even harder, and then I let go of him with my mouth and bent over the bed.

“C'mon, Jeffy,” I said, my voice oozing pleasure, “I'm ready.”

I could tell that he was ready, too. He got up off the bed, put both hands on my hips and slipped his member inside me. I moaned loudly, to the point where I wouldn't have been surprised if the party heard me downstairs. He was in me all the way, and then he started to pump. His dick slid in and out, and every time I felt his balls slapping against me. I started moving my hips in time with his motion, and it was having the right effect on him. He stood me straight up and then his hands moved from my hips to my tits, and his fingers rubbed at my mind-numbingly hard nipples.

Fifteen minutes and seven climaxes later and we were both collapsed on the bed, breathing hard and sweating profusely. We were looking at each other, laughing at what we'd just done. I'd fucked the hottest boy in school in my best friend's bedroom and I felt like doing it again. I rolled over on top of him and pressed my tits against his chest. He took the invitation and pressed his dick against my aching cunt.

“Hey, Sam?” he asked, his voice ragged.

“What?” I groaned. I was horny and he was interrupting me.

“Weren't you wearing a necklace before?”

I reached up and felt around my neck. I had been wearing a necklace before, and it was gone now. “Huh. Maybe I dropped it downstairs?”

End

Everyone else leaves, one at a time, leaving only me and the manager. He begins what I assume are his nightly motions in closing the store. He doesn't even seem to notice me. I walk back over to the table I'd found the earlier CD and pick it up. Every song seems to be titled something related to the stories he's told, save the last. I take a deep breath and walk over to the register.

"Ah, you're still here," he says, a smile crosses his face. "Find what you're looking for?"

I shake my head. "No, I'm only more confused." I place the CD on the counter. "Are you... Gonna do to me what you did to them?"

He doesn't nod or shake his head or anything, he just scans taps a few keys on his register, then bags the CD. "If you know I did something to them," he says, "then you're safe."

"Why?"

He opens his mouth to say something, then doesn't. First, he takes the CD back out of the bag and taps on the back of the case. "I thought so." He sets the CD down in front of me. "I have a story for you, too, sweetheart. Maybe when it's over, you'll understand."

Charlie and the Angel (#3)
By Bobbie Cabot

CHARLIE_AND_ANGEL.png

Jill pulled out of her parking space in her new condo building on Barrow Street, and started her drive to the new office on East 69th.

She didn’t need Waze anymore since she had memorized the route by now – down Barrow, left on Washington, right on Houston, down West and through the Battery Park Underpass and onto FDR. She eventually crossed FDR and onto East 61st, right on 1st, left on East 67th, right on Park Avenue and then eventually to East 69th.

As an LA native, she was used to driving long distances, but this route was ridiculously complicated for a five-mile drive, and she was only able to memorize it because she had been navigating the same route for a week now.

She’d started thinking that maybe her best friend, Sabrina, did the right thing by picking the less fancy apartment the company found, but which was just a ten-minute walk to the office. But no – she had to pick the fancy one just because Bosley said it was the best he found.

As for Kelly, she found her own place herself, which was a loft on West 66th near Tucker Square. She liked it for the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, and the twenty-minute one-mile walk through Central Park to the office. Which was just as well since she had no parking and had to park her classic beige ’76 Mustang in a rented spot in a parking structure near the office.

Jill was about to go into the parking structure, too, but luckily, there was an empty spot right in front of the building.

She pulled in, just in time to see Kelly.

“Hey, Kelly!” she called. She stepped out of her mint-condition ’76 white Mustang Cobra II with the blue racing stripes, locked it and went to Kelly for a hug.

“Good morning, Jill,” Kelly said, putting an arm over her shoulders. “How was your drive?”

“Not as fun as you might think,” Jill said. They went to the front door.

“Good morning, Charlie!” they said to the friendly old doorman. This greeting was rapidly becoming a tradition, now.

“Good morning, Ms Garrett, Ms Munroe.”

“How are you this bright Monday morning, Charlie?” Jill said.

“Doin’ really great!”

“I take it Sabrina’s here already?”

“Ms Duncan’s been here since seven-thirty, Ms Munroe.”

“Damn!” She turned to the brunette. “You know, Kelly,” Jill said, “I think Bri likes doing this to us. One of these days, I’ll beat her to the office.”

Kelly giggled. “Let’s go, girlfriend. Hopefully, Bosley will have an assignment for us today.”

They went to the suite for the Charles Townsend Detective Agency’s New York office and, as usual, Sabrina was there.

“Hey!” Sabrina said and gave them a Cheshire cat smile.

“Yeah, yeah,” Jill said and gave her a hug. “You beat us to the office again.”

“Sabrina?” Kelly asked, “do we have a case today?”

“As it happens,” Tom Bosley said, “you do.” The ex-police sergeant came into the office in his now-familiar suit and tie. “Good morning, girls. Please take a seat so I can start the briefing.”

The girls found seats in the well-appointed office.

“Bosley,” Jill said, “before you do: a question - why is the company called the ‘Charles Townsend Detective Agency?’ Who’s Charles Townsend?”

“Well, Jill, obviously, Charles Townsend Sr. is our employer.”

“But that was my name when I was… who exactly is… wait – you said ‘senior?’… ”

“Please, Jill,” Bosley said, “we need to start our briefing. Let’s leave that for later, okay?”

“’Kay…”

With that, Bosley dimmed the lights, turned on an LCD projector, and started telling them about their first case. And, apparently, their first case was going to be a ghost hunt…

***

Sabrina stepped out of a limousine, dressed in a conservative but extremely expensive outfit. She exuded the image of a young, very well-to-do professional. Extremely well-to-do, actually – filthy rich, in fact. Kelly then followed, this time dressed in a very chic “secretary outfit” – a very clean-cut, form-fitting skirt and suit - and walked a few paces behind her. Their disguises were perfect.

A couple of actors playing the part of security guards in suits also stood by a few discreet yards away, with radios and prop guns in belt holsters (Jill had suggested the belt holsters because, even though they didn’t look 100% authentic, the guns would be visible, and that would have a bigger impact).

The owner of the company came out to greet her.

“Good evening, Ms Duncan. I’m Aaron Bowen, owner of the Bowen House.”

“Good evening, Mr. Bowen. Thank you for meeting with me so late in the evening. Call me Sabrina. This is my personal assistant, Ms Garrett.” She gestured to Kelly. “May I call you Aaron?”

“Of course. Thank you for your interest in donating to Bowen House. I don’t mind telling you, we badly need it ever since the trouble a couple of months ago. If you will follow me…”

“I hope you don’t mind, Aaron, I’d like to have a tour of Bowen House.”

He nervously looked at his watch. “Ahh, perhaps it would be better to get a tour of the house tomorrow morning? It’s pretty late…”

“I prefer to do it now, please? I have heard about the, ummm, ‘trouble’ you have been having.”

“You have?” He looked worried.

“Yes, and I’d like to get a look at this “new” ghost of yours that have been making trouble. Frankly speaking, I doubt the existence of ghosts, especially one that causes so much trouble. So, before committing to donating a couple of million, I insist on seeing this troublemaker ghost for myself.”

“But…”

“It comes out at around ten, right?”

“Well…”

“Great! That means we’re early.”

Aaron looked sad. “Well, if you insist.”

“If you don’t mind waiting for a few minutes, we are short one person. And, ah! Here she is!”

A beat-up Toyota pulled up, and a disheveled blonde got out. She went to the back, got out a bunch of equipment and walked up to them. It was Jill, in full disguise, but despite the unkempt look, her beauty shone through.

“Ahh! Ms Munroe,” Sabrina said in practiced, high-class snootiness. “Aaron, let me introduce you to Dr. Jill Munroe – parapsychologist and ghost hunter extraordinaire.”

“Pleased to make yo’ acquaintance,” Jill said in a very pleasing southern accent, and shook Aaron’s hand.

“You’re a ghost hunter?” Aaron asked.

“Ah prefeh the term ‘para-psychologist,’ mahself.”

“I have hired the services of Ms Munroe so that we can get to the bottom of this haunting,” Sabrina said.

“Well,” Aaron sighed, “if you insist…”

***

“So, anyway,” Aaron said as he led Sabrina, Kelly and Jill into the inside of the building to begin his tour.

“As you know,” he said, while they walked, “the Bowen House Foundation supports pro-LGBT and pro-minority organizing and advocacy. We mostly provide legal defense and representation for disadvantaged or unrepresented sections of our community, including the LGBT community.

“Donations from private citizens provide funds, but what mostly funds the foundation is tourist trade from the Bowen Mystery House. The house is one of the most famous mansions in the state of New York, and was once the residence of my great-great-grandmother, Jillian Mae Bowen, a famous Civil War-era figure, who was later found to actually be a man. This fact has become the basis for the popularity of the house, and, of course, the ghosts.

“The house is a Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion from the late 1800s, renowned for its size and its architectural curiosities and, ever since its construction, it has been reputed to be haunted by ghosts from the Civil War. Many visitors say they’ve seen the ghosts, but I and my staff haven’t seen any, except for the one that started appearing two months ago.”

“Ah see,” Jill said as she played the role of ghostbuster, waving around little blinking props and buzzing devices. “Why do you think this ghost came out now?”

“We don’t really know.”

“Did anything happen recently?”

“Well, there was this company. We’ve always been at the edge, financially speaking, and then there was this guy from Tate Holdings, a large land and real estate developer based out of Manhattan, who offered to buy the entire property. They’re planning to build a large hotel and this is the only property in the area large enough.”

“Ahnd?”

“And… a week after we turned down his offer, that’s when the ghost started making trouble.”

“That’s a big coincidence…” Sabrina said.

“Can you tell us what this ghost has been doing since it showed up?” Jill asked.

“Basically, it just scares visitors by making sounds or appearing out of nowhere. It never did hurt any of our visitors when it first showed up, but in the past weeks, eight visitors were hurt. Some of them claimed they were pushed down the stairs and falling objects hurt several others. Last week, though, someone almost died.”

“What!”

“Yeah… It seemed that our ghost tried to push someone from the balcony. It was a miracle that man didn’t die.”

“That doesn’t sound like a ghost,” Jill said.

“Is that your expert opinion as a ghostbuster? Sorry, Ms Munroe. I’m not exactly in the best of moods.”

“It’s all right. What does this ghost look like?”

“Those that see it say that it’s a pale blonde wearing a turn-of-the-century evening gown with short sleeves, short gloves and a very wide skirt with hoops and petticoats. If the accounts are to be believed, the ghost sounds like how Jillian Mae is supposed to look like. The ghost also wears a large necklace of pearls, just like Jillian Mae.”

“Part of the controversy, Ah suppose.”

“Yes.”

“So, is this where the ghost comes out?” Jill gestured to the surrounding area.

“Around this hallway, yes.” He pointed to a door in a secluded end of the hall. “It… she… usually comes out from that part of the hall, and then walks across to the other side. She’s usually glimpsed from the window gliding from one side to the other.” He pointed to the large window. “That window, in fact.”

Jill tried the door.

“It’s locked,” she said.

“That’s strange,” Aaron said as he unlocked it. “This is usually left unlocked.”

Jill opened the door and noted something on the floor. She also noted the small access door.

“What is that?” she asked.

“That’s the fire escape door. There’s a small fire escape ladder outside that leads to the back lawn.”

“Ah see.” She went to the window and peeked outside. “Sabrina?”

“Yes, Jill?”

“Ah need you and Kelly to go to the back lawn. Wait for mah signal, okay?”

Sabrina nodded and they walked downstairs.

“What was that about?” Aaron said.

“Oh, nuthin,’” Jill said. “By any chance, do you have any rope?”

***

Jill and Aaron had retreated downstairs, had coffee in the sitting room just below the hall, and chatted. Jill was hard put to invent enough details of her fictitious ghost hunter job, but talking to Aaron was fun.

After a few minutes, they started to hear a moan.

“Oh, my God!” Aaron whispered, and stood up. “It’s true! There’s a ghost!”

Jill pulled him down.

“Jus’ stay calm, Aaron,” she said, pulling him back down on his seat. “We jus’ need to wait.”

Jill sipped her coffee while Aaron fidgeted.

“Wooooo….” they heard the ghost moan.

Aaron was about ready to jump out of his skin, but Jill calmed him down and held his hand.

“It’ll be over in jus’ a sec.”

“Wooooo…” the ghost moaned even louder. Jill giggled.

“Wooooo…” the ghost seemed to moan at the top of its lungs (that sounded weird but that was how it sounded).

“Wooooo… oh!”

After that exclamation, they heard the loud sound of someone tripping, and then a scream.

Behind them, someone in a period costume fell.

Calmly, Jill raised her walkie-talkie.

“Okay, Sabrina,” she said into the radio, “you can go to their car, now. Aaron? Can you call the police, and ask them to send an ambulance, too?”

Jill calmly finished her coffee, stood up and walked to where the person fell. She brought out her little revolver and pointed it at the moaning man in the 1800s evening dress and blonde wig.

“My God,” Aaron said in recognition, “that’s the guy from Tate Holdings!”

“Ah know,” Jill said, pulled back her gun’s hammer, and pointed it at him. “Sorry, dude,” she said in her normal voice and accent. “But you’re busted.” She turned to Aaron. “I wonder if this counts as ghostbusting,” she giggled.

***

Later, Jill, Sabrina and Kelly came clean, and explained to Aaron who they were, and that they were investigating this supposed haunting. They were glad they were able to unmask the “ghost.”

Apparently, the man was doing all he could to force the owners of the Bowen House to sell, so his company could start construction on their hotel. Tate Holdings had disavowed the actions of their employee, and said they would start their own prosecution of the man.

Aaron nodded. “But I don’t understand how you pieced it together, Jill.”

“Well, the fact that the ghost only came out after you turned down the offer was a big clue, but what clinched it was what I saw in the little storage room, and out back.”

“What did you see?”

“I saw a car with a driver parked outside, conveniently hidden under a tree, and a skateboard in the storage room.”

“A skateboard!”

“Yep! It’s what he used to smoothly ‘drift’ from one side of the hall to the other, and make people think it’s a ghost.”

“And…”

“And, he got tripped up by the rope we stretched across the hallway.” And everyone laughed.

***

Jill turned over the two million dollar check that was promised, but it was actually in the name of the Charles Townsend Detective Agency. Aaron gratefully accepted the check. Sabrina said that their boss was very interested in helping the Bowen House Foundation in its work and, besides, this was tax deductible. Aaron laughed.

Aaron asked who had hired them, and Sabrina explained that it was someone from the Bowen House Foundation’s board, but he asked his identity to be kept confidential.

As Aaron walked them to their cars, he pulled Jill back a little.

“Jill,” he said, “I cannot say how much I appreciate what you girls have done.”

Jill shrugged. “It was nothing, Aaron. It’s our job.”

“But also, I’m curious - your name…”

“My name?”

“Did you know that Munroe is actually a Scottish name?”

“I didn’t know that.”

“Yes. Jillian Mae’s family was from Scotland. And the reason I know is because her full female name, before she got married, was ‘Jillian Mae Munroe.’ I guess her husband didn’t know she was really a man.”

“Huh?”

“I’m saying my great-great-grandmother was also named Jill Munroe.”

“Jill!” Sabrina called from the limo. “Look!” She pointed back to Bowen House.

In the moonlight, they could see the silhouette of a woman in a period dress standing on the roof.

In moments, she spread a pair of wings and flew away.

“What was that!?” Jill exclaimed. “A ghost?”

“It was an angel,” Aaron said, “an angel named Jill.”

End

I stand there, still absolutely confused. Another stupid ghost story and he expects that to explain this all to me? "I don't get it."

He sighs. "I told you at the beginning, the last manager told me all kinds of stories. Stories about CDs, DVDs, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, holorecorders... Every song tells a story, and they all tell the same story. Your story. My story. The previous manager's story."

At first, my mind stalls when he says "holorecorders", but it catches up quickly. "You're not implying that you're me, I'm you and we're both the last guy who ran this place?"

He smiles again. "Of a sort. We're not exactly the same. There are differences, there are similarities. One time, we had exactly the same life; another time we led a completely different life."

I point down at my transformed body. "And this involves turning me into a girl why?"

He sighs again. "It's a necessary experience. Some day down the road, you'll need to tell the stories, and a little bit of knowledge of what it's like to be the opposite gender helps."

"And everybody else? Did you turn them into girls for a reason?"

He rubs at the back of his neck. "Actually, no."

Afterword

It's been a long time coming, but this Tape is finally done. There were some behind the scenes issues that needed working out, mostly on my end, but there we go. In the end, the Tape is done, it's here for you to read, and the submission phase for the next Tape is now open!

As is standard:

1) Between 500 and 2500 words is best; it's not too big a deal if you go to the 4000 word range, but for the love of God, don't go past that
2) Anything goes, I just need warning for any sort of sexual content for when it comes to rating the thing on the websites
3) Author blurbs would be nice, I mean it; they're not on this Tape because only two people even wrote any

Submissions are to be sent to [email protected], with whatever usernames you use on BigCloset, Fictionmania or TG Storytime. It's no big deal if you don't have an account at any of the sites, but it would be nice. As of now, the closest thing to a concrete deadline you have is the end of January. I'd like to see more contributors from Fictionmania and BigCloset, if possible. These last three Tapes have mostly been TG Storytime authors.

Last but certainly not least at all, I wanna thank you all for reading. Never forget that you readers are why we write. We'd no need to put it out there for you if you weren't.



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