by Erin Halfelven

“Sam? Jerry? Lance?” Mike’s voice quivered a bit, calling out into the darkness.

“We’re here, bro.” Someone answered and three men stepped through the redwood gate between the grapefruit trees in the back of the yard.

“Oh, thank…. I’d better not say that, huh?”

“Probably not,” agreed Sam. He was the tallest of the brothers in law, and the most sarcastic.

“I’m glad you guys came.”

“Not yet.”

“Shut up, Sam,” said Lance, cheerfully.

“Welcome to the fraternity,” Jerry stepped forward to give Mike a hug. A roly-poly teddy bear of a fellow, nobody couldn’t like Jerry.

Mike hugged back. “Thanks…. Thanks, again, guys.” Lance gave a hug, too, and then even Sam wrapped his big old arms around Mike.

“How’s married life treating you?” asked Lance.

Mike looked off in the direction of downtown Los Angeles. It was an unusually clear night in late June, and the lights of Dodger Stadium could be seen just to the left of the high rises, even though the ballpark itself was hidden by the hills of Chavez Ravine. In another direction, the Hollywood sign made its lonely promise of glamor and glitz.

“Huh?” Jerry prompted when the silence had gone on longer than was comfortable.

“Different,” Mike finally managed to say.

They all laughed, a bit embarrassed, but it had been a funny answer.

When they stopped laughing, Mike set them off again by saying, “I never expected this!” Arms waving to show what ‘this’ was, Mike sounded just a little short of hysterical.

They laughed a lot more than it was worth. “At least, at least,” Lance choked out, “you’ve still got your sense of humor.” And they laughed at that, too. Even Mike was laughing.

“Honeymoon’s over?” Sam asked, wiping his eyes.

“You could say that,” Mike deadpanned, but they had laughed themselves out.

“No one claimed marrying one of the DeVane sisters would be easy,” said Lance.

“Marrying one is not so hard, being married to one, aye, there’s the rub,” said Sam.

“Huh?” said Jerry. “It’s the same thing, ain’t it?”

“You guys could have warned me,” Mike complained.

“We tried,” said Lance.

“You weren’t listening,” agreed Jerry.

“Blinded by the blonde hair, the big tits, the coos and kisses, the fact that the DeVane fortune was going to be split four ways between the sisters,” Sam offered as a reminder to Mike of just what the situation.

“Boy, howdy,” agreed Jerry. “I know I didn’t think twice.”

“Have you ever?” asked Sam. “But Old Lady DeVane was taking no chances; she knew her daughters would never marry unless she forced them to. So the will said they didn’t get their full share until they got hitched. All of them.”

“A package deal,” said Lance. “They couldn’t stay rich without husbands.”

“My Sally didn’t marry me for the money,” said Jerry. “She could have picked anyone. She married me because I make her laugh.”

“That’s probably true,” said Sam. “You are re-dick-a-less.”

“Yuk, yuk,” said Jerry, not really bothered by Sam’s taunts.

“I don’t know why Gracie married me,” Lance admitted. “I’m glad she did. Maybe she likes the way I play tennis.”

“She likes the way you service her?” asked Sam.

“That, too,” agreed Lance with a grin.

“Why do I give these guys all the straight lines?” Sam complained. “Well, I know why Dorothy married me. I won the bet.’

“The bet?” Mike almost squeaked. “You made a bet with her?”

“Uh huh. She bet me I couldn’t kiss her seventeen times with my eyes open first thing in the morning when she got up.” Sam looked smug. “Not losing count was the hardest part.”

“Why was that hard?” Mike asked. “I mean, I can guess she cheated somehow….”

“Well, first she turned herself into a warthog and I kissed her twice, then she turned into a thirty-foot anaconda and I kissed her three more times while she was crushing my spleen. Next, it was a stork and she went for my eyes but I held them open with my hands,” he demonstrated, “and kissed her right on the beak, four times. She tried to turn into a swarm of bees after that but I kissed eight of them while they were stinging me and won the bet!” He grinned.

“She wasn’t trying that hard,” said Lance. “Anacondas aren’t even poisonous. Gracie turns into a basilisk when she’s mad at me. My hair wasn’t always this curly, you know.”

“Dorothy must like you,” said Jerry. He held his finger and thumb apart about a quarter inch, “About so-o much.”

“Now, you’re funny,” complained Sam.

“You guys knew the girls were witches before you married them?” asked Mike.

They all nodded. “Sally used to turn both of us into birds so we could fly to Catalina when we were dating.”

“Seagulls?” asked Lance.

“Pelicans,” said Jerry.

Sam scoffed. “Remember he said she liked to laugh? Pelicans are much funnier-looking than seagulls.”

Mike sighed. “Well, no one told me.”

“About pelicans? Oh, you mean about the DeVane witches?” asked Lance.

“We gave you hints. And she must have. Witches can’t get married to someone who doesn’t know. It’s one of those, whatchamacallit, metaphysical laws or something,” said Jerry.

“I guess I didn’t believe her,” Mike admitted. “Freddie didn’t do anything magic until we were on our way to Paris.”

“What’d she do then?” asked Sam.

“She swapped seats. She wanted to show me something out the window, Iceland volcano or something, and I couldn’t see past her. So suddenly we swapped seats. And there it was.”

The others nodded.

“Took me a moment to realize what had happened. And then I still didn’t believe it.”

“Hmm, mmm,” they made understanding noises.

“So then she starts talking about the mile-high club and like that. I thought she was joking, but she said it was our honeymoon. So suddenly, everyone in the plane is not moving and even the plane isn’t moving….”

“Time stop,” said Sam. “Fredericka’s probably the strongest witch of the sisters.”

“And then we had sex. Several times, once on the floor of the cockpit.”

“Cockpit,” said Lance.

“Shaddup,” said Sam.

“And when we got back in our seats and the plane was moving again, I was wearing her clothes and her tits and….her body!” Mike’s voice did rise to a squeak this time. “And she had my clothes and my mustache and my dick!”

Jerry stepped up to give another hug but Sam held him off, giving Mike some room.

“And she won’t give it back. Well, she got rid of the mustache….” Mike waved her delicate arms and tugged at her long blonde hair. “And now she’s decided we should be twins except, except, she’s keeping the… the….”

“Cock,” said Lance.

“Shaddup,” said Sam.

Mike let herself go crying for a bit. “It’s so hard,” she blubbered.

“What is?” asked Jerry.

“Shaddup,” said Sam.

“She wants me to be the wifey, stay home, do the cooking. Look pretty….” Mike gestured at herself. “Don’t I look pretty?”

They all nodded in agreement. "You're gorgeous," said Jerry.

"Of course she is," said Lance.

“Yeah, well,” Mike sniffled. “She didn’t think so tonight. She said I looked like a skank! Well, I’m not the one that picked double-D cups for our shape and if we’re twins, then isn’t she a skank, too?”

“Oh,” said Jerry.

“My,” said Lance.

“You didn’t actually say that to her, did you?” asked Sam.

“Uh, huh,” said Mike. “I need a tissue.”

Jerry produced a handkerchief and Mike blew her pretty little nose. Jerry refused to take the kerchief back when she offered it and she stood there, squeezing it in her hands while she got calmed down.

“We’ve all done stupid stuff,” said Lance.

“Speak for yourself, moron,” said Sam. “I’ve done monumentally stupid shit that pissed Dorothy off. I once spent an entire semester as a kindergarten class’s pet hamster up in Pacoima.”

“Sally turned me into a puppy dog and tickled my belly until I peed on myself, once,” said Jerry.

“Birds,” said Lance. “Gracie likes birds. I’ve been a pigeon and a duck and a grouse while she turned herself into a peregrine falcon.” He shuddered. “But you know, the sex after terror like that is just fucking amazing.”

“Yeah, well,” Mike admitted. “The sex is good, even if I am getting fucked with my own cock.” He sighed. “But now she says we can’t be twins anymore and she won’t give me magic help with my hair and makeup and clothes. I’ll have to learn how to do all that stuff myself. And no magic clean up or laundry, I have to be a real housewife!”

“She’ll get over it,” said Lance. “Maybe she’ll even let you be the guy again?”

Mike shook her head. “You know why she was the last sister to get married? Cause she doesn’t even like males. And Old Lady DeVane was conservative; the girls had to marry men.” Mike sniffed again. “And it wasn’t the money. If they didn’t all marry before Midsummer this year, they’d lose their magic powers.”

“I didn’t know that,” said Jerry.

“Explains a lot,” said Sam.

Mike was in serious danger of crying again. “But now she’s decided she likes being a chick with a dick and… and… she wants kids!”

“Oh,” said Lance.

“My,” said Jerry.

“I think, I think, I think I might be, I think I might be…. She says that I am…” Mike stammered.

“Pregnant?” guessed Lance.

“Well, congratulations!” said Jerry.

“Shaddup,” said Sam.

Mike continued, still wringing the kerchief in her hands. “She wants three, a boy, a girl, and a witch. And… and she says we might as well get it over with and only have to do it once.”

“Oh,” said Jerry.

“My,” said Lance.

“Will you guys cut that out?” said Sam. “It’s not like it hasn’t happened to all of us already!”

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