Involuntary Sisters' Weekend; Part 3 (of 5); 12:00-2:40

Carter paced back and forth across his room for a while, occasionally glancing back at his door as if it would suddenly become unlocked. Eventually, he was shaking so much he had to sit and take a breath.

He was losing control. How could he possibly fix this situation? What could he say to Victoria to convince her to change him back? What would happen if somebody came by to check up on them? Who would believe him, the way he looked now, over Victoria?

He almost didn’t believe it himself.

The book. Carter scrambled, pulling open his backpack and grabbing the book.

Gibberish. Still gibberish. Page after page of words he couldn’t read. He got to the end of the book and flipped back to the front.

An uncertain knock at the door caused Carter to yelp and drop the book. He covered his mouth, but the sound had already escaped him.

For a moment there was silence, and then a soft voice came from the other side of the door.

“Carter?” Victoria asked.

Carter didn’t answer. He picked up the book and set it down on his desk before walking up to the door.

He placed his hand on the knob, but didn’t unlock it at first. Then he sighed and opened the door

Victoria was standing there. She looked like she was about to apologize, but then shook her head and glared at Carter with determination, before her expression softened and she opened her mouth to say something.

After a moment, she finally said, “We’re going to watch a movie together.”

“Absolutely—”

“Please.”

Carter’s mouth hung open, the rest of his rebuttal forgotten. He stared at her, and she kept looking right at him.

He reasoned that it was probably better to keep a direct eye on her anyway. At the very least, he could still browse the internet on his phone.

“Alright, fine,” he said, “Give me a minute.”

“Oh… okay,” Victoria said, “You… will you get snacks?”

“Sure,” he said, closing the door on her.

Carter quickly returned the book to his backpack and grabbed his phone. He made to put it in his pocket, but only the pocket-less back of the skirt greeted him.

Carter clenched his fists in anger, but relaxed when the long nails started to bit into his skin. He’d simply have to carry the phone in his hand.

He could hear Victoria in the living room looking through DVDs as he entered the kitchen. He dreaded to think of what girly piece of shit she was going to subject him to. Probably a Disney movie if he was lucky. She was just eleven, after all.

The popcorn was easy enough to fine, but Carter had to push aside a lot of food in the pantry to find the candy. It was all the way at the top and back, where their parents hoped they wouldn’t find it. Or maybe just Victoria. She had much more of a sweet tooth than Carter did.

He kept all the sour and spicy candy for himself, piling the sweet stuff into Victoria’s bowl like she’d want. He frowned at the idea of rewarding her with candy for her actions, but whatever. Maybe she’d get a stomachache and learn something.

Victoria gave Carter a small “thank you” when he passed her the bowl of candy, but he merely grunted in response as he sat down on the couch beside her. He separated them with the popcorn bucket.

“You ready?” Victoria asked, practically bounding up and down.

“Sure, why not?”

Victoria seemed to falter, but grabbed the remote and turned the TV on to show what movie she’d picked out.

“Oh.”

“Yeah!” she practically cried, “I thought we could watch this now and then see the sequel when it comes out.”

Carter ignored the suggestion, since he was planning to see the movie with his friends when they first got the opportunity.

Still, he set his phone to the side for now. His friends could wait a while for a response if it meant getting to watch Chris Pratt and a talking raccoon break out of jail and save a planet.

It wasn’t long, though, before the reality of his situation started getting to him. He shifted, trying to get his legs into a comfortable position. Sliding down the seat shifted the bra, and he had to adjust it slowly in a way that Victoria wouldn’t notice. Every time he leaned in his hair fell in his eyes, and when he tried to push it away his nails would scrape across his forehead. Little annoyances, the lot of them. The only reprieve from his discomfort was the action on screen and Victoria’s distracting excitement at the film

Come to think of it, this movie was PG-13, and kind of long at that. Carter was beginning to think that Victoria was using the situation to get away with seeing a film their parents wouldn’t have allowed her to otherwise. Which was pretty silly to think, because of course that’s what she was doing, and Carter had straight up allowed it to happen.

Still, at least he’d gotten to watch it again. So the weekend might be ruined, and his enjoyment of the movie slightly tainted by this experience, but at least something good had come out of today.

The credits began to play and Carter started shifting around, trying to stretch without moving his body too much.

“Did you like it?”

“Uh-huh,” Carter mumbled, hating the way his voice sounded as he did it.

“So you think we can see the sequel when it comes out?” she asked, almost on the edge of her seat in anticipation.”

Carter didn’t respond, and Victoria seemed to understand what he was saying. Her face fell and she dropped back into the plush seating.

Carter sighed.

“Maybe,” he said, and Victoria lit up.

Maybe,” he repeated, “Mom and dad probably won’t like it.”

Victoria’s expression was uncertain, but she was still smiling.

“So,” she began, “I was thinking about what else we can do today. I could of wanted to braid your hair. And then maybe we can try on some clothes and see what they look like on you…”

She trailed off before Carter could say anything. He’d balled his hands into fists, and his glare was probably more frightening than stern.

Then, he blew up.

“Do you think this is some kind of game?” he cried, “Look at me! Fucking look at me!” He was standing now. “Does what I want mean anything too you?! Do you just not care about my free will?! Am I just some sort of doll to you?!”

Victoria looked to be on the verge of tears. She’d shrunken back into the seat as far as she could go.

“No!” she shouted, “That’s not fair! It’s not a big deal!”

“How is this not a big deal? You made me into a fucking girl! Do you think I wanted this?! Do you think I want to go play fucking dress up with a little brat who keeps threatening me?!”

“You… you can’t… it’s just for fun.” But her voice was getting smaller. “Sisters. You and me. Our little secret.” Carter could barely make out her last words.

“I’m not your sister,” he told her, “I don’t even want to be your brother. You need to—”

The sound of a ringing phone broke him off.

His wide-eyed expression of fear was mirrored exactly by Victoria. For a moment, the two of them locked eyes while the kitchen phone rang on.

Carter narrowed his eyes, while Victoria narrowed hers.

Carter took off running, but Victoria had leapt from the sofa and managed to slide around him. He grabbed at her, but the skirt bound his legs and he couldn’t stay balanced. His knee hit the floor before the rest of him did, causing him to swear loudly and grab his injured knee.

“Hey mom!” he heard Victoria say. She was looking right at him through the kitchen archway.

“No, Carter’s here,” she said, “But he’s feeling a little sick. Keeps blowing his nose and feels super-tired. You want to talk to him?”

Carter growled, but she just held out the phone to him.

Slowly, Carter got to his feet, blood pounding hard in his ears.

He jerked the phone out of her hands and, shaking, held it up to his ear.

He cleared his throat. Twice. Three times, and tried to make his voice sound as deep and sickly as possible.

“Hi mom,” he said, heart bouncing around his chest.

“Carter? Is that you? You sound terrible.”

“Yeah… I’m fine. Mostly resting. Watching Victoria. Trying not to get close to her.”

He glared at Victoria, who shrunk a little under his gaze.

“If you need us to come home…”

“No!” he quickly replied, losing control of his voice for a moment, “It’s… too long a drive for you guys to quit and come home so early. I’ll be fine. The neighbors are there if I need anything.”

As if, he thought.

The phone was silent for a few moments, and Carter’s stomach turned.

“Alright dear,” his mom said, and Carter’s knees gave out in relief, “We’ll be back tomorrow night. Try not to move around too much. I’ve got to go now, but your father and I love you two.”

“You too,” Carter replied, hanging up and hanging his head.

There was silence, then Carter looked up at Victoria.

“That was dangerously stupid,” he said, “What if she didn’t believe me?”

Victoria didn’t answer at first, and then only responded with, “But she did.”

Carter stood back up and tossed the phone to her.

“Change me back now,” he said.

For a moment, it looked like she was going to give in. But then she shook her head.

Carter turned around and walked back to his room, slamming the door behind him.

Once he was sure the spell book was still in his backpack, Carter backed up against the wall and slid down, ignoring the way his shirt rode up his back as he did so.

It took a while for his breathing to slow down. The door was locked and he felt like he should block it with the desk. There was no way a simple lock was going to stop her when she decided to burst through his door and…

A girlish whimper escaped him, despite Carter’s best attempt to contain it.

He hated her. He did. She changed him, and then threatened him when he called her out on it.

And she was probably already planning another spell to act on her threats.

What had happened to his baby sister?

How much worse was it going to get?

Carter crawled over to his backpack and pulled out the book. It was still incomprehensible. The pages were thick, but he thought he had a pair of scissors in his room somewhere. If he could tear out most of them, he might be able to get to the fireplace without Victoria realizing what he was doing.

She’d try to stop him, probably hurt him in the process, but she’d be safe from learning anything new from the damned thing.

A knock at t door caused him to jump.

Carter sat still, his chest rising and falling with every shallow breath.

“Carter?”

He didn’t respond.

“Carter, I’m… I’m sorry.”

He turned to face the door.

“About everything,” she continued, “I thought we were going to have fun. I didn’t want to hurt you. And I…”

Carter waited.

“I’m sorry that I lied. I can’t undo the spell.”—Carter’s blood chilled—“It wears off after twenty-four hours.”

Carter relaxed and started breathing again. He stood up and slowly walked over to the door.

“I just… she started sniffling, “I wanted to spend time together. I knew you wouldn’t want to so I found a way to… I thought you’d be interested in what it was like…”

Carter’s hand was on the doorknob, but he didn’t unlock the door. Part of him wanted so hard for this to be a trap, so he could ignore her and start tearing pages out of the book.

“And I… I…”

He heard a sob come through the door, followed by another.

God damn it.

Carter opened the door slowly, peering around it at Victoria. She had her palms pressed against her eyes, but looked up at him when the door opened. Her eyes were red and swollen, with tears streaking down her cheeks.



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