On the Bounce (part 2)

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Wallmart, Flagstone Arizona

I'd always known that I might be twisted, but it never really sank in. There weren't many twisted back in Darvel, maybe half a dozen in my high school, and only one other in my year. Karen had always been kind of nerdy and then she went and twisted. She was binge watching the old Lord of the Rings Movies at the time, and now she was tall, willowy and had pointed ears.

I stood almost naked in front of the change room at Walmart. My reflection could just as well be a stranger. All of four feet and four inches tall, blue eyes that looked too large and a button nose that looked too small.

I'd always had pasty skin, just like dad, you know the kind that burns in minutes but can't develop a tan. Now I looked Like I'd just stepped off the beach. On the plus side, I was ripped. When I was ten I would have killed to have muscles like this. My arms and legs looked sculpted. Even relaxed I had a six pack and my pecs had some serious definition, which looked kind of weird on a little kid.

On the down side, I'd lost a little something other than hight in my twist. The panties I had on, borrowed from Suzie's wardrobe, didn't bulge in any way. For all the muscle, I was a little girl, and it felt damned weird. I turned sideways and looked at my chest, well at least I wouldn't be needing a bra anytime soon, or possibly ever.

A pile of clothes lay on the bench beside me ready to be tried on. Jeans, shorts and an assortment of tee-shirts. I had put my foot down and said no when Suzie suggested a skirt. And to think only yesterday I'd been a boy, trying to take a cool selfie. This was one hell of a way to learn about risk assessment. Still, I was alive, and that was better than being a smear at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

I'm not sure how long I had laid there at the foot of the cliff before consciousness returned. But the first thing I noticed was the sun, baking my bare skin. The second thing was a rock digging into my lower back. My eyes felt glued shut, and I couldn't move. I groaned.

Voices echoed down to me, the sound of a woman sobbing, people yelling. I forced my eyes open, only to close them again on account of the glare. "Grumpf"

After several more minutes, my muscles started working again, letting me move. I rolled over onto my left side and tried to sit up, pushing myself up on shaking arms. My vision cleared. It looked like a pretty good twist at first, then I noticed the slit between my legs and tried to scream, well I opened my mouth anyway, but no sound came out.

Just the act of sitting up took the wind out of me. I had to rest before I could roll onto all fours and crawl out of the burning sun. I curled up beside a bush. and sat there hugging my legs to my chest, rocking backwards and forwards.

The rangers found me still huddling in the shade half an hour later. Seeing them was a shock in itself. They seemed so much bigger, then they should be, or rather I was smaller.

One of them squatted down, "Hey sweetheart, where did you come from?"

I pointed upwards at the cliff behind me. "Yes, I think I had my twist, and I fell," I said, my girlish voice rising to a hysterical squeak.

The ranger's eyes widened. he looked over at his partner, who was talking on a handheld radio. "Can you tell me your name."

"Lee Jones," I said, "My mum and Suzie, they must be freaking out up there."

A few minutes later I had an emergency blanket wrapped around me like a towel and was trying to walk up the trail. the gravel bit into my bare feet and my legs shook with every step. It seemed I was learning to walk all over again. One of the Rangers helped me stay upright as I shuffled along. "How Bout if I give you a ride?"

"Yes please," I said, rubbing one foot against the other shin to clear out the grit.

He let me climb onto his back, then set off at a rapid pace, soon we arrived at the foot of the trail. Turns out they had an electric cart ready to take us back to the top.

When we got back, I was out of the cart and running almost before it stopped. Mom looked frantic, her face was tear-streaked and red. Aunt Grace was stopping her from running down the trail towards us. She looked straight past me, searching for the teenaged boy she was expecting. "Where's my son." She yelled.

"Mom, I'm here, it's me,"

"Lee?"

I nodded solemnly. "I, I think I twisted."

She enveloped me in a hug so tight I thought she was going to crack my ribs. "What were you thinking?" She said over and over again.

I spent the rest of the day at Flagstaff medical centre. The Police interviewed both me and Mum separately to establish I was really Lee Jones. Then the doctors got to poke and prod and ask a million questions.

Apparently, kids went through their twist while on holiday often enough that they had a protocol for it. When we finally left the hospital I had a certificate saying that I was safe to fly. As to how I survived falling five thousand feet, one of the doctors gave us a long lecture on the Darrington field, but what it boiled down to is that they couldn't explain it either.

A persistent knock on the change room door broke my musings. "Hey Leigh, are you OK in there, let me in," Suzie called.

I pulled on the top tee and shorts from the pile. The tee was plain green, and the shorts were denim and came down to my knees, with small flowers embroidered on either side.

Suzie pushed in beside me as soon as the door was opened, and dumped her own stack of clothes on the bench. She looked at me then at the mirror. "I don't think green's your colour, here try this one. Mom says I can get something too."

Before I could respond she'd pulled her tee shirt off, and was undoing her shorts, letting them fall on the floor. I couldn't help comparing. Suzie had the same pasty skin I used to have, though with marked tan lines around her shoulders. Her stomach was almost as tight as mine, and her chest looked, not like she had boobs, but kind of puffy.

"mom says I'll probably need a training bra in a month or so." she said.

I looked down, feeling the blood rush to my face, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to."

"Hey don't worry about it," she said, "I mean your a girl now, right? And your still my favourite cousin."

"Yeah, but, don't you find It weird, I mean I was a boy like yesterday."

"yea and the night before that we were mock wrestling in the tv room, in our PJs, so what? Now that the looks much better."

I had to agree. This one had a very wide neck and only a hint of sleeves. It was cut so it flared out around my waist, with a very light blue at the top, getting darker as it went down. Suzie had put on the exact same tee, only matched with a white skirt. She smiled at me in the mirror, and grabbed my hand, "come on let's go show our moms."

Mom approved, and the outfit went in the to buy pile, as did Suzie's variation. In total, we made half a dozen trips into the change room and back, though Suzie didn't get anything else. Mom finally declared I had enough clothes to get on with. Wisely she hadn't pushed me into anything too girly. The tee shirts were mostly plain, and the bottoms were all shorts or pants. A few flower motifs and fine stones were inevitable, but kept to a minimum.

"OK we'll pay for these, and then see about getting some shoes," My mom said, dragging us through the sports section.

"Can we go to Rio's cafe?" Suzie said, "I'm getting hungry."

That's when I saw them. Hanging beside the swimsuit section, on special frames that kept them stretched out. Leotards, a whole hangar full of them, all bright and glossy and, amazing.

Mom tugged on my arm, but I pushed her away and ran to the side, grabbing the first leotard I came to. "I've got to have this."

"Really dear, it's rather pink isn't it?"

"But it's a leotard, I need it mom," I said, still clutching the leotard to me, and hopping from foot to foot. I tried for the pleading puppy-dog expression, letting my lower lip slip forward. Just like Suzie used on me every time she wanted me to play a girlie game.

Mom regarded me with a thoughtful look. "OK, maybe we should pick up a swimsuit too."

I nodded, not really listening. Moments later found me in another change room, pulling my clothes off to try on the leotard. It was a long sleeved version, in pink patterned with large white flowers. When I finally had it on my breath caught. I looked, well right, this is how I was supposed to be dressed, like a gymnast. Pitty the change room was so small or I'd try a cartwheel.

I skipped out to show Mom, Aunt Grace and Suzie. They seemed somewhat shocked, Suzie couldn't get her mouth closed again when she saw me.

"Well, how do I look?"

"Very cute, are you sure about this Leigh."

"Definitely, can I keep it on?"

Mom shook her head and shooed me back to the change room saying it needed washing, and I could wear it once it was done. I dragged my feet but undressed all the same. Then put on the boring shirt and Dungarees I'd come to the store in. they were also hand me downs from Suzie. I fit in clothes my cousin had outgrown months ago.

I got new sneakers, and a pair of leather sandals, before the promised lunch at the cafe, where I ordered a burger. Miss, I'm too inches taller than you now could only look at it and drool, while eating her chicken salad. Then it was back to the minivan and home, well Suzie's home anyway.

Ten minutes later we arrived to find our bags on the front lawn and Uncle Todd standing in the doorway.



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This story is 1816 words long.