Excerpt for Chain of Transformation by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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This original work of fiction is copyright 2018 by Lexi Kane, all rights reserved.

Cover illustration features elements from the photography of Sebastian Juśko, courtesy of Creative Commons License 2.0.

1. The Man Who She Was

She’s gone too far. She reacted too poorly, too rashly. She’s leaning against the fencepost, trying to open the pack of cigarettes with shaky hands. She stares into the trees, trying to ignore the calamity in the cabin behind her. She places a cigarette against her lips, lights it, and immediately coughs. These lungs are still a bit too new for cigarettes.

Her hair sways in the wind. She’s quite thin, though the men’s clothing around her isn’t especially flattering. The men’s jeans are baggy at the waist, tight at the thighs. Her nipples are poking against the black top. She wraps the leather jacket closer to her body. As she does, she feels the gold chain in her pocket. It doesn’t weight that much, but it has a gravity of its own.

How long has she been traveling like this? She remembers being whipped on a plantation, and then living in the Governor’s mansion. She remembers husbands, wives, families. Faces blurry, names lost, decades missing. She recalls objects better than people; her fifty-year-old satchel, eighty-year-old pocketknife, and of course, the chain. It’s made her virtually immortal, yet is starting to leave her mind addled. She’s growing senile in her young age.

A baby’s piercing wail brings her back to reality. She looks back to the cabin fretfully. A kitten is staring at her from inside the cabin, mewling fretfully. The poor thing is panicking. Maybe she should be, too.

An hour ago, she awoke in that cabin as a naked man with a bullet in his leg. The chain was on the floor near a crying baby swaddled in men’s clothing. A kitten was running around the room in panic. The man who she was painfully grabbed the chains and stumbled into a nearby bedroom. He found his satchel and felt for a plastic bag. When he found it, he pulled it out and tore the plastic off the unopened pair of panties. He dropped most of the package on the floor, leaving just one pair in his hands.

After stripping off his clothes, he wrapped the chain around his neck. He sat on the bed, staring at the bloody hole in his leg, as he touched the panties against the metal. He watched as the familiar sensations began to run throughout his body.

The tingles started first in his groin, slowly spreading all across her body. She watched dispassionately as her modest manhood slid down and inward, the tip of her penis blooming into a tiny little nub. His testicles pulled up into her groin, splitting neatly in half as they flowered into a pair of gentle lips. There were other internal changes coming soon.

Next, her thighs and belly began transforming together. Her leg and belly hair started standing on edge, then sliding slowly into her body. Her belly and chest hair all but vanished, but her leg hair merely thinned out, several of the strands becoming soft and downy. She’d have to shave them off later, but at least she won’t have to deal with the rough, coarse hair on her face.

The hairs of her upper chest and arms started to go next, but her core is more interesting. She watched, always fascinated, as her stomach fat redistributed, widening out at her hips, thinning out near her ribs. A small pooch of fat pushed out just beneath her naval: her new ovaries, birth canal, and womb. She winced as she realized she’d have to lose her virginity again.

She grabbed a pillow and bit down just in time for the tingles to hit her bullet hole. She tried not to scream as the metal scraped against the interior flesh of her leg. By the time she heard metal hit the wooden floor, tears were running down her cheeks, but the worst of it was over. She wiped her face against the pillow as the tingling sealed the hole in her flesh.

By then, her arms were thinning and her legs were thickening. She jumped a little as her butt filled out, lifting her higher on the bed. She didn’t dare stand up until her feet were done transforming, but at first glance, it looked like she is still the same relative height. Good; her clothes should still mostly fit.

Her last body was thin, so the upper chest transformation was very pronounced. She stared carefully at her nipples, watching as they began thickening, growing, and pushing outward, becoming far more sensitive and purposeful. They heralded a more substantial moment: fat pushed against the internals of her pecs, slowly ballooning them out into a pair of modest but perky breasts. She shimmied her shrinking shoulders back and forth; it was always a small kick to watch her boobs wobble about.

The final major transformations began. The bones of her fingers thinned, her feet shrank enough for her to feel safe walking, and she made it to the bureau mirror in time to see the hair on her head fill out. The facial transformations always seem to take the longest, but they are always the most mesmerizing to watch.

Her rough facial hair became soft peach fuzz. Her jaw receded ever so slightly. Soft fat plumped out the cheeks just beneath her eyes. She was disappointed when her nose, already slightly large on her male face, didn’t shrink an iota. There was an itching in her teeth, and she opened her mouth in time to see her wisdom teeth push their way back into her mouth. Oh, goody.

There were a few more smaller transformations to go: her skin softened, her vocal chords tightened, her skeleton had a few minor tweaks to be found along the way. But as she looked up and down her nude form in the mirror, she saw a person, a complete and functional human, and a woman at that.

The newly transformed woman dressed in the leather jacket and jeans in the closet. She crossed the cabin, and the babes in the living room shrieked as she walked out the front door.

She doesn’t know the history of the chain (she barely knows her own history). As far as she knows, it’s some kind of magic healing artifact, morphing the body into the healthiest possible version of its new form. There are a few rules: depending on the complexity of the transformation, your body may need as short as half a day or as long as a week to recover. However, the transformation itself is almost never painful, though bullets do tend complicate the proceedings.

To use the chain, one must merely hold it against an object. However, most objects simply don’t work: if you push the chain against an empty thermos or a new rug, the chain isn’t going to have a clue what to do with you. However, if you push it against a thermos that has been drunk by a lumberjack every morning for twenty years, chances are you’ll become his beardy twin. If you use the chains on a rug that a dog has slept on for years, you’ll be the new dog of the house.

The safest bet is usually clothing. The chain seems to immediately recognize what clothing is meant for, and adjusts the body to match. It even sizes the new body to fit the clothes (perfect for losing weight). However, clothing can also be tricky: the more well-worn it is, the more features you inherit from the previous wearer. It doesn’t take much to become a person’s double.

Of course, if you want to be a person’s double, all you have to do is touch the chain to them. It’s a rather binary switch: they will receive your body, and you will receive theirs’. Other body parts work as well, such as hair, fingernail clippings, or even organs. Once, she held the chains and accidentally rubbed them against a cow liver. She crammed the necklace in her mouth, dashed from the butchery and sprinted into the countryside. She’d barely made it to the edge of town when her hooves came in, and hid in a thicket of woods for the better part of a week. Fortunately, the tattered remains of her jeans were wrapped around her bovine leg, but it still took four days before her body was able to transform back. That time limit was a bitch sometimes.

(Vegetation doesn’t seem to do much. She’s accidentally hit the chain against grass (running while holding it is never a good idea) but never with older vegetation, like a tree. After all, what if she discovered that it does exactly what she thinks it will?)

There were also some shenanigans when it came to female reproduction: if your body is menstruating, you can’t transform. If your body is pregnant, you really can’t transform. It’s quite the frustrating countdown, waiting for your menses to end before you can abandon a body you hate. It’s even worse when you have to wait for a baby to come.

When she left the cabin, she didn’t get far. She stopped at the fencepost, where she’s now trying to suck nicotine into her lungs to calm her nerves. The baby keeps wailing, and the cat keeps mewling, and the nicotine isn’t working.

Who are the people in the cabin, and who were they before she changed them? Did she try to kill them? Were they a couple, and she robbed them and transformed them? She hasn’t transformed another person like that in years. But they shot her, not the other way around. Maybe they deserved their tiny new bodies. Maybe they didn’t.

Though confused about everything else, one thing is clear: she can no longer account for her actions. She’d just robbed one man’s life and one person’s humanity and she can’t explain why.

Her fingers trace the grooves of the chain, each link covered with ancient carvings in some forgotten language. She feels the weight and eventually drops it onto the ground next to the post, saying goodbye to her oldest companion.

She flips out her ancient knife and carves “HELPME” in big letters along the post. She drops the cigarette and stamps it out, then drops the rest of the pack alongside it. New body, new habits?

As she finds the road and holds her thumb out, like she’s done hundreds of times before, she wonders if she should’ve destroyed the chains. She could’ve lit a big bonfire and left them in the center. She could perhaps even find a smelting plant and leave it in a pile of molten metal. It’s such a dangerous thing when placed in the wrong hands.

But that wouldn’t be fair. The chain is as much a force of nature as a thunderstorm. Thunderstorms flood cities and destroy homes, but they also water fields and fill lakes. She’s kept the chain long enough; it’s time to let it back into the world.

2. Tougher

As the tea fills the glass, Katherine hopes she has some sweetener left in the cabinet, then muses about how weaker she’d become. Just a few years ago, Kevin would spend every Saturday sucking down black coffee as he worked case files, then Saturday nights shotgunning bourbon and mercilessly hitting on women at the bar. He’d spend his Sunday afternoons pouring over legal briefs at the DA’s office, then Sunday nights mixing whisky and wine, wooing high class women. On Mondays, it was back to black coffee as he berated defense attorneys and won over juries. He was a bastard, but when you’re going after one of the biggest organized crime families in the country, you have to be tougher than everyone else. Kevin prided himself on being a seven-day machine; now he’s a woman who needs sweetener in her tea because her tastebuds are so sensitive, and because even a single cup of coffee keeps her up for two nights in a row.

But Kevin’s long-gone now. Even with the tea and seemingly high metabolism, Katherine is always tired. She works long hours waitressing at the country club, a forty-five minute drive to the nearest town. She needs to be there an hour before her shift starts, forcing her to nap in the car before work. Her abnormally sensitive skin itches all day from the polyester work shirt. She’s yet to really figure out how bras work; her breasts never feel like they’re sitting right, and they hurt her back constantly (though they seem to get her some good tips from the old creeps at the club).

At least she has the weekends off and gets to enjoy the cool summer breeze around her legs. To be honest, she’d much rather be wearing a t-shirt and sweats, but Sundays are always special. Today she’s decked out in her frilliest, girliest dress, drinking tea with a bunch of stuffed animals and the most adorable little girl on the planet. Katherine misses her old life desperately, but being trapped in dresses is better than the alternative.

Kevin might’ve been a hard-drinking bastard, but he always did the right thing. And the right thing to do was nail Victor Russo to the fucking wall.

Russo was part of an organized crime family, one of their toughest enforcers. One night, he was speeding down a city street around 90 MPH (probably on the way back from a hit) and clipped Adam Rodriguez: just some poor kid who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. His legs were shattered in four different places, and there was enough spinal damage to ensure he’d be in a wheelchair the rest of his life.

While the kid was lying in the road in agony, he had the foresight to memorize the sports car’s license plate. Security cameras placed Victor as the driver, and they had him for a hit and run. With his violent history, Victor would have twenty five years hanging over his head. Kevin worked him for days, trying to get him to flip against the rest of the Russo crime family, but he wouldn’t budge. Finally, that meant Victor was going to trial. Unfortunately, the whole testimony would rely on Adam Rodriguez: the kid would have to take the stand, and he’d undoubtedly be the biggest target for the Russos.

Kevin tried to get him in witness protection, but the feds refused; said it wasn’t worth the time or the resources. In hindsight, it seems pretty obvious that Sanchez probably had feds on the payroll, and the state just didn’t have the resources to create a whole new program to hide the kid. He was already stuck in a wheelchair; he didn’t deserve to die.

Kevin was desperate, but also persistent. He started looking into more… extralegal ways of hiding Adam. There were rumors of a woman who lived in the next state who could “disappear” people, better and more thoroughly than anyone in the world. Kevin expended every favor, connection and resource he had. Finally, he was able to get a meeting with the mysterious woman.

Her name was “Iris.” She lived in an illegal brothel. She looked barely eighteen, but her eyes were old and weary. After telling her the story, she warned, “I shall help, but if you do this, your witness disappears. He will be recognizable to no one in his old life.”

Kevin cocked his head and asked, “How do I know you won't just kill him?”

Iris reluctantly pulled a golden chain from the folds of her dress and held Kevin's jacket against it. Within the hour, Kevin was astonished as her body slowly morphed into an identical copy of his own. With a laconic drawl matching his own, Iris said, “I’ll give Adam the best life he can get, much better than the one he had before, if you can trust me.”

Kevin was sold. He put Adam on the witness stand, and Victor got twenty years. As soon as the trial ended, Kevin rushed his witness outside the courthouse to a car. Iris rolled down the driver’s window and held out a piece of paper. “Tomorrow afternoon, come to this address. Your friend will be ready to be taken to his new life.”

After a fitful night's rest, a jittery, sleep-deprived Kevin showed up to Iris’ address the next morning, a cabin in the middle of nowhere. His heart leapt into his throat; on a fencepost outside the cabin were carved the last two words Kevin wanted to see: “HELP ME.”

Next to the post, he found Iris’ chain laying in the dirt. Kevin grabbed it and sprinted inside the cabin.

As he ran, Kevin barely dodged a baby wailing on the floor. His foot caught something, he slipped forward, and fell forehead first against the floor. As his vision faded, the last thing he saw was the chain in his hand resting on a pile of women’s panties.

Katherine sighs and realizes she should probably stop reminiscing about that day. She replays the series of events in her head, over and over, trying to play the scenarios out differently, but it doesn’t change what happened. And it doesn’t change where she is today.

Katherine peeks her head out the window. The tea party had ended awhile ago, and now the goofy little girl is running around the yard. Her pink dress is practically hiked up to her neck. “Put your dress down, Ariel!” Katherine shouts from the kitchen window, and the girl dutifully drops her dress. It’s a really chilly fall day, Katherine had no idea how her little adopted daughter could stand it. Still, she would be tuckered out soon enough. Once Ariel’s down for her afternoon nap, Katherine could finally get those sweatpants.

Of course, she might just fall asleep right next to the little girl. Afternoon naps are the best.

Katherine rushes outside and tickles her little princess. She loves Ariel more than life itself, but that love is tempered by guilt. She trusted Adam’s life to that crazy witch Iris, and she turned the poor boy into a little baby girl. When Kevin woke up that day, she was a woman and the chain was gone. Before Katherine really had a moment to panic, she felt a little weight down at her belly. The baby girl had crawled over to her and was curled up against her for warmth.

And that was it. From that moment on, Katherine belonged to that little girl. There was never any chance she would be anything but that girl’s protector, caretaker, and mommy. It didn’t take much to use her contacts to create legal identities for “Katherine” and “Ariel.”

Now, she’s making her way through life the best she can. Katherine wrestles with her new gender quite a lot: she misses the bourbon, the women, the feeling of being tough and commanding and powerful and masculine. She misses wearing suits cut to a masculine frame (with boobs like these, that’s not really on the table anymore). It’s the worst when she has her periods; she spends a lot of time sitting on the toilet or lying in bed, silently crying at how gross and wrong her body feels. She desperately wants a hysterectomy, but that would have to wait until she could save up some money. Still, some nights, after Ariel’s in bed, Katherine will have a glass of wine and google search pictures of transgender men.

But that would have to wait. Ariel is so sensitive and needy. To be honest, she needs a soft mommy more than a ball-busting daddy. When Ariel’s all grown up, Katherine can see what comes next.

Of course, Katherine doesn’t yet realize how her predatory lawyer instincts will combine with her maternal love. In the years to come, Katherine will pester teachers, principals and coaches to give Ariel every advantage in school. She’ll work her ass off to pay for Ariel’s ballet, gymnastics, and ultimately debate club (at a little urging from Katherine, admittedly). She’ll hold each of Ariel’s would-be suitors to the fire, making sure they treat her princess with the utmost respect. Even when Katherine starts dating, her boyfriends (and ultimately husband) never seemed to get an edge on the tough-as-nails mom.

Katherine becomes Ariel’s greatest defender and advocate. Perhaps someday she’ll realize that as tough as Kevin was, he was never half as tough as Ariel’s mommy.

3. Unending Indignities

“Brenda, ya ain’t gonna smoke out there are ya?”

“No, Mama, I just want to get some air. I’m gonna walk down by the creek, I’ll be back in a bit.”

“Well, don’t dawdle; we got church in an hour, I don’t wanna be sittin’ next to you if you smell like smoke.”

Brenda rolls her eyes and walks down to the creek. She sits on a log, fumbles in her pocket, and pulls out a cigarette and a match book. She takes a drag, watching the creek bubble as she concentrates on not coughing up her new lungs. She begins idly counting all of the indignities she’s suffered in the last month. The worst definitely has to be calling that bloated old hag “Mama” with this ridiculous country accent.

…well, maybe it isn’t as bad as picking cat fur out of her mouth. And it definitely wasn’t as bad as hacking it up later. And the litter box… okay, there were worse ways to suffer than being Darlene Jackson’s daughter.

The first indignity was driving to the country in the first place. It was a fourteen hour drive, and Brian spent it choking down sudafed to keep his damn sinuses in check. Brian was working his way up the Russo crime family. When their biggest hitman was put away, the family sent him to whack the state’s witness. Brian had never killed anybody before, but you don’t really tell the Russos that you can’t do something. To be honest, he wasn’t just popping sudafed because of his sinuses; they were the only thing that kept his hands from shaking.

The second indignity sat in the passenger’s seat next to him. Richard was this jittery kid, some cousin of the Don who needed the experience. He’d also never made a hit, and was sent on the road with Brian for some experience. The kid wasn’t wearing his nerves very well; he was jittery, kept asking how long it was going to be when they’d get there. When the kid wasn’t chattering incessantly, he listened to obnoxiously loud metal music on his headphones. Richard was a nightmare, grinding Brian’s every last nerve.

The third indignity was staying in the damn car all night long, watching the cabin. They’d been tailing this blondie chick who was driving Adam to some safe house in the countryside. The boss had told them only to kill the witness; they didn’t say anything about a driver. Brian was sure the bosses wouldn’t care if both went down at once, but honestly, he wasn’t sure he could kill some pretty blonde chick on his first hit. She was just so beautiful… it’d break his brain. So he spent all night in the countryside, surrounded by loud ass crickets, Richard chain-smoking and jabbering all night next to him.

The fourth indignity was… well, it was something. At dawn, Blondie limped out to her car and drove off alone. As soon as she was clear, Richard and Brian abandoned their car and stalked their way into the cabin. They entered the cabin, guns in hand. Suddenly, a naked man was on Brian’s back, bellowing, “YOU SHOULD NEVER WALK IN ON A LADY WHILE SHE'S CHANGING!” Brian felt a chain choking his neck. While Richard fumbled with his gun, Brian’s body was going all tingly, and he barely caught sight of what looked like some kind of animal collar wrapped around the chain. He heard Richard’s gun go off, and that was the last thing Brian registered before blacking out.

The fifth indignity came when Richard woke up in a sheet that smelled like BO and cheap shitty cologne. It took him a moment to realize that the cologne was his, and that he was drowning in a sea of his own shirt. His skin was hairy and itchy. He crawled through the shirt into a room built for giants. Brian tried to stand, but it felt like his spine wasn’t working right. He looked down at his hands, and his brain immediately said, “Oh, that isn’t real.” It took a few more minutes for him to accept that his hands were now tiny paws. He felt an odd swishing behind him, and looked behind him to his new fuzzy kitty tail. Brian got very used to his new legs in the next few minutes, running around the cabin in a complete and total panic. Just last night he was a man; now he wasn’t even a person.

The sixth indignity was Brian’s company. The state’s witness, Adam Rodriguez, was passed out on the floor, naked, with a bullet hole in his leg. He must’ve done this to Brian. There was also a little girl lying on the floor wrapped in Richard’s clothing. The baby stirred, looked around the cabin, and started crying in alarm. The wails pierced Brian’s tiny little kitten ears. Brian tried to tell the kid to shut the fuck up, but all that came out were adorable little mewls. Not long after the crying started, Adam woke up. He sat up, staring at the bullet hole in his leg for awhile, before climbing to his feet (shouldn’t he be in a wheelchair?) and limping to the baby. He reached past and picked up a golden chain before fumbling into a back bedroom, slamming the door.

The seventh indignity was the waiting. At first Brian waited for Adam to come out from that room and explain what the hell kind of wizard or alien he was. After what was probably an hour, the door creaked open and some random chick walked out. There weren't any windows back there; where was Adam? Despite Brian's mews and Richard's screams, the woman calmly strode past them and closed the front door behind her. What followed was a morning that felt like days; Richard was shrieking and panicking, barely able to crawl, let alone walk. Brian was more agile, but it's not like a cat can dial a phone and call for help. While Richard wailed, Brian tried to find a way out of the cabin.

The eighth indignity was getting kicked by some asshole. As soon as Brian heard the front door jitter, he rushed over, only to be punted away by some guy running into the cabin. The man ran forward, tripped over Brian and fell headfirst into the doorway of the back bedroom. Brian was dazed, but his little kitten body rebounded quickly. The guy who came in was out cold from his nasty fall. Brian thought he looked familiar, but then... less so. Brian was transfixed as the man’s body began morphing: his facial features softened, his height diminished, even the hair on his head started growing. In a few minutes, the man who’d charged into the cabin was now undoubtedly a woman. More importantly, Brian clued into the chain in his hand: it was the same chain that Adam grabbed earlier, before he vanished and the woman appeared. The chain must be what transforms people! It must’ve been what turned Brian into a stupid little cat!

Brian was able to wrestle the necklace from the man’s (woman’s?) hand and into his mouth. As soon as he had a good enough grip, he ran for the front door, which the man had helpfully left open. He looked back at Richard, who was still crying and shaken. Brian tried to say, “Sorry kid. You'd only slow me down. I’ll be back for you if I can.” But of course, all that came out were meows. He took the necklace, ran to the nearby country road, and was finally free.

The ninth indignity’s name was Brenda. While Kitten Brian pulled the necklace slowly down the road with his teeth, he heard the spokes of a bicycle behind him. “Well, arnchoo the cutest thing!” He felt enormous fingers wrap around his torso, then gasped as his body rushed toward the sky. A beautiful giantess was holding him, staring deep into him with her beautiful brown eyes. Brian tried swiping at her, but she deftly restrained him. “Ooh, and you're feisty too. I bet your mama left you all alone out here; don't worry, I’m your mama now. My name’s Brenda. Let’s go get you some food and water.” Brian shrieked as Brenda dropped him into a basket on her bike. “Hey, what’s that?” He saw her reach down. A moment later, she was back on the bike, inspecting the necklace. “Hmm. Kinna junky, but maybe Salvation Army has a top that can go with it. Let’s go little kitty.”

The tenth indignity: “My name’s Brenda. How would you like to be called… Princess?”

The indignities start running together at this point, but Brian’s pretty sure it’s about sixty seven. After a terrifying ride on the rickety bike, “Princess” found herself in the country abode of Brenda and her obese mother. Mama turned her nose up at the sight of the new kitten (“Like we need 'nother mouth ta feed round here.”) but after a huge fight between mother and daughter, Brenda insisted that the cat would stay in her room, that the old bitch couldn't tell her which pets to adopt or who to date or how to run her life.

From there, Princess’ life became collars and cat food and litter and cuddles. She saw Brenda put the chain in a shoebox in the top of her closet, but damned if the tiny cat knew how the hell to get up there. The days were boring, but not really that bad. Brenda and Mama fought all of the time, and Brenda frequently spent her nights crying in her room. But those were also the moments where she needed a little kitty to comfort. She’d lay on her bed, pick up Princess, and let the itty bitty kitty rest on her chest, cooing and talking softly while Princess let out the occasional mew. It was… nice, actually. To be so small, to have Brenda’s giant hands massaging the itchy fur up and down her body, warming up the body that was so frequently chilly now. It was also nice to push her head up against Brenda’s palms, to hear the girl’s giggle, to see her eyes light up with delight at the smallest actions from Princess.

Yeah, Princess was falling in love hard with the teenage giant. It wasn’t like a romantic love: this girl just occupied a lot of her waking moments. Princess’ entire life was structured around Brenda, and she became very attuned to her owner’s emotions. The cat sometimes slid too comfortably into her new life, forgetting that she used to be a guy named Brian. Her primary frame of reference for humanity was quickly turning into Brenda. Her tiny cat brain just couldn’t process that there were different types of humans to be other than Brenda Jackson.

But she didn’t forget about that damn chain, even if she sometimes forgot why she wanted it so badly. The cat would frequently get chided (and sometimes bonked across the nose) for using her claws to climb the clothes dangling in Brenda’s closet.

One night, there was a huge fight between Brenda and Mama. Brenda came to her room, sobbing and throwing clothes into a bag. No amount of kitty nuzzling could get Brenda to stop crying. Finally, she knelt down in front of Princess and said, “I can’t take you with me, girl. But I want you to stay here and take care of Mama, okay? She’s mean, but she’s lonely, and she’ll need the company. You just… be the best little Princess you can be, alright?”

Brenda left, and the front door slammed a moment later. Princess was alone, and took the opportunity to get to that damn chain… for some reason. She used her claws to alternately scale and shred one of Brenda's jackets. It got hairy, but she was barely able to reach the top of her closet and knock down the shoebox. It dropped open, and the chain fell on top of her as she collapsed into a couple of Brenda’s tops, into one big pile on the floor.

“Yes!” she exclaimed as her body began growing bigger, suddenly remembering why she wanted the chain to begin with. The fur began receding into her body, her skin began turning a rich shade of brown (wasn’t she… paler before?) and curly brown hair bounced from her head. After awhile, a young woman, Brenda’s identical twin, sat in the middle of the pile of clothing. She was shellshocked, staring at the wall for awhile. This wasn’t right, but it also… felt right?

She sat on the closet floor, staring at the wall for some time. After awhile, she felt the floorboards creak, then Mama wander into the room. She looked around her daughter’s bedroom sadly, then her eyes fell on the closet and she gasped and clutched her chest. “You scared me, Brenda! I thought you left? And where’s your clothes?”

For the first time in weeks, she tepidly spoke with a human voice. It felt so much deeper than her kitten voice, so much lighter than the last human voice she had. “I don't... ahem, know why I'm this way, ma’am. I can't tell you. I shouldn't be like... this. I shouldn’t be the way that I am.”

Mama instantly broke down crying. She wrapped her arms around the girl’s petite frame. “I’m sorry too, baby. I really thought after that last fight you’d be gone for good, and that would just kill me, I know it would. I know things is tough for you right now, but your mama loves you and she always will.”

The original Brenda never came back. The new Brenda tried her best to live this new life. She fed Mama some line about breaking up with “him” because he treated her like shit, and Mama was over the moon. At Mama’s prompting, she quit her job at the strip club (yikes!) and got a job at a local grocery store. She’d even started going out with one of the boys at the store; he was sweet, and kissed her without being too handsy.

After a few months, she’d saved up enough to enroll at the community college about an hour away. Right now, it was just one business class, but maybe it’d turn into something better in the future. It would definitely be a challenge; between Princess’ kitty brain and Brenda’s natural emotions, it was hard to focus. But Brenda wanted to make the best of her new life.

Every night, she held the chains and tried to picture her old body, but even that became harder and harder. Her old body came through increasingly vague and hazy; all she really remembered was that he was a white guy. Over time, as she pictured her old body, she saw his skin darken, pert breasts grow out from his chest, his belly slim down, his hair darken and curl, his hips flare out, his height shrink, and soon, she was just staring at a vision of her current body.

Brenda stamps out her cigarette and strolls to the creek. It’s almost time for church, and she didn’t just come out here to smoke. Brenda slips the golden chain from her pocket, stares at it for a bit, and drops it into the river. This is her life now. She’d be the best version of Brenda Jackson possible.

Which is why it pisses her off so much that Mama nags her about smoking! Mama doesn’t smoke and she weighs 400 pounds. Brenda sees how similar her features are to her body’s mother, and wants to cut that looming weight issue off right now. Brenda’s life goal was to be young and beautiful into her old age; she didn’t want to become a sexless, matronly old woman. That was the one indignity she refused to suffer.

4. Bat the Lashes

Evie can picture the chorus of girly voices now: “Oh god, you’re such a liar! There's no way you've already had sex three times today. You're just scared to go home with a boy!”

She’d just smirk, her face caked with as much makeup as the rest of her friends, their bodies poured into tight dresses that showed off every square inch of their bodies, skirt lines just south of offense but far north of decency. She’ll watch with amusement as her tarted up friends head home with various nightclub boys. Her friends are so eager to chase, but it’s so much easier to let the boys come to you. Besides, Evie is over that nightclub dick. As much as she loves her friends, she’ll never give up where to find the highest quality wang in town.

One wouldn't think the best place to cruise for guys would be those insufferable “Paint Your Own Ceramics” shops on a weekend afternoon. You know the type: filled with young couples, the tittering girlfriends trying to find “activities” to do with their boyfriends. The men are first bemused, then bored, then actively irritated as the date goes on. All Evie needs to do is put on a little blush and a lot of mascara, wear a strappy top, find something phallic to paint, make eye contact, smile, and bat the lashes. From there, she motions toward the bathroom.

You haven't lived until a cute stud in a polo shirt is nailing you against a bathroom wall. You really haven’t lived unless his insecure stuckup girlfriend is fingerpainting less than thirty feet away. The only thing that could make it better would be revealing to those bitches that their boyfriends were just seduced by someone who was born a man.

Evie used to be the passive and timid Adam Rodriguez. When the mobster hit Adam with his car, he’d barely caught the license plate. He was going to just stay silent, suffering his wheelchair and chronic back pain in silence for the rest of whatever short life he got to live. But that city lawyer badgered him so much that Adam reluctantly agreed, especially with the offer of witness protection. Adam was tired of being so nervous all the time; maybe this would be a chance for him to be a new person.

After the trial, he was loaded into a car with a mysterious woman. She was blonde and white, and Adam had to stop himself from staring. Her professional attire was very right, revealing some incredible curves. He tried not to get depressed; there was no way a woman like that would ever be with him now, especially with the state his body was in. Hell, any woman probably wouldn’t want to be with a paralyzed kid in a wheelchair whose dick can’t get erect anymore. He asked, “Are you with the FBI?”

She smirked. “No. My name is Iris. Adam, I’m quite good at reading people, which is how I build new lives for my clients. At first, I was designing this handsome, young, muscular body for you, to reward your courage and bravery. But as I watched you throughout the trial, I began to notice a few things. Now be honest with me: do you like my body?”

Adam guardedly nodded. “Um, sure?”

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