An Original Transformation
Talking with Fleur highlighted the difference in our voices, despite how feminine they both sounded to me. While Fleur’s voice had that original squeak in the background, only striking when her emotions spiked, mine sounded more mature. Fleur didn’t mind. As a tease, she played up a child-like parody of her voice which I couldn’t copy.
Threading the puff-ball trees which surrounded the wrought-iron outdoor benches, we made it to one of the last arcades left in the entire county. All that kept it going seemed to be the quirky transformation games in their lineup. At the front, Fleur pointed out the dancing game marked as partially-transformative. It was easily the best bang for our buck, as two dollars would change my height for the rest of the evening, until I fell asleep. It would also adjust my clothes.
I stood on the dance pad with my first genuine butterflies since the salon. I shifted my weight as Fleur put in the quarters. On the one hand, this was a huge step. However, it still didn’t feel like I was turning into a girl with this. My hips and waist would hardly change at all. No one would see me as anything more than a short guy. Still, I felt a warm rush as I watched the silhouette of my on-screen, female avatar diminish. Though Fleur teased me to select the shortest end, she held a pleased expression that I stopped at a reasonable height which left me slightly smaller than her.
I took a deep breath with the blinking conformation circle and selected it again. The transition was slow but woozy. I felt like I was crouching but with my legs still extended. When I was done, it was freaky to feel the shifted eye-level. Fleur appeared as though she'd grown in just a minute. She patted me on the head with smirking amusement and cheered me on in my game.
The game itself felt like an afterthought. The challenge was daunting as I had to adapt to where my legs and body now reached. That was the point of the game and, because I’d changed my height so much, it was easy to rack up a high score. Not that any of the other high scores were anything but “AAA”. I put in ZAF for “Zack And Fleur”, which earned a pleasant smile from her.
Walking, especially on dance-sore legs, led me to stumble a bit.
“How is it?”
“I’m a midget.”
“Nuh uh…you’re just economy-sized. Fleur-class size.”
“I like that. And it’s not bad. Just takes some getting used to.”
Fleur offered her arm for stability and led me over to a machine dispenser towards the back of the arcade which gave out temporary face tattoos. As I adjusted my trilby, Fleur selected a little, feline version of the Decepticon logo in a pale, pink color. It was barely bigger than my fingertip but I knew it would erase the boyish fuzz from my chin and soften its shape.
Using a damp towel from the meager gender-neutral bathroom/storage closet at the back of the arcade, Fleur applied the tattoo to my face. We used a mirror on the wall to watch the change.
This time, I felt tingling. Some transformations added that to tell users that it was working. But, aside from the sensation, the change in my face was subtle. The most obvious shift was my nose, which stretched down instead of flaring out. The little bump also vanished, a remnant from banging my face hard on the pavement when I was three. Otherwise, I just looked like I’d gotten a fresh, close shave.
Arching her eyes, Fleur seemed to invite more of a reaction from me. I turned to the side. As a whole, I definitely looked androgynous but no more than Fleur had managed with me on our own. I prodded the tattoo, which looked pretty good for a cheapie one.
Fleur stood beside me, looming slightly over me. She gave a wide, curling grin as she clutched my hand.
“No dancing?” Her question came out with her words receding by the end, though she still wore her grin.
“These little legs have danced enough.”
Her eyes drifted over our images in the mirror before she finally concluded, “You’re disappointed…”
I shook my head. “That’s not it. I guess I just didn’t realize how much my face looked like a girl’s already.”
Grin bouncing back, she rocked me and said, “I could’ve told you that. Lucky. I had constantly-inflamed stubble.”
Lifting up her phone, Fleur took a close-up picture of my face and flipped between the first still of our little video and the new image. There was a clear difference and I admitted as much.
Reflecting a kind gaze, Fleur told me, “We can give it another try, if you want…”
“No. It’s good.”
Fleur added, “But not great. Not what you were expecting.”
I looked Fleur in the eye, her gaze tinted by the bright colors of the neon lights above the skee ball games. “I…I just figured I’d be prettier.”
Passing me a flutter of a smile, Fleur whispered, “You are such a girl. Come on, I have body makeup on my list. We can take care of that next.”
Once we were out of the bright lights and vacant aisles of the arcade, Fleur clicked her boots across the rough patches of pavement. She puffed a breath and said, “Seriously though. It’s like when we’re hanging out around school. Remember those girls I talked about who called me a ‘ghost’ because they’re into tanning?”
It was some months ago. I dismissed them swiftly and so did Fleur. I loved Fleur’s bright, pale skin.
Fleur puffed out her lips. “I’d always rather take the shit other girls give me than the alternative. But people can suck so much. They get inside you.” I nodded to her words and reached for her hand.
She let her tension slide off as she announced, “So, that means you’re already a cute girl, like Katsumi tells everyone. And you’re gonna see it all with a look of total surprise before this night is over.”
The pleasant shivers returned as Fleur led me to a small drugstore adjacent to the main strip. Compared to the other stores, this one had its transformative products clearly marked by red and blue bars and the sort of warnings previously reserved for alcohol and tobacco products. Our area, as my parents would vigorously and often point out, was lax about regulation.
The wig only had a tag with the nanite class and the duration stamp. The necklace had been in a section with products like it. And the dance game and tattoo dispenser both had warning labels and stickers, though I barely noticed them.
At the drugstore, it was hard to miss the transformation areas. Like regulated drugs, they were in locked glass cabinets with air holes. I’d seen more stores use this method, especially for expensive products they didn’t want customers messing with. Still, the locked-up bouncing balls felt ridiculous.
One of the store workers unlocked the cabinet for Fleur and she selected a fairly-priced container of makeup with a color we both liked. After paying, we used the gender-neutral bathroom in the back (it reminded me of an online statistic that the number of gender-neutral bathrooms had skyrocketed in recent years and virtually outnumbered all other kinds).
Fleur didn’t mind handling the necklace, she applied the temporary tattoo, and even fussed with the dancing game a bit with me. But she had me open the container of makeup. From the directions on the side, I could tell why. The product primed itself according to whoever opened it. That meant that if she opened it then it would be locked to her. The only way around that was a bunch of calls to customer service to reset the product. There were products which reset themselves according to who handled them from moment to moment instead of just the first time they were opened but those were more expensive.
Once primed, it was safe for Fleur to handle it. I reminded her of this, but she still just stared at it. She stretched her fingers out and took a breath. She pushed back her gloves a little. I rubbed a little gob on my hand.
I watched as it smoothed a bit but no more than with any common hand lotion. The difference happened a moment later when my skin tingled and shifted like I was flexing it without actually moving. The effects rippled outwards from where I touched. As before, the shifts were marginal, barely more than how much my flesh would move with a massage. But it stayed there.
The gap between my thumb and index finger looked different. On the other end of my hand, I caught the tip of my ring finger receding, probably the most noticeable change.
I flexed my hand a few times. It didn’t feel different, but it definitely looked different. It looked more like Fleur’s lovely hands.
As I reached out for my second round, Fleur darted a hand out to stop me. She looked down at the makeup and said, “I’ll do it. I’m not afraid.” She flexed her jaw, slipped off a glove, and finally plunged her fingers into the light-toned makeup.
Keeping it as a mass at the edge of her hand, she nearly threw the makeup at my arm. She curled her lip back. I reached a hand over to massage the mass into my skin. Fleur hovered her hand with some remnants still on her fingertips. My arm narrowed slightly as my muscles and veins lost some of their previous definition. Again, marginal changes.
I was about to reach for another gob when Fleur darted over and scooped up another load. This time, she didn’t plaster me with it. She pressed it against my skin and rubbed it down the length of my arm. She still scoured her fingertips with a paper towel afterwards, but she didn’t stop.
The rubbing on my shoulders felt nice but it was hard to get to other skin without removing my clothes. Fleur smiled slightly and announced, “We’ll save the other stuff for other things.”
As a final move, she told me to close my eyes and applied a light coat across my face. When I opened my eyes, I still noticed the little temporary tattoo to one side, like a playful decoration. But I also noticed that my features looked a little nicer. They hadn’t really changed but my skin looked brighter and healthier.
Fleur remarked, “It’s a good cover. Like it?”
I smiled at her and regarded myself. I didn’t look like myself anymore. And it wasn’t just the wig. I was effeminate by this point. Perhaps I’d be seen as a flat-chested tomboy in the right situation. Especially if you didn’t pay attention to my narrow figure down lower. It was captivating to see my image so altered.
“Thank you for helping me put it on,” I told Fleur. She rinsed her fingers softly and dried them. She slipped her glove back on and told me, “No prob. Soooo…we have a couple of choices for next. We’re actually down to just a few things but the big ones.”
I gave a little smirk, as I repeated, “Big ones?”
“Definitely! You’ll be a jiggling girl.” We laughed together. At the end of her laugh, Fleur looked down at herself. She had developed just a little since we first met. I would be lying if I said I never thought about Fleur with bigger ones or a different figure when I lay in bed at night. But then I thought about Fleur in all sorts of ways.
She gave me a look and I reached over for her gloved hand as I told her, “Let’s get to it.”
Our next didn’t take us far. In fact, we didn’t even need to leave the drugstore. The balls. I’d noticed them before. I eyed the kickball, but Fleur pointed me to something smaller. I remembered the name from a nostalgic special for fads from decades ago, but this was a generic version of that just called a ‘sports footbag’. It looked a bit fluffier than most I’d seen. We also wound up getting a small, random kickball for a dollar, but it didn’t have any special properties.
Far from the crowds and cars of the main section of the strip, we made our way to the edge where no one ever bothered to park. Freshly-planted elms with stakes as tall as them ringed the edge of the plaza. Beyond, the sparse scrub of the land, which hadn’t been cleared for future shopping areas, flowed in low-blanketed shadows. The few amber lights of the parking lot did little to halt the advance of evening.
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Bio: I'm MajorKerina and I love to collaborate creatively with a group of friends to make tales where people have their genders, identities, and very realities questioned, contorted, and turned upside-down. I like slice-of-life with a spicing of the supernatural, strange, or surreal. Reality with a scent of the impossible. You can find me on DeviantArt, Twitter, ScribbleHub, and other places.