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Short Stuffed :icondkfenger:dkfenger 30 20
Literature
Trust Machines - Beastly Beauty 14
Chapter 14 - Parental Problems
Bailey decided she’d had quite enough of being mouse-sized, and asked politely to be grown up.  Violet was happy to oblige, and soon Bailey’s head was back on a level with Violet’s.  She thanked Violet with a very snuggly kiss that ended up with Bailey’s tentacles twined in Violet’s, and her lower body wrapped around Violet’s legs.
When they finally came up for air there was cheering, mostly from Miji.  Violet touched a tentacle to the silver dragongirl around her neck.  “That didn’t bother you, kit-kat?”
“Nah.  It was sweet.  Don’t do that to my brother, though.  He might look like a girl, but I’d know.”
Violet giggled.  “We better get your box made up soon.  Hopefully your dad isn’t completely distracted by Mom this week.”
“Do you think that’s likely?” asked Miji.  “I haven
:icondkfenger:dkfenger
:icondkfenger:dkfenger 9 17
Literature
Silken Dance 1
The shop’s door jingled as a slim thirty-something woman entered.  The bespectacled man with salt-and-pepper hair at what looked more like a workbench than a shop counter set a small shiny object down.  He smiled at her warmly.  “Good morning, Pamela.  Welcome to the Mysterious Magic Shop.”
Pamela raised an eyebrow.  “Really?  Isn’t greeting first-time customers by name a bit cliche?”  She was smiling behind the wit.
“We have a small clientele base, I try to greet everyone by name.  Our kids are in the same grade at school, I remember you from career day.”
Pamela chuckled and nodded.  “Same here.  Ben, wasn’t it?  I have to say, ‘I run a shop that sells real magic’ is fairly memorable.”
Ben spread his hands wide, indicating the array of glass display cases ringing the small shop.  They were sparsely populated, only a few items on each shelf, carefull
:icondkfenger:dkfenger
:icondkfenger:dkfenger 36 13
Literature
In Too Deep 5 - Cooperation
“What do you mean, you’re Barry’s pet?” asked Steve as he scrambled to his feet.
Kelly jumped up as well, and grabbed Steve’s arm.  “Careful.  Once you move away from the portal, reality rewrites you to something that fits.  At this size, something like a mouse.”
Steve rubbed his chin as he digested that, then his eyes lit up.  “Oh!  So that’s where the rabbit came from.  And why you still have fur and floppy ears.”
“Yep.  Still cute?”  Kelly wiggled her nose at him.
“Very much so, yes.”  To emphasize his point, Steve kissed Kelly on that cute mostly-human nose, which led to kisses elsewhere and increasing distraction until the ground literally moved under their feet.
Both stared up through the plexiglass roof to see a distorted view of Steve’s roommate, Barry.   He wasn’t looking at them, but they could see his hands on an enormous metal han
:icondkfenger:dkfenger
:icondkfenger:dkfenger 12 5
Literature
Trust Machines - Beastly Beauty 13
Chapter 13 - Sleepy Creatures
Once their parents were safely away, Violet and Miji grinned at Bailey.  “Sleepover time!”
“Okay, I’m sure it’ll be fine.  But I want to be a monsterkitty for this one.  A little bitty one.”
“Oooh, can I be a mini-monster too?” asked Katie.  “That way nobody will be afraid of me.”
“You were supposed to spend the weekend human,” said Miji.
“Which was amended to mean mobile and able to speak,” argued Katie.  “If I’m a tiny dragon-girl, that counts, right?”
Violet chuckled softly and nodded.  “As long as you can interact with others...  I’d rather only shrink your for tonight, though.”
“Okay!”  Katie had the Venn Machine set up in a flash, and bounced into her side of it.  Violet followed, shaking her head at the younger girl’s eagerness.
Katie emerged from the machine as
:icondkfenger:dkfenger
:icondkfenger:dkfenger 7 20
Mature content
Squeaky Clean 3 :icondkfenger:dkfenger 46 22
Mature content
Milestone - Yana's Gift :icondkfenger:dkfenger 32 32
Literature
Trust Machines - A Gift of Silence
Tina and Andy were the first to the Venn Machine.  Still holding hands, Andy put in some money to start it up, and Tina picked the time.  A month.
“Are you sure?” asked Andy.
“I have the vacation time.  I’ve even arranged for a replacement weathergirl.”
Andy glanced back at Janice, strolling up behind them.  “Yeah, that’ll go over well.”
Tina laughed, and turned to blow Janice a kiss.  “Make us something sexy.”
She hopped into one side of the Venn Machine, pulling Andy in behind her.  Janice darted into the other side, and before the door had vanished was already saying “bra”.  A moment later, a very utilitarian looking bra fluttered to the ground on the far side of the Venn Machine.
Janice stared at it for the entire timeout.  It was the dullest, beigest bra she’d ever seen.  She picked it up, turned it this way and that, her victorious grin slowly fading.  &
:icondkfenger:dkfenger
:icondkfenger:dkfenger 22 30
Literature
Trunked 10
Thanks to Bernice’s goading, everyone got out of the townhouse on time to head to campus for the first day of classes.  While there was some muttering and grumbling, it was mostly playful.
Steven and Maggie headed toward her first class, holding hands firmly to keep Maggie secure against the wind.  Steve’s grip nearly crushed her hand, despite the fact that there was little more than a gentle breeze blowing.  Maggie’s hands were, to be fair, quite easy to crush.  Being a living skinsuit did have its downsides, but at least being crumpled didn’t hurt.
Tanya held Bernice’s hand as they walked toward their inevitable parting for the day.  In their case it was because Tanya wasn’t used to walking on two legs, as she’d spent most of the summer with a tail instead.  Bernice gave her sweetie a long and lingering kiss when they had to part, and giggled at how Tanya wobbled away afterward.
Bernice made her way to the engine
:icondkfenger:dkfenger
:icondkfenger:dkfenger 22 43
Literature
Trust Machines - A Gift of Coal 2
Tina tapped on the terrarium with a black clawtip.  She’d been a seven foot tall four-breasted catgirl with clouded leopard spots for so long now that she considered it her “normal” form.  “Hey you two, we need to talk.”
The heads of two metallic snakes popped up from the tangle.  One hissed [yes?] in morse code.
“Hey Dirk, we’ve got a problem.  Took most of a year, but your contact says the cartels sent someone around to have a chat with him about the diamonds.”
[How bad?]
“Oh, they didn’t rough him up or anything.  It’s more of an ‘offer you can’t refuse’ deal.  We cease and desist, and for our silence regarding our ‘special technique’, we get paid out roughly the same amount as we’ve made over the last year.”
The two snakes conferred in rapid, hushed hisses, then turned back to face Tina.  [Do you think it’s a good deal?]
Tina nodded. &
:icondkfenger:dkfenger
:icondkfenger:dkfenger 15 19
Mature content
Squeaky Clean 2 :icondkfenger:dkfenger 50 33
Literature
Trunked 9
Jem burst into Maggie’s apartment with all the vigour that her brilliant colours and eye-searing dress suggested.  “Hey everyone!  Thanks for the invite,” she said, with a perkiness that didn’t reach her eyes.
Bernice grinned, and gave the neon-coloured catgirl a hug.  “Thanks for coming over.  We’ve had a heck of a day, and were hoping...”
“Hoping what?” asked Jem cautiously when Bernice’s hesitation went on too long.
Bernice stepped back to study Jem.  The catgirl’s tail wasn’t swishing, and her ears drooped.  “You seemed so cheerful at the mall, and friendly.  I... guess I hoped you’d liven the place up a bit.”
Jem looked around at the others.  “Did something bad happen?”
“We told you about Maggie yesterday, right?  The whole skin-suit thing?”
Jem nodded.  “Yeah, but you were hoping she’d... she didn’t c
:icondkfenger:dkfenger
:icondkfenger:dkfenger 30 35
Mature content
Super Shortie :icondkfenger:dkfenger 27 28
Literature
Short Stuff
“Stupid, stupid sister-creature,” groused Kara as she slammed the door behind herself.
The guy sitting in the living room unfolded from the couch to stand and face Kara.  “You found her?”
Kara sighed and nodded.  She dumped her keys into a bowl by the door, then pulled a crystal out of her jacket pocket.  “The tracer worked, once I was close.  Thanks for the lead on that.  Stupid girl had gotten herself transformed, just like I thought.”
Peter strode over to Kara to wrap her in a hug, resting his chin atop her head like usual.  “Is she stuck?”
Kara shook her head.  “They changed her back.  Freed her.  Then she turned around and went right back to them.  Something about too much fun to stop.”
“That’s not quite so bad.  And you can always find her again, right?”
“Meh.  I don’t wanna think about her.”  Kara struggled to get her co
:icondkfenger:dkfenger
:icondkfenger:dkfenger 28 20
Mature content
Slimming :icondkfenger:dkfenger 78 21
Mature content
Absence 2 :icondkfenger:dkfenger 53 12

Favourites

Mature content
Swim Lessons :iconzumberge:zumberge 13 4
The Tipsy Vixen by TaniDaReal The Tipsy Vixen :icontanidareal:TaniDaReal 868 46
Literature
Prosthetic- TF
"It's finally here!" Emily squealed in delight as she looked over the plain, brown box. She took a small razor to the taped edge and sliced it to reveal a glacier-blue box emblazoned with the words 'Transformakeup' in holographic lettering on top, with navy-blue letters underneath saying 'A Day's Time.' A bunch of other small baggies with the same detailing where in the package as well. She brought the box to her room, sitting cross-legged on the bed and looking over the palette. Plenty of colors, with tons of other prosthetics she had ordered. She looked over hat she ordered, and back to the tutorial she'd pulled up on her phone. She started using the spirit gum she ordered to attach some elf ears. She already marveled at how the nerves in her ear lit up, and she could start wiggling them freely.
Keeping her eyes on her phone, Emily put on a small headdress she ordered. She felt the deer horns fuse to her skull, the small twigs burrowing into her skin, starting to grow leaves. She gig
:iconFliAwai:FliAwai
:iconfliawai:FliAwai 5 0
Mature content
Can I borrow you for a sec? :iconconvolutedplot:ConvolutedPlot 48 11
Literature
Rosette
    I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting to find when I went into that cave, but… it certainly wasn’t this.
    I’d gone because I’d heard the rumors. Rumors regarding the cave at the top of this cliff, the one that I was currently standing in. According to them, whoever made it to the top of the cliff and into the cave would be rewarded with exceptional powers… powers beyond imagination. But of course, that was nothing more than a rumor, since few people ever attempted to climb the cliff; after all, the sheer size and magnitude of the it made climbing it a formidable challenge. Even those who made it to the top of the cliff immediately went missing, and were never seen nor heard from again. Nobody knew where the rumors started, either, and there were some people who couldn’t even remember where they heard it. Nonetheless, the rumors persisted, almost as if they were daring the people in town to attempt to cl
:iconRobertDayson:RobertDayson
:iconrobertdayson:RobertDayson 9 4
Your Own Good by omgicanthinkofaname
Mature content
Your Own Good :iconomgicanthinkofaname:omgicanthinkofaname 61 7
Literature
Trust Machines - In for a penny (part 1/2)
In for a penny (part 1/2)

a

Trust Machines story
by
clancy688
"I'm still not entirely convinced that this is a good idea..." I complained for the umpteenth time. "You know why these things are called Trust Machines? Because you have to trust whoever is going to change you. If he or she betrays your trust..." 
Thomas just rolled his eyes. "Come on, Clark. Just because your older sister had a certified asshole for a 'friend' doesn't mean that everyone is like that. There are way more decent people around than the opposite." 
"But..." I protested, then bit myself on my lips. There was nothing I could say which I hadn't already said a bazillion times. Venn Machines were not something I readily used. In fact, I'd only visited them a few times to get fancy, fashionable clothes. But given the fact that these would vanish so
:iconclancy688:clancy688
:iconclancy688:clancy688 19 0
Literature
A rush for gold
Too many fools tried their luck.
In Klondike, business was booming, every sorts of it. Pubs, bordello, importation, exportation...a thriving community was being built in this once small town in northern Canada. So many came from their home, from whatever security or lack thereof that they possessed to try to make it big, to strike literal gold so as to become rich. It was a dream, the dream, as even some people from around the world came in to see their ambitions realized. Of course, the trick here was that very, very few actually achieved much of anything with so many ending up endebted, owning money left and right and getting caught up in this sordid little place in Yukon where hope could come crashing down at any second.
Lilly was one of them. A bright little gal from the west coast of the United States of America, she took it upon herself to gain fortune through her own means, a necessity to have a better life than the one destined for her, namely to get married, to conceive
:iconIncredibleIntruder:IncredibleIntruder
:iconincredibleintruder:IncredibleIntruder 4 6
Mt90 by colorfultrick
Mature content
Mt90 :iconcolorfultrick:colorfultrick 29 28
Mature content
Embracing Who You Are (Part 2) :iconbrowsingchipmunk:BrowsingChipmunk 33 4
Mature content
Trust Machines - Confessions of a Chocolate Girl :iconinclassificabilis:Inclassificabilis 7 2
Mature content
New Home 7 :iconeltomte:Eltomte 18 13
Investor Conference by omgicanthinkofaname
Mature content
Investor Conference :iconomgicanthinkofaname:omgicanthinkofaname 56 7
Mature content
Embracing Who You Are (Part 1) :iconbrowsingchipmunk:BrowsingChipmunk 39 5
Magic Bandages by Twokinds Magic Bandages :icontwokinds:Twokinds 1,872 257
Mature content
To be her toy :iconfukureru-shogun:Fukureru-Shogun 55 5

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Peter closed the apartment door behind him with a long, drawn-out sigh.  “Friday night at last.”

He was not at all surprised to find the apartment growing around him, nor to see his wife prowling toward him a manic gleam in her eye and the shrinker in her hand.  Coming face-to-breast with her chest and being pulled into an engulfing hug drove the week’s indignities entirely from his mind.  By the time Kara let him up for air, he was laughing.  “That’s quite the greeting.  What’s gotten into you?”

Kara took his hand and drew him toward the bedroom.  Lying on the bed was an ornate brocade swatch of fabric, blue picked out in gold.  “Had lunch with my sis, and the tales she told...  I have to admit, it sounded fun, so I asked if I could borrow their magic sheet.”

“This sounds like the sort of weekend where I’m going to need my bracer,” offered Peter lightly.

Kara clapped her hands eagerly.  “Oh yes!  Go, go!”

Peter darted out of the bedroom as fast as his shrunken legs would carry him.  Once he made it to the far corner of the apartment, he was out of range of the shrinker and swiftly returned to his usual height.  The box where he kept his shrink-absorbing bracer was in the same corner, since it didn’t magically adjust to his current size and he could only put it on while normal.  He slipped the bracer on, a smile on his face as he recalled his first adventures with it.  Kara had refused to shrink him to bug size since the first few times, worried about his safety.  With the mood she was in, however...

Peter returned to the bedroom, and was somewhat surprised that he was not greeted by a beam from the shrinker. Instead, his wife was lying on top of the sheet, wearing only one of his old T-shirts.  On her it usually draped like a night-dress, but something looked different now.

“Is that thing making you more muscular?” asked Peter, wonderingly.

“I figured we could try a different way of equalizing,” husked Kara.  She flexed a bicep, marvelling at how muscle corded there.

Peter watched the changes, grinning at first.  A frown creased his face as he studied Kara’s chest.  “It’s not doing your breasts any favours, though.”

Kara’s rumbling baritone laugh drove the point home.  “No.  That it won’t.  I think I’m done cooking.”  She stood up, and to Peter’s amazement his petite wife was now just as tall as he was.  Standing face to face, he realized she might even be a touch taller.

He put a hand to her arm as she flexed, and his eyes went wide.  “You’re bigger and stronger than I am.”

“And without the shrinker,” Kara rumbled.  Then she winced.  “Damn, thought these panties would stretch enough.”

Peter’s eyes went wide as Kara pulled off a very abused-looking pair of panties, torn at the seams.  Not only were her hips wider, but what she was sporting between her legs...  “My god.  You’re bigger than I am.  It turned you into a guy?”

“Surprise?  I wanted to be bigger and stronger, and... well...”  Kara bit her lip.  On her masculine face it looked more comical than cute.

Peter chuckled.  “I’m not feeling emasculated by you being bigger and stronger.  I’m used to it, whenever you shrink me.  So is that the plan, having me dance around your maypole?”

“Not... exactly.”  Kara glanced down at the bracer Peter was wearing.  “I want to do something and I...  Look, we had a rule with that bracer of yours.  It was in the context of the shrinker, but you said...”

“As long as I’m wearing this, anything goes.  If I don’t like it, I’ll tap out and we stop,” quoted Peter.  “I stand by that.”

Kara flipped the magic sheet over.  “Even for this?”

“What part of ‘anything goes’ was confusing?  If you go too far, I’ll...  Hm.  That can make me immobile, right?”

“I won’t go that far without your say-so.  Before it immobilizes you, though... you end up not having to breathe.”

Peter’s eyes went wide at the implication.  “I could get so tiny.  Will it make me more durable, too?”

“Traci said it made her so flexible she could fit her waist through a ring.  Without being shrunk,” added Kara with a grin.

Peter hopped up onto the bed and lay down.  “Sounds good to me.  Oh!  It feels different from the shrinker.  Less tingly, more...”  He squirmed.

“Intense?” asked Kara, grinning down at him.  “Is it turning you on?”

Peter ran a hand lightly down his side.  “Maybe?  It feels like a really different sort of arousal if it is.  More of an all-over tingle than the usual.  I’m not getting hard, but I am getting...”  He frowned, trying to figure out what his body was doing.

Kara leaned over him, careful not to touch the sheet, and ran her muscular hands over her husband’s shifting body.  “Tell me what feels good.”

“Oh... everything feels...” Peter’s voice cracked.  “Good?” he squeaked.  “My voice!  What’s happening?”

He struggled to rise, but Kara held him down.  “Be a good little dolly and let it happen.”  She gave a budding breast a squeeze.

“Ohhhh!” moaned Peter.  Once he’d recovered his senses, he asked, “What was that?”

Kara grinned.  “Your breast.  Like it?”

“If you’ll do that again, hell yes.  But why do I have breasts?”

“Because the sheet turns you into a female doll.  Which is why the other way turned me into a guy.  Mmm, looks like you’re starting to go shiny.  So now you have a choice.  Do I get to try this new body of mine out on you as a girl, or as a doll?”  Kara backed off, letting her weight off Peter so he could choose.

Peter hesitated a moment, then hopped off the sheet.  He promptly stumbled due to his new center of balance.  Kara caught him in strong arms.  “Easy there, tiger.   Tigress.”

Peter chuckled, or tried to.  It came out as a girlish giggle.  “Oh wow.  I even sound like a bimbo.”

“Hey!  No talking about my sweetie like that.”

Peter giggled again.  “That thing can turn me into a sex-toy.  Isn’t bimbo somewhere on that path?”

Kara picked up the sheet by two corners, folded it neatly, and set it on her dresser.  “I guess.  You’re just...”

“Not intimidated by you?  C’mon, sweetie, you’ve towered over me lots of times.”

“Yeah, but...  Rrrh, what if I said I want to throw you onto the bed and have my wicked way with you.  Doesn’t that...”

Peter hopped up onto the bed, legs spread invitingly.  “C’mere, big boy.”

Kara stared at him in surprise.  “What?  How are you so into this?”

Peter held up the bracer, its red gem glowing softly.  “There’s a reason I agreed to ‘anything goes’.  Everything you’ve done to me has been amazing.  I’m half expecting the cuffs to come out.”

“You’d let me tie you up on the bed, like that?”  Kara blushed.  “I...  I don’t know.”

Peter glanced down at Kara’s hips.  “Yes you do.  You’re rock hard.  Does the idea of seeing your husband as a helpless woman really turn you on?”

Kara nodded urgently.  “Yes,” she whispered.  “Does that make me a bad person?”

“Acting on it against my will would.  But I’ve had fun every time you tie me down.  And,”  Peter held up his arm with the bracer on it once more.  Despite his slimmer arm, it still fit snugly.  “This says ‘yes, to anything that you think would be fun’.  Don’t hold back out of fear of what other people might think.  I think you’re amazing.”

Kara pulled the shirt off, and tossed it aside.  “Do I turn you on?”

Peter studied his masculine wife.  “You make a fine specimen.  Very handsome.”

“That didn’t answer my question.”

Peter shrugged delicate shoulders.  “Visually... no.  The idea of getting shagged by you this way, however... that is strangely arousing.  This body wants that body.”

Kara smiled as she advanced toward the bed and her alluring husband upon it.  “I’ll take it.”

*** *** ***

“Happy?” asked Kara, as they lay side by side.

“Mmm,” agreed Peter dreamily.  “This body is amazing, and...”

“And?”

“How hard would it be for you to change back?”

Kara shrugged, and tapped the gem on her bracelet.  In moments, her body started to shrink.  The process was much slower than the revert of the shrinker, so it took most of a minute for her to return to normal.  She stood up from the bed to show off her body, doing a little dance to show off as the change completed.  “Ta da!”

“The bracers work on the magic sheet?” asked Peter, incredulously.  “How’d you find that out?”

“Shrinkfield Armory is very comprehensive about what it makes.  That, and Traci helped me test it this afternoon.  You can use the sheet to change back too, but it’s way more fiddly to get exactly back to normal.”  She glanced at Peter’s bracer.  “Are you going to change back now?”

Peter grinned and shook her head.  “I’m not tapping out yet.  I want to try things like this.  See which version of you this body likes better...”

Kara growled playfully.  “Another of your tricks?  Figures.  Does this body turn that one on?”

“That body always turns me on.  Especially prancing around naked.”

“And here I thought you preferred my corset.”

“When I’m boob sized, definitely.  Right now... it would get in the way.”

“Get in the way?” Kara asked with over-the-top innocence.  “Whatever could you mean.”

“Get down here and I’ll show you what I mean.”

*** *** ***

“What’s that look for?  You were amazing!” enthused Peter.

Kara sighed happily, and continued to look past him at something that put a frown on her face.  “Traci.  I’m going to have to make good on my promise.”

“What promise?”

“That if I liked it and wanted to use the sheet again, she got to use it and the shrinker.”

“That seems fair enough,” said Peter.  “So what’s bugging you?”

“I agreed that she could use them on me.  And she pushed, and I figured ‘eh, no big deal, I probably won’t want to use it again’ and I agreed she could do anything she wanted with me.”  Kara’s words came out in a rush.  “I didn’t even set a time limit.”

“Kara...  I mean, this was fun, but...  The sheet turns you into sex toys, right?  What did you think she would do with you?”

Kara flopped onto her back and sighed.  “I didn’t think it would matter.  But...”

“But?”  Peter rolled to her side to study her wife.

“I want to do this again.  Like, really, really want to,” Kara’s voice dripped with lust.  “You make an amazing woman, and I’m way less straight than I thought.”

Peter leaned closer, nuzzling into the nape of Kara’s neck and making her shudder.  “Sounds good to me.  Right now?”

“So tempted to turn you into a breathless toy first.”

Peter nodded toward her bracer with a grin.  So the sheet came out once more, and Kara watched in wonder as Peter’s skin went shiny and smooth.  Peter kept up a running dialogue about the changes, gushing about how it felt, how her voice was getting even higher pitched.  Kara called it squeaky, which made Peter giggle even more.

“I thought you didn’t like being squeaky when you are tiny.”

“That’s different,” squeaked Peter breathlessly.  “Dolls are supposed...”  Her mouth worked, but nothing further came out.  

Kara took a few moments too long to realize what that meant.  By the time she helped Peter off the sheet, her husband was much more doll than human, and having difficulty moving.  Worse, her mouth had continued changing, becoming round and featureless... and more importantly, tongueless.

Kara pouted.  “Well, that messes up my plans.  I figured you’d be able to go down on me indefinitely.”

Peter’s mouth crinkled in an approximation of a grin, and a doll-mitt pointed stiffly toward the shrinker on the bedside table.  Kara’s eyes went wide.  “Shrink you?  But last time we did that, you sprained half your ribs.”

Peter tried to poke his side, but his arms wouldn’t bend easily.  Kara got the point after a few gestures, and gave Peter’s middle a squeeze.  “Oh!  You can’t be hurt.  So...  Are you really game for this?”

Peter’s nod was very enthusiastic.  Kara swept the magic sheet off the bed, then focussed the shrinker on her dollified husband.  Three zaps later the doll was nine inches tall, and Kara grinned down at it.  She scooped it up and returned to the bed.  “Show me what you can do.  Make it good, and I’ll shrink you so small my nipples will seem like mountains.”

Peter tumbled to the bed between Kara’s legs, and shot her a crinkly grin before starting the hike to where they joined.  Soon he was in front of his goal, and brushing slick hand-mitts over the surface.  Kara moaned and squirmed at the delicate touches, then gasped happily as it wriggled both arms deeper inside.  Her muscles contracted involuntarily, squishing its arms to crumpled rubber and sucking it further inside.  “Mmm, that feels weird, but... hey, you said anything goes.”

Unafraid of damaging her sweetie, Kara exercised her nether muscles again.  After a few cycles of slipping in and out to much happy groaning, she slowly got the hang of sucking her inflatable husband into her body.  Once she had her doll buried to the waist, its kicking legs tickled against her thighs, adding giggles to the mix.  She focussed her mind and before long they were disappearing inside her as well.

Kara patted her belly and brought up a fake burp.  “All done.  What’cha going to do now, little doll?”  She squirmed her hips, enjoying the tight, stuffed feel down below.  “Maybe I should put some panties on, and go for a walk?”

That got an even more vigorous squirm.  “Can you hear me?  Squirm once.   Ooogh!  Not so hard!  Squirm once if I can go out like...”  Kara didn’t finish the question, and just went to her knees, moaning in pleasure.

It took some time, and a couple very intimate uses of the shrinker, before Kara was coherent enough to get dressed.  She put her panties on first, picking a tight latex pair that she’d used to drive her sweetie wild.  It was tight enough to look painted on, there was no way her tiny doll could escape its prison now.  Kara patted her bits, giggling at the tickly little pat she got in response.  “This is so, so wicked.  I can’t believe I’m actually doing this.”

Kara’s walk was short, followed by a longer drive.  She tapped on an apartment door, to be met by her sister’s grinning face.  “Having fun?”

“More than I could imagine.”  Kara handed the folded-up sheet to her sister.  On top of it was the shrinker.  “You win.”

Traci snatched both from her hands.  “Sweet.  When do you need to get back to work?  Monday?”

“Unless I call in, yeah.  Should I?”

Traci’s broadening grin made Kara sigh and pull out her phone.  She sent off a few texts, then turned it off and shoved it into her purse.  “Keep this safe, will you?”

“Of course!  Keeping you safe, now... that’s another matter.  I see you’ve got your armband on.  I guess that’s safe enough.”

Kara’s smile faltered a little as Tara spread the magic sheet out on her couch.  “What are you going to do to me?”

“Hop up.  I don’t recall the deal requiring me to tell you.”

Kara bit her lip, then nodded.  “Okay.  I guess this once... I’ll try to trust you.”  She lay down on the sheet, and tried to hide her squirming as the changes worked into her body.

Traci’s smirk managed to grow even smirkier.  “You’re getting off on this.  Being changed.  Being... mine.”

Kara whined.  “This is so wrong.  You’re my sister.”

“And you’re mine.  I’m not going to use you as a sex toy.  Remember Princess B?”

Kara’s eyes went wide.  “Oh no.  I said I was sorry about that, so many times.  You’re not going to...”  Her voice squeaked and cut off.

“No, I very much do not want to lose you.  But you are going to replace her.  I want my bestest Barbie doll back, and you get to be it.”

Traci lifted Kara’s dollified body off the sheet, and stood her against the wall.  She adjusted her pose so it looked like she was waving regally.  Then the shrinker came out, and reduced Kara to half size.  Traci grinned.  “Bigger than a real Barbie.  Pity, you won’t fit Barbie clothes like this.  I’d love to play dressup with you.”

Despite knowing it was a futile gesture, Traci zapped her sister with the shrinker anyway.  And to her wonderment, the doll shrunk.  “Ooooh!  I wonder...”  Another careful zap got Kara down to Barbie size, and Traci scooped up her treasure.  “You’re perfect.  Going to put you with Bernard’s figures.  I wonder if he’ll notice you.”

Kara could still see, but not move.  Her sister’s grip around her waist was firm, but didn’t hurt in any way.  It made her much more conscious of the cargo she was carrying further inside, reduced to who knows how tiny now.  Peter’s armband had done its thing once more, and now she was good and stuck this size.  His bracer was buried, and untouchable.

Being set among a dozen other figures her size was disorienting.  Among them, she felt normal sized, which made Traci seem like a giantess.  Kara couldn’t see all of them, but once Traci left she glanced around.  All the figurines were female, scantily clothed, and much, much bustier than she was.  She tried not to feel inadequate, but it was hard not to feel jealous.

Traci returned a few hours later with a toy store bag in her hands.  She had half a dozen different Barbie outfits, and tried out each in turn on Kara.  The process was more than a little humiliating, but Kara found it a big improvement over just standing around with nothing to do.

Eventually Traci decided that Kara looked best as Supergirl, and left that outfit on.  She’d also procured a display stand, so that Kara could stand up in the middle of the display, rather than leaning against the side.

When Bernard got home he immediately spotted the new addition, and showed Traci his gratitude in quite vigorous fashion.  Before she could explain anything about where the doll had come from, he’d pushed her down onto the magic sheet and started making love to his “favourite doll of them all”.

Kara wished she didn’t have to watch, but was unable to close her eyes.  In the end, she found Bernard’s tender treatment of the resulting silicone doll endearing.  It was obvious he cared about Traci, whether she was a doll or a woman.  Even more as a doll than as a woman, Kara suspected.  He carried Traci off to the bathroom to clean her up, and that was the last Kara saw of them.

Time passed.  Bernard crossed her line of sight a few times, heading off to work or coming home.  Kara didn’t see her sister once, but heard Bernard having fun with his doll on several occasions.   One evening, he made a point of dusting all his dolls carefully, and the care he took with some of them made Kara feel even more jealous of them.  He loved all his dolls, it seemed.

Then one day, Traci stumbled into the front room, mobile but still not quite human.  “She’s still here!  God, Bernard, that’s my sister!  She’s been here for a week.  Is she stuck?”

Bernard was close behind her.  “Of course she’s not stuck.  You used the sheet... wait, how’d you get her all tiny?  I thought that shrinky thing of hers only lasted an hour.”

“I’m really, really hoping she can still tell us.”  Traci scooped her sister off the shelf, and carefully flicked the stone of the armband with her fingernail.  The doll in her hands suddenly expanded, and soon Traci was hugging her sister tight.  The doll costume ended up on the floor, later to be discovered by Bernard quite undamaged.

“I am so, so sorry.  I didn’t think I’d get stuck as a doll before I could explain.  Are you okay?  Please be okay.”

Kara took her first breath in days.  Exhaled.  Glared at her sister.  Looked down at her naked body, covered it up with her arm and hands, and glared some more.

“Please don’t be mad.  Please don’t be mad.”

Kara sighed softly.  “I’m not mad.  More... frustrated.  Boring ass way to spend ... how long was it?”

“A week,” admitted Bernard, averting his gaze from Kara after one quick glance.  “Trace likes being stuck as a doll when I’m working, so most weeks she gets boxed up after I use her.”

“After you make glorious love to me,” corrected Traci.  “You know I’m in there, and you calling me a doll or a toy or ‘you ragged bit of plastic’...”  Traci squirmed, and looked longingly toward the bedroom before turning back to her sister’s glare.  “Sorry.  TMI, I know.”

Kara’s expression relented to a reminiscent smile.  “Been there.  I can see why you like it.  But I need to rescue Peter and get going.  Can I, um... borrow the sheet sooner than later?”

“Just for the weekend, I guess.  I’m still part-doll, it’ll do.  Wait, rescue Peter from what?”

Kara bore down on the mass she could barely feel inside her, and a moment later a somewhat damp two-inch-tall doll landed in her hand.  “From me.”

“He was inside you the whole time?  Holy...  What would that have been like?” asked Traci, agog.

“Get me a toothpick and hopefully he’ll be able to tell you.”

While Peter was growing back to normal, Kara put on the clothes she’d worn when she arrived.  Bernard offered him some old exercise pants to cover up with, and Peter accepted them gratefully.

“Hey sweetie,” said Kara when Peter was decent.  “We’ve been stuck for a week, but I texted both our jobs beforehand.  So there’s nothing to stress about.  Please?”

Peter’s glare died down to a mere glower.  “How did we get stuck?”

Kara explained that she’d been a doll in Bernard’s display.  Bernard even had pictures to show.  When Kara started to talk about being jealous of the other dolls, Peter started to chuckle.  “You wanted that?”

“I could tell I wasn’t a favourite, and the dusting was... nice.”

Bernard grinned. “Traci likes it too.  Oh!  Could I turn her into a little doll like you were?”

Peter slipped his bracer off.  “As long as she’s wearing this, you can shrink her as small as you like.”  He turned it in his hands, looking up at Kara and her worried expression.  “Yeah, this means I’m tapping out.  Sorry.”

Bernard accepted the bracer gravely.  “Tapping out of what?”

Peter shook his head, so Kara briefly explained their deal.  “But he couldn’t tap out inside me, I guess.  What happened?”

Peter couldn’t describe it well.  He’d suddenly been unable to move, and lost any real sense of self the sensory deprivation that followed.  “For all I know, I ended up becoming part of you.”

“Oooh, cool,” giggled Traci.  “Maybe you were her...”  Then she noticed the expressions.  “Not cool?  But that sounds amazing!”

“Except for the stuck forever part, yeah,” grumbled Peter.  “I couldn’t move, so I couldn’t use the bracer to free myself.  Us.  It’s one thing to play, another to lose hope.  I lost all track of time.  Of self.”

“Sweetie?” asked Kara.

“Keep the armband, Bernard.  You two seem to have a better handle on this.”

“But...” Kara protested.  Then she stopped, and hugged her sweetie.  “I am so sorry.  I wanted to do something fun, and crazy.  It got out of hand.  Can you forgive me?”

“Of course.”  Peter hugged her tight.  “But I can’t trust that armband any more.”

“And I should?” asked Bernard.

“Traci trusts you to turn her into a doll, permanently, then bring her back now and again.  I think you two have the right dynamic for it.  And I bet she’ll love being displayed.”

Traci grinned and nodded.  “Oh please.  Though I’m going to have to try Kara’s trick on him at some point, too.  That sounded way too much fun.”

Peter smiled.  “That part?  Yeah, that was amazing.”

Kara smiled as well.  “Oh?  So... not too far?”

“We’ll see.”

*** *** ***

Three weeks passed.  Kara and Peter talked about the “stuffing incident” from time to time, but didn’t go as far as to ask Traci and Bernard to return the shrinker.

Then one Friday night, Peter arrived home with a package under his arm.  One bearing the logo of Shrinkfield Armory.

Kara could barely contain her glee.  “What did you get?”

“New armbands.  Package deal with their latest shrinker.  Apparently we’re not the only couples using it creatively.”

Peter set the box on the living room table, and opened it to reveal a sleeker version of the shrinker and two petite armbands.  Kara eagerly picked one up, then frowned at it.  “How do we put them on, they’re too small.”

Peter gestured at her to try anyway.  To Kara’s surprise, the band slipped easily over her hand and settled snugly at her wrist.  She gave it a little shake, but it refused to budge.  “Neat.  So why are there two gems?”

“Green one activates it, yes like that.  The one that’s glowing orange now changes between orange and red if you touch the green again.  Orange allows three shrinks, red is like my old band, unlimited.”

Kara stared at her armband, then brushed her fingers against the orange gem.  “Three.  That’s... one eighth height.  Doll sized.  I’ve been doll sized.  It was...”

“There’s one more thing.  It has a time limit.  When you turn it on, it’ll turn off and restore you fully after twenty-four hours.  No matter what happens.”

Kara blinked.  “It protects, too?”

“Not completely.  You can still get hurt.  It just minimizes the pain, and puts you back when you restore.”

Kara smiled broadly.  “So we would be better off as shrunken dolls, still?”

“I... yeah, that would still help.  With the breathing, too.”

Kara’s grin got even wider.  “Bernard loaned me the sheet last week.  Said Traci wanted to spend a month as a display doll, so he wouldn’t need it for a bit.”  She tapped the green gem then opened her arms wide, inviting the zap.  “Time for me to get stuffed.”

Peter obligingly shrunk her, and she dwindled more quickly than before.  Her clothes, however, did not shrink with her.  Kara looked up at her sweetie and grinned.  “New feature?”

Peter watched her clamber out of her top.  “Pinpoint targeting.  Definitely a bonus from my point of view.”

Kara waggled her rump at him saucily, and squealed as she shrunk again.  She giggled, and ran for the bedroom, dodging bolts of shrink-rays that reduced the carpet and one of their chairs to half-size as she went.  At the door, she hesitated a moment, and got caught twice more, but only shrunk once.  As Peter advanced on her, she stood her ground.

“You’re shivering.  Are you okay?” asked Peter.

“You’re really, really big,” squeaked Kara.  “But I like it better than seeing my sister that big.  The magic sheet is at the bottom of my panties drawer, if you want to try being female.”

“What for?”

“Because I want to see what it’s like getting stuffed up inside my sweetie, of course.”

Peter started to grin.  “Oh!  Well, then.  I suppose I’ll have to oblige.  Just one thing.”

“Anything.”

Peter crouched down in front of his tiny wife, in a futile effort to put himself on her level.  He reached out slowly and tapped her armband, then showed he was wearing one himself.  “Same armbands.  Same rules.  Once it’s on, anything goes.”

“For twenty-four hours, then we’re back to normal, right?”

Peter nodded.

Kara bit her lip, then tapped her bracer.  The orange gem turned red.  “If you can do it, I can too.”

Kara squealed as she shrunk further.  “Oooh boy,” she chirped.  “This is going to be one heck of a ride.”

“For both of us,” agreed Peter with a grin.  “Because after I’m done with you, it’s my turn again.”
Short Stuffed
Yet another followup to Short Stuff, set a little after Super Shortie.

Mostly self-indulgent fun with the shrinker and other toys...  Birthday present to myself, if you will.  It had been sitting mostly complete for a while, and I wanted to post something today.
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Chapter 14 - Parental Problems

Bailey decided she’d had quite enough of being mouse-sized, and asked politely to be grown up.  Violet was happy to oblige, and soon Bailey’s head was back on a level with Violet’s.  She thanked Violet with a very snuggly kiss that ended up with Bailey’s tentacles twined in Violet’s, and her lower body wrapped around Violet’s legs.

When they finally came up for air there was cheering, mostly from Miji.  Violet touched a tentacle to the silver dragongirl around her neck.  “That didn’t bother you, kit-kat?”

“Nah.  It was sweet.  Don’t do that to my brother, though.  He might look like a girl, but I’d know.”

Violet giggled.  “We better get your box made up soon.  Hopefully your dad isn’t completely distracted by Mom this week.”

“Do you think that’s likely?” asked Miji.  “I haven’t seen him this happy in forever.”

“He answered my Mom’s cell phone.  Make of that what you will.”

Bailey laughed.  “Ruby and Scott, sitting in a tree...”

“They’re doing rather more than kissing.”

“Can we stop talking about them now, please?” pleaded Katie.  “Really don’t want to think about what Dad does behind closed doors.”

“Or in the kitchen,” teased Bailey.

“Do I have to point out what’s going to be happening in your kitchen when your Dad gets home?” whined Katie.

Bailey made a face, but that ended the discussion.  She opened up their virtual shop, and soon Bailey and Violet were busy making clothes for their classmates and others.  When the first rush was over, Miji offered herself up as a guinea pig for new experimental designs.

She was somewhat surprised that her clothes changed very little.  Until she got to the mirror and noticed the slitted eyes and cat-ears.  “I thought you weren’t allowed to do fur?”

“Isn’t any.  Feel your ears.”

Miji frowned as she rubbed one ear.  “They look like fur, but...”

“Experimental design.  I think it looks pretty good except up close.  What do you think?”

“I think an asian catgirl is way too cliche.”

Violet pouted as the other two agreed with Miji.  “But she’s so cute!”

They discussed the matter between customers.  Katie pointed out that whatever Violet came up with would likely start a trend.  Just having Miji around with her perky ears was drawing attention to the idea.  Several customers asked for cat-eyes, but didn’t want the ears or the slight muzzle.

When Amelia showed up, Violet asked the cheerleader what she thought of the catgirl design.  Amelia studied it and shook her head.  “Aren’t we allowed tails?  Can’t pull it off without a tail and at least something to suggest paws.  Claws, too.”  She held up a hand when Violet started to protest.  “No weapons, I know.  But you two had claws at the party.  They were safe, right?”

Violet nodded thoughtfully.  “Want a full catgirl makeover, with all that?”

Amelia shook her head.  “Nope.  I want to go back to the dragon stuff you did for Silvia, Darla and me earlier.  We kept the outfits.  Might get you to do a duration boost while we’re wearing them, at that.”

Violet agreed, and Amelia was surprised at how quickly she got her scaly body back.  Violet explained the use of the “history” command in the Venn Machines, and Amelia’s eyes lit up.  “I can change my friends back to dragons?”

“Yep,” said Violet with a sigh.  “Downside to designing bodies is that it’s easy to get to any recent ones.”

“Look at the upside.  You can charge way more for them if you tell people that.”

Violet grinned.  “Or I can keep coming up with new and popular forms, and...” her eyes widened.  “And have the whole school made over in an image of my choosing.”

“Now she gets it!” enthused Amelia.  “Going to go with dragons this week?”

“It’s mostly been fancy cat-eyes so far,” said Violet with a shrug.  “Maybe dragons will catch on.”

“I’ll do what I can,” said Amelia with a toothy grin.

Three customers later, Violet realized that Amelia was still hanging around.  “Is there something else you wanted?”

“Darla’s off sucking face with her boyfriend, and I can’t find Stella.  I was wondering if you might know...”

“Can I show her?” begged Katie.  “Please?”

Violet passed Katie over to Amelia, where she perched on a scaly shoulder.  Katie pointed the way, and the others followed.  Before long Amelia was standing in front of a display window advertising Violet Bailey Designs.  “I don’t get it.”

“She’s the mannequin!” squealed Katie.  “Standing there naked in the mall.”

Amelia laughed merrily.  “Oh!  Oh, I’m sure she’s loving it to bits.  When does she change back?”

“Tonight, I changed her for two days shortly after I gave you to Carson.  Was that all you wanted?”

Amelia blushed and nodded, then hugged Violet tight.  “Everything and more.  He enjoyed it too, but said he preferred me human, so he changed me back later that evening.”

“Aww, how sweet.”

Amelia’s smile grew wicked.  “I made him promise to treat me like that while human sometime.  Should have seen his face when I made it clear that I’d very much like that.  Poor boy.”

Violet snickered.  “I’m sure he’ll recover.  Did you get him to tell you his dark fantasies?”

The cheerleader shook her head.  “I...  Wow.  Do you think he has them?”

“Won’t know until you ask.  Offer to become whatever he wants.”

“And you’ll change me to it?” asked Amelia excitedly.

“To the best of my ability.”

Amelia cheered and clapped.  “Come on, let Stella out so I can tell her.”

“She said she wanted to gamble on changing back on her own,” mused Violet, teasingly jangling the display’s key in one tentacle.

“Are you actually going to make me beg?” asked Amelia.

Violet considered her for a moment.  “No.  Just say please.”

“Oh!  Of course.  Please let her out so I can have one of my besties back.”

Violet did so, and soon Stella and Amelia were chattering away between themselves.  Violet waved as they wandered off, and got two waves in return.

“You don’t even know what Carson wants,” said Bailey.  “What if it’s nasty?”

“Aw, c’mon.  Carson’s not like that.”

Bailey snickered.  “Suure he’s not.  Hey Miji.  What’s your dark fantasy?   You can have Violet here turn me into whatever you most want me to be.”

“She already has,” said Miji, hugging Baily’s monsterkitty form and sighing happily as she got wrapped up in tentacles.

“Good answer,” Bailey said with a smile.  Then she whispered something in Miji’s ear that made her blush.  “Ooooh!  Tell me.”

“I want to be the right size to dance with you like that first time.”

“Just dance?”

“Nope.”

Bailey had the Venn Machine open in a flash.  When the two of them emerged, Jimmy was male again, and stood no more than two feet tall.  Bailey scooped him up in her arms, and he squirmed his way into the top of her dress, a cream-coloured Violet creation that reached both sets of knees.  “Can I stay here while you work?”

Bailey grinned.  “Heck yeah.  Now we both have decorative sweeties.  I should get some chain so I can turn you into a necklace.  I wonder if the junk jewelry shop has anything.”

Jimmy proved too big and wriggly to stay in Bailey’s dress, and a little too unwieldy to perch on her shoulder.  He offered to get reduced even smaller, but wanted a dance with her first.

Bailey was only too happy to oblige, turning the mall’s insipid background music into a paw-stomping dance that kept Jimmy hopping.  Violet joined in, with Katie air-dancing, fluttering around them to the beat.  Several of their clients joined in as well, leading to a ten-minute impromptu dance party around the Venn Machines.

The dancing ended when Jimmy tumbled and fell, ending up under one of Bailey’s paws.  She kept her weight off it, and used it and her tentacles to scoop him up into a hug.  “You okay?”

Jimmy was wide eyed, but nodded.  “Saw my whole life flash before my eyes as that paw came down.  Thanks for not crushing me.”

“You’re Venned,” said Katie.  “You’d have been fixable.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Jimmy and Bailey together.  Then they exchanged a shy look, and a grin.  “Later.”

“Yeah,” agreed Violet.  “Let’s deal with the backlog.”

There were numerous requests for subtle body edits among the clothing changes.  Lots of cat-eyes in various colours.  Violet managed to upgrade a number of girls requesting clearer skin to some kind of feline colour-pattern, though most only asked for hidden or subtle spots, rather than for something to show off.  Katie talked two girls her age into getting tails, but one came back later to get it removed, claiming it was a pain to sit on.

During one lull, the four of them had a quick lunch in the food court.  Jimmy asked if the girls could afford to do so, wondering how badly ate into their profits.  Violet shrugged, and looked to her friend.  Bailey admitted that it did have an impact, but that staying near the mall led to more time for clients, so it was something of a wash.

“But if someone were to make a bag lunch to share with you?” asked Jimmy.  “You’ve seen what I eat at school.”

Both girls nodded.  “Does your Dad make your lunches?” asked Violet.  “Your sandwiches always look great.”

“Jimmy makes them,” chirped Katie proudly.  She was perched on the table in front of Violet, and had stolen nibbles of food from her fork as she ate.  “He’s a great cook.  Does our dinners too.”

Jimmy blushed, but when pressed admitted that he’d been tending the house for years so his father could put in more time at work.  He shot Katie a look. “Someone was supposed to help out, but hasn’t.  Mostly because she’s draped around Violet’s neck.  On the plus side, she’s not making any messes that way.  Hm.  Go ahead and keep her, this is working out.”

Katie stuck her long forked tongue out at her brother, and tried to blow a raspberry at him.  It came out sounding more like a cricket-chirp, making everyone giggle.  She shot Violet a resentful look, so Violet cuddled her until she couldn’t help but purr.

After lunch, Jimmy rode back to the Venn Machine on Bailey’s back, but felt that his size just wasn’t working right.  Katie suggested he try being even smaller, so that he could fit into Bailey’s top, and the other girls agreed.  Outvoted, Jimmy sheepishly agreed that it sounded fun.

Once Violet had reduced him to eight inches in height, Jimmy spent a short stint in Bailey’s top.  Bailey found him a little too squirmy and uncomfortable for “long term wear”, so he spent the rest of the afternoon perched on her shoulder, chatting with her and making her giggle.

When it was time to head off to the sleepover, they walked out to Jimmy’s car.  It wasn’t until they were actually standing beside it that it occurred to Jimmy that he wouldn’t be able to drive it at his current height.  Violet and Bailey both abashedly admitted to only having a learner’s permit, so they trudged back to the Venn Machines once more.

After Violet had restored Jimmy, he sighed.  “I was looking forward to being tiny for the sleepover.  You need to get your full license.”

“I’m working on it,” Violet said.  “I can’t get it until my birthday in the spring.  Wait, your birthday isn’t until February, how do you have one?”

“Driving school cuts off four months,” replied Jimmy.  “Dad insisted, partly because he didn’t have time to teach me... but also because it’d help if I could drive to get groceries and such.”

Violet nodded, only half paying attention to Jimmy’s comment.  “I have an idea.”

“That would let you drive?”

“No.  It’d let you drive.  And be small.”

Jimmy’s face lit up.  “Cool.  How?”

Violet gestured to the Venn Machine, and set it for sixteen hours.  “If we change you now, you’ll be normal in time for school.”

Jimmy hopped in.  When the change hit, she started to laugh.  “Two of me?”  The eight inch tall copy of Jimmy echoed her comment.  “Wait, why is my voice so high?”

Violet smirked.  “Can’t have a boy at a sleepover.  Mom’s rules.  I’m still working the Jimmy is a sweetie angle, I’m sure I’ll have a breakthrough soon.”

Jimmy scooped up little Jimmy as the Venn Machine opened, then handed her to Bailey.  “This is kinda confusing.  Can you hang on to her so I’m not feeling myself move?”

Bailey snuggled the little one tight.  “This is so cool.”

Jimmy went to the mirror, studying herself.  This version of her face was familiar, she’d been Venned into looking like a twin sister many times testing out Violet’s designs.  One of which she was wearing now, a sleek blue dress that highlighted her curves.  Closing one set of eyes, then the other, she practiced using each viewpoint in turn.  “Okay.  I think I can drive like this.”

Jimmy shot a look at Bailey.  “No messing with little me while I do it, though.  This is distracting enough as it is.”

Bailey stopped tickling the little one, who was giggling up a storm.  “Awww.”

“Plenty of time for that at home.”

Bailey cheered, then apologized to the little Jimmy covering her ears.  “Sorry.  I’ll be good.  Ish.”  She tucked the little one into her top, and they headed out to the car once more.

At Jimmy’s house, he showed them around.  It was an older place that was a little run down, though his dad had been working on renovations when he could.  He pointed out the bedrooms, one of which had been an office until Katie showed up a month ago.

“Dad promised to paint it pink, but Katie refused.”

Katie snickered from her perch on Violet’s shoulder.  “Pink?  Me?  At the time, I wanted him to paint it black.  Kinda glad he refused, I’m not feeling that way now.  It’d be nice to paint it out a pretty colour, though.  Violet, maybe?”

Violet giggled at the thought.  “I don’t want to be paint.”

Katie giggled.  “Aww.  It’d be fun to sleep inside you.”

Violet scooped up the little dragongirl and dangled her above her mouth.   “Care to rephrase that?  Because I’m pretty sure I could nom you down if I tried.”

Katie stared down at Violet, the grin never leaving her muzzle.  “Sounds like a trip.  I’m pretty thin, you could slurp me down like a noodle.”

“No eating my sister,” insisted Jimmy.

“Even when she asks so nicely?”

Jimmy sighed, and carried on with the tour.  The last stop was back downstairs, the rec room.  It was only half-finished – the walls were done, but the floor was still bare cement, with rugs thrown over it here and there.  The most peculiar feature was the sunken octagonal section at one end.  A small pile of pillows tried to conceal the fact that there wasn’t anything to sit on.

“Weird,” said Bailey.  “What’s this for?”

Jimmy shrugged.  “Beats me.  There’s wiring for a TV down here, so it’d make a cool sort of mini-theatre?  You could have two tiers of seats.  Kinda.  I think we should just fill it up with pillows, but it’d be hard to find so many.”

Bailey settled herself against one side of the octagon, using some of the pillows to fill the corners.  She draped around half of it.  “I can work with this.”

“You’re a living couch,” giggled Violet, hopping into the octagon and leaning back against Bailey’s flank.  She made a little nest of cushions inside the curl of Bailey’s body.  “I could sleep here.  Bailey?”

“I’m cozy.  This body is all kinds of flexible.  I can sleep anywhere, just like a cat.”

And ultimately, that’s what she did, after much chattering about the weekend they’d just had.  Jimmy went up to sleep in her own bed, leaving little Jimmy behind to curl up on Bailey’s tail.  Violet snuggled against her side, with Katie around her neck.

While the arrangement was cute, Violet found she had a crick in her neck in the morning, and it took a nice hot shower to work the kinks out.  By the time everyone was ready for school, Jimmy had changed back to normal.  Bailey had not, so they dropped by the mall to restore her on the way, much to her disappointment.  Violet added purple rosettes all over Bailey’s body, and bright amber slitted eyes.  Bailey also asked for cat-ears like they’d experimented with the previous day, and the longest tail that the school rules would allow.

“You want anything done, Violet?” asked Bailey, as the circle was timing out.

Violet shrugged, wriggling her tentacles liquidly.  “Just the clean dress, I’m good otherwise.”

“Okay.”

It wasn’t until Phys Ed class that Violet realized her mistake.  She’d become so used to using her opposable tentacles that her inability to serve a volleyball was a surprise.  She tried forming her tentacles into a hand, and remembered Katie’s prank from days earlier.  She’d taken that option away, and Violet had gotten so used to her new limbs that she’d forgotten about it.

The teacher had a chat with her while the others continued to play.  Violet explained the issue and apologized.

“Look, it’s not that I care either way, but you’re the one that’s supposed to be the most familiar with the school rules.  You should probably go talk to the principal, get ahead of this.”

Violet nodded, and dutifully headed to the office, her Phys Ed teacher’s note in hand to explain her absence.

Principal Hanley was sympathetic with the mistake.  “I think enough people saw you doing the tentacle-hand trick last week that they’re just assuming you’re within the rules now.  I won’t make you waste your lunch break on a run to the mall, but fix this for tomorrow.”

Violet grinned at him, and nodded sharply.  “Thanks!  I’ll take care of it first thing after school.  And I’ll try not to draw too much attention.”

The principal laughed out loud.  “Too late.  You’ve got everyone’s attention.  I’ve fielded half a dozen complaints about Bailey’s shape already.  She was here half an hour ago proving that she doesn’t have any fur.”

“Sorry, I guess we should have come in to talk about that this morning.”

Mr. Hanley shrugged.  “It’s a clever trick, almost an optical illusion.  But it’s well within the rules.  We tested with Mrs. Green, as she is very allergic to cats.  No reaction to it at all.”

Violet’s grin grew wider.  “Great!  I’m sure I could create non-allergenic fur in the Venn Machine, but I’ll stick to the rules.  Hard to check everyone, right?”

“Exactly.  Oh, there’s the bell, you’d best head off.”

The rest of the day was uneventful.  Violet and Bailey met up with Jimmy after school, who drove them to the mall.  Bailey had fielded a bunch of questions about her ears once the school had cleared them, and they had a half-dozen clients lined up for similar changes.

While they were there, Katie asked if she could be a necklace again.  “It’s not the weekend any more, I can be inanimate.  Besides, it’s hard to pretend to be decorative when I can move.”  She fluttered her wings, flying around Violet’s head twice before landing again.

“Don’t you want to be able to move?” asked Violet.  “This seems unfair.”

Katie shrugged.  “I’ve had plenty of wiggle time this weekend.  Necklaces don’t get tired.”

Despite Katie’s protests, Violet modified her silver octopus necklace form to allow more mobility, and to let her speak.  Violet opted for normal arms and hands.  She’d gotten good at writing with pairs of tentacles, but it was still slower.  She did get Bailey to add a pair of retractable tentacles to each forearm, and used one of those to hold tentacles with her necklace.

Violet spent the remainder of the afternoon sitting at the kitchen table, working on her homework.  Katie’s new design left her able to hold a pen and do the same, which she was doing with ill grace though the encouraging smiles from Violet kept her going.

“What are you doing here?” asked Ruby as she entered her home, arm in arm with Scott.

“Homework?”  Violet looked up at her mother, puzzled.  Ruby's face showed anguished indecision, and Violet's eyes widened.  “You two...  Right.  Want some more time together without the third wheel around?”

“I...”  Ruby's expression grew even more pained.  “I don’t want to kick you out of the house.”

Violet’s hand went to Katie’s back, a tentacle sliding out to twine with one of Katie’s.  “No, I get it.  You’re happy, Mom.  More than I’ve ever seen before.  I can head over to Bailey’s.  Since school-night sleepovers are apparently okay now...”

Ruby’s blush was answer enough, but she insisted on calling Mrs. York first.  She frowned at the phone after a while.  “She’s not answering.”

“That’s because she’s too busy showing Dad her ‘new trick’.”

“Bailey?” asked Violet, turning toward her friend.  “What are you doing here?”

“It’s one thing to know intellectually that your parents must have had sex at least a couple of times to produce you and your siblings.  Quite another to come home and hear them going at it,” Bailey said, making a face.  Then she saw the looks on Ruby and Scott's faces.  “Aaand this isn’t going to work either.  C’mon, Violet.  Let’s go to Jimmy’s.  You’ve got a bike, right?”

“I’ll give you a ride,” offered Jimmy's father.

“Can we talk about this first?” asked Violet as she gathered up her books.  “I mean are you guys seriously okay with us having no adult supervision?”

“Yes,” said Ruby and Scott together.  “Jimmy’s a responsible guy,” continued his father.  “He pretty much runs that house already.  Groceries, cooking, cleaning, he even has access to my account to pay the bills.”

“He is a great guy,” agreed Violet.  “Which is why both of us are infatuated with him.  Well, Bailey more so than me.”

“Violet!”

Violet held up a hand toward her friend.  “You know it’s true.  So you're dumping us in a situation where sex is on the table.”

“I... kind of figured you two had already...” admitted Scott, looking at Bailey.

“No!” protested Bailey.  “Well, not... not quite anyway.  This whole thing is complicated and messy and the first time has to be... right.  You know?”

Ruby laughed, smiling at Bailey kindly.  “First times are always a disaster.  But despite that, they’re also really special.  Take your time.”

“That’s not what you’re doing,” muttered Violet darkly.

“This isn’t our first time,” replied Violet's mother.  “We’re both adults, and we know exactly what we want.”

“A house to yourselves.”  Violet said with a hint of a smile.

“Yes,” admitted Ruby.  “Please, sweetie?”

Violet got up from her chair, and hugged her mother tight.  “I’m only doing this because I love you, and because Scott is a sweetie.  C’mon, Katie.”  Violet scooped up her backpack with both sets of papers in it.  Katie scrambled up her arm and settled around her neck.

Violet went to her bedroom, where she filled her usual sleepover bag with toiletries and a change of clothes.  When she got back to the door, Ruby was waiting there with her coat on.  “C’mon, the others have loaded Bailey’s bike into the trunk.”

“Thanks, Mom,” said Violet as her mother walked her to the car.  “This feels...  Weird.  Significant.”

Mrs. Powell nodded, and got into the passenger side of the car.  “It is.  You’re growing up, and it’s time to take on new responsibilities.”

Violet hopped into the back seat beside Bailey.  “New responsibilities?” she asked.

The answer was not forthcoming on the short ride to Scott’s house.  Jimmy answered the door with a look of surprise on his face.  "Bailey!  Violet!  What are... all of you doing here?"

"They’re moving in."

Jimmy studied his father.  “You’re serious.”  He glanced between his father and Violet's mother, noticing the looks they were sharing, and the way his father held her hand.  “Very, very serious.  Wow.  Okay.  So what’s the plan?”

“Think you can keep the house tidy until Sunday?  Inspection at 5pm sharp.”

Jimmy nodded.  “It’ll pass muster.”

“Good.  You three have fun.  But not too much fun.  No noise complaints from the neighbours, or calls from the school.”

“Dad, really?”

Scott laughed, and hugged his son tight.  “I trust you.”  Then he returned to Ruby’s side, and the lovebirds walked back to his car, arm in arm.

Jimmy waved the girls inside.  “C’mon in.  We’ll have to sort out rooms, I guess.”

“Violet can sleep in my room.  I don’t need my bed,” chirped Katie from her perch around Violet’s neck.

“I can sleep in the octagon,” offered Bailey.  “If we hit the mall first.  And maybe buy a few more pillows?”

“Or turn someone into pillows?” giggled Violet.  “I bet Jimmy would volunteer.”

“Isn’t it Bailey’s turn to be the inanimate one?” asked Jimmy.  “A pile of pillows for the octagon would be a nice alternative to the couch she suggested.”

“It’s a date,” agreed Bailey.  “Friday.  Until then, we need normal pillows.”
Trust Machines - Beastly Beauty 14
The continuing adventures of Violet, Bailey and friends, and their quest for somewhere to sleep...

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The shop’s door jingled as a slim thirty-something woman entered.  The bespectacled man with salt-and-pepper hair at what looked more like a workbench than a shop counter set a small shiny object down.  He smiled at her warmly.  “Good morning, Pamela.  Welcome to the Mysterious Magic Shop.”

Pamela raised an eyebrow.  “Really?  Isn’t greeting first-time customers by name a bit cliche?”  She was smiling behind the wit.

“We have a small clientele base, I try to greet everyone by name.  Our kids are in the same grade at school, I remember you from career day.”

Pamela chuckled and nodded.  “Same here.  Ben, wasn’t it?  I have to say, ‘I run a shop that sells real magic’ is fairly memorable.”

Ben spread his hands wide, indicating the array of glass display cases ringing the small shop.  They were sparsely populated, only a few items on each shelf, carefully arrayed on velvet pillows.  “And here you are.”

“You are frightfully hard to find, you know,” continued Pamela conversationally.  “You’re not even visible from the road.  And you don’t advertise.”

“We sell only to the truly determined.  Idle browsers...” he shrugged.  “Not our market.  You certainly look determined.  What is it you truly need?”

Pamela’s certainty evaporated, and she looked away from the shopkeeper.  “I want to be something special for my husband,” she muttered.

“Pardon?”

A little louder, Pamela said, “I want to do something special for my husband.”

“That’s not what I heard the first time.  Which do you really want, the honest ‘be’, or the safe ‘do’?”

“I’ve been trying the latter for a couple years now.”  Pamela met his eyes.  “Can you help with the former?”

Ben smiled warmly.  “It is something of a specialty.  What do you want to be?  What we have is not cheap, but to the right person it is worth every penny.”

Pamela’s gaze turned away from Ben once more, this time in pursuit of a memory.  “Elliot showed me some of the art he likes, when I grew frustrated in my attempts to entice him.  I asked what he truly wanted, and...  The girls were pretty, but they weren’t human.  Mythical creatures like harpies, mermaids.  Even a half-spider that was far sexier than such a thing has any right to be.”

“Ah!  Well now...”  Ben studied Pamela’s body, the easy grace of her pose.  “You’ve kept yourself in fine shape.  Does the word Baladi mean anything to you?”

“The second thing I tried doing,” replied Pamela.  She set her slim purse by the old-fashioned cash register, and stepped back to gyrate her hips, shimmying them hypnotically while moving her arms in sinuous waves.  “He liked it well enough, and dancing for him was fun, but it didn’t keep his interest for long.”

Ben smiled broadly.  “You’re perfect.  I have an item crafted by a rather peculiar sort... not that that’s saying much, almost all crafters are peculiar.”  He chuckled softly, and patted the bauble on the counter.

“What’s that?” asked Pamela, gesturing to what Ben had been working on when she entered.

“My latest project.  A twinning mirror, if I ever get it working.”

“So you can turn someone into twins?” asked Pamela with a smile.  “I’m sure that’d be popular.”

“Ah, not quite.  May I?”  He held up the device.  At Pamela’s nod, he opened it so she could see the mirror, then snapped it closed again.  She looked down at herself, nothing had changed.  But when she looked up, Ben had been replaced by a copy of herself.  A moment later he flickered and returned to normal.  “Temporary magic is tempermental.  The line between lasting a few seconds and lasting so long the change becomes permanent is a narrower than one might like.”

Pamela frowned worriedly.  “You could have been stuck like me?”

He shook his head.  “This isn’t my first mirror.  I have one with a permanent duration tucked away in back, with my own image carefully stored.”

“Handy.”

“Very much so in this line of work.  But I’m fairly sure you don’t want to be a boring old shopkeeper, so let us see...”  He paced to a specific case, unlocking the door before extracting a golden tiara.  The front had a pronounced V-shape to it, rising to points that looked like sharp eyebrows, then descending again.

“And this will solve all my problems?” asked Pamela.

“Hah.  Hardly.  Put it on, let’s see if it likes you.”

Pamela accepted the tiara, and settled it on her brow.  A flicker of magic prickled through her hair, and she turned to the mirror beside the case.  “Oh!  Purple hair.”  She turned back and forth, examining its new length.  “It looks better on me than I’d have thought.  This is temporary, right?”

“For now, yes.  If you use the Tiara of the Half-Genie as much as I suspect you will, the hair change will become permanent.  It likes to mark its owner.”

“How do I use it?” asked Pamela.

“How do you think?” replied the shopkeeper with a grin, glancing to her twitching hips.  “You know you want to try.”

Pamela took a step back, and began to dance once more.  As she got into her rhythm, a glow built up around her, then flared.  Surprised, she stopped dancing, and the glow died away.  As it did so, it revealed her ordinary blouse and skirt had been replaced by bright red harem silks, and bulky golden armbands.  “What the?  I look like a...  Right.  Half-Genie.  Cute.  How do I get my clothes back?”

“Take the tiara off.”

Pamela put her hands to it, and hesitated.  “I don’t want to.”  Her brow furrowed, and she grabbed it off her head.  “Hah!  I’m not so weak-willed as that.”

Ben chuckled softly.  “I think it likes you.  Because it’s so picky, the price is lower than many of my items here.”

The price still made Pamela’s eyes widen.  “I guess I’m not getting a new car for my birthday after all.  It does more than the clothing?  Because I could buy that outfit for far less.”

“Much, much more.  I believe your husband will find its other effects most enticing.”

Pamela paid the asking price, and left the shop with a spring in her step, and a polished wooden jewelry box under one arm.

*** *** ***

Returning home with magic tucked under her arm left Pamela full of nervous energy.  She stored it safely away in the bedroom, then went to pick up the kids from school.  The boys were their usual boisterous selves, wrangling in the back of the van.  Cathy, her daughter, was younger and quieter, but for all that shared a glance and a roll of her eyes with her mother that made Pamela giggle.

Once the kids were home, there was little time to think about her new toy.  Pamela was too busy getting them focussed on homework, refereeing the inevitable conflicts, and preparing dinner.  She made sure to greet her husband with a kiss, though his mind seemed as far away as ever.  Even asking about his day got little more than a noncommittal grunt.

That night after the kids were abed, Pamela’s energy returned, leaving her bouncing around like a kid with a sugar rush.  Her attempts to engage her husband’s interest got little more than a patient sigh.

Pamela decided it was time.  She darted off to the bedroom, and returned with the tiara.  That earned her a raised eyebrow.

When she put it on and started to dance, the eyebrow acquired a friend.  And when the magic flared and changed her costume, she had her husband’s undivided attention.

Pamela continued to dance and sway in place, basking in that look, the glow around her swirling and swaying with her.  Her husband’s gaze followed her every move, so she stepped forward in time with her imaginary music... and her step turned into a stumble as a claw landed on the floor where a foot should have been.  It skittered on the hardwood, and only her outstretched wings kept her from tumbling to the ground.

Pamela stopped dancing, and stared down at her foot.  At her claw.  Where her foot should have been was a dark-scaled talon, at the bottom of a scaly leg.  There were blue feathers on her thighs, where dancing silks had been a moment before.  Her spiralling confusion was reigned in by her husband’s low whistle.

“You look incredible.”

Pamela straightened, tucking her wings back neatly on her back.  “I do?”  She glanced at her husband, saw genuine admiration there, and followed his gaze back to her body.  Her chest was covered in fine white feathers and her arms...  “AAA!  Where are my arms?”

Elliot chuckled indulgently, and gestured to her shoulders.  “I believe they’re tucked against your back.  Your arms are wings.  Spread them for me?”

Pamela did so without thinking, spreading her wings out to their full span.  Each wing was longer than she was tall, but not by much.  Fortunately, their great-room was big enough that she had plenty of room for the display.

Elliot set his tablet aside and got out of his favourite chair.  With avid eyes he paced around her, then brushed a hand along one wing.  “Gorgeous.  How long will you be like this?”

“I... uh, don’t know.  I didn’t ask.  I don’t even know how to change back!”

He chuckled softly.  “Dance.”

Pamela swayed her hips tentatively.  The clawed talons on the hard floor made her balance uncertain, and her hips felt weird.  “This body moves differently.”

“Forget about that.  Let your body do the dancing.”

Pamela’s motions became more fluid, and magic flared around her again.  A moment later, she was human once more, and hugged her husband tight.  “Clever sweetie!  How did you know?”

Elliot laughed warmly then, hugging her back.  “Because I recognize your outfit.”

Pamela smiled brightly at that.  “I did good?”

“You did fantastic,” gushed Elliot, in a way he hadn’t since the birth of their children.

Pamela enjoyed that look for as long a she could.  Then she started to fret again.  “It... wasn’t cheap.”

“Don’t care.”

“It’s okay, I can drive my old car a few more years.  We can afford it.”

“Seriously.  I don’t care.  I’ll sell some of my shares to cover it.  All of them, if need be.  How much was it?”

Pamela named a price, and he laughed, hugging her tight once more.  “Worth every penny, ten times over.  Just for what I’ve seen already.”

Pamela blinked at him in confusion.  “You think there’s more?”

He kissed her soundly, spinning her around then setting her back on her feet.  “Dance,” was all he said.

Pamela danced, smiling happily as she saw how his eyes followed her, tracing her curves, following her hips.  As he stepped toward her, she took a step back for room to move, and once again magic flared.  Pamela found herself lying on the floor a moment later, with no recollection of how she’d gotten there.  She glanced up at her husband and saw little-kid excitement gleaming in his eyes, and knew she’d transformed again.

She tried to stand up, and couldn’t figure out how to move her legs.  With a sigh, she looked down.  “I don’t have any legs,” she said, this time without the panic.  Where her legs would be was solid mass covered in scales.  For a moment Pamela thought she’d become a snake, and found the idea appealing.  Then she noticed the fins.

Pamela held up a hand, fanning her fingers out to stretch the webbing between them.  “I’m a mermaid?”

“You certainly look like one.  The shark teeth are a nice touch.”

Pamela ran her tongue over them carefully.  Sharp.  Pointy.  Dangerous.  She grinned up at her husband, showing them off.  “You like?”

“Shall we move this to the pool?  Or do you want to try again?”

“I’d rather move it to the bedroom,” said Pamela, her saucy grin making her intention quite clear.

“So... trying again?” asked Elliot with the slightest hint of disappointment.

“Nope.  Carry me.”

Elliot’s cheer warmed her heart.  His arms were as strong as she remembered from their wedding night, and the slight stagger to his gait evoked fond memories.  This was going to be a good night.

*** *** ***

Pamela woke human, and naked.  Her hand went immediately to her brow, and the cold empty spot where her tiara should be.  “Where is it?” she asked, in a voice edged with panic.

“I didn’t want you to be uncomfortable,” said her husband, as he rolled to his side.  His gaze went to her only briefly, then flicked away.  “Your tail was too long for the bed, and you’d fallen asleep.  I put it back in its box, it’s over on your dresser.”

Pamela darted a look at the box, and the tension in her whole body drained away when she saw the tiara nestled there.  “Oh.  Good.”

Elliot studied her with furrowed brow.  “Your hair has changed.  It’s not brown anymore.  More like a dark burgundy?   Worse, you seem to have a psychological dependence on it.”

“I was told that it will mark me, changing my hair permanently,” answered Pamela softly.  “As to the other, yes.  I found it hard to take it off.  I like it, and it likes me.  I can tell it won’t hurt me.”  She snuggled up against him.  “I can beat it, but I don’t want to.  Would it be so bad to just... always wear it?  I think it’s lonely.”

Elliot pursed his lips.  “I want to say you should never wear it again.  I want to say we should march back to that shop and return it.  But I can’t.  Are you sure?”

“Yes.  Completely convinced.  The Tiara of the Half-Genie will not harm... what’s so funny?”

Elliot was trying and failing to suppress a severe bout of chuckling.  “That’s what it’s called?”

“That’s what the shopkeeper said.”

“Remember I said you looked like a character from a game?  That name clinches it.”

Pamela smiled back at her husband.  “Is that good?”

“She’s the hero, so I have a hard time imagining a magic item themed on her is going to do harm.”

Pamela jumped out of bed and put the tiara on.  A few seconds of shimmying summoned up the red dancing silks in place of her nightdress.

“So how are you going to get your clothes back if you don’t take the tiara off?” asked Elliot with a broad grin.

“Oh, like you’d object to seeing me around the house like this all day.”

“Not in the slightest.  But what about when you want to go out?”

Pamela pursed her lips, lost in thought.  Her hips moved without her conscious attention, bringing the glow back around her.  She nodded at a thought, then stilled her motions and ended her dance with a proper flourish.  Her silks vanished with the glow, returning her nightdress.  “Tada!”

Elliot applauded softly.  “Your hair’s still purple.”

Pamela pulled it around in front of her, and noticed it draped well below her breasts.  “And longer, too.  It’s not garish, I think I could sell this as something I did to attract your interest.  Which has the virtue of being true, if not quite how they’d think.”

She settled her hair so that it hid most of the tiara, and her hair fell into place as if it had been professionally styled.  “There.  Nothing out of the ordinary.”

Elliot smirked.  “Dance for me.”

Pamela did so, but was interrupted by Elliot’s alarm going off.  “Aww.  Do you have to go?”

“Duty calls.  And I think I need to work even harder today, to earn enough to give you some extravagant gift in return.”

Pamela danced toward him to kiss him for the kind gesture.  It was only after she’d done so that she realized she’d changed again.  She was something small and cute, fluttering at his head level.  That he’d kissed whatever she’d become without hesitation made her grin, her happy wriggles turning into a dance that changed her back to normal.  “That was different.  What was I?”

“An almost impossibly cute bat.  You may want to be careful with the dancing around the kids.  I think Cathy’s squeal of excitement would be supersonic.”

“I suppose I can wait until you get back to experiment further,” Pamela offered.  Clear on her face was the desire to do just that, to learn everything she could be.

“Don’t make promises you can’t keep,” chuckled Elliot.  “Take notes.  Learn how it works.  And show me everything when I get home.”

She took a step back, and started her hips swaying once more, grinning at how he couldn’t turn his gaze away.  “You want to stay and watch.”

“So, so badly,” he sighed.  “But you know me better than to try this.”

She kept dancing.  She could see the tension in Elliot, the need to get ready warring within.  “You can’t look away.  If I dance long enough, you’ll...”

“Is that what you want?”  Elliot asked, strained.

Pamela ended the dance with a flourish, her usual skirt and blouse replacing the outfit.  “I don’t want to hurt you.”

Elliot stepped up to her and gave her a toe-curling hug and kiss.  “Thank you, love.  Tell you what, I’ll stay home tomorrow.”

Pamela snorted.  “Tomorrow’s Saturday.  You should be with your family on the weekends, not at work.”

Elliot nodded sheepishly.  “I know.”

“Then why?”

Elliot looked away from his purple-haired wife with difficulty, and started toward the ensuite and its shower.  “I like my work.  Home was...  Can we not have this conversation now?”

“Fine.  But we will have it later, one way or another,” said Pamela darkly.

*** *** ***

Once the kids were up, mornings were always a bustle and rush.  Breakfasts to make, though the eldest, Gary, was competent enough to manage his own toast or cereal.  Lunches to pack.  Uniforms to straighten, and a final inspection of hair and hands to make sure they’d washed and brushed.

After she’d dropped off the boys at their school, Cathy asked about the tiara and purple hair.  Pamela chuckled softly, touching the tiara she’d forgotten she was wearing.  “Something new and special, sweetie.”

“You look pretty with it.  Can I try it?”

Pamela’s fingers tightened on the golden band.  “I...  This is special to mommy.  Maybe when you’re much older.  It probably wouldn’t fit you now anyway.”

Cathy nodded solemnly.  “I understand, mommy.”

Her mother chuckled softly.  “Glad someone does.  Have a great day, sweetie.”

“You too mommy.  You should smile more.”  Cathy bounced eagerly toward the playground of her school, approaching her usual friends.

Pamela smiled and nodded.  “I should at that.”

She made sure to take care of the day’s errands early, and decided that she’d rather work out at home instead of going to the fitness studio like she usually did.  Their workout room didn’t just have a comprehensive collection of weights, it also had a parquet floor made for dancing.  More importantly for Pamela’s plans it had a mirrored wall and barre – the previous owner had a daughter who was very keen on ballet.  Pamela had found the mirror very helpful when she’d taken dance lessons, and figured it would be the perfect place to practice.

Pamela stripped out of her usual clothes, and put on a bright blue leotard instead.  She posed in front of the mirror, taking up a ballet stance and smiling at the tiara in the mirror.  “Let’s see what you like.”  She’d done enough ballet that she remembered the basics.  The tiara did nothing.  A waltz around the room with an imaginary partner only produced a sense of disappointment.

“You’re right, that’s all wrong,” agreed Pamela, as if the tiara could hear her.  She went to the room’s music system and selected something with a faster beat.  Salsa dancing without a partner wasn’t nearly as fun as with, and she could tell that her tiara was getting impatient.  Pamela giggled.  “I know what you want.”

When the song ended, Pamela returned to the center of the dance floor, and posed.  The first shimmy of her hips led to a bright flare of magic, and the return of her billowy-legged dancing silks.  Giddy with the glow of magic about her, Pamela danced in place.  The moves felt easier than she ever recalled, and she could gyrate in place almost effortlessly.

Pamela cast her mind back to her lessons, and her favourite routine from them.  Starting into it worked poorly, as the first time she took a step the magic flared.  When her eyes cleared she was staring into the face of an elephant.

“That’s inconvenient,” is what Pamela tried to say, but it came out as a loud trumpeting noise instead.  She trumpeted a few more times for fun, giggling at how loud it was.  It amused her further that the shape could laugh, but not speak.  She trod forward as delicately as she could, but each footfall still made the ground shake.  Inspecting her massive body in the mirror, she decided that it was, in fact, quite pretty.  Her skin wasn’t rough or wrinkly, it was pink and sleek.  She stood about the same height as before, but much stockier, and there was an awful lot more mass behind her than ever before.  The form felt heavy and ponderous, but incredibly strong at the same time.

She chuckled to herself, imagining using this on a camping trip.  She could haul all their gear at once!

It took a few tries to get her elephantine body swaying enough to trigger the change back, and Pamela smiled with relief when she managed it.  “There.  Better.  I wonder what other surprises you have in store for me.”

The tiara didn’t answer in words, but she could feel that it was happy, almost excited.  The feeling was infectious, and she restarted her dance routine.  This time, when her form flickered away, she kept going.  Elephant, harpy, mermaid.  Each was familiar enough to keep going another step, another change.  Even turning into a monkey didn’t throw her off for long.  But when she ended up as an enormous spider, that brought it all to a halt.

Once again, Pamela advanced on the mirror.  She knew better than to try to control her legs individually.  Willing herself forward set them in motion, scuttling her closer to her reflection.  She grinned at herself, exposing daunting fangs.  “Well, well, well.  I know somebody who’s going to love this to bits.”

She turned back and forth.  Her hair was darker now, and tied back with a red bow that matched her vanished silks.  Her upper body was mostly familiar, other than the blue-white skin.  She tried to cup her cute spiderweb-themed bra, and saw that in place of hands she had spider-claws.  She made a face at that, then turned to look at the rest of her.  Six legs, each as long as she was tall, and tipped with dark claws.  Her bulbous backside that was almost as bulky as the elephant’s.  She gave it a wiggle, then her eyes went wide as spider-silk streamed out of it.  “Woah!”

Dancing back to normal got rid of the sticky mess, to her relief.

She started the dance yet again, persisting through the changes to see what else she’d find.  The cute little crab sent her scuttling toward the mirror once more, for a quick look and a shake of her head (which twisted her body side to side).

The last form she found was a tiny little mouse.  Going back to four legs didn’t stop her dance, curiosity did.  She skittered forward to the mirror once more, peering at herself curiously.  Cute.  Tiny.  Far too tiny for her tastes, imagining what it’d be like to see a person while like this gave her pause.  She tried to wiggle her way back to normal shape.  Nothing happened.  She knew she was dancing correctly, she could see the magic flare... but she didn’t change.

Pamela panicked, and mousy reactions to panic sent her scurrying under cover.  While she cowered under the weight-rack, Pamela took a few deep breaths and tried to calm her body.  A short session of mousy yoga left her clear-headed.  She looked around her, and realized that growing back under the weight rack would be unwise.

The mouse did not want to go into the middle of the room, but Pamela was far too strong-willed to let that stop her.  She resumed her usual position, started to dance, and was human once more in a flash.  This time, she danced her routine to completion, her final flourish dispelling the silks and returning her normal clothes.

The exertion she’d been through hit her then, and she retreated to the kitchen for lunch.  Spying the bananas in the fruit-bowl she grinned.  How did the step go for monkey?  It took a moment’s thought to isolate a segment of her dance routine, and soon she’d hopped up onto the counter.

Bananas tasted way better in monkey form.

Pamela returned to normal for the rest of her lunch, then stayed determinedly so for the rest of the afternoon, as she did some basic tidying so that the housekeeping service wouldn’t see the worst of her family’s mess.  Intellectually, she knew that they were perfectly happy to do that work too, but emotionally she couldn’t have outsiders see her house too messy.

Then she had to pick up the kids, and so the day went.  By the time the kids were abed, she’d almost forgotten she was wearing the tiara.  And it seemed that Elliot had entirely forgotten, engrossed as he was in his tablet.

Pamela studied him for a moment.  She wanted his attention, how best to get it?  She brushed her hand through her hair, catching sight of her rich, purple locks.  The tiara seemed to smile at her plan.

“Oh Elliot...” sang Pamela.

“Hm?”  He didn’t even look up.

“Come into my parlor.”  She danced briefly, enough for the flare of magic to change her clothes.  She saw his eyes turn to her, winked and crooked her finger.

Her husband rose from his chair, and when she darted away, he pursued.

What he found in the bedroom made his jaw drop.  “So sexy...”

Pamela posed artfully on all six legs, then slowly backed herself to the bed.  She untied the ribbon in her hair, letting it cascade in waves around her shoulder.  “Show me how much you love it.”

He did.  Oh, how he did.
Silken Dance 1
I've been playing Shantae: Half-Genie Hero the past week or so, after picking it up on the Steam summer sale.  Of course that led to story ideas...
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“What do you mean, you’re Barry’s pet?” asked Steve as he scrambled to his feet.

Kelly jumped up as well, and grabbed Steve’s arm.  “Careful.  Once you move away from the portal, reality rewrites you to something that fits.  At this size, something like a mouse.”

Steve rubbed his chin as he digested that, then his eyes lit up.  “Oh!  So that’s where the rabbit came from.  And why you still have fur and floppy ears.”

“Yep.  Still cute?”  Kelly wiggled her nose at him.

“Very much so, yes.”  To emphasize his point, Steve kissed Kelly on that cute mostly-human nose, which led to kisses elsewhere and increasing distraction until the ground literally moved under their feet.

Both stared up through the plexiglass roof to see a distorted view of Steve’s roommate, Barry.   He wasn’t looking at them, but they could see his hands on an enormous metal handle.  It took a moment for Steve to recognize it as the dolly that they’d used to move their props.  The rumbling they were feeling was the loose wheel chattering against the floor.

“Do you think he saw us?” whispered Kelly.

“He’s the one that put us in here!” hissed Steve.  “Of course he knows we’re here.  I’d rather not be here when he loads the van.  Where does that other portal go?”

“The hutch.  I’ll explain later.  First, and most important... think really hard about being a talking mouse.”  Kelly pulled Steve forward, her hand in his.  She closed her eyes as she felt the change ripple through her body, felt their linked hands become paws.  Once the changes had stopped, she looked over at Steve and started to giggle.  He had pale pink fur, an oversized head with a long blonde hair and a broad smile.  Most improbable was his lavender overalls, covering a curvy, feminine body.

“What the heck?” squeaked Kelly.

Steve peered down at himself, and his comically large eyes went even wider.  “You said to think of a talking mouse!  Gadget’s the only one that came to mind.”  His voice was high-pitched and distinctly feminine.

Kelly giggled again.  “Well, at least you can talk.  C’mon.”  She pulled him through the portal to the rabbit hutch.  The ground no longer rumbled beneath their feet, and no giant was watching over them.  Kelly sighed with relief.  “Okay.  Now we can talk.  Stay close to the portal for now, so you don’t change again.”

Steve nodded, his enormous ears bobbling with the motion.  “God, this feels so strange.”

“No kidding!  You’re a girl.  I didn’t know it could do that.”

“You turned into a rabbit, and girl seems improbable?  We’re way past improbable here.  What’s going on?”  Steve’s tail lashed back and forth, and he grabbed it between his paws.

“Beats me,” shrugged Kelly.  “The first time I moved away from a portal while tiny, I started going dizzy, like I couldn’t breathe.  Then I turned into a rabbit, and could.”

“Oxygen’s the wrong size, I guess,” mused Steve.  “So... the universe fixed it.  But why am I a cartoon?”

Kelly brushed her hand along Steve’s arm.  “Feels like fur and flesh to me.  Not a cartoon.”

Steve wrung his tail between his paws.  “You know what I mean!  I didn’t change into a normal mouse.”

“You would have if I didn’t get you to visualize something else.  I don’t know why it works, but it’s like we can make suggestions when we’re being adapted.  My first time as a bunny, I got caught up in its instincts.  The second time, the bunny had a patch of blonde fur on its head.  I practiced, got some control, and learned how to become a talking bunny.  Talked Barry into using me in the act.  Did you see?” she asked, eyes alight with eagerness.

Steve giggled and nodded.  “I thought the bunny was the best part of the show.  Especially the big bunny.”

“Do I look like Barry’s girlfriend now?” asked Kelly, moving in closer.

Steve shook his head.  “You look like a mouse.  A vaguely familiar one, what with that red cape.  Mrs. Brisby?”

Kelly nodded.  “I didn’t know that something more human was possible.  Let’s see how this works.”  She scampered a few steps away from Steve, then turned to face him.  He smiled as her ears grew bigger and her face cuter, and he applauded when she was done.

Kelly hopped up close to him on long lapine feet, her cape still trailing from her shoulders.  “Your turn.  Just... visualize a humanoid bunny.”

Steve fidgeted with his tail uncertainly.  “I’m pretty sure what’s going to happen...”

“You’ll be fine!” urged Kelly, tugging him away from the portal.  In her arms, he changed... into her identical twin, save for the overalls, and a substantial difference in height.  She tilted her head up to look at his worried face.   “Oh.”

“You made an impression.  How could I not think of you?”

Kelly snuggled up against him, rubbing her cheek against the fur exposed above his overalls.  “I guess that makes sense.  Do you mind being a bunnygirl instead of a bunnyboy?”

“Not so long as I’m with you.  Though...”  He looked out of the cage, into Barry’s room.  “Think you can manage the doorknob, if I lift you up?”

“I don’t think we’re anywhere near that tall.  Besides, the cage is locked.”  Kelly hopped over to one of the wire doors, and gave it a tug.  “See?”

Steve struggled with the latch for a minute, but couldn’t get enough purchase.  “Dang.  Designed for much bigger hands.  If I had some tools...”  He looked around the hutch, taking in the details of the three loft-like shelves and the giant silver disc taking up most of the back wall of the cage.  “Hey, is that another portal?”

“It leads to the hat.  At least, it probably still does...”  Kelly hopped over to it, and Steve followed.  They jumped through together, and found themselves in a dark, fabric-lined space.  While it was soon obvious that they couldn’t force their way out, being so close together was cozy enough that they stayed and snuggled.

Their idyll was interrupted by Barry once more.  He muttered about finding a conquest in the audience just before the van doors rumbled and slammed shut.  The bunnies tumbled back out of the portal a moment later.

“So.  No rescue any time soon,” mused Steve.

“He’s not going to rescue us,” said Kelly.  “He liked the idea of me as a pet rabbit, and now he has two.”

“No he does not,” growled Steve.  “I am not his pet.  Do you want to be his pet?”

“Depends on the alternative,” replied Kelly softly, searching Steve’s expression.  “If you won’t have me as a girlfriend, maybe I could be your pet instead?  You can make me as small as you like, I won’t eat much, or take up much space.”

Steve turned away, blushing brightly enough to be seen through his fur.  “I... can we talk about this later?  Once we’re free?”

“Sure thing, Houdini.  Find a way out, and I’ll be anything you want.”

Steve prowled around the cage, looking for tools.  He didn’t find any, but when he pulled the nesting box away from the side wall he found something even more interesting.  Another shimmering, reflective circle – a portal.  This one was half the size of the portal they’d entered by.  “I wonder where this goes.”

The answer, unfortunately, was nowhere.  There was a wall behind the portal, a handspan away from it.  “Damn it, what’s the point in hiding it if you’re going to block it, Barry?”

Kelly padded up beside Steve, and slipped her arm through the bars.  She put it through the back of the portal, all the way up to her elbow.  “It’s open on this side, think we could turn it around?”

Steve tugged on the portal, then shook his head.  “He’s put wires through it, and twisted them around the bars.  Kind of like with your Impalement top.  Won’t budge.”

“This end won’t,” agreed Kelly.  “Feel around the edge on the other side.”

Steve put his arm through the bars like Kelly had, and soon found what she was referring to.  There was a narrow lip of wood holding the portal in place.  With a speculative look on his face, Steve tested the other two edges of the portal.  “Aha!  Plexiglass.”

“What?”

“There’s a plexiglass roof over the portal.  It’s in the maze!  We could find it and pry it free.”

Steve beat Kelly to the middle-sized portal that they’d arrived by, and soon Gadget and Mrs. Brisby were once again exploring the maze.  “Couldn’t think of another mouse from the Secret of NIMH, like Justin?”

“It didn’t occur to me.  Gadget’s my favourite mouse by far.  That she’s an engineer, to boot...”

Kelly frowned.  “I don’t remember Gadget being that chesty.”

“Depends on which fan-art you see.  Or, um, draw.”

“Why Steve!  I never knew.  Maybe I should try being a humanoid version of her, then you’d surely want to kiss me.”

Steve blushed, and turned to head further into the maze.  “Now we can’t just rely on the right hand rule.  Barry wanted a more complex maze for his mice, so I built a maze with a loop in the middle.”

“You built this?  I suppose I should have guessed.  Hah, now you’re trapped by your own creation.”

“I’d rather be trapped in the Disembodied Princess,” muttered Steve as he pulled a piece of chalk out of his toolbelt and marked the T-junction at the end of the hall of portals.

Kelly followed along as they worked their way through the maze.  At each turning, Steve would mark the wall, crossing off any dead ends.  “Where’d the chalk come from?” asked Kelly after a few.

“I focussed on the contents of Gadget’s toolbelt when I arrived, I knew the maze was tricky.”

Kelly grinned.  “Clever.”  She scampered to catch up to Steve again, and put a paw in his.  They traversed the rest of the maze paw in paw, until they returned to the portals.  “So that’s it?  We’re stuck?”

“Nope.  Now we follow the maze once more, and look for an unmarked opening.  It’s not all that far, if I remember correctly.”

Three turns later, they found the goal of the maze, and in it a silvery portal.  Kelly stuck a paw through it, and confirmed that she could feel bars blocking the exit.  “This must be it.”

Steve pulled a crowbar from his toolbelt, and started to work on the wooden post.  It took considerable effort, and a couple of trade-offs between Kelly and himself, but eventually they had enough of the wood chipped away to pry one side of the portal out of its frame.  One final heave on the crowbar flipped the portal free, and sent it spinning across the maze.  It landed on top of Kelly, making her disappear.

Steve squeaked in dismay, but a moment later the portal lifted up and Kelly’s head poked out.  “C’mon, it leads back to the hutch.”

The return to the hutch found it much more imposing.  “OK.  Now we’re baby bunny sized.  Can you get out now?”

Kelly tried to wriggle through the bars of the cage, and growled at her failure.  Steve shrugged.  “We can loop around again and again, until we’re mouse-sized here.  Mrs. Brisby and Gadget will have no trouble with the bars.”

Kelly considered that.  “It’ll be a long trek to the portal.  And if we’re mouse sized here, how small will we be in the maze?  Too small to survive as mice, I’d bet.  Then what?”

“Insects, probably.”

Kelly made a face.  “I don’t want to be an ugly ant.”

“Then be a pretty ladybug.”

Kelly pondered that for a moment, then shook her head.  “I’d rather just bring the two portals together, and save the trek.”

Steve agreed that was a much better idea, so the two of them popped back through the portal and rolled it back to the corridor with the original portals.  Steve leaned it up against the wall right beside the other portal to the hutch, then hopped back through.  A moment later, Kelly windmilled as she emerged upside-down from the top of the portal, and landed in a heap with Steve.  She started giggling.  “Did we put it upside down?”

Steve hugged her tight, then headed across the expanse of the hutch to the mid-size portal.  “I’ll go fix it.”

Kelly tagged along, and as soon as Steve pronounced the portal right-side up, she hopped through.  Steve followed a moment later, to find her struggling with the cage bars.  “Still not small enough?”

“Not quite.  One more go-round.”

The figures that emerged from the portal this time were tiny.  Mrs. Frisby stood barely an inch and a half tall, and Gadget just shy of two.  Both squeezed through the bars with ease, then hopped down to the floor.  “Freedom!” sang Kelly.

“Not yet,” said Steve, determinedly.  “We have to make it past the bedroom door.”

“We could hide under the bed and wait,” suggested Kelly, but Steve was already scampering his way to the enormous portal.  At the base, it towered over them like a skyscraper.  There was a gap underneath, barely noticeable when they were human.  On the mice, it came up to their knees.  

Kelly laid down against gap the and wriggled as best she could.  “I think I can make it!”

Steve, however, had a cartoonish head and couldn’t fit no matter how he tried.  “Go ahead.  Find the box with the middle size portal ends, and pick any of those.  They’ll get you close to normal.”

Kelly shook her head.  “We go together.  We can go back through, and shrink once more.  I won’t be too tiny to be a mouse... um, I hope.”

Steve shook his head.  “You stay out here.  I’ll hop through and then we’ll give it another try.”

Kelly followed Steve to the cage, and waited outside the bars for his return.  And waited.  She started to worry when a minute had gone by with no sign of Steve, and scrambled up into the cage once more.  She hopped through the small portal, and was immediately slammed onto her side by an unexpected shift in gravity.  The floor was shaking like an earthquake.

Kelly sat up to examine her situation.  The portal was leaning against the wall at a precarious angle, having rolled most of the way back to the T-junction.  There was no sign of Steve, but the sight of an enormous ladybug rounding a corner of the maze made her squeak with fright.   It scuttled out of sight as Kelly caught her breath.  “What was that?  There weren’t any bugs before.”  Her eyes went wide.  “Steve!  Wait, Steve, come back!”

Kelly chased after the ladybug, and only when her breath ran short did she realize her mistake.  Her body was twisting in much more vigorous ways than a change from mammal to mammal had caused.  She could feel her skeleton melting, and her skin hardening.  Worse, her vision wasn’t clearing, and she could no longer close her eyes as a kaleidoscope view of the passage assaulted her brain.  New appendages started to grow.  Legs.  Wings.  Antennae.  Kelly cowered on the floor until it was over, then started scuttling off.

She tried to control her body, but it was so alien that any attempt to take direct control left her stumbling and falling.  A flash of red in her vision told her she was still chasing Steve.  She tried to remember why that was a bad idea, her mind slipping into darkness and confusion with only a tiny insect brain to support it.  The last coherent thought she had was that she needed to find the portal.  She focussed her mind on the impression of shiny silver, held on to that and little else while the world twisted and rocked around her.

Some impossible time later, Kelly tumbled into a pile of wood chips.  She stared around at her surroundings.  Chips.  Platforms.  Bars.  She was back in the cage, and no longer an insect.  She hugged her mousy body, so thankful to be the right phylum once more that the minor details of fur and a tail barely registered.  She was free, clear of mind, and in control of her limbs.

She was also alone in the cage.  Returning to the maze was the last thing she wanted to do, but Steve was stuck there, probably even more lost in his insect body than she had been.  Kelly squared her shoulders and ducked part-way back through the portal.  The vibrations had stopped, which was a small blessing.  The portal had rolled out of the main passage, and was now face-up on the floor.  Peering about, she spotted Steve’s chalk marks.  She put her paws to the floor, and slowly dragged the portal – with her still halfway through it – back to the others.

That done, she scampered through the loop until she could enter the maze at mouse-size.  She took a careful step away from the portal, and breathed a sigh of relief when she remained mammalian.  A quick traverse of the maze turned up a sleeping ladybug, which she carried out through the larger portal.

Holding the bug in her arms, she willed Steve to wake, to be Gadget once more.  Soon her prayers were answered, and he sat up in her arms.  “Where am I?”

“Back in the cage.  You’ve spent a while as a bug.  Not sure how long, I got caught too.”

“Right.  Back to the plan?”

“Steve!  We can’t go back to being insects.”

“Wasn’t planning to.  Did you get the portal back?”

Kelly nodded, and reluctantly looped through the portals once more to reduce herself to a size that would let them escape.  This time, she imagined a slimmer mouse body, and suggested that Steve do the same.  Gadget’s ridiculous curves vanished, leaving Steve looking like Kelly’s twin once more.

“Ready?” she asked.

Steve squeaked an affirmative, and they scrambled through the bars, across the floor, and under the door.  

The apartment arched over them, an immense vault that would have been imposing if they’d not already spent time in Barry’s room.  The joy of freedom, of scampering unimpeded across the floor was far more distracting.

Moments later they were at the base of an enormous wooden pillar, one leg of the dining room table.  Kelly tested her claws on it, and found they dug in well enough that she could climb with ease.  Halfway up she called encouragement to Steve, who cheeped a reply and started after her.  

Climbing the leg was easy enough.  The hard part was the overhang of the table top.  Kelly made an acrobatic leap and snagged the edge, then scrambled up on top.  When Steve tried to replicate her stunt, his grip failed and he was left dangling over the precipice by a single paw.  He squeaked in fear, but just as his remaining paw was about to lose grip, Kelly got hold of him and hauled him up onto the tabletop.

“There.  Are you okay?”

Steve squeaked softly, then nodded.  

“Can you talk?”

Steve shook his head, then shrugged.  He darted to one of the storage boxes on the table, and then stopped abruptly, ears drooping.  He’d forgotten that the storage boxes had latches, and he’d very carefully closed them all after picking out the portals needed for the performance.

Kelly snuggled beside him.  “Hey, don’t look down.  We made a good run of it.  I’ll talk Barry into helping out later.”

Steve snarled, and despite his tiny size managed to stomp away from the box and over to the small pile of tools he’d left out while working on the props.  Kelly followed along, and helped him drag a screwdriver back to the box.  It took both of them working together to insert the blade of the screwdriver behind the latch, but soon it was wedged in tight.  Steve tried to lever the latch open, and it moved a little, but not nearly enough.  He threw his entire weight at the screwdriver, but all that accomplished was to get the latch halfway open before it snapped back and sent the tool tumbling.

Determinedly, he set it up once more, and gestured Kelly to run at it with him.  They had to try four times, but finally the latch popped open.  The screwdriver let them wedge the box open just enough to wriggle inside and then suddenly two enormous mice tumbled through one of the big portals standing against the wall.  

Kelly gave Steve a hug as they both started changing, becoming human once more.  “You did it!” she cheered, then kissed him full on the lips.

This time he didn’t pull back, and there were no giants shaking the floor to disturb them.  Instead, it was their stomachs that broke the kiss, growling in unison.

“I’m starving,” said Steve.  “How long has it been?”

Kelly glanced at the clock in the kitchen.  “We’ve missed lunch and dinner, no wonder.  I’ll whip something up real quick.”

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much left of the supplies Kelly had brought in earlier, and she figured she could only make enough for one person.  Steve dolefully offered to wait, but she grinned up at him.  “Or we could both shrink to half size, and have plenty to eat.”

Steve looked around, then chuckled.  “We definitely need to shrink.  I think I’m almost tall enough to clock myself going through doorways.”

While Kelly cooked, Steve checked on the portal inventory.  He found that there was a portal right next to the one they’d emerged from that would have made them within a whisker of their original size.  He paired their small ends, and set the large ones against the walls in the corner of the dining room, close enough to hop easily from one to the other.

Stepping through the portal, Steve was suddenly eight and a half inches shorter.  He measured to confirm that he was finally his right height again, and showed Kelly what he’d done.

Kelly pouted.  “You’re too small.  I like it when you’re bigger than me.”

Steve stood beside her.  “I’m still taller than you, just... not by as much as normal.  Wait a minute, we should be about the same size now.  You’re only a couple inches taller than normal.”

“I shrunk coming over here, and again for the appear on stage,” said Kelly with a grin.  “Made you nice and big.  I’ll just hop through your new setup, and all will be right with the world once more.”

Kelly finished cooking at the reduced size she’d started to think should become her normal size.  When she brought it to the table, she started to giggle.  Steve was standing at the table, and it came up to the middle of his chest.  “How small did you get?”

“Three foot eight.  I figured much smaller and I’d turn into a kid.”

“You do look a little younger,” mused Kelly.  She set out two small plates, and darted off to the portal pair.  She hopped through a few times, but when she returned she found she was still taller than Steve.  “How many times did you go through?”

“Four.  It’s only eleven percent per cycle, so there’s diminishing returns.”

“Hm.  Too much smaller and it’ll be hard to reach the table.  Will you grow after we eat?”

Steve nodded his agreement, and they both attacked the plate of spaghetti with gusto.  Despite Kelly’s best efforts and laughing cooperation from Steve, they didn’t manage to slurp up the same noodle from both ends.

Once they were done, Kelly chased Steve through the portals to get him to regrow.  She took a few hops through herself, ending up well short of Steve’s height when they were done.  “Ah, there we go.  Much better.”

“I don’t know,” said Steve with a teasing tone.  “Kissing you when you’re so short is giving me a crick in my neck.”

“I know how to fix that!” cheered Kelly, and she darted towards Steve’s bedroom.  She flung the door open then yelped, “What happened in here?”

Steve shrugged.  “Remember the incident with the impalement spike?  Destroyed my bedroom, and my bed.  I’ve been meaning to replace it...”  He turned to face her and grinned.  “And I believe you promised you’d be anything ‘Houdini’ asked if I could get us out of the hutch, yes?”

“You want to turn me into a bed?  I don’t think that’s safe.”

Steve glanced down at Kelly’s chest with a grin.  “Not all of you you.  Just... one breast.  I think I have just the thing.”

He rushed off and was back soon with a special pair of portals.  The small end of the portal was about three inches across, one of the few big ones they had.  The other portal was four feet wide.

“First, we need to tidy up,” said Steve.  He set the big portal against his dresser, then reached through the little one.  An enormous hand flicked the duvet and pillows off the nest he’d made of his ruined bed, then more delicately removed the sheets.  Once they were clear, he scooped up the rubble and pulled it back through the portal.  A handful of scraps got dumped into a wastebasket.  “There.  Done.”

Kelly picked up an armful of the remaining scraps, and tossed them through the big portal.  “Now we’re done.  So what’s the plan?”

Steve handed her the small end of the portal.  “Pop this in your bra.”

Kelly giggled as she did so.  Once it was there, she pouted down at herself.  “I look all flat.”

“On the other hand,” called Steven, from where he’d laid the bigger portal on the floor, “the bed looks like fun.”

Kelly turned to gape at what was taking the place of Steve’s old bed.  In the middle of the floor, projecting up through the portal was a familiar swell of pink flesh, topped by an enormous nipple.  “That’s my boob!”

“Make sure it’s snugged tight against your chest,” said Steve with a grin.  He carefully sat down on the bed-boob.  “Mmm.  It’s warm.”

“Oh!  I can feel you.  Tiny and... hm. You’re a bit big to sleep on a four foot bed.  What’s the plan?”

“I shrink down to about your size, and we cuddle.”

Kelly grinned.  “You go do that.  I’ll get the bed ready.”

By the time Steve had returned, Kelly was perched atop her own breast, naked except for her bra.  “This is your idea of getting the bed ready?”

“Complaints?”

Steve shook his head, and snuggled up against her.  “None whatsoever.”

Soon the only item of clothing being worn was Kelly’s bra.  As kissing and licking progressed to rather more, Steve stifled a huge yawn, one that was moments later echoed by Kelly.

“No!  Not sleepy time,” Kelly protested weakly.  “I want to make you mine.”

Steve chuckled softly as his eyes drooped.  “Already have.”  He yawned again, and shook his head dazedly.  “Sorry, it’s just been such a week.  And today...  Now that the adrenaline has worn off, I...”  He didn’t finish the sentence, and started snoring softly.

Kelly sighed, and pulled up the duvet to cover them both.  She kissed him softly, and put a hand to her chest where she could feel two tiny forms snuggled up against her breast.  “So cool.  I hope he never buys a new bed.”
In Too Deep 5 - Cooperation
Continuing the very-much delayed story of size and shape-crossed lovers Steve and Kelly.  Will they escape the maze?  Will they ever be human again?  Does Kelly even want to be?

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Chapter 13 - Sleepy Creatures

Once their parents were safely away, Violet and Miji grinned at Bailey.  “Sleepover time!”

“Okay, I’m sure it’ll be fine.  But I want to be a monsterkitty for this one.  A little bitty one.”

“Oooh, can I be a mini-monster too?” asked Katie.  “That way nobody will be afraid of me.”

“You were supposed to spend the weekend human,” said Miji.

“Which was amended to mean mobile and able to speak,” argued Katie.  “If I’m a tiny dragon-girl, that counts, right?”

Violet chuckled softly and nodded.  “As long as you can interact with others...  I’d rather only shrink your for tonight, though.”

“Okay!”  Katie had the Venn Machine set up in a flash, and bounced into her side of it.  Violet followed, shaking her head at the younger girl’s eagerness.

Katie emerged from the machine as a scaly green dragon with a body the size of Violet’s hand.  She had a long slim neck and an equally long tail that together made her about two feet from draconic snout to tailtip.  Her gossamer wings fluttered as she scuttled toward Violet.

Violet scooped the delicate creature up in her tentacles, and set her on her shoulder.  Then she approached the mirror as Katie wrapped her tail around Violet’s neck.  “What do you think?”

“So pretty!” squeaked Katie in a peeping voice.  “Aaa, my voice is so cute!”

Miji sighed.  “I thought she was supposed to be human-ish.”

“Close enough.  She can talk and move,” said Violet.  “And maybe even fly!”

“Oooh, I wanna try!” peeped Katie.

“Monsterize me first,” insisted Bailey.  “Then we can go, and Katie can try flying on the way to my place.”

Katie kept her place on Violet’s shoulder, and whispered suggestions to her as she worked on Bailey’s form.  Violet ignored most of them.  All but the last one, really, but Katie’s insistence on making Bailey even smaller than she was drew a giggle and a few final touches on the screen.

“Ready?” asked Violet.

“Ready!  Oh my God how tiny did you make me?” squealed Bailey from the floor of the Venn Machine.

“Pocket sized.”

Violet stepped out of the machine, and gestured for Miji to pick up the result of her work.  The black-haired girl crouched carefully before the cowering monsterkitty, and set a hand down next to it.  Bailey skittered back, then slowly moved up to a hand that was bigger than she was.  She clambered onto it, and only squealed a little as Miji lifted her.  She barely filled Miji’s palm.

“Oh my goodness you are so precious!” whispered Miji.

Bailey grinned up at her.  “You think so?”

Miji tucked her in between her breasts.  “I love it.  My girlfriend, the accessory.”

Bailey giggled then, and snuggled in for the short walk to her house.  Along the way, Katie tried out her wings.  The evening was breezy, which sent her tumbling whenever she opened her wings, and the best she managed was a clumsy glide letting the wind carry her down the street.

For the last block, Katie retreated to Violet’s shoulder, wrapping her tail around the back of Violet’s neck for balance.  “I thought flying would be easy.  It should be instinctive, right?”

“I patched wings onto a long-necked iguana,” replied Violet.  “I’m not too surprised instincts didn’t come with it.”

At Bailey’s house it took some explaining to get her mother to believe that the mouse-sized kittymonster was actually Bailey, and more to convince her that Bailey was happy to be like this.

Bailey’s mother studied her miniscule daughter.  “And you like being this small, too?”

Bailey shrugged.  “I’d rather be about three feet tall.  But this has been fun so far.”  She winked up at Miji, whose cheeks pinkened.

“And you’re... Jimmy?” asked Mrs. York.

Miji nodded.  “I’m going by Miji while I’m like this.  It’s... interesting, being such a different person.”

“I bet.  Has this new perspective taught you anything?”

Miji giggled.  “Mostly that pretty girls get stared at a lot more than I thought.”  She paused for a moment.  “And long hair feels weird.”

Mrs. York laughed.  “I’d have thought that the least of the oddities of changing gender.”

Miji shrugged.  “I’ve been a girl before, helping Violet practice clothing design.  But she mostly kept me looking like myself as a girl, not...” she gestured to her remade body.  “All this.”

“You do nice work, Violet.  Branching out into redesigning people now?”

Violet nodded.  “School has relented on the ‘no Venning’ policy.  Still have to be recognizably human and yourself, but I think the hallways are going to be full of colourful changes before long.”

“The school sent out an email announcing the change,” noted Mrs. York.  “You’ve made some waves.”

Violet put a tentacle up to the little lizard on her shoulder.  “Katie here helped.”  She told the story of the fight and its aftermath, and how Katie was going to be allowed to attend through her suspension as long as she wasn’t recognizable.

“So you’re going to wear her to school every day?  What does she think of this?”

Katie giggled.  “It’s awesome!  Being close to Violet all day is the best.”  She tucked her neck across Violet’s neck, putting snout to tail-tip and thus making herself into living jewelry for her crush.

“I suppose I can understand wanting to be that close to someone,” mused Mrs. York.

“If you want to try it out sometime, I can help,” offered Violet.  “Friends and family rates...”

Mrs. York laughed.  “I don’t think I’m ready to be turned into a piece of jewelry, dear.  Though I suppose it might be interesting to be my husband’s tie for a day...”

“With or without his knowledge?” chirped Bailey.

“Bailey!” protested Mrs. York.  “I would never sneak around like that to spy on him.  I trust him more than that, and ... and...”

“Mrs. York?” asked Violet when the older woman’s eyes turned away from them, staring into the distance.

“He’s off on business a lot, especially the past few years.  And I know I’m not as pretty as I used to be.”

“You know,” said Violet brightly.  “There are these amazing things called Venn Machines that can do something about that.”

“Violet!” protested Bailey, after getting Miji to lift her up so she could be face to face with Violet.  “You can’t make Mom hot!”

“Why not?  You threw me into the lion’s den offering my services to make my mother cute, why not yours too?”

“Because when Dad comes home we’ll have to find somewhere else for the sleepover.”

“Oooh, right.  Raincheck, Mrs. York?”

Bailey’s mother had been following the exchanged with a bemused look.  “Do you seriously think you can make me sexy enough to turn my husband’s head?”

Bailey and Violet shared a look, then both turned to Bailey’s Mom.  “Oh heck yes.”

Mrs. York put her hand to her chest, and took a half-step back at their vehemence.  “Oh.  I...  Um, you four have fun, okay?”  She retreated hastily.

Violet looked back to her friend.  “Was your mom crying?”

“I’m going to pretend she wasn’t.  Problem for another day, right?”

Violet sighed.  “If you say so.”

The four of them made their way to Bailey’s living room, and curled up on the couch in front of the TV.  Katie tried to lighten the somber mood by suggesting they watch something violent and funny.

Miji giggled.  “There’s four girls here, and you want to watch an action movie?  I thought...”

“Two girls, two monsters,” said Katie, perching on Violet’s shoulder and spreading her wings to show off.  “Monsters!  Monsters!” she cheered, and Bailey picked up the chant.

Miji smiled down at the tiny monsterkitty in her hands indulgently.  “As you wish.  I don’t know what movies you have, want me to carry you over to the shelf?”

Bailey nodded, and soon was scampering around the shelving unit that held her collection of DVDs.  Miji squealed when Bailey jumped from one shelf to the next one above, at her tiny scale it looked like death-defying acrobatics.  Bailey giggled at the reaction, and jumped up to the next shelf just for the joy of moving.  She made it to the top of the shelf, then looked out at the room.  “Hey Miji!” she chirped.  “Catch!”

Miji squealed again as Bailey ran off the shelf and jumped at her, aiming for her chest.  The tiny monsterkitty bounced off her chest and fell flailing through the air.  Miji moved just a moment too late to try to catch her, but fortunately her near-miss brought a finger close enough that Bailey could snag it with a tentacle.  Bailey clambered up into Miji’s hands, and contritely endured the scolding that she got for her stunt.

Once Miji had wound down, Bailey apologized.  In her soft, chirping voice she said she hadn’t meant to scare Miji that badly.  She knew she’d be safe, the worst that could happen would only take a short walk to the mall to fix.

“I still don’t want to see you hurt.  Maybe we should Venn you bigger.”

“If she gets to go bigger, I want to go smaller,” said Katie.  “Earring-sized, so this room would be big enough to fly in.”

“Pah,” exclaimed Violet.  “It’s big enough now.”  She scooped Katie up and tossed her in the air.  Katie managed a few flaps before landing back in Violet’s hands.

“Again! Again!” shrieked the tiny dragon in her cute, squeaky voice.

Miji rolled her eyes.  “You’re going to get Bailey going again if you keep that up.”

“So?  They’re tiny and the floor is covered in shag carpet.  They’re not going to get hurt.  Relax.”

Despite Violet’s optimistic assessment of the carpet, Bailey elected to do her bouncing around on the couch.  She had plenty of space to run and jump, and the cushions kept her from harm.  At least until she fell in between them, and had to endure a series of jokes about getting lost in increasingly improbable locations.

“I’d rather be lost in your panties,” shouted Bailey, grinning at the blushes she got from both Violet and Miji.

“Do it!” chanted Katie, flapping her way from the back of the couch to where Bailey was still stuck.  She offered the tiny monster a claw and between the efforts of the two of them, Bailey tumbled free.  Katie and Bailey landed in a pile, and Katie started to giggle.  “Hey, stop it!  I helped you out, no tickling!”

Violet picked Katie up in one pair of tentacles, and Bailey in the other.  “Do I need to tuck both of you into bras to keep you quiet?”

Both of them nodded eagerly.

Katie was a bit too big to fit comfortably in Violet’s bra, so she soon returned to her perch around her sweetie’s neck.  Bailey claimed to have the best seat in the house, and stayed with Miji through two movies, though she fell asleep near the end of the second.

“I guess they’re both tuckered out from their tussle earlier,” said Miji softly, pointing to where Katie was snoozing around Violet’s neck.

“Should we put them to bed?  What would we even use for one?”

“I bet Katie would rather sleep with you.”

Violet chuckled.  “And you’re going to sleep with Bailey?  She’d make a cute teddy bear.”

Bailey wriggled as her name was mentioned, burrowing deeper into Miji’s cleavage.  

“I guess I’ll sleep on my back,” Miji murmured.  “G’night.”

Violet headed off to her usual bed in the spare room, Katie still snuggled around her throat.  In no time she was asleep herself.

Some time in the wee hours of the morning, Katie started to squirm and wriggle.  Violet woke, petting the tiny dragoness softly and listening to her moans and whimpers.  She cooed words of encouragement, but that seemed to distress Katie more.  “Shh!” hissed the little dragon.  “They’ll hear.”

“Bah,” protested Violet.  “You can take them.  Go get ‘em!”

Katie settled then, a big grin on her draconic muzzle.  Violet wondered for a time what the little one was thinking, but other than a few deep breaths, no further hints were forthcoming.

*** *** ***

In the morning, Miji was the first awake.  Violet groggily made her way into the basement suite’s kitchen, to find waffles emerging from the toaster.  “Hungry?” asked Miji.

Violet nodded eagerly.  Little Katie was still clutched around her neck, but stirring and sniffing at the smells.  “Do dragons eat waffles?” giggled Violet.

“This one does!” chirped Katie.

As they were eating, Violet pointed a tentacle-tip at a round object in the middle of the table.  “What’s with the chocolate donut?”

Miji laughed so hard she banged her hand on the table, startling the “donut” into waking.  Bailey poked up her head and uncurled.  Her teeny little yawn made everyone giggle.

Bailey pouted at that, until Violet offered a forkful of syrup-laden waffle as big as her head.

Once the waffles were gone – Katie managed to eat an entire one, much to Violet’s surprise – talk turned to Bailey’s parents.  The basics of the plan to make Mrs. York young and cute again were simple enough.  Then Miji asked what sort of woman would most turn Bailey’s father’s head.  Bailey didn’t know, and they started to scheme.

“Why don’t we just ask Bailey’s dad what he’d like to see?” suggested Katie.  “This sneaking around seems like a terrible idea.  Trust me, you do not want to see your parents’ porn stash.”

“Oh sure.  I’ll just walk up to Dad and say, ‘Hey, we want to turn Mom into something sexy enough that you’ll pay attention to her instead of whatever you’re doing at work.’”

“Or whoever,” added Katie, to glares from the others.  “What?  That’s what Bailey’s Mom was crying about, right?”

“I’d like to think my father isn’t like that,” said Bailey softly.  “But he’s been awfully distant ever since my brother went off to university.”

“All the more reason to get on with this, then,” said Violet.  “Everyone in favour of Katie’s plan?”  Violet raised a tentacle, and Katie raised a wing.

“Opposed?”

Bailey put up a paw.  When she saw that Miji was staying out of it, she pouted and rolled to her back so she could put up all six paws.  “I can’t ask my Dad that.”

“I will,” offered Miji.  “Though maybe I should be a guy for it first.  Will he still be here later?”

Bailey shook her tiny head.  “He works Sundays, too,” she chirped.  “Says it’s the only time he can get some quiet.  I haven’t heard him leave yet, but it won’t be long.”

As if summoned by his daughter’s words, Mr. York’s heavy tread came clumping down the stairs.  Miji sighed, and went out to meet him.  “Hi Bailey’s Dad!” she called out cheerfully.

The other three looked at each other, then both Bailey and Katie gestured to be picked up.  One in each pair of tentacles, Violet ghosted up behind Miji.

Instead of eavesdropping, Violet got pulled into the conversation to explain why Jimmy was Miji, and just why Bailey was small enough to fit in her hand.  Katie kept out of it, pretending to be an ornate armband.

Mr. York agreed that it was quite fascinating and made a break for the door.  Violet followed after him.  “Can I ask you a question?”

“You just did.  Look, I need to get to work.”

“I’ll be quick.  If I were to Venn Bailey’s Mom, what would you most like her to be?  I can make her younger, but what else?”

Mr. York stopped mid-stride.  “You… What?  My wife?  Why?”

“She wants your attention.  She seriously considered an offer to be turned into a tie for you to wear.”

Mr. York ran his hand down his tie, straightening it.  “I…  It would be nice to have her close all day.  But you have something else in mind.  What?”

Violet squared her shoulders, and shot Bailey an apologetic glance.  “I want to make her so sexy you’ll forget about everything else in the world but her.  To do that right, I need to know what you most want to see when you come back through this door.”

Mr. York’s eyes were lost to a scene from decades past.  “Did you know she was a state champion gymnast?  Didn’t make the cut for nationals, but she was amazing.  So flexible.  She had this trick...”

“Dadeeee!” wailed the tiny monster kitten, with surprising volume given her size.

“Hah.  I hadn’t really believed that was my daughter until just now.  You’re actually serious.”

Violet nodded earnestly.  “I have enough to work with.  Have a nice day at work.  Hurry home.”

He turned away and yanked the door open.  In an emotion-roughened voice he said, “Tell her I’ll be home for dinner.”

After the door closed, Violet turned around to see Mrs. York standing at the top of the stairs.  “What have you done?” she asked, eyes glittering once more.

“Scored you a date night, I think.  Can Bailey sleep over with me tonight?”

“What?”  It took a moment for the offer to sink in, then Mrs. York’s eyes went wide.  “Oh!  Yes, that would be…  Please?”  The longing in her voice made Violet start to well up too.

“Then I guess we better hit the mall,” said Violet cheerfully.  “Do you have a picture of your championship leotard?”

“Yes, of course.  I still have the leotard, for that matter.  Can’t remotely fit it, and time hasn’t been any kinder to it than to me…”

“Bring it along.  I’ll rejuvenate both of you.”

*** *** ***

At the mall, Mrs. York approached the Venn Machine hesitantly, and Bailey patiently explained how it worked.  When she went to set it for eight hours, Mrs. York tapped the screen twice to bump that up to a day.

Inside the machine with Violet, her hesitant demeanour vanished.  Violet studied the newly confident woman for a heartbeat, then raised an eyebrow.  “You’ve done this before?”

“I wasn’t the only lonely woman on the block.  Judy and I spend most afternoons together at her house or mine, talking over coffee.  You and Bailey talked about these things so much, of course we decided to experiment.”

“Experiment with?”

“Being her pet, mostly.  She misses owning a cat, but doesn’t feel it’s fair to get a pet she isn’t likely to outlive.  I love the attention, and letting go to just... be a cat.  It’s very relaxing.  Sometimes I wonder if I might prefer it if Graham was seeing someone else.  Sending Bailey off to school then going cat full-time...”  She sighed regretfully.  “But I know there are things I’d miss.”

“And you’ve not been... unfaithful to Mr. York, yourself?”

“No!  Of course not.  I mean, not exactly...”  Mrs. York blushed, and looked away.  “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Turned into something fun, did you?” asked Violet lightly, though her eyes were serious.

“Both cats,” said Mrs. York, making Violet giggle.  “What’s so funny?”

“Remember that time Bailey and I snuck into the house at 6am?  We got stuck as kittens.  Couldn’t get back into the Venn Machine, couldn’t get into the house.”

“Oh!  I had wondered,” said Mrs. York with a small smile.  “So.  Um, now what?”

Violet narrowed her eyes and crossed her tentacles.  “Now you answer my question, fully.  Have you been unfaithful?  Because if you don’t answer, I’m hitting that red button and we’re done.”

Mrs. York started to cry.  “We were cats.  You have to understand, I’d spent a dozen afternoons letting myself go, letting the cat’s instincts have the lead.  And it had been soooo long since Graham ever touched me like that.  We might have both been female cats, but...  Yes.  That was a glorious afternoon.  Judy and I have never spoken of it since, and...  Well, I haven’t been a cat since then, either.”

“What do you regret about it?” asked Violet softly.

“That I’ve ruined my friendship with Judy.  I know that ... whatever it does to Graham is important, but...”  She shook her head.  “Our emotional bond was lost a long time ago.  There’s been no spark, no sex, for...  I’ve honestly forgotten how long.  I’m not the lithe young thing he fell in love with, and it hurts to see that in his eyes.  He may be greying a little, and he’s added a few wrinkles, but I still see the man I married.  Then you gave me a glimmer of hope of him looking at me that way once more.  Even just once.”  Mrs. York rubbed her eyes, trying to wipe away the tears.  “I’m sorry, Violet.  Is there anything I can say or do that would make you forgive me, and...”

Violet smiled.  “Already have.”  She tapped the green circle, and suddenly Mrs. York was young once more.

Mrs. York wobbled in place, then glanced to the leotard in her hand.  “Oh!  It’s so pretty.  I don’t remember it being quite so...  Shiny.”

“A little upgrade.  I doubt your husband will mind, but if he does I can change it back.”

As they stepped out of the Venn Machine, Mrs. York stumbled.  Ancient reflexes turned the fall into a tumble and she bounced back to her feet.  “I feel very strange.  Incredible, but...”  She sat heavily on one of the mall chair/bench things.  She studied her hand, flexing her fingers forward and back.  Then back further, curling her wrist and fingers further and further until her fingernails brushed the back of her arm.  “I was never, ever this flexible.  I feel like I’m made of rubber.”

Mrs. York set her forearm against the wooden arm of the chair-thing.  Pushing at it with the other, her forearm slowly bent over the corner.  She kept it up until her forearm had a ninety degree bend halfway along.  “My bones, too?”

Violet shrugged, an apologetic smile on her face.  “I wanted to make sure you were sufficiently limber to do whatever trick Mr. York was thinking about.  I guess I overdid it a little.”  She watched Mrs. York bend her arm back the other way, the way the now-young woman was raptly watching her body contort in unnatural ways made her opinion pretty clear.

“Are you going to be okay, Bella?”

Mrs. York looked up at the invocation of her name.  “Hah.  I’d given up trying to get you to call me that.  Why now?”

“You look less like a parent now, more like a friend.”

Bella smiled at Violet.  “I’d like that.  Maybe later, though.  I understand you work weekends?”

Violet nodded eagerly.  “Right here, doing this.  If you want some new outfits to go with the new body, we can fit you in at friends and family rates.”

“Which are?”

“Free, mostly.  Especially if you’re willing to try out some of my experimental designs.”

Bella chuckled softly, and patted Violet’s cheek.  “Thanks for the offer, sweetie.  I’ll take a raincheck on it.  For now, I want to go home and... prepare for Graham.”

“Send him a selfie,” suggested Miji.  “I bet he’ll head home early.”

Bella smirked.  “Impudent boy.  Girl.  Whatever.  I like the way you think.  Ciao!”  She breezed out of the mall, with only a little stumble before she got used to walking with her hyper-flexible legs.

“Well,” said Miji once she was gone.  “I guess that’s it for sleepovers at Bailey’s.  Now what?”

“Now we figure out which of your place and mine will be free.”  Violet pulled out her phone and called.  “Hey, Mom.  Did you have a good... oh, hey Mr. Castile.  Scott.  No, I won’t call you that.  Yet.”  Violet rolled her eyes.  “Can I talk to Mom please?  About?  We need to find a new sleepover venue, Bailey’s parents are... yeah, more Violet magic.  Really?  That’d be awesome.”

“Well?” asked Miji.

“Your place is free tonight.”


“But tomorrow’s a school day!” protested Bailey.  “We never get to have sleepovers school nights.”

“I guess our parents forgot,” said Violet with a grin and a wriggly shrug.  “They do seem kind of distracted.”

“Magic,” whispered Bailey, tiny eyes bright with wonder.
Trust Machines - Beastly Beauty 13
Time for a monstrous sleepover.  Well, half-monstrous.  And more entanglements with the lives of various parents.

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dkfenger
Shifty
Canada
Operating System: Agnostic
Shell of choice: bash
Interests
The amazingly eager clancy688 wants to see more Trust Machines content, as do I.  I'll be picking up Beastly Beauty again soon, so that's my part of it.

To get more authors into the setting, he has sponsored a writing contest: The Trust Machines story contest.

There are some pretty nifty cash prizes, and I've decided to kick in one of my own:  I will pick one author from all the submissions at random, and write them a custom Trust Machines short story.

Deadline for my offer is the same as the contest itself: July 15th.  Clancy added something about "final whistle of the World Cup", but I'll consider any story submitted before midnight PDT.

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:iconjmd1961:
JMD1961 Featured By Owner 6 days ago
As I began receiving birthday wishes today, I realized that I let yours get by without one word. Sorry about that. I'd actually intended to have a story for you, (borrowing your characters from the original Trust Machine story) but didn't get it done.

Tell you what? Let's see if I can get it done by Labor Day. What do you say?
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:icondkfenger:
dkfenger Featured By Owner 6 days ago
Sounds good.  I know your muse is fickle, though, so I'll understand if other stories push to the front.

Anything you write is a treat, after all...  So write!  

And Happy Birthday.  Sorry I don't have anything to share today, as the current story would be *perfect* - the ending references one of your other works.  Unfortunately, I've let myself get distracted and sidetracked on a lot of things.  Summer schedules are soft, and that blows up my writing time.
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:iconjmd1961:
JMD1961 Featured By Owner 5 days ago
Heh.  Summer schedules... work schedules... sleep schedules...  Hell, just shining objects...  Everything seems to blow up my writing time.  ^_^
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:icondkfenger:
dkfenger Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Yeah, I'll cop to the "shiny objects" thing being a not-small part of my current drought.
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:iconbrowsingchipmunk:
BrowsingChipmunk Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for adding me to your watch and also for the fave on my story as well :) Much appreciated.
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:icondkfenger:
dkfenger Featured By Owner Edited Jul 25, 2018
Thanks for all the birthday wishes.  This year's a big one, the half-century.

Have a new story to celebrate!
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:iconjonesycat79:
Jonesycat79 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thought I’d drop buy and wish you a happy birthday! ^^
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:iconclancy688:
clancy688 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Hey, 

happy birthday to you! :)
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:iconheraldofopera:
HeraldOfOpera Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2018
Happy Birthday! Now you're one year older!

(Oh, and "Shifty" as a name for a TF writer? That's nearly as good as grapehyacinth's butterfly)
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:icondkfenger:
dkfenger Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2018
Thanks.

I've thought of myself that way for a long time, something to do with playing Mavin Manyshaped on FurryMUCK for some time...  I wanted to avoid my real name, as having it there made my DA homepage come up first in any searches for me.  Back when I was looking for a job, that was not so good.
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