I sat in the office of my MP, Dr. Reid. He is my family’s Magical Practitioner as well as my clinical Psychologist. The title of MP often carried with it a master’s degree on psychology. The job of an MP is similar to a doctor, except that all of his patients are those maliciously affected by magic, usually by an accident in their own performance of a spell. Since magical problems can also lead to mental issues or coping with an unwanted physical transformation, knowledge of psychology came in handy.
However, my issue wasn’t related to a magical accident. My name is Kyle, and I should have been born a girl. Spells did exist to transform my body into a woman but they, among other spells related to “curing” mental illness, were securely kept by medical professionals to prevent the accidental creation of more mental patients. A transgendered girl like me had to jump through many hoops to be considered for gender reassignment, but today marked a big step.
Today, I was given a spell and components to become a girl for 24 hours. I’d read that this was a crucial point for treatment. Spending one day as a complete female weeded out those who were merely curious about the other gender from those who really were transgendered. My instructions were specific: cast the spell on Friday night at the earliest, so that it wouldn’t interfere with school.
Unfortunately, today was Thursday. I gratefully accepted the items from Dr. Reid as our appointment ended. This would be a good weekend.
The Next Day…
“You really got the spell?” Kate, my best friend, asked. We met when we were 10 or so, and have since been inseparable. She knew about my inner girl. In fact, I didn’t even have to tell her. She just knew. She was very pretty, but just short of gorgeous. However, with the right clothes and makeup, she was definitely beautiful. She stirred a healthy jealousy within me, mostly because she was female. I didn’t envy her for her blonde hair, however; people always thought she was an idiot, no matter how much she proved them wrong!
“Yes,” I said happily, “I can’t wait to cast it tonight!”
“What do you think you’ll look like?”
“I don’t care. I’ll be a girl!” I said.
“Oh, come on, Nikki. You’re already a girl,” Kate pointed out.
I smiled at her use of my real name. “Okay. I’m hoping that I take after Mom.”
Kate smiled. “That’d be sooo evil!”
“I know, right?” I said.
“Just be careful not to mix up the DNA, Nikki,” Kate warned me, “spells that use DNA as a component are more sensitive to mishaps.”
The only components for the spell I had to prepare myself were a lock of hair from both Mom and Dad. That way, I’d be their daughter once the spell took hold.
“I know. The last thing I want to do is turn myself into a freak, girl or not,” I said.
Kate frowned. “They don’t all turn out bad. Remember Sally? She accidentally combined dog DNA with a temporary beautification spell and didn’t change that much. Not much fur, but she did have to deal with those claws!”
“Yeah. She was lucky. I remember when she had to curb her instinct to chase cats, though. That didn’t look fun at all. Where did she go, anyway?” I asked. I felt bad for dumping all those affected by transformative accidents into one group.
“She moved away after her Dad got a new job in Dagra County,” Kate said. “I kind of miss her.”
“Yeah. Me too. She took her accident really well, and she was always willing to give the cafeteria food a good sniff to make sure it was edible,” I said.
“She was such a nice girl,” Kate smiled.
“I hope she’s doing alright,” I said.
“Me too!” Kate chirped.
“Well, I’m going to go on home. I’ve got a big night ahead of me!” I said, smiling widely.
“Make sure to call me when you’re done! I want to hear your real voice!” Kate said.
I nodded my head. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
“I’ll see you later!” Kate chirped.
I waved back at her. “Bye!”
As we parted ways, the only thing on my thoughts was getting home to cast that spell. I would have a wait an hour or two so that I would have more of next afternoon as a girl, but I could compensate by walking home slowly. I accomplished that by taking a detour to a neighbor’s house to say hi to their cat, Laura, who usually wandered around in her front yard. Laura’s owner, Mrs. Baker, appreciated that kids like me took the time to give her cat some company. Laura had a beautiful coat of fur that was so silver that it was almost white. She was so loving, too! She happily cuddled all over me with a very contented purr, covering my clothes in her silvery fur. I even caught her trying to lick my cheek a few times! Usually I let her, but saliva was one of the most common things that screwed with spells. Blood, however, was the easiest way to have an accident.
After a few more minutes of cuddling with Laura, I finished walking home. Dad was still at work and wouldn’t be home for a little while, but Mom was in the kitchen, just starting with dinner. After putting my bag in my room, I went to greet her.
“Hi Mom!” I called, giving her a hug.
“Hi Kyle,” she said, “how was school today?”
“It was fun! Kate is happy that I got the spell from Dr. Reid and I’m excited to cast it tonight,” I said.
“Why tonight? Don’t you want all of tomorrow to fit in your 24 hours?” Mom asked.
I smiled. “I want to go to sleep as a girl so that I can wake up the next morning and just feel… right.”
Mom smiled. “That’s wonderful, sweetie.”
I bounced on my toes. “It will be great! What are you making for dinner tonight?”
“Stir fry with some steak. Would you like to help?” she asked.
I bounced again. “I’d love to. Where can I start?”
“You can stir the pot over there while I cut the steak,” Mom said. I got right on it, so engrossed in the cooking that I didn’t notice that Dad had come home until he was sharing a kiss with Mom.
“Hi Dad,” I said, cheerfully resuming my work.
“Hey kiddo,” he said, rubbing my head.
“We’re almost done,” I told him.
Dad smiled. “It sure smells good. You two are wonderful cooks.”
Both Mom and I smiled warmly at the compliments and put the finishing touches on dinner.
“Tonight’s the big night?” Dad asked me as we started eating.
“Uh huh,” I nodded.
“Is your plan still the same?” he asked.
I nodded again. “Shopping with Mom and then working on the car with you, right?”
Dad smiled. “As long as the shopping doesn’t go longer than expected, that should be fine.”
Mom laughed. “Are you expecting us to go long, honey?”
“You girls are never on time,” he chuckled.
“We’ll just have to be early, just to spite him. Right, Mom?” I asked.
Mom smiled. “We can try.”
I laughed again. She still wasn’t sure about whether we could keep on schedule or not. I’d have plenty of time for Dad either way, and I could still work with him when I turn back. It’d just be missing the complete father-daughter dynamic that I so desperately wanted. We finished dinner among lighter topics, like how the day was for both Dad and I. Even after we finished, I waited just a little longer before beginning to prepare the spell. Mom and Dad graciously provided me with some of their hair and admonished me to make sure not to mix anything up.
I smiled as I reassured them that I would be careful. It was early evening when I finally got to my room for the big spell. I had set the components that Dr. Reid gave me on the bed, but I had to arrange them in a circle around me. First, however, I got out of my clothes and made sure that none of Laura’s fur was on my body before putting on a pair of panties and a shapeless nightgown. Neither fit me quite correctly, but they would soon!
I neatly arranged the components around me as I studied the scroll more. Pure Sugar, a specific(and secret) combination of spices, my parent’s hair, and a nice pair of earrings fulfilled the requirements of the spell.
Magic was an art that anybody could practice. The issues came with the components. Most spells had at least expensive, secret, or rare component, and no spell would work without meeting the requirements exactly. Another good quality to have was a clear voice. If an incantation was spoken incorrectly, nothing would happen. Thankfully, spells these days didn’t blow up in our faces when we mispronounced one word. We could just try again. My voice was clear enough to tackle most spells fairly easily. This one wasn’t too complicated.
Before I began to speak, I made sure all of the components were in place. Nothing seemed to be contaminated, but I couldn’t help but giggle slightly at the grey hairs in Dad’s hair sample. Satisfied that the spell would work correctly, I began to speak the incantation. They all appeared to be in a different language, but pronouncing the words phonetically worked just fine. As I spoke, I felt a warm glow begin to envelop me. It was starting!
I closed my eyes as I finished the incantation, allowing the warm touch of the changes to dance along my body. I sighed in anticipation as I felt parts of my body shrink and grow into configurations that I should have been developing since I was twelve. The glow felt a little odd toward the end, concentrating on my head and lower back more than I thought it needed to, but I felt great!
…Until I looked in the mirror. When I opened my eyes and saw myself, I felt my body begin to sway as I fainted dead away.
“Nicole? Sweetie, are you okay?” a voice said. I felt like I was being held, and a hand stroked my cheek. I felt myself smile at the loving touch, but something else distracted me. The hand smelled like steak! Before I could think, my tongue darted out of my mouth and started to lick it. It tasted like steak, but I also tasted some soap and… Mom?
I stopped in mid lick and snapped my eyes open. I saw Mom laugh softly.
“That tickled,” she said, then regained her composure and looked at me with worry. “Are you okay?”
I sprang up, at a loss for words at first. “I… I think I messed up the spell.”
“Shhh,” Mom said, “you look just fine.”
I wasn’t buying it. I started to cry. “No, I don’t! I have these… ears, and my eyes… and I think I have a tail!”
Mom pulled me into a hug. “You look beautiful, sweetie.”
“I’m a freak!” I cried. Mom gently stroked my back.
“You’ll never be a freak. Okay?” she said resolutely.
I started to calm down in her hug. If Mom seemed this okay with whatever I looked like, maybe I was overreacting. I looked at Mom and she gently smiled again.
“Would you like to see yourself?” she asked.
I shook slightly. “I’m scared.”
“You haven’t changed as much as you think, sweetie,” Mom assured me. She pulled me up off the floor until I was standing next to her in my nightgown.
I froze when my eyes hit the mirror. My hair was long, down to my shoulder blades, and the top of my head was adorned by two triangular ears, each covered with a layer of fur that matched my hair. My face looked entirely human, but my eyes now had vertical slits and my canine teeth were longer and sharper.
“See? You hardly changed at all,” Mom said.
“My hair is… silver?” I asked, and gasped. “It was Laura!”
“The neighbor’s cat?” Mom asked.
I nodded. I had almost forgotten about the tail I was sure I had, but it started to rise upwards in my excitement, beginning to move my gown upward.
“I was petting her before I got home. Her hair must have gotten mixed up with yours or Dad’s!” I cried.
“Oh, sweetie,” Mom sighed.
“Do you think that this can be fixed?” I asked.
“I don’t know. The changes are minor and we know who caused them, but…” she started.
“It’s still dangerous,” I finished.
“I’ll call Dr. Reid and see if he can examine you. You should go see your father,” Mom told me.
“Why isn’t Dad up here?” I asked.
“When you didn’t come downstairs, I came alone in case you decided to cast the spell naked,” he explained. I blushed.
“Are you sure it’s okay to go down in this?” I asked sheepishly.
“You’re fine, Nicole,” I smiled warmly at the name, “the gown is plenty opaque.”
“Uh, okay,” I said. Mom came downstairs with me, where Dad was waiting. I shied away from his gaze as I felt my ears try to flatten against my head and my tail tuck itself between my legs. When I looked up, he was smiling warmly, with his arms out.
“Why don’t you give your Daddy a hug?” he asked. My eyes went wide. How could he just be so… calm about this? I couldn’t do anything but accept the hug. Tears stung my eyes as he held me.
“I messed up, Dad,” I cried.
“It’ll be okay, Nicole,” he said.
“I… I just wanted to be a girl!” I sobbed, starting to soak Dad’s shirt.
“You are a girl,” Dad said softly, “a beautiful girl.”
“But… what about my—“
“Ears? Eyes? Tail? They’re all beautiful too,” he said.
I understood what he was doing. If I could learn to appreciate my new features, it would soften the blow if I was told that I couldn’t reverse the accident. I pulled back and looked at Dad. He brushed away my bangs and gently kissed my forehead. I couldn’t help but smile. He patted my head.
“Your mother is probably done with Dr. Reid. Let’s see what she has to say,” he said. I followed along. My tail emerged from between my legs as I walked. Mom smiled when she saw me.
“Dr. Reid will be here soon to examine you,” she said. I started to feel afraid again.
“He’s going to think I did this on purpose, isn’t he?” I asked.
“He won’t, sweetie. I told him how you reacted and he believes that it was accidental,” she said, calming me somewhat.
“What if he says that it’s too risky to fix this?” I asked.
Dad pulled me closer to him. “You’ve hardly changed at all, Nicole. You’re human enough to live a normal life.”
I looked down. “I’m sorry that this happened.”
This time, Mom came to comfort me. “It wasn’t your fault, okay? I looked in the hair and saw that only two or three were mixed with your father’s. You thought that he was starting to get grey hairs, didn’t you?”
I nodded as I started to cry again. Dad gently touched my shoulder.
“I’m not that old yet,” he said, in a slightly joking tone. I hugged him again. I wanted to be hugged. I wanted to be loved. I calmed down as I spent more time in his arms. I was startled by the doorbell ringing. It seemed so loud now. My tail flicked around wildly until I realized that I had no reason to be scared. Dad took me into the living room as Mom answered the door.
“Good evening, Mrs. Leona,” Dr. Reid said.
“Good evening, Dr. Reid. Thank you for coming on such short notice,” Mom answered.
“It’s no problem. I try to leave my schedule open when my patients are casting spells,” he said.
“Our daughter is in the living room. I suppose you’d rather she explain things,” she said.
“Of course. Please, lead the way,” he said. A few moments later, I saw the two of them walk into the room. Mom sat next to me, so that I was between both parents, and Dr. Reid moved a chair and sat across from me.
“Hello, Nicole,” he said, gaining my attention. He had never called me Nicole before.
“Hi, Dr. Reid,” I said, looking down.
“First, I want to say that I am not upset with you. Accidents happen to the best of us, especially with spells this sensitive,” he started, “I want you to tell me what happened.”
I looked back up. “I spent some time with my neighbor’s cat, Laura, before coming home today. My clothes were covered in her fur. When I was preparing the components, I noticed that two or three silvery hairs were mixed with Dad’s. They looked like grey hairs, so I disregarded them… but they were actually Laura’s.”
“I see. What color fur did Laura have?” he asked.
I held a lock of hair up with my hand. “The same color as my hair.”
“So you’ve mixed your DNA with this Laura,” he said. I nodded. “What feline features have you developed?”
“My ears, eyes, teeth, and a tail. I haven’t looked under the gown yet, but I don’t think I’ve grown fur anywhere but my ears and tail,” I explained.
“May I see your hand, please?” he asked. I extended my arm out as he began to examine my fingernails. He tapped a couple of them with his own, as well as with a small metal utensil. Finally, he gently attempted to bend one of them back. I braced for pain, but the nail didn’t budge.
“Your nails are harder than they were, but they aren’t claws. Be careful, though; you can hurt someone if they grow long,” he said.
I was glad that I didn’t have claws. I didn’t want to be able to accidentally hurt someone with a misplaced flex of my hands. “Is this… permanent?” I asked.
Dr. Reid took some components out of the bag he came in with and spoke a short incantation. A glow surrounded his hand and enveloped me for a moment. He frowned when it was finished.
“I’m sorry, Nicole. This is your natural form now,” he said.
“You can’t remove the cat DNA?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“You know as well as I do that such operations are successful about 4 times out of every 100. Failure could kill you or make you look more like an animal. You’ve changed so little that I’d suggest you learn to live with your new features,” he explained.
I frowned. “So there’s nothing we can do?”
“I’m afraid not. However, you did get your wish of becoming a woman.”
“I guess there is a bright side in all this,” I conceded.
“Do you have any questions for me?” he gently prodded.
I had one. “Am I going to start acting like a cat?”
“Have you noticed any odd behavior?” he asked.
“When I first saw myself in a mirror, I fainted. When I woke up, Mom was stroking my cheek and I started to lick her hand because it smelled like steak,” I admitted, blushing.
He nodded. “Is there anything else?”
“I think I, um, have this desire to be touched. Hugs calm me down really easily, and loving contact makes me really happy,” I said.
“So that’s why you had that goofy smile when I kissed your forehead,” Dad said.
“It was like a switch flipped, and I was just happy for a moment,” I admitted.
Dr. Reid smiled. “Just like a domesticated cat, you seem to desire human contact. Here, you’re combining both a human and feline desire for such contact. The effect is pronounced here because you love and trust your parents. A stranger shouldn’t be able to affect you as easily until you warm up to him or her.”
“Is there anything else I should be worried about?” I asked.
“I expect that your basic senses are enhanced. You’ll also likely be able to purr if you reach a state of deep relaxation or contentment,” he explained.
“That would be weird,” I said.
“If it happens, it should feel natural,” he explained.
“Will these feline… instincts… change my personality?” I asked.
“They may overwhelm you for a time, and I must stress that you shouldn’t fight your instincts. As time passes, you’ll be able to find equilibrium. Your core personality will not change,” he said.
“So you want her to just follow her instincts?” Mom asked.
“Yes. The instincts Nicole may feel will likely endear her to many people, and trying to fight them will cause her to become depressed. I’ve seen it in countless cases, across many situations similar to hers,” he said.
“I understand, doctor,” Mom said.
“What should I do about school?” I asked.
“I’d like you to attend school on Monday,” he said, “I’ll inform the administration of your accident, although I recommend visiting the school in person before Monday.”
“Okay,” I said. I was afraid of leaving the house, let alone attending school… but I didn’t voice that fear.
“Do you have any other concerns?” Dr. Reid asked.
“I don’t think so,” I said.
“Alright. If any of you have questions, please feel free to call me. You are a healthy girl, Nicole, and you’re very lucky to have changed so little. I would like to continue seeing you on Thursdays, however,” he said.
“Okay. Thank you for seeing me. I think I might be able to handle this,” I said.
“That’s what I’m here for,” he said. “Have a good weekend.”
We left him a chorus of “You too!” as he let himself out. Mom gently touched my shoulder.
“Why don’t we spend some time together this evening?” she asked.
“That sounds really nice,” I admitted.
“Why don’t we watch a movie?” Dad suggested. Both Mom and I agreed and left him to choose one. While he perused the shelves, I started to feel that need for contact surface again. I fidgeted in my seat as I tried to figure out what to do.
“What’s wrong, sweetie?” Mom asked, noticing my discomfort.
“Can I, um, cuddle up with you?” I pleaded.
“Of course you can,” Mom said, extending an arm for me. I quickly moved behind her outstretched arm, snuggling as close to her as I could manage. I immediately felt better and let out a soft sigh. I hugged myself against her, smiling slightly.
“Isn’t she just adorable?” Mom asked Dad, who had finished putting the movie in.
Adorable? Did I want to be adorable? Well, if feeling this happy meant being adorable, maybe I could live with it.
“She is,” Dad answered, rubbing my head. I closed my eyes and smiled wider.
As the movie started, Mom wormed her arm out from around me and began to gently stroke my head and hair. I stopped trying to pay attention to the movie as I reveled in how nice I was feeling as she continued her loving caresses. A low rumbling sound began to fill the room as I closed my eyes again.
“Hal, listen!” I heard Mom say, “She’s purring!”
I stopped and opened my eyes. “I’m what?”
“You were purring, sweetie,” Mom said, “it was so cute.”
“I didn’t even know I was doing it,” I said, “I just felt so happy where I was…”
Mom started to stroke my hair again and I snuggled deeper into her. This time, I was able to recognize when I started purring. I didn’t have any control over it. I felt so content and happy that it just… happened. I spent most of the movie in my own happiness, and I didn’t catch much of it. My troubles seemed to melt away as Mom’s love surrounded me. I was feeling really drowsy and relaxed when the credits started to roll. I didn’t resist when I felt myself being lifted away from Mom and up the stairs. Dad placed me in my bed and kissed my forehead.
“Good night, my daughter,” he said. I drifted off to sleep almost as soon as he stopped speaking.
“It’s time to wake up, sweetie,” Mom said, gently stroking my cheek.
“Already?” I asked, slowly opening my eyes.
“The spell must have taken a lot out of you. You were practically asleep when that movie ended,” she said softly. As I became more awake, I started to stretch all of my limbs. I let out a small moan.
“That feel nice?” Mom asked.
“Uh huh,” I said. I rolled off my side and yet out a yelp when I rolled over my tail. I had almost forgotten about it. Suddenly, everything that had happened yesterday rushed to my head. My hand shot to my ears.
Mom took the hand I hadn’t raised. “Are you okay?”
I looked down, noticing the very feminine tenting on the front of my nightgown. “I just forgot that I changed yesterday.”
Mom gently stroked my hand and gave me a soft smile. “We’re here for you, okay?”
I nodded. “I think that the shock has worn off. I can handle this, especially since it means I’ll always be your daughter!”
Mom brought me into a hug. “You always were my daughter, even before this happened.”
A tear fell from my eye as I smiled widely. “I love you so much.”
“I love you too, sweetie. Why don’t you get showered and dressed? We still have a day planned,” she said.
My eyes widened. “Oh, we do!”
Mom gave me another worried look. “Are you worried about leaving the house?”
I felt my ears flatten against my head as I nodded. “I won’t be treated badly, will I?”
Mom smiled. “You’ll be fine, sweetie. There are a few idiots out there, but you won’t be looked down upon for simply making a mistake. Okay?”
I nodded. “Thanks, Mom.”
She smiled again. “I’m going to go prepare us some breakfast. Come down when you’re ready, okay?”
I smiled. “Okay.”
Before Mom left the room, she turned to me. “Will you have clothes to wear to the mall?”
“They won’t fit perfectly, but I think so. I’ll have to wear a skirt for my tail, but that shouldn’t be a problem!” I grinned.
Mom smiled. “You’ll have some things that fit after today!”
“Definitely,” I agreed. Mom left the room with me on her heels. While she went downstairs, I got a towel and padded to the bathroom. Dropping my insubstantial clothing on the ground, I was finally able to see my fully female form in all of its splendor. I smiled dreamily to myself as my eyes traced the curves I had wished to develop for so many years now. Except for my ears and tail, I seemed to have grown no fur, but all of my hair was a slivery white that matched Laura’s, the effect being that what body hair I did have almost seemed invisible on my fair skin. The thought that I wouldn’t have to shave very often crossed my mind as I started my shower. Still, I shaved anyway, marveling at my smooth skin.
As I dried myself off, my tail became a nuisance due to its ability to take on way too much water, but a hair drier worked well enough on it to dry it off. I was starting to gain greater control over moving it, which I thought would come in handy at the mall. I didn’t want it to randomly flick about and toss my skirt up! I had already decided that I would wear a longer skirt just in case. Wrapping the towel around my torso, I dashed back to my room and started preparing my outfit. A pair of panties which finally fit the way it was meant to, a bra that was slightly too small, and an ordinary skirt and top combo were all I needed. It would be easy for me to change in and out of it to try things on.
Slipping on a pair of flip flops, I watched my tail lightly swish back and forth under the skirt. I wondered if I would be able to fully get used to its presence. I made it downstairs just as Mom was dishing out a classic meal of bacon and eggs. I gave her and Dad a hug before digging in. My sharper canines ripped through the bacon like nobody’s business, and the eggs were just as wonderful as usual. Mom smiled as I patted a full tummy.
“I see that your tastes haven’t seemed to change,” she said.
“Oh, wait,” I realized, “what if there are things I shouldn’t eat because they’re bad for cats?”
“I can call Dr. Reid while you two are gone,” Dad answered, “I’m sure you have nothing to worry about, since you’re much more human than cat.”
“I think so too,” I said, “I’d hate to be unable to eat chocolate or something.”
“Well, we’ll probably eat lunch at the mall this afternoon,” Mom said, “do you have any ideas of what you’ll have?”
“Fish!” I cried out, without thinking. Both Mom and Dad started laughing.
“Maybe your tastes have changed,” Mom chucked. I blushed.
“Maybe they’re not changed, but just added to,” Dad suggested.
“I suppose we’ll keep finding out new things as the days go by,” I said. Dad gently rubbed my head.
“Remember what Dr. Reid said,” he said, “your new instincts may seem overwhelming at times, but you’re still you.”
I nodded. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
Mom placed her hand on mine. “Is our daughter ready to go shopping?”
I stood up. “Definitely!”
Mom smiled at my enthusiasm. I gave Dad another hug before heading out with her.
“How was last night’s movie?” I asked her as we started on our way.
Mom smiled knowingly. “You didn’t pay much attention?”
I giggled. “I think it was your fault!”
“You were purring so loud that we had to turn the TV up. You were so adorable,” she explained.
“I didn’t think that mere physical contact could feel so… nice,” I said, blushing slightly.
“Just wait until you’re with a nice boy,” Mom continued.
My blush deepened. “Mom!”
She laughed. “I know you’ll be looking at boys more now, sweetie. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
“But I’m not going to let someone fondle me just because I like being touched!” I said with conviction.
“Good,” Mom said approvingly. Right about then, we pulled into the mall and got ready to start our expedition.
We quickly learned that my tail would be a large obstacle in getting clothes for my lower half. Both of us would have to practice our sewing in order to cut holes in all of my clothes. Panties seemed to work fine, though. I was afraid of having to cut through the delicate material. I was becoming increasingly concerned about the cost of everything, and quite curious as to why Mom wanted to talk to a manager at every store. When shopping for a few pairs of shoes, the store was small enough for me to hear Mom whisper that I was a victim of a magical accident… and the manager gave us a discount! I was marveling at my ability to hear a whisper from across a room when Mom got my attention.
“How do those fit?” she asked, regarding a pair of four inch pumps I decided to try on a whim.
“They’re so easy to walk in!” I grinned, “It’s almost like I’m more comfortable with my heels up than flat!”
“Feline grace?” Mom chuckled.
“I don’t know,” I said.
“Do you like the shoes?” Mom asked while watching me walk some more. It was so effortless that I wondered why Kate claimed to have so much trouble.
“I like them, but don’t we already have enough? I don’t want to cost too much money…” I said.
“You’re doing fine, sweetie, and we can get the shoes,” Mom assured me.
“Why do you keep talking to the store managers?” I asked, even though I already knew. I wondered if she would tell me.
“Many businesses give generous discounts to those who require large wardrobe switches as a result of a magical accident. I was just telling them that you were recently transformed into a girl,” she explained.
“So that’s why you aren’t afraid to splurge,” I said.
Mom hugged me. “I would have tried to splurge even if we had to pay full price.”
I sighed into her hug. “Thanks.”
“Now, I think we might be about done here. Why don’t we get some food?” she asked.
“That sounds great,” I said, giving her a smile.
I took Mom’s arm as we started to walk toward the food court. As we walked, I noticed that I was getting some looks, but none of them seemed threatening. Some of the boys even seemed to be checking me out! I smiled at Mom.
“It looks like you were right about my appearance,” I told her.
Mom simply smiled as we got to the food court. True to my outburst this morning, I homed in on the nearest kiosk selling something related to fish and stocked up. Mom and I had sat down at a table when we spotted a familiar face. Mrs. Baker caught sight of us, too, and decided to sit with us.
“Hello, Christine!” the elderly woman greeted us.
“Hello, Linda,” Mom happily replied.
“Now, who is this young girl you have with you?” Mrs. Baker asked.
“This is Nicole, my daughter,” Mom said proudly. Meanwhile, I was trying to disappear before Mrs. Baker realized that I was not only Kyle, but had hair the same color as her Laura.
“Oh? I thought Kyle was your only child,” Mrs. Baker said.
Mom looked at me apologetically, realizing that she had taken an initiative that I probably should have taken instead.
“Um, Mrs. Baker, I ~am~ Kyle,” I said.
She looked at me up and down, and gasped. “Oh, dear! You had an accident, didn’t you?”
I hoped I could trust her with my secret. “The truth is that the spell was supposed to make me a girl, because I’ve always felt that I was one, even as Kyle… but I accidentally got some of Laura’s hair in it, and this happened.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Mrs. Baker said.
I shook my head. “It’s not your fault. I didn’t have to come and pet Laura yesterday.”
She smiled. “Well, you always did seem a little detached when we saw each other. You look very nice, dear, even with your gifts from Laura.”
“…Gifts?” I asked.
“Of course. Appearance is such a fickle thing. You’re unique! Promise me that you’ll take pride in yourself. Make an old woman proud.”
“I… well… I’ll try my best,” I said, breaking into a smile.
Mrs. Baker smiled and started to stand. “Well, I’d best not keep you from your lunch. I hope to see you soon, Nicole.”
“I’ll come by next week!” I promised.
As she left and we started eating, I couldn’t help but think about what she said to me… about being unique. I concentrated on the slight movements of my tail and the twitching of my ears as they instinctually moved to hear the sounds around me.
Take pride in myself, she said. I didn’t ask for these “gifts” from Laura, but they were part of me now, weren’t they? Could I ever truly accept these features as part of me? I didn’t know. I leaned against Mom for comfort and began to purr when she hugged me to her side.