Putting the necklace back down on the counter, Charlie asked "How much?"
The old man behind the counter scratched his head for a second as if thinking, then wiped his hands down his robe, then looked up again with a smile on his face. "Normally its $89.99, but I'm having a clearance sale right now, and I can let you have it for fifty"
Charlie nodded. That sounded pretty good to him. He was a little low on funds at the moment, but he could afford that. After handing over the money, Charlie thanked the old man, and left the store, looking at the Spells R Us sign over his shoulder, wondering again why the store had such a peculiar name.
Tossing the small bag onto the couch, Charlie headed to the bathroom to relieve himself, then came back out, picking the bag up again. He pulled out a small box from the bag, and carefully opened it. Inside sat a small gold necklace, with a fine chain. The necklace was a gold ring, with an arrow coming out at the top right of the ring, and a small bar going down from the bottom, with another bar across it. It was a merger of the old symbols for male and female, and the necklace itself looked like it would fit equally well on a man or a woman.
It wasn't extremely fancy, but for some reason Charlie felt it was right. He'd been looking for an anniversary gift for his girlfriend Jody. They'd been together for a year, and were pretty serious, though marriage hadn't become a major point yet. Charlie smiled, hoping that Jody would like it. Maybe a dozen roses as well, he mused, just in case.
Charlie smiled as Jody opened her door for him, "Happy anniversary" he announced, proudly handing her the roses. She smiled back, deeply inhaling the roses sweet scent. She looks so good, Charlie thought to himself as he admired her long brown hair, and her fit athletic form. She wasn't the voluptuous dream girl of adolescent fantasy, but he found her very attractive, and wouldn't have traded her for the world.
Stepping inside, Charlie watched as Jody put the roses into a vase, feeling a little excited. "I've got you something else too" he said, handing the neatly wrapped small box to Jody, who beamed back in pleasure.
"Gee," she said looking at the small box, pretending great surprise, "I wonder what this could be" As she carefully took off the paper and opened the box, she smiled a little, trying to cover up the slight disappointment. She held the gold necklace up, pretending to admire it, but a little disappointed that it wasn't diamonds. She resigned herself though, remembering that Charlie certainly wasn't rich.
"Here, try it on" Charlie said excitedly, not noticing the slight hesitation Jody showed. Jody smiled, not wanting to disappoint Charlie since he seemed so excited by the necklace, and carefully slipped it over her neck, being sure to take her time with it.
As soon as the necklace was around Jody's neck, she started to shimmer and blur, making Charlie step back in surprise. Seconds later, Jody was gone, leaving a man standing in her place, looking down confused. "What happened" the changed Jody asked, in a deep voice, patting his chest which was unusually flat.
"Jody? Is that you?" Charlie asked confused, and a bit uncertain.
"Uh, huh" She said, examining her new body, and surprised that even her clothes had changed into a mans clothes. "The necklace" she said, and pulled it from around her neck. As soon as she had removed it, she shimmered again, returning to her original form, then sighed in relief.
Charlie and Jody were both stunned, and Jody tried it again, getting the same results. As soon as she took it off, she changed back to normal. Their curiosity overcame their fear of the unknown magic, and Jody once again put the necklace on.
"This is weird" Jody said, in her male voice. Charlie found it extremely odd to be talking to his girlfriend like this. She walked around the room, then insisted on finding a mirror. After looking in it for almost a minute, she pulled away. "You know, I look a lot like my dad and my brother Jake" Charlie just nodded, seeing that even now, she still resembled her old self, just a male version. "I guess, it just changed my sex, making me what I'd be if I was born a guy"
Jody looked at Charlie, then gave a lopsided grin. "Sorry, I gotta look" and she started undoing her pants. Suddenly embarrassed, Charlie turned around while Jody examined her new equipment. "O.K., you can turn around again" She said "I'm done"
Flexing a much larger bicep, Jody said, "You know, this is kinda cool" Charlie nodded, feeling a little embarrassed that his girlfriend now had bigger biceps than he did. She was also an inch taller than him too.
Jody insisted on staying like that for awhile, and Charlie didn't argue. He found it kind of interesting. After awhile, Jody turned to Charlie, "You know, the weirdest thing about this, is that I feel perfectly comfortable and normal like this"
"Huh?" Charlie said, hoping that she didn't want to stay like that.
"I mean, you'd think that suddenly changing like this would mess up my balance, and leave me feeling pretty weird, but it doesn't feel like that. I feel perfectly comfortable. That's weird"
"Maybe" Charlie suggested, "since it changed your clothes to fit you automatically, it sort of adapts you to the change as well" He it was the only explanation.
Finally, Jody changed back to herself and put the necklace in her room. She kissed Charlie, both of them glad that she was back. Since they were going to go out to a nice dinner, it would have been rather awkward to have them go out as two guys.
The next day, Charlie had a weekly Friday meeting with a few of his buddy's. Each week they'd go to one of their homes, drink a few beers, then sit back watching movies and talking about girls. Jody walked in on him as he was about to go out, and slipped the necklace around her neck.
Seconds later, the male Jody say's, "Can I come along too"
Charlie was a little stunned at this, and started feeling embarrassed. It certainly wouldn't' do to be able to talk about girls in front of his girlfriend like that, but she really seemed to want to go, curious about what really went on. Charlie sighed, knowing that if he did turn her down, she'd just assume the gatherings were worse than they were, and might start resenting his going.
"All right" Charlie reluctantly agreed, "But we can't call you Jodi with the guys. I'll just call you Joe. All right?" Jody nodded agreement, then Charlie told her a few other rules, to make sure that she didn't embarass herself or him.
Charlie laughed, trying not to spill his beer as Frank finished the punchline to the sexist joke, and was surprised that Joe was laughing right along. Charlie was also rather surprised that Joe seemed to fit right in, and was accepted among the rest of his friends pretty quickly, even telling a few blonde jokes himself. When they finished watching Heartbreak Ridge and Beach Babes from Beyond, they were all half drunk and ready to go home.
"That was interesting, and oddly fun" Joe told Charlie when they got home. Charlie laughed. He'd been having so much fun, he'd almost completely forgotten that Joe was really Jodi. "We'll have to do that again" she winked at him as she changed back. "Now" she says, kissing him on the cheek, "Lets go to the bedroom and see if that position Frank suggested really works" Embarrassed, Charlie let Jody lead the way.
Two days later, Charlie got a call from Jody, saying that she wanted him to come right over. Quickly he got dressed and hurried over to her place, hoping he could grab some lunch there.
Jody was waiting for him with a big smile on her face. "A couple of the girls and I are going on a shopping trip this afternoon" She told him, "And I wanted you to come along", she finishes as she drops the necklace around Charlies neck, catching him by surprise.
"What'd you do that for?" Charlie asked, surprised by the high voice he hears coming out of his throat. He looks down, seeing that he does indeed have breasts. He fights off the temptation to touch them, focusing instead on Jody.
"I had so much fun Friday, with the boys night out" Jody says with a smirk, "that I wanted to return the favor, by taking you, to a girls night out. Or at least a reasonable facsimile" Jody giggles at the look on Charlies face.
Embarrassed as he is to admit it, Charlie finds the idea rather appealing. He'd always wondered what women talked about when they were along. Gulping, Charlie starts taking a few steps, then realized that he's wearing slightly high heels. At first he found that his balance was a little off, but after only a minute, he didn't even notice it anymore. After walking around the apartment a bit, he realized that he did indeed feel perfectly normal and comfortable as he was now.
He smiled, finding it rather interesting. He remembered that when Jody was Joe, her mannerisms were mostly masculine as well, and he guessed his were now rather feminine. Curiously, he finds a mirror to look into, and sees what his sister might have looked like, had he a sister.
"I guess you can call me Charlene" Charlie tells Jody, who's obviously finding the whole experience amusing. Then with a soft feminine gesture, Charlene wipes a wrinkle out of her skirt, without realizing it, which sends Jody into spasms of laughter.
Jody introduced Charlene to her friends Amanda and Kim, both of whom Charlie had met before, and who seemed rather willing to accept Charlene into their group.
When they got to the mall, Charlene felt rather embarrassed and self conscious at first, but quickly found herself comfortably talking two the two new girls, and even talking about the clothes they tried on. Eventually the subject changed to men, and Charlene found herself in that conversation as well, trying to keep her side of it.
All in all, Charlene was finding this very interesting, educational and fun, which surprised him since he hadn't expected anything of the sort. He found it surprising just what women talked about among themselves, realizing that most of it wasn't that much different from what men talk about. Movies, the opposite sex, jokes and whatever else happened to come up.
Getting back, Charlene set her new dress and shoes on the bed, then changed back to Charlie. Jody laughed, upon seeing the women's clothes that Charlie had gotten carried away with and bought. He looked embarrassed about it, but Jody told him that since he bought them, he couldn't let them go to waste, still grinning at him.
Charlie laughed, and admitted he'd had a great time.
They took turns using the medallion, and both found advantages to it. Charlie found a good drinking buddy, that he could tell things to that he'd never tell a woman, while Jody found another girlfriend, whom she could share things. Within several weeks, they both found that their relationship was definitely getting much stronger, as they grew much closer. Marriage started to come up more often in their conversations.
Their only regret with the necklace was that it could only change one of them at once, so that they couldn't experience sex from the other side, and neither of them were willing to risk their relationship by exploring this with others. They accepted this, and were quite happy to just remain as lovers and best friends. And they both agreed that the neckelace had been the best anniversarry gift anyone could ever get.