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The Magician's Apprentice

The Magician's Apprentice
By Bill Hart

By Bill Hart

A heavy chorus of boos continued to rain down on the magician from the assembled crowd of children at the birthday party. Their jeers had really surprised him. But not because they booed his magic tricks, for many others had hooted at him derisively in the past and he had no doubts that others would do so again in times to come. It was just that they were so incredibly loud. How was it possible for a couple dozen kids to make that much noise.

Of course, that could be fixed. He could silence them all somewhat by changing about half of the mangy little twerps into squawking geese. But he didn't think that any of the parents of those he would love to see transformed would appreciate being greeted by a goose or a gander when they arrived to pick up their daughter or son.

But then, that really wasn't a readily available option for him at the moment anyway. The wizard's council had already taken care of that matter before they'd banished him to life, if what he was doing could really be called living, in the mortal world. The banishment order still allowed him to do real magic, but when he performed in front of mortals, he was forbidden by that same decree from using any real magic. Or at least any real magic that couldn't be readily and easily explained away as fakery.

So here he was trying to make a living among the mortals by hiring himself out for any occasion that required a stage magician. And he was using the not overly original stage name of Mr. Amazing. Today, he was working some little brat's birthday party discretely performing genuine magic, that all the kids and their parents thought was totally bogus. He didn't think he was much worse than most of the several mortal magicians he'd seen and he was definitely better than some, but the masses never seemed to boo any of them.

"There's just got to be a better way to make a living." he mumbled to himself as he left the brat's house. "But what else can I do?"

And if being booed hadn't been bad enough, the brat's parents had added insult to injury by refusing to pay for his services. They had called him an incompetent boob and a miserably poor excuse for entertainment for their precious little angel's party. They'd even threatened to have him arrested for impersonating a magician.

As he walked away, he wondered how'd they like waking up in the wild as Tasmanian wolves. There was nothing quite as exciting to those scientists who studied animals, then having a previously thought extinct animal suddenly pop up out of nowhere. And a breeding pair might ... but he knew the wizard's council would intervene and prevent him from doing what he wanted. Sometimes he thought it would have been a kinder fate if the council had done away with him as a couple of its more radical members had wanted to do. But as he continued along his way, contemplating other things he might to do to these deadbeats, his train of thought suddenly detoured to an old friend he hadn't seen in years.

"I really wonder how my old friend is getting along these days." he wondered aloud. There was no one nearby to overhear him so he wasn't worried that people would think him crazy for talking to himself. "Maybe I should go and pay him a call. According to the information the council gave me, he runs a small and highly successful shop in the mall. Maybe he can tell me how he manages to deal with some of these mortals on an every day basis and still make a profit. Maybe he can point out to me what I'm doing wrong. I can only hope, he'll have some kind of miracle to help me."

* * * * *

A short while later, the banished magician stood in the mall just outside the shop of his old friend. "Cute name, Spells 'R Us." he mumbled. "Tells everything, yet nothing at all."

As he went inside, the little bell above the door tinkled to announce his presence. Quickly looking around the nearly empty shop, he once more wondered how his friend could make a successful living from this little shop, especially with it being located here in the mortal world. But somehow, not only had he made his shop successful, it was incredibly successful. And it was the talk and envy of nearly every member of the Wizard's Council.

"Elmer!" exclaimed the old man as he entered the main shop from the rear storage room. "Or would you prefer I called you Mr. Amazing? Just how long has it been anyway? One, or two centuries?"

Elmer groaned. "It's been closer to two, my old friend." replied Elmer. "And please call me Elmer, as in the old days. I'm afraid that Mr. Amazing is little more than a plain and simple fiasco, not to mention a very unsuccessful contrivance of the council."

"I doubt the Council would like another mortal world success like my shop." replied the old man. "But then, you have come to visit me with the hope that I might be able to tell you why your magic act is in such a major shambles."

"I never could hide anything from you, my friend." sighed Elmer. "But you've always seemed to know what everyone needs and wants, even before they know."

"Its really just a small gift of mine." replied the old man as he shrugged his shoulders. "Tell me about your assistant, Elmer."

"Assistant? What assistant? I don't have an assistant." answered Elmer puzzled by his old friend's statement. "But surely you knew that already? You know just about everything there is to know."

"Of course, I know you have no assistant." replied the old man very casually. "That's the _problem_ with your act, Elmer. You have _no_ assistant."

"What!" exclaimed Elmer.

"You don't have an assistant, Elmer. One of the purposes for having an assistant is to distract the audience while the magician performs what the audience believes to be his incredible tricks and illusions. That distraction gives the audience a reason, not an overly logical one of course, to suspend their disbelief in what the magician is doing for a very short period of time. And, since the audience knows full well they're been tricked, they can rationalize away and push all of that blame for that trickery onto the distraction caused by the assistant. When a magician, like you, works alone, the audience has no one to irrationally blame for that trickery. Except you, of course. As a result, they react as if you've somehow cheated them personally, even if you actually haven't."

"That makes pretty good sense." replied Elmer. "I would have never guessed that was the problem. I'll go out and find myself an assistant right now. Thank you, my old friend."

"Anytime, Elmer." The old man smiled as his old friend Elmer, also known as Mr. Amazing, hurriedly exited his shop. But wasn't there something else he should have told him?

* * * * *

Elmer, without a real idea of where he might actually find his new assistant, looked everywhere he thought one might be hiding or possibly found to no avail. By the end of the second week of his search, he was nearing total despair of ever finding that assistant he desperately needed to make his act a success.

But then fate stepped in.

Elmer had stopped for lunch at a fast food burger joint across the street the local orphanage. As he ate, he spotted his future assistant doing simple card and "magic" tricks in front of a small crowd to earn some extra money.

"Young man?" asked Elmer as he approached.

"Yes." replied the wary young man.

"I was wondering if you would you like a job?"

"What kind of job?"

"Why a magician's assistant, young man." replied Elmer. "In fact, you would be my assistant. I have no doubts, you've heard of me. I am known as Mr. Amazing."

"Naw. I've never heard of you. But I think I'd like taking a whack at that job of yours. It sounds like fun. How much?"

"Excellent, young man. We can discuss money later. But first, I'll need to speak with your parents so ..."

"Ain't got no parents."

"A legal guardian then ..."

"Ain't got one of them neither, unless you want to count old Mr. Amos over there." He pointed across the street to the orphanage. "That's where I live. Of course, you just might have to adopt me," chuckled the young man, " that is, if getting an assistant is really all that important to you."

"I just might do that, son." answered Elmer with a smile. "What should I call you?"

"My name's Milton Johnson. But like everybody else that spends any time around these parts, you can call me Milt." he replied. "But, seriously, unless you've got a ton of money sitting around or you've been married nearly forever or you've got a shitpot full of connections, you'll never make it through all the paperwork and bureaucratic shit that's required for an adoption before I'm able to walk out of that place on my own."

"I don't think we need to worry about any of that, Milt." said Elmer confidently. "By the way, you can call me Elmer."

And, true to his word, exactly forty-five minutes after Milt and Elmer had entered the main office of the orphanage and sat down with its headmaster, they strolled out of Mr. Amos' office with not only a "Certificate of Adoption" in Elmer's hand, but also a guarantee that no other questions would ever be asked. And, just in case anyone ever decided to come looking for Milt later, Elmer had secretly altered Milt's records magically in ways that would make it next to impossible to ever find him.

"How'd you do that?" asked Milt on the way to his new home.

"Simple, Milt. I did it with magic." replied Elmer. "Just plain and simple, everyday magic, son. Someday I'll have to teach you how to do it."

* * * * *

For the next several weeks, Elmer and Milt practiced day and night. Elmer, who had expected to need several months to train his new assistant, was pleasantly surprised how quickly Milt learned the the fundamentals of the act, the act itself, and his role as the magician's assistant. After three weeks, instead of the anticipated several months, Elmer decided it was time to test the waters and put the show back on the stage.

The next day, Elmer broke the news to Milt. "You've done so well in all the dress rehearsals we've had, that I've booked us as the live entertainment for a little girl's birthday party this afternoon." Elmer cheerfully told him in anticipation of their success.

"Do you really think I'm ready, Elmer?"

"Of course I do. More practice isn't going to make you any more ready, son. It's now time for us to do the real thing. I've nothing more I can teach you until after I've gauged how well you perform in front of an audience. But I know you'll do me proud, Milt."

"Thank you, Elmer. I'll do my best."

* * * * *

As expected, Milt performed flawlessly.

But, unexpectedly, their performance was still a flop. It had been an absolute, total disaster.

The children and their parents alike hooted and hollered loudly at both Mr. Amazing and his assistant Milt as their act concluded. Catcalls echoed in their ears as they hurriedly fled from the small makeshift stage. And, just as the parents of that brat from the last party he'd done, the girl's irate parents decided not to pay them.

Nothing had changed.

Nothing at all.

"But why?" he wondered aloud. "I've added a very competent assistant to the act as suggested. And Milt did everything perfectly - exactly the way we rehearsed. He executed flawlessly. And yet the audience still hated us and booed us unmercifully. Why? None of this makes any sense. Perhaps I should go visit my old friend at the mall again. Maybe he'll be able to tell me what we did wrong _this_ time."

* * * * *

As it had the last time, the little bell above the door tinkled to announce his entry into the little shop. Elmer saw his friend, dressed in a ratty-looking old bathrobe, sitting quietly on a stool behind the counter.

"Welcome back, Elmer." said the old man before he looked up and saw his old friend. "I assumed you'd be here sometime today or early tomorrow after that fiasco of a performance this afternoon."

"But what happened? I had a new assistant, just like you suggested." replied Elmer. "And I trained him - he's a really quick learner who will probably learn real magic given enough time. And he performed everything to perfection last night. Why didn't they like us?"

"Now, that's an interesting question, Elmer. A magician's assistant, particularly one like Milton who exhibits some latent talent, has always been a great help for acts like yours in the past." said the wizard. "But for the life of me, Elmer, even with all the talent Milton possesses, I just don't understand why you didn't take my advice and hire a scantily clad young woman assistant to help you."

"Scantily ... clad ... young ... woman??"

"Of course, Elmer. In general, assistants to male magicians like yourself are scantily clad young women. The audience misses most of what the magician does, because they, being primarily men, tend to be watching her instead."

"But my assistant Milt is a boy. I found him and adopted him when I saw how good at real magic he could become. Then I trained him and put him in the act. You never once said anything about taking on a female assistant, scantily clad or otherwise."

"I didn't?" replied the old man sounding surprised. "I thought I did. I guess I must be getting old. You know how it is sometimes, Elmer. When you get to be as old as we are, sometimes you can be a little forgetful about those minor details."

"That's just great. But what am I going to do now?" asked Elmer. Milt is a completely natural talent. He learned the act very quickly. He learned his role in it even quicker. And I'm certain he's going to be an exceptional magician in his own right in the very near future. There's no way I'll send him back to that orphanage. That would be grossly unfair to him. And you can call me a sentimentalist if you'd like, but I'd miss having him around."

"Nobody said anything about sending Milt away, Elmer. I'm certain I have something in the stock room that will help solve this dilemma." The old man went into the back room and after the passage of only a few minutes returned with a large cardboard box. "These should be very helpful, Elmer." He handed the box to Elmer. "But it requires one other item from the back to go with it. I'll be right back." With that the wizard disappeared once again into his stock room.

While his friend was in the back, Elmer opened the box. Peeking inside the box, he found the costume of a typical magician's assistant.

Only the clothes he saw were not exactly anything would have deemed remotely appropriate for an assistant like Milt. However, they would have been absolutely perfect if that magician's assistant happened to be a female like his old friend had described earlier. For inside the box was a very short skirt and an extremely skimpy and very revealing halter-type top that would leave a huge area of the wearer's midsection exposed. Also inside, he found hosiery and silk panties and a woman's shoes with two-inch heels. Any girl, who could wear these clothes, which left next to nothing to the imagination, would most definitely be a distraction for any male watching from the audience.

But why was his old friend giving _these_ clothes to him, he wondered. His assistant Milt wasn't a girl. And his old friend knew it. He doubted that Milt would ever want to wear any of these articles of clothing, even if he could somehow manage to don these skimpy clothes in the first place.

"These are clothes for a girl, my friend." he told the wizard, who had just returned carrying a hat box. "Why have you given them to me? There's no way that Milt could wear them even if he wanted too."

"That's not a problem at all, Elmer." answered the wizard. "Just have Milt put on these clothes, then you place this," the wizard pulled a wig of long silky golden hair from the hat box, "on his head. In practically no time at all, not only will these clothes fit as if they'd been made specifically for him, but you'll also have yourself a fully-trained, scantily clad, young female assistant."

"What! Now wait just a minute!" exclaimed Elmer. "I don't want to turn him into a girl forever. And I seriously doubt Milt will jump at the opportunity of becoming a girl for the rest of his life either."

"Once again, there's no problem, Elmer. After your act has finished for the evening, all you have to do is sit her down someplace so you can remove the wig from her head. In short order, the girl will become a boy again with no harm having been done him at all." The old man put the blonde wig back in the hat box. "He'll recall perfectly everything that happens to him both before and after his transformations to the fairer sex and back into himself again. He'll also retain her complete memories of what happened while he was a scantily clad, simply ravishing and beautiful magician's assistant. And she'll remember being him."

"That sounds great ... I think. But do you think it will really help us? If it will, I can only hope that Milt will give this a chance, at least once."

"This should solve your problem very nicely, Elmer. Mortals are often overly predictable in this area. But whatever the two of you decide on will be alright with me." replied his friend. "However, before I forget, there are a couple of simple precautions you must heed above everything else.

"The first, and most important, is you must remember that only one person retains the capability of removing the wig and, as a result, returning the subject to normal. That one person is the person who put it on the subject's head. There are _no_ exceptions. It can be a different person that does the placement each time , but _that_ person must be the one to remove it or the wig will remain as it is to anyone and everyone else - the real hair of the _girl_ she has become."

"I'll remember." replied Elmer. "What's the other precaution I need to take?"

"The first time you transform Milt using the wig, he must be wearing these clothes. The first time someone wears the wig, the clothes being worn provide the template for the person the wearer becomes. If Milt doesn't wear these clothes, he won't become the buxom young girl you require. After the first time, the clothes worn are totally irrelevant, since the wig 'remembers' each wearer's template."

"I'll remember." replied Elmer again. "And thank you for everything, my old friend."

After returning home, Elmer sat down with Milt. He explained most, but definitely not all, of the things his old friend had told him. He managed to include what he'd been told about needing a scantily clad female assistant, but he had purposely excluded making any mention of the exceedingly high probability of _him_ actually changing genders to become that assistant. He was worried that Milt would object to becoming a girl, even if only for a little while each night.

"Now all you have to do is wear those clothes in that box during the act tonight." Elmer told him smoothly. "My friend said they would be the difference between us being booed or cheered."

"I don't know how they're going to help anything." replied Milt as he stared at the contents of the box. "These are girl clothes. They certainly aren't anything I'd normally wear, but I doubt they'll even come close to fitting me. I can't see how they'll help, but I suppose, if you're absolutely certain they'll make some difference in how the act is received, then I can give them a try once."

"I'm glad to hear that, Milt. And I hope you'll be just as happy to hear I've also scheduled another performance for this afternoon."

"So soon, Elmer." replied Milt. "I guess I'd better start getting ready." He sighed as he looked over the skimpy girl's clothes now spread out on his bed.

For a long while, Milt stared at the clothes he'd agreed to wear. Right now, he had second thoughts about wearing them, but he had made the decision and told Elmer he'd wear them. And he wasn't about to go back on his word now. So, slowly he removed his own clothes and tossed them on the floor in a small pile near the foot of his bed. Then, even more slowly, he donned the clothes, as best he could, that Elmer had brought home from the wizard's shop.

As he finished dressing, Milt attempted walking in the high heels back to the mirror. Having never walked in heels before, his ankles wobbled while he walked. Several times along the way, he nearly fell flat on his face. When he finally reached the mirror and stood in front of it, he stared at his reflection and shook his head.

"I look totally ridiculous." he grumbled.

Just then Elmer entered the room. "How's it going Milt?" he asked, quite aware of how silly Milt looked.

"There's no way that wearing these clothes is going to do anything positive for the act at all, Elmer." replied Milt. "Regardless of anything your friend might have told you, even in these clothes, I don't look anything like a female assistant. However, I believe I _can_ understand why he told you they wouldn't be booing us all day. They're going to be far to busy laughing at me to even think of booing."

"Why don't we see how the wig he gave me affects the image."

"Oh, sure, Elmer." he replied sullenly. "Why not? I certainly can't look any sillier or more stupid than I already look."

Elmer picked up the wig and slipped it carefully onto Milt's head, then stroked it a couple of times with his hands to make sure it was in place. But nothing happened.

"See, I told you, Elmer." said Milt frowning as he looked at his reflection. Disgustedly, he reached up and grabbed the wig to pull it off. But it wouldn't budge. And pulling on it hurt. Suddenly Milt's knees buckled and he reached for the mirror to steady himself. "Oh shit ... What's happening? I'm starting to feel really strange." When he looked up at Elmer, a confused expression spread rapidly across his face. He was taller than Elmer and had never needed to look up at him before. He took one small hesitant step away from the mirror, before dizziness and darkness overtook him. But, in falling, he'd been very fortunate. For in passing out, he'd landed squarely in the center of his bed.

As Elmer watched, Milt's silent form slowly changed. His legs and arms lost what little hair had grown on them as they rapidly smoothed into their sleek and graceful feminine counterparts. As his hips widened and his waist constricted, Elmer could see that Milt's very shape was being totally remolded, without neither pain nor discomfort apparent, into soft and shapely feminine curves even as his newly forming breasts blossomed.

And just as his old friend had told him, the ill-fitting clothes Milt had put on, now fit _her_ form perfectly - just like a glove, a very small and tightly fitting glove.

Elmer could do nothing more than stare in amazement at the prone female figure now stretched out languidly on Milt's bed.

With the passage of a few minutes, Milt began to stir. When he opened his eyes, he saw Elmer standing at the foot of his bed staring down at him. "I told you it wouldn't work, Elmer." he said smiling. But that smile disappeared as the sound of his new soprano voice caught him completely off guard. Leaping from the bed, he wobbled on his two-inch heels towards the mirror. "Holy shit, Elmer." he exclaimed as he saw the softly rounded image staring back at him from the mirror. "What the hell did you do to me? How did you do this? Why?"

"We agreed we needed a female assistant in the act. I couldn't see taking all that time to train another person, especially when you'd been so good and learned everything as quickly as you did. So my old friend, who happens to be a wizard, gave me these clothes and the wig in order to transform you into my new girl assistant - scantily clad, of course."

"Oh. Of course? Don't you think you should have asked me if I wanted to be a girl?" he asked angrily as he clumsily slipped out of the heels he had trouble standing in. Then, wondering why he did, he struck a sensual and seductive pose in front of the mirror, then smiled at what he saw.

"But it's not permanent, Milt. When the person who put the wig on your head removes it again, you'll change back into your normal self. If the show and you-as-a-girl are the success my old friend said they'd be, then you can be a girl for all the shows and a boy the rest of the time. It's really a very simple plan."

"But I don't want to be a girl, Elmer." Suddenly, he flipped his shoulder-length blond hair out of his face, while, at the same time, thinking it was an absolute mess.

"Would you try it tonight?" pleaded Elmer. "Please. You said you would."

"Oh, I suppose. I did say I would." sighed Milt in resignation. "But I wouldn't have if I knew you were going to do this." Milt looked in the mirror. "I'm not going to feel very comfortable walking around a stage dressed like this. And I can't, even if my life depended on it, walk in those stupid goddamn high-heeled shoes."

"Maybe there's something I can do to help you cope with those things." Elmer raised his hands and placed his thumbs on Milt's temples. He spoke three words Milt had never heard before and didn't understand, then pulled his hands "How's that? How do you feel, now?"

"I feel just fine, daddy." replied Milt, shaking his head.

"And you know who you are?"

"Of course, I do, daddy. I'm your adopted son Milton." she replied as she effortlessly slipped back into the heeled shoes she'd all but discarded minutes before. In one fluid sexy motion she swayed back to the mirror, once again standing in front of it. "You and your friend, that old wizard from the mall, decided the act needed an underdressed, sexy girl in order to make it better. So you changed me into one to save time and effort. But once the show's over and we're by ourselves, you'll remove the wig on my head and I'll become a boy again. Isn't that right, daddy?"

"Absolutely, Milt."

"But there is just one more thing, daddy." said the girl. "I don't really think I look like a Milt or a Milton anymore. Do you, daddy? And I don't really even feel like a Milt anymore. You know what, daddy? I think I'd like for you to call me Miranda when I'm girl."

"Of course, Miranda." smiled Elmer. "Whatever you wish."

* * * * *

That afternoon, just prior to the start of their performance, the emcee introduced Mr. Amazing to the audience of children and their parents. He was greeted by thunderous silence. In turn, Elmer introduced his new assistant, his beautiful young daughter Miranda, to the audience. And as she slowly and very hesitantly stepped out onto the stage, she was greeted by several wolf whistles originating from the male contingent of the crowd. Having been a male all of her life, their whistles, as well as all the attention they now paid to her, thoroughly embarrassed her. But it was the pretty girl she now was that responded to their whistles by blushing brighter and redder than the reddest beet.

Just like their last performance, this one also went off without a hitch. But with little visible reaction from the audience, both Elmer and Miranda had started worrying about the impending reaction from the crowd as their final trick began winding down to its conclusion. But this time, instead of listening to the cascading sounds of boos from the audience, their finale was met by thunderous applause.

They were both ecstatic. In response to the standing ovation from the crowd, they answered with three curtain calls. At long last, thought Elmer, the act was a success. And likewise, its performers, he and his daughter Miranda, had finally become the successes he felt they'd been destined to be.

Over the next two weeks, as each evening's finale concluded, they were repeatedly accorded similar long and thunderous standing ovations. The joyously answered curtain call after curtain call. And, in general, whether it was the smallest of birthday parties or the largest of concert halls, nothing seemed to make a difference in the reactions from the crowd.

And as a welcomed added plus, Milt rapidly learned to act his role as Miranda to near total perfection. Most impressively, he had been as quick a study in learning to act female, as he had been learning everything else Elmer had taught him. After just a few days, he no longer required Elmer's little helping touch spell to make him feel comfortable about being Miranda on stage. And now, he casually strode about the stage with such graceful feminine ease in heels he now easily wore without giving them a second thought. The basic result was, when Elmer put the wig on Milt's head, he became Miranda. And, as her and without the spell acting as a crutch, she no longer called Elmer daddy, except, occasionally, when they were by themselves.

However, as their popularity continued to increase, the demands for their act, as well as on their time, also continued to grow. Milt found himself forced to be Miranda for increasingly longer and longer stretches of time. As a consequence, and because she was such a vital part of the act, Miranda soon required more clothes and needed other things than Milt did. And, not only did Miranda have more, but her things tended to be nicer and fancier as well. Milt was slowly becoming jealous of Miranda.

And if it wasn't bad enough that Miranda seemed to be around more and more frequently with each passing day, there had been several times of late, when an early performance had been scheduled right after a late night performance. On those occasions, it hadn't been practical for Elmer to remove the magical wig. So instead of changing back as he normally would have, Milt had had to sleep as Miranda. But trying to fall asleep as Miranda had proven difficult for him. He doubted he would ever totally adjust to sleeping as a girl. He had tossed and turned for hours attempting to get to sleep, but in doing so he had been bombarded by sensations that felt totally strange and alien to him as the silky nighties Elmer had packed for her slid gently across her body as if to tenderly caress it and arouse her emotionally. But even those sensations, confusing as they might be, had paled in comparison to the stray thoughts evoked from _his_ subconscious that directed _his_ hand to seek out and probe various parts of _her_ anatomy.

And yet, for the two of them, life had become very good. Everything went exceptionally well for them until the night of the large dinner party thrown in celebration of their closing of a television deal.

On that night, a boy about Miranda's age, perhaps a little older, had accompanied his parents to the party. He had fixated himself on Miranda and had been so obnoxiously insistent about dancing with her that she had finally acquiesced and given him one dance in an attempt to shut him up. She was, as Milt had been, a truly exceptional dancer, but she was not quite used to letting her partners lead. Still, everything might have worked out alright, except, that as the music ended, the boy had tried to kiss her. And where a plain and simple kiss of friendship might have been acceptable to Miranda, the boy had already decided on giving her _the_ kiss - the one by which she would always remember him - of her life.

But as the events of the evening unfolded, both of them would probably remember that kiss forever. And neither of their memories were likely to be favorable. Somehow the boy had managed to trigger Miranda's gag reflect, which no one viewed as an overly intelligent action, especially since Miranda had just finishing eating.

Elmer was convinced that the boy would long remember that kiss, even if thinking about it was embarrassing. Elmer remembered an old saying that an equally old wise man had once told him, "Nothing kills one's pursuit of passion quicker than being puked on by the object of one's desires."

* * * * *

But the popularity of their act continued to increase and with it the corresponding time he was required to be Miranda also increased. And when their commitments to their new television show were factored into the mix, there was precious little time left for him to be Milt at all.

Although Miranda and Elmer were now the stars of their own popular television series, Milt was becoming increasingly unhappy with having to be Miranda continuously for days at a time. His jealousy had long since changed into a paranoia that grew with each passing day. He was very afraid that one day Milt would just disappear completely, leaving only Miranda in his place.

"You know something, Elmer." said Milt on one of those rare days they had off from taping the show. "I think that wig somehow messes with my mind. I know that everything pretty much returns to normal after you remove it from my head, but when I'm wearing it, it makes me feel really kind of ... " he paused seeking out a word to describe his feelings, "... _girlish_. I guess that's what it's supposed to do, but what really bothers me is I don't think there is anything strange or even weird about feeling that way until after I've been Milt again for a while. I really don't like having those kinds of feelings at all, Elmer."

"I've been thinking about that Milt. I think that maybe we should find another boy to help you out. He could be kind of like an assistant to the assistant." said Elmer. "And then, after we've trained him, you and he could then switch off being Miranda. Do you think that would be better?"

"I really don't know. I guess it might." replied Milt. "But that reminds me of something else, Elmer. There's been this guy hanging around at the last three tapings. He's been staring at me. I don't like that either."

"I know. I saw him."

"But it's even worse than that. I know that lost puppy dog look when I see it, Elmer. That guy wants me. Or rather he wants the me that is Miranda. He makes me really nervous. Did you know he slipped me his phone number after the taping yesterday."

"I saw him pass you some note. But I didn't know what was on it." answered Elmer. "However, Milt, I do know you haven't been very happy about all the time you've had to spend being Miranda lately. And I have a feeling that this guy might be the answer to some of your problems. Yesterday, I asked him if he wanted to join the act as a second assistant, _your_ understudy. He jumped at the chance."

"I wouldn't doubt it." grumbled Milt. "I don't suppose you told him he'd have to be a girl part-time. Did you?"

"Of course not. I didn't want to scare him off." smiled Elmer. "I must still arrange several things with his parents. In particular, I must gain their consent before he can join the act. But the guy, his name is Phillip Watlins by the way, didn't think there'd be any problems in my getting their consent. He'll be here soon and you'll need to show Phil the basics of the act. Just don't mention any possible changes of gender just yet. We wouldn't want to scare him off before I return with his parents' consent."

As he sat and waited for Phillip Watlins to arrive, Milt picked up the remote control and flipped on the television. It was already tuned to one of his most favorite cable channels - the one that showed only old science fiction and horror movies.

But as he intently watched the movie currently being aired, Milt was both shocked and amazed at all of the parallels he could draw between it and his life. The story was one of a young man, an orphan born on the wrong side of the tracks, who had been adopted by a very successful psychiatrist. When the young man had told his adoptive father how uneasy he felt among his friends, the psychiatrist had hypnotized him and given him a number of suggestions aimed at negating his discomfort and making him completely at ease with his friends.

But as time passed, the young man once again became discontented with his make-believe life and his father's friends. He had complained to his benefactor. At first the psychiatrist had agreed with everything his adopted son had told him. The young man, who had been ordered not to remember being put under hypnosis in his previous sessions, trustingly agreed to be hypnotized in an attempt to help him. But instead of helping his charge, the doctor supplanted his old persona with a new and stronger persona that believed he'd always been a member of the doctor's close knit circle of friends.

"Holy shit!" he whispered. "That movie could almost be an exact duplicate of my life since I met Elmer. Except he used magic on me and that movie doctor used hypnosis.

"And for those first couple of days Elmer used some kind of a spell to make me feel comfortable about being Miranda _and_ female." he thought aloud. "But if Elmer has that kind of the power," he hypothesized, "it stands to reason that he has more than enough power to take my existing personality and reshape or rewrite it in whatever way he wants. He could easily make me forget ever being Milt, while at the same time making me believe that I am, had been, and always will be Miranda.

"Shit. I've got to get away from here before Elmer returns and makes me forget who I really am. But there's no way I'll be able to run away from here alone. I'm going to need to find some help getting safely away from here."

But who?


"Maybe. But why would he want to help me at all. He doesn't even know me. Wait a minute. Maybe he won't help me if I'm Milt, but, when I think about how he ogled me yesterday, I'd wager that Phil will be a real eager beaver when it comes to helping me if I'm 'his damsel in distress' - Miranda."

Milt ran quickly up to Miranda's room. He figured he could easily do one last day as Miranda - afterwards he'd be Milt again; but this time he'd remain Milt forever. He'd run away and never look back. He would probably feel guilty about using Phillip for a while, but he had to get away now before it was too late. And anyway, he just didn't have a lot of time to think of another plan before Phillip arrived. He needed time to change his clothes and put on the wig. That had to be done, as soon as possible. Otherwise Miranda might still be asleep and not ready to leave as soon as Phillip arrived.

He quickly stripped out of his clothes and, with almost the same swiftness, redressed himself in clothes from her closet and dresser. Silky lace panties and a bra went on first, followed by a cashmere sweater and a woman's pair of blue jeans. As well as he could, he stepped into a pair of woman's tennis shoes several sizes too small for him.

Then Milt very carefully picked up the wig from the stand on her dresser. He stared at the wig for several moments and worried momentarily that it had always been Elmer who had placed it on his head before. But in the end, Milt's paranoia won out. He stepped back to the edge of her bed, sat down, and donned the blond-haired wig. After several seconds had passed, his worries faded away as he felt the familiar beginnings of those odd sensations of strangeness that had always marked the start of his transformation into Miranda. Milt closed his eyes and leaned back slightly just as the now familiar dizziness struck causing him to pass out.

* * * * *

Elmer rapped sharply on the door at the address that Phillip Watlins' had given him for his parents. A tall man with short cropped reddish hair in his mid to late forties answered.

"Mr. Watlins?" asked Elmer.

"Yes. I'm Arthur Watlins." he answered.

"Who is it dear?" asked the woman who joined her husband at the door. She was about the same age as her husband and quite attractive with shoulder-length dark brown hair.

"I don't know yet, Jennifer. He hasn't said and I haven't had time yet to ask." Arthur turned back towards Elmer. "Now, who are you, sir? And what can we do for you?"

"It's about your son, Phillip ..." began Elmer.

"Has something happened to him?" gasped Jennifer. "Is he all right?"

"He's fine, Mrs. Watlins." replied Elmer. "I've only come to ask for your consent and permission to allow him to join my act as an assistant. You see, my stage name is Mr. Amazing, and ..."

"The _Mr. Amazing_ that's on television?" asked Jennifer in awe.

"The one with that scantily clad young female assistant." Arthur's smile quickly faded as Jennifer gave her husband an icy stare.

"Guilty." replied Elmer. "On both counts."

"What can we do for you, Mr. Amazing?"

"Please Mr. and Mrs. Watlins, call me Elmer."

Alright, Elmer. But only if you'll call me Arthur and my wife here Jennifer. Now what was that you wanted us to do for you again, Elmer?"

"I'd like to take your son Phillip on as the understudy for my daughter Miranda." Elmer told them. "But in order to do so, he would have to be away from home a lot. Except when we're taping our show, the act takes us all over the country and we could just about be anywhere at just about anytime during the year. Of course, Phillip would live with us and travel with us as he studied. And eventually, we'll work him into the act."

"Now, wouldn't that be something, Jenn?" asked Arthur. "Our son ... studying with a world famous magician. Maybe even someday, he might become a world famous magician himself."

"That's just wonderful, honey." sighed Jennifer before bolting from the room in tears.

"Is there a problem?" asked Elmer. "I hope I didn't do or say anything to upset your wife."

"You have to understand, Elmer, that Phillip is our only child. It's very hard for Jenn to think of him as being old enough to leave the nest. It probably wouldn't have hit her so hard, if we could have had more children. But running through the Tinsler family, that's Jenn's maiden name, is this terrible genetic disorder that manifests itself only after the birth of a woman's first child. After Phillip was born, a simple test revealed that Jennifer had inherited it. Since she'd always wanted a large family, the test results almost destroyed her, because another pregnancy would be fatal. But we were both relieved that Phillip had been male and would never have to suffer like his mother."

Now that put a completely different light on his plans. Elmer didn't feel right or very comfortable about taking away their only child. If only he had the proper medical knowledge of this genetic defect, he was certain he could correct the problem magically. But he knew nothing about it. But after all this time, Arthur and Jennifer probably thought they were just too old to even think about being parents again.

Too old?

Maybe not.

Elmer concentrated and spoke a few words under his breath.

Now that was better.

Arthur and Jennifer, who'd just returned, no longer appeared to be the fortyish couple that had asked him into their home. Instead, each, completely unnoticed by the other, had regressed in age to the twenty year olds they'd been on the day they'd been first married. And it wouldn't be long, before Jennifer would be carrying their child.

But, thought Elmer, that's still a complication. It would still be her second pregnancy.

Elmer thought that over for just a moment. Maybe, since the problem only occurred in the women of the Tinsler family, there was something else he could do to eliminate the problem after all. It only took another brief moment of concentration, a couple more mumbled words, and the problem was solved - forever.

"Are you sure there isn't anything else we can do for you Elmer." asked Jennifer.

"The two of you have done more than enough already." replied Elmer. Then he reached into his pocket. "I'd like the two of you to have these complimentary passes."

"Why, thank you, Elmer." said Arthur extending his hand to shake Elmer's.

"It's the very least I could do."

The couple walked with Elmer to the door. Before he left, Elmer shook Arthur's hand again and gave Jennifer a little peck on the cheek that caused her to blush.

As he reached his car, Elmer turned back to see Arthur and Jennifer standing arm-in-arm in their doorway.

He waved at them.

And they waved back.

As he drove away, he couldn't help thinking just how attractive Jennifer had been. She had made him remember an old girlfriend he hadn't thought about in decades. He hoped to see her again when they used the passes he'd given them.

But by then, Jennifer would probably be expecting. Deep down, he knew he would just have to forget about her. Besides, he also knew that Jennifer and Arthur Tinsler were just perfect for each other.

"Oh, well." mumbled Elmer. "I wonder why I'm always attracted to unavailable women like Jennifer? Maybe it's just because I love women with long and luxuriously silky red hair."

* * * * *

Miranda woke suddenly to the incessant buzzing of the door bell. It must be Phillip, she thought, as she hurried to the door.

"Hi, Miranda." said Phillip as he flashed that little lost puppy dog smile at her.

"Hello, Phillip."

"Wow. You even know my name without me having to tell you." he said in amazement. "I hope I can learn that kind of magic."

"It wasn't magic, Phil." she stated. "Elmer told me your name before he left to talk to your parents."


"How would you like to take me away from here, Phil." Hoping to make him more susceptible to her feminine charms, Miranda batted her eyelashes and smiled seductively at him.

"Sure, Miranda. Where do you want to go?"

"Anywhere you want to go Phil is just fine with me." Again she fluttered her eyelashes. Once more she gave him a provocative smile.

Phillip stood speechless. And Miranda knew, even if Milt was more than a little ashamed of that knowledge, that Phillip Watlins was hers to do with as she pleased.

But just they began to leave, Elmer's car pulled into the driveway. Elmer was taken by surprise when he saw Miranda talking to Phillip, primarily because he knew how much Milt valued his time as Milt. But he could have changed into Miranda in order to make Phillip feel more comfortable in his new surroundings.

Unflustered, he quickly walked over to Phillip. "Good news, Phillip. Your parents have agreed to let you join the act as Miranda's understudy. They'll let you live and travel with us as you learn."

"That's fine, Mr. Amazing." replied Phil. "But Miranda and I have decided we're going to run away together."

Miranda stared off into space trying to ignore what was happening. This wasn't working out exactly the way Milt had thought it would.

"If that's what the _two_ of you want, I won't stand in your way." replied Elmer. "I've always wanted what was best for _her_. Just where have the two of you decided you're running off to?"

"Anywhere away from here." came Phil's forceful reply.

"Oh. I see." Elmer turned towards Miranda. "Have you told him?"

"Told me what?" asked Phil. He alternately looked at Miranda and Elmer as if seeking the answer to his question from one of them.

Miranda hesitantly shook her head, but remained silent.

"So you haven't told him." said Elmer.

"What's going on here? What was she supposed to tell me?"

"It's quite simple, Phil. My daughter Miranda, this beautiful young girl that's standing here next to you and that you're thinking of running away with, isn't really a girl at all." stated Elmer. "She's really a boy wearing an enchanted wig that transforms him into a girl."

Phil stared at Elmer in disbelief. "Right." he replied. Phil was now certain that Elmer had recently escaped from someplace with rooms having thick rubber-padded walls. "And I'm an orange and blue striped zebra." he countered.

"But it's true." sniffled Miranda. "Here. I'll show you.",p> "It's alright, Miranda." said Elmer. "I'll remove the wig for you."

Dejectedly, Miranda walked slowly over to Elmer. And, as he had done hundreds of times before, he pulled on the wig.

"Oww!!!!" yelled Miranda in pain.

"Stop that!" exclaimed Phillip. "You're hurting her."

Miranda and Elmer stared at each other, complete surprise etched on their faces. That had never happened before. Every other time Elmer had even slightly tugged on the wig, it had easily slid off Miranda's head.

What was different this time, they both wondered.

Suddenly, remembering something his old friend had told him, Elmer asked Miranda, "Who placed the wig on your head."

"Why I did." she answered.

"Then you have to be the one to remove it again."

"That's right. I forgot." she said. Greatly relieved, Miranda reached up, took a hold of the wig, and yanked. "Oww!!!" she exclaimed in surprise, as once again it failed to budge. She tried again.

It still wouldn't budge.

And for some reason, it still hurt. It was as if it were her own hair being pulled.

At that moment, from out of nowhere, the old man from Spells 'R Us suddenly appeared. Dressed in an old bathrobe, he was carrying a hat box and a large cardboard box. "I knew you'd be needing these replacements right about now." said the old wizard as he handed the two boxes to Elmer.

Elmer peeked inside both boxes. Inside the costume box, he found another costume for a scantily-clad female magician's assistant. And in the hat box sat a shoulder-length brunette wig.

"I think these are for you, Phil." said Elmer. He passed the boxes along to the startled young man.

"Do you have any idea why I can't take off this stupid wig?" asked the distressed Miranda.

"Of course, I do. It's really quite simple, my dear." replied the old man. "As I told Elmer and he later told you, only the person who put the wig on your head can ever remove it again."

"But I put it on my head myself." she responded. "That means I should be able to remove it myself." For effect, she pulled on the wig, which stubbornly refused to move. "See. It won't let me remove it like it's supposed to."

"But who was the _you_ that donned the wig?"

"I told you. It was me."

"And who was the _you_ that tried to remove it?"

"Me." she answered again, her visible frustration with the old man building.

"Now, young lady, instead of answering 'me' to the questions, kindly fill in the names of the _you's_ who you were each time." explained the old man patiently.

"But I don't see where ..." Suddenly it dawned on her exactly where the problem lay. "Oh, no!" she exclaimed. It's because _Milt_ put the wig on my head and _Miranda_ tried to take it off my head. Isn't it? But why? We're really the same person."

"Well, you are and you aren't, my dear. You know that Milt and Miranda are the same person, just as Elmer and I know." began the old man. "But the spell doesn't that you're the same person. It sees two totally different and distinct people, even though it was responsible for changing the you who-was-Milt into you who-is-Miranda. Spells like this one aren't very bright on their own, my dear."

"So how do I change back?" she asked. "I don't want to be a girl all the time."

"Again. It's very simple." said the old man. "You'll change back after Milt removes the wig from your head."

"But Milt can't return to take the wig off Miranda's head until after Milt removes the wig from Miranda's head so she can change back into Milt." said Elmer.

"That is correct."

"Holy shit." exclaimed Miranda. "That means I'm stuck like this forever. I'm going to be a girl forever." Tears began to flow down her cheeks. "I don't want to be a girl forever." she sobbed.

"C'mon Miranda." said Phil. "Things could be worse. Besides we can still run away together."

Miranda stared daggers at Phil.

"Well, if that's not good for you right now," he said, "may I take you out to dinner, tonight?"

Incensed, Miranda slapped Phillip's face. "No asshole." she replied furiously. "You may not take me out to dinner tonight - or any other night." Miranda fled back into the house and the safety of her room.

Phillip turned back to the old man and Elmer with a puzzled expression on his face. "Do you think it was something I said?" he asked.

Elmer and Phil watched Miranda as she quickly ran to her room to hide from what she felt were their ogling stares. The old man, having seen more pretty young girls running away from him then he wanted to remember and having delivered the new clothes and wig to his old friend, had disappeared once again.

"Where did that the old man go?" asked Phillip as he turned around and noticed he was no longer anywhere in sight.

"Who can tell with him." replied Elmer. "It seems my old friend has always had the knack of coming and going quite mysteriously."

"Do you think Miranda is going to be alright?"

"I hope so, Phil." he replied still staring off in the distance after Miranda. "You know, in the time you've been with us, I've come to think of you almost as a second son." Elmer turned back to Phil, but he too was no longer there.

When Phil arrived outside Miranda's room, he found the door shut and locked. Behind it he could hear her sobbing heavily. He knocked on the door.

"Go away." cried Miranda.

He knocked on the door again. "Please open the door, Miranda. We need to talk."

"Go away." she cried again. "You don't ... can't ... understand how I feel right now."

"But ..."

"Maybe you should leave her alone right now, Phil." interrupted Elmer who'd entered unnoticed. "Give her some time to come to terms with what has happened."

"Okay. I guess." replied Phil with concern. "But would you try and talk to her. I'm really worried about her." He turned and walked disconsolately to his own room.

Elmer knocked on her door. "Miranda?" he asked gently. "Please open your door."

Nothing was said, but soon the door cracked open. "Is _he_ gone?" she asked peeking through the crack.

"He's gone to his room, Miranda." replied Elmer. "Can I come in and talk with you?"

"I suppose so." she whispered. The door to her room swung open. Miranda, eyes red and puffy from crying, stood there silently not knowing what to say or do.

"Are you alright?" Elmer finally asked.

"No. Not really." she pouted. "I'm really a girl now. Aren't I, Elmer? And I don't want to be a girl." Tears began to flow down her cheeks again.

"I know."

"But what can we do about it?" she sobbed. "Do you think there's any way at all that I can ever be me again?" More tears followed. She sat down on the edge of her bed. "Please, Elmer, tell me I don't have to remain a girl for the rest of my life."

Elmer sat down next to her. "I wish I could, but I can't." He put his arm around her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her. "From what my old friend said, this is who you are now."

Sobs wracked her body. She leaned into Elmer, who, not knowing what else to do, held her closely until her crying eventually slowed and sleep finally and mercifully claimed her.

* * * * *

The following morning, it was plainly obvious to both Elmer and Phil that Miranda still felt miserable. She was very unhappy about being a girl for the rest of her life. To make matters worse, she also knew that Elmer had never once given her a reason to mistrust him. And she began to wonder why she had mistrusted him, since, if she'd only trusted Elmer, as she should have, she'd still be able to remove the wig and become a boy again. This whole awful mess, she felt, was all her fault. And she'd never had a worse feeling than this terrible self-pity of hers.

She'd had come down to breakfast dressed in Milt's clothes, which no longer fit. They were far too big for her now, although in some places they weren't quite big enough.

"Are you feeling better?" asked Elmer when he saw her enter.

"No. Not really." she replied curtly.

Phil entered the room. "Good morning." he said cheerfully.

"What's good about it?" snapped Miranda. "You don't know anything." Then she stormed angrily out of the room.

"What did I say?" wondered Phil.

"It's not you, Phil. Miranda's in shock and complete denial right now." Elmer tried to explain. "We tried to tell you last night that she's really a boy named Milt. There was magic woven into the wig, that now appears to be her natural hair, which transforms its wearer into a girl. But the wig can only be removed by the same person who put it on her head. That person, Milt, no longer exists now. She's a full-time girl now and still adjusting to all the changes. I suppose I could fix everything by making her forget about ever having been Milt, but that's not right. She must be the sum of all he was and all she is and will be. Given enough time, I believe she'll adapt to her new body. But how long that's going to take I couldn't begin to guess."

"Don't take this the wrong way, Elmer, but what will this do to the act? asked Phil. "I know I'm not ready to take her place. I've only just started to learn what I need to know."

"I know, Phil. Hopefully the act will be unaffected." replied the magician. "Milt _was_ always been a trouper in the past. We'll have to hope, that in the future, Miranda _will_ continue to be one."

* * * * *

As luck would have it, Miranda turned out to be the same game little trouper she had always been as Milt. Her performances in the act continued to be totally flawless, just as they had always been. But, in retrospect, with the exception of that first birthday party, she had always performed as a girl. So even if she moped around and sulked offstage, her continuing on as Elmer's female assistant proved to be no real problem at all.

Jennifer and Arthur Tinsler, using their complimentary passes, had attended the first performance after Miranda's transformation. Elmer had invited them backstage afterwards, where Phil failed to recognize them as his parents, but that was totally understandable. As a result of Elmer's magic, they were now only a few years older than Phil, who knew nothing of his parents restored youth and vitality. And when that was combined with the other results, also unknown to Phil, of Elmer's magical meddling, which had transformed the man he knew as his father into the young woman Jennifer, while his mother had become Arthur, Elmer knew that no one would fault Phil for not recognizing his parents.

And for similar reasons, Jennifer and Arthur didn't recognize Phil as their son. But why should they. Inasmuch as he was only few years younger than them, it was obviously impossible for him to be their child.

Elmer introduced the young couple to Phillip, who he referred to as his adopted son. Neither they nor Phil flinched at the news.

And of course. Jennifer was noticeably pregnant.

Jennifer and Arthur were both thrilled and excited to be expecting their first child. Both of the parents-to-be had remarked how much they hoped to have a handsome son like Phil, but they'd also be just as happy to have a beautiful daughter like Miranda.

* * * * *

Shortly afterwards, Miranda realized that she could not continue to wear Milt's clothes around the house indefinitely. They didn't fit very well anymore and at times they were very uncomfortable. But, she also had no real desire to wear women's clothes either. At least, not offstage. She knew she wasn't ready to wear any feminine garments unless she was performing. Then she could still pretend. As a result, Miranda wore clothing that was unflatteringly non-descript and loosely fitting whenever she was not onstage.

Phil's training as her understudy continued at an accelerated pace, but it would still take a few months yet for him to get up to speed. Phil learned things quickly, but his ability to learn was nowhere near the speed Miranda's had been as Milt. So Miranda continued her role without complaint in the same way she had been doing all along.

With Phil intent on learning and Miranda engrossed in the act, all had been calm and for several weeks. To Elmer, it finally seemed that Miranda had finally come to accept her situation.

But then, with one careless question, all thoughts he'd entertained of her acceptance of her femaleness abruptly vanished.

Phil had asked her out to dinner.

At the very thought of being on a date with Phil, Miranda had nearly exploded. Totally losing it, she lashed out with a lengthy string of expletives that would have made an old sailor blush. She called Phillip names he had never heard before.

Phil stood stunned in silence before her tirade. He wondered what he'd done to provoke such an outburst from her.

Miranda fled from the room.

Elmer, feeling she would need to be consoled, but uncertain about his potential success, followed closely behind her.

And in the remaining silence, Phil was left alone once more.

* * * * *

Phil decided to take a walk. He needed to get away for awhile and think. Upset by the way Miranda continued to treat him, he faced a difficult decision. He needed to decide whether to stay with them or leave.

Whatever Miranda's problem was now, he knew it wasn't his fault. But as his need to get away and blow off steam for awhile took over, he paid scant attention to where he was walking.

Suddenly, an uncontrollable urge made him stop. Looking around, he discovered he had walked to the old section of town that Elmer had told him to stay away from. He'd never explained why.

In front of him stood an oddly shaped and even more oddly painted sign. "Madame Helga." it read. "Knows all. Sees all." And in very small, nearly unreadable lettering. "Potions for all occasions."

Interesting, he thought. Maybe he could fight magic with magic. Maybe they had a cure for Miranda inside. But on second thought, did he really want Miranda to become Milt again.

Phil entered through the beaded door. An old, white-haired gypsy woman fortune teller looked up from her cards and smiled at him as he entered.

"How may Madame Helga be of help to you, young man?" she said in her extremely thick gypsy accent. "I see that you are unlucky in love, young man. Is that what brings you to Madame Helga?"

"I suppose you could say that."

"Perhaps it is a love potion you seek." She held out a small vial of clear, but pinkish tinted, liquid. "For that special young lady."

"But isn't that cheating?" he asked her, but his eyes never left the little vial she held in her hand. Could he really get Miranda to love him?

"There can be no cheating in things where the heart is concerned." replied Madame Helga. "Is not having love? ... better than ... is having not love?"

"So how would this work exactly?"

The wily old gypsy smiled at Phil. She knew now she had hooked him. "It is really very simple. Two drops into her drink you put. And when she drinks it completely she will be yours. She will love you forever. And for several minutes, if you tell her something untrue, she will believe you when you say it is true. And for her it will be true, both then and always."

"I don't know about this. It still doesn't seem right." he replied. But there was still that other problem. "Besides, she's not exactly a girl."

The gypsy woman stared at Phil as a wide grin spread across her face. "So young man, you wish for another boy to love you? That is no problem. Madame Helga can still be of assistance to you. All we need is but a different potion. She held out another vial, this one containing a bluish tinted liquid. "Is this what you want from me, young man?"

"Yes ... Er, no ..." he mumbled. "Shit, I don't know."

"Well, which is it, young man?" she grinned. "Do you wish for a girl to love you or for a boy to love you?"

"I don't really know. I'm confused." he replied. "I mean she looks like a girl, but both she and her father tell me she's really a boy wearing an enchanted wig that only her real boyself, can remove in order for her to change back into a boy. Does that make any sense?"

"Of course, young man." replied the gypsy. "All things make sense to Madame Helga. But tell me now, how does she act? Is it like a girl? Or does she act like a boy?"

"A little of both, I guess." he told her. "But lately, she's been more like an angry little girl."

"Tell me, young man. Does she cry when she is upset?"

"Boy, does she." exclaimed Phil. "Tears flow down her cheeks like water out of a broken faucet."

Madame Helga smiled. "Then the first potion I offered to you shall work for what you want. Now tell me, young man. Do you want it? Or not?"

"It won't hurt her will it?"

"Of course it will not hurt her. Other than being in love with you, and believing those untrue things you choose to tell her are true, she will be exactly as she has always been."

"How much?" asked Phil with a sheepish grin.

The old gypsy scratched her chin. "For you, young man. Ten dollars." she told him. "That's American folding only. And no plastic."

"You've got a deal, Madame Helga." Phil handed the old gypsy a crisp new ten dollar bill. And in return, Madame Helga gave back to him a small vial, he now considered priceless.

As Phil left, a man stepped out of the shadows. "He bought it?" he asked gruffly.

"Of course." replied Madame Helga. As her ancient body straightened and her white hair lengthened into luxurious raven tresses, she said simply, her thick gypsy accent gone, "Was there ever any doubt?"

* * * * *

Stopping only to buy some soft drinks, Phil hurried home. As soon as possible, he wanted to test the potency of the little vial's contents on Miranda. If the amazing things that Madame Helga had told him were actually true, Miranda would soon be his.

As he entered the house, Phil could clearly hear Miranda's sobs. Anxiously he made his way to Miranda's room. Just as he started to knock, the door swung open and Elmer came out.

"Do you think I can see her?" asked Phil.

"I don't think that's a good idea right now." replied Elmer. "I think it might be better if we would leave her alone for awhile."

"I just wanted to apologize to her, Elmer."

"Well, that might be alright. But I don't want you staying in there very long." said Elmer with concern. "She's in a very fragile state right now. She may not want to talk to you at all. And if she does decide to speak with you, she might suddenly decide to ask you to leave. If that happens, then you'd better leave quickly. Don't force her into doing anything all of us will regret later."

"Sure thing, Elmer. No problem."

Elmer walked slowly down the hall. He needed some time to rest.

Phil rapped on Miranda's door.

"Who is it?" asked Miranda.

"It's Phil."

"Go away." she cried.

"Please, Miranda. I just wanted to apologize for being such a stupid jerk. Can't I come in for just a minute?"

Miranda opened her door. "I suppose." She wiped the tears from her reddened and puffy eyes. "But you'd better make it quick. Okay?"

"Sure. I really want to apologize to you, Miranda." he said. "You know, I never met Milt. In fact, I never knew Milt even existed before that first night. Nor did I know that you were really some guy named Milt, who was transformed by an enchanted wig, until you and Elmer told me. So when I think about _you_, I think about Miranda. And sometimes I don't stop and think about what my constant badgering of you for a date does to you. I am really sorry, Miranda. I'll really try to do better. Can you forgive me?"

"I suppose I can, Phil. It's not really all your fault anyway." she replied. "I've been very moody and angry lately. But now, if you don't mind ..."

"Before I go. I bought some cola when I was out wandering around and thinking." said Phil. "I thought that, maybe, we could have a little drink together and then we could start all over again as friends."

"If you really think its necessary." replied Miranda. "But then you really must go."

Phil quickly opened the liter bottle, then poured the cola into two small glasses he had brought with him. Unseen by Miranda, he silently slipped a couple of drops of the potion from Madame Helga's into the glass he then handed to her. "To friends." he toasted.

"To friends." she returned his toast. Their glasses clinked together and she swiftly chugged the contents of her glass. "Now, Phil, I'd really like to be alone for awhile."

"Okay." he replied. "I understand." He extended his hand to her.

"What's that for?" she asked with a puzzled expression.,

"If we're going to be real friends," smiled Phil, "then real friends shake hands when they make up."

She smiled. Maybe there was some hope for him after all, she thought. "Okay, I guess." She took hold of Phil's proffered hand for just a moment, then just as casually dropped it once more. "Okay, Phil. We've shaken hands like real friends. Now, if you'll ..." A small, but noticeable, shiver passed through Miranda. "Now that wasn't very friendly of me. Was it?" She looked puzzled. Suddenly she held out her hand to Phil, who immediately took and kissed her proffered hand. After shivering again, she wouldn't let go of his hand. "This should be even more friendly, Phil." she told him as she kissed him on the cheek. It was a just quick peck, but it was one she repeated several times.

Phil felt Miranda shiver once again. Then he felt her lips on his, as she kissed him fully and passionately. Wow, he thought.

She pulled back slowly. "Now, wasn't _that_ a _lot_ more friendly, Phil." With thoughts of seducing him, she smiled wickedly at him.

Phil was speechless. The potion had worked - she loved him. But the old gypsy woman had told him that she would accept anything he told her as true for a few minutes after drinking the potion.

He needed a test.

But what?

"Do you remember your name?" he asked her.

"Of course, silly. My name is Milton Allen Johnson."

"No, its not." he countered quickly. "Your name is really Miranda Allison Johnson."

"Isn't that what I just said, silly." she replied in confusion. "I mean I certainly should know that my name is Miranda Allison Johnson. Shouldn't I, Phillip?"

Maybe a more involved test was needed, he thought flushed with excitement at the success of his first suggestion.

"Do you remember how you became a girl?"

"I certainly do. How could I ever forget." she answered ruefully. "I was going to try and talk you into taking me away from here, but I knew you'd never help me if I was a guy." she told him bluntly. In doing so, she filled in a nagging question that Phil had been wondering about. "So I went up to my room and put on some of my very best clothes. Then I donned the enchanted wig in order to transform into the girl I knew you would help. But, somehow, I didn't know at the time that in putting the wig on my own head that I'd be unable to ever remove it again. Only the boy-me can remove the wig from the girl-me's head to change me back into a boy."

"Very interesting, Miranda. But that wasn't the right answer."

She looked at him puzzled.

"You were already very interested in me, when you found out I was coming here at Elmer's request to join the act. You really wanted to get to know me even better, but you also knew I was only interested in the girl I'd met earlier." said Phillip as Miranda stared at him with intense concentration. "So, knowing full well that you could never become a boy again, you purposely placed the wig on your own head. But you didn't care about losing your maleness, because you were never happy about being a boy in the first place. In the past, you always had to hide your desires to wear the same sexy clothing worn by girls. Now, you can wear them openly and with genuine pride in your sexy appearance. In the past, you had always been ashamed of your growing desires to have boys notice you. Now, you can enjoy their attentions immeasurably without fear or shame. In the past, you had always wished you could be a very pretty and very sexy girl. And now, that is exactly what you are. In fact, everyone, except Elmer, believes you've always been a girl. Elmer still thinks you want to be changed back into a boy."

Miranda's lost expression reflected her near total confusion as these new thoughts Phil had told her about herself swirled around in her mind. Memories of what had been true were slowly being replaced with what Phil had just told her was now true.

Phil had initially planned on telling her she'd been a girl all of her life and that she had neither wanted to be a boy nor even thought of ever being one, but her story had inspired more creativity from him.

Miranda looked at him for a moment, then smiled at him as her face suddenly lost that vacant puzzled expression. "Phil?" she questioned. "Why doesn't Elmer think that I've always a girl?" She casually swept her hair out of her face with her hand. "I mean, look at me." She stood up straight, which, in turn, pushed her breasts out a little farther. "Do I look like a boy to you?" She cradled one of her breasts. "Do these little bundles look like they belong on a boy?"

"Of course not, Miranda." replied Phil in awe of what he was doing. "You'll just have to continue humoring Elmer for awhile. Let him believe what he wants to believe, for now."

"Oh. Okay." she answered simply. "I can do that for you, lover."

"Now, Miranda." He began in anticipation of what he knew was to come. He smiled at her. "How would you like to have dinner with me tonight, Miranda."

"No. I don't think so, Phil."

What happened now, he thought crestfallen. Things had been going so well. And now it appeared he'd goofed up somehow. So without saying another word, he turned to leave in defeat.

"Where do you think you're going, Phil?" she asked. "We really don't need to go out anywhere tonight, lover. I thought that the two of us could stay right here tonight and have fun together, sweetheart."

As Phil turned back to face Miranda, his eyes bulged wide in total surprise. Miranda was still smiling at him. She had desire burning in her eyes. And even more unbelievable, she was stark naked. And standing on a pile of clothes she'd just been wearing.

* * *

The following morning, Phil woke, still in Miranda's bed. He, as was the still sleeping Miranda, was stark naked. Her arm rested across his chest. What he thought had happened last night had actually happened. It had not been another one of his dreams. And the potion he'd bought from the gypsy fortune teller had worked even better than he could have imagined.

Slowly he rose from her bed. He didn't want to disturb Miranda, but his movements woke her in spite of his efforts.

"Morning, handsome." she smiled up at him.

"Good morning, Miranda." he replied.

She smiled at him. "Now wasn't that much better than some old dinner." She stretched her arms over her head, then laid back languorously on her bed.

Phil could only shake his head in agreement. "It certainly was. But we better not tell Elmer what we did last night."

"Of course not, dear." she smiled. "I don't think Elmer could ever understand just what his son was doing sleeping with his daughter, even if he thinks she's his son that's been transformed into a girl. No, we certainly can't tell him anything about last night at all. Elmer wouldn't be very understanding at all."

Phil sighed in relief. He'd never even considered what Elmer might think of them sleeping together, although she was probably right about him. Elmer wouldn't understand. He might even be furious. "But, you know Miranda, it would be real nice if you could dress a little more femininely now. Maybe you could also act a little more feminine too. Those things just might make Elmer think that you're adjusting to being a girl."

"But Phillip, dear." she sighed. "You know how much I love wearing sexy clothing." She posed in front of an imaginary mirror. "And I don't think you'll have to worry about Elmer. You know how I've been bamboozling him for weeks making him think I wanted to be transformed back into a boy. He'll probably be very relieved and extremely happy if I start acting more like the girl I actually am now. Not only that, but it'll be easier for me to be me instead of the boy he thinks I want to be. Don't you think so too, Phil dear."

"Of course. But please don't call me dear, Miranda. Remember we're trying to keep Elmer from finding out about us being intimate."

"Of course, Phil." she replied with a wicked grin. "Whatever you want, _dear_."

* * * * *

When Phil entered, Elmer was already in the kitchen finishing up his morning meal and sipping from a hot cup of tea. Phil had decided not to wait for Miranda, because neither of them thought it would be wise for them to join Elmer at breakfast at the exact same time. He might become suspicious if they did, they thought. Not only that, but Miranda had not even combed her hair or dressed when he'd finally left her room.

"Morning, Phil." Elmer greeted him warmly.

"Morning, Elmer." he replied.

"So how'd it go last night with Miranda?"

"What?" gasped Phil in total surprise, but trying hard not to sound surprised at all.

"Your apology." replied Elmer simply. If Elmer had noticed anything out of the ordinary, he said nothing. "Did she accept your apology?"

"She sure did." said a relieved Phillip.

"That's great news, Phil. I really hope the two of you can start getting along now. I'm tired of all the fighting between the two of you. Maybe you and Miranda should start spending more time together."

Phil smiled, not believing what he was hearing. "I don't think we're going to be fighting anymore, Elmer. And I definitely think that Miranda and I will be getting along a whole lot better from now on. That's not going to be a problem anymore."

At that moment Miranda, wearing a tight pair of pants and an equally tight sweater that accentuated the full development of her breasts and her every feminine curve, made her entrance into the kitchen.

"Hi daddy." she said sweetly. "Good morning, Phil." she said with a twinkle of mischievousness in her eyes. "Did you sleep well last night, _dear_ brother." she smiled.

Elmer stared at the bubbly Miranda in total surprise of her changed demeanor. "Are you alright, Miranda?" he asked her with concern.

"I'm just fine, daddy." she replied. "In fact, I've never felt better in my whole life." She smiled at Phil, her eyes a twinkle. "I've just finally figured out that if I have to be a girl for the rest of my life, then I might as well look good at it and have fun being one, instead of moping around here all the time."

"Well, you certainly appear to be much better, Miranda." said Elmer still overcome with the surprise caused by her changed appearance and mindset. "I'm sure you'll have all the guys eating out of your hands in no time at all."

"Oh no I won't." she quickly disagreed. "If any guys try to get too close to me, then I'll beat the shit out of them. Unless, of course, my _dear_ loving brother _beats_ me to it." She smiled again at Phil. "The boys out there can look all they want, but they can't touch. Remember, daddy, deep down I'm still a guy. But I really can't help it if I'm in this really awesome looking package now."

Miranda floated out the room.

"Now, what do you suppose has gotten into her?" asked Elmer.

Phil coughed. "I'm sure I don't have the slightest idea."

* * * * *

Over the next several weeks, Phil steadily progressed with his training and Miranda continued giving flawless performance after flawless performances. And, whenever they found it possible without alerting Elmer to their nocturnal endeavors, one would always find the other's bed.

And finally and quite unexpectedly, the day came when Phil was given his chance to perform. On that notable day, about an hour before they were to tape a new installment of their show, Miranda had sought out Elmer to tell him she wasn't feeling very well.

In turn, Elmer had sought out Phil. "Well, Phil." Elmer said when he found him. "It looks like today is going to be your first day in the sun."

"What?" questioned Phil.

"Miranda isn't feeling well." replied Elmer. "She told me she couldn't do the taping today. So you'll have to take her place."

"I'm ready, Elmer." came Phil's confident reply.

"Are you sure?"

"Of course, I am, Elmer. Miranda has told me dozens of times that I'm ready for the big time. Both of us have agreed that when the time came for me that I'd perform just as well as she does. I'll even go so far as to absolutely guarantee that the act won't suffer a bit, if I'm your assistant instead of Miranda."

"But you do _know_ that you will really be taking _her_ place tonight? Don't you?" asked Elmer. "Do you remember those boxes my old friend brought over, which I in turn handed over to you, on that long ago night after Miranda had accidentally changed herself into Miranda forever."

"Yeah, sure I remember them." answered Phil. "One of them had the clothes of a magician's assistant inside. They looked a lot like the clothes Miranda usually wears on stage. The other box had this wig of long brunette hair inside."

"You have an excellent memory, Phil." replied Elmer. "But haven't you realized that for tonight's performance, _you_ must wear those clothes and that wig."

"What are you talking about? Those were girl's clothes, Elmer." he objected. "Besides they're way too small for me." He breathed a sigh of relief. "They won't fit me anyway."

"That's okay, Phil. How they fit now is not something you need to worry about at all." Elmer quickly countered. "Once you put those clothes on and I position that brunette wig on your head, they'll soon fit you just perfectly. They'll fit _you_ exactly like those other magician's assistant's clothes fit Miranda after I put the blond wig on her head for the very first time."

Phil looked at Elmer aghast. "But I don't want to be girl, Elmer. I don't want what happened to Milt happening to me."

"But the transformation is not permanent, Phil. That is, unless you do what Milt did and put the wig on your own head. Besides, while she's not feeling well, I'm sure that Miranda wouldn't mind having a part-time sister around to keep her company and help pass the time."

"But ..."

"There can be no buts on this, Phil. Only you have the training to take over for Miranda while she's ill." said Elmer. "It should only be for a few days at most. And during that time, you will be the star of the show. But, as my old friend has repeatedly reminded me, you must be a scantily clad buxom young woman in order to be that star. Besides, I know that Miranda will appreciate your helping out until she feels better. And it will also give you a much better feeling for the things Miranda went through during her transition."

"Oh, okay. I suppose I can do that for awhile." he answered very solemnly. At the same time, he wondered why he had just agreed to let Elmer transform him into a girl. "Just as long as its only for a few days and I don't have stay a girl for very long." He sighed, resigned to being a part-time girl for the next few days. He began to wonder if Milt had started out feeling this way.

* * * * *

Phil stood in front of the mirror staring at himself dressed in the clothes of a female magician's assistant. How, he wondered, had Elmer ever convinced him to dress up in these clothes? The short skirt, which bared his hairy legs, was bad enough, but he thought that the skimpy top, which, if it were actually be worn by some generously endowed young woman, revealed a lot of flesh, made him look totally foolish and silly. And what about these stupid shoes, he thought. He would never understand how girls walked in shoes with high heels without falling down or breaking their necks.

"Do I really have to wear these clothes?" he asked Elmer as he entered the room. "I feel really stupid."

"Of course you do, son." replied Elmer calmly. "You must remember that my old friend told me sometime back that the act wouldn't be a success without a young, scantily clad, buxom girl assistant. And it was a total bomb until Milt became Miranda. Now that she's sick, you are going to have my busty girl assistant instead." Elmer slid the wig onto Phil's head.

"But, Elmer ..." he began to whine. His hand raised to the side of his head. "Oh my." he mumbled feeling dizzy. He tottered on his feet for a moment before deciding he had to sit down on the edge of his bed. As he sat down, the dizziness he'd been feeling quickly overwhelmed him and, as he sprawled out on his bed, he passed out.

Just as he'd watched Milt's first transformation into Miranda, Elmer now watched with equal silence as Phil's form gradually began to alter. All of the hair on his legs and arms gradually faded away as his appendages swiftly smoothed into their perfectly formed and exceptionally graceful feminine counterparts. The nails on his fingers lengthened and, just like the nails on his toes, colored to the brightest of scarlets.

As had been the case with Milt, Elmer could see that Phil's very shape was being completely remolded while he watched on in awe. Elmer was glad that there appeared to be no pain involved in these changes, as Phil's hips suddenly flared wider, while his waist, seemingly in direct compensation, constricted sharply. And as he continued to stare, Elmer watched Phil's body soften and, in that heightened state of pliability, assume shapely feminine contours that included the swift blossoming of his newly budded breasts.

Once again, the transformation had been just as his old friend had told him. The previously ill-fitting clothes that had so distressed Phil as he stood in front of the mirror earlier, now fit _her_ new form perfectly - just as if they'd been custom made to _her_ exact specifications.

Elmer could do little more than stare at the prone female figure now stretched out languidly on Phil's bed in apparent deep sleep. A smile crept slowly across his face.

When Phil woke a short time later, Elmer extended his hand to help his transformed assistant out of the bed. Phil had stared in total disbelief at the graceful arm with the small hand and slender fingers with brightly painted nails that reached up to accept Elmer's helping hand.

He rushed to the mirror. And what he saw reflected in it, he could not believe. He now had smooth and shapely feminine legs. His boobs were as large as Miranda's. He filled out the clothes he was wearing perfectly. Even his face had changed. Looking closely at his reflection, he thought he could recognize small traces of his old self in the mirror. But he doubted anyone else would even take the time to look past this beautiful young girl he'd become.

"Wow." said Phil in an airy and sexy tone that surprised him with its pitch. He grabbed at his throat. "That can't really be my voice." he said with exactly the same inflection and intonation.

After much effort he finally managed to slip back into the heeled shoes. But he still had trouble walking in them, looking instead like a drunken sailor. And they still felt dammed uncomfortable.

"I don't think I can do this after all Elmer." he grimaced in pain. "I feel totally awkward like this. If I go out on stage as I am now, I'm either going to be a complete embarrassment to you," and to me, he silently added to himself, "or I'm going to break to my neck."

"That's no problem, Phil." replied the magician. "I should be able to help you over those feelings of awkwardness for awhile, just like I helped Milt at first." Elmer placed his thumbs aside Phil's temples and spoke three words Phil had never heard before. "Now, how do you feel?"

"I feel simply marvelous, daddy." replied Phil.

"Do you know who you are?"

"Of course I know who I am, daddy." came her quick reply. "Why shouldn't I? Regardless of how I look right now, I'm really your adopted son Phillip. But when you placed this ensorcelled wig on my head it transformed me into a girl and became my real hair." She ran her hand through her soft brunette hair. "And until you decide to remove it again, since you were the one who put it there in the first place, I'll remain a girl." She posed in the mirror and smiled at her reflection. "But, you know what daddy. I don't feel very much like a Phil or even a Phillip anymore." She smiled at Elmer. "I think that I'd really like it if you would call me Phyllis whenever I'm with you as a girl. Would you please do that for me, daddy."

"Of course I will, Phyllis." smiled Elmer. "Whatever you wish, my dear."

* * * * *

The taping that evening went better than Elmer had expected. Despite Phil's bravado, Elmer had still expected some trouble. He'd been extremely happy to be wrong in his expectations.

And his new daughter Phyllis, the stand-in magician's assistant, had actually been the surprise hit of the evening. Not only had she performed as flawlessly as Miranda, she'd also apparently gained an instant fan following, much to her own embarrassment, among several of the older boys in the audience. They'd whistled at her when she'd been introduced as her sister's replacement for the evening. And all night long she could have sworn she felt their eyes staring at her, while they tried undressing her with their eyes.

Afterwards, as Elmer drove himself and Phyllis home, he reduced the intensity of the spell that made Phyllis feel so comfortable as a girl. He would turn it up later if Phyllis needed it, but in order for her to be around Miranda without her remembering things that might be painful, Elmer needed Phyllis to act more naturally - more like the Phil she knew.

"The producers called earlier to ask how I was." said Miranda as Elmer and Phyllis entered. "They also told me that you did a fantastic job filling in for me tonight, Phyllis." She coughed as she smiled. "You know, Phyllis. I'll bet all the boys in the audience wanted to tell you how pretty you are."

"Why, thank you." replied Phyllis. "I think."

"Yes, you did do very well tonight." Elmer told her. "In fact, your work tonight was excellent, Phyllis." He turned to Miranda. "Now, how about you young lady? How are you feeling?"

"Pretty good." replied Miranda. "Actually I feel a lot better than I did this morning. I don't know why, but I always seem to feel the sickest in the morning. I wish I knew why. But I'll go to bed at night feeling halfway decent and then in the morning I feel like I'm going to die." She sighed. "I guess I'm going to have to miss a few more days."

"There's no need to hurry back." said Elmer. "We want you to get well again. We certainly don't want you getting any sicker. Just rest and get well. Besides, if tonight is a true indication, then I'm confident that Phyllis will fill in for you quite admirably."

Unused to receiving compliments, Phyllis blushed.

"I think I'm going to turn in. It has been a very long day." said Elmer. "And it's going to be a short night with that early call for retakes in the morning." Elmer turned to Phyllis. "Within those time constraints, I hope you won't mind remaining Phyllis tonight." But before Phyllis had a chance to raise an objection, Elmer had left the room.

"Do you want to go to my room?" Miranda asked Phyllis.


"Do you want to go to my room? After all, I still know you're really my lover Phil, even if you are supposed to be my sister now." she smiled. "But something feels different now."

"Yeah, tell me about it." answered Phyllis. "Look at me. I'm a girl now."

"I know that, silly. But that's not it. I can't really explain it, Phyllis." she said feeling somewhat puzzled. "And it really doesn't make any sense at all to me anyway, but somehow I don't seem to love you the same way when you're Phyllis instead of Phil. I mean, its not like I don't love you anymore, because I still do. But it's more like what I'd really feel for you as a sister instead of a lover. Does that make any sense to you?"

"Not really. Whether I'm a girl or a boy shouldn't have any bearing on the way we feel about each other. Maybe you just like boys more than you like girls." replied Phyllis with a small frown. That's just great, she thought, the gypsy's potion weakened when I became a girl. But then maybe I should have expected that. After all, she had a different potion for boy-boy relationships and it would be a reasonable assumption that she had another one designed specifically for girl-girl relations. "Maybe we can go to your room and talk for awhile."

"Okay." beamed Miranda. "That should lots of fun."

Once inside Miranda's room, she turned to her sister. "So, tell me the truth, Phyllis. How'd you like being a girl tonight?"

"I guess it wasn't all that bad. But it did feel kind of strange for awhile being on the receiving end of all the attention from all those boys in the audience. It was kind of annoying to be whistled at, but it was also kind of nice too. And it wasn't as bad I thought it was going to be. I wonder if you get used to it after awhile."

Miranda smiled at her sister. "It'll get easier and easier every day, Phyllis." Miranda turned down the covers on her bed and began to undress. "But if you think what happened at the taping tonight was strange, just remember you have this early call for tomorrow morning which will force you to sleep as Phyllis tonight." Miranda gave her sister a wicked grin, then slipped into bed under the covers. "From personal experience, I'd bet that would be kind of weird for you the first time too." She tapped the bed. "Well, come on, Phyllis. What are you waiting for? Take off those clothes and jump into bed with me. I'm going to help you make it through your first night in bed as a girl."

"What?" exclaimed Phyllis.

"You heard me." replied Miranda. "Now, shut up and strip."

* * * * *

In the morning, Phyllis woke, still in Miranda's bed, next to her sister. Absently, her hand ran gently across her sister's sleeping form. As it did, she remembered what had happened last night, when it had been Miranda's hands as the intrepid explorers and her body the virgin unexplored territory. Miranda's gentle caresses and ministrations had been exciting and totally unlike anything she had ever experienced before. And it had been fun and exciting.

She looked into her sister's face and found her eyes open and watching her intently.

"Did you have fun last night?" asked Miranda with a smile.

"Oh, yes." replied Phyllis. "I don't believe I've ever had so much fun in my entire life."

"I know." grinned Miranda. "I really enjoyed myself last night too."

They hugged one another.

And for awhile, just laid together with each other's embrace.

* * * * *

Finally, the two girls came down to breakfast, where they joined Elmer, who was just finishing his morning meal.

"How did you two sleep?" asked Elmer.

"Alright." echoed both girls.

Miranda smiled a little conspiratorial smile at Phyllis. "But I don't feel very good again this morning." She suddenly turned and ran out of the room. When she returned several minutes later, she was noticeably paler.

"I've made a doctor's appointment for you." said Elmer with concern. "You'll see him while Phyllis and I do the retakes this morning."

"That's probably a good idea." said Miranda. "I only hope he can figure out what it is that makes me feel so sick in the morning."

* * *

Miranda sat alone in the doctor's waiting room. Elmer had made an early appointment for her with an old and trusted friend of his. She hoped the doctor would be able to tell her what was wrong with her and give her something that would make her feel better.

She'd arrived at the doctor's office early - the door had still been locked - because she didn't want to be late. Nor had she wanted to be subjected to any more questions from Phyllis or Elmer.

As soon as she'd entered, she'd told the doctor's receptionist that she was here for her appointment. The receptionist took her name and looked at the list of appointments currently being printed. "Please take a seat in the waiting room, Miss Johnson." the receptionist told her. "The doctor will see you in just a few minutes.

That had been twenty minutes ago.

She fidgeted anxiously in the chair as she continued to wait. All the waiting around was one of the reasons she had never liked seeing doctors when she'd been Milt. For some reason, that thought made her feel a little better. At least something of Milt had survived her transformation. She smiled. Not even being transformed into a girl had altered her perceptions about doctors.

She continued to wait. While she did, she looked through all the magazines laid out on the table next to her. It disturbed her a little when she couldn't find a _Sports Illustrated_. Just what kind of doctor wouldn't have a subscription _Sports Illustrated_, she wondered. But there were several other magazines, none of which she recognized, on the table. But even worse, none of them looked overly interesting. Then, on one of the other tables, she spotted the current issue of _National Geographic_. She went over and picked it up, then returned to her seat and opened it.

"The doctor will see you now, Miss Johnson." said the receptionist.

Miranda sighed, then put the magazine down on the table. She stood and walked over to the door leading into the offices. As she reached the door, she was met by a nurse, who, Miranda believed, wasn't much older than her.

"Come this way, Miss Johnson." said the nurse. She stopped in front of the scale standing in the hall. "We need to check your weight. Would you please step up on the scale."

"Of course." replied Miranda as she stepped up onto the scale.

The nurse fiddled with the weights on the scale, then wrote something on the notepad she carried. "You can step down now." said the nurse. She placed the notepad in a holder hung on the outside of a door into a small room. "Please wait inside, Miss Johnson. The doctor will be with you in just a few minutes."

I'll bet, thought Miranda as she walked inside and the nurse closed the door behind her.

Miranda sat down on the chair and looked at the magazines. There were two sitting on the table. Neither of them appealed to her. So she sat down in the chair and fidgeted back and forth, while she waited for the doctor to arrive.

A half hour later, the door opened and the doctor entered.

"Good morning, Miss Johnson. I'm Dr. Arlen, an old friend of Elmer's. How are you feeling this morning?"

"Just like I've felt most mornings lately, Dr. Arlen. Totally miserable." replied Miranda, wondering if Dr. Arlen was a real doctor or maybe some kind of witch doctor. Being a friend of Elmer's, just about anything was possible. "I haven't puked yet this morning. That's been a good sign, but its still early. I came here hoping that you could tell me what was wrong with me and help me get better."

"That's a good attitude. Let's get started." said the doctor. "Now, what kind of symptoms are you experiencing?" he asked.

"Well, in general, I feel really bad in morning after getting out of bed." she answered. "Sometimes the feeling lasts for several hours. Sometimes it lasts for only a few minutes, which makes me think I'm starting to get better. And then, there are sometimes I barely make it to the bathroom before I puke all over the place." Miranda frowned as she thought about her nausea. "But I generally feel much better in the evening. And then it starts all over again in morning."

Doctor Arlen smiled his best doctor smile. "Okay." he said, as he scribbled something in the notepad that he'd picked up from the holder on the door when he'd entered. "Are there any other symptoms I should know about?"

"Like what?" queried Miranda.

"For example, do your breasts feel bigger? Or perhaps, have they become more sensitive than before."

"Yeah, they do. But how'd you know that?" she wondered. "Does that have something to do with how terrible I've been feeling? I thought they felt bigger and were more sensitive because of all the great sex I've been having with Phil."

Dr. Arlen smiled again. Thinking he was on the right track, he asked, "Do you feel run down and tired all the time?"

"Yeah." she answered nervously. "Lately, it seems all I want to do is sleep. And when I do manage to do anything at all, it leaves me exhausted."

"Do you have to urinate frequently?"

"You got that one right too, doc." replied Miranda. "It almost seems like I'm in the john all the time." Miranda looked up at the doctor. "It sounds to me like you've got some idea of what's wrong already."

"I have an idea, Miss Johnson." said the doctor who continued to write things in the notepad. "I have one last question. When was your last period?"

Miranda looked at him with a confused expression. "My last what?" she asked.

"Your last menstrual period?" he repeated. She really should know this, he thought, especially is she's been having an ongoing sexual relationship.

But Miranda still looked confused. He shook her head. "I still don't know what you're talking about, doc."

"I hate to be indelicate about these matters, Miss Johnson." said the doctor quite perplexed by his patient's lack of knowledge about her own body. "But when ... did you ... last bleed ..."

"Oh that." she replied in obvious relief. "You had me really scared there for a minute." She thought about the doctor's question. "I'd guess, I haven't done that - you know what I mean - for a couple of months now. You know doctor, it really scared the shit out of me when it started. But Elmer told me it was perfectly normal for girls to do that. But I still thought it was strange, when Elmer told me I needed to enroll in a hygiene class to learn about all those things I needed to know. But after a few months, it just stopped. I just figured that was normal too, So I didn't worry about it any more."

The doctor rolled his eyes toward the ceiling. His patient was one of the strangest girls he'd ever treated. But then Elmer has always had this knack of finding strange people and making them his friends. He knew he have to talk with both her and Elmer, who should have known better, to make sure she enrolled in a suitable hygiene class. But, if he had correctly identified her problem, she was going to have plenty of time available to take that class. "I think I know what your problem is, Miss Johnson." he told her. "There's a very simple test we can do right here in the office that will either confirm or deny my preliminary diagnosis. I'm certain it will confirm my hunch, but if it doesn't, then I'll arrange some additional lab tests."

"That's fine with me." replied Miranda. "What do you need from me?"

The doctor handed her a small beaker. "Some urine."

Miranda smiled. "That should be easy." She went into the small bathroom and came back with the beaker filled to the brim with urine. She carefully handed it to the doctor. "Is this enough? Or do you need more?" she asked.

"This will do fine." replied Dr. Arlen. "It's really more than enough." As Miranda watched, Dr. Arlen poured some of the beaker's contents into a smaller beaker. "We should have the results quickly." Then he added some other fluid to the small beaker and stared at it as if looking for something. "You could have done this test at home, if you had suspected what I suspect."

Miranda wondered what this test was for.

0 Finally the doctor looked up from the beaker. "The agglutination test is positive, Miss Johnson. Congratulations, you're going to be a mother."

"What!" Miranda was shocked. "That means I'm pregnant. Doesn't it, doctor." She looked down at her stomach expecting to see the bloated belly of a pregnant woman, but it hadn't changed - it was the same as when she'd entered. "But I can't be pregnant, doctor."

"The test says otherwise, Miss Johnson. I'm sorry if the news is not what you expected."

"But, doctor." replied Miranda near tears. "It's just not possible for me to be pregnant."

"Why not?" asked the doctor. "You appear to be a healthy young woman. And you did admit earlier to having sexual relations with someone named Phil. Did either of you take precautions against your becoming pregnant?"

"Precautions?" she queried in confusion. "What kind of precautions?"

Dr. Arlen sighed. He decided to ask the questions but figured that he already knew what the answers would be. "Are you on the pill, Miss Johnson? Or did Phil use a condom?"

"No." she simply replied.

"Then I don't see any reason why you can't be pregnant, Miss Johnson. As I said, you're a healthy young woman. And neither you nor your boyfriend took the necessary precautions to prevent your becoming pregnant."

"But, I'm not really a girl, doctor." said Miranda in voice just above a whisper. "I'm really a boy who was magically transformed into a girl several months ago." She smiled and batted her eyes at the doctor. "And boys don't get pregnant. Do they, doctor?" Proud of her logic, she added, "Therefore, I can't be pregnant."

"Oh." Dr. Arlen shook his head. This is one really strange girl, he thought. He had to remind himself again about Elmer predilection for befriending odd people. It wasn't his place to judge. "I'm not much of a believer in magical transformations. I can only tell you, Miss Johnson, that, whether you wish to believe it or not, you are pregnant."

"But I can't be." sighed Miranda as tears rolled down her cheeks. "Elmer won't understand."

"You should give Elmer more credit than that, Miss Johnson." replied the doctor in a fatherly tone. "I've known him for several years. I'm sure he'll understand completely, if you give him the chance. Just remember, he wouldn't have sent you here if he didn't care about you."

"Do you really think so?" she asked tearfully.

"I know so, Miss Johnson. But, now that we've identified your 'problem,' you should really be seeing an obstetrician instead of me. Do you have one?"


"Don't worry about it." Dr. Arlen wrote something on the notepad, then ripped off the page and handed it to Miranda. "Give this to my receptionist on your way out. She'll give you the name of a friend of mine, who has a local obstetrics practice."

"Thank you, Dr. Arlen." said Miranda still weeping. "I guess it's going to take some time to get used to the idea of having a baby."

"Good luck, Miss Johnson." He gave her a hug. "Please say hello to Elmer for me." Then the doctor turned and went back to his office.

Miranda stepped up to the receptionist desk and handed the girl the note written by Dr. Arlen. The girl read the note, then shuffled some papers in a folder before returning her attention to Miranda.

"They should have asked you this before, Miss Johnson, but its not with the rest of your paperwork." said the receptionist coolly. "Do you have insurance?"

"Yes, of course." replied Miranda. She pulled out her insurance identification card and handed it to girl.

The receptionist took the card and looked at both sides carefully. Then she took the card over to the copy machine and made three copies of both sides. Then she walked over to the file cabinets, where she stored one of the copies of Miranda's card in one cabinet and removed two small cards from another cabinet. She walked back to Miranda and returned her card back to her. "You have a five dollar copay with this carrier, Miss Johnson. You can pay that now, or we can bill you later. And Dr. Arlen has referred you to these doctors, who, I'm sure you'll be happy to know, also accept this insurance carrier."

"Thank you." Miranda handed the receptionist a five dollar bill.

The receptionist wrote out a receipt, then handed it and the two business cards to Miranda. "If you have any further questions before you contact the other doctors, please don't hesitate to call."

"Thank you, again." said Miranda.

As Miranda left the office, she decided to look at the two business cards she'd been given. The first was for an obstetrician. "Laura Tanner, M.D., Obstetrics and Gynecology" she read out loud and shuddered at all of its implications, as it reminded her of her newly discovered condition. The second was for a psychiatrist. "Winston P. Shrank, M.D." she read. She couldn't help but laugh when she saw it. After what I told him, she thought, I'm sure that Dr. Arlen must think I'm crazy. She put the cards, along with the receipt, into her purse.

"How can I tell Elmer and Phyllis that I'm pregnant?" she wondered aloud as she walked home. "And how is Phyllis going to react, when she finds out that she's going to be a father?"

* * * * *

When Phyllis and Elmer returned from taping their scheduled retakes, Miranda, pretending to be asleep, was laying quietly on the couch.

Elmer was surprised to find her already home, since his earlier conversation with his old friend, Dr. Arlen, had indicated it might take several hours to determine exactly what was wrong with Miranda. When he looked at her, he could tell that she'd been crying, which, along with her earlier than anticipated arrival, made him more worried than he'd already been. "I know you're not asleep, Miranda." he told her gently. "Is there something wrong?"

"Well. Not exactly, Elmer." She opened her eyes to see Elmer hovering over her, then sought out Phyllis. "The good news is I'm going to get better."

"When will you start feeling better?" asked Phyllis with relief that her sister and lover when she was Phil would be alright.

"Probably another four to six weeks." she replied. "At least that's what I was told. Most women only suffer morning sickness for the first three months. It really shouldn't last much longer than that." she told them. "But afterwards Phyllis is still going to have to be your assistant in the act for several months."

Elmer and Phyllis looked at each other with puzzled expressions. But Miranda, who saw their confused looks, said nothing more.

"Just what did Dr. Arlen find out?" asked Elmer.

"Not much really." replied Miranda. "First, he asked me a lot a questions about how I felt. Then he had me take a leak to fill a beaker, which he used in a little chemical test. After that, he told me I was pregnant."

Elmer and Phyllis mouths dropped open.

"Pregnant?" whispered Phyllis. "Oh, shit."

"Pregnant? How could you be pregnant?" asked Elmer. "Hell, other than your brother, you don't even like having boys around you."

"That's true, Elmer." She looked toward Phyllis for help and support.

But Elmer had already spotted the look passing between them. "Oh no!" he exclaimed. "Would one of you please tell me that what I'm thinking isn't really true."

But Miranda remained silent.

"I wish I could, Elmer. I know its what you want to hear right now." said Phyllis finally. "But I'm afraid I can't." She sighed. "In all likelihood I'm the father of the baby Miranda now carries."

"How long have the two of you ..." began Elmer.

"Long enough." interrupted Phyllis. "It started a couple of months ago. I'm sure you'll remember. it was just after that last time Miranda blew off at me for asking her out again. You went to talk to her and I went out for a walk to cool off and think. I didn't pay a lot of attention where I was going, so when I stopped after awhile, I found myself in that old section of town you'd told both of us to stay away from. So ..."

"No. You don't have to tell me the rest. I can see what's coming." said Elmer. "You either bought or traded for a love potion from one of those self-serving witches or wizards who make a living off people like you. And when you returned to apologize to Miranda, that was when you slipped the potion into something you gave Miranda to drink."

"You gave me some love potion to make me love you?" she spat angrily. But her anger was short-lived. "Now, wasn't that sweet of you." she added melodiously.

"Yes, I did. I'm sorry, Miranda." said her sister. "But I only wanted you to like me more. All you ever did before was yell at me for things that weren't my fault." Phyllis looked at Miranda. "But you have to believe me, I never considered I might get you pregnant."

"Damnation, Phyllis!" exclaimed Elmer. "Those quacks down there are dangerous. Instead of making your sister fall in love with you, it could have just as easily changed her into a newt. I still can't believe you got your sister pregnant." He began pacing back and forth between the two girls. "You were very thoughtless, Phyllis. I'm going to have to take some time to think of something appropriate for your punishment. But for the time being, I won't remove your wig. You can just remain Phyllis until I decide what I'm going to do."

"But Elmer..." said Phyllis.

"Don't 'But Elmer me,' young lady." said the irritated Elmer. "If you're going to _play_ with spells and potions, then you're just going to have to take your punishment like a man, young lady." Elmer turned away and stormed angrily out of room.

"I'm sorry, Phyllis." said Miranda, trying to comfort her sister.

"There's no reason for you to feel sorry for me." sighed Phyllis. "I was the one who gave you that love potion. And you're the one who's now pregnant because of it."

"I know that." replied Miranda. "But you only did that because you loved me and wanted me to love you back. I'm not angry with you anymore."

"You aren't?" asked Phyllis, very puzzled by her sister's extremely changeable moods.

"Of course not, silly. How can I be angry with you?" replied Miranda, a wide smile spreading across her face. "After all, you're not only my sister, you're also the father of my unborn child. I can't stay angry at you very long." Miranda winked at her still confused sister. "Now, it won't be as much fun for me, since you're still Phyllis, but what would you say about the two of us going up to my room for a little _fun_."

* * *

"They're starting to get real antsy, Jedina. They want to know how much longer this is going to take." said the man. "The members of the council who believe Elmer should have been eliminated outright and not merely banished are suddenly getting very nervous. They're afraid the rest of the council will find out what they've been up to. And they don't want to get caught."

"Tell them not to worry, Hudson." replied the dark-haired woman. "It shouldn't take much longer to do what must be done. And unless one of _them_ panics, none of them will be caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar." Jedina smiled at her husky male companion. "So far, nearly everything has proceeded according to plan. But who would have guessed that Elmer could have had sufficient time with that horny love-starved imbecile Phillip to adequately train him in the ways of the sexy replacement assistant Phyllis has become.

"I sure wouldn't have thought it possible." said Hudson. "But you know, Jedina, I sure as hell wouldn't mind having her jumping in the sack with me."

"Why are you always thinking with hormones, Hudson?" she asked with a sigh. "How many times have I told you that sooner or later, thinking with your glands is going to get you into serious trouble."

"More times than I can count, Jedina. But I'd bet I'd being having loads of fun until then." laughed Hudson. "Seriously though, they want to know why it's taking so long. What should I tell them?"

"Tell them to chill out. It's all under control. They just think it's taking a long time because of the complications represented by Phillip and Phyllis. Our original plan only dealt with Milt and Elmer, as I'm sure they'll remember.

"Those same council members, who are so worried _now_, also viewed the orphan boy Milt as a potential future threat. Not being very creative, they wanted him eliminated too. As a result, we led Elmer, who saw the boy's great potential immediately, to Milt. They would have lived out their lives in near total obscurity, completely neutralized, effectively eliminated, forever, if it hadn't been for that old man helping out his old friend. That wig, which changed Milt into Miranda, was an unforeseen complication. Without its help, none of this subterfuge would have been necessary. And the two of them would have been neutralized by now. But with their increased popularity, a certain number of changes to the original plan was required.

"A few judiciously cast spells gave them their own television show, along with an inherent boost in popularity. With the additional time it required Milt to be Miranda, it was easy to feed Milt's paranoia about gradually fading away until only his Miranda persona remained. And it was almost as easy to make him carelessly forget about the potential consequences of putting the wig on his own head.

"But we didn't make allowances for the appearance of Phillip. He was another unknown factor, that was, for us anyway, tossed in at the worst possible moment. Without _his_ presence, not to mention the untimely delivery of that second wig by the old man to his friend, this would have been over by now as well."

"You haven't answered their question yet, Jedina." said Hudson. "They still want to know how long before its done."

"Tell them, it won't be much longer." replied Jedina, as an evil grin quickly spread across her face. "We're on the home stretch, Hudson. Miranda is now pregnant and the "love" potion Phil gave her has, unknown to anyone but the two of us, made her very malleable. And it won't be long after Phyllis comes calling on me, that we'll wrap up this little caper of the council's for good."

"How do you know that Phyllis will be coming to see you?" asked Hudson.

"It is actually very simple, Hudson. I have some influence." replied Jedina. "Trust me." Her long raven tresses quickly grayed before turning the snowiest of whites. Her now coarse hair, only moments before long and silky, barely touched her shoulders. Her posture stooped with the age she now appeared to be. She turned back to Hudson and, in the thick gypsy accent he hadn't heard since she'd sold the potion to that imbecile, said "After all, Madame Helga knows all."

Jedina began to laugh, but, in Madame Helga's form, it sounded more like an evil cackle.

* * * * *

After the passage of a week, an extremely agitated Phyllis was still fuming about being Phyllis. She wanted to talk to Elmer, but it seemed he was avoiding her.

"Elmer?" she asked when she finally caught him alone. "It has been seven whole days now. When are you going to remove this wig so I can be myself again?"

"I really haven't decided yet, Phyllis." replied Elmer calmly. "I'm sure that even you recognize that you, as Phyllis, cause me far less grief then you would if you were Phillip again. And I actually believe Miranda likes having her _sister_ around all the time, although I'd also guess she misses the intimate relationship she had with her _brother_." Elmer paused to let what he'd told her sink in. "But I have been thinking about it. I just haven't finalized what would be a suitable punishment yet." Elmer looked at her with a mischievous grin. "I have been tempted to leave you as Phyllis until after Miranda delivers her baby. How would you like that?"

Phyllis was visibly shocked at the suggestion. "Hell no." she swore. "Elmer, that's months away yet. I don't want to be a girl _now_. And I sure as hell don't want to be a girl for several more months."

"I didn't think you'd care for that option. But I have been kicking around a couple of other ideas for awhile. I haven't yet decided on anything definite. Believe me, Phyllis, you'll know when I finally make a decision about what I'm going to do." Elmer turned and walked slowly away.

Phyllis knew better than to try and talk to him further on this subject. He didn't show it outwardly, but she knew Elmer was still hurt and angry with them about deceiving him. I knew he'd be upset, she thought, but I still think he's being totally unfair to me.

"Hi there." said a young man, who was suddenly standing next to her when she'd turned around. "Was that old coot bothering you? Some of these deluded old farts running around here think that all pretty girls have the hots for them."

"No, he wasn't bothering me." she blushingly replied. What a hunk, she thought. She shook her head, wondering why she'd thought some guy was a hunk. "That old fart happens to be my father. Well, almost my father. He's more like my adopted father." She began to fret as she thought about what she'd just said. "You know, I'm sure this will sound strange, but I can't remember when Elmer actually adopted me. Not only that, but I don't seem to remember any details about my real parents either."

"That doesn't sound like such a big loss to me." said the young man. "You know there are a lot of times I wish I could forget all about my parents." He stuck out his hand. "My name's Tommy."

"Phyllis." She smiled at him as she shook his hand.

"I know. I've been watching you." said Tommy. "You're the magician's assistant. I'm sure you get awfully tired of guys hitting on you, being as pretty you are."

Phyllis felt her face redden from the compliment. It was an odd sensation. "Thank you, Tommy." she said still smiling at him. What am I doing, she thought suddenly, as she realized he was hitting on her and, even worse, she was flirting back in return. "I have to get ready for the next part of the show. It was really nice meeting you, Tommy." She stuck out her hand, then watched as Tommy leaned down and kissed it gently. "I hope I will see you again later." she said teasingly. "Okay?"

"You can count on it, pretty lady." replied Tommy with a smile, as he watched the embarrassed Phyllis dash quickly away.

* * * * *

Phyllis sat in her dressing room reliving the horror that had just transpired between her and Tommy. Her reflection stared back accusingly from the mirror. "I can't believe what just happened to me." she mumbled to her reflection. "That Tommy guy was actually trying to pick _me_ up. He gave me a really old and corny pickup line and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker." She looked at her reflected image and shook her head slowly back and forth in utter disbelief. "We were actually flirting with each other. Weren't we." she asked her reflection. "What the hell is wrong with you?" she asked the girl in the mirror without really expecting an answer.

Once more, Phyllis stared at herself in the mirror. "But he did say I was pretty." she sighed. "That was awfully nice of him." Again she shook her head. "Quit thinking about him and what happened." she told herself. "You're _not_ a girl, you're a boy. Act like one, you stupid bitch."

Sitting before the mirror, she idly applied her makeup, while trying hard to dismiss Tommy and their encounter from her thoughts. Lost in the attempt to stifle those unwanted thoughts, she never realized how expertly she was applying her makeup. In the past, either her sister or the studio makeup lady had always done her makeup. "Damn. He is right. I _am_ pretty." she exclaimed with pride after having applied her own makeup for the first time in her life.

She knew that something was not right with her. Something was trying to make her act like a totally different person, but she had no idea what was causing it. After the taping, she knew she'd have to try figuring out what was happening to her and what was the cause of it.

Maybe Elmer would help.

No, she couldn't bother him about this. He was still angry with her about getting her sister pregnant.

If not Elmer, then maybe that really cute guy she'd met earlier would help her. She would have to ask him when she saw him later. But she was absolutely certain that Tommy would help her. After all, she sighed contentedly, Tommy had just told her that he thought she was pretty. He must really like me, she thought.

"Oh shit." she swore, as she angrily slammed her dressing room door behind her. "What is happening to me?"

* * * * *

Out of sheer necessity, Phyllis was the ultimate portrait of pure concentration during her scenes. Everyone was so impressed with her performance, that no one realized she was fighting a constant battle within herself to retain her focus. When she relaxed, even if only for an instant, her mind wandered back to Tommy and their encounter. That was bad enough, but her mind tended to dwell on it for several minutes.

What was it about him that affected her like this?

And how could she stop whatever it was?

Her budding obsession with this young man she'd only just met was beginning to annoy her. Tommy was male, just like she was. And she knew she still liked girls, just as she knew she would never want to become involved with another boy. So why did she keep thinking about him? Suddenly, with the passage of an uncontrollable shudder through her body, it dawned on her that the unthinkable - a growing physical attraction for Tommy - had happened. That knowledge was frightening.

Then she had another sudden thought. Perhaps her unexplainable actions were somehow caused by the wig. The other night Miranda had confided in her that back when she'd been spending increasingly longer periods of time as a girl without changing back into Milt that she had also begun feeling increasingly "girlish" at the same time. It was almost, she'd told her, as if the wig, which had caused her transformation from Milt into Miranda, played tricks with her mind and grew stronger the longer she wore it. But even Miranda had never been a girl for a full week until after she'd been permanently transformed into one.

That must be it, she decided. Maybe now, armed with this new information, she could finally get Elmer to remove the insidious wig from her head. Phyllis had been relieved after Miranda had told her that those increased feelings of "girlishness" she'd had rapidly dissipated after Elmer had removed the wig. But she'd also given her a warning. Those feelings didn't go away instantaneously. Phyllis hoped this would also be true of her wig, because, even if she had to be an effeminate boy for a couple of hours, she had really started to hate feeling the way she did now.

* * * * *

Finally, to her overwhelmingly great relief, the taping came to an end. Afterwards, as she sat alone in her dressing room, Phyllis was both amazed and delighted that no one had noticed anything out of the ordinary with her performance or, more importantly, with her behavior.

She decided to ask Elmer again about removing the wig. She would tell him about her conversations with Miranda. And about those strange feelings of "girlishness" she'd been having lately. Miranda had told her about Milt speaking with Elmer about those same strange feelings. And if what she thought about the wig was actually true, then certainly Elmer wouldn't risk doing her permanent harm. Soon, she felt quite certain, she would be Phil again.

On her way to Elmer's dressing room, she bumped into Tommy. "Hi, Tommy." she said with a broad smile. Oh no, she thought, what's he doing here? "Are you alright, Tommy?" she asked with concern. "I didn't mean to run over you."

"I'm fine, pretty lady." he replied.

Oh my, thought Phyllis, he called me pretty again. She looked up at him. Suddenly, she felt an odd weakness spread across her knees. Her heart began to flutter rapidly. Her breathing quickened. Not now, she thought. Unable to turn her eyes away from him, she stepped closer to Tommy.

Noting her reaction, Tommy smiled. Gently, and encountering no resistance from her, he pulled Phyllis even closer. Without breaking eye contact, he slowly lifted her chin, then tenderly kissed her fully on the lips. He felt her arms slide around him. And, as he'd expected, Tommy felt the girl's legs buckle. He might even have smiled had he not been otherwise more pleasantly occupied.

When their lips had first met, Phyllis had been appalled at kissing another boy. She'd resisted - at first; but not for very long. She thought it must be the wig making her feel so incredibly "girlish." And what little resistance she'd managed to muster had melted away long before she'd even realized her response to Tommy's kiss was that of some lust-crazed, sex addict.

But by then, she didn't care.

Tommy reluctantly pulled back from their embrace. "I need to see someone right now, pretty lady." he said. "Wait for me here. I'll be back before you even know I'm gone. And then we can take care of unfinished business."

"Of course, Tommy, dearest." she replied breathily. She smiled a vacuous smile, as she leaned against the wall in order to steady herself and keep from falling down. She watched dreamily as _her_ handsome hunk walked down the hall, then turned and entered the door into Elmer's dressing room.

Elmer's dressing room!

With the realization that Tommy was in Elmer's dressing room, Phyllis suddenly snapped out of her dreamlike fog. What the hell was Tommy doing in there? And why was he even meeting with Elmer in the first place? She started towards Elmer's dressing room, then abruptly stopped. In her mind she heard once again the statement Elmer had made to her earlier. "Believe me, Phyllis, you'll know when I finally make a decision about what I'm going to do."

And now, she believed, she knew exactly what Elmer had devised for her punishment. These weird feelings she'd been having weren't being manufactured by the wig after all. Elmer was behind it all. He was punishing her with some enchantment which made her feel about Tommy exactly the way that potion had made Miranda feel about Phillip.

But just how extreme would Elmer carry this punishment?

She turned and walked back down the hall to her dressing room. For a brief moment, she worried how Tommy would feel when he returned to find her gone. But then, she decided, who gave a rat's ass what he thought or how he felt. He was probably in there with Elmer right now conspiring on ways to knock her up.

That had to be it, she decided. If she were pregnant, she'd have to remain Phyllis. And Elmer had already told her that she caused him fewer problems then her boyself. She angrily stormed out of her dressing room, slamming the door behind her. She was furious with both Elmer and Tommy. "I'll be damned before I'll let that asshole impregnate me." she exclaimed as left the building. "I'm going to need some serious help to get even. But I'm sure I already know someone who can provide it."

* * * * *

As Tommy exited Elmer's dressing room, he immediately noticed that Phyllis was missing. "Oh, shit." he exclaimed, not with surprise, but with disappointment. "And just when I figured to be getting an easy lay." He turned and closed the door into the empty room, he'd just left.

"Oh, well. Easy come, easy go." he laughed. "With my mission now accomplished, I suppose I really should return control of this body to its original occupant.

"It's a real shame though. This is an excellent body. And I really would have enjoyed jumping into the sack with Phyllis. She certainly seemed like one really hot-to-trot, foxy babe, even for a girl who was born a boy. But that's not her problem. Nobody's perfect.

"Besides, Jedina and those worrisome council members would have been eternally pissed with me if I'd delayed their _plan_ in order to satisfy my carnal desires. At least this time, Jedina can't rag on me for thinking with my glands. But I'd hate to disappoint her, so I'll tell her she owes me one."

Hudson, in full control of Tommy's body, took a final look about the hall. Satisfied that no one was around to interfere or see things they shouldn't, he closed his eyes and mumbled a few incoherent words. His spirit relinquished control and vacated the boy's form.

A very stunned and extremely confused young man now stood alone in the empty hall scratching his head. Not only did he wonder where he was, he also wondered how he'd got there.

* * *

Phyllis paced outside the shop in the old section of town wondering whether or not she should enter. When she'd left the studio, she'd been angry. But now, having walked across town to the gypsy's little hole-in-the-wall shop, she'd had plenty of time to cool off. And having blown off enough steam, she was having second thoughts.

What it was this about shop, she wondered. Strangely, she'd been drawn here the last time she'd been angry. But she'd been male then. And he'd thought the love potion he'd bought would solve all his problems. Even though things had worked out alright for awhile afterwards, she now realized she should have never slipped Miranda that love potion. In fact, she should have never bought it in the first place. It had been wrong, she now realized. Regardless of what Madame Helga had told Phil, it had been a cheat. Unfortunately, she only now, after everything had been totally hosed, realized the truth.

Now, here she was again on the verge of asking Madame Helga for help. Only this time she'd knowingly sought out the old gypsy. But should she even be here, she wondered. Once again she'd been angry. And once again she sought answers with magic. She knew she'd made a dumb decision buying the love potion the last time she'd been here. And she was afraid of compounding her stupidity with another decision she'd soon regret.

At that moment, she decided to seek her solution elsewhere.

But as she turned to leave, she bumped into a woman out walking with her husband. "Excuse me." said Phyllis. "I wasn't paying attention to where I was walking."

"That's okay." said the woman. "No harm done. It takes a lot," she patted her extended belly, "to harm them when you get this far along."

For several moments, Phyllis could only stare at the woman. She was pregnant. Not only was she pregnant, she was _very_ pregnant. How had she not noticed the unmistakable fact of the woman's pregnancy before now. "How much longer?" she asked the woman.

"According to the doctor, it should be any time now." replied the woman with a forced smile. "It has been such a long and difficult pregnancy, that I'm really looking forward to finally getting it over with as soon as possible. And I'm sure my husband will be agree with me totally. I wouldn't be surprised if he'll be even happier than me, because, of late, I've been grumpier than the Wicked Bitch of the West." She looked at her watch, then turned to her husband. "Don't you think we'd better be heading for home, dear?"

"I suppose, sweetheart." replied the man.

Phyllis watched the couple walk away arm in arm. She's having a difficult pregnancy, worried Phyllis. And she said, it has made her a real bitch. "I don't want to be pregnant." she mumbled, as her anger began rebuilding. "And I'm sure as hell not letting that little weasel Tommy impregnate me. Nor is there anything Elmer can do to force me to let him. Shit, if I became pregnant, then I'd be stuck this way until I gave birth."

Frightened by the pregnant woman's words, Phyllis had changed her mind once again. "Besides," she said to herself, totally unaware from where the thought had come, "If I wanted to get pregnant, then I'm perfectly capable of doing it without getting help from _either_ of them."

Phyllis entered through the beaded door. As she did, she wondered if the old gypsy had some potion that could change her back into Phil.

"Good evening, young lady." said Madame Helga in her thickly accented gypsy voice. "I am always quite happy when my customers return. Satisfaction of my customers means quite a lot to me."

"You recognize me?" asked Phyllis with surprise.

"Of course, young lady. I remember always my customers." said the gypsy with a broad grin. "Even those who change genders between visits." She smiled at Phyllis. "I must say I approve your change, my dear. You are now very beautiful."

Phyllis blushed. "I wish everyone would quit telling me that."

"If I not know better, I think you come for another love potion. One that be for two girls this time. By now, you know that potion you bought last time not work well between two girls. Unless, of course, the girl you give potion has returned to being boy, which, of course, she has not."

"No, Madame Helga, I'm not looking for love potion this time." said Phyllis. "I need your help."

"Of course, you need my help, young lady." smiled the gypsy. "That is why you have come to me now. Is it not?"

"Can you help me remove this wig." Phyllis pulled on the wig which stubbornly refused to budge. "Surely there's some spell or potion to undo what it has done to me." said Phyllis. "I don't want to be a girl, Madame Helga."

"Why not?" smiled Madame Helga. "You make such a beautiful girl. I am sure many boys desire you."

Phyllis stared daggers at the gypsy. "Elmer's upset with me because I got my sister pregnant after I gave her _your_ love potion. As punishment, he's been trying to get this guy named Tommy that he found wondering around the studio to impregnate me. If he succeeds, then I'm going to be stuck as a girl for several months."

"Unbelievable. You want not to be girl?" questioned the gypsy with an incredulous tone. "But you are so beautiful. There are far worse things to be in life than beautiful girl, young lady." She frowned and shook her head. "What a waste."

"Just in case you forgot," said Phyllis with renewed determination. "I'm really a boy, Madame Helga. I just want to be myself again, not some girl, beautiful or otherwise. Do you have anything that can remove this wig?

"No, young lady, I do not. It be not in my power to remove wig." replied the woman solemnly. "Nor are there any potions or spells, here or elsewhere, to do what you want. You were told, were you not, that only the one who places wig on your head may remove it to break the spell. There is no other way you be boy again."

Phyllis sighed. "Then I guess it's totally hopeless. I'm stuck this way." With disappointment in her eyes, she slowly turned away from the old gypsy. "I guess I'd better go home and not bother you any further. I suppose, the sooner I get pregnant," she said, seemingly resigned to her fate, "the sooner I'll be giving birth. And, very hopefully, the sooner I'll be transformed back into my real self."

"Perhaps it be not _totally_ hopeless, young lady."

"What do you mean?" asked Phyllis, eager to avoid her anticipated pregnancy.

"While it be true that I cannot remove your wig, there may be other way for you to be boy again."

"What other way?"

"A change of circumstances might provide for you what you wish." replied Madame Helga simply.

"What do you mean?" exclaimed the puzzled girl.

"It is very simple, young lady." replied the gypsy. "Why will not Elmer remove wig from your head?"

"I told you. He's upset that I impregnated my sister. I figured out he was going to punish me by making me go through a pregnancy at the same time." said Phyllis, still puzzled what this had to do with anything. "But it wasn't all my fault. Miranda was just as much to blame as I was. I mean every time I came close to her, she was all over me wanting to make love. And I couldn't have told her no, even if I'd wanted to. But Elmer isn't even punishing _her_."

"Lust and desire be way of love potion." replied Helga with a sigh. "I am told such lust can be truly wonderful. But tell me, young lady, what would happen if not you make sister with child?"

"I don't know. I've never been good at 'what if' games." replied Phyllis. Suddenly, she smiled. "If I wasn't the father, then Elmer would have no reason not to remove this wig. I wouldn't have to be a girl anymore and I wouldn't have to go through some really horrible pregnancy, which would turn me into a bitch." Phyllis looked at Madame Helga questioningly. "Do you actually think he'd change me back then?"

"Perhaps, young lady. Perhaps not."

"Tell me, Madame Helga. Can you fix things so I don't make Miranda pregnant?" asked Phyllis. "Is that even possible after all this time?"

"It might be possible." answered the gypsy. "For right price, nearly anything is possible, young lady."

"So the truth finally comes out." snarled Phyllis in disgust. "Just how much is this going to cost me."

"Not much. I want not money, young lady." replied Madame Helga. "I seek to barter. We shall make trade. Yes?"

"But what have I got ..." started Phyllis.

"You have exactly what I need, young lady." Madame Helga's wry smile made Phyllis shudder. "Those living with you, I need to observe unseen. Before you leave shop, I give you two boxes. You will take them home, but not open them. Also I give you incense for you to burn at midnight. It will allow me, for a time, to possess your body."

"What? Are you crazy?" exclaimed Phyllis in stunned surprise. "I'm not letting some old gypsy bitch take over my body and do who knows what with it."

"Relax, young lady. Be calm." said Helga with a trusting smile. "This possession I speak of is only temporary. I must observe unseen and this is best way. They will not know I am even there; they will aware only of you. And afterwards, I will know best way to help you gain what you wish." Helga continued to smile, knowing the line had been hooked and baited. All that was left was to reel her fish in. "Of course, young _lady_, if you not want my help, I do know someone who can get you great deal on maternity clothes."

That finished it, the fish had been gaffed. Phyllis quickly stuck out her hand. "You've got yourself a deal, Madame Helga."

In return, Madame Helga raised her hand and quickly spat in it before firmly clasping Phyllis' hand. "Done." she smiled.

* * * * *

"I can't believe she bought that load of crap you fed her."

"Why not, Hudson?" replied the ancient form of Madame Helga with Jedina's voice. "Even when she was Phillip, she was an extremely shallow individual who thought only of himself. Becoming Phyllis has not changed anything that defined his basic self. He was a shallow ass before and now she is an equally shallow bitch. But her involvement in this is most fortunate for us, for, whether Phillip or Phyllis, she has been far easier to manipulate than either Elmer or Miranda would have been.

Hudson nodded his head in agreement. "Jedina?" he asked nervously.

"Yes, Hudson."

"When this is all done." He fidgeted back and forth in anticipation. "Well, ... you know ... uh ... since you owe me one from earlier ... do you think ..."

"Perhaps Hudson." replied Jedina, "You've been a good boy, so far, and I've been impressed, so far, at how well you've controlled your hormones. If you continue as you have, then we'll see."

* * * * *

The time on the clock radio was nearing midnight, as Phyllis sat alone in her room and waited. Her gaze kept returning to the boxes Madame Helga had given her. One was a large cardboard box and the other appeared to be a hat box. Both sat untouched on her bed. They looked familar and her curiosity about what they contained continued to increase, just as it had since the gypsy had given them to her. But Surely, they wouldn't contain what she thought. Who would be transformed?

She removed a stick of the incense from the small box Madame Helga had given her. Carefully, she put it in the incense burner.

Still nervous about letting the old gypsy possess her body, she fingered the book of matches not knowing whether to trust Madame Helga or not. Helga had said the possession would be only temporary, but the gypsy was also old and, with her power, could easily take her young body from her forever. But Phyllis also knew, she didn't really have any other choice. She had to do things Helga's way or risk staying a girl and letting Tommy or some creep handpicked by Elmer knock her up. Since she didn't want to be pregnant, she struck the match.

Then she slowly reached down and touched the burning match to the stick of incense. Almost immediately, smoke began to curl up from it and into the air.

Phyllis closed her eyes, then took a deep breath. The burning smell of incense was sickly sweet. Her throat constricted, then spasmed. She began to cough.

"Damn fucking incense." swore Jedina as her spirit possessed the young girl's willing body. "I really hate that smelly shit." She coughed again. "It's fucking unbelievable how gullible that bitch really is."

When her coughing spell finally subsided, Jedina stood up slowly and walked around the room to familiarize herself with the movements of the body she now controlled. She stared at herself in mirror, then struck a seductive pose. "This is one fucking hot body." said Jedina dispassionately. With a pass of her hand at the image in the mirror, she was suddenly sensuously attired. "It's too bad this has to be temporary." she said admiring her creative handiwork. "But, if I were to keep this body, I'd lose far more than I could ever possibly gain. It's easy to see why Hudson lusts after this body. Hell, I might even lust for her myself, that is, if I were male, or I were into girls.

"Oh well. I have work to do." She picked up the boxes sitting on the bed and then sauntered down the hall to Elmer's room. She very quietly opened the door and entered to find Elmer sleeping soundly, just as she'd expected.

Jedina quickly passed her hand over the slumbering Elmer. "That will guarantee continued sleep without interruption, as well as the secrecy I require." With a pass of her other hand, the blankets disappeared to reveal Elmer's naked sleeping form. For a moment, Jedina relived memories of things she'd thought long forgotten. "You haven't changed much in all these ages. Have you, Elmer?" She knew the spell she'd cast prevented him from hearing her or reacting to what she'd said. "What a shame. But at least, you haven't changed much. _Yet_." she smiled.

With the aid of magic, Jedina easily dressed Elmer in the clothes she'd removed from the large cardboard box. Being far too small for him, they didn't fit at all, but then, she hadn't thought they would. She smiled at how silly the old magician looked in the ill-fitting clothes he now wore. But that would soon change. Very soon, they'd fit him perfectly, just like they'd been made especially for him. And by then, Elmer wouldn't look out of place wearing them.

Next, Jedina opened the hat box and removed a silky red-haired wig from inside. "You've always been partial to redheads, Elmer." She suppressed an urge to giggle. "I just wonder how much you'll enjoy being one." Carefully, she slipped the fiery colored wig onto Elmer's head.

Elmer moaned lowly as his body began changing.

Jedina watched in silent awe as his body shrank and reformed according to the pattern inherent in the clothes he was wearing. In the past, she'd only seen the final results of wearing one of these enchanted wigs. And in all the times before, most recently the two boys Elmer had transformed into his buxom female assistants, those results had been nothing less than spectacular. But having never watched an actual wig-induced transformation before, she was totally fascinated as she watched unable to look away. And when she finally realized that Elmer's transformation had completed, she gazed at the sleeping form, adorned in perfectly fitting clothes, sprawled out on the bed and couldn't help but smile.

And now that the pattern had been set, Jedina carefully removed the wig. With equal fascination, Jedina watched the form laid out on the bed grow larger and larger, until Elmer once more laid peacefully on his bed.

That went just perfectly, thought Jedina, exactly as planned. He'll never realize what has happened until it's too late. Carefully, she lowered the wig back into its box.

With a pass of her hand, the clothing Elmer wore faded away. A second pass returned the blankets. And a final pass removed the spell that guaranteed uninterrupted sleep.

Jedina looked back at the sleeping form of Elmer. As she picked up the boxes, she smiled in his direction. Then turned back to the door and exited Elmer's room.

* * * * *

Jedina, a broad grin spread across her borrowed face, casually strolled down the hall towards Phyllis' room. It had been so easy, she thought. And, even better, there had been no complications. As she neared the door to her host's bedroom, she decided it was time to relinquish control of Phyllis' body, just as she'd said she would. Phyllis could then resume her life. At least, for the time being.

But then, before Jedina could do anything, the door to Miranda's room swung open. And from behind it, Miranda stepped out into the hall.

"Phyllis? Is that you out here?" asked Miranda. "I heard some noise and came out to investigate."

"Yes, Miranda." replied Jedina with the voice of Phyllis. "I'm sorry if I woke you up."

"What are you doing out of bed so early?"

"I had some trouble sleeping, Miranda. But I really don't think it's anything to worry about. I was having these really strange dreams that kept waking me up. I got up to get a glass of milk hoping it would help me sleep. I'm going back to bed now. And you probably should too."

"Okay." Miranda yawned, then turned back and walked towards her room. But then, almost as suddenly, she stopped and turned back to face Phyllis. Staring straight into her sister's eyes, she asked coldly, "Who the fuck are you?"

The question caught Jedina completely by surprise. No one should have known she wasn't who she appeared to be. "Why, what do you mean. It's me, Miranda." she stammered. "Your sister Phyllis."

"No. You're not Phyllis." she refuted. "Phyllis doesn't dress the way you're dressed. And although, I know it's her body standing here, it's not her mind that's in control."

"You are simply amazing, Miranda." said Jedina, even more surprised than she'd been only moments before. "Do you know, there are several centuries-old wizards who, even after centuries of trying, have never been able to develop the talent to detect what you, a virtually untrained nobody, have just noticed." Her voice reverted to her real voice. "You have a hell of a lot of raw talent, young lady. Now I understand why the council wanted Milt _totally_ eliminated. With just a little formal training, Milt could have become an extremely formidable threat to their power. And, even as Miranda, I suspect you'd still be quite a threat."

"Whoever you are, I don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about." replied Miranda. "All of this is very confusing to me. I know I was a boy once, but, for some reason, he's no longer very important to me. And just what has any of what you've said have to do with that boy I used to be."

"Nothing of what I've told you is overly important to you at this exact moment in time." said Jedina. "But I am glad that I decided not to eliminate you completely. You might prove to be very useful to me sometime in the future."

As the strange woman's voice continued to speak through her sister's mouth, Miranda's confused expression gradually changed to one of fear. She flinched as Jedina put a hand aside her head. "What do you think you're doing?" she asked fearfully.

"Nothing I wouldn't have had to do anyway, dear _sister_. And right now is just as good a time as later. Look at me, Miranda."

"No. I won't." she replied forcefully. "And you can't make me."

"You continue to surprise me, young lady." said Jedina. "There are not many able to resist a wizard's command. In the long term, your resistance now is irrelevant. Having had _no_ formal training, it is inevitable that I _shall_ have my way." Jedina concentrated on her objective. "Look at me, Miranda." she commanded.

Miranda's proud look of defiance began to fade. Within seconds, it had completely vanished and she stared glassy-eyed at Jedina.

"Now that's much better, young lady. And now we'll make a few small changes." She placed her other hand lightly on Miranda's face. After a moment of concentration, Jedina stepped back. "Subtle changes are often best." she whispered as she noted Miranda's smaller nose, bluer eyes, and softer silkier hair. Even her figure and carriage seemed more feminine than before. "And now a test of the mental changes." Jedina snapped her fingers. "Wake." she commanded.

Miranda shook her head as if just waking from a long nap. She looked around and wondered why she was standing in the hall with Phyllis so early in the morning.

"Are you alright, Miranda?" asked Jedina, once more using the voice of Phyllis.

"I'm fine." replied Miranda. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"Just a minute ago, when I came out and found you wandering about the hall," said Jedina, "you didn't seem to know who I was."

"That's silly. You're my sister Phyllis."

"And do you know who _you_ are?"

"That's an even sillier question." giggled Miranda. "I'm _your_ sister, Miranda Angelica Johnson. But all the guys in town call be Randa. Don't you think that sounds sexier than Miranda?"

Jedina smiled. The change of names had been incidental, but she had accepted it. The next check would be more crucial. "I'm glad to hear that you _know_ you're Miranda. You scared me, when you were trying to convince me that you were really a boy, and ..."

Miranda's laughter interrupted Jedina's story. "Me? A boy? How very funny." she continued laughing boisterously. "Damn, Phyllis. You said you were having some weird dreams, but I would have never guessed they were that weird. Just what did _you_ eat before you went to bed last night?" She gave a conspiratory wink at Phyllis. "Or did you manage to sneak something _special_ into your room that Elmer shouldn't know about. Besides, why would I ever want to be a boy? You know, I have far too much _fun_ - if you know what I mean - being _with_ the boys than I could ever imagine having _as_ a boy. However, since finding out I was pregnant, I have had to slow down a little."

"Have you figured out who the father is?"

"No. Not yet." replied Miranda. "I have eliminated a couple dozen possibilities, but there are still over a dozen guys left who could be my baby's father. I've been thinking lately that I might never be absolutely certain who the father really is."

Jedina smiled as she wondered what her host would think when she found out she was no longer considered a potential father of her sister's child. But then, that was what Phyllis had wanted.

But Miranda misread her sister's smile. "I can't help it if guys find me attractive and fun to be with. You know something Phyllis. I think you should go out and find some guy to fuck you. Maybe then you wouldn't be so uptight all time. And besides, I'd bet you'd make a perfectly wonderful mother."

Miranda suddenly yawned, then turned and walked back to her room. Jedina stared after her, noticing Miranda's distinctly natural feminine gait, which had neither been all that natural nor quite as feminine before.

Jedina, still controlling Phyllis' body, sat before the mirror. All things considered, it had been a satisfactory night. Miranda had been effectively neutralized for the time being. And even if Elmer and Phyllis noticed the changes she'd made in Miranda, it wouldn't really matter and she was sure their reactions could be turned to her advantage.

"Oh well." she sighed. "I suppose I should leave Phyllis in control for now. I'll continue to watch and bide my time."

Jedina began to concentrate, then slowly her eyes.

With a start, Phyllis woke. "What the hell." she exclaimed as she saw the sexy clothes her reflection was wearing. "I'm still in my room. Can it really be possible that Madame Helga took control of my body."

She looked at the clock radio on the nightstand. The display read "5:00 AM." The last thing she remembered was lighting the incense at midnight. That had been five hours ago.

Madame Helga had taken control of her body for five hours. But now that it was over, she was relieved it had been only temporary, just as the gypsy had said it would be.

But five hours?

Phyllis wondered what Madame Helga could have possibly done in the five hours after midnight. What could she possibly have observed when everyone was asleep?

And why was she dressed like this? Even to herself, she had to admit that the clothes made her look totally hot. And that thought, since her thoughts were still those of a boy, both excited and disturbed her.

She stretched out on the bed, still wondering what the gypsy had done during the time she'd possessed her body. Suddenly, she felt drowsy. "Whatever she found out," she mumbled as sleep began to claim her, "I only hope it was enough to make Elmer want to change me back into Phil?"

For a brief instant, Phyllis smiled.

Then, she was fast asleep.

* * * * *

When Phyllis woke, it was nearly noon. After quickly stretching her arms, she hurriedly changed the clothes in which she'd fallen asleep. They made her feel self-conscious about her appearance. She still wondered why Madame Helga had dressed her this way. The clothes, which made her look and feel sexier than anything she owned, were definitely not ones she would have picked out herself. They were far too revealing to be seen by anyone. And if someone else had seen her dressed this, she was sure she would have died from sheer embarrassment.

As she made her way down to breakfast, she passed Elmer in the hall. He smiled, when he saw her. "Welcome back to the land of living, sleepy head. I was beginning to wonder which of you would rise first this morning. You lost. Barely."

Phyllis smiled back at him, but said nothing. There was a question she wanted to ask him, but she couldn't quite remember what it was. It would probably nag at her all day or until she finally remembered, but it really couldn't have been very important, otherwise she certainly wouldn't have forgotten what it was. Anyway, it would probably come to her later.

Miranda, who Phyllis thought must have also had a late night, was eating breakfast as she joined her in the dining room. "How are you this morning, Miranda?"

"I feel simply marvelous." replied Phyllis. With a flick of her hand, she swept her hair away from her face. "What about you? Did you have any more of those terrible dreams?"


"Don't worry Phyllis. I told you I wouldn't tell Elmer about what you were doing last night, and I won't." said Miranda in a playful tone. "You're my sister and I love you. I would never rat on you."

Phyllis stared at her sister. She had absolutely no idea what Miranda was talking about. And she was glad that Elmer had been in the other room. How would she explain her sister's cryptic remarks to him, when she couldn't explain them to herself. Again she wondered what the gypsy had done while she had control of her body.

However, her thoughts kept returning to Miranda. Something seemed different. She didn't sound quite like herself. And there was something about the way she looked and acted that was somehow different. But what? She couldn't point a finger at anything definite. It was just an inexplicable and unshakeable feeling that Miranda appeared to be more sexy now, then she'd ever been before.

But that kind of thing wasn't possible.

Or was it?

The phone rang, interrupting her thoughts.

"I'll get it." yelled Miranda. She jumped up quickly from the table and bounded like a rabbit towards the phone. She barely beat Elmer to the phone as he came from the other room to answer it.

"Hello." she said, picking up the phone. "Hi, Johnny." she cooed. "Yes. I had a really great time last night."

Elmer and Phyllis looked at her with puzzled expressions. Neither of them had any idea who 'Johnny' was.

"I'd love to, Johnny."

"No, that won't be a problem."

"I'll be ready when you get here."

Looks of perplexed confusion passed between Elmer and Phyllis. And at almost the same instant, they shrugged their shoulders as if to tell the other "I don't know what's going on."

"Okay, Johnny."

"I'll see you when you get here."

"Bye, lover."

Miranda hung up the receiver.

"Who was that?" asked Elmer and Phyllis in unison.

"That was Johnny." replied Miranda dreamily. "I told both of you all about him. Don't you remember? He'll be here real soon. We're going for a long walk in the park."

"Who's Johnny?" asked Phyllis. "What do you know about him?"

"You know, you really can be silly sometimes Phyllis." said Miranda. "You already know the answers to both of your questions. Did you forget that I told both of you yesterday that Johnny might be the father of my baby. I need some time to talk with him alone. That's the reason we're going to the park." She turned and strolled gracefully to door. When she reached it, she turned back. "I think I'll wait for my Johnny in the other room." She grinned at them. "I kind of hope he _is_ the father." she sighed dreamily. "I know my Johnny just loves everything about his randy little Randa." She turned and left the room, leaving two very shocked and extremely bewildered people behind.

"Do you have any idea what was she babbling on about?" asked Phyllis.

"I have no idea. And I never even heard of this Johnny before now." replied Elmer. "I thought you told me you were the father of Miranda's child."

"I thought I was. As far as I know, no one else has ever slept with Miranda. I'm totally confused by all this." But suddenly Phyllis remembered her earlier conversation with Madame Helga. Miranda had just told Elmer that she wasn't her child's father. And if she wasn't the father, then Elmer no longer had a reason for leaving the wig on her head. "Elmer, would you remove this wig?" she asked having after finally remembering the question she'd wanted to ask him earlier.

"Of course, Phyllis." he replied. "Come over here and I'll remove it immediately."

Phyllis stood up and tried to walk towards Elmer. But, instead of moving towards him, she inexplicably backed away. She couldn't understand why she had done that. Something was very confusing here.

Noting her expression, Elmer said, "I thought you wanted the wig removed."

"I do." replied Phyllis. But she still couldn't move towards Elmer.

"But I don't." came a second answer from Phyllis in a voice that wasn't hers. Phyllis grabbed at her throat in disbelief. But the unknown voice continued, "The other one must be present. Randa, would you please come here."

Miranda re-entered the room. "Yes, Phyllis." she said. "What do you want? I hope it won't take long because Johnny will be here any minute. Are you alright? It sounds like you've caught a cold."

Phyllis watched as her hand, with no conscious direction from her, rose slowly and passed over Miranda. "Be still Randa." said the strange voice still speaking through her. With building fear, she watched as Miranda froze in place like a statue.

"Who are you?" asked Elmer. "What do you want?"

"In this body, I'm not surprised you don't recognize me Elmer, but then ..."

"You're not Madame Helga." said Phyllis in her own voice.

"It's not very nice to interrupt, young lady." said Jedina. "But to answer _your_ question, I am not Madame Helga and yet I am. Let me show you both exactly who I am. It will be easier than telling you."

She began to concentrate.

The air surrounding Phyllis shimmered momentarily. Phyllis felt only an odd tickling, but for several moments, the look reflected in Elmer's eyes told her she appeared to be someone else. But then the tickling sensation, as well as the shimmering of the air about her, disappeared completely. And, to anyone who looked, she appeared to be Phyllis once again.

"Jedina." said Elmer. "I suppose I should have guessed."

"You remembered me." smiled Jedina. "How very flattering."

"In spite of our past, assassins are not easy to forget, Jedina. Your very presence explains a lot." he said ruefully. "Dare I ask what brings the best of the council's hired assassins here?"

"What's going on here?" demanded Phyllis.

"That's enough of that, Phyllis." said Jedina. "You have tried my patience and interrupted me for the last time, young lady. Now, _be silent_, Phyllis. You may now only watch what unfolds here. You may no longer participate." She turned back to Elmer. "You cut me to the quick, Elmer. Assassin is such an ugly word. You know that I kill only when I have no other recourse."

"You still play games, Jedina." snarled Elmer. "You still haven't said why you're here. What does the council want done to me? I assume it is me, you're here to take care of."

"You. And her." she pointed at Miranda. "As you've already noticed, she has a remarkable amount of raw talent, Elmer. But, for now, I've already dealt with her. Undoubtedly, you've noticed some changes in her." she paused. "But getting back to why I'm here, there are a number of members on the council that want both of you eliminated."

"I suspected as much." said Elmer. "I was taken by surprise when they announced my banishment, but I wasn't about to question it given what I'd expected. And I was more surprised that we were allowed to become popular among the mortals."

"You won't have to worry about that popularity for very long. Soon, it will be completely gone. Even now, no one remembers Miranda ever being a part of your act. And before I leave, no one will remember you or your act either."

"But, why her." he pointed at Miranda. "What has she done?"

"It's not a case of what she's done, Elmer." replied Jedina. "It's much more of a case of what she _could_ do. I know you recognized her innate power when you first met." In response, Elmer nodded a simple acknowledgement. "But do you realize that with the proper training, she would possess more magical power that any three wizards currently sitting on the council have _combined_. With that kind of potential, there are a lot of scared wizards.

Elmer looked stunned. He hadn't imagined that Miranda, or Milt for that matter, could have possibly become that powerful. But that led to the inevitable response from the council. "So, when are you going to kill us, Jedina?"

"Elmer. Elmer." she sighed. "Once again, you've hurt me. Look at Miranda standing there. Did I kill her. _No_. She's just been neutralized. Right now, she's Randa. And a lusty little slut she is, I might add. She's been totally cut off from her power, not that she gives a damn about power any more." A slight smile crossed her face. "And very soon, you won't give a shit about being cut off from your power either."

"What are you going to do?" asked Elmer curiously.

"It's simple, Elmer. You and your old friend gave me the idea. It's just perfect." With a wave of her hand, two boxes appeared on the table. Elmer gasped as he realized what must be inside the large cardboard box and the hat box that now sat on the table. "In the large box, Elmer, you'll find some clothes." said Jedina. "Put them on." she commanded.

Elmer opened the box. Just as he'd expected, he found the overly revealing clothes of a female magician's assistant, who would quite unquestionably be far more buxom than Miranda when they properly fit the wearer.

"No." he replied defiantly.

"I thought you might object." Jedina smiled. "But if you don't put them on, I'll have to unmake both Phyllis and Randa." she said as a matter of fact. "I hate to do that, but the choice is yours. Their continued existence is in your hands, Elmer."

"You win, Jedina." sighed Elmer in resignation.

"Of course. I always win." she bragged. "I'll even help you change." She passed her hand over Elmer. Suddenly he was standing in front of her stark naked.

Elmer slowly donned the clothes he'd found within the box without further complaint. He felt very silly standing there in girl's clothes that didn't fit him very well. After all, he was several centuries old.

"Phyllis just told me to tell you that you look exceptionally silly dressed as a sexy girl. She was wondering if you felt as stupid as she did?" Jedina was unable to resist smiling. "I assured her that you probably felt much worse."

From the hat book, Jedina removed the red-haired wig. "I know how much you've always loved redheads, Elmer, so I sought out this special wig just for you. The spell on it is a minor variant of the one put on the wigs now worn by Randa and Phyllis. You'll be fully aware of all the changes happening to your body. And you won't lose consciousness as you change." She handed the wig to Elmer. "Put it on." she commanded.

"If I do that, it'll change me into a girl forever."

"That's the whole idea, sweetheart." replied Jedina. "Once you've become a girl, the connection to your power will vanish."

"And if I refuse?"

"Then I'll just have to unmake these two. And, even worse, I'll have to think of something else, a lot more painful, to do to you."

"Very well."

Elmer placed the wig on his head.

Suddenly, he felt peculiar. Knowing that the girl he would soon become must be shorter than he was, he wasn't surprised when he felt his body start shrinking. Odd sensations quickly spread across nearly every inch of his body. He wasn't surprised as the strange tinglings reached his crotch and intensified. After all, those feelings heralded the beginning of his new life with an equally new gender, and what had served him well there would no longer be required.

But there was something that surprised him. He had expected the same intensification of feeling across his chest prior to the development of the mammoth breasts required to fill out the clothes he'd been coerced into wearing. But it hadn't happened. The tingling there would have gone unnoticed, except it had removed what little chest hair he'd had. And he was just as flat-chested as he'd always been. Just as surprising, the sensations passed through his hips and across his waist and left them unchanged. Instead of the finely crafted sexy feminine form he'd expected, he was a flat-chested, skinny as a rail, adolescent.

But that wasn't possible. The first time someone wore one of these enchanted wigs, the clothes worn established the pattern for their transformation. And the clothes fit worse now, then they had when he first put them on.

Looking up at Jedina for an explanation, he was stunned to realize his body had continued shrinking. At that moment, he couldn't have been more than three foot tall. And the clothes, that by now should have fit a shapely form quite snugly, draped his skinny body.

Something was very wrong, he thought.

But, regardless of what he thought, the clothes continued to get baggier and baggier, as he continued to shrink. In the last few moments, he'd lost another foot of height. Then suddenly, the clothes slid down his body forming a pile about his feet. He stepped out of now too big shoes. As he stood naked in the pile of clothes he'd been wearing, he realized he now stood no more than eighteen inches tall. Unexpectedly, his legs gave out and he tumbled onto the pile of clothes. He tried to stand, but succeeded only in turning over.

Jedina stared with amusement at Elmer, who was now very visibly a naked baby girl. Laying stunned on the pile of clothes she'd just been wearing, she couldn't understand why she was now the way she was. She tried to ask Jedina for an explanation, but whatever she tried to say came out in unintelligible baby talk.

"Is widdle snookums angwy?" asked Jedina in a babyish condescending tone. "Really, Elmer." she smiled from ear to ear. "You know what they say about assuming things. I never said anything about your becoming a totally awesome and buxom sexpot. Did I?" Elmer's little lips curled. "Well, at least, not right away. I'm certain that when you grow up you'll be absolutely gorgeous, Elmer. Now that's a horrible name for a little girl. Perhaps I should call you Elmina now?" With the quick passing of Jedina's hand over her new body, Elmina was suddenly diapered.

Frustrated at her inability to communicate, Elmina started screaming. She wasn't about to take this crap. With another wave of Jedina's hand, Randa woke. Hearing the screams and cries of the nearby baby, she went over and gently picked her up.

"What's wrong Elmina?" asked Randa. "Do you think that maybe Auntie Randa can make whatever it is all better." And when she began to tickle her, Elmina smiled just before she began to laugh.

"What about me?" asked Phyllis with concern, now that Jedina once more allowed her participation in the discussions taking place.

"What about you?" Jedina sneered.

"It's this wig." said Phyllis. "I know that, somehow, you changed Miranda so that I was no longer the father of her unborn child. Can you - would you - please take the wig off my head now."

"As I told you before, young lady." said Jedina. "Only the person who originally placed the wig on your head can remove it again. It was the truth then, it is the truth now. When you can get Elmer to remove your wig, then you'll become Phillip again. But _not_ before."

"But you permanently transformed Elmer into little Elmina by making him place that redheaded magic wig on his own head."

"So I did, Phyllis." She began to laugh. "But didn't Elmer tell you not to trust the people in the old section of town? I really can't believe how gullible you are Phyllis." she smiled. "But then, you don't really have to worry about anything any more. And don't worry, you'll learn to live with yourself as you are, in time. And maybe, somewhere along the line, our paths shall cross again, but you'd be wise not to bet the farm on it." She smiled at herself. "I'll be seeing you around, sweet thing." said Jedina, just as she vacated the body she'd possessed.

Phyllis quickly looked around the room. Without a doubt, she knew she'd messed up again. She wondered why she had gone to see that old gypsy. What was it, that always made her mess up whatever she tried to do.

Phyllis sighed. Now that Elmer had been transformed into the baby girl Elmina, she knew that, just like her sister Miranda, she was now stuck forever as a girl. But at least, she thought, Miranda now thought of herself as always having been a girl.

Randa, still holding little Elmina, approached. "Are you alright, Phyllis?" she asked with concern. "You look depressed."

"I'm fine, Miranda." she replied. "Really, I am."

"Okay. But, you know, Phyllis. I really wish you'd call me Randa like everybody else."

"I'll try. ... Randa."

Elmina started to cry again.

"What is it now, Elmina?" asked Randa. "You can't be dirty again, can you. I just don't know how a little girl like you can make so much poo-poo. You really made quite a mess."

Just then the doorbell rang. "That must be my Johnny." said Randa. "I hope you won't mind taking care of Elmina, Phyllis. I think she's hungry."

Randa went to answer the door.

"Are you hungry, Elmina?" asked Phyllis.

Elmina gurgled her response to Phyllis, then babbled something in baby talk that Phyllis couldn't understand, although Phyllis believed that Elmina meant "Yes, I'm starved."

Without realizing what she was doing, Phyllis unbuttoned her blouse. "I may never be able to be myself again, Elmina." she said wistfully, as she unclasped the frilly brassiere that she wore. "I don't suppose it really matters anymore." Unconsciously, she presented one of her bared tits to Elmina, who almost instantly began to suckle ravenously on it.

"You know, Elmina." she said as waves of contentment spread through her body. "I've been thinking about what your Auntie Randa said earlier. How would mommy's little girl like a daddy of her very own."

But little Elmina was too busy feeding to respond.