By Ellie Dauber
(c) 2002

A father uses the Medallion of Zulo to break up the relationship between his daughter and a boy he doesn’t like. And, as you’d expect, things don’t go exactly as planned.

This is an experimental story that alternates between the action of the story and a stream of consciousness by the narrator character. I'll be curious to see what people have to say about it.

By Ellie Dauber
(c) 2002

You see that young couple wrestling out on my front porch?

The boy with the octopus hands is Greg Reiner. They call him "Grogg" out on the football field. He's an offensive lineman -- emphasis on "offensive" -- the best Cedar Brook High has had in years. He's only a junior, and already the college scouts are sniffing around him.

That innocent, young girl he's molesting is my daughter, Annie. Smart as a whip, my Annie, and pretty as -- well, as pretty as her mother, which is saying a lot, believe me. My Lisa is as pretty as the day we got married. Annie could have any boy she wanted. Just my luck, she wants Grogg. I always thought that she had better taste.

By now, you're probably wondering why I'm in here talking to you, while they're out there trading spit. It's a good question. Normally, I'd have broken things up minutes ago. Tonight, I'm being -- damn it, boy, get your hands off my daughter's ass. That's it. I wanted to be a nice guy, give them one last chance to be together, but that is the limit.

I'm flicking on the porch light. That's Annie's one-minute warning. She has that long to say goodnight, or I come out after her.

Okay, here she comes. I just wish she didn't have to be tucking her blouse back in. Well, by this time tomorrow, she'll be in Dayton, and I'll have broken up her little romance -- personally. Now, if I can just get her to start dating within her own species.

* * * * *

Hello, Annie, did you have a good time? Good, I'm glad because I'm... uhh... afraid that I have some bad news for you. Your Uncle Max and Aunt Sylvia were in a car accident. Hey, hey, no, they're still alive. They're going to have to be in the hospital for a while, though, maybe a week or two. Cousin Rose was watching Nancy, Alan, and Joe, but she can hardly manage them for that long.

You and your Mom are booked on the late flight out to Dayton. It leaves in about... let me see... in about two hours. Your Mom is packed; she's out in the kitchen fixing up some food for me to eat while you two are gone. She thought that you'd want to pack for yourself. You better get going. I want to leave for the airport in about twenty minutes.

Hey, I'm sorry to rush you. You were out who knows where. We just knew that you said were going to be back in time. Would you rather that your Mom or I had packed for you? I thought not. Now get going.

* * * * *

I've had the means for breaking up Annie and Grogg for a couple of weeks now. I just didn't know exactly how to use it till now. Don't get me wrong; I'm sorry that Max and Sylvia got hurt. Really I am. Hey, Sylvia is Lisa's kid sister, and Max is a really good guy. I wouldn't hurt either of them for the world. Still, I'd be crazy not to take advantage of a situation that just dropped into my lap like this.

As soon as Lisa got the call and agreed to go watch their kids, I saw my chance. Three kids and that big house of theirs is a lot. Lisa jumped at the idea of taking Annie along to help.

* * * * *

Their plane just left. I'm supposed to call the school tomorrow to explain about Annie going out of town and get her homework and such sent out to her.

The thing is, though; I won't have to call. I'll be there in Annie's place.

You see this thing? I know how dumb it looks with the silly little cherub on the one side. Trust me; it's a lot more powerful than it looks.

I'm a freelance writer, mostly non-fiction, and I'm pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. Maybe you read my last book, Stolen Kidneys and Other Urban Legends? It was on the Times Best Sellers' List for about a month last year.

That's how I found out about this thing, research for that book. It's called the Medallion of Zulo. The stories say it's maybe a thousand years old, maybe even more. It came here from Africa -- nobody knows how -- and, believe it or not, it's magic. Yeah, you can use it to change your shape, even swap bodies with somebody else.

No, honest, it works, I swear. I found it in a flea market one Saturday and brought it home to test. Lisa's a packrat about clothes. I dug an old sweater that she didn't like out of a box in the attic. She put it about there about five years ago with some other stuff.

About two years ago last May, I got a bad cut on my leg when the glass panel in a storm door I was taking down broke. I needed six -- no, seven -- stitches, and they left a nice scar. Well, I put on the Medallion and took hold of that sweater -- that's how it works -- and the scar goes away. I was as young as I'd been the last time I wore the sweater, younger than I'd been when I got the stitches.

I tried it on Lisa, too. She didn't know that the reason she felt so good when she woke up that morning was because she was seven years younger. Then we both felt real good. You see, I used it on myself again, this time with... well, with an "Extra Large" condom.

* * * * *

This is the big test. It's about 6 AM, and here I am buck naked in Annie's room. I can't even begin to say how weird that is. I've got the Medallion around my neck, and I'm picking up a blouse from Annie's dirty clothes basket. I can feel a tingling as I tie the blouse around my wrist. That means the magic is beginning to work.

The legends say that the longer you hold the piece of clothes that are doing the transformation the more -- I don't know -- the more "background" information you pick up. Tying it to me should give the knowledge to walk and talk and act like her. It should help me recognize all her little friends, too. The last thing I want is for anyone to get suspicious.

I don't really want to watch my body turn into hers, so I'm just going to lie down on her bed here till it's over.

* * * * *

This is, like, soo cool. I look just like me... her. It felt weird, ya know, climbing out of bed and walking over to her mirror. I'm so much shorter now. My feet barely touched the floor when I sat up at the edge of my bed. Walking's different, too, way different. I don't have my... thingie hanging down between my legs anymore. My hips are wider, and they sway when I walk.

I've got boobies, now, too. I could see them jiggle as I walked towards the mirror. It looked kind of, well, kind of sexy.

Eeew! I'm not getting turned on by my own daugh... my own body. That would just be soo gross.

* * * * *

Okay, I'm dressed now. Those old legends were, like, soo true. I knew how to do everything. I got my bra on like it was something I did every day. I need one. Annie's boobies may not be as big as some girls, but I think they look pretty good, nice shape, no sag, and big nipples, just like Mom's.

I could put on my make-up okay, too. Daddy... I think she wears too much, but puh... lease, she is 16, and she can't get by with just some kiddy "Baby Love Blusher" like she was still in grade school.

I didn't wear a skirt -- even if it does show off my legs. It was just too... too female for now. I did put one these cute jeans and a blouse. The jeans're so tight that I almost had to lie down to get them on. And they show off my figure pretty good, too.

I think the Medallion did something to my appetite, too. I usually have toast and -- eeew -- black coffee. This morning, I just felt like some fruit yogurt and a glass of milk. It was so good, I'm gonna have to, like, try it when I change back to myself.

Right now, I'm waiting for the bus down at the corner. This book bag is soo heavy. I'm nowhere as strong as I was. Parents don't realize how homework some teachers pile on us.

* * * * *

I made it to school okay. I remembered the names of the kids at the corner and the ones on the bus. I know where my locker is, too. Good thing, they just give us five minutes from when the bus gets to school to when we have to be in homeroom. It is just soo unfair.

No sign of Grogg at school, either. He's a year ahead of me, with a whole different bunch of classes. We can only get together for lunch, so that's when I'm gonna dump him; just thinking about it should get me through a morning of bo-oring classes.

* * * * *

Man, I thought this morning would, like, never end. That last one was the worst. I'm a writer, and I love words, but "Old Man" Mitchell, he just killed it for me, ya know.

Anyway, there's Grogg. He's smiling; he looks so happy to see me. Too bad he doesn't know what's going down. I'll do it here -- break up with him public, right here in the cafeteria. I can make a real big scene and, like, really embarrass him.

First, we have to get in to the cafeteria. That crowd is, like, the worst, and the line for the food stretches on for just miles.

This is soo cool. Grogg took my hand -- his hand is, like, five times as big as mine -- and just led me through the crowd. People ran around like... like animals to get out of his -- out of our way. He walked straight to the head of the line. Sam Jenkins just let Grogg get in front of him. Then Grogg let me get in front of him. It was like we were royalty or something, ya know. And when Grogg smiled at me and handed me a tray, I -- I don't know -- I felt kind of warm all over.

Maybe... maybe I misjudged him, ya know. Maybe I should be, like, fair, and get to know him a little better before I, like, do anything. Besides, he did pay for my lunch. It would be, like, so rude to start a fight after he did something like that."

* * * * *

The afternoon classes were a little bit better than the morning ones; a couple actually weren't, like, too bad at all. We're studying the Italian Renaissance in History. Ms. Fenton made it almost like an art history class with the slide show she had. Melanie Brooks did kind of giggle when Ms. Fenton got to the picture of Michelangelo's "David." So did a few of the other girls. They are such airheads; I mean, like, it wasn't anything they all had seen before.

Grogg was waiting for me at the bus pick-up. We couldn't talk for very long. I had to catch the bus home, and he had to get back to football practice. He is such a hunk in his uniform.

Anyway, he asked if he could come over later, like after dinner, so we could, like, study together -- maybe go out for a coke or something after. I was going to say "No" -- honest, I was -- but I did decide that I wanted to get to know him a little, to see if maybe I had, like, misjudged him.

Besides, he looked so sweet, and he had such a lost puppy dog look that I just didn't have, like, the heart to. I said he could over about 7, and my Daddy would -- oh, my gosh, how am I gonna explain that my folks -- that Lisa and I aren't there?

* * * * *

Grogg showed up right on time. Eager, I like that in a boy; it says that he, ya know, respects me. Anyways, I told him that he'd just, like, missed my folks. My Mom was visiting some friends, and Daddy was at a meeting with agent or somebody. He got this funny look in his eyes, ya know, but it, like, went away in a few seconds.

We went into the dining room so we could use the big table to study. Grogg asked about studying upstairs in my bedroom. My bedroom! There is, like, no way, I'm taking him up there. I told him that and pretended to be mad. He just shrugged like it was no big deal or nothing. Maybe he was just joking. Yeah, sure, that's all it was.

Grogg's book bag was bigger than mine and full of all kinds of stuff -- his playbook and like that -- but he carried it under his arm like it didn't weigh anything. He is soo strong. I bet he could just pick me up and carry me... ooh, I got this warm, kind of tingly feeling all of a sudden, like I was swimming in ginger ale or something, ya know.

The legends of the Medallion say that it won't work again for 12 hours. Maybe that tingling was how you know the time is up or something. I don't remember ever reading about the Medallion doing that, but, sure, that must be what it was. Like I'd want to change back with Grogg here in the house with me.

I stuck my books and stuff there on the long side of the table, right where Annie sits for supper and like that. I figured Grog would sit across from me, but, no, he sits down sort of next to me. We're, like, far enough apart so we don't get in each other's way, but we're close enough, ya know, that I can reach over and, like... touch him --like I did just now -- if I want to.

* * * * *

I did my math first. Tomorrow's Friday, and Ms. Hecht always gives us a quiz. I think I get what the book says; math wasn't my best subject when I went to school the first time either, ya know. I'll have to try 'cause I don't want to, like, ruin Annie's average.

We're reading Pride and Prejudice in Lit class. Grogg asked if I was gonna read some of it now. I said that I'm reading it in bed, a chapter a night. He raised on eyebrow -- Mr. Spock, he isn't -- and asked if I, like, needed someone there to turn the pages. He is soo silly.

I started to get that "ginger ale" tingle again -- I wonder why the Medallion's magic is, like, doing that -- especially in by breasts and... down there. It made me feel kind of giddy. I sort of, like, chuckled, ya know, and slapped Grogg real light, like, on his wrist for what he said.

* * * * *

Grogg, it's 10:30. Your curfew... yeah, I think it sucks, too, but I don't want you to, like, get in trouble. Besides, it's only for the football season, and that, like, ends at Thanksgiving. The play-offs? Oh, yeah, I'm, like, sure we'll get in with you playing.

* * * * *

I remember my old football couch had, like, the same curfew when I was in high school, and how much I hated it then. He checked, too, Coach Stepanic did.

Grogg stuffs his books and everything back in his bag and just throws it over his shoulder. That's soo sweet; he took my arm and, like, walked me to the door.

* * * * *

"What? No, Grogg, we never like, said goodnight on this side of the door. We..."

* * * * *

He takes me in his arms and pulls me close -- real close. My boobies are mashed up against his chest. I don't care; it feels soo good. It's, like, that "ginger ale" feeling from before, only, like, stronger.

He's... he's kissing me! I feel warm now, too -- all over, but most of all in my boobies and down... down in my groin. This is soo cool. My arms just went and wrapped around his neck. I didn't think of it or nothing.

I don't want to think of anything -- not really. I just want this kiss to go on and... ooh! He's got his hands on... on my butt. Ooh, yeah, that feels even better. I hear myself, like, moan. I move in close to him.

Now, I can feel... something poking my thigh. I move -- just a little -- rubbing against it.

I -- Wait a minute, I was, like, right. He's, like, all over me. Now I've got a reason to -- What!

* * * * *

Aww, don't stop, Grogg. Your curfew! I don't, like, care about your curfew. You do? More than you care about me? Oh... oh, I see. Yeah, I guess we both got carried away, kind of. No... no, it really isn't right. I'll... I'll see you at lunch tomorrow. G'night.

* * * * *

Damn! The kid's got character. He even kissed me goodnight on the forehead. The forehead! Maybe I won't, like, break up with him. Not when he does something like that, especially when he -- mmmm -- when I feel so good all over.

We'll, like, see at lunch tomorrow. That'd be my last chance before the game on Saturday. Coach won't let his players go out the night before a game. He says it takes their edge off. I have to, like, chuckle at that.

Anyway, he said that we'd, like, go out after the game to celebrate. He is just soo sure we're gonna win.

I suppose I could use the Medallion to change back for the night and, ya know, change again in the morning. No... It’s too late for that. It's almost 11 now, and I have to be in school at 8:30. Besides, I just feel soo nice, so warm and tingly, that I don't want to change.

Yawn! I do feel sleepy, though. I wonder if Annie, like, took that new blue nightie with her.

* * * * *

I decided in school today not to, like, change back and forth. It'll be easier to just stay my... Annie till I break up with Grogg. If I break up with him. He's been soo nice and soo sweet that I'm having doubts. Maybe he is, like, good enough for my Annie.

He's gotta, ya know, stay home tonight, rest up for the game. That means I get stuck here by myself watching TV. I scarfed down a salad with some diced chicken for supper. Lisa left a meatloaf and some potatoes, but... eww... all that red meat, and the calories. For. Get. It.

Like I said, I'm stuck watching TV. Normally, on Fridays, I watch the Washington gang and Wall Street Week, but they are just so... bo-ring. Maybe PROVIDENCE with that hunk of a boyfriend for the lady doc, or SABRINA; those girls wear the coolest clothes.

* * * * *

We won! We won! We won! We won!

We beat Lakeview 28-6. That puts us, like, 7-0 for the season. We've already got the District title for sure, and it's still, ya know, October.

Grogg did it. Oh, sure, somebody else carries the ball, but he wouldn't be able to score if Grogg wasn't there to keep the tackles off him, you know.

I almost yelled myself hoarse cheering. Grogg heard, too; I know he did. There was this one play, ya know. There must've been five men on Rick Vargas. Grogg came out of nowhere. He took out two of them, and then kept up with Rick, like, all the way to the goal.

I let out a "Whoop!" that, like, everybody in the stadium must've heard. Grogg turned and looked right at me. He waved... at... me right there in front of, like, everybody, he waved at me.

I was over in the 'chick seats'. They're, like, the seats closest to the team benches. Nobody ever says so, ya know, but they're sorta reserved for the players' girlfriends. I was supposed to be Annie, after all, so there I, like, was with all the other girls. We jumped up and down and yelled and screamed for our guys on the team.

After the game, I was thinking -- just a little bit -- about breaking up with Grogg tonight. He and I have a date, ya know. If he, like, did bad in the game, I could've, like, picked a fight with him -- maybe even in public -- and stormed off.

Only, I can't do it now, even if I wanted to -- wanted to? He's the hero of the game, well, one of the heroes. I'd be like, a traitor to the school, if I broke up with him now.

That's, like, the bad news. The good news is I have a date with one of the guys who won the game for us. I am, like, soo, proud!

* * * * *

Thanks, Grogg. I hoped you'd like this dress. Yes, it is new. It is, like, soo great that you noticed.

* * * * *

Like, Earth to Grogg, I have a face, too, ya know. Try looking up at it instead of at my boobies when you talk to me. I don't know why Annie bought this dumb dress -- or what, like, possessed me to wear it. If it was cut any lower, he could, like, see my nipples, and -- ooh -- here comes that tingly feeling again. I've got to admit, though, I really liked the look on his face when he, like, first saw me. I -- it made him soo happy.

* * * * *

They, like, spiked this punch. Didn't do it too well, though; I can, like, taste the alcohol. No big deal, though, ya know; I mean, I started drinking when I was a boy younger than I am... than Annie is.

* * * * *

I'm, like, sorry I made you bring me home so early, Grogg, but I feel soo dizzy, ya know. Now where... where's that key -- oh, here it is. Okay, I got the door. I'll, like, see you -- a goodnight kiss? Sure, I'm never too... I... ooh, Grogg!

* * * * *

I guess the alcohol hit me, like, all at once when Grogg kissed me. I got real tingly and felt, ya know, weak in the knees. Good thing Grogg was holding me so tight. He picked me up in his arms and, like, carried me inside.

I put my arms around his neck and rested my head on his chest. I felt so safe and so happy and just, like, warm all over. It felt so good; I was just chuckling away like crazy. I hated it when he put me down on the couch -- until he, like, sat down next to me and started kissing me again.

Now he's... he's reached behind me, and he's, like, unbuttoning my dress... Oh! There went the bra strap. He's... my breast... mmmm. Should I stop... he... he did win the game for us, and he's been -- ooh! -- like, soo sweet.

And it feels soo good.

* * * * *

Hey! Who turned on -- Mom... Lisa, what are you, like, doing here? Why aren't you in -- who... who do you think I am? I'm... uhh... that's, like, a little complicated.

* * * * *

Whew, thanks for sending Grogg into the kitchen. I don't, like, want him to hear this. Hon, I'm -- yeah, I said "Hon." I know I don't, like, look it, but I'm... Jack. Yeah, Jack, you know, your husband.

No shit, I can, like, prove it. Your birthday? May 12; you were born in... ahh, what's the next question? Okay, we met when I tried to pick you up while we were in line to see... RETURN OF THE JEDI. We... uhh... can I, like, put something on? It is soo cold in here.

Thanks, that's better. We... ummm... made it for the first time in the back of my old van. We went out to the lake to watch fireworks, and we, like, decided to make some of our own fireworks, ya know.

* * * * *

Wouldn't you know it'd be, like, my fault. I never called her the whole time she was away. Lisa left Annie with Rose and flew back 'cause she was, like, worried something had happened. Come to think of it, something sure had.

Anyway, Grogg's, like, on his way home. She told him I... Daddy... Jack would talk to him in the morning. Yeah, I'll, like, be my old self, and he'll... I'll talk to him then. Poor Grogg, it is going to hurt him soo much when I tell him we... I mean, Annie and him can't see each other anymore.

* * * * *

No, Lisa, honest; this necklace is, like, magic. Now that I've got it on, you just hand me that shirt of mine, and I'll be, like, me... your husband, me, again in just a half hour.

* * * * *

What the hell is the matter with this thing? I, like, change half way back, then it stops, and, in a few minutes, I'm Annie again. At least, Lisa saw me change, so she, like, believes me. She knows it's magic.

* * * * *

Yes, Hon, I know; I'm, like, still Annie. It must be her time of month, ya know. The Medallion won't work on a woman when she's, like, having her period.

Lisa, please, tell... tell me you're joking. Annie's period was, like, two weeks ago. Are you sure; really sure? She... she borrowed one of your pads. Then... oh, like, oh, my Gawd!

The Walgreen's at the downtown mall, the 24-hour one -- yeah, I am, like, plenty scared -- go... go over there, like, right now, and get... get one of those home... pregnancy... tests.

* * * * *

Annie, please, please stop crying. We've, like, been all over this a hundred times. You can't all of a sudden be twins, ya know, and somebody has to be me, the real me, your father, Jack. He... I can't disappear for, like, nine months.

* * * * *

Annie... Daddy says he's still mad at Grogg for what happened, but I heard him and Mom, like, really going at it the other night. That's one good way to help him get used to being me. Mmmm, the thought of it makes my nipples all tingly. I wonder how Grogg is doing. Six months since that night, and I'm, like, still not allowed to be alone with him. It, like, really bums me out.

* * * * *

I finally got the baby quiet. He was, like, real hungry. Breast feeding is, like, soo weird, but it feels soo good when he nurses.

I was, like, so afraid after "Little Jack" was born. I love being his mother, and I don't ever, like, want to change back. Be a man again... gross!

No chance of that, though, Annie -- damn, I keep, like, forgetting to call him Daddy --likes being who he is now. I can hear him and Lisa almost every night. If they aren't careful, I'm gonna, like, have a new little brother or sister.

It'll probably happen before the wedding. Yeah, I said "wedding." Grogg proposed the first time we got to see each other. The week after he graduates, I'm gonna, like, be Mrs. Grogg... Greg Reiner. Then, in the fall, we both go off to State College on scholarships.

Everything would be soo cool if only An... Daddy didn't dislike Grogg so much.

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