Marti and the Doppelganger - Chapter 9

Marti and the Doppelganger
Chapter 9

By Portia Bennett

 
Introduction: This is another story in the Cynthia Chronicles series. Other stories in the series are An Incremental Journey, Cynthia and the Reluctant Girlfriend, Cynthia and the Dumpster Diver, Cynthia and the Moment of Truth, Cynthia and the High School Years - Part I, Cynthia and the High School Years - Part II, Charli and the Girl Cave, Bobbie and the Glass Ceiling, Randi and the College Professor, Adam and the Three Wishes, Lisa and the Culinary Quest (aka Howard and the Completed pass), Cynthia and the Solicitous Sisters-in-Law, Cynthia and the Queen of the Knight, and Cynthia and the Dropped Ball. The time frame of this story follows about three to four years after Charli and the Girl Cave. This story takes place a little more than a year after Bobbie Anderson wins the (British) Open and about ten years after Simoné and the Second Time Around.

So much for the prosaic cliffhanger. They are in time to save Penny; however, The Wizard is needed immediately.

 


This work is copyrighted by the author and any publication or distribution without the written consent of the author is strictly prohibited. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of the characters to persons living or dead is coincidental.


 
 
Chapter 9
 

Lanu raced around the projecting rock towards the assumed impact zone. She was ready to apply as much physical healing that was possible for her to provide. Fortunately, his body was not on the mound of talus below the outcropping. Peter was hanging onto some projecting rocks about three feet below the top of the outcrop.

Marti, Lilly and Wanda worked their way down and took hold of his arms and shirt. Marti wasn’t a strong levitator, but she poured every ounce of strength she could into lifting Peter back to the top. From there the three girls held on as they guided Peter back to a fallen log.

“Why did you stop me,” he sobbed. “Just let me die so I can end my misery.”

“Letting you die is not in the program,” Marti explained. “We’re here to help you.”

“What do you know? You don’t have a clue about me. Just leave me alone.”

“We know a lot more than you think. Who did Marti call you a minute ago?” Lanu asked.

Peter thought for a second or two. “She called me Penny. How did she know? I’ve never told anyone.”

“From now on, you’re Penny when you’re with us. Marti and I are witches. We just happen to be cousins, too. Our friends here are not witches, but we are all here to help you, but we can’t help you if you succeed in killing yourself, and we aren’t going to allow that to happen.”

“Right, and the next thing you’re going to tell me is that you know a wizard who can fix my problem by turning me into an over endowed bimbo pole dancer.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Marti scolded. “He seldom does anything like that, and only in extreme cases. I have never known him to do that, and my sisters never saw him do anything like that, either. Well, there was one time, but he corrected that case very nicely. He’s not a cruel man; maybe a bit eccentric, but certainly not cruel.”

“This is ridiculous,” Peter said as he struggled to get up.

“Do not get up from that log,” Lanu commanded. Peter tried, but he couldn’t.

“Your Wisdom, we need you here right now,” Marti said into her phone.

“I’ll be right there. You are on the mountain, right?”

“Yes sir.”

Marti looked around, not quite knowing what to expect. Then they heard a whistling coming from up the trail. Rounding a corner was a man dressed only as The Wizard would have thought to do. As far as anyone was concerned, he could have come straight out of the Austrian Alps or Tyrol. He was dressed in lederhosen, suspenders, wool trekking hat, boots and knee socks. The hat had a very jaunty feather in the left side above the brim. He also had a very elaborately decorated walking staff. Accompanying him were two enormous St. Bernards.

In spite of the situation, Marti had to suppress a giggle. Rhonda knew The Wizard and she wasn’t too surprised; however, the other seven, and Lanu to a degree, weren’t really too sure about what they were seeing.

“What’s wrong,” he asked Marti. “Isn’t this the proper attire for trekking through the mountains?”

“It’s perfect for the Alps. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I think you should let Wolf and Padrona return to their right forms. Those heavy coats are a bit warm for around here this time of year.”

Wolf and Padrona quickly shifted to their original forms. The girls’ cabin mates gasped in surprise at the sudden transformation.

“Penny, everything that happens here today will never go beyond those who are here, unless you want it to. I know you realize who I am and the fact that you are not imagining things. I think everyone here would like to know a bit more about you, and why you tried to do what you just tried to do. I can assure you that there will never be a reason for you to ever try to do anything like that again.”

“I’ve tried to tell my parents since I was very young that I was a girl. My father just laughed it off as my having an overactive imagination. My mother wasn’t very sympathetic, either. They wanted me to go to a religious college in Virginia and become a televangelist. I want nothing to do with their hate filled church. I want to be an astronomer. I want to be an astronaut, and I want to go to Mars. I also want to be a mother, even if that means I have to be an adoptive mother. Of course they think I’m mentally ill. They’ve sent me to counselors who are probably in need of serious psychiatric help. If I don’t disavow these blasphemous thoughts of mine, they’re going to send me to an aversion therapist where I will be locked up and probably mentally tortured until I come around. My father caught me asleep in bed before I came here. He tied me down and cut off my beautiful hair. I would have loved to see it go to making wigs for cancer patients. He just threw it out.”

As he spoke his hair started growing out until it was shoulder length. The color was a rich chestnut. He didn’t notice.

“Do you love your parents?” The Wizard asked.

“No. I wish I could say yes, but they’ve made my life hell. I have no feeling for them. I don’t hate them. I don’t really understand them. They don’t make any sense. They deny science. Anything that goes against their beliefs can’t be true. They won’t listen to reason. Anything I show them about my condition is thrown out a Satanist propaganda. I wish I could get away from them, but I have nowhere to go. It will be almost three years before I can leave on my own, and they will probably find some way to keep me from doing that then. I just don’t see things getting any better.”

During the conversation, Peter, now surely Penny, had gradually been changing. She’d lost a couple of inches in height, but was still quite athletic in appearance. Marti noticed that her figure was a bit full in the bust for a fifteen year-old girl, but she had a feeling The Wizard was giving her exactly what she desired. She was quite pretty – The Wizard would never have done anything else.

The changes had not yet registered with Penny; however, the other girls were shocked by what had been happening. The former Peter was totally gone.

The Wizard nodded at Lanu and indicated she needed to go to Penny.

“Penny, how are you feeling?”

“I feel a little strange for some reason. I don’t know how to describe it. For once in my life I feel right.”

“That is because you are right. Take a look at yourself. We don’t have a mirror, but I can assure you that you are quite attractive.”

Penny took in things as best she could. Her rather prominent bust line filled her shirt quite nicely. Her form fitting Levis showed a very feminine figure. Her previously strong, masculine hands were considerably more feminine with nicely painted short nails. She reached up and stroked her hair. “It’s back, my hair’s back.”

“I think everyone needs to have some of their favorite soft drink before we go. Have some cookies, too.” The Wizard offered a tray full of canned drinks and a plate full of chocolate chip cookies.

“I need to talk to Marti, Lanu and Rhonda for a moment,” he said indicating they needed to step away from the rest.

“Marti, remember what we did for Effie and Terri?”

“Yes, that has certainly worked out well.”

“I’m afraid that if I do anything to make drastic changes in Penny’s parent’s attitudes that I will have to do too much alteration of history. It won’t be worth it. If she goes back to them as she is now, she will still catch grief due to her attitude about things. Things won’t be any better. I think the best thing to do is to have her removed from her parents in a legal way.

“I’m thinking of having Ginny Chronister taking her as a foster parent. I’m thinking the same for Wanda. There’s just too much to try to fix in either of those families. I know Ginny would be glad to take them in. Besides, they could help with her the three little ones. I know Richard wouldn’t mind. They will be going to college in three years and be on their own. I think I can work something out satisfactorily with Tamesha’s family. After all, their daughter and Wanda will be marrying in a few years.” The Wizard looked over at the group of girls who were congratulating Penny on her transformation. Several of them including Penny were in tears

“I don’t see any reason to erase the memories of anyone in that group. Of course they won’t be able to discuss what happened with anyone else. Penny will be alright. I see she’s had a good drink of her Coke. Here’s a bottle of the special buffered magic pills. They will help her keep her feet on the ground over the next week or so. She’s going to be fine.

“Okay, get everyone together and I will transport you down to Dry Lake. Your group is about a half mile from there. I’ve moved and converted all of Penny’s possessions from Camp Coyote to your cabin. I’ll go talk to Ginny and Richard in Modesto about their new foster children. I’ll move Penny and Wanda’s personal possessions to the Chronister’s as soon as I talk to them. I’ll probably have to make an addition to their house.”

“Your Wisdom, I think you’d better tell Penny and Wanda what’s in store for them,” Rhonda said as she looked over at the happy group.

“Dang, this CRS is catching up with me. This will only take a minute.”

“What is CRS?” Lanu asked.

“Can’t remember, er, stuff,” Rhonda replied.

Marti giggled.

The Wizard took the two girls aside and quickly explained what was going to happen. Wanda and Penny spontaneously gave him a big hug, and before he could get away, Penny kissed him on the cheek.

As The Wizard had instructed, they grasped hands, and a nanosecond later were standing in the clearing at the mouth of Dry Lake.

“I’ve given Penny some of the standard memories that Cindy, Bobbie, Randi and Charli put together for cases like this. She should be fine. I’ve taken care of all the transportation changes. Now it’s off to Modesto to talk to Ginny and Richard.

“Wolf, Padrona, we have to go.” They’d been showing the girls pictures of their children. Don’t ask how they did it. They’d been getting quite a bit of attention. With the standard “pop” of imploding air, The Wizard and his companions disappeared.

The group still had a three thousand foot drop and seven-plus miles to contend with. They made record time down the hill and three hours later they met the bus at the parking area at the trail head. They weren’t going to have to walk the last mile and a half back to their camps. The bus to Camp Coyote had one less passenger, and the bus to Camp Bear Paw had one more. The girl’s cabin now had a full complement.

***

Penny quite easily slips into girlhood thanks to some programming developed by Charli, Bobbie, Cindy, and Randi. Camp is drawing to a close, and Marti and Lanu have to work out the plans for the future get together. They also have questions about Arnold and his family. Either there’s another witch nearby (they didn’t think about that) or The Wizard is involved. That is more likely the case.



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