By Ellie Dauber
Six fun-loving college boys on a road trip to New Orleans for Spring Break, but, when they have car trouble on a flooded Louisiana back road, they find themselves spending an eventful night at a little hotel located in the TWILIGHT ZONE.
By Ellie Dauber
"It was a dark and stormy night."
"Shut up, Jack," Harry said, his long slender fingers tightening on the steering wheel. "It's hard enough trying to drive through this mess. I don't need bad quotes."
Fred looked up from the map his was trying to read by flashlight and pushed back his glasses. "Has anybody seen a road sign or a town name or anything? I'm not sure where we are."
"Aw, man," Tank called out from the back of the van. "At this rate, Spring Break will be over before we even get to New Orleans."
"Don't worry, Tank," Harry said. "I'll get you there in plenty of time to party."
"Party! Party!" Max yelled from the back of the van.
"Cripes," Stan said, “Are you into the beer again."
"Cool it, Stan," Tank said. "Harry and Jack are the designated drivers, tonight. Me and Max, we're the designated drinkers."
"Yeah," Jack said, "and every other damn night. If we didn't need you guys to help pay for the gas and the room, we wouldn't have even let the pair of you come along."
"I love you, too, Jack," Max said. "Anybody else want a -- hey, why are we slowing down?"
"The road ahead," Harry said, leaning forwards and squinting for a better view. "I think the damned thing's flooded." He drove slowly for a few moments, then stopped and switched to high beams. "Yeah, it's flooded."
"The hell, you say," Fred spat.
"Look for yourself. I can't tell how deep it is, but I don't think we should try to drive through it. There're enough dips in this road that it could be six inches to six feet deep."
"Can we drive around it?"
"Where? There's enough of a shoulder to turn around -- I think, but then it's all barbed wire or stone fence."
"Great, man, just effing great," Stan said.
"Add another day to the trip," Tank said. "Well, at least now I've got a reason to drink."
Harry swung wide onto the shoulder, and then turned the wheel sharply. The van moved forward slowly, straddling the two narrow lanes of the back road. He back up and repeated the maneuver. The van was back on the road now, facing back the way that they had come. As Harry started back down the road, there was a "thump!" and the van shook as if it had just driven over a large object."
"Hell!" Tank yelled from the back. "I almost spilled some."
"What the hell happened," Max said.
"What do you think happened," Jack said. "We hit something."
"Is the van okay," Fred asked.
"I -- I'm not sure," Harry said. She's handling kind of funny."
"Can we make it back to civilization," Stan asked.
"Screw civilization," Tank said. "Can we make it to New Orleans?"
"I'll be happy if we can make it to that gas station we passed about forty minutes ago," Harry said. "It was the last thing I saw on this road."
"I remember it," Fred said. "I think it was closed when we passed it."
"If it wasn't, it probably is now," Jack said. "It's after six and getting dark."
"Yeah, but it's a target," Harry said. "We can sleep there in the van and get help in the morning."
They drove on for another ten minutes. Harry noticed that the van was getting harder to handle. It also began to make grinding noises -- especially when they went up or down a hill. "I think whatever we hit got the transmission," he said finally. "We'd better look for a spot to pull over for the night. We won't get anywhere near that garage."
"Can we walk it?" Stan said.
"In this rain? Besides, I'm not sure that I want to be seen walking along a road out in the boonies like this." Fred was the sole Black in the group. He was tall and something of an athlete, but that might make him even more of a target in some people's eyes.
"Look, man," Jack said. "Walk or not, the place is closed. We can't get help for the van until tomorrow morning at the earliest."
"Damn," Max took another swig of beer. "There goes another day. By the time it gets fixed, Spring Break _will_ be over."
"So what," Jack said sarcastically. "By the time we pay for getting it fixed, we won't have any money to spend anyway."
"Now there's small comfort," Harry said. He drove slowly, looking for a place to safely pull the van off the road for the night. Unfortunately, the road was the same as it had been back at the flood, narrow shoulder with barbed wire, thick hedge, or stone fence just beyond.
"That grinding's getting worse," Fred said. "We'd better find a place soon.”
"I know, but I don't see anything." Harry said. "I don't like the idea of just parking on the shoulder."
"There," Jack yelled suddenly. "Up ahead on the right."
"What!" Harry looked trying to see whatever Jack had.
"A light." He pointed through the windshield. "Off to the right. Must be a farmhouse or something."
"Yeah," Harry said. "I see it now. On a rise or something hidden from the road by those trees."
"Great. Maybe we can even get some tools to try and fix it." Fred was a mechanical engineering major.
"More important," Tank said. "We can get some food; maybe even a place to sleep."
"Maybe the farmer's even got a daughter," Max said.
"Yeah," Harry slowed down to look for the turn-off, "and if they do have one, you guys better leave her alone -- no matter how pretty she is -- or how much she asks. Farmers don't have a sense of humor about their daughters."
"So," Max said. "I can handle some old guy."
"Farmers don't have a sense of humor," Harry said, "but they usually _do_ have shotguns."
"Oh." For once, Max stopped talking.
Harry found the side road; a break between some two trees, and turned onto it. As he turned, he saw the remnants of some sort of a sign on one tree. He tried to read it in the headlights as he turned, but the sign was old and faded; maybe even a little fire damaged. The best he could make out was an ornate looking "H" surrounded by what seemed to be three or four hearts. “I wonder what that big ‘H’ means," he said.
"House on Haunted Hill," Tank said. Somebody, Max, probably, began to whistle "There's a Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place)" from ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.
"That farmer _better_ have a sense of humor," Fred sighed.
They rounded a bend as they came out of the trees. The house suddenly appeared at the top of a low hill. It was a rambling old Victorian, perhaps as many as twenty rooms, with turrets, Queen Anne's lattices, and a half a dozen small balconies. Most of the windows on the first and second floors were boarded up, but there were a few open second floor windows, ragged curtains flapping in the wind. The light that they had seen from the road seemed to come from a small window on the second floor.
Harry pulled the van into a gravel area near the front steps. The high covered porch looked wide enough that they could sleep there without worrying about the rain.
Jack opened his door as soon as Harry stopped. "We'd better leave our stuff in the van for now. We don't want to come on too strong."
"Maybe there's nobody here," Fred said. "Maybe it's just a timer."
Harry turned off the engine and climbed out. "Then we sleep on the porch."
"Why the hell can't we sleep inside, if there's nobody here to say 'No'?" Stan asked.
"Remember what I said about shotguns? Farmers don't take too kindly to folks who break into their houses, either."
"How do you know all this shit," Tank said. "Your old man sells Chevies."
"Yeah, Chevy tractors." Harry started up the steps. "I come from a town of about 3500 people in the middle of Kansas."
Stan ran up the steps, his long legs taking them two at a time. He reached the porch and pushed the doorbell without waiting for his friends. "Well, we'll know in a minute." He waited, and the others were all standing around him, when he pushed the bell a second time. He was waiting to push the bell again, when they heard a voice from inside.
"Enough! Enough, I have heard you." The voice was thin and reedy. The door opened slowly. The voice belonged to a short, slender man who had to be at least sixty. He wore a black string tie and a suit that looked at least fifty years out of style. He looked at the boys and raised a slender hand as if counting them. "What would you -- what brings you to this place, you six, you happy six." He smiled at them, an almost toothless smile.
"It's our van, sir," Jack said, trying to place the man's accent; Russian, Hungarian, somewhere in Eastern Europe. "I think the transmission is shot. We'd like to stay here over night and call for help in the morning."
"This place was once a hostelry, though it has not been so for some time. It has been waiting to be one again, and you are most welcome. There be no phone here now, but, mayhap, your vehicle will not act so falsely in the morrow."
Max started for the steps. "Great, let's get our stuff out of the van."
"Then can we get something to eat?" Fred said.
"I fear that I have nothing to eat beyond mine own needs," the old man said looking embarrassed.
"No food?" Max said.
Tank came back up onto the porch carrying the cooler. "That's okay. We still got those sandwiches in the cooler. I think there's some pizza left, too. And I _know_ we got beer."
"Not enough time for you and Max to drink it all?" Harry said, but he smiled and pulled a can out of the cooler.
"If that be settled," the old man said, "let me show you to your quarters."
"Okay," Jack said. "Leave the food on the porch. We'll eat it out here after we get our gear outside. That way we won't make a mess in any of our rooms."
"Six rooms?" The old man looked startled. "Phah! The rooms in this place have two beds each, and I would ask -- I must insist -- that the rooms be shared."
Harry turned to the group. "Seems fair, doesn't it, guys?" When nobody disagreed, he continued. "Okay, two to a room."
"Who sleeps with -- ah, hell," Fred stopped, embarrassed at what his words had implied. "Who shares with whom?"
Harry ignored his friend's mistake. "Why don't we do it the way we were sitting in the car: Jack and me, Fred and Stan, and Tank and Max."
Nobody seemed to have any problems with the arrangement. The old man took the boys up to the second floor. The three rooms were along one side of the hall just at the top of the stairs. The rooms were almost identical, painted off-white with blue shutters and curtains on the large windows. There were twin beds along one wall separated by a nightstand with an old fashioned looking lamp. The beds were covered with quilts and two or three throw pillows each. They looked almost too comfortable to boys who'd spent the last night in sleeping bags. There was a dresser against the wall opposite the beds.
Each room had its own bath, fairly small, with white tile floors. Stan looked in quickly. "Hey, there's a claw foot tub in here that looks big enough for two. Is the water connected?"
"It is, my young guests," the old man said, "but the heater will take time to produce enough hot water to sate all your needs. May I suggest that half of you bathe this night? The rest of you would wait until the morrow when there is enough hot water for such a luxury."
The boys agreed. They unpacked their bags from the van and took them upstairs. When they came back down, the old man was setting up a table on the porch. "I fear that I lack the victuals to feed you, but there is the start of a cellar." He held up two bottles. "I hope that this wine goes with whatever sort of food you may have."
Max took one of the bottles and looked at it carefully. "Geez, this stuff's almost a hundred years old." He pulled out a penknife. "Is it any good?" He opened the knife and used the blade to pull out the cork. "Smells okay." He poured a little into a cup that the old man had set on the table. "Tastes even better. Thanks, man."
"If you have no further need," the old man bowed, "I will be gone. A pleasant night to you." He bowed low again, smiled strangely, and walked back into the house.
"Weird old dude." Max took a swig of wine.
"Yeah, but he was nice enough to let us stay here." Stan said.
"He did say it was a -- what'd he call it? -- a hostelry; that's some kind of hotel, isn't it?"
"Very good, Tank," Jack said between bites of sandwich. "You win a cookie."
Harry reached for a sandwich. "Leave him alone, Jack. He did get the word right. Yeah, Tank, it does mean hotel, but that doesn't mean that he had to let us in. The place really isn't ready for business. He could have made us stay on the porch, or even have ordered us off the property."
"Like to see him try." Tank flexed his muscles, showing how he'd earned the nickname. It wasn't much of a name, but it beat the hell out of "Thorvald", the unwanted legacy of a Danish grandfather.
"It's his place," Harry said. "Even if he doesn't have a phone, he could still take our license and get word to a sheriff or something. I don't want to spend my Spring break in some parish jail."
"Yeah; that's what they call counties in Louisiana. The State laws here are based on the Napoleonic Code instead of English Common Law they way they are in the rest of the country."
Jack chuckled. "I knew there was some reason for bringing a pre-law major along. Thanks, Harry."
They finished dinner, putting the garbage in a covered trashcan. The cooler went back into the van, except for the sixpack that Tank and Max took up to their room. The others tried to talk for a while, but the wine and the rigors of three days driving began to get the best of them.
Harry stood up and yawned. He pulled a quarter from his pocket and flipped it into the air. "Call it, Jack."
"Heads." It came down heads.
"Okay, your choice. Do you want to take your bath tonight or in the morning?"
"Tomorrow, I think. I just want to do my exercises and hit that bed."
Harry laughed. "You and your exercises, man. Watching you is like watching some sort of crazy slow motion ballet."
"Yeah, but if I'm going to stay on the fencing team, I've gotta stay limber. Those crazy Japanese katahs -- that's what they call them -- really work, and I'm not stopping just because the season's over."
Harry yawned again and headed for the door. You guys talk. There's a tub upstairs with my name on it. G'night." He went inside.
Jack stretched. He bent at the waist and slapped the porch with the palms of both hands. "I might as well head up, too. I can get a full routine in while Harry's in the tub. That way, he won't be bitching at me for keeping him up."
Stan reached up and scratched his head. "I think I'm heading up, too. Get me a good night sleep."
Fred just nodded and joined the others as they went into the house. He wasn't that sleepy, but there was no point in staying out on the porch by himself.
* * * * *
Harry soaked in the tub for almost an hour, listening through the half-opened door to the music Jack used with his -- what'd he call them? -- his katahs. The first tape, Japanese music, was over, and Jack was playing some weird Indian melodies. Harry decided that he'd had enough and pulled the plug. He climbed out of the tub and rubbed himself dry with one of the thick white towels that that weird old guy had provided. He wrapped the towel around his waist and walked into the bedroom.
Jack had stripped to a T-shirt and boxers. He stood in the center of the room, one leg straight back, the other bent forward at the knee, making a series of elaborate circular gestures with his arms.
Harry stared at him for a minute. He looked… thinner, as if his muscles were fading away. His butt looked bigger, though, and his hair, it was down over his ears. What was going on?
"Jack, are you okay, man?"
Jack stopped, straightened up, and turned towards his friends. Yes, he was definitely thinner, even in the shoulders; shorter, too. His face looked different, too, though Harry wasn't exactly sure how.
"Yeah, Harry, I guess I am. My timing seems off tonight though. It wasn't too bad at first, but it seems to be getting worse."
"No wonder. Look at yourself in the mirror."
Jack turned to the mirror above the dresser. "What the hell? I look like I lost about fifty pounds, all muscle, and how'd my hair get so long?"
"I don't know, man, but you're still changing. When I came out of the bathroom, your hair was just over your ears, now it's almost down to your neck."
"Yeah, I can see it growing. My face looks different, too. I haven't shaved since before we left school, and there's not a trace of beard on my face.
Harry looked at Jack. The muscles in his legs were gone, too, but they seemed to be developing some interesting curves. "I don't know how to tell you this, Jack, but it looks like you're turning into a girl."
Jack stared at himself in the mirror. "Shit! I think you're right." He turned and started towards Harry. "What do you --"
"Stay the hell away from me, man. Whatever it is could be contagious."
"Well I'm getting out of here." He turned again and went to the door. "You can stay if you want." He tried the knob, but it wouldn't turn. "It's locked. The damned door's locked."
Harry ran over to try the door; better to risk contagion from Jack than be stuck in the room where it -- whatever it was -- was happening. They tried the door together. Locked!
Harry had always been a couple inches taller than Jack. Now he loomed a good six inches over him (him?). "Stand back. I'm going to try to force it." He took a running start and launched himself at the door. He seemed to bounce off and landed with a thud at the foot of the bed. He stood up, and then sat down on the bed rubbing his sore shoulder. He didn't notice that the twin beds had somehow merged into a single queen-sized bed.
Jack stood at the door pounding it with his fists and screaming to be let out. His hair grew longer, stopping just below his shoulders, with blonde streaks in among the brown. His slender body began to fill out, his waist and butt broadening into feminine curves. His voice rose as he screamed, going from tenor to a pleasant high alto.
Harry watched all this from the bed. He noticed that Jack's clothing seemed to be changing, too. His T-shirt's sleeves disappeared and the collar widened so that, in a few moments, it was being held up by two thin straps. It shrank in against his body as well, revealing a very narrow waist. The boxer shorts shrank, too, clinging to his new curves. Then the two garments merged, the white cotton changing to a yellow satiny material.
Jack seemed to have exhausted himself and sank to the floor sobbing. Harry came over and helped him stand up. His eyes widened as he saw the two breasts that had grown out from Hurry’s chest and were pushing against the front of the teddy that he was now wearing. As Jack stood, Harry took a quick glance at his friend's crotch. ‘Nothing, no bulge, at least; transformation complete,' Harry thought. 'Am I next?'
They walked over to the bed and sat down. Jack was still sobbing pitifully. He -- no, it was she, now -- turned and put her head against Harry's shoulder. Not knowing what else to do, he put his arms around her and began patting her on the back. "It's going to be okay," he said, not knowing why.
Jack sniffled and raised her head to look at Harry. She was beautiful. Her cheekbones had raised and her nose had gotten smaller, turning up slightly at the end. Her lips were full. And red; somehow, she was wearing make-up, and he caught the scent of a perfume. "Th-thanks, Harry," she said, wiping a tear with the back of her hand. "You're so go-good to me."
She suddenly put her arms around Harry's neck and pulled him to her. Their lips met in a kiss. Harry's mouth opened in surprise, and her tongue slipped inside teasing at his own. 'Damn,' Harry thought, 'Jack's a good kisser.' Jack? Harry broke the kiss and pushed away. "What the hell are you -- are _we_ doing?"
"Kissing, Harry. What's the matter? Don't you like it?"
"Hell, no! You're a guy."
Jack stood up. "No, I _used_ to be a guy. I mean, I know who I was and all, but he isn't me anymore. I'm a woman, now, Harry. Your woman, if you want."
"This is crazy."
"Maybe, but it happened." She stepped back away from the bed. Jack's CD player was still playing that Indian music. She began moving to it again, but this time it wasn't the stylized moves of one of those training exercises. Her movements were slow, sensual. Sexy. Her arms flowed like rivers; her hips swayed invitingly. She smiled at him, eyes half closed, and occasionally ran her tongue across her lips.
Harry stared in disbelief. What had happened to his friend? Was it going to happen to him? It didn't seem likely. The only changes he was feeling were a flush in the face and a certain stiffening in the groin.
Jack kept swaying to the music. Her hands slid up her body caressing her new curves. They stopped at the shoulders and grabbed hold of the straps to her teddy. A sudden yank and the knots were untied. Fabric slipped down, so that she was essentially nude above the waist. "Ever see a man with anything like these?" she asked. She fondled her breasts, lifting them up, rubbing a long fingernail across the areolas, spiraling in to play with her erect nipples.
She kept swaying, the straps of the teddy dangling down, moving with her hips. She kept playing with her breasts, her eyes closed now, her mouth open. She moaned, and Harry couldn't help but wonder how those lips would feel around his "johnson".
She smiled, aware of the effect that she was having on him. Without losing the rhythm, her hands went down to where the teddy was bunched at her waist. Slowly, still moving to the music, she slid it down past her hips. Then she released it, letting it fall to the floor. When it did, she stepped out of it and kicked it away.
Jack walked forward, a little closer to the bed, motioning with both hands for Harry to stand. He rose, almost unable to stop himself. Her hand shot out, grabbed his towel, and yanked. She smiled in triumph and threw the towel behind her. "At least part of you thinks I'm a woman."
"That wasn't fair, Jackie." Jackie?
"What is, lover?" She leapt forward and threw her arms back around his neck. He felt her breasts pushing against his bare chest. She ground her hips against him. Her hand moved down and guided him into her soft cleft. She was wet and ready, and he slid in easily. She had both arms around his neck again, and she lifted her legs, wrapping them around his waist. Harry gave in to the inevitable. He turned slowly and laid Jackie onto the bed.
* * * * *
Stan came out of the bathroom wearing only a towel. Fred was sitting on the bed in his pajamas, reading a Brother Caedfel mystery. He glanced up at Stan. "You spill some paint or something in the tub?"
"What do you mean, Fred?"
"I don't know. Maybe it's the light, or I'm tired, or something, but your skin looks darker."
"Nah!" He lifted his hand and looked at it, palm and back. "Damn, you're right, I am darker. I wonder what -- hey, it's still happening." As they watched, Stan's hand, his entire body darkened, light tan to dark tan, then beyond that to the color of milk chocolate.
"What the hell's going on," Fred said, sitting up on the bed. "You're almost as dark as I am." He looked closely at Stan. The man's features were changing, his nostrils widening, his lips becoming fuller. The rest of the face seemed a bit smaller and more feminine. Stan's hair was changing, too. His straight, sandy brown razor cut was growing out, becoming curlier and curlier as it did, until it reached almost to his shoulders.
"My whole body feels weird," Stan said. His voice seemed higher, but he didn't notice. He was thinner, smaller too, no more than five foot six. The slight beer belly he'd developed in the last few months was gone. So was every bit of hair on his body, at least what they could see of his body. Stan wasn't at all sure that he wanted to take off the towel wrapped around his middle.
Now as he looked at it, the towel seemed to slide down onto his hips. It was as if his waist had narrowed or his hips widened -- or both. He put the facts together. Somehow, he was turning into a girl. "Shit," he said, and his hand shot down to grope at the towel.
He found what he was looking for, but it -- they seemed smaller. And getting smaller still. He felt his penis shrinking down into his body. He reached beneath the towel. It was no more than two or three inches long now and getting smaller by the moment. His fingers found his scrotal sack, his empty scrotal sack. He had felt his testicles retreating up into his body as he groped.
In desperation, he yanked the towel away and looked down. He could barely see his penis in the mass of tight brown curls. It seemed to be shrinking down into him followed by the empty sack. He felt for it, but he only found the sensitive lips and moist slit of a female vagina.
He reached down to try to wrap the towel around himself again. His arm brushed against his chest and he felt yet another strange sensation. His looked down. His areolas were dark circles even against his Black skin, the size of half dollars. The seemed to be on small bumps, but as he watched, these grew larger. They rounded out as they continued to grow into a pair of firm, round breasts.
Stan raised the towel and wrapped it around him just above his new nipples. The towel was long enough to reach his widening hips creating a certain amount of modest cover.
"Damn," Fred said. "I don't know what just happened, but you are one pretty woman."
The statement affected Stan. He felt a blush rise in his cheeks. His nipples felt a little tight, and there was an odd sort of warmth in his groin. He didn't recognize the sensations, but he liked them. "Glad you think it's so funny, Fred." He marveled at his new voice, a sexy sort of purr. "I can't wait to see how pretty _you_ turn out."
"Oh, I don't think I'm going to change," Fred said staring at her. "I think it's only supposed to happen to one of us."
"Why? What makes you say that?"
"I'm -- to tell the truth, I'm not sure. Call it a hunch."
"I think you read too many detective stories."
He smiled. "Maybe, but what else is there to do?"
Stan felt the warmth growing in his body. He recognized it now for what it was, sexual arousal; female sexual arousal. He looked at Fred standing there, so tall and muscular, so handsome in his pajamas. Handsome? Where had that come from? But it was true, he couldn't deny it. His hands, of their own volition went to his hips and he bent one knee. "I bet we could think of a _lot_ of better things to do?"
Fred's eyes widened. "Stan, are you okay?"
"More than okay, Sugar." What was he saying? Stan didn't know, but he felt comfortable saying it. The tingling in his nipples as they rubbed against the rough towel was driving him crazy, and the warmth, the wetness in his groin was even worse. He needed something, needed it very badly. He didn't know what, but he knew that it had something to do with Fred.
Stan began to walk towards Fred, a smile, almost a leer on his face. His wide hips swayed as he walked, and his breasts pushed against the towel. "You want to see just how 'okay' I am. His hands went to the towel, the end twisted in between his breasts holding it in place. With one quick twist it came free and fluttered to the ground.
He reached Fred and threw his arms around the confused boy. Stan rubbed his naked breasts against the fabric of Fred's pajama top. Stan's hips ground against Fred's. He was hard, big and getting bigger. Fred suddenly pushed him away. "Stacy, this is crazy."
"Stacy?" Yes, that was his -- was her name now. She threw her arms around his neck and began kissing him, his cheek, his nose, his mouth. When he tried to say something, she kissed him hard on the mouth, teasing his tongue with hers. Now she knew what she wanted -- what she _had_ to have. She could feel it poking against her crotch. She stepped back and pouted at Fred. "You know, this really isn't fair?"
"Here I am all naked and ready, and you're still in those damned pajamas." With a wicked smile, she began undoing his buttons. After a moment's hesitation, He began to help her.
* * * * *
Max came out of the bathroom, towel wrapped around him, taking a drink from the last of three beers he'd taken in with him. Tank was laying on of the beds in his T-shirt and boxers, drinking a beer and reading a Sports Illustrated. Max looked at Tank and began to laugh.
Tank looked up from the magazine. "What's so damn funny, asshole?"
"I took the bath, and you're the one who got shriveled."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Look at yourself, man. Where's those muscles of yours?" He pointed at Tank's legs. "Hell, you got legs like a stork."
"What the..." Tank looked down. It was true. His whole body looked like somebody had sucked out every muscle. He was all skin and bones. "Hell, I spent ten years of working out, and now I look like some damn geek."
He stood up. His shirt was far too big now, dangling down past his hips, and the only reason his boxers were staying up was the elastic at the waist. "I'll be damned if I can --" Tank had been about to scratch his head. He had a full head of hair instead of the shaved scalp of a few hours before.
This was too much, he ran over to look in the mirror above the dresser. His hair was growing at a fantastic rate. It came down over his ears, then past his shoulders, and not stopping until it was halfway down his back. He stared at the mass of honey blonde curls. Honey blonde? His hair had been a sandy brown.
Tank looked at his reflection in the mirror, trying to focus through the beer. His face seemed thinner, too. His jaw was certainly narrower, and his nose -- it wasn't broken any more. The bump and slight angle it had gained from a schoolyard fight in tenth grade were gone. Hell, the damn thing even looked like it had gotten smaller.
He looked down to get a better look at his spindly body. He was a lot thinner in the shoulders, but now his arms and legs seemed to be filling out again. Only what was coming in wasn't muscle. At least not the sort of muscles he was used to. It almost looked like a layer of fat was growing under his skin. There seemed to be more graceful curve then before. He looked down. Yes, his legs were filling in, too; long, graceful, sleek legs. His waist didn't get any wider, but his hips seemed to be widening, filling his boxers in a way they never had before.
It all struck him funny, somehow. "Look at me, man. I'm a whole new Tank." He spun around at the mirror for Max to see.
"Cool, man. You sure ain't 'Mr. Football' anymore."
Tank felt dizzy from the spinning and put a hand down on the dresser to steady himself. He looked down. His hand was thinner, too, with long, thin fingers. 'Geez', he thought to himself. 'How'd I get polish on my nails?' It was true. His nails were about a quarter inch long, expertly manicured, and covered with a pale pink polish.
Now, as Tank looked down, he saw that something was happening to his clothes. They changed color from white to a shade of pink very much like his polish. Then his T-shirt somehow split into two garments. The top piece was now some sort of short robe with puffy sleeves. It grew sheerer and sheerer until Tank could see through it with ease. Beneath it, the remainder was now a slightly darker pink chemise with spaghetti straps. It also grew sheerer, though not as transparent as the cover. It also was again tight against his body.
The boxers changed as well. They grew tight against Tank's new curves. The material was narrower, shrinking in the back to a thong that crept in between his asscheeks. In front, it was narrower and sheerer, almost transparent except for a patterned lace gusset that held the bulge of his male organs.
Max giggled. "Oh, man, Tank. I don't know what happened to you. If you had tits, you'd look just like Becky Randall." Becky was head cheerleader and the frequent subject of the sex fantasies of most of the men -- and a number of the women -- on campus.
"Thanks, man. I really needed to -- damn, listen to my voice." Tank's baritone growl was gone. He was now speaking in a squeaky soprano.
"Damn, you got one of those 'fuck-me' voices; just like Sue Ann Halloran." Sue Ann was another cheerleader.
Tank turned back to the mirror. He saw a fairly pretty blonde in a negligee and baby doll nightie. She looked pretty good to him, good enough that he forgot that it _was_ him. 'Too bad she's got no tits,' he thought. 'I do like a girl with big tits.'
At that moment, Tank felt a tingling in his chest. He looked down to see to small bumps rise up from his chest beneath the chemise. They grew bigger and rounder. He saw the swell of breasts rise up, pushing the chemise out. The nipples were erect, and the lace at the top of the chemise tickled them. Tank giggled, a low sexy giggle, and shivered at the sensation.
"Oh, man," Max said. "If you only had a pussy." He took a step towards Tank.
Suddenly the implications of Max's words sank in to Tank's mind. "No way, Max. I'm a guy."
"You sure don't look like a guy."
"No, look, I still got a --" Tank's hand reached down to his groin. He had planned to pull down the panty and show Max his prick, "Tank's 'Big Gun'", the babes called it back on the campus.
The "Big Gun" was gone. Tank's hand found only a narrow, moist, sensitive slit. Without thinking, he slipped a finger inside. One manicured nail sought out the remnants of his "Gun", now an equally sensitive clitoris. It found its goal and gently, carefully stroked it. A feeling of incredible warmth and pleasure shot through Tank's body. As he continued to stroke, his head rolled back, and his mouth opened. His other hand found a breast and squeezed it through the satiny material.
Max stood entranced watching the show. His penis was standing straight out, tenting the towel, as it pointed at Tank. He took a last swig of beer and tossed the can over his shoulder. He pulled off the towel and walked over to Tank. "That feel good, Tank?"
"Yes... oh, man, yes. It... it feels so damn good."
Max gently took Tank's hand off his breast. "C'mon, Tank. I know something that will feel even better."
"Sure, I do, Tank. You'll really like it."
"No -- not Tank. I... I'm Tandy. T-Tandy, sweet as candy." He, no, she giggled and put her arms around Max. He could smell pussy on the fingers of her one hand. "Show me, Max. Show me what feels so good." She kissed him.
Max picked up her in his arms and began walking towards the bed. Bed? 'Hadn't there been two beds?' He thought. It was a bed, and it was there, and he and Tandy were sure as hell going to use it.
* * * * *
It was well after midnight before the last of the couples finally drifted off to sleep. The storm outside grew worse. By two o'clock, thunder was mixing with the sounds of the rain.
The lightning bolt hit the building some time later. The bolts holding a lightening rod to one of the turrets had rusted away, and the bolt hit the wood of the roof. For a moment, nothing seemed to have happened, but then a thin wisp of smoke rose from beneath the tiled roof. A sliver of flame was visible shortly after that.
Harry awoke to a yell and the sound of hard knocking at his door. He sat up in bed. "What a dream," he said, trying to shake the sleep out of his head. "I actually thought that..." He stopped at the sound of a very feminine mumbling next to him. He looked down. "Jackie?" It wasn't a dream.
He reached down and shook her awake. "Mmm, hi, Harry." Her voice was that of a very sated female. Then she heard the yell. "Harry, what do we do?"
"We get out of here." He looked down. They were both naked under the covers. He threw them back and pulled at them as he and Jackie stood up. "Wrap yourself in this and open the window." He handed Jackie a sheet and ran over to grab their suitcases.
Harry took the two suitcases and threw them through the opened window. He heard a clatter of wood as they crashed through the porch roof followed by a hardy "Thud!" when they hit the ground. So much for that route; if the roof couldn't take the weight of the suitcases, it wouldn't hold them.
He ran to the door and put his palm against it. Cool, which meant safe. He opened the door, and the pair ran out into the hall. Four others came out at about the same time. Fred was with a beautiful Black girl, and Max was holding the hand of a killer blonde. "Stan? Tank?"
"Stacy used to be Stan," Fred said staring at Jackie and the blonde. "I guess these two are Jack and Tank." He fought back a hardy laugh.
"Now that we've called roll, can we get out of here?" Jackie said.
"That way," a voice yelled. They looked in the direction it came from. The old guy was standing at an open doorway, using an old-fashioned hand extinguisher to spray something into a wall of flame.
"You need help," Fred said, and started towards the man.
"Go!" The old man yelled. "Get the young women out of here. This fire is my concern -- as it was before."
"But you'll never manage..." Harry said.
"And you'll be trapped here," Stacy said. "Please, please come with us."
"No! This time, no!" The old man's voice was harsh. Down those steps, then out past the porch. Please. I want it this way. I swear. Go!"
The three couples realized that their arguments would do no good. They turned and hurried down the stairs. The fire was spreading through the house. They could see it in some of the rooms on the first floor. They ran out onto the porch, then down the steps. Harry jumped into the van and released the break. It coasted down the hill, stopping about thirty feet from the house. Fred and Max came over carrying suitcases. Stacy and whoever Tank was calling herself now carried one bag between them.
They stood besides the van watching as the fire took the house. There was no sign that the old man ever got out.
* * * * *
It was more than an hour after the house collapsed in on itself, when Harry first heard the siren. He woke the others who were all sleeping with him inside the van. He pulled on a pair of jeans and climbed out just as the fire engine roared into sight. "About time you guys got here," he said to the first fireman.
The fireman pushed back his helmet. "Well, son, we didn't know anybody was here. That old house is far enough away from the woods to keep the fire from spreading."
"That's all you're worried about. What about the guy who lived here?"
Another fireman came around to talk to Harry. "Ain't nobody lived here for years, kid. Not since the big fire at the hotel."
"What fire?" Fred had climbed out of the van. He looked a little nervous as every "Cracker" story he'd ever heard growing up in Chicago kept popping into his head.
A Black fireman climbed down from the back of the fire engine. "Fifty years or so ago, this old place was a hotel, 'Hanson's Honeymoon House', they called it. Run by some old guy, a refugee from Europe. It caught fire during the night. There were some folks inside that never woke up. They found the old guy the next day. Seems he panicked and ran out without warning his guests. He said it was too much like being back in the bombings during the war. He hung himself here on what was left of the porch 'bout a week later."
"What was left?" Fred and Harry looked back towards the house for the first time. The building was a ruin, but a lot of it looked like it had been that way for years, a lot of years.
"Folks said the place was haunted," one of the fireman, an older man with thinning gray hair, said. "Nobody'd buy it, and the old guy's family, cousins or something, didn't want to rebuild. It's been like this since..." he did some mental arithmetic. "Damn, you know what, chief. The fire was fifty years ago tonight. I remember ‘cause my Daddy'd just joined the Department."
"This -- this is crazy," Harry said.
"What's crazy," the fireman said, "and what're you kids doing here?"
"We had trouble with our van." Everyone turned. It was Jackie, stepping out of the van and looking radiant in a pair of shorts and a knitted t-top. "We pulled in here for the night." She flashed a 200-watt smile. "I do hope it's not going to be a problem."
"No ma'am." He turned to Harry. "You think you can get your van going?"
"I don't think so. I think something broke the transmission."
"We'll use our radio to call for a tow. You kids pack up." He climbed back into the fire engine. The other three firemen began searching around the ruins of the building to make certain the fire was completely out.
"Do you think it was a ghost?" Jackie said.
"It was something." Harry said. "Maybe he had to save some people from the fire so he could rest in peace. He looked at Jackie and smiled remembering the night before.
"I -- I guess it had to be couples. That's why he changed Stacy, Tandy, and me."
"Yeah, but if he's gone, I don't know that you guys will ever change back."
Jackie smiled. She was also thinking about the night before. "What makes you think that we want to?"
Author's Note: This story began as a couple of questions of mine on Mindy's Polling Site, the ones about the six college men who spend time at a Summer rental that somehow changes at least some of them into women. I've played around with it for a while, until I came up with this version while I was on vacation. (Yes, parts of this story were written in three different states, on the ground and in mid-air.) Some of it is rather explicit, though all the sex happens off-stage.
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