by Donna Lamb
Reposted 2015/1/8. Originally posted 2007/2/17
Bill staggered out of the flicker booth in his locked foyer on high heels. He knew right away that something terrible had gone wrong. The mirror confirmed things because little Mary Ann from accounting looked back at him.
He checked things with his hands. Long hair, missing genital bulge, left boob, right boob, nothing orthodox about it. "Damnit," he muttered in Mary Ann's cute little squeak.
He'd heard of this happening but always assumed it was just an urban myth, something for the tabloids to scare people with. But if it could be done, then it could be undone, couldn't it? He'd better call emergency services right away and he'd have to use Mary Ann's commcell. He struggled a bit getting her backpack off because the straps were a different pattern due to his new breasts. Or was it just custom?
He was still searching through the pockets of the pack when the bell rang to indicate someone else arriving in the flicker. "Yipe," he squealed as he scuttled across the foyer to avoid being hit in his round little butt by the heavy glass door of the booth.
"Who the heck are you?" the new arrival bellowed before clapping both hands over his mouth in astonishment.
Bill recognized Arthur, one of the salesmen from the Millenium Three Real Estate office where Peggy worked; the green waistcoats were distinctive emblems.
Arthur stared at his hairy knuckled hands, then at the mirror beside the door to the rest of the house. Horror dawned on his features.
The light bulb went on for Bill. "Peggy?" he asked in Mary Ann's soft soprano.
She whirled on him, lumbering with her new mass for it was indeed Bill's sweet Peggy in Arthur's lumpish body. "Bill?" she croaked.
Then they both said it. "Something's gone wrong with the Flickernet!"
"We've got to call ninety-one eleven!" wailed Mary Ann who used to be Bill.
"Don't panic!" screamed Peggy who was now Arthur, almost denting the wall of the narrow room as he flung his arms wide in panic.
He looked ridiculous in his fuschia kilt, yellow tee, green weskit and stylish blue homburg, Mary Ann decided. At least his black backpack matched his gaucho boots.
She glanced down at herself. Translucent avocado harem pants over a tasteful purple thong, the strings showing above her hipbones in the latest mode. A bolero-style mock bustier, peach with navy herringbone, pushed the globes of her tawny breasts together and an apple-green beret sat atop her cascading ringlets. Her backpack and stilettos matched her thong making her a very well put-together member of the secretary class.
Arthur, on the other hand looked like the worst example of salesman chic she ever remembered seeing.
Why the heck was she worrying about clothes at a time like this? She went back to searching the pockets of her backpack, looking for her commcell combo.
Arthur tried the door to the house. "It's locked!" he shouted.
"Of course it's locked! Who leaves a flicker foyer unlocked!" she snapped at him.
"Neither of us have the key!" said Arthur, flailing his meaty arms about.
Mary Ann glared at him and kept looking for her ccc. "We've got to call emergency services," she repeated.
Arthur spun like a cybernetic dog with a loose gyro, trying to reach the release for his backpack. "It's in front for guys!" Mary Ann screamed at him.
"Oh, yeah," agreed Arthur. They both searched for their commcells for a moment until Mary Ann glanced up to discover Arthur leaning sideways to peer at how her ass rounded out the harem pants.
"As if," she said, flouncing. "For Gatessake, Peggy, we've got to call for help!"
"Why don't we use the combo in the flicker booth?" Arthur suggested.
Besides the fact that neither of them particularly wanted to get back into a malfunctioning flicker booth, Mary Ann couldn't think of a good reason. "It should be safe enough if one of us holds the door open for the other."
Arthur nodded and chivalrously held the door for her.
A real man would have gone inside himself, thought Mary Ann, fuming a bit as she entered the booth. But just as she reached for the big green emergency call plate, the lux came to life. A masked man stared at her from the holovu, seeming to look straight down her new cleavage. A word balloon glowed in old fashioned, three dimensional electric colors above his head. "U F B N FUXXED YB TEH FLIXTER!" it read.
"Shit!" Mary Ann and Arthur exclaimed at the same time.
"Someone pranked the flickernet!"
"Whattrewegonnadooo?" wailed Arthur.
A new panel faded into the holovu. "There is nothing wrong with your flickernet. Do not attempt to adjust your expectations. We control your transmassions. If we want to make your wang or your boobies bigger, we will do so. If we want to make your inhibitions smaller, we can do that too. Imagination is a material thing and can be flickered. If we want to shuffle your egos and deal you a new id, we can do that too. We have filtered out your commcell combos. We have filtered out any keys or links you may have had. We are filtering any calls to ninety-one eleven. Your only escape from the flicker booth is back through the flickernet. Prepare to experience the awesome mystery that touches your inner soul with the power of Teh Flixter!" The voice trailed off into pre-modern mechanical noise effects.
"Why did that sound halfway familiar?" asked Mary Ann, her mind reeling. She glanced down at her chest. Were her breasts any bigger than those of the original Mary Ann?
"It's from an old flatshow, The Upper Limit, I think," moaned Arthur. He looked at her bust, too, wondering the same thing she had wondered.
Mary Ann pointed at her backpack. "I guess there's no use looking through those for our combos."
"Push the green button and see what happens?" suggested Arthur.
She stabbed the green emergency plate viciously. An animation of a very red tongue and lips appeared in the holovu, giving her a razzberry followed by a recording of some ancient mechanical voice intoning, "Danger! Danger! Danger!"
Mary Ann scrambled out of the flicker booth, very near to panicking all over again. Arthur shut the booth door behind her then gathered her into a hug. "It's okay," he crooned. "The government will figure this out. They'll catch this Flixter and change us back. It's all going to be okay, you'll see. We just have to trust them to rescue us."
She stared up at him, a little disconcerted by how comforting his hug had been. He looked back at her calmly. "How can you say that with a straight face?" she asked. They both broke up into giggles and hugged each other again, swaying a bit. It felt good but odd, it had been a long time since Mary Ann could remember being held by someone so much bigger and stronger than she was.
"You always coould make me laugh. But we are truly fuxxed," she said after a bit, talking into Arthur's green waistcoat pocket with the Millennium Three logo.
"Pranked and skinned and our hides nailed to the wall," agreed Arthur.
"Pooned," she added. "Or poned, however you say it."
"Mmm," said Arthur, still holding her close.
"No one's ever going to trust the flickernet again," she said.
"The end of civilization," agreed Arthur.
"We're not getting back in that booth, no matter how long it takes for someone to come and open the door of the foyer."
"No. But it might be a day, or two? No telling how many people these asshats have caught. But the kids will come looking for us or send someone."
Mary Ann glanced at herself in the mirror by the foyer door. "I'm younger than Geordie now."
"I noticed," said Arthur.
"How is anyone going to come looking for us without using the flickernet?"
"Those guys with the weird hobby. Autocarts? Locomobiles?" suggested Arthur.
"Don't those need, uh, roads?"
"Helichompers then," said Arthur.
"It's like being on Mars where they don't have flickernet."
"What are we going to do?" she asked his pocket.
"You mean right now?"
"Uh huh. While we wait," she suppressed a giggle, "for the government--or our kids--to rescue us?"
"Well," said Arthur. Mary Ann noticed something hard pressing against her belly. She tried to push away. Arthur caught her chin and turned her face up toward his. "We could have sex? Just to pass the time," he suggested.
Mary Ann sighed. "Are men really all like that?"
"Apparently. And they did say they had reduced our inhibitions."
She giggled. "You always did make me laugh," she said.
"Gates-in-hell! Men really are like that!"
He kissed her. "Yes, I think we are."
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