Okay. Now What?


Okay. Now What?
by Melanie Brown
Copyright  © 2016 Melanie Brown

A trip to the mall turned out to be a much longer trip than Lucas expected.



“Okay. Now what?” I asked my brother’s friend Aaron as we left the movie theater. Like my brother Mike, Aaron was seventeen and had a car. He was hoping to find a summer job soon.

Looking in his wallet, Aaron said, “I have some of your mom’s money left. I think your mom said to take you to get a haircut.”

I punched Aaron on the shoulder and said, “Bull! She didn’t say that!”

Laughing, Aaron said, “No, but I heard her say you need one. I mean, sheesh dude. Your hair is longer than your sister’s and hers is past her shoulders.”

I frowned and said, “I hate getting haircuts. Besides, it drives my dad nuts.”

Aaron grinned and said, “Okay. How about some ice cream?”

“I’m always up for that!” I said with a grin. “And thanks for going with me to the movies.”

Aaron shrugged and said, “No problem, Lucas. Sucked they made that last minute schedule change on Mike.”

I looked down at the floor of the mall as we headed towards Baskin-Robins. I said, “He didn’t want to go with me anyway. He thought the movie was for little kids.”

Aaron said, “I thought it was pretty good. The CGI was the best I’ve seen yet.”

Putting my hands in my pockets as we walked, I said, “Still. It pisses me off that Mom thinks I need someone to go with me to the movies. I’m fifteen for cryin’ out loud.”

As we entered the ice cream store, Aaron said, “I don’t really blame her. Ever since that civil war in China, people tend to disappear these days.”

I laughed and said, “Crap like that doesn’t happen in New Mexico.”

Aaron laughed too. “Yeah, that’s true. But you can’t be too careful.”

The Chinese civil war had been a pretty scary thing for almost two years. The fighting was vicious and all the world’s powers just took a back seat and watched. As long as it didn’t go nuclear, the world was content to let China remove itself as a world power.

Just as China was on the verge of bringing new medical and technological advances to market, a fanatical fascist group suddenly rose to power and decided to topple the still communist government. And they succeeded. They sealed the country’s borders and no news came in or out. Nobody knew how many had been killed in what had to have been one of the bloodiest civil wars in human history.

And now, groups of people, sometimes it was a few and sometimes a lot from anywhere in the world would suddenly just disappear. Everyone suspected the new Chinese government of grabbing slave labor due to a vastly diminished population. But it couldn’t be proven and nobody could figure out how they were doing it. And they violently protected their borders. They managed to shield the whole country from satellite or other electronic surveillance.

Ever since North Korea went dark…well, darker than it already was, American and Russian military were considering a joint invasion. But there was very little global interest in that now that China was no longer a threat.

As Aaron and I exited the ice cream store, he said, “We have some time before your mom expects you back home. Want to check out the game store?”

Grinning, I said, “Well, duh!”

Aaron said, “They should have received their new games on Tuesday.”

We headed towards the game store. It was a long walk from Baskin-Robins. I looked idly into each store as we walked past hoping to catch a passing glimpse at any girls that might be shopping there.

We were passing an intersection when there was suddenly yelling and screaming. A few popping sounds that might have been gunfire.

Aaron narrowed his eyes and looked down the other corridor. He said, “What the fuck…?”

People were running in all directions. Black clad figures were either shooting people or throwing some kind of gas canister. More shouting. I watched someone take a shot at one of the guys in black and the bullet just seemed to bounce off. He was then shot himself. I didn’t see any blood anywhere, despite all the shooting.

Aaron said, “What were you saying that this shit doesn’t happen here? Let’s get the hell out of here!”

We turned to run back the way we came and found ourselves face to face with several men dressed in black from head to toe. One pushed a gun in our face while another sprayed something into our faces and everything went black.

*          *          *

I woke up to a splitting headache. I tried opening my eyes, but the light was too bright. I seemed to be lying on some sort of soft mat. I rolled over onto my back and heard a grunt. The light overhead was really bright.

I put my arm over my eyes to cut down the glare. The air around me was a bit warm. It was then I noticed my shoes were gone.

Beside me I heard a hoarse voice say, “Lucas? Are you there? I can’t see.”

A gruff voice from somewhere near us said, “Get up! Now!” I got a kick in the flanks.

My vision finally cleared as I sat up. I was in a very large room with hundreds of people. Several dozen were lying on the mats. Others were forming three lines. It was a bit odd. One line seemed to be girls, another seemed to be just guys and the third, shorter line had both a girl and a guy.

As Aaron and I both managed to stand on wobbly legs, a man dressed in black, but without the mask looked at us up and down. He was holding a clipboard with several sheets. He said, “Are you together?” The man looked Chinese.

In a protective gesture, Aaron put his hands on my shoulders and said, “Yes. Yes we are.” In my ear, Aaron said in a low whisper, “Maybe they won’t separate us.”

The man nodded and pointed at the third line. He said, “Go stand there.”

We stepped off the mats and starting walking to the line with the mix of guys and girls. I wonder why they’re sending us to that line.

As we got in line, I turned to Aaron and said, “Okay, now what?”

Aaron shrugged and said, “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

One of the men rapped Aaron in the back of the head and shouted, “No talking!”

The lines started to slowly move forward and each line went into a different door, which apparently lead to a different room. After our group of around fifty all filed into the room, a different person, a woman this time, told us all to sit down. That meant the floor as there were no chairs. Standing on either side of her, as well as sprinkled around the room were men with automatic weapons.

After we were all seated on the floor, the woman smiled broadly and said, “Welcome to New China. The National Revolution Party welcomes you to your new home.” A general grumbling erupted at that point.

“Silence!” shouted the woman. The men readied their weapons. “I will have your complete and undivided attention. I will make this as brief as possible as you really don’t need to know all that much at this point.

“I know you’re upset that you have been uprooted from your homes and brought here. You’re just going to have to get over that. You should be happy that you are in this room. To maintain harmony, we try to keep couples together. Couples tend to be better workers since they tend to support each other and live longer. The other two groups have high attrition rates.

“You will be joining an existing farming community. As couples you will be provided a tiny cottage instead of living in barracks. This is to provide you with a more harmonious home life, a place to raise children and to feel a part of a greater community. This makes you more productive workers. You’re providing for your family. Not just doing labor. This is a privilege! If your work isn’t up to requirements, we will split you up, place you in different communities and you’ll never see your loved one again. This seems to be a great incentive!

“The men will be expected to work in the fields. Planting and harvesting, managing the animals, and using heavy equipment. The women will be expected to be more domestic such as providing meals for their husbands and any children, as well as working in the community center making and mending clothes, doing the community laundry, taking care of the community’s babies and there is a small electronics factory in the community as well.

“If you find joy and satisfaction in your work, you will do well here and even receive rewards for excellent work and behavior. There will be punishment for those that fail to meet our standards. Now stand and exit out the far door. There are trucks to take you to your community.” She then turned and without another word, she left.

As we all started moving towards the designated exit, I whispered to Aaron, “They must think you’re a girl since they paired us up together.”

Aaron frowned and whispered back, “I’m sure they think you’re a girl, since you’re a runt, skinny and hair down your back.”

I gave Aaron a dirty look, but I’m afraid he might be correct. I whispered, “Okay. Now what?”

Aaron shrugged and said, “Just go with the flow for now. We’ll try to figure something out. Just stay under the radar as much as possible.”

One of the guards hit Aaron across his shoulders with a club of some sort and shouted, “No talking!”

*          *          *

After getting off the trucks, all of us were led down a well worn dirt path. Lining the path were rows of very small, single room structures. On closer look, I could see there were multiple rows. At the end of the path, I could see several large buildings. Spreading beyond that appeared to be farmland.

Each couple was assigned to one of the small buildings. One of the men herding us stopped Aaron and me in front of one of the buildings.

In a gruff tone, the man said, “This is your home now. Keep it clean and orderly. Change into the clothes you find there and toss the clothes you’re wearing outside the front door for collection. Failure to cooperate will be met with punishment. After you have changed and met inspection, you must go to the community center to receive your work orders.” He turned and led the remaining group to their homes. He gave the same speech at every house.

Aaron and I entered the small house. It reminded me of those tiny homes I kept reading about on the internet, only not as nice. There was a single bed, just large enough to accommodate two people, a bathroom with only a toilet and cramped shower, a very small kitchen with a few cabinets for plates and cups and a pantry and surprisingly a small refrigerator. There was a table that took up a lot of the room as well as a couple of chairs. A single light bulb hung from the ceiling. I’ve had more amenities when Dad and I went camping.

Looking around the small room, I said, “Okay. Now what?”

Frowning, Aaron said, “We’d better change clothes.”

I started shaking. The full realization of what had happened to us was finally becoming real. I started to cry and sat down on the bed. Crying, I said, “I want to go home! I hate it here! We’re basically slaves! I want to go home!” I buried my face in hands and sobbed.

Aaron sat on the bed next to me. He said, “I know. I hate this too. But crying’s not going to help us. We have to play along until we can figure something out. Hopefully, someone will try to rescue all of us.”

I nodded. Still crying, I said, “Mom and Dad have no idea where I am. They don’t know if I’m alive or dead! This really sucks!”

Standing back up, Aaron said, “I hear ya, man. This is bad. But we gotta survive. We gotta hope something will happen. But in the mean time, we need to keep our captors happy. I don’t want us split up.”

Aaron walked over to a dresser built into the wall and slid one of the drawers open. Inside were several neatly folded shirts and work pants made of some light weight white material. He pulled out a shirt and pants and tossed them on the bed.

He opened a second drawer and there were several neatly folded simple dresses made of the same material along with panties. He brought the dress and underwear over to me and said, “These are for you, I’m guessing.”

Scowling, I said, “I’m not a girl. I’m not wearing a fucking dress. Give me one of those pants.”

Getting annoyed, Aaron said, “Don’t be stupid, man. We’re only in this house instead of something worse because they think you’re my girl. If they discover you’re a guy, we’ll be pulled from this place, separated and sent God knows where.”

Starting to cry again, I said, “I can’t hide that I’m a boy forever! They’re going to find out!”

Aaron said, “Just put on the dress and let’s see what you look like.”

Reluctantly, I got undressed. Aaron at least turned around as he got undressed to wear his new clothes. I stood there naked for a moment looking at the dress.

As Aaron slipped the shirt over his head, he said, “Panties too.”

Frowning, I stepped into the panties and pulled them up. I then slid the dress over my head. Aaron turned around and smiled.

He said, “You look cute. Seriously. And with the way that dress just kinda hangs there, there’s no way it’ll show your cock.”

Frowning, I said, “Did you have to say I look cute?”

Laughing for the first time since arriving, Aaron said, “It’s true. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear you were a girl.” He looked curiously for a moment under the bed. He said, “There are sandals under the bed. Put yours on. We want to pass inspection. Oh, and we need a new name for you.”

“Like what?” I said. “The only name close to Lucas that I can think of is Lucy and I don’t want that name. It makes me think of that old TV show.”

Aaron shrugged and said, “How about Cathy? That’s my ex-girlfriend’s name.”

“I’m not really happy with any girl’s name to be honest,” I said honestly.

“Well Cathy, you don’t get a choice,” Aaron said with a smirk.

*          *          *

“Now that we have given you your work assignments and expectations, we have two more duties to perform before you’re released for the night. Remember, your day starts promptly at six in the morning. We recommend going to straight to bed when you leave here,” said a tired looking elderly man. Several speakers had addressed us after we arrived at the community building. Again, there were no benches or chairs. We sat on the floor.

The man continued, “First, since some of you are married and some are not and none of you are legally married under the laws of the National Revolution People’s Party, we will hold a mass marriage ceremony. We can’t allow couples to live in sin in our community. The ceremony will be brief.

“And following that, is the welcoming banquet in the large tent outside. Starting tomorrow you will receive your rations and expected to prepare your own meals.”

I swallowed audibly and whispered to Aaron, “Did he say marriage? We’re going to be married?”

“Holy shit,” Aaron whispered back. “It sounds like it.”

A man standing near us struck Aaron on the back of his head with a stick and hissed, “No talking!”

The elderly man said, “All rise.”

We all slowly rose to our feet. Some women started crying. There was a general murmur as people started to complain. A man holding an automatic weapon shouted, “Silence!”

The elderly man said, “By the power vested in me by the National Revolution People’s Party, I pronounce each couple, husband and wife.” He paused a moment, smiled and said, “I told you it would be brief.”

One woman cried out, “But he’s my brother!”

One of the guards stepped up to her and slapped her. He shouted, “Well now he’s your husband!” Maybe we’re in Arkansas, I thought briefly.

I turned to Aaron and said, “Okay. Now what?”

*          *          *

That evening, Aaron and I sat on the steps leading up to the door on our shack. The last few rays of the sun struggled to cast light on the high clouds of a distant thunder storm. A light breeze disturbed my hair. We just stared glumly at each other. At the so-called banquet, which consisted of a bowl of rice and a cup of water, we met a few of our fellow prisoners, and our community leaders.

Among our fellow prisoners, not much was said other than simple introductions. No one felt anyone could be trusted. A rumor was circulating, probably started by our captors, that some couples were actually spies. And we learned that conspiring to escape was punishable by death.

Meeting the community leaders just became even more depressing. Aaron learned that he was facing having to do back breaking manual labor daily on the farm while I faced a variety of domestic duties. The community leaders tried to appear friendly. They weren’t Chinese and were basically trustees.

The woman in charge of the women’s work group that I was in, was Australian. She slapped me on the chest and said I was too flat and not able to help out feeding the babies. That wasn’t allowed so she had me take what she called a ‘supplement’ and I was to come to her every day to ensure I took it. She said that it’d quickly give me big boobs and make me more desirable to my husband. That’s when my depression bottomed out.

I broke the silence and said in a low voice, “What are we going to do? They’re basically going to kill you in those fields. They are so short on labor they’re going to work you to death!”

Aaron grunted and said, “I don’t know if I’ll make it. They gave me a supplement too. Said it’d build my muscles so I could work harder and not get easily tired. At least you got it easy. You’re just taking care of babies and sewing shit.”

I held my face in my hands and said, “I think there’s more to it than that. We have to help cook the noon community meal and then I’m expected to prepare our evening meal from the rations they give us. Me cook? I always burn the popcorn in the microwave. And depending on labor needs, I might have to work in that factory. I just want to go home.”

Aaron sat up straight and slapped his palm on his knee. He said, “Everyone here wants to go home. Repeating it just makes it worse! So stop!” He then brought up his knees and leaned forward on them. He folded his arms on his knees, and rested his head on his arms. He cried.

*          *          *

“Your mother didn’t teach you much, did she?” said Maggie, the head of the women’s community. “It looks I’ll have to teach you everything.”

“I’m sorry,” I said as I fumbled with the needle and thread. All the clothes were hand sewn and we had a little assembly line running. The men’s work clothes wore out pretty quickly and either needed repair or replacing often. Doing community laundry was a huge operation.

“Don’t worry,” said Maggie. “We’ll get you to where you need to be. You have a fine husband. He’s very cute, actually. And you need to take care of him. Keep him fed. Keep him happy. A well fed, happy husband performs well at his work. You don’t want to have to get a new husband.”

“Do what?” I said. I looked up at Maggie and poked my finger with the needle. “What do you mean by new husband?”

Looking like she was discussing something trivial, Maggie said, “If your husband dies or can’t do the work he’s assigned, he’s replaced. The state marries you to a different man.”

“Oh my God!” I said as a cold shaft shot down my spine. “I’ll be sure to keep Aaron well fed and happy. I don’t want anyone else.” Not only do I not want my friend Aaron to die or be shipped away, but I definitely don’t want to be married off to a stranger who will probably expect sex. It’s bad enough to have to share a bed with Aaron, but at least I know he won’t try anything. And God knows what they’ll do to me after being exposed.

Maggie smiled and said, “I’m sure you will, Cathy. I’m sure you will.” She winked at me.

That evening, Aaron arrived covered in sweat. His work clothes were filthy. And he was bone tired. I and the other wives get sent home in time to prepare a meal to have ready when the men come home.

Aaron staggered into the house and looked at me as I was setting out our dinner. He said, “Hey man, I’m sorry. I’m totally beat. I’m just going to go to bed.”

Feeling a bit angry, I said, “No, you’re going to eat. I’m tired too and I just made this for us. It was one of the things I had to learn today. Besides. You must eat.”

Aaron pulled off his shirt and said, “I appreciate it. But I’m tired. I need sleep.”

I slapped the table and said, “You need to eat! If you don’t do well in the fields because you don’t eat, they’ll haul you off somewhere and I’ll before forced to marry someone else.”

Aaron just stood there a moment and then said, “You’re fucking me, right?”

I shook my head and said, “No. I’m not. Sit down and eat.”

Aaron plopped down in his seat and scowled at me as he said, “Yes, ma’am.” He quickly ate his dinner, then stripped to his underwear and got into bed. He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.

*          *          *

“You’ve got tits,” said Aaron as he was getting dressed for his day in the fields. We’d been in China for a little over a week.

“You just now noticed?” I said pulling a sheet up to cover my upper body. A couple of days before, I had sprouted two little mounds that brought my nipples to a point.

“That must be some potent shit they’re giving you,” Aaron said as he pulled a small bottle of goat’s milk from our tiny apartment style refrigerator.

I studied Aaron for a moment and said, “Have you looked at yourself lately? You’re looking kinda buff. What they’re feeding you is kinda potent too.”

Aaron ran his hand down his arm and then down his newly muscled chest. He grinned and said, “Hmm. So I am.” He flexed his arm a couple of times and said, “Better than having tits.”

I touched my budding breasts. They were very sensitive and the sensation I got was very pleasurable. I said, “Don’t be so sure.”

Aaron looked at me oddly and as he slipped his shirt over his head, he said, “Well, don’t spend the whole day playing with yourself.”

I just grinned at him. For the first time with Aaron I felt a tinge of shame and modesty.

“Aren’t you going to get dressed? We need to head out,” said Aaron.

“Turn around or leave,” I said still holding the sheet up.

Aaron just looked at me for a moment and then laughed. He said, “Cathy, I’m allowed to see your tits. We’re married.” That was the first time he’d called me “Cathy” in private.

I let the sheet slip down. I said, “Oh yeah. That’s right. But don’t think having breasts changes anything.”

Aaron looked at me as if I was crazy. He said, “You’re still my friend’s little brother. You’re not really my wife.”

I pulled the sheet back up and said, “I’m glad you think that.” I turned around to face the wall as I slipped my dress over my head.

*          *          *

“I wonder if we’ll ever leave this place,” said a girl sitting next to me, sewing. Her name was Wendy I think. She was close to my age.

I had gotten the hang of sewing and could sew away and have my mind drift far away. Wendy’s comment brought me back to reality. I said, “Hmm? Oh yeah. I sure wish I knew. God I hope so.”

“I hate it here,” she said as she attacked her sewing with a bit more aggression. “It’s all just crazy. I miss my mom. I miss my friends. And God, I miss my phone!”

I nodded and said, “Me too. Every day I hope and pray we get rescued.”

Wendy nodded and said, “At least you’re here with your boyfriend. I was standing next to some guy who said we were together. Now I’m married to him. He’s a fucking asshole. He’s hit me a couple of times and nobody cares. You’re so lucky to be married to someone you actually love.”

I thought about that for a minute. While Aaron isn’t my boyfriend by any stretch, we are friends and we both depend on each other to get through this. How much worse would it be to be here with someone you didn’t like or who wasn’t the person you wanted to live with or as in several cases, a sibling? Well, hopefully siblings would try to work together the same as Aaron and I.

Half joking, I said, “Well, stop feeding him so he doesn’t perform well and they’ll give you a new husband.”

Wendy laughed and said, “For reals? I might try that.” I hoped she was joking.

Maggie who makes regular rounds among the women in the sewing tent or the laundry tent, or the food prep tent and baby feeding tent, walked up to me and slapped her palm on my chest.

“You’re developing nicely, girl,” said Maggie feeling my breasts. They had advanced from mere buds the week before to looking more like actual breasts.

That wasn’t the only effect the supplements were having on me. My balls and dick were shrinking. My skin was softer. I looked at my reflection on a shiny piece of metal and was shocked at how feminine I looked.

Grinning at me, Maggie said, “In about three weeks I’ll guess, you’ll be able to start nursing. It won’t start right away, but after a few of those little buggers suck on your boobs, you should start producing milk. Be sure to get some bras from the laundry before you go home today.”

She touched Wendy’s boobs and said, “You’re more than ready. Tomorrow you start nursing duty.” I think Maggie just liked feeling up girls.

Blushing slightly, Wendy said, “Yeah. Like you, my breasts weren’t up to their standards. I’m only fifteen. I’m still developing. Well, now I’m huge.”

I felt my chest and said, “I guess I’ll be joining you in a few weeks.”

Looking sad, Wendy said, “Well, you can only nurse for so long each day. The rest of the day you’re back to doing this. Still, this is better than working in the factory.”

*          *          *

Maggie had a slightly bigger house and used it as her office. She asked me to come with her for a moment. “Honey, we need to talk,” she said. “Come with me.”

We entered her house and she pointed at a chair indicating I should sit.

I sat down, and looked at Maggie after she’d seated herself. I said, “Okay. Now what?”

“I wanted to talk to you before this came to the attention of our Masters,” said Maggie, leaning on the table. “I like you, Cathy. And your husband is basically a good man.”

Suddenly concerned, I said, “What’s wrong? Am I not working hard enough?”

Maggie smiled and said, “Oh, you’re fine. In a couple of weeks I think we can move you to nursing. However. Your man is falling behind. He’s gotten stronger than when you two arrived, but his production has fallen off lately. Just a little. Not enough to get the Master’s attention, but the foreman has noticed and mentioned it to me.”

I nodded and said, “Aaron has been so tired lately. They increased his workload. He comes home, eats and goes to bed right away. We barely talk anymore.”

Nodding, Maggie said, “And girl, you need to fix that.”

I sat up straight and put my hand on my chest. I said, “Me? I can’t do anything about his workload.”

Maggie leaned back and said, “No. But you are his woman. Remember when I told you how you need to keep your husband fed and happy? You’re obviously feeding him, but you’re not helping him be happy, both physically and spiritually.”

I’m sure she was alluding to having sex. I’m not having sex with Aaron, no matter how cute he becomes. Another side effect of the supplement I’m forced to take is besides a disappearing penis is that I’m feeling more and more girly. And not only is Aaron’s supplement changing his features, I’ve been noticing them.

Maggie said, “When your man comes home, he’s tired, his muscles are tight and weary. He wants to relax and hear from you how important his work is.”

I frowned at Maggie and said, “I’m tired too. Sometimes my fingers are sore still from sewing and crap, that I can barely make dinner.”

“You must never let him see you in that way,” said Maggie. “He draws his strength from you. You always need to be positive for him.” I’d be willing to bet that Maggie and Gloria Steinem would not be BFFs.

I sighed heavily. For both our sakes, I couldn’t afford to allow Aaron to stop being a top performer. I felt for sure that help would one day arrive and I wanted us both to be here when it did. I said, “So what should I do?”

Before starting dinner that evening, I spent a few minutes brushing out my hair with the brush Maggie had given me. I jazzed up dinner by adding a few extra spices to it. There had been some spills and messes that I quickly cleaned up. The bed had never been made since our arrival which kept getting me dinged on our random inspections. I quickly made it while dinner was cooking.

Following Maggie’s advice, when Aaron walked through the door of our home, I smiled brightly and said, “Welcome back home, my darling. I hope you had a productive day in the fields?”

He looked at me strange and said in a tired voice, “Are you serious?”

I usually had dinner already on the table when he got home before, so it was probably just a bit cool. This time I ladled out the cooked rice and some beef into his plate when he sat down. It was still steaming and I could see Aaron smell it after I finished putting in on his plate.

He smiled a bit and said, “This smells amazing.” He took a bite and said with his mouth full, “This is very good.”

Smiling, I said, “Thank you, honey.” I put a smaller portion on my plate. I took a bite and surprised myself on how good it tasted.

“Cathy, that’s the best meal I’ve had in weeks,” said Aaron as he put his fork down on his plate. He burped. He then rubbed his forehead and said, “I don’t know if I can do this anymore. I’m so tired. The foremen are slave drivers. I guess technically they are anyway.” His voice trailed away.

I got up and walked behind him. I started to gently massage his neck and then worked my fingers into his shoulders. His muscles were so tightly wound up I’m surprised they didn’t snap. He closed his eyes and sighed as I continued to massage his neck and shoulders. He visibly began to relax.

After several minutes, Aaron sat up and said, “I think I need to go to bed. But thank you, babe. That was exactly what the doctor ordered. That felt great.” He took my shoulders and drew me to him. He bent his head down and before I could react, he kissed me.

It was a long, soft kiss. My emotions were a riot. One moment, a voice in my head is screaming “Oh my God a guy is kissing me!” to “Oh, yesss. My husband finally kissed me.” The second thought scared me.

As our lips parted and I smiled dreamily at him, I said in a somewhat breathy voice, “Okay, now what?”

Aaron smiled at me and said, “I’m tired. I’m going to bed.” He kissed me again for just a moment, and then he was asleep before he’d completely gotten into the bed.

*          *          *

When we woke up the next morning, I just laid there as Aaron got up and had some goat’s milk and a couple slices of bread for breakfast. I laid there and watched him move about the small room. I was a complete mix of emotions. My brother’s best friend kissed me. And I liked it. I tried to say I didn’t, but the fact that I enjoyed being kissed just kept bubbling up.

I’m sure having lived as a girl for the past couple of months contribute to that. Plus being married to him. But I’m sure the biggest culprit is that hormones on steroids, so-called supplement pill they’ve made me take. It’s given me huge boobs and shrunk my dick to just a nub. My balls might as well have never been there.

Aaron looked at me from the kitchen table. “Are you going to get up today? You know the rules,” said Aaron with a chunk of bread in his mouth.

I said, “I know them. I just don’t feel like getting up. I need to hang around for the inspection not long after you leave. I need to do some cleaning before they arrive.”

Aaron looked around and said, “Why? The house never seems to get dirty.” Well, it had been less than sparkling. I guess guys just don’t notice such things. I’ve seen his bed room at home, so yeah.

I slung my legs over the side of the bed and sat up. I was only wearing panties. I wasn’t embarrassed about being topless before my husband. With more than a tinge of sarcasm, I said, “That’s because the cleaning fairy comes by every day before you come home and cleans it.”

Aaron lifted his arms in surrender and said, “Sorry. I’ll try to pay more attention in the future. Well, I gotta run.” He stood up from the table and walked left. I stood there a few moments wondering if I should have gotten a kiss as he left. Dad kisses Mom. He just doesn’t really see you as a girl, I told myself.

Over the next few weeks, Aaron settled back into his old pattern of not noticing me and just going to bed. I didn’t get to massage him every day, but productivity stayed up. It was boring, but we had developed a daily routine.

*          *          *

We had a very productive day on the commune. We met all our goals. Maggie was pretty happy. I like Maggie. Yes, she’s always on our case to get the work done, but she isn’t one of *them*. She’s just another captive. It’s obvious she doesn’t want to lose her trusted position and whatever perks she gets.

I sat down and picked up some cloth to get ready to sew things together, when Maggie walked up and said, “Come with me, Cathy. We’re short today in the nursery.”

“I’ve never nursed a baby before,” I said as we headed for the nursing tent.

Not even turning around, Maggie said as we walked, “First time for everything, hon. You played with dolls as a little girl, right? And I’m sure you want to be a mommy some day.” I wanted to say not really, but I kept my mouth shut.

I’ve been in the nursery a few times. I’m always amazed that people will have babies in an environment like this. I guess people are still going to have sex and there’s always that risk of getting pregnant. Plus there’s the incentive of a lighter work load after you start to show.

The community actually encouraged people to have babies. They are trying to build up a population again. So far they weren’t taking the children away from the parents. But you had to drop your kids off at the nursery.

Maggie pointed at a chair and then reached into a crib and removed a crying baby. She said, “Go ahead and pull the top of your dress down. Men are not allowed in here. And here’s your first baby.”

After I had pulled the top of my dress down, Maggie handed me a baby. I felt really awkward holding a baby. I hadn’t played with dolls and played house and all that crap when I was a little gir…boy. I was a boy.

I looked down at the baby trying desperately to suck milk out of me and I didn’t feel much like a boy.

Maggie just smiled and said, “Let him suck on your tit for a while. Eventually, maybe not today, you’ll start lactating.”

I sat there for a long while until another girl who could actually feed the baby came and got it. That was a very surreal experience for me, to look down and see a baby sucking on the nipple of my breast. I’m sure it’ll become even more surreal when a baby actually starts nursing from my breast.

Less than a week after that day, I was nursing two babies at a time. I couldn’t believe I was actually feeding babies from my own body. And I felt a sereneness I’d never experienced before sitting there, looking at two babies attached to my very own boobs.

A few days later and late in the afternoon, about an hour before they normally send us home, Maggie called all the girls together that work under her. She seemed excited about something. She said, “Gather ‘round, girls. We surpassed our goals by a wide margin. When we do that, we get perks. Not much, but just a little something to encourage us to continue to do well. It’s not much, but today’s perk is nail polish. I know it’s not much. Not a steak dinner or anything like that. But you don’t get many gifts here. Looks like your choices are either blue or green.”

That evening when Aaron came home tired as usual and plopped down at the dinner table, I set down the plate of rice and chicken holding the plate in a way to display my newly painted nails.

I wasn’t going to do the nail polish at first. That’s definitely a girl thing. But it beat working while I waited for it to dry. It was also kinda nice have someone paint my toenails. I had to do my own fingers, but I think I did a good job considering I’d never worn nail polish before. I’m not counting that time back when I was two years old.

Aaron didn’t seem to notice anything when I set his plate down. He just grunted and started eating. I frowned as I started eating. You’d think someone would notice when another person’s finger nails are suddenly a bright blue. I sighed. Aaron just hasn’t really been noticing me again. I gave him a massage last night, but he just grunted, said I missed a spot and went to bed.

I put my hands together and held them up, nail side facing Aaron. I said, “What do you think?”

Aaron looked up with tired eyes. He said, “What? Oh. Really? You got to waste time doing your nails? I wish I got time to do something totally worthless and stupid during the day.”

I set my hands down on the table and said, “What do you mean worthless and stupid? It was fun. We exceeded our goals and we got to do something fun. I think it’s pretty.”

Aaron squinted at me. He said, “Pretty? Really? We’re fucking prisoners here. I’m busting my ass while you sit on yours painting your nails! Dude, you’re not a girl. You should be out there helping me instead of sitting around saying ‘Oh look at my pretty nails!’”

I stood up angrily, my chair falling over backwards. “Oh? Is that what you think? I just sit around all day? You may not think it’s much, but I have to sew until my fingers grow numb. Who do you think is milking those fucking goats? I help harvest eggs. I’m nursing babies, two at a time! Let’s see you do that! Who do you think carries the buckets of water up from the stream every day? Who washes your stinking clothes? And, after doing all that and more, I have to come home, mop the floors and clean, feed your sorry ass, and then wash the dishes. We’re not allowed to leave dishes until the next day. Now we’re not allowed to have a speck of dirt anywhere or we get privileges taken away, or spanked. Yes, there’s a few of the assholes holding us that enjoy spanking us if we’re bad. Can you imagine?”

Aaron stood up violently and held his hands out. He said, “Look at these hands, bitch! They’re not soft and pretty. If I don’t work hard enough, I get a whip across my bare back. They’re good enough to inflict pain, but not leave welts. I have to carry heavy bags of some shit for half a mile. I break my back working with manual tools because they don’t have machinery. Having babies suck your tits doesn’t compare to what we have to do in the fields every day. And then I have to come home and listen to you bitch about me not being thrilled about how pretty your nails are?”

I was crying hard. I cried, “Why are you treating me this way? You don’t appreciate anything I do for you! You just eat, shit and go to sleep!”

“Fuck you!” shouted Aaron. He stood in the middle of the room for a moment, look frustrated. He said, “I wish I had a fucking door so I could slam it. I’m going to bed.”

“Fuck you too!” I shouted. I stormed out of the small house and I did get to slam a door. I sat down on the door steps.

A muffled voice from another house said, “Will you two fuck heads knock it off?”

Sitting on the steps, I drew my legs and wrapped my arms around my knees. I bowed my head and cried. I cried until all I had left were dry sobs.

The next morning, I was lying on the floor, curled up with a blanket. I didn’t feel like getting into bed with Aaron. Aaron just got up and without a word went about his morning routine.

As he was about to push the door open and leave the house for his day in the fields, he said with unnecessary meanness, and looking straight ahead, “If we exceed our quota, we’re given twenty minutes with a whore. Maybe I’ll finally beat my quota today.” He exited the house. I heard his feet crunching on the grass and gravel on the path to the fields.

*          *          *

Things were pretty rough the next few days. I resented having to make a meal every day for Aaron. He wouldn’t look at me. For several days, not a word would pass between us.

Finally, the ice began to slowly melt. Aaron started grunting a good morning when we got up. We’d comment about the weather and other small stuff. I felt so lonely in my own home. Even though it wasn’t great, I’d just love for things to go back to the way they were before we yelled at each other. I hated this situation.

“Girl, what’s wrong?” asked Maggie when I dragged myself to the work tent. “You’ve been moping around for a week or better. Oh. And you’re nursing this morning.”

That was good news. My breasts were heavy today.

I shrugged as I started to walk to the nursery. I said, “Aaron and I had a fight the other night and we’re not really talking right now.”

Maggie followed me to the nursery. She said, “I’m sorry to hear that, hon. It’s never pleasant to fight with someone you love.”

I nodded. I don’t think I love Aaron, but there was no point in correcting her. I said, “I miss talking. We live in the same house and as small as it is, it’s almost like we’re living apart. If he’d just apologize, things could go back to normal.”

Maggie laughed. As she handed me two babies, she said, “Cathy, you could wait forever for that. You need to make the first move if you want to get him back.”

I frowned and said, “Why? I didn’t start the fight. He owes me an apology.”

Maggie said, “I’m sure he does. All men owe us an apology for something or other. But look. He’s angry with you. You’re angry with him. He doesn’t want you to win. You don’t want him to win. This could tear you two apart. I like you two. You’re a sweet couple. But you need to get over this ‘he wins’ or ‘you win’ shit. You’ll both lose playing that game. You need to remind him why he fell in love with you in the first place. See me at the end of your shift. I want to help.”

I nodded and she got up and walked away. I looked at the two babies sucking on my nipples. How did I get here? This was insane. I thought about Maggie’s comment about why Aaron fell in love with me in the first place. I smiled to myself. She thinks we’re an actual couple and that before we arrived here, we loved each other. Well, she has no way of knowing the truth.

Do I love him now? Is that why I’m hurting emotionally? No, that’s ridiculous. There’s no way I could love him.

*          *          *

“Okay. Now what?” I said to Maggie after my shift ended.

Maggie smiled and said, “Come with me to my house. We’ll get your man back.”

I followed Maggie to her house, which was at the edge of the housing and close the community area. Her house was a bit larger. She actually had a separate bedroom. I rarely saw her husband. He was a dweebish looking guy about ten years older than her and he was a foreman in the fields.

Pointing at one of the two chairs in the room, Maggie said, “Sit. Sit. Give me a moment and then we’ll get you fixed up. I’ve done this for a few other girls and it usually seems to work.” She went to her small bathroom area and started taking a few items and putting them on the dining table.

Maggie took the other chair and scooted up close to me. She said, “I’m sure you’re already an expert at this, but in the name of speed, I’ll just do it for you so you can fix dinner before your husband comes home.”

“What is that?” I asked.

“Have you been gone so long you don’t remember make-up?” asked Maggie looking surprised. “I get a few items now and then as perks and rewards. Some I keep. Some I give away to extra hardworking girls.”

I wasn’t sure about this. Since Maggie thinks I’m a teen girl, she naturally assumes I wear make-up all the time. Of course I never have and I really have no interest now. I’m not even sure why she’s bothering.

“So why are you bothering?” I asked.

“For a number of reasons,” said Maggie as she smoothed foundation on my face. “Like I said, I like you and your husband. Two. You’re unhappy and your numbers are falling. Three, Aaron’s foreman has mentioned he seems unhappy and his numbers have fallen which makes the foreman look bad. So, we need to try something, even if it sounds silly.”

For the next few minutes, Maggie fussed with my face, applying mascara, eye shadow, blush, etc and even brushed my hair out. My hair had gotten really long. And finally lipstick. I can say unequivocally I do not like make-up, especially lipstick. I didn’t like feeling my eyelashes.

Maggie leaned back to get a look at me. She gave a low whistle and said, “You’ve always been a pretty girl, Cathy, but shit girl. You’re gorgeous! Here, look.” She handed me a small mirror.

“Oh wow,” I said after looking into the mirror. In the mirror, I saw one hot, teen girl looking back at me. “Thanks.” I wasn’t sure why this would help with Aaron’s and my situation.

Maggie grinned and said, “You’re welcome, girl. Now go prepare the best meal you’ve made your man. Pretend you’re inviting him over for dinner, like a date.”

“But what good does all this do?” I asked.

Maggie just shook her head and said, “You want him to notice you again, right? You want him to apologize don’t you? Men are visual animals. He looks at you every day, but he doesn’t see you. He can’t miss you now. And you know what they say, the path to a man’s heart is through his stomach. If all this doesn’t turn things around, maybe it’s time for a new husband. You need to get going.”

I smiled at Maggie and then darted out the door and ran to my house. I felt like I was wearing a mask. In a way, I guess I was. Since he’s my brother Mike’s best friend, I really don’t want him to love me as much as just thaw the chill that’s been between us. He’s my only link to things back home.

I followed Maggie’s advice and put in the extra effort to make the best meal I could. Maggie had given me few extra rations, like some extra vegetables and even extra chicken. I had just finished preparing it when Aaron walked into the house.

He plopped down in his chair at the table. “God I’m tired,” he said. He was rubbing his face and eyes with one hand. I set his plate down in front of him and turned to get my own dinner. He didn’t bother to look up as he started to eat.

I sat down and just looked at Aaron. His supplement had made him really buff. He hadn’t shaved in a couple of days and he’d let his hair get a bit shaggy. I’d never noticed how well chiseled the features on his face were. He was just a kid when we arrived, but while I didn’t think we’d even been at this community for a year yet, he’d grown into a man. As I watched him eat, I wondered why I’d never noticed just how incredibly handsome he was.

He slowed down eating and actually seemed to be savoring it. Still without looking up, he said, “This is very good, Cathy. You’ve outdone yourself.”

Eating small bites, I said, “Thank you. I was hoping you’d like it.”

And then he looked up at me. He froze. He looked at me like he’d never seen me before. He reached across the table and ran his fingers down the side of my face. In almost a whisper Aaron said, “My God, Cathy. You’re beautiful. How could I have missed it before?” He reached across the table and took my hand. He said, “I’m so sorry baby. I haven’t been a very good husband lately.”

I wanted to say, you bet your damned ass you haven’t! But instead, I said, “I know, honey. You’ve been under a lot of pressure lately. I understand.”

Continuing to hold my hand, Aaron said, “You’ve become such a beautiful woman. You do all this…cook, clean and work in the community and you stay beautiful.”

I blushed. I really didn’t expect him to gush like this. I just wanted him to stop being moody asshole so we could have pleasant conversations again. Oddly, I not only didn’t mind him saying I was beautiful, I enjoyed it. Not only have I grown large breasts because of whatever this supplement is, I’ve gotten more curvy, my balls have disappeared and my dick is just a nub. All my skin is very smooth. Even my thinking is changing. I shocked myself when I finally realized just how gorgeous Aaron was.

I truly believe I’ve become a girl in every way except my chromosomes. And I’m not even sure of that.

Still holding my hand, Aaron looked briefly at the floor, and then he stared intently into my eyes. With his free hand, he pushed some strands of hair from my face, leaned in and kissed me. He kissed me passionately for a few moments. The he stood. He gently pulled me up to standing and put his arms around my waist. I smiled at him as I slid my arms around his shoulders. He bent his head to me and kissed me again; longer and more deeply this time. He sucked my tongue into his mouth.

What am I doing? What’s happening to me? To both of us? I was overwhelmed with desire. I wanted him to hold me. To kiss me. To make me his. I kissed his neck as he squeezed my breasts. Both of us started breathing harder.

I’ve never been interested in guys before. The thought never even occurred to me before. But now…now I wanted Aaron. It was pure raging lust. He pushed the crotch of his pants into me and I felt his hardness.

I pulled his shirt over his head and started kissing his muscled chest. I kissed my way down to his crotch, sliding slowly to my knees. Aaron just looked at me as he played with my hair.

I pulled his pants down to the floor exposing his raging hard on. Not long ago, being this close to some guy’s penis would have made me throw up. But now I longed for it. I desired it. I wanted it inside me. The moment I licked it, I knew there was no turning back. This was a defining moment for us. As I tasted his sweat, he gave me a satisfying moan.

He pulled away from me and lifted me up. He pulled my dress over my head and for a moment, we stood there staring at our naked bodies. I just drank him in he was so gorgeous.

I smiled up at him and said, “Okay. Now what?”

Smiling, he pulled me down onto the bed where we kissed some more. He fondled my breasts as he reached down and massaged what was now for all intents and purposes my clitoris. I gasped as he pressed that hyper-sensitive spot. I wished I had a vagina.

And then he mounted me. Without hesitation, he pushed his hard manhood into my ass. It hurt like hell, but I didn’t resist it. I cried out in pain, but I pushed my ass into him, to force him deeper.

He started a gentle rhythm as I fondled my clit. I was in heaven. I’ve never felt like this before. I was being fucked by a man. My man. And loved having him inside me.

One final, deep thrust and a twitch of his cock and he unloaded his seed inside me. I moaned loudly as we both orgasmed. I was trying to suck in air. This was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had in my life!

We collapsed together on the bed. He remained inside me as his cock started to relax, still pulsing inside me.

I turned over and looked at him. I smiled and said, “I love you, baby.”

He grinned and said, “I love you too.”

*          *          *

I was a few minutes late getting to the community center as I had to do all my cleaning after Aaron left for the fields since I didn’t do them the night before. Maggie was grinning at me.

Maggie said when I finally got close to her, “I’m guessing things went well last night?”

I said, “How can you tell?”

Maggie laughed and said, “For one thing, you have a huge grin on your face and the other is that you’re walking funny. I’d say my idea was a success.”

I said, “Yes. Yes it was. Thank you so much. Today, everything couldn’t be better.”

Maggie dropped a pile of cloth next to me. She said, “I’m glad hon. I really am. Seeing you glow has really made my day.”

The day went by without much notice as all my thoughts were about Aaron. I’ve never felt this way about anyone before. It’s ridiculous, really. I finally fall in love with someone and it’s with a guy. But it all felt natural and normal. And…despite our circumstances, I was happy.

For a week solid, we had sex every night. Then the passion finally reached a more normal level. Both of us had more productive days and happier evenings at home. We settled into a life with few needs or wants. We had each other.

*          *          *

The roar was deafening as it passed overhead. Someone nearby said, “What the hell is that?”

I got up and walked outside the nursing tent, still nursing the babies. I looked up to see military jets flying low over our community. As three flew directly overhead and low over the trees, I saw the distinct red star on the wings.

“They’re Russian,” I said. “Why are Russian jets buzzing us?”

Shouts and cheers staring going up all over the community. In the distance was a popping that sounded like small arms fire. Men came running from the fields, dropping their tools and equipment as they ran to us.

Breathless, Aaron came running up to me, grinning. He shouted, “Did you see them, Cathy? Did you see the Russian jets?”

“I did,” I said. “But what does it mean?”

Aaron shrugged and said, “A rescue maybe?”

A dozen or so Russian soldiers came running up to us, passing by our meager homes. They stopped as they reached our community area. One stood on a chair and shouted, his accent heavy, “May I have your attention? Your attention please! You have just been liberated by the Russian Army. You are free! Trucks and buses will be here soon to take you to processing!” He got off the chair and he and the other soldiers ran on to the next area.

I watched a Russian helicopter fly by. Still nursing the babies, I turned to Aaron and said, “Okay. Now what?”

Grinning, Aaron walked up to me and kissed me. He said, “Now we go home.”

*          *          *

Several bus and helicopter rides later, Aaron, I, and what had to have been around two hundred others, found ourselves aboard the American aircraft carrier, the U.S.S Nostromo. We were brought there for quarantine and to check our general health.

After having to make a lengthy explanation that I had been a boy when I arrived and that’s why I lacked a vagina, the Navy doctors on the carrier were able to determine that the so-called supplement I was given had been a secret biological weapon the Chinese military had been experimenting with. It was basically a virus and there was no way to rid my body of it. It would continue to feminize me the rest of my life. I might even wind up with a functional female reproductive system and eventually a vagina.

Same was true of the supplement Aaron had taken. Apparently if you were already the gender it was enhancing, all it did was to make you more so.

As the Chinese military was collapsing, it destroyed all the documents on their secret weapons research.

So, even though I have adjusted to my condition, to learn that I was a girl forever was a tough pill to swallow, no pun intended.

While we were being examined, poked and prodded and our health verified, we steamed to Japan. At oh dark thirty, we boarded a C-130 transport and headed to Hawaii. They said our families and loved ones will be meeting us there right after we land.

It was a cold, long flight. There were about fifty of us on the plane. Somehow I’d managed to get a window seat. We were dressed in military coveralls which did nothing to hide my ample breasts. A female soldier on the flight had given me a blanket.

Looking out the window as we approached Hawaii, I said, “It’s so beautiful down there. That’s Diamondhead, right?”

Straining to lean over to look out the window, Aaron said, “I think so. But then, I’ve never been to Hawaii.” He reached over and took my hand and gave it a squeeze. I leaned over and kissed him.

After the transport plane landed, we climbed aboard one of the waiting buses. We were then taken to a large building on the base where we’ll be identified and issued passports so we could re-enter the country. That’s one of the reason they wanted family to meet us so we could be identified. Almost none of us looked like we did when we were first taken. But I was the only one with a new gender.

As we all started to file into a large room in the main building, we spotted our parents and siblings. There was a cord separating them from us. They stopped waving when they saw me approaching. I stopped and looked at my parents shocked expressions. I still looked like me, only female. I wasn’t wearing any make-up that enhanced my feminine appearance. It was all me.

I was afraid to approach them. I looked at my whole family with their jaws hanging opening. Mom was crying.

I turned to Aaron and said, “Okay. Now what?”

Aaron grinned and turned to face me. With his fingers, he lifted my chin. He said, “This is what.” He then bent down and gave me a long, deep kiss, right in front of our parents, siblings and everyone. The room filled with the “woo” sound people make when someone kisses in public. My mother fainted.

I had a feeling we were in for a very long day.

*          *          *

A year later, Aaron and I were married in small, church ceremony. I think my dad cried more than my mom.

A month before our wedding, my vagina had opened up. I was one hundred percent woman. Other than my basic facial features, there wasn’t a whole lot left of the old boy me. The way I thought had changed. My tastes in just about everything changed. I became better friends with my sister.

After analyzing me and the pills they recovered from various communities after the raid on New China, they found a way to remove the virus’ infection. For me, it was too late. Removing the virus would have no effect as I had changed completely over to female and the virus had actually now gone dormant in me.

But that was okay. I was really happy with who I had become.

*          *          *

Aaron was waiting in the lobby of the clinic. I walked up to him, grinning. He had a worried expression.

I stood there for a few moments just looking at Aaron. Finally, I said, “I’m pregnant, honey.”

Aaron stood up. A mix of emotions played across his face. He took my hands, stared into my eyes and said, “Okay. Now what?”

*          *          *

The End

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