Disclaimer: This novel contains adult material including sexually explicit activities, strong language, homophobic language, extreme violence, suicide, depictions of trauma, and more. Reader discretion is advised.
The Dominance of Abigale Quinlan
Shard 09: The Egregious Downfall
Before I could even comprehend that I was awake, I was sitting in my bed and panting in a manner that would only exacerbate my discomfort rather than mend it. It took me a moment to recognize the dark room before me, illuminated only by faint moonlight.
“Light?” I mumbled to myself.
It was then that I recalled what I had just experienced. I had been devoured, presumably killed, by a vicious white light… but before that, I experienced something that I swore to myself that I never wanted to experience. Something that has unsettled me for the entirety of my life.
“I… just had sex?”
…With myself …while in my best friend’s body. I groaned as I thought back on that experience. About how I played along, about how I thought of myself with sexual desire, and about how my imagination had the audacity to treat my best friend in such a manner. In my waking mind, I felt like I needed a cold shower to rid myself of this unwanted fantasy, only to have my attention drawn elsewhere as I took off my blanket and stood up from my bed.
There was a… sloshy sensation around my underwear and as I looked down to investigate it, I saw a protrusion in my sleep pants. Even in the darkness, I knew plainly what it was and, if I hadn’t just woken up less than a minute ago, perhaps I would have thought better than to investigate.
I flicked on my light before I pulled my soft and baggy sleep pants down, and I immediately noticed that there was something wet seeping from my briefs. I thought I might have peed myself at first, but then I saw a trail of fluid hanging between my underwear and pants. Urine did not do that, no matter how sick you were. And as I took an even closer look, I realized that the fluid had a slight cloudy hue to it— a faint white— and that’s when the gears in my mind started to turn.
“Did I just cum in my sleep?”
I knew the proper term was ‘wet dream,’ but that’s not where my mind went at the moment.
From this instance of shock, I immediately began taking off my underwear, wanting to distance myself from this disgusting goop that, in my mind, was more revolting than feces. In doing so, I forced myself to look down at my genitalia.
It was throbbing, firm, and begging for attention, all while coated in a white slime. As I looked at it with a twisted expression, I also smelled it. Even with my garbage sense of smell, the musk of this thing was prominent, unignorable, and made my entire body clench as its aroma assaulted my sinuses.
It was a… familiar smell. One that brought me back to the dream I had, and the… pleasure I felt when he had sex with me, when he made me feel a pleasure only known to women… and those born as women. With these memories fresh in my mind, with this intimate experience of what my brain thought a woman’s body would feel like, my hatred for this thing between my legs increased threefold. I looked at it like it was a growth, a parasite attached to a set of visually revolting, perpetually wrinkled, sacks of skin.
Even as I felt the revulsion billow into my mouth, my genitalia retained its shape, pointing at a nearly perfect 90 degree angle as drops of semen dripped down the shaft and to the testicles. I did not want to look at it, let alone touch it, but unless I wanted to dot the floors in spunk, I didn’t really have a choice, did I? I took a wad of three tissues to my penis and let the fabric absorb most of the goop, before I blotted the rest off.
I cringed as I felt from this thing, not only because I was so deeply disgusted by it at the moment, but because it reminded me of what I lost. Well, not lost, but… what felt so good in that dream. This felt like a gross mutation of my desires. Like Verde was deliberately fucking with me.
“Look, I’m… I’m sorry. I just want it all to… to…”
As my voice squeaked out that unfinished thought, I fell, planting my naked butt on the hardwood floor below. I wanted to cry. I wanted this all to end. I wanted things to finally get better. But instead, he decided now would be a great time to spring into my head.
“Aw, boo-hoo! I’m Yahd-kun, and I just made a cummy cum in my pants ‘cos I wanna have a dream pussy and get fucked by myself. I ain’t only a sticky fingers motherfucker, but I’m a whole sticky dick-bitch too! ”
“Shut the fuck up! You aren’t real! So why, why do you keep fucking with me?”
“Because you love it, ya twisted little cunt muffin. You let yourself develop a scar, a tender little orifice and you just love fingering that fucker, making it your hole. Because that’s the closest you’re ever gonna get at this rate.”
“Shut up, you demon! I did nothing wrong! I—”
“Ya got that right. You never did anything wrong, but you also fucked up on being team right all the time. Face it, Jizzy-D. You have had opportunity after opportunity to get your shit straight, and you know what you did? The worst thing you could possibly do. Nothing!”
“I… I’ll prove you wrong, you—”
“—You know, most people’s success is determined based on how they spend their adolescence. And all you did was mooch off of those you ‘loved,’ suckling their success and inhibiting their growth. Truly, it’s a shock that someone like you wouldn’t embrace his innermost desire. You know, you still have two months to join them Columbine boyz, makin’ shitty Doom WADs and actin’ like you’re hard while reppin’ that Nazi shit. Because you have nothing. You are nothing. You are a mere parasite.”
“Do you have any reason to exist, Abigale? Do you get off on having your pathetic ghost fuckboy torment me like this?”
“Why you so mad at me? I’m just reppin’ what we both know is true. I’m just sayin’ that Maxxie makes you look better than you, does dicks better than you, pussy gets wetter than you. But you’re breaking out like a rash, ‘spectin’ me to respect yo nasty ass? Ain’t that for true?”
I remained silent in my response, emptied my mind and, sure enough, Peatrice faded away, and my mind was… not clear, but clear enough that my penis became flaccid. Despite looking clean, the musk remained in the air, and I could feel its residue lingering on my person, meaning that I needed to take a shower.
By 5:15, my sullied clothes were in the washer, my body was dressed in my usual navy and khaki school uniform, and my mind was calm enough to begin the day. Specifically by starting up my computer, where I quickly noticed a piece of paper partially obscuring my keyboard. It was a sketch by Maxxie, featuring me, her, Zoe, Shiaka, and Terra, all drawn as anthro cat people… without any clothes. It was a ‘notebook sketch’ that Maxxie spent no more than five minutes on, but it was cute nevertheless, and on the other side of the sketch, I saw a message from Maxxie.
“Good meowning, sleepyhead! Terra and I wanted to visit you after dinner, but you were out like a light! Sorry about breaking and entering, but you left us with NO CHOICE! Here’s hoping that you’re feeling better tomorrow and that my poke-a-poke-a-puu magic worked! Especially the forehead kissy kiss! If not, I will have to write a TERSE-MOST letter to the council of magic and medicine!” – Maxxie
As always, Maxxie had a way of perking me up whenever I was feeling down. I snickered as I looked at the note and put it aside, before asking myself if I did feel better. I was in a daze during my shower, but I did not notice any aches or pains like the previous day. Yet, I did feel my hair brushing against my neck, at least one centimeter longer than it was yesterday. So, clearly, something was still wrong with me.
My morning then fell into place. I grabbed an apple and toast from downstairs, checked my usual sites after I missed whatever happened last night, and finally began working on the thing I needed to complete. The explanation. The 4,000 word speech. It was a messy clump of ideas and concepts, and I was not in the right mind to curate it, so I simply added to it. Progress actually went smoother than expected, but as I neared another 1,000 words, my phone began to buzz as I received a call from Babs.
“Hello?” I answered, coughing a little after I spoke.
“Morning, Jad. I didn’t wake you up, did I?” Babs asked, her voice relaxed and mellow.
“No, I… I got up before 5. So, why are you calling?”
“Well, you were sick yesterday, and someone had to check in on you. Maxxie could have done it, but you know how that girl is with mornings. So, how are you feeling?”
“I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t go to school. I feel a lot better and the doctor said that I should be fine if I got some rest. And I slept for, what, nine hours last night?”
“Hm. Your voice sounds a bit weak, but if you’re feeling up for it, you should go for it. I’d say some schmaltzy thing about how you only get to go to high school for so many days, but that’d be a load of bull.”
I paused as I remembered that Babs was employed by the Flare family to take care of Maxxie shortly after she was born. Back when Babs was only 16. Unlike my mother though, she dropped out of high school at the age of 13— she skipped ahead a year— and got her GED in two years while living with a friend. Why she was living with a friend and not her parents is a… sensitive matter. And I never got a direct explanation in the decade I’d known her.
“So when it’s time to wake Maxxie up, you know how to motivate her.”
“I sure do. Anyway, you should come over tonight if you’re feeling up to it. I don’t know how much they show it, but Maxxie and Terra are worried about you, Jad. They’ve been worried for a while. And I know that I shouldn’t pry, but it’s not good for you to bottle things up and… you already know this crap, right?”
“Yes, I… I’m working on a way of expressing my thoughts right now.”
“And I’m sure you’re doing a wonderful job of it.”
“You don’t give yourself enough credit, you know that? …But you don’t need to hear it from this old hag.”
“You’re 34 and look at least five years younger than that.”
“Yeah, yeah, and caring for two kids makes me feel a decade older. Have a nice day, Jad.”
“You too, Babs.”
As this pleasant exchange wrapped up, I resumed working on my aforementioned speech, typing away my thoughts as they kept crawling out my brain …But I said nothing about my nightmares. Because the idea of even trying to explain that I had a sex dream with my best friend, where we were husband and wife, was enough to make me want to crawl under my blanket and never come out.
I remained immersed in my writing, adding more and more, and lightly rephrasing what I had already said, before the clock in the corner of my screen reminded me of the time. After taking care of the laundry— because the last thing I wanted was to come home to a washer full of moldy clothes— I tossed my backpack over my shoulders and swung the front door open… Where I was met with a downpour.
Water clashed against the concrete walkway up to my house, I could see the water pooling around the grass, and while the street was not flooded, I knew it would be soon enough. I grabbed my seldom used raincoat and thrust an umbrella in my backpack, just in case, and by the time I was all bundled up, I heard a familiar horn.
I did my best to dodge the puddles as I walked out to Maxxie’s car, where I made sure to go the long way around, as I didn’t want to trail water throughout her backseat. It only took maybe 20 seconds for me to go from my house to her car, but it was enough to leave me soaked.
“If I were you, I’d call in sick today just so that I didn’t need to deal with this rain. Not that I don’t love the rain— it’s vibes are delish! But driving through it’s a ripe little nugget of the most unpleasant variety! So, how you be, Jay-Dee?”
I struggled to look at Maxxie as she glanced at me from the rearview mirror, and for obvious reasons. Because I had a body swap sex dream with her. I knew that this was nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about— that Maxxie, of all people, would be stoked if I regaled her with this story— yet, I held my tongue.
“I’m still feeling a bit groggy from yesterday,” I replied.
“Well, that’s what happens when you go to sleep at 19:00. Even a grandpa would say you’re turning in too early. …But you’re feeling better right, no more aches or pains?”
“No, I’m… back to normal, I guess. It was never anything serious to begin with. Not that it stopped you from coming to my house just to check up on me.” I said as I looked out at the rain.
“What, you expected me to just leave my best friend home alone when they’re feeling ill? Heck no! Besides, it’s a tradition a decade in the making!”
“Are you talking about how you ditched school to take care of me back in second grade?”
“For sure! And Dr. Flare took stupendous care of you! She made that Mrs. Grass soup and threw some chicken nugget chunks in to give you extra strength! She kept you company when C was out working her job! And she snuck home to grab her GameCube so we could bust out Super Monkey Ball 2! The best sick game!”
Part of me felt like teasing her for such reckless behavior, but… it was really sweet. It spoke volumes to how much she cared about me, even though we only knew each other for a few weeks at that point. It made me realize that… she had always been there for me… even in my dreams.
Before continuing the conversation, Maxxie took a sip from her bottle of tea. Though, calling it tea was a bit of a misnomer. It was her ‘Cocoa Honey Milk Tea’ or ‘CHarM Tea.’ A beverage as sweet as it was energizing. It was something I fondly remembered drinking while in Maxxie’s body, and while I felt I could use a sip or two at the moment, I kept this desire to myself.
“Seriously though, what’s going on with your hair?” Maxxie asked as she coasted through this slippery road. “Are you using extensions or something? Because I’ve got to say, you look wonderful with long hair, Jad. I’ve always said that you should grow it out, but you never listened to me.”
“No, no extensions… and no offense, Maxxie, but you’re not the first person I’d come to for hair advice.”
I then looked at her ‘stylishly unkempt’ hair from the rearview mirror. While minor fluctuations happened over time, she’d kept this same hairstyle for over a decade. I tried to tell her that she looked extra cute with her hair straightened or maintained, but she always preferred this ‘low maintenance look.’
“Hey, just because I don’t practice it doesn’t mean I don’t know a thing or seven about hair. And I know a heckuva lot more about accessorizing and making my subject look primo adoracute! So, care for a little dress up party at my place this weekend?”
For a fraction of a second, I thought about agreeing to that offer… only to realize that I was imagining myself in Maxxie’s body, and Maxxie in my own. Her gawking at her own body, commenting at how beautiful I was, while making me look prettier than she ever had. I shook this thought out of my head before offering an alternative to Maxxie’s suggestion.
“Well, I promised to tell you something on Tuesday, and I’m still trying to find the words, but… I should have something good enough by Saturday.”
“No, Histy, you’re supposed to take three days to do something, not four!”
I rolled my eyes as I recognized that reference.
“For the last time Maxxie, I’m not going to play the Neptunia games. Besides, you said they’re just ‘below average JRPGs with above average anime silliness.’”
“Okay, fine… but when Sisters Generation hits PC, I’m gonna stream it, and I want you to join in at least some of the streams? Is that an acceptable compromise?”
“Sure, I guess.”
“…Wait! Bean curds! What if that game comes out around the same time as Natsuiro High School?!” Maxxie exclaimed while almost drifting into a fire hydrant.
“That open world Japanese high school game?”
“You got that right! If there’s any game that’ll be better than Bloodborne this year, it’s Natsuiro!”
“Isn’t that game only coming out in Japan though?”
“Well, for the time being, but you never know. XSEED has published weirder and less marketable shit over the years.”
“What I’m asking is how do you expect to play it in June? …Unless you have been taking Japanese lessons behind my back.”
“Nah, I don’t know much, but that’s what Shiaka is for! She can translate the game and help me and my viewers enjoy this succulent Nihongo fruit!”
“While she’s working on that visual novel you want to make?”
“S-Shut up, Jad! I can do the invisible and see the impossible if I put my mind to it!”
As Maxxie and I engaged in our usual back and forth, she rolled up to Zoe’s house, and Shiaka’s soon followed.
They both asked me how I was, commented on how rare it was for me to become sick, and brought up how I looked with my longer hair. But soon enough, the conversation wheel landed on the going-ons in the video games industry, as it always does, namely with discussions about Yo-Kai Watch, and how mini-games don’t actually enhance turn-based combat. They just make things take way longer than they should. It was a typical tirade, but I felt that I could not fully partake in it.
There must have been some truth to the dream I had Tuesday night. Where I became secluded from them and looked on at them with both envy and a sense of unworthiness. They had tried to reassure me, voiced how much they cared for me, yet such words rang hollow next to my internalized sense of failure.
So, I decided to play quiet and did my best to avoid them as we left the car, moved past the aggressive rain, and entered the damp, dirty halls of the school. I knew what I had to do to last until Saturday. The process was mechanical. Go through the doldrums of school while thinking about what I could say to make things better, to correct this mistake. When I could not think about such heady matters, I should immerse myself in class, in my work.
That is the mentality I adopted as I made my way to Psychology and began work on the in-class assignment. Once distributed, I began blazing through the assignment, flipping through the textbook and letting the words flow from my pen and onto the paper. Even as my emotional state was in the pits, my mind felt like it was overclocked, processing information faster than ever and writing faster than ever. I felt as if I was in a trance, and my deskmates quickly took notice.
“Goodness, Jad. I didn’t know you could write that fast. You might be faster than even Vivi.” Gem commented as he glanced at my hand.
“I don’t mean to brag,” Maxxie began, “But I’ve got a keen eye for this sort of thing, and the fact that you got this better at the ways of the ballpoint is most suspicious. You sure you aren’t hiding a secret passion, J-Styles?”
Though I wanted to avoid Maxxie for the time being, I found that I did better when I did not need to look at her, for the voice she had was distinct enough from the one in my dream. While the face was… too similar.
“This isn’t intentional. My hand is just moving faster than normal… for some reason.” I answered while skimming my textbook.
“This reminds me of a novel I read back in middle school,” Gem said. “It was about a young girl who began performing abnormally well in all things academic. It was a symptom that gave way to rapid physical changes, before she developed superhuman capabilities. With your rapidly growing hair, you seem to meet the middle qualification, but it remains to be seen if your Provectus gene shall be awakened.”
“You remembered the term ‘Provectus gene’ but not the name of the book?” I asked with a skewed expression. “Besides, I’m just trying to get work done so I can focus on a personal project during study hall, since I did all my other homework already.”
“Mighty impressive, this one is,” Maxxie said with ample snark. “12 years of school, and never a single late assignment!”
“Technically 13, since I had homework in kindergarten… sometimes,” I clarified. “But it really is not that impressive.”
“I beg to disagree, Jad. Even I have had a few late assignments, as it is quite easy to forget due dates unless everything is cataloged and deadlines are made clear.”
“I suppose, but it really isn’t that hard if you use your assignment notebook.”
“Yeah, yeah, and that’s why you’re a high honor roller, while I’m slumming it with regular honors,” Maxxie said with a scoff.
“You make it sound like I try to get this far, yet I really don’t,” I groaned, exasperated by the length of this conversation.
“Oh? Your GPA is that high? In that case, I am surprised you are not taking AP courses. They can be challenging, but also most rewarding, and earn you college credits in advance!”
I groaned again as I remembered that Gem was taking two AP classes, while I was in a whopping zero.
With that conversation out of the way, I managed to finish my psych homework before the bell rang at 8:52, giving me freedom to do as I pleased in study hall. Though, there was only one thing I wanted to work on. I quickly found a secluded computer desk to get cracking on my speech, but as I typed away, I could not help but overhear a conversation a few computers away from me. A conversation between Vivi and Anita.
“You know, for as much as I like the outdoors, sunshine, and all that jazz, I really do appreciate days like this. When it’s bright and sunny outside, it pressures people to go out, do things, get moving, and if they don’t, they feel like they’re wasting the day. But rainy days like this force people inside, together. Weather like this makes them appreciate what they have, gives them an excuse to not do things, and sets an environment where they can relax. It makes me remember the days we were forced to stay inside during recess, where you would sneak in your DS and let me play games as we hid under the stairwell, avoiding the prying eyes of adults. Ah, those were truly the halcyon days.”
“Please, Anita. You’re too young to be nostalgic about things. You’re in your prime, so you should be concerned with your future. Once you make it, then you should start looking back on your childhood.”
“Yeah, and you would know, you old lady.”
“I’m not old, I’m just over the whole teenager schtick and ready to be an adult. What can I say? I’m a young woman with an aged soul,” Vivi sighed.
“A soul aged by a childhood of unrestricted internet access and burnt on the edges?”
“Something like that.”
As I eavesdropped on this public conversation, Vivia turned her head and saw me. I could see her brows raise as she looked at me and, seconds later, she and Anita were walking up to me.
“You know, the hair is one thing,” Vivi began, “but for someone who was out sick, you’re looking awfully tan, don’t you think?”
Vivi said that looking at Anita, who nodded her head along.
“Definitely. I used to go to summer camp, so I’ve seen how dark a white person can get when they’re outside and roughing it in the hot sun every day. But it took them four weeks before they got as dark as you.”
In my rush to shower after my… uncomfortable awakening, I did not even think to look at myself in the mirror. After all, I felt that I was in my own body, and I did not want to be reminded of that fact. But as I earnestly looked at my arm for the first time this entire day, I realized it was, in fact, a shade or two darker than the fair veiny complexion I was accustomed to.
As I wracked my brain for an answer, I spat out the first idea that came to mind.
“Well, yesterday I went out for a walk, and it was pretty sunny out.”
“Jad, it’s just one day,” Vivi stated in a slightly demeaning tone. “There’s a limit to how much sun you can soak up in a single day, even when you’re deliberately trying to get a tan.”
I let out a sigh and shrugged before cobbling together a response.
“I don’t know what to tell you. I went to a doctor yesterday, she said everything looked fine, and gave me some vitamins to take. Besides, I don’t think it’s that extreme.”
“Maybe not, but you practically look like a different person after just three days. No matter how you look at it, that’s not normal.” Vivi stated.
“Hm,” Anita murmured to herself. “I can’t seem to find a photo of you on my phone, so I can’t do a side-by-side.”
“I have a photo from last week,” a familiar high-pitched voice said from a few meters away.
The three of us turned around and saw Shiaka, her face partially obscured by her laptop. As our eyes met, she stood up and walked to us, her phone in hand. She wasted little time taking a photo of me as she approached and quickly turned her phone sideways. There, I saw a photo of myself from last week.
My hair short, my skin light, and my body as unremarkable as always. Next to that, I saw myself from seconds ago, my hair past my ears, my skin tanned, and my uniform looking… a bit ill fitting. Almost like I was in between shirt sizes and wore one that was slightly too small for me. Which made zero sense considering how I’ve been skipping meals.
“Well, that’s some damning evidence,” Anita remarked.
“Seriously. You’ve got to be hitting up a tanning salon and getting extensions or something,” Vivi concluded.
“I don’t think he is,” Shiaka began. “Jad would never do something like this without letting Maxxie, Zoe, or I know about it. And even then… Can I touch your hair, Jad?”
I paused at that question, before reminding myself of Shiaka’s sensitivity when it came to touching people.
“Yeah, of course.”
Shiaka then began to rub her thin fingers through my hair, following my natural curls to my scalp, almost patting it as she made contact.
“You have very soft and thick hair, Jad,” she said.
I began to make a comment about how I just used the shampoo and conditioner that my mother bought for me, but as she brushed her hands through my hair, I realized how it felt ever so slightly different. It felt smoother, curlier, and overall… nicer. And I didn’t even wash it this morning.
“There’s no way that Jad used extensions on his hair. I… I would know because Haruki, my big sis, used to use them.”
“So, what’s the answer? Is it that Jad’s body’s cell cycle is producing hair faster than it ever has for anyone, and also producing extra… melanin?” Vivi said while rolling her eyes.
“Let’s just wait for what my blood test says. I should get it back in the next few days. Besides, it’s not like there’s anything wrong with my hair growing or skin getting darker.”
As I said that, I saw Anita’s brown-hued face scrunch up for a fraction of a second, but I didn’t get a good enough look to determine what kind of expression she was making.
“Still,” Shiaka began, “I do not like seeing something that I can’t explain. Especially when the victim is one of my friends.”
“Shiaka, I’m flattered that you’re so worried about me, but there’s nothing to be concerned about. I’ll go to as many doctors as many times as I need to, but I seriously feel fine.”
I was speaking the truth. I did, physically, feel fine. Though, the three girls around me thought otherwise. They exchanged a series of glances, clearly showing some concern for me and my wellbeing, but did not refute my claim. Instead, with no obvious course of action, they parted ways, and we shared our casual goodbyes.
With this interaction taken care of, I resumed my speech, making good progress and finally finding the voice I was struggling to capture yesterday. Yet, right as I was in the zone, the infernal bell called me to my third period, Creative Writing.
I meandered in the halls to avoid seeing Maxxie again, before I came in mere seconds before the bell. Raiyne Underwood shot me a smile as I walked in, glad to see that I was back after a day of absence, and promptly began the lesson for today. Here, the prompt was to examine a few writings of how reporters respond to tragedies. Bombings, shootings, and natural disaster. Raiyne went through some of the core elements of these writings. How the writer should remain sympathetic but not let their emotions cloud their reporting, that they should remain impartial, and that an air of professionalism must be maintained, no matter how vile the act.
In a sense, it went against much of the prose we were taught in prior assignments, but that was part of the point. A good writer has the ability to switch between different styles and tones, and even though it was boring, there was value in being able to write generic, concise, statements.
When presented with this prompt, I briefly considered writing from the perspective of a reporter discussing the destruction of Oransen… after I destroyed it and killed every resident in that other world. Yet, I had the restraint needed to not ram a butter knife into my wounds. Instead, I wrote about a natural disaster.
A blizzard that devastated a small mountain town and left its citizens without power, forcing them to rely on external generators, battery backups, and propane tanks. With the templates given to me, I found little difficulty breezing through this assignment and finished before anyone else in my class. To pass the time, I reviewed what I had written, making a few minor corrections— something Raiyne encouraged— but as I read my words again, I was brought back to that Colorado blizzard. The aggressive snow blinded me as I trekked through the mountains, filled with fury, confusion, and disbelief, all while fearing death. All while he taunted me.
My body clenched as these memories resurfaced. I then put my writing at the corner of my desk and pulled out my Calculus notebook. I needed something else to focus on, and there was going to be a test tomorrow, so this seemed like a good enough alternative.
After a few minutes of impromptu cramming, the bell rang once more, and everybody began filtering out. Maxxie shot me a knowing look as she departed, but before I could leave, I heard Raiyne call my name.
“Jad, could I talk to you for a moment?”
I groaned a little as I realized this meant I would be late for Strength and Conditioning, but I did as Raiyne asked, walked up to her. As her sapphire eyes looked over me, I felt as if she was trying to peer into my soul.
“Caroline texted me and let me know you were out of sorts yesterday, but something about you… seems off.”
“If you’re asking about the hair and the tan, I don’t have any answer for you, sorry.” I said with slight exhaustion.
She sighed, picking up on my reluctance to speak to her.
“I want what’s best for all of my students, and to help them as best I can. For most, that just involves helping them hone their writing skills before they begin their adult lives. You’re already a good writer, so there’s not much I can help you with on that front. But our relationship is a bit more than that.”
“You’re still my student first,” Raiyne clarified, “but you’re also my best friend’s child, so I care about you in that sense. Just watching you write, I can tell that you are fighting something within. Not an illness, but something more personal. It carries over into your writing, and even though I should not pry… I don’t enjoy seeing people suffer. So, please, if you need someone to talk to about anything, I can lend an ear.”
Everyone… Everyone around me. They were all so accommodating, so loving. I felt like I was abusing them when they said so— like I was deceiving them into thinking I was a decent person. All because they did not know the truth. Raiyne would hate me if she knew I raped her. Yet, here she was, offering me emotional support, because she did not know my true nature. I had to get through this. The day was a third over, and I would make sure that I finished my speech by… screw it. By sunrise! Even if it meant staying up all night and ruining my sleep schedule even more.
“I should be better soon, Raiyne. I just need to make it to the weekend, and I’ll put this whole thing behind me.”
I left without elaborating, and Raiyne did not question me.
I then trotted down the halls to the locker room, just narrowly entering its walls before the bell rang. It was mostly empty aside from a few stragglers halfway through changing, so I swiftly made my way to my locker, thrusting it open, and taking my workout clothes out. It was ordinarily a routine process of stripping and redressing as quickly as possible. Yet, as I took off my dress shirt, I froze.
I had always been a scrawny person, so I was used to seeing my bony frame whenever I looked down. Yet, as my eyes drifted to my chest, I saw small protrusions from beneath my undershirt. As my hand touched these protrusions through my shirt, I nearly tripped on the bench behind me. I then brought the same hand back to them, and began to gently push against this bump, rubbing it slightly. The flesh was tender, my nipples sensitive, and based on my prior experience, I knew what these were.
I was growing breasts. They were small, only AA-cups, if that, and blended into my figure well enough to be concealed by my baggy gym shirt. Even so, they were unmistakably breasts.
I quickly finished getting changed into my uniform before sitting on the bench. My hair was growing longer, my body was developing breasts, and as I looked down at my bare legs, they were hairless. I had not shaved them since Saturday night, yet they felt softer and smoother than they ever before.
“I’m turning into a girl,” I whispered so quietly that I could barely hear myself.
I was genre savvy enough to spot a ‘TG transformation’ or ‘TSF transformation’ when I saw it, as it was one of Maxxie’s myriad interests when it came to all things art. I would question how something like this could happen in reality… but my definition of reality has changed a lot these past five months.
This was it. This was the piece of evidence that I needed to support my story. Nothing about what was happening to me was ‘normal,’ it was an unexplained phenomenon. And if someone witnesses one unexplained phenomenon, they’re more inclined to believe other unexplained phenomena. It was not ready— it was not even a rough draft— but I had something written that I could use to guide my explanation… along with my memories.
This was it. It was time to say fuck it to waiting and tell the truth… in about 45 minutes.
I then made my way to the weight room, where my class always met during rainy days. I knew that I could just ask coach Olson to sit out today, but this reveal left me unnerved, frustrated, and I felt that letting off some steam would calm my nerves for the next period. Once in the room, I quickly found my way to Zoe by the free weights, doing some overhead shoulder presses. Wasting little time, I grabbed a pair of 7 kg weights and joined him.
“Did Miss Underwood keep you after class?”
“Yeah, she’s worried about me… like everyone else.” I said while starting up some lunges.
“You’re fortunate to have such a support network. But unless you want to talk, they can’t do much to help you.”
As always, Zoe was being logical without being condescending.
“I know. It’s just hard to find the words and…”
“Does it have anything to do with your transformation?”
My body froze as he said that word.
“N-No. This is… something different. And I still have no idea why this is happening to me.”
“Shiaka showed me a comparison photo, and the differences are staggering, even when accounting for the varying lighting conditions.”
“If Vivi is stumped on something, chances are that I’m stumped as well,” Zoe said while switching to arm curls.
“Oh, really? You think that highly of her?”
“I’ve had more than a few classes with her. She has gaps in her knowledge, but she is a fast learner and has a sharp eye for analysis. If she could not pinpoint a cause for this, I doubt I could. Besides, you feel fine, right? So there is no sense in worrying. But… are you sure you’re up to lift weights right now? You seem to be rushing through your reps.”
As Zoe said that, I realized I had already done 20 lunges with each foot, and barely felt anything.
“Oh, I just… sort of did that. If anything, I feel… stronger than I did earlier this week. Like I could switch up to 10 kgs with you.”
“Jad, I have 15 centimeters and 15 kilograms on you. I’m surprised you can even handle the 7 kg weights.”
Even though Zoe gave me a wise warning, I still put down the weights I was using and grabbed the 10 kg ones and began joining Zoe in his arm curls.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you when your arms get sore around lunch. I know it’s only 3 kg, but it makes a big difference.”
“I mean, I don‘t feel like I’m struggling or anything.”
“Hm,” Zoe grumbled “Jad, pause for a moment, let me feel your arms.”
I did as he asked and placed my weights on the floor and tightened my muscles. He squeezed it firmly with his large, strong hands and a look of surprise developed on his face .
“Well, I’ll be damned. Have you been working out in your spare time?”
“Um, no… but I’m up to 58 kg, so I guess that might have been muscle.”
“…You’re also taller, aren’t you? I can’t believe I didn’t notice that before.”
“Huh? Well, I guess I have been sitting most of the day, so that’s why you probably didn’t notice. Yesterday, I was apparently 180cm, without shoes.”
Zoe then glared at me as I resumed my arm curls, while he began some squats.
“This just keeps getting stranger and stranger. But, as you know—”
“—You’re here for me in case something goes wrong? I swear, I’ve heard nothing but that this past week. I know I can confide in you guys but… I sure as shit don’t know what’s going on with my body. I don’t know, my friends don’t know, and the doctor doesn’t know. Nobody knows what the fuck is wrong with me, and at the rate things are going, all I can hope for is that I’ll still be able to recognize myself come Monday. And of course this is happening to me. Of course I haven’t dealt with enough. Of course she couldn’t even leave me the fuck alone!”
I was doing reps twice as fast as I should have been at this point, and Zoe placed his hand on my shoulder.
“Jad, do what you’d like, just let us know what that is.”
“For right now… I think I just want to be alone. I’ll try to get this anger out of my system by working out. Sorry for snapping at you like that. You did nothing wrong.”
I then put down my weights and headed to the seated leg press machine. There was an extra 10 kg on it compared to the 40 kg I normally used, but I did not bother changing the weights. Instead, I sat down and began pushing my legs forward, back, and forward again while regulating my breathing. Once a rhythm was established, I stared at my smooth tanned legs and began asking myself questions.
Namely, why was I getting taller and stronger if I was transforming into a woman? Normally, it was the other way around. Most TG situations saw the ‘male’ character become weaker and shorter while growing hair, breasts, and developing curves… and most TG situations didn’t involve skin color changing like this. It looked like I just had a tan at the moment, but… maybe this was part of a race change?
As I lost myself in these thoughts, I was called back to reality by the intense stench of body odor. Looking up, I was met with none other than Yuccot Kikansky. He normally stank because he was a sweaty fat dude who didn’t wash his uniform often enough, but he smelled even worse today, for whatever reason. Maybe my garbage sense of smell was getting better. It would make as much sense as anything else happening to me.
“Working awfully hard there, Jad. You’re really motivated, aintcha?”
I did not bother offering him a response.
“You sure look like you’ve been putting in some kind of work, got a lot of sun in your skin, and you’re pushing so much weight despite being such a scrawny little thing.”
“What do you want, Yuccot?” I asked while pushing my legs forward.
“Nothing,” he shrugged, “I just wanted to let you know that what you’re doing is pretty cool.”
“This is an exercise class. I’m exercising. This is nothing special.”
“Huh. Really now? So, do you think I should grab myself a weight and follow your example?”
“Do whatever you want. I don’t care.”
I was never in the mood for Yuccot’s shit, and today was no exception. I just wanted to work out my frustrations, but he had taken a liking to me today. I hoped he would stay by the free weights while using them, but instead, with a single 15 kg weight in hand, he moved back to me and started using the weight.
One of the first things we learned in this class was how to properly use the equipment. Hell, we were given a PDF packet with detailed diagrams showing proper and improper use of everything from the medicine balls to the ellipticals. Yuccot, clearly, was not paying attention during that time, and proceeded to use the weight like an idiot, casually waving it around and swinging it upwards. He was in an exercise class, and he did not know how to do a fucking arm curl.
“Oh baby! I can feel my muscles growing with every swing. So, this is how you do it, Jad?”
“No. I followed the actual instructions. You are just acting like an ass. Keep it up and you’ll just strain your muscles, not develop them.”
“Well, if you’ve got the breath to bitch at me, why don’t you show me how it’s done?”
I was about to say that I was in the middle of a leg press, and I did not want to switch machines before I finished my reps… but that response was too generous. I was pissed, my blood was pumping, and I had a certified dumbass looking at me with his mouth agape and a drizzle of sweat coming off of his fat forehead. I knew it was best not to engage… but I couldn’t help myself. I had too much frustration in my system and, while still doing leg presses, I unleashed a rant years in the making.
“Yuccot, it’s nice to see you try at something— for once in your life— But even when you try, you act like a moron. You have to know that you shouldn’t fling around weights like they’re made of styrofoam, but you do it anyway! Besides, at this point in your life, why is it now that you decide to exert a modicum of effort? You’ve had 19 years to get your shit together, but instead… look at you. You’re nearly 200 pounds, have some of the worst grades in the whole damn school, have no valuable skills, and nobody cares about you! You have nothing to offer this world, yet you insist on being the center of attention, draining the time and energy from others for the sake of your own amusement. Either do something with your life or fuck off!”
I was left strapped for breath at the end of my rant, but I continued my leg presses regardless, staring at Yuccot. His blue eyes narrowed as he looked at me, but I turned away, dismissing him as not being worth the time of day, and expecting a stern lecture from coach Olson. Instead, I felt something slam into my gut. All the air flooded out of my lungs and, before I could even try to breathe in, I felt the contents of my stomach spray out of my mouth and onto the leg press machine. It was a brown sludge featuring chunks of bread and apple, along with a mouthful of blood.
A burning sensation danced across my throat. It hurt to breathe, but with my lungs emptied, I didn’t have much of a choice. I hunched down as I tried to regain my composure, too frazzled to react, when I felt something strike my head. The next thing I knew, my body had toppled off of the seated leg press and onto the rubber flooring below.
I could barely feel anything. My body ached. My senses were shaken, vague, and hazy. My vision was blurred. My ears were ringing. And I felt a painful groan escape my lips.
I felt whatever strength I had trickle out of my body, and as my vision darkened, I heard shouting voices.
“…Fuck’s wrong with you?!”
“He had it coming.”
“What the… doing? I knew you… but not… assault.”
“Shit! Where’s the first-aid kit?”
“Jad, can you hear me? Please, answer me!”
Sadly, I could not answer them. My body would not respond. My brain could not process my commands. And, as the seconds trickled down, I felt my foggy window into the world become opaque. My senses faded out one by one and, soon enough, I was immersed in nothingness.
The Dominance of Abigale Quinlan Main Page
Shard 00: The Novus Logs Volumes 1 & 2
Shard 01: 108 Days Later
Shard 02: Melancholic Mundanity
Shard 03: Another Day; Another Doubt
Shard 04: Fractured Family
Shard 05: Troublesome Tuesday
Shard 06: Despair And Die
Shard 07: The Enigmatic Sickness
Shard 08: The Erotic Fantasy (Osananajimi;Myself Part 3700)
Shard 09: The Egregious Downfall
Shard 10: The Oransen High Massacre
Shard 11: The Dark Metamorphosis
Shard 12: The Dominant Reflection
Shard 13: My Life As Jadigale Novus
Shard 14: Fade Unto Dusk
Shard 15: Re;Birth Unto Jade
Shard 16: Gender Reveal Party
Shard 17: Enter The Three Wives (Psycho Bullet Festival 2222 – Bout 21-2)
Shard 18: Novus X – Ten Years Later