Chapter 39 - The Last Wish

Masquerades 101 by Emily


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Victor



In the morning Mom made us breakfast. Dad had already gone to work earlier since he doesn’t take off for Black Friday. Hanna somehow talked Nicole into staying longer so they could go out shopping for sales. I think Mom decided she was going to clean the guest bedroom out. While Nicole may assume she’s going back to campus today, Mom decided she was going to prepare for the inevitable weekend stay. That just left me to spend the afternoon as I desired.


Nicole and Hanna asked if I wanted to join them but I declined. I think both of them deserved sister bonding time without me present. I told them I’d go next time.


Instead I retreated to the bathroom and took off the old bandages. Everything was healing up nicely. My eyes were less red and the black and blue skin was starting to fade. Even the headaches I was having were less frequent. I think I was not going to put on new bandages today.


After a nice long shower, I got dressed and decided to get out of the house and drive to the local coffee shop.


I ordered a coffee and a Danish.  The barista asked for my name for the cup. I opened my mouth, but was at a loss for words.  When had I last used my real name?  The barista was looking impatient.  


“Victor,” I finally said.


I retrieved my coffee and pastry and sat down at a table with my laptop. I was in there for about twenty minutes when I heard voices that sounded vaguely familiar. I looked up and saw Alan and Lindsey holding coffees, while looking for a seat.


A whole flood of emotions filled me up. I was reminded of all of the hurt my former best friend and ex-girlfriend put me through. Then I was reminded of what Nicole said to me at our last fight.


I was no better than Lindsey and Alan.


Was that really true? From my point of view Alan swooped in before Lindsey and I broke up. I mean, we were taking a break. Lindsey said something about getting too serious. But then I caught them together. Apparently they were seeing each other for months behind my back. 


My situation wasn’t the same, was it? I wasn’t trying to steal Tyler from Nicole. I was trying to help Nicole’s relationship with Tyler. Falling in love with them… just happened. Nicole and Tyler were over. All I wanted was for Nicole to be happy for us.


But what if Alan wasn’t trying to steal Lindsey from me? What if Alan’s intentions were noble? What if they just accidentally fell in love? What if all they wanted was for me to be happy for them?


I forgave Nicole. Nicole forgave me. Is it time for me to forgive Lindsey and Alan? After 4 years? Can I take this first step?


I whispered it at first. “Alan.”


He stopped momentarily then continued what he was doing.


I said it louder. “Alan.”


Now he looked around. He glanced at me and gave me a curious look. Does he not recognize me through swollen injuries?


“Victor,” I said, jogging his memory.


Then suddenly his face lit up with recognition.


“Victor?” he said. “Oh my god. I didn’t recognize you.”


Behind Alan was Lindsey, with an equally shocked expression on her face.


Now that I got a better look at them, I can see time has passed. Both of them looked older and more mature. Of course. They’re 21 now. Last time I saw them they were 17.


“Hi,” I said. I wasn't sure how to say what I wanted. I hadn’t seen them in so long. I’ve been holding so much resentment I was never able to imagine this moment. “I’m sorry for my appearance.”


“Actually, we heard about what happened to you at college,” Alan said. “From your mom.”


“It’s good to see you,” Lindsey said. “How have you been feeling?”


“I’m getting better,” I replied. “I looked worse a few days ago. I finally took several of the bandages off this morning.”


“I bet,” Alan said.


I motioned them to sit with me. “Would you like to join me?”


Alan looked at Lindsey with approval and they both sat down. “This place is crowded today.” he said, using this as an excuse to why they’re actually sitting with me.


“How’s college been?” Lindsey asked continuing the small talk. “I’m totally jealous you got to go away to college. I picked up a few classes at the community college.”


“Things are going great,” I said. “I’m going to be graduating next semester. I have an internship lined up.” I then realized that the internship was offered to Vicky. So I guess I can kiss that goodbye.


“That’s great,” Alan said, faking enthusiasm.


“I uh…” I started. “I heard you got engaged. Congratulations.”


“Thank you.” Lindsey said. “The wedding’s in April.”


“That sounds exciting,” I said. I thought back to my engagement a week ago tonight. I wanted to brag about my fiancée, but alas I wasn’t able to.


“I want to apologize,” I said, frankly. “For removing you both from my life.”


“Oh.” Alan said. “Don’t worry about it. It’s all in the past”


“I was a real dick” I said. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the past few months. It actually took me being in your situation for me to see it. I was a little hard and unreasonably upset at both of you.”


They were both silent for a moment. My apology must’ve taken them by surprise.


“Victor, we should've told you.” Lindsey said. “We hid it from you for so long. If we had only told you the truth when we started dating.”


I chuckled. “I can empathize with that too. You get into a habit of hiding things and eventually the secret becomes too big.”


“You found yourself in our situation?” Alan asked, curiously.


“Well, I fell in love with a friend’s… ex… before they broke up.”


“That’s… not what happened Victor.” Alan said. “Right after you and Lindsey broke up, my dad passed away, and Lindsey was there for me.”


I wanted to correct him to tell him Lindsey and I had only been on a break. But it occurred to me that maybe I was under the impression it was a break. Maybe Lindsey was under the impression we broke up.


I thought back to when Alan’s dad passed. I remembered trying to console him. But he withdrew from hanging out. I then realized that Lindsey had lost her father a year earlier while we were dating. It makes sense that they’d find a common bond there.


Alan held Lindsey's hand. “She pulled me out of some severe depression.” He turned back to me. “Maybe it’s my fault. I should’ve told you when I started to fall for her.”


“It’s my fault,” Lindsey said. “I was afraid of what you’d say, so we kept it a secret until you accidentally found out.”


“Well all 3 of us can’t be at fault right?” I said.


They both shrugged. 


“That happens sometimes.” Lindsey said. “When everyone does the wrong thing.”


I nodded and sighed. “I’m sorry for dredging up old memories.”


“No, this was good.” Alan said. “We’ve always wondered what happened to you.”


I thought about that some more. I closed myself off. I’ve gotten used to being alone. It’s become comfortable to be isolated. I think I’m going to make a conscious decision to try to resist that urge. “I know I haven’t done anything to re earn your friendship, I’d like to start by putting our fight behind us.” I said. “Maybe start by not being strangers anymore.”


Alan nodded. “I’d like that. “ he said. 


“Me too.” Lindsey said.


It’s weird sitting here with these two after 3 years. But the moment I saw them smile it felt like old times again.


“So what happened?” Alan asked while motioning to my face.


“Well.” I said. “It’s a doozy of a story. It started during my freshman year. My roommate, Brandon…”



* * *


Taylor


I stood in our foyer. I was wearing an ivory turtleneck sweater over a pair of skinny jeans. Aunt Kira lent me a pair of brown ankle boots to complete the outfit. I didn’t have a cute coat, so I wrapped a burgundy scarf around my neck.


Aunt Kira expertly did my make up. When I looked in the mirror all I saw was a gorgeous girl. The girl in my head. The girl I knew I was. I was nervous. It’s one thing to be Taylor in front of my parents. In front of Vicky and Josh. It’s another to do it in public.


“Ready?” Mom asked. She walked out the front door and held the storm door for me.


This is it. My first time going out in public as Taylor. I had been Taylor plenty of times for cosplay. But that was cosplay. It was costumes. Everyone else was dressed up too. I’m no longer in a costume. I’m in cute clothes Mom and Aunt Kira picked out for today.


I wanted Aunt Kira to come with me, but she insisted that if I want to be Taylor full time, to have a Mother-Daughter lunch first.


I looked back into the house. Dad and Aunt Kira were standing in the kitchen smiling at me.


I took one step. I was nervous. I should turn around and go back inside. I looked at Mom nervously. 


“Tay, you’ve got this.” she said.


“I don’t know.” I said, “I’m scared. Maybe I’m mistaken.”


“Taylor Matthews” she said sternly. “You are a strong confident young woman.”


I smiled and nodded. I took another step.


“Mom, what if the neighbors see me?”


“If you’re going to be Taylor full time, people are going to see you. But they’re going to see my beautiful daughter. Now get your cute butt to the car.”


I blushed that she called my butt cute. I’m not used to casual female terms of endearment.


I took another step.


And another.


This is the way forward. I’m going to keep going.


I could hear the sound of my boots hitting the sidewalk. It sounded perfect.


I made it to the car, quickly got in, and shut the door.


“You did it.” Mom said joining me in the car.


“I did it” I repeated as I took an excited breath. My heart was pounding in my chest.


Mom drove us to a little cafe near our house. This time it was easier to get my foot out the door. The two of us walked across the parking lot to the cafe. My face was red and I was hoping I didn’t run into anyone I knew.


The hostess smiled at both of us. She looked at me and said “Oh my god, I love that scarf!”


“Thank you.” I meekly said in a higher pitched voice.


She escorted us to a table. “Your server will be right with you.”


“Still nervous?” Mom asked.


“Very.”


“No one cares. They see two women.”


The server came over. He was a guy in his 30’s. “Good afternoon, ladies, can I get you something to drink?”


He called me a lady! I tried to hide my giddy excitement.


“I’ll have a diet soda.” Mom said.


The server turned to me. I was expecting him to clock me. Instead he looked at me normally and smiled. He was actually kinda cute. “And for you miss?”


I blushed and realized that I let myself think that. “Just water.” I replied.


“I’ll get your drinks and be right back to get your orders.” he said to both of us.


* * *


After lunch we returned home. I walked into the kitchen to see Aunt Kira. I was smiling ear to ear.


“How was it?” Aunt Kira asked.


“It was amazing,” I said. “I felt so good. It felt so right.”


“So do you want to change back to Tyler for dinner?”


“No,” I said before she even finished asking her question.


Aunt Kira smiled and gave me a hug. “I believe you have the answer you were looking for, sweetie.”


* * *


I stayed dressed as Taylor all weekend at my parents. We went out clothes shopping, out to dinner, and various other places as my family helped me learn to be more comfortable as Taylor in public.


When it came time to return to campus, I was about to change back into my male clothes when Dad reminded me I didn’t have to.


“You said your roommate has already seen Taylor.” he said.


“Yeah. I was Taylor one morning and cooked breakfast for Josh and Ni- Victor.”


“So you don’t have to get changed. Go as you are. Be yourself.”


He was right. I was currently wearing a striped sweater and jeans. I can do this. It’s only from my car to my apartment. 


I packed up my car and hugged my parents. This was the first time I was leaving as Taylor. So hearing “Bye Taylor. We love you.” from them as I got into my car, nearly broke me.


I quickly made it back to campus and found a parking spot. I grabbed my bags, put my coat’s hood over my head and walked quickly to my apartment.


I dashed into the door full of thrill and excitement. I did it. Another hurdle down. I put my bags down and ran to Josh’s room.


“Josh!”


“Ty- Taylor!” he said. “What a pleasant surprise! What do I owe for this visit?”


“Josh, I want to be Taylor full time.”


“Wow.” he said. “That’s awesome. Congratulations.”


“I want to wish it.” I said. “To be a real girl.”


“Honey,” he said, standing up to face me. “If you’re a real girl in here,” he pointed to my chest. “Then you don't need magic because you’re already a girl.”


“You know what I mean.” I said.


“You know, transitioning is a fairly common practice in this day and age. Again, why waste a wish when you can just start transitioning?”


“Because it’s not enough.” I said. “I want to be a cis woman.”


Josh sighed. “We talked about rushing into these types of things. This we need to talk about.”


I sat on Josh’s bed. “So let’s talk. I've been thinking about this all weekend. I’m not in a hurry. I mean I am. I’m eager to start my new life. But I have time to talk this out with you. Do you talk through wishes with all of your masters?”


He laughed. “No. You are my friend, first. My master, second. I’m talking to you right now as Josh, your friend and roommate. Not a genie.”


I nodded.


“Great, let's talk,” he said. “First. Why are you doing this? Is it because you believe Victor is straight? Are you doing this to win him back?”


I grinned. “Partially.”


“Tyler!” he yelled. “Sorry. Taylor! Don’t do this for someone else.”


“I’m not.” I replied. “I’m doing this for me. I want to be Taylor. No - I am Taylor. I just want the outside to match the inside.”


“OK,” he said. “If Victor doesn’t take you back as Taylor, what then?”


“Then I’ll be sad, but I’ll get over it.”


“You won’t regret the wish?”


“I don’t think so.”


“That’s not good enough.”


“I won’t regret it.” I corrected myself. “Josh, I had an epiphany this weekend. I’m Taylor. I always have been. I’ve always been wearing this Tyler mask. Then I was wearing the enby mask. That was the real me peeking through, testing the waters. The more I let the real me out, the more I wanted it. The less I wanted Tyler.”


Josh nodded. “You also have the wish that Nicole and Victor asked you to make.”


I was caught in a moment of surprise. “I had totally forgotten. They wanted me to wish to punish TK. I only have one wish left right?”


“Well…” he said. “Technically you used 5 of your 3 wishes already.”


“Wait, what?” I said. “How…”


“And I quote… I wish for the perfect girlfriend. I wish to know if those roses were enough. I wish Nicole was taller. I wish she’d give me a kiss. I wish for them to swap back.”


“Wait… but - you didn’t grant that stuff at the pool.” I said.


“You’re right. I’m just playing with you.” he said, chuckling. “You didn’t actually want that stuff at the pool so I didn’t grant it. I also rolled in your snickers and soda wish into the first one. Plus the change of restaurants.”


“That was you?”


“Yeah, in order to fulfill your first wish, I had to make sure you got Vicky to let her guard down and open up to you, and those roses were not going to cut it. Neither was that French restaurant.”


“So how many wishes do I have left?”


“One.”


I took a deep breath. I thought for a moment I had no wishes left. Something just occurred to me and I looked at Josh.


“Umm. What happens after I use up all of my wishes? I mean, what will happen to you?”


“I grant your wish and return back to the lamp to await a new master,” he said.


“So you can’t stay out of the lamp?”


“Not until I have a new master,” he said. “I’ve actually been out of the lamp for 3 years. Brandon never used his 3. And the current lamp and its predecessor- before you broke it- have been in your possession since then. Give or take a few times, one of your friends picked it up. There was also that wish that I granted to Madison when the girls came over to your place for a potluck.”


“You gave Madison a wish?”


“She didn’t know she wished it. She wished for that sorority to leave them alone. She was confiding in me about the stress they were under. I kinda knocked the lamp over into her lap to allow her to wish for that drama to be over with. I don’t do that for anyone. You and your friends are genuinely good people. And I’ve enjoyed spending the past 3 years with you. I’ll miss you all.”


“Why are you saying that like it’s goodbye?”


“Your third wish will put me back in the lamp.”


“But then someone else can be your master. Nicole or Victor or-”


“Taylor. Sweetie. I don't want to be passed around a group of friends like I was in TK. That was straight up awful. I was with them for 10 years, and they wished for the worst things imaginable.”


“But we’re not them.” I said. “What if we just get you a new master just to let you out? And they make no wishes?”


He chuckled. “Who would you trust to make no wishes?”


I thought for a moment. “Lexi. She’s the most honest down to earth person I know.”


“I do like Lexi.” Josh said. “She would be a fair master.”


“OK then.” I said. “Lexi will let you out.” I texted Lexi and asked her to come over.



* * *


Twenty minutes later there was a knock at my door. I got up and answered it.


Lexi looked at me and her eyes got wide in surprise. “Taylor is it?”


I turned red. “Oh my god, I forgot that-”


“It’s OK.” she said. “Victor told me about Taylor. You are very cute though. And I love that sweater.”


“Thank you” I said blushing.


“So what's up? What’s so urgent?”


Josh came out of his room. “Lexi!” he said. “Good afternoon!”


“Good afternoon, Josh.”


“Umm.” I said. “Lexi, I need to let you in on a secret. Josh is the genie.”


She looked surprised again for the 2nd time in a minute. “Wow, you are full of surprises today. Who else knows?”


“Nobody.” Josh responded. He held Lexi’s hands and looked her in her eyes. “Lexi, various members of TK were my master and were in possession of my lamp for over 10 years. They made me do awful things. I’m hiding from them because I don't want to ever find myself back in that situation again.”


She responded “I can empathize. I’m angry over being under Brandon’s spell for those 2 months. I can’t even imagine the things they made you do.”


“Lexi,” I said. “I called you over because when I make my 3rd wish, Josh will go back to being trapped in the lamp, awaiting the next master. But Josh wants to continue being a student here. So we need a new master to let him out but make no wishes.”


“And you want me to be the next master?” she asked, skeptically.


“Yes.” I responded. “You're the most honest and trustworthy person I know that won’t be tempted by the power.”


She nodded. “And you want this kept a secret so TK doesn't find Josh?”


“Exactly.”


“You know I hate secrets and lying right?”


“I know. But I figured if you knew the reasons, you’d be open to it.”


“Can we just, like, wish for Josh’s freedom?” she said.


“This isn’t a movie.” Josh said. “I actually cannot grant a wish that would alter myself. So you can’t wish for my freedom. You can only give it. And even then, I’ll always be connected with the lamp. It is who I am.”


Lexi nodded. “OK. I accept. So what’s your final wish? Are you going to turn TK into lizards or something?”


I looked down in embarrassment. I just realized the one wish I truly wanted to make was a selfish one. “I… wanted to wish I was a real girl.”


Lexi was silent. She came over to me and gave me a hug. “Oh Taylor.” she said. She embraced me in a hug for a long moment. “What would changing you to a girl entail?”


“I don’t know.” I said. “I’d love to have been born as Taylor.”


“That would require changing a lot of people’s memories.” Josh chimed in.


“You can’t do that.” Lexi quickly responded, disengaging from the hug. “Too many people’s memories have been fucked with over the years. Poor Victor still doesn’t believe his own real memories.”


“It doesn’t matter anyway.” I said shaking, my head. “I shouldn’t use my last wish selfishly.”


“Are you sure?” Lexi asked. “Sure, TK should be punished, but you have a chance to be your true self.”


“Josh reminded me that I can be my true self without magic. That guy assaulted Nicole and Victor and-” I looked at Lexi. She had tears in her eyes. “Oh my god. What did he do to you?”


“Don’t worry about it.” she said. “This is your wish.”


“Lexi?” I probed.


“None of it was consensual.” she said. “I don't want to dwell on it anymore. Make your wish.”


I was silent as I let that sit in the air for a moment. “Josh, how do we get back at them?”


“Well, there’s a lot of them. Not all of TK is bad. Not all of them are rapists.”


“Lexi, what would you like to see happen to them?”


Lexi wiped a hear from her cheek and pondered that for a moment. “I want them to feel what their victims felt. I’d like to see them have to live with the pain and torment that they caused. It doesn’t go away for their victims. It shouldn’t go away for them.”


“I dunno.” I said. “My first wish was made in anger. My second wish was made in guilt. Should my last wish be made in hate?”


“It’s not hate,” Lexi said. “It’s justice. They used magical means to get away with everything. It’s only appropriate to use magic to bring them to justice.”


I looked at Josh. “Josh. What do you think?


“I have a slight bias as well,” he said. “I like Lexi’s suggestion.”


“We don’t have to do this, Ty.” she said. “Wish to be a woman. We’ll figure out a way to not have to screw with people’s memories.”


“Nah.” I said. “Victor asked me not to use a wish to fix our relationship. I should use it to put an end to bad people in high places.”


“Josh,” I said to him. “I wish for every member of TK who has used your powers for evil, to have to constantly re-live the pain and trauma of their victims.”


Josh closed his eyes and reopened them. “It’s done.” He then disintegrated in a cloud of smoke.


Lexi and I looked at each other in amazement. He was gone. Josh was standing right here and now he’s gone.


“This way” I said, leading her to the lamp. I picked it up and handed it to her.


“Do I just rub it?” she asked. She rubbed the beer bottle and another cloud of smoke came from the lap and solidified as Josh.


“That’s the first time I’ve been in this new lamp since you broke the old one.” Josh said, dusting himself off. “Dusty and smells like old beer. Maybe you should break this one and find me something a little classier and cleaner. And bigger. That was cramped.”


“Well, I thought you don’t want to be in there anyway” I said to him.


“I don’t.” he chuckled. He turned to Lexi and bowed. “Mistress Alexis, I’m at your service.”


“Ugh, please call me just Lexi.” she said.


“Hey, you didn't bow and introduce yourself to me.” I said.


Josh shrugged. “I did, you thought I was joking.”


“Fair enough” I said. I turned back to Lexi who was still holding the lamp. “OK. That’s yours. Keep it safe. Don’t make any wishes. There’s someone I need to see.”


* * *


Victor



Nicole and I drove back to campus together. Predictably, Hanna convinced Nicole to stay the entire weekend. There was some studying we needed to do together so Nicole followed me back to my apartment.


I put my bags away and unpacked as Nicole started getting books out.


There was a knock at the door.


“If that’s Dave,” I said from my room. “Tell him I said thanks.”


Nicole got up and checked who was at the door. She gasped.


I heard the gasp and came rushing back. “Who...”


Standing in the threshold was Taylor. The moment I saw her I could feel my heart start racing.


Nicole cleared her throat and she looked at her ex-boyfriend standing there in their feminine identity.


“Hi Taylor,” Nicole said. “I didn’t expect you. Nice to finally meet you.” Nicole turned to me and mouthed a silent “wow.”


“Hi Nicole.” Taylor said, then looked at me. “Victor. I’m glad you’re both here,” she said.


I was still speechless.


“What’s on your mind?” Nicole asked. “Taylor.”


“I’ve decided to remain as Taylor full time.”


“Full time?” Nicole said. “That’s... That’s big. That’s amazing, Taylor.” she turned to me. “Say something, Victor.”


I couldn't get the words out of my mouth. She was my dream girl. She has been since I first laid eyes on PurpleMage. Seeing her at her parents for the first time solidified it. And she’s standing right here in my apartment. I was pushing Tyler away knowing full well that all it took was Taylor to pull me back. “I... I hope you’re not doing this for me...”


“I’m not,” she said. “I’m doing this for me.”


“OK.” I said. “You look amazing.”


She blushed at the compliment. “Victor, I was wondering if you’d like to go to dinner with me tonight.”


“I love you.” I said, then turned red. “I mean… I’d love to.” I looked at Nicole who was standing there between us. She had a pensive look on her face. I thought about the past 3 months, and the conversation I had with Alan and Lindsey. “Wait. I did this wrong last time.” I turned to Nicole. “Nicole, I’d like your blessing to go on a date with your ex.”


Both Taylor’s and my eyes were on Nicole. 


“Just one?” she said.


Both Taylor and I giggled. I turned red in embarrassment.


“Yes.” Nicole said and smiled. “I love you both, and I think you love each other. I’m done standing in your way.”


“See you tonight?” Taylor asked.


“Yes.” Victor said. “Where to?”


“I was thinking about that wing place.” she said. “That was Tyler and Vicky’s first date right? Let’s make it Taylor and Victor’s first date too.”


I think that was technically our second date, but who was I to argue with someone so gorgeous, “Then it’s a date.”


“Bye,” Taylor said to both of us as she turned around and quickly walked away.


* * *


Nicole


I closed the door as Taylor left. Victor quietly sat down but had a very noticeable smile.


“That’s the first time I’ve seen you smile in a long time.” I said.


“It’s just one date.” he said.


“Sure,” I said. “Keep telling yourself that. Last time you two dated you were engaged in 3 months.”


I saw Victor’s smile get bigger.


Watching that scene with Taylor and Victor unfold reminded me of my own romantic needs. I looked down at my books and then Victor. “Vic, I’ll be right back. There’s something I have to do.”


I dashed out the door. I saw Taylor getting into her car. “Taylor, can I get a ride?”


“Where to?” she asked.


* * *



I got out of Taylor’s car and ran to Madison’s apartment. I knocked on the door.


Mads answered and I rushed in, giving her a kiss.


She was surprised at first, but held me tightly as she returned the affection


“Hey girl” she said to me.


“I’m ready.” I said. “I talked about patience last week, but then I realized… I don’t have any patience either.” We both laughed. “I’m done living in the past. I disowned my parents. I’ve given my blessing to Victor and Taylor. I don’t want to wait for tomorrow anymore.”


“Do you want to come in?” she asked. She bit her lips and she looked at me seductively


“Maybe later.” I said. “I promised Victor we’d study. But maybe dinner. Drinks? Dessert?”


Mads laughed. “So you come all the way here, tell me you don’t want to wait anymore and then make me wait?”


I chucked. “I’m Sorry. I promised myself that the first thing I did when I got back to campus was tell you I love you and that I want to be with you.”


She smiled. “I suppose I can wait for tonight for my girlfriend.” She winked at me and I got a warm feeling.


I smiled. 


Hearing Madison call me her girlfriend felt like the best thing in the world.



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Emily

Hi, I'm Emily and I'm writing Gender Transformation Fiction! This site is a place for my to keep all of my stories in one place. I'm also a software developer in the daytime, so this site will also be a proving ground of cool new features that pop into my head. Feel free to message me on Twitter or at my Discord Server! You can also find me on TGStorytime.com and FictionMania.tv.

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Joejedfjsj

Is the second last or third last chapter… And while this crosses out Taylor making any more wishes I still think that this isn’t the last wish dispite the title. Maybe the last chapter will be named the ‘the final, final wish’ or something
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Emily

lol. "the final final final - i really mean it now wish." Maybe i should've named it "Tayler's final wish"
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marter

Aww!! That was lovely!
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Emily

thanks! 3 more chapter left!
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Elron

Is there ^L any kind of line ^P feed that works here?
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Emily

No. I know I promised a rich editor for comments, i just hadnt the time. :(
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Elron

Does the <br> tag work?
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Elron

***** Masquerades 101, Chapter 39 A Review By Elron ***** ***** Chapter 39.1 – Lindsey and Alan ***** This is a very powerful section of the chapter. The ability to forgive is difficult, and requires more maturity than many people possess. Victor seems to have learned a lot from his time in Nicole’s body. I’m sure the closure his meeting with Lindsey and Alan provided will go a long ways towards healing his mental health. Equally as important, if not more so, is the willingness to own up to our behavior and apologize when we have hurt other people. Victor also recognizes his own need to apologize to Lindsey and Alan. I’m glad to see the three of them have taken the first steps towards making up for their transgressions. ***** Chapter 39.2 – Taylor in Public ***** I can’t begin to imagine how hard it would be to go out in public dressed and made up like a woman. I would be absolutely terrified. Taylor’s willingness to go out in public is a huge deal and I admire her courage to show her true self. Every step she takes represents another little victory for her self-confidence. ***** Chapter 39.3 – Taylor and Josh ***** So Taylor wishes to be complete biological girl but the genie talks her out of it; claiming there are more conventional ways to achieve her goal. Then the 3rd wish could be used to punish TK. However, it seems like with a little planning both objectives could be realized. Taylor wishes to be a cis girl. Then turns the lamp over to someone trusted, like Lexi, to make a wish against TK. Or the other way around, it could still work. I gotta give props to the genie, he has certainly gone out of his way to try to help his masters make thoughtful and mature wishes, even if they have not always taken his advice. Only so much you can do. And it was interesting to find out that the genie granted a few side wishes along the way, like Madison’s wish for the sorority to leave them alone. ***** Chapter 39.4 – Taylor and Lexi ***** Oh, boy, to have a genie at my disposal and not use even one wish. Not sure I could handle that. And what about all the times we say “I wish……” without even thinking about it? There needs to be a fail-safe to make sure Lexi doesn’t make a dangerous wish just in passing. ***** Chapter 39.5 – Taylor’s 3rd Wish ***** OK, this is the most important part of the chapter, and the most up for interpretation. “Josh,” I said to him. “I wish for every member of TK who has used your powers for evil, to have to constantly re-live the pain and trauma of their victims.” OK, the first part is easy – identify all the TK members who used the genie for evil purposes. But to constantly relive the pain and trauma of their victims? - For the rest of their lives? - Mentally, emotionally, physically or all three ways? - Some were raped, would that mean they are changed into women and raped themselves? - Some of the rape victims could have gotten pregnant, so do they become women and go through childbirth? - “Constantly relive” does that mean continuously 24/7 rape and torture and maybe pregnancy? - How extensive is the pain and trauma? The victims could be impacted for the rest of their lives, living in fear of being assaulted, affecting relationships, jobs, school. - Courtney. She was a completely innocent guy, wrong place at wrong time, changed into a girl, raped, now has a man and a child. Would that happen to the guy who originally wished for the swap on her? In other words, not just the swap and assault, but forced to live a new life like the one that Courtney was forced into? - Time travel. Some of these attacks occurred years ago, and the instigators are likely well past their prime. Would these punishments be retroactive back to when they first took place, to see that justice was fully carried out on the attackers? And to be clear, I’m not opposed to any of these things. I think in some cases the attackers might be getting off easy compared to the punishments they should be facing. An-eye-for-an-eye is not always as straightforward as it may seem, especially in crimes that carry deep emotional scars. Being turned into lizards might have been preferrable to what the genie just granted to Taylor. I really can’t wait to read how the genie decided to grant this wish. He certainly didn’t seem opposed to the way it was worded. And he didn’t tell Taylor to sleep on it before making the official wish. And finally, I don’t see why Lexi couldn’t wish for Taylor to be a cis girl. Taylor has already been through enough, give her a break. And so the genie now wants better accommodations. Perhaps a champagne bottle? Or how about a ship in a bottle? That way he can truthfully claim he lives on a boat. ***** Chapter 39.6 – Taylor and Nicole and Victor ***** Finally, the 3 main characters get together with no lies, no hidden agendas, no deception. Took them long enough. And to top it off, they are all on good terms with each other. I like how Victor asked for Nicole’s blessing to date Taylor. I am a little surprised Taylor didn’t invite Nicole to go along as well. The three of them have a lot of catching up to do. And Taylor did say she was glad they were both there when she showed up. ***** Chapter 39.7 – Nicole and Madison ***** Nice to see a sense of humor in Nicole. I guess she hasn’t had a lot to smile about in the last three months. It was good to see Nicole come to terms with her true feelings and stop pretending in order to please other people. Nicole was supposed to sweep Madison off her feet, but it was still a good reunion. ***** Chapter 39.8 – Summary ***** Victor made up with Alan and Lindsey. Tyler is in the past. Taylor is here to stay. Taylor, Nicole, and Victor all made up. Nicole and Madison made up. Lexi is the new master (mistress?) of the genie. Tyler’s final wish has been made and granted. The TK evildoers will continuously suffer the pain and trauma they inflicted on others. Excellent chapter, closed up (more like healed up) a bunch of loose ends.
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Emily

When I first introduced the concept of Lindsey and Alan I knew I wanted to see them again at the end. I'm glad they can be a vehicle to help Victor start healing. *** This portion of Taylor's journey was inspired by a song. Sometimes you know you have to make a change and you just have to start moving forward one step at a time. *** I put this conversation between Josh and Taylor here to remind any trans readers that you don't need a genie to be your true gender. Josh makes that point loud and clear, which is why Taylor goes along with Lexi's plan. I think you've already read Chapter 40 so I'll skip over your thoughts on the last wish and maybe address them next chapter :) *** "Finally, the 3 main characters get together with no lies, no hidden agendas" - maybe i should've made a bigger deal of this scene. *** Each one of these characters takes steps forward in this chapter. Maybe that's what I should've named it.
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