Chapter 2

Cate Fox and the Case of the Fading Magic by Emily

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Synopsis: Jack, while in Emma's body, has a new assignment.


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I didn’t sleep well. I tossed and turned all night. My nerves were on high alert from the thought of the Slider breaking into my house. Well, I suppose since he had the keys it wouldn’t be breaking in, would it? But also I couldn’t get comfortable. Every toss, my smooth legs would rub together. Every turn I’d accidentally graze my boobs. Then I occasionally had to spit strands of hair out of my mouth. I wondered how real women handled it.

Then, when I finally got to sleep, I saw her. Emma. 

She was standing there in the Slider’s grip. Gun to her head. “Jack, save me!” she pleaded out loud.

I wanted to tell her I would but I found I couldn’t speak or move. When I looked up she was gone and I was alone. 

When the sun was finally up, I woke up in a state of depression. I realized I wasn’t going to work today. I was powerless to control my fate. I should be helping the department find Emma and the Slider. Instead I was exiled to suburban hell with the Stepfords. Thankfully, I escaped back to my place to get away from them.

I sat up in bed and realized I had to piss again. Jesus, this girl must have a small bladder. I trudged out of bed and used the bathroom again.

While I was draining the lizard… or whatever girls call it… I noticed I smelled kinda ripe. Makes sense. Emma ran away two days ago. If she didn’t shower the other day, I certainly didn’t shower yesterday. Who knows what Emma did the day prior.

I was really hoping I’d be back in my body before I had to do any hygiene with this body. Like all other things this week… that isn’t what happened.

So I turned on the shower to let the water warm up. I shed the T-shirt I slept in, then the panties.

I trudged into the shower and proceeded to do my business. Very quickly I might add. Shampoo, body wash, the usual. When I was done with the shower, at least I smelled like myself.

Like I typically do, I walked out of the bathroom naked. But this time I walked a little faster feeling awkward in this body. I pulled out a pair of my boxers from my dresser and pulled them up to my waist. 

The boxers immediately slid down to the floor. Well, shit.

I stood there awkwardly staring at my boxers down around my ankles. Umm, I'll guess I’ll have to come back to that in a bit. I shifted gears and put on a clean white T-shirt, which felt like a poncho over this petite body. Then I got a pair of shorts and held them up to my waist. These won’t fit either. 

So I got a belt. I pulled up my boxers, held them in place as I pulled up my shorts, tucking the baggy T-shirt underneath them, then pulled the belt as tight as I could go. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked.

I walked by a mirror and realized that my white T-Shirt was, well… white. And a problem I never had before was I could see my very erect nipples right through the shirt.

I know what you’re thinking. “Jack, just put the bra on.” No. F that. I ain’t putting on no bra. I’m going to change back soon. Jack Baker only removes bras. He doesn’t put them on.

So I went back and repeated that process, but this time with a black T-shirt.

Then there was a problem with this wet mop of hair. I grabbed some of it and just let it fall down. Air-dry it is.

After that nice refreshing shower, I made myself a nice breakfast, sat in front of the TV watching whatever counted as daytime television these days. Sometime in the afternoon, I realized it was actually nice outside. So I grabbed a beer from my fridge and walked out onto my front porch.

Which brings us back to the present. 

Predictably, a car pulled into my driveway. It was Chief Hamilton.

He got out of his government-issued vehicle, slowly walked up the creaky step that my ex-wife complained about, onto the porch, and looked down at me.

“Hey Max,” I greeted him, raising my beer bottle for an imaginary toast. “Please tell me you have an update.”

As I went to take a sip, he pulled the bottle out of my hand.

“Yo, what the hell, Max?

“You’re 14, remember?” He then looked at the beer, and took a sip of it.

“I’m 42,” I reminded him.

He chose to ignore that fact and sat down on the adjacent wicker chair. “So. Life at the Kincades’?”

“Sucked. And my own parents set such a high bar, too. I might owe them an apology. If they were still alive.”

“You know, they came back to the department again today to report you running away.”

“Did they, now? Did you tell them their daughter is not their daughter?”

“No, I didn’t, Jack.” He took another sip of beer.

“Hey, aren’t you on duty?” I reached for the beer, but he tugged it out of my reach. Emma’s got short arms.

“Well, my best detective is now a 14-year-old girl. I figured I could use a drink.”

I should really offer him something stronger, then. “You know, age is just a number.”

“That’s a pretty frickin’ low number, Jack. How long were you going to stay here? Were you going to return to the Kincades’? I came here to tell you to go back. I promised the Kincades they’d get their daughter back today.”

I sighed. “Today? I was planning on staying here until you find my body and the Slider. Or until I’m old enough to go back to work. Hopefully the former comes first.” 

“Aren’t your neighbors going to be suspicious of a teenage girl living here all by herself?”

“They’ll get over it. Besides, what are they going to do? Call the police? I can have you over every night - provided you bring beer.”

“Great,” he said, shaking his head. “How would I explain that one to my wife?”

I didn’t have a smart answer to that one. In fact, it only reiterated my situation and made me even more depressed. If I didn't change back, undoubtedly my relationship with my best friend would have to change.

Max took another sip and sat straight up. “So, I may have a solution.”

“Hey, I’m all ears.”

“What did you think of Headmaster Hathaway?”

“She’s not really your type. You should stick with your wife.”

“That school she’s headmaster of. It’s a special school for kids who… how’d she put it? For people who have been ‘Tee-gee'd’. In other words they have had their gender involuntarily changed.”

“Involuntarily? So her school is a school for boys who are now girls? Do the politicians know about this?”

“I doubt it.”

“So, what does this have to do with me?”

“I’d like to send you in there undercover.”

“Ha!” I laughed. “Me? Undercover at an all-girls school?”

“Jack, have you looked in a mirror lately?”

“No. It’s a bad idea. Me and school don’t mix. Hell, me and women are a volatile mixture.”

“It’s this or back to the Kincades’. You can’t stay here.”

I mulled over that for a moment. I then reached over and successfully grabbed my beer back from him and took a swig. “Fuck. What’s the job?”

“Ms. Hathaway wants to put your talents to work.”

“My talents? She wants me to marry and divorce all of the girls at school? That could take years.”

“No, Jack. Your detective skills.”

“I knew that. I was kinda hoping she was after my sharp cunning wit.”

“She didn’t give me details. But it involves missing students.”

“Has she alerted the local authorities? I know they’re in the boonies, but even the boonies have a sheriff.”

“I get the feeling that Ms. Hathaway doesn’t like any outside contact. The fact I got her to come check you out was a miracle.”

“How did you meet her?”

“You are not going to believe me.”

“Um, hello,” I said, motioning at my body. “My change of perspective has opened my eyes to the unbelievable.”

“OK. Back when I was on the beat, I saw something I wasn’t supposed to see. Something similar to your case.”

“I’m listening.”

“I was called to a disturbance at a biker bar, and when I got there it was already over, but they said a drunk belligerent patron was bothering a group of women. The patron was tossed outside before I got there. I saw no sign of him, but I did hear crying from the alley. I found a teenage girl around your age.”

“I’m 42.”

After an annoyed glance in my direction, Max continued, “When I asked her questions, she kept repeating - much like you are doing now - that she was a man. A 28-year-old man. She couldn’t find her bike. She was apologetic about causing the girls any trouble. And get this. She called the group of girls in the bar ‘witches’.”

“Are you sure she didn’t say ‘bitches’?”

“I thought that at first too, so I took her to the station and we attempted to find her parents. Instead - Ms. Hathaway shows up. Now granted this was years ago. She then tells me she will handle it.”

“What then?”

“She convinces me she’ll help that girl. Because she runs a special school just for girls like that. Well, she leaves with the girl, but leaves me with her number as a sign of good faith.”

“And did you hear back from her?”

“Until yesterday, no.”

“What happened to the belligerent biker? Did anyone find him? What happened to the girl?”

“The biker hasn’t been heard from again. I’m not sure what happened to the girl. Presumably she went to Hathaway’s school.”

“Do you think the biker and the girl are the same person?”

“Then? No. I was skeptical. Pure coincidence. But after yesterday… I dunno anymore.”

I mulled over that story. It sounded far-fetched. There had to be a reasonable, logical explanation for it all. But again, I’m no longer in my own body anymore, so the idea that this is more common made me kinda interested. I like mysteries and challenges. This also might be a good way to keep my mind off my situation. “OK, I’m in. What about the Kincades?”

“That’s where I’m going next. I need to make sure this is their idea. To send you away to boarding school.” Max reached over and took back the beer.

“Good luck. I’m sure they'll be humiliated if they have to tell their bridge club they had their daughter sent away to boarding school.”

Max chucked. “Maybe they’ll just deny they had a daughter at that point.” He took another long drink and finished the beer, handing me the empty bottle. “Thanks for the beer, Jack.”

“Ass,” I said. “That was my last beer. And I won’t be able to go to the beer store like this.”

“Not for another seven years. Tell you what, I’ll buy you a 12-pack if you solve this case and you’re back in your old body.”

“Deal - I’m gonna hold you that, Max.”

* * *

A few hours later, Max came back to pick me up. I had considered packing some of my personal belongings and taking them with me, but as I scanned my house I really didn't have much to take with me. Cheryl took almost everything after the divorce. None of my clothes fit. I did, however, pack a bag with Emma’s dirty clothes. I also hid my Glock inside.

When he dropped me off at the Kincades’, Mr. and Mrs. were pissed beyond belief. Not that I could blame them. Their daughter ran off - twice. 

Mrs. Kincade commented on my hair and attire. “What are you wearing? What did you do to your hair? It’s so flat and frizzy.”

I shrugged. “I used shampoo.”

During their yelling and lecturing I considered running away one more time for good measure. But then I’d have to sit and listen to Max ream me out too. And trust me. When Chief Hamilton gets pissed, the whole precinct pays the price.

Then the Kincades started talking about boarding school. Apparently they got this brilliant idea to ship me off to this exclusive all-girls school for troubled teens. Puellae Aurora Academy. I wonder where they got that idea. I also wondered if they knew the true nature of the school in question. Kudos to Max for pulling this off.

After that, they forced me to get changed and out of the ‘hobo shit’ I was wearing. I resented that. I rather liked this shirt and shorts. I shed the shorts for a pair of Emma’s sweatpants and the shirt for one of Emma’s T-shirts with the logo of a lacrosse camp on it. I didn’t switch out of my boxers, which were being held up by the sweatpants and I did not put a bra on - much to the chagrin of Mrs. Kincade. She dropped the matter when she realized she was shipping me off to boarding school in the morning where I’d be someone else’s problem.

I spent the rest of that night in Emma’s room packing her suitcase. I paced back and forth unsure what to actually pack. 

Good news - everything in Emma’s closet and dresser fit me. Bad news - it was all girl’s clothes.

I settled on the basics and started to create a pile on the bed. T-shirts. Jeans. Sneakers. Socks. 

Then the part I was avoiding. Underwear. I counted out five pairs of panties and five bras and tossed them onto the clothes pile.

I took my Glock out of the bag I brought from my house, wrapped it in a T-shirt, and shoved it into the clothes pile.

I then stuffed the pile of clothes into the suitcase.

Mrs. Kincade came into the bedroom to give me a framed photo of the family to bring with me to boarding school. I instead shoved it into a drawer as soon as she left the room.

* * *

I had the same dream last night. Emma was calling for help, and what was I doing? Nothing. I am going to some school in the sticks. I should be on the case searching for her. 

Early in the morning, we loaded up Mr. Kincade’s car and we set off for Puellae Aurora Academy. 

No, I did not shower. No, I did not put a bra on. I got dressed in a T-shirt and jeans from the suitcase. The outline of my bunched up boxers were visible through these jeans. Don’t get me wrong - I love seeing a pair of skinny jeans on women. But for some reason, I regret putting those on this morning. It’s not like I had any other choice. It was this or one of Emma’s dresses, skirts, or leggings.

I was quiet so as to not poke the bears in the front seats. Clearly they didn’t appreciate my brand of snark, and I just wanted to get through this trip without triggering an argument.

The silence continued as I stared out the window from the backseat. It brought me back to my own childhood. Forced to go on family road trips out west. I watched the scenery change from suburbia to rural farmland.

To Mrs. Kincade’s credit, she did try to lighten the mood by bringing up fun moments from her memories of Emma’s childhood. I question whether Emma had the same fondness for those moments. Maybe she did. I wish I could have that conversation with her. Maybe I will soon enough.

I envisioned what I would say to Emma. Maybe we could bond over our dislike of her parents.

Hours later, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, we came to the entrance to Puellae Aurora Academy. I wonder who’s idea it was to put a genderbent school in the middle of rural America.

The school itself was of a gothic design, looking like it was hundreds of years old. I wonder if the school’s been around that long or did they just build it and distress the walls and pillars to make it look that old. The ‘distressed look’ is all the rage these days.

We got out of the car and I noticed students dressed in school uniforms staring at us. The uniforms were primarily navy blue and white with accents of pink and baby blue. Oh, shit. This school does uniforms. Is it too late to turn around? I retrieved my suitcase from the trunk of the car and glanced back at them. Wait a second. One of those students was a boy. I turned to look back at where the boy was standing and instead it was a girl. Weird.

We started walking and I followed the Kincades up the steps and into the administration building.

We were greeted almost immediately by Headmistress Hathaway. She wore a business suit similar to the one from earlier in the week. I wonder if she ever relaxes.

“Mr. and Mrs. Kincade, it’s so nice to finally meet you.” She firmly shook their hands and then looked at me with a knowing smile. “And you must be Emma.”

I nodded at her. I had a role to play, so I kept quiet.

Mrs. Kincade scolded me for my silent acknowledgement. “Emma, that’s not the proper way to introduce yourself.”

Just as I was about to open my mouth, Ms. Hathway interjected. “Oh it’s certainly fine dear. All of our new students tend to be shy. Don’t worry, we’ll help her find her way.” She then looked at me and winked.

Ms. Hathaway would do great at “good cop, bad cop.”

We followed the headmistress to her office where the three of us took our seats in front of Ms. Hathaway’s desk.

“Welcome to Puellae Aurora Academy.” Ms. Hathaway announced. “The Girls of Dawn. This academy offers a new beginning for many of the students h-”

“I read the brochure,” Mr. Kincade rudely interrupted. “Do you get a lot of runaways here?”

“We do,” the headmistress affirmed.

“And how do you keep them in?”

“We don’t,” Ms. Hathaway said bluntly.

“Come again?” Mr. Kincade looked like he was starting to have second thoughts about this school.

“Mr. Kincade, students are allowed to roam the campus during non-school hours. Of course we have a curfew. They are also allowed to travel into town. Again, there’s a curfew. We believe in giving our students the independence to find themselves.”

Oh, snap. Did she just tell the Kincades they are shitty parents?

“Our daughter is a runaway, Ms. Hathaway. Twice.”

“Your daughter, Emma, like other students who were habitual runaways, will learn very quickly that this school is a safe space for them. We give them freedom. They always come back.”

I wish I had popcorn. I was enjoying seeing Ms. Hathaway and Mr. Kincade have a battle of words. My money is on the headmaster. She clearly is used to irate parents waltzing in here like they own the place.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Kincade were nodding their heads. Maybe they had an epiphany that they’ve been going about this whole parenting thing wrong? But I couldn’t tell. They could just be nodding to get out of here.

“I think it’s time you both head out,” the headmistress said. “Emma, darling, I’d like to have a private meeting with you.”


The Kincades nodded again, shook her hand, said their goodbyes, hugged me, then left.

When it was just me and the headmistress, I casually leaned back in my chair. “So was that safe space mumbo-jumbo pure bullshit?” 

“No, detective. You’ll learn that you can be whatever you want to be here.”

“Sounds like bullshit to me.”

She handed me a brochure. “This is our real brochure. We need to have a separate one just for unaccepting parents or parents that don’t know their child has transformed, like the Kincades.”

I took the brochure and it featured a lot of smiling teenage girls.

Inside it read, “Welcome to Puellae Aurora Academy! PAA is an exclusive high school for students who have recently undergone gender transformation - commonly referred to as having been TG’d. At Puellae Aurora, we will take great care of your daughter, son, or nonbinary teenager. In addition to our excellent academic track record, your teen will learn what it means to be a TG, and how to best adapt to a less-tolerant outside world. Our students are given space and freedom to become productive, capable, and sociable young adults-”

I stopped reading. “Yeah, this is all great and all, but I’m here to solve a case.”

“Jack - or Emma - may I call you Emma?”

“No, you may not. I’m Jack Baker. Emma ran away and is currently a missing person. Hopefully still alive, I might add. She would be if I was on the case. Hopefully she’s not dead in a ditch somewhere.”

“You like being in control, don’t you, detective?”

“I like to think I generally have control over most situations.”

“And when the Hopper had a gun to your missing person?”

“I would’ve taken them both in if he didn’t do whatever he did to us.”

“Fair enough, detective. But you are going to need a new name starting now.”

“I thought you said I could be anything I wanted to be.”

“You can’t be a cop. Nobody should know you’re a cop. Students here have a natural and understandable fear of today’s law enforcement. In fact, everything we say here is between you and me. If you get in trouble during your investigation, I cannot help you and will deny this conversation ever happened.”

“So, I should expect no help here.”

“I will help where I can. But if you go around telling people you’re a cop, you’ll both derail your investigation and find you have no allies.”


“So, as I was trying to say. This school will help you adjust to your new life.”

“My new life? I’m still expecting Chief Hamilton to stroll through here and pick me up and take me to my old body.”

“Detective,” she said with a sigh. “Jack. You’re a Displaced - a victim of a Body Hopper. Rarely are the Displaced returned to their original bodies. Not because it’s impossible, but because they hop so much. Do you really think this Hopper is going to stay in the body of a detective for very long? Most likely they’ve already ditched your body and are in another.”

That was a sobering thought that I wasn’t ready to accept. “You asked me to come here. So what can you tell me about this school? About your missing students?”

“Throwing yourself at your job to cope with loss. I can respect that. Would you like to talk about it?”

I ignored her attempts to talk about my feelings. “I thought this was an all-girls school. The brochure said it wasn’t.”

She nodded. “I’ll schedule you a therapist.”

I rolled my eyes.

“The brochure is right, it’s not an all-girls school,” she finally admitted.

“It’s not?”

“It’s a school for people who have involuntarily had their gender changed. Some are boys, too. We also have several nonbinary students. Although girls greatly outnumber enbies and boys, which is what gives that impression of an all-girls school.”

“Are they all umm... displaced… like me?”

“Oh, no. Body hopping is actually rare. Many of our students were changed through biological or magical means.”

“Whoa, did you just say magic? Like hocus-pocus shit?”

“Yes, I did, Jack.”

“So the chief was right. Witches exist.”

“Yes. There are many victims of witchcraft here. It’s a rather common way to get transformed, I might add.”

“OK. So, what can I do for you?”

“Well, part of this is for you. Since you are a Displaced, you’re actually better off here, than at your parents.”

Emma’s parents.”

“A 42-year-old cop in a 14-year-old girl’s body is going to cause a lot of trouble at home and school.”

“I really wasn’t planning on going to school. Why would I? I graduated over 15 years ago.”

“Jack, you seem to think this is a normal high school. It isn’t. This is a school for victims of gender transformation. Some of them are victims of age regression - just like you. There are some students here who are older than you.”

“Then… what exactly are you teaching here?”

“How to reintegrate with society. How to cope with the loss of their previous life. Gender studies. Understanding what happened to you. Sure we have reading, writing, and arithmetic too - mostly just so we can keep a state accreditation.”

“You’re full of surprises, Judy.”

“That’s Headmistress or Ms. Hathaway,” she corrected.

I smirked. I didn’t like being corrected or treated like a kid.

“As Chief Hamilton no doubt has told you, you're here because we have some missing students.”

“So, that was bullshit. You do have runaways.”

“I’m convinced they’re not runaways, detective. They were excellent students who were adjusting well here.”

“When I talk to parents of runaways, they say the same exact thing. Maybe they just wanted to go home.”

“I highly doubt that. Your chief says you're one of his best detectives, so I’ll leave the rest to you.”

“The chief knows talent.”

“Before I take you to your dormitory, you need to pick a new name. You don’t have to use Emma, but you cannot use Jack Baker.”

“Way to put me on the spot. It’s hard work coming up with a name. So I’ve been told before.”

“You can always change it later.”

“John Doe.”

She both sighed and rolled her eyes. “A feminine name.”

“Jane Doe.”

The headmistress did not seem amused. 

I may have pushed one too many buttons. Maybe I should think of the first female name to come to my mind. “My ex-wife’s name is Cheryl.”

“I don’t recommend you name yourself after a former lover.” She said, starting to sound frustrated. “You don’t have any women you admire or look up to?”

“No. My parents - rest in peace - were like the Kincades. Well, they weren’t that bad. But we went our separate ways when I graduated and joined the academy.”

“So you have no female role models?”

“I’m a man, why would I? Alright, alright. My father’s sister. She was a cop too. She was the reason I wanted to be a cop. When I was a kid, she was like a superhero. But I rarely saw her because she didn’t get along with my dad. Her name was Cate. With a C.”

“Do you want to be called Cate with a C?”

“I dunno. It’s kinda girly.”

“That’s the point, Cate. You’re a girl. At this school, we’ll teach you how to be a girl.”

“You said I could be anything, right? Can’t I just be a guy?”

“Not for the first year. If you wish to be transgender, that can be arranged next year.”

“Fine, I’m not going to be here for a year.”

“Last name?”

I tried to think of a good last name that comes after “Cate.” “Umm.. Cate Spade?”


I quickly ran through last names in my head.  Most of them I hated.  If I were to pick a new last name, I’d want it to be cool. Like action hero cool.  Single syllable. Like James Bond or Sherlock Holmes. Maybe an animal. “Fox. Cate Fox.” Yes.  That’ll work.

She chuckled. “You are a glutton for punishment.” She started typing something on her computer. “OK Miss Fox, let's get you your student ID then show you to your dormitory.”

I bristled at being called “Miss.” “Hey, the missing students. What are their names? I have an investigation to start.”

“Miss Fox, if I give you the names and you start asking around, you’ll be suspicious.”

“Lady, I know how to be an undercover detective.”

“That’s Headmistress, Miss Fox. You’re a student here now, and starting at this moment you must start acting like one. And if you forget that, we do have disciplinary methods here. Now, let’s go.”

What the fuck did I get myself into?

* * *

Ms. Hathaway led me outside the administration building and across a grassy quad. I was staring at my new student ID. Emma’s face with the name “Cate Fox, Freshman” printed underneath it. I have a hard time accepting that this is me for the foreseeable future. I attempted to slide the ID card into my jeans pocket but realized the pocket wasn’t deep enough.

Students continued to stare at me. Normally I have a tough exterior, but I’m not used to a whole bunch of teenagers staring me down.

“Why are they staring?” I asked the headmistress.

“They’re curious about the new girl.”


“And, you're not wearing a uniform.”

“Right. That makes sense.”

“Or a bra.”

I rolled my eyes as we reached another building.

“This is Cooper Hall. This will be your building for this academic year.”

We entered through a set of heavy wooden doors. Yet another gothic building. I looked around at the ornate details.

When the headmistress reached the stairs I noted, “No elevator?”

“This building was built in the 13th century, Miss Fox.”

“Wait, how did a 13th century building end up in the middle of rural America?” “Your situation is evidence that not everything makes sense to the outside world.”

“Right. What happens if you have someone with a disability?”

“Are you always this contrary?”

“Well, I’m just observant. Remember I’m a detect-”

“No, you’re a student, remember.”


We walked up the stairs and I made sure the wheels of Emma’s rollerboard suitcase smacked on each step. After we reached the fourth floor, I followed her down the hall to room 403.

The headmistress knocked on the door. 

A feminine voice answered, “Come in.”

We walked into the room and were greeted not only by sunshine from the window, but bright yellow walls and girly decorations everywhere.

I think we walked into the wrong room.

The girl who answered was sitting on a bed. “Oh my God!” she rejoiced. “Is this my new roommate?”

Whoa, chica. Let’s dial it down.

“Miss Blake, this is Cate Fox,” the headmistress introduced me.

“Hi Cate Fox,” Bubbly said. “I’m Sophia Blake. I'm so thrilled to meet you. Welcome to Cooper Hall! We're going to have so much fun!” she gushed as she sprang from the bed like it was Christmas morning.

Sophia Blake with her voluminous blonde hair stood there in the sunlight, dressed in the academy’s uniform with yellow knee-high socks and matching yellow arm warmers.

This is my roommate? I backed away. “No. I can’t do this. This is too much.” 

Ms. Hathway grabbed my arm before I could turn around and run. “You will do this.”

“It’s OK,” Sophia said, holding my hand. “I was like you last year. Don’t worry, I’ll go slow.”

“I’ll leave you two alone to get acquainted,” the headmistress explained. “Miss Fox, before the day is out, come back to the administration building for your uniform and class schedule.” She then closed the door behind her leaving me alone with Sunshine Bear.

“So, what’s your story, Cate?” Sophia asked.

“I’m a… what did Ms Hathaway call it? Displaced,” I explained. “I don’t expect to be here long.”

“Oh, wow,” she remarked. “We don’t see many Displaceds. So what were you? Devoted husband? Construction worker? Salesman? 62-years-old, nearing retirement?”

“None of that. 42. Divorced.”

“What did you do?”

I knew I wasn’t supposed to say cop, so I said the next best thing. “Firefighter.”

“Oh, wow. How many lives did you save?”


“That’s so cool.”

“What's your story… Sophia?”

“Well I was the IT support for this school for a few years. I was 30 years old. Zero direction. Last year, a teacher befriended me while fixing her computer. She gave me a cupcake to eat. It didn’t sit well with me. I felt like I had the flu. My body was on fire. I tried to drive home, but instead passed out in the nurse’s office. When I woke up I was a girl.” Sophia grabbed her own chest. “I’ve grown a little since last year.”

“That sounds like the worst case of food poisoning ever.”

“I know, right? The teacher was fired for improper use of magic on school grounds.”

I shook my head at magic again. “Could you have changed back?”

“I talked to the fired teacher. She said she was doing that for my own benefit. She convinced me to enroll. To give my life a second chance.”

“So you could’ve changed back to a guy?”

“If I wanted to. But the guy I was, he was a loser. I’m a sophomore here and life is so much better. I’m acing my classes, I've got lots of friends. And now I have a totally awesome roommate.”

I guess my reputation precedes me. “I can’t deny that last part. Did that teacher perform a lobotomy as well? You seem much too bubbly to be an IT guy. The ones I’ve met are total pricks.”

“Cate, I hated my former life. So much. That teacher saw that and gave me a lifeline.”

“Where can I get one of those cupcakes?”

“She occasionally reaches out to me to see how I’m doing. I forgave her. But she moved away anyway to find a new job.” Sophia paused and sniffed. “You smell like my grandfather. Is that Old Spice?”

I shrugged.

“We’re gonna need to fix that.” Sophia said, pulling out a basket from under her bed. She tossed me a light blue deodorant stick.

“Oh, I don't know,” I said.

“It’s unused. We can always go to the store later if you’re worried about paying me back.”

“I just didn’t want to smell like…” I looked down at the stick’s label. “Vanilla and Jasmine.”

“Put that on. Then I’ll show you around campus!” she said excitedly.

I popped the lid off the deodorant and begrudgingly reached under my shirt to apply it. I tossed the deodorant onto the neatly made bed that must be mine. 

Sophia wasn’t taking no for an answer and held the door for me. I walked through the door, ready to see what hell looks like.



Hi, I'm Emily and I'm writing Gender Transformation Fiction! This site is a place for me 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 and

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