Chapter 19

Cate Fox and the Case of the Fading Magic by Emily

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An hour later, there was a quiet knock on my door. I got up from the bed and checked the peephole to make sure it was Brett and Kayla. I walked into the hallway and closed the door behind me. It was quiet in the dorm at this late hour.

“What the hell Fox?” Kayla said. “It’s late. We have class in the morning.” Subtlety was not her strong suit.

“Hey, keep it down, everyone has class in the morning,” I whispered. Kayla was not amused, but nonetheless I persisted. “This evening a guy came into our room and attacked Sophia.”

“Oh my God, is she OK?” Brett asked, his eyes wide with shock.

“She’s pretty shaken up. We fear her magic might fade, like the other sophomores. What do you know about Jamie? She was at our dorm before this happened.”

“Were Jamie? She’s a nice girl. During the full moon, James is dating Sophia. She couldn’t possibly hurt her. Besides, the full moon isn’t for another couple weeks. Could this boy have been a shifter?”

“Wrong color eyes.”

“And you think he’s a Were?”

“Most boys on campus are either Shifters or Weres.”

“Or Swappers,” Kayla added. “What did he look like?”

“15 or 16. Black hair.”

Brett thought for a moment. “Only a few Weres match that description,” he replied.

“Just ask around in the morning,” I snapped.

“I will, Cate. Are you OK?”

“No.” There’s no need to rehash the enormous amount of pressure I find myself in.

“That sucks about Sophia,” said Kayla. “What do you want from us?”

“Sam and I have a plan to lure the person responsible for the fading magic out. Kayla, I need you to spend the night here and watch over Sophia.”


“I need to know she’s safe. I’ll return in a few hours. Oh, and I need to borrow your car.”

“My car? What for?”

“Brett and I are going to jailbreak someone.”

“Sounds like fun,” Brett smiled.

Kayla shook her head and handed me her key ring then quietly walked into my room, mumbling “You owe me.”

I started walking down the hall and Brett followed me. We walked out of the dorm towards the student parking lot.

“Brett, have you ever been to a nursing home?” I figured if we were going in to kidnap someone, we should know what we were up against.

“Yeah,” he replied. “I have this Normie friend whose mother was in one after she broke her hip. We visited her all the time while she was recovering.”

“Is there a lot of security?”

“The place she was in was like a prison. Constant bed checks, ankle monitors, guards. I think they made license plates on craft day.”


Once we got Kayla’s car, we headed to the nursing home. On the way, I filled Brett in on the plan, which was shaky at best, then texted Sam that we were on our way. I find it best in these situations to ‘just wing it’. When you stick to a rigid plan, you’re unable to adapt when shit hits the fan.

When we got to the nursing home, we headed over to the west exit, where Sam had texted us to meet her.

A male nurse was standing at the door. He saw us and used his badge to let us in.

“Sam?” I asked to confirm his identity.

“Yes. Shh. Be quiet.” She said as she held the door open for us.

We walked in and Sam led us to Ashley’s room. We arrived to find Ashley awake, but staring blankly at the ceiling.

Sam opened a folded wheelchair and wheeled it to the side of the bed. “You two handle Ashley. I’ll be at the door.” Sam shifted into another nurse. This time a tall woman. And stood guard at the door while pretending to examine the clipboard hung nearby.

I pulled off Ashley’s sheets. “Brett, get on the other side and get her other arm.”

Brett and I lifted her out of bed and onto the wheelchair.

“Sam, do you need these clothes?”

“No, she’s got spare clothes in the drawer,” Sam replied. “OK, let's go.” She shifted back into the male nurse and we followed her into the hallway.

She badged the door unlocked again and held it open. “Quick!”

We wheeled Ashley out into the night, and Sam closed the door behind us.

As we were heading back to the car, Brett asked, “Where are we going to take her?”

This was the ‘wing it’ part of my plan. I needed a place I could trust to be safe, but also supervised. “Um, how about your place?”

“My place? I thought you had this all planned out.”

“I have nowhere else to stash her.”

“Fine,” Brett said. He pulled out his phone and texted something.

“What are you texting?”

“I’m letting my roommate know I’m bringing a girl home and to not be there,” he chuckled. “It’s not a lie.”

I thought about that for a moment. I never met his roommate. “Did you do that with me?”

Brett turned red. “I uh…”

“Sam is right, you Weres are players.”

“We are not,” Brett protested.

We parked back on campus, and discreetly wheeled Ashley into Colby Hall and to Brett’s room. Then we laid her down in Bretts bed. The same bed where Brittany and I were intimate. That was only two weeks ago, right?

“Where should I stay?” Brett asked.

“Here.” Someone needs to keep an eye on her. At least until the afternoon. I walked to the door then turned around to face Brett. “Thank you, Brett.”

He nodded, and I fled back to my dorm. 

When I got back to my room, both girls were sound asleep. Kayla was sleeping in my bed, so I crawled back into bed with Sophia. I needed to get a little shut-eye myself. I was amped and anxious for what the morning would bring.

* * *

I didn’t get much sleep as I spent most of the night running over different scenarios on how today could go down. So it was no surprise to me that I was quasi conscious when Sophia’s alarm went off. To my surprise, Sophia didn’t get up. Maybe it was because I was between her and the clock? I heard Kayla grunt. So I got up and turned it off.

“Thank you,” Sophia whispered, eyes still closed. Or maybe she was too depressed to get up?

“What time is it?” Kayla asked.


“I need to get home and shower for class,” Kayla mumbled.

“Thank you. I owe you one.”

“You’re damn right you do.” She slowly trudged to the door scratching her ass, and walked out of the room. Yup, subtle.

I checked my phone. There was a text from Sam.

“We’re a go!” she said. “The staff are overjoyed. I expect they’ll be calling the school shortly. The food here sucks.”

I then texted Brett to make sure everything is OK at his place.

He responded, “She’s alive and breathing.”

Great, now it’s time to set our plan in motion.

I sat with Sophia for a few minutes and hung my head. The longer I stayed here, the angrier I got. I was sure that it was only a matter of time before Sophia’s magic started to fade. I wanted to strike back against whoever or whatever is doing this. Now it’s hit too close to home. “Soph, it’s time to get up,” I said, gently nudging her shoulder.

She groaned and finally got out of bed.

I have lots of things to do this morning before class starts, so I opted to skip my shower, put on yesterday’s uniform, and leave.

* * *

As I was walking through the quad, I was racking my brain on who could’ve been the attacker. I was trying to think through my anger. I needed to set our plan in motion. 

I made my way to the Administration Building. My first stop was the uniform lady.

I waltzed into the bookstore and to the uniform section. She recognized me immediately. “Cate Fox, fancy seeing you in here. Are you back for more skirts?”

I forced a chuckle. Not a chance in hell. “I came to get another pair of chinos.”

“Sure thing, dear.”

As I looked for my size, I decided to start the rumor. “I heard Ashley Tart is coherent and talking again.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful,” she said. “I heard you had a pretty interesting few weeks.”

“That’s…an understatement.” I picked out the chinos I wanted and brought them up to her.

She rang me up, put the pants into a bag and added it to whatever account that gets billed to. “Have a good day, Cate.”

“You too.” I walked out of the bookstore carrying my bag.

My next stop was to see Hathaway. I marched to the Headmistress’s office. I saw her there sitting at her desk. I knocked on the door to get her attention.

She looked up. “Detective, what can I do for you?”

“What? No ‘Miss Fox?’”

“You’ve worn out your welcome and my patience. You’re only here because to my surprise you’ve actually made friends who vouched for you.”

I held up the small metallic disk I found in my room. “What is this?”

She took it from me and examined it. A curious smirk formed on her face. “It looks like a piece of jewelry.”

“Someone came into my room and attacked my roommate last night. They dropped that.”

“Did you call campus security?” she asked without a hint of emotion.

“No. Why the fuck would I do that?”

“You're angry. Sit down, Miss Fox.”

“You’re damn right I’m angry.”

“Sit. Down.” There’s some emotion. Guess she’s not a robot after all.

I pulled up a chair and sat down in front of her.

“Anger doesn’t suit you, detective. I suggest we sit here in silence for a minute while you calm down.”

Did she just put me in a timeout? We sat there in silence for a minute. I tapped my foot impatiently. 

She examined the circular disk in her hand. As she twirled it, light reflected off its shiny surface. 

As I sat there, my mind was working overtime trying to make sense of it all. Then I remembered the conversation I had last night about the Order of the Dawn that got cut short. I wonder if Hathaway heard that story. “Hey - do you know about the Order of the Dawn?” I asked to break the silence.

She looked at me with a raised eyebrow. “Of course I do. Ordo Aurorae established this academy.”

That took me by surprise. “They did?”

“Yes, The Order of the Dawn founded the Dawn of the Girl Academy.”

“I’m not really into Spanish.”

“Latin, Miss Fox.”

“OK. Fine. I’m listening.”

“This academy used to be all young women who had previously been males. It was set up to help them embrace their femininity and adapt to a very male-dominated world. The founders were called Ordo Aurorae. In addition to founding this institution, they were the protectors of the people within these walls from those outsiders who didn’t or couldn’t understand their plight. They continue to protect these girls to this day.”

“Yeah, right. I haven’t seen any Order. And they certainly aren’t doing their job.”

Miss Hathway put her hand on her suit's lapel. On her lapel was a pin of a sunrise - or a sunset. One couldn’t be too sure of the direction of the sun.

“Wait - You’re part of the Order?” I asked.

“I am. My job is to protect these students from magic.”

“Then why the fuck aren’t you doing anything?”

“Language, Miss Fox. I brought you in here, didn’t I? You found Ashley Tart. Now you’re looking for her accomplices.”

“Wait- accomplices? She’s the victim. Someone did that to her. 

“Magic is illegal, Miss Fox. Miss Tart knew that. It’s clear she had help. Therefore she had one - if not more - accomplices. Whoever her accomplice is has evaded me at every chance. That’s why you were brought in.”

“Is that why you haven’t helped her?”

“We can’t. Magic is illegal. Even to fix magic.”

“But you said the Order uses magic?”

“Only to support our goals of protecting our students.”

“How is leaving Ashley Tart in a nursing home to wither away and die, ‘protecting’ her?”

“Like I said, Miss Tart and whoever her accomplices are, used magic and are now facing the consequences of that decision. That is her punishment.”

“So Ashley is being banished for practicing magic, and being in a nursing home in a vegetative state is her punishment?”

“A prison of her own making. Besides, we’re keeping an eye on her, just in case her accomplice tries to help her. We know you went back to the nursing home to see Kathy Norris yesterday.”

My head was spinning from this revelation. I sure hope she didn’t realize we returned after that to steal the real Ashley and use Sam as a decoy. “But what about the other girls? Lulu and Brandi. They had nothing to do with that.”

“It’s a shame. We want to catch the culprit before any more students get affected.” 

“Was Sophia’s mother - the teacher - part of the Order?”

“Yes, Mrs. Vansi is a member of the Order.”

“Is? So she wasn’t kicked out of the Order? Just the school?”

“Yes. The order can use magic. But school policy is - not at school, or not around outsiders. Mrs. Vanci did both.”

“So this whole time, you had the power to help these kids with magic and you did nothing?”

I do not practice magic. Some in the Order do. Magic is dangerous in the wrong hands. Miss Tart is the prime example of that.”

“So you said. Who decides who is right and who is wrong?”

“We do.”

“You fucking hypocrites!”

“Language, Miss Fox! Don’t make me have to say it again.”

“No. Fuck this. Here I was thinking you brought me in here to help these girls. You were using me to track down people you disagree with.”

“That’s not true. If you’re done with your allegations and hysterics, Miss Fox, I do have other matters to attend to.”

I stood up and stormed out of the Headmistress’s office without saying another word. 

I found a seat in the Administration Building to collect my thoughts. At this point I had this feeling she knew more than she was letting on. Fuck, I never took the disk back. She still had it firmly in her hands when I left. Somehow I got the feeling she recognized it. A minute later I saw Hathaway speed-walk out of her office and out the door. 

I tailed her and watched her ride off in a golf cart. That’s when I decided to follow her.

* * *

I did my best to follow the headmistress on her golf cart. I had to jog a good bit through campus. Good thing this body is in shape. My old body would’ve been 200 yards behind me weezing. When I saw her golf cart turn onto the road labeled “Faculty Housing,” I had a good idea where she was headed.

I saw the golf cart parked outside the Barnese’s residence, so I slowly crept up to the house and knelt down near an open window. I could hear arguing and yelling coming from inside.

It sounded like Hathway was yelling at someone. She was accusing them of something.

That’s when Hathaway barged out of the house. I quickly ducked and she didn’t see me as she angrily walked to her golf cart. 

I waited until the golf cart disappeared down the street before I got up and knocked at the door.

The door opened and I saw Mrs. Barnes standing there. She looked irate, yet surprised to see me. “Fox? What are you doing here?”

“I came to apologize to you and your husband,” I replied contritely. “May I come in?”

She grimaced and reluctantly opened the door wider to let me in.

Mr. Barnes was standing there in the living room, looking just as irate from whatever transpired with the headmistress. He put his hands on his hips and waited for me to say my part.

“I came by to apologize for what happened last week. To both of you. I didn’t mean for that to go down that way.”

“Apology accepted, Thank you for stopping by,” Mrs. Barnes said, holding the door open, hinting that I should go.

I wasn’t ready to leave yet though. “Where’s your daughter? Ella is it? I suppose I should apologize to her too.”

“It’s Friday morning, Cate.” Mrs. Barnes pointed out. “She’s at school. Which is where you should be.”

“In fairness, I don’t have a teacher for femme class, and the substitute sucks. Doesn’t teach worth a shit.”

That got a small smile to form on Mrs. Barnes' face. I can flatter people when I need something.

“Before I go, I have a few other questions.”

“Haven’t you done enough?” Mr. Barnes asked, his voice laced with despair.

“Please. My roommate. She was attacked last night in my dorm room. I’m afraid her magic is going to fade, just like with the others. I desperately need to get to the bottom of this before it’s too late. I need your help.”

“After everything you did, why should we help you?” Mrs. Barnes asked, looking towards Mr. Barnes who nodded his agreement with her.

I thought about what I wanted to say next. The Barnes are mostly good people. So I think I can trust them if I laid my cards on the table. “I want us to be on the same page. I’m going to tell you the truth. My name is - or was - Jack Baker. I was a detective specializing in missing persons cases. After I was displaced, I was brought to PAA to find Ashley Tart. Once I found her, I decided to try to figure out who did that to her, and stop it from happening to others. That’s why I came back. I owe it to my new friends. I owe it to Sophia. That’s it. That’s the truth. I want to get to the bottom of this. I need your help.”

“OK. One question, then please leave us alone.” Mrs. Barnes said.

I nodded. That’s fair. I had one question. Let me make it count. I didn’t want to waste it on questions they didn’t have the answer to. Clearly whatever Hatahway said to them made them mad. That was my way in. “I saw the headmistress just leave. She had a device in her possession. What was it and why did she come here with it?”

The Barneses looked at each other. Yeah, I know that was more than one question.

“It looked like one of the devices that swapped us,” Mr Barnes said. “A rough copy, but there’s no mistaking its similarity.”

No shit. That is interesting. “And Hathaway accused you two of using this device to steal magic?”

They both nodded.

“Does this buy me more questions?” I smiled, hoping that I asked the right initial question.

“Make them quick,” Mrs. Barnes said with an exasperated breath.

Score one for Cate! “You said a device like that swapped you. Who built it?”

“A company my bridesmaid worked for,” Mr. Barnes said. “Highly classified. The originals were accidently destroyed on our wedding night.”

“Could your friend - your bridesmaid - have made another?”

“She was fired by that company after the wedding. She no longer had access to the device schematics. If she was able to build another by herself, surely she would’ve built it to swap us back.”

“Who does she work for now?”

“We haven’t talked to her in years. Last we heard she was blackballed from the defense contractors because she stole the device and took it out of the facility. I think she’s working for a small IT company far removed from her old research.”

“How did the device work that swapped you?”

“There were two of those ‘nodes’ as Michelle called them. Then there was a controller. It was designed to ‘remote control’ people, but instead it swapped our consciousnesses.”

“So there’s two? The headmistress has the one that was left by Sophia's attacker. That means someone has the other.”

“Sophia Blake is your roommate?” Mr. Barnes asked.

“Yeah. I believe the same thing that happened to the other girls will happen to her.”

The couple frowned at the news. Mrs. Barnes sat down on the couch and sighed.

“Could this device be used to swap or drain magic?” I asked.

“That wasn’t the original intent,” Mrs. Barnes said. “But neither way body swapping. However if… magic… was similar in some way to our brainwaves, I suppose so.”

“Or maybe a smart person improved upon that original design,” Mr. Barnes added. “I would think 15 years is enough time to improve the design and add other functionality.”

“OK,” I said. “How many people have you told your origin story to?”

“We’ve had other PAA teachers over for dinner and drinks over the past decade.” Mrs. Barnes said. “We’ve all shared our stories with each other.”

I looked at Mr. Barnes. “Did you share this with Ashley?” 

He hung his head. “Yeah.”

“Do you know anyone at school - students or faculty - that has the skillset to hack into your friend’s former company and steal the designs?”

Mrs. Barnes shook her head.

Mr. Barnes responded with a whisper, “Ashley.”

“Really?” I responded.

“Ashley Tart worked for a software security company in her former life.”

I let that sink in for a moment. Ashley appeared to be at the center of this, and I needed more information. “Listen, I know this is a touchy subject. But I do want to revisit the whole Ashley thing.” I looked at Mr. Barnes. “If you’re OK with that.”

“Fine,” he said, still hanging his head from guilt, as he glanced at his wife in shame.

“You said she was in trouble and she came to you. Who was she working with?”

“She never said who she was working with,” he replied.

“She called it Magic Club.”

“Yeah, that was her nickname for it.”

“Nickname? So it’s entirely possible there is no Magic Club? Just Ashley and some others playing with something they don’t understand and skirting the rules.”

“That’s my understanding. When I last saw her, she was guilt-ridden. She said she fucked up. I told her to go to the Headmistress and come clean. I’m not sure if she ever did.”

I saw tears in Mr. Barnes' eyes. I decided I was done here and I wanted to leave them on a good note. “Last question,” I said. “Mr. Barnes. Do you love your wife?”

“With every fiber of my being.” He sat down next to Mrs. Barnes, reached out and held her hand.

I smiled and winked at Mrs. Barnes. “That’s all I have. I am genuinely sorry I caused such a scene last week. Coach Barnes, the Lacrosse team really wants you back. Plus your femme class students.”

“Cate - or Jack - that can’t happen until our names are cleared. And right now, Ms. Hathaway thinks we’re the ones behind this.”

“I understand.” I stood up. I suppose I’ll add ‘clearing the Barnese’s names’ to my list of things to do. “Thank you for your time. Have a good day. And it’s still Cate.”

As I walked back to campus proper, I considered all of the information I learned this morning. Someone was working with Ashley to drain magic. For what purpose I don’t know, but it has something to do with Sophomores. Ashley helped out, but at some point became dispensable and was discarded using the same technology she helped steal. Hathaway recognized this technology. So she’s actively looking for it. Meaning the Order of the Dawn is actively looking for it too.

* * *

I checked the time and realized that I missed my first class entirely. Instead of heading to class, I decided to head back to my room to check on Sophia. I decided to text Brett. “Did I miss much in class?”

“Your rumor is making its way around school.”

Excellent. The plan is working. “That’s amazing.”

“Is that where you are?”

“It’s where I’m going after I check on Sophia. How is Ashley?”

“I’m heading home now. I left her with my roommate. I had to bribe him with food.”

When I reached my room, I found Sophia there bouncing around nervously.

“Cate!” she cried out. “I heard rumors in class and I’ve been getting messages all morning!”

“From who?” I feigned ignorance.

“A whole bunch of girls in my class. Ashley is awake!”

I felt bad about keeping Sophia in the dark, but I had a hunch our mole was one of the sophomores. Hell, after that chat with Ms. Hathaway, I figured it’s highly likely one of Ashley’s so-called accomplices might be a fellow sophomore. “That’s awesome news!”

“I want to go see her,” she announced.

I sighed. I really wanted to keep her out of this, but I also knew there was a high likelihood she’d want to be involved. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep her away.

“Alright, let’s go.”

“Do you think the fading magic could be temporary and it’ll just come back after some time?” she asked, sounding hopeful. “We should tell Lulu.”

Hearing her hope return made me feel guilty we were deceiving her. But it had to be done. “Maybe,” I cautioned. “But don’t get your hopes up. We don’t know anything yet.”

“Should we invite Sam?” Sophia asked me.

She’s already there. “Nah. Ashley and Sam haven’t really met. Ashley knew Lulu more and she’s not here.”

“She’ll be upset we’re doing this without her.”

“I swear I’ll fill her in when we get back.” I thought about Sophia’s relationship with Ashley. When we first met, she dismissed the whole ‘missing students’ thing. “How well did you know Ashley?” I asked.

“We were all in the same science class together. Ashley, Lulu, Brandon, and I. We weren’t close outside of class, but we definitely had fun in class. I think Mr. Sanders would’ve been unbearable without the others.”

“Are any of you in the same classes this year?”

“Lulu was in my Geometry class. The others, no.”

“What about Julia?”

“Well, she’s a Junior. She only really knows the other girls because she took me under her wing last year. We’ve all hung out a few times.”

* * *

It took us twenty minutes to walk to the nursing home.

“Hi, we’re here to see Ashley,” Sophia gleefully told the receptionist.

“She’s outside on the back patio,” the receptionist replied. “I’ll take you to her.”

The receptionist led us through several common areas and we walked out the back door to a patio adorned with lots of plants, looking over a vast cornfield.

Sitting there in a rocker with a shawl - and sunglasses - was the elderly Ashley - or rather Sam pretending to be the elderly Ashley.

“Ashley!” Sophia yelled, running to give Sam a hug. “I’m so sorry we haven’t visited more.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Sam responded. “And you don’t have to yell. I may be old now, but I’m not deaf.”

“Are we your first visitors?” I asked.


“Why are you outside?” Sophia asked. “It’s chilly out here.”

“I’ve been in that room for almost a month,” Sam responded. “I wanted to feel the sun on my face. It’s so good to see you again.”


“Who’s your friend?” Sam asked, looking towards me.

“Oh my God. Ashley, this is my roommate Cate Fox. She’s a freshman.”

“We briefly met a few weeks back,” I said. “You might not remember, you seemed pretty out of it at the time.”

“Cate and our friend Sam are the ones who found you.”

“Can we get you anything?” I asked Sam.

“The only edible thing is the applesauce,” Sam complained. “Sophia, if you go back inside, two doors to the left is the cafeteria.”

“I’ll be right back!” Sophia said, before bounding off.

When Sophia was gone, I asked Sam quietly, “How was last night?”

“Long. The staff checks the room every couple of hours to make sure I’m alive, and haven’t fallen out of bed. Even after I started talking to them and assuring them I felt much better. I didn’t get any good sleep.”

“Good call on the sunglasses.”

“I’m hoping our suspect gets here soon, Sophia’s right. It is a little chilly out here. There’s only so many blankets I can ask for before they force me back inside.”

“I have this feeling, whatever happens, will happen soon.”

Sophia came back through the doors with Brandon trailing her. “Look who I found!”

“Hi Ashley,” Brandon said cheerfully. “How are you? We’ve all missed you.”

“I missed you all too.”

“What was it like?” Sophia asked. “The past month.”

“Most of it was a blur,” Sam grinned.

“Did you ask her?” Sophia asked me in a whisper.

“I did not,” I replied, turning to Sam. “Ashley, who did this to you?” I asked Sam a question I knew she couldn’t answer. I wish I was asking the real Ashley this question.

“We shouldn’t interrogate Ashley so soon,” Brandon said before Sam could BS an answer. “She just woke up from a very long sleep. She probably needs time to gather her thoughts.”

Sophia glanced at me. I nodded in agreement as I took a mental note of Brandon’s timely interruption.

“Actually, I am still a bit tired,” Sam said through a yawn.

“We should get you back inside,” Brandon said. “It’s cold out here.”

“Thanks, but I’m fine for now,” Sam politely declined.

That’s when Ms. Hathaway came outside. We all looked at the headmistress. She looked at me and acknowledged me with a nod. “Miss Tart,” she said. “Welcome back to the land of the awake.”

“Thank you, headmistress.”

“I’m curious if you remember how you ended up here,” Ms. Hathaway casually asked.

Brandon interrupted again. “Ashley just said she was tired.”

Hathaway looked annoyed that Brandon interrupted her. She looked at us. Would you students mind giving us a moment of privacy?”

Sophia and Brandon walked back inside, but I hung around at the door in case Sam needed backup.

“How did you end up here?” the headmistress repeated, a little more sternly than before..

“I don’t remember,” Sam responded.

“You don’t remember playing with magic that accelerated your age?”

“No, ma’am.”

“What is the last thing you remember?”

“I... uh… maybe being in class…?”

“Is Ashley in trouble?” I asked, walking back over to where Sam was sitting. I knew the answer to that question based on my previous conversation with Hathaway this morning, but wanted to hear her say it again.

“That remains to be seen.” Hathaway replied. “If she cooperates, we might be able to overlook this unfortunate situation.”

“And her age?” I asked

Hathaway was clearly getting annoyed by me. She turned to Sam. “Unfortunately I’m powerless in that matter, Miss Tart.”


“Can you tell me who did this to you? Or who were you working with?”

Damn. That was my question. “I already asked her that. Unfortunately she doesn’t remember.”

Ms. Hathaway's expression went from annoyed to anger. She then looked back at Sam. She tugged down on Sam’s sunglasses exposing her orange eyes. She looked at me, then back at Sam. “Ms. Weaver, I suppose?”

Sam slunk down in her chair. Busted.

“Exactly what are you ladies trying to pull?” the headmistress asked.

“I could tell you Headmistress,” I said, “but it would interfere with my investigation.”

“I don’t appreciate being lied to or made to look like a fool.”

That makes two of us, sister.

“Using your classmate as bait,” she slowly repeated, shaking her head. She walked to the door to leave. “You ladies should be in class.” She then walked back into the nursing home, leaving us alone.

A nurse came outside right as Ms. Hathaway left. “Miss Ashley, it’s time to go inside.”

Both Sam and I sighed. Some stakeouts take longer than others. 

Sam stood up like a teenager and the nurse quickly went to her side. “Careful there, Miss Ashley,” the nurse cautioned, “don’t overexert yourself.”

“I’ll help you with her,” I said, going to Sam’s other side and pretending to support her. The nurse walked with us inside then left as we got to the hallway.

“That was close,” Sam said, as we slowly walked back into Ashley’s assigned room.

“Don’t I know it,” I replied, closing the door behind me. 

“Do you think we’ll get any more visitors?”

“I hope so. I should go find Sophia.”

Suddenly a figure threw open the closet door and tried to strangle Sam with a piece of clothing.

Sam struggled and grunted, then morphed into a cat. 

Ashley's clothing fluttered to the floor as the attacker stood there befuddled and we locked eyes. He was a teenage boy like Sophia said. Black hair, and acne scars.

He lunged at me and knocked me back against the door. 

I kneed him in the gut and threw him off. “Who the hell are you?” I demanded. I looked at his face. I didn’t recognize him from campus. His eyes were brown. He was taller than me, but most people were. Was he a Normie?

Sam shifted back into herself and grabbed a robe from behind the door to tie around herself.

He looked at me and must’ve realized I was memorizing his face. He said nothing and instead launched at me, pushed me aside, and opened the door. 

The asshole didn’t answer my question.

 I chased after him as he ran through the nursing home. He pulled over a nurse’s cart to slow me down, then bowled over a person entering the front door, before escaping down the street.

I chased him for a quarter mile back towards Main Street. Just his luck, Main Street was full of people at lunch time. He ran through a crowd on the sidewalk, throwing people into the street.

I dodged people the best I could.

Then he ran across the street, angering oncoming traffic, nearly getting hit by a car.

With traffic now stopped, I cross the street too.

Just when he was near the pharmacy, I managed to catch up to him. Lacrosse practice must’ve paid off. I launched myself at him and we both crashed onto the ground.

“Get off me, bitch!” he yelled, elbowing me in the face.

I was stunned for a moment. My face was still sore from last week. As he tried to get out from under me, I grabbed him by his shirt and throw his back against a building. This gave me a clear shot to get a good jab into his face. “Who are you? Who are you working with?”

Suddenly a strong hand grabbed my shoulder and pulled me up and off the boy.

“What the fuck?” I said, trying to figure out who had me.

The boy looked up at me and whoever grabbed me, then turned around and ran off.

The stranger behind me grabbed me and threw me against the building next to me. It was then I felt cold handcuffs go around my wrists. I was then twisted around to face a thoroughly pissed off Sheriff Dearing.


“Well, if it ain’t Mr. Cate-with-a-C Fox,” Dearing drawled, clearly enjoying the fish he hooked on today’s patrol. “Boy, why is it when there’s trouble, I find you right smack in the middle of it?”

I was in no mood for this bullshit. “Let go of me, you let him run off!” I fumed. “He just assaulted two people at the nursing home. And you let him get away.”

That’s when he pulled me over to his nearby patrol car and threw me roughly into the back seat.



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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Leave it to a cop to arrest the wrong person

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LOL. I know right.

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Geez if only contact lenses were a thing. Also the Sherfiff shows up now? Ugh

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