Cassie cringed instinctively at the loud, brash voice coming from behind her, and the fit of mean-spirited giggles that followed it. It had been a day like any other, meaning that she’d spent it with her head down, hoping to avoid Mallory and her cronies. Cassie glanced behind herself. She’d recognize those letterman jackets anywhere. Clearly, today she hadn’t been successful.
“Dyke! I’m talking to you.”
With a sigh, Cassie stopped walking and turned around. She’d been trying to make her way to the library of her college, but she knew from bitter experience there was no use ignoring a bully like Mallory.
“That’s better! Knew you could hear me.” Within moments, Mallory and her little clique had Cassie surrounded, pressing her back against the lockers that ran the length of the corridor. “How you doing today, dyke?”
“Dyke? Seriously?” Cassie muttered mutinously under her breath. “It’s the twenty-first century, jeez.”
The sarcastic comment escaped Mallory’s notice - not that it would make any difference, Cassie knew. Mallory had marked her out as a target from the very first day she’d set eyes on her. That kind of treatment wasn’t new to Cassie - she was small and unpopular, she dressed like a goth witch, and she was shamelessly gay. But she had thought that leaving high school would have meant leaving all of that behind. Evidently not.
Mallory couldn’t have been more her opposite if she’d tried. The star of the women’s soccer team, it was obvious she’d never been anything but popular in her life. Tall, broad-shouldered and athletic, she was a popular crush amongst the lesbians on campus - at least, until they tried getting to know her. Her big, blue eyes, chiseled face, and long, blonde hair couldn’t compensate for an awful personality. Unfortunately for everyone, her sports scholarship and star record protected her against any consequences, and unfortunately for Cassie, she had somehow ended up as Mallory’s favorite target, helpless to fight back.
“Hey, so, Cassie,” Mallory began. Cassie frowned. It was always a bad sign when Mallory used her real name. “We’re friends, right?”
Bethany, Ashlee and Vera, her usual soccer team cronies, all snickered.
“Sure,” Cassie replied, sighing. There was never a right answer to that question.
“Great, great!” A big, nasty, arrogant grin spread across Mallory’s otherwise-pretty face. “That’s great, cause I’m sure you wouldn’t mind helping out a friend in need, right?”
Cassie clutched at her messenger bag protectively. “What do you need?”
“Oh, you know.” Mallory licked her lips. It was obvious she was thrilled to be pushing someone around. She really was no more than a high school bully, Cassie thought. Jocks were always the same, wherever you went. “Forgot my lunch. Too bad, right? Figured you could share yours.”
“I-I don’t have any lunch.” Cassie clutched her messenger bag even tighter.
Mallory laughed. “That right? Maybe you can just buy me lunch instead, then.”
“I…” Cassie hated how Mallory was able to make her feel small and useless, no matter how many witty comebacks she rehearsed in her head.
“Give it here, dyke.” Mallory held out her hand expectantly, gesturing at the messenger bag.
As Cassie hesitated, Mallory gave her a shove, pushing her back against the locker she was pressed up against. It was calculated to look playful, but it hurt all the same. “Don’t keep me waiting, Cassie,” Mallory warned, as her friends giggled childishly. “I’m hungry.”
“F-fine.” Cassie wanted nothing more than to be done with Mallory. She slipped the messenger bag from her shoulders, and handed it over. Mallory opened it, and unceremoniously dumped the contents all over the floor.
“What’s this?” Mallory something up from the scattered pile of Cassie’s belongings: a carefully wrapped baguette sandwich, freshly bought from the college cafeteria. Cassie watched on in despair as Mallory unwrapped it, and took a bite.
“That’s my… lunch,” Cassie protested weakly, her voice fading.
Mallory grinned wickedly as she finished chewing. “Holding out on me, huh? That’s not very nice, Cas. We’re friends, remember? Well, I guess I can forgive you, just this once - as long as you can give me something to drink, anyway. I’m thirsty. What’s this? Some kind of dorky energy drink?”
The jock bully reached down and picked up an unmarked plastic bottle full of a bright, purple liquid. She inspected it suspiciously.
“What’s this brand, huh?”
“Eh, whatever,” Mallory interrupted, unscrewing the top with an easygoing swagger. “Good enough for you, good enough for me, right?”
As Cassie watched, she slipped the bottle past her lips and chugged a huge mouthful.
Just as she swallowed, though, Mallory started gagging and retching. She bent forwards, just barely keeping herself from choking. She thrust the bottle back towards Cassie.
“What the fuck is this?” she demanded, disgusted. “This is fucking gross, dyke. This is the kind of thing you drink? Jesus. No wonder you’re such a freak.”
Furiously, she stormed off. Her gaggle of cronies quickly followed her, leaving behind them a few scattered, cruel comments directed at Cassie. Cassie, though, didn’t care. As soon as Mallory was out of sight, a huge grin spread across her face. Mallory had fallen for it, hook, line, and sinker. Cassie didn’t just look like a witch: she was one, and she’d spent weeks creating the perfect potion to get her revenge on the bully who refused to stop picking on her.
Mallory was about to get a taste of her own medicine.
The next morning, Mallory awoke, and immediately knew that something was wrong.
She opened her eyes as her alarm rang, signaling that she needed to get ready for morning practice in thirty minutes, but the room around her failed to resolve into anything more than a blurry haze. Mallory blinked and rubbed at her eyes, but it did her no good. She waves a hand in front of her own face, moving it closer and further and watched in confusion as it began to blur noticeably once it was more than a few inches away.
Overnight, she’d lost her 20/20 vision.
“What the fuck…” Mallory muttered to herself, sitting up. What had happened to her? Her mind instantly went to that strange concoction she’d drank from Cassie’s bottle the day before. It had tasted so weird, and it had taken hours for the aftertaste to vanish. Had that dyke done something to her? No, she thought, no way. That was just ridiculous.
Whatever the cause, Mallory decided, she’d have to figure it out later. She needed to get ready for morning practice. The jock rose unsteadily to her feet. Her blurry vision made it harder than usual to get her bearings, but even beyond that, there was something putting her off balance. Her body felt different, somehow. Suddenly deeply concerned, Mallory made her way over to her mirror, peering close to it so that she could actually see herself.
She gasped in shock.
The first thing Mallory noticed was that her hair was a mess. Thanks to her lucky genes and athletic lifestyle, she’d never really had any trouble keeping her thick, wavy mane of blonde hair in good shape, but this morning, it had turned into a greasy, itchy mop. Mallory groped for her hairbrush and started trying to fix it, but it seemed to be no use. No matter what she did, her hair remained messy, oily and unkempt. Groaning in frustration, she reached for a couple of hair ties, and impulsively worked her hair into a pair of messy, untidy pigtails. It was a weird look for her, but it seemed like the best way to keep her hair under control and out of her face. It was a relief to have her hair sorted, at least for the moment, but Mallory was left with a sense of mounting confusion regarding what, exactly, had happened to her.
Her confusion only grew when she looked down at the rest of her body.
Mallory’s body was athletic, balanced, and toned. It always had been. Except suddenly, it wasn’t. Mallory found that, all of a sudden, ‘athletic’ didn’t seem like a fitting description. The word that came to mind instead was ‘soft’. Her breasts seemed bigger, her shoulders slimmer, and the subtly toned abs she prided herself on had melted away into a pillowy, slightly chubby belly. She didn’t look like the ace of the college soccer time anymore. She looked like a nerd who never bothered with exercise.
Looking down to her thighs, it was even worse. Gone, were her sculpted leg muscles. Instead, her thighs were huge and round, without a hint of definition. Her hips seemed to have expanded too, and all of a sudden, her physique looked decidedly pear-shaped. Mallory kept looking at herself, inspecting herself in the mirror from every angle, but no matter what she did, her body didn’t look right. The final blow came when she noticed that she seemed to be looking at the mirror from a slightly different angle.
As far as she could tell, Mallory had shrunk at least a couple of inches.
“No,” Mallory muttered, shaking her head violently. “No, no, no. No fucking way.”
It was impossible. She knew that. This was all impossible. None of this could really be happening. Desperately, she started reaching for explanations. Maybe she’d been slacking in her training lately. Yes, that had to be it. That made sense. She’d been taking it too easy, and now her body was paying the price. Mallory told herself she needed to start pushing again, if she wanted to keep her place as the star player on the team. And her hair? Maybe that was something similar. Too many greasy meals, or something. She’d have to start paying attention to her diet a little better. And her eyes? That part gave her the most trouble, but after a few moments, she figured maybe she’d been ignoring a few headaches over the past few makes. Maybe it was time to look into getting contacts. Her blurry vision was just a wake-up call, nothing mysterious.
With that all settled in her mind, Mallory was able to relax a little, settling into an uneasy but comforting state of denial.
Her worries resolved, she decided she should pick up the pace. Morning practice was starting soon. Mallory hurriedly dressed herself, doing her best to ignore the fact that the fit on her clothes was now decidedly unfashionable and unflattering. Once she looked as presentable as she was going to get, she raced downstairs to snatch some breakfast before heading out the door.
“Hey, sis,” waved her brother, Jake. He was slumped on the couch, staring at the TV, a console controller clutched in his hands.
As usual, he’d probably been up all night, playing video games, and as usual, Mallory made as if to ignore him. Her little brother was a complete nerd, and a complete embarrassment for a popular jock like her. Most mornings, she tried to pretend he simply didn’t exist. This morning, though, something caught her eye, and made her halt in her tracks on the way through the kitchen.
“Hey,” she replied slowly. Her brother looked around, a little surprised to receive any acknowledgment whatsoever.
“How are you doing this- woah!” Jake exclaimed, catching sight of her. “Uh, sis, are you feeling OK? You look a little…” He trailed off, lost for words.
“What? Yeah, it’s nothing,” Mallory snapped. “No big deal.” She took a few steps over to the couch. “Hey… what are you playing?”
“What am I playing?” Jake repeated dumbly, his lips curling into an incredulous smile. “Uh, a video game?”
“I know that, dork.” Mallory’s eyes were fixed on the TV screen. “Which one?”
Jake paused for a moment, trying to figure out if she was mocking him somehow. “Final Fantasy VII. The remake, actually.”
“Huh.” Mallory was enraptured by what she saw on screen, as the characters danced and flipped around in combat. “What kind of game is it?”
“It’s kind of an RPG.”
“What does that mean?” Mallory asked, suddenly greedy to learn more.
“Role-playing game,” Jake explained.
“Huh,” Mallory said again. “That sounds pretty fun.”
It really did sound fun. Mallory had seen Jake playing video games a hundred times before, but she had never bothered to give them her attention. Now that she was, it was clear that there was a lot going on. The graphics were impressive, too. To her own surprise, Mallory started feeling faintly envious towards her brother.
“You… wanna sit and watch?” Jake asked slowly, testing his luck.
Mallory nodded wordlessly, and walked around the couch to take a seat next to her brother. “Would… you mind showing me how to play?” Mallory should have felt desperately embarrassed at herself, but she didn’t, not at all. “Maybe I can watch for a while, then take a turn?”
“Sure,” Jake replied, dumbstruck. He turned his attention back to the game, then paused and reached to his side, picking up a rustling bag of snacks and offering them to Mallory. “Want some cheetos?”
Mallory nodded again, and reached into the bag, all thoughts of making it to morning practice long forgotten.
“Hey, Mallory!” Ashlee called out. “Mallory, wait up!”
Mallory paused and looked round, as her gaggle of friends raced up to her and surrounded her.
“What’s up?” Vera asked, breathlessly. “We haven’t seen you all day, you weren’t at morning practice!”
“Yeah!” Bethany added. “We were so worried.” She squinted at Mallory quizzically. “Hey, are you feeling OK? You look, um…”
Mallory turned away bashfully. “I-I guess I’m feeling a little rough.”
“Yeah, I’ll say,” Ashlee commented, aghast. “Is that why we haven’t see you all day? You missed morning practice.”
“Uh… yeah, that’s it,” Mallory replied sheepishly.
The truth was far too humiliating to admit to. She’d spent hours sitting on the couch, playing Final Fantasy with her lame brother - although somehow, he didn’t seem so lame anymore. He knew so much about video games. It was kind of interesting, actually. She’d been utterly engrossed, and the only thing that had snapped her out of it was an email on her phone, reminding her about an upcoming lecture. Mallory had been struck with a sudden sense of urgency. She skipped lectures all and classes all the time, but come to think of it, that probably wasn’t doing much for grades. So, she’d made her way to campus and attended - sitting in the very front row, of course, to help with her blurry vision. Surprisingly, the class hadn’t been as boring as she’d thought. She’d even joined in a couple of times, raising her hand to answer questions.
After that, she’d considered trying to meet back up with her friends, but then she’d remembered that she had some assignments to catch up on, so she’d headed to the library instead, and spent the whole afternoon with her nose in a book. There had been something strangely refreshing about learning and feeling caught up with school. In truth, Mallory had just been headed out to grab some food before returning to the library to work late.
“Oh, I’m sorry, babe,” Vera said sympathetically. “You really do sound like you’re going through it. I mean, not to be a bitch, but your voice sounds all nasally and whiny. It’s making you sound like a total dweeb. Maybe you should take something for your throat?”
“Y-yeah, maybe.” Now that her friend mentioned it, Mallory could notice it too. Her voice really did sound different. It was more fitting for a scrawny little nerd girl than a tall, athletic jock… not that she looked particularly tall or athletic at the moment. She could tell her friends were all holding back from commenting on that. And that probably wasn’t all. Her hair was still oily and greasy, and her skin had been turning pale, like she was the kind of girl who spent all day in the library instead of out on the pitch. Which was ridiculous! Today was just an exception.
“That would be good,” Ashlee agreed. “But… what about the glasses, Mallory? Are they really necessary? And… the style? Ugh.”
There was a hint of derision and scorn in Ashlee’s voice. Mallory knew Ashlee coveted her spot as the team ace. She was the kind of girl who wanted to be queen bitch, not second in line. She sometimes took potshots at Mallory, hoping to usurp her, but Mallory was always able to put her back in her place. Today, though, she felt strangely meek and timid.
“Well, they, uh…” Mallory’s hands flew to her face instinctively, adjusting her new glasses. That was the other big, conspicuous change she could see her friends staring at incredulously.
At lunch, she’d finally gotten sick of having to squint at the book she was trying to read, and she’d headed out to see if she could get herself a pair of glasses. She’d been in luck, and the local optician’s had been carrying a pair with the right prescription, but unfortunately, they weren’t quite the stylish glasses she’d been hoping for. With thick, black frames that dominated her face, they were exactly the kind of glasses a nerd like Cassie should have wearing. Fortunately, they were just temporary until she could get something better - although somehow, they’d proven more comfortable than Mallory had been expecting. Already, after just a few hours, she could hardly imagine herself without them.
“I-I went to the medical centre to, y’know, get checked out,” Mallory lied. “And they told me to wear ‘em! Wild, right? I don’t get it at all.” She tried laughing it off, but no-one laughed with her.
“Whatever,” Bethany said, shaking her head. “Hey, we were all gonna go to the mall, do some shopping. Wanna come?”
“Well, I…” It was a common pastime for her and her friends, but it suddenly didn’t seem so appealing to Mallory. The thought of leaving her studies unfinished left her with pangs in her stomach.
“Hey, if you don’t feel like coming, don’t sweat it,” Ashlee commented, offering her a patronizing, pitying smile. “Maybe you need to, uh, get to class, or whatever.”
“I-I do want to come!” Mallory retorted, sensing Ashlee’s intentions. “Let’s go!”
Just then, she remembered something that made a trip to the mall seem suddenly far more appealing.
There was that trading card store her brother had been telling her about.
It was several days before Mallory saw Cassie again. Those days were decidedly bittersweet, from Mallory’s perspective. She spent most of them hard at work in the library. Thanks to neglect, her grades had slumped into the dumpster. Mallory found herself suddenly appalled by the state of her schoolwork, and she’d been doing everything she could to try and catch up.
Unfortunately, she’d been doing most of it alone. Her shopping trip with her friends hadn’t gone well. They’d been confused and frustrated by her newfound fascination with the trading card and video game stores, and had eventually decided to leave her behind. Mallory hadn’t really minded - opening booster packs had suddenly become far more fascinating than their inane chatter. Still, she hadn’t really heard from her friends since then, aside from a few odd, concerned messages from Vera and Bethany.
Despite all of that, though, Mallory hadn’t been having such a bad time. Far from it. Studying and writing assignments felt rewarding like never before, and when she wasn’t busy with work, she had a whole host of new pastimes to keep her occupied. Video games, trading cards, dungeons & dragons - Mallory had discovered a whole new world, and she was happy to bury herself in it for hours at a time, staying up late and missing sleep to do so. Morning practice for the soccer team had fallen completely by the wayside. Somehow, it no longer seemed quite so important.
Sometimes, Mallory wondered if she needed to be worried about herself, but she found such worries easy to dismiss. All the hobbies she would once have dismissed as ‘nerd shit’ were actually fascinating, it turned out, and what was wrong with broadening her horizons? And surely it was a good thing that she was catching up with school. Yes, she was missing soccer practice, but that was just a silly game, at the end of the day.
The physical changes were a little harder to dismiss, but not impossible. With her new glasses, Mallory could see just fine, and she didn’t feel much pressure to hurry up and get contacts. Besides, her face was starting to look a little rounder than before, and the large frames helped frame it nicely. Her oily hair was annoying, yes, but not the end of the world. It was probably just a natural, hormonal thing. And as bizarre as it was to have gotten so much shorter and so much more pear-shaped, it was starting to feel entirely natural. Mallory could hardly remember being any other way. Her old clothes were the biggest reminder, but she was quickly replacing her old, trendy outfit - including her treasured letterman jacket - with clothes that were a little easier to get to grips with, and a little more suited to her new tastes: high-waisted jeans, oversized hoodies, and graphic t-shirts. Sure, she looked like a nerd, but was that really such a big deal? Gamer girls were all the rage, right?
Mallory turned her head, pigtails spinning, and saw Cassie staring intently at her from one side of the corridor. She’d been heading, as usual, from her morning class to the library. The expression on Cassie’s face was a mix of caution and eagerness.
“Um, yeah?” Normally, Mallory would have made sure to throw some insults Cassie’s way, just for good measure, but she no longer seemed to have the fire for it.
“Oh my god… your voice!” The caution in Cassie’s voice vanished, and she started giggling in triumph. “It’s so nasal! Wow, that potion really did a number on you, huh?”
“H-huh?” Mallory had always been the kind of person to meet mockery with rage, but now, she shrank back. She was barely taller than Cassie.
“Right, of course, you have no idea,” Cassie said to herself. “I thought that was a nice touch. At least, at first.”
“W… what are you talking about?” Mallory’s first instinct was to tuck her head down and try to slip away, but something about the way Cassie was talking was making her head spin dangerously. “Did you… do something to me?”
Cassie giggled again, and smiled at her. Strangely, Mallory found herself blushing. She’d never seen Cassie smile before and, mocking as her smile was, it still lit up her whole face. She’d never noticed how pretty Cassie was before. Moreover, she’d never before been made to feel so small and weak by another girl. The experience was leaving butterflies in her stomach.
“Yes,” Cassie answered confidently, once her giggles had subsided. “I did. Remember that drink you stole from me a few days ago? It was a little more than just a drink.”
“N-no,” Mallory replied shakily. Her head was starting to hurt. It had only been a few days ago, but the memory felt utterly foreign. The urges that had led her to bully Cassie and take her food seemed totally unfamiliar. “That’s impossible!”
“Just as impossible as your eyesight?” Cassie asked, raising an eyebrow pointedly.
“That’s not… people need glasses sometimes!” Mallory protested.
“Or your hair?”
“H-hormones?” Mallory whined in her new, nasally voice.
“Or your height? Or your new hobbies?”
“That… those…” Mallory felt like she needed to sit down. What was Cassie talking about? How did she know about her interests? How did she know any of it? Mallory tried to think back, to push through the dense mental fog enveloping her. When the pieces of the puzzle finally came together, her eyes snapped wide open. “You’re turning me into a nerd?” Mallory demanded, aghast.
Cassie crossed her arms and nodded, the witchy girl’s pretty smile widening with each passing moment. “Poetic justice. Don’t you think?”
“How is that even possible?” Mallory gasped.
“Don’t you worry about that,” Cassie smirked. “Instead, you should worry about…” She tapped her forefinger on her chin. “Well, actually, you don’t really have much to worry about, Mal. I’m not doing this to be cruel, believe it or not. Sure, I want you to get a little taste of your own medicine. But just you wait - before long, you’re going to be the happiest, cutest little nerd on campus!”
Mallory’s stomach. “H-how can you say that’s not cruel? You’re even messing with my sexuality!”
“Huh?” It was Cassie’s turn to look confused.
“You’re messing with my head, right?” Mallory asked desperately. “That’s why I find you so… so…”
For a moment, Cassie was dumbstruck, and then she broke into uncontrollable laughter. “You’re into me? You’re actually into me?” she asked incredulously, wiping tears from her eyes. “Holy shit. That’s a cliche, even for you. The bully who’s secretly gay? Amazing. Mallory, I promise you, I didn’t touch your sexuality one bit.”
“Y-you’re lying.” Mallory’s chest was twisting into knots. She couldn’t help but try to look back on all the times she’d bullied Cassie. What had she been feeling? What had she really been feeling?
“Am not,” Cassie retorted, then cocked her head to one side thoughtfully. “But let’s find out, shall we?”
She pressed Mallory back against the wall and kissed her.
The air left Mallory’s lungs, and the former-bully was left speechless and breathless as Cassie pressed her lips against hers - and before she knew what was happening, she found herself returning the kiss with equal fervor. After a moment, Cassie broke off the kiss, but she didn’t step back, leaving the two of them pressed close together.
“There,” Cassie panted, cheeks flushed. “That feel new or weird to you?”
Mallory didn’t reply, but deep down, she knew the answer: it didn’t.
“You know, I guess I did have a little bit more of an ulterior motive,” Cassie confessed. She was looking over Mallory’s new body, eyes wide. “I am a dyke, after all, and I do think nerd girls are super cute.”
There was no way Mallory should have been left so disarmed by such a comment, but she was helpless to do anything more than squirm and blush like a virgin.
“And, I mean, this new body? Wow.” Mallory gasped as Cassie started to run her hand over the curve of Mallory’s body, caressing her hips before sinking her fingertips a little way into Mallory’s belly. “I know most of the other lesbians around her love a tomboy, but I’ve always preferred someone on the softer side.”
Mallory’s gasp turned into a moan.
“The way you’re blushing, too?” Cassie licked her lips. “I never knew you could be so adorable.”
“Y-you can’t do this to me,” Mallory whimpered unconvincingly.
“Yeah?” Cassie giggled lasciviously. “And how are you gonna stop me?”
Before Mallory could say another word, Cassie put her lips to her neck and gave her a kiss that turned into a long, passionate lovebite. Mallory’s thoughts melted in her head and her legs turned to jelly as she moaned loud enough to turn heads.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” Cassie giggled, although her tone was teasing rather than cruel.
“I… I… I… I won’t give in to t-this!” Mallory insisted, although with her now-diminutive height, nerdy voice and weak moaning, she hardly sounded convincing. “Y-you’ll see! I can beat this transformation! And when I do, you’ll regret it, d-dyke!”
Cassie paused, and for a moment Mallory thought she was going to keep tormenting her, but then she stepped back.
“Fine, suit yourself,” Cassie sniffed. “Just, let me know when you give up, and decide you want to play video games and make out instead.”
With that, she strutted off, and Mallory was left shell-shocked, trying her best to ignore how appealing the idea of playing video games with another girl sounded.
And how soaked her panties were.
The next morning, Mallory made it to morning practice on time. For her, it was quite an achievement. It meant getting out of bed at the crack of dawn, and for the past few days, Mallory had found herself only going to bed just before sunrise. She’d been hopelessly addicted to playing Final Fantasy XIV, an online multiplayer game, and it was consuming every moment of her life that wasn’t spent studying. The night before, she’d sworn to herself she was going to get an early night, but she’d ended up logging on anyway. Despite telling herself she was only going to do a few quests, and perhaps a dungeon or two, she’d ended up playing for almost the whole night. Now, at seven in the morning, she was already exhausted. It wasn’t a good start to her plan to reclaim her jock status.
Nevertheless, Mallory tried her hardest to keep faith in herself, as she made her way onto the pitch to join the rest of her team, already warming up. She was the ace of the soccer team. The star player. The popular girl. The hero. She had to believe that about herself, no matter how faint those memories were becoming. It didn’t help that her soccer kit barely fit her anymore, though. Frustratingly, it was both oversized and undersized - too long for her new, short stature, and too tight-fitting for her new, prominent curves. She could feel her hips threatening to rip the seams on her shorts with each step, and she knew she looked more than a little ridiculous. From the looks she was getting from her teammates, she knew they thought so too.
“Hey, Mallory!” bellowed the coach. More than anything, she looked displeased by Mallory’s mere presence. “Where have you been? I don’t take flakers on my squad.”
“S-sorry, coach,” Mallory replied, shrinking.
“And what the hell has happened to… whatever, I don’t care.” The coach sighed. “Get in the line with the others, and get warmed up. We start drills in five.”
“Yes, coach.” Mallory fell into line, and did her best to put her tired, unfamiliar body through some basic warm-ups so she could start the drills.
It was a disaster.
Mallory quickly discovered that, thanks to Cassie’s potion, her body was no longer up to the task. She wasn’t flexible anymore, she couldn’t run very first, and she got tired out with ease. The warm-ups alone were punishing, and the drills were even worse. Somehow, the worst part was how bored she was by it all. She couldn’t stop thinking about getting back to the library, where it was nice and warm and safe, or back home, where she could boot up Final Fantasy. She zoned out thinking about it as the coach put the soccer team through a practice game, and ended up contributing almost nothing. The feeling was miserable, and while she knew full well how badly she’d performed, Mallory was still unpleasantly surprised by the coach’s verdict at the end of practice.
“You’re off the team.”
“W-what?” Mallory gasped desperately.
“You heard me.” The coach sniffed. “I know you think you’re some kind of hot-shot, but you’re clearly not interested anymore. You missed practice for days, and now you show up like this, barely paying attention. I’m not letting you get away with that, Mallory. You’re off the team. If you want back in, get back into shape and you can try out next semester, just like all the other rookies.”
Tears welling up her eyes, Mallory slunk back into the changing rooms in despair. Was this really how she was going to end up? A hopeless nerd? She’d been so determined to try and fight it, and she’d failed completely. She could feel her old life slipping away through her fingers, and the magnetic allure of her new life as a shameless nerd girl was as irresistible as it was terrifying. Mallory tried to force herself to think more positively. Maybe there was still something she could do. Maybe she just had to take it slower. She wasn’t going to let herself lose this fight. She just had to-
Ashlee’s sing-song voice roused her from her thoughts. Still changing, Mallory was half-naked as she found herself approached by her former posse, sharkish looks on all of their faces. She felt exposed and weak, and she was now shorter than all of them.
“H-hey, guys,” she replied nervously.
Bethany snorted with ugly laughter. “God, listen to her,” she commented to the others. “That voice! Can you believe we ever used to hang out with such a dweeb?”
Mallory’s stomach fell through the floor as she realized exactly what was happening.
“I… um… um…” How was she supposed to get out of this? Mallory was used to being the bully, not the bullied. “I-I really need to get to class…”
“Get to class?” Vera laughed. “Are you hearing this? Suddenly, Mallory cares about getting to class? When did you get so lame?”
The three of them moved to surround her, cutting off her escape. There was no-one else around.
“And this body? Jeez.” This time, it was Bethany’s turn. To punctuate her remark, she reached out and roughly grabbed Mallory’s new, embarrassingly fat ass. “You seriously let yourself go, Mal. Talk about thick!”
“A-ah!” Try as she might, Mallory couldn’t suppress a small but decidedly lewd gasp. She clapped her hand over her mouth immediately after, but the looks of shock and sadistic glee that her former friends exchanged made it very clear they’d picked up on it.
“Oh my god,” Ashlee sneered. “You? Seriously? You, of all people? Wow. You’re the last girl I would have taken for a dyke.”
Mallory shrank back even further. She felt as though she wanted to disappear into the floor. She wanted to be anywhere else, but she also couldn’t help but enjoy the feeling of being so viciously bullied and groped by other girls. Not for the first time, she cursed what Cassie had done to her.
“I can’t believe you,” Ashlee continued, warming to her theme. “And you were bullying Cassie for this? That’s some hypocrisy. Clearly, you’re way more of a dyke slut than her. I mean, I bet you’d even get off on this, right?”
Before Mallory could stop her, she slid her hand up the nerdy girl’s body to grope roughly and cruelly at one of her tits. The immediate, shocked moan that left Mallory’s lips had both of Ashlee’s cronies laughing.
“Hey, what are you doing to her?”
The voice from the door cut off Vera and Bethany’s laughter, and had all heads turning to see who it was. Mallory had never been so grateful to see someone she was so mad at.
It was Cassie.
“Get out of here, loser,” Ashlee spat angrily.
“Yeah,” Bethany added. “You’ll get your turn another day.”
Cassie shook her head. “Don’t think so.” She moved to Mallory’s side, and the other girls backed away. “Not this time. She’s my responsibility.”
The three bullies exchanged looks. Finally, with a furious look on her face, Ashlee said: “Fine. We have better things to do.”
The three of them stormed off, leaving Cassie and Mallory alone in the changing room. Cassie sighed, relieved.
“I guess three against two wasn’t good enough odds for them.” She turned to Mallory and smiled.
“I… um… t-thank you,” Mallory blurted out awkwardly. Her thoughts were in turmoil, a matter that was only made worse when Cassie glanced down at her body, reminding her that she was still in the process of changing. She blushed furiously, and made to cover herself.
“No need for that,” Cassie commented, winking and giggling. “I’m enjoying the view.”
Mallory was completely unable to stop herself squirming and smiling bashfully. The butterflies in her stomach were growing more excited by the moment.
“God, you’re cute.” Cassie smiled warmly. “Although, clearly I should have been a little more careful with the potion. I need to find the right balance of submissiveness, I guess. I was trying to make you a nerd, not a complete bottom.”
“I’m not a… a…” Mallory was too flustered to get the words out. Why did it make her so flustered and happy that Cassie found her cute?
“Sorry, just teasing.” Suddenly, Cassie turned serious. “Look, I wanted to… well, not apologize, exactly. But I did want to let you know that I’m offering to make a potion to turn you back. I never really wanted to make this permanent. I was just having a little fun. And clearly, you’ve had more than a little taste of your own medicine.”
Mallory froze, her embarrassment falling away as she considered what Cassie was offering. Turn back? Turn back into what? Her entire identity was muddled. Her memories were soup. Mallory barely knew who she was, let alone who she wanted to be.
But, she suddenly realized, she did know who she didn’t want to be. Mallory thought about Ashlee and the others, and how they’d treated her. Then she thought about herself, and how she’d once treated Cassie. Was that really what she wanted to go back to? She felt ashamed of herself. And besides, Ashlee’s rapid ascension to queen bitch showed her that despite what she’d thought, she’d never really had any friends. Finally, she thought about Cassie, and about her long, calm, happy nights studying and playing Final Fantasy. A sudden impulse seized her, and for the first time in her life, she saw no reason to fight it.
“Hey,” Mallory said to Cassie slowly, smiling and biting her lip. “Wanna play video games and make out?”