The best thing about fiction is putting yourself in the shoes of the characters but what happens if that fantasy gets a little too real?
“Oh, Ava, don’t let me forget to give you that stuff from the sales.”
They had been talking for an hour over lunch with no mention of what said stuff was, but it was a phrase Ava’s yard sale-loving grandmother uttered nearly every time they met. It could mean she had any number of things for her grad student granddaughter, from clothes to kitchenware. One time it had been a couch. She pursed her lips while getting up. What was it this time?
It was both hot and humid outside. So much so that the air was nearly a blast of steam when she pushed the door open. Her clothes started to stick to her almost at once, highlighting the edges of her bra through her shirt. A guy walking with his girlfriend on the sidewalk happened to glance over and kept staring until they had passed the diner. Ava rolled her eyes. After getting that reaction for close to twelve years, it was only mildly irritating anymore.
While such gawking happened year round, summers were the worst. They made it impossible for her to disguise a body most would consider a sexual fantasy. Even with loose capri pants and a baggy extra large shirt, her ample butt and massive boobs would not be hidden. That she was also quite tall and her bronze skin tone was obviously not just a tan only seemed to add to how she magnetically held gazes. People looked at her with this mix of awe, pity, and fear which just got exhausting to deal with after a while.
Her grandmother bustled past her and moved towards her old Forester. She opened the trunk to reveal her spoils in a battle of savings. This time, it was another box of paperback books. The third in six weeks. Even though Ava picked out quite a few titles already on her shelves and a couple more that she hated, she swallowed her sigh and smiled as she pulled the box out. There was part of her who loved the deliveries that accompanied a visit, after all, who turned down free books? However, her grandmother’s habit of just buying the whole box for a couple of dollars was starting to get frustrating.
Ava dreaded digging through what was probably another twenty books she did not need to maybe find volumes she was missing from a series or to discover a new story that she enjoyed as much as something on AO3. Even the used bookstore was starting to give her grief about bringing in yet another set of Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings books for credit and it was not like the university library needed any more copies either.
Once she got it out of the car, the box was heavier than she expected. That was another thing she liked about fan-fiction, it only weighed as much as her tablet. Shifting her grip to get under it a bit more, the corner of the box, like clockwork, jabbed her in the boob. No matter what she did, they always seemed to be in the way like that. It had been an issue ever since high school.
“Thanks, Gram,” she said, trying to keep the annoyance out of her voice. She popped the trunk of her Civic and dropped the books into a mess of food boxes to grab things in the morning before work.
“I just want you to know that I’m always thinking of you,” her grandmother said, leaning against her car. “I know your life kind of derailed, but…” she continued on, retreading how puberty had been so unkind as to ruin Ava’s chances of being a professional athlete.
Try as she might steer the conversation in another direction or to get out of it, Ava’s grandmother continued her greatest hits setlist. All of which boiled down to the fact that she wanted great-grand-kids and did not understand how a woman as sexy as Ava was could not land herself a man.
“If I had been half as curvy as you were in high school-”
“You probably wouldn’t have married Pappi and we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Ava said it harsher than she intended, but it was hot and they had been standing in the sun for nearly twenty minutes. She might as well be standing there in her underwear from how tightly her sweat-soaked clothes were sticking to her. Being a little irritated felt justified.
The older woman’s face flickered through several reactions and settled on hurt as she pulled herself up to her full height. “That was not called for…”
“It wasn’t? Gram, we’re standing in the parking lot of Friendly’s while you essentially bemoan that I’ve not dropped everything in my life to pop out a kid yet. This is not the first time we’ve had this conversation. We’ve been over this. Multiple times.”
“You’re right, chica…I’m sorry.”
“It’s…it’s okay. I get where you’re all coming from, Mom gives me the same grief but, I need to live my life okay?”
“It would’ve been so much easier if-”
“If a lot of things had been different, yes. Look, Gram, let’s… let’s talk about this next time, okay?”
As she hauled the box up the stairs to her apartment, she could feel her bra slipping over her slick shoulders as her boobs bounced against the rough cardboard edge. Feeling her clothes literally falling off only escalated her stoked annoyance. Frustrated with literally everything, she fumbled with the keys and dropped the box on her foot. She bit back a flurry of cursing as her mind flashed all the wonderful phrases her uncles had taught her. Instead, she got her door open, kicked the box into her living room, and flopped back first onto her couch.
She eschewed the bra entirely at that point, throwing it in the direction of the hamper and letting her girls melt over her rib cage. She fumbled for the remote to turn on the A/C. The hum of the unit started up and she closed her eyes, enjoying a moment to calm down and cool off as the window unit’s breeze wafted over her. When she finally felt like she was not being microwaved, she leaned over to look at what Gram had bought.
Propped up on one arm, she reached into the box and first pulled out another Drizzit omnibus and sighed to herself. Setting it aside, she grabbed another book and encountered a cover she had never seen before. She rolled onto her back as she took in the artwork.
A girl, or perhaps woman, with dark hair and light brown skin stood at the ready with a glowing rapier. She was wearing a white shirt with a high collar that was unbuttoned and folded down as well as a pair of tight pants tucked into boots that ended around her knees. She was lithe and small and all of the things Ava had not been since middle school.
At her left shoulder was a swarthy man with a square cut beard, wearing spike-covered pauldrons over a mail shirt while wielding a heavy looking hammer. He was built like a linebacker, but was not all that much taller than the main character. At her right was another fencer looking character wearing greaves and gauntlets over a similar outfit. It was not clear from the illustration if the character was a man or a woman. Behind the trio was a tall, willowy woman who looked like someone’s idea of a Japanese elf with outfit that was one part Leoglas and one part traditional kimono. She held a staff in one hand and a jagged ball of ice in the other.
“Illusionist’s Game, book one of the Brave Fencing Knights trilogy,” she read aloud as her hand brushed the book’s cover. As her finger traced the embossed length of the light sword, she felt a flutter at seeing a character that looked like her front and center on the cover of a fantasy novel. Granted, she was anything but petite now, but it was an odd thrill to see that the story was ostensibly about a woman of color.
“I wish I could go back to being built that way. Maybe then at least people would have conversations with me and not my tits.” She laughed to herself and looked down at boobs that filled out her t-shirt even without the support of her 36G bra.
As she flipped the book over to read the blurb, the edge of the cover caught her finger at the joint. The quick slice did not draw blood but it did smart. She sucked on the paper cut while reading the back.
The premise sounded very YA. Rather ordinary girl turns out to be great at something, falls for a guy, and they go on a life affirming adventure. In this case, a contest of champions. Frustratingly they did not mention the other two characters on the cover at all.
“You are known, in great part, by the company you keep,” she said, reading the large words at the bottom of the cover. “Sounds about right.”
She put the book down on her chest and thought about getting up. She had a major paper due in a week, but the allure of a book she had never heard of, even one that was obviously aimed at a different age group, was too great to resist. She wiggled down to get comfortable and cracked the book open.
The girl’s name was apparently Mina and she started out not as a fencer in training, but as a scullery maid in the castle of a multidimensional kingdom. Ava was surprised that Mina bucked genre conventions by not being a wide-eyed teen, but a woman in her twenties. Still, the story seemed rather trope-heavy as Mina was soon discovered by some knight while she was play fighting with the handle of a broom. He introduced himself as Kellen. Some of the dialogue was wooden, but Ava could not help laughing at the zingers the pair traded with each other as they moved towards an obvious play-fight confrontation.
Mina bested him in combat while he was obviously holding back, but he still felt she had promise and started to train her. That inevitably gave rise to a crush as they spent many nights practicing in the courtyard. The chemistry between them was surprisingly fresh and the opposite of so many other romances aimed at young girls. Kellen owned his flaws with his own actions and did not seem to be waiting for Mina to reform him. Mina quickly outgrew the puppy love stage as she realized Kellen was more than a fairy tale hero.
It had been two hours by then, but things were getting interesting. They were dispatched on a mission, because Mina was Kellen’s squire at that point, she traveled with the knight. The duo, along with a few other knights, were on a mission to bring a missive to the republic in another dimension.
While the other older knights in the party were telling war stories over beer, the pair of them snuck away to train. Mina let it slip that she had feelings for Kellen. That turned into a genuinely heartbreaking moment as Kellen confessed that he was not what Mina believed. In a passage that brought Ava nearly to tears, the knight revealed she was a woman.
All of a sudden Ava found herself pulled into a fascinating take on the story of Mulan, only instead of Mulan pretending to be the man, it was effectively Shang who was posing as the opposite gender. Mina found herself dealing with the fact that she was attracted to a woman, but still had to act like Kellen was a man. She was forbidden from saying anything at the risk of exposing Kellen’s secret to the court as, of course, only the lord of the castle knew.
Kellen, too, had to deal with the sudden change in their relationship and did so by following through on the expectations of her as a knight. She vouched for Mina’s prowess and convinced the lord of the realm to knight her.
By now, Ava was heavily invested in the idea of them working out their romance and having a life together, but it was getting dark in her apartment and it occurred to her that she probably should get up and at least eat dinner or something.
She swung her feet over and went to stand up only to find herself falling forward as something about her legs was very off. Landing on her hands and knees, she realized the t-shirt was considerably larger than it had been earlier. Her hands jumped to her chest and were met not with overflowing mounds of flesh, but bumps that just filled her hands. Scrambling out of the shirt, she stumbled to the bathroom and snapped the light on.
For a moment she thought it was Mina starting back at her instead of herself, but slowly her face became familiar as she realized what had happened. In an afternoon, she had shrunk from five-eleven to five-five at best. Her overwhelmingly curvy figure had given way to the build she had imagined while growing up. The longer she stood there however, the more she realized there were traits from Kellen mixing into her new appearance. She wondered just what was going on as she rubbed her now square jaw.
“It’s like the book is changing me,” she said aloud. “How though?”
Making dinner was a surprising challenge. Even with a only few inches difference, it felt like everything was so far away. She had never thought about owning a stepstool until she had climbed up on a chair to grab something from the top shelf. Unsure if she was stuck this way, she made a mental note to get one. Even in less extreme ways, just having shorter arms meant having to move more to grab things. What had been a casual lean to fish a spoon out of the drawer had become a dramatic stretch.
Showering also turned out to be an adventure. She was hit full in the face by the rush of water when she got in, sending her staggering back while sputtering. It used to hit her in the chest, but not any more apparently. Once she adjusted the head, she absently rubbed her arms. She enjoyed the renewed strength she felt in her muscles as she felt definition lost from not being able to work out for long periods. Even so, she was so dramatically different physically that it felt like she was in a stranger’s body and she hurried to finish up.
Her towel was huge now, but that was actually kind of fun. Getting dressed to lounge about was another story however. Not one pair of sleep pants fit and she was swimming in all but her smallest shirts. It took digging around in boxes her old things to find something close and even then, it was still quite long.
“I guess I’ll have to order something before I can go out…” She glanced at the book and its sequels that she had dug out while eating. “Or I can figure out how this spell or whatever works and change myself back.”
Was that really what she wanted though? Had she not spent the better part of her adult life wishing to be this size again? Maybe the answer was something more complex. She flipped through Illusionist’s Game to where she had left off and fell into bed on top of her comforter.
Despite a bevy of hurdles, things were looking great for Mina and Kellen now that they were both knights. Which is of course when a new character entered the picture. Devlar was a half dwarf from the far away city of Agamar and he was visiting as an envoy of his mother, the Queen. Kellen and Mina were assigned as his protection, giving Mina a great deal of time with the visiting noble.
Devlar was likely the swarthy man on the front cover and his description was pretty close. Ava found it interesting that he kept his beard short as it was a departure from commonly held ideas of Dwarven culture. It was a fact that characters in the novel found equally contentious, even disrespectful.
Despite that mark against him, he was every inch a prince raised in the world of honor that was Mountain Dwarf culture. He was utterly respectful to anyone, regardless of their status–so long as they earnestly tried their best and did not lie. When not at court, he was out in the town offering his skills. He worked in the forge. He worked making bricks. He even taught a class on Dwarven history.
Ava could not deny that she was falling for him as she began to look for signs that Mina was as well. She focused on every line, searching for developing feelings. As she realized what she was doing, she began to feel warm. Looking over the edge of the book, she could see her legs getting more defined. The shadow of stubble spread up her calves. A glance at her arms found equal growth both on the muscle and hair front. Was she bulking up in response to shipping Mina and Devlar? What was up with the hai-oh, right. Even if Delvar shaved, Female dwarves were just as hairy.
Curious about why the changes had happened, she flipped back through the last chapter and re-read. This time, she looked for signs of Mina and Kellen’s relationship advancing. In response, her body softened slightly, her stubble fading back to a fresh shave. She still felt strong, but in a different kind of way. Perhaps it was a feeling of finesse? As she pondered that distinction her heels slid over the blanket, her feet moving away from her as her legs lengthened slightly. She must have shrunk a bit more because of Devlar.
“It’s like I’ve become the lovechild of my ship. I wonder how far that goes…”
She re-read the chapter a few times, alternating her ship. Each time, her body morphed to carry the traits of both Mina and her partner. No two transformations were quite the same, but they all felt good. This was close to where she wanted to be in life and yet, she was curious. What else could happen?
She pulled out her tablet to read another story with characters she shipped. This one was a sci-fi affair, starring some bland space marine types. However, in the supporting cast was a human-alien couple she was a big fan of, especially since the alien came from a world heavily influenced by Aztec culture. As soon as she began to read a scene with them, her body responded as her tan skin tinged with a purple blush. After a couple more paragraphs, there was a tingling along the heel of her hand. Holding one up, she watched as an extra finger formed.
“Ah! This going to be so awesome!”
From there, she began to experiment with her newfound ability in earnest. Unable to sit still, she paced in her room as she flipped through stories with characters she loved. Unlike before though, reading them did not cause her to tingle or change. She remained purple and six fingered. “Perhaps it only works with characters I identify with?”
She read another scene with characters she liked, but was not personally invested in, and again nothing happened. That seemed to confirm her suspicions. Armed with that knowledge, she sifted through her favorites for traits she wanted to develop. Foremost, she wanted to get her height back. After scrolling for a moment, she opened a story about Fran and Balthier.
The fic was old and she had not read it in years, but as her gaze moved over the digital pages, she remembered just how much she identified with the amazingly talented, and very tall, Viera sky pirate. There was a tingle in her feet that gave way to a stretching sensation, reshaping her toes into the paw-like digits of the graceful rabbit-like fencer. The stretching feeling rushed over her body, lengthening her limbs until she felt like she was the right height again. Enjoying being back in that world, she kept reading. Slowly, what had once been mumbo jumbo about engineering became comprehensible–even familiar.
“That doesn’t make any sense,” she said, pondering this new development. “That’s learned information, not something inherited…”
Experimentally, she continued on with the story. A creeping itch ran up her scalp from her ears. Around her face, her dark hair bleached white. She tentatively reached up and found long ears covered in short, soft fur sprouting from the top of her head. She was not just gaining traits from Fran, she was becoming her!
Had the rules changed or had she not understood them? Either way, she had to get rid of the rabbit ears. In a panic, she switched to a story about girls in high school band. Scrolling through to the awkward confession of lesbian love, she felt the changes from the other story melt away. It was fascinating to watch her hair regain its color as if it had been dipped in ink.
She lingered on the story, wrestling with her own feelings about relationships. She still had not told anyone in her family she was not that keen on guys–at least recently. She still found them attractive, but was not quite into the idea of having sex with them. It was a difficult concept to articulate.
Identifying strongly with the new story’s protagonist and her goal to be someone special, Ava fingertips began to tingle and the color began to drain out of them. Her curly hair relaxed, becoming a straighter veil. All of a sudden, she knew how to play the trumpet and speak Japanese, the knowledge crashing over her like a wave.
Staggered by how much she had changed, Ava did not realize she had switched to one of the few gay fics she had saved, a story about two friends having a moment. While she had never been a big fan of boy love before, she found herself with a growing appetite. And there was the question of just how far could the transformation go? If she identified with the male character, would that cause her to change sex?
While she had no real frame of reference, it was easy to find herself in the shoes of a someone who wanted to get stronger, to achieve greatness. Perhaps it was an effect of the current transformation, perhaps it was her own deferred dreams, whatever the case, she identified with the high school senior struggling to prove he was good enough to play college football.
As her gaze moved down the page, she felt her entire body tingling. There was a throb between her thighs as her hips narrowed. Then another as a rush of pleasure gripped her mind. The excitement of changing drew her onwards, and with each paragraph she devoured she grew larger in every way.
Muscles rose against her skin and thickening bones pushed those muscles even further. She shot up, growing towards her old height and then past it as her body destroyed the small shirt she had been wearing. A swelling blossomed in her crotch as she inexplicably took on the traits of two burly guys. Her button was throbbing, its length slowly increasing as her ability did its magic. It felt like her blood was boiling as her pulse pounded in her ears. She squished her muscular thighs together to try and find some relief as she kept reading to the end of the story.
Looking over herself, she had developed the body of a linebacker with a budding college career. Her shoulders had broadened, her arms and legs had thickened. Her swollen button peeked out from her crotch like a tiny penis. Could she go further? Could she cross over to the other side of the spectrum?
She loaded up a story about a down and out football player. He had been a pro, but an injury left him on the bench. As she sank into the meat of the very long fic, her memories began to shift, replacing the failed track and field hopes with a successful college football career. She could feel that her clit was steadily growing larger and more phallic, the organ now wobbling with her pacing. She dropped onto her bed once more as the story enveloped her.
Sweat was beading on her skin as a lifetime of muscle development slowly grew into existence. As a slow burn romance between him and his best friend from high school finally ignited into a night of passion, she could feel the changes to her sex accelerate. When her remaining amount of boob sank into her rising pectorals, she was a little scared what would happen if she continued. At the same time, she wanted to know. Needed to know, even.
As the story got more erotic, her increasing masculinity started to make itself known. Her hips and kegels were twitching, causing her length to flop about. Her breathing was becoming erratic as her smaller nipples grew hard. She had never masturbated while reading a fic before, but her body was humming with the need to be touched. Shifting her grip to one hand, she began to rub her transforming genitals with the other.
She wrapped her thumb around her shaft and began to stroke her swollen labia with her first three fingers. Everything was so sensitive! She dropped the tablet as her body arched. Her clit inflated further in her grasp. Her lips swelled outwards against her thighs. She began to stroke her penis-like member with her other hand, moaning and groaning from the intensity.
Out of nowhere, the electric sensation of orgasm gripped her, leaving her paralyzed and gasping. Her body however, continued to change. One moment she had a exceedingly large clit, the next she was gripping a hard, seven inch cock. Two objects slid past her fingers on her pussy and settled against her. The change was so shocking that she was finally broken out of her reverie and she dropped to the bed panting.
“Wow, I really did become a guy–and so big!”
She was surprised how deep and bassy her voice had become–and then she was excited. This was her chance! She could start fresh with a lifetime of training and a physique that was the pinnacle of athletic prowess. She picked up her tablet again, set on reading the story until she finished transforming. A couple pages later, there was a twinge in her mind and she started thinking of herself as a guy.
He resumed the jerking motion, relishing the feeling of growing veins under his palm and against his fingers. With each cycle, he was just a little larger, his grip slowly widening as each pass took more time. As he entered the last chapter, he was absently stroking a shaft twice the size of his grip.
After satisfying himself several times between the bed and the shower, Ava pulled on clothes from his old life. While they were a bit feminine, they did at least fit. Stepping out the door, he stretched like always before starting off at a trot. He was still marveling at how his new body felt, especially the way his muscles moved against each other. He probably weighed twice as much as he had this morning, but was willing to bet much less of it was fat.
Even so, he felt heavy after running for only about twenty minutes. Before, even with his absurd boobs, he had managed to run considerably further without feeling winded. He pushed on, walking instead, and arrived at the gym some minutes later.
He was looking forward to lifting some weights, to testing his limits. He set up a bench press for the weight he used to lift and laid on his back. He knew before he even extended his arms that the paltry weight would be like lifting nothing at all.
“Wow, bra. Do you even lift?”
“You speak english, bra? Do. You. Even. Lift?”
He glanced around and realized there was a considerably built dude standing near by. He gaze drifted to that guy’s bar and the weight on it.
“Oh, yeah, just warming up.”
“Yeah, cool story, bra.”
Normally, Ava would have ignored the obvious asshole, but that was before. Now, he wanted to show him up. Getting off the bench, Ava grabbed enough plates to double the weight he had set before and slid them onto the bar. Settling back down on the bench, he pushed the bar up off the rack. It had a satisfying heft.
“Oh yeah, bra? Check this out…”
The muscle troll put two more plates on his bar and lifted smoothly, as if it was no trouble at all. One upped again, Ava piled on his own weights. Between the run and the two previous sets, his body was starting to burn. As he pushed up on a weight that was one and a half times his own, he felt a strain in his shoulders. With a grunt, he got it up off the rack. A long exhale brought it down to his chest. A smooth inhale raised it up, but he was wobbling. Rather than risk it falling on him, he racked it.
“Hah! You ain’t no thing, bra.“
At that point, another seemingly identical guy showed up. Ava moved to another part of the gym, but could not really get away from them. The pair of lunks proceeded to spot each other for increasingly absurd amount of weight, calling it out loudly and glancing his way every so often. Finally, it was too irritating to continue and he left.
Walking back to his apartment, he realized no one was looking at him and if they did, they quickly looked away. It was nearly as bad as everyone always staring. This was turning out to be less enjoyable than he expected.
“Maybe I should change back…”
When Ava got in, he picked up The Illusionist’s Game and re-read the chapter where Mina confessed to Kellen. He expected to transform back into that first new version of himself, but nothing happened.
“It’s the alterations from the spell!” he gasped. “I’ve made it too hard for me to see myself as Mina. I need to work my mind back into a state that can, or I’ll be stuck like this forever!”
He waded into the internet looking for stories of men becoming women. Somehow, in all of that searching, he had ended up in a cis/trans lesbian story he had never read before. There was a flash in his mind and the panic underneath sharpened. His fear’s pierced his persona and his true memories came flooding back, washing away the created ones. Her mind hers once more, Ava identified like never before with wanting to be a woman.
With a blossoming empathy, her body started to shrink down slowly as steam rose from her skin. Her balls retracted, her penis smoothed, and her pectorals morphed into breasts. While she remained quite tall and built, the burning influence of the testosterone began to fade.
That done, she flipped through the book once more, and found her body morphing back into the fusion of herself, Mina, and Kellen. Sure that the novel was the source of her ability, she powered through it hoping to curb her transformative powers. Most of the back half of the narrative was a blur, but she finally arrived at the first act cliffhanger that led into the second book.
As Ava closed the back cover, she nicked herself again. Her body pulsed and she felt herself growing. Expecting to return to her original shape, she sighed in resignation and relief as she closed her eyes. Her adventure in shape changing was about to end. Only, she did not feel the familiar weight of her boobs returning.
Opening her eyes, she glanced down at herself. She was tall, yes, and somewhat curvy, but most of that shape felt like muscle as she rubbed over it. Her bust was somewhere between her starting point and the fusion’s. Their size felt kind of good actually.
The second book called to her, but it was late a this point. Very late indeed.