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The Devil in Drag
by Lainie Lee
The Devil in Drag by Lainie Lee Chapter I "Conjurations" "You're gorgeous!" Phil exclaimed. Satan kissed the air in front of her perfect cupid's-bow mouth. "You say the sweetest thangs, sugah," he drawled in a magnolias-and-mint-juleps accent. Maybe the smoky growl was pitched just a tad too deep. Phil back-pedaled quickly, literally as well as figuratively. Old Nickie sashayed forward and put her long white kid gloves on Phil's shoulders. The Princess of Air and Darkness purred in his best contralto. "Now you just tell me whut it is you want, honey, and we'll see if we cain't make ourselves a de- al." "B-but, but the Devil is a GUY!" Phil managed a stammer while walking backward. He barely avoided tripping over the end table he had used to fasten down one corner of plastic protecting his mother's living room carpet from the chalk pentagram he'd drawn. The spell he'd cribbed from www.walpurgisnacht.com had said nothing about this. He felt grubby in his jeans and t-shirt in front of this vision. "You're dressed like a PROM QUEEN, for Chrissake!" All he'd wanted was a date for the Halloween party on Saturday. "Like mah tiara?" Nickie preened, having caught sight of her reflection in the mirror over the couch. "Ah am a princess, y'know." She fluffed her platinum bouffant and adjusted the lavender ribbon around her slender neck to better display the cameo she wore. The Devil frowned prettily at Phil's reflection and smoothed the satin of her Bill Mackie original over her lush hips. "Ah'd be more kyerful about the profanity, if ah were you. The ma-an upstairs has some mighty strict rules about that sort of thang." She swung around to face Phil again. "Now, once more, whut did you want?" "If you're the Devil why are you dressed like THAT? And isn't the pentagram supposed to keep you inside it?" Phil had just noticed the dainty feet in their satiny high heels were standing half in, half out of the pentagram. "Oh, it will, if you draw it right!" Satan tried out a girlish giggle. She was beginning to get the pitch right, a little more Loni Anderson, a little less Tennessee Ernie Ford. "Seems you forgot the virgin's blood that's 'sposed to be mixed into the chalk, sugah. I reckon you could have pricked yoah fanger for the necessary. Maybe you were to busy fangerin' yoah prick?" She smiled like a Fallen Angel. "As to yoah, first question, honey, it's the third odd Thursday in the month." "Huh?" "Gotta please all mah constituents, you know. It's an election year," she simpered. "What?" Old Scratch pursed her mouth in a delicate pout. "If Ah weren't a lady, Ah just know Ah'd swear. This is getting plumb tiresome." She flounced into the kitchen and paused to glare at a chair then turned her smoldering glance on Phil. "If you were any kind of gentleman, you'd offer a poah Southern belle whose feet are pure killin' her a chair and somepin' to drank." Her lower lip trembled. "Oh, sure, right." Phil pulled out the chair for Satan and placed it under her round little derriere. "Orange juice alright?" he asked. Satan smiled up at Phil saucily, showing her dimples. "If'n it's got jest a drop of gin in it, it'll be fahn, sugah." "Um," Phil swallowed. "We-we don't have any gin." His gangly nineteen year old frame seemed about to fold up on itself like a cheap jackknife. "Vodka, then." She licked her lips in anticipatory delight. Her bosom inflated slightly and so did Phil's eyeballs. "No vuh-vodka, either," he croaked. Satan mimed alarm, one delicate gloved hand at her rosy cheek. "Anythang then, aquavit, brandy, bourbon, Manieshevitz, schnapps, tequila, jest somepin' with a li'l kick to it." She fluttered her eyelashes and fanned herself with her hand. "Ah may faint," the devil announced in an affected voice. "Um, Miss-uh, I mean. Well, my Mom is President of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, we're tee-totalers." "In this day an' age?" The Queen of Hell pouted. "You mean to tell me you doan even have any cookin' wahn? Nothin' to offer an invahted guest?" Phil shook his head miserably. "You did invaht me, didn't you?" "Uh, well, I guess so. I mean, technically. Yes." "Well, then, find me somepin' to drank, pizza-face. Sterno if that's all you've got. Ah'm immune to all pizens y'know but Ah have this teensy li'l ol' drankin' problem." She batted her eyelashes again and Phil promptly forgot about the insultingly apt endearment she had tagged him with. He scrambled his way through the kitchen cabinets, searching. Once upon a time his father had been given a bottle of Cutty Sark for Christmas by a misguided client. He didn't find that but he discovered a bottle whose label proclaimed 40% alcohol. "Vanilla extract!" he exclaimed in relief. Satan pursed her lips, "It'll do. Poah 'bout half the bottle into the orange juice." When the promised drink had been produced, The Girl Who Fell to Earth pronounced it, "Delish. With a little Bailey's it'd taste jest lahk a fifty- fifty bar. You got the talent of a first class bartendah, sugah." A pink little tongue licked golden drops off ruby lips. Phil cleared his throat nervously. "Won't you sit down, honey," Satan purred. "Ah'm purely gettin' a crick in mah neck lookin' up at you." Phil sat. Nickie patted his knee affectionately, giggling. "Now listen carefully, sugah. You have been most hospitable to a poah li'l gal from WAY down South but there is somepin' I jest hafta know." "Um, what's that?" "Oo. Is it warm in here to you?" She fanned herself theatrically then began to remove her gloves. "Silly me. Gotta take off my rangs first." She laid five baubles on the table, each worth the price of a Middle Eastern sheikdom and resumed tugging on the white kidskin. "Ah lahk them to fit tight, but it is hard to get them off after awhile. Could I trouble you to he'p me get it started with yoah big strong MALE muscles, sugah?" She presented one delicate limp hand in its snowy prison. "Uh," Phil grunted. Trembling, he grasped the tip of her forefinger in his hand and attempted to pull but the kidskin was too slick for his grip. "You gotta hold on tight, sugah, if'n you don't want to fall off." He tried again. I can't really hurt her if I grip harder, he reasoned, she's the Devil. He wrapped his right hand around her left forefinger and pulled. The glove loosened and a ripping noise erupted from the back of Phil's chair. Satan tittered, Phil blushed. Nickie removed both gloves with no further problem and resumed fanning herself with them. "I would sweah it doesn't usually work that way, sugah. I mean, if I weren't a lady, I would swear." She began fiddling with the gold chain of her cameo. "Now, as I said before, I need to know somepin'." "Wh-what's that?" His eyes were fastened to the cameo. "That? Oh, it's mah locket," she simpered. "Huh." Phil stared at the bauble blankly. "Oh, you mean what is it Ah need to know. Well, sugah, you invited me into your home and served me well and even, if I say so, had lascivious thoughts about me. But, and this is the third time Ah've asked you, what is it you want from me?" The cameo, at that moment, separated from its chain and plunged into the valley between the mounds of her breasts. "Gah!" sputtered Phil. "Sugah?" asked Nickie sweetly. "Ook!" he choked. "Is there somepin' you're tryin' to tell me?" "Muh, yuh, luh." Phil struggled to express a thought, any thought. Nickie smiled so sweetly any termites in the walls surely died of acute diabetes. She turned her lovely face to the ceiling and addressed herself to the Royal Oak Combination Chandelier and Ceiling Fan. "How was that? I warned him twice, I asked him thrice. I counted the questions, ever so nice. He served me wine, he wasted time. You know I know You know he's mine." "Doggerel," complained a Voice from Above. Nickie shrugged her pretty shoulders. "It's Your curse, it could be worse. You commanded me to speak to You ever in verse." Phil nervously searched the ceiling visually for some source of the Voice. "Well, it's annoying." The Voice sighed. Nickie smiled a wicked little smile. "I win. Again. Now judge my servant in his sin." "He's not your servant. He's a good boy, he's still a virgin at nineteen." Phil blushed at the Voice's accurate pronouncement. "Three times he did as he was bade, three times the question to him was made. And You know as well as I do that his wish is to get laid." Nickie's triumphant smirk still looked cute as Hell. "He was only playing with being a witch, he didn't know it would actually work. Besides you distracted him with that locket trick." It was beginning to penetrate to Phil just Who the Voice was. Nickie protested, her lower lip protruding in a pout. "Look, I gave him three more tries. I am the Queen of Lies. If I have to play fair the game is no fun at all." "That doesn't rhyme." "It will in time." "You can't have him." Nickie sighed. "Look, Josh, I'm not dim. He may have tried the witch's robes on just for size, but if he's not mine now, he is when he dies. If You're gonna break our contract to save him, it's Your call. Armageddon tired of waitin', anticipatin', let's get this over with and end it all." She grinned, knowing the Hellish pun and her use of His own Words in her rhymes would annoy Him further. The Voice sighed. Phil trembled realizing that Satan was threatening to move up the date of Judgement if she didn't get his soul. His knees went weak, his vision went dark around the edges. This can't be happening, he thought. I'm having a weird dream, I'll wake up now. He willed himself awake. Nothing happened. I'm going to be sick, I'm going to faint, I'm going to throw up or pass out or both. The Devil in the prom gown and the Voice from Above continued their debate, oblivious to his distress. "You can't take a virgin to Hell just for wanting to have sex. In this day and age a nineteen-year-old virgin is practically a saint," the Voice said. "You keep changing the rules, protecting these fools; I tell You he summoned me to his own damnation. He served me in my celebration, he's one of my tools." The pretty little Princess of Air and Darkness whirled to point at Phil, causing him to flinch and dodge foolishly. "One of yours, huh? Then you could use him to bring about the downfall of some other soul, right? Just try it, sister. He'd rather spit on his mother's grave than serve you." Phil could not believe his ears, the Voice was taunting the Devil. "Wanna bet, Mr. Four-Letter-Word? Or can it be You haven't heard? Every mortal being has his price. I could turn him to my uses in a trice. "But let me get this straight, 'cause the Doomsday clock says it's getting late. You want to have a contest o'er this bird? Can I believe what I just heard?" Nickie's eyes gleamed in her excitement. "These little wagers give eternity its spice! You know me well to so tickle my vice. What are the terms? Don't make me wait! Name Your wager, and it's a date!" The Voice paused then intoned in mighty majesty, "You shall have till Oddfellow's Day next, To subtract his soul from the Number of the Elect! Free Will, Free Choice, freely made and freely given! If by his sin one other is lost from the Roll of Heaven, You will have won the wager and shall name your forfeit! Keep the souls or free them and I shall give you let To name the hour in which the Last Blessed Trump shall blow Thus ending Our contest and Our struggle here below!" Phil trembled at the thought of such tragedy. "Three times his virgin soul you must taint, Else he goes free at the end of our bet! Three mortal sins, he loses all, but lest In your despite, he remain a saint He shall have won from you the forfeit Of a wish! Not one from your lying Grammarie But a True Wish, free of hellish jest! Accept you these terms, O, Adversary?" The Devil in Drag winced. "You call that poetry? I can do better in my sleep! But if I don't accept the terms, he's mine to keep? You must have made one Heavenly joke, when earlier of Armageddon you spoke?" The Voice seemed amused, "Know, Satan, that to all mortals I show My Grace and Love. But 'tis for you to find out, does Lord Jehovah bluff?" Satan chewed the end of a dainty fingernail in frustration. Phil, dazed and dizzy, sought out a kitchen chair and collapsed into it. The Voice waited silently. Nickie sighed, patted her blonde hair absently, smiled sweetly at Phil-- causing him to flinch involuntarily--then looked coyly at the ceiling. "I can do anything I want with him during the bet? Anything short of injuring his precious free will? Hey, I'm not rhyming anymore, you get tired of that game?" She simpered at the Royal Oak Combination Fan and Chandelier. "This one is better," said the Voice. "And the answer to your first question is yes, you may do anything you like with his physical body." Phil listened, horrified, numb, shocked and mute. God and the Devil were playing a game and he was one of the markers! "Ah accept," said Nickie, her cornpone accent had instantly returned. She turned to Phil and wrinkled her cute little nose at him. "Relax, sugah, this is gonna be fun." "God," Phil whispered. "He's gone," said Satan. "Deserted you. Left you to mah gentle charms." She watched him critically for a moment then decided that despair based on abandonment by God was not going to be an effective lever on a child of the television age. Shock, however.... Phil noticed that Nickie's eye teeth were pointy and prominent and that her gaze roamed critically over his body. He felt nervous, naked and never more than nineteen. "You're a mess, sugah. No wonder you cain't get laid." Nickie tsked. "Your complexion looks like someone planted corn then burnt the field before the harvest. Your hair is nice stuff but you went to the same barber as Bill Gates. And those clothes, surely you bought them at some yard sale. Well, nemmine, sugah. Momma Satan's gonna fix." Phil swallowed. "What are you going to do?" He wished his parents would get home. He wished he'd never stumbled across that website. He wished that looking at Nickie didn't make him sweat and tremble. He wished she weren't so beautiful. He wished he didn't have a hard on. "Well," said Nickie. "We can fix that last one!" Suddenly terrified of the Princess of Air and Darkness, who certainly seemed capable of reading his mind, Phil bolted past her toward the stairs. Nickie laughed, a tinkling sound full of magical broken promises. "We'll have to make sure you can get laid, sugah. Just anytime you want to, you'd like that wouldn't you?" The offer alarmed him more than anything else she might have said. She would read his mind and know, KNOW, how desperately he wished to "get laid." He stumbled on the first step of the stairs. It didn't seem to be where he'd thought it should be. When he lifted his foot, it came right out of his shoe, the sock dangling loosely. He shook his head in consternation and alarm and something brushed his neck, his shoulders, his cheek. He tried to continue up the stairs but his pant legs flapped about his feet, tripping him. The waist band had settled around his hips and the jeans were now more than a foot too long. When he put out his arms to catch himself, they had shrunk also. Delicate little fingers sprang from tiny little palms at the end of much shortened arms. "What's happening to me?" He tried to ask but his voice sounded strange, squeaky, almost childish. His gaze followed his now smoothly rounded arms up to where two bulges in the front of his t-shirt gave him another clue as to what the Devil in Drag had done to him. Blonde curls dangled in his face, obscuring his vision as he tried to look down. The mounds on his chest were tipped with darker color visible through the straining t-shirt. He had tits! Big ones! Nickie simpered at him. "It's always easier for a girl to get sex, sugah. 'Specially a girl as pretty as you. And being built like a brick shithouse won't hurt neither." Phil caught sight of the mirror above the couch. A beautiful blonde babe tangled up in his clothes lay across the first few steps of the stairs. Her wide blue eyes stared directly back into his. His hand flew to his mouth and in perfect, beautiful, synchronicity her hand flew to hers. "You gonna have to beat the boys off with a stick," said Nickie. She smirked. "But if you use your hands, most of 'em will be back for moah." The Devil in Drag by Lainie Lee Chapter II: "Reflections" "I'm gorgeous!" Phil exclaimed. His reflection, her reflection continued to astonish her, him. The blonde hair fell in soft waves across delicate shoulders, big blue eyes deeper than oceans under a canopy of dark lashes, and skin flawless as a baby's. Not to mention the delirious wetdream of a shape filling out Phil's old clothes, all visible in the mirror above the couch. "Ah do good work, sugah," the Devil said, smiling. Phil looked at her warily, this whole thing of a contest between God and Satan for his, her soul, had gotten out of hand. Now the Devil had turned Phil into a gorgeous babe so he, she could get laid easily and allow the Devil to control the start of Armageddon. The Devil in Drag, Nickie Asmodeus, that is. It occurred to Phil that she, he now looked remarkably like the Apparition he, she had summoned up with the instructions on WWW.Walpurgisnacht.Com. Two nearly identical blondes faced each other across the length of the suburban family room. Phil's eyes were blue, Nickie's green. Phil's hair a soft, nearly white ash- blonde and curly-wavy down to the shoulders, Nickie's hair platinum with a brassy undertone and done up in a big-hair-Southern way. Nickie's clothes looked like she had just stepped off the Prom float, tight, short evening gown and high heel pumps while Phil was still wearing the blue jeans and t-shirt of a boy much taller than she was now. Nickie's makeup was theatrical but perfect, Phil's face was bare and his expression, shocked. And they had the same tiny waist, abundant hips and surely Phil's tits were just as big as Nickie's if not bigger. A few moment's ago, Nickie's face and figure had inflamed Phil's passions. She had played him like a fiddle and physical desire constantly threatened to embarrass him. Now, SHE could look at Nickie and the only thing that really came to mind was an inanity; she dyes her hair, Phil thought. She. That was the proper pronoun now. The enormity of what had been done struck Phil like a blow. One moment he was a nineteen year old boy, the next a supermodel. "This can't be happening," she heard herself say. "Sugah, you just bet it cain't!" Nickie grinned, well, evilly. "I gotta go now, lovah, lots of people wanna talk to li'l ol' me on Oddfellows Day. I'll check back in on you, later, honey." Nickie gathered her things and raised a pretty hand in the air. "Bye-ee," she waved before vanishing in a puff of lavender smoke. "You can't just leave me here like this!" Phil protested. "Don't leave me!" She scrambled across the floor dragging the too long jeans behind her. "Satan! Come back!" But the Devil was gone. Phil tried to stand but tripped on the jeans legs and fell to her knees. The jarring did odd things to the new distribution of weight on her chest. It didn't exactly HURT but it wasn't entirely pleasant. Grabbing the bobbing boobies to stop their jiggling did major damage to Phil's remaining self image as a guy. Guys did not have breasts this big, bigger than a double handful each. "I'm gonna need a bra," she whimpered, appalled at the idea. She glanced around the room, even bent to look under the table hoping that The Devil was simply playing tricks and would pop out like a jack-in-the-box and admit to having played a cruel joke. "Satan?" Phil called softly. The odd sound of her own voice kept her from shouting more loudly. "Miss Devil?" she whispered hopefully. Pulling herself up into a dining chair she spared a reproachful glance for the Royal Oak Combination Fan and Chandelier over the dining room table from which the Voice of Jehovah and been heard. "You were a lot of help!" she sniffed. "I was," agreed the Voice. Phil squealed in terror and slipped from the chair to her knees. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I didn't mean any disrespect, sir! I didn't know you were still there! Honest! The Devil said you had left!" she squeaked. The fan blades began to turn slowly. "I'm always Here," said the voice. Phil trembled, feeling weak she bent forward to support herself on all fours. God was in his, her parents' dining room and by implication had been and would continue to be for all time. "It's a miracle," she whispered. She tried to remember which way to cross herself, though she, he had never been in a Catholic church in his, her life. The Voice made no comment. "Um, God?" Phil ventured. "If you are still there can you change me back?" "Yes." Relief flooded through Phil and she struggled with herself not to start bawling. God would change her back, she had always been a good boy and God wouldn't let the devil turn her into some sort of fantasy cheerleader. She braced herself for the ripple of change that had so startled her the first time. Nothing happened. For several moments she crouched there waiting and nothing continued to happen. "Aren't you going to change me back?" she asked trembling, half expecting a lightning bolt to descend from the gently turning blades. "No," said the Voice. "You haven't thanked Me for saving you from hell." "You did?" squeaked Phil. Her voice was definitely higher now, she wondered inanely if she were a soprano. Phil had been a boy soprano in a children's chorus at school but he had never really tried to sing again after his voice changed. "Several times," the Voice sounded mildly amused if not a little exasperated. "Most recently when you meddled in the use of magic. Lucifer had every right to carry you off to The Pit, I talked her out of it." Phil considered. The church he, she had been occasionally involved with had not been particularly heavy on the fire and brimstone but she, he was familiar with the images. "What is Hell like?" she asked faintly. "You really don't want to find out, do you?" "I guess not. Uh, thank You." "You're welcome," said the voice and the lamps in the Royal Oak Combination Fan and Chandelier glowed momentarily on their lowest setting. "Now will you change me back? Sir?" asked Phil meekly. "No." "Why not?" It was probably bad form to whine at God but Phil couldn't help it. She couldn't see her own face at the moment and did not realize she was pouting, too. The Voice ignored the appearance of disrespect. "The rules for the contest The Adversary and I have agreed to forbid My intervention in that way." Phil was distracted by the odd thought that the Voice had begun to sound familiar. "Changing you into a female was to be expected, once the parameters of the wager had been established. The Enemy expects your will to be weakened by your transformation. Only you can give The Liar power over your soul. But your body, even your brain can be manipulated by the Fallen One, under our rules." "M-my brain?" squeaked Phil, horrified by the images of thousands of bad horror movie cliches. "M-my brain? Uh, God, that-that's where I LIVE." For the moment she forgot her speculation about just who, or Who, the Voice sounded like. "Yes. Your brain is not you, it is only part of your domicile. You are a soul, a being of pure beingness. Made in My Own image." Involuntarily, Phil glanced down at herself. The idea of God with two bulges in Her t-shirt seemed sacrilegiously funny at that moment but Phil resisted incipient hysteria. The Voice continued. "I have endowed you with free will and the rules of the wager do not allow the Adversary to rob you of My gift." "You-You're warning me not to fail in the wager. Not to be the cause of Satan controlling the date of Armageddon. I-I'll try, God. I promise I will try, I know You're depending on me not to fail." Phil trembled, the fate of Mankind was resting on her narrowed shoulders. "No," said the Voice. "You are only human. I'm expecting you to fail, at least twice." Again the Voice seemed amused. "I am warning you to guard your soul, do not lose sight of your chance at Heaven. As for the date of Armageddon, trust Me that I know what I am doing." "W-what?" Phil, dropped her head in confusion. The blonde curls made a tent around her face as she stared at the pattern in the carpet. The small hands with their delicate nails at the end of her too slender arms distracted her once again with the impact of her transformation. The Voice did not answer. Phil looked up again. The lamps were dark and the blades of the Royal Oak Combination Ceiling Fan and Chandelier coasted gently to a stop. Phil spent several minutes uselessly pleading with the inanimate appliance. God might still be in the building but He was answering no more questions. At last, exhausted by hope and fear, Phil began to cry. Not fair, she told herself. Magic doesn't work, everybody knows that. How was he, she to know that on Oddfellows Day, the third odd Thursday of the month, it would. She had used the spell just for fun, she hadn't really wanted to summon up a devil, especially not The Devil. And certainly not be turned into a girl! All she, he had wanted to do was get a date for Halloween this Saturday -- and maybe get lucky. She felt her face redden at that last thought. "I'm never lucky," she sobbed. She sat back on her round bottom and lifted her t-shirt to wipe her eyes. She felt the globes on her chest swaying with her movements. Reaching under the t-shirt she touched them. They certainly felt real, though Phil had never actually felt of a girl's tits before. Well, not skin to skin, just a few "accidental" collisions with one of the cheerleaders back when he had been in high school glee club. She pulled the t-shirt higher and bent her head to look at her new breasts. Tears ran down her cheeks and dripped onto the delectable globes. Each smooth round mound of flesh had a nipple with a ring of soft crinkly flesh around it. The nipples and areolas were a warm brown, darker than the same spots on his old chest. Her explorations caused the nipples to react and become erect. It felt like two soft little erections on her chest. She felt weird, to say the least. "I've got to get a good look at myself,' she murmured. Standing in the too-long jeans seemed impossible, so she undid the snaps and wriggled out of them. The pale blue boxers were just ridiculous, so she took them off, too. Naked from the waist down now, she walked to the couch and sat, suddenly disturbed by the odd sensations of walking. First was the feel of something missing between her legs and then, well, her breasts bounced with every movement, and hair brushed her shoulders distractingly. Sitting, she suddenly reached back to feel of her butt. Soft and round and just a little jiggly, it was sort of like sitting on a water cushion. She sighed, with a little hiccup of a sob in the middle of it. Leaning forward she looked down the Valley of the Boobs toward her crotch. Soft curly blonde hair grew there in a narrow box shape around her pussy. "My dick is gone," she whimpered. She reached one delicate hand down there just to be sure. No protruding male member, just a slit edged with soft flesh. She didn't dare stick a finger in there though she couldn't have said why. It didn't occur to her to wonder why her pubic hair grew in that peculiar shape. Her sole experience with seeing the female body nude had been the pages of a certain tasteful men's magazine and she actually thought girl's pussies all looked that neat and trim. She had no hair on her legs or underarms, and she hadn't noticed that either. Small wonder. The way her mind fell and swooped she might not have noticed if the house had caught fire. The hell of it is, she thought, I know I'm not crazy. I KNOW this is real. I've met the Devil and talked to God and still I know I'm not crazy. I kind of wish I was. She whimpered a little then wiped away her tears. "I-I-I'm a girl," she said out loud. Her voice startled her again. It sounded so wrong. Higher pitched and even the cadence, the music was wrong. She tossed her head to get her hair out of her eyes, a very feminine gesture that she was immediately aware of. "Whattamyegonnado-oo-oo?" she suddenly wailed and burst into tears again. Great wrenching sobs that made her chest heave so that every bounce and jiggle of her breasts communicated once again that she was now a girl. Would God or the Devil ever change her back? Would she be stuck like this for the rest of her life? "Please, please, please change me back," she sobbed to Anybody who might be listening. Why can't I believe that I'm crazy and that this isn't really happening, she asked herself. But she knew; God had made it a part of the rules of the bet; she had to retain her sanity and her free will; she wasn't going to be allowed to go crazy. She finally cried herself out and lay on the couch, wearing nothing but Phil's old undershirt, almost long enough on her new body for a very short miniskirt. Exhausted, or at least momentarily drained of emotion she idly played with a lump of wet Kleenex. She felt better for having cried, better but still depressed. Every movement she made, every sound, reminded her of her predicament. Just the kinesthetic sense of how her body parts were arranged was wrong. Her thighs were too close together, her hips too far apart. She felt short; she could actually stretch out full-length on the six-foot couch but her legs felt absurdly long. Even her elbows seemed to bend funny and she spent a few moments flexing her arms and marveling at the out-of-joint dislocation of reality and her new elbows. When the doorbell rang she almost fell off the couch. Panicky, she wondered if anyone could see her from outside. She sat up and tried to pull all of her limbs inside the t-shirt while staring at the door. The bell rang again. "Michael," she whispered. The relief in knowing who was on the other side of the door almost caused her to break into tears again. The afternoon had slid into evening and Phil's friend Michael had come to go to the movies with him -- with HIM. She whimpered a little. She couldn't let Michael see her like this. "Go away," she muttered. Then louder, "Go away!" The key moved in the door lock, startling her again before she remembered, Mike and Phil had had keys to each other's houses ever since seventh grade. Mike's mom had made jokes about having a second son and Phil's mother had actually suggested the exchange of keys so either boy could go into either house and wait for the other while busy parents conducted busy lives. The door opened and Michael stepped in, smiling. Mike, good old solid Mike. Good old broad-shouldered, square-jawed, snappy-dresser Mike. Mike who effortlessly made straight A's and ran 90 yards for touchdowns. Mike who got all the girls that seemed to forever elude his skinny, gawky buddy. Mike for whom Phil had always felt equal parts friendship, admiration and envy. Handsome Mike. She had never realized just how good-looking Mike really was. Six-foot-five, brown hair bleached almost golden by the sun, hazel eyes that changed color when he smiled or frowned. Stubbly jaw, muscular arms, big hands, trim waist, legs in perfect proportion to his height. No wonder the girls all went nuts about him, he was like a god. She had to stare, drinking him in, her mouth open -- and he stared right back. He smiled. And she felt her nipples crinkle and a small muscle or something she had never known she had somewhere in her groin area flexed just a little, a tickle that sent a shiver up her spine and into her brain. Her brain? The realization that Satan's transformation had not stopped with the shape of her body but had extended even to her brain finally penetrated. The horror of the idea paralyzed her for a moment before. Mike opened his mouth and before he could finish asking, "Who are you?" she was off the couch and running up the stairs, into the bathroom, with the door locked. She had wanted to go into Phil's room for refuge but at the last moment she remembered, that door had no lock. And she definitely wanted a lock between herself and the handsome stranger who used to be her best friend. She didn't think about being naked from the waist down until she had locked the door, her hands trembling. But she heard his admiring "Wow!" as she fled. The Devil in Drag by Lainie Lee Chapter III "Introductions" "She's gorgeous!" Mike exclaimed. He shook his head in wonderment. What was a babe like that doing here, in the home of his friend Phil? "Wow!" he murmured to himself, seeing again in his mind's eye the lush body fleeing up the stairs; the large breasts bouncing under the t-shirt, the cloud of blonde curls, the round bottom jiggling a little as she closed the door of the bathroom upstairs, the look of terror she had shot back at him. He frowned, replaying that part again. Yup, he had definitely scared the pants off one beautiful blonde babe; perhaps literally, he certainly hadn't seen any pants when she fled up the stairs. "Are you okay?" He called up the stairs. "Miss?" No answer. He glanced around the room before starting up the stairs. The discarded clothing attracted his attention. Sneakers near the base of the stairs, a sock here, a sock there; jeans and boxers over by the dining room table. Men's clothing, from the sizes and choices, probably Phil's clothing. Mike's eyebrows went up. Phil? With a babe like that? He peered at the top of the stairs again but the beautiful blonde was nowhere to be seen. Mike pursed his lips in a soft whistle. "I didn't know you had it in you, buddy." He grinned, pleased for his friend and pleasantly envious, "But the question is, have you had it in her?" * * * In the bathroom, Phil huddled on the non-slip mat in the bathtub with the shower curtain pulled completely closed. Eyes closed, legs pulled up under her, arms wrapped around her shoulders; she tried to will herself into the sort of withdrawal she had seen in movies and television. But it wouldn't work. "It's not fair," she whimpered. But after a few more moments of cowering and trying to will herself into a catatonic trance; she sat up, feeling ridiculous. That her large breasts bobbed with every movement did not make her feel any less ridiculous. Sighing, she pushed her mane of pale blonde curls out of her face and carefully clambered out of the bathtub. "I am just doomed to be sane in this crazy situation," she muttered. Her voice still startled her. She was used to hearing her, his baritone rattle around in his, her chest a bit before emerging with a masculine resonance. Now, her voice was all in her head, no chest to speak of; it sounded thin and high-pitched and a bit nasal. "I hope to God I'm not whiny," she prayed with a nervous glance at the light fixture. Actually, she had a pleasant, even musical, soprano but no one hears their own voice the way it sounds to others. She stripped off the t-shirt and stood in front of the full-length mirror on the back of the bathroom door surveying her new body in all its magnificent femininity. Rose-beige skin with no tan lines, smooth as a baby's behind except for darker nipples and areolas and the little exclamation point of blonde fur between her legs. Phil had been six-feet-three inches of gawky, post adolescent male, about 170 pounds. Curiosity impelled her to measure herself with the yard stick nailed to the wall; five-feet even in her bare feet. "I'm a shrimp! I'm short even for a girl!" Lower lip trembling she stepped on the scales. "One hundred pounds, on the nose," she whispered. The numbers were suspiciously even. Did the devil think in round numbers? She was certainly round, rounded all over. A hundred pounds sounded like a lot for a girl only five-feet tall but her butt felt a yard wide and the bags of flesh on her chest probably added a bit of poundage, too. Funny, looking at herself in the mirror, she was so perfectly, if generously, proportioned she did not look short. Not short, just, well, stacked was the word that came to mind. Another thing, looking at the image of such a living doll would have made Phil practically cream in his shorts; but now, SHE could look at herself without arousal. Perversely, she did feel a bit of pride that she was so good- looking. "Mike would whinny like a stallion if he could see me now." she said smiling involuntarily. Then frowning, she remembered that Mike had seen her, fleeing up the stairs, practically naked. At the thought of Mike she realized she could still hear him calling for her. Or rather for Phil. And another thing or three, her nipples were crinkling at the thought of Mike and that little whatever it was where a penis ought to be crinkled or wrinkled or something, too. Unbidden, the image of Mike in the boys' locker room sprang into her mind. Mike with a semi-soft dick arching out from his loins all of seven or eight or nine inches long. Mike looking at her and smiling. * * * * * The scream from the door at the top of the stairs brought Mike scrambling up the steps so quick he tripped on the top step and had to catch himself before plowing head first into the wall with his full 220 pounds. "What's wrong?" he shouted before trying the door. "Are you all right?" Rattle, rattle, another scream, locked. Mike debated crashing the door down. Phil's parents would certainly be upset. "Go away! Go away, go away, go away, go'way!" The girl sounded nearly hysterical through the bathroom door. "Do you need help? Who's in there with you? Is someone bothering you, uh, miss? Phil? Is Phil in there with you?" Where the heck was Phil? "No, no, no! I don't need no help and I'm talking to you, you big, dumb, lump-ass! Get out of here, Mike! Go home!" Boy, she really sounded upset, but somehow the distress kept coming through a layer of kitten-like sexiness in her voice. Mike did not want to leave the lovely damsel locked in the tower room, even if it was by her own choice. "Do I know you?" Surely he would have remembered such a cupcake if she numbered among his conquests and acquaintances. "You know my name, what's yours?" he ventured. "Uh," inside the bathroom, Phil stammered mentally. She wanted to give Mike her name; she wanted desperately to tell Mike who she was; she wanted to open the door and throw herself into Mike's arms and unload the whole heartbreaking problem on him. Right. "Get a hold of yourself, kid," she warned herself. And so she did, both arms wrapped around her body, just under the overlarge titties. What could she tell her oldest and best friend, a man she loved as dearly as the brother she never had...whoa up, don't go there! She danced from one foot to another in her frustration, her titties jiggling in her self-embrace and her fat little round butt jouncing slightly. "Just...just go away," she finally managed. Mike decided to feign deafness. "I'm sorry, honey, I can't hear you through the door. Do you know where Phil is? Has the crud abandoned you here? Wha'd he do, go out for pizza?" Phil felt her eyes filling up with tears. Her boobies bounced again as she wiped her face with both hands. "Oh, Mike!" she wailed. "You don't understand! Can't you just go away?" Mike felt the teeniest bit guilty about not obeying the lady's request, but, after all, what could Phil do for such a delectable dish that Mike couldn't do better? "I'm not leaving until you tell me your name, honey." He grinned. "And preferably your phone number. I'm standing out here kicking myself 'cause you remember me and I can't believe that I don't remember you!" A sudden thought occurred to him. "Say, did I know you years ago? Like when we were little kids?" That would explain why she recognized him and he didn't recognize her. He combed his memory for likely little girls who had disappeared from his life over the years. "We knew each other like back in the sixth grade, huh?" Phil shrugged at the door, then grimaced; even shrugging felt weird. Well, it was true, they had known each other since the sixth grade when Mike's parents moved into the area and took the house just three doors away. "M-maybe?" she ventured. "Alright!" Mike thought some more. A natural blonde --he had glimpsed the exclamation point during her flight up the stairs-- who might have turned into a bombshell but who he hadn't seen in years long enough that her best characteristics had not had time to develop? "Angela?" he guessed "Phil's cousin, Angela? Is that you, Angie?" Mike vaguely remembered a slender blonde girl his age who had stayed with Phil's family for a month or so, along with her rather pneumatic mother, back in the summer before high school started. Phil grimaced, surprised. Maybe Mike had something. Angela was in New York, well, supposedly. Actually she had dropped out of high school a few years ago and no one in the family had heard from her since. Angela was the daughter of Phil's father's first cousin, Deborah the much-married. Deborah, who had died and left Angela in the care of disinterested paternal relatives about which Phil new little. Phil's head spun. I've got to be someone, she told herself. "Angel," she said out loud, inspired by her sudden audacity. "Call me Angel." She hadn't said she was Angela, but she hadn't said she wasn't. Coming so near to lying made Phil, Angel, want to squirm. Was lying a mortal sin? She wasted a moment vaguely wishing that she had been raised Catholic so she would have a better idea of just what pitfalls she might be treading near. Then she called out with false confidence. "Hi, Mike. Gosh, I haven't seen you since, oh, five or six minutes ago." She laughed, or giggled, really, a sound that startled her with its apparent merriment. Mike laughed. His heart leaped in his chest, he did know her! Shy, quiet, skinny little Angela had turned into the voluptuous, if slightly spooked, Angel he had seen on the stairs. And she was Phil's cousin! He wouldn't be poaching on his little buddy's preserve if he tried to get better acquainted. Mike was very glad. What a cute, saucy, little laugh she had! "Angel, how have you been? Come out where I can get a better look at you!" Oh, yes. Mike felt the stirring of his lust at the thought of a better view of what he had glimpsed of this Angel. Down, boy, he warned himself. She's practically family, be nice. "Mike!" Angel giggled again, this time with a hiccup in the middle of it. "I don't --hic-- don't have any clothes in here." "You were wearing Phil's t-shirt?" "Uh-huh, hic!" "Where are your clothes?" Mike had not seen any girl's clothes lying around downstairs but he glanced back down to the living room anyway. Just the little pile of Phil's pants, socks, shoes and boxers. Huh? "I wish --hic-- I could tell you!" Angel dodged the question. "Oh, hic, darn! Now, I've got the hiccups. Hic." "Have you been crying?" asked Mike. The solicitation in his voice almost made her open the door. "Yes, hic, and I'm going to cry again if you don't go away!" Sniffle. "Hic." She sounded like a heartbroken child. Mike wanted to take her in his arms and comfort her. "Where the hell is Phil?" he asked. "Probably," she nodded lugubriously. "Hic. Gone. Hic. I don't know where." "Did somebody just dump you here, naked, Angel?" It was the only explanation Mike could think of. "More or less. Hic." The hiccups were making it hard to think; Angel feared that she would say or agree to something that would end with she and Mike roasting slowly over some fiery pit in Hell while the Devil in Drag rode a tank down Santa Monica Boulevard like some macabre Prom Queen Hitler. Shaking her head a little at that image, she got herself a glass of water from the tap and tried to drink it slowly. "Hic." "What have you gotten yourself into, Angel?" Mike was a bit worried. Drugs? Porno movies? Prostitution? Angel? "Angel?" "You wouldn't, hic, wouldn't believe me if I, hic, told you, Mike. Really, I'd rather, hic, rather not. It's kind of embarrassing." The water was doing absolutely no good. "Hic." "Hold your breath and count to ten," Mike ordered. "So, did Phil go after the guy who dropped you off here? I hope the idiot doesn't get hurt." "So do I! Hic! Oh, Mike, don't make me lie to you, just, hic, go away." "You keep saying that but I'm not leaving, you know." "I know, hic. You always were twice as stubborn." "As who?" Mike smiled, she did remember him, alright. "As God! I guess! Hic! Just...!" She took a deep breath with a hiccup in the middle. "Mike, I'm naked in here, I can't come out until you leave!" Mike nodded. "I'll go downstairs and get you some sugar and a paper bag." Sugar and a paper bag, she wondered? "Stay down there. Hic. In the kitchen." You couldn't see the stairs or balcony from the kitchen. "Okay, doll." Mike agreed. "Wear that t-shirt and wrap a towel around yourself. Maybe you can find something to wear in Phil's mom's stuff. But she's taller and, uh, bigger than you." "Ma-Marian is fat, I don't think her stuff will fit. Hic." It felt strange to call her, his mother by her first name. Why did she do it? "You might have better luck with some of Phil's baggy shorts or something. I can't believe he offered you a pair of his boxers." Mike shook his head. "I can't either," she feigned agreeing. "Now go downstairs! Hic! And let me find something to wear." Mike ka-lumped down the stairs and hid in the kitchen, resisting the urge to peek when he heard the bathroom door open. "Down boy," he told his crotch, "we're thinking up here." Granulated sugar to swallow dry and paper bags to put over one's head were old hiccup remedies and he got them ready. "Wowza," he sighed, mentally anticipating seeing the lovely Angel again. Then, "Wonder what kind of trouble she's gotten herself into?" Upstairs, Angel was wondering the same thing. With Phil's t-shirt covering her tits and a towel wrapped as an impromptu skirt she dashed out of the bathroom and, more from habit than anything else, into his, her own room. "How am I going to get rid of Mike now that he thinks he knows me? What am I going to tell him happened to Phil? What happens if he tries to kiss me? Why in the world did I think of that?" The room of the nineteen-year-old boy she used to be seemed bigger. It made her feel very young and vulnerable. And feeling vulnerable made her think of Mike. Mike had always been her, his protector through grade school. Always bigger, stronger, faster, more confident than his classmates, not just Phil, but all the other kids their age. Mike had been the hero and Phil had been the sidekick in a series of adventures stretching back more than seven years. Angel discarded the towel and sat disconsolately at the computer desk. "Now I've gone from Tonto to Jane," she sniffed. She glared down at her breasts, swelling under the t-shirt; the nipples were stiff and very visible and -- sort of itchy. "You two are being no help at all! Hic! Every time I even think about Mike you stand up and salute. What else has the Devil done to me?" Suddenly, she knew. Right in front of her on a little bookshelf built into the desk sat Phil's technical computer manuals. None of the visible titles made any sense to her at all. The lettering might as well have been Greek, Hebrew or Chinese. "I-it's impossible," she gasped. Grabbing one of the books she opened it at random, realizing as she did so that she wasn't even sure which way to open the book or which direction the mysterious symbols inside should be read. Nor could she read the digital clock built into the telephone. The computer keyboard was covered in strange glyphs, runes of unknown purpose. The Dilbert desk calendar she recognized only because of the familiarity of the strip characters and a memory of Phil having owned such a calendar. "This gets worse and worse! How can God have allowed her to do this to me? It's -- it's just fiendish!" Not a book or a piece of printing in the room made the slightest sense to her. She felt her voice rising but panic is a form of insanity and the terms of the bet would not allow her to go crazy. Phil's education had included enough information that Angel knew that reading, writing, even speech and memory were physically based. "If she can do this what else has she done to me?" she sighed, unaware that she was repeating what she had said only moments before. "Angel?" The voice came through the door. At first, she thought it might be God again but the shout was Mike, calling up the stairs. "Angel? Phil's back and he brought you some clothes!" "He what!" She bounced to her feet and almost ran out onto the balcony wearing nothing but Phil's t-shirt. What stopped her was she seemed to have forgotten which way to swing the door. Phil? Out there? How? She was going to have to stop asking such stupid questions, she realized. "The Devil he is," she muttered. The Devil in Drag Chapter IV "Accusations" "That's gorgeous!" Mike exclaimed. "I thought you'd like it." The Devil who looked like Phil snickered. He waltzed around the room holding the abbreviated orange dress against himself like a slowdance partner. "Good thing Angel told me her size and they had something this nice at K-Mart." Actually, the Devil knew "Angel's" sizes perfectly, since he had transformed the real Phil into the voluptuous Angel upstairs. "What the heck happened, how did she get here with no clothes to wear?" Mike asked. He still remembered the glimpse he had got of shapely legs, rounded tushie and little golden bush flying up the stairs. The ersatz Phil smiled at a private joke. "Well, she's already told me three different stories. So I don't know what to believe. But apparently her -- boyfriend -- or sometimes she calls him her MANAGER -- well, he just dumped her here with nothing on. They had some kind of big fight from what I understand. Something he wanted her to do and she wouldn't or vice versa." "But -- naked?" "Yeah, well, apparently she was naked when the fight started and he just dragged her out and threw her in the car and dumped her on my lawn. She'd told him she had relatives here, so.... She's got bruises on her arms where he manhandled her." * * * Upstairs, Angel yelped and rubbed her upper arms. Where had these bruises come from, she wondered? * * * The Devil amplified his tale. "I think she twisted her ankle, too and she landed kind of hard, right on her tail bone when he pulled her out of the car." Phil's face looked sympathetic but the Devil's eyes danced with delight. "What kind of -- bastard! -- does something like that to a girl!" Mike grimaced, he'd like to get his hands on anyone who could hurt someone like Angel. * * * "Ow!" Angel rubbed her derriere, then limped over to the mirror and tried to see what had caused THAT sharp pain. "It must be the Devil doing this! She's, he's beating me up by remote control!" she whimpered. * * * "She's up in your room," Mike said. "Trying to find something to wear." "None of my stuff is going to fit HER," said the Devil. "She's built like a porn star." Mike winced at the description but his crotch throbbed, remembering the glimpse he had had on the stairs. "I think she's even had breast implants and body -whatchacallit-- sculpting." The Devil judged the effect of his words on Mike carefully. * * * "Oh! No!" Angel wailed, as her already large breasts swelled again, adding at least three inches to her bust measurement. Her waist shrank a bit more, her classic figure had become something more like a wet dream. Angel realized she was gaping at her own reflection. She reached up and touched the newly enlarged breasts and grimaced. Not that it felt bad to touch them, but that they were there at all. * * * "I'd better take up this dress and these panties." The Devil waved the dress again, having subtly altered it to Angel's new and improved dimensions, and picked up the package of pink nylon panties he had also brought. Not from K- Mart but there was no way a mortal could tell that. "Let me take it up to her," said Mike anxiously. Phil's face smiled and the Devil's green eyes gleamed. "You wanna get another look at her, huh? Think she's gonna let you in while she's naked?" He snickered. "No, I well, I just want to have talk to her again. She remembered me from junior high. Boy, has she changed!" He shook his head, smiling. "Boy, is she ever not a boy!" the Devil agreed, still smirking. He handed the items to Phil's best friend. "Gonna use that famous charm, Mike? You gonna have those panties off her again, quicker than a fastball tossed at Sammy leaves Wrigley Field?" Mike smiled. "Maybe. She's an old friend and she's in trouble. I'm just trying to be nice." "Yeah, right." Taking the items, Mike headed for the stairs. "Really," he said. "Don't you think she needs a friend?" "Uh, huh," agreed the Devil. "A shoulder to cry on. Or something. Just be careful, Mike. She's not little innocent Angela from the seventh grade, you know. She's been living on the streets doing who knows what for the last four years." "Poor baby. Now she gets thrown out by whoever took her in. Naked." He sighed. The memory of those flashing thighs did not exactly inspire pity but he tried manfully to push his baser motivations back down. He really wanted to try to help Angel, he told himself. Really. The Devil watched him go, then turned to wink triumphantly at the Royal Oak Combination Ceiling Fan and Chandelier. * * * Upstairs Angel debated finding something heavy and waiting for the Devil to stick his head into the room. Then she realized that it really would be HIS head, Phil's own head. The one she, he used to look at in the mirror every morning or an unreasonable facsimile. Could she really cold cock someone who looked exactly like her old body. Paralyzed with indecision while considering this, she almost leaped across the room when the knock came at the door. "It's me. Mike." "Go away." "Angel, I brought you some clothes. Phil went to K-Mart and got you some clothes, remember." She considered. "What kind of clothes?" "A dress and some panties." "A dress!" Angel wanted to scream but restrained herself. A dress. She was going to have to wear a dress! "Couldn't I have some pants?" "Uh, he didn't bring any pants. He said you said it would be harder to find the right size." "I didn't say that! I-" Angel stopped herself. What could she say, what could she do? The Devil was playing this hand out. She felt helpless. She looked down at herself and sighed. Of course, if the Devil was going to furnish clothing for this body it would likely be sexy clothing. Then again, with this body, she would probably look sexy wrapped in an old dog blanket. Th "Can I open the door far enough to leave the clothes?" Mike asked. "I'll open the door," she said quickly. "You just hand the stuff to me." She moved to block the door with her naked body then carefully eased it open, into the room, careful to keep the door between her and Mike. "Thank you," she said automatically, taking the orange dress and package of panties. Then she happened to glance up because Mike had said nothing back. The mirror on the back of Phil's closet door clearly showed Mike's face through the opening. If she could see Mike then.... Mike goggled at her. Squealing, dropping the clothing she slammed all her weight against the bedroom door, trapping Mike's arm inside the room. "Pervert!" she tried to snarl but she realized that her body had responded to Mike's gaze, her nipples had crinkled up and her twat felt hot. She couldn't have enjoyed being looked at, she just couldn't! "Ow! Ow!" Mike yelped. "Angel, please let me get my arm out." He pushed at the door, surprised that it yielded and swung wide open. Angel fell back, suddenly unbalanced and astonished at how easily Mike overcame her best effort at holding the door closed. The carpet impacted on her round butt in the exact same place the Devil had previously magicked up a bruise. Tears came immediately to her eyes and she cried out. Quickly Mike stepped into the room and knelt beside her. "Angel!" He moved to lift her up. "Are you hurt?" Mike bending over her seemed enormous, much bigger than she remembered him being and Angel gasped again. She tried to turn away from him but the details of his appearance rushed at her like the mythical flashbacks to the sixties her mother accused her father of having. His eyes were neither hazel, nor grey but had flecks of every color in them. The lashes were long and dark. His brows were even and thick. His hair fell in curls around strong cheekbones. His wide mouth was smiling and the dimple in his chin was aimed right between her eyes. The tears leaked down her face as the physical attraction she felt for her oldest and best friend beat at her defenses. She nodded, not sure what she was agreeing to; Mike had asked a question but she had no idea what it was. "You are hurt." Decisively, Mike bent his knees and easily lifted her from the floor. She felt tiny, weak, helpless, childish. Her nipples crinkled again, even harder, and something wet and warm seemed ready inside her. She whimpered as he laid her on the bed. "Did I hurt you?" he asked. She smiled. Blood roared in her ears. "No. I-" she didn't know what to say. "Do you need a doctor?" "No. Mike." "Yes?" He looked at her. Blonde hair spilled on Phil's coverlet, lush body exposed to his view; she was making no effort to cover herself. Her eyes were bluer than the skies over the mountains. Her lips, full and red. Her breasts, so large and fine and perfectly shaped above a tiny waist.... He jerked his gaze back to her face. His own reactions were about to betray his lust. She sat up suddenly and snatched at the edge of the coverlet to try to draw it over her. "Get out of here, Mike!" she pleaded. "I'm going, I'm going." He stumbled backward, remembering just in time to turn and not step on the new clothing on his way out. He shut the door behind him. Standing in the hallway, he remembered a scene from the Godfather. When Michael Corleone first saw the young woman in Italy and fell instantly in love. A character in the movie had called it "the thunderbolt." Mike felt sure he had been struck by the thunderbolt. But he could still hear her crying inside the room. * * * Downstairs, the Devil cursed. Somewhere flowers died and dogs howled, but Satan translocated the side effects to avoid disturbing his plans in this neighborhood. "I may have to take more direct action," he murmured. "Why couldn't he have just taken her then and there! She wanted him to!" "Michel is a good boy. Besides, what's your hurry?" asked the Royal Oak Combination Ceiling Fan and Chandelier. "You've got plenty of time." The voice sounded amused. "Eternity is all very well and good for You," said the Devil in Phil's voice. "But patience is a virtue I lack." "I know." The Devil paused and glared upward a moment. "Of course, You do, You're omniscient, says so right on the label." Phil's face wasn't really used to the snarling expression that crossed the Devil's face and it made him look totally unlike Phil. Mike, coming into the room just then was a bit taken aback. "You ok, old buddy?" "Yeah, yeah," the Devil said. "Sure. So, how'd it go?" The Devil knew but of course Phil wouldn't so the Devil had to dissemble. "Okay," said Mike. He looked thoughtfully back up the stairs. "That is one troubled girl, Phil. Something is really got to her, I think she was actually afraid of me." He looked back at his friend's face, his own puzzlement and hurt showing. "Well, look, hey, Mike?" said the Devil. "Do you think you could stay here with her? While I go take care of another errand? I mean I wouldn't want her to pawn the silverware or anything while I'm gone. Hah?" "Sure, I guess." Mike's heart took a little leap. "And she wouldn't do anything like that, Phil. But weren't we going to go see a movie?" "Nah. I don't think I'll go." Leering, the Devil planted another idea. "And it'll give you some time alone. Just the two of you. Here in the house. Alone. Huh?" Mike grinned, used to being twitted for his supposed prowess with the ladies. "Okay, okay. Go on, I'll stay. Maybe after she's dressed, she will want to go to the movies." Phil's body moved to the door to the garage. "Sure, you could take her to the Pussycat to catch the early show." The Devil used Phil's teeth to grin at Mike again, one last time as it turned out. "The Pussycat! That's the...," Mike didn't finish the sentence. The Pussycat was the porno theater in town, often closed when the city council could find some violation or other. He blushed to think of taking Angel to such a place, then turned and looked thoughtfully back toward the stairs and some of the things the Devil had said before sank in. * * * The Devil slipped out the back door and took the steps into the garage all at once. "Nothing like being a teenager again to make one feel young and restless," he said to no one in particular. Chortling, he slid behind the wheel of the neat little sedan Phil's parents had bought for their son to drive. Laughing out loud, the Devil tooled the little car out of the driveway and onto the street. Cackling like a fiend, he disappeared around the corner, still accelerating, his foot pressed leadenly to the floor. He was literally driving like a cliche. * * * Upstairs, Angel dried her eyes and contemplated the orange dress, her future and the possibility of ending it all. It seemed like the only way out of an impossible situation. But...how could she commit suicide in the face of sure knowledge of the existence of both God and the Devil? And presumably, both Heaven and Hell. She sighed. Even without the certainty, she didn't think she could do it, it just wasn't in her. Phil might not have been raised in a particularly religious household but his parents had given him a morality that went deeper than words on a page or hymns in a book. Angel, though her body was different, felt the same strong moral urgings. Besides, wouldn't the Devil win if she killed herself? Or would he? If she did kill herself, kill Angel, would the Devil continue to live her life, Phil's life? Surely not. "Can I kill myself, when I'm not myself?" An absurd supposition predicated on a ridiculous premise, certainly, but what would happen if Angel were dead and Phil still alive? She smiled hesitantly, would it work? Could it work? Would she get her own body back if she killed Angel? Something very much like a counterfeit of hope surged within her? But... could she actually do it? The sound of a roaring engine pulled her out of her despondent reverie. Some maniac on the street outside tortured his engine and tires, perhaps for the last time. She shook her head. "There goes an accident looking for a place to happen," she said, using one of Phil's father's phrases. ++++++++++++++++++++++
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