Not Taking For Granted
“Hey Dad, could you let Brian in at 5? We’re planning to meet up at home before heading out tonight, K thanks”
Mr. Simmons sighed as he read his daughter’s text. He was done with his daughter, Claire, dating Brian. There were so many red flags with her relationship: the fact that a senior in high school was dating a 22 year old man, the fact that Brian hadn’t been able to hold down a job for more than a year, the fact that Brian would disappear downtown for a weekend once per month. He had argued with his daughter countless times, pointing out all these danger signs, to break off the relationship. Claire, however, stated that, if she was old enough to vote, she was old enough to date anyone she wished.
Mr. Simmons was determined to fix this. He had visited the nearby mall earlier this week and happened to run into an old woman, claiming to have the solution to his problem. He glanced at the small glass vial that he had bought from him. He hoped that the liquid inside would perform the miracle that the old man had promised.
A banging on the door signaled someone’s arrival. Mr. Simmons walked over to find Brian standing in the doorway. The young man wore a black tank top, showing off his muscular arms that were filled with tattoos. His baggy dark jeans were the same color as his short, scraggly beard. He nodded in acknowledgement as Mr. Simmons led him inside.
“Would you like something to drink Brian?” Mr. Simmons asked as Brian went into the living room without taking off his shoes and laid on a couch, putting his feet on the pillow.
“I would enjoy it if you have anything that packs a punch, pops!” Brian exclaimed. “I’ll take some water for now though, wouldn’t want to get into an accident with your smokeshow of a daughter”
Mr. Simmons forced a smile and disappeared into the kitchen. He poured a glass of water from the sink. Before returning, he made sure to mix the “miracle” liquid into the drink. Luckily, the liquid was clear, preventing it from being detected by sight.
He walked back into the den and handed Brian the glass. Brian raised it for a mini toast, before chugging down the whole glass.
“Hey, Mr.Simmons,” Brian stared at the empty glass in confusion, “that water tasted strangely sweet. Did you put something else in-”
Brian’ voice trailed off as a feeling of nausea surged through his body. His movement trailed off in speed until his body froze in its position. He could neither move nor speak.
Mr. Simmons was caught off guard by how fast the potion had taken control. In fact, a majority of him was surprised that it had worked at all! He tried to remember back to what the old woman had said about what to do next.
“The potion will leave the recipient controllable,” Mr. Simmons recalled her saying. “Any command you say to him he will do. So, if you want him to break up with your daughter, all you have to do is tell him.”
Mr. Simmons thought about this option for a moment. It would be the simplest method for handling this situation. Brian would be out of Claire’s life, for her own betterment. There might be some heartbreak though, which Mr. Simmons really didn’t want his daughter to experience. He continued to think back on his talk with the old woman.
“One of the great side effects to this potion though isn’t about making him perform simple actions,” the old woman had also explained. “Anything you say to him about himself will come true. Your imagination is the limit with this one!”
Mr. Simmons had thought about this route and a plan of action had developed. To test if anything the old woman had said contained any merit, Mr. Simmons commanded, “Stand up.”
Brian stood up.
Brian sat down.
“Stand up again and jump.”
Brian stood up and jumped in place.
Now to test the other claim. “What color are your eyes?” Mr. Simmons asked Brian.
“My eyes are brown,” Brian replied in an emotionless tone.
“No, they are not,” Mr. Simmons countered. “They are hazel.”
A slight look of surprise made its way onto Brian’ face. He reached up and rubbed his eyes. After he opened them again, they were the color hazel.
“What color are your eyes?” Mr. Simmons asked again.
“My eyes are hazel,” Brian answered.
Mr. Simmons was delighted. The old woman had been speaking the truth! It was time to execute his plan. Hopefully this way no one would get truly hurt.
“Brian,” Mr. Simmons began, thinking through the questions he wanted to ask him, “where did you grow up?”
“I grew up in the heart of the city,” Brian shared in his monotone voice. “Poverty, drugs, and crime were around me at all times. I wear these tattoos as reminders of all the things I went through. I did what I had to do to help me and my fam survive.”
“That’s a nice story and all,” Mr. Simmons replied, “but you grew up in the suburbs, sheltered and safe from any harm.“
Bewilderment struck Brian as he realized that that was true. The tattoos on his arms began to fade and erase themselves from existence. The scars and scraps around his body that occurred from his upbringing healed themselves. His tank top grew sleeves and became a t-shirt, while his baggy jeans became black denim pants
“Where did you grow up?” he asked again.
“I grew up in a single family home in the suburbs, close enough to experience the benefits of city life but far enough away to not have to deal with the rough nights. It was very similar to a place like this.”
“Very good,” Mr. Simmons continued on to his next question. “Who are your parents?”
“My father is Darren Porter, a detective in the precinct and an informant for the Hernandez gang. My mother is Maria Birch. She’s a real estate agent. They got divorced when I was 5, my father lives downtown while my mother lives in Georgia with her new husband and step-children”
“I’m sorry, but I’m afraid you’re incorrect again,” Mr. Simmons stated. “Your parents are Bruce and Victoria Collins. They are also good friends of mine and my wife.”
In response to these words, a ripple of changes surged through Brian’ body. His short, stubby black hair grew out and fashioned into a comb-over. It also lightened, turning into a light brown. The bones of his face rearranged themselves to correctly match up with his new Italian origins. He thinned slightly, and gained about an inch in height.
As the changes neared their end, Mr. Simmons spoke again. “Who are your parents?”
“My father is Bruce Collins. He works at a local law firm, along with my mother Victoria Collins. You already knew that since they live next door.” Brian answered.
Mr. Simmons nodded. “Enough about talking about your background, let’s talk about you currently. I don’t mean to sound rude, but what sex are you?”
Brian gave the monotone reply of “I am male”.
“Are you sure? Because Bruce and Victoria Collins have only one daughter.”
Once again, a surge of changes blasted Brian’s body. Sleek and silky light brown hair tumbled down onto her upper back. Her face rounded out its previous angular edges, shaving off her beard. Her lips puffed out as her teeth straightened and brightened. Her nose narrowed and her bushy eyebrows scalped themselves into a more slender form. A dark red eyeliner and lipstick applied themselves onto the new feminine landmarks.
Lower, her body shrank almost a full foot, for the 6’ 2” frame she had before didn’t seem correct. Her powerful arms and mighty core dwindled in power, for strength was something she was never interested in achieving,her body instead transformed into an hourglass shape, due to her hips cracking outwards and waist pinching inwards. Upwards, her breasts swelled into large D cups and the collar of the t-shirt widened to show her cleavage.
The black t-shirt shrank to fit her size and a burgundy flannel formed over the t-shirt. The black denim pants wrapped her legs and moved upwards to form high waisted jeans. Underneath, her legs became thinner and shaved off any pesky leg hair. Her thighs thickened, forcing her groin to reshape and properly match the rest of her body. Her butt ballooned and pushed against the jeans. Her work boots stripped all its materials away until it became a pair of black high heels. Her hands smoothed out, while her fingers grew narrow and dainty. Her fingernails became manicured and painted a burgundy color to match her flannel. A gold necklace appeared and dipped low, almost touching the prominent breasts beneath it.
Mr. Simmons tried to keep himself from staring. “What sex are you?”
“I am female,” she answered, this time in a voice much softer and higher, although it kept its monotone nature.
“If you don’t mind me asking, where do you live?” Mr. Simmons questioned.
“I live in a small apartment downtown,” she replied. “I love its location near all the restaurants and bars. I frequently spend my nights roaming from club to club, hanging out with friends and strangers alike.”
“That sounds like a nice dream and all, but you can’t afford to live downtown. You still live with your parents, especially because you recently graduated from college and still in the process of finding a job”
Brian looked shocked for a moment, before falling into a state of realization and slight disappointment. She remembered she had recently started working as an intern at her parents law-firm. She also had started house sitting on the side to have her own money which was why she was currently at Mr.Simmons house, Mr.Simmons had hired her to take care of Claire while he was going out for a dinner with Ms.Simmons. And so, her dark lipstick and eyeliner faded away, her black t-shirt and flannel got replaced with a plain white t-shirt with a light blue sweater over it. Her black jeans turned white while her hair tied itself up in a ponytail,leaving behind a more typical outfit for house sitting. Yes, they were simple, but Brian really didn’t care.
“Where do you live?” Mr. Simmons repeated.
“I live right next door, with my parents Bruce and Victoria Collins,” she answered correctly
“Yes, yes. Hold on…” Mr. Simmons paused for a moment, selling the role, “I don’t think I ever caught your name, young lady. What is it?”
“My name is Brian Collins.”
“Umm, I don’t think that is right,” Mr. Simmons stated, puzzled. “I recall my neighbors naming their daughter Hailey Collins.”
She stared in total disbelief, until she finally came to terms with it.
“What is your name?” Mr. Simmons asked for the final time.
“My name is Hailey Collins, your next door neighbor” said Hailey
“Of course! How foolish of me,” Mr. Simmons answered with a chuckle. “I will let you wait for Claire to return home alone. I’m sure you two have some sort of plans for this evening.”
About ten minutes later, Claire flew in the front door to find Hailey waiting for her in the den.
“What is the plan for tonight?” Claire yelled enthusiastically.
“I was gonna propose watching a film?” Hailey said
“Sound like fun” said Claire, “Let me go upstairs and drop-off my bag”
“Guess that was only a temporary fix,” Mr. Simmons thought to himself. “Without dealing with the problem itself, all I am doing is going from the frying pan and into the fire.”