Virtually Twisted (Revised) | Pt 1


Author's Note

Although this is marked as revised it may be more accurate to call this a rewrite, as very little of the original text has been retained. The original plot is more or less intact, but be aware that certain portions of the story may not turn out quite the way you remember.
I would also like to take a minute to thank Morpheus for creating the Twisted Universe, and Xtrim who was kind enough to do the final grammar edits.

Part 1 – School Days

“En garde!” The dark knight raised his blade, his polished black armor gleamed in the torchlight.
I scowled and drew my weapon. “Step aside, knave!”
His muted laughs came through the helmet muffled, and he lunged at me. I barely brought my weapon up in time. “Let her go!”
“Never!” he screamed and lunged at me again.
I leapt aside and plunged my blade deep into his side. When I jerked it free, I paused, watching the dark knight collapse to the ground at my feet. I used the tip of my boot to flip his face cage open, gasped and took several steps back. “Megan?!”
“Mr. Rumsfield,” she said with a dry monotone voice very different from her real voice.
“Mr. Rumsfield,” she repeated, and the world evaporated around me. My eyes snapped open and with an audible groan I looked up at Mr. Beekman who was hovering over me, lips creased in a frown and arms folded across his chest.
“James, this may be the last day of school, but it is still my classroom. This is not nap time, if you can’t stay awake during class I suggest you get to bed a little earlier. I bet, this girl Megan, who’s name you’ve been calling out, would agree.”
The classroom erupted with laughter and my cheeks burned as he turned away. He continued his lecture and yammered on about photosynthesis. ‘God!’ I thought to myself slumping my head against the desktop. ‘When will it ever end?!’
I think I must have dozed off again because the next thing I knew the school bell rang. I jumped out of my seat, but stopped when Mr. Beekman call out my name.
“Mr. Rumsfield,” he said. “In your eagerness you seem to have forgotten that class ends when I dismiss it, not at the sound of the bell.”
I scowled at the ornery bastard and plopped back down in my seat. Fucking hell, I hated school!
“All right class as I was about to say before Mr. Rumsfield tried to leave prematurely,” Beekman continued, “For those of you that will attend my AP Chemistry class next year, remember there’s a twenty-five dollar lab fee that’s due by the first day of school. Class Dismissed.”
I was one of the first out of class, every extra second in that place was one second less of my summer. I sped down the hallway, weaving in and out of the crowds.
“Jim, my man!” Jeff Goldwin, a classmate and a friend approached. He raised his fist, and we bumped fists.
“Hey, I’d like to chat man, but I’m trying to catch Megs before she leaves,” I said, glancing around hoping to catch sight of her.
“Damn, man you really need to hit that,” he said with a playful slug in the shoulder. “Well I guess we’ll talk later. Hey you going to the Game Palace opening in the mall on Thursday?”
“Yeah,” I replied. “Why do you think I’m looking for her? Hey, uh I guess we’ll talk later, okay?”
“Okay, whatever,” he muttered shaking his head and rolling his eyes before I turned away and took off down the hall.
“Hey you wanna hang this summer?” He called out.
“Yeah sure,” I called over my shoulder. “Call me!”
I had almost reached the hallway leading from her last class when I ran into her. As you might have guessed she was both the girl I’d been dreaming about and the one for whom I’d been looking.
“Oh, hey Jim,” she smiled at me and I felt my knees turn to jelly. I started into her bright green eyes and my heart skipped a beat.
She cocked her head and met my gaze. She was wearing her hair out for a change. Most of the time she wore it in a ponytail, but I kind of preferred it the way it was. It framed her heart-shaped face and made her look closer to her actual age.
She pursed her pouty lips and flicked a strand of fire-red hair away from her large nose. It was the only flaw on her face and probably the only reason she wasn’t considered one of the hottest girls in the school. Personally, I think it added to her charm, but maybe I was biased.
Megan was my best friend, and we’d been inseparable for about as long as either one of us could remember. When we got older, I developed a bit of a crush on her and when I asked her out, she turned me down flat. She said she wanted to stay friends, but sometimes I got the impression she was holding something back. It sucked, but I would take her whichever way I could get.
“Hey, did you hear about that new Game Palace in the mall?” I asked glancing down at her chest and turned away hoping she hadn’t noticed.
Megan, like almost any other girl under the sun, hated it when she caught a guy ogling her boobs, but sometimes I couldn’t help myself. She had to be among one of the top five most well-endowed girls in the school. What straight guy couldn’t resist sneaking glances at those luscious melons? It wasn’t just her breasts either, Megan had a lot of soft, round… interesting curves.
“A Game Palace in the mall?” she said before her face broke out into a dazzling smile. “Awesome! There’s one where my grandma lives.”
“Yeah, there’s one in Clinton it’s pretty freaking awesome.” I grinned back at her and added, “You want to go check it out? They’re supposed to have a huge grand opening tomorrow.”
“Sure,” she replied.
“All right, I’ll pick you up around noon,” I said.
“Sounds like a plan,” she said then added “I gotta go, see you later.”
“Later,” I called after her as she disappeared around the bend.
I watched her disappear down the hallway and let out a long sigh. We were perfect for each other. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t see it. I shook my head and made my way out of the school. Maybe someday she would understand.

I arrived home after a short drive from school. The house was empty. It appeared Mom hadn’t made it home yet. I’d long stopped trying to keep up with her schedule. She kept crappy hours working retail. I climbed up the stairs, plopped down on the couch and flicked the television on with a gesture of my hand.
I watched a documentary on a ziprock band who’d made it big and squandered it all on drugs and prostitutes. It was interesting, and it gave me something to do until my mom got home. I’d always thought the band kind of sucked so I got a good laugh out of it.
After a few hours I realized the time, so I threw a couple frozen meals in the oven for dinner. I sat down again, and I watched a repeat of a sitcom I liked. I must have seen the episode almost a dozen times already, but since it was one of my favorites, I laughed my ass off like I’d never seen it before.
A short while later a voice called from the landing. “Jim, I’m home.”
I hopped off the couch and made my way down the stairs where I found my mom, Kate, setting down her bags. “Hey, how was work?”
“I’m just glad to be home,” she said. “I’ve been doing employee evaluations all day.”
She worked as a Manager at a department store in the Mall called Haglund’s. She hated it, but brought in a decent sized paycheck every month. Not bad, considering she started out as a grunt and worked her way up the ladder in only eight years.
“Dinner’s almost done,” I said, changing the subject, “I put in a couple of those Lasagna dinners you bought the other day, they should be done in a few minutes”.
Mom looked a little relieved, “Good, I’m famished.”
After we finished dinner I looked to mom and asked her, “Want to watch a movie or something?”
“Yeah that sounds great, but let me get caught on the news first,” she replied, “I want to see what the weather will do tomorrow.”
“-is 570 MBC, News,” the TV blared after Mom switched it back on and changed channels. “This is Katey Charles with today’s News. In Los Angeles, police have arrested a suspect in relation to the Echo Park killings, the police have not released the suspects name, but he is believed to be a 24-year-old male twisted, find out more after these words from our sponsors.”
Mom muted the television as she growled, “Those damn Twisted! Those freaks need to be locked up so they can’t hurt anyone else. What’s this world coming to when decent people can’t even trust–”
That’s where I tuned her out. I used to think the twisted were as horrible as she always said, but I’d begun to doubt some things she told me. Megan’s dad seemed like a good guy, despite being a lawyer, and he seemed to think they were no worse than anyone else. On the other hand, there were twisted like the Echo Park Killer that did horrible things, but I wondered if they were as much victims as the people they harmed.
Maybe they were freaks like Mom said, I couldn’t decide. It was creepy and weird and it must suck to change with no reason or prompting into a different person. I’m told, not all twisted were altered to such a large extent, but I imagined that it would be freaky even when the changes were minor. Were they all dangerous like Mom said, or just a select few?
“Your father–” I heard my mother say, and I turned to stare at her with my mouth hanging open. “What about my father?”
“You know what? I’m feeling tired. I’m going to bed,” she added looking back at me with wide eyes before springing from the couch and bolting up the stairs.
“Mom wait! What did you say about my dad?!” I called after her desperate to learn anything about my old man. I chased her up the stairs, but when I had reached her bedroom door, she slammed it in my face. I tried the doorknob, and she’d already locked it. So, I pounded on the door. “Mom, what were you going to say!”
“Mom!” I called out again. Still, she didn’t reply.
I slammed on the door a few more times, then with a shake of my head and a wary sigh I gave up. Sometimes I wondered if she didn’t have a few loose screws. Most of the time she seemed fine, but then she pulled this kind of shit. Then there was her temper… I shuddered and backed away. I didn’t want to get an ear full from her.
My mom had done some bizarre things, but this one took the cake. What had she been about to say? Every time I’d ever asked my mother about my father, she would change the subject or act like she hadn’t heard me at all. What was it about him she didn’t want me to know? What had she come so close to telling me and what did it have to do with the twisted?
God! I just wanted to know who he was! What the hell was the freaking big deal?
“Dammit!” I spun away and found my way to my bedroom. Closing the door behind me, I went to the chair sitting in the corner and turned it over. I popped off the bottom which I’d secured with tape. Inside, where I’d left it, I found my mother’s old sophomore high school yearbook. I’d found it hidden in the back of her closet a few years ago. I pulled the masking tape free, holding it in place, and flipped the book open.
When I first discovered it, the book opened to page thirty-two as if she had opened it to that page many times. I’d looked through the book on multiple occasions, but that page was the one I always returned to, because of what it contained. Listed in the second column was a boy named Harry Turow. Someone, my mother I guess, had drawn a heart around his picture and underneath in my mother’s scrawl were the words “Harry and Kate 4ever”. The boy’s physical resemblance to me was striking, but that didn’t mean he was my father. A picture wasn’t a whole hell of a lot for me to go off, but it was the only lead I had. What the hell had happened to him?
I was born during my mother’s junior year of high school. I learned by asking people around town the Turow family moved away the summer before my birth. Did their departure have something to do with my conception or did they moved away unaware that my mother had been pregnant?
I’d tried searching the web for any information on him, but none of the Harry Turrow’s I’d found had been the right age.
Staring at the photo of the boy I tried to imagine what he must have been like or what he might look like now if still alive.
I closed the book replacing it under the seat and popped the bottom back in. I righted the chair then I collapsed onto my bed and let myself drift off to sleep with images of the boy who might have been my father floating through my head.

Virtually Twisted (Revised) | Pt 2


Part 2 – The Stuff of Nightmares

“No!” I screamed running after the man in the hooded cloak.
He first appeared hovering over my bed like some ghostly specter. I sat upright, and he bolted with a flurry of motion. I threw my covers off and leapt to my feet in pursuit. The world shifted and turned and the surrounding walls disappeared, replaced by an empty field. My clothes had even changed, I realized, as I continued after the man. I was wearing a plain tee, a pair of jeans and sneakers instead of my pajamas, but it didn’t matter, I had to catch the man. I didn’t know why, but it seemed important.
The world spun, and we were inside the school. I followed him around the corner of a hallway and then the world turned again and we were back in the field.
The black knight from my day dream appeared, swinging his sword at me in a downward arc. I jumped back dodging his attack and lurched into motion fleeing before he attacked again. His armor clanked behind me as he leapt into pursuit. Once or twice I glanced over my shoulder, each time he was right on my heels.
How could he keep up with all that armor weighing him down? Soon I caught sight of the man again and I put on more speed, hoping to catch up with him. Why did he run?
The knight was giggling behind me. She called out, using Megan’s voice, taunting me. She called me a loser and said that I was repulsive. I remained focused on the man. I didn’t know why.
We ran, I chasing after the man, and the knight after me and the world shifting and turning around us. Flash after successive flash came, and I found myself in a variety of familiar locations, the mall, the park near my grandmother’s house and even the hospital where I’d been born. When the world shifted again, we’d returned to my room.
I stopped in the doorway peering inside.
A boy slept under the covers, he was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and he was more or less my size. The boy turned, and I recognized him as Harry from my mother’s yearbook. He sat up in bed and as he did so the shadowy man pulled a knife from inside his jacket. The boy stared at him and a smile formed on his face before the dark figure grabbed him by the throat and pulled him close.
The knight appeared in the doorway and lifted his visor. Megan’s face peered out, she grinned at me her face stretching into inhuman proportions. She didn’t intervene, but instead watched as the shadow man pointed at me then grabbed the boy in the bed by the cuff of his shirt. All three laughed in perfect unison, and I stepped forward grabbed the man by the arm
“Let him go!” I screamed.
“No!” They both refused and shook their heads in perfect sync.
“You don’t get it!” the man yelled pressing his knife up to the boy’s throat.
“Don’t you see?” the boy asked. “I’m not your father!”
They both shook and trembled and blood dripped down the boy’s throat as the blade cut into his skin.
“He’s not your father, Jim.” The man cackled and pulled his hood down and pointed at Megan. “She is!”
“Nnnnnnnoooooooooooo!” I screamed out ready to hurl myself at the man, but stopped myself when he bent and contorted. His muscles shifted and shrunk and a pair of breasts bulged out of his chest. Megan’s face beamed back at me and she unzipped her jacket.
She brought the knife up to her mouth and licked one side of the blade clean. “You still think I’m sexy, right?”
“Jesus fucking Christ!” I sat up in my bed. My head jerked about, looking for any signs of the man, the boy, or Megan. None of them were present and I let out a long drawn-out sigh as I became aware that it had all been a dream.
“Shit, that was weird,” I mumbled as I stumbled out of bed and into the bathroom. I did my business then hopped into the shower. Though mom was probably gone for the day, I checked in on her, just in case. Her bedroom door was open, and she’d made her bed, a sure sign she’d left. She’d had an early shift which wasn’t too uncommon, her work shifts seemed to hop all over the place. It was just one of the many hazards of working retail, or so she kept telling me.
I hovered inside her bedroom door and considered going through her room for some clues of my father’s identity, but soon discarded the idea. I’d already looked through her things more times than I could count and the only clue about my father’s identity I’d ever found was the yearbook.
Last Illusion XXV was calling me from the front room. I bought the game last week and had only played it for a few hours so far which was odd because it was one of my favorite game franchises. After a quick breakfast of Plucky Trinkets I made my way to the front room and switched on my Gamestation. It didn’t take me long to get pulled into the game play and I lost track of time.

It was almost noon before I remembered that I’d planned to pick up Megan for our run to the mall. I saved my game, then shut down the console. Racing out of the house I almost forgot my keys, but remembered to grab them at the last minute. In a few minutes, I pulled up in front of Megan’s house and was about to get out when the front door swung open. I guess she must have seen me pull around. Out sprang Megan accompanied by a blonde girl I’d never seen before.
“Hey Jim,” Megan said as she approached my car, “Is it okay if my cousin Allison, comes along?”
“Sure,” I replied and reached across to push the door open. “Hop on in girls.”
A tall girl with a model’s build stepped into sight and I felt my jaw drop as she ducked inside the car, taking the front seat. Her resemblance to Megan was startling they could have been sisters. She had the same green eyes, but had a fairer complexion. Her nose was about average-size, but her lips weren’t quite as generous.
Allison was quite the looker, I hadn’t seen many faces as pretty as hers outside of a magazine cover. My eyes lingering on her breasts, which were a lot smaller than her cousin’s and I swallowed hard. The scent of raspberries filled the air and glanced at Megan as she climbed into the back seat. I don’t know if it was some sort of perfume or her shampoo, but Megan hated that sort of stuff, so I had no doubt the scent was emanating from the new girl.
Megan didn’t say much as she climbed inside, but judging from the way she was frowning at her cousin I knew something was up. I’d been looking forward to spending some alone time with Megan, so I was a little bummed that she’d brought someone else along. Allison was easy on the eyes, but I’d never been partial to blondes. I tried not to let my disappointment show on my face.
“Hey, I’m Jim,” I said holding my hand out to Allison.
She took it and giggled, and with a rather vacant expression on her face she said “Your friend is cute, Megan. I’d wonder why you weren’t dating him if I didn’t already know you were gay.”
I choked at that “You think I’m cute?”
“Yeah,” she giggled, “I’d totally date you if I didn’t have a boyfriend.”
Then it clicked what she’d said about Megan. I seemed to have trouble thinking straight around cute girls, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. What straight teenage guy didn’t?
“You’re gay?” I glanced back at Megan mouth hanging open eyes as wide as saucers.
“Thank you so much Allison,” she said with a sneer, “I wasn’t ready to drop that particular ball, just yet. Were you planning on telling any other of my secrets today?”
The vacant expression on Allison’s face took on a more menacing cast as she said “No, but there are still plenty of hours left in the day. Who knows? Something might occur to me later on.”
The two girls glared at one another, Megan folded her arms across her chest and scowled. I glanced back and forth between the two of them and grimaced running a hand through my thick mop of hair.
“Ladies, I don’t know what the hell just happened, but why don’t we forget what was said and try to have a good time,” I said putting both hands on the steering wheel and looking back at my friend in the rear-view mirror.
“Oh, we’re teasing each other. Aren’t we Megan?” Allison said with another giggle, the menace fading from her face, replaced by the vacant mask she’d been wearing before.
I looked back at Megan. “Megs?”
“Yeah, sure,” she said gritting her teeth, “Just teasing.”
The drive to the mall was awkward as hell, but it only lasted a few minutes. Once I had the car parked we all piled out and while I couldn’t speak for the others, I was eager to relieve some tension. Upon entering the mall Allison looked around and shrugged. “Eh, not bad, but I’ve seen better. I’ll look around you two can go to your game thingie and we can meet back here later.”
She didn’t wait for a response before turning her back and stepped into the nearest store. I let out a sigh more than a little glad to see her go. Allison was pretty, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like looking at her, but it was a lot less awkward when it was me and Megan. I’d sooner not have the other girl around if they spent the entire time making jabs at each other.
“Soooo,” I said slipping both hands in my pockets and glancing at Megan. “You like girls.”
“Yeah, I think I was in denial about it for a long time. Remember, last month when I visited my uncle? Well…” she trailed off for a moment. “Allison had a slumber party with a few of her friends and long story short, I-I sort of kissed one.”
I stopped in my tracks and let myself picture Megan kissing another girl. I had enough sense not to give voice to some interesting images that her comment invoked. Still, I was sure my night time fantasies would take a few more interesting twists because of this new information.
“Is that why things between you and your cousin seem so tense?” I asked clearing my throat and doing my best not to keep my mind off it.
Megan sighed, “Yeah, sort of, but… that’s the way she is. She’s offish most of the time anyway, but since the kiss, her friend won’t even talk to her and Allison blames me.”
“That’s rough,” I agreed and eyed my friend as she continued forward.
Megan didn’t say a word, and I stopped in my tracks, my heart sinking with the realization I’d never get the chance to win over the girl of my dreams. I would soon get my chance, but in a way I never imagined. If I had known, I would have run for the hills, but one way or the other, it would have happened anyway.

Virtually Twisted (Revised) | Pt 3


Part 3 – It Begins

We continued in silence as we made our way to the Game Palace, and within moments the store was in sight. Megan’s face stretched into a smile. We exchanged glances and picked up the pace nearly running into the store. When we made it there, there was almost no space to move around, it was so packed. For good reason, they had the largest selection of games I had ever seen. We moved to the center of the store where they had an exclusive demo of the upcoming Demon Can Die game.
“Awesome,” I exclaimed, “I can’t wait till it comes out.”
Megan didn’t agree, “Oh come on, the only game of the series that was half-way decent was the first. I seriously doubt the fifth game will be better than the other sequels.”
I was about to retort when something caught my eye. “Holy freaking crap,” I said running up to a display. “They have Death Stalker I’ve been looking everywhere for this, and it’s only twenty-five bucks!”
“Jim, my man!” Jeff Goldwin’s voice called from the other side of the store and I turned to greet him with a fist bump as he approached.
“Hey Meg,” he greeted Megan holding his fist out to her. She rolled her eyes and shook her head as she stared at his hand with a frown. Megan had never liked Jeff, but I’d never been able to figure out why.
“Look,” Megan called out waving us toward the center of the store where a crowd had gathered.
A tall man, with a smile that seemed too forced, was standing in the crowd’s center next to a large display. There was a stylized banner with the words ‘Virtual World’ hanging from the ceiling above his head.
“Gather ’round, gather ’round,” he called motioning for everyone in the shop to move closer.
Megan, Jeff and I didn’t have to be told twice and the three of us moved in closer. Which wasn’t close at all. The throng of people around him was already thick, so we didn’t get the best view. Jeff and I were both close to the same height and we could see pretty much everything, but Megan was short, even for a girl, and I doubted she could say the same. She stood on her tip-toes, leaning back and forth, no doubt trying to get a better look.
“Well, I think we have a big enough crowd now.” The man beamed, running a hand over his hair as he scanned the crowd. “My name is Alex and I’m here today to give you kids an exclusive sneak peek at an upcoming new gaming system that will revolutionize the world of gaming as we know it. We’ve all seen virtual reality systems that mimic our movements, but Virtual World does so much more than that. With our system you’ll be able to experience the wind blowing against your cheek or the touch of a hand on your shoulder.”
On either side of him there was a large holo display and a table with a cloth over it which concealed a ball or sphere.
“For this demonstration I’ll need a volunteer, any takers?” he asked his face stretching into a toothy grin as he surveyed the crowd.
Every hand in the store, save those belonging to the staff, shot up, and the man grinned.
“Pick me,” I called out. Similar sentiments were repeated by my friends and others. Alex eyes scanned back and forth across the crowd, passing me by several times. I thought for sure he’d pick someone else, but then his eyes settled on me and when I met his gaze, a slow smile forming on my face.
“You near the back with the blue shirt there,” he said pointing his finger at me. The crowd parted and in disbelief I made my way to its center where Alex was waiting.
“Young man, what is your name?” he asked.
“J-Jim,” I replied, meeting his gaze, my whole body quivering from anticipation.
“Tell me Jim, have you ever used a VR system?”
“No, but a friend of mine used the virtual attachment for the PlayNet,” I said. “He thought it sucked.”
The man laughed. “I’ve heard a number of gamers say much the same thing, but the Virtual World system is no mere attachment. This is a much more advanced device than anything that has come before. As I’m sure you’ll agree once you’ve tried it out for yourself.”
“The Virtual World system uses diodes built into a head mounted sound and display system. It does not operate by catching your motions, like older VR systems, but instead senses what you want your avatar to do, and feeds sensory information back to your brain.
“That sounds awesome!” I said, the excitement building inside me. I could hardly contain myself. “When do I get to try it out?”
The man laughed. “Well folks looks like our eager beaver is ready to get this ball rolling. What say you?”
The crowd cheered, and I resisted the urge to cover my ears. My ears hurt a little from all the sound.
“All right,” Alex said holding his hand up to silence the group. It took a few seconds, but they quieted down. With a dramatic flick of his wrists he pulled the cloth cover the table free. Underneath was a racing helmet with a blacked-out visor with several knobs on the side.
“Ready Jim?”
I nodded, my stomach seized up as he fit the helmet over my head. Darkness engulfed my senses as it fit into place. I don’t know why, but for reasons that escaped me at the time the whole business was making me just a little uneasy. I had the strongest urge to rip the helmet off my head and run as fast and as far away as my legs would take me. If only I had listened.

Virtually Twisted (Revised) | Pt 4


Part 4 – Chance of a Lifetime

“Now,” Alex’s muffled voice said from the other side of the helmet. “We adjust these knobs and we should be ready to go.”
Something cold and metallic touch the skin on my forehead and the back of my neck. I couldn’t say for certain, but I figured they must have been the mechanisms that fed sensory feedback from the game into my mind.
“Do you feel anything touching your skin?” he asked, and after I replied in the affirmative he asked if I was experiencing any discomfort. When I replied in the negative, he flipped the visor down over my eyes.
“As our friend, Jim, experiences the full splendor of the Virtual World System, this monitor will display a limited visual interpretation of his experience. So you may have an inkling of the awe and splendor of the Virtual World Console,” Alex spoke. “Please keep in mind that this, in no way, comes close to what Jim will be experiencing.”
It was dark under the helmet until a blue streak of light flashed across my eyes and exploded with dozens of green and blue squares each of which expanded until they filled my entire range of vision. Black text appeared on screen creating dead-spots where there was no light and I realized that I was looking at a menu. I reached out to touch one option, but stopped when I saw my hand. It didn’t look like flesh, but rather mechanical. Its fingers were segmented and reminded me of something that might have belonged on a crash test dummy.
‘Must be some kind of default avatar,’ I thought to myself.
“As you might have noticed…” Alex said in the distance but I ignored him. I didn’t wait for any prompts from him, but instead I reached my hand out again and touched the menu option that seemed to show game-play. There was another bright flash accompanied by a burst of red and gold tiles which displayed another menu.
Alex made another dumb joke about me getting ahead of myself. I rolled my eyes, chose to ignore him and focused my attention on the menu displayed in front of me. The first thing I saw were several selections for what appeared to be game demos. One had a picture of a very attractive woman wearing a tight form-fitting jumpsuit with light blue skin, almost cat-like ears and a small set of horns in a futuristic setting, another had a bearded wizard with lightning shooting out of a staff, and the last had a Tarzan-esque character in a rainforest.
I debated for a minute, but reached out my hand and chose the science fiction setting. I’d always had a thing for sci-fi, plus the alien, or whatever she was, looked hot. Another bright flash filling my vision, and this time the screen was populated with white and gray tiles. When my sight cleared, I found myself inside what I guessed must have been a spaceship. I marveled at the detail and how it looked real. It wasn’t until I drew near a bulkhead that I realized a few details didn’t look right. I drew my hand up the wall touching it with my hands and snatched it away when in surprise when cold steel contacted my fingers.
I studied the wall and the surrounding area for a few minutes, and I looked at my hand. It was blue like the woman from the preview image, but what struck most about it was that it had six digits rather than the usual five. The nails were short and well-manicured, the fingers themselves were longer, more slender and looked like they belonged to a woman.
My hands drifted to my chest and discovered something I should have expected. I had boobs, or I guess my virtual avatar did, but damn they felt real enough. I grabbed a hold of one and it jiggled on my chest. “Wow,” I heard myself say aloud. “That’s weird.”
This pronouncement brought about a fit of laughter from the crowd, but I ignored it, a little put off by the sound of my avatar’s voice speaking in perfect unison with my own.
“Stop right there,” a new voice said behind me and I spun around to face the intruder.
An NPC, a non-playable character, stood opposite me wearing segmented combat armor that looked almost organic, but what had my attention was the large and dangerous looking gun in his hands. Based on the rounded-glass like protrusion along the weapons front, I was willing to bet it didn’t shoot bullets, but if all my years of gaming had taught me anything it would do major damage to the character I was playing.
“Crap,” I said, ready to spring into action, but stopped when Alex protested.
“Woah,” Alex protested. “Why don’t we back up? While I’m very excited to let you experience the game play of The Rise of the Anthecron, there are amazing features that the audience has yet to see.”
Several loud groans followed this pronouncement, and I was prepared to keep on going, but the game seemed to have taken on a mind of its own. The screen flashed again, this time with orange and green tiles and I found myself in yet another menu, but this one had floating bits of text that instead of hanging motionless circled around me. It surprised me, at first, but then I realized Alex must have had an override which enabled him to take control of the demonstration. I’m not sure why he hadn’t used it earlier, but I guessed I would have to play along if I wanted another chance at playing the game.
“This, is the character customization menu,” Alex said. “You can play with Kalena, the captivating default character or if you like a more customized design, you can choose something more in line with your own personal tastes. Keep in mind that this is a demo version and that the game is still in active development so some features aren’t yet available.”
“Our friend, Jim has done a good job of navigating the system so far, but for the sake of this demonstration I’ll be taking the reigns. Although the character customization menu isn’t finished, there are still a wide range of options. I’m told that in the final version you’ll even be able to scan your own image and play as yourself. As this is a demo that feature has yet to be implemented,” he spoke.
“There are so many options available that with some tweaking you could make a reasonable representation of yourself, but that’s rather boring isn’t it? Now we could play with this for hours, but I’m just going to walk you through some basics. First option, is the species of the character.”
Alex switched between several options, first a human, then some big hulking creature and back to Kalena’s race. He moved on to gender, for a moment my form switched to a male one before reverting to the female form. He tinkered with the settings and various parts of my digital body grew and shrunk as he experimented with the menu sections. When done he started on clothing. There seemed to be a lot of options available many of which seemed to include every form of dress imaginable including silly options like those dorky tropical flower shirts, and even parachute pants, but most of the stuff were futuristic clothes and combat gear.
It was while he was navigating the clothing menu my stomach seized up and I panted for breath. It started with a tingling sensation, like static, that started in my scalp but spread through my whole body. I doubled over, a strange pressure building inside me. My initial reaction was to pull the helmet off my head, but when I reached up an incredible jolt of pain shot through my body as if lightning had struck me. Massive forces rippled through me as if the universe itself were pulling at me. For a moment it seemed that the entirety of my existence began to waiver and I would cease to exist. The darkness came and there was nothing.

Virtually Twisted (Revised) | Pt 5


Author's Note

This particular part of the story sparked the most debate of anything I’ve ever written. Looking back, I believe much of the criticism was warranted, but this time around I hope I’ve managed make this so called ‘naked march’ more plausible. Before leaping to conclusions please be assured there will be repercussions at the end of story that I hope will satisfy any of the remaining naysayers.

Part 5 – The Naked March

Bright light blinded me as I came awake. I tried to bring my hand up to block it out, but my arm refused to move. I opened my mouth to talk, but even my voice would not cooperate. My initial impression was that someone very large and very strong was holding me down, but when my eyes adjusted to the light, I realized that my original impression had been wrong. I tried to move again, but my muscles refused to budge. I panicked, but then Megan’s hand touched my shoulder.
“Jim, you will be all right; don’t worry,” she said and while there was a slight quiver in her voice, her words kept me from giving into my hysteria. “Just breath, I’ve heard of this happening before and most people regain use of their muscles within a few minutes.”
It struck me then what a good friend she’d been. Too bad she was a lesbian I think we might have grown to be much more than friends.
I saw the crowd for the first time and remembered that I was still in the gaming store. What the hell happened? What about the game? Who removed the helmet? Why was I on the floor? Why couldn’t I move? Whatever happened my mind didn’t seem to have been affected. At the moment I had plenty of questions, but no damn answers.
A third attempt to move my hand proved more effective, and it twitched if only just a little. It wasn’t much, but I took it as a good sign. I breathed a sigh of relief and I worked at it longer. With my fourth try I was able to lift my arm and touch my face, but as I did, my fingers brushed against something on my chest that shouldn’t have been there. My heart hammering in my chest, I found the strength to sit up, glanced down and found a pair of naked lumps sticking out from a blue chest… my chest.
I stared at those two masses in confusion before realizing that I was looking at a pair of breasts. I glanced around at the crowd and saw their eyes burrowing into me. My brain still struggled to process the changes to my body and for a moment became convinced I was still in the game, but that didn’t seem right. As far as I knew the real world and the game weren’t able to interact, but why the hell did I have blue skin like Kalena and why was I naked? My cheeks burned, and I used one arm to cover those inexplicable breast and another to cover my new and female privates.
“Holy hell!” I cursed and tasted bile in my throat as the only possible explanation came. I was Twisted, I curled up into a ball, a wave of nausea washing over me as my knees pressed into my chest. I gripped the side of my head as the tears came.
“What is it?” A boy to the right of me said I glanced at him and realized with a sinking feeling in my stomach it was Jeff.
“It kind of looks like that character from the game. That hot looking alien chick. How is that possible?” a voice said somewhere behind me.
“I’ll tell you how it’s possible,” said a girl standing right in front of me. “That thing is a twisted freak.”
“Oh, god!” I screamed and sobbed.
I was a freak a damn twisted freak!
Though I made the connection, I didn’t want to accept it. Mom knew, I realized, which is why she’d always been so secretive about my father. I must have inherited it from him, but then…
“Your kind aren’t welcome here,” the girl screamed, and I fell backward when she approached with fists clenched at her side. “Get out before you expose us all to the Kincaide Virus!”
“Hey,” a boy said stepping out from among the crowd. “She has as much right to be here as the rest of us.”
“You’re twisted too, aren’t you? Freak!” she screamed glowering at the boy.
The boy stared back at her fists clenched at his side, but the rest of the crowd moved in. Everyone screamed at once and the girl pounced on me her nails tearing into my new soft skin. I tried to raise my hands in defense, but I was still so weak and she threw them aside with almost no effort. Megan stepped in before it got too bad and punched the girl across the nose. She spun away and fell to the ground clutching at the face.
“Get the hell off Jim, you stupid fucking bitch,” Megan said looming over the other girl the threat of more violence reflected in her eyes.
The scene erupted into a full blown brawl. I tried to crawl away, but the girl grabbed me by one of my ankles and dragged me back into the fray. “Leave me alone!” I screamed and kicked at her with my free foot. She didn’t relent, but another brawler appeared to come to my aid. Things were getting bad, but I think if the trio of mall cops hadn’t picked that moment to show up it would have gotten a lot worse.
They cut right through the crowd and went straight for Megan, handcuffing her arms behind her back. Most of the brawlers scattered, but a few remained to watch including the girl who Megan had punched in the face. She had a triumphant grin on her face as she pointed an accusing finger at me. “The freak started it!”
One of the mall cops, the tallest of the three glared down at me. “Get up!” he demanded.
I wobbled, but with what little strength I had available I managed to climb to my feet unaided. Once standing, my hair brushed against my shoulder and reached up to touch it. I looked down at my chest and new tears welled up out as I sucked in my breath fighting back another wave of panic.
One guard, I didn’t see which, grabbed my wrists and forced my hands behind my back. I didn’t resist and felt the cold steel of his cuffs lock in place around my wrists. He shoved me and I jerked forward. I kept walking, but glanced back before the game store was out of sight and through my tear soaked eyes I noted the burn marks on the ground where I’d been standing. I didn’t understand much about the processes involved, but I sensed it was a result of my twist. The damage to the floor was extensive, and I was surprised and more than a little grateful, no one had been hurt.
I glanced back catching sight of Jeff, and met his gaze pleading for help, but he didn’t budge an inch. When I gave up and turned my head away, he spoke.
“Freak!” Jeff’s voice called after me as one guard pushed me forward.

The trip across the mall was the most memorable one of my life which would surprise no one under the circumstances. Every step I took, it reminded me of everything I had lost and it took all the willpower I had just to keep moving. My breasts jiggled, but there was a noticeable absence of movement between my legs. The guards never attempted to cover me up, so every eye was on me as I walked barefoot and unclothed through the very public areas of the mall. I looked down, watching my blue six-toed feet move across the cold ceramic tiles of the mall walkway.
“You know, my father’s a lawyer,” Megan spoke part way through our little jaunt. “One call from him and you’re gonna wish you’d let us go.”
I glanced toward her and the guard that was leading her along. He didn’t say a word, but rolled his eyes and pushed her forward. She was right, forcing someone butt-ass naked through a public mall was a lawsuit waiting to happen, but all I could think about was my shame and humiliation. The outrage would come later.
I looked around and almost wished I hadn’t. The eyes of the onlookers burrowed into me and though I closed my eyes, the damage had already been done. I could still feel their eyes on me and I wanted nothing more than to hide, or crawl into a ditch or do anything that would let me escape those terrible eyes! Tears splattered against my breasts and I shook. I couldn’t bear it any longer I had to get away.
I tried to run, but I’d never realized just how hard it was to move without use of my hands until I’d had them cuffed behind my back. The impact of my breasts against the cold tiles sent shock waves of pain through my chest. I grunted, gasping for breath as a hand forced me up from the ground. Before recovered, those hands pushed me and I stumbled barely able to keep from falling back over. I cursed myself, realizing how stupid my escape attempt had been, but I wasn’t in my best mind at that the time.
I hoped Megan wasn’t just spewing out empty threats. If her dad sued the mall, I imagined he would take them for a pretty penny if the courts sided with me.
When we reached the security offices, Megan, and I had our handcuffs removed and then they shoved us into a holding cell. It sent me flailing to the ground, but this time, I twisted to my side and avoided falling on my breasts again. Megan helped me back up to my feet, and I collapsed into her arms sobbing. The flood of emotions became too much, and she wrapped her arms around me providing the only comfort she could. She didn’t speak, but made her presence known. It was enough.

Virtually Twisted (Revised) | Pt 6


Part 6 – Secrets

I don’t know how long they kept us in the holding cell. What happened had so thoroughly shocked and shaken me I couldn’t bring myself to do anything but weep into Megan’s shoulder. I was so out of it I didn’t even realize I was still naked until Megan moved.
My eyes snapped open and glanced at Megan. She looked toward the door and I craned my neck to follow her gaze. Jonathon Hails, Megan’s dad, stood in the doorway with a frown on his face and arms folded across his face.
“Megan, please tell me what’s going on? I was in the middle of a meeting with an important client when your cousin called.”
My cheeks burning, I glanced at Mr. Hails. I pulled away from Megan and did my best to cover myself up, but in my state it was almost impossible to hide everything. It seemed pretty stupid, but I didn’t think Mr. Hails would appreciate a naked girl straddling his lesbian daughter. That is… assuming he was aware she was gay.
“Megan!” he repeated her name.
“Uh, well… the thing is Jim, well he sort of went through a twist,” she winced scratching at the back of her head as she shrunk away from him.
“This.” He threw a hand out at me his eyes growing wide before he coughed and turned away. “This… is Jim?!”
Megan glanced at me, brought a hand up to her mouth and turned away. She pointed at my chest and when I looked down, I realized I’d let my arms fall to my side leaving my bare breasts exposed.
“Sorry,” I said my cheeks burning as I was cupping the naked lumps. “I never even suspected I was twisted. Suddenly, growing a pair of… well… boobs wasn’t exactly something I expected to happen.”
“Yes, well, twists are seldom predictable,” Mr. Hails replied. He averted his eyes and if the scarlet shade of his cheeks was any sign, he was very uncomfortable. I couldn’t say I didn’t blame him, but it was nothing compared to what I felt. Hell, being naked and blue with your best friend and her father present was plenty freaking weird, but when you added the breasts to the equation, it was damn intolerable.
“Megan, the guards mentioned a brawl. You didn’t cause it did you?” he asked grimacing as he rubbed a hand against the back of his neck.
“Well…” Megan’s voice said trailing off, “I might have hit another girl in the face, but she deserved it.”
“We’ll talk more about this later. You’re just lucky I got here when I did or we’d be having this conversation at the police station. Being a lawyer has its advantages. One need only threaten to sue someone and they become far more accommodating. Jim, we’ll need to contact your mother she works here in the mall doesn’t she?”
“Oh shit, Mom,” I cursed then glanced down at my chest and bit my lip. Mom hated the twisted with a passion that bordered on fanaticism. I didn’t have any idea what that meant for me, but just contemplating it made me want to curl up into a ball. She was my Mom and even though she was flawed and a little unhinged, I still loved her.
“Yeah, she works over at Haglund’s.” I looked up at him and bit my lip.
“She will need to be apprised of this, ahem, new development,” he replied fidgeting with his tie.
“Mr. Hails?” I asked.
“She won’t take the news well. I, uh, think I need to be the one who tells her.”
He nodded and turned away.
“Oh, and do you think you could get me some clothes?” I added glancing down at my naked body and my cheeks flushed anew.
“Yes, I’ll get Allison to find you something,” he nodded again, he moved to the door, and stopped waiting to be let back out again.
“There will be hell to pay for this. I’ll make sure,” he said reaching for the door when it popped open. He disappeared through the opening leaving Megan and I alone again.
“So, this is weird? Isn’t it?” Megan pursed her lips and glanced at the door after her Dad left.
“Yeah,” I let out a long sigh and glanced down at my hands. “That’s an understatement. I never expected this, none of it. God this is so freaking wrong!”
“You’re not the only one who’s surprised. I never expected you would be twisted. Not the way you’re Mom is always ranting about them… about us.”
“You’re twisted?” That was a surprise. I would have wondered why she never told me, but I already had a good idea. There was a lot of prejudice against twisted people and with Mom being the way she was I don’t blame her for keeping it from me.
“Dad’s twisted, and everybody says my mom was too. Most of my relatives are, so it’s something we’re used to. I guess I am too, or I will be. Whatever. I try not to think about it. It’s freaky realizing I could wake up one day and be a different person.” She sighed.
I had a good idea about what the twist had done but there had to be more to it. If the comments from the people in the Game Palace were right, then I looked like Kalena from the game. I’d only had a brief look at her image, but I remembered her face looked more or less human. Besides the color of her skin her weirdest features were her six-fingered hands, her horns and her ears.
I glanced at Megan then down at my bare breasts. Aside from being blue, they had all the same features as any other girl’s breasts I’d seen and I knew Megan had seen her own set hundreds of times by now. It felt strange being around her naked like this.
I slipped one arm over both protrusions, ensuring I covered them then I flexed my free hand and watched each of my six-fingers move in response. I’d been so focused on the other aspects of my transformation and the shock of it all, I hadn’t noticed such an obvious change. Reaching up to touch my head I felt for what I knew must have been there. Sure enough my fingers found purchase on something hard that ended with a point, a horn. Next, I felt around touching one of my ears. The flesh, felt soft and pliable, like my old ear lobes just in the wrong shape and in the wrong place. When I slid my hand to the side of my head, where my ears should have been, there was only hair and skin.
Dammit all to hell.

“Are twists usually this extreme?” I asked, reaching up to pinch the tip of one of my horns.
“No. Even most of the people who go through a major transformation look more or less like a regular human, but there are stories. My dad told me about this guy that got transformed into this massive dog-like creature and Allison knows this kid with compound eyes like an insect. Some people don’t transform at all, they get these odd compulsions or have their personalities change.”
I groaned. “Why couldn’t I have been one of those!”
“Trust me it can be worse. Some of the compulsions people get make them do crazy and for some even bad things. Like that guy that’s been killing people in California.”
“How do we know I don’t have some kind of compulsion?” I asked, dreading the mere thought.
“We don’t. Only time–” she stopped and turned as the door swung open.
Mom was standing in the entryway and the moment she saw me her eyes narrowed. She clenched her jaw and turned to Megan with that half-crazed expression she got whenever she talked about the Twisted. “Megan, what the hell is that freak doing here? Where’s my son?”
I winced, my stomach sinking.
“Oh, um, well you see the thing about that is–” Megan looked like she wanted to bolt and I couldn’t blame her I was fighting down the same urge.
“Cut to the chase would you? I don’t have all damn day!” Mom yelled still glaring at me.
I swallowed hard, fresh tears running down my cheek as I stared up at Mom. Megan looked back and forth between Mom and I. My lips trembled and I wanted to crawl into a hole. ‘Just do it, it’ll be like ripping off a band-aid. Tell her.’
“M-mom,” I said. My mother flinched away as if I’d slapped her. Her face grew darker and I saw the contempt and hatred in her eyes. She must have figured it out for herself, but I had to speak the next few words as much for my own benefit as hers. “It’s me, Mom, Jim, your son. I guess I’m twisted.”
Her eyes were so wide I thought they might pop out and roll around on the floor. Several times she opened her mouth and a part of me hoped that she’d tell me everything would be all right, but when she spoke my worst fears were confirmed.
“I don’t have a son. I never had one! All this time I’ve been fooling myself. You’re a freak like your father!” she yelled trembling as she loomed over me. “I tried so hard to keep the truth for you, but it didn’t do a damn bit of good!”
“Mom–” I said, and it came out as a high-pitched squeal. I wanted to say more, but the hatred displayed on Mom’s face was too much for me to take and I crumpled under that gaze.
“You know, that’s screwed up, don’t you? Jim can’t help being twisted. Did you think you’d keep him from twisting just by hiding the truth from him?” Megan asked glaring up at my mother.
“Shut the hell up, you stupid little twisted-loving brat. This is none of your damn business,” she howled turning her horrible gaze on Megan.
I swallowed hard steeling myself against whatever horrible thing my mother might say next. It took every ounce of resolve I had just to form the next few words and it got harder to speak with each new syllable. “Maybe not, but she has a point.”
Mom’s fire chilled to ice, and she looked me over with an air of indifference. “I can’t allow a twisted freak to live in my home. You’ll need to find somewhere else to live.”
“You’re not serious! What am I supposed to do? Where the hell will I go?”
“I don’t give a damn,” she said then burst out of the room leaving me there to stare at the door in complete shock.
I had this image of my mother running a dagger through my heart and clutched at my breasts as if her words had done exactly that. My fingernail dug into my skin, and though blood dribbled down my chest, I didn’t care. Nothing mattered, I’d never felt so alone in all my life.
I sobbed, and the tears gushed out of me like water bursting from a dam. “God Jim! That was horrible.” Megan threw her arms around me, but I couldn’t answer even if I wanted to. I buried my face in her shoulder and let the anger and grief come bursting out of me.

Virtually Twisted (Revised) | Pt 7


Part 7 – Shit Hole

“Shit, Jim?” Allison voice wafted in from the doorway.

I wiped the tears from my eyes and glanced over my shoulder at Allison. She was holding a large plastic bag marked with the all too familiar logo of Mom’s workplace, Haglund’s. With my mother’s departure a few minutes earlier, it was a painful reminder of her rejection. My lip trembled, and I turned away so that Allison wouldn’t see my crying.

“Yeah, it’s Jim,” Megan replied in my place.

“Why’s she crying?” Allison asked dropping the bag of cloths in front of my feet.

“I just had my heart cut out!” I screamed between sobs. “My mother wants nothing to do with me!”

“Shit, what happened?” Allison asked.

“I-I’d rather not talk about it.” I snatched the bag from the ground and rifled through it.

Near the top, I found a pack of girl’s panties with the name cotton bikinis on the bag. I hesitated a moment before splitting the bag open and fetched a plain white pair, the least feminine color choice, from inside. Slipping them up my legs, I bit my lip and shook my head. Because I had become so accustomed to boxer briefs, it felt a little strange wearing something so form fitting, especially without a cock and balls to fill the crotch area.

I peered back inside the bag and found a red polo shirt with a black collar. I slipped it over my head, glad to cover my breasts. The shirt was tight, across the chest in particular, but I had a feeling that I’d be running into that a lot since I seemed to be very well-endowed. I stopped before moving onto the next item to pull my hair out from inside my shirt. I held the tip in front of my face and grimaced. Of, all the colors I had to end up with it had to be fucking purple hair. I hated purple. Still, at least it wasn’t pink.

Brushing my hair behind my back I reached into the bag and pulled out the next item, a pair of black short shorts with a drawstring. I glared at the damn things and held them in front of my face. Though I liked seeing girls wear them, they were damn revealing. I would have never considered wearing them before my twist, but better them than nothing.

“Might as well go out in the undies,” I muttered under my breath and scowled as I forced the damn things up my legs. They were a little loose around the waist, but tight in the ass so I pulled on the drawstrings.

The last item was a pair of flip-flops. I always found them to be a little uncomfortable, but since they were plain black with red trim, they weren’t anything I’d be too embarrassed to wear. The rest of the outfit was another story entirely. The shorts showed off way too much leg and were only slightly less revealing than the panties underneath and while the shirt colors were gender-neutral the cut definitely was not and even showed off a little of my new cleavage. I suppose it could have been worse, Allison could have bought me a pink leotard and a tutu or something just as frilly. I shuddered at the thought and glared up at Megan’s cousin.

“Seriously?” I asked Allison. “Short shorts?”

“They’re cute, and besides that was the cheapest outfit I could find that matched.” She scowled down at us and folded her arms across her chest.

“Yes, well I’m so glad you took the time to color coordinate,” I said between gritted teeth.

“They look good on you,” Megan said, and I turned to meet her gaze.

I wasn’t quite sure why, but her comment was oddly comforting, “You really think so?” I asked.

Allison looked from me then back to Megan, “You definitely have the bod for it.”

I felt a tingle of excitement at Allison’s comment. “Oh, god! I am so hot.”

“I think you might have some mental changes,” Megan said a hint of a smile on her face.

“It’s not that uncommon with a twist,” she added in explanation when she caught my blank expression.

“Well, the good news is I convinced the mall management not to press any charges.” Mr. Hails appeared from the doorway, but stopped dead in his tracks when he got a good look inside the room. “Jim, what happened to your mother?”

I’m not sure how he missed her tearing out of the room, but his question dredged up all the sore feelings from my mother’s rejection. I didn’t cry this time, but my eyes misted up.

“She’s gone,” I mumbled glancing down at the floor. “Apparently, since I’m a twisted freak, I’m not good enough to be her son anymore.”

“I would think, a mother’s love would see past such things.” He spoke in a calm, collected manner that almost seemed to make his response nonchalant. If it hadn’t been the firestorm of fury that was brewing in his eyes I never would have guessed that he was angry.

“Apparently not,” I said my lips trembling.

“Well, let’s hope she comes to her senses,” he said with a calm, reassuring smile. “Until then, you’re always welcome to come live with Megan and I.”

“Thank you,” I muttered letting a sob escape my lips. “But what if she doesn’t?”

Mr. Hails pursed his lips and let out a long sigh. “We’ll figure something out. Just know that if it comes down to it, I would never put you out on the street.”

Megan put her hand on my shoulder and gave me a smile that seemed just a little forced. “Come on, let’s get the hell out of here.”

I forced a smile of my own, but it was lackluster. I doubted it did much to mask the simmering jumble of emotions that threatened to scream out from me at a moment’s notice. “Gladly, I never want to set foot in this shit-hole ever again.”

Virtually Twisted (Revised) | Pt 8


Part 8 – Exit Stage Left

I was so eager to leave I was the first out of the security offices, but I regretted my haste when I sensed the eyes of everyone in the area on me. I balled my hands at my sides and stepped forward trying to ignore the looks, but I found myself meeting people’s gazes, anyway.
A boy of about thirteen was staring at my chest when I looked down I realized that my nipples were showing through my shirt. Blushing, I folded my arms across my chest and moved past him. Even when my back was to him I swore that I could feel those damn prying eyes on me. Even clothed the walk out the mall proved to be almost as humiliating as our march to security offices and it was only my determination to get the hell out of Dodge that kept me putting one foot in front of the other. Before I’d been so shocked and humiliated that I didn’t look people in the face, but this time I noted all the hateful glares, every obscene gesture, and every lewd look.
Mr. Hails took the lead, and we followed him to the far North side of the mall. We’d almost made it to the exit when I found myself face to face with the girl from the Game Palace. I was more than a little gratified to see that her face was swollen and she was sporting a nasty black eye from where Megan had hit her in the face.
“FREAK!” she screamed.
“Get the hell out of my way.” I stepped forward and got up right up in her face. I’d never hit a girl before, but I balled my fist up prepared to do just that. Besides, I was a girl now and about the same size so it would be a fair fight. Well, unless I discovered I had any special powers in the next few minutes.
“No,” she said and snatched hold of one of my wrists. “I’m not gonna let you get away! You twisted freaks are always causing trouble it’s time one of you get what you deserve.”
“What I deserve?!” I freed my wrist and shoved her away then motioned at my chest. “What the hell did I do to deserve this? You’re the one that started the damn fight! You remember my friend here, don’t you?” I threw a thumb over my shoulder at Megan. “Well, let’s say if you don’t get out of my fucking face, what she did to you will pale in comparison to what I’ll do.”
That seemed to do the trick, the girls stepped away and watched us walk past her. I heard her mutter a half-hearted “freak” as we left, but I ignored the insult. I didn’t want another fight. My threats against her had been a bluff meant to scare her off.
It was almost dark when we were outside and I let out a long sigh of relief as I took in the warm summer’s air. I started for my car, but stopped mid-stride when I realized I didn’t have the keys or my driver’s license. My Twist destroyed everything in my pockets, including a good chunk of cash, my car keys and cell phone.
“I-I guess, I’ll have to ride with you guys. My keys are gone.” I sighed and followed Megan and the other’s to Mr. Hails’ ride.
“Thanks Dad, for coming and getting us,” Megan said as she climbed into the driver’s side backseat.
“You should thank your cousin. She’s the one that called me,” Mr. Hails replied.
Megan glanced at Allison, hesitated for just a moment, then let out a long sigh. “Thanks Ally.”
“How’d you know what happened?” I asked.
Allison shrugged, “I couldn’t find you guys anywhere and every time I tried to call Meg’s mobile I got a busy signal. So I asked around and found out about what had happened at the game store. I figured it was Megan who’d gone through her twist since she’s about due. I had no idea it was you.”
“Oh,” Megan winced. “You told Dad I went through my twist didn’t you?”
“Yeah,” Allison grimaced. “But can you blame me? What were the chances that’d be Jim?”
I sat back in my seat, closed my eyes, and let Megan and Allison continue the conversation without me. I had so much to think about and it didn’t seem very relevant. What would I do? My entire world had come crashing down around my ears. I liked it when Megan and Allison complimented me which was weird. I think Megan was right when she said there might have been some mental changes. It terrified me, I might have lost a part of myself when I underwent my twist and even if I had would I be able to tell?
The car came to a stop and I opened my eyes to watch as Mr. Hails pulled the car into the driveway. I got out with the others and groaned when a simple realization dawned on me.
“What’s wrong?” Megan asked, placing a hand on my shoulder.
I blushed and bit my lip. “I need to pee.”

Virtually Twisted (Revised) | Pt 9


Part 9 – New Plumbing

Once Mr. Hails had the door open, I leapt inside and made a beeline for the stairs but when I tried to take the steps two at a time; I stumbled. If I hadn’t had a good grip on the rail, I would have fell face forward, but I caught myself and the only thing wounded was my damn pride. I’d lost a decent amount of height and that meant my legs were shorter. Grimacing, I took each of the steps one at a time before bursting into the bathroom and locking the door behind me.
I flipped open the toilet seat, and pulled my short shorts down ready to take a wiz in the usual fashion, only to realize, once again, that didn’t have the usual plumbing. I clenched my teeth, flipped the seat down and plopped down. You know when you hold it so long you have trouble peeing? Well, I learned that day it wasn’t a problem unique to men. When I got the stream going, I closed my eyes and let the pee flow and sighed in relief once I got a steady stream going.
I finished up and walked up to the counter where I washed my hands then glanced up at my reflection and I got my first look at my new face. Though I resembled Kalena in form, the face was all wrong. I saw some of the old Jim looking back at me and a bit of Mom too. If I had a sister, I imagined the girl in the mirror could resemble her.
The girl in the mirror was nothing short of breathtaking, even with the blue skin. Her angelic blue face was framed by a mane of violet hair that ran almost all the way down her entire back. Atop her head growing out of her parietal bone a set of horns jutted out from her scalp. Just to the side of each horn a pair of blue-colored feline-like ears stuck out like a sore thumb, but the most striking feature of all was her eyes. They were the same violet as her hair, but the iris continuously shifted shades, it almost looked like a tumultuous violet fire. If I’d seen her breasts on another girl I would have said they were perfect. They were big, but not huge and firm.
“Wow,” I muttered feeling a little enamored until I realized I was looking at my reflection.
“No,” I scowled. “That’s me now.”
I reached up to touch my ears, but when I did so they twitched. This surprised me and I hesitated a moment before reaching up to touch them. They were hairless and matched the color of my skin. It was a strange sensation having an appendage in a different place and that was the wrong shape. My horns were smooth and felt like I would have expected. They were only about an inch long and as I examined them I wondered if they would grow like horns on animals did. Would I have to trim them?
I glanced down at my chest and grimaced when I noticed my nipples were visible through my shirt again, but this time they were erect. “Damn,” I cursed I was turning myself on. What the hell was wrong with me?
“Well, I am pretty fuckable,” I admitted to myself. “Shit, I’m a cosplayer’s wet dream. Hell, I’m my wet dream.”
Try as I might I couldn’t bring myself to look away. I was horny and it kind of weirded me out not just because I was getting off on my reflection, but because it was the first time I’d become aroused as a girl.
“Think unsexy thoughts,” I said, repeating the sentence in my head. A rap at the door was followed by Megan’s voice. “You all right? You’ve been in there a while.”
“Yeah,” I cleared my throat and took a deep breath. “Yes, I’m fine I’ll be out in a minute.”
I popped the door open and found Megan standing there with her arms folded across her chest. “Just what were you doing in there?” she asked.
“Nothing,” I said then frowned and glanced down at my boobs. “I was just familiarizing myself with the new me.”
“Right,” she said straining to keep a straight face.
I cleared my throat and fidgeted with my long tresses. “We should have a talk. I need to learn more about being twisted.”
She nodded and led me downstairs where both Allison and Mr. Hails were lounging on the living room sofa. I glanced at the two of them and plopped down on the loveseat opposing them. “C-can we talk?”
“Of course,” Mr. Hails replied. “It’s only natural you would have questions.”
I leaned forward and brushed the hair from my eyes as I muddled over what I would say. My mind was still reeling from my transformation and I kept trying to convince myself that it was all some horrible, horrible dream, but I knew it was real even if I didn’t want to accept what had happened.
“I never expected this,” I said. “I-I don’t understand why my mother never told me that this could happen. It might help to understand a little more about being twisted. Since you guys are all twisted, maybe you can help me.”
“Well, what makes you think we’re twisted?!” Allison protested her eyes wide in mock surprise, but she was such a terrible actress I wouldn’t have bought her act even if I’d been unaware of the truth.
“Oh please.” Megan rolled her eyes and took a seat in the loveseat next to me. “I already told Jim that we’re twisted. There’s no reason to play stupid.”
“Please forgive Allison, the acts of hatred and malice that have been directed toward people like us would give anyone pause. Megan was right to tell you the truth,” Mr. Hails looked first at his niece then Megan and met my gaze. “What is it you want to know, Jim? I promise I’ll answer to the best of my abilities.”
“I know what they told me in school, but not much more. It would be easiest if I told you what I know and have you fill in the blanks. It all started when this explorer from Canada, John Kincaide I think his name was, brought the Antarctic Flu back after exploring Antarctica. There was a massive outbreak which killed millions of people. The virus changed the survivors, but no one realized it until they had children and they went through their twists.”
Mr.Hails smiled and seemed to mull over what I had told me. “Sometimes I think all they teach kids about the Twisted in school is to fear and hate us, but I’ve never been happier to be proven wrong. That is an accurate description of the history behind the twisted.”
“I guess I don’t understand. It seems so bizarre. How is it possible? How can a person just change like this,” I asked throwing my hands out. “I’ve heard about people changing all my life, but I never stopped to think about it. It was always so distant, something that wasn’t happening.”
“That is the question, isn’t it?” Megan asked. “We talk about quantum fields and shit, but the only people who understand it is the egghead sciency types.”
“Megan, mind your language,” Mr. Hails said, glancing at his daughter with a stern look. “Thank you for that colorful interruption.”
“Well, I’m not the ‘egghead sciency type’ as Megan so eloquently put it and my understanding is limited, but I will do my best to explain. The twisted are unique because we can tap into what’s called a quantum field. When we first connect with this field is when we first undergo our twist and it’s often triggered by a strong emotional response or a new experience. The physical changes are sometimes accompanied by shifts in personality. In addition, you may have also picked up compulsions which may prompt you to say, do or behave in ways which are unusual.”
“Compulsions?” I shuddered and scrunched my nose up. “I’m not sure I like the sound of that.”
“You’d be pretty messed up in the head if you didn’t,” Megan chimed in. “There are some freaky compulsions like that serial killer in California.”
“But,” Mr. Hails added glancing at his daughter with a shake of his head. “Most compulsions are harmless.”
“Yeah,” Allison agreed. “I go to school with a girl who’s so obsessed with the color pink she wears nothing else.”
“I guess there could be worse things than wearing pink all the time,” I muttered. “How do I find out if I have one of these compulsions? Is there some kind of test?”
Mr. Hails chuckled as if something I’d said had been funny. “Give it a few days if you have one you’ll discover what it is soon enough. There is something we can test for that is if you’re interested. There’s a chance you may have gained a trick.”
“A trick?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Allison said, “It’s kind of like having a super power.”
“You mean like flying or something?” I asked.
“Such abilities are seldom so grand, but yes, I have heard of people gaining the ability to fly. Most normal people seem to be threatened by some of these abilities which is why we refer to them as tricks instead of powers. It sounds more benign.”
“Well, that doesn’t sound bad. In fact, it might even be useful. What’s your trick?” I asked Mr. Hails.
“I can shrink or grow to a quarter my regular size and back,” he replied.
“That’s awesome!” I said. “Can I see?”
Mr. Hails grimaced. “Perhaps another time. I was thinking you might like to try it out for yourself and see if you had a trick.”
“Sure,” I said with a shrug. “Just tell me what to do.”
“Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, there’s no instruction manual. Some people have different triggers for their abilities, take me for instance, my trick requires a great deal of concentration to activate, but for some people it requires none at all and there are a few who activate theirs on a subconscious level. We’ll play things by ear and see what works for you.”
“Ok,” I said. “Well, here goes nothing.”
I closed my eyes and took several deep breaths and cleared my mind or tried to. A billion thoughts coursed through my brain and I struggled to silence them. I tried to imagine myself tapping into Mr. Hails quantum field. A slight tingle trickled down my spine, but when I opened my eyes to see had happened, I couldn’t tell if anything had changed. To say it disappointed me would have been an understatement.

Virtually Twisted (Revised) | Pt 10


Part 10 – Shifting Attitudes

When my trick revealed itself, it happened by accident. I gritted my teeth and brought my hands up, but stopped my arms brushed against the side of my boobs.
“Shit, these things just get in the damn way. I wish they wouldn’t jiggle so damn much,” I stared at them and felt my cheeks burn.
“You get used to them,” Megan shrugged. “A bra would help with the jiggling.”
I couldn’t help it, the image popped into my head and my clothes twisted and contorted as if they’d come alive. The collar of my polo detached itself from the rest of the shirt and slithered inside nestling itself against my breasts, but that wasn’t the only activity under my shirt. Hundreds of tiny threads work themselves from the bottom of the shirt and inch up around the uncovered portion of my breasts, the space between them, under my armpits and around my back. I gasped and my eyes growing wide as the fabric formed under my shirt. Shit, it felt like I had a bunch of bugs crawling all over me.
“Holy freaking hell!” I gasped, pulling the front of what had become the new collar of my shirt open and stared with wide eyes at the red and black bra which had formed underneath. The polo wasn’t a polo anymore, the new collar was black, but it had formed into a v-neck which came down to display even more cleavage than the polo. A few inches of material were gone from the bottom of the shirt, exposing the bare flesh of my belly button.
“Your shirt!” Allison gasped, and I braced myself as she leapt from the sofa and came running toward me. She grabbed my shirt by the bottom of the hem and pulled it up so she could get a better look at it. “It changed!”
Megan stood up, grabbed Allison by the shoulders, pulled her away and positioned herself between me and her cousin. “Somehow, I get the sense, you didn’t intend for that to happen.”
“No, I imagined myself wearing a bra and it sort of happened. Shit I got a magic bra.” I blushed and tugged at the bottom of my shirt. Why the hell did the damn thing have to get shorter?
“I’m guessing the ability to create magical undergarments is not the true extent of your trick,” Mr. Hails put in stroking his chin.
“Yeah,” Megan agreed. “I bet you can change the rest of your clothes too, but the amount of fabric you’re wearing must limit it. That’s why the collar and the bottom of your shirt changed.”
“Lame, I was hoping for something a little cooler,” I groaned and collapsed back into my seat.
“There are cases where a few twisted have developed multiple tricks or even a single trick with different aspects, but I wouldn’t hold my breath,” Megan shrugged.
“Yeah, but that’s rare,” Allison scrunched her nose up and shook her head. “It’s killer! I’d love to change what I was wearing at the drop of a hat! I’d save a fortune on clothes!”
“She has a point,” Mr. Hails added. “While tricks may seem spectacular, they often aren’t particularly practical. This one has the potential to be useful assuming we are correct about how it works.”
“There’s one way to find out,” Megan grinned. “You remember that outfit Rachel Lockridge was wearing last week? The purple tube top with the denim mini skirt? Why don’t you visualize yourself wearing it?”
I was ready to protest, but I actually wanted to try out the outfit. ‘Yep, some mental changes,’ I thought with a weary sigh before closing my eyes and taking a deep breath.
I visualized myself in the getup and my clothes shifted and changed. The color of the threads shifted as they wove themselves into the intricate pattern of the new fabrics. The outfit was identical to Rachel’s with one key exception my footwear hadn’t changed with the rest of my apparel. When I closed my eyes again, I imagined myself wearing a pair of purple sandals to match and my trick did the rest.
I glanced at Megan and caught her staring at my breasts. I blushed and my stomach tied up in knots as I fought down my panic. A growing part of me liked the way I looked and I think she did too, but I was having a hard time reading her. I’d known her longer than I could remember and I could read her better than almost anyone, but this time what I saw there on her face confused me. That look in her eyes suggested she liked what she saw, but the frown she had told another story.
“Well,” Mr. Hails said unaware of the way the two of us were looking at one another. “I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s getting late and I would like to eat before going to bed.”
Allison and Megan both chimed in and mentioned that they were also hungry. Food was about the last thing on my mind and I didn’t seem to have much of an appetite, but I hadn’t eaten since this morning. Because of the hour and the fact we were all worn out from the days ordeals Mr. Hails decided that we’d get delivery from Pizza Shack. It wasn’t the best pie in town, but it was the fastest and it was one of the few places that would deliver to Megan’s house.

“Maybe now would be a good time to tell your Dad you’re into girls.” Allison grinned, took a bite from her pizza and smiled at Mr. Hails who was staring at her with his mouth hanging open.
“W-what?!” Mr. Hails’ snapped around as his big, wide eyes fell on his daughter.
Megan glared at Allison, bit her lip and turned back to her father. “I was planning on telling you. The right time just hadn’t presented itself. I was worried how you might react.”
“Megan, that sort of thing makes no difference,” he replied reaching over and throwing his arms around her in a hug. “Why didn’t you say something?”
“Thanks Dad,” she broke away, bit her lip and looked down at the table. “I sort of had this image in my head of how my life would turn out and I sort of freaked when I realized I like girls. A part of me always knew, but that night at Ally’s house, I guess, is when I accepted it.”
“At Allison’s house?” Mr. Hails asked with a raised eyebrow. “Megan do you and your cousin have something to tell me?”
“Huh?” she wrinkled her nose and stared at him with a blank expression. Realization seemed to strike her and she let out a loud groan and glanced at her cousin. “No no no! That’s not what it sounds like, ew, no. Allison had a slumber party, and I got caught up in the moment and I sort of kissed one of her friends.”
“Ha! Well that’s a relief,” Mr. Hails chuckled then glanced at Megan who was rolling her eyes. He cleared his throat and cupped Megan’s hands. “Megan, I am sorry things didn’t turn out as you imagined, but remember what your grandfather used to say. ‘Sometimes when life takes you off the beaten path, you make your own way.'”
She blushed then shook her head and looked at me with an apologetic smile. “Here I am whining about being a lesbian when Jim here has it much worse than I do. I mean, you know, with everything that’s happened today.”
I frowned, pondering my disownment and the shame of my walk through the mall before a grin stretched onto my face as a thought occurred to me. “You know what, Megs? It’s okay.”
“Yeah, I think I’m a lesbian too,” I said with a shrug just before taking a big bite from my pizza.
Megan snorted and let out a soft chuckle which I think it just may have been the most beautiful sound in the world.