by Paul Carmichael
©1998, 2001 Paul Carmichael -- all rights reserved
"Mom? Do I have to go over there with you?" I asked, as I followed my mother to a long line of waiting moms and kids. "I'm supposed to meet Charlie back at the Mall."
"Peter, will you be quiet, and get in line?"
I tried to peer around all the other people in line without any luck. I walked ahead a few paces, until Mom called me back. "This is just great, we'll be here forever. Couldn't I go back and wait for you by the playground?"
"Not this time, kid. This really won't take as long as you think, and you have to stay with me."
"I'm twelve years old, Mom. You don't have to treat me like a little kid."
"You've shown me, over and over that I can't treat you like a big kid, Peter, now be quiet."
After a while, the line started moving and I saw a large sign up in the distance. I squinted until I made out the words, "Baby Changing Station."
"What?" I demanded. "What do I need a changing station for, Mom."
"It's not that kind of station."
"Then what is it?" This time, I trotted down the line ignoring my mother's warning. I found a large booth, tended by a tall man in a white uniform. Machines of all sorts hummed, and blinked inside the booth.
I stood out of the way to watch as a mother set a baby down on the booth's counter. She unwrapped the baby from two blankets, took off his diaper and handed the man a small collar. He wrapped the collar around the baby's neck, pressed a few buttons on the panel behind him, and a yellow light covered the counter. The baby cooed and gurgled as he tugged at his collar.
Fur. I watched fur grow out from the baby's tummy and up both legs. He rolled over as a tail grew from behind. Two minutes later, the kid's turned to puppy. The new dog bounced around on four legs with his tail wagging up a storm. The mom, now owner, attached a leash to the puppy's collar and took him from the counter.
"That was some change," I said out loud.
The next mom, settled a toddler on the counter. This time, she took off the little girl's dress, and a moment later, dressed her new son.
I must have stood there, like an open mouthed fool, as I watched boys turn to girls, and girls to boys. Another assortment of toddlers turned to anything from kittens to parakeets. This was crazy.
I ran back to Mom, to find her in the middle of the line. "What's going on, Mom? Changing babies is one thing, but changing them to animals is another. What am I doing here?"
Mom reached into her bag, and pulled out a dark red blouse with denim skirt. "You're going to be a beauty, Pete. From now on, though, you will answer to Alexis. I've always loved that name, and..."
"No way. Not a chance will I ever be a girl. I'd rather be a dog."
"That, too, can be arranged, Alexis." She took a dog collar and leash from her purse.
"That's it, I'm out of here," I said and ran for the back of the line. I bumped into a wall, maybe a force field, but I couldn't see it or get through it. I ran my hands along the wall, and followed it back to Mom.
"This is it, kid," she said.
"But Mom, what did I ever do to you? You can't just change me into someone else."
"No, I can't, which is why we came here. After all, you are still my baby,"
I blushed. "Mom, will you stop that. I'm not a baby, and I'm not going to be a girl."
"Well, not a baby, then, they couldn't do this if you were thirteen."
"Lucky me," I said. "What are you going to tell Dad when I come home in that skirt?"
"Nothing. Once we leave this area no one will remember what you were before. You will always have been Alexis, but just think, after this we're going horseback riding."
"What for? I don't like horses."
"You will in a few minutes, honey. Trust me, all little girls love horses."
This time, I stomped on the ground. "Why are you doing this to me?"
"Alexis, I've told you and told you what I expected from you, as a young man, and you still defy me at every turn. Therefore, I am not going to give you another chance, and you will be a young lady instead."
"I told you, I'd rather be a dog."
"Then put this on, and take off your clothes. You will be a dog until you stop this tantrum or you get to the front of the line."
"Okay," I snatched the collar out of her hand and put it on. "There, see, I..." I fumbled for my shirt and tugged it off as Mom snapped the leash on me. My pants dropped off as I felt my tail grow in and start to wag. I dropped down to my hands and feet, and waited as my legs adjusted in length.
"Mom, look," some little kid shouted. "That boy doesn't have any clothes on."
"See, Taylor, that boy is going to be a doggie, just like you. Would you like to go over and play with him?"
I squatted down, so what, I was a dog after all, and watched as that mom undressed her toddler, and sent him over my way. I stood back up on all fours, and waited. He dropped down to all fours as well and started bouncing around me.
"I'm a doggie, too," he said.
I bent over and licked his forehead. He stopped bouncing as I washed him. He yipped until I lay down on my side. He buried himself in my side and nursed. I turned my head to watch the other nipples grow in down my side. I should have known, a girl either way.
Three more puppies joined the first, and I lay there until Mom called me. It wasn't bad. Not bad at all. I gave the puppies a last lick as I followed Mom up to the counter. She picked me up, and set me in front of the man in white.
"She is a handsome dog, and almost all changed," he said petting me.
"Not this time. I brought her here to be a girl, a human girl, and that is what she will be. Alexis, stop this nonsense, now, and sit up. You need to get dressed. Can't let the kids get away with everything," Mom said.
I sat up and held my arms up for my skirt and blouse. "We are going riding next, aren't we."
"Of course we are, sweetie," she said and brushed my hair into a pony tail. "Get your shoes on, and thank the nice man for his help."
"Thank you," I said as I hopped down from the counter. Mom took my hand as we walked to the car.
I knew that this was going to be such fun. I was going to be a girl instead of a dog. I didn't have a choice, now, but I promised myself that I had seven months to teach my mother a new meaning for the word bitch.