01 Dreams Don’t Have to Make Sense

It shouldn’t really be surprising that I was dreaming about Lee Ann Taylor. She and I had been eyeing each other for weeks, ever since my relationship with Vicky Gordon fell apart. There was no question but that we would look good together. I’m just an inch shy of six feet tall and she fit nicely under my chin. We were both slender – of course, she was only slender in the proper places; no true girl watcher could complain about her curves – and her light skin and hair made an attractive contrast with my own darker complexion. I knew that there was some long-distance boyfriend involved, but her friend Chandra something-or-other had assured me that he was about to be history. I figured that I had a very good chance of making Lee Ann my girlfriend in time for House Parties this fall and, well, the things she had said to me before midterm break would have given any guy fantasies. Besides, she had apparently been with this soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend for nearly three years, which I found rather impressive. My longest relationship so far was the six months with Vicky, and I was still unsure how we had just managed to fall out of love with each other. Lee Ann seemed like a pretty good bet for something longer term.

I would have loved to indulge in the fantasy a bit longer. It was the first day of my break, after all, and I had earned the right to sleep in, but my little sister Tina apparently had other ideas. At least I was pretty sure I had heard her say, “Don’t forget that you promised to drive me to choir practice this morning, Marshall.” I definitely did not remember making any such promise, but I had been tired when I came home last night, so anything was possible.

At any rate, the first thing I saw when I forced open one sleepy eye was the dress hanging on the closet door. Finding clothes hanging there was hardly unusual; I tend to hang my clothes outside my closet the night before so that I can get dressed in the morning without waking up enough to make decisions. It saves time and, on at least one occasion, embarrassment. But a dress?

My first thought was that I wasn’t actually alone in the bed. It was a hopeful thought, considering that I had now been celibate for almost a month, but it didn’t make sense – I wasn’t dating anyone at the moment and I wasn’t the kind of guy to bring home a girl I hadn’t been dating, and in any event I wouldn’t have a girlfriend in my bed in front of my parents. That meant that the dress must be for me, which meant that it wasn’t real – I was obviously still dreaming. If I had been able to focus on the rest of my bedroom, I might have learned more, but it was pretty hard to look anywhere but at that dress.

The most logical conclusion, of course, was that I had somehow woken up as Lee Ann herself. It wasn’t exactly obvious to me why I would have dreamed of being her, rather than being with her, but who was I to argue? I looked down for confirmation, and sure enough, I was dressed in feminine nightclothes. Now, I don’t know – yet – what Lee Ann wears to bed, but Vicky had favored a T-shirt and panties, while another of my ex-girlfriends had tended to sweatpants. None of them had worn a nightgown of the type I had dreamed up, which actually looked more like something Mom or Tina would have worn. For that matter, the dress itself was a lot more modest than I’d ever seen Lee Ann wear.

Dreams, I’m told, are supposed to be attempts by your subconscious to work out things that are bothering you, and my inability to sustain a long-term relationship would have had to be on top of my list. Since Lee Ann had been successful at this, presumably I was going to try a day in her shoes, to see how. But somehow I was going to do it in my own home and my sister’s clothes. Ah well, dreams don’t really have to make sense now, do they?

Speaking of shoes, I could see a pair of high-heeled ones sitting below the dress. I could tell where they must have come from. In the movie Switch, Steve Brooks gets reincarnated as a woman, and has incredible problems trying to wear high-heeled shoes. I think I’d seen the same gag used in other such situations, so naturally I had to dream of wearing them myself in this case. I don’t know how often Lee Ann wore heels; her feet had never been the first place I had looked at, or the second, for that matter. At any rate, the logic of my dream meant that I was going to have to wear them for a while.

Dressing wasn’t all that bad. I’d seen how my girlfriends had put on their bras, for example, and it was more logic than dexterity – fasten in front, spin the thing around and cup yourself in. A piece of cake. The dress was actually tougher, since I had to figure out how to zip it up in the back after I had put it on. I tried the zip-in-front trick, but once it was zipped, it was too tight to spin, so I had to unzip it and try again. In the end, I resorted to a brute-force approach. My arms were suddenly much more limber than they had any right to be, and I could actually reach the zipper pretty much all the way up, either from below or above. In real life, I would never have been able to get my hands to the middle of my back.

Once dressed, I had to tackle the shoes. Despite what the movies show, I’ve never actually seen a girl have trouble with high heels. Clearly then, it couldn’t be all that difficult. I had to experiment a bit before figuring out the trick. There are several strategy games and puzzles where the trap is that you have to ignore one of your assets, as any strategy that uses them is guaranteed to be a loser. That principal obviously applied here as well. The little spike at the back of the shoe is clearly way too unstable to support your weight while walking, so you need to pretend it’s just not there. It felt a bit strange walking on my tiptoes high enough to keep the spikes from hitting the ground, but it worked. After just a few practice laps in my room, I was able to walk more or less naturally. It wasn’t as funny as the inept boy-turned-girl awkwardness, but probably a lot more realistic. It wasn’t until I reached for my doorknob that I realized that anything I had believed would work probably would have, that being the way of dream logic. There was a purse hanging from the doorknob, so I grabbed that, too, as it seemed to be part of the package.

I smiled to myself as I made my way to the kitchen, imagining how Mom and Tina would react to Lee Ann joining them for breakfast. Would they think I had brought her home to spend the week? I’d never actually introduced any of my girlfriends to my parents, although Vicky had spent a week while Mom and Dad were on vacation. I’d had enough trouble without adding the complications of familial perusal to my relationships. Was that the point of the dream? That if I had just trusted my girlfriends enough to have them meet my family, it would have helped? Or that if I had trusted my family enough to introduce them to the girls I was dating, that I wouldn’t have felt guilty? Had I been unconsciously sabotaging my own relationships rather than risk an introduction? I was generating lots of questions, but not getting too many answers.

And I didn’t get one from their reactions. They didn’t even notice that I was a girl at all, much less one they didn’t know! Tina waved from across the table without looking up and informed me that we had to leave in fifteen minutes. Mom just kissed me on the cheek and said, “Good morning, Marsh. Thanks for driving your sister.” Then she looked at me, oddly, which made me wonder if she had noticed, after all, but all she said was, “You’re not going out like that, I hope?”

“I’m not planning on seeing anybody,” I told her, “and I’m on break.” But I ran my fingers through my hair to brush it back. It didn’t exactly satisfy her, but she looked as though she didn’t think it worth arguing with me. It was really odd to feel hair as long as Lee Ann’s, and yet have my lack of morning grooming the only thing she’d found worth commenting on. What was I supposed to read into that? And why did I see myself as Lee Ann, while they saw me as myself?

I studied them for clues. Mom’s a bit fairer than I; my olive skin comes from Dad, as does my height. Mom’s about a head shorter than either of us, and Tina is essentially a 15-year-old carbon copy of her. Both were intent on nothing more than breakfast. Neither showed that they had noticed anything amiss. There was probably something meaningful in that, but it wasn’t clear to me what.

Since we had time, I poured myself a bowl of cereal and grabbed the comics. It all seemed perfectly normal – except for the whole, ‘me being a girl and nobody noticing’ bit, of course. Tina was studying sheet music and listening to something, presumably the choral pieces, on her iPod. Mom was bustling about the kitchen, apparently having found something that needed to be cleaned up. With nothing particular to occupy my mind, I suddenly noticed something – or rather, failed to notice something. As a guy, I had always been aware of a presence between my legs, a constant and comforting bulk. It was easy to ignore since it was always there; now, suddenly, it was not. That made perfect sense, of course. I just wondered why magical gender transformation stories never mentioned it. I congratulated my imagination on finding a new wrinkle on what was seemingly a very old story type, or at least one I couldn’t remember having read anywhere.

Finally, Tina was ready to go. As her chauffeur for the day, I followed her to Mom’s car, tiptoeing my way. I was definitely getting better at it, although I could see that there must be more to it. Her own heels didn’t seem to be clearing the ground at all, and it even looked as though she was actually putting her weight on them, impossible as that might sound.

Once in the car, I discovered another problem. There was just no way to control the pedals with these spikes sticking out of my heels. Fortunately, the shoes came off pretty easily, and I applied the gas with a bare foot. It occurred to me, way too late, that girls tended to wear something on their feet – socks or stockings or something similar, although I don’t know if that would have made a difference. The rough pedal was very uncomfortable on bare skin. What was needed was a detachable heel – one that could come off for driving, and be restored for walking and standing. It was clear that I was missing something really obvious.


  1. Isa says:

    This is an interesting start, will keep reading just to see where things are going. I just want to point out though if you actually tried to walk like that in heels you would kill yourself XD XD XD


  2. Von says:

    I like the whole, ‘this must be a dream’ thing. But I can’t imagine him putting on a bra without some comment on what he was putting *into* the bra.

  3. Trendy Hendy says:

    Wow, cool work there Russ! Really unique story, I like your’re writing style, can’t describe it, but real nice. I will keep reading!

    Btw, you are very professional. 😉

  4. brenda says:

    this is very interesting

  5. Maiden Anne says:

    Neat story so far, I’ll read on. My father (known on here as ‘Von’) asked me to read your story and comment on it as a homeschool project. Looks like it is going to be one of the more enjoyable homeschool projects. I love reading, and the plot to this book looks very interesting. One note though, Dad has given me a synopsis of the book as he has read it so far, so I already know approximately what is going to happen next.

    Couple of thoughts: You didn’t have him/her brush his/her hair, did this not happen, or did you just decide not to mention it? If he didn’t brush his/her hair, his mother and sister would be sure to notice, and if they didn’t comment, they would at least give her/him a funny look if he tried to leave the house like that.

    Another potential problem, if he did brush his hair, he would (if he were truly a girl) do it in front of a mirror. Reading on, I see that it might be a bit of a problem if he were to discover at this point that he wasn’t Lee Ann.

    One thing you didn’t mention is the difference in height. If this is the same house that he has always lived in, and suddenly he wakes up in the morning 3-6 inches shorter, he is going to notice. The high heels might help in the house, but in the car (especially if it was a car he had driven before) the view would have been very different.

    The last thing I noticed was the purse. When I first started carrying a purse, I forgot it all the time. Now, part of it is that I am scatterbrained forget lots of stuff, but once I got used to carrying one all the time, it got a lot better. Now you have him, as a girl, move to the car without even mentioning his/her purse. Could happen if he was used to carrying a purse, but if he had never carried one before, it is a lot less believable.

    I never noticed before the problem of reaching to the middle of your back, but I tried it on Dad, and he can’t reach to the middle of his back either. That is really interesting, and something I never would have thought of.

  6. Russ says:

    re: Brushing hair – didn’t think of it, and have never specified Marsh’s hair length. Let’s justify it after the fact by saying that Marsh’s hair is short; you can often get away without brushing short hair when you get up. Or maybe I’ll come up with a better idea.

    re: height – another good catch, and one I have used in a fanfic; I’ll justify it here by pointing out that Marsh thinks he’s dreaming at this point, and is therefore not paying attention to all details equally – only those he thinks will help him understand the “dream.”

    re: purse – yes, no question that I omitted it. Marsh might have thought of it as being part of the entire package of girl clothing; but mentioning it does make sense.

    Thanks for your comments!

  7. Maiden Anne says:

    I like the change about the hair, although I laugh to think what would happen if I tried that, with my long and tangly hair. Some people though, have pretty straight or otherwise non-tangly hair that would make this work.

    I think the dream does work for explaining the height, especially as you have Marsh notice it just a few hours later.

  8. Crystal says:

    Nice opener! I like all the detail added to the woman’s clothing items, like the heels and the bra and such. Nice voice too, and all the descriptions are realistic. Great job thus far.

  9. Jeff says:

    Sorry about the earlier post, I was tired and typing on a cell phone so I kept losing track of my thoughts.

    What I meant to say is, you can really read into marsh here where she is fighting over her orientation. She knows she is attracted to men now, but she is still looking at things as a man that is now a woman, not just as a woman. The flashes of his memories of him and his girlfriends makes sense, and I think the horror he experiences (from what I read) is based on his lack of knowledge about sex from the other side. Maintaining a normal day gets to be easier, but I think this is going to be a large hump to get over (pardon) because it gets down to the very core of being.

    A lot of fiction including transformation/gender-swap over fantasize or fanservice into softcore porn. This is taking a great approach, keeping the story out of the gutter, and making it about how he feels, now about what he feels. I can see this being a great new arch that hounds for a while, and I hope, Russ, that you don’t plan to end this one soon. A lot of great story can be garnered from sexual tension, this is just a new way to do it.

  10. Arariel says:

    >There was no question but that we would look good together.
    ‘but that’ does not belong

  11. colin says:

    How did this idea first occur to you?

  12. Russ says:

    Hi Colin – I’d read some arguments by people on forum discussing a number of involuntary sex change stories, mostly noting that they tended to be the same thing over and over again, and concluding that it wasn’t really possible to do it differently. I thought that sounded as sensible as arguing that since there had been so many boy-meets-girl stories, that the subject matter was exhausted.

    So then I thought about some issues in the Misfile comic – how so many things had been made convenient for Ash: same friends, same hobbies, same classes. In fact, her post-misfile life was very similar to beforehand, and wondered:
    1. What if they weren’t?
    2. What if it happened to somebody who was used to pretending to be other people – that is, an actor?

    The story grew from that.

  13. Risya says:

    a detachable heel – would love that for some reason 😀

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