Chapter Three- They Give Me My Broom
I felt my head pounding as the darkness started to fade, bringing me slowly back to consciousness. All I could remember was those nurses grabbing me. I didn't know what to expect as I opened my eyes. When I did, I was in complete shock. I was in the middle of a dark room, surrounded by women! They all were staring at me, some with curiosity, some with a look of disgust. I heard them whispering, but couldn't make out what they were saying. Before I could react or even stand up, I heard someone clearing their throat behind me. I turned to see a familiar woman standing over me. She wore a very extravagant dress, complete with a ribbon tied around her waist. She wore light make-up, making her seem quite elegant. Her most stunning feature, though, were her eyes. Her piercing stare was intensified by their color: Grey
"It's you!" I exclaimed, feelings of anger rising up in me. I tried to stand up, but I felt too weak. She chuckled.
"Oh yes. It is 'me'. I'm surprised you recognized me without that nurse's disguise on. You're more perceptive than I thought." This comment brought a few giggles out of the other women around us.
"Why am I even here? Ransom? I don't think you'd get much money from my family." That brought more chuckles from the room.
"Trust me, Joseph. We don't care about money. We have no use for such earthly possession."
"We? Who's 'we'? And how do you know my name?! You better start giving me answers or I'll-" Before I could finish my sentence, the woman snapped her fingers. Suddenly, I felt like something was stepping on my chest. I couldn't take in any air! I wheezed in vain as she stood over me. I tried to breathe, but it was impossible. Before I passed out from lack of oxygen, the woman snapped her fingers again. All the air I was desperately lacking soon rushed into my lungs. I gasped as the feeling of air felt like heaven to me.
"Now, I could do that again. Or you know be patient and let me explain what's happening at my pace. Understand?" I nodded. "Good boy. Or should I say....Good girl?"
I looked at her, confused. "What are you talking about?"
"Simple. There's no way you could be a boy. Not when that magic energy entered your body and didn't burn you alive." A girl in the back coughed and spoke up.
"What if it's just he's worth-"
"No!" The woman standing above me shouted. "How dare you say such blasphemy! To even SUGGEST that HE could be worthy...." I was completely confused.
"Look, I have no idea what's going on. I don't know anything about any 'magic energy'. And I'm definitely NOT a girl! You're a nurse, shouldn't you know this?" The woman snapped her gaze back at me. Her anger was very clear. I thought she was about to kill me when the rage in her eyes suddenly softened. She sighed.
"I'm sorry. It's obvious that you have zero clue what I'm speaking of. I guess I should start over." She cleared her throat. "To answer your first question: Who are we? Well, you probably won't believe me when I say it, but we are a clan. A clan of magic users that has existed since the most ancient of history. To put it simply, we're witches." I stared at her for a few seconds before I started laughing.
"Wait, witches? Okay, now I KNOW you guys are crazy! I mean, you expect me to believe you are a bunch of green-skinned women, with cauldrons full of newts and toads? Like hocus-pocus?" I continued to laugh until soon no sound came from my mouth. I tried speaking, but I was completely mute.
"Now, I could give your voice back," The woman stated. "But promise to keep your mouth shut and NEVER say that again. Deal?" I felt very scared, so I nodded frantically. She waved her hand. "Good. Now, before I was so rudely interrupted, I said we were witches. I wasn't lying. Unlike what most people think, however, almost every written version of a witch is horribly wrong. Everyone thinks witches are evil. That couldn't be farther than the truth. Most witches are actually the good guys. We've been defending the world for centuries! I'm the leader of this particular clan. You may call me Miss Dez. Of course, we aren't the only witches. There's at least a couple dozen clans of different witches. There's the Phypyrosus, The Queen's Clan, and a bunch of others. We are the only clan who affiliates with the moon. We are one of the largest clans in North America." She took a deep breath. "We, young child, are the Witches of The Four Moons!"
This brought a growing sound of prideful cheering throughout the room. I raised my hand, like I was asking a teacher to use the restroom. Miss Dez sighed and nodded, as in to say 'Go ahead and ask'.
"Look, this is cool and all, but what does this have to do with me? I'm just a normal guy!"
"Well, that's where things get confusing. You see, every witch has a magical energy that grows as they grow. I have it. Every person around you has it. Most of the time, when a witch is born, they already have this energy in them. Sometimes, however, this energy seeks those who AREN'T witches. This is rare, but it happens. What DOESN'T happen is when not one, but THREE different people are sought out by the energy."
"You make it seem like the energy has a mind of its own." I commented.
"In a way, it does. I mean, it's not alive. Either way, this is why you're here. This energy has done something it has never done before. Look around you. Do you notice anything about the people around you?"
"Yeah. I'm not a sexist or anything, but there's only women here."
"Exactly. There are men who can use magic, but not in this clan. You're the first male to have the Moon's energy to seek them. I have no idea why. At first, I thought you were just a tomboy, but that's definitely not the case. You're a boy."
"Wait a minute." I began. "Is THAT why I passed out? That magic caused me to need to be hospitalized?" She nodded.
"Yeah. It's just a minor side effect. Your body couldn't handle it."
"Okay...." I didn't know what to think. "Umm, does that mean I can use magic now? Like fireballs and stuff?"
"You could, but there's a problem." She explained. "The reason that no male has been a part of this clan is that no man can use the magic. For some reason, only females have the ability to tap into the energy. The only theory is that we think since almost every god of the moon in mythology has been female, that might have something to do with it. But right now, even though you have very potent magical energy, you can't use any of it." I face-palmed.
"Of course. Even when I get the ability to do something actually cool, I can't even use it!"
"Well, that's not completely true, Joseph. There is ONE way." Miss Dez chuckled. "Just hold still."
Suddenly, an arc of pink lightning extended from her fingertips. It snaked its way through the air and collided with my chest. I screamed in pain as I fell back, breathing heavily. A weird sensation started spreading across my body, tingling as it only grew from where the lightning bolt hit me. I felt every muscle in me begin to tense up as I seemed to become smaller. My already shaggy hair started growing, its normal brown hue replaced by a bright blonde as my waist pinched inward. The hair on my arms and legs pulled itself in as another.....thing pulled inside. I blushed as I saw my chest balloon outward. I yelled out, but my voice was completely different. It was a higher pitch, and almost lighter. The tingling had finally stopped, but I noticed my clothes were changing. The hospital gown was turning black as my socks starting climbing up my legs. Ribbons started appearing in random places as a new hat somehow poofed itself on top on my head. When it was finally over, I slowly stood up. I looked down at myself and screamed. Somehow, whatever that woman did turned me into a girl! I crossed my legs a little while trying to wrap my head around the fact that this was even possible. Miss Dez looked pleased.
"You know, that look fits you."
"It what?!" I was furious. "Why did you turn me into a GIRL?!?" I yelled.
"Now that's not how a young lady asks a question." She sneered at me.
"Change me back! Now!" I started stomping my foot, visibly angry by my situation. Miss Dez put her hand up in a "Cool it" gesture.
"Calm down, Joseph. This isn't permanent. I'm giving you a way to use your magic. Now, since we can't just have you disappear or else people will be suspicious...Oh I know!" Miss Dez held out her hand, whispering something under her breath. Suddenly, a small black object appeared in her palm. She tossed it to me. I caught it, confused.
"What is this?"
"Open it. There's a small button the side."
I looked at it when I finally found the button. When I pressed it, the black object opened up. Turns out the "strange" object was simply a compact.
"That compact is special." Miss Dez explained. "Just look in the mirror."
I looked into my reflection for a few seconds when everything turned very bright. When the light faded, I was back to normal!
"That mirror will turn only people with magical energy in them into the opposite gender." Miss Dez stated. "That way, you can continue living your life as Joseph, but still be able to change into your female form whenever you need to use some magic."
"Woah! That was very.....interesting." That made Miss Dez chuckle.
"Trust me Joseph, you'll get used it. After all, tomorrow starts your training." After she said that, her hand started glowing.
"My training? Training for what?"
"Why to use your magic, silly! You'll need to learn how if you want to destroy any evil things that try to attack you. Also, try thinking of a girl name to call your female form.. It might make it easier for you to cope with being able to switch between male and female."
"Destroy WHAT?! Look, Miss Dez or whatever your name is, you can't just expect me to suddenly be okay with all this stuff happening to me!"
"Wish there was another way. Sadly, there isn't. But don't worry! You'll have some help. Now, when you wake up, you'll be back in the hospital. For now, young child, sleep...." As she said those last words, I felt my body grow incredibly fatigued. I could already tell what was going to happen. My vision faded as I, once again, blacked out.
When I woke up, I looked around. I was back in the hospital. My first thought was it might have been a dream, when I noticed something. There was a small box on the bed next to me. Hesitantly, I grabbed it and opened it up to the biggest shock. Inside the small box, was one thing: a black compact. It wasn't a dream. It was all real. The circle of women, Miss Dez, getting turned into a girl. Everything that happened was all too real. I couldn't tell you how they got me back to my hospital room, but apparently they managed to do it without raising suspicion. I guess magic has its benefits. I kept looking at the closed compact, tempting to open it to test if it would turn me into a girl, but I heard footprints approaching. Frantically, I hid the compact under my blanket. At first, I thought it was the doctor coming in to run some more tests on me. To my pleasant surprise, it was actually Aunt Heidi. In her arms were what looked like my clothes.
"Great news, hun! I just talked to your doctor and he says you can go home!" She held out my clothes to me. I stood up, keeping the compact hidden as I took my clothes and went to get changed.
During the ride home, all I could think about was what had happened the night before. It was a lot of information to take in for one person, especially when that one person now had the ability to switch genders using a mirror! I remembered what Miss Dez told me before I passed out. Maybe she was right about the name thing. If I gave my female self a name, I might be less weirded out by it. I didn't know what it should be though as I listed possible names in my head. Josie? Carly? Wendy? Brittany? Jane? None of the names I could think of seemed the right fit. Suddenly, I thought of the name Jennifer. I still didn't like it completely, but it still sounded kind of good. Maybe I should go with Jenny? No, not Jenny....What about Jenni? With an I? Hmm...
I do like the name "Jenni".