Af - Best Friends

by shrike

Caution: This Drama Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Magic, Heterosexual, Tear Jerker, First, Transformation, .

Desc: Drama Story: The medallion of Zulo strikes again. This time two friends switch, but what happens then? Will everything be ever right again?

"Hey Cam, want to go down to the creek?"

Sitting on the porch I looked up at my best friend walking on the sidewalk, "Sure, what's the plan?"

"Nothing much, just hang out at our hideout and look for treasures."

I joined him in on the sidewalk, "Okay, let's go Cam."

Together we went down to the small creek near our homes at the military base. We were almost inseparable, and not only because my best friend and I had so much in common. Not only did we have the same first name Cameron. We also had our birthday on the same day, both our dad's were in the army and we were both an only child in our family. We were even similarly small for our age. Since we had so much in common, we always played together. Others called us the twin Cams. Of course we had our differences. I had dirty blond hair, while my friend had dark brown hair. But there was a much bigger difference. Most people didn't know it and we hid it as much as we could as well. Only our families and a very few select group of people knew it.

You see my full name is Cameron Luke Taft. But my friend's full name is Cameron Stacy Romero. Yep, that's right, she's a girl. Well more of a Tomboy actually, but we definitely don't have the same plumbing. When we talked we always referred to her as him. And none of our friends suspected, she never went to the bathroom in their presence and at PE we both didn't join the others in the locker rooms.

After a short walk we arrived at the creek, checked out our hideout, before walking along the bank of the creek. The water was already high and even more rain was forecasted. The creek came from the mountains which meant the water was very cold. And sometimes it carried stuff from towns upstream. We set out looking for anything that might have been washed up, or as we called it, 'treasure'.

Cam took the lead and I followed closely. We looked out sharply for anything we could salvage. Cam suddenly stopped, so sudden that I bumped into her. "What are you doing?"

She motioned to her left, "What is that there?"

I looked out to where she was pointing. On a broken branch that stuck out into the water was a cord with something on it that was still hanging in the water. Cam immediately set out for it, while I was a bit more apprehensive and thinking on how we could get it the best way. It had always been like that. Cam was always impatient and rushing in, even into trouble and I was the more patient one, thinking first and bailing her out of the trouble she got herself in. Cam started climbing the part of the branch that could still support her weight and said, "Hold me Cam, so I won't fall in."

I grabbed her arm and held on to it, as Cam reached out to the cord. It was just out of reach, so she asked me to let her go a bit further. I leaned over as much as I dared, and was already dangling precariously close to falling in, when Cam made a swipe with her other hand and triumphantly exclaimed, "Got it."

Her motion almost made me lose my balance and for a moment it was touch and go whether we would fall in or not. I managed to keep my footing and we managed to get back without falling in. Cam showed me what she rescued from the stream. It was a cord with a cheap looking medallion on it. It had a picture of some sort of angel on it. Before I could inspect it from up close, Cam jumped away. "Race ya to the hide-out."

I quickly followed her and almost caught up as we reached our hide-out. We sat down on the tree stumps that we used as seats and I asked, "Hey let me see that thing again."

Cam pulled it out of her pocket and inspected it closely. Then she shrugged, "It's not worth that much. It's just a cheap medallion of some kind."

"Let me have a look."

She reached out to me with the medallion and I reached out to take it. As we both touched it, there was a sort of electric tingle running through me. We both dropped the medallion as we both felt that tingle. I started to feel kinda weird, like my innards were shifting and churning. Then I looked at Cam and things got weirder still. Her hair started to lighten and her face changed. It looked more like mine did in the mirror.

Then I felt weird between my legs, and I guess Cam did also as she grasped down with her hands. "What the hell?" Even Cam's voice now was like mine.

I felt between my legs as well and I couldn't feel my penis anymore. It was gone! I looked at Cam, "What did you do?" Darn it, now my voice sounded like hers did.

Cam looked at the ground to the medallion. "The medallion must have done it. Quick touch it again."

We both bent down and Cam groaned as her new penis got caught during the movement. I picked the medallion up and held it before me. Cam touched it as well, but nothing happened. I said in a near panic, "Nothing's happening. What are we going to do now?"

Cam thought for a moment, "Maybe the thing has to recharge. Let's try it again tomorrow?"

"But what are we going to do now then. I can't go home like this!"

Cam in my voice said calmingly, "Sure you can, just go to my house as me. I'll go to your house as you. We know each other well enough to pull this off."

Well she was right about that. We did know each other very well and knew the families well enough as well. But still I had my reservations. "How about um..."

"About what?" Cam was a bit miffed saying that.

"Well you know girl stuff, going to bathrooms and such."

Cam gave a smile to me, "Oh well that's not such a big deal. Just sit down and it's business as usual. Oh but do wipe from front to back well after you're finished. That's important."

I still wasn't content with it, but as I didn't have a choice, I had to go along with the plan. First however there was something else, our clothes to be exact.

I bit my lip before saying, "I think we need to exchange clothes Cam. It would look weird to our Mom's if we came in wearing each others clothes."

Cam looked at her body, "You're right I guess. Ok."

We quickly stripped out of our clothes and suddenly I felt very awkward being next to Cam. I mean we were still kids, but we already had read a little about the differences between boys and girls. We avoided looking at each other and quickly dressed in each others clothes. I thought, 'These panties are weird. And they are much softer on my body. Why are they so tight?' Cam had a similar puzzled expression on his face, but we didn't say anything about it.

After we switched our clothes, Cam looked at her watch. "Shoot I need to go home. No ... make that you need to go home."

I looked at my watch, "Why, it's still early?"

"Mom said that I had to be home early for something. So just go home ok?"

Grudgingly I said, "Ok then, but we need to switch watches as well. It wouldn't look good if I came home with my own watch, would it?"

Cam agreed and we switched our watches. We hid the medallion in our hide-out and then we set off for home. Cam lived a block away from me and I couldn't see the house from my own home. I nearly went to the door of my home, but Cam halted me. "I live here tonight. You've got to go there." And she pointed to his house.

"Sorry, force of habit. So I'll see you tomorrow and we try to switch back?"

"Yeah, well have a good time. I just wonder why Mom wanted me home so early?"

I patted Cam on her back and quipped, "Well your Mom didn't specify how late you have to be home. My Mom wants me home early." I tried to lighten up our switch and awkward situation.

Cam smiled, "See you tomorrow, Cam."

I arrived home, well actually to my best friend's home, but for tonight it would be my home. As I arrived, I saw the car fully laden with bags and stuff. This was already weird. Were they, no make that, were we going somewhere? I would have to tell Cam. Before I could turn around, her ... no my Mom came out the front door. "Finally you are here. Look at you, all dirty again. Come here, we don't have much time."

Bewildered I asked, "What do you mean we don't have much time. What's going on ... Mom?" I hesitated only slightly before saying 'Mom', but she didn't notice.

Mom grabbed my arm. "I told you earlier today that your father had important and urgent news this afternoon. Still you went out to play with your namesake. It's not befitting a young girl to look like you do and to play like a boy. I have told you this many times already."

I looked up from this news. 'Her Mom didn't want Cam to play with me? She never said anything to me directly.'

She continued her tirade, "Now I only have an hour to get you ready. And we still have so much to do. Your father got posted to a new base and we have to leave in an hour."

Now my blood froze in my veins. 'We were going to move? NO! I'm not her Cameron. I need to switch back with Cam.' "I need to talk to Cam about this. Can I go over to him first? Please?"

Mom looked furious at me, like I had said something bad. "No you can't. Get inside and strip. I'll have to scrub you clean and then we have to get ready."

Now I was really mortified. 'We were going to move without telling Cam? I would never be with my real family again?' I started to protest, "But..."

Mom interrupted, "No buts. Inside now!"

She took me by the arm and dragged me inside all the way to the bathroom. There I had to strip out of my clothes in a hurry while she turned on the water. I still felt uncomfortable undressing this girl body of mine. Mom quickly scrubbed me clean, not in the least bothered with my body. Why should she, I was her daughter wasn't I?

After I had been washed clean and my hair shampooed and treated with smelly conditioner, she toweled me dry, a bit too harshly to my taste though. Then she dragged me to my room, where an outfit was already laid out for me to wear. Now I was really scared. That was a dress lying on the bed. Complete with very feminine underwear.

This is where I drew the line. Switching with Cam is one thing, even pretending to be her for a night and a day, was okay. But this? No way I was dressing up like a girl and moving away. Then I would have to stay in this body forever and dress like I'm a girl.

I froze up and Mom just tried to drag me further into the room. She turned to me, "What is it now. I know that you don't like dressing like a girl. But you'll just have to suck it up. It's time for you to behave like a girl instead of a tomboy."

I still didn't budge. I just wanted to get back into my own body. "Please I'm not..."

With a sharp sound her hand landed on my cheek. Angrily she said, "No Cameron Stacy. This time you're going to do as your told and no more arguing. I don't want to hear another peep out of you, or you'll experience that you're not too old to be spanked."

Now I was terrified. Sure I had been punished in the past. I even had been hit a few times. But now I was in quite a different situation. I was a girl being punished by her Mom. She wanted me to get dressed in a dress. I quite literally freaked out. I wanted to run out, but I was quite painfully aware of my nakedness. And Mom was still holding me tightly by my arm. So I did what I had never done before, I started crying.

It did soften Mom a little, but still she was stern and angry with me. While crying she dressed me quickly in the offending clothes. After I was dressed she combed my hair and tied it with some ribbons. I looked in the mirror and saw that I looked very feminine like that. I hated it immediately. I had stopped crying by then, and scowled angrily at my Mom. She didn't care and herded me downstairs for a quick dinner.

Once during dinner I asked, "Can I please call Cam?"

Mom's eyes spewed fire, "No you can not. For one, the phone is already disconnected."

My mood sank even lower. I couldn't go to Cam, I couldn't call Cam. I was trapped, stuck in her body till we could get back together. I feared that Cam didn't want to switch back with me after a while. I didn't blame her ... uh him. I don't want to be in this girl body either. I felt so abandoned and low now. But even I didn't suspect that my nightmare would get even worse after a few hours.

A quick clean up later we drove off in the car and didn't even pass my old home. Mom didn't trust me and had me tightly secured in the straps. As we drove quietly through the evening for a long time I mostly looked out the window or scowled at her. I didn't even recognize where we were anymore. I contemplated all the things that had happened today. 'I had switched places with my best friend, had to go home as her, wear a dress, move away to god knows where and deal with an angry Mom.' Well in short, my life sucked right now, it was about to get worse, as Mom turned the car into a driveway to a gated park.

We had to wait for the closed gate and Mom opened her window for an Intercom. She didn't even have to press the button as a male voice said, "Yes, how may I help you?"

Mom leaned out of the window a bit, "My name is Romero. I have an appointment."

The voice came back, "One minute please."

Then about a minute later, "Please proceed to the main entrance, Mrs. Romero."

The gate opened and Mom put the car in gear again. Now I was really worried. 'What is going on? What are we doing here? Did Cam know about this?' "Mom, what is going on? Why are we here?"

For a moment Mom kept quiet. It wasn't until we drove up to the entrance of a rather large old house, well more like a castle actually, that Mom turned to me, "Cameron Stacy, you know that we don't like you acting like a tomboy. And the new position of your father is so remote. There are no schools there. Actually there isn't much of anything there. So we decided that we're putting you into this girl's boarding school."

Now my blood froze in my veins. "You're jailing me? What did I do to deserve this?"

Mom tried to hug me, "You did nothing, only you should have acted more like the young girl that you are."

I managed to evade her hug and pursed my lips. I looked at the woman who thought she was my mother with a look full of hatred. She looked back at me with sheer determination. "You're going in there and you are going to learn how to be a proper young lady. That's final."

I thought for a moment if I should jump out of the car and make a run for it, but before I could even release my seatbelt, a huge shadow fell on me from outside the car. Frightened I looked up and saw a very huge man reaching for the door handle. I cringed and moved towards Mom. She hugged me tightly saying, "Don't worry honey, that's the caretaker here at the school."

I was trapped now. I could never get away with the behemoth there. Even if I bolted right out of the car, he would grab me very quickly. Dejected I got out of the car and entered the big building with my best friends Mom, better make that my Mom now.

She herded me to an office on the ground floor where quite a beautiful lady sat behind a desk. As we entered, she quickly got up to greet us. "Hi Mrs. Romero and this must be Cameron Stacy."

Despite my anger I nodded an agreement.

"Good, now please take a seat and I'll explain some things. Now first, I'm Denise Benson, the principal of his school."

For the next hour she talked about the school. That there was a mostly female staff and that the girls here not only learned how to be more ladylike, but also got a full academic schooling. After graduation every girl was readily accepted at any university they chose. I began to like it less and less by the minute. I kept quiet, but scowled the whole time. She droned on about the lessons program and that some girls had tried to escape from here. They were always caught and punished, severely, but not cruelly.

Finally Mrs. Benson stopped talking, stood up and walked around her desk. She took my hand and tried to pull me out of the chair. "Now let's introduce you to the other girls."

I resisted and kept sitting down in the chair. Mom, 'I'd better start thinking of her as my Mom now, ' had gotten up as well and pulled me on my other arm out of the chair. "Don't be such a brat."

Mrs. Benson showed us the way and we followed, though I went against my will. Mom still had a strong grip on my arm and forcefully guided me the way they wanted me to go. A few times I tried to resist or drag my feet, but Mom's grip got stronger each time, and it started to hurt.

I complained one time, "Mom, you're hurting me."

But she only scowled at me and didn't release her grip for one moment. I had no choice but to continue going where they wanted me to go. After a few corridors we came to a common room where some girls were sitting, reading books, or talking in a quiet fashion. They got up as we entered and stood at attention.

Mrs. Benson said, "Hello everyone, this is Cameron Stacy Romero. Please introduce yourself to her and then show her to her room. She'll be staying with Cheryl and Grace. The girls said their names one by one as we passed them, with my Mom still holding me firmly. The last two were Cheryl and Grace. They curtsied before Mrs. Benson, before taking my arms and kinda dragging me towards their, well now, our room.

When we got there I asked, "Don't you girls hate this school?"

Cheryl said, "Well I don't like it, but it isn't that bad here."

"Well I want to get out of here the first chance I get."

The girls gasped and Grace added, "You can't, nobody ever escaped from here. And you'll be punished. Don't even think about doing something like that."

I scowled, "I don't belong here, I'm not a girl, I'm a boy."

The girls gasped again. "You're a boy?"

I realized that I'd made a mistake. I wasn't really a boy anymore, so I hurriedly said, "Well not really a boy, but a tomboy. I've never worn a dress or a skirt in my life before today, so I'm not inclined to start now."

Cheryl put her arm me, "Believe me, I thought so at first too, but now I really enjoy wearing skirts and dresses. You'll enjoy it too, Cameron."

Angrily I snapped, "Don't call me Cameron. From now on I'll go only by Stacy. If any of you call me Cameron, I'll smack you."

The girls were upset by my outcry. Even I didn't know why I said it and said it like that. I gave a wry smile, "I'm sorry, recent events just made me hate my first name."

Cheryl hugged me again, "It's okay, Stacy, we know you need some time adjusting, we're here to help you with it."

I cuddled with the girls, they meant well and I could us see becoming friends. But still I didn't like staying here. When Mom entered the room to say goodbye to me, she motioned to the girls to give us some privacy. They left us alone and Mom tried to hug me, but I backed out. Her face showed disappointment, I guess it really hurt her.

Well tough, I meant to hurt her, so I decided to hurt her more. "I hate you and Dad for dumping me here. I never want to see either of you again," and I turned around to turn my back to her.

Mom didn't say anything at first. I felt bad, but I didn't want to show any cracks in my armor. I just crossed my arms before me. Finally Mom uttered, "I still love you honey, bye sweetheart."

I almost turned around to give her a big hug, but stayed put. I bit my lip, so as to not say anything. Then the door closed with a dark banging noise. Finally I turned around. I was all alone in the room now. I looked out the window and saw Mom get into the car. She looked up, but didn't see me, I guess. She waved, but I just kept standing still. Then as she drove off I burst out in to tears and sagged on a bed. I was still crying when Cheryl and Grace came into the room. They didn't say anything, they just hugged me tightly.

After a while I stopped crying and my new friends escorted me down to the dining hall. We arrived late and Mrs. Benson said sternly, "You're late, clean up duty for the three of you!"

This didn't improve my mood, and more than anything it strengthened my resolve to escape from this horrid place. Dinner was quiet, nobody dared to whisper anything, and though the food was good, I wasn't that hungry and ate very little.

After dinner Cheryl, Grace and I reported to the kitchen and had to wash the pans and dishes along with the other kitchen personnel. I did the work stoically and silently, though Cheryl tried to get me to talk to her.

Much later we were finally done and went to our room. I saw a nightgown laid out for me on the bed and looked at it with horror. Cheryl saw me stare at it, "Hey, it's quite pleasant to wear Stacy. Come try it on please."

I looked at her as if she said something bad, but resigned myself. I didn't have a choice, Mom didn't leave me my PJ's, it was either wear the gown, or go to bed naked. With a sour look I slipped out of my dress and after donning clean underwear, slipped into the gown. Cheryl was right, it was comfortable, but it was so feminine! I really wanted to wear PJ's. That night I cried myself to sleep for the first time ever. I just felt so miserable.

The next morning I received my next embarrassing moment. Cheryl and Grace had gotten up before me and showed me my new clothes. The school issued clothing for us, and it was a schoolgirls uniform. It consisted of a blue skirt, white blouse and darker blue jacket with long stockings and slightly heeled maryjanes. I was horrified. 'They expect me to wear that?' Reluctantly I put the clothes on, and felt so exposed. 'How can girls tolerate wearing something like this?' Grace urged us on, she didn't want to be late and get punished again. Cheryl helped me put my hair in a feminine style and off we went to our first class that day. Most classes were like regular classes, like in my old school. But others were specifically taught to make us behave like ladies. I hated it, but had no other recourse but to accept it and do as I was taught. I didn't want another punishment today.

After a horrible day and a similar quiet dinner, I retired to the room I shared with Cheryl and Grace. I just wanted to relax on the bed, but Cheryl said, "No time to lie down yet, we've got homework to do."

I groaned, I really didn't want to do homework right now. Cheryl was adamant, though, "If you haven't done your homework, you'll get punished again."

Now there's incentive for you. I really didn't want more punishment. Besides, the supervision might slack a bit if we behaved perfectly. Together we worked hard on our assignments and were done very quickly. Cheryl and Grace started to gossip, while I retired to my bed and lay there thinking.

Grace shook me awake, "You need to brush your teeth and comb your hair for the night, Stacy!"

Groaning, I got up and performed the going to bed rituals before donning another nightgown and going to sleep.

After a week the routine was already so ingrained that I did everything on autopilot mostly. I kept thinking about escaping this place, but I still hadn't come up with anything. The thought was lingering only slightly in the back of my mind now, as I seemed to be just like the other girls happily being at school.

One late morning there was a loud ringing in the school. Everyone started yelling, "Fire alarm!" The teacher guided us outside the building to be safe and to wait for either the all safe signal or the fire department to arrive. As we were waiting outside, I saw one of the older girls sneak away from the group to a corner. Discretely I moved to the edge from where that girl got away. After stealthily looking around if anyone paid attention I saw my chance of getting away. I quickly ran to the corner expecting a shout at any time to get back to the group.

Reaching the corner, I reached the conclusion that apparently no one had noticed, as I didn't hear anything. The older girl was nowhere in sight, but there was a small depression in the outer wall where someone could hide. I made my way there in a brisk pace and reaching the hiding place, saw the girl hiding there. She hissed to me, "What do you think you're doing here?"

"Either you take me outside with you or I'll make a ruckus which will expose us both."

She sneered back, "Fine then. But I'm not taking you with me all the way to the other school."

I looked surprised at her, "What other school?"

"I'm sneaking out to see my boyfriend. He's at a school not too far from here. I expect to be back here before I'm missed. What's your story then?"

"I'm getting out of here. I hate this school."

The older girl screwed her eyes, "No one ever has gotten away from here. I wish you good luck. You're going to need it."

Then she stopped talking and listened to the sounds from the people waiting in front of the school. Soon people started talking and we heard the commands to get back inside. The older girl hissed, "This is our chance, don't fuck it up for both of us!"

With her in the lead, we ran across the grounds towards the wall around the school grounds. I thought, 'The wall is at least 5 feet high, how will we ever going to get over it?' Then she changed direction a bit and went for a knocked over tree. It still had its roots in the ground, but the crown was resting across the wall. The slope with which the tree went upwards was about 15 to 20 degrees, so it made an easy ramp for us to walk. Quickly we ran up the tree and jumped onto the wall and to the ground outside the school grounds.

The girl pointed to her left and said in a normal tone, "Well I'm off in that direction. See ya later girl."

I responded coldly, "Not if I can help it, good luck with your boyfriend."

We both walked fast away in different directions. Soon I reached a country road and walked on towards where I hoped I could find a town. I felt some cold feelings creep across my back. I didn't feel comfortable in this school uniform. I felt so exposed in it and vulnerable.

One time I heard a car approach from behind me, and tried to hide. There was a slight slope to a ditch next to the road. My shoes were not made for walking in grass or mud, and though I tried to stay upright, soon I felt myself slipping and glided further down than I wanted. I ended up in some water and lost my footing completely.

As the car drove past me on the road, I fell down into the ditch filled with water. It wasn't deep, but I was almost completely wet. I scrambled back up to the road through the mud and when I reached the road again, I was wet and very dirty. The wind was blowing at my back and made me feel cold wearing the skirt. I shivered and gritted my teeth setting a fast pace again walking the direction I had been going.

After walking several miles feeling warm from walking but cold from the wind, I reached a wooded area where the road forked. There was a sign there probably indicating directions to a town. I walked even faster towards it till I could see the words on the signpost.

It read, 'Holland — 21 miles' with an arrow pointing right. I turned to looked in the indicated direction, though I knew I couldn't see the town yet. As looked in that direction, I got a big scare. On the side of the road hidden from view from where I come from, was a car. Mrs. Benson with the big caretaker called Mr. Brewer stood next to it.

Mrs. Benson walked towards me, "Did you have a nice walk Cameron Stacy?"

Though I was shivering from the cold and the fear of what was going to happen now, I answered provocatively, "My name is just Stacy, now."

Mrs. Benson smiled, "You've got spunk, Stacy. I admire that. But now you're coming back to school with us."

I contemplated whether I should start running for a moment,, but quickly realized that I couldn't escape them. Dejectedly, I slowly walked to the car and sat down in my dirty clothes in the back. The door clicked shut ominously, and I was sure that it wouldn't open from the inside.

Mrs. Benson drove the car back to the school, with me feeling worse than ever in the back. I shivered, thinking what punishment they would give me for this. Or maybe I was just shivering from the cold. The car was warm enough, but I still felt cold. The drive back didn't take long, though it seemed shorter due to the impending doom waiting for me.

Back at the school I was escorted to my room first. Mrs. Benson kept watching me, but Mr. Brewer was told to go about his business. She ordered me to strip and take a shower, constantly keeping a watchful eye on me the whole time and after I scrubbed myself clean, she told me to change into a new uniform. Dejected, I complied with her orders and then got escorted to the main hall. Every girl, including the girl I escaped with, stood at attention there waiting for things to come.

One slightly older girl was standing dejectedly at a table to one end. We walked over to that same table. Mrs. Benson spoke up loudly, "I'm sure that Stacy here had some help trying to escape. So speak up now or be punished much more severely later."

Nobody spoke up, so she continued talking to me, "Stacy, how did you get over the wall and who was with you? Speak up now and I'll go easy on you."

Defiantly I said, "I don't squeal on my friends and fellow students."

Mrs. Benson smiled and whispered so only I could hear, "Admirable, but misguided." Then loudly she said, "Have it your way then."

To another teacher Ms. Shibles she said coldly, "Give her 5 lashes."

A slight murmur rose from the assembled girls, and I felt a fright coming up inside. 'They are going to hit me?'

Ms. Shibles made me lay down in front over the table, tied my hands to the other end, and raised my skirt. Then she lashed with a thin cane across my butt. The first two I could endure without uttering anything, but then I started to groan and with the fifth I finally screamed out in pain.

When I was released I had to stand at attention again. Mrs. Benson asked me again, "Who was it that helped you and how did you get over the wall, Stacy?"

I wanted desperately to feel my hurting butt. But I kept my hands in front of me, though my eyes were shedding tears abundantly. Still, with a trembling voice I said, "Nuts."

Mrs. Benson shook her head. She had never met such a stubborn girl. "Another 5 lashes for you then, Stacy."

Now the murmur from the girls rose up in volume. Mrs. Benson turned her attention to them, "Quiet please."

The girl that escaped with me stepped forward. Mrs. Benson asked, "Yes Harriët?" Harriët spoke up, "It was me. I showed her the way to the fallen down tree and escaped with her. I came back before I was missed."

Mrs. Benson's face softened, "Thank you, Harriët. Report to my chamber and I'll deal with you later. Now another 5 lashes please, Ms. Shibles."

The murmur rose louder again and Harriët shouted, "No, you can't do that. I already confessed. I was alone with Stacy. If you're going to lash someone, take me instead!"

Mrs. Benson cocked her head, "Well it's up to Stacy."

I gave in with a whimper, "Fine, I saw Harriët sneak away and followed her. I sort of blackmailed her into taking me with her outside the grounds."

Mrs. Benson gave me a pat on the shoulder. "There, there. That wasn't so hard was it? Harriët, you report to my chamber and I'll deal with you later. Now, for Marie, who was caught smoking!"

She went to the other girl standing before the table. I could see her trembling with fear on what lay in store for her. Mrs. Benson gave her a pack of cigarettes. "Here Marie, light up please." Marie looked at the principal strangely, and with shaking hand lighted a cigarette. Mrs. Benson shook her head, "Not just one cigarette, here, light up another 4 cigarettes."

Marie did as she was told and soon had five smoking cigarettes in her mouth. She began to cough and dropped two of the cigarettes. Then she spat out the other three and coughed out, '[Hack] ... I don't feel so good. [Cough] ... Can I go to the bathroom please?... [Hack]"

Mrs. Benson held her by her arm, "No, you may not. Pick up those cigarettes!"

When Marie bent over and vomited violently on the floor in front of her, several girls said something like, "Eew!" and "Gross!"

Mrs. Benson addressed Marie, "I hope you've learned your lesson about smoking. Now, when you feel better you'll have to clean this up, and you'll be on Toilet and Showers cleaning duty until further notice." To the rest of the girls she said, "Dismissed everyone."

She watched everyone walk out but me. She held my arm firmly in her grasp. When we were the only ones left she marched me out to her chambers and had me sit down next to Harriët. She sat down herself behind her desk and looked into some papers. Finally she spoke up, "Harriët. I'm very disappointed in you. You are a good student, and then you do something like this. Why?"

Harriët looked down to the floor and said softly, "I love Cary. I missed him so much that I wanted to see him."

Mrs. Benson shook her head, "Harriët, Harriët. You know our rules on boys. Couldn't you wait till the dance next month?"

Harriët shook her head. "Well it has earned you cleaning duty until further notice. Go help Marie. Dismissed."

Harriët quickly got up and cast a pitiful look on me before getting out as quickly as she could. When the door closed loudly. I jumped in my seat from the sound.

Mrs. Benson looked at me intensely. "Now, what am I going to do with you, Cameron Stacy?"

Trembling and hoarsely I said, "Stacy only please. I don't want to use my first name Cameron ever again."

Mrs. Benson raised her eyebrows, "Never? That's a long time, Stacy, but if you say so. Now I'll have to think about your punishment. You are excused for the moment, go have your dinner. It doesn't mean that you're off the hook, mind you."

I nodded, then got up from my sore behind and left the Principal's office quickly and quietly. Not too far away, Cheryl and Grace were waiting for me. Grace started, "Stacy, does it hurt a lot?"

"What do you think? Why don't you try it for yourself?"

Grace turned away disappointed, and I realized that I hurt her feelings. "I'm sorry Grace. I didn't mean it like that."

She turned back to me, "That's okay, girlfriend. So what punishment did you get from the Dragon Lady?"

I sighed, "She didn't tell me yet. She's thinking about it. But I will be punished sooner or later."

Cheryl piped in, "Bummer, girlfriend, fretting over what the punishment will be can be sometimes worse than the punishment itself."

The three of us went to the dining hall, as it was already nearing dinner time. During dinner I didn't feel so well and I didn't eat much. My butt was still smarting a lot, too, and I still felt cold at times. My girlfriends didn't say much, but I could tell that they were concerned for me.

Later that night I woke up from my sleep with a violent coughing fit. It got so bad that I ran to toilets and threw up. Cheryl ran out to get Mrs. Benson and soon came back with her. Mrs. Benson wasn't alone, as the resident nurse Mrs. McCoun arrived just moments behind her. I was already back in bed at that time and they felt my forehead. Mrs. Benson said concerned, "You've got quite a fever, Stacy."

Nurse McCoun examined me and said, "I recommend taking her to the hospital ward. I can treat her better there, and it's quieter, so she won't be disturbed."

Mrs. Benson nodded and had someone call Mr. Brewer. When he came I was not very lucid, but I did feel him effortlessly lift me up and carry me all the way to the infirmary. Nurse McCoun gave me some kind of medicine and soon I was dreaming feverish dreams. 'I dreamt of running with Cam through the fields and we were both wearing dresses. Now this was weird. How can I be dreaming that? I'm a boy, right. But now he's a boy and I'm a girl. Wait, this isn't right.' I woke up with a startle, and coughed for a moment. Nurse McCoun woke up, as she was sitting next to my bed, and gave me some medicine.

It was light outside when I woke up again. Slowly I opened my eyes and saw by the clock that it was about 4 o'clock. I tried to raise myself a bit and coughed from the exertion. This time the nurse didn't come, but I saw someone move on my right side. I turned slightly and saw that Mrs. Benson had been sitting there. She now sat down on the bed and asked, "How do you feel, Stacy?"

I tried to speak but I couldn't get more than a squeak out of my throat. Mrs. Benson gave me some apple juice, and I was finally able to utter, "Not so good."

She smiled, "I already gathered that. I would like to talk to you a bit more, and do it now while you are not so defensive."

I gave a little nod, "What about, Mrs. Benson?"

She took my right hand in hers, "Why do you hate this school and me so much?"

I bit my lower lip, "I don't really hate the place or you. I just hate being here."

"But why, Stacy? It's not that bad a place. You have friends, and it's a good school."

I closed my eyes for a moment. Then I opened them. I had decided to tell the truth to her. "Can I tell you an amazing story? Promise me that you won't interrupt, or dismiss it as unbelievable. Even I have a hard time believing it, and I went through it."

Mrs. Benson screwed her eyes, but nodded her agreement.

I took another sip of the juice before starting, "The day that I came here started out quite different. I was with my best friend, Cameron."

Mrs. Benson looked up, confused, but kept quiet.

"We had been together for several years. We have the same first name, the same birthday and lots of other things in common. That day we found something at the river. It was a sort of medallion. As we checked it out, we both touched it and it swapped us. I mean, I got her body, and she got my boy body."

Mrs. Benson now really looked intently at me. Still she didn't say anything but motioned for me to continue.

"We tried to change back, but it didn't work. So we exchanged clothes and decided to go home as each other. When I got home to her house, her Mom, now my Mom, was waiting and took me here. I didn't even get to say anything about it to her, or rather, him now. My parents decided to have me locked up here without letting me contact my best friend, who I should be in the first place."

Mrs. Benson pursed her lips. "This is most enlightening. I need some time to think. Can we talk again, later?"

I nodded, "You're going to think how to punish me, I guess."

Mrs. Benson smiled, "Well, that too. Now go back to sleep. Get well soon."

She got up and left, I watched her go before I lay back down and fell asleep again. Some time later I woke up. It was now dark outside. The clock told me that it was nearing 10 o'clock. Something heavy was on my blanket and I propped myself a bit into an upright position.

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