Kevin looked up at the storefront. The sign read DISCOUNT SHOE STORE in bright, bold letters. He’d never been to this place before, and it looked kind of sketchy, but he really needed some new shoes. His old black and white Converse were getting too beat up to wear.
As he opened the door, a little bell rang to announce his entry. “Hello, anyone here?” He yelled. No answer. He yelled again, a little louder, and still nothing. He double-checked the sign outside the door. Well, they say they’re open. Kevin thought. No harm in sticking around for a bit.
The store looked just as shady on the inside as it did on the outside. The carpeting was old and scuzzy, the dim fluorescent lighting eerie and unwelcoming. The shoes were lined up in the cabinets in a seemingly random order, the price tag jammed underneath them. Kevin looked around. The store was pretty dull, but the shoes weren’t-this place seemed to specialize in oddball shoes. He saw cowboy boots, kinky knee-high leather boots, crazy high heels, steel-toed boots, and almost everything else. Everything except a simple pair of sneakers, it would seem. Kevin wasn’t in the mood for anything fancier-he wasn’t really the sort to stand out in a crowd.
Kevin peered behind the counter one last time, searching for any workers or employees. All he saw was a small piece of paper on the counter that read TAKE NOW, WEAR NOW, PAY LATER. Kevin frowned-what was that supposed to mean?-then shrugged and decided to try somewhere else. As he walked away, he noticed his shoe was untied. Sighing, he leaned against a shelf and retied it. As he pulled away, he noticed a wobbling noise behind him. He turned and saw that he had been leaning against a pair of thick, decked-out platform shoes for girls. The soles were at least 4 inches thick, with a small heel in the back. Kevin snorted. They looked pretty uncomfortable. He didn’t know why anyone would wear those.
As he made for the door, he suddenly felt the tip of his shoe trip over the carpet, sending him sprawling the floor. Silently grumbling about his cheap shoelaces, he bent forward to tie them again. Then, he paused. His shoes looked…different. The soles looked thicker, they felt tighter, and their seemed to be a tinge of red that wasn’t there before.
Curiosity gave way to shock as the shoes began crawling up his legs. Where they were before sitting below his ankles, they were now comfortably above his ankles. As he watched, his white gym socks shot outwards and even farther up his leg, splitting and twisting into a diamond-shaped pattern. Kevin watched as they turned into…fishnet stockings? What the hell?
Kevin stood up, steadying himself against the wall-his thick new shoes made it hard to stand. As he wobbled on the soles of his shoes, he saw his jeans start stitching themselves together between the legs, the hem traveling upwards to his waist. They were getting darker as well, going from a pale denim blue to charcoal black. As they completed their transformation into a skirt, two small rips appeared on top, exposing some of Kevin’s thighs, which looked bigger and rounder than before.
Is my body changing too? Kevin thought. As if to answer, he suddenly felt a strange shifting in his groin. He cried with shock and disgust as he felt his genitals shrink, slowly pulling into his body. Kevin tugged past the fake-diamond studded belt which had appeared from thin air to settle around his wrist and felt around with his hand. It felt soft and damp. I’m turning into a girl? Kevin thought dumbly. But how? How is this possible?
He looked at the shelf. The platform shoes he had bumped into before were now gone. Perfect copies of both were closed around his feet, held firmly in place with two bright, sharp buckles.
The strange transformation continued upwards. Kevin felt his waist crack inwards as he suddenly lost about 30 pounds around his stomach, becoming thin and petite. The black hoodie he was wearing split down the middle with a loud rip, becoming thicker and shinier as Kevin felt it in his fingers. It morphed into a leather jacket that hung loosely about his ever-thinner chest and shoulders, bursting with zippers and buckles. His white shirt was also changing, going from white to pink to a bloody dark red, with a cartoony image of a skull and crossbones fading into print. The shirt was smaller, exposing his bellybutton, nestled in his newly thin abs, and his chest down to the sternum. As Kevin felt his chest with his hands-slowly gaining leather gloves of their own from the remnants of the hoodie-his chest began to poke and push out. Slow and subtly at first, then pushing out with a thick, warm force that almost made Kevin topple over again. He took his new breasts in his hands and gave them a squeeze. They felt real, and they looked real too, poking out of his red shirt.
Kevin felt his neck and chin grow smaller and narrower. He let out a cry of surprise as his lips became coated with lipstick-blood red to match his shirt. His eyes got a similar treatment as well, gaining a wash of black-purple eye shadow as he looked in the window. With his body looking more and more like that of a female teenage punk rocker, he braced himself for piercings in his tongue or nose, but none came. He was grateful for that-this was weird enough already.
The transformation wasn’t done yet, though. Kevin felt his hair begin to shift and morph, spilling out from its simple boyish cut into a long, jet-black mass. The mass began to right itself as soon as it appeared, though, pulling at the sides of his head and twisting into two spiky sidetails laden with gel and hairspray that, like the other cosmetics, had appeared out of nowhere. One last shock of hair sprouted from his scalp, falling over his left eye in a wave of black silkiness.
Kevin paused, waiting for more, but it seemed to be over. He had no idea what had just happened as he felt his—well, ‘her’. This body had never been a ‘his’, no matter who was occupying its brain—body up and down. It felt young, toned, and sexy. As Kevin peered into the window, trying to get a better view, he saw almost nothing of his old self remaining—every inch looked like a teen girl ready to go see the Ramones. Kevin checked his wallet for his drivers license—it still showed the old him, much like his thoughts were still his. That was good, at least. Well, he thought, nothing to do now but go home and try to explain to Mom and Dad what the hell happened.
Assuming I can walk in these damn shoes, he thought, lifting the heavy platforms in the air, one after the other, as he prepared for the long walk home.