The four college students looked around the dusty living room of their
new house, with mixed emotions.
Bill Walters, the tall, slender, English major snorted. "It looks like a
pig sty" He ran his hand through his dark blonde hair, then wiped a finger
alongside the table next to the door, picking up a thick layer of dust on his
finger. He shook his head in disgust.
Carl Sutton laughed "You ought to feel right at home then" Bill
glared at him, making Carl laugh again.
Carl was a little chubby and wore a pair of glasses. Being a math
major, he sometimes got teased, but he was confident enough that others
teasings never bothered him at all, and he was quite capable of laughing at
himself when the occasion warranted, or teasing back.
Dennis Quinn, being a running back for the school football team,
didn't quite fit the stereotype of a jock. Being a neat freak got him teased a
bit with his old room mate, who was a real slob. He noticed that the place
was a real mess. The house had obviously been rather nice once, but was
now run down and dirty. The lawn was badly overgrown, the paint was
fading and everything was coated with what seemed to be inches of dust.
Amazing he though, that it fell this bad in only five years. With a lot of
work, he was sure it could be made very livable and comfortable. The
others agreed with him, though didn't seem very enthused about putting any
work into the project.
Roger "Lump" Lumney, eyed the room, with the pictures on the wall,
and the dust covers on the furniture, the tall stairway in back leading
upstairs and the obvious signs that a family with kids were the last ones to
live here. A few toys lay scattered around the edges of the room, having
been missed when the house was closed up. Roger wasn't impressed.
But then again, Roger didn't really care how messy it was. He
plopped down on the nearest couch, coughing as a cloud of dust puffed into
the air around him as his large 265 lb. frame hit the dust cover. "I need a
beer" he said to no one in particular, but then looked towards Carl, who
Roger had been on the football team himself, but had been kicked off
when his grades hadn't met the minimum requirements. Now he was trying
to improve his grades so that he could get back on the team, and the house
figured prominently into that goal. It was a place where he could try
studying without all the parties distracting him or drawing him into them.
He knew this was his last chance, and wasn't about to give up. He fit some
of the stereotype of the big dumb jock, tending to bully his way through any
problems he ran into. But even he knew that he couldn't bully his way back
onto the team, and would have to work for his spot. His former teammate
Roger had agreed to help him.
Overall they agreed they got a good deal for their stay in the house.
The family who owned the house previously had died in a car crash five
years earlier, and the elderly aunt who inherited the house couldn't bring
herself to do anything with it until now. So the four friends got a good deal,
though it would require a lot of work on their part to fix it up.
Three days later, they had managed to get most of the house and yard
cleaned up, with a lot of work. Coming down to the kitchen after a hard
nights sleep, Bill found Carl and Dennis already eating breakfast, while
Roger still slept in.
Bill sat down, gratefully accepting the steaming cup of coffee from
Dennis, and shaking his head. "I had the weirdest dream last night" he said.
Carl chuckled, "Man, so did I. I dreamt I was a kid again"
Dennis looked embarrassed but didn't say anything. Bill noticed the
look on Dennis's face.
"You have any weird dreams too?" Bill asked him.
Dennis shrugged, looking faintly embarrassed again. "Yeah, it was
pretty weird, and I think it was kind of erotic, but I don't remember anything
"The house seems to bring it out I guess" Carl said, getting up out of
his chair and and putting his cup in the sink. "I was talking to one of the
neighbors yesterday. Some old lady down the street. She said that the house
was built when she was a kid by some weird guy who wanted a nice place
for his family to live." Sitting back down, he started to fiddle with his
spoon, ignoring the others.
"So" Roger said, walking into the kitchen, "whats so weird about
"Whats weird.." Carl said grinning, "was that she said when his kids
grew up and moved away, he sold the house, but refused to sell it to anyone
that didn't have a family. And that they sold it to a family and so on. We're
the first ones to live in the place since it was built who weren't a family"
"Big deal" Roger said opening a beer. After a long drink, Roger
belched, and said "You know, I had the weirdest dream last night. I don't
remember what it was, but I think there was this little girl in it with me,
having a tea party" The others looked at each other, then laughed.
Around lunch time, Dennis complained that he felt ill, and had to sit
down for awhile to rest. Roger said "I've been feeling a little dizzy too, but
didn't want to say anything." For a minute Roger looked thoughtful, then he
turned a little pale. Fearfully he announced, "What if were being poisoned
by asbestos or something. That's probably what killed the last guys living
Carl laughed, and Roger game him a dirty look. "Look stupid, they
died in a car wreck. How could they have been killed by asbestos"
"Enough, you guys!" Bill stepped in, calming things down. "Its
probably just the dust in this place. I'm sure you'll feel better later."
By dinner, the dizziness hadn't faded, and had spread to the others as
well. Bill seemed to be the least effected, while the others couldn't bring
themselves to eat anything for dinner. Bill began to wonder if Roger might
not be right about something in the house poisoning them, and suggested
they call the doctor if they still felt ill the next morning. The others agreed,
and they spent the rest of the evening trying to relax.
Their dizziness only got a little worse, and Roger started to complain
that his whole body ached. Carl and then Dennis started to feel it too. They
became sure that something in the house was causing their illness, but try as
they could, none of them could bring themselves to leave. It was as if they
couldn't give their bodies the commands to walk out the door. Reluctantly,
they all went upstairs to their rooms, each determined that they would leave
the next day after they'd gotten a good nights sleep.
That night, they each dreamed.
Carl dreamed he was a little boy again, climbing a tree, fishing and
playing hide and go seek in that house. The dreams were move vivid than
any Carl remembered having before. In his dream he could feel the scuff on
his knee from where he slipped off of a branch and scraped himself. He
could feel the squishing between his toes as he walked barefoot through the
mud. And he could feel the tears running down his cheek as he cried from
the bruise he'd gotten from falling down the stairs, as his mother cradled him
to her, trying to comfort him.
He saw his mother as she was when he was a child, still young and
pretty. He felt the love for her again, that he felt as a child. That his Mommy
was there. In his dream, the face of his mother began to change, and another
woman took the place of his mother. That didn't bother him though,
because in his dream, Carl still knew that this was his mother, and that he
loved her. Still Carl dreamed.
In his dreams, Dennis found himself in the kitchen, with the pleasant
aroma of baking bread tickling his nose. He inhaled deeply and felt a
pleasant warmth. He bent over, putting another pinch of nutmeg into the pan
cooking on the stove, knowing that it was just the right amount. He felt
proud of the food, and knew that he liked to cook for those he loved.
The scene shifted and Dennis found himself looking with pride at his
clean house, knowing that he was responsible for this. This was his domain
and he needed to keep it nice.
He saw a little boy laying at the foot of the stairs crying, and he
suddenly felt a deep compassion for the little boy, and rushed over to help
him. He saw that the boy seemed to be bruised, and he wanted so much to
help this little boy, so held the boy close, feeling so protective. Somehow,
he suddenly knew, that this boy was his son.
For some reason that didn't feel quite right to Dennis. He knew he
shouldn't have any kids, but the thought faded as the little boy started crying
Again the scene changed, and Dennis found himself feeling relaxed,
sitting in a chair and brushing at his hair. He saw his hands stroking the
long blonde hair he held, and thought, "This isn't my hair", but the thought
faded, as he kept brushing the hair. It felt so relaxing, that he just kept
pulling the brush slowly through the hair.
Feeling a pair of hands start rubbing his shoulders, Dennis put the
brush on the table and started to slowly turn around.....
The little girl sitting across from Roger smiled at him. "Want another
cup of tea" she asked him. Roger felt himself nod yes, and answer "Yes
Roger knew this was a dream right away, but couldn't tell why he
was drinking tea with this little girl. He looked across from himself and
saw a teddy bear sitting at the table with an empty tea cup in front of it, and a
little doll sat at another place at the little table.
Roger saw that the little girl was the same size as him, but that didn't
seem at all strange to him. He picked up his cup and saw that it was empty,
but he put it to his lips and pretended to drink anyway.
The dream changed, and Roger found himself on the floor of a room,
decorated with pretty pink wallpaper. He saw dolls sitting on the dresser,
and realized that he had a barbie doll in his hands. He didn't like the little
dress the doll was wearing for some reason, and felt compelled to pull it off.
He saw another outfit sitting on the floor nearby, and thought it just looked
SO cute. Carefully he put the new outfit on the doll, and when he was done
he thought it looked perfect.
Again he found himself in another place, looking way up to see a man
twice his height talking down to him. He couldn't make out what the man
was saying, but he knew that this man would protect him from any harm.
He knew he could trust this man. For some reason this man struck him as a
father. He'd never known his own father, so he wasn't sure how he knew
The man faded away, and Roger found himself being hugged by
woman. He saw that she had nice sized breasts, and looked extremely
attractive, but for some reason that wasn't important to him. He felt a strong
sense of love for this strange woman, and a closeness. He felt somehow
that this was the most important woman in the world, and would protect
him. He knew he wanted to be just like her.
Roger knew something wasn't right, but couldn't place his finger on
what it was. The dream kept feeling out of place, but then it felt so right, and
nice and happy. He smiled as he dreamed on, wondering what would
Bill felt himself drifting in his sleep. He felt himself standing,
holding something over his head. He looked up to see that it was the whole
world. He looked down, seeing nothing beneath him except clouds. The
planet felt sort of heavy in his hands, but somehow he knew with a certainty
that he could hold it. He felt a deep pride at this, knowing that it was both a
duty and a privilege.
The scene shifted, and he remembered when he was a kid, and found
himself reliving a scene from his childhood, where he sat on the edge of a
lake, fishing with his father. The scene shifted, and he found himself sitting
at the lake still, but next to him was a little boy, not his father. He was
looking down at this little boy, and felt a surge of pride and love.
He didn't recognize the little boy at first, but then realized it was
himself when he was a child. The little boys face changed a little, but it was
still a little boy, looking up at him with obvious excitement, "Look Daddy, I
got one" and he held up the end of the line, with a small fish wriggling on
He found himself next, looking down at a little girl, knowing how
fragile she was, and knowing that he needed to protect her. This little girl
smiled up at him, and he felt himself fall in love with her.
Next he found himself standing in a bedroom, his hands on the
shoulders of a blonde woman sitting on a stool, brushing her hair. He
started rubbing her shoulders, getting excited. This woman was the most
beautiful woman he'd ever seen, and he knew that he could trust her
Things changed again, and he saw a nice house. It looked familiar,
but took him a minute to remember. This was the house they'd moved into.
The memories and awareness returned, and he realized that it was the same
house, but fixed up and looking very nice. He saw the little girl, the little
boy and the woman standing inside the door. The image blurred for a
second and he saw them all turn into a small copy of the planet Earth. This,
he suddenly knew was the world. This was important.
Then suddenly he knew. The house inserted itself into his
awareness, and suddenly, he knew what was happening.
Waking in the morning was a shocking experience for each of them.
Roger and Carl ran to the living room, screaming. They were both shocked
to find the living room much changed from the previous day. It was nicer
looking, cleaner and looking much more like a home. That was nothing
though compared to when they woke.
Carl had found his room freshly painted, with pictures of baseball
players on the walls. He saw the room of a small boy. At first it didn't
register or seem at all odd, then suddenly it dawned on him. He jumped out
of bed, horrified to discover he'd somehow shrunk during the night. He
looked down at himself, and saw he was in a pair of Power Ranger pajamas.
He pulled his pants down, and saw that he no longer had any hair on his
genitals. In a panic, he ran out screaming.
Roger's waking was even worse. He opened his eyes, seeing pink
walls, with posters of kittens on the walls. He recognized it immediately
from his dream, and felt a warm feeling of comfort and familiar
surroundings, and jumped off his bed, suddenly realizing how wrong things
all were. He looked down at himself, seeing a cute pink night shirt on, and
reached around, in horror, discovering that he had long hair and a pony tail.
He ran out of the room screaming, hoping that this was still a dream.
Dennis woke up, feeling relaxed, and sat up. He looked around and
saw that it wasn't his room. The room was nicely decorated and seemed to
be very familiar to him, as if he should know it. Without thinking about it,
he reached over and pulled a robe off a chair, and put it on as if he'd always
done so. He suddenly remembered that he never wore a robe in the
morning, then he looked down, and saw that he had a large pair of
prominent breasts sticking out in front.
Gasping, he turned and looked into a mirror on a makeup table, and
saw the image of a gorgeous blonde woman staring back. He looked down
at his hands and saw they had manicured, bright red nails, and that he had a
wedding ring on. He put his hands to his new breasts, and squeezed them,
ensuring that they were real, and being horrified to discover that they were.
He put his hands between his legs, being sure what he'd find there,
and not being at all surprised to find a slit instead of his accustomed
Calm down, he told himself. There has to be an explanation. He
remembered clearly the dreams of the night before, and became a bit
embarrassed. He looked over at the bed, and saw another person that he
The other person got up and stretched, and Dennis saw that it was a
tall man, who was fairly well muscled and in rather good shape. Dennis
smiled, feeling a bit excited and thinking how handsome this man was,
before he caught himself, shocked at his own thoughts. He recognized this
man suddenly, as the one from his dreams, and he felt his groin start to get
wet. Stop this, he told himself.
The man walked over to the mirror and looked in it, and stepped back
a bit surprised. "My God", the man muttered "Its happened". Dennis
recognized the voice, and suddenly he recognized the person too. It was Bill.
He looked a bit like Bill, but a couple years older, more muscled and a little
more handsome, but it was Bill.
Bill and Dennis stood staring at each other, with their mouths open in
shock, then hearing the screaming of two kids outside, they ran out to see
what was going on out there.
The four changed people stood in the living room, staring across at
each other, and back down at themselves. Dennis wrapped his robe tight
around himself, and noticed that the floor would need cleaning, then shook
his head, trying to get a hold of himself.
"What happened to us" Roger piped in with his little girl voice.
Dennis looked at the girl and knew that the girl was 5 and a half years old,
and had a brief memory of long pain delivering the girl, then shook his head
"I think I can answer that" Bill said slowly. He took a few seconds,
then went on "In my dreams, the house sort of talked to me" The others
looked at him as if he were crazy for a moment, but realized everything was
crazy. "I mean, it didn't talk to me like a person, in words or anything, but
in sort of images and feelings instead. It some how told me what was
"Well, WHAT HAPPENED!!" demanded Carl, now as a little boy, of
8 years old.
Bill glared at Carl, who immediately shut up and looked embarrassed
to have said anything. "The house was built by some sort of magician for
his family, and somehow the house sort of came alive" The others looked
like they wanted to interrupt him, but held their tongues, waiting for him to
go on. Dennis put his hand on Bills without thinking about it.
"The house has always had a family living here" Bill continued, "And
it wants a family to live here. Since it wanted a family to live here, it turned
US into that family" Bill sounded vaguely embarrassed about this. "And it
seems to have fixed itself up, for us" he said, gesturing around the room.
They stood staring at each other, trying to absorb the news they'd
Roger spoke up again, in the cute little girls voice, "What are we
going to do Mommy... I mean Dennis?", Roger looked extremely
embarrassed by his slip of the tongue. Dennis found that when he heard his
name, it didn't sound quite right. He knew it was pronounced wrong.
Suddenly, he realized his name was Denise, not Dennis. That name was the
one that he felt was his. He shook his head. "Darn", he said aloud. "This
keeps happening". Normally he would have said damn, but for some
reason, DARN seemed to be the strongest word he wanted to say. He didn't
realize this at the moment though.
"Obviously our minds are being effected too" Denise said, and the
others all agreed that they noticed it too.
Roger bumped into Carl, who pushed him back a bit. Roger kicked
Carl angrily in retaliation. "Stop that Renee!" Denise said automatically. It
took her several seconds to realize that the girls name was Renee. When she
thought about it, it felt very wrong to call her Roger. She'd called the girl
Renee, as if she'd done that for years.
"But he pushed me" Renee whined. She stopped, looking down
embarrassed at herself. Carl gave Renee a slightly dirty look.
Denise turned a second, and nearly tripped over a doll lying in the
middle of the floor, but was caught by Bill. She put her hand on Bills arm
for stability, and said "Thanks honey" automatically, then looked at Bill in
embarrassment. It had just slipped out.
Looking at the boy, she realized his name wasn't Carl anymore. It
was Billy. She briefly remembered naming him herself. She looked up at
Bill in horror. Their new memories were beginning to take over.
Bill picked up the doll and walked over to deposit it in a small box of
toys, and came back, then bent over and kissed Denise on the lips. She
didn't fight it, then Bill stepped back, and they both looked embarrassed.
"Sorry about that" Bill mumbled, not really sounding sorry.
They all sat down on the couch, staring at each other, wondering
what was going to happen next.
Renee spoke up "Can you fix us Daddy", not even noticing what she
called Bill this time. Automatically assuming he could fix things.
He shook his head. "I don't think so darling. I'm afraid we may be
stuck this way"
Denise felt her stomach growl a little and realized that she was
hungry. The rest of the family must be starving, she decided. She rushed to
the kitchen and started fixing breakfast for her family. She realized that she
wouldn't have done this before, but now it seemed like it was the right thing
to do. As if she did it every morning.
She saw a purse on the counter, and knew it was hers. Opening it up,
she found her wallet and drivers license, which she noticed said she was
Denise Walters, 27 year old, and female. This didn't surprise her, so she
put it back away.
She poured herself a cup of coffee and took a drink. Delicious, she
decided, then automatically poured another cup, which she brought into the
living room to Bill.
Denise listened to Renee and Billy talking, and realized that Renee
was using smaller and simpler words, and was acting more and more like the
little girl she seemed to be. The same with Billy. Denise realized she'd been
doing it, but hadn't realized how much they'd all been changing in just a
short time. They seemed to all be adapting to their new roles very quickly.
The houses doing no doubt.
They started to adapt and accept their situations very rapidly. By
lunch time, Denise was already cleaning the house and would kiss Bill
without thinking anything odd about it. Bill seemed to accept things the
easiest, but then again, Denise decided, he was basically still himself.
Bill was however a bit worried about Renee and Billy. They seemed
to lose the most information and all the things about being adult. They were
regressing to be children again, completely, and this saddened Bill, though
he started more and more to think of them as his own children.
By dinner time, they had each adapted completely to their new lives,
and Denise was looking forward to an exciting night with her husband. Once
the kids were in bed of course. They all retained their old memories, but their
new lives were more dominant, and the children especially had a hard time
recalling things or actually understanding the things they did remember from
their old lives.
Within two days, they were living their new lives as if they'd always
lived them, no longer fighting the lives, or feeling the least bit uncomfortable
about them. And they loved their nice family home.