“Charlie! Time to get your lazy butt outa bed and get dressed!”
Mum’s voice screamed up the stairs and somehow infiltrated under my doona, two pillows and through my long hair. Shit she can really bum a dude out.
“Crap!” I throw the pillow covering my head across the room with my eyes shut and hear it bounce off the wardrobe door as it shudders a little and bumps closed, quietly clicking onto the magnets.
Hang on… I didn’t have a wardrobe door like that! My sister did! My wardrobe door was a large rolling door! I sat up and looked around: “What the f…” I didn’t get to finish the profanity that was coming out of my mouth when I heard a shattering scream split the air – yep, my sister. I climbed over the end of the pretty white, four-poster bed and stared at my face – um her face, our face, um – in the mirror.
“Darren!” her voice was at the door, “Open this immediately.”
I walked to it, unlocked it – why did she lock everything? – and let her in, “Get in here. And stop screaming.” I watched as a very feminine version of me sat on the edge of the bed, crossed his legs and began playing with his hair, “Jesus, man, you’re such a girl.”
“Screw you… have you seen yourself?”
“Yeah, I have.” I nodded sitting next to her… him, um… “What do we do now?”
“You and your friggin’ magicks.”
“Hey, I didn’t do this.”
The door opened and Mum was standing there, “No, he didn’t, but your father and I did.”
“What?” I stood and began to pace, “Mum! I look stupid.”
“Correction, you feel stupid… you and your sister have changed places and this will stay like this for a week until you both learn to respect each other.” She looked from me to my sister, Charlie, “Now, both of you get ready for school!”
We exchanged horrified expressions: “School?”
We caught the bus halfway to school, felt as though everyone was staring at us and then got off at the mall where we walked to the nearest library and found out that what Mum and Dad did wasn’t in any book there – of course! – so we had to look around home to see which of my spell books Mum had gotten her hands on.
“What do you mean, you might know which one it is?” Charlie hissed.
“I mean, I might know which one it is.” I replied, “And I’ll have to search my book collection when we get home. Come on, we have another kilometre to go until we get home… and school will be over by that time.”
She sighed, “I hate this.”
“You’re not the only one.” I pulled at the bra strap on my shoulder, “How do you put up with bras?”
She smiled, “It’s actually not too bad to not have to put one on for once.”
We searched my bedroom for the spell book I was looking for, but our folks had taken it. Searching the house wasn’t on the cards as our Mum was a Clean Queen from way back – she’d know if we had been snooping for anything.
We sat in my original bedroom with music going and I talked, “Okay, I know Gary might have an idea of the spell. He was weird enough to copy the whole book out when I bought it… now I know why he did.”
“Such a freak.” She muttered.
“Shut up.” I said grabbing my mobile and texting him.
Gary walked into my room half an hour later with Mum smiling behind him, “Gary’s here.” She looked at me, “Charlie, help me with dinner, okay?”
“Now.” The smile fell off her face as glanced at my ‘sister’ and Gary. I left with Mum and wondered what was going to go on while I was gone. I helped Mum set the table, feed the dog, put out the rubbish (which I didn’t know my sister did), clean up the lounge room (twice, because Mum wasn’t happy with the first attempt) and then I cut up the veggies and put them into a bowl of water to be ready to roast. Then, Mum told me to ‘ready the chook’… I’ve never seen her do this! But I did as I was told and readied the chicken – and then, I scrubbed my hands until they were raw but they still smelled like dead chicken and butter!
Gary left with a worried look at his face. He knew what was going on as he dragged me outside, “Dude, your…” he looked me up and down, “…sister, told me what was going on. You have my absolute trust I won’t tell anyone.”
“Are you sure?” I pushed a curl behind my ear.
He spotted that reflex and blinked, “Yeah… My Aunt and Uncle did this to my cousins last year… it was shit! It was embarrassing. I didn’t want to tell you; and now I won’t tell anyone about this.”
“The spell, though.”
He smiled, “She has it.”
That night, after dinner, Charlie and me cast the reversal spell. I know we did it correctly, but we had to wait until sunrise to see if it took effect.
I opened my eyes the next morning and I was still in my sister’s room. But it felt different. I wasn’t mad about this for some reason as I sat up and looked in the mirror; not until I looked in the mirror and realised I was still my sister.
A tap at the door sounded and I opened it to see my sister looking at me… my blond-haired, blue-eyed sister… looking at me!
“I was going to say it worked, but it doesn’t look like it.” She said.
“Get in here.” I opened the door wider and she rushed in and I slammed it shut, “We did it right!”
“What went wrong?”
“Charlie? Darren? You both in there?” Mum asked tapping her nails on the door.
I opened it, “What did you do?”
“You didn’t wait the week out, and used a reversal spell. It reverses the effects on your sister… but it makes the spell permanent on you.” she grinned, “Charlie, you’ve always wanted a sister… haven’t you?”