Reggie had never had so much fun in his short life.
He could hardly believe that he wasn’t a little boy anymore. He was a grown woman! And not just any grown woman: his own aunt! Countess Elizabeth Neville!
He stood in the hallway as servants busied about taking things out to the waiting coaches for the picnic and his family talked and made ready to leave. There were three coaches: two for the family to ride in and a third for the servants and food.
His mother and father were talking to his Uncle Howard while his Aunt Elizabeth, now trapped in his little body, stood back, scowling. Reggie smirked. It was just so funny!
He looked down at his huge new body. It was so queer to be a woman but his aunt’s body was also rather plump. Her breasts and stomach dominated his view down and he could only make out her delicate feet if he leaned forward.
“Would you like to get into the coach madam?”
Reggie turned in alarm to see the butler standing beside him and addressing him directly! Servants almost never spoke to him. He wasn’t sure what to say. Surely the butler wasn’t relying on him to make a decision that would affect everyone, but it certainly seemed that way.
“Er, Yesh. I think we should go,” he replied, loving how different his voice sounded; though he still had his characteristic lisp. Fortunately the butler didn’t seem to notice.
“Very good my lady.” He led the way outside.
Elizabeth watched this imposter walking out the door from her newly diminished perspective, feeling dejected and lost. It had all happened too quickly. Surely it was only minutes ago that the world made sense and she was herself. Now she was suddenly the youngest and least significant member of the family and she felt it to her core. The adults towered over her, ignoring her completely. Nobody asked her if she thought it was time to leave. They didn’t even address her. The family just started walking out and she was expected to follow.
She wondered what would happen if she refused to go. She couldn’t stand the thought of having to pretend to be a child in front of these people. But Howard had insisted that was the best course of action and she usually deferred to his judgment. But the very idea of it! This couldn’t truly be happening. How long was she going to be stuck this way before they figured out a way for her to change back? She was so furious with Reggie for refusing to wish them back. But it seemed impossible that a simple wish could really have effected such a change.
Felicity, Reggie’s sister, suddenly appeared at her side and Elizabeth’s face fell further to see how much shorter she was. Felicity had suddenly become her big sister when all Elizabeth had ever seen was a small girl. Felicity was suddenly her elder and effectively her superior, just like everyone else.
“What are you looking hang-dog about Reggie?” asked Felicity.
Elizabeth said nothing, looking away.
Felicity bashed her on the arm. “I’m talking to you Reggie,” she said.
“Leave me alone,” said Elizabeth.
“Why should I? Mummy always says I should look after you. That means you have to do what I say.”
Elizabeth groaned, feeling worse and worse.
“Pick your feet up,” said Felicity. “You’ll get told off if you don’t hurry.”
She went outside and Elizabeth reluctantly followed. Felicity ran up to the second coach and climbed aboard with Geraldine and Patrick. Geraldine saw Elizabeth and called out impatiently, “Reggie, do hurry up for goodness sake. Everybody’s waiting.”
Elizabeth hurried over and looked up at the huge coach. The steps were high and she struggled to climb up them on her little legs.
The adults sat facing forward and she was expected to sit next to Felicity facing back. She struggled up onto the seat, wishing she could have at least travelled with her husband.
“Reggie!” snapped Patrick.
She looked up at the man who had suddenly become her father. His portly mass seemed gigantic above her.
“We’re off on an adventure. Wipe that pout off your face for God’s sake. I’m sick of the sight of you scowling.”
Elizabeth was mortified to be spoken to in such a way. This was her brother-in-law, not her father. He should be speaking with respect to her.
“Reggie’s been in a mood all morning,” said Felicity.
“Well you’d better shape up my lad or you’ll be getting another beating. Is that clear?”
Elizabeth gaped at him, terrified to experience the humiliation and pain again. “Yes,” she said, trying to do as he said.
“Yes what boy?”
Elizabeth looked up at him. She looked at Felicity and then at Geraldine. Finally she looked back at this man who had so much power over her and with her heart in her throat said, “Yes father.”