“Morning, Valerie,” his wife Megan said, standing up and kissing him on the cheek. “Sleep well, sweetie?”
Harold grimaced and sipped his mug…this stupid sweet French mocha stuff, not the usual black coffee that he liked. Pushing back his floppy hair with his left hand, he said: “Cut it out Meg, and just turn me back, please. I’ve learned my lesson—I’ll never make fun of women’s work again. You women do indeed have it hard. There, I said it: now chant the spell again and undo this. I want to be a man again. I’m your man.”
Megan stared at him in bewilderment. “V…Val, what are you saying? You’ve always been my darling daughter, and now you say you want to be a *man* of all things? Honey, you should know how fickle men are—your father Harold ditched me for some hussy and left me all alone to raise you. Men are such pigs, and we don’t need ’em. You’re all I have, sweetheart. Oh my Valerie, are you saying all this crazy talk because I’ve done something wrong, hun? Oh no no no sweet child, please don’t leave me alone!” she sobbed, hugging his waist tightly.
Harold was speechless at this display. Had the magic really made her forget that he was her husband and not her daughter? Was Megan mentally unstable, and if so, was he stuck like this? He shifted uncomfortably in his black polyester “boy shorts,” which hugged his flat crotch and only served to remind him that he was no longer a boy at all. What should he do?
“Mama,” he said, taking a fateful plunge. “Mama, I just had a bad dream, that’s all. Now can you help me pick out a dress for school? I’ve gotta be off soon.” As soon as Harold said it, he felt that the name Valerie was right after all.
“Of course dear Val Val, now let’s pick a nice dress for you,” Megan said, brightening. (Inwardly, she smiled at how easily she’d turned her philandering husband into her dutiful, beautiful daughter in mind and body.)