Can there be a happy ending for Robyn and her friends?|
Part 4 - Conclusion
By Prudence Walker
She didn't see the person coming in behind her that grasped the bat in her hands and pulled it from her grasp. Startled, she gasped just as a hand clamped over her mouth.
"Shush!" A voice she recognized, whispered in her ear. "It's me. Now stay out of sight honey, and let me take care of this." Don's voice said reassuringly.
Robyn sagged in relief, moving back against the wall to blend in again. Don's eyes widened, as he saw the full abilities of Robyn's genes manifest themselves. If he hadn't seen it with his own eyes, he wouldn't even have suspected she was there. Luckily, he'd seen her outline as he'd entered, guessing that the blurry figure could only belong to Robyn.
Don advanced quickly, not wanting to take any chances with the matron. She whirled around as he neared, sensing some one was there; but being hampered by the struggling girls she wasn't fast enough to evade the fist from a very angry Don that struck her solidly on the chin.
The matron fell backwards, landing on the floor, while the unrepentant Don stood still, allowing her to fall, too angry, to bother catching her; and preparing to deliver another blow, if necessary. Ann and Becky ran to Don's arms, crying in relief. Robyn stayed where she was, too afraid to believe it was all over. Don looked for her, calling her name.
Just then, the sound of sirens coming into the driveway heralded the speedy arrival of the police. The front door opened and the primal force that was Stormi raged into the room, her eyes ablaze in wrathful determination. She had narrowly beaten the arrival of the police.
"Where are my girls?" she demanded loudly before looking around and spotting Don. Her demeanor left no doubt she would tolerate no threat to her children.
"All safe and accounted for...I think," Don reassured her, as he vainly looked for Robyn's hidden form.
"Where is Robyn, and... oh my god! Stormi exclaimed, as she saw the three unconscious bodies on the floor. She ran over and hugged Ann and Becky, while still frantically searching for a glimpse of her missing child.
"Robyn's here," Don answered dragging Robyn's hazy form from where he'd left her. "Take her upstairs to your bathroom, along with the girls, while I delay the police.
Quickly... they must not see her like this." Don insisted, as he gently thrust Robyn's unresisting form into Stormi's motherly grasp.
Stormi lifted Robyn's body into her arms and ran heavily ladened, up the stairs, as Ann and Becky followed on her heels. Stormi didn't yet know what had happened to Robyn, but she understood the necessity of getting her out of sight and Don had promised she was unharmed. She reached her bedroom door; just as the police swept in with guns drawn, swat style.
Stormi could hear Don calling to the police to come ahead, but she was more concerned with Robyn, than to concern herself about what was happening downstairs. She felt comfortable that Don was capable of taking care of what the police needed.
All Clear Sounded
Robyn was uncontrollably shaking in a post shock reaction. She was still in chameleon mode; but even as Stormi held her small trembling figure and was softy reassuring her that she was a safe, patches of Robyn's skin were retuning to its normal appearance.
Stormi quietly asked the other girls for their story. They gathered as close as they could and hugged their distraught sister. Stormi's eyes grew dark with anger, as Becky told of the men coming up to them, demanding to know where Robyn was. She heard also, how the men were threatening them with injury and even death if Robyn didn't show up and reveal herself.
Stormi then turned her questioning to Robyn, and asked her if she were able to tell them what had happened, and how was she in this curious state with her odd body colorations.
Robyn slowly, and nervously stammered out her tale, from the incident in the shower and the moment of her falling, to releasing Becky and Anne, and Don's handling of Matron. Stormi was tight lipped as she struggled not to show her anger toward the men, who had invaded her home, and threatened her children. Stormi noted, as Robyn relaxed, her skin was slowly returning to its original colour and texture, almost back to normal. So she suggested Robyn get into her shower and get cleaned up.
She asked Becky to go with Robyn into the shower, to make sure Robyn would be okay in there. Stormi then asked Ann to go and pick out something for Robyn to wear. Finally, considering her brood safe for the moment, she went down to talk to the police.
Stormi proceeded down the stairs; and was immediately approached by the police inquiring what she knew of the situation. Stormi, with an angry glint in her eye, glared at the now handcuffed trio that was being taken away. She waited till they were well out of sight, and hearing before answering.
"Those animals..." she spat. "Were going to kill Robyn just because the matron wanted some sort of sick twisted revenge on me. They also threatened the lives of Becky and Ann in their hunt for Robyn."
"Ma-am, where are the children now? Can we talk to them, to get their story for our reports?" One of the policemen asked.
"I'd prefer if that could wait. They have all been through a very traumatic experience, I really don't want them questioned till they have had time to recover," Stormi stated emphatically. "Can you send a police woman around later? That might not be quite as arduous on them."
"Yes of course. In fact, I'll have her come round in plain clothes. Do you think you'll need a psychologist for the girls?" The concerned policeman enquired.
"No. Not at this time. These kids are pretty tough, with what they have already had to go through at the orphanage." Stormi answered, thinking about their miserable lives in the 'tender mercies,' of the matron.
"Just so you know, we found the woman's car; and the vehicle of her two accomplices outside on the road. It looks like she was going on a long trip, perhaps to leave the country. She has several file cases full of information in her car, on people she was involved with. Many heads will roll, if what I've just glimpsed at, proves to be true after investigation. There was also a large amount of liquid assets found. We hope we will be able to distribute that to the children, where it was originally intended, once approvals have been granted," the man added, as he moved to leave.
Stormi nodded, not really caring about the money; but the evidence was important. She was hoping the others involved with matron would get what they deserved.
Going to Don's side, she stood there, bolstered by his strength, and comforted by his nearness. After the officer let himself out, and they were alone, Stormi turned to Don and hugged him tight, tears of gratitude glistening in her eyes.
"Thank you for coming, and rescuing my children. I don't know what I'd have done, if one of my children had been hurt," she said with heartfelt thanks.
"Hey that's quite okay. Anyway, I didn't really do all that much. Robyn had already taken care of the worse ones." Don dismissed, blushing a little.
"I can't believe she took two men out, all by herself," Stormi said, shuddering at the thought of her small child going after two large men.
"Of course, I think her new ability helped," Don added, not really wanting to be seen, too readily, as outclassed by a child.
Stormi's answer was to lift her head and kiss Don, breaking it off quickly before he could react. 'Two can play at the peck and leave 'em game,' thought Stormi to herself, as she remembered Don's last parting kiss.
"Oh my... I momentarily forgot Maggie with all of this going on. Do you think she'll be okay? I must ring Helen. Stormi asked anxiously.
Stormi dashed to the phone, while Don tried to reassure her.
"I'm sure it was only Robyn they were after...hmmm I wonder if the matron suspects there's more to Robyn than meets the eye," Don mused. He followed Stoma's quickly departing form, looking at the sight of her fluid movements with an appreciative eye.
Stormi rang her friend Helen. Being reassured only after she heard that nothing was amiss. Stormi told Helen that she would be right over, as things had changed.
"Don... can you stay here and look after the girls, while I drive over to pick up Maggie?" Stormi begged.
"Sure, that's not a problem. While I'm here, I'll ring a friend of mine to come and to fix up the bathroom door, I get 'mates rates' you know."
"You sure are a handy man to know, with all your friends," Stormi acknowledged.
"Comes with the territory, honey. Being a doctor has a few perks. After you cure someone of something serious, you're in their good books forever, its like becoming part of the family, so to speak." Don explained. "Now mother hen, go get the last of your brood, before you lose any more feathers."
Stormi left, not even bothering to answer that comment. She drove on the speed limit, not really noticing her surroundings as she drove. She snapped back to awareness from a dark place, to find herself at Helen's home. Her mind was thrashing over the alternative outcomes of the mornings events. For a moment, she wondered if she had driven safely, as she couldn't recall a single stop sign or traffic light along the way.
Helen, nursing a baby, opened the door for Stormi at her knock.
"Come into the sunroom, Maggie was playing with the kittens when you rang. I think she wants to adopt them all," Helen laughed.
Stormi, having calmed down, from her disturbing reverie, walked softly into the sunroom. The sight there melted her heart. Maggie had made a pile of cushions into a makeshift bed and she was curled up, sleeping with a nursing tabby cat under one arm. The kittens were gathered in various positions against Maggie's body. Some were sleeping; some were playing with the ribbons that still adorned the ends of her pigtails, and a few were happily suckling at the teats of the placid mother cat.
Stormi stood there for a minute, watching, not really wanting to disturb the dozing child. Finally, she knelt, and stroked Maggie's hair, till she woke up with a yawn. Smiling, Stormi whispered to her that they had to go; and then she gently disentangled Maggie from the kittens, and nestled the child into her arms.
Stormi's return home, was somewhat delayed, by an unexpected detour. After getting back on her route, she made good time up to the drive to her front door. Don came out to greet her along with the three girls, who seemed to be fine, despite the traumatic ordeal they had just experienced.
Robyn and her sisters, raced out to see Maggie, who was holding something in her arms. The something, was furry, and was making a mewling sound. Stormi looked at Don, and shrugged at his surprised expression, as she started to pull out a basket and a large bag of cat food suitable for a kitten, that she had just purchased on her little detour.
"You seem to draw strays like a magnet," Don laughed.
"Seems that way, doesn't it," Stormi chuckled back. "I couldn't resist those imploring eyes."
"The kittens?" Don asked with a raised eyebrow.
"No, Maggie's," Stormi answered, her eyes twinkling with humour.
"Aaah," Don responded, the light of understanding, flashing across his face.
The girls were already fussing over the kitten Maggie had chosen from Helen's when Stormi noticed work was already underway repairing the broken bathroom door.
She needed to get to both the school and to her lawyer. Stormi asked Don if he could stay a while longer, and look after the kids, while she completed the tasks she had started out to do earlier that morning.
"Sure, go ahead." Was Don's willing reply. "I don't need any sleep, really," he lied, yawning theatrically. "Anyway, I guess I can bear to be waited on, hand and foot, by four charming girls for a few more hours. He added, winking at Stormi.
"Right..." Stormi replied, grinning a little. "Just don't tire yourself out, ordering them around."
"They'll be fine, trust me," Don said in all seriousness. "Go do what you have to, without worrying about the girls."
Stormi said goodbye to the preoccupied girls, before driving off, back to the city.
While Becky and Ann prepared a place for the kitten to sleep; and then got some food for Maggie to give to her kitten., Don managed to get Robyn alone for a chat. He asked Robyn if she was able to activate her chameleon power voluntarily, or was it just an instinctive and natural reaction to a perceived threat. Robyn was curious herself about her ability and she tried hard to see if she could activate it voluntarily. Nothing seemed to happen, and Robyn grew despondent at her failure.
Don seeing her disappointment, said not to worry about it. As long as it was available in moments of extreme danger, then it didn't matter if she couldn't just do it anytime she wished. Probably better that way anyway, Don told her.
"You wouldn't want to chance activating it at just any old time. That could be awkward," Don explained. "You have a wonderful gift, despite the problems it's caused. Not many people get to be either a boy or a girl at a thought."
Robyn, feeling slightly better at Don's encouraging words, grinned at the all the future possibilities of having some fun with the girls, with her gift, even if the chameleon mode wasn't available on a voluntary basis. She could still change her body to copy others.
By lunchtime, the carpenters had left; and Don, figuring the girls would be getting hungry, decided to poke around in the kitchen to see about filling a few holes with food. He hopefully looked in the refrigerator looking for some nice leftovers. He spied some leftover pork from the other night's meal, and his mouth watered. Getting some fresh bread, he cut some pork off the bone and made a pile of sandwiches for the girls and himself. There was a little stuffing left over, which he added onto his sandwiches, not knowing if the girls would like it cold.
"Girls...luuuunnnnch!" he called out loud, as he poked his head out the kitchen door.
In seconds, it seemed, he was surrounded by a horde (if you can count four girls and a kitten a horde) of giggling, noisy, mouths. He made the girls sit, before he placed their plates filled with sandwiches before them. Adding some glasses of O. J., he sat and told them to dig in before it got cold, something his mother always used to say to him. He chuckled at the thought of sandwiches getting cold, and by the puzzled looks of the girls gave him. The girls soon made quick work of the sandwiches and drink, so Don looked for some biscuits for them, while he made a cup of coffee for himself. Bringing back a jar of cookies and his cup, he sat back down to await Stormi's return. He watched, fascinated, as the girls dived into the jar, taking several cookies each, before eating them with obvious delight.
Don cleared away lunch, as the girls went back to playing with the kitten, running around trailing a piece of string with a small enticement tied on the end of it. He smiled at their antics, as he made a call to the hospital.
"Hello Warren, it's me... Yeah, I know, I should be sleeping, look something's come up... No, I'm okay; but I have this friend, who's... No, Warren it's not like that...She's a lady...anyway... No, I'm not giving you her name...I might need to be put on standby, or even give me some time off...Yes! It's that important... Okay, thanks. I'll be in touch later, okay? Bye."
Don hung up the phone, and went to check on the girls. They had gone rather quiet. Don wandered though the house till he came across the girls in Misty's bedroom. Maggie was cuddling the kitten in her arms while looking at a book on cats that lay open beside her. The others were also engrossed, reading some of the many books from Misty's bookshelves. Don paused at the doorway, not wanting to intrude on their near silent involvement with the discovery of the new books to read.
Don returned downstairs and pottered around, filling time until Stormi's return. He found some fresh flowers blooming out in the garden. So he cut off a few, putting them in a vase he found in the lounge, and then set them on the table.
Stormi returned half an hour later. She checked on the girls and went to change, after greeting Don with a quick peck. She came down and sat, giving herself a breather. Don, ever the gentleman, offered her a drink of cocoa, so she could unwind. He joined her, sitting with his own cup and waited, while she gratefully sipped her drink.
"Well, the adoption papers are done. I should have the official okay by the weekend." Stormi said, finally breaking the silence. "I've also I've been to the school and I have registered Robyn, Becky, and Ann. Tomorrow I plan to take them to the school. I just hope they will fit in okay."
"You worry too much, which in itself, is not a bad thing. It means you care deeply for them, as you'd be expected to, since you're adopting them." Don reassured her.
"I just hope they can keep up with the others in their lessons. There's no telling how they will do, with their schooling records in such a mess or either non-existent." Stormi fretted.
"Well, only time will tell, it's no good worrying about it, till we have some feed back from the teachers. I'm sure they will give the girls tests to see where they stand." Don said, trying to put her mind at ease.
That night, Don stayed for dinner again, a fact that Stormi's daughters found very encouraging. They had all fussed over the kitten in turn, as they had arrived home from school. Stormi broke up the petting session, with the single phrase, "Homework, first." Don assisted Stormi in the kitchen while she worked some culinary magic, to produce another gastronomic delight. One that was especially appreciated by the 'awesome foursome.'
Don was invited to stay the night, in a spare bed they put into one of the study rooms. Stormi had asked him if he would look after Maggie while she took the new girls to school. He had agreed readily, and promised her that nothing would happen to her youngest addition.
That night was a rather sleepless one for Robyn and her sisters. To be going to a real school in the morning was enough to keep anyone awake, thinking about it. Only Maggie slept peacefully, her dreams filled with images of kittens, and caring people surrounding her.
First day back at School
Trouble from a New Source
Robyn was awakened early, along with Ann and Becky. Stormi told them to get dressed, and come down for breakfast. After the usual morning rush to get breakfast, Stormi handed the three new school goers a packed lunch, knowing that the food provided by the school, wasn't as healthy as her home prepared food. She also brought out three backpacks, one for each of them, filled with some basic school requirements. Don was there also, getting underfoot, as he struggled to get breakfast for himself. Maggie was still asleep when Stormi gathered the three girls for their school debut. Don gave a hug to Stormi, before she left the house.
Stormi drove carefully; showing the girls the route to school should the unforeseen happen, and they had to walk home. Stormi gave them each some money, for a treat, at the shop across from the school; she also said that Misty would be there when classes let out to ensure they got on the right bus.
Stormi took them to meet the principal. Before leaving for home, she hugged them all, urging them to just try and do their best.
The principal took them to a teacher and introduced them. The teachers name was Geoff Spellman. The girls tried not to giggle when he told them he would be their English teacher, and their homeroom teacher.
The girls were escorted to a classroom, where Geoff showed each of them to a seat. There were a few students already seated and at the sounds of a bell being rung, more came into the room with a mad scramble. The girl seated next to Robyn, had the most gorgeous reddish blonde hair and the beginnings of a svelte figure, which promised to turn the boys heads in the near future. She whispered to Robyn that her name was Jenna. Robyn whispered back, telling Jenna her name.
The last girl in the door lugged a brass bell and placed it on a shelf, before moving to a seat. The teacher called for quiet, and the noise ebbed to a dull roar, as the teacher made an announcement.
"We have three new students today. I'll ask them to introduce themselves." He then called Robyn and her sisters in turn to stand and tell the assembled class, their names. Then, to aid the new girls, Geoff asked for a roll call of the other children. Robyn noted that the bell ringer's name was Michelle.
It turned out later, that Jenna was a friend of Michelle and she introduced her to Robyn and her sisters, at first break. Because the electric bell system had failed, the school had returned to the traditional method of announcing the period breaks, using the old school bell. Since Michelle had volunteered to do the job, she had been given the nickname of La Belle Michelle.
The school passed in a blur of names and activities, for the new girls. They were pretty much left to observe the lessons and only participated when they had something to contribute. The teachers were to observe them for their general levels of knowledge on the individual subjects they were given.
They didn't have any problem fitting in, with both Jenna and Michelle showing them the ropes. Misty saw the three at lunchtime and checked to see if they were okay. Word slowly spread through the school, about them being orphans adopted by the Knight family. A few children looked down on them, calling them names. One in particular, on learning her name, started a personal vendetta against Robyn.
Robyn was at a loss to understand why, as since she had never met the girl before. This particular girl went out of her way to harass her every time she saw Robyn. Unknown to them, Vivian, was the daughter of one of those under suspicion in the case dealing with the matron's illegal activities. Vivian had heard Robyn's name mentioned in her parents' angry mealtime conversations. Putting two and two together, Vivian decided that Robyn was the person involved in her family's problems.
Vivian vowed to make this new girl pay, so her attacks both verbal, and physical, started to take on rather serious tones.
Robyn and her new friends couldn't understand the reason for the animosity that Vivian seemed to level at her. Becky and Ann were being completely ignored by Vivian, so it wasn't merely because she came from an orphanage. Robyn tried avoiding Vivian as much as was possible, but even with her friends around, there were times she couldn't seem to shake her off.
The following week things didn't get any better, oh sure, life at the Knight's was wonderful. Good company, great food, love, and learning how to use the computer for doing homework. Things were great... except for the continued harassment from that one girl. Robyn had been drenched in coloured paint while using the toilet during art class. The pot of water-based paint from art class was thrown over the stall door, covering Robyn in green sticky goo. This did not go down well with the teacher, when confronted by a miserable Robyn when she dragged herself back into class. She was dripping paint, and was in near tears at the mess the paint had made of her nice clothes.
The teacher seemed to think some of the blame must lie with Robyn, as the teacher's phrase, "it takes two to tango," lay heavily across Robyn's shoulders. Robyn couldn't give the teacher a name, although Vivian seemed the only suspect in her mind. Vivian had a slight smirk on her face, which seemed to confirm Robyn's theory. Robyn was sent to the bathroom to clean herself up, and Ann was asked if she would help as well. It took ten minutes to strip off her outer clothes and try and rinse the worst off. Ann told Robyn to shower and wash her hair. Putting on wet clammy clothes was awful. Robyn just wanted to go home and cry, but Ann told her to stick it out till the end of the period, when she could ring Stormi at home.
Stormi was furious. She steamed, as she drove to the school with a spare change of clothes for Robyn. 'Who dared to pull an awful prank like that,' she thought. She arrived at school, storming towards the principal's office, where Robyn had been sent under her teacher's instructions.
When Stormi saw Robyn's forlorn form, wearing her now paint marked and bedraggled clothes, her heart went out to Robyn; but her anger at the indignity of it happening at all, made her heatedly demand an explanation from the head of the school. Robyn cowered outside the office, waiting for Stormi's rebuke for getting into trouble, while only snippets of the heated conversation from within, filtered out. The door opened, and Stormi came out and quickly gathered Robyn into her arms.
"Come on honey, I'm taking you home so you can get properly cleaned up." Stormi murmured soothingly in Robyn's ear.
"You're not mad at me for getting these clothes ruined?" Robyn asked, hesitantly.
"Heavens no. It wasn't your fault, but I'd like to get my hands on the one who was responsible for it." Stormi reassured the trembling child. With that, Robyn went out to the car with Stormi; and was driven away from school, heading for home. Stormi asked if Robyn knew who might be the culprit. Robyn sighed, not saying anything, till Stormi prompted her again.
"Well... there's only been one person I've been having problems with," she stated simply.
"Oh? Care to enlighten me?" Stormi asked calmly.
"Vivian Brixton's her name, and she really has a thing against me," Robyn reluctantly elaborated.
"Hmmm, I think I should go and see her parent's about all this. It's unacceptable in this day and age for that type of harassment." Stormi said distractedly, as she wove among the traffic.
Robyn's heart sank, this meant more trouble, somehow; she just knew it. Once home, she was sent to the shower. Stormi helped wash her hair, checking to make sure no trace of the paint was left. Fresh clothes and a can of diet coke, made Robyn feel better. She watched television for the rest of the afternoon.
The next day at school proved to be as she'd expected. Vivian was outright rude, calling her a tattletale and a coward, for running to her mommy like a baby. She tried ignoring Vivian, but then things started getting worse. Items were being stolen and the blame was being laid at her feet, by an accusing finger. Her bag was searched; and some of the items in question were found in there.
Of course, Robyn's protestations of innocence were ignored. Her orphanage background was named as the root cause of her thievery, and nothing Robyn said, seemed to budge anyone's opinion. Even her sisters looked at her in askance, till finally she broke down in a flood of tears, and fled the accusatory looks of the students and teachers.
Running from Trouble
Robyn was badly hurting inside. There seemed nothing she could do, but run away. She heard the calls of Becky and Ann as they raced after her. She hid behind a small dumpster for the school rubbish and then changed her appearance by using her chameleon power. She took off her top and chemise and reversed them, now her chemise hung over the outside of her top. Looking sufficiently different with chocolate brown Negroid features and black fizzy hair, and the small clothing alteration. She stepped out and walked confidently along, towards the street. Becky ran past, not even pausing as she passed by the black girl, with her odd fashion sense.
Robyn wandered, away aimlessly, not realizing the uproar she had left behind her. Both Ann and Becky were in tears at not finding any sign of her in the school grounds. Stormi was called, as were the police. A complete search of the school revealed nothing, Stormi was beside herself with worry, while she tried valiantly, to console Becky and Ann.
Robyn, meantime, was wandering the streets. She saw a church, and knew she had to enter. She slowly entered the cool depths of the church, seeking sanctuary in the peaceful surroundings. She knelt in one of the rows of pews; and prayed for guidance. The pastor of the church saw the lone child, with tears running down her face as she knelt in supplication, and he knew something was very wrong. Moving silently, Pastor John came up to the girl and knelt alongside her in prayer. Robyn looked up at the man kneeling beside her, but didn't move away. Some calming, indefinable quality about the man seemed to say that he could help her.
The pastor saw the girl look at him; and took the fact that she didn't shy away, to be encouraging. He started talking softly, as if to himself, but the words were plainly meant for Robyn. She listened, having nothing else to do. He talked of the unconditional love God had for every single person, no matter what their problem or sin was and of God's forgiving nature.
Robyn heard these words and knew in her heart that she too was loved, not only by God, but by all of her sisters, new and old, and most of all, by Stormi, her new mother.
John asked her if there was anyone he could contact, to let them know she was safe, her parents, maybe? Robyn shook her head, coming to a decision. She dried her tears; and then startling the pastor, she took off her chemise and top, seemingly unaware of the look of shock in the pastor's eyes. Fortunately, there were only the two of them in the church, and John's flustered protestations, that what she was doing, was unseemly, died, as Robyn calmly put on her chemise and top in the correct order, and then stood up.
"I'm fine now, thanks to you," Robyn stated simply, as she looked at John. "I just needed some time alone, to decide for myself what was really important in my life."
John was puzzled, here before him appeared a normal Negro girl, now properly attired, her voice sounding normal for her ethnic background, but her choice of words and cadence seemed at odds, with her obvious racial origins. He'd heard many Negro children in his congregation; and he knew how they talked. 'This girl must have been brought up by white parents, for her to speak in this manner,' he thought. 'Maybe, that was the girl's problem, if she was mixing with other Negro girls, and sounding as she did, this could cause alienation, lead to insults, and cause stress.'
Robyn departed the church, leaving the pastor with some misgivings, as he watched her walk out of the church. He hoped she was going to be okay, and he sent a silent prayer to the lord to look after the child.
Robyn wasn't sure of where she was. She had run off at random in her hurried departure from the school. She tried remembering the way back, but a few wrong choices, and having to retrace her steps, made her return take much longer than expected. She remembered to change her appearance back to normal, as finally, she approached the school. It was dusk now, and the streetlights were on. She reached the locked school gates, and stopped, undecided of what to do next.
A light suddenly lit up her small form, as she sat next to the gate. The blinding light pinned her there, as a vehicle pulled up along side where she sat. She made no move, as a voice asked her if she were Robyn Knight, she nodded. The police officer stepped out the car and lifted her up, asking her if she was okay. She nodded again, not really wanting to talk, not knowing how much trouble she was in, especially, if the police were out looking for her. Although the officer was trying to get her to talk about where she had been, the ride home was made in silence on her part,
They arrived home to see the house ablaze with lights. The police officer stepped out, and after opening the passenger door, lifted Robyn out and carried her unresisting form towards her, as yet, undetermined fate.
The door opened even before they reached it, as their arrival had obviously been heard from within. Stormi was first out, closely followed by the rest of the girls. Robyn slipped out of the policeman's grip, and stood, head down, awaiting the expected assault of Stormi's angry wrath.
Stormi ran and gathered Robyn in a tight grip, lifting her up and kissing her forehead. Stormi's face looked strange, as if she had been weeping, her mascara had run, giving her panda bear eyes. Robyn felt awful; as she realized the effect her running away had had on the ones who loved her. Robyn started weeping, as Stormi started asking questions.
"Where have you been honey? We were so scared something had happened to you."
Choked with emotions, unable to speak, Robyn just sobbed louder, as everyone started to surround her in a group hug. The policeman took his leave; content in the knowledge that Robyn was in good hands, the cause for alarm was over, and his presence was no longer needed.
Robyn was escorted inside and made to sit on the couch, while Stormi related to her, what had happened after Robyn had run off. Some of the school staff was convinced Robyn's running away, only confirmed Robyn's guilt. After their fruitless search of the school the girls had returned to the heated argument about Robyn's guilt or innocence. The girl's had stood up and defended Robyn, saying she hadn't done it, and had been with them during the break. The outcome was a stalemate, but Robyn wouldn't be suspended this time. One more incident though, and they would take a more serious view about it.
Sitting on the couch, surrounded by the girls, Robyn mumbled out her tale of her flight from school. She even mentioned her trick to avoid being stopped, which left the girls chagrined, realizing they had passed right by their sister and not even recognized her. While Robyn talked, Andréa had been busy in the kitchen, bringing out a plate of reheated food that had been prepared earlier. Robyn ate woodenly, not really tasting the nice food, as she recounted her meeting with the pastor in the church. She was still nervous about the punishment; she fully expected to receive from her new mother.
After Robyn had finished eating, Stormi took Robyn up to her bedroom for a private chat. She sat next to Robyn on her bed and began to talk.
"Honey, I know in my heart that you had nothing to do with the stealing. So there will be no punishment. I'm sad that you felt you had to run away from the ones that love you. Maybe in time, you'll begin to trust us, I am glad you returned to the school and had enough sense to keep out of trouble."
"Mother...can I call you momma, I do love you; and I trust you, I realized that, while I was in the church. I was scared and I didn't think of how I hurt you and made you worry, until it was too late." Robyn sobbed clinging to Stormi.
"Of course you can call me momma," was Stormi's emotion choked answer, as she stroked Robyn's hair gently. "Honey, come on downstairs to your sisters now, before they get worried."
"Okay momma," Robyn replied, wiping her eyes.
A Trap Is Laid
Once she was downstairs, the girls surrounded Robyn, trying to comfort her and come up with plans to thwart any further activities Vivian may have in mind. All agreed that Vivian was the only suspect in the planting of the evidence, but to be sure they needed proof before taking any action.
Robyn was overwhelmed by the way everyone supported her, she felt even closer to them than she had before. Her family loved her, and that was like a revelation in itself. Sleep came easily that night, knowing she belonged, and she could rely on help from her momma and her sisters.
School was tense the next day, Robyn felt like she was under everyone's close scrutiny. Vivian seemed to be waiting to see what developed, and her taunting took a more subdued form. Michelle had volunteered to help Robyn as did Jenna, once Misty, Ann, and Becky, explained their plan to expose Vivian. As the true culprit
At lunch when most of Vivian's plots took place, Robyn was accompanied everywhere, by at least one of the girls. It was made to seem innocent, by having the girls change places at different times, so that it wasn't too obvious, she was being escorted. Michelle, having permission to enter the classroom to retrieve the bell, took to hiding in the classroom where Robyn's bag was sitting unattended. The large supply cupboard was ideal for this purpose. Jenna was hidden outside in the corridor in the unlocked broom cupboard just down from the classroom door.
Walking quietly down the corridor, Vivian kept a careful watch out, in case she saw any witnesses to her latest plan. She had taken some important CD Rom discs from the computer class that would be missed in the next class. She had planed to leave an anonymous note after they were discovered missing, a note pointing at Robyn, as the prime suspect. She planned to slide the discs into one of the many unused pockets of Robyn's new bag.
Vivian never saw Jenna, as she paused at the classroom door. She entered stealthily, after seeing no one else in the corridor. She quickly moved to Robyn's bag and slipped the CDs into a pocket, and then slipped out of the room, all the while smiling nastily to herself. Michelle saw it all from her hidden vantage point. Michelle waited for Jenna to enter the room to give the all clear signal that Vivian had indeed left, before moving out of the cupboard.
When Jenna entered, Michelle showed her where Vivian had placed the stolen CDs. Jenna wanted to put them into Vivian's bag, but Michelle stopped her, saying Robyn might still be blamed for switching them in order to get Vivian in trouble. Better to replace them back where they belonged, thus frustrating Vivian's plans.
Once Jenna apprised Robyn of the situation, in regards to the nature of Vivian's observed duplicity, further plans were made. Robyn needed to have Vivian get caught red handed in the act. Misty whispered something in Robyn's ear, which put a smile back on Robyn's face.
The rest of the afternoon passed normally, except for when Mr. Edwards from the computer class interrupted Robyn's math class. Horse, (his nickname coming from his shortened surname, Ed.) as the students called him, entered the class and talked quietly with the math teacher for a few minutes. Several glances were directed towards Robyn, but nothing was mentioned aloud, till the end of class. Vivian was obviously puzzled that no action had been taken, but she smiled when the math teacher asked Robyn to stay behind after the class change bell had rung.
The mathematics teacher, a mature woman, who's name was Hypatia Eloise Parker, and was unfairly given the nickname of hypotenuse by some of the younger kids, asked Robyn if she minded having her bag inspected. She mentioned a curious note that had been found, saying that some CDs could be found in there. The odd thing was that there were no known missing CDs. This was merely to be a confirmation of the spuriousness of the note. Robyn readily agreed, allowing the teacher to search through her bag. Hypatia thanked her, and smiled as the bag proved to be clean. Robyn was only a few minutes late to her next class, a fact that puzzled and angered Vivian.
Robyn's plan, due its nature, only included Becky and Ann, as it involved Robyn's unique ability. The next day at school, during gym class, when all the girls wore the same outfit, the plan was
started. Netball was the sport that day, and usually there were a few too many players for them all to play at once. Vivian wasn't very sports orientated and often sat out of the game on the bleachers. She still had to wear the gym uniform in case she was called to substitute for another player. Robyn had faked an ankle injury and was also sitting out the game.
Taking advantage of the noise and distraction from the game, Robyn slipped away. Once alone in the changing rooms, her body changed, taking on the contours and features of her tormentor. The new Vivian walked out, confident in her disguise. She went to the now empty classroom to retrieve the old school bell. Robyn/Vivian walked slowly not worrying if the odd clang of the bell attracted attention. She lingered, just long enough for one teacher to spot her taking the bell into the changing room. She stashed the bell in her own locker before, she changed back into her own form, and climbing out the bathroom window. She rejoined the rest of the class in the gym though a side door, that Becky had previously unlocked.
Michelle, not finding the bell in its accustomed place notified the nearest teacher, who coincidentally happened to be the one Robyn (disguised as Vivian) had deliberately allowed herself to be spotted by. The teacher, who hadn't taken Vivian's actions to be suspicious, due to the open way she was carrying the bell, had merely thought she was taking the bell to Michelle at the gym. Now that Michelle couldn't find the bell, there was a whole new slant on things.
Robyn deliberately didn't approach her locker after the teacher dismissed them from gym class, even though no bell had sounded to end the period. She hung close to Becky, talking to her, as she waited for the fireworks to begin. Michelle entered the changing room with several female teachers. Including the one who had seen Vivian enter with the bell. A call for silence, hushed the usually noisy room, only to start a rash of protests, as a call for a locker search was instigated.
The bell was discovered where Robyn had placed it, in her locker. Robyn's protest of innocence was booed by some, the loudest being Vivian's voice. Vivian was delighted at this unexpected bonus; she wondered who had set Robyn up, thinking to herself, she would have liked to thank her.
Imagine the shock, when Vivian herself, was called to account for this outrage. Her own protestations of innocence were ignored, as she was marched off to see the Head Principal. Becky, Ann, and Robyn quietly high fived each other, as Vivian was led away, protesting angrily.
The school was soon abuzz with the news of the frame-up by Vivian. She had been seen with the bell in hand, moments before entering the changing rooms. Faced with the implied threat of possible court action from Robyn's parent, the principal got a full confession of the previous deeds, although Vivian remained steadfast in her claim of innocence of the bell incident. Vivian's parents were called; and during the explanations and accusations, between Vivian and her parents, details of the husband's involvement with the matron and the orphanage came to light. Eventually the police were called, and charges were laid against Vivian's father. A public apology was announced, exonerating Robyn from any wrongdoing. One further outcome was, that after the father was convicted, Vivian's mother put everything up for sale and they both moved away.
School life returned to normal, Robyn, Ann, and Becky, soaked up knowledge like a sponge. The inclusion of sports and other activities, like home economics, were just some of the new challenges to master. Soon, their circle of friends expanded, and they were often invited to visit the homes of their many friends' on a regular basis. Maggie wasn't left out either, Stormi had several friends that had children of a similar age, and Maggie was always being invited over. Maggie loved the constant attention she received from her new friends, but she always preferred playing at home with her sisters whenever she could. She was always following the kitten around the house, and was almost like the kittens mother in the care she gave it.
Who Said Virtue is it's own Reward?
Stormi was told the best news, a week later, when Don came round on his now weekly meal at the Knights household. The orphanage was finally empty. All the children had been placed in either foster care, or had been adopted into caring family environments. Even better, was the fact, that the matron had been convicted on numerous charges, along with several prominent business people on lesser charges. The matron was going to be sent to prison for the next 15 years. Hopefully, where she would experience some of the hardships, she had subjected the children under her care to. Don and Stormi were getting along well together, and when Don asked her out on a dinner date, for just the two of them, she accepted.
That night, the girls saw Stormi decked out in all her finery, as she primped in front of the mirror, while waiting for Don to arrive. Don knocked, very formally, on the front door, instead of walking straight in. He presented Stormi with a bouquet of red roses, before giving her a kiss. With a hurried, "I'll be back later. Don't wait up," to the girls, Stormi was whisked off in Don's car.
Don took her to one of those restaurants where they don't put the prices on the menu items. It was one of those places, that if you needed to know the cost, you obviously couldn't afford it. Stormi ordered freely, and thoroughly enjoyed the food; and, although she normally never touched alcohol, she did have a glass of French champagne, which was obviously that of a fine vintage. After dessert, Don reached into his jacket pocket for a small velvet case. Stormi's heart nearly stopped and her throat closed, making it hard to breathe, as she guessed what was inside it, and the implications of his gesture. She took it with trembling fingers and nervously opened it, as Don gallantly dropped to one knee in front of her, and proposed marriage to her.
She blushed, as she saw the other patrons glancing over at Don with knowing looks. Opening the box, she saw a huge diamond ring nestled there. It was beautiful, expensive, and the most wonderful thing Stormi had ever seen. Knowing Don was waiting for her answer, she looked into his eyes, capturing them with a hypnotic gaze. Then slowly, not saying a word, she brought her hand up before him. The ring, she had slipped on her finger, finally capturing his gaze, as her answer was made clear. Clapping from the people at nearby tables, as they saw her acceptance of his proposal, shook Don out of his open-mouthed wonderment and joy at her actions. He stood and took a bow to the other guests, which earned him a few laughs and congratulations.
The rest of the night passed too quickly, in a pleasant blur of music, dancing, and talk of planning for their futures together. Stormi drove Don back to her home, as he had finished the rest of that bottle of the outrageously expensive champagne, and he was probably somewhat over the limit.
Morning found them together in the same bed, although Stormi was somewhat put out, as nothing interesting had occurred during the night, due to Don's falling asleep as soon as he lay down on her bed. She grinned, as she remembered her inquisitive examination of Don's equipment, as he lay in his alcohol induced sleep. 'Don missed out on something pleasant,' she thought, recalling how the memories of her fondling his turgid member made her heart flutter.
Their joint announcement of their engagement, that morning, was met with unanimous approval, from the girls, who hugged them both, while wishing the best of everything for them. Then the talk turned to who were going to be the bridesmaids. Who was going to be the flower girl, was never in question. Maggie wondered why everyone was looking at her, her innocent, "Am I in twubble again?" made everyone laugh, as they all tried to hug her at once. Stormi said that everyone could be a bridesmaid, which stopped the friendly squabbling.
Stormi smiled, thinking of the future, with her, as Don's wife. Her family had grown much larger, but the love that surrounded everyone had, just grown stronger, and with Don's help, it might even get larger yet.
Yes! The future looked bright, and who knew where Robyn's ability would eventually take her. It would be fun to see how it would ultimately manifest itself. One thing is for sure, it promised to add an element to their lives that would keep them all on their toes.
Robyn wasn't worried about being different, anymore. Not surrounded with the love she was receiving from her new family. She didn't know if she would stay female for the rest of her life, only time would tell. Time, in which to test the limits of her unique talent and see where it would lead her. She was too young to think about whether she would want boyfriends or girlfriends in the future. For once in her life, she was happy. Her dreams of living in a beautiful home had finally come true. No more looking out of a window in some dusty alcove, wishing she were part of that glorious world she could see out there. She had come home in a literal sense, as well as, in her dreams.The End.
TG SCI-FI mind altering transformation Rated-M