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This is a work of fiction. Any people, places or locations within are purely fiction and the product of the author's imagination, or their names are used to add realism and/or for satirical purposes. Their use does not constitute any type of endorsement or agreement, in part or in whole, with any belief or message, expressed, implied or otherwise inferred by the author and the story/story line, nor do they imply any endorsement of the story or author.

This story contains scenes of EXTREME VIOLENCE, mature subject matter and deals with alternative lifestyles. If you are not comfortable with these concepts and materials, STOP reading NOW. If you are under the age of seniority and consent where you live, or if these types of materials are illegal for you to read, possess or download, you must STOP reading NOW and you may NOT download this story. If you are very religious, this work will probably anger you. Do not read it. Do not download it. Hello, nice to see you, GO AWAY. You'll be more comfortable at please go there instead of here.


Midnight Downloads
by Wendy-J

© 1999-2004 Wendy-J All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized distribution or archival prohibited.


Friday Morning September 4th

Ernie Wilson sat before his custom computer in the corner of his bedroom. Its twenty-one-inch LCD monitor provided the only light in what his mother called 'the hole'. And hole it was. Clothes, both dirty and clean, were strewn about the room. They were piled on every available horizontal surface and just sort of hung from everywhere else. Their colour provided the only break to the otherwise austere white of the walls. The room, huge by any standard, was furnished in a contemporary version of what seemed to pass for colonial. A tall chest of drawers topped with a small mirror stood to one side of the king-sized bed. A low double dresser with a large mirror back sat on the adjoining wall at the foot of the bed. Night tables with small brass lamps graced either side of the bed's bookcase headboard. Computer and electronics parts and components, both commercially produced and of Ernie's own design, were everywhere. There was a slumping pile of cardboard cartons spilling floppy disks and CDs onto the thick cut pile of the carpet. The bed looked more like a workbench than a place to sleep. Sure, there was room for him to lie down on it, but just barely. A rickety folding card table spilled its load of electronics gadgetry onto the floor. Electronics assembly and test equipment was mixed in with the obvious junk. The more than generous closet, its sliding mirrored doors propped wide, stood empty in silent testimony to the housekeeping habits of its owner. The room seemed small and cluttered with everything strewn about the way it was. Hard to believe though true, he had only occupied it for a little more than two weeks. This was definitely the room of a computer geek. The only missing 'decoration?' The empty pizza box with half eaten crusts. Somehow, you just knew this was coming... and soon.

Ernie built his computer from the old computer his father gave him and the pile of leftover parts he'd acquired upgrading and repairing his classmates' computers. With the money he earned doing those upgrades, repairs and a few odd jobs here and there, Ernie started on a series of upgrades of his own. Buying through the Internet, mail, local computer shops and swap meets he'd collected every new gadget that came out. The result was his baby: 'The Monster.' The computer itself now bore little semblance to anything the average user would recognize. It was a custom full tower affair that stood almost 4 feet in height. There were cables and wires snaking from it to all sorts of boxes and gizmos spread about the corners of the room. It was a Linux based screamer with all the latest bells and whistles Ernie could possibly stuff into and hang off of it. The cover hadn't been on it since he bought the custom case. He still had the case cover, but rather than employing it in the way it was designed, it had become his coffee mug stand.

It was almost eerie the way Ernie sat. Hunched over, head thrust forward, bloodshot eyes staring vacuously. His delicate face peeked out from behind long mousy brown hair much like a face from the cowl of a monk's robe. It brought to mind the image of a high priestess of yore, conjuring demons before the temple altar.

"Damn it!" he said with a start as he snapped back to reality. "Ernie, old man, I'm beginning to wonder about you," he said to himself. "Oh shit, look at the's 4:30 again! Two days in a row. Oh maaan! Shitshitshitshitshit! Get - a - grip! You gotta stop getting lost in these weird stories at Fiction Mania. Ernie my man, you need to see a shrink!" he yammered to himself as he checked the download logs.

"What am I reading this dreck for anyway? Ah the hell with it. Just move the stories into the story index and off to bed. I need some sleep. Sleep..." he said wryly, "that's a good one. Might as well make a pot of coffee, I'll never wake up in time for school if I go to sleep now," he mumbled. Ernie got up and started for the back stairs to the kitchen.

Ernie was slight of build, almost effeminate. Nearing six feet in height without shoes, he weighed all of 135 pounds fully clothed and soaking wet. It wasn't because he didn't eat, far from it. His appetite was incredible; he ate everything within reach at mealtimes. Ernie just seemed to burn it all up in nervous energy, well almost all of it that is. All except for the developing spread in his butt which he attributed to his sitting behind the computer when the other guys were out playing football or some other jock waste of time.

His hair was dishevelled from his nervous habit of passing his hands through it as he worked the keys of 'The Monster.' The delicate features of his face were a sore spot with him. He desperately wanted to look like the rugged, bulked out jocks on the football team. Instead, he looked more like his mother. His pronounced cheekbones and narrow chin, combined with a figure that, from behind, looked better than his girlfriend's, had earned him such endearing monikers as, 'the prettiest boy in school' or 'sweet cheeks.' These of course were fighting words. Maybe one day he'd even win one. He just couldn't let those clowns get away with it, could he? It was humiliating, even if it was true. His mother often said things much to the same effect, like, "Honey, you're so pretty, almost too pretty to be a boy."

Another contribution to his social ostracism was Ernie's intelligence. The school had tried to get Ernie's mother to allow him to skip a grade on several occasions. Janice Wilson flat out refused to do so, saying there was much he needed to learn by socializing with his peers. So, instead of skipping grades in school, his guidance counsellor, Miss Fenway, made arrangements with the local university to enrol him in the Head Start program. This allowed him to take college classes in the evenings. The classes would count as credits toward his graduation, both in high school and college, thus lightening his required course load at the high school. Ernie, on the other hand, just added more electives to his lightened course load to fill the time. At school, he appeared to be the embodiment of the proverbial bookworm. Non-athletic and his face perpetually buried in a book, he seldom seemed to be looking where he was going.

Only Ernie's girlfriend, Samantha, seemed to enjoy his company. Well... maybe she wasn't really his girlfriend, but she was a girl and she was his friend. Ernie liked her a lot. She was the only person in the whole school that treated him like a human being. That is, of course, unless someone had a computer problem, then he always seemed to become their 'buddy'-or 'pal.' Samantha was different. Easy to talk to... Pleasant to be with... Comfortable really. She always had something nice to say to him. They shared many of the same interests, books, sailing, old movies… They were so alike it was almost frightening. The difference was that Samantha, though an inch or two shorter than Ernie, outweighed him by at least fifteen pounds. And, to make matters worse, she looked more like a boy in her baggy jeans and t-shirts than Ernie did in his. This fact wasn't lost on his classmates. They were relentless. If Ernie were seen walking with Sam, they would holler things like "Here comes Ernie and her husband!" Ernie and Sam didn't really date per se, well... except for the Junior Prom. They did kind of hang out together, just not at school. They'd go to movies and out for a burger afterwards, but they always went 'Dutch' and they never held hands, much less kissed. Samantha was the only friend Ernie had, male or female.

"Honey, is that you?" his mother called out, sleep clouding her usually musical voice.

"No Mom," he said, stopping on the stairs. "It's just the boogie-man," came the automatic, sarcastic response, his voice resonant in the empty hall. That voice had been the pride and joy of his high school performing arts teacher and choir leader, Mrs. Meltzer. He had near perfect pitch and a mellow voice that spanned nearly five octaves. He could sing all the male parts in the choir and most of the girls' parts as well. His natural pitch for singing was between second soprano and alto. Well above the boy's highest part in vocal arrangements, tenor. Mrs. Meltzer thought he could have a career as an opera singer or a radio newscaster with his voice. He could make it do almost anything. When she told him this, all he could think of was "Radio! Figures... Even she believes it. No self-respecting TV station would hire a girly-boy."

"Honey, I really wish you wouldn't talk like that."

"Sorry Ma," he replied contritely. "I didn't sleep well. I guess I'm kinda punchy right now. Go back to sleep."

"You and that, that... computer! I wish you'd never built it. You never sleep anymore."

"Mo-ommm!!" came the plaintive reply, "you know I gotta have one for school. Besides, computers are the way of the future. Pretty soon it's going to be the way we do everything."

"I know Honey, but you really need your sleep... And I wish you would watch your grammar."

"Yes mo-therrr," he replied petulantly as he resumed his journey down the stairs to the kitchen.

"He almost sounds like a girl when he does that," his mother thought to herself

Ernie entered the newly remodelled kitchen and looked about. It looked so pristine he was almost afraid to touch anything. It was disconcerting. "Man what a change!" he thought for the umpteenth time since they moved back in to the house.

Before it was remodelled, the kitchen was a tiny room that had almost no counter space and only one built in cabinet, which housed the glasses and plates above the sink and the silver and some miscellaneous utensils beside it. The compartment under the sink was once the catchall for the downstairs. The once tiny kitchen had more than tripled in size. Now it was the heart of a house that had more than doubled in size. The kitchen now had three rooms opening off it downstairs, the parlour, dining room and the den. It connected with the back stairs up to the second floor, the front hall to the foyer and the back hall that opened onto the laundry room and the mudroom. The mudroom had doors to the back yard, garage, driveway, and the indoor entrance to Jan's new office in the basement. Not to mention it's own full bath.

Everything that was once stored in the few drawers of the cabinet that held the sink and a myriad of cheap metal cabinets that lined the walls of a room less than a third its size were now stored in the cabinets and drawers above and below the counter that circled the room or in the cabinets drawers and doors of the central cooking island. The island, which housed a natural gas cook-top a rotisserie, a griddle, two ovens and more counters and cabinets. Gleaming brass bottomed pots and pans hung from a stainless steel rack over the island.

All the lower cabinets seemed to have at least one drawer. And they all seemed to be chock full of something. It was taking Ernie a long time to get used to where everything was. In the corner, by the built-in commercial refrigerator, was a round antique table with two matching side chairs. It had been in his mother's family for generations. His mother loved to cook and this was where she spent most of her time away from her office in town or her new office in the basement. The matching two chairs were strategically placed in the room's corners.

Ernie lost his father, Francis Ernest, (Frank), Wilson, in a plane crash seven years earlier. When Frank died, he left Ernie and his mother very well provided for. This was due to several rather substantial insurance settlements and some very shrewd investments in high technology stocks. His mother couldn't see spending the kind of money it took to renovate the house back then. In her words, she was "just a mother and a housewife." "Besides," she'd said, "it just wouldn't be seemly, so soon after Frank's death and all." Janice and Frank were intent on having Ernie finish college. And with the spiralling costs of education Jan figured she just couldn't afford renovations just yet. She hadn't tried to find a job until after Ernie entered his sophomore year in high school. When she did take a job, she didn't do it because she needed the money. She did it for something to keep busy. Now that Ernie had entered his senior year in high school, Janice was the most successful broker they had at Spectra Realty. She was so successful, in fact, that Spectra Realty had paid for many of the renovations done in the basement to keep her happy and working for them. In a word, Janice and Ernie Wilson were rich.

The work on the house took over six months to complete and was so extensive that they had to move into an apartment across town while it was in progress. Very little of the old home was left. There was the new office suite downstairs, complete with its own private entrance, reception and waiting room, kitchenette and full bath. There was a two-storey addition off the back, and the additions to each side. The basic shape of the house was now a large and somewhat stylised T, compared to the small two storey two bedroom colonial it once was. The separate one car garage was demolished and an attached, two-storey, extra deep, two-car garage was built in its stead. Interior walls had come down to enlarge other rooms, doorways moved stairs widened or moved, in effect, it was a completely new house, right down to many of the furnishings Janice purchased. "Just to have something to put into all those empty rooms," she'd said. They'd just moved back in a couple of weeks earlier. Ernie likened it to living in a fancy hotel.

"This place is gonna take some getting used to," he mused. "I still haven't got a clue where anything is."

He rummaged through the cabinets and drawers looking for the coffee mugs and silverware. With the necessary utensils and mugs found his thoughts turned back to the 'FM' web site as he set about making coffee.

"Those stories are really weird," he mumbled quietly as he filled the carafe with water. "Guys turning into girls, girls that turn their guys into girls. What's the fascination with it all anyway?"

"What in the world are you mumbling about?" said a voice from right behind him.

"Eeep!?" he squeaked. Startled half out of his wits, Ernie jumped. At the same time, he tried to look over his shoulder at the source of the voice. All he managed to do was spill water onto the brand new parquet floor.

With his heart in his throat and his pulse hammering in his ears, he stared wide-eyed at his mother. She'd managed to get right behind him without his hearing her.

"Christ, Ma!" Ernie blurted, looking down at his mother's svelte 5'4" frame. "You scared the... you scared me. What are you doing up at this hour anyway?"

The semblance of the two was striking. Although Janice Wilson had twenty years on her son, she'd managed to retain that natural girlish quality that most women tried to achieve by spending thousands of dollars, and hundreds of hours, in beauty salons everywhere. To put it simply, except for their height, they almost could have been twins.

Jan was wearing a fluffy, white terrycloth robe over her pastel green, satin pyjamas. On her feet she was wearing white satin ballet slippers, which had enabled her to surprise her son. Jan's brown hair, normally worn in a short pageboy, was mussed from her pillow. There wasn't a grey hair in sight. She looked up at her son through bleary eyes as she hugged her robe about her. As thin as Ernie was, she still looked tiny next to him.

She frowned at his verbal slip but decided to say nothing about it. "I couldn't get back to sleep. What in the world were you mumbling about?" she repeated.

"Nothing, Ma," he replied contritely, "Just a site I came across on the web."

"A site about turning men into women?" she asked rather pointedly.

"Well... yes and no," he replied haltingly.

"Come on, out with it," his mother said, "what have you been looking at?"

"Mo-ommm! Christ! Cut me a freaking break, I'm..."

"You know I don't like that kind of talk!" she replied sharply, cutting him off. "Now answer my question. What have you been getting into with that…that machine of yours?!"

"Okay, okay... Sit down and let me finish cleaning this up. I need some coffee. And by the sound of it, so do you."


"Sorry Mom," he said genuinely contrite.

"That's better... Don't use the tea towel for that! Use the paper towels! That's what I bought them for!"

"Yes mo-therrr," came the petulant response.

"I really don't know what to do with you anymore. You know, you aren't too big for me to slap!" she said with mock severity. "But with that thick head of yours I doubt I could get your attention with anything smaller than a baseball bat!"

"I love you too, Ma," Ernie replied with a smile as he drew his mother tight against him in a warm hug. "Now sit down and relax. I'll make some coffee and…"

"You'll do nothing of the sort!" came the clipped reply, cutting him off. "I don't know how you drink that mud you call coffee. I'll make it, you just finish mopping up that water you poured all over my brand new floor."

"Yes, mo-therrr," he replied. They both giggled at the valley girl impersonation he attempted.

"You're terrible, do you know that? You're worse than your Uncle John."

"Oh cut me a break! No-one's that bad," he said, thinking about his uncle, the family clown. "What are you doing up at this hour anyway?"

Sometimes," she explained as she started making the coffee, "when you're at that computer of yours, you get so wrapped up in whatever it is you're doing, you start talking to yourself. That voice of yours goes right through the walls. You woke me up with your incessant mumbling."

"Sorry," Ernie replied contritely as he stooped to mop the wet floor. Finishing, he stood up, threw the sodden towels into the trashcan under the sink and crossed the room to the antique table.

"I'll never understand why you wanted a wood floor in the kitchen," Ernie mumbled.

Jan finished the coffee preparations and crossed over the table. She moved the chair so she could to sit beside her son and she replied, "You know how I love to cook. I always wanted a nice kitchen and now that I can afford it, I have one. Wood is so warm and pretty that I just had to have it. There's nothing like a good coat of hard wax to seal it and make it look nice..." she trailed off and then redirected the conversation to what her son had been up to. "Now tell me about this... this..."

"Web site," he finished for her. "Damn it!" he thought. "You can't sidetrack her at all. Sometimes I wish she would be just a little bit more like Miss Fenway; complement her on her hair and away she goes."

"Yes, this web site thing that has you talking to yourself," she'd spoken while he was off, lost in thought. "Earth to Ernie!"

"Sorry, Ma, I just sorta drifted off."

"You were saying?" she redirected him yet again.

Well, um..." The coffee maker gurgled in the strained silence. "I was surfing the net looking for information for my psych paper. You know, the philosophies of life class I'm taking at the university? Well, anyway, I needed some information on gender roles in today's society. So I did a search on gender and…"

"You did a search?" she asked.

"Yeah, a search. You know... Like... Umm... You see, on the Internet, there are these programs called search engines, they're kind of like worms..."

"Worms?" she interjected, stopping him.

Interrupting someone while they were talking was an effective strategy that Jan often used with clients. It kept them off balance and allowed her to better understand them. By getting them to talk about something they knew and searching for ways to describe something that she really didn't care about, she would skilfully direct the conversation so she could get to the heart of what they were trying to keep from her. It was a tactic that usually worked well with Ernie.

"Worms," he plodded on. "You know how worms dig their way down and through the earth. Well, they, the search programs that is, send out queries to all the web sites, kind of like the tentacles on an octopus or a bunch of worms threading their way deep into and through everything on the net. Well, anyway, they bring back the address, or locations, and a brief description of the sites that have words or word strings that match the words in your search criteria. Kinda like doing a database search, only thousands of times larger. Unfortunately, the descriptions that people give their sites are often vague and misleading, so you spend a lot of time looking at worthless sites and irrelevant information.

"Anyway," he continued, "I did a search on the key word gender. I got all sorts of hits. Hundreds of pages, actually. Lots of smut and other nonsense, but some of it was pertinent to what I'm looking for. One of the sites had lots of stories about guys that wanted to be girls, or girls that turned their guys into girls. Kind of like those people on that daytime talk show Linda was telling you about last month.

"I was, um... curious, so I started reading some of the stories annnd..." His voice started to get quieter and his face redder by the second. He was beginning to have difficulty expressing himself. "To be honest with you... I mean, um... some of the stories were like… uh… pretty uh… racy and um… err… erotic. I just don't really understand what the attraction to being a girl is, but… Well, some of the stories were really well written and… But they really got into talking about the clothes and all… and… well…" he trailed off.

"Mm hmmm." his mother interjected, rescuing him from himself. "So these stories got to you did they?"

"Well I w-wo…wouldn't say they ga-ga…got to me," he stuttered, his voice faded somewhat, "but they have me wondering what the bu-bu-bu…big deal is," came his defensive reply.

Janice's mouth turned down at the corners in a hint of a frown. His stuttering bothered her. Ernie hadn't had a problem with stuttering for several years now. Prior to his father's death, it really wasn't even enough to notice. After his father died, Ernie suddenly developed a serious speech impediment. It took three years with speech therapists, elocutionists and a psychologist to cure him.

"I see," she said as she stroked the hair at his temple absentmindedly. She was surprised to see that the hair on the side of his head was already past his collar. "So you've been puzzling over why some men want to be women, and why some women want their men to look like women?"

"Well... Yeah. Sort of," Ernie said softly.

They both sat in thoughtful silence for a few minutes before Ernie's mother spoke again.

"It sounds like the coffee's about done. Why don't you pour us some and bring it into the den. I'll be down in a minute." Then she stood up and walked out of the room.


Continued in Part-2




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