Mike was cleaning the camera lens for the fourth time that evening when Mr. Prez walked in red faced.
“Still no answer?” Mike asked.
Mr. Prez clenched his phone with rage. “Still no answer.” He said pinching his nose. He looked around the room. All the equipment was set up; the lights, the camera, the props. Everything was in place for the photo shoot except the thing they were shooting.
“I can't believe she did this again. How does she expect to make to make it in this industry if she is always late or a no show?” Mr. Prez said with his head pointed toward the ceiling.
“Maybe she just got caught up? Mike said putting the camera down.
“Oh please I'm tired of her excuses, it's always something.” Mr. Prez looked down at his watch. “Oh we're running out of time and I need these pictures for the spread next week. I can't have another late entry, the outlet will never forgive me.”
Mr. Prez started pacing back and forth. Mike leaned against the wall. “If only there was a way we could find a replacement.”
Mr. Prez stopped pacing and looked back at Mike blankly. It took Mike a while to notice Prez's preying eyes but when he did it startled him. “Mr. Prez? You alright sir?”
“Is the camera ready to go?” He asked.
“Well yeah, yeah I mean a few adjustments here or there.....”
“But I can use it correct?”
Mike looked into Mr. Prez's eyes. “Why would you use it sir, not saying you're not capable, but I'm the photographer here right?”
Mr. Prez stood straight up and stared rubbing his palms together nervously. “Mike how would you like a raise?”
Mike's eyes lit up. “I'd-I'd love one sir.”
“Double the amount you are paid now?” Mr. Prez said walking toward Mike.
“Uh sure, that'd be great! But-but what's the occasion?” Mike asked suddenly suspicious.
Mr. Prez stopped in front of Mike and placed his hand on his shoulder. “I need you to be the replacement Mike.”
A silence passed. A smile started to creep on Mikes face before he erupted in laughter. “Sir..hahah Mr. Prez how do you expect me to do that? Trust me no one wants me half naked in a sexy pose.”
Mr. Prez smiled. The situation was quite funny. “Not looking like that Mike.”
“What are you going to do sir? Change my appearance?”
Mr. Prez stopped smiling a nodded causing Mike to laugh even harder. Mr. Prez reached into his pocket and pulled out a small silver box. “Mike please, humor me at least?”
Mike wiped away a tear. “I think I'm already doing that sir.”
“Look I need these pictures and I need them soon. I have no one else to help me with this but you. This sounds crazy yes I know but I have the power to change your appearance and yes, your gender.”
Mike raised an eyebrow trying not to laugh. “Uh huh, so you want me to turn....you want to turn me into a girl so you can take pics of me for the spread?”
Mr. Prez opened the box and showed Mike. Two belly button rings were placed in the box. Mike looked at Mr. Prez then to belly buttons and back again. “I was honestly expecting a potion but I'll bite, what am I supposed to do with these?”
“Put them on.” Mr. Prez said.
“They look..used?” Mike looked up to Mr. Prez. His face was unchanged and open to truth. “Sir you put these in..”
“I change every other night Mike. I change and become free.”
Mike shook his head. “Well then if you “change” how abut you do it and I take the pictures?”
“I've already used most of my personals and not all are fashion worthy.” Mr. Prez explained.
“Wait, your saying that you were some of the models on the spreads?” Mike asked.
“Did you ever seen Tiffany, Lauren, Nicole, Jersey, Donna, or Scarlet again?”
Mike thought long and hard. “No,”
“Did you hear about them going to different agencies?”
“They were there then they were gone.”
Mike looked up at Mr. Prez. “There's no way.”
Mr, Prez lifted up the box. “You can prove it?”
Mike looked at the green and pink rings in the box. Curiosity was at his door step. He took the rings out of the box and held them. “Now what Mr. Prez.”
“Take off your clothing.”
“Take off all of your clothing.”
“I'll explain just do it.”
Mike sighed and begun undressing. He threw his clothes in a corner and covered his personal spot up standing straight. “This is uncomfortable.”
“No one's looking, now put the rings in your belly button.”
“Really?” Mike sighed.
“We are running out of time do it.” Mr. Prez commanded.
Mike inserted the needles into his belly button and cringed at the small unnatural pain. “So cold.”
“There in, good. Now Mike, I need you to think of a girl. A beautiful, jaw dropping woman. Think of every curve, the smoothness of her skin, what is she wearing, how perfect is she at photo shoots? Every detail down to the wire.”
Mike thought about this woman's curves, her eyes, her breasts. He started to smile. “Talia.”
“Is that her name Mike?”
Mike started to gasp and heave. The belly button rings began to glow. Mr. Prez whispered in Mikes ear. “I'll bring you back, I promise.”
“What...” Mike asked. He couldn’t open his eyes and felt strange.
“Talia,” Mr.Prez said to Mike.
“What, my name is....my name is...Talia.”
Mike's eyes opened bright green. His body began to shiver. He shrunk about a foot shorter. His limbs shot inward and his waist grew out. Talia wiggled and swayed as her curves filled in and gave her body shape. Her stomach flattened into a smooth board as Mike's manhood slipped away into Talia's womanhood. Talia licked her lips her face rounding out and softening. Mikes hair grew into Talia's long black strands. Talia felt a small burn on her hip as a tattoo painted itself onto her skin. Talia’s chest jolted forward bringing her breasts into form. Talia licked her lips once again as her breast grew. Mr. Prez watched trying not to show any sign of temptation. Once Talia’s body was formed her clothing started to take place. A white bra, black panties, and fish nets appeared on her in their repected places before the eye. Talia exited her trance and looked over to Mr. Prez. She moved her hands up the back of her neck into her hair arching her back.
“So Mr. Prez will this do?” She said softly.
Mr. Prez grabbed his camera and held his index finger up, “Don't move a muscle.” He said bringing the camera up to his face. He snapped a few photographs. “My god Mike you know how to create a woman,” He whispered. For the next 30 minutes Mr. Prez directed Talia into various poses. She followed without any hesitation and preformed flawlessly.
Mr. Prez took the last picture and smiled looking through the recent photographs. “How did they come out?” Taila asked twirling her hair.
“Great, and just in time.” Mr. Prez replied.
“Fantastic, lets get packed up and head to the studio.” Talia looked around. “Where are my clothes?”
Mr. Prez put the camera down and started walking over to Talia. “You didn't bring any clothes Talia.”
“Why wouldn't I bring any clothes? Do I at least have a robe?” She asked.
“Mike it's time to come back.” Mr. Prez said calmly.
Taila was confused. “Who's mike?”
“Your Mike, Mike.”
“What are talking about Mr. Prez my names.....” Talia closed her eyes and tried to think. Mr. Prez quickly walked over to Taila and started removing the belly button rings. Taila opened her eyes.
“Focus Mike, think about you and only you.” Mr. Prez said taking out one of the rings. Talia gasped and stared heaving.
“That's right Mike, that's right.”
Talia's clothing faded away. Her breasts deflated and height increased. Within minutes Mike once again stood in front of Mr. Prez. He grabbed his head woozy.
“Uh what the hell just happened?” He asked being handed his clothing.
“You just earned yourself a raise, get dressed. We need to be out of here soon.” Mr. Prez said packing up the things.
“Mr. Prez how exactly did that, work? I mean what just happened to me.”
“You will speak to no one about.” Mr. Prez said firmly.
“Of course not, but I need an explanation.”
“In the car.”
Mr. Prez and Mike pulled out of the driveway and headed to the studio. “So?” Mike asked.
Mr. Prez sat back in his chair a little bit. “You remember when I took a vacation to India a few months ago?”
“Yeah?” Mike replied.
“I picked up the rings in a shop within a small village.”
“Why?” Mike asked.
“Because maybe sometimes I wanna be someone else? Maybe sometimes I wanna step out of my own skin.” Mr. Prez said turning a corner.
“But how, how does it work?” Mike asked.
“It's complicated. With you I you create a subconscious version of yourself. A beauty that knew nothing else but modeling. The rings allow you to do that. But sometimes that personalty can overtake you and become prominent. That's why I had to coax you back.”
Mike sat silently for a second. “So how about you? If you do this so often how don't you get overtaken?”
Mr. Prez smiled. “I've had practice. Like I said I've been my fair share of females.”
“Right..” Mike said.
“So...that answer all your questions?” Mr. Prez asked.
“Just one more,” He said.
“About that raise.”