Darwinston, it was called. The town wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t tiny either. It was, as my mom would call it, "quaint". A few kids stepped out of the road as we drove through town. It looked like they were playing a ball game of some sort.
Soon, we got to our new house. Again, my mom would call it quaint. Everything here is quaint. Either way, we got out of the car, and I staggered around in a joking manner, pretending I couldn't feel my legs, which was kinda true. Dad called me over and we began to unpack.
After about ten minutes of unpacking, a girl strode towards us. She wore a simple purple dress, with her hair just a little below her shoulders. Her hair was dark purple, with a pink and white streak. She looked strange, but kind of pretty.
"Hello." She said, smiling.
"Uh, hi?" I said.
"So, are you my new neighbour?" She questioned, still smiling.
I looked at her, trying to stop myself from returning her smile. "I guess? Do you live nearby?"
"Yeah, right there." She pointed.
"Oh, cool. Look, I've really got some unpacking to do, and I can't really talk so-"
My dad chose this moment as the perfect time to tell me to make some friends, and said he'd do the unpacking.
"Anyway, my name is Twilight."
"Cool. Harry." To be completely honest, Twilight seemed a bit too friendly, though that may have just been me being paranoid.
"Would you like to come see my place?"
"Uh, no tha-"
Dad butted in again, telling me that I was supposed to make friends here.
Twilight and I walked in silence to her house.
"So, um, Twilight, was it?" I said as she opened the door to her house.
"Yes?" She said, turning around to look at me.
"No offence, but your name is kinda strange."
She laughed at this. "No, no, it's fine."
"So, is that a nickname or something?"
She laughed again. "Yes, I suppose it could be called a nickname."
"Do you ever use your real name?"
"No. No one does."
"Oh." I said, realising I was being a bit pushy.
"Sorry to pry so much."
"It's fine, you're new here!" Twilight smiled at me. It seemed genuine, like the smile you might give an old friend after seeing them for the first time after a few months.
Twilight suddenly leaned toward me, an excited gleam in her eyes.
"Have you picked out a new name yet?" She asked, excitement creeping into her voice.
"Sorry, what are you talking about?" I asked, beginning to get nervous. This was kind of creepy.
"You look like a Moondancer. Yeah, I think so. Moondancer!" Her grin grew wider, going from unusual to frightening.
"Now, shoo, shoo! I have important things to do! See you later, Moondancer!" She said, pushing me out the door.
This is officially the shortest visit to anyone's house I have ever had. What was this, ten minutes?
I glanced back at the door, then headed out for a walk, to try and get a feel for this place.
As I walked, I noticed people smiling at me and waving. Strange. This town is way too friendly.
I finished my walk and began to wander back to my house.
As I opened my door and stepped inside, I glanced around, trying to get used to my new home. I noticed the living room and stepped inside, looking at the various boxes. What really caught my attention, however, was the smiling purple-haired girl sitting on one of the boxes.
"Hey Moondancer!" She said, grinning in the same creepy manner as before.
"Stop calling me that." I said, turning on my heels towards the stairs, before stopping. "Wait- How did you get in?"
She laughed. "Your dad let me in."
"Out. Now." I said, anger rising in my voice.
My Dad poked his head into the room. "Would you girls like some tea?"
Twilight giggled at me. "Yes please, Mr. Whyte."
"What did you tell him? Is this some kind of prank?"
"What do you mean? What prank?" Twilight's grin shrunk slightly.
"He called me a girl. I am not a girl." I said firmly, doing a quick reality check, just in case. Yep, still male.
"Are you sure about that?" Twilight said, laughing. "After all, Moondancer is a girl's name."
"Yes, I'm sure. And no, that isn't my name." I say, pointing to the door again. "Now, out."
"Fine, I don't want to overstay my welcome. I left some stuff in your room for you. See you, Moondancer!" Twilight then walked out the door, humming a tune to herself.
I glanced at the clock. Two-Thirty. This was going to be a long day.
After some thinking of what to do, I decided to go up and look at my room.
It looked like my old room back in Ottawa. Sure, it was shaped differently, but it still had my stuff.
My bed, my posters, my books, the typewriter that belonged to my great-uncle, My closet full of- what?
None of my clothes were in my closet. In their place, were several black sweaters, skirts, and a few other clothes. All feminine.
Twilight did say she had put some stuff for me in my room.
I knocked on Twilight's door, my new purple dress moving slightly in the breeze, causing me to blush. It had been about three days since I moved here, and since my only pair of normal clothes had gotten dirty and were in the wash, I really had the choice between going nude or wearing a dress. I refused to visit Twilight in the nude. Turns out, though, that all of the pants in the closet were sized for girls, so I couldn't wear those. So, there I was, in a dress. It was probably one of the most embarrassing things I ever experienced in my lifetime.
Well, to be honest, I was actually planning to wait until my clothes were dry, but my Dad told me to get dressed and apologise to Twilight. Apparently, I was 'very rude' to her, when she was 'being friendly'. More like being creepy.
"Coming!" I heard Twilight's voice through the door, along with her footsteps. A few seconds later, Twilight opened the door, and looked me up and down.
"Hello Moondancer! You look very nice!" She said, grinning. I bet she was laughing her head off on the inside.
"Twilight, we need to talk." I said, trying to be calm.
"Sure! Come in!" Twilight smiled, and stepped aside to let me in.
I stepped through the doorway gingerly. See, that was the strange part. The dress was embarrassing and made me feel uncomfortable, but it also made me feel sort of... graceful. Like I had to move carefully, but with elegance.
It did feel kind of nice. I shook my head, trying to get those thoughts out of my head. Twilight was staring at me, a frown on her face.
"Heh." I laughed. "Just thinking."
"Oh, alright. You wanted to talk?"
"Yeah. Twilight, I need my clothes back."
She laughed at this, smiling again. "They're gone."
"Where? Did you burn them? Please don't burn my stuff without-"
"No, I didn't burn them."
"Then can I have them back?" I asked, happy she hadn't burned my clothes.
"No. As I said, they're gone." Twilight frowned at me. At least she wasn't smiling constantly now.
"Where are they?" I asked, beginning to get irritated by her dodging the question.
"I don't know. Your Dad sold them, most likely." Twilight said calmly.
"Because they don't exactly say 'Moondancer'"
"Your clothes don't say 'Twilight' either."
"They suit me. Your's wouldn't, had you kept them."
"Ugh. Forget I said anything." I turned around to leave, but Twilight grabbed my arm.
"No. Wait." She said, frowning further. "Follow me."
She led me up the stairs, past pictures of her family, to what appeared to be her bedroom. It was decorated a lot like my own, with many books, a few posters, and a nice bed. Her posters, however, were on more scientific topics, while mine were more varied.
She turned toward me, hesitating for a second before speaking. "I... I'm going to give you a choice."
I look at her. "What?"
"You can run from this town, and never look back. I knew someone who did that once. Or, you can stay, and just give in. It's what I did." Twilight said softly, a few tears running down her cheeks.
"Give in to what?" I questioned, gently putting a hand on Twilight's shoulder.
"I..." She paused. "I can't tell you. I've tried to make it easier on you." She said, more tears appearing.
"Tell me. Please."
"You should go now." Twilight said, moving towards the door of her bedroom, and pointing to the stairs.
"Is this some kind of revenge for me-" I then noticed Twilight's pained expression. "Fine. I'll go. Bye Twilight."
I stood outside of Twilight's door for who knows how long. After a while, I went home and just lay down on my bed, looking up at the ceiling, not even bothering to take off my dress.
I must have drifted off for a bit, because when I got up, there were stars outside my window. The smell of food came from my door frame, where a bowl of pasta sat. I picked it up and ate it, sitting on my bed. The pasta seemed tasteless, dulled by my preoccupations with what Twilight had said.
"I can't tell you. I've tried to make it easier on you."
I recalled that back in Ottawa, I used to go for walks whenever I felt strong negative emotion, or when I was confused.
With one last glance out the window, I walked downstairs.
As I stepped out the door, I noted it was a chilly night, so I walked back to my room and got one of my new sweaters. I glanced down at my dress, but barely paid it a second thought.
With my sweater on, I stepped out the door and into the night.
The stars were beautiful out here. Darwinston didn't seem to have much light pollution, so I could see hundreds of stars dotting the night sky.
As I wandered around the streets, I noticed a hill in the distance, with a small light on it. I walked toward it, still looking at the stars. As I got closer, I made out a figure who looked like Twilight, though it was rather blurry, along with another blurry figure.
It was Twilight.
"...I just don't know how to help her, Sunset." She was saying, as I walked closer. She looked up and saw me. "Oh... Hi Moondancer. I... I wanted to apologise for the whole thing about calling you Moondancer, and the clothes thing."
"No, it's fine. The name kinda grew on me, and this dress is nice, I guess." Twilight seemed to pale a little, but it was hard to tell in the light, which I now saw was coming from a lantern.
"Oh." Twilight said, frowning. She seemed to have given up the constantly cheery attitude.
The other girl, Sunset, spoke up.
"Hello Moondancer. It's nice to meet you." She offered a handshake, which I accepted. "My name is Sunset Shimmer. Twilight and I were just talking about you."
"Sunset, maybe you shouldn't tell-" Twilight started.
"It'll be fine." Sunset said calmly. "Moondancer, you recall your previous name, correct?"
"Yes, it was Harry. It still is. Moondancer is a nickname. Why?" I said, confused.
Sunset frowned, but remained calm. "Have you noticed anything strange about this town?"
"Uh, yeah? Everyone is way to friendly, and Twilight is just plain weird. No offence, Twilight."
"I... Sure, I guess I am rather strange." Twilight said, looking at Sunset.
Sunset continued. "This town has something strange going on. Something seems to turn most of the people under 16 into... different people. That's the best way I can put it."
"What?" I said, getting increasingly lost with every word.
"I don't know why, I just know that if you become aware of it fast enough, or are told the nature of the town, you are protected from its mental effects." Sunset said, in a tone that told me she was serious. "It hasn't progressed too far in your case, but it obviously has made some changes."
"Like what?" I questioned, beginning to see what she was saying, though I wasn't sure I believed her.
"You're in a dress." Sunset pointed out. "Just, take a word from the wise. Act like you don't noticed yourself changing. Act like you've been like this you're whole life."
"Starlight got sent away because she showed her resistance. She looked delusional." Twilight said softly. "She tried to destroy the town, to prevent anyone else from being affected."
"Oh. Who was she?" I asked, unsure.
Sunset spoke again. "Twilight's predecessor.."
"Huh." I said, unsure of what else to say.
"Also, it looks like you're about done. The change is fast. One your hair has changed, the change finishes overnight. First the hair, then everything else. Your hair, your eyes, your body as a whole. Everything changes." Sunset said solemnly.
"Is my hair any different?" I asked, looking from Sunset to Twilight nervously, unsure of what I was hearing.
Twilight spoke first, her voice a bit above a whisper. "Yes."
"It's red, with a two purple streaks, one light, one dark." Sunset said.
I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. I had noticed a slight streak this morning. Did this mean Sunset was telling the truth?
"How did you find out about this?"
"Sunset told me." Twilight said. "She refuses to tell me how she found out."
"And I'm not telling you, either." Sunset finished. "Now, it's getting late. I hate to end this, but I really should get going."
"Bye Sunset." I said, shaking her hand again.
"See ya, Twilight. And you, Moondancer." Sunset said, hugging Twilight and then me.
Sunset set off down the hill.
Twilight was silent for a minute, then spoke softly. "Well, Moondancer. Now you know why I was acting 'weird'."
Twilight and I walked in silence to our houses, leaving me alone in my thoughts.
Sunset didn't seem like she was lying, but what she said was rather unbelievable. Was she or Twilight like me? I kept thinking about this until Twilight and I reached our houses. We bid each other goodnight, and I entered my house and headed to bed.
Sunset was telling the truth. When I woke up the next day, I was definitely female. I was also very, very nearsighted. Fortunately, there was a pair of glasses on my nightstand. I tried to act casual at breakfast, but it was hard. If my dad wasn't about as perceptive as a rock, I bet he would have noticed something off.
After breakfast, I noticed my hair was well past my shoulders, and after a great deal of fiddling with the hair-thing, I managed to partially tie it back. To be frank, I didn't look completely terrible, which was good. I then took of my pyjamas and dressed in a purple dress and a black sweater. It seemed like I knew things about how to dress and do my hair, which might count as mental changes. I noted that I might have to ask Sunset next time I see her.
I then went over to Twilight's house and knocked on the door. "Hey Twilight? It's me, Moondancer. Can I come in?"
The door opened, and a strange woman stood there, looking at me.
"Oh, you must be Moondancer, Twilight's new friend! I'm Elizabeth, Twilight's mother. One sec, I'll get her for you." She said, smiling at me in the same manner Twilight had when she first met me.
A few seconds later, Twilight came halfway down the stairs and looked at me. "Hello Moondancer. You look... nice today." She said, seeming to spit the word 'nice', causing me to give her a look of confusion.
"What? What's wrong?" I asked, beginning to guess what the problem was.
Twilight came all the way down the stairs in silence, and walked out the door, motioning for me to follow.
I walked along behind her in silence. We continued walking until we reached a hill, which I, after a second, realised was the same hill from last night.
"Moondancer..." Twilight started, looking at me in a way that could be concern, or some other emotion. "I see you've finished changing. How do you feel?"
"I..." I paused for a second, trying to think. "I feel nice. Relaxed."
"That... seems normal. It's how I felt, but Sunset is probably the expert on this." Twilight said, a smile growing on her face.
"Twilight? Were you a male? Like me?" I said, realising what Twilight had said.
"Well, yeah. I've gotten used to it."