“Oh? Did something unexpected happen?” Roger asked, as he distributed meatloaf onto their plates.
“Oh Goddess, you do not want to know,” Linda moaned. “Tracy’s put me on a team for a new project, and guess who’s leading it? David! That sire doesn’t know the first thing about accounting. I’m sure Tracy only gave him the role because he flirts with her at work.” She began to lift a forkfull of food into her mouth, but was interrupted.
“A-hem,” Roger hissed, alternating glares between Roger and Zoe, who had already started eating. “Forgetting something?”
“Right,” Linda mumbled. “Grace. I’ll say it.”
The family bowed their heads and closed their eyes. “Our Heavenly Mother,” Linda began, “We are very thankful for this beautiful day…”
As his mother prayed, Jon peeked. While his family was Christian on paper, they were never this religious before. It was odd to see them so pious–and especially toward a female god. Zoe, however, had lifted her head. She caught Jon’s gaze, and he hurriedly closed his eyes again until his mother said, “Amen.”
Jon began to eat. The meatloaf was good–even better than the ones his mom used to make.
Roger turned to Jon. “How was your first day back at school, hon?”
Jon blinked. He had forgotten all about school. It had only been a couple of hours since he had first shown Karyn the stone, but it felt like years ago. “It was fine,” he muttered.
“That’s good, sweetie.” As Roger began asking after the other kids, Jon found himself unable to focus on the conversation. It was all so much to take in. His life as a normal boy was over; this was his life now. Unless he managed to find some words that would bring things back to normal, or normal-ish. But did he even want to? He thought back on the pleasure he felt seeing his new self in the mirror, the power he felt seeing Karyn aroused by his new look. He would never have experienced those feelings in his old life. The more he thought about it, the more his old self felt like a completely different person. It was terrifying–but also thrilling.
He was pulled out of his train of thought as he went for another piece of meatloaf, only to find he had emptied his plate. His old self would have reached for seconds, but this time he felt full. “I’m gonna go to my room,” Jon said. “I have… homework to do.”
“Alright, sweetie,” his father responded. He made his way out of the kitchen and up the stairs. As soon as he entered his room, he threw himself on his bed. I’m exhausted, he realized. He meant to lie there for only a minute or two, but before he knew it, he was fast asleep.