Carl Boelke was a problem kid and he was getting worse. In junior high, he ran a protection racket and punched out the smaller boys who didn’t pay. In the senior grades, the police put him on a watch list. Once, when a girl wouldn’t go out with him, he beat on her brother until she said _yes. When their parents pressed charges, Carl juvenile court only sentenced him to community service. When not under direct supervision, his behavior went unimproved.
His mother, Mrs. Boelke, a hospital employee, met a woman who came in frequently to visit a patient. They occasionally talked and one day the visitor dropped a bomb. She told Mrs. Boelke about Pleasure Island, and how the resort was more than just a resort. It was the place that helped to solve the problems that their boy Roy was having with the law. She hinted, in an odd way, that Pleasure Island could change the bad attitudes of troubled boys.
Mrs. Boelke kept nagging her friend to explain how anyone could accomplish so much, but the lady kept saying that she wasn't the right one to explain it. But relenting at last, she gave Mrs. Boelke a phone number, saying, “This man at the Pleasure Island Resort office can explain it much better than ever I could.”
The New Reservation Advice division at Pleasure Island were skilled at convincing people, even about the existence of magic. A representative met with Mr. and Mrs. Boelke and demonstrated with videos and case studies how they could solve the problems they were having with Carl. The Boelkes were finally convinced and signed a contract, after which Pleasure Island sent Carl a registered letter saying that he had won a free two-week luxury vacation at the island resort. Actually, his parents had made the reservation, but if they had admitted that they wanted him to go somewhere, he might have grown suspicious. Carl had been getting cozy with criminals. It was his nature to trust strangers making flashy promises than to trust his own parents.
Pleasure Island was indeed magical, and its magic started to transform Carl, using the energy created by his bad thoughts and deeds. Before he realized it, Carl had metamorphosed into a pretty blonde, just as the resort had promised his parents that he would. When he – she – had calmed down enough, the Pleasure Island staff provided her with a traveling outfit that fit her smaller and slimmer stature and, also, convincingly forged documents that called her “Carla Boelke. Then she was sent her back to her California home.
The first thing that Carla realized after the daze wore off was that she had a spell on her, one that made everyone she knew, except her own parents, forget that Carl had ever existed. Her folks had also removed every picture of Carl from the home and had given all his clothes to charity, just as if there had never been such a person. Her room had gone all yellow and fru fru, and her closets were full of girly things. That was too much; she threw a wild tantrum, accusing her parents of having “ruined her life.” Over the next few weeks, she absolutely refused to restart her life as a teenaged girl. The Boelke's grew increasingly worried. School was going to start soon and they needed to have their daughter on good behavior before that happened.
The Pleasure Island customer service representative had given them some contact literature that presented some frequently asked questions. The anxious parents finally decided to choose the option of securing a special teacher, one who was registered with, and certified by, the resort company.
The Boelkes had Carla picked up by her “Aunt Maud,” who wasn’t really her aunt. She was an independent contractor whose job it was to work with hard-case former boys. Maud had rented a house in Oakdale and island-associated technicians had prepared a bedroom for Carla. Although it look innocent, it was wired for sound and subliminal messages from recorded lessons could be piped in without the occupant of the room knowing that she was receiving unconscious lessons that would help to adjust her bad attitudes.
Maud tried to be non-threatening but firm with Carla. She had rules that she insisted upon, such as those about curfews. School was about to start and it was best that Carla attend school in Oakdale, among people who hadn't known Carl. Consequently, there were rules about school attendance and homework.
Carla balked at everything, refusing to wear anything but old jackets, sneakers, tee-shirts, and dungarees. She hated to be seen in daylight and mostly skulked around the dark streets at night.
Hers was a difficult case, admittedly, but the teacher had long experience with transformed juveniles and many options. The resort had provided her with subliminal attitude discs to help her, one of which offered subliminal programming to make the listener enjoy school.
It was important to get her mixing with her peers as soon as possible. Once an ex-boy became part of a normal community, Maud knew, she normally stopped rebelling and went with the flow. Though her pupil was soon attending school without kicking up a lot of fuss, Maud knew that Carla's real “learning” would not come in class, but from the subliminal lessons she was receiving every night. These lessons were intended to help transformed boys to open their eyes to the interesting and exciting possibilities of their new place in the world.
Carla tried all the tricks of defiance and backtalk that she'd been using for years at home, but the CDs had instilled a “time-out phrase” to help Maud get around her pupil's deeply-ingrained stubbornness. Because of this post-hypnotic suggestion, whenever Maud said, “Now hold your horses, young lady,” Carla would go silent, become receptive to suggestion, and carry out the tasks that she was given during the next couple hours. The new ideas that the discs had implanted were percolating through Carla's subconscious, but she was resisting them. Experience had proven to Maud that if she used the time-out option to nudge a girl into turning lessons into reality, she would soon find herself having a lot of fun.
After two weeks of sleep-instruction, Maud began to see tell-tale signs indicating that Carla was ready to be slapped awake her new reality, that of an average American teenaged girl.
Multiple spy cameras in Carla's room allowed Maud to see what was happening when the girl thought that no one was looking. Since the day that her pupil had arrived, Maud had been playing one of the fundamental lessons for the teen at least once each night: “What's Super to Look At is Super to Wear.” Early in the second week, the monitor revealed that Carla was trying on bras, panties, and shorts, as well as teddies and nighties. She looked so cute when she made poses in front of her mirror, and she had even practiced walking in high-heeled pumps. Maud let this “secret” experimentation go on for a few days more, until she judged that the moment had arrived to debut Carla to the world as a brand new and very vivacious California beauty.
The next time that the monitor revealed that Carla was all dressed up, confident that the door was locked, Maud used a magician's key and barged on a pretext. Then she acted surprised to catch the pupil dressed in lipstick and a miniskirt ensemble. Maud crossed her arms and looked stern.
“If you wanted to dress as a girl, it's perfectly all right,” she told her young charge, "but you should have confided in me. I could have given you advice about how to dress properly.”
“No!” moaned Carla, her face flushed. “I hate girl's clothes! I was just...”
Carla had no reply.
“You poor little sweetheart. It's normal that you should be curious about what it feels like to be a real live girl. I've already said that I've helped all sorts of young persons like yourself. "Perk up. Don't be embarrassed. There's nothing wrong about a girl wanting to be sexy and pretty.”
Miss Boelke didn't like being told that she was a girl, and especially didn't like the idea that she was sexy or pretty. With a curse, Carla started to take off her green blouse. “Hold your horses, young lady!” Maud exclaimed, and Carla froze, slack-featured.
“Carla,” the teacher said, “please straighten your clothing, dear. I want you to walk to the pharmacy dressed just as you are and bring me back a few things. If you see any friends from school along the way, be sure to say hello to them. Remember this: with every step you take, you will lose some of your shyness and start to realize how much you enjoy being admired when you're dressed up. A little vanity is always a good thing for a beautiful young lady.”
Like a sleepwalker, Carla let herself be led out the door to greet a sunny Saturday morning. The teen didn't realize that she was outside in plain sight until she heard the lock click behind her. Panicking, she rushed back to the door and pounded on it.
“Maud! Let me in,” she shouted. “I can't go out like this.”
“Don't be silly, darling,” her false aunt called back. “You look absolutely lovely. We need those things from the store right away, so run along.”
Still under the spell of the “time-out" words, Carla slowly turned and started walking at a slow, even pace down the sidewalk. Unable to stop herself, she instead speeded up, wanting to get this trip to the store done with as quickly as possible, cursing herself for having given in to that crazy compulsion to dress up like a high school bimbo and admire herself in the mirror.
Before she got into sight of the strip-mall, the newly-minted miss was unconsciously sashaying in just the way that the sleep-teaching discs had told her to walk. For the remainder of her errand, Carla felt like a sissy, like a cross-dresser, not a real girl. But she noticed that when people smiled, they weren't laughing. They were looking at her no differently than they would have looked at any teenager of the Number 10 variety.
Carla frowned at the thought. Yes, a Number 10; that would describe her. Something down deep was telling Carla that it might be fun to be wanted by people whom she wouldn't allow to touch her. The girls would be so jealous, and the boys would be so horny. Also, it felt good to have fooled everyone so completely. If asked what, precisely, she thought she had fooled them about, Miss Boelke probably couldn't have given a sensible answer.
Carla remained under the charm of the safe words even after she returned to her teacher's house. When Maud met her at the door, she said, “From now on you shouldn't think you have to dress up in secret. Anything you want to put on is perfectly fine to wear around the house. It's also all perfectly proper to go outside and let people see you.” In her entranced state, it didn't occur to Carla to dispute this amazing and life-changing idea.
That evening, Carla remained very confused. Thoug the time-out words had worn off, it made no sense to change out of her outfit. She wanted to show Maud that she had nerve. But because stiletto-heeled pumps were not all that comfortable on the feet of such a newbie, she put on a pair of bunny slippers. After dinner, the teen watched a DVD until Maud told her to go to her room and finish her homework.
The teacher felt satisfied; this day had seen huge progress. But there was one thing that she absolutely had to fix. The stubborn girl was accustomed to sleeping in old tee-shirts and the lightweight jogging pants. She couldn't really start feeling like a girl until she started sleeping like one. The teacher therefore readied that night's sleep-teaching lessons and included one that was entitled “I Feel Pretty, Look at Me,” and another labeled “Big Girls Wear Itsy Bitsy Pajamas.”
At bedtime the next night, Carla poked her hand under the bed as she always did to grab her sleep togs, but this time noticed how heavy and grubby they were. With a frown, the teen tossed them at the hamper, deciding to choice something else. But everything in the drawers looked so sexy, such s babydolls and mini-tunics. They looked like they belonged on a _Playboy Magazine model. The least bad one was a light top that was pinned to a pair of trim shorts made of some silky material. Carla touched it to her nose and liked the laundry softener freshness. She tried the combo on and then faced the mirror. Christ Almighty! she thought. As sexy as it had looked in the drawer, it looked ten times as sexy with her wearing it. Despite Miss Boelke's dismay, the sight of herself in the outfit charged her erotically in some way. She guessed that any girl who saw her stripped down to basics would just get soooo steamed with jealousy, and all the boys would get boners. That last thought tickled Carla; part of her liked the idea of making people feel miserable; it gave her a sense of power. But, then again, the idea of guys wanting to get her into the sack made her shudder.
Maud hadn't dared to hope that it would have happened so soon, but Carla came to breakfast the next morning decked out in a tight pair of denim jeans and a midriff-baring pullover. The teacher tried not to smile when she thought about how the boys her age would react. A milestone had been reached, she new. Carla Boelke's life would never be quite the same again.
At school, the boys were caught by surprise at seeing the new girl looking so super. Her hips wouldn't stop moving and none of the males could keep their eyes off their gyrations. All the males, even the timid ones, wished they had an excuse to speak to her, but only the ego-driven creeps had the nerve to swagger up to her and call her "baby," "cute thing," and other pet names. These jerks seemed to get more aggressive every day and Carla did her best to brush them off. But she couldn't have disliked the attention she was getting too extremely, since she started wearing miniskirts to school that same week. In jeans she had been really something, but when flashing a pair of legs that looked about a mile long, Carla became an Arcadian vision.
On Friday, when a swaggering bum from the local street gang cornered Carla and got too grabby, a boy named Tom defended her. Afterwards, Carla asked why he had stepped in. He shrugged and said it was just an impulsive thing, seeing that gang-banger pawing her.
Carla was nonplussed. She liked being seen wearing lipstick, heels, and miniskirts, but dating boys, like a real girl would, was just too much. She begged off, saying that her aunt was against her getting too close to anyone at school, because she’d soon have to be going back to her folks’ home. Tom looked crestfallen, but said he understood.
Carla wasn't able too keep many secrets, not about her local social life anyway, because Maud had given her a post-hypnotic suggestion to speak freely when at home about her relationships with other students. When Miss Boelke let slip what had happened, Maud told her, “Hold your horses, my girl! You acted like an ungrateful minx. Call that nice boy back and say that you’d love to go out with him. And in the future, be such a chicken. It's all right for a girl to go out with a boy, as long as she likes him and trusts him. ”
To drive home the new lesson, Maud lined up some lessons that would help Carla become oriented to the idea that boys are groovy. That's how Carla Boelke found herself getting for her date on Saturday night, feeling conflicted and expecting to have a miserable time. Tom picked her up in his folk's car and it turned out that a movie and a malt with someone like Tom wasn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, he was cool to talk to, especially since both of them were hockey fans. The following day, Carla started to notice, like she never had before, how many interesting and good-looking boys there were around the school.
Without really planning to, she let her body language get less defensive. The boys notice immediately that somehow Carla Boelke seemed more approachable. More of the boys scraped up the courage to speak to her, a better sort of boys, and even to ask her out. She said "yes" before she realized what she was doing, and then rendezvoused with one of them after school Thursday at the malt shop. Then she said yes to someone else and went to a dance spot on Friday. Finally, Tom asked her out to rollerskae, and how could Carla have said no to the nicest boy in school? They skated on a storm Saturday night. Back at Maud's house, they sat on the porch swing for a while, and Maud pretended that she didn't know that they were there.
With her young charge's social life going so well, Maud decided that Carla was ripe to start learning a few domestic skills to make her useful around the house once she was back home. The trainer picked out a disc good for generating interest in cooking and housekeeping. And also, because Carla could use a final bit of sweetening, she stacked on a disc that would encourage her to assume endearingg traits, such as liking fluffy stuffed animals, flowers, and fairyland figurines. By October, with Carla’s grades improving and her complaints about doing chores falling off, Maud called the Boelkes to let them know that Carla was ready to return home.
When the girl was dropped off at their house a couple days later, she stepped off the airport bus wearing denim cutoffs and a midriff-baring pull over, her high-heeled sandals clutch in her hands, one of the heels broken. She looked like a graceful creature of Nature and Mr. and Mrs. Boelke could hardly recognize her.
Over the next year, not everything went smoothly with the Boelkes, but whenever their daughter started showing too much attitude, they would use their own Pleasure Island discs to correct the problem. By spring, they didn't need to Carla any more lessons because she didn't have any bad habits or attitudes left. Oh, they still had some issues, but these were the problems that any parent of a teenaged beauty had to face. Not even a wizard could correct all the problems of parenthood. For the most part, though, the Boelkes lived in a house filled with peace and cooperation.
But just because their lives had become so much better, they grew guiltier every day seeing what a rough time their neighbors were having. The Fontains' son Dean had been friends with Carl, and the latter had put a lot of wrongheaded ideas into his head. So, in a way, Carla's parents felt some responsibility to set things right. So, finally, they decided to tell the Fontains about Pleasure Island.
But there was no need to tell Carla that there might be a new girl in her school soon. Their little girl had so many other important things on her mind.