I hope you enjoyed it too.
Back in Dawn’s room in the real world, no time had passed at all. The board, which Karina had dropped when she had been absorbed, was still falling to the floor. But before it reached it, there was a flash of light and seven people reappeared around the room.
Dawn was the first to notice that something was amiss. She had closed her eyes during her surreal trip, and she was fully waiting to feel her body regressing into that of the 13-years-old she should be. But it didn’t. Instead, she raised her hands to feel her round adult breasts still in place.
She opened her eyes. She was indeed standing in her own room, but she was still wearing the purple dress and the beautiful grown body and she had inhabited for the past couple of years within the game. Yet, something was very different. She wasn’t a few inches tall anymore, but a normal sized woman. And of course, her ears weren’t pointy, and she had no wings. She had gone from fairy to human again.
Dawn looked around. The other six girls were also still adults, and all of them looked fully human now.
“Maybe we’ll start changing back in a while. It did take some time to transform when we first entered the game,” said Mia, who was still her beautiful self, though judging by her lack of fins, not a mermaid any longer. Her hair was also much shorter. She was wearing black underwear and was sprawled over the floor, as if she wasn’t used to her legs yet.
“No, we won’t change back. This is us now,” said a voice among them.
They all looked at Charlene, who was still a tall, athletic Amazon. She had been the only human within the game, and thus she was practically identical in the real world.
“What do you mean?” asked Alexandra. She was still a very tall woman, though not a giantess at all. Instead, she was now 6’8’’ foot tall, and nevertheless a very imposing sight.
“This is my prize for winning the game,” clarified Charlene.
“But you won! I thought only you were keeping your changes, but I didn’t think you would share your prize with us!” said an impressed Odette, who had returned to the real world not in her usual elf form, but in the silver-haired one she sometimes took when she wanted to disguise herself.
“I didn’t win on my own. All of you played a vital part. Plus, even if you hadn’t, you’re my friends. Of course I wouldn’t take this from you.”
The others were very grateful. But Karina seemed miserable. Like Odette, she had lost her elfish traits, namely her long ears and bright eyes. And, in her case, her hair was back to blonde. She was still dressed in very little clothes, but she was trying to hide against the wall.
“I didn’t help you…” she muttered. “And I’ve never treated you as a friend. I don’t deserve part of the prize.”
“Don’t be silly. If your sister forgives you, so will we. I’m pretty sure you learned more than any ofus in there, and I bet you’ll be a very different person now,” said Charlene kindly.
The other girls also smiled encouragingly, and Karina didn’t even try to hide her tears of gratitude.
“So, how does this work exactly?” asked Millie. “I feel fierce again!”
She was fully a normal woman now, no more horse body parts visible on her… Yet, a fragment of her centauress personality was obviously in her mind. It was somehow subdued, though. She didn’t feel like killing anyone anymore, but she was still very confident and strong-willed.
“Well, you’re all completely human, of course,” explained Charlene. “I don’t think being giants or elves in here would have been right. But you still have part of your in-game skills… or at least the human version of those skills. For instance, I imagine Mia is one of the world’s best swimmers now, but she can’t breathe underwater as when she was a mermaid.”
“Oh.” Mia, who was now kneeling and fastening her robe to preserve her modesty, seemed a bit disappointed, but she nodded in agreement nevertheless.
“The same goes for me, actually,” continued Charlene. “Even though I was always a human, my abilities as a Forest Dweller were quite extreme. I supposed I’m still very agile, but only as much as a human in this reality can possibly be.”
“Well, I’ll miss my wings, but at least I don’t have to be afraid of getting squashed anymore!” said Dawn. “And I have a normal woman’s voice now. I was tired of all that squealing that used to come out of my throat.”
“I don’t know. You still look like I can squash you!” laughed Alexandra.
And though Dawn was indeed a regular human now, she was still a petite one, a bit shorter than average. Likewise, Millie and Charlene were very tall, though not as much as Alexandra.
“I’ll miss my magic,” said Odette. “Though not the part where I had to fight Wraiths every day. And… hey! I still keep a lot of my vast knowledge.”
“Yes, as Millie and you have noticed, all of us have been allowed to retain part of the personalities we gained in the game. Not all of it, of course, just the parts we really liked.”
“That explains why I feel pretty, but nowhere as conceited as I used to be,” said Mia.
“Same,” said Dawn.
“Or why I’m not so violent all the time,” agreed Millie.
“I don’t feel evil…” said Karina timidly. “There’s still a part of the Sorceress in me, but not the darkness. In fact, I think it’ll help me overcome my own nasty impulses.”
“How did you know what parts did we like about our new selves, Charlene?” asked Odette.
“I didn’t, but the Gamemaster did. For instance, she knew you preferred this form to your regular one.”
“Yeah, it’s true,” admitted Odette with a blush.
“What about our families?” asked Alexandra, looking around with curiosity. She was unused to be so small… or so big, depending on the point of view.
“The rest of the world thinks this is who we are, and that these bodies and ages are normal. You’re still part of your families, but they won’t see anything wrong with you.”
“So no more school for us,” said Millie enthusiastically.
“No, I guess we’ll discover our places in our new adult realities. But we’re still friends. I asked the Gamemaster to make sure of that.”
“Hey, have you noticed the game is gone?” asked Dawn.
She was right. They looked and looked for it, but they never found it again. It had already started its journey to a new group of players
As for their new lives, they found them enjoyable and fulfilling.
Charlene went to become a great athlete, and she won 16 gold medals over the course of four Olympic Games. She led a simple, quiet life, but that was all she had wanted when she had made her pact with the Gamemaster.
Dawn became a TV personality, something she never knew she had wanted be. Her talk show was successful enough, and she was also recognized universally because of her flying skills. She went to be considered one of the best living pilots, though she sometimes wished she could still fly without a plane.
Millie hadn’t translated her time as a centauress into a horse-riding hobby, since she wanted to run with her own legs, not those of a different creature (she much preferred muscle cars, for that matter). But she was a masterful martial artist and a ruthless, but honest, business woman.
Alexandra also tried her hand at commerce for a while, but she didn’t find being a CEO as satisfying as being a Queen. She soon retired from her company as a very rich young woman, and raised a large and beautiful family that was her greatest pride,
Mia, indeed an impressively good swimmer, still loved the water and lived by the sea. She was an internationally successful glamour model and singer, thanks to her beautiful siren’s voice. Though no longer narcissistic, she was quite glad of the changes her life had gone through. She was as much of a princess in this world as she had been as a mermaid.
Odette never completely got over her Grand Mage days. She became a magic practitioner, even if humans aren’t very adept to it, and mysticism in our dimension is relatively weak. Still, she managed to make some impressive progress thanks to her continuous research of magical bibliography. Her interest on the supernatural was quite private, of course. Publicly, she was a respected scientist and scholar, thanks to her enhanced knowledge.
On her part, Karina tried to keep as much distance from magic as she could, as if she feared to return to her Dark Sorceress ways if exposed to it. She became a much kinder person, and lived a peaceful life. Her time in the game had revealed her secret fascination about pretending to be other people, and she acted in theater for years. She did well there, if never trying to become a superstar.
And of course, she played role games quite often, for she had finally admitted her love for them. Curiously, she was the only one who did. The other women never played again. They had already lived in a fantasy world for years, and they had even brought back home the better part of that fantasy. They had no need to pretend anymore.
And what of that particular board game? Well, only eight months after they had returned home, it found its way into a middle-aged bank teller, who thought it would be fun to take it home to play with his wife, his young son and daughter, and his stuck-up teenage niece.
Five more lives were about to change forever at the roll of the dice.