by By Quiana Carson, as told (sort of) to ARthur
Virtual Diary date: November 2, 2002. My name is Quiana Carson. I am a 6-year-old girl with beautiful blonde hair and green eyes. My favorite color is red, and I am partial to skirts and jumpers in that color. I prefer kid-size Reebok shoes to those black leather things with straps around the ankles. I get more traction in Reebok soles.
I am the adopted stepdaughter of Andrew and Janet Carson, which also makes me the stepsister of Tony, who is 10-year-old boy who doesn’t relate to girls very well. You may have read about my parents in the current issue of Forbe’s Magazine, about how in two years they built an Internet business that now controls the price and sale of collectibles from classic dolls to Catgirl Nikki trading cards.
But don’t believe everything you read. You see, I started that business more than two years ago. At that time, Andrew was a tax accountant and Janet was a policewoman; and neither knew anything about that business until I told them on the day my adoption was finalized. I let them front the business, which I humbly call Quiana Enterprises Ltd. People are more trusting of businesses that appear to be headed by adults, than by little girls who should be in first grade. But I run it, from this computer in my bedroom, from which I am writing this memoir.
As you can see, things aren’t always what they seem. As further proof, let me tell you a true story for which I have first-hand knowledge. Do you remember the renegade financier Quentin Quimby? You know, back in 1985, he and three other executives of Quimby Investment Partners were convicted of looting the assets of Florida Fidelity Insurance Co. for their own personal gain. As a result, the company had no funds to pay the claims of all those elderly people who bought policies based on the firm’s TV advertisements.
Quimby and the others were convicted through testimony provided by Laird Adler, Quimby’s supposedly loyal bookkeeper. As the accused ringleader, Quimby received an 845-year sentence.
This galled Quimby, as he had no knowledge of the scam before it was reported in the media. So while out on bail to get his affairs in order before reporting to prison, Quimby disappeared. And he remained on the run for 15 years; changing hiding places around the world at regular intervals to avoid capture. He lived on savings he squirreled away in foreign banks under assumed names he devised during his bail period.
Despite the ability to hole up in some plush surroundings, Quimby didn’t enjoy his years on the lam. He couldn’t visit, or even contact, old friends in the U.S. for fear of getting caught, or at least giving federal authorities clues as to his whereabouts. He felt lonely, and this feeling quadrupled when he heard in late 1999 that his Mother passed away at age 78. He couldn’t even attend her funeral.
Then in February 2000, Quimby received a call at his current residence in the Cayman Islands from Adler.
“I have nothing to say to you,” Quimby told Adler. “You were mixed up in that Florida Fidelity scam, but you blamed it all on me in court.”
“Look, Quint, the Feds were leaning on me to implicate bigger fish,” Adler protested. “They gave me immunity for my testimony. It would have been hard on the wife and kids if I ended up in jail.
“But I think I can more than make amends to you,” Adler added. “I’ve come into possession of a fabulous microprocessor-powered machine that can alter your looks so thoroughly, not even your mother would recognize you. You can then go anywhere without fear of capture.”
“You leave my late Mother out of this!” Quimby growled, but added, “I’m intrigued. When and where can I see this machine?”
“It’s too big to take to you. You’ll have to come to Tampa. It’s in the office area of your company’s old import warehouse,” Adler said.
Quimby agreed, and a month later, he entered the U.S. in disguise. He arrived at the warehouse wearing a black overcoat that stretched from shoulders to ankles. His head was covered with a royal blue cashmere wrap that twisted over the mouth and head so it resembled a chador worn by Moslem women. Reflective sunglasses hid his eyes, while athletic shoes covered his feet.
“Is that really you, Quentin?” Adler asked the man at the warehouse door. He didn’t have to wait long for confirmation as the man, having stepped inside, removed the head-covering wrap and the rest of his disguise.
Quimby appeared a much older man than Adler remembered. Now 53 years old, Quimby had grayed considerably, with a hairline the receded far beyond the high forehead he sported in the early 1980s. Rills creased his forehead and his face had begun to wrinkle, with decided jowls hanging at his cheeks. He was noticeably heavier, with a slight paunch visible from beneath his colorful Hawaiian shirt and khaki slacks.
Adler realized that Quimby already had lost some resemblance of the 38-year-old man whose face still graced federal wanted posters, owing to the fact that Quimby avoided having his photo taken during his 15-year run. But Quimby expressed keen interest in the machine, which Adler said could make him totally unrecognizable to any and all.
Adler walked Quimby over to a 7-foot-tall device that resembled less a modern computer than the rocket ship Flash Gordon rode in those old movie serials.
“This prototype machine that can manipulate and even alter the human body - even the body’s genetic structure. This machine can radically change your looks, size, and even age. It can turn you into a person who can live in plain sight of the authorities and have no fear of being recognized,” Adler explained.
“That’s nice! But what will it cost me?” Quimby inquired.
“Nothing! Let’s just say its my gift to you to make amends for that testimony,” Adler said, adding, “Now if you’re ready, please step into this glass enclosure and sit down.”
Looking somewhat distrustful, Quimby nonetheless complied.
“First we record a copy of your body’s genetic code onto a CD, to use as a platform for changes, and as a map in case you want to return to normal after the change,” Adler explained. He spent 10 minutes making just such a disc. On completion, Adler transferred the CD to a separate slot and announced that he could now begin to alter Quimby’s appearance.
“Watch the monitor just outside the booth. I’ll first do something about your receding hairline,” Adler said as he entered a program into the computer console, Quimby was amazed as hair sprouted in his bald area and filled his scalp to the forehead. The hair color then darkened from mostly gray to a dark brown.
“Now I look like an old guy with a dye job,” Quimby joked. “Then we’ll employ the age altering program in this baby,” Adler grinned.
Quimby watched the monitor as his body began to lose the affects of middle age. His face grew noticeably thinner as the skin tightened. The rills left his brow and wrinkles deserted his neck. Quimby felt his body lose some of its heft as his muscles became more toned.
“I look just as I did at the time of the trial,” Quimby said with astonishment. He then scowled, adding, “But now I look, despite a fuller head of hair, like the man on those wanted posters. This won’t do.”
Adler punched the machine for more rejuvenation. Quimby responded by developing an even thinner, more youthfully handsome face. Nearly all traces of body fat dissipated, while his muscle tone increased. His upper arms bulged from the short sleeves of his flowered shirt.
“I haven’t looked this good since college,” Quimby gasped. “You should, since I made your body 20 years old,” Adler replied.
But as Quimby attempted to exit the booth, he found the door locked. “Let me out. This is what I want to look like,” he said. But Adler only chuckled as he removed Quimby’s genetic blueprint CD and inserted another in the machine. “Let’s try this genetic platform first,” Adler said as he reactivated the contraption.
Quiana: A Personal Memoir (part 2)
by By Quiana Carson, as told (sort of) to ARthur
Quimby began to ache in unfamiliar places. The pain was enough to cause him the drop back into the booth’s bench-like seat. He felt the features on his face contort and rearrange, but he was too scared to watch on the monitor. His clothing, already loosened from his drop from 53 to 20 years old, became even more ill fitting, getting less tight in the legs and the lower front of his torso, but tighter in the butt, while his chest began to press against his flowery shirt. An even odder sensation came as his hair quickly lengthened.
In all his life, Quimby had never felt what it was like to have hair to his shoulders, but he did now! Finally mustering the courage to glance at the monitor, Quimby saw the face of young woman stare back at him. “That can’t be me?” he howled. “Get used to it, Quentin. I’ve switched your gender,” Adler chuckled. Reading the looks on Quimby’s face, Adler answered, “I switched your genetic blueprint for that of a college-age woman I had in this booth two weeks ago.
The machine has turned you into her twin. For the record, you have gone from 6’ 1” to 5’ 7” with 36C breasts and a 4B shoe size.” “Quentin Quimby doesn’t imitate or duplicate anyone,” Quimby said. “You change me…” But before he could finish his sentence, Adler replied, “Of course…” and reactivated the rejuvenation program. Tingling swept through Quimby’s body with such severity that it seemed to pulse to the sinister backbeat of The Beatles’ “Bulldog,” now playing on the radio Adler activated to drown out noises from the machine - and Quimby. Jumping to his feet, Quimby affixed his palms to the glass wall of the booth. He watched as his eyesight slowly dropped below the level of his hands, which began to scrape down the glass after him. “You expect happiness to be measured out to you; but just what’s happening you haven’t got a clue,” The Beatles appeared to be hectoring him as he noticed that the 36C breasts he so recently received were rapidly becoming just a memory on his chest. “Good riddance,” Quimby thought as he began to contend with the increasingly oversized clothing hanging from his diminishing body.
As the tingling subsided, Quimby stood with his trousers clumped around his feet and his Hawaiian shirt dangling from his shoulders to below the knees. While contemplating how much larger the room around him now appeared, Quimby looked up at Adler, who was now double his size. “My, but you’ve become an absolutely adorable little girl, Quentin,” Adler snidely digged, adding, “Oh, that’s right. We can’t call you Quentin any more. We need a more fitting name.
A girl’s name. Hmmmmm! I know! From now on, I’ll call you Quiana. It’s a darling name for a darling little girl.” Okay, I’ve revealed my secret. I told you things aren’t always as they appear. So what were you expecting? Any way, you can imagine how I felt, standing there, swimming in my adult clothes, while that mongrel Adler was smirking that, according to the machine, I had just turned 4-years-old. For a moment, I was really angry with myself.
I had let Adler upend me twice in a lifetime. But then I thought, what would be the last thing the Feds would look for if they knew I was back in the country? A 4-year-old blonde girl! And I now had 48 more years to enjoy life and my hidden savings. For my friends, my new appearance would take some getting used to, but that would be their problem! I proceeded to razz Adler about how unseemly my clothing now fitted. He revealed that the machine had a tailoring function, and demonstrated it. Pressing a few more pads and entering a new keyboard commend; my old Quentin clothing was remade to confirm with my smaller girl’s body. The athletic shoes and white tube socks shrank to fit, although a lace ruffle was added at the top of each sock. The jockey shorts also shrank, losing their fly to become a single expanse of fabric on both front and rump, with again some ruffles forming on the leg holes. The most amazing tailoring occurred on the Hawaiian shirt, which converted into a sundress with the buttons shifting to the upper back, some pleats added on the front and sides, and the hem moving up to mid-thigh. The khaki trousers, however, burst into flames and quickly turned to ash, which was extracted from the booth by its ventilation system.
As Adler finally unlocked the booth’s door, I made my entrance into life as a 4-year-old girl. After dancing out of the booth twirling the hem of my dress as Loretta Young did at the beginning of her 1950s TV show, I then got caught up in the rhythm of the tune playing on Adler’s radio, The Who’s “The Kids Are All Right.” I did little girl interpretations of such 1960s dances as the Monkey, the Swim and The Slop. Adler was bemused that I seemed to enjoy my change from middle-aged man to preschool girl.
But then things look a sinister turn. Adler revealed his hand. Using the machine to turn me into a little girl was part of his latest plot to get control of my vast hidden wealth. “As a little girl, you’ll need an escort; a guardian of some sort. Might I suggest me?” Adler said. “You’d be the last person I’d ask to protect me,” I laughed. “I mean, didn’t your wife and kids leave you two years after you testified against me in court. If they couldn’t live with you, why should I?” “Don’t underestimate me,” Adler smirked, as he walked to the machine, entered an automatic program, inserted a genetic CD disc into the machine, set the timer to begin in 10 minutes, and entered the booth. “By the time I come out of the booth, you’ll have no alternative but to accept me as your guardian, as you’ll have no way to enjoy your wealth except through me,” Adler said. I pushed a chair over to the machine’s computer panel so I could get a better look. I saw two genetic CDs; one labeled “20-year-old college girl” and the other “Laird Adler.” The CD in the machine was the one holding my old genetic blueprint.
I then watched as the machine gradually turned Adler into a duplicate of myself at 53 years old. I chided him for wanting to become the worn-out old geezer I had been. Adler threatened back, “You’re being demoted from Quentin Quimby, financier, to Quiana Quimby, financier’s granddaughter. When I look like your old self, I’ll be one step up on claiming your secret bank accounts. And I will find them all; you can count on that. Nobody will give a 4-year-old girl access to your secret accounts, even if you have the secret numbers. They'll expect a grownup - like me. Then you’ll have no choice. You’ll either do as I say, or forfeit your acquired wealth. You can live with me controlling the spending; or you can go to an orphanage.”
“You really want this, don’t you? You think this can buy back your wife and kids?” I laughed in a manner that infuriated Adler all the more. “My wife left me because she expected that, after you went to jail, I’d tap into your hidden bank accounts and we’d live like millionaires,” Adler growled. “I knew where all your money was. But you moved the money around; changed all the account numbers. When I couldn’t get my hands on any of it, my wife left me for a wealthier man and took my kids with her.
But she’ll be coming back to apologize when I finally get control of all your wealth.” Poor Adler. He should have known that a wily investor like myself never takes unnecessary chances. When he told me about the machine, I relayed word through a third party to Ed in California. As I suspected, Ed knew about the machine, and even sent a copy of the prototype’s manual. I came because I knew it worked. Manipulating the dials, I pushed the machine into rejuvenation mode.
by By Quiana Carson, as told (sort of) to ARthur
With careful control of the machine, I took Adler down to 42 years old. He ended up looking only slightly older than my wanted poster photo. If the Feds knew I was in the country, they’d be looking for a person much like my wanted poster photo. Give them what they want, is my motto. Now it would be too risky for Adler to follow me out of the warehouse without exposing himself to arrest as Quentin Quimby, even more so than if he looked like my 53-year-old male self.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t activated the lock on the door to the booth. Adler escaped, and his short-tempered nature had gotten the best of himself again. Not thinking about how he looked, he angrily raved at how I, in the body of a little girl, deserved to get the spanking of my life. As I’m not into that sort of thing, I dashed for the warehouse door.
Opening it a crack, I saw a lot of movement outside; FBI agents backed by the local police. Apparently, someone leaked word I was in the country, and they tracked me to the warehouse. The infuriated Adler-with-my-face slammed the door to thwart my escape, so I scurried away and dived under a pile of wood pallets. Believe it or not, even as the police charged into the door, Adler thought of nothing but getting at me under those pallets. He was easily cuffed and led away, all the while protesting that he wasn’t me!
“Poor guy’s loco,” one federal agent sadly remarked as Adler tried to explain that he was chasing Quimby.
From my hiding place, I watched as the agents checked my long coat and found what they believed further evidence that they had the right man. There were airline tickets to the Cayman Islands, and a passbook to a secret bank account that they said contained one of my known aliases. That was $100,000 I’ll never see again, but it convinced them that Adler was I.
I shed no tears for that perjuring scoundrel Adler going to serve the 845-year jail term. It wasn’t forever. He’ll qualify for parole in only 420 years.
As the police left, I emerged from my hiding place, sure that I wasn’t seen. I was now ready to resume my life as a “Little Orphan Annie,” moving from place to place, finding adventure, but living off my hidden wealth. All I had to do was get back to the Cayman Islands and get my secret account records.
As a precaution, I also took the genetic blueprint CDs for the college girl, Adler, and myself. I’d need them if I ever tired of being a little girl. Without my own CD, I could never become myself again.
Call is kismet, but it was at this time, as I was retreating back behind the pallets, that I had my first meeting with my future adoptive Mom, Officer Janet Carson.
“What’s that girl doing in here?” Janet asked of her male partner. I attempted to scram, but didn’t get far, as Janet grabbed my arm. The sudden stop caused the three genetic blueprint CDs to pop from my pocket and hit the pavement, where they were crushed under the clumsy gumshoes of her partner. I now had no way to ever return to being Quentin Quimby. Such blueprints could be taken only from the original person, not a copy like Adler now was. I was stuck as a 4-year-old girl!
“You don’t have to be afraid of us. We want to help you,” Janet told me. But I just stood there in shock. You have no idea of what futility feels like until you stand outside on a blustery night, only slightly over three-feet tall, your hand held by a bigger person to control your movement, while the wind whistles up your tiny skirt, a feeling I might add I never experienced before.
Placed in the back seat of their squad car, I heard Janet and her partner debate by fate. The partner wondered if I had some connection with that crook Quimby. Well, duh! But Janet wouldn’t believe him. She was sure that I was some runaway or lost child who just happened to be hiding in the warehouse when the authorities finally snagged Quimby. Janet, like other police talking over the two-way radio, was sure that if Quimby had accomplices with him, they were adults, but escaped as the Feds snared Quimby.
I weighed my options and decided it was best for now that I be a little lost girl. If only my inexperience in being a girl wouldn’t trip me up. I did have trouble from the minute I arrived at the police station.
Let’s just say that it isn’t easy to adjust to being a 4-year-old girl. Foremost, there is the height problem. I was only 40-inches tall, so the whole world looked like some funhouse room where everything was built to twice scale. You have trouble reaching things that were once easy, like countertops and door knobs. And then I was a girl. None of my memories from boyhood were of help. Take my planned escape.
“I have to go potty,” I said, figuring that’s how a little girl would say it. Once in the bathroom, I could slip out a window or something. But Janet took my hand and walked me into the ladies’ room, which being in a police station, had sealed windows. Deciding I better at least try to “go potty,” I looked around for urinals that weren’t there. Janet walked me into a stall, where I stood facing the huge-looking toilet. But as I lifted my skirt, I noticed I was wearing girl’s panties. Fortunately, Janet saw nothing strange. She just smiled and lifted me so I could sit on the porcelain fixture.
For the rest of the evening, I kept thinking to myself, “How would a preschool girl do it?” I’m sure I didn’t always succeed. One female officer was always correcting how I sat. “Little ladies don’t sit with their legs apart,” she said. She also tugged down my skirt a couple of times as I sat, admonishing me for “letting the boys get a peak at my panties.” Those complaints still haunt me today.
But I also began to accumulate knowledge of how to use my new appearance to my advantage. The college girl on whose genetic blueprint my current identity was built was “a real cutie,” so that made me a more-attractive-than-normal 4-year-old girl. And I quickly found that almost nobody wants to see a cute little girl unhappy. Pout and make sad puppy dog eyes, and they feel it is their duty to make you happy again. That got me a hot chocolate (I’d have preferred espresso) from a vending machine within minutes of my arrival at the station house. And when they give you something, you give them a big beaming smile. That is the reward they are seeking, and it reinforces their need to continue to make you happy.
Likewise, I found that people don’t like their little girls aggressive. They like them slightly shy. By playing tentative, they become convinced that you are a good girl who needs protection from the evils in the world. Again, this tactic helps you get things you want, and shields you from things you want to avoid.
Janet finally sat me in a chair by a large desk and introduced herself. I’ll admit that here, I behaved very much like a little girl without playacting, as I truly trembled in the spare, dank surroundings amid strangers.
Janet introduced herself as said, “I want to help you. Could you tell me your name?” Needing to come up with a girl’s name fast, I remembered the moniker Adler bestowed on me. “Quiana,” I replied. “Do you have a family name?” Janet asked again. “Just Quiana. I’m not sure,” I said, making sad eyes at Janet.
“Do you know where your mommy is?” Janet inquired. “I don’t have a mommy. She died last year,” I truthfully replied, not noting that my Mother was 78 at the time. “What about your father?” she added. “I never met him,” I replied, which also was true, as he died in the Army shortly after I was born. My solemn demeanor at this time must have seemed genuine, as the look on Janet’s face indicated that her heart was melting. This exchange also put me on track toward my current legal identity.
“Poor little girl,” I heard Janet tell her sergeant. “Her mother’s dead, never met her father. She’s had such a hard life. She’s such a sweet child. She deserves better than going into the foster care system.”
“Then why don’t you take her home? You sound like you’ve already fallen in love with her,” the sergeant replied. Imagine! Back in college, I couldn’t get the young ladies to fall in love with me. If only I knew that you had to be a cute little 4-year-old girl!
When Janet’s shift ended the next morning, she walked me to her car and drove me home, where she introduced me to her husband Andrew and 8-year-old son Tony. The former was easily won over by my preschool girlish charms, but Tony was less than elated to have a girl invading his turf. “We don’t need any girls around here,” Tony protested. I realized that I’d have to work harder at winning Tony’s friendship.
Janet took me to the guest bedroom and said it would be mine for the duration of my stay. To make me feel comfortable and wanted, Janet produced several dolls from the Barbie family, which she had received as gifts during her childhood, and had kept as a collection. “These belong to you now,” Janet assured me.
Realizing that little girls play with dolls, I picked up one and hugged it. I then turned to Janet and gushed, “I’ve haven’t been in a home like this in a long time. It’s so nice. I’d love to stay here for a long, long time.” Janet reacted by lovingly kissing me on the cheek. I was mastering the proper behavior!
Listening through the door, I heard Janet instruct Andy to help her acquire some clothing for little Quiana. She gushed at what a darling girl Quiana was, and if nobody claims her, she’d like to adopt her. Andy said, “We’ll see.”
Certain nobody would claim me, I decided to pursue this opportunity to establish a new legal identity, which would be useful in getting a passport. This would require that I continue to believably behave like a normal 4-year-old girl, as the truth of my real identity would be too hard for the Carsons to understand. But where to get the money needed to return to the Cayman Islands, where my bank records were stored?
I busied myself with Janet’s doll collection, thinking of ways a preschool girl could earn the price of an airline ticket. I became mesmerized with an unusual doll of Barbie’s little sister from the l970s called “Growing Up Skipper.”
As I trotted the doll across the bed, I noticed that by twisting the doll’s left arm clockwise, it grew taller and developed a set of doll-proportioned tits. Twisting the arm counter-clockwise, the doll reverted back to girl status. She in effect grew from age 10 to 16, then reduced back to 10. While dressed for 10, the doll developed a bare midriff when grown to 16. At 16, she could wear Barbie’s clothes, but her blouse bunched when taken back to 10 mode.
“You got the same problem I got,” I grumbled at Skipper at age 10. Then a thought emerged from the back of my head, one that would help me overcome my recent body alterations. “Why not?” I told myself.
by By Quiana Carson, as told (sort of) to ARthur
As I remembered, the Growing Up Skipper doll was a low seller back in the 1970s because mothers rejected the idea of buying their daughters doll clothes to fit both ages. As a result, not many were made. So shouldn’t there be a demand for this doll to a fanatical Barbie collector? I decided to check this further. But I would need some help in getting to the data I needed. But from whom? Why not Tony?
But Tony would prove a tough nut to crack. I heard him tell his friends he thought girls were “yucky” and “full of cooties.” Well, I had to begin somewhere.
Skipping up to Tony, and before his friends, I smiled and looked up at my future stepbrother and giggled, “Hi, Tony.” He reacted by pushing me aside. So I tagged along with him and his friends, and was repeatedly told to go home.
Being an investor who liked to use other people’s money, I had stamina, and knew how to wear down clients who would help finance my next venture. I kept after Tony, finally grabbing his hand, and asking him to come do something with “his little sister.” Perhaps egged on by the sarcastic laughs of his friends, Tony wrestled me to the ground and sat on me so I couldn’t move. This was highly embarrassing, as in high school I was on the state champion wrestling team.
Looking up at the annoyed face of Tony, I asked myself, what would a preschool girl do in a situation like this? The answer was obvious. “Auntie Janet,” I screamed as I began to cry. Janet stuck her head out the front door and yelled, “Tony! Stop that! Play nice with Quiana.” Tony got off me and behaved like a beaten dog. He went into a deep pout, not wanting to be nice to the cute little girl I was.
Chasing after Tony, I told him, “But I wanna like you.” Tony responded, “Go away!”
Reappearing at the front door, Janet told Tony to “Please help Quiana. Show her around the house and neighborhood.” Tony gave me the cook’s tour of the house, even the underutilized basement and the vacant shed in the yard that was supposed to house garden equipment. I was amazed at the amount of storage space I could appropriate for warehousing things.
After dinner that first day, I received shocking news. Being only 4-years-old, my bedtime was 8 p.m. A fine thing for somebody who used to close down the bars on Grand Cayman! Worse, Janet wanted to help get me ready. Pulling off my Hawaiian-shirt-turned-dress and panties, I was plunked into a bathtub filled with warm water and thoroughly scrubbed - and not a geisha in sight! After being toweled dry, I was dressed in a pink baby doll nightie; not silk pajamas, as was my preference. The final humiliation came when I was handed a stuffed rabbit toy, which I hugged for appearances, only to discover Andy taking photos.
I couldn’t wait to be kissed good night and tucked into bed!
The next morning, I awoke to Janet sitting on the edge of my bed, where she was opening packages. She offered me a choice of three character panties: Minnie Mouse, the Little Mermaid, or Mitzy hugging Pikachu. I never understood why parents bought decorated underwear for kids that would be hidden by their clothes. It apparently did something for the parents. In any event, I chose Pikachu, who was soon out of sight under green shorts and a matching shirt.
I used the early part of the day to redouble my efforts to win the trust of “older brother” Tony. Thinking that he may have a chivalrous nature, I asked him for help in get things off shelves, lift me onto my chair at breakfast, and even get me toothpaste from the medicine cabinet. I complimented Tony for being big, brave and other untruths. Eventually, Tony felt indispensable. I then asked if he would walk me to the library, something that would be dangerous and a bit suspicious at my current stature.
“But you aren’t old enough to read,” Tony sniffed. “But I can look at the pictures,” I retorted in a manner reminiscent of little sisters everywhere. Tony relented. I now had a near reliable escort and a cover for my data gathering exploits.
At the library, I needed to get Tony occupied so I could go off by myself. Recalling the posters of stock cars in his room, I directed him toward a picture book on the history of NASCAR racing so he wouldn’t bother me in my search for doll pricing information.
Using a chair for support, I pulled off a high shelf a coffee table book on Barbie collecting. In it, I quickly discovered that the “Growing Up Skipper” doll was a popular item among collectors, especially if it came with original box, and has the letters MA imprinted on the doll’s right shoe.
Back home, I was elated to find the important marking on the doll, and its dusty yet original box. As Andy was away from home, I used his computer to enter the eBay site and offer the doll for sale. In the interim, I applied for and acquired an account on an on-line banking web site. There were some stealthy actions in retrieving the application from the mail and signing it, but I succeeded. Mrs. Gordon, the neighbor lady who watched Tony and me during the day while Andy was at work and Janet slept after her night shift, was always busy watching her soaps instead.
Within two weeks, I sold the doll for $1,400. I used packing materials and postage acquired from other Internet sites and later paid for from the online banking account to ship it to the buyer. Even Tony helped drop it off at the post office, as he was more than happy to get some sissy doll out of the house.
Heartened that I made so much money from a single doll, I decided to investigate the collectibles market further. Additional trips to the library under Tony’s tentative escort uncovered enough information to convince me that there was lots of money to be made. I altered my plans to include a long-term stay with the Carsons. My little girl act, by now, had become second nature; although I admit that I had grown to love this family that wanted nothing more than to provide a family environment for a poor preschool girl.
After that, whenever Andy was out of the home, I used his computer to set up and check web sites where I offered fair prices for other collectibles like Beanie Babies, sports cards, and antique porcelain dolls. I would bargain with respondents to get the best price, then later advertise them on eBay and other auction sites where the fanatic collectors hang their electronic hats. My well-honed skills as a financial player paid great dividends in the negotiations, always enabling me to buy gems from uninformed owners and turn a quick profit from the fanatics.
I was soon receiving and sending packages daily. I kept the shippers’ visits to times when neither Janet nor Andy were scheduled to be home. But Tony proved a harder person to deceive.
Still a monstrous pest, Tony continued to pull rank on me, wrestling me to the lawn every chance he got. He also took things from me to keep out of my reach. And he eventually got suspicious of my shipping operation and threatened to tell Mom and Dad. But he was dealing with a shrewd person who once secured coffee import rights from Uganda by planting little favors in the right hands.
I treated Tony the same. He received from me what was to him the one favor worth not ratting on his “little sister” - the Dark Charizard from the first edition of English U.S.-distributed Pokemon cards.
“This thing is worth $600,” Tony screamed as his eyes bugged out. “Actually, $640,” I replied, without telling him I had 10 more in a shoebox under my bed. Tony not only stopped pestering me, he became extremely helpful after that day.
About this time, Janet tried some home schooling on me, hoping to give me a head start on first grade. She was surprised at how quickly I picked up reading and math skills, never realizing that she was the only home teacher whose student had already earned an MBA from Wharton.
Nearly a year to the day I was taken into the Carson household, Andy and Janet reported that the adoption application had been approved. I was now officially their daughter. I reacted by hugging my new parents and brother, and then gave them a surprise.
“I’d like to pay you back for everything you’ve done for me in the past year,” I said as a genuine tear of joy welled in one eye. “You’ve been the best mother,” I told Janet. “And while you’re the first father I’ve ever had, I can think of none better,” I told Andy. “I even adore my big brother,” I told Tony. “So I’d like you to have this.”
It was a cashier’s check for $10,000. Andy couldn’t move. But Janet asked, “Where would a little girl like you get such money?”
So I took the family step by step through the retail empire I built in collectibles out of my bedroom. I showed them the collectible cards in boxes under my bed, the crates of Beanie Babies in the basement where family members seldom went. I pointed out the various websites she built out of Andy’s computer. It was a lesson for everyone.
“And now that I’m an official member of this family, I want to share with everyone. We’ll all be equal partners,” I told them. Having been shown that a little girl had out-earned them in the past year, the two adults quit their day jobs and joined my little enterprise as full time employees.
After that day, on paper, Andy and Janet became president and vice president respectively of Quiana Enterprises Ltd. But in reality, I remained in control, with Andy functioning as the firm’s head bookkeeper and assisting in the sorting of acquisitions. Janet helped man the phones and maintain the websites, when she wasn’t engaged in security matters. Tony went to school days, but worked in packaging and delivery afternoons and weekends. And I continued as head negotiator and holder of the corporate pursestrings.
So that is my story of how a little girl, created by misbegotten science, overcame her limitations, used her head, and became a financial success. Long separated from my loved ones, I now live with a swell family who love me for being the little girl who entered their lives two years ago, not who I was. Not that I can ever go back to who I was. I understand all my belongings were disposed when I couldn’t pay rent on my Cayman Islands residence. The secret bank account numbers are lost forever. And so is that genetic changing machine. I heard through Janet that it was disassembled and shipped to parts unknown.
But am I happy? You bet I am. Can you tell me of another 6-year-old girl whose folks not only work for her, but also ask her for the keys to the Aspen chalet on weekends? And while Tony is still clueless about little sisters, I’ve taken the sting out of his admitting to his friends that he likes me. If he doesn’t, I deduct points from a scorecard that will determine if, in six years, his first car will be a Porsche.
Through it all, I haven’t changed one bit. I am still the same old financial wizard I always was. I still think as I always have. Except for one thing. I cannot explain why I suddenly find Tony’s friend Randy so attractive. I hope he’s not dating someone else!
Concluding her memoir, Quiana felt as if a millstone had been lifted from her chest, such as it was. Confession was good for the soul! She then heard her Mother outside her bedroom door, asking to come in. “Just a minute, Mom,” she said, as she pushed the file into delete.
After her Mother left, Quiana smiled. She enjoyed writing her memoir, but she realized that it could never be read by anyone. For the memoir to receive circulation (or be posted on some web site) would ruin her current life. She could lose her lucrative business and her ability to manipulate the collectibles market for her personal profit. And what would the Carsons think if they knew she was really an age-regressed transgendered fugitive financier? She would be forced her to flee or face prison time, for which Laird Adler was now an involuntarily stand-in. And where would her status as a little girl fit into all of this?
But the file is now deleted and will never to be seen again. “Back to business,” Quiana told herself.
“Hmmmm!” Quiana added. “What happened to that e-mail I was preparing. I was going to tell that ARthur person that the yellow-missing Steel E. Dan, a villainous cybernetic washing machine in the Catgirl Nikki game card series, couldn’t be had for less than $850.”