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Thursday, July 11, 2024

Talented Young Apprentice

“Well, this is very unusual,” The old man mused, “Not only did you find my shoppe again, but you are here to thank me for your purchase? And yet you seem to lucid and aware of everything that happened to you? Were you not bothered by transforming into a woman?”

Jason shrugged, “Why would I be? There’s nothing wrong with being a woman; I quite prefer it. And unlike most of your customers, I actually sought you out. The reputation of Spell’R’Us is legendary. But the really big difference is that I’m not some novice. I may have hidden it from you when we first met, but magic practically runs in my blood. I could simply split the elements of the magic apart -- let myself become female without also becoming some dumb bimbo.”

“But...the magic cannot be destroyed. The bimbo part -- the stupidity -- it had to go somewhere.”

“Oh, it did. And I’m sure you might be feeling a little less...sharp? It’s not usual for someone even a fraction of your age. What are you now? A thousand? Two? A little dimentia is probably long overdue...”

“Why you little, cun---”

“Talented young apprentice? I surely am. And I will happily assist you in your shop as your mind slowly fades from you, and take it over when you retire, which you should consider sooner rather than later, to enjoy the time you have left...”

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

The S Constant

“In the four years since the Great Shift, we’ve done tremendous research on the event,” Professor Gerald Watts, the country's preeminent mathematician on the matter, lectured in front of his college class, “We haven’t been able to figure out exactly why it happened or how to swap anyone back, but we can predict with 95% present accuracy which body someone would swap into.

“For instance,” He continued pointing to a student in the third row, “Why did I swap into the body of the young woman sitting in that seat right there? Why didn’t she swap into my 60 year old body? Instead, an athlete from the football team sitting way in the back did. It seems to be a function of what we’re calling the S constant. But a lot of variables act on the S constant, and certain factors act upon it, including distance, neuron function, and environmental factors. I’ll get into the details in the next few classes, but I will share the wildest spoiler for all this: We may be due for a second Shift some time in the future. We don’t know when yet though. It may be five years from now, or it may be in five million...”

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

The Long Road into Town (Part 3)

Part 1 of The Long Road into Town.
Part 2 of The Long Road into Town.

By the time Barney arrived, morning had broken. He walked into the diner on the edge of town in a distressed state.

“Someone get this girl some coffee and some hotcakes,” The waitress shouted as she ushed Barney to a seat and put a cup of coffee in front of him.

“I don’t have any money on me,” Barney replied.

“It’s on me, Hon. I don’t know what you went through last night, but it looks like hell. You deserve it.”

“There was a fire, and I can’t find someone.”

“County got that forest fire under control,” A trucker at a neighboring table interjected, “Heard it on the scanner. Also heard about a guy they found being sent to the hospital. Could be him? Your dad or something?”

“I’m not that old.” Barney realized his mistake, “I mean, he’s not that much older than me. About five years or so.”

“Well, after your done here, I’ll drive you over, and you can go see. Might want to get yourself checked out as well. My name’s Fred, by the way.”

“I’m B-Bar-,” Barney realized he was about to mess up again,”I’m Joanne.” Hearing himself say it aloud still felt so unreal, so he said it again but slightly softer, “I’m Joanne.”

Monday, July 8, 2024

Defensive Driving

It was quite difficult for Dustin to process what happen when the Great Shift blinded him with a flash of light. He suddenly saw two manicured hands with skin much darker than his own grasping the steering wheel of a car. He could barely process how different they were from his own as he dodged chaotic traffic. His heeled feet weren’t quite hitting the pedals as he expected, and the bare legs beneath a short leather skirt were a distraction as well. He didn’t avoid a crash, but his evasiveness made it much less worse than it could have been. He got out in one piece, and was finally able to assess his new body -- young, female, Black. The driver he hit didn’t even get out of their car. They just backup up, pulled around, and continued on. He could only assume they were swapped into a new body as well. Maybe they thought it was all a dream with no consequences; maybe they hated their new body and had a death wish; maybe they were just in a hurry to find their original body. Dustin wasn’t going to be so hasty.

It was quite difficult for Dustin to process what happen when the Great Shift blinded him with a flash of light. He suddenly saw two manicured hands with skin much darker than his own grasping the steering wheel of a car. He could barely process how different they were from his own as he dodged chaotic traffic. His heeled feet weren’t quite hitting the pedals as he expected, and the bare legs beneath a short leather skirt were a distraction as well.

He didn’t avoid a crash, but his evasiveness made it much less worse than it could have been. He got out in one piece, and was finally able to assess his new body -- young, female, Black. The driver he hit didn’t even get out of their car. They just backup up, pulled around, and continued on. He could only assume they were swapped into a new body as well. Maybe they thought it was all a dream with no consequences; maybe they hated their new body and had a death wish; maybe they were just in a hurry to find their original body. Dustin wasn’t going to be so hasty.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Vacancy

Kiara had been doing yoga in the park and the cooldown always involved a brief period of meditation. As she closed her eyes to focus, she was genuinely surprised by the pure bliss she felt; it soon seemed like she was floating above her own body. However, she couldn’t seem to end the experience. She was like a spirit, and something was preventing her from returning to her own body. Then she watched as her own body stand up and put on her coat.

“What the hell is going on here?” Kiara shouted.

“You should be more careful leaving your belongings unattended,” Her body replied.

“What are you talking about? I was doing yoga.”

“No, you were having an out-of-body experience, essentially your body had a vacancy for any passing spirits.”

“Give it back!”

“Sorry, but finders keepers. It’s not like you often find a spare unused body just lying about without a soul all that often. Being a woman should be interesting, too! It’s not like I would’ve picked changing genders, but -- like I said -- I couldn’t be picky.”

“Well, since you can hear me in this weird spirit form, I’ll just follow you and annoy you until you give it back!”

“Oh, that’s temporary. I can hear you now because of the recent connection, but soon you’ll fade and then you’ll be the one spending decade floating around trying to find someone else dumb enough to separate their soul from their body. Good luck!”

Saturday, July 6, 2024

A Whole New Level of Crazy

The trailer park where I lived was probably a living stereotype of the types of people you’d expect to meet in a trailer park. My neighbor would often sit outside on a weathered couch drinking a beer. He’d usually bring out a portable TV to watch conservative news shows for the seemingly sole purpose of having something he could be outraged about while watching.

After the Great Shift, I thought he’d find some sort of new understanding now that he was in the body of a Black woman, but he was still the same asshole he always was brought to a whole new level of crazy.

“The Great Shift was a damned hoax,” I heard him shouting one day, “It’s just some sort of deep state psy-op causing you THINK you’re someone else so they can push their woke diversity agenda.”

I heard glass smash. I wasn’t sure if he dropped his beer or threw it. “Tr*mp’s gonna fix it all! We’ll wake up on January 21st and be back in our bodies, because it’s all a lie. I’m not a woman! I’m not!”

Friday, July 5, 2024

The Domes

Brian looked at the odd chair at the end of the row in the waiting area. As he sat down, the seat automatically reclined while putting his feet up. A dome lowered over his head; it felt warm and soothing; it began to play gentle music. Brian felt at peace, and he was pretty sure he could get used to this sort of amenity.

He was rudely taken out of the experience by someone shaking him roughly and pulling up the dome.

“What the hell, man?” He asked before looking at the face of the person who had taken him out of the experience. It was his own face. He asked again, “What the hell? Who are you?”

“Well, I’m guessing I’m you,” His body replied, “And you’re me.”

“I’m what now?” Brain was still a little steeped in bliss from the dome. It was difficult for him to acknowledge he was now in a body that wasn’t his own, but it was slowly sinking in.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Mutually Beneficial

Angela and Marc became friends on their first day at college. Angela cried on Marc’s shoulder when her long distance high school boyfriend dumped her. Marc confided in Angela that he was closeted and gay. For a time, Angela agreed to be Marc’s beard in a mutually beneficial relationship.

By the time senior year rolled around, Angela was angered by how all the internships she had treated the men better than her; Marc confessed that he was actually trans. Angela hatched a plan.

She spent a few late nights studying in the Physics Building. After about a week, no one even blinked when she was the last one there. Then she let Marc in through a back exit, and the two snuck down in to the basement lab. The two helmets on the body swap machine were dusty and mothballed. It had been abandoned due to “ethical concerns” but not demolished. They both hoped it still worked.

The next day, Angela and Marc saw each other and smiled.

“It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of,” Marc said with a smile from Angela’s body, “I’ve been loving every second since last night.”

Angela returned the smile, “It’s going to take some getting used to, but I’m sure it will be worth it. I already feel people look up to more as a male.”

“That’s just because my old body is taller!” Marc joked before assuring Angela that the bias was real.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Spells 'R Us 2.0 (Part 3)

View Part 1 of Spells R Us 2.0.
View Part 2 of Spells R Us 2.0.

For a while, Connor called the store every day to see if the tablet was back in stock. Then he shifted to about once a week. After a while, it seemed like the store wasn’t even picking up the phone anymore. Finally, one day he called and an automated voice said the number was not in service.

Connor got on the bus and headed to the mall. The electronics store was gone. It was like it never existed. He tried to go to a different store, thinking he might be able to buy the tablet elsewhere. That’s when things got really weird. The other stores hadn’t even heard abotu the tablet before; it was like he had made it all up in his head.

Yet Connor knew that tablet existed; he was sure it’s what caused him to be in this body. He once again fond himself walking the mall to think about it. Walking was much harder this time.

While Elena had filled him in on a lot, she had no way to know she was pregnany when they swapped. And Connor didn’t even realize he was missing periods. By the time he knew, it was much too late to do anyting about. Elena’s parents yelled at him; they talked about a boyfriend Connor had never met. Connor guessed Elena had broken up with him not long before the swap. He couldn’t believe he was likely stuck like this for the rest of his life! He was now Elena, and there was nothing he could do about it.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Playing Death

The withered skeleton known as Death looked down at the board. It was the first time he had lost a game in over a hundred years, and the first time ever he had lost two. Losing the first game meant that Death would have to grant this man’s life back. Of course, after the second game, calling him a “man” no longer seemed fitting, as he gained the ability to come back to life in perfect health as any recently deceased person. Death was surprised by the man’s selection of an attractive female.

But now the third game was on the line, and Death knew he couldn’t lose. The man was asking to stay alive forever, and Death knew the man had miscalculated. Being alive forever was not the same thing as staying young forever. The man’s newfound beauty would fade, and his body would still inevitably decay. It was the same deal Death had negotiated back when he was a mortal.

If this man won, Death knew it was only a matter of time until he’d have a replacement. He even thought about throwing the match to guarantee it, but it just wasn’t in Death’s nature. No, he knew he was going to try to win, but he was sincerely hoping he wouldn’t.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Working in Mysterious Ways

George was at home alone on a Saturday afternoon and feeling quite miserable as he thought about his life. Since turning 40 a few years ago, his life seemed to be in a downward spiral. He was always gaining weight, his wife had left him, and just this week he had lost his job.

As he thought about wishing how things could be different, the doorbell rang. He opened the door to find a young woman holding the Bible and blathering on about Jesus before George even had time to say hello.

It wasn’t what he wanted to hear right now, and just about as he was about to tell her to leave, a flash of light washed over them both. In the next instant, he noticed he was standing out, and (in a way) he got his wish. Things were certainly now very different since he had swapped bodies with the woman who had came to his door.

With a smile on his face, he turned and bolted out of there as fast as he could. Whatever gave him this chance, he didn’t want to lose it. The woman now in his body started yelling angrily.

George couldn’t think of any sort of response aside from shouting, “I guess it’s just the Lord working in mysterious ways!”