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Her boyfriend’s body

moon home

It was hard to get a picture that did it justice, but this was the moon I actually saw

It was some kind of moon that night.

Harvest? Blue? Blood?

What Summer did know was that it was bright as all hell, and it was casting a weird silvery glow over her boyfriend’s room and bed, on a night when she’d really prefer total darkness. Like, pitch-black-space-void darkness.

“You ok?” Ash asked her quietly. He was braced over her, in a stiff press up move. She could feel the mattress shifting as his thin arms trembled with the effort of holding himself up. His moon-washed face looked tight with concern.

“Yep,” she said. She glanced over at the window and wished that he had thicker curtains. She also wished that they could get this over with, so that she could get her usual boyfriend back. Usual Ash was chill and goofy and happy to wrap his arm around her while she dosed against his chest and he played some stupid game on his phone.

She couldn’t fault him though, for trying so hard. To make tonight special. To make this perfect. He’d even bought a candle to put by the bed. (Marshmallow Irish Cream.) She’d felt bad when she’d had to ask him to blow it out. But seriously, it was like having vapourised candyfloss shoved up her nose.

This was A LOT. For both of them.

“You ready?” he said. Why did he have to keep whispering, like he was in a church?

“Yep.” She should say something more. Something encouraging. “Let’s do this!” Her voice came out louder and peppier than she’d intended, like a starter’s gun. It was all this fucking pressure. Her first time. His first time. She wanted to skip straight to the third or fourth.

“You’re sure?”

She wanted to yell in his sweet face, but before she could…the moon went out, like someone had flicked a switch in the sky. The room plummeted into total darkness and Summer felt herself flipped, like a human pancake.

What the hell?

She could feel her palms pressing down on Ash’s mattress, and her arms shaking with tiredness.

“Oof,” she grunted as her arms gave way and she collapsed down on top of…..

WAIT? WHAT?

She could feel the skin of her chest pressed down on top of…soft breasts.

What the….? she threw herself quickly to the side, like she was throwing herself out of a moving car. She yelled, and the voice that came out of her mouth was way too low. It was Ash’s voice.

“Uhhhhh……Summer?” And that was her usual voice. Panicked and small in the dark, off to her right.

She froze. Then ran her hand down her chest. Not her chest! This was Ash’s chest. Flat. Bones under skin. No breasts. Just a nipple. Another nipple. “Ash?”

“Summer!” She felt the bed shift as he threw himself out.  “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. What is happening?”

She froze again, trying to make sense of something that…made…no….sense.

“Ok, Ash,” she said, in a low rumble. Her brain shorted. “I’m going to turn the lights on. OK?”

She swung her legs…whoa…out of the bed, and stood up dizzily. She felt the carpet under her bare feet, and flexed toes that felt looser and bigger than her own. She shuffled forwards in the dark, arms outstretched, like a zombie, feeling for the light switch by the door. With some stumbling, patting and swearing she finally located it, turned it on, and lit them up.

Well, fuck.

She saw herself. Her body. Stood across the room… by the side of Ash’s bed….screeching. Then snatching the duvet from the bed and scrabbling it around herself, in a makeshift cape.

Slowly, as though she were a rotating hunk of meat in a kebab shop, she turned in place, until she was facing the long mirror on the back of Ash’s bedroom door. A wodge of tops and hoodies hung from door hooks, covering the top half of the mirror.  But the bottom half of her body was on view. Naked Ash, from the waist down. She grabbed one of the hoodies off the hook, turned back into the room, and held it in front of her crotch.

Ash-in-her-body sat down abruptly on the bed.

She felt the urge to join him, and did so in a hunched rush, tying the hoodie around her waist, like an apron as she scuttled. She sat down on the bed, leaving a little space between them. Now what? What was there to say?

“I think we’ve switched bodies?” Ash said. It was so blood curdlingly disconcerting to hear her own voice quavering at her side.

“So it would seem,” she said. Pushed over Ash’s vocal cards, her words sounded even more forceful than usual, like she was making a blunt, army assessment of this whole shitshow.

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologise,” she snapped. “And don’t cry.”  She reached over with Ash’s hand and patted…well… his-her knee. Nothing was normal here. Seriously. WTF?

“Do you think God did it?”

“What?” Since when had Ash believed in God? In times of crisis apparently.

She stood up, strode over to the window and tugged one of the curtains back, then remembered that she was leaving Ash’s butt on show. She huffed and strode back to the door, trying to do right by him. She tied a second hoodie, the other way around. One in front. One in back now. A hoodie kilt. It was the best that she could do in this…state.

She rubbed his-her hand over his-her chin as she paced back to the window, feeling the startling abrasion of stubble against fingers. Sure, she’d felt his stubble before. BUT NOT LIKE THIS. Not on the face that she was actually wearing!  Like some freakish costume.

“What are we going to do?” Ash shrieked, making a scared damsel of her voice.

She yanked the other curtain back and pointed up at the dark night sky. “Maybe it’s some psycho magical eclipse? Google it, would you?”

Ash reached for his phone, from the bedside table. It was impossible not to watch the weirdness that was her body, sitting tensely on the bed, duvet draped over legs, bare from the waist up, curled forwards in fierce concentration. “Nope. Nothing listed.”

Summer stared up at the sky, accusation boiling in her blood. “Maybe we need to retrace our steps?”

“Like a re-enactment?” Ash offered shyly.

Summer sighed. That wouldn’t be awkward. Not at all! She went to pinch the bridge of her nose. It was all wrong. Fingers too big. She pinched downwards. Nose too long.

“I’ll keep looking?” Ash said meekly.

They both searched, on their phones, in silence.

At one point Ash asked, “Should we call someone?”

Like who?

Fire? Police? Ambulance?

No.

Ash’s parents were away for the night. But in the morning they’d be back, and what then? She’d have to go down to the kitchen, in Ash’s body. ‘Hello, I’m your son, but not really!’

“We should keep searching,” she grunted. But all she was pulling up were plots of body switch films, and shit articles about magical amulets. She found herself pacing, back to the window, peering through the curtains, up at the sky. Half the moon had re-emerged.

“Summer? What if we get stuck like this?”

She looked back at Ash-in-her-body. “Well…lucky you, you’ll get to play with my body all day.”

“I would never!”

“Relax!… You’ll also get to live with my parents…So there’s that.”

Ash-in-her-body groaned and then pitched face forwards into the covers. Well, that was helpful.

“Come on!” She made herself jump from side to side, and shake Ash’s long arms, like an athlete at the track. An athlete wearing two hoodies as a kilt, that swished around his bare legs. She looked down at them and felt the lurch of gravity. She wasn’t used to being this tall. She wasn’t used to any of this.

“Here’s what we’re going to do!” she said. This was the most commanding that Ash’s voice had ever sounded. “I’m going to turn the light off, and then we’re both going to get back into bed. And then we’re going to…. retrace our steps. And keep going if necessary.” Wow, her first time was going to be in her boyfriend’s body? “And maybe when the moon comes back out fully…” She gestured with his long arm.

“OK.” Ash-in-her-body said, face muffled by the duvet.

So that’s what they did. She removed the double hoodie kilt, and they lay naked, side by side. She’d try the press-up move in a minute, but for now she just reached over and found his-her hand and squeezed it.

“It’s not so bad,” she said. “We could have both turned into werewolves and ripped out each other’s throats.”

“That’s not funny, Summer.” But then she heard her usual raspy laugh, coming back at her. She elbowed him gently and then rolled towards him.

“Ow. Hey, you just elbowed me in the boob,” he said.

“Well, now you know what it feels like.”

Ash-in-her-body turned sideways, and did a squiggling closer move that ended up with his knee nudging her in the ballsack.

“Ow. Hey!” She laughed back at him, with Ash’s hiccupy laugh.

““Well, now you know what it feels like too.”

They both flopped onto their backs and laughed up at the ceiling, like the world was ending. And when they got their breath back Ash told her stupid jokes. And she scared him into squeals with tales of what he was going to have to face, as her, at her school, dressed up in her stupid uniform. They yelled and laughed themselves sick. And then fell asleep, hand in hand.

By the time that the moon finally got it together to separate from its cloud, Summer stirred and found herself wrapped back in Ash’s thin arms, her head on his flat chest, as he snored lightly. She felt down her ribcage, hips, thighs. She was Summer.

She patted lightly down to his waist, his bony hip. He was Ash.

She felt sleep pulling her back under, but as she fell into its drift she murmured, “We kind of did it…?”

Week 31

So, a couple of things happened. I wanted to write a body switch story. And then I saw this moon on my drive home from the station. (It was way bigger and brighter seen through my eye-cameras.)

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