Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Swap and Run
The man you see on the left is named Louis Beringer. A mild mannered accountant who is having a bad day. The man on the right is Jared Smith. And my name is unimportant. But you can just call me Jeannie.
Years ago, when I was human, Louis proved himself to be one of the most decent human beings I will ever meet. He provided me with a place to stay when my parents threw me out of the house for being a lesbian. He gave me money, he gave me friendship, and he never asked anything of me in return. We were very good friends. Although I later was able to pay him back, my life came to an abrupt change when I entered a new line of work. Being a Fate. I impressed a couple of immortals and the story is too long to go into. Sufficed to say, I am a decider of Fate. I go through the world unseen except when I want. I reward and I take it back. I investigate everyone's lives and can see the details as much as I want. I have the keys to your life and if I so choose, well, let's just say payback's a switch. ;)
On this particular day, Louis has been let go of his job. He's a little bit down. Well, a lot down. His partner left him months ago for a much younger man. A younger man he dated briefly took everything from him. A con man. He is out of shape and depressed. Quite frankly, I have to intervene. How could I not?
Now, the man on the right...he is another story entirely. He's done a lot of bad things to people. He goes through women and uses them for sex and lies to them to get money. Do you get where I'm going with this? I like irony. He parties too much. He steals left and right. He has a father who is a police sergeant. Daddy's never going to let him go to prison and there have been quite a few close calls. He's bad but not bad enough and with a rap sheet to have it punish him for the rest of his life. But in noticing the way he treats people, well, he is simply awful. Racist, homophobic, does not have empathy for anyone but himself. Well, sometimes you reach an age where you can't coast by on your looks anymore. And that day is coming sooner than later...
Louis walked down the street dejectedly, thinking awful thoughts of what he would do when he got home. He had no job. He had no partner. A younger man he'd dated briefly cleaned out his bank account and the police couldn't find him anywhere. How could there be people in the world that could be so callous? Suddenly there was a familiar face by his side.
"I haven't seen you in years! No one has heard from you! Where have you been?"
She put a hand lightly on his cheek. "I've had to drop off the radar map for a while. But it was necessary. I've been doing important work."
"Geez. It's good to see a friendly face, at least."
"Louis, I have always wanted to give you the life I thought you deserved. Just think of this as my going away present. I love you. Be happy." And with that she disappeared into the crowd.
Louis wanted to follow her but found he couldn't.
"Hey outta the way buddy! Heads up!" A jogger ran by, and suddenly Louis was dizzy. The jogger stopped too and bent over, the same as him.
Louis got up and felt himself panting, and covered in sweat. The breeze went through his bare legs. He tensed his muscles, taut beyond what he'd felt in years. He caught his reflection in the window. And gasped.
"Hey. HEY! What the HELL? What the HELL IS GOING ON?"
He found himself staring at himself, looking disturbed and then angry. "You're me!"
"And you're me," he said, with a slight smile.
"Run. Run. RUN!" a voice spoke into his mind.
And he ran. His old body couldn't keep up, and boy did he ever yell.
"You'll outrun him soon enough, my dear. And your new info is in your wallet."
"But won't he try and track me down? What am I saying? I'm acting like taking someone's body is normal!" The young man stopped with no sign of his older body in sight. He'd ducked into an alleyway to have a conversation with himself.
"Everything was prepared in advance. I'll have a word with him so he doesn't bother you. You have a fresh start, kiddo. Enjoy the ride. I love you..."
And with that, he was twenty years younger, in a handsome, fit body and a great new job working for a well off uncle, and the knowledge on how to do his new job filled his mind.
He smiled, and ran all the way to his new apartment, so he could try out this new body in all of its novelties.
Meanwhile, the original Jared Smith is now finding out just how unimpressive he is. No one will let him sweet talk him and he will have to learn to treat people with respect for once. What can I say? I'm good at what I do, and I love my work. Fate is a fun business. Maybe I'll tell you other stories sometime...stay tuned.