A man finds a locket and opens up to new possibilities
| (This is an homage to the stories "Parallel Lives" on Fictionmania and its brethren on Tgstorytime. I decided I wanted to take a different spin on it and made some changes so while it is basically along the same lines, there will be a change or three. Please read those stories if you can, they are good!)
I hated cleaning.
Let me rephrase, the idea of cleaning is a good one and can be very therapeutic. In the best of times, the sheer energy that one exerts while cleaning can breathe in new life into a weary body and the resulting clean, empty space could serve as a spark to rejuvenate an otherwise trapped soul.
The act of cleaning, however, can go f-itself.
After spending the first three hours on cleaning and shifting boxes in the attic, all I had to prove that such work happened was a sore back, a thoroughly soaked and slightly rancid shirt, and traces of dirt I was sure would never come out. Boxes were carefully marked and placed in one stack or another but there was no semblance to order or even a rhyme or reason to them and their placement. My marching orders from the morning had been to "try and get through as much junk as possible". Collapsing against an old antique vanity, I wondered half-heartedly if I wouldn't be better served just taking a torch to the house and calling it good.
Amanda, my lovely wife, was downstairs sorting through some of the boxes that I had carried down earlier in the day. She took a lot of simplistic joy out of doing such things like that, the idea of being able to take time and relax was a major godsend for her, especially considering the frantic nature of her job as a trauma nurse kept her going at all sorts of hours. Thinking back, I didn't really remember when we had managed to take a sustained holiday where it was just the two of us. At least not in the past 3 years.
'Not that it's any consolation to you...' I thought bitterly to myself more as a worked a kink from my shoulder. I was unemployed, the victim of a random string of downsizing that saw my job as a middle manager of a successful aluminum trading company division suddenly going swiftly north of the border and everyone, every single one of the fifty people in the office, suddenly becoming out of work within the week. Not even the 3-month severance pay would help lessen the blow that came from the loss of the paycheck.
Still, as I moved several more boxes off from the dusty shelf, things could've been worse. The house we were living in was paid for outright and I had successful investments that provided a steady, if not small, stream of income that helped supplement Amanda's earnings. That didn't stop her from having to work many more hours, though, and I did as much as possible around the house to help alleviate the burden on her.
A few more moments of inhaling decades of dust and I was sure I wouldn't need to worry about cremation, I'd be full of enough ash and soot. Maybe I could sell myself as the next mummy? All these ideas randomly popped into my head as my eyes fell upon a small dusty piece of jewelry that was poking out of one of the boxes. Picking it up, I noticed that there was a bit of wax that sealed one of the sides, probably from the candles that were also in the box alongside it. It was old, that was sure, but the shine was dull, and it was well past the point where any value could be gained from it.
'This is odd...' I thought, turning it over in my hands a few times before I decided to spend a few moments toying with the locket. It was already half past 4 and, from the smells coming up from downstairs, Amanda had moved on from the boxes for the day and was working on dinner. Leaning against the dresser, I picked at the wax coating until the brittle substance flaked off and the locket popped open.
Inside was a small black and white picture of a woman, maybe in her late 20s, but the style of her hair was old fashioned. She had nice eyes and the smile she had was both cute and alluring at the same time. Even though the picture was black and white, I could tell that her skin tone, though she was African-American, was on the lighter side of the color spectrum. All in all, it was a nice picture.
Figuring that it could go to the pile of things we were donating to the Salvation Army later in the week, I thought nothing of it and closed the locket. As soon as it closed, a short wave washed over me and caused me to stagger. It lasted only for a moment or two but even so, I caught myself against the bench I had managed to dig up from beneath the boxes.
"Woah, guess I was a bit more winded than I thought..."
As soon as the words came out of my mouth, my eyes went wide, and I immediately raised my hands to my lips. That. Was. Not. My. Voice.
Ever have a moment when you don't believe anything you are feeling, seeing, or hearing? I hadn't until that point. But everything about my body was off. I could tell from the way that I stood that something was off. For one, I was shorter. I usually towered over things at 6'5". Now, looking at the same vanity that I had an inch over, I was looking upwards at the top. Looking down at my hand, I noticed its slender shape and the nails that adorned each fingertip. Even then, the color of the skin was different. I was white, Norwegian blood made sure of it, so the fact that I now had a mocha color hue made it even more shocking.
The vanity had a mirror and I immediately looked at it. The African-American face looking back at me betrayed the shock and confusion of what was going on. Her chest was amply swelled, covered by the thin blouse she was wearing but the sheer amount of body contained caused it to comically tent out. Even the jeans she was wearing looked almost painted on, with the curves that almost threatened to bust the poor material at the seams.
Everything my mind was processing wanted to refuse what was plainly in front of it. There was no denying that this was now me...but how? My hands roamed over the changed form my physical being had taken on and each time my fingers pressed against my face, then neck, arms, waist...I felt it. There was no way this was all in my head. "B-But how...?" I whispered, hearing the soft melodic tone of my voice, my new voice, which both came out as a whisper and as if I had a megaphone right next to my ears.
"The locket?" I looked down at it and reopened it. Inside, where the woman's face was, I could see my picture. My male picture, in black and white, stared back at me with a simple, nae smile. I pawed at it for a few moments, somehow wondering how the hell it had gotten in there, but then with a whispered prayer, I closed it. Almost immediately the same feeling washed over me and when I reopened my eyes, my body had reverted to normal.
My mind was still pondering what had happened that afternoon as I watched my wife drive off.
My body had changed back and I immediately, for some reason, had not put the locket away or in one of the donation boxes. For the life of me, I couldn't explain why I didn't just give it away and let it be someone else's problem, or discovery if that so be the case, but I soon found myself putting the locket inside a small box of goods I would sort through later. Amanda had her own pile of stuff she had set aside early on in our cleaning before she declared the dust too hazardous to her health. If she only knew...
I had clamored down the stairs with three boxes and placed it down next to the rest of the things we were going to sort, and she poked her head out of the kitchen. "Found anything worthwhile?"
I paused for a moment and was tempted to show her the locket and tell her about things but there was just too much unknown about it for me to make any sense if I had. "Nope...nothing, sorry..."
She smiled at the sight of three boxes on the floor. "Aww honey, you find me the best junk..." and turned back to dinner.
Come Monday, as her car disappeared, I took a deep breath and walked back to our main bedroom and closed the door, followed by the blinds and then, for extra measure, flipped down our laptop screen and closed the computer. The idea of secrecy was a bit much, but I didn't want any sort of questions to arise from my explorations and I planned on taking a better look at myself and what happened, especially if the changes were as radical as I believed them to be.
Earlier in the morning, I had brought my box from the attic with the pretense of going through to sort and get rid of stuff and made sure that I had the locket inside. With all need of pretense no longer necessary, I took out the locket and opened it.
I didn't know what to really expect when I looked at the picture again but this time, instead of a black and white photo, the picture was a full color shot. Looking back at me was the woman's smiling face, her teeth white and hair done in a more modern style than the old beehive from the past. It was still a bit disconcerting that the picture had managed to change but instead of getting bogged down in it, I merely accepted what was there and, taking a deep breath again, closed the locket shut.
The wave washed over me quickly and when I opened my eyes, I noticed that I was still a bit disoriented, but the sensations weren't as pronounced as they were initially. Luckily, I had moved the mirror in the room that Amanda often used for getting dressed towards the side of the bed where I was standing next to and I turned to look at myself.
Deciding that I had to get it out of my system, I took a moment to slip out of the knit-sweater I was suddenly wearing, taking a good notice of the way my chest lifted and bounced as the fabric slid up over them and then through my hair before it fell off onto the floor. Not wanting to get distracted any further, I stripped off the pair of jeans I was wearing, and it joined the blouse I managed to get off too.
Now, I had been something of a player in college before I met Amanda and I had my fair share of memories on what a woman looks like...but never did I think that I would have such an in-person perspective. I wasn't model-like, no one would make that call anywhere, but the woman looking back at me was very sensual in her own right. Long black hair that went down to her waist, flowing over a slim figure and resting firmly on one of the hottest asses I had ever had the privilege to touch and grasp. Even the fact that I was wearing red silk lingerie didn't detract from the few minutes I spent (okay, maybe more than a few minutes) turning which ever angle to get the best glance at the package contained in them.
I suppose that any red-blooded man, finding himself suddenly thrust into a hot nubile young woman would do a lot of deviant things...and the temptation was there...but I somehow managed to digress and focused more on the experience of being a woman. Getting dressed was a challenge and after spending a few moments fixing myself in the mirror, I set off to do some things. Mostly chores around the house, spent some time reading through Amanda's magazines, and even had the opportunity to go to the restroom (the details of which I will spare you.) By the time I noticed it was 5:00, I had spent the entire day as this person. Opening and closing the locket, reverting to my regular self, only made it that much more firmly entrenched in my mind the fact that this was something I was NOT going to give away. I couldn't wait until my next chance to use it again.