Feeling Much Better
In the span of a breath, everything changed. It went from bad, to worse.
It was a fitting end to a truly sucky day for Andromeda Song. It started when she called her mom from her dorm room. The phone was disconnected. Fearing the worst for her elderly mother, she sped home to Eugene. Her mom was fine, but still a little shook up since the Triad gang had moved into the neighborhood. Wu Pong’s charge for “protection” of the corner grocery had nearly cleaned her mother out.
That’s when she learned her dog, Poo, had died, and when she caught a virus on her cell phone. Feeling a little shell-shocked, she drove to the Forest for a hike and time to think. A few miles from her car, it started raining, and then she realized her bottle of anti-psychotic medicine had spilled into her pocket. The rain had soaked through her jeans and turned the tablets into watery mud. Sitting on a twisted tree in the middle of dead weeds, the slightly-dumpy engineering student wondered how things could ever get worse.
That’s when she saw the meteor headed straight for her.
“Ah, shit,” she muttered, and everything exploded.
The first thing she remembered was two weasel-like faces, wearing surgeon’s masks and looking down at her. “It’s alright,” said one. “You’ll be feeling much better soon.”
“Right,” winced Andromeda.
Above the hallucinatory otters, she saw her reflection in a mirror. Most of her torso was gone, and one arm remained attached. A mechanical hand was squeezing her heart to keep it beating, as it partially hung out of her chest. Andromeda screamed.
She awoke again, laying upon the soft needles beneath a pine tree. She felt refreshed, feeling really good. Remembering the dream suddenly, she patted her hands down her torso and legs. She sighed. Everything was still there. Upon closer inspection she noticed her clothes were different, not even hers, but that wasn’t the worst of it.
It wasn’t her body!
Panicking, she stood up quickly, and brushed at the strange flesh in an instinctive desire to wipe it off. It stayed put though, and after a few minutes of terror, she began to calm. The new body was kinda nice, actually. Athletic and lean, she felt stronger than before. She gave a pleased squeal just before a voice in her head said, “You’re awake. Good. Look, we’re awfully sorry about the landing. To make it up to you we’ve fixed some…”
“Voices? Again?” groaned Andromeda. “I need my pills.” She looked at her spandex tights fitting smoothly over her new, lean hip. “Nice hallucinations for once, though.”
“Uh, we fixed that.”
“Not the voices, apparently,” she quipped.
“Andie, oh voice in my head.”
“Andie. The voices are fixed too. This one’s real.”
“Continuing on,” groaned the voice. “Your body was heavily damaged during our landing. You almost died, but we’ve made repairs we think you’ll appreciate. Let us explain.”
Over the next few hours, the explanations got weirder, and the demonstrations, mind-boggling. Mostly, this only convinced Andie that she was definitely hallucinating, but at the same time, it didn’t feel like a hallucination. She spent the night in the woods, the alien voice droning on in detail about her new abilities. She slept soundly, thinking her hallucination was the nicest one yet. In the morning, she still had a new body, and she had ideas about how to correct her sucky day.
Andie knew she looked terrific in a pencil-skirt and heels. When the Triad Lieutenant, Wu Pong, and friends entered her mom’s store, he whistled his appreciation.
“Hey sweetness,” he leered. “Whatchoo doin’?”
“Telling you to leave my mom’s store, and never return. EVER.”
“Is that right?” Tattoos quivered over his muscled arms.
“If I don’t?” he sneered.
Andie’s bones were now stronger than titanium, and her slender arms twenty-times stronger than a weightlifter’s. Wu never saw Andie’s uppercut coming. He died in the milliseconds after her fist shattered his jaw, pulverized his palette, and exited through the top of his skull. Wu’s body swung grotesquely from his broken neck. His companions scattered in terror.
“Andie?” called her mom from the back.
“Thanks for getting the phone back on. I got your message about having some bodywork done. Good massage? Feeling better now?”
Andie looked at the tattooed body of the once deadly, Wu Pong, dangling from her arm.
“Yeah, Mom. Feeling much better!”
This week at the Speakeasy, the FIRST line of the story, in answer to the writing challenge must be, “In the span of a breath, everything changed.” The media portion of the prompt can be found below. I struggled with this prompt. My problem wasn’t the lack of ideas, but far too many of them. About the only thing they had in common was the ending. I hope you enjoyed. Look here for more stories in answer to the prompts: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/fiction-writing-challenge-181-open/