I’ve had this story idea in my head for a very long time, but never really figured out how to write it because of its premise is a bit unique. But I finally decided to tackle it today for my Patreon students and readers till I found my way through it. I think it works, Read it and tell me what you think.
Just to give you some background here, this is one of the stories set in the Edge of the Universe Series about a programmer called Jenny who has been working on a top-secret army project to create clones. After a series of problems and losing the love of her life in the process, Jenny discovers a way to transfer people’s minds from one body to another. General Bart hijacks her project though and this story is where we end up.
The smoke still wafted from the barrel of the gun in his hands. The sound of the shot hadn’t yet reached her ears. Maybe it was the shock of getting shot that blocked out the sound.
Jenny looked down at the small hole in her shirt. Quickly turning red as the life-giving fluid seeped from her body. She reached down and touched it lightly. Still not feeling anything. Surreal. Almost as if she were in a dream.
She looked back up into the eyes of General Bart, now using President Kent’s body. She cocked her head to the side. His lips were moving, but Jenny couldn’t hear the words coming out of his mouth.
It sounded like he was saying, “What goes around, comes around.”
Jenny had tried to shoot him earlier. Though she had missed. She looked back down at the wound in her side. Well, in General Bart’s side since she was using his body.
The pain exploded in her side as she pressed her finger into the bullet hole to staunch the bleeding. The shock was wearing off and her senses were returning.
Jenny screamed in anger and frustration at the sudden turn of events. This hadn’t gone down at all like she had expected after losing the element of surprise.
Her voice came out all wrong. Thick and deep. Then she remembered that it wasn’t her voice. Jenny was no longer in her own body. Her body lay back in the warehouse lab.
General Bart had used her project to hijack the president’s body and then locked her up till he needed her again. She had transferred herself into General Bart’s body to escape and hunt the man down.
And now, she had been shot. Jenny would die. General Bart would get to rule the country in the president’s body that he had hijacked. And no one would be the wiser. And it would all be her fault.
Jenny looked up into the barrel of the gun and knew she had to do something fast. She analyzed the railing over the balcony just behind the General. Three stories up.
It would be painful. But as long as she didn’t die in the fall she might be able to pull this off. It was her only choice. If she tried to transfer out now, he would simply call one of the soldiers back at the warehouse to locate her original body and put her down.
Jenny raised her hand in front of the gun as if trying to say something and slowly stood up. The general took a step back and relaxed his stance as he waited.
He grinned that same stupid, arrogant grin that she hated — gloating that he had had the upper hand the entire time.
But as soon as she had risen to her feet, Jenny threw herself at him. The General’s original body that she was now in was almost twice the size of the president’s body that Bart now possessed.
Jenny hit him hard, and it wasn’t even much of a struggle to push him over the railing.
They both fell through the air. A quick, short free fall three stories down.
Jenny relaxed her body and tried to land upright to take the fall on her legs with a roll to the side to protect her head like she had learned to do in her parkour training classes.
But it didn’t do much good. Jenny’s legs snapped under her before she could get the roll in. Her body basically just flopped to the side. But she was alive, and that was all that mattered.
General Bart lay there unconscious. Jenny just needed a way to contact Al for him to pull her out of the General’s broken body. She half-rolled and half-dragged herself over to paw through his pockets for his cell.
It wasn’t in his pants pockets. Her heart froze for an instant. But she continued searching and felt it in the inside pocket of his coat. She sighed in relief and tugged it out. But when she looked at it, the screen was blank.
Jenny groaned as she tried to turn it back on. It took a few seconds to respond, but the screen finally lit up. She sighed in relief.
The General came to and lay there stunned for a brief second before he let out a spew of curses between the screams of pain and anger. Jenny dialed the number and hit the call button as she rolled away from him.
“Yeah, it’s me. Get me out of here. And put the General back where he belongs.”
General Bart froze for an instant as he realized what she was doing.
“No, leave the president where he is. His body is too far gone. We’ll have to make him a clone.”
“You can’t do that too me,” the General screamed at her. “You can’t put me back in that body. My legs are broken. I’ve been shot.”
Jenny grinned painfully, “You should have thought of that before shooting me. Well, I mean yourself. Or whoever this body belongs to. This is so confusing.”
She closed her eyes and waited for Al to complete the transfer. Jenny grinned at the thought of General Bart waking back up in his own body. The one she had been using.
Jenny started to laugh, but it hurt too much.
“What’s so funny,” he growled.
“Karma, baby. You reap what you sow. Literally, because you shot yourself. How’s that for a taste of your own medicine.”
She felt a strange numbness wash over her. Jenny wasn’t sure if this was from the transfer back to her original self or the sensation of death sweeping over the body she was now in.
“What goes, comes around,” she murmured as she drifted off into the darkness that washed over her.
Thank you for reading this short story. I really appreciate it because they mean a lot to me. They are part of a series of books that I’ve been working on called Edge of the Universe. The main story revolves around a naive Brazilian scientist.
Art develops technology that can splice DNA among living organisms. He hopes to solve major problems like world hunger and curing all diseases. But evil corporations want to get their hands on his project. The first book in the series is called ‘Rise’. You can download and read book 1 on Amazon for FREE >>
P.S. I write these stories for my English students, so if you are learning English as a Second language and have questions about any vocabulary words or their pronunciations, feel free to ask in the comments below.
Art pulled into the driveway in his Beamer. He waited for the garage door to open and then pulled in. He shut off the engine and waited for the top of the convertible to close. When it finished, he opened the door and got out. He grabbed his briefcase and entered the house.
He walked down the hall and saw Karen in the kitchen.
“Hey, Hon! I’m home.” He said. “Hmm. That smells good. What’s for supper?”
Karen turned and smiled. “Hey. You’re here early. What happened?”
“It’s not early. I clocked out at 5.” He retorted. Karen didn’t say anything. She just smiled as if to say, “Yeah. Right?”
“Okay. So, I am a bit earlier than usual.” He said with a shrug.
“Well, your supper is in the oven. Jenny and I already ate.”
“What? You didn’t wait for me?” he asked sounding genuinely hurt.
Karen laughed. “You never get home before nine.”
“That’s not true. Don’t exaggerate. I was home early last week. By seven..ish I think.”
Karen rolled her eyes and walked towards the door. She placed her hand on his shoulder and patted it lightly as she went left the room.
Art shrugged and opened the oven. He pulled out the plate of food and put it on the counter. He opened the dishwasher to get a fork and knife. Fried chicken and mashed potatoes. He dug in and ate with relish. He loved Karen’s cooking. If she would just stop nagging him all the time about everything he would be a happy man.
He finished his plate off quickly and washed it down with a glass of root beer. He felt hungry still, so he raided the fridge. He pulled out some apple pie that had been leftover from his weekly Wednesday night poker party.
Art sniffed it. “Still smells pretty good.” He had forgotten about it all about it otherwise, he would have eaten it before. He grabbed a box of butter pecan ice cream from the bottom shelf of the freezer. He piled several scoops on top of the pie.
He put a spoonful of the cold, sweet treat in his mouth. Art closed his eyes and savored the moment. “Absolute perfection. Why does cold food that’s leftover, often taste better than when it’s fresh.” he wondered.
Art carried his bowl and continued eating as he walked down the hall to his bedroom. His feet padded softly in the lush, blue carpet. He loved the feel of the soft material under his feet and always walked barefoot around the house.
He had never had carpet in a house growing up as a child. He had grown up in a low-income family that didn’t have many extras. His father paid the bills and spent the rest on booze. His mother had done crochet on the side to make a little extra money buy clothes and for herself and the kids. That was when she had any left over from buying groceries when her husband had run out of money.
But it wasn’t just because his family was poor, that he hadn’t had grown up with carpeting. Hardly anyone in his country installed carpeting in their home. Most of the people in his community only had dirt floors. If they were lucky, they had cement floors. And if they were rich, they had ceramic tiling.
Life hadn’t always been easy for Art and his siblings growing up in northern Brazil. His mother had struggled to keep twelve hungry mouths fed. She had to work hard and be creative to make money and food stretch each month.
So, Art had learned to appreciate all the fine things around him. The little things that most people took for granted. Things like carpeting, apple pie, and butter pecan ice cream. He savored them at every opportunity, like now as he walked down the hall to his bedroom.
He considered himself lucky to escape his little rural community. The cycle of poverty engulfed those of his family who were still alive. His father had died of liver cirrhosis when he was still thirteen. Not that Art had cared when he died, nor missed him after he had gone.
The family did miss the little money that he didn’t spend on liquor, but that was about it. His mother had soon remarried, but her second husband hadn’t been much better. He drank too and often beat the children over the slightest thing. Art had started working when he was fourteen just to have an excuse to get away from the house.
He went into the bedroom to change his clothes. Art put on a pair of swimming trunks. He finished off the bowl of ice cream and washed his hands. Then he headed off to find Karen and Jenny in the pool. He looked at the picture of the gringo framed on the wall. He touched the photo and said thank you as he went down the hall.
He worked for the gringo who lived on an enormous cattle ranch in the area where Art had grown up. Art spent most of his time out in the country to stay away from the city and avoid his step-father’s lashings. He did go in on the weekends, but just long enough to check in on his mother. He would drop off some food or a little money for her and the kids.
Art always drove by the local bar to make sure his step-father was there and away from the house before he went to see her. Art had been a hard worker and managed to impress the gringo. Art took advantage of the opportunity to learn English with him and his family. He pretended he didn’t speak any Portuguese and forced himself to speak only English.
When he was seventeen, the family returned to the United States. They invited Art to come along for a visit. He ended up getting into a good university program. There he had met Karen, and well, that had been fifteen years ago. He was now here in the good ol’ USA living his happily ever after. Art had never looked back or returned to Brazil.
He walked back to the kitchen and put his bowl in the dishwasher. He mentally patted himself on the back. See, he was a good husband. Why did Karen have to nag about the little things like what time he came home? She should know that he was out trying to provide for the family.
He heard Jenny laughing and looked out through the window. He sighed in exasperation. There she was running around the edge of the pool again. Their dog was chasing her, and she wasn’t paying much attention to her surroundings.
Art had told her a million times not to run on the slippery, wet edge of the pool. And Karen didn’t back him up or try to make Jenny stop. Art thought she spoiled Jenny by letting her do whatever she wanted. That was the price of growing up without any significant cares or worries.
People didn’t realize what they had. They let their kids do whatever they wanted and get away with murder. He didn’t want his kids growing up like that. Karen didn’t understand his background or how he had been raised. He needed to have a serious conversation with her again. At the very least, keep her safe by not letting her run around the pool.
He opened the door and yelled “Jenny! What have I told you about running around the edge of the pool.”
She quit running and turned her head to look back at him. The dog didn’t stop though. It kept right on running and barking. It barreled right into the back of her legs. Its forward momentum knocked Jenny off balance, and she started to topple over. His worse nightmare playing out in slow motion right before his eyes.
Chapter 2 is coming soon…
NorthWorld: Thorgaut Kabbisson – A Viking Fantasy Saga where you can follow Thorgaut Kabbisson on his journey to become king of the North and a young Viking boy’s growth into manhood to become the hero of legends and campfire tales.
Ectype Reports: Karina & The Clones – In a secret underground lab full of cloned bodies, an ambitious, Brazilian scientist develops a project to back up memories and transfer the souls of paraplegic soldiers into a new body to heal the sick, change the world, and win the Nobel Peace Prize. But when a conniving general manipulates her into using the technology to hijack the president’s body and take over the white house while building himself a personal army of cloned soldiers, Jenny must do whatever it takes to return him to his own body, put a stop to his evil plan, and shut down her life’s work before anyone else can get their hands on it.
Rise of the Drakemen: Infiltration – When the Drakemen begin to infiltrate our world Anna dreams of taking power dominating all mankind without them even realizing what has happened. But when Rumwold and Valagnar find someone as powerful as she is, she must do whatever it takes to turn their weapon to her side.