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.
Hello! Here is a new Learn English Short Story for you to improve your English speaking skills. Watch the video and listen to it several times. Make sure to use each of the 7 steps from the Integrated Learning System to develop each of your core skills. Then practice your English speaking by retelling the story to your friends.
There was a man from India who went to live in the USA. He was a researcher and university teacher. His name was Bryan Gupta.
One day, he woke up in hotel bed at 7:40 a.m. He didn’t know why he was there and his head was pounding. After a bit, he did remember that he had an important interview that day. So, he got up to take a shower.
Then he got dressed and had continental breakfast down in the hotel cafeteria. He noticed that the hotel employees were looking at him strangely. But he ignored them.
After breakfast, Bryan caught a taxi to the interview. When he arrived at the building, he told the secretary who he was and why he was there.
She looked surprised and asked him several questions. She wanted to know how to spell his name and then wanted him to confirm his address.
Finally, the secretary asked him to have a seat while she made some calls. A man arrived and broke some terribly shocking news.
Bryan had come to his interview a week after it had been scheduled. But what was even stranger was the fact that the man told Bryan that he had already come in for the interview one week earlier.
He felt very embarrassed over his behavior. Why had he forgotten about the previous interview? And why had he forgotten about everything that had happened the previous week.
Bryan asked how the interview had gone. The man told him that it had gone very well and had even been hired. But then Bryan had never showed up again. Someone had told the company that Bryan had died.
Bryan felt like he was in an episode from the Twilight Zone. He had the strangest feeling of Deja Vu.
The man told Bryan that he was very sorry, but someone else had been hired for the position. Bryan was very sad. Now he would have to find another job.
Listen carefully each question and then pause the video to answer it in your own words before hearing me tell you the answer.
Here are the questions from the video below. I did not add the answers because that would make things to easy for you. Right? But you can see them in the video above or see the answers in the PDF.
#1) Where did Bryan wake up?
#2) Did he go back to sleep?
#3) What time did Bryan wake up in the hotel?
#4) Where did he have to go that morning?
#5) What did he do after waking up?
#6) Who was looking at him strangely?
#7) How did he get to the building where his job interview was scheduled?
#8) When was Bryan’s interview scheduled for?
#9) Was Bryan able to talk with Mr. Grant?
#10) Why wasn’t Bryan able to talk with Mr. Grant?
Here is a short dialogue between Bryan and Mr. Grant’s secretary. Listen and repeat along with me to practice your English speaking skills.
Bryan: Well, I’m here to see Mr. Grant.
Secretary: Who are you exactly?
Bryan: Bryan. Bryan Gupta.
Secretary: And how do you spell that?
Secretary: No, I mean your first name. Do you spell it with an I or with a Y?
Bryan: Oh, yes. B-R-Y-A-N. Like the singer, Bryan Adams.
Secretary: Did you say your name was Bryan Gupta?
Bryan: Well, my first name is actually Mandeep. That maybe the name you have in the system. But Bryan is actually my middle name, and it’s the name I go by here in America.
Secretary: Could you just confirm your address for me?
Bryan: Sure. It’s 4409 Rosemont Avenue. Could you please hurry. My interview with Mr. Grant is at 9:00 a.m. It’s 9:05 already. I’m sure he’s expecting me by now.
Secretary: Right. Sure, I’m…well, actually, the truth is that Mr. Grant won’t be able to see you today. I don’t have anything on his agenda with your name on it.
Bryan: Please, check again. I’m sure there’s been a mix-up. I called to confirm this appointment a few days ago.
Secretary: Well, I do apologize, sir. But Mr. Grant really won’t be able to see you today.
Bryan: Oh, c’mon. For crying out loud. You have got to be kidding me. What a total disrespect of my time. Why didn’t he just let me know in advance?
Secretary: If I may ask, Mr. Gupta, what day do you think this is?
Bryan: Monday, July first.
Secretary: It is Monday, sir, but it’s not the first of July. Would you like me to try to reschedule a meeting for you?
Bryan: Well, what day is it exactly.
Secretary: Monday, July eighth. I’m afraid there has been some sort of mistake. I do see you name here for an appointment last week.
Bryan: What am I going to do now?
Secretary: Well, have a seat and let me make some phone calls to see when I can reschedule you.
Here are 10 vocabulary phrases that I selected from the mini-story to explain the definitions. You’ll notice that most of them are in the past tense. Listen and repeat along with me to improve your English vocabulary skills.
Woke Up – To Stop Sleeping And Become Aware And Active Again
Got Dressed – Put Clothes On Your Body
Had Breakfast – Eat In The Morning For Your First Meal Of The Day
Caught A Taxi – Raise Your Hand To Signal To A Taxi Driver That You Need A Ride
Told Her – Communicate Information, Facts, Or News To Someone
Looked Surprised – To Appear Astonished Or In Shock At What Has Been Seen Or Heard
Have A Seat – A Polite Directive For Someone To Sit Down And Wait
Made Some Calls – To Use The Telephone To Talk To People
Arrived – To Reach Your Desired Destination Or Place You Need To Be
Broke The News – To Share Some Important Information With Someone
Listen to these 35 question and answer phrases about how to ask someone’s name in English. These are not in order. They are just different ways of ask the same question so you can understand native speakers who talk with you.
Repeat and practice your pronunciation with me as many times as you need.
Hello! And welcome to Z4 Technologies Inc.
How can I help you?
What can I do for you?
I have an appointment this morning.
I have a meeting with Mr. Grant
I have an interview scheduled for 9:00 a.m.
Okay. What’s your name?
And you are?
Could you please tell me your full name?
What’s your first name?
Tell me your last name please?
My name is Bryan Gupta
I’m Bryan. That’s Bryan Gupta.
It’s Gupta. Bryan Gupta.
Do you spell that with an I or a Y, Bryan?
How do you spell that, Mr. Gupta?
Is that spelled with a TH or just a T, Mr. Gupta?
I’m sorry. I didn’t quite catch your last name.
Could you please repeat that for me?
Hm. I don’t see any interviews on his schedule.
Sorry, I don’t see your name on his agenda.
That’s strange. Mr. Grant doesn’t have any interviews scheduled for today.
Are you sure your interview was scheduled for today?
Yes, I’m absolutely positive.
I even called to confirm it yesterday before 6 p.m.
Could you please double-check his schedule?
Sure. Oh here it is. I must have missed it.
Yes. I do see that you have an interview scheduled with Mr. Grant this morning.
Unfortunately, Mr. Grant is running late though.
His pilot is running about 30 minutes behind.
There was a 25 minute delay at the airport because of the rain.
He asked us to push your meeting back 30 minutes.
Mr. Grant apologized and asked to reschedule your meeting for this afternoon
Would it be possible for you to return at 4:30 p.m.
I also have an opening for 5:45 p.m. if you prefer.
Or would you rather reschedule for tomorrow at 9:45 a.m.?