A New World (Part One)

by Lou Gagliardi

Luke was checking his appearance in the mirror. Tonight was an important night, both professionally and personally. It wasn’t every day, after all, that one got to date the boss’ daughter. Jeff worked as a experimental lab assistant, but he felt more like a crash test dummy sometimes. He hoped that if he made a good enough impression that he’d get promoted to actually doing his own research. For now though, he did a quick check of the whiteness of his teeth, one hand searching the pockets of his black dress slacks. Jeff adjusted his tie and smiled in the mirror.

“Wallet with extra cash…check. Comb, check. Breath mints, check. Big, purple whirlpool of doom in the bathroom door…chec…wait…”

Luke would have screamed if he could, instead he stood, frozen in fear, worry, and fascination!” When he did finally scream, feeling himself being sucked into the vortex, Jeff couldn’t help but feel a little disjointed.

* * *

Luke got up from the position he fell, not understanding what he tripped over. The last thing he remembered was being in the bathroom when this big, purple vortex sucked him up. So why was he now hearing sounds typically found in a forest? Unless, that’s where the vortex left him. It would also explain the disoriented and off feeling that Luke felt.

As he walked, trying to find away out of the trees, Luke began to do a medical, cursory check of his body, noting the two arms and the two legs. He got a little higher, noting the wide hips and thick thighs but didn’t think of anything except maybe the person he was now was a runner, or just had muscular thighs. He ignored the voice coming out of his mouth, assuming that the body must have a cold or something. Luke kept his hands sliding up from the hips to the belly. He could feel the plushness of it, finding this odd especially as he moved to the chest.

“Legs, check. Arms, check. Huge breasts, check…wait…WHAT!?”

Luke gave his body a closer look, as best as he could. He was feeling very nervous, but Luke knew that panicking wouldn’t help anything at the moment. He–she?–had to find a mirror. That is definitely priority, Luke had to see what he looked like. Right now all he could see was a mess of red hair. His ears perked, hearing noise–perhaps civilization? That caused him to start to run through the trees towards what he thought was the sound of cars and people. He got right to the end of the forest, as it turned out it was a forest that they had converted into a citywide park. It was at that point that he ran into a low hanging tree branch head first and fell back, hitting his head off of a rock.

“Ow…”

* * *

Luke held his head as he sat up for the second time in the day. The pounding in his temples told him–her? Luke couldn’t decide how he wanted to go from here–that the body was definitely alive. The constant beeping told Luke that he was in a hospital. He settled on him for now, until it was confirmed that the body was female. Of course, the walls had to be that drab grey color that made people want to go crazy. Getting up from the bed, Luke definitely felt the weight shift, especially on his chest.

“Hello? Nurse? Doctor? Anyone?”

Being a bit off, he forgot to press the button to call a nurse. Right now, he just wanted that off feeling to go away. It was after getting up that the constant, unrestrained bouncing told him what it was. Sighing, Luke sat on the edge of the bed and pressed the nurse call button.

Shortly after, a little rat girl–the nurse judging by her outfit–came in holding a tray. When she saw that he was up, the tray dropped and she became flustered, “y…y…you’re awake, welcome back to the land of the living, Madam.” Luke rolled his eyes, waiting for her to gain composure. Once the rat girl did, she walked over to the patient and began to take vital signs and check that everything was correct. “You’ve been here for the past couple of days, after being found in the forest passed out.” The woman moved over and looked at the instruments, “well, all your vitals seem normal.” The woman smiled, “Do you remember what you were doing all the way out there or who you are? If not, your Identification tablet is on the table next to you.”

Luke blinks “madam?” Then he looked down. “oh…right…I…wait…Identification tablet? What’s that? …Forest? Yes, I was in a forest, then I hit my head and ended up here.” Luke shook his head, only able to remember what she said and finally sees the deep, rich red hair with a hint of gold in it. Luke still felt off. Like all of this was a dream that he couldn’t wake up from. Luke especially thought this true considering the weights that were on his chest.

He tugged on the hair, pulling some down into his vision. Luke winced as he tugged a little harder, confirming that it is not a wig. His eyes opened wide at this, his jaw going slack before he recovered. “I’m…I’m not a woman, though! The last thing I remember was getting ready to go on a date…in…ummm…Philadelphia? No. Balti…no…Pittsburgh!” He nodded, following the bounce of his–her–hair and trying to stop the gentle sway of her chest from tall the shaking and bouncing she had done so far. “I was in Pittsburgh in the year 2013…I was getting ready to go out on a date with the boss’ daughter. My name is Luke Black.” He grabbed his chest this time, definitely nothing lewd but for emphasis. “And I am definitely NOT female!”

The nurse blinked, not expecting this. She knew some amnesia patients would think or ‘know’ they were someone else but she hadn’t expected this much. “No, dearie, It is 2061. You are at Royal Melbourne Hospital, City Campus on Sol-three. The world war is over…don’t you remember the war? It was only a few years ago!” She tsks. “I should get the doctor.” The rat turned back to Luke. “But you’re going to be okay…Lisa…oh your glasses are the table. You’re free to take a shower because it’ll probably be a bit before the doctor gets here.”

Luke nodded again, it was really all he could do–this was all too much! Grabbing the glasses, he had no idea why he was brought to this place or this time, unless it was a mistake, sitting back. “Oh! Miss? Before you go, can I get a hand mir…” Just sighed as the rat had left already. “Never mind then, I’ll take that shower then.” Luke started to take off the hospital gown, closing the door to the bathroom behind him, hoping for a little bit of privacy before the doctor came.

“World war? Anthros? Come on! Geez, Luke, what have you gotten yourself into? How did you get yourself into this? That vortex…but was it magical or scientific in nature. I’m guessing scientific since she mentioned some ‘IDTab’..but it could be a mix too..wait, what the hell am I saying!?”

To be continued…

You can find more great stories from this collection by clicking “Divide and Conquer” on the menu bar.

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Posted in Divide and Conquer, Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Story (<7500 words)
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