Dead Girls Don't Cry
Dead Girls Don’t Cry
All Souls Day 2008 Story Contest
By Maggie Finson
All Souls Day kind of sneaked up on Walt Hynes. With a soft, but insistent knocking at his front door at three AM.
Turning over in his bed, unhappily without a partner, Walt groaned, stared at the bedside alarm clock and winced as the knocking at the front door got not only louder, but even more demanding. “All right, all right, I’m coming!”
Muttering, Walt levered his six foot frame out of the bed, missed his slippers and winced as the cold hardwood floor in his bedroom really worked at waking him up. “I have to get around to putting some kind of carpet in here.”
Yawning, and running a hand through his short, blonde hair tousling it even more than it had been, he gingerly turned on a lamp while groaning as light shot sharp pains into his head. “Sheesh, haven’t even been in bed two hours yet and some dink is probably still wanting to party, or something.”
Hastily pulling on a pair of jeans, then discovering that his slippers had been somehow shoved under the bed, he grumbled and left them where they were.
“This better not be Carl wanting to have a few more beers and crow about the babe he scored at the party.” He half grumbled while thinking of his best friend in less than complimentary terms while moving out of the bedroom and into the living where the pounding on his door was getting even louder.
“I’m coming! I’m coming!” Reaching the front door he flipped the switch to the porch light, only to recall the bulb had burnt out earlier that night. “Great.”
Peering through the small window in the door, he made out a dim form that definitely wasn’t his friend Carl.
For one thing, the person was too short to be the young man who was barely shorter than Walt’s own lanky six foot frame. For another, the shape standing and beating in half demented determination on his door appeared definitely feminine. “Stop the pounding already! I’m here!”
Pulling the door open so the light from the front hall spilled out onto the concrete slab that served as a front porch for the house he rented, Walt started. “Okay, so what’s the big em…”
The form waiting on the other side of the door was certainly female, and a pretty hot looking one, but that isn’t what stopped him in mid word. Taking in her disheveled hair, an unruly dark mass of curls that looked as if it hadn’t seen a brush in a week, her pasty complexion and wide, staring eyes he shook his head in disbelief. “Lady, you’re too late for Halloween by a night, and the party is down the block, not here.”
“No party.” The girl demurred in a voice sounding more like a sigh than anything else as she moved past him into the house with a smooth gait that seemed more than a bit off even if it was like a glide. “Looking for you, Waalteerrr.”
“Huh?” That wasn’t that intelligent of a response, but Walt wasn’t kicking himself over it. Except for when she had spoken, he realized that she wasn’t breathing. Not even a little rise and fall of her very well formed assets covered only by a white nightgown or a flutter of air around her delicate nostrils or pouty mouth.
“Don’t you know me?” She asked in a voice that was slightly stronger as he continued staring.
“Nola?” He breathed in disbelief. “Nola Albright?”
“Yes, it’s me, Walter.” She answered even more clearly.
“But. But you’re…”
“Dead.” She finished for him with a faint smile. “And I need your help.”
The young woman standing in his living room with steadily increasing steadiness had died three days earlier.
“Dead. No shit.” He managed to reply before things went dark. He didn’t even feel the impact as he hit the floor.
When he came back to reality, Walt decided that the world had finally gone insane, or he had. The dead girl was still in his living room, though she was sitting patiently on his good couch instead of standing in the middle of the room. Gingerly reaching a shaky hand to explore the lump at the back of his head he muttered “I have GOT to stop drinking Carl’s punch at his parties. I’m hallucinating.”
The alleged hallucination refused to fade, or even waver as he groaned and sat up, Idly noting that the door had been closed as he did. “Go away. You’re just too much of that brain melting punch of Carl’s and some really cheap pizza.”
“Am I?” The dead girl questioned as if she was actually considering the idea then slowly shook her head in denial. “No, I’m really here, Walt.”
“But you can’t be!” He protested. “You’re dead! I’m going to your funeral Monday for crying out loud!”
“Well.” Nola shrugged a bit clumsily. “I am.”
“Ever hear of All Soul’s Day, Walt?” She questioned.
“Yeah, sure.” Walt nodded. “But it isn’t real, just tradition and tales.”
“It’s real.” She said with a heavy sigh. “The one day all year when the dead can actually return to mortal Earth.”
“Right, The Day of the Dead.” He nodded then regretted the motion as a sharp pain lanced from his abused head to cause a burst of light in his eyes. Once his vision cleared, he carefully shook his head. “I saw that movie. It sucked. By the way, the Gonzales family down the street set out food and wine today. They even have these neat little skull candies they pass out to everyone. Why don’t you go bother them instead of – uhh – whatever it is you’re doing in my living room.”
“I’m sitting on your couch.” She informed him succinctly. “And do I look like a zombie to you? That movie was full of crap, by the way. Trust me on that one. I know that for sure now.”
“Why me? He sighed.
Taking that as a legitimate question, the dead girl answered. “I need your help, Walt.”
“I can take you to the funeral home, if that’s what you need. I can understand getting confused and lost under the circumstances.” He offered.
“I just came from there.” She shrugged. “It’s boring, all the dead moaning about their families and stuff that they should have done and now it’s too late.
"Give me a break.” She grimaced. “I’m not going back there. They want to bury me.”
“Well, isn’t that what people do with dead folks?” Walt’s head was swimming with the absurdity of the situation. “I mean we can’t have dead people just wandering in traffic, can we? Think of the accidents that would cause for one thing with everyone staring at the dead people.”
“It’s for one day, Walt.” She let out a wheezing laugh. “We – the dead – aren’t planning to take up permanent residence around here. We have other things to do, after all.”
“So go do them. Please.” He begged, still convinced all this was either a very weird dream or a hallucination from hitting his head or what he’d had to drink at the party. “Don’t let me hold you back here. Do you need a ride somewhere?”
“No ride, thanks.” The dead girl shook her head and managed a passable smile, then grimaced. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to get your body to do the simple things when you’re dead?”
“Uh, I never thought about it, actually.” Walt answered faintly.
“Well, it is.” She emphatically told him. “But that isn’t the subject here. I need your help. Really.”
“What kind of help?” He cautiously ventured the question.
“I died a virgin, Walt.” Nola flatly told him. “I want to experience sex at least once before I move on.”
“Oh, no!” He managed to stand up, holding his hands out defensively. “Not with me you don’t. I’m not into the refrigerated lover scene at all! Or any other weird stuff!
"Go on!” Waving towards the door to emphasize his invitation to leave, he frantically hoped she wouldn’t try seducing him. “I mean, you were – are – hot, but come on, you’re really COLD too!”
“Oh no, no, no.” She assured him. “I don’t want to do it with you.”
“Oh, well that’s good, I think.” He found himself slightly insulted even if the thought of taking this somehow animated dead girl – no matter how hot looking she was – to bed caused his stomach to lurch in rebellion. “If not me, then why do you need my help?”
“I want to get into Amy Gillette’s pants.” She told him matter of factly.
“Oh, not only are you dead, you’re a lesbian?” He managed to get out, feeling more and more like he was stuck in Lewis Carol’s world of animated cards, white rabbits and Chesire cats.
“What’s wrong with that?” She shot back.
“Nothing, nothing at all!” Walt hastily backtracked. “You, know, I always say, ‘whatever floats your boat’ and who am I to judge someone else over what they choose for sexual preferences.”
“You haven’t asked why I need your help.” She let that one go and returned to the point of the conversation she had started. “Aren’t you curious at all? And I’m room temperature, for your information.”
“Oh, sure. Glad to help!” Walt was starting to sound a bit hysterical. “I’ll just give Amy a call. Tell her ‘Hey! I got this really hot dead girl in my living room who wants to boff you. Think you could come on over and get it done so she’ll leave?
"Right!” He almost shouted. “How would I even begin to explain having a dead girl in my living room?!! I’d get arrested for at least being nuts. Bring on the nice white coat with the extra long arms and straps in the back! I’m ready for my close up Mr. Demille!”
“You don’t have to do that.” Nola reassured him, slowly getting up from the couch and moving towards him. “That isn’t what I need from you, anyway.”
“Then WHAT do you want?” Walt questioned plaintively.
“I need to borrow your body.” She told him while reaching out to touch the befuddled young man.
“Oh, you just need to ‘borrow’ my body!” He answered, edging away from her hand and trying to laugh. “That’s funny. Really funny. What are you going to do with it if I do let you borrow it, which I won’t for your information.”
“Ah come on.” She coaxed. “It won’t be so bad, and it’s only for today. Unless I don’t get to lay Amy, anyway.”
“Huh uh! Nope! No way!” He continued backing away from her until his back came up against a wall. “I won’t do it.”
“Look.” She told him. “Do this for me and I’ll go away, forever.”
“Forever?” He peered suspiciously at her.
“Forever.” Dead Nola agreed.
“Why do I get flashes of Alice Cooper singing Cold Ethyl here?” He quietly muttered then hesitantly asked. “So what, you want to possess me for a while?”
“Something like that.” The dead girl nodded with a slow smile.
“All I need to do is wait out the day.” He pointed out. “Next midnight, you’re history if I can just hold out till then.”
“I could go out and just kind of, you know, lay on your front lawn.” She threatened. “That would sure give the church ladies passing by something to talk about, wouldn’t it?”
“That’s blackmail!” Walt protested. “I’d get arrested if you did that, or at least have the neighbors giving me strange looks for the next ten years or so.”
“Yes it is.” She grinned. “Now, what is it going to be? Help me out here, or explain the very dead body hidden in your shrubbery, or better yet in the garage? With the door wide open and jammed, by the way.”
“You are one cold hearted bitch, you know that?” He grumbled.
“I’m dead.” She told him with a shrug. “My heart isn’t even at room temperature right now. What do you expect?”
“All right, do it.” He closed his eyes and tried to keep from shaking with a mixture of fear and disbelief.
“Then you agree to my using your body?” She questioned.
“Yes!” He didn’t open his eyes. “Just do it and get it over with already!”
“Okay.” Nola’s voice held a note of triumph as he felt a cold hand touch his chest. “Thanks.”
Her chill, gelatinous lips touched his in an oddly chaste kiss given what she was wanting to do, and Walt remembered nothing for the next few minutes.
The next time Walt woke up, things were really strange.
First, it was cold. Really cold.
Then, just to add confusion, nothing felt right.
He was on the couch instead of the floor as he’d expected, but the nubbly texture of the fabric against nearly bare skin was more irritating than he’d ever noticed before. Something was obscuring his vision, too, like a shredded curtain of some dark fabric that had been thrown over his head. Irritably reaching an oddly clumsy hand to brush the curtain aside, he finally saw someone standing in front of him. Only it was him. And he was smirking.
“Welcome back, Walt, or should I say Nola?” The body in front of him grinned as Walt tried to get his muzzy thoughts around what was going on.
“Huh?” He managed to get out, barely, with weirdly stiff lips and tongue and no feeling of air moving through his throat as he tried to answer. Finally, with effort, he drew in a breath and let it out in time with using his reluctant vocal chords. “Wha – haa -- ened?”
“Sit up girl.” His body helped him do that with very pleasantly warm hands, still grinning down at him. Then it dawned on him. His body, moving without his having anything to do with it, had called him GIRL!
“Nah, aaa, guh – huh – irrrlll.” He forced out.
“I’m afraid you are, Nola, sweetie.” His voice, sounding strangely different, deeper, informed him as the familiar, but foreign face came closer to his own with a look of sheer satisfaction on it. “Not only are you a girl, you’re a pretty hot one, even if you are dead.”
“Huh uh, no way.” He protested, having difficulty forming the words. “Dream, this is all a bad dream. Punch, cheap pizza, too many chips, and lousy onion dip. Hah – luce – en – acin , ation. All this is. Yup, that’s all.”
“Keep on thinking that, sweetie.” His own body smirked as large, wonderfully warm hands lifted a thin garment away from his cold body. “It’ll make things easier all around.”
Walt halfway tried to fight as the thin garment was pulled over his head, leaving him feeling completely naked, not just nude. “Leave me – Alone! Bad dream. Wake up in morning and laugh about it.”
“Just keep thinking that, honey.” The Walt body told him, he couldn’t think of it as his any longer since it was doing things he didn’t want it to. “It makes all this much simpler if you don’t fight.”
“The body switch, girlie.” His body with Nola inside and running it laughed. “How does it feel in there, by the way?”
“Wrong, just wrong.” Walt responded as slowed synapses and nerves belatedly started sending him messages from different parts of his unfamiliar body. With a little shiver he added plaintively. “And cold, really cold. Could you turn the heat up? Please?”
“That isn’t such a good idea at the moment.” Nola told him. “Heat speeds up decomposition, you know. And until the spell I used to switch with you really kicks in that luscious, but rather dead, body you inhabit would start to decay. That wouldn’t be any fun at all, would it?”
A few moments of uncomfortable thought and a good imagination had him seeing blackened body parts swollen with the gasses of decomposition falling off randomly. He gave her a frantic look. “Turn the heat down, turn it down!”
Nola in his body did that then returned to give him another lascivious looking over. “Wow, I was really one hot little chick, wasn’t I?”
“Was.” He breathed in a barely audible voice but something she’d said earlier finally cleared the obstacles set up by his befuddled consciousness. “Spell?!!”
“The spell I used to switch bodies with you.” Nola as Walt smirked. “It isn’t something the dead are usually capable of doing, but I had the background and worked to remember what I needed to do once I got here and could kiss you. But the spell is also a preservative one, it’ll keep you from getting all yucky and decayed but it takes about two hours for that to kick in once the transfer has been completed. You have about an hour before that happens, so I’d avoid heat sources until then if I were you.
"Oh, before you ask.” The Walt body put in once the perplexed expression Walt felt managed to reach his uncooperative facial muscles. “I knew I was going to die ahead of time, that was a real bummer, but I also found the spell to move the soul from a dead body into a living one. Only the soul from the living person would get stuck with the dead body. Hence the preservation element of the spell.”
“Oh, so I won’t start falling apart, literally, within the next twenty-four hours.” Walt grumbled. “Now that’s comforting.”
“Relax.” The new Walt patted the new Nola’s shoulder gently. “It’s only until next midnight. Unless…”
“I don’t like the sound of that ‘unless’ you know.” Walt whined then winced. He’d never been a whiner and detested people who were.
“Well, don’t worry about it.” Nola in Walt reassured the distraught dead girl on the couch. “All I need to do is lay Amy within that time frame and we’ll automatically switch back, and you might end up with one really hot girl friend out of the deal. So stop whining. Being dead isn’t so bad.”
“That’s easy for you to say.” Walt shot back. “You’re alive now, not stuck in a very, very DEAD body that is the wrong sex and really hard to get doing anything at all but sit, or lie in some coffin!”
“Then maybe you’d better calm down and let me start working on the delectable Amy, hmmm?”
“I can see it now.” Walt let out a heavy sigh, something that actually took more than a bit of concentration given the body he was in didn’t breath naturally. “You rape Amy in the dead of night, we switch back then I spend the rest of my life being raped by guys in prison grey named Bubba or Hulk. Great, just great!”
“Oh calm down, sweetie.” Nola winked as she – he – whatever, Walt was too confused to make a clear distinction there, answered. “I can’t rape her. Part of the deal was that I had to agree to her being a willing participant in the deed. But I can seduce her.”
“Oh fine.” Walt growled. “Then I only have to worry about her father and brothers, who by the way, are fondly known among law enforcement circles as ‘Those crazy fucking bastards again?’ but at least I won’t be in prison. An unmarked grave on some farm, probably, but no prison. I feel sooo much better now.”
“Glad I eased your mind on that one.” Nola chuckled.
Walt only glared at his body in response.
“You’re a natural, you know that?” Nola told him with a yawn. “You already have that feminine glare for stupid males down pat. You’ll do fine in that body for the time it takes me to get what I need to do finished.”
“You’re yawning.” Walt pointed out, rather inanely given the situation, but it was something to say.
“Well, I can tell you were at a party earlier.” Nola shrugged and yawned again. “And weren’t at all ready to be wakened when you were. I think I’ll go get a couple hours more of sleep here.”
“Oh no you don’t!” Walt grabbed an arm that used to be and still should be his. “Get out there and get things set up for laying Amy!”
“My body tells me that its way too tired to ‘get it up’ right now.” Nola informed him. “I need the rest so I can get this thing done and you can get your body back. Now don’t argue, just sit out here and watch something on television. I’ll be up and working on things by dawn, I promise.”
“If you aren’t, expect a pair of really cold hands to be playing with your stolen balls.” Walt crossed his arms, then hastily moved them down as they encountered yielding softness he wasn’t at all used to being on his chest.
“Borrowed, only borrowed.” Nola answered then yawned again. “See you in a few hours, cutie.”
Having said that, Nola in her ‘borrowed’ body walked out of the living room towards the bedroom. “Night, beautiful.”
Walt didn’t want to watch TV, even with several hundred cable channels to choose from. With effort he managed to get him – her – self up and stumbled towards the bathroom. Once there, with the lights turned on by dint of slapping at the wall switch until it actually went up, he stared into the full length mirror that his last live in girl friend had insisted on having there.
Clad in nothing at all, the person he was seeing, although really pale, almost pasty in complexion, was definitely a looker. “Okay, okay, I already knew Nola was one real hottie. But do I look really dead or only partly dead, like a very good goth thing?”
Further examination of the reflection he still refused to acknowledge as his convinced him that even the most dedicated and out of it goth would very likely run at the sight of him in Nola’s dead body. Oh, it was still gorgeous, and really well built. The curves were more than obvious, especially since the thin white nightgown was still laying on the couch, and Nola’s fine featured face, with its small nose, full cheeks, small but firm chin, and smooth jaw line was nothing short of breathtakingly lovely even if it was – well, dead.
Especially with those huge, nearly blank but still captivating green eyes.
“Well, at least I’m not an ugly corpse.” Walt admitted then nearly winced at the sight of the unruly, glossy black hair flying in every direction but the one that would make it presentable. Without thinking, he found a brush, and began getting that mane back into at least a semblance of order.
Half an hour later, hampered by the body’s still reluctant reflexes and movement, he gave his reflection another look and sighed. (He’d started working his dead lungs earlier and had mostly forgotten the act after that.) “Well, at least it doesn’t look like I’m wearing a fright wig now.”
"But I sure can’t wander around dressed this way. Or undressed, I guess it is.” He decided. “But I’m not planning on wandering around. I’m going to stay right here until Nola gets laid. With Amy.”
That protest didn’t work. Something in Walt insisted that the girl body he now had needed to be dressed in something other than a sometimes translucent nightgown.
So, muttering under a breath he still had to work at to keep going, he headed for the bedroom where his last girlfriend, Frieda had left a lot of her clothes when they broke up. Frieda was about the same size as the awkward Nola body he now inhabited, so he was pretty sure whatever he chose would at least fit, even if it wouldn’t look all that great. Frieda was blonde so the colors wouldn’t be quite right for Nola.
“Now where did that come from?” He wondered while staring at the sleeping body that had been his not so long ago and working to resist the temptation to wake it up with the threat he’d made earlier.
The pale gold satin panties fit, and actually felt good once he had them on. A matching bra with a tag noting it was a 36 D managed to fit with a little work and adjustment. Looking him—herself over in the bedroom mirror, Walt noted that he could actually see pretty well even though the lights were off. The gold satin contrasted rather nicely with the girl body’s pale flesh, he thought.
“What am I thinking?!” He asked himself in near horror. “I’ve been thinking and doing things that I never would have before this happened.”
Grumbling in the dark, he clumsily tried a pair of Gretchen’s jeans only to discover that Nola had bigger hips and bottom than his former girl friend. Or at least he wasn’t up to the gyrations it would take to get the things on. The Nola body he was moving around just didn’t have the needed coordination, though he did note that was slowly improving as he moved around in it.
Not that the fact made him feel any better at all about the situation.
“Oh, quit dithering around and find something that actually fits.” Walt muttered while looking through the other offerings still left in the closet. The thought of wearing a dress or skirt kind of repelled him, but not nearly so badly as he would have thought it should. It was more important, he thought, to get this girl body even if it was technically dead, covered in something decent. Something the lacy satin underwear didn’t quite manage. He finally settled for a rather short but not scandalous black skirt and emerald green silk top that weren’t too repugnant to his male sensibilities. Then to make matters even more confusing, he had the irresistible urge to put on stockings, which required a garter belt.
Muttering bad things under his still difficult to maintain breath, he found the garter belt that matched the panties and bra, struggled with the thing for a while but managed to get it on, even remembering to run the garters under the panties.
“Ooof!” Walt hit the floor on the well padded bottom he was stuck with and cursed quietly. “Well, I should have known better than trying to stand on one foot to get the thing on. They aren’t socks and this body’s sense of balance is all out of whack.”
Blowing out a puff of air to move a stray lock of thick dark hair from his face, Walt stared at his own, sleeping body on the bed and shook his head with a frown. The idea of even sitting on the bed where his own body was sleeping gave him something like goose bumps, though the shiver held vague ideas and thoughts that were even more disturbing than being in a dead, female body was to him.
Shaking off the urge to lie down and cuddle with his own body, he gingerly sat on the edge of the bed to get the stockings on. His body grumbled and turned over, reaching for the other one on the bed. The one Walt now reluctantly inhabited. Walt fended off the hand and said. “Oh no you don’t. I may be a girl on the outside, and you may be a guy, but just because we’re in each other’s bodies doesn’t mean I’m all that curious about what IT would be like. So turn back over and keep snoring, all right?”
“Mmmph.” The unintelligible, halfway disappointed response was followed by more soft snores.
“That’s better.” Walt let out a sigh of relief, got the stockings on and fastened to the garters, then thought about shoes. Gretchen had been really into the sexy look, so most of her shoes were high heels that Walt was quite sure he wouldn’t be capable of even standing in let alone getting around at all without falling into an ungraceful heap. At least a heap that was even more ungraceful than he was currently.
Harboring doubts that he’d find anything shoe-wise that he could manage, Walt quietly returned to the closet and started going through the shoes Gretchen had left behind.
“These might work.” He thoughtfully regarded a pair of green sandals with a shorter heel than the other offerings threatened him with. “May as well try them, I suppose.”
They worked, mostly. The shoes were a little large but careful adjustments to the straps that wound around the ankles and crossed the arch of his foot held them firmly on his unfamiliar feet. Getting up he cautiously attempted a few steps. Then a few more. If he tried thinking about walking he would nearly fall over, but just doing it and allowing the body to move more or less on autopilot seemed to work. Mostly. Though he could feel his broader hips and rounder bottom swaying in a disturbingly feminine manner, and what he thought was probably a very sexy way, too.
“Oh now that’s just wonderful.” He grumbled to himself. “Either I trip myself up with every step and risk cracking my skull – not that it would kill me or anything, this body is already dead, dead, dead -- or I walk like some little zombie sexpot without the brains leaking out of the crack in my skull the other way would probably cause.”
Taking time to glower at the body that had been his without much effect, Nola in her purloined male body continued to snore obliviously even under that freezing gaze, Walt forced himself to leave the bedroom and return to the living room and once again sit on the couch. Grumbling, he carefully retrieved the television remote control from the coffee table and started surfing the channels for something that would at least hold his interest until dawn. “Zombies, eating people. Nope, too close to home there. Finding something else to watch would be a really good idea just now.”
The Walt body sat up abrubtly in bed with a gasp and yowl of protest. Walt, in Nola’s still dead body with cold, cold hands smirked as he pulled his hand away from the stolen balls of the person on the bed. “I told you that I’d be making sure you got up.”
“Okay, so I’m awake.” The Walt body grumbled. “Happy?”
“Not until we switch back.” Walt answered with a glower at his body, still lying in the bed. “Now get your borrowed ass out of that bed and get moving.”
“I’m up! I’m up!” Walt, it was too confusing to keep calling that body Nola in Walt screeched. “No more frigid, dead fingers playing with the equipment, okay?”
“I’m not frigid.” Walt answered with a frown. In fact, just touching the balls of the body he had inhabited such a short time ago had the supposedly dead body he inhabited heating up. “I’m definitely at least room temperature now.”
“It doesn’t feel like it.” Walt griped.
“Get used to it, dearie.” The real Walt was shocked at the diminutive he used, but continued to press. “If you don’t get off your butt and lay Amy, you’re going to be experiencing a lot of that in the near future. Got it?”
“Yeah, yeah.” The new Walt waved a hand meant to fend off any other advances from the dead girl’s body he had once inhabited. “I need a shower, a hot one.”
“You could join me, you know.” Walt gave her a look that the male mind in Nola’s body finally interpreted as a leer. “That might get you nice and warmed up.”
“Oh no. I may be in a girl’s body just now but I’m still a guy.” Nola shook her head. “Besides, the idea of letting you do that to me is kind of like a too elaborate kind of masturbation.”
“Aren’t you just a little bit curious about what it would be like?” Walt wheedled. “I could show you a really good time because I know all the good spots on your body.”
“No!” Nola glowered at the naked, male form still leaning against the bathroom door frame and grimaced. “I’m I guy in here, and am NOT interested in other guys, got it.”
“I’m not just another guy, after all.”
“No, you aren’t.” Nola sighed then glared at him. “You’re me, or I was you, or, or… I don’t know this is just too confusing right now. Just go take a cold shower and save yourself for Amy. I’m not interested, all right?”
“You’re sure that you don’t…” He tried one more time.
“Yes, I’m sure that I don’t want to even think about having sex with you, let alone do it.” Nola crossed slim arms and left them there in spite of the yielding softness that was still disturbing when she did that.
“Don’t know what you’re missing, sweetheart.” The male body that had been Nola’s shrugged.
“Then I won’t miss it at all, will I? Nola, still working a very confused male mind around the outrageous idea that now it was inhabiting a female body stalked out of the room.
Sometime later, a clean and refreshed Walt body entered the living room and gave the girl seated on the couch a look. “Still mad at me?”
“Mad? Why should I be mad?” Standing up, she shook herself and ran small hands over first her breasts, down her stomach to hips, bottom, and legs, assiduously avoiding the crotch area. “I mean what’s the big deal? This time yesterday I was a guy! The guy whose body you’re using right now, as a matter of fact. Then there’s the tiny little detail of my being dead in this body you stuck me with. Why on Earth would I ever be angry about something like that?”
“You’re overreacting, Nola.” He told her with a grin. “It’s only a temporary thing you know. Once I get it on with Amy and do the deed, we’ll change back.”
“So you say, and don’t call me Nola, that isn’t my name and you know it.” Crossing her arms again to keep hands from wandering more, the girl body grimaced. “And what happens if this thing with Amy doesn’t happen? Tell me what would result in.”
“Nothing.” The new Walt answered with a shrug. “And you are Nola at the moment, so get used to being called that for the time being.”
“Nothing as in what exactly does that have to do with our switching back?”
“Don’t worry about it, Nola.” Walt advised, looking a bit uncomfortable. “That won’t be a problem, believe me.”
“I don’t believe you, and I am worried about it.” Nola shot back. “What happens if you don’t get laid by the delectable Amy?”
“We won’t switch back.” He admitted then hastily put in. “At least until next year, then we could try again.”
“I don’t want to spend the next year as a semi-living walking dead girl.” Nola grated out. “So get your stolen booty out there and get it laid, got it?”
Once Walt’s body had left, controlled by the former Nola, Walt sat down to put some serious thought to the situation he had found himself in.
First, he had willingly agreed to help Nola without first asking what that help would be, though who in their right mind would have believed they were actually talking to and making an agreement with an animated corpse? Let alone that it was possible to switch bodies with one. He shook his head, and the movement of long hair wasn’t quite as annoying or distracting as it had been earlier. “Idiot, should have slammed the door when I saw who or what it was standing there. But did I? Nooo! I just had to invite her in.”
Another, more disturbing thought occurred to him then. What if the plan to have Nola in Walt’s body seduce Amy Gillette was no more than a ruse and Nola had no intention of doing so, thereby not achieving the agreed upon goal and leaving Walt stuck in this dead, if still attractive female body? He muttered in the soft and progressively smoother sounding feminine voice he now had. “Either I’m way too suspicious or way to trusting.”
But… What would he do if that was the case? Especially if he found himself stuck in this body for the rest of his life – or whatever it could be called given the weird circumstances. Worse, would he be somehow compelled to return to the funeral home and let them actually bury him, if that happened? Or spend the next year at least wandering around like some revenant hiding from the sun and normal people’s view? Neither case was at all appealing, though the second was marginally better.
“Well, I just need to make sure that ‘Walt’ manages to get to the lovely Amy.” He decided aloud. “That way I won’t have to worry about those other things. I hope.”
But, recalling the appearance of the body he had seen in the mirror with a slight shudder, Walt knew he would have to find someone to help him do that. But who?
“What did I do to deserve this?” He moaned, briefly sinking into self pity. “I never hurt anyone, I was always nice to people, and did my best to be a good person. Why?”
For some reason, he felt like crying for the first time since he had been a child, but the body he was in couldn’t quite manage that. All that came out were a few choked sounding half sobs and no tears at all.
“Enough of that.” He shook himself, literally and mentally, though the first sent waves of sensation through his current body that had him regretting the move instantly. That caused him or her, to take note of something. The body he was occupying seemed to be getting more and more sensitive, or something.
His concentration was briefly broken by the ringing of the phone, and he recalled it ringing earlier, too. But there was no way he was going to answer it under the circumstances. Once it stopped he got back to what he had intended to do.
His movements weren’t a series of unbalanced lurches any longer either, he noted while getting up to check something. In the bathroom mirror he scanned the still jarringly unfamiliar face of Nola staring back at him, but the deep green eyes weren’t the blank, lusterless orbs they had been earlier, and there actually seemed to be some color in the cheeks. “What’s going on here?”
The body still didn’t look properly alive, not at all, but it no longer looked like something that belonged in a coffin either. At least in the right kind of light. Unconsciously fluffing the thick dark hair, he turned away from the mirror thinking. ‘Now what made me think and do that?’
He returned to the problem of finding someone to help get him back into his own – living – body. “Problem is, who would believe a word of this?”
Running the short list of potential helpers, his musings were interrupted by a knock on the door.
“Now what?” Walt grumbled then realized that he was, literally, in no condition to have guests as he reached the door to see who was there.
Carl Demarist waited outside, and was getting ready to knock again. “Come on Walt! I know you’re in there, your car is still in the garage. Answer the door.”
Letting out a sigh, Walt slowly opened the door a crack and spoke. “Walt’s – uh – not here.”
Carl’s grey eyes widened a bit as he caught a glimpse of the girl on the other side of the door, and he grinned. “Nice try, but Walt never goes anywhere on foot, so be a nice girl and let me in, I need to talk to Walt, it’s important.”
“Just let me in, it’s kind of personal.” Carl insisted.
“Very.” Carl responded impatiently. “Some who looks like him, but isn’t is wandering around town and doing some really strange things. I need to talk to him and see what we can do about it. This goof is actually claiming to be Walt and that can’t be a good thing given some of the things he’s doing. Now please let me in so I can talk with him, will you?”
“What kind of ‘strange things’ is he doing?” Walt questioned with a sinking feeling in his borrowed stomach while holding the door open to allow the other inside.
“I need to talk to Walt about it, if you don’t mind… Whoa!” Carl stopped and took a step back as he got a good look at the girl standing in front of him. “I didn’t know you were into the goth look, Nola… Wait a min…”
“I’m dead, I know.” Walt let out a sigh and waved the other into the room while closing the front door and making sure his friend would have to run over him to get out. Though that possibility wasn’t one to be ignored judging by the panic in his friend’s eyes and tenseness of his body. “Please, don’t run away screaming and just listen to what I have to tell you. Though I wouldn’t blame you for beating feet as hard as you can.”
“Uh…” Carl managed to get out then fell heavily into a chair while warily watching the supposed dead girl who had let him in. “Okay. Wh – where’s Walt?”
“Long story.” Walt replied, carefully seating the still unfamiliar body on the couch but ready to try and stop his friend should that one decide to bolt. “I’m Walt.”
“No you’re not.” Carl shook his head in denial. “Walt’s a guy, and you’re a girl, who should be I might add, dead and waiting decently to be buried.”
“I know, I know.” Walt answered then gave out a shuddering sigh. “Trust me, I don’t believe it either, but it’s true.”
“What am I doing?” Carl muttered. “I’m actually sitting here carrying on a conversation with a dead girl and think she’s moving around and talking back. This is insane.”
“You’re right, it is.” Walt said simply then leaned forward. “But just listen to me for a while, please. If I can’t convince you feel free to run screaming out the door. You’re my only hope of getting back to normal, Carl. Please don’t pass out or run just yet.”
“Okaaayy.” Carl carefully answered then added. “Funny, you don’t smell dead.”
“How would you know what a dead person would smell like?” Walt shot back, annoyed at the sudden turn away from the subject he was desperate to get going.
“Once found a dead cat when I was kid.” Carl answered with a grimace. “Trust me, the aroma of a dead rotting body is kind of hard to forget once you’ve experienced it.”
“I remember that.” Walt grinned in spite of himself. “Good thing we found it in that old culvert or you’d have been puking right out in front of the whole world. As it was I had to drag you over to some convenient bushes so you wouldn’t embarrass yourself in front of Jake and Mike.”
“How would you know about that?” The other asked suspiciously. “Did Walt tell you? He promised he would never let anyone know about that!”
“I know about that because I am Walt.” The dead girl answered carefully. “And I never did say a word about it to anyone, believe me.”
“No way, huh uh, not possible!” Carl argued. “You can’t be Walt. You don’t even sound like Walt, let alone come close to looking like him, he’s – a lot bigger, and he’s – umm – alive, you know.”
“He’s not a girl, either.” Walt finished with a frown. “And trust me, doesn’t want to keep being one, alive or dead, now will you either let me tell you what happened or just run now? I can’t take much more of this, anyway without having a screaming fit myself.”
Walt sounded so miserable when he said that he actually hated himself for whining, but Carl let out a heavy puff of air in a loud sigh and nodded. “All right, I’ll listen. I mean what have I got to lose here, other than my sanity, which is really in doubt at the moment, anyway. So go ahead.”
“She switched bodies with you?” Carl questioned with doubt still clear in his tone of voice and incredulous expression once Walt had finished the story. “Just so she could get it on with Amy Gillette?”
“That’s about it.” Walt nodded.
“Why not?” Carl questioned nothing in particular. “I’ve been talking with a genuine dead girl for the past ten minutes or so, what’s so hard to believe about a body swap that put my best friend in her body while she went waltzing around in his.”
“So you believe me?” Walt asked with a gleam of hope in his green eyes.
“Provisionally.” The other nodded slowly then shrugged. “What the heck, I’m here, you’re obviously here whether I want to believe it or not, and Walt is acting really strange today.”
“It isn’t Walt, it’s Nola using my body.”
“Yeah, yeah, we’ve been over that part already.” Carl dismissed that with a wave of his hand then looked carefully at the female body claiming to be his best friend. “But you know, you really don’t look all that – well, dead.
"Over the top Goth, yes, but not disgustingly dead with body parts falling off or anything.” The young man went on thoughtfully.
“So what did you expect?” Walt acidly questioned. “Me to suddenly lurch up moaning ‘Brains’ or something just as gross?”
“Well, the thought had crossed my mind.” Carl suspiciously watched the other shake her head, or his head, and went on. “You could just be lulling me into a sense of false security before you try to eat my brain or something.”
“Sometimes.” Walt shot back. “I don’t think you have one to eat!”
“Okay, okay.” Carl sat back and closed his eyes. “Just give me a minute here to get my head around all this, could you? And really prove to me that you are Walt in that body.”
“And just how would I manage that?” Walt sniffed, something that he found very annoying especially because it was such a feminine thing and something he would have never done as himself.
“Tell me something else that only Walt would know about me.” The other shrugged then grimaced. “Something really embarrassing that I’d die – sorry – to keep other people from knowing about.”
“How about that road trip we made to Cincinnati last year?”
“Lot’s of people knew Walt and I did that.” Carl answered.
“But how many know about that chick you picked up in the bar once we got there?” Walt asked with a wicked little grin. “You know the one who…”
“Stole my clothes and left me with hers.” Carl shuddered.
“With hers on you, I might add.” Walt pressed. “While you were tied to the bed and gagged. She also stole your wallet. Good thing I was hanging on to our money that night, isn’t it?”
“How was I to know she was a really kinky thief?” Carl muttered then looked carefully at the girl he was with now. “Walt?”
“That’s what I’ve been telling you since you got here!” Walt pointed out.
“Man, have you got a problem.”
“No kidding?” Walt grumbled.
“This is giving me a headache.” Carl groaned. “I keep seeing Nola when I’m talking with you and just can’t get myself to call you Walt. Though ‘Hey! Dead Girl!’ doesn’t seem like something to use in polite company to get your attention either, does it?”
“It might raise some eyebrows.” Walt drily answered. “So what do want to call me?”
“Nola!” Carl grimaced at the response that got but stuck to his intentions while explaining. “Look, if I’m going to help you here that means that you’ll have to come with me, and I sure can’t be calling you Walt when you look like that, can I?”
“Outside? In the sunlight?” Walt squeaked, unable to prevent the repugnance of that idea from causing him to let out that too feminine sound of protest. “I couldn’t do that, what if someone sees me like this?”
“You won’t melt.” Carl told him carefully then pointed out. “If that was going to happen it already would have with that sunbeam hitting you where you’re sitting. You aren’t a vampire, just kind of inconveniently dead. Sunshine won’t hurt you. Except for maybe a nasty sunburn with that pale skin.”
“Carl, in this body I’m DEAD.” Walt emphatically told his friend. “You know, not alive, or barely at room temperature? I feel like an out of date steak waiting to spoil here as it is, going outside in this condition is definitely not something that sounds like a good idea at all.”
“Calm down, Nola.” The other soothed while ignoring the scowl using that name brought to the other’s face. “You’re moving around, quite nicely too, I should add, talking, and even breathing. So going outside isn’t such a terrible idea. Especially since we both need to be out and about to stop Walt, the new Walt, from doing anything else so weird it’ll ruin you around here for life.
"Besides, use a little makeup and you wouldn’t look dead at all.” He went on. “You’re actually pretty, well, you know, hot looking in a Gothy sort of way right now. Don’t forget about that preservation spell the real Nola told you about, either. I think that may be the reason that you really don’t look all that dead right now.”
Walt stood up, carefully walked towards Carl and reached out his hands to grasp the other’s shoulders and shake them, feeling very weird because he was used to looking down to look his friend in the eye instead of up, and feeling the urge to move those hands to the other’s throat. “I’m D E A D in this body! What if someone who knows, knew, the real Nola sees me huh? What about that you moron?”
“Well, we could tell them that the rumors of your – her – death have been blown all out of proportion?” Carl returned while carefully moving the slim hands creeping towards his throat from his shoulders and hanging on to them to keep them from doing anything else.
“The funeral is tomorrow!” Walt almost screamed while trying to pull away from his friend. “Everyone who knew her knows she died in that accident, you idiot. They won’t believe it.”
“Well, you could say you’re some other girl who just kind of looks like Nola.” The other offered. “Or disguise yourself so you look different.”
“That’s an idea.” Walt nodded then shook his head violently. “What am I thinking? I can’t face anyone out in public like this. I don’t know the first thing about acting like a girl. They’d notice that even if they didn’t catch the glaring fact that this body isn’t really breathing or anything normal.”
“Okay, Nola.” Carl held out his hands in a defensive gesture as Walt glared and raised a hand. “Look, I can’t, just can’t, call you Walt when you look like this. I’m sorry, if you have another girl name you’d prefer, let me know, but I can’t call you by your old name just now. It’s just too weird.”
“Try it from my point of view.” Walt grumbled then nodded in reluctant agreement. “Okay, Nola it is for the time being, I never considered a girl name for myself and hearing you call me that will reinforce the need to get out there and see that the real Nola – in my body – does what she told me she was going to do.
"And what about ‘Walt’ acting strange?” The newly christened and still a bit reluctant to acknowledge that fact questioned. “Is ‘he’ even trying to get close to Amy?”
“Nope.” Carl answered with a shake of his head. “Maybe I shouldn’t tell you what your body is up too. You’re upset enough right now.”
“Tell me.” Nola crossed her arms and didn’t even flinch at feeling the softness they encountered when she did.
“You aren’t going to like it.”
“Tell me, Carl.” Nola grated out. “Before I find a lamp to beat it out of you with.”
“Okay, okay, no violence, please!” Carl answered hastily. “I’m just trying to save you more trauma, but if you don’t want that, I’ll tell you.”
“Right.” Taking a deep breath, the young man gave his companion a steady look. “Well, he’s acting kind of swishy, stopping to look in store windows that are displaying women’s clothing, watching little kids play with a kind of longing expression on his face, things like that.”
“Crap.” Nola added a few more bits of colorful language then fixed Carl with a gimlet stare. “What else? And there is more, I just know it from the way you’ve been dancing around the subject here. Now spill it.”
“Walt looks like he’s blasted.” Carl answered then flinched at the green eyes boring into his. “I mean that Walt, the sort of fake one, looks like he’s either stoned out of his mind or really, really drunk. You know staggering once in a while, staring into space and talking to people who aren’t there. If it keeps up, the guys in white coats carrying the big butterfly nets are going to show up.”
“But ‘he’ hasn’t even tried getting near Amy Gillette?” Nola questioned again.
“Nope.” Carl answered. “I mean, Amy works in that little café right downtown, and he walked right past it, arguing with someone no one else could see while he did that.”
“Why that lying….” Nola didn’t finish the beginning tirade, aware of just how much it would sound like a woman complaining about a man who hadn’t kept a promise to her. “We need to get out there and find this new Walt and set him straight on a few things.”
“That’s what I’ve been telling you and you’ve been trying to keep from doing!” Carl ran a hand through his crew cut blonde hair. “Sheesh, you’re acting more like a woman all the time. Are you sure you’re really Walt?”
“I am.” Nola answered then got a thoughtful look on her still very pale face. “But if I’m going out in public, in daylight, I’ll need makeup.”
“So put some on.”
“I don’t have any.” Nola answered. “The real Nola showed up on my doorstep in nothing but a really sheer nightie.”
“Oh, do you still have that around?” Carl questioned then winced at how that sounded before going on. “So now what?”
“You’ll have to go out and get some for me.” Nola told him without so much as acknowledging the comment about the nightie.
“Oh, sure, what do you expect me to do?” Carl questioned. “Go to some cosmetics counter and ask the girl running it what would look good on a mostly dead girl?”
“I guess that wouldn’t work too well, would it?” Nola chuckled, then went to Walt’s desk and removed a pad of paper and a pen. “I’ll write you out a list, how would that be?”
“Better.” Carl answered then gave her a perplexed look. “But, umm, how would you know what kind of makeup would be right for this?”
“I know.” Nola assured him then frowned while tapping her head with one finger. “Don’t ask me how, but the knowledge is in here.”
“Never mind.” Carl sighed, carefully not mentioning that the new Nola, even if she had been Walt earlier was moving and acting like a real girl. “Just give me the list and I’ll get the stuff. Got any cash around?”
“Nola has my wallet.”
“Meaning that you’re broke?”
“This is important!” Nola shot back then nodded. “Yes, Nola got all my credit cards and cash when she took my pants.”
“Okay, I’ll spring for it.” Carl shook his head. “But you’ll owe me.”
“Just do it, will you?” Nola shot back, handing the hastily scrawled list to the young man.
“I’m going, I’m going!”
“Well, you don’t look nearly so dead now.” Carl offered as Nola emerged from the bathroom.
“You really need to work on how you talk to girls, you know that?” She answered with a smirk, though with the makeup, she actually did look like a living, breathing young woman.
“Hey, I’m the one who had to go to Macy’s cosmetics counter and hand the list to the girl behind the counter.” Carl defended himself. “I’m sure she thought I’d written it and was getting that stuff for myself. It was embarrassing!”
“Oh quit complaining.” Nola told him. “At least you’re in a real live body.”
“Got me there.” Carl admitted then asked. “Your car or mine?”
“Yours.” The new Nola answered with a roll of her eyes. “Nola took my keys when she took my pants.”
“Where is that bitch in a my body?” Nola asked in frustration after several fruitless hours of searching.
“If I knew that, we’d have found him by now.” Carl grumbled.
“I’m running out of time here!” The girl in the car told him, then let out a sigh. “I’m sorry, I’m just all antsy about finding my body and getting it hooked up with Amy Gillette.”
“Good luck on that last one.” Carl answered pointing to a car that had just parked in front of them. Amy was being helped out of it by a man who definitely wasn’t Walt, or anyone in Walt’s body. Walt, in the still dead girl’s body felt a stirring in his/her crotch at the sight and worked to ignore it.
“I’m going to KILL him when we find him.” She muttered.
“Then you’d never get your body back.” Carl answered, though after being with the person claiming to be Walt he was wondering if that would be such a bad thing. This not so dead girl was becoming very appealing in spite of her complaints about her situation.
“Okay, bruise him.” Nola amended with a frown. “I could live with bruises.”
“We need to find ‘him’ first.”
“Yeah, and where to look if ‘he’ isn’t trying to woo the delectable Amy.” Nola answered thoughtfully.
“What do you mean by that?” Carl questioned.
“I still like girls.” Nola told him simply then added. “No offense, you’re a nice looking guy, but I’ve never swung that way, you know?”
“Never mind.” Carl answered. “So where should we look next?”
“First we grab, Amy.” Nola answered thoughtfully. “Just so we have her around when we find the fake Walt.”
“Kidnapping?” Carl shook his head. “Huh uh. None of that.”
“But we need to have Amy around when we find the fake Walt.” Nola wheedled, reaching out a hand to stroke Carl’s cheek. “Otherwise we won’t be able to have the two of them getting it on so I get back to my real body.”
“First we find Walt, the fake one!” Carl hastily added to the first of his statement while enjoying the soft, warm hand on his cheek. “You know, you aren’t cold any longer.”
“What’s that got to do with anything?” Nola questioned, still scanning the street for any sign of her stolen body since Amy was in the vicinity.
“Nothing.” Carl admitted then added. “When you grabbed my shoulders earlier your hands were cold, like they’d been in a refrigerator all night, but just now your hand was nice and warm, like a real girl’s.”
“I’m not a real girl.” Nola shot back. “I’m a dead girl with a guy’s soul trapped inside it.”
“We’ll keep looking.” Carl sighed.
“There he is!” Nola shouted and pointed towards a porn theater that featured live girls. “I just say him walking in there!”
“Are you sure?” Carl asked, giving the establishment a really dubious look. “I mean if the Nola who stole your body is trying to get laid, even if it isn’t with Amy Gillette, that isn’t a great place to try it. The real girls are all safely behind bullet proof glass and no one can reach them from the customer’s area.”
“And how would you know that?” Nola asked with frost in her voice.
“Never mind.” Carl sighed, finding an open parking spot and slotting the car into it. “Come on, we’ll go have a quick look, and if Walt is in there we’ll snag him.”
“Why do I feel like I should be in a short, tight, black leather skirt and a corset top?” Nola grumbled as they worked their way through the bookstore towards the live viewing area.
“Oh, I don’t know.” Carl shrugged. “Maybe it was when the guy at the counter asked if you wanted a job?”
“I’ll deal with you later.” Nola growled staring into the dimly lit corridor they’d entered. “Right now let’s find my body and get it out of here. It’s after ten and I only have another two hours to see that he does the deed with Amy.”
“Whatever.” Carl nodded and followed the really not so dead stalk of the girl claiming she was Walt.
“There she is.” Nola stopped at a doorway, peering through the narrow glass set in the door. “The perv is actually enjoying the show.”
“Well, the girl is kind of sexy, you know.” Carl lamely put in then added. “In a skanky sort of way.”
“But it isn’t Amy, and he’s NOT working to get it on with her.” Nola growled pulling at the door and finding it was locked. “Help me get in there.”
Pulling out his pocket knife, Carl moved her to the side. “Okay, give me some room here.”
“You didn’t have to hit him so hard.” Nola gave a worried look to the unconscious body they had dragged out of the porn store. “He may not wake up in time to do what I need for him to do.”
“He was choking you at the time.” Carl defended himself. “What was I supposed to do, let him kill you?”
“I’m already dead!” Nola retorted. “He couldn’t have killed me. It’s got to be a rule of some kind about trying to kill someone who’s already died.”
“You were doing a really good job of faking that ‘choking and turning blue in the face’ thing, then.” Carl shot back. “I could have sworn you were trying to get a breath in there once in awhile while he was choking you.”
“It’s reflex.” Nola, still thinking of herself as Walt replied defensively. “I finally got this body acting like it was breathing and then kind of forgot about it. So it kept trying to breathe when I was getting choked.”
Carl watched the girl gingerly touching her bruised and sore throat and nodded. “I’ll buy that if you quit breathing right now. Not to mention stopping the wincing whenever you touch your throat.”
“I’m dead, not insensate.” Nola complained while softly touching her injured neck and throat.
“Then prove it and stop breathing.” Carl was adamant.
“All right.” Nola stopped rubbing her throat and held her breath.
“You’re turning blue.” Carl helpfully told her. “Dead girls don’t turn blue, they already are.”
“Gah!” Nola gasped in a long breath. “That doesn’t prove anything. I just got this body used to pretending to breathe is all.”
“You don’t look all that dead.” Carl reached out and set a gentle hand on her shoulder. “You don’t feel dead, either. You’re nice and warm.”
“The car heater is blowing right on me.” Nola answered tartly. “Of course I feel warm. I’m like a reptile now. I stay at the temperature that I’m in. Put me in an ice box and I’ll be a nice, chilly thirty degrees or something.”
“Your color is better, too.” Carl noted. “No blue in your complexion at all. You’re nice and pink, actually.”
“It’s dark in here.” Nola countered. “And I’m wearing makeup to make me look alive.”
“Whatever you say.” Carl shrugged then turned in the seat to look at the unconscious Walt sprawled in the back seat. “What do we do with him, her, whatever?”
“We find Amy and get them together.” Nola, who still insisted she was Walt answered.
“Any ideas where we might do that?” Carl questioned with a lift of his eyebrows. “I’m sure she didn’t spend three hours eating dinner at the restaurant we saw her walking into with that guy. Which brings up another point here. What about the guy who was with her?”
“We check out the clubs.” Nola told him, unfazed by the idea that the elusive Amy had probably disappeared for the night.
When did I start accepting Carl calling me Nola, or thinking of myself as her? Walt thought then turned to the matter at hand. “Get some cold water and wake him up.”
“Sure you want to do that?” The guy asked. “I mean he was trying to choke you to death a little while ago.”
“I won’t hold that against him.” Nola shrugged. “Considering that this body is already dead.”
“I’ll cold cock him if he tries it again.” Carl warned.
“That’s sweet.” Nola answered while the Walt left in her wondered what had possessed him/her to say such a thing then gave the young man a hard look. “Just get him awake. I’m running out of time here.”
“Okay.” Carl stopped at a gas station and purchased an empty cup and bag of ice. When he returned to the car he grumped. “Would you believe they charged me fifty cents for an empty cup?”
“Just dump the ice on him, who needs a cup?” Nola was not sympathetic. “Why did you get a cup, anyway?”
“Thought you might like a cold drink.”
“Dump the ice on him.” Nola ordered.
“Yeah, yeah.” Carl tore the bag open and poured its contents over the somlemnent Walt body.
That body obliged by jerking, spluttering, and yelling. “What the Hell?!!!”
“You were supposed to be working on laying Amy Gillette.” Nola told the now wide awake Walt with a frown.
“Oh, come on, Nola.” The person in the Walt body smirked. “I’m a nicely warm, living, breathing person like this. Why would I ruin that by boffing a girl who has no interest at all in this wonderful body. I mean there are a lot more willing girls out there that I could have fun with.”
“Listen to me.” The unwilling Nola grabbed the new Walt by the throat. “I want my body back! For that to happen you have to get into Amy Gillette’s panties!”
“What time is it?” Walt, who wasn’t really Walt questioned innocently.
“Ten-forty-five.” Carl helpfully answered.
“With the way Amy plays around.” Walt smirked. “There is no way you’ll find her in an hour and fifteen minutes, let alone convince her to letting me have my way with her.”
“I’ll find a way, you weasel.” Nola answered with a scowl then brightened. “Wait a minute here! All the agreement said was that you were supposed to get into Amy’s panties!”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Carl asked.
“Amy’s panties!” Nola excitedly told him. “That doesn’t mean she has to be in them!”
“I do not believe I’m letting a girl lead me into a panty raid.” Carl sighed as the trio, with Walt securely tied and led by a leash like rope Nola held tightly to, griped.
“Oh, stop complaining.” Nola whispered. “Or at least do it more quietly. It’s the best way to get my body back, I just know it.”
“So how do we get in there?” Carl questioned while looking at the large house surrounded by a dauntingly strong looking fence.
“You climb the fence and open the gate from the inside.” Nola told him.
“I knew I wasn’t going to like the answer.” Carl sighed.
“You’ll never make it in time.” Walt, or Nola in Walt’s body helpfully told them. It’s almost midnight now. Once that comes I have this body forever, and you’re stuck with the dead one I tricked you into taking, Nola.”
“You shut up.” Nola, though answering to that name reluctantly, fiercely shot back. “We have time.”
“I won’t cooperate.” Walt told her with a smirk. “Come on, what real man would let someone put him into some girl’s panties?”
“Carl can knock you out again.” Nola responded with a smirk of her own. “Then when you wake up, you can go back to the coffin waiting for you. Besides, you aren’t a real man, you’re a girl, a dead one, who stole my body.”
“Details, details.” Walt smirked. “I’m still the nicely living guy and you’re still the dead girl who shouldn’t be up and walking around. It’s you who will be in that nice comfy coffin tomorrow, not me.”
“Over the fence, Carl.” Nola didn’t respond to that but pushed Carl upwards with surprising strength.
“Ooof!” Carl managed when he landed on the other side of the fence.
“Quit complaining and go open the gate!” Nola urged. “The clock is ticking, you know!”
“I think I sprained something.” Carl complained, but got up from the heap he’d landed in and started moving towards the gate to his side.
“Just get the gate open.” Nola answered.
“Don’t bother.” The Walt body grinned and stretched. “It’s midnight.”
“He’s lying!” Nola told Carl. “Get the gate open! Hurry!”
“Yes!” The Walt body exulted as a nearby church clock chimed the witching hour.
“NO!” Nola, now trapped in the dead female flesh screamed as she heard the chiming.
“Damn!” Carl scrambled back up the fence as the guard dogs on the estate started closing in on him.
He made it back over the fence, barely. Looking up to see something he couldn’t credit as real even after the events he’d been part of that day.
The formerly dead girl, Nola, with or without Walt inside it, was glowing. Glowing with life and health.
The body thief, still in Walt’s body was looking very pale and having problems moving at all.
“What?” Nola, or whoever was in the girl’s body incredulously questioned as the colors of life and health, not to mention the feeling of well being spread through her body.
“Nooo!” The Walt body shouted.
“I’m afraid so, Walt, or should I say Nola?” A disembodied voice drew the trio’s attention to a spot of light that grew, took shape and resolved into a woman wearing flowing robes fluttering in a breeze that none of them felt. “The spell you used was to allow a newly dead to redress a wrong. You misused it.”
“The conditions weren’t met!” A rapidly decomposing Walt body argued. “I won!”
“So you did.” The woman nodded sadly. “But the soul in the body is moving on, dear. So the body is no longer needed. It’s dead.”
“What about me?!!” Nola, who used to be Walt shouted.
“You were not meant to pass on just yet.” The mystery woman smiled and gently put a hand on the the Nola body’s shoulder. “Whether you are Walt or Nola, you have many years of life to go through yet.”
“But I’m not a girl!” Nola shouted.
“No, you aren’t.” The woman answered softly then smiled. “But you are a woman. A living, breathing woman, not the clumsy dead thing that you were first trying to get used to inhabiting.”
“But Nola’s funeral is tomorrow!” The newly proclaimed woman protested.
“No, dear.” The lady answered. “Tomorrow is Walt’s funeral.”
“I’m Walt!” The Nola body protested.
“Not any longer.” The Glowing lady answered with a little sadness in her voice. “Had you managed to get your purloined body into a pair of Amy’s panties before midnight, that could have been so. Now, you’re Nola. Nothing can change that. I’m sorry, but I think you’ll find that being Nola isn’t that bad.”
“How am I supposed to do that?”
“Like every other young woman does. Live and learn.” The mystery woman answered. “Now I’ve done my duty here. You aren’t trapped in a dead body any longer. You’re a living, healthy young woman. Make the best of it, dear.”
“But!” Nola’s protest faded with the woman form who had just told her that. When it was very clear that there would be no change, especially when ‘Walt’ vanished, she started to cry, with real tears running down her cheeks.
Carl took her in his arms and hugged her. “Look at it this way, Nola. Dead girls don’t cry. So you have to be alive, and let me tell you, you’re one hot little lady.”
“Don’t get any ideas.” Nola pushed him away with a smile in spite of everything. “I still like girls.”
“I’m patient.” Carl answered with a grin.