Once in a Lifetime: Chapter 2 – I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

*** A brief note from the author: Your about to read the first draft of the second chapter of a novel I have been working on for awhile now (started it during NaNoWriMo 2 years ago, and now it’s nearly finished!). ** it may be beneficial to read Chapter 1 first ** The concept is simple, Maverick McCormick wakes up without a memory in his head. Desperate to figure things out, his memories start to come back to him, but are they in fact his memories? Is he really this person? What you are embarking on, is the journey of a person who lives three lives simultaneously and in random intervals – never quite sure where he is being dropped off nor what his predicament might be once he gets there. To keep things interesting, I opted to write this in first person, so that Maverick’s journey would be our shared journey with him/her: making it personal for both the character and the reader. I truly hope you enjoy this effort – please send me any notes or comments that you may have. Thanks for reading ***

Once in a Lifetime

By: Packy Smith

Chapter 2: I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

And there I was, as naked and womanly as I could ever possibly be, in the most lavish bedroom you could have ever imagined. To my knowledge, I had never stayed in a room this nice before, especially not as as a lowly retail general manager. This was like some Buckingham Palace levels of opulence and excess. I was sure that I should hate it, just on principal, but it was just so fucking amazing. The bed alone was a wonder to behold! Silk sheets, more pillows than I had fingers or toes, and a canopy that looked like something out of an Arabian fairy tale. It was a truly magnificent feeling as I stretched my newly found feminine frame across that heavenly pillowed fort of decadent comfort.

The initial shock of having transformed into a woman’s body had not fully evaded my mind. As I looked around, I noticed an even newer wrinkle in my day, a golden ring with a neatly princess cut diamond on the ring finger of my left hand. So, over the course of one bottle of Chardonnay last night, I had traded up my gender, became exceptionally wealthy and got hitched, which all seemed highly unlikely. Yet, all things having been considered, I didn’t have a better guess at this point. I had literally no idea what was going on, and that now makes two days in a row. There was a pattern forming. A frankly frightening one when you really think about it. I mean, who the fuck would I wake up as tomorrow if this keeps up? I couldn’t even begin to comprehend how any of this was even possible. Perhaps this was a dream, and that’s how I chose to treat it. Ride out the dream till I woke back up on the couch with Cora.

I ran my fingers through my long semi-curly raven black hair and giggled at the novelty of it all. Me as a woman? Honestly, how could this possibly end in anything other than an unmitigated train wreck of Greedo shooting first like proportions? Seriously, what the fuck did I know about being a woman? I hardly felt like I knew enough to pleasure the one I have, let alone what makes one tick. I reached between my legs once more to ensure that I wasn’t going crazy, and came to the conclusion that either way I was likely going some reasonable amount of slightly mad. Regardless, it did not change the fact that I was now in possession of the same plumbing that was definitively indicitive of the female condition.

As I sighed the sigh of a befuddled man trapped in a woman’s body, I started to bring my hands out from between my legs, when a sudden tingle ran from my nether-regions and up my spine. Holy shit! I was a woman! As such I had never experienced the plethora of pleasurable experiences unique to the female perspective. Fingers from my right hand raced down the feminine grooves of the promised land as my back arched. So this was what that felt like! Much more complex, satisfying and oddly trickier than I had imagined. The future never had never seemed more confusing to me than at this moment. I could wake up as a talking parrot on a pirate captain’s shoulder somewhere in the late 1600’s tomorrow, so I had to take advantage of this golden opportunity to do some field testing, STAT!

I hadn’t the need to be this creative in bed alone in years. Masturbating as a man usually meant porn, lotion, one of your hands (hey, sometimes it paid off to use the other hand) and if you’re feeling really frisky, a fleshlight. Ooh baby, ooh baby, but it got the job done. Truthfully, you really only had 2 major plans of attack: 1) the tried and true – the hand you always jerk it with: old faithful, and 2) the drunken date – essentially the other hand, which never felt quite right, but got the job done for variety’s sake. However, here in this moment, I was getting an unprecedented peak into the mysteries hitherto before never understood by men.

My left hand explored the sensitivity of my nipples as I continued to search for the ever elusive moment of ecstasy. My imagination ran wild with the thought of a threesome in my mind. A slender black woman seduced a built white man, while a latino lady sat on his face and kissed the black woman. It was a beautiful little daydream, and was more than enough to start my motor running. Getting to the finish line was a proving to be a dodgy goal to achieve, and it took precision probing and dedicated rhythm experiments with the tip of my pointer finger to find the groove, so to speak. I was amazed by how many of the sexual things I had done as a man to a woman with my hands, effectively didn’t do much for stimulation. It didn’t feel bad per se, but it definitely wasn’t getting me to where I wanted to be. I had clearly a lot to learn, and I wasn’t going to waste this experience to pick up some much needed pointers. Just as I found the spot, the door to the bedroom swung open and I let out an insatiable sigh of utter relief having exploited the aforementioned spot to a most satisfying conclusion.

“Again? I swear that’s all you ever do anymore.” Marky said as he went to the walk-in closet to find a hat appropriate for golfing (if such a thing actually exists).

Wait! How was it that I knew his name, yet I didn’t know who I was or where I in the world I was presently located? Why had this happened to me again? Hold on now, Marky’s my husband but estranged, I think. It’s all so cloudy, but some of it was coming into focus. I actually kind of think we hated each other. Ugh, everything was so discombobulated right now, also ‘le sigh’ to that orgasm being interrupted before I could fully enjoy it. Why couldn’t I remember things when I woke up? Why was I woman? How is gender/life swapping possible? Was I the only one experiencing this phenomenon? What does any of this mean?

“This is why we never have sex,” Marky argued as he selected a rather hideous hat to wear (thusly answering my aforementioned question). Marky was tall, 6 foot 3 inches, with an athletic build. He kept his sandy blonde hair neat and short, with nary a spot of facial hair to be found. His face was handsome enough, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was a world class douche-nozzle. “It takes you like a half hour to have a quasi-decent orgasm when I’m with you ‘cuz all you do is sit there and do that every fucking morning. I’m done after like 10 minutes, and you just make me wait for you to finish. It’s just exhausting.”

“Always start your day off with a bang,” I told him in a slightly lighter and much more sultry voice than my previous incarnation. Still potentially southern, most certainly not British. And a half an hour? I just accomplished the deed in a few scant minutes, nowhere near as long as his requisite 10 minutes, and to be fair I had no clue what I was even doing for the first few minutes! Were men really this incapable of pleasing women?

“Yeah, well, we haven’t ‘banged’ in months,” he deadpanned.

“Your choice, not mine,” I fired back instinctively.

He paused for a moment and reflected on that statement, and then let out a sigh. “Look you do your thing, and I do mine and that’s good enough for me.”

I could tell that those words hurt him to say out loud, but at the same time I recognized that my instincts were spot on. What exactly was his thing? Had I really married a world class asshole who jerked off in lieu of sleeping with his super hot wife? I assumed I was super hot, the other version of me was a pretty good looking fellow, and this body is smoking, so I’ve got to be hot. I mean, I would bang me… I actually already did! Worse still, was he having an affair with some little trollop? What was this guy’s problem? I’d probably bang him now if he wanted it. Wait. Did I just say that I’d bang a dude? HA HA HA HA HA! Oh shit, this was hurting my head, but why the hell not, right? No time to dilly dally, let’s conduct another out of gender sociological experiment.

“What if I said that our situation isn’t good enough for me anymore?” I expressed in the most seductive way I could. “What if I wanted more from you?”

“Shit honey, it’s too early to talk about divorce again. Plus, you control all the money anyway. What more could you want from me? Besides, I gotta hit the links in like 40 minutes,” Marky replied, with clear signs of frustration written across his forehead.

“I don’t want a divorce, numb-nuts, at least not yet. I want you to come over here and make love to your wife!”

“You are out of your fucking mind. Do you know that? Didn’t you just hear me say that I gotta tee time in less than an hour?” The entire time he uttered those pathetic words he hardly even looked at me. “Although, once the afterglow has worn off from all of whatever this is, you should go downstairs and talk to your daughter. She’s having ‘boy’ problems again, something about a dance this Friday. I don’t know. Don’t really care either.”

And just like that he was gone. That man just flat out refused to have sex with me. Normally that wouldn’t have hurt my feelings, but it was the first time I had ever asked a man to have… I have a daughter. Wait, what? How was that possible? What kind of mind-fuck shit was this? I wasn’t ready for kids, let alone teenage ones with problems. I had my own very serious problems at the moment! What in the fuck was I supposed to do with a kid? This was like the best-worst-most-emotional-day of my life. First worlds problems, ain’t they a bitch?

I stayed in bed for what seemed like an eternity. My first orgasm as a woman was divine in one measure, and bittersweet in another. After I had decided that I had made my daughter, who was still nameless and faceless up to this point, wait long enough, I jumped up and grabbed a robe with the initials “M.P.” on them and covered up. I went to the bathroom and set the shower to scalding. I spotted a lusciously fluffy pair of house slippers just on the corner of my peripheral vision and made sure to slide those on. My word, they were heavenly as well. I don’t think I had ever been rich before, but if all it took was becoming a woman to get rich, then I suppose I could accept those terms. If this is how the other half lives, I could get use to it.

It was really only at that precise moment, the moment the slippers came on, that I really took an opportunity to drink in the opulence of this room. It was out of control. The curtains looked like something you’d expect to see in the home of royalty! Frilly, velvety and absolutely gorgeous. The wallpaper was complex and visually stunning, rife with gold designed paisleys against a maroon base. Ornate crown molding adorned the walls. Nothing about this room seemed second rate, it was as if no expense had been spared. I loved it.

There was a hand carved and crafted grandfather clock to my right that indicated that it was 7:22 AM. Although, it wasn’t the time that stunned me as much as the painting next to the clock. A delicately framed work that seemed to subtly suggest a bridge over water, with a dimly lit city on the horizon. It was mesmerizing, with its serenade of pastels mired in a smokey rich fog, with just a hint of a boat in the drink. Then I noticed the signature at the bottom left hand of the painting: Claude Monet. Holy crap, I think this was an original work. My heart started racing and I had no idea why. I touched the painting with my bare hand and then withdrew it quickly as I let out an audibly sharp laugh. I had just touched a real Monet with my own bare hand, that I apparently owned in my somewhat real-ish new life.

The rest of the furniture was equally amazing. Hand carved mahogany as far as the eye could see. Wonderfully stained and too elegant to believe. There was a dedicated sitting area, with a fancy table and beautifully upholstered 2 chair set. I could, without a doubt, get used to this.

I headed back to the shower, hung up my robe and started to bathe. Even the shower was too much: gold trim, with a marble exterior. A neatly arranged rack held every variety of shower accessory and cleaning agent that any one person could ever want. I knew that I shouldn’t spend a horribly long time in the shower, but by the same token, what’s the point of having all of this stuff if you aren’t going to enjoy it?

I came out of the shower feeling like a million bucks, and then glanced in the mirror. Clearly, I needed to upgrade that statement to a couple hundred million bucks. I was smoking hot! I had just gotten finished getting myself off, and I would do me again, that’s how hot I was. Well defined cheeks, soft skin, full pouty lips, gloriously flowing black hair, and a body that was much taller and much sexier than Coraline’s, and I loved her body immensely. I wasn’t half this attractive as a man, how was this even fair?

You know, it was almost funny. In all of this confusion and gender swapping, I had come across a genuine new challenge to my day: I had no idea how to put myself together as a woman. I didn’t know how to fix my hair, put on make up, or really do anything other than put clothes on for that matter.

I put the robe back on and headed out of the bedroom. I had an idea, that likely was going to be met with some reasonable amount of resistance, but it was the best chance I had at getting this whole beautification process all sorted.

I followed the hallway to a winding staircase, where I heard the sound of rumblings downstairs. I took the stairs to the first floor and found the source of the commotion in the kitchen. My daughter, presumably, was making a bowl of cereal. It was a rather sweet one, which she likely shouldn’t have, but I needed her onboard the “make me prettier” mission that I had lined up for her o I was going to let it slide for the time being.

“Running a bit behind today, Mom?” She quipped to me.

“A little bit,” I replied trying to gauge are relationship in that one exchange. For the record, I had gained no useful knowledge thus far. “I’m just frustrated, ya know?”

“What? About Dad? Don’t be, he’s been a total jerk face for awhile now.”

“No, not him. Well, not only him. I’m just not feeling happy with how I look recently.”

“Mom, you’re gorgeous. Do you have any idea how many guys at my high school want to nail you? I think it’s like all of them.” She said in between bites of cereal.

This seemed to be going well, with a nice natural rapport. At least she only hated her father. I’ve read so many stories about rich kids and how they hate their parents, so it was nice to be pleasantly surprised by this. Although, I couldn’t for the life of me place her name. Why could I remember Marky’s name, but not my own daughter’s? Regardless, it was time to seal the deal on my plan.

“Do you think you’d like to come upstairs and help me try something new, you know hair, make up, the works?”

She looked at me with a blank expression. This was something that I had clearly never asked her to do before. I put my back up plan in motion, “and while you help me with that, I could help you with your little conundrum at the dance this Friday.”

“Really, mom? You wanna talk about that?”

If it would get me ready for the day, “of course I wanna talk about that!”

“Okay. But wait, won’t that make me late for school?”

“You’ll only miss home room, no big deal right? Besides, they probably have a wing of that place named after me anyways.”

“Actually, it’s the Maverick Powers Auditorium, that’s named after you, but I see what you’re saying.”

“Well, come on. I don’t want you to miss your first class!” I said as a I grabbed her hand and started to pull her up the stairs with me.

The naming of the wing was a lucky guess on my part. Owned a legitimate Monet, check. Got a building named after me, check. Felt the intensity of the female orgasm for myself, check check. I’ve ticked quite a few items off of the ol’ life list today. Wait. Did she say the Maverick Powers Auditorium? I’m a woman, but my name is still Maverick? What the hell? Seriously? Maverick? And Powers, as in Marcie Powers my old D.M. from Higher Definition? Marcie Powers and Marky Powers, a coincidence? What in the effing fuck was going on here? There was something awfully peculiar going on, and I was going to get to the bottom of it, ya know just after I let my nameless daughter give me a makeover.

The young lady that entered my room was a delightful little thing. She seemed shy, but opened up thoroughly as the conversation deepened. She wore her blonde hair shoulder length and straight, just behind her ears. She didn’t wear much in the way of makeup, but was still cute with her minimalist approach. She dressed like she was captain of the tennis team, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about her fashion choice. If it made her happy, I wasn’t going to call her out on it.

Next thing I knew, we were sitting on my bed with an assortment of make up and hair products. My daughter looked at me like a painter confused as to which medium to use to paint their next masterpiece. “You tend to use a lot of darker tones with your make up, so I thought we might brighten you up a bit today,” she stated as she grabbed a base and a blending sponge.

“Not too bright,” I cautioned her, “I don’t want the whole world thinking I’m all rainbows and puppy dogs now.”

“No worries, I have just the right balance in mind.” She said confidently as she started to apply the base to my skin. It was a very strange, almost alien to have make up applied to my face. Near as I could remember, the only thing I had ever applied to my face was a smidgeon of aftershave every now and then.

“So, what’s this I hear about your problem with the upcoming dance?” I asked curious for some juicy gossip.

“Yeah, there’s this guy I like, Jonathan, and we’ve been talking a lot for the last few weeks. He’s cool and all, but it just seems like maybe he’s not into me or something. But he keeps talking to me about everything, every day, all the time. I always thought that guys like him only talk to me because they wanted to date, screw, or whatever, one of my friends, but he never asks about my friends.”

“What makes you think that he’s not into you?”

“Well, for starters, I asked him to go with me to the dance and he said ‘I don’t know, maybe.’ When I asked if had other plans, he said he didn’t.”

“Maybe he can’t dance very well, some guys get intimidated by that kind of thing.”

“I don’t think it’s that, mom. I’ve seen him at a handful of these dances. Hold still, ‘kay?” She said as she started to run some eyeliner through my lashes.

“Maybe he’s avoiding someone. Was he dating anyone before you guys started talking?” I said as I attempted to stay still. My daughter glared at me as I moved a nanometer to the left. I suppose that I had never taken into consideration how serious this putting on make-up business was. Also, I seriously seemed to suck at being a woman.

“Yeah, some sketchy girl named Veronica. I don’t know much about her.”

“Yet you know that she’s, what’s the word…sketchy?” I retorted.

She popped me lightly on the nose with the butt of the eyeliner as she warned me, “Stay put mom, or I’m going to put your eye out!” I thought that I had cautiously made an effort to stay still, clearly I was mistaken. “Yeah, she’s totally sketchy. She hangs out with some girls that are kinda known for being in trouble all of the time.”

I was as still as a totem as I asked her to, “Define trouble.”

“You know, stealing stuff, breaking curfew, sleeping around… you know, like trouble.” She related all of this information to me as if I should know what constitutes for trouble these days. I had no clue what fucking decade I was even in, let alone where I was or how I got here.

“Did it ever occur to you find out more about his relationship with this Veronica?”

“Not really. I don’t really care about her, and he doesn’t seem to want to talk about it. So, I don’t press the issue.”

“Darling, you’ve got to press the issue. You’ve gotta get all Nancy Drew on that situation. I bet you it has a lot to do with that sketchy gal.”

She grabbed a small brush out of the kit and started to decorate my eyelids. “Close your eyes. You’re acting like you’ve never done this before,” she playfully scowled. Such a funky feeling. How was I supposed to get up and do this whole thing with my grill every morning. Sigh, more first worlds problems. “And who is this Nancy Drew that you speak of?” She inquired.

Holy shit! Had I just stumbled across a world without Nancy Drew? How sad and unfortunate would that be? That’d be like a world without James Bond or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches: inconceivable! “She’s a fictional teen detective from books that I used to read a long time ago. I’m just saying that you should find out more about Jonathan’s relationship with Veronica, so you can find out what he would be comfortable doing. Maybe he’d rather go see a movie, or just hang out at the mall or something.”

“Maybe so. I’ll look into it.” She said as she applied blush to my cheeks.

“Now hurry this makeover up, I don’t want to get fired today.”

“You’re such a trip today, mom. Fired. Ha! I mean, you only own the company and majority stock in it. Doesn’t that mean that only you could actually like fire you?”

I owned a company. What in the hell did I know about owning a company? And what kind of company? Seriously, how do you run an entire company? What was I going to do? Maybe I had a corner office and no one would be able to see me as I played Tetris on my computer all day shirking any and all responsibility. It was during this brief moment of panic that she snapped her fingers in front of my eyes. Good grief. How long had I been zoning out?

“So, are you firing yourself today, or what?”

“I guess not today, we’ll see how I feel about the idea tomorrow.” I said with almost no confidence behind the words I had just uttered.

My daughter led me to the mirror. “What do you think, mom?”

I was gorgeous, just like she said I was, except that now it was doubly true. She had made me look amazing. “I look great. Thanks, I needed this.” Just as I said that, an outrageously painful feeling cut through my head. I’ve endured headaches before, however this one was in a league of its own. Pain like I had never thought I could imagine. Like somebody had wedged a crowbar in my cranium and was hoping to pop my skull wide open.

“You should get dressed. Home room ends in about 15 minutes,” my daughter stated on her way out of my bedroom.

“Yeah, OK… sure,” I shakily replied.

I should, in theory, be able to dress myself. I made my way to the closet and found a variety of ultra nice clothing of all shades and fashions. It didn’t take long till I found the smartest looking business ensemble of the bunch. A nice off white silk blouse adorned with some lace elements, complemented with a grey skirt with white pinstripes. I draped a scarf around my neck that complimented my overall look. Aces!

Wait a moment, I still needed to do something with my hair! “Babe, you still close by?”

“Yeah mom, what’s up?”

“Can you help tease my hair up a bit?”

“Sure, give me a mo.”

One more dilemma thankfully wiped off of my plate. A few moments later we were heading out the front door and into a chauffeured limousine. Flummoxed, I looked on this oh so swanky ride in utter amazement. It was so comfy on the inside and I would have been enjoying it a whole helluva lot more if it hadn’t been for this damned headache that wouldn’t go away. I spent a few minutes in the limo with my head buried in my hands until it hit me. And girl had it ever hit me. Like a one ton wrecking ball to a Lego brick wall, the very familiar feeling from the day before had hit my brain once more.

My name, even as a woman, was still regrettably Maverick. I went by Mav with most people, which I wasn’t sure was any better, but it was what it was. At 45 years old, I still had my good looks, and it took eating food that I didn’t want to eat and copious amounts of exercise I had been married to Marky since shortly after we graduated high-school, nearly 20 years now. Make no mistake, he was a proper dick head. How this version of me had put up with that ass-wipe for this long was beyond me. That magnificent beautician in training opposite me was none other than Delilah, my 17 year old daughter who was at that moment reaching over to give me a hug and a kiss as she left the limo to go to school. Also, she was the captain of the tennis team. Go figure. I apparently owned an advertising firm, “The M&M Group”. Was that name for real? Geez, how fucked was this reality going to get?

In what seemed like less than thirty seconds after we had left the school parking lot, we arrived in front of the corporate headquarters of the M&M Group. I still loathed that fucking name, and no amount of recovering my memories was likely going to change that. My chauffeur opened the door for me and then handed me a briefcase and my purse. He wished me a good day, like always, and then drove off. Just like that I was in front of a building that I apparently owned. Odd, now that I seemed to be recalling all the various important details of this life, all I want to do was hide away in my office and play Tetris while not being bothered all day, which come to think of it I had already thought of. Must have been instinct or something. It likely would have to be my first executive order of the day.

As I walked through the front doors of my business, I saw a handful of employees scurry about in that way that people do when the boss shows up. I made haste to get to the elevator. I needed this day to go by quickly and with as little incident as possible. Two days in a row of this mind-fuck stuff was taking its toll on my ability to cope with the everyday details of these two disparate lives.

I arrived on the fifth floor and was greeted by my Personal Assistant, Coraline Boenig. Whoa! What’s Coraline doing here? I mean that was her, right? How could it not be, what with the Marky/Marcie reveal earlier? It didn’t look like the Coraline that I knew, but the name was identical. This Coraline was taller and her body was more robust. Voluptuous would probably be the best term to describe her curves. She had her long brunette hair pulled back in a tight ponytail, which only made the severity of her serious demeanor that much more apparent. Her clothes were business professional and looked like they had been purchased from the Dana Scully pantsuit collection. And it was Coraline in this scenario, not Cora. I needed to remember that.

“It’s about time you got here Miss Powers.” She said as she looked like she was about to hand me a hundred documents of the utmost importance all at the same time.

“Miss? Aren’t I still married?”

“Of course you are, it’s just that you’ve told me at least twice in the last couple months to quit reminding you every time I say your name. So now I just say Miss.”

“Works for me, my old man’s about as useful as a one legged cat trying to bury a turd on a frozen lake.”

“So you keep telling me.” She replied in her slightly annoyed and redundant way.

Coraline finally managed to shove all of her paperwork in front of me. “Miss Boenig, what is all of this?” I asked.

“This is all of the things that need your signature today. I have a requisition order, petty cash disbursement form, day off requests, and the other usual stuff I put in front of you on a regular basis.”

And then a wicked good memory found its way into my memory banks. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’ve gotten really good at signing my name, right?”

She answered with a slight pause, “…yes.”

“And these documents all look fine, right? Nothing out of the ordinary.”

“They’re all exactly as they should.”

“Ah, fantastic! Go ahead and sign them for me and then see that they get reported to the proper supervisors and then filed away. Thanks Coraline, you’re the best.” I said as I closed the door to my personal office. I swung the door back open really quick, “and unless absolutely necessary, I’m not to be disturbed today. I’m trying to figure out some import details about something major today. Thanks.” And once more I closed the door to my office and sighed a humongous sigh of massive relief. Maybe I had what it took to survive the day after all. The buzzer on my intercom let me know that my naive notion was too good to be true.

Coraline’s obviously annoyed voice came through loud and clear, “I’ll keep you free and clear until your 2 o’clock with the sales team, ma’am.”

I mashed the button on the phone down and replied, “Thanks!” Was that too cheery? Snarky? Maybe so, but if I knew Coraline half as well I thought I did, she got the last word silently at her desk. politely inviting me to fuck off. I couldn’t possibly be easy to work for, so I had no reason to be angry with her or hold it against her. Plus, I may need her to find me a copy of Tetris to play later. The other Cora was fresh on my mind, as was Marcie. how could they both be here from what I can only assume was another reality and yet be so different in appearance and personality. How could I be so different? And why couldn’t I stop seeing her naked in my mind. I suppose one of the nice thing about being a lady was that I didn’t have to worry about hiding awkward crotch rockets every time a naughty thought passed through my mind.

I sat in my comfy office chair, that rested just behind the must luxurious oak wood desk that I have ever seen. A spectacular piece of woodworking with ornate details and magnificent flourishes, again it would seem that being successful had its privileges. I had the genius idea to test the alternate world theory by Googling my name. I searched for any record of a Maverick McCormick and came up with only some hits about my new self. McCormick was my maiden name, and so a lot of articles about me from high school popped up. No such luck on finding the 32 year old man. Snake eyes on Coraline Boenig as well. No mention of her art, and I knew she had a website for her paintings, but in this life that didn’t exist. That confirmed it well enough for me. I was indeed legitimately in a whole different world.

My brain was still throbbing like a room full of naked erect men with cock rings on viagra waiting to break the pornography gang bang record. On top of that, I couldn’t help but focus on the portions of my mind that I could wrangle, specifically on the dubious nature of this new world that I found myself trapped in. Gender changes notwithstanding, it wasn’t a coincidence that the people I had met here drew some immediate parallels to similarly named people from the place I was just at yesterday. Another topic of concern: just how long was I going to be here? I was in the other reality for all of a day, although my brain seemed to think that I had been there a whole lot longer once things snapped into place. I had memories that ran much deeper in both realities, but from my immediate perspective I had only been in both for one day. That wasn’t possible. I couldn’t possibly be two days old, could I? Was I computer? Was this a simulation? What the fuck was happening?

Coraline walked in to my office with a file in hand. “You should review this before your meeting, that starts in,” she checked her watch to be certain, “in about 13 minutes.”

“I thought you said that I didn’t have any meetings until 2 PM.”

“Exactly, it’ll be 2 PM in exactly 13 minutes, give or take a few seconds.”

“Gotcha. Sorry, must have lost track of time.”

“Playing Tetris again, were we?”
“Something like that,” I said with a laugh. I must’ve been truly as predictable as my brain thought it was. “I’ll take a peek at that and be ready in a few minutes.”

“Great, I’ll make sure the conference room is ready.”

I took the file and opened it up. Coraline left the office as I started to wrap my brain around this marketing manifesto. It was our proposal to be the official and only firm responsible for marketing the movie, TV, and other products for the mega company: Tiddlywinks Entertainment. Such a horrible name for such an incredibly successful provider of entertainment content. Hit movie series such as “Gun Frontier” and “Blood Consequences” as well as their syndicated TV series “Minimum Wage” were all multi-hundred million dollar making juggernauts. We wanted this contract because it was going to position the firm as the go to company to handle further entertainment contracts on a national level, and I certainly wanted to grab as much of that Hollywood cash as I could. National exposure was also a huge get, as we had been successful here in Florida, but I wanted to take us to the next level.

Just as I was getting a good handle on the contents of the proposal Coraline ran through the door and barely stopped at my desk. Huffing and puffing she exclaimed, “he’s here! I don’t know why, but he’s here!”

I was as confused as a reality/gender swapped person slammed into a life that felt alien to them could be. As such, I replied, “who’s here?”

“Terry Stockton, the CEO of Tiddlywinks Entertainment, and he’s ready to hear the proposal now.” Coraline said, still looking uncharacteristically beyond besides herself.

“The memo said that we would be talking to his CFO today, right?” I responded.

“I know. He’s not supposed to be here today. What the hell?!?” Cora shrieked, nearly hyperventilating.

“Coraline, relax! Take you Ritalin! Get Ezra, Sera and Milburn to come here right now, discretely. We’ve apparently got 5 minutes to perfect our sales pitch. We need a marketing miracle, and by all things holy we’re going to make one happen. Get them here, now!” I commanded with some unknown authority in my voice.

Coraline ran out of the office to make the necessary phone calls as I sat at my desk trying to figure out how in the hell I was going to pull this miracle off. My brain was still rattled and racked with debilitating amounts of pain from the ever present headache that seemingly wouldn’t go away. I was probably a wiz at putting the pitch together and closing the deal, but as I looked on at the documentation in front of me, I realized that I wasn’t even equipped to sell Catholicism to the Pope. Holy Crapola.


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