Peter lay in the bed in the ER in the hospital, tubes in his arms, chest, abdomen. He was barely conscious. He'd lost a lot of blood. He was using every last bit of his strength to hold on so he could see his wife before the drugs and pain overcame him. They weren't sure he would survive the night. Peter had been caught in the crossfire when two gangs opened up on each other in a busy area of town as he had been driving by. Drive by, that's all he was doing: driving by. He'd caught a round to the chest that pierced his left lung; it had entered from the driver side door, went in below the scapula and exited his sternum. That one missed bones and his heart. Another shattered his right humerus and yet another tore his left hand to shreds. That would have been bad enough, but as he lost control of his car he had also pressed the gas pedal to the floor instead of hitting the breaks. This lead to his car going under an empty school bus that had been a few car lengths in front of him. The bus' frame at the back end tore the windshield off, in pieces, ripped the car's top off and grazed his head. His skull was partially crushed, he was bleeding profusely, and his brain was swelling. Chances were not good for his survival.
Peter's wife, Jennifer, arrived at the ER within 30 minutes of the call, which was closer to 90 minutes after the incident. Peter was barely there at that point. It hurt her to seem him this way. He was her life, her reason for living. He was her Master. When she approached him, she was silently crying as she did her best to do him proud and not cause a scene. He didn't even notice. He was aware of her presence, but not much more.
"Jennifer, I'm not going to make it. I can feel it," he started in a wheezing whisper.
"Of course you can, Master. I know you can, if you put your mind to it."
"No, Mine. I've heard the doctors. I can feel the end coming," he began but was interrupted by a painful coughing fit. When it was over, he continued speaking, "I'm sorry it has to be this way, but I must. I'm releasing you." The words tore Jennifer to her very soul and a wail of grief pierced the ER. A doctor and nurse were in there suddenly, thinking that he'd died.
"Mrs, we're going to have to ask you to either calm down or leave. It doesn't help him to have anyone screaming like that," the Physician declared. The nurse handled her in a different manner. She knew Jennifer and Peter and their situation as husband and wife and Master and slave.
"Jennifer, do you need me to be here with you? I know this isn't easy. My shift ends in a short bit, and I'll come stay with you if you like."
"I'd like that, please," she started. Taking a hitching breath she continued, "That's if Master approves." She looked at him only to find his breathing shallow and fast, his face deathly pale and his eyes squeezed close against the pain.
"Denise, I'm glad you're here.
"Jennifer, I Peter Sanders, your Master hereby," as he was saying the words you could see the grief in Jennifer's face and body build, "release you as My slave. I love you, and have loved you, and have been proud to call you Mine. I'm sorry it has to be this way." Peter took one last breath and then relaxed. His death rattle was barely audible over the whimpering cries of Jennifer. A moment later all hell broke loose as machine after machine started wailing with alarms. Denise called "Code Blue" and started CPR. She knew it was for naught. Peter was dead; he'd have died much sooner if he hadn't been waiting to release Jennifer. Still, they had to go through the motions. Thankfully, she was able to escort Jennifer out of the room as the team came in and took over from her. The physician called it and noted the time of death within minutes. Jennifer was now alone, but that was then.
Then is Now
Peter woke up with a gasp. He was whole. In fact, he felt better than he had in as long as he could remember. His room was dark, but even then he knew something wasn't right. This wasn't his bed. The room smelled wrong. The bed felt wrong. The lights coming in through the not quite closed curtains was wrong; it was the old style lights used years ago before LED street lights became the norm. All the street lights near him were LEDs. Even the sound of traffic was wrong. A moment ago he was sure he was dying. Then he woke up and figured he had been dreaming. Now, he wasn't sure that he hadn't woken up from one dream into another. Life was about to get stranger still.
Looking around, Peter noticed a red LED clock across the room. It was 5 AM. At least he figured it must be 5 AM since it wouldn't be this dark at 5 PM. Since he was feeling fine, he got up and felt his way around the room. It was odd, but there was something familiar about this room. As soon as he found the light switch and flicked it on he knew why it felt familiar. It was his room in his parent's house from his teens. Looking around, he saw his calendar on the wall, where it had always been hung. According to it, today was September 1st, 1984.
Peter wondered if it had all been a dream. If it had been, it was the most realistic dream ever. The memories of the dream did not fade, like memories of dreams normally did. No, they were as clear as any memory. Was he dead? Was this purgatory? Where was he?
Peter had been an avid reader of erotic stories, many of which were on-line. It wasn't long before the idea came to him that there might have been something to all those "DoOver" stories he'd read. That started him wondering what he could do differently, if he was, in fact, being given a chance to start over. The first big hurdle would be getting reacquainted with this era. Dealing with his parents should be easy; or so he thought; his years since he left home had changed him and given him a much better appreciation of what his parents did for him and a realization of how poorly he'd acted. Oh, he wasn't bad, really, but he could have done so much more to make their lives better, as well as his own. This was going to be one of the things that would prove that things were changing in the world around him.
Since it was, thankfully, Saturday, Peter decided to go check the news. His family had cable tv and that meant CNN. He dressed in a pair of sweatpants and a tee-shirt and quietly made his way to the family room where the TV was. He turned it on and turned the sound down low before it warmed up enough to start blaring into the quiet morning. The news didn't have much of interest, but it was enough to help him remember some of what was going on at the time. It being 1984, he was going to be a sophomore in high school. He couldn't remember exactly which bands were big, but he knew the major players in general. To help with recovering the necessary knowledge he turned to MTV and after an hour had a pretty good clue in that area. His father had been an avid reader of the daily news paper, which lead him to the garage to pick up the last week's worth of papers so he could get an even better grasp of "current" events. That lead to the first surprise in the family since his waking up in his bed from when he was 15. He was sitting at the table reading the papers (by this time he'd gotten up through Thursday's edition) and was sipping a cup of strong black coffee. He hadn't even thought about it, but as a teen he'd hated coffee in all forms. It hadn't been until his time in the Navy that he'd started to drink it and learned to like it. Finding his son sitting at the table, reading the papers for the entire week, and drinking coffee, was a huge surprise to him.
"Peter, what are you doing up? You're never up this early on a weekend, and you never read the paper, or drink coffee," his father said as he approached.
This caught Peter totally off guard, causing him to sputter in the coffee he was taking a drink of just then, which made a bit of a mess of the paper. "Sorry, dad. I don't know what to say. I woke up this morning and felt a need to actually learn about what's going on in the world. I didn't even think about the coffee. It just seemed natural to make it. There's more in the kitchen if you like."
"So, did aliens abduct you last night and send back a pod person?"
Laughing, Peter responded, "As far as I know, I'm still me. Your son. I can't explain the change," he said, and it was true. Besides, who would believe him if he told them he'd lived a full life to the age of 53 and died from horrible injuries and then found himself back in his 15 year old body. "If I am a pod person, though, I promise to make your change over nice and easy. No pain. No suffering."
"Oh, that makes me feel so much better. I'll be right back. I'm going to get some coffee. Need some more?"
.... There is more of this story ...