I hadn't enjoyed myself for a long-time as I had in the past five hours. I had dropped into my local feeling right down in the mouth after an argument with my girlfriend. This wasn't the first disagreement, but another in a long line of them and always over the same thing - marriage. I wasn't ready yet to commit myself; I have seen so many failed marriages among my friends that it has made me cautious. Every time we argued I became more determined to stay as I am.
As I said I was feeling a bit down when I walked in, but I was asked to make up the numbers in a dart team. I accepted the offer to fill the vacant position in a team of all single men against a team of married men. The beer flowed and the banter was fierce, but jovial between the two teams with bursts of laughter almost every couple of minutes.
On the wall above the scoreboard was a board with the following:
"THE WORLD'S SHORTEST FAIRYTALE
Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl "Will you marry me?" The girl said, "NO!" And the guy lived happily ever after and went fishing, hunting and played golf a lot and drank beer and farted whenever he wanted.
I thought it cemented my determination to stay single, but I suppose Mary would have thought different.
When closing time came I left a lot happier than I arrived, having spent the evening in a happy, and woman free environment.
I hadn't driven to the local; I never did, for the police were always waiting outside at closing time.
Making my way home on foot, I had to cross a main road, I never saw the car approaching, all I felt was something hit me on the right, then nothing.
I picked myself up off the road, but something was wrong! I was seeing things from a greater height than my usual five foot eight height. Looking around, the church at the other side of the road was still there, but the road had tramlines. I had never seen tramlines, only heard about them. Also the road was laid with cobblestones, not tarmacked as I knew. Everything seemed different.
"A big young man like you should watch where he's going. The kerb isn't that high you needed to trip on it." Spoke an elderly man who turned and walked away.
I just turned and looked around, I glanced up and saw the street names were what they should be, but the shops were different. The church was still there but now there were no railings around it, only stumps where they once had been.
Stranger still, there were only two cars on the road, which I could see and that was about half a mile either direction. Then I was taken back by the sound of a double-decker tram passing, I hadn't seen it as I was looking in the opposite direction.
What had happened? I knew the location, but everything was different. The street lighting was gas not electric, but the upper floor windows of the houses were obviously lit by electricity, for I could see some of the lights.
I glanced at my hands and realised they weren't mine, yet I could move them as though they were. Glancing down I examined the clothing I was wearing, no longer jeans, but grey flannel trousers with turn-ups. I glanced in the shopwindow which was in front of me and I didn't recognise the reflection I saw, yet I knew it was of me. A new body, how could this be?
What I saw was a young man of about twenty, twenty-one standing easily over six feet, broad in the shoulders, dressed in grey flannel trousers a Harris tweed sports jacket a shirt and TIE! Hell I never wear a tie, far less a Harris Tweed sports coat; I'm usually a jeans and tee-shirt with a leather jacket man. That was what I was wearing when I left the pub, how did I end up dressed like this.
I had an itch between my legs and felt down to scratch myself only to find the largest lump of male organ and it was still flabby. Hell what size was it when hard. That was the least of my worries for now. I checked the wallet in the coat and there was a little blue and green four paged book which had a royal crest and labelled National Registration Identity Card. Inside was a number and a surname: Marshall; Christian Name: John and an address. The address was Dura Street, this I knew where, but everything was so different now.
I made my way up Erskine Street, crossed over Lyon Street which had houses both side of the street, not the Lyon Street I knew. Over Arthurstone Terrace, but now there were two cinemas, The Royal and the Broadway on opposing corners. A noisy factory on the left where should have been a vacant site.
My pace was slowing now, for I realised that somehow I had been transported back in time, but when? I crossed over the road and approached the house number I had left late this afternoon. On my door was a nameplate stating M & C Cox. There was no point in knocking for now I knew it would be answered by strangers. There was nothing for it but to make for the address on the Identity Card, anyway it was just round the corner.
Just as I was entering the tenement close I was met by a rather upset woman in her late thirties. "Where have you been John, I've been worried sick, wondering where you have got to. I know Agnes wouldn't have kept you all this time." The woman said angrily. I just stopped and stared at her.
"What's wrong with you? Did something happen on the way home?" She asked, staring into my face.
I just stared back, for I had no idea who this woman was.
"I'm sorry, I don't know you," I replied for I didn't know the woman.
"You don't know me! I'm your mother, son! What has happened to you?" She replied with anxiety on her face.
"I have no idea, I can't remember anything before an hour ago, even my body seems strange to me. Who is Agnes?"
"Agnes is a friend of the family, you visit her every Tuesday evenings, and surely you can remember that?" She asked now looking worried.
All this time we were standing in the close at the bottom of a flight of stone steps.
"If you can't remember anything how did you find your way home?"
"I found a card in my wallet which gave me this address."
"How did you know where the street was if you can't remember anything?"
"I can remember things, but not who or what I am. Oh god you have to help me remember mother."
She looked at me funnily then replied. "You have never called me mother before, come on let us get home and see what we can do to restore your memory."
I followed behind up all two levels actually admiring her lovely hips in front of me, for the stairs weren't quite wide enough to let two people walk up side by side. The apartment wasn't on the top-level but one floor down and on the left of the stairway. Using a Yale key she opened the door and I followed her in.
The interior was nicely furnished and everything looked clean and shinning. There was no TV standing in the corner, or stereo found in homes of my time, in fact I couldn't even see a telephone. On the coffee-table was a newspaper, I glanced at it and quickly snatched it up to confirm the date printed on the top. "July 22nd 1947". Surely this can't be right that is fifty-eight years ago. I sat down heavily on the hard leather settee and just stared at the paper.
"RAAF Capture Flying Saucer in Roswell Region 6th July."
"Further reported UFO Sightings."
Sitting of India's Constitutional Assembly."
These were the three headings I saw on the front page of the newspaper. How had I managed to be cast back all these years and land in another body? Sure it was a body I always longed for, being just five eight, now towering over six feet and from what I can feel an enormous penis to boot.
My so-called mother with her long below the shoulder hair, wearing thick bright lipstick, on what I would call an over made up face, sat down on the settee beside me. Sitting inclined towards me with her hands crossed. "Oh John! Can't you remember anything about us?"
"What about us Mother?"
"You usually call me Belle, we are more than mother and son John, if you know what I mean." She said staring straight into my eyes looking at me like a lovesick doe. Then it clicked, Belle and John were having it off together, in 1947 that was a capital offence, but I'm sure it went on all the same. If what I was reading, it went on in this household.
"No I don't know what you mean, tell me, please."
"We slept together," she said quietly.
"Just sleep together or was I shafting you?"
"I've never heard you use such filthy words John, we made love, yes, but shafting sounds so crude."
"And what is this usual Tuesday meeting with Agnes?"
"She found out and to keep her quiet we agreed you would visit her every Tuesday evening. My, isn't she going to be surprised when she finds out you can't even remember anything about it."
"Who is she really? An Aunt or close relative?"
"No just a friend of my mother's, in fact they were in service together."
"Does your mother know about this so-called arrangement?"
"Oh Yes, you are taking care of her also," she said with a smile on her face.
"Hell do I have any time to myself?"
"You never complained before, in fact you were always looking for fresh conquests," Belle continued.
"What does my father have to say about this arrangement?"
"Your father was killed at the beginning of the war and you kind of took over from him, comforting your mum," she said with a smile.
"Well how did my grandmother come into the picture?"
"Why I told her, she didn't believe me about your size and had to see for herself. Your grandfather was also killed in the war and in the past four years you have looked after your grandmother's itch."
.... There is more of this story ...