Faces and fringes

I’m a bit late posting this as I wrote these last Wednesday evening during Cat Rambo’s writing games session. But I’ve spent the intervening time working on the third piece, which I shan’t be posting here, as I liked it so much I’m going to submit it for publication!

Here are the other two pieces, with the prompts that generated them:

  1. What I saw in the mirror was not what I expected.

Over the years of Switching, I’ve got used to seeing other people’s faces looking back at me. There’s always that moment of shock, of readjustment, before my brain reasserts itself under the influence of the spell and I think “Right, yeah, that’s them but it’s not me, I’m just here to do a job. And somewhere, at a far deeper level, there’s something of the other person looking back at me, seeing exactly what they’ve always seen. I don’t know how that works, so don’t ask me, but there’s always a faint sigh of relief that things are as they should be. They aren’t, of course, so whatever it is that’s feeling it must be something pretty primitive.

But I digress. When I looked in the mirror this time, what I saw was not myself inhabiting someone else’s body. It was someone else inhabiting my body. This time I was that primitive something lost under the layers of someone else’s consciousness. And they were looking back at me and grinning.

2. This image (embedded here, but follow the link to the original Twitter posting).

A telegraph pole with wires, all of which are covered by fringes of short icicles

Originally tweeted by Isabel Salvasilha (@salvasilha) on January 25, 2023.

On Elvis World everything has white fringes. No, I’m not kidding. Everything.

Look, here’s a picture I took of a telegraph pole. Or is it an electricity line? Anyway, you get the idea. Everything – and I mean everything – has white nylon fringing hanging off it. The sheep don’t look too weird, but the cars were most peculiar, and you don’t even want to know about the toilets. I mean, that can’t be hygienic, no matter how many times a day they fill in the little card to say the facilities have been cleaned. And refringed.

But at least you’re never far away from a defibrillator. There’s one in every cubicle. Not just in the loos, like next to the tampon dispenser or something, but actually in each cubicle above the cistern. I suppose it’s statistically possible for two people in adjacent toilet cubicles to have heart attacks at the same time, and for two defibrillators to be required simultaneously in close proximity, but it can’t be very likely.

Apart from that? It was OK, I suppose. I mean, you’d really, really have to like Elvis to pay to go there rather than winning tickets like I did, but I think, if you were a fan and you wanted to add to your rhinestone-covered Elvis funko pop collection, you’d be in heaven. I was extremely glad I’d remembered to take my noise-cancelling headphones, though. And I don’t ever want to see another peanut butter and banana sandwich as long as I live.

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