THE BIG SWITCH
By Christopher Leeson
Narrative of D.D. Callahan, continued
By the time I got back to my office, I was feeling like a sap. How could I have let the Mystery Woman get off scot-free, without even copping a feel? If word of that got out, I’d be a laughing stock. I just hoped that I could bear down after work and make up for lost ground.
It looked a mess with papers lying on the floor. I was suddenly concerned. Our secretary certainly had a careless attitude to her job, but she was also a neat freak usually. "Sheila? You still here?" I yelled.
I heard someone moving behind the inner office door; 'mystery solved,' I thought with a chuckle. I supposed that Sheila was sitting at my desk again, pretending to be a bigwig like me. Being a fun guy, I wanted to pop in and give her a loud horselaugh. But when I opened the door, what I saw made me stop and stare. Sheila was there all right -- only she wasn't sitting behind the desk. She stood in front of it, expectant-like, with one hand placed on her hip in a sexy kind of way. Most notably of all, the usual ankle-length skirt was missing.
It was about time that she got rid of that she was wearing creeped me out. I was reminded me of that big, wide grin that Captain Hook always got from his crocodile buddy.
"I don't know who you're waiting for dressed – or undressed – that way, sweetheart," I said, "but it's only me." I stepped around her and sat down my boss chair. Because I’d been around the block a few times, I started to wonder whether Sheila was trying to set me up for a sexual harassment rap.
Sheila turned around and did the hip-rolling “dame walk” to my side of the desk. She leaned forward, steadying herself with one hand braced against the desktop. “You've kept me waiting, bad boy!" she said. "What am I ever going to do with you?"
I wanted to say, "You can do anything you like, crazy legs, as long as it's sordid and sexy." Instead, I took a quick look-see, trying to spot the Candid Camera. "What's this about, Sheila?" I asked, dry-mouthed. Suspecting that there might be a hidden microphone I said, "This kind of behavior really shocks a straight-laced employer full of rectitude like me."
"Come off it, D.C.? I know you didn't hire me for my office skills. I thought that both of us knew what the real deal was. I’ve been doing everything I can to make you want me. I even played hard to get. Usually, that’s all it takes to start the bouncy-bouncy stuff. What does a girl have to do in front of you to let you know that she wants it?"
Was she crazy, or had I been oblivious to a lot of cool signals? All of a sudden, I was no longer sorry that I had left Schitz behind and come right back to the office.
"What's wrong?" Sheila asked. "Did that black streetwalker wear you out?"
"I was only her client," I said. "I mean, she was only my client. But if you want to get jealous of that fox, that's okay, too. There’s nothing in the world cuter than two girls competing for the same guy."
She grasped my tie. "Where is she now?" Sheila was trying to sound casual asking that question, but for some reason she was pulling my chocker so hard that I was starting to strangle.
I gulped hard. "Don't yank so hard, Miss Coffin. All t his time I had you figured for the demur kind."
"Demure girls finish last, hotshot. Don’t you get it? You're every woman's dream of a super hunk. I’d blush to tell you about the fantasies I've been having about the two of us getting down and dirty!"
The way she was acting now, I doubted that there were many things that could make her blush. To be fair, though, I'd had a few fantasies about Sheila, too. All that said, I still didn’t trust here, so I only asked, “Yeah? How did they go?"
She looked frustrated.
I took another gander at the layout of the office. There had to be a camera and mike tucked in somewhere.
"No, I want to hear your fantasies first,” she said. "I'll be your genie. I’m going to make your wildest, craziest wishes come true."
"I've been hoping you'd say that," I replied, swallowing hard. “I’ve had this opium dream about you getting caught up on your backlog of filing. The other thing that makes me hard is imaging you giving Martin and me a big smile whenever we ask you to make coffee."
She let my tie go and took my lapels in both hands. "How can you talk about filing at a time like this, D.C.?"
"Filing is important, don’t you know?" Keeping hands-off this girl of my dreams was deuced hard, but I wasn’t going to let her pull a fast one on me. "I can’t figure what's gotten into you, babe, but this isn’t either the place or the time for either of us to succumb to beaver fever."
Oops! My use of the term "babe" to an employee could hang me if this actually was a harassment scam.
"What are you saying, D.J.? Up to now I had you figured as a man who knows what he wants."
"Are you so sure that you know what you yourself want?" I croaked, my throat feeling parched.
“All I know is that I want you and I want you to want me back."
"You wouldn't mind putting that sweet little endearment into writing, would you, doll? --just in case you feel like suing me later."
Letting go my of my suit, she straightened up. "If you don't believe I'm on the level, I'll just have to show you how serious I am."
"So show me," I said with a smirk. "I'm from Missouri." Actually I was from Wisconsin, but I didn’t size up this one boy-toy as anyone who was looking for a geography lesson.
Sheila went a couple steps away and started taking off her shirt. Then she paused. "Would you like to help me get comfortable, D.C.?"
"Well, actually..." I couldn't fight it any more. The next thing I knew, my hands were all over her, and hers were on the exact parts of my body where I wanted them to be. She went after my shirt buttons and those dirty little cowards surrendered without a fight. The next thing I knew, her bosoms were slammed face and rubbing hard. She was fulfilling a fantasy that I hadn’t even asked for. Her boobies tasted better than sweet cream. The favorite part of myself was starting to feel taller than Mount Everest. "Use it or lose it," some naughty little devil was whispering into my ear.
I stood up, loosened my belt, did a shimmy, and kicked off my trousers. And Sheila was stripping down to less than her essentials, too.
It was a heaven-sent relief to get rid of my Fruit of the Looms; they'd gotten much too small for me over the last five minutes. Now that the two of us were finally in the grips, Sheila was hotter than Mount Vesuvius. But shame on that mountain; my gal Friday was making the earth move like no volcano could ever pull off. I pushed the junky stuff off my desk with one hand while doing good work with the other. Now that the concerns of comfort were taken care of, we got down to business.
I love hot, wet things as much as anybody but, all of a sudden, everything changed -- and not for the better. I yelled like a banshee, as if I’d shoved my pride and glory into a 120-volt lamp socket. I'm not kidding; it was just like that. Since when had lovemaking become just like electrocution?
Whatever that wild woman was doing to me, it had the effect of putting my lights out.
When I could finally see again, my shoulders were aching as though I'd been sleeping on a lumber pile. I groped for a blanket, not immediately realizing that I wasn’t home in bed.
I could tell light from dark, but everything was a blur. Also there was a deafening ringing in my ears. As I lay back, I could still remember having a great five minutes with Sheila, so why was I feeling so rotten now? I wasn’t so old that I should be floored by a simple horizontal tango. All over I felt damned strange and as weak as a kitten which had had too much catnip. Had the minx slipped me a Mickey? No, impossible; I couldn't remember eating or drinking a thing.
As lay there, I inch by inch, recovered motor control enough to lift my head. That inch or so of elevation brought on another wave of dizziness. Just as I settled down again, I started hearing voices.
Hands were clenching me, and these were not Sheila's dainty little potato grabbers. They were big, hard meat hooks. Some some person was turning me to my side and raising me up. I opened my bleary lamps and found myself about six inches away from an ugly face that somehow looked familiar.
"What a mug!" I slurred. "Don't I know you, Bud?"
I looked again. I sure as hell did know that smarmy puss! It was the same guy who’d been hanging around my bathroom for my life in all different states of undress.
Cripes! It was looking at my own face, only I was looking at it from the outside! And that face was next to Leigh Spielman’s. That didn't figure. But if I had a choice about dreaming about one or the other of the two, I’d pick snappy little Leigh every time.
"Spielman? What's the deal ---?" I mumbled, but my words sounded squeaky. "Hrummp, hrummp," I grunted, trying to get my firm baritone back.
Without really intending to, I caught sight of a pair of legs in sheer hose. They were great legs, but why were they in a place where my own legs should be! They had on the kind of women’s shoes that I liked best – the four-inch heel type. But I couldn't figure why I was ogling that sexy foot-gear over the tops of a couple of dark mountains. These I tried to push them out of my line of sight, but they came right back, as if made from rubber.
Leigh Spielman leaned over me. "How are you doing, Mr. Callahan?" she asked. "Or should I say, 'Miss Coffin'?"
Miss Coffin? I looked around trying to find her, but she was gone from the room. I still felt woozy so I groped at my head, only to find that my skull didn't feel exactly right -- especially the hair. I'd have to have slept about as long as Rip Van Winkle had to grow a thatch as long as the stuff I was grasping.
Even though I might not always be the fastest horse out of the starting gate, I was pretty good at getting up to speed. I suddenly remembered Schitz telling me about how the aliens had pulled a body-switching stunt on her. On him?
"Sheila? I'm Sheila?"
No, that was impossible. It was just a bad dream from listening to Schitz’s silliness.
I made a clumsy jump the desktop and stumbled because of the nutty heels I was wearing. I went down to my knees, yelling, "You dirty crooks! Bring back my bonny -- my body -- to me!" Just then I saw a second woman waltzing up, a redhead who – almost -- had a mauve dress on. Before I could tell her to make herself comfortable, she reached out to touch my face. I batted her hand away; when I did that, she flashed a sneery kind of grin, like a Cheshire cat thinking evil thoughts about the family canary. "Get used to it, Callahan," she said. "What you’ve been given, you[re going to keep. But we’ve got plans for the new you."
"W-What plans?" I muttered.
The redhead didn’t try to be coy. "We traced Senator Schitz to your office. We need to find out where you'd hidden her, and so we switched bodies with your girl Sheila. Her memories didn’t tell us anything useful, so now we’ve switched with the one guy who can tell us what we need to know."
"So that's what you’re after!" I growled indignantly. "Well, you don’t know D.C. Callihan. I’d never double-cross a client, not even a low-life like Schitz!"
The redhead made a face – and not a nice one. "You don't have to tell us anything, Callahan. We know what you know. Like I've said, when we switch with somebody, we get all his memories."
I winced. "All of them?"
What a gruesome thought! There were things that I haven’t even mentioned to my analyst.
"What a rip-off!" I complained. "You get my brilliance, but I don't get anything from you, except – what the hell am I wearing?"
The copper-top shook her head. "It’s called a little black dress. Bimbo outfits make abducting women easy. People don't look twice when they see a streetwalker getting roughed up. But you're wrong about not getting anything from us. You've actually gotten quite a lot."
"What? Martian V.D.?"
"Our sex-drive. Or, actually, half of it."
"Only half?" To tell the God's truth, the less radioactive contamination these saucer jockeys passed on to me, the better.
"You got the female half. Every member of our species carries the libido of both genders. Our sexual drives are super-charged compared to yours. It’ll take some time for your brain to assimilate them, but you'll start feeling their full force before very long."
I stared, wide-eyed. "Female sex-drive? No way! I feel perfectly normal!" I looked at the female alien and a shudder ran through me. "What did you do with the real Spielman?"
"We put her into a wino’s body. Normally we would have taken both her and Sheila down to the Potomac, but we're in a hurry today."
She was talking about murder – double murder! What made it the crime of the century was the fact that they had blotted out the only two good-looking women in the whole damned building. "You bastards!"
I tried to spring, wanting to slug her, but my vertigo took me down again. Pretty clearly, body switching was something that could take a lot of the pizzazz out of a human being.
"Save your sympathy, Callahan," Red warned me, "you'll need it for yourself."
Suddenly the metaphorical light bulb came on inside my reeling noggin. "Say, you wackos are the ones behind all those the derelict and streetwalker murders, aren't you?"
The one with incredible fashion sense smiled. "This will be a different crime. We’ve planted evidence to make it look like D.C. Callahan killed them."
"Wait a minute, you creeps! You can't frame me. I've worked hard making people think of me as the great American hero."
With no reply, the two of them grabbed me, one taking each arm. Whatever these Martians had in mind, this manhandling was no way to treat a lady!
The General Narrative, continued
Blackjack half-led, half-dragged Schitz from the parking basement into the elevator. It opened just across from his flat. "See that door? That’s the door to your new home," he told her.
He shoved Schitz over the threshold and she fell forward over a beanbag chair. Lying on her carpet, Schitz rolled over and got the impression of a big room full of expensive, ill-assorted furniture. Suddenly, two other girls trotted into view. The short one wearing pink was short; the other, in blue, had a fashion model's physique and a subtly Latin cast.
"Gina, Evelyn, my sweets," B.J. addressed them, "this is your new wife-in-law …." He only now realized that he didn't know the new girl's name. "What do they call you, love toy?" he asked her.
"Go to hell!" came her sputtering reply.
Blackjack shrugged. "Okay, have it your way. From now on, your street handle is gonna to be 'Ginger Spice.' Like it?"
Schitz -- Ginger Spice -- yelled indignantly and scrabbled to her knees: "I'll Ginger Spice you, you puffed up prick!"
"She's got spice, that's for sure," the Latina remarked, her smile tight and unsympathetic.
"Boy, is she pretty, B.J.," Gina volunteered, sounding a little worried. Maybe the precious little hooker suspected that the black girl was going to be some major competition.
The olive brunette sighed and shook her head. "You always like them sassy, don't you, B.J.? But don't let this one get you too excited. Remember what the doctors said about your ticker."
Blackjack scowled. "If I have to cut back on living the way I wanna live, I might as turn into compost! Say now, gals, Ginger and me is gonna to do some man-to-woman negotiating. Ain't it high time for y’all to head out where the Johns is?"
Evelyn's brown eyes flashed with annoyance, but her heat-lightning flare-up quickly subsided. "We were just going, B.J."
He unlocked the door for their exit. The two young women went out into the hall and Blackjack swung the self-locking door shut.
"Tonight we'll get acquainted," he promised Ginger.
"Ginger Spice" got up from the floor, her fists clenched. "You can't keep me here! What about my Civil Rights?!"
"This isn't the Attorney General's office, baby," B.J. replied. "On the street, a gal has one right – to do everything that her sweet man tells her to do, and that’s bout it." He sauntered to the bar, where he a filled a pair of glasses from a decanter. He handed one of them to Ginger, saying, "Drink up, girlie. It'll calm you down and pick you up."
Schitz loved to drink and just then she needed hard booze more than anything. She down the port in three swallows and it calmed her nerves somewhat.
'Think, idiot, think!' Schitz rebuked herself. What were her options? She couldn't beat the big, strong man silly and also didn't have a red cent to bribe him with. And she had no clear idea where to from here. Life wasn’t worth living if one couldn’t be in control. Everything Schitz respected about herself derived from the power and status that her old identity carried with it. She had an election coming up; how could she possibly steal it in a body like this one? If out of office, she couldn’t even depend on her law license for a livelihood. She'd never be able to prove that the license was hers. Her head whirled, partly from the potency of the drink, but mostly from the situation. The one thing she was sure of was that she was not going to stay with this low-grade pimp, even if she was worried about what would come afterwards.
"Feeling better now?" Blackjack asked with insincere solicitude.
"I'm hungry!" the girl informed him, taking the tone that Schitz had always used when talking to servants. And she really was famished; who knew how long it had been since this particular body had eaten? In fact, she was feeling weak and faint.
"When you’re with me, sweet cheeks, you’ll always have something to eat," the mackman promised her. "Just don’t try to bite me. But there is a few rules your gonna have to learn. If a gal who doesn’t bring home the bread won’t have any bread to chew on."
She glared rebukingly. "What bread?"
"I’m talking about your job. You're job is all about making me happy. And I'm not too happy right now with you smelling like you just ran the Marathon. You need a shower, and I need one, too. As they say, 'Save water, shower with a honey.'"
"Take a flying leap!"
"Baby, your attitude does try a patient man," B.J. opined. "No more crap! You gotta learn respect. What I order, you do! That's Rule Number One. Doesn't the Good Book say, 'love, honor, and obey?'"
"No it doesn't, you buffoon. And you don't get to make any of the rules, got that?" The black girl, emboldened by the port, stood facing him with her hands braced on her hips.
"That isn’t how it works in my pad," he informed her. "Now, I wanna see you naked. After that, us two is going to take that shower."
Ginger, backing away, raised up her empty glass as if to throw it at him.
"If you break that glass, I'll burn your ass!"
Ginger threw the crystal furiously. B.J. ducked and went to grab her. The girl wrestled herself out of his hands and dodged about the room, her host in hot pursuit. She toppled furniture into his way, trying to trip him, but the mess she was creating only made Waters the madder. The black girl made a dash for the locked exit, but tugged at it in vain.
"Yiii!" she cried as B.J.’s strong arms squeezed the breath out of her.
The muscular pimp dragged Ginger, kicking and clawing, toward the couch. He pressed her on the cushions and smoothly pulled her low-cut dress down to her navel.
"You bastard!" Ginger yowled, but Blackjack continued her undressing, dragging the garment to her ankles and snatching it away. Since she lacked both bra and panties, B.J.’s new girl was looking about as fine as a woman could.
"You is just incredible," Ginger heard him say. "You make those other two look like alley cats. I bet you’ll be able to earn more than the two of them put together."
Not liking that kind of prophecy, Ginger leaped to her feet and scrambled out of reach. But Blackjack only grinned and started to doff his jacket. Meanwhile, Ginger was using her hands to cover the most noteworthy parts of her nudity.
Now wearing just shirtsleeves, Waters approached Schitz and took her by the wrists. "Chill out, baby doll. You’ve gotta get a lot more friendly from this point on or else I'll give you that ass-burner I promised."
A life in politics had taught Schitz to lie if brute force wasn’t an option. "All r-right, all r-right," Ginger stammered. "I'll be good. Just be nice."
Blackjack grinned. Before long, he figured he’d have this hot number purring like a tabby cat.
"Oh, I'll be nice," he promised. "There's no sweet man sweeter than old B.J." He stepped back, wanting to see if she was going to be good or if she was just shucking him.
The second he released Ginger, she sprang away and snatched up the brass lamp from the coffee table. This she swung viciously, with intent to kill, but Blackjack sprang away, receiving no more than a bruise on his right arm. His temper flaring hot, the pimp dived at the girl and shoved her down on the couch. Then dragged her into the bedroom and tossed her upon the mattress. "You shouldn't have starting getting physical," he informed her. “Bad things happen when a girl hits somebody who isn’t another girl.”
Ginger looked up with murder flashing in her dark eyes. "Go to hell! I'm no whore!"
"If you is no whore now, you is gonna be by tomorrow, Ginger Baby," he said. "You is an uppity class of gal who hasta learn her place in the pecking order."
B.J. sat down beside her and, when she tried to roll away, he grabbed her. In a smooth motion he dragged her across his lap and held her down with one hand. His captive fought wildly, but he was more than strong enough to use her the way he wanted. With his right hand he took a large, brass-handled hairbrush from the nightstand.
"You is gonna learn what it's like being a girl with hot cheeks,” he said. “I never met a ho yet who didn’t start acting mo' respectful once her petty ass got properly burned!" Ginger's incoherent threats stopped coming as soon as the flat of B.J.'s brush started falling, feeling hotter than anything ever applied to that part of her anatomy before.
"Yeow!" Schitz howled. "This is assault! It's a federal crime! The Attorney General is a friend of mine!"
"Don't jive me, baby. A lowdown ho like you never got so lucky as to be screwing with the Attorney General. You has been signed up in a school for manners, and right here, right now, you is gonna learn everything you need to know about life. He raised the hairbrush again and then let it down hard.
Ginger yelled again, but didn’t say anything. She was learning fast.
Blackjack wanted this gift from heaven to get out on the street as soon as possible, so he decided that he was going to give her the full bad girl taming treatment then and there.
Ginger's yelling almost split B.J.'s eardrums, but the pimp always enjoyed this part of the “breaking in” process best. He applied a generous plenitude of educational smacks, aiming sometimes at one of her delectable hemispheres, and sometimes at the other.
By the time that the exhausted girl's vocalizations had degenerated into hoarse groaning, he reluctantly terminated the lesson.
B.J. allowed Ginger to lie moaning across his lap for a couple of minutes. She looked a sight with her nose running and her lips were bubbling with spittle. Her cheeks -- of her face -- were wet with tears. Unexpectedly, the mackman rolled his pupil to the carpet and stood up. "On your feet, love blossom," he said. "It's time for that shower you so much need. And B.J. always keeps his promises."
To Be Continued...