The Body Replaceable
It was time to change bodies again. The 41-year old body he was living in would no longer do and he knew it was well past time for the metamorphosis again. He had been waiting for some time and now the opportunity finally presented itself.
The boy sitting next to him in church would be his next manifestation. The boy and his sister were sitting with his mom in between them. The father was not present in church today. The changer had met the family before; they had exchanged polite after-service conversation on many occasions.
From these conversations, he had learned the boy's name was Jason and he was between 2 and 3 years old - the perfect age for the change. He also knew this was a well-to-do family and a family filled with love. It was going to be a perfect family for him.
The changer glanced at Jenny, his wife of 10 years, sitting on the other side of him. She had never wanted children and had gone out of her way not to conceive. Had she been more willing to conceive, the transition would have been more straightforward.
He will have to remember this for the next generation of himself - pick a wife who wants children! In the 4000 or so years he had been living in various bodies, only one other woman had failed him in this way. In her case, it had not been her fault. Next time, he will have to begin a family much earlier. At 41, this was one of the oldest bodies he had inhabited. It was time.
The boy, Jason was fidgeting as young children often do in church. He began sliding down the pew and onto the floor. Jason was at that age where, just learning to walk, he was anxious to walk everywhere. He began to move down the pew in front of the changer.
The changer, sensing anxiety from the mom, put his arm out to stop the boy from going any further. The mom smiled at the changer and reached out to pull Jason back in.
Only it was no longer Jason, the child. The changer had done this so many times that all he needed was a slight touch, an ever so brief physical contact to make his exchange.
The mother now lifted him back up on the pew and whispered to him "Honey, church is almost over, be a good boy and sit still for a bit more".
Indeed, the minister was just then wrapping up the service. As everyone started getting up to leave, one man stayed put. It was the body of the man the changer has previously inhabited. Jason turned around for one last look at the body he had spent the past 39 or so years in. It was seated still, staring vacantly ahead while Jenny, the childless one, was trying to shake him and get him to come around.
Jason giggled a little boy's laugh and walked out with his new mom's hand in his. "What's so funny Jason," she asked and smiled a loving smile at him.
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