BODYSWITCH

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Chapter 7

Sex was the last thing on Jack’s mind at that moment. His whole being felt as though it was separating into its component molecules and being rearranged. The light ahead of him was brilliant but he could look into it without pain. It was a wonderful light. He was part of it and yet separate.

Now he was in the light and he was falling. Fractured images surrounded him but he could make no sense of them. Then he felt the weight of his body once again. By this time he was completely disoriented. Whatever was happening to him, normal human logic had nothing to do with it.

His eyes were closed. That much he knew. He could feel his body and he could feel firm ground underneath him. He was lying face down. He could hear a wonderful symphony playing but he couldn’t place the composer. Yet it was not music as he knew it. He couldn’t recognize any of the instruments. His sense of smell too seemed to be heightened. For a long time he struggled to place to heady odors. Then it came to him. Grass just before harvest. Hay making. Just like it was when he visited his uncle’s farm in Connecticut when he was a boy. The sound of the symphony was changing and with a sudden burst of joy he realized what he was listening to. It was the glorious sound of bird song, the first language of Earth. Who had said that? It sounded familiar.

He opened his eyes and saw grass. He was lying face down in a green field. He felt wonderfully invigorated. He felt as though his body had been spring cleaned, both physically and spiritually. It was a strange feeling, a bit like starting again on a new page having thrown away the rubbish you’ve been writing all your life. Someone had been through his psyche with a spiritual vacuum cleaner and they hadn’t missed anything.

He could remember things all right. He could remember Abraham. He could remember something about saying goodbye to Kerry and a bargain. Some other soul was taking over his body and if they repented then he’d be stuck where he was for who knows how long.

The sound of Kerry’s name brought it all back; the incredible sadness and grief. But somehow here, wherever here was, it was kind of pure. It made it easy to accept. It was just another phase of the journey.

He sat up and looked around, blinking in the sunlight. His next thought was, if someone is in my body, what body am I in?

He looked at himself closely. It was himself all right but his skin felt different. It was rather like someone had made a duplicate body out of solid light. He was shining slightly. He felt good. He didn’t feel hungry. He wondered briefly if he would be. He chuckled at the thought of bodily functions. Somehow he knew there would be no need for them. This body could sustain itself by just being.

Now for the big questions. Was he dead? Where was he, dead or not? Then he remembered the face of the man who had killed Kerry, his wife. He remembered his burning hate but it seemed to have quelled here as though these emotions belonged to another time.

He stood up. He was standing in a field of waving grass. Ahead of him was a patchwork quilt of fields, all different hues of green. On the horizon was a range of hills, climbing into mountains. He scanned the horizon, following the line of grey-blue hills as they climbed upwards. Then he gasped as he saw the mountain. It rose majestically into the sky until it was finally obscured by cloud. Jack brought his gaze closer to home. The only sounds that could be heard were the chattering of birds and the low hum of insects as they flashed in luminous streaks in between the flowers that grew everywhere in profusion.

This must be Eden, Jack thought, or somewhere like it. With the exception of the mountain, it could be the Connecticut of my childhood, he thought in amazement as he turned around full circle and saw the bucolic vista stretching away peacefully on every side. A gentle breeze was fanning the grass. Trees were dotted in clumps around the land and the birdsong, insects and wind combined to form an almost tactile sense of sound. The sound seemed to be reverberating within him as though he were a tuning fork looking for the right wavelength.

Well, what now? He looked around and saw that there was a road nearby. It was more of a track he decided when he had walked over to it. The track wound its way across the landscape and led all the way to the mountain. It looked like he had no choice. In the other direction the track vanished into the distance. He tried shouting.

“Hello,” he yelled, “is there anybody there?”

There was no response. Just the rustle of grass and the sweeping cries of birds as they wheeled and spun in the sky.

“Maybe this is what they call limbo?” Jack mused. For the first time he noticed his clothes. They were not unlike the clothes he was wearing when he had the accident. He wore a thin pair of trousers and a loose jacket like top made from a material he could not recognize. They too glowed slightly. They were comfortable. On his feet were a pair of pumps made of some soft material like moleskin but he knew they were not made from animal hide.

Jack started to walk through this utterly peaceful country, trying to make some sense of it all. Who was Abraham? Is this where God is? Does God exist after all? Surely he must be dead. Maybe he was really lying in a coma somewhere experiencing an intense hallucination. It would have to be truly intense if it that was the case. He was here right now there was no doubt about that. If this was an hallucination then maybe hallucinations were just as real as living. In which case, he found himself becoming confused, maybe this was real and his whole life, all those memories, everything, were hallucinations.

He felt sure that something would happen. Some kind of explanation would be found. Maybe he would just wake up. And what about Kerry? Where was she? Was she here, had she come this way? The answers seemed to lie on or in that mountain he felt certain.

He didn’t seem to have any choice. The road seemed to beckon to him, the route to wherever he was supposed to go. He felt a sudden peace descend.

The scene was so tranquil, so blessed, so wonderful, like the Earth was supposed to be, that he hardly dared breathe now in case he disturbed the balance. Another thought occurred to him. Time travel. All these ideas and notions he had basically rejected as being paranormal, occult, pseudo-spiritual, suddenly didn’t seem so alien. There was only one to find out.


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