TG Universes & Series:
“D-Damien?” Tracey asked as she turned around slowly to face Shadoe, “why did you call me Damien?”
“Don't treat me like a half wit,” Shadoe replied stone faced, “I have been speaking to a lot of people down on the strip about that day you had to run from the dark suits. Several people saw Trace run out of the book store, then run into Damien, knocking him over, then Damien got up and ran around the corner. Other witnesses reported that Damien stopped at a Chinese couple, touched the guy on the arm then the Chinese guy ran off. Later on. Damien got picked up but he was speaking Chinese; Damien may have known a few words in Chinese but he certainly wasn't fluent at it. Later on, someone said they saw the dark suits pick up the Chinese guy but he was crying, in English, that he wanted his mommy!”
Tracey swallowed hard and asked, “and so how does that make me Damien?”
Shadoe smiled, “Well kid, you are not dealing with a moron; I have an IQ of one hundred fifty-seven! When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth! Somehow you and the Chinese guy were swapped from one body to another. Trace ran into you, you got dumped into her body, the Chinese guy got dumped into your body and so on. I have no idea what happened to the real Trace. Apparently though she was swapped into the body of whomever it was that touched her in the book store. Hence, you are Damien or rather, you used to be.”
“So why did you wait so long to tell me you knew?” Tracey asked.
“Well to be honest, I didn't know until recently. You see, I've known you, as Damien for just over 4 years now. I've come to recognize your style of guitar playing. Every guitar player has his own style and I heard Damien's style while listening to you practise!”
Tracey felt her cheeks turn red.
Shadoe gave her a hug, “Oh don't worry, it doesn't change how I feel about you. I'm a bit hurt that you didn't confide in me but I suppose I can understand your reasoning.”
Tracey smiled weakly, “Well, you have to admit, it's kind of hard to believe, especially for me. I mean imagine waking up in someone else's body. Not only that but someone you actually knew; well sort of knew. You didn't tell Rhonda, did you?”
“What? Do you think I'm nuts? Who'd believe a story about body swapping?I only told her you were on the run from some government assholes and as she's a kindred spirit of the street so she agreed to help out. I must admit that you turned out really well!”
“It is a bit hard to take though,” Tracey indicated the dress and her hair, “all this is a bit much for me but, I will admit that it is necessary. I'd be a moron to think otherwise. I couldn't keep looking like Trace did and still keep my freedom and this is a really good disguise, whether I like it or not. I do wonder why Trace never went this way in her own personal style, though.”
“Well, Trace was a free spirit; a sprite of sorts,” Shadoe smiled nostalgically, “she was goth-ish but not quite a goth and almost a punk but not quite so she adopted a look combining both them. Apparently he hated her natural hair colour. She really went out of her way to avoid people seeing her roots. It was only after you became her that I actually saw her roots. Trust me I was as surprised as you. The way you reacted to your new natural hair colour was the clincher that told me that either Trace had forgotten her real hair colour – not likely by the way – or somehow someone else became her.”
“And so you believed the impossible?” Tracey asked, “I mean wouldn't it be easier to believe she forgot her hair colour?”
Shadoe looked at Tracey critically, “most girls I know have a very highly developed sense of themselves. Most women know themselves fairly well, unlike men that seem to always need some sort of acknowledgement from a woman. Trust me, Trace knew her hair colour well enough to be bothered by it all the time. You apparently never knew at all, hence your reaction.”
“She really was a beauty though,” Tracey replied thoughtfully as she peered at the reflection of her back in the mirror.
“She is a beauty; you are a beauty,” Shadoe replied stepping into Tracey's view in the mirror, now “that's your ass that you are checking out there. It's all you now.”
Tracey smiled and blushed.
“You don't look like Trace at all now. Sure, it's her face and body and all but what you see is not her style. That image is yours; not Trace's. I have a pic of her from before, take a look and compare!”
Shadoe stepped out of the room then reappeared in the doorway after a few moments holding a photo of Trace on the strip wearing her usual gear.
“Now take a look at the pic then at yourself in the mirror, you'll see what I mean.” Shadoe handed the photo to Tracey.
Tracey looked at the photo. It depicted Trace posing in front of the local McDonald's, she then looked up to the mirror again, “The makeup really does make me look so much different to start with. The hair is so very different though. I could barely recognize myself as her anymore just with those two changes. But by adding the wardrobe change to everything else, I really don't look like her at all! This is amazing!”
“Yeah but you have to continue on with these changes. Keep up with the wardrobe and makeup. In the meantime, let your hair grow out. Eventually you can go without the extensions,” Shadoe smiled placing a friendly hand on Tracey's shoulder.
“Yeah once it grows in a bit more I'll be sending the extensions back to Rhonda with a note of gratitude,” Tracey smiled as she brushed her hair back, “I figure that normal people's hair grows about three quarters to a full inch per month, so say three months from now I'll send them back. That'll give me another 2 inches of hair length and maybe I can have that styled into something that is not so Trace like.”
“Now you're thinking!” Shadoe replied.
Their conversation was disturbed by the ringing of Tracey's cell phone. A silence grew between them for a moment until Tracey picked up her cell phone, “It's Dwayne!”
Tracey answered the phone feeling a bit of excitement, “Hello?”
“Hey Trace with a y!” Dwayne's voice responded with a chuckle, “I spoke to the guys and they are totally willing to let you audition as soon as possible. You're going to have to work your ass off though. We have a gig in less than a month. It's a band contest and we are hoping for some press and maybe be able to make a few connections for more gigs. Hopefully one as a house band somewhere.'
“Well hey, I'm a bit busy tonight but I can do tomorrow afternoon for sure,” Tracey replied recalling that Jason, Dwayne and Randy were normally free at that time of day, “what did they say about using Damien's gear?”
“Well Randy had a few reservations about it but no one's seen nor heard from Damien for a few weeks, so I figure he wouldn't mind.” Dwayne replied, “so yeah, that's a go!”
“Okay just remember that I might be a bit rusty to start off with but I am pretty sure I can keep up. Like I said, everything I know is from Damien's influence,” Tracey replied barely able to contain her glee.
“Fantastic! We'll see you there! Do you need a ride?” Dwayne asked.
“Just a minute,” Tracey muted the phone and glanced at Shadoe, “it's set for tomorrow!”
Shadoe just smiled and nodded her head.
“Yeah sure! I'll meet you where we met about three thirty tomorrow,” Tracey said.
“Okay then, I'll be looking forward to it!” Dwayne said, “I'll see you then!”
Tracey hung up and let out a squeal of excitement, which actually startled herself.
“Holy shit girl, where did that come from?” Shadoe asked with a giggle.
“I won't lie, I have no idea!” Tracey replied with her hands over her mouth and a blush to her cheeks, “although I suspect that I have a bit more of Trace left in me than I suspected.”
“Pfft!” Shadoe laughed, “excuses, excuses! But this calls for a celebration!”
“Fine, I'll go get my papers,” Tracey replied.
“That's a good start but I have a bottle of red wine in the fridge,” Shadoe said, “this is as good a time to break it out as any!”
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