What do you do when you wake up in the morning and you're not the you that you were?
Author note: Written for the August 2006 issue of Bird Scramble. Dedicated to Ste who, when I was kicking this idea with him, was on the same wavelength as me.
Ken groaned as he tried to open his eyes. Never. Never again would he listen to Joe when he suggested a few drinks. Never. Nope. Not again. He groaned as his stomach and bladder made themselves noticed. He swung his legs out of bed and sat on the edge, his head swam as it protested his change of position and Ken whimpered a little.
The floor was cold against his bare feet, and it helped him to open his eyes a little. The pain from the bright light made him close them again instantly and he frowned. The light was coming from the wrong place. He had carefully angled his bed so that the window was behind the bed, which meant he never got the sunlight directly in his eyes when he woke up.
There were other differences, as well. The floor felt subtly different under his feet, the textures of the room changed. His body felt strangely unlike itself. But then, Ken thought, that could just be hangover.
He staggered into the bathroom and dealt with the stomach and bladder problems before plunging into a hot shower.
That was strange - usually it took his old hot water system ages to heat up. This one gave him scalding hot water immediately. The shower was different too - the taps in a slightly different place, the soap different, and yet it was all familiar to him.
The shower cleared away some of the fog, however panic set in when he reached up to push the water off his hair.
His hair. It wasn't there.
Ken frantically tried to recall the previous night - and couldn't. Joe. Joe had persuaded him to go out drinking. Hadn't he?
It was almost as if Ken had two sets of memories, both of them equally valid, yet contradictory. One memory said that he saw Joe every day. The other said that he hadn't seen Joe since they had finished training some months before.
Finished training? They were never finished training.
He stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around his waist, frowning. His body seemed wrong. More slender, boyish. Missing scars. Not to mention his lack of hair.
He quickly stepped over to the mirror and wiped away the steam that had fogged it up. Even allowing for the distortion caused by the dampness, what he saw was enough to shock him.
A scream came from Ken's throat. "What the hell have they done to us now?"