Gary Couzens is a British writer whose work has been published in The Magazine of
Fantasy & Science Fiction, Interzone, The Third
Alternative, Peeping Tom, Psychotrope and Urges, and in the anthology
Bizarre Sex and Other Crimes of Passion (Richard Kasak Books). This story previously appeared in
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All materials copyright 1996-1997 by their respective
creators. No stories, articles, poems or images from this webzine may be
posted or published without the written consent of their creator(s).
All materials copyright 1996-1997 by their respective creators. No stories, articles, poems or images from this webzine may be posted or published without the written consent of their creator(s).
by Gary Couzens
Part NineSlowly, surely, Penny returns to her body. A slide, a greased slipping from one to the other, the ungainliness melting away as she returns to the form she knows of old. Standing outside the Quicksnack, she stretches her legs, breaking the knots. The headache-muzziness she had as Peter is already going.
- What took you so long? she asks.
- I was...delayed.
She doesn't question him. She's simply relieved to be Penny again, her gender and her physical form in unison.
- How was it? he asks.
- It was an experience.
- No more than that?
She shakes her head.
- I don't want to do it again. I'm quite happy with my own body, thank you.
- You're fortunate.
- I suppose.
The train they'll both catch has arrived; the PA announces it.
- Well, this is my train, she says.
- It's mine as well.
They stay together as far as Basingstoke. There, they part: Penny to Reading and Birmingham, he to Aldershot via Woking.
- Well, she says. If you were here in front of me, you'd get a kiss. I don't know when we'll meet up again.
- When we visit Richard and Michelle again. I know what I've got to do now.
- I wish you luck.
- Thank you. Touch the banister, at the top there.
She does so, and for a moment, she feels his hand there, warm, sharing the same space as hers.
And then he's gone. Penny walks through the tunnel towards her platform.