The rose-pink light of dusk fell over the hollows of my eyes. I watched the last of the morning winter snows melt away into sleet and frost, the mist settling like a hush over the world. Warmth spread through my chest, and my heartbeat fluttered like a bird's, content. I lifted my fingers to rest my hand soft against my cheekbones, to lean against my palm and sigh as the day drew to a close. For a moment, everything stood still. My hand was three-fingered, and plum blue. My first thought was bruising or frostbite from the snow. Was I going to freeze to death? In panic, I looked down at my wrist. It was blue. In the fading light, I stared down at my body, and wanted to faint. My pulse beat against my ribs in panic. My skin was dark blue, and covered in strange scars and symbols, like primitive tattoos.
"This is a dream." I pinched the blue skin my blue skin hard. I ran my fingertips over the marks. They seemed to cover every inch of me. I spun around in shock, and heard a thwack.
There was a tail. I had a tail. I had a TAIL! It was the same deep blue, and ended in an elegant point. What was I? I looked again at the strange, alien symbols decorating my flesh. They were beautiful, long and mysterious, and subtley shaped under the vanishing light. Goosebumps trembled and fled across my skin. I knew these marks. Angelic symbols. A voice whispered in my mind. Tattoos of deep faith.
I half-formed a prayer to whatever mad gods had transformed my body.
Surely, surely, I couldn't be
how could I have changed places? But these tattoos were so familiar...
Nightcrawler. So many long nights spent crouching over comic books, my head resting longingly on soft white pillows, dreaming of superhuman agility and abilities. Not too crazy about that blue skin though. How many times had I wished I could disappear, be a thief of time, cheat space and flesh and blood and astrophysics. Play against gravity and escape mortal bonds by evaporating and reappearing at will. It was a foolish dream, a fantasy, a happy delusion, turning those colourful comic book pages and dreaming of being a mutant.
"Fuck!" I shouted gleefully, and then bit my lip. Stupid, stupid. Nightcrawler, Kurt, wouldn't say 'fuck'. Kurt was a gentleman, a man of deep, devout faith. A man who whispered prayers in German with a celestial tongue. A man searching for the touch of god, a man who permanently scarred his skin, one tattoo, an angelic symbol, one for every sin. A man who branded his own flesh as being damned, lived pure, and sought deliverance.
Oops, better not say fuck again. Better not even think it. Kurt would not be pleased. Kurt would be rather pissed. Kurt would not want me joyriding in his body, spouting curse words. If he could imagine who his body was in the figurative hands of...
Despite myself, I smiled, smug. Imagine what I could do! Glue-like hands and feet that allowed me to hang from any surface, ceiling or side-wall. Invisibility in deep shadow, melting from sight into inky darkness, unseen by all, nothing but a ghostly laugh to betray me. Disturbing the atmosphere itself as I disappeared and reappeared. And this tail, the alien blue skin. How I would laugh as everyone stared, how much fun it would be to horrify them!
Drunk on my newly stolen (borrowed, unintentionally borrowed) power, I laughed. I could spy on anyone, steal anything, travel anywhere, frighten everyone out of their minds. I was a circus demon with large amber eyes and indigo feet.
I stared in the mirror, struck dumb. A girl stared back, pale and thin with black hair, and silver piercings adorning her lip and nose. She
was me? English rose skin, and an awkward blush about the cheekbones. Five fingers, five! And a cheeky, mischievous grin
I had to get out of this body. I put my hands together and whispered a prayer. I must be patient, and pious and
and a girl? What celestial being was punishing me? What terrible angels of beautiful hells had contrived to humble me like this? What a hallowed fool. I used to wish to be blessed with ivory skin, and ten fingers and toes. My lack of grace was now being punished. I was
a girl. Logically, this
was now in my body too. Good God, I could only imagine! What would she do?!
24 hours later, I found myself in a well-lit room of incense and steadily melting candles, dripping soft-coloured wax. I blinked. I hadn't teleported here. I didn't even know where here was. I started to see my old body step into vision.
I gave myself a saucy smile. "Hello body. Nice to see you again. Has mister Nightcrawler taken care of you?"
A look of irritation crossed my body's face.
"Where have you been?" I he, demanded. "What have you been doing? What have you used my gifts for?"
"We-ell," I said languidly, "Where to begin?! I teleported to the Lourve, in Paris, and wrote "only harlots smile like this" on the Mona Lisa. I went shopping in the red light district in Prague, and robbed a bank vault. Then I kissed the Queen of England and made out with the Pope. (He screamed HELL DEMON! HELL DEMON! She looked a little pleased, to be honest)." I paused to catch my breath, struggling not to laugh. "It's a 107 fine for jumping in the Trevi Fountain... the temptation was too much. The guards almost died of fright to see the three-fingered, blue spawn of Satan raving naked! Annnnnd
I bought a kidney on the black market. I mean come on, when are you ever going to be able to do THAT again?"
I laughed with glee until tears of mirth poured down my face.
His cerulean cheeks paled in the candlelight. He slowly past, and knelt to lift a small pile of tools in his hands, with a deep sigh.
"What's that for?" I demanded.
He gazed at me wearily. "I'm going to have so many new tattoos."