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The Beginning of the Rest of my Life by Felthry (critique requested)

I don't know how or why it happened; I just woke up like this exactly half a year after my twentieth birthday. It's lucky that I was never too close with most of my family, else there would probably have been awkward questions. As it is, I had to move to another city where no one knew me.

I don't regret that it happened, though. It gave me an excuse to move to Morova, which I'd always thought seemed a much nicer country than the stagnant tumult of Pasi. I'd always wanted to learn another language, anyway.

Morova is a nice place, and certainly lives up to its reputation. It's no Torrql, but the people are friendly, the legislature is only mostly stupid, and life is good. Even better, I don't even have to hide my new condition!

I suppose I should mention what this condition is. Until about three years ago, I was an ordinary ferret woman; bit of a tomboy, since I grew up around three brothers and no sisters, but an ordinary woman nonetheless. Average height, average build, average number of limbs, average bust, average everything.

But that changed in the middle of the night; I woke up and thought I'd had a terrible hangover. My vision was doubled! It was weird, though, since I wasn't seeing two of everything, I was seeing everything twice. Which made me wonder if I'd had something illegal without meaning to. I hadn't, though; I hadn't even been to the bar, let alone a party, in over two weeks. I rubbed my forehead with a moan, only to find that I seemed to be feeling and hearing everything twice, too. Strangest of all, though, was THINKING everything twice. I gave up on making sense of what was going on and just went back to sleep in the vain hope that it'd fix itself by the time I woke again.

Obviously, it didn't. It just made me late for work. Not that I'd intended to go in anyway; the first thing I did when waking up the second time was try to ignore the strangeness and call in sick. Then I finally rolled on my side and saw someone beside me.

Yeah, that was the loudest scream I ever produced.

Somehow, though, no one noticed, which I suppose is lucky for me in hindsight. He screamed too, and once we'd both calmed down we were both hyperventilating. At once, we both pulled the blankets over our mostly-naked forms and said, "Who the hell are you? Why are you in my bed?"

"Your bed? This is mine! My name's on the headboard! Aditi!"

That was when I realized. I wasn't talking to someone, I was arguing with myself. Somehow, for some reason, I had gained a second body. As if that wasn't strange enough, this one was male. My minds were racing. I knew now what had happened, but I couldn't believe it, let alone understand why or how. I still don't know why and I've long since stopped questioning it, but that's beside the point. What matters is, regardless of whether I wanted it or not, there were now two of me. And both of me did everything exactly the same. I sat up, so did he. I reached for my glasses, he slapped my shoulder. I got up off the bed, he stood up on the bed and hit his head on the ceiling.

Despite what you may think, never once did it cross my mind that it may have been a dream. Everything was too... real.

I don't remember exactly what I did, but a few hours and many bruises later I was able to mostly move my bodies separately without hurting myself. It was easier than you might think; I could get my two minds to work semi-independantly, though I had to try not to think too hard about it or I'd end up confusing myself.

As it turns out, having a second body is actually pretty useful. When I took a shower, despite the slightly cramped conditions I was able to easily wash my fur and I could scrub all of my back without needing one of those awkward stick things. It was quite possibly the most relaxing shower I'd had in my life. I'd have to spend twice the money on shampoo now, though. And probably on everything else, too... That thought ruined the mood.

Done showering, I dried myselves off and sat down on the sofa. I was still somewhat in a daze, with no idea what to do, where to go, and even whether I needed to do anything. This was, I had to admit, very interesting. Useful too; all the time I previously had to devote to housekeeping I could now use for leisure time, at least for one of me. I would never have to be completely bored; while one of me works, the other could read a book, or go jogging, or play video games.

I soon found out, though, that I couldn't alternate sleeping. Something about my two bodies sharing a mind meant that neither could sleep while the other was awake. I discovered later, though, that while it is possible, it's difficult and ends up being a restless sleep since one body's mind was still quite active. But of course, this is nearly as severe a problem as being unable to do it at all. Anyway, I'm getting off topic.

For a few weeks I continued to work as normal (after taking off a few sick days to get used to this new development), making sure always that my male body did not leave the house or show evidence that I was there. I ended up telling a few of my closer friends, the ones who I knew wouldn't end up seeing me as a curiosity more than a friend after finding out. I knew from the beginning, though, that I would have to move. It was too difficult to keep my condition secret, and Pasi has ridiculous laws involving multis that would result in me paying several times the taxes and bills of everyone else. Not to mention I was too shy to tell my family or any but my closest friends.

My brother Destin, though, is one person I thought I could trust. We'd always been close enough that I considered him more a friend than a sibling, which is pretty close in my book. I was always more able to be frank with friends than I could with family, and Destin was always my confidant before he moved. Remember what I said about Pasi's ridiculous laws about multis? Turns out a four-armed hextaur with two mouths counts as about ten people in terms of Pasi law. Why does the two mouths even affect the count, anyway?

I did, of course, call him. After explaining my situation (I had to do a video call so he would believe it wasn't a prank), he agreed that I should move and offered to let me stay with him for a while. After all, who knows how many people I'd count as?

He helped me get started learning Morovan, and eventually I purchased some learn-Morovan-fast software that Destin said helped him a lot. I researched some homes near Destin's place--after all, I'd not seen him in person in years, and I wanted to be near him again--and found a few affordable ones. The area has a history of nearly always having a good house for sale, too, so I wouldn't have to worry about snatching one up immediately.

I started saving up, and only two months later I was on an airplane, going to move in with Destin. I'd sent most of my belongings ahead piecemeal by mail, so most of my things were already either in his house or in long-term storage. I had a few hundred uce in the bank, but I'd need to save up quite a bit more before I was ready to put a down payment on a house.

The Beginning of the Rest of my Life (critique requested)


I realized recently that Aditi's story is horribly subpar compared to what it deserves, so I thought I'd rewrite it. This is the first part, fairly self-contained on its own; let me know what you think!

For comparison, the old story:

As you can see, I've pretty much changed everything except the basic premise.

Submission Information

Literary / Story


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    FA won't let me see the old story, but I'd like to say that I find the premise behind this very interesting, because I once thought of something similar. I was actually saving the idea for when I had completed a plot for it, but now that I see you've done it first, I might as well share it.

    It was for a sci-fi setting, so each of the two bodies of the person would normally stay on different sides of the planet, so one could stay active while the other was resting. So, in this aspect, it would differ from yours. Also, the bodies would be of different ages instead of different genders. Then, when one body grew old and died, the remaining one could use SCIENCE! to build another younger, duplicate body. I guess the idea was similar to transhumanism, but, instead of uploading your mind to a indestructible computer, you would make a biological backup of it.

    And, while I'm yapping unceasingly, may I ask you have more information about all the places you mention in the text? I find fictional worlds very tasty. :3

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      Unfortunately I do not have much info on the places xD They're just invented place names. I like your idea, you really should go do something with it :3

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        That's all right. The places I imagine are still all more or less vague ideas in my mind. (and, for some reason, most of them seem to consist of deserts or mountains. it's weird cos i've never been to either)

        Now, I was almost abandoning that story line because I thought it was getting just too bizarre. But, now that I've gone through your gallery, I think my idea was too tame in comparison. XD

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          The concept of "Too bizarre" does not exist :P

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    Fascinating concept. Interested in reading more!

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      I dunno if I'll write more! I'll try to though.
      I have an annoying habit of not finishing things I start.