“The Metamorph” / Memorable Fancies #808

      One morning, Hal White wakes up and finds himself in a body he doesn’t recognize. Whose? And he’s in a strange place – a house. He begins to panic. What’s happened? He finds the bedroom closet and tries on a shirt. The collar is the right size. So are the shoes. The necktie patterns are just the ones he would have chosen.

       He searches the house for clues, discovers his body’s name (“James R. Daily”), and that Daily seems to be married to a woman named Nancy. So where is Nancy, he wonders. Not at home now, anyway.

       A few hours later, Hal has decided that he must have had a stroke or some other awful thing and that he’s Jim Daily, but doesn’t remember it. “Hal White” is just an hallucination. When Nancy comes home, he worries, will she notice anything wrong? How well could he fake it? After all, he knows nothing of Jim Daily’s habits, tastes, even where he works or if there are children.

       Finally, Hal decides to tell Nancy, when she returns, that he has a bad migraine and “can’t really talk right now.” Gradually, he hopes, his real memory will return and no one will have noticed.

       The day passes as Hal investigates further. Finally in mid-afternoon the phone rings, and he answers it. Although the female voice doesn’t identify herself, it becomes apparent that it’s Nancy, and that she’s visiting her mom in Pennsylvania. Good. That will give Hal a few more days to get back to normal.

       They chat idly, Hal watching his every word. Just as they’re about to ring off, Nancy says “You, know, Jim, is anything wrong? Do you have a cold? Your voice – it doesn’t sound like you at all…”

<END>

THE SATURDAY PITCH

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