The jungle air seemed a bit drier as it wafted through the open window.
And what was with that awful dream I’d just had? Dr. Deathday must have been getting to me. That boring high school science dig he made us do yesterday slithered its way into my psyche like a bad ear worm.
I breathed deeply, relaxing all my tired muscles. Well, they didn’t feel as wiped as yesterday. In fact, I honestly felt the best I’d had in literal years.
Who knew nightmares could have that affect? I snuggled into the extremely comfortable bed, not wanting to get up. Dr. Day said we had to wake up bright and early since we were going on a trek today.
Rising, I blinked, looking at my room. This wasn’t the tiny Simdiana Sones room I’d slept in earlier. What gives?
My eyes drifted over the high dollar computer, the expensive art work, the exquisite terracotta tile and although I wasn’t a rocket scientist, I was smart enough to figure out something was defintiely wrong in Smenmark. Did I take Dr. Day’s room at the villa instead of mine somehow?
I was about to crawl out of bed when I heard a knock and a man’s deep voice. “Hey, Liam, I’m about to make coffee. Get your ass out of bed.”
My heart squeezed. Oh my GOD! I DID take Dr. Day’s room! And if I slept in his room, where the hell was he? We must have gotten drunk last night and somehow switched rooms. He was SOOOO gonna have my hide for this, blaming me because I probably suggested shots. The Selvadoradan booze must have been pure because I didn’t even have a hangover.
The villa had totally changed, too. It did have that jungle flair, but in a more Moroccan style.
I made my way to the kitchen when I spotted, no shit, Zack, Liam’s brother, making coffee! “Zack? Is that you?” I asked, so bewildered.
He chuckled. “Who else would it be, bro?”
“I…uh…didn’t know you came on the expedition. I didn’t see you yesterday.” What the heck was wrong with my voice? It sounded like a sexy man. I must have caught a cold as well. This was just not my day.
“Dude, you just got back from the expedition last night. Are you still dreaming or something? Don’t worry. I’ll have you fixed up in no time.” He filled the coffeemaker with some delicious smelling grounds.
I was so confused. Zack, Liam’s brother, was calling me “dude” and saying we came back from the expedition? A week early? We’d only stayed there for two days. “So…where is Dr. Day?” I asked. Honestly, I didn’t want to see him, but if he took me home then I DID get drunk. Like I must have gotten so drunk, I’d forgotten the whole week.
“Liam…maybe you should go back to bed. You’re not making sense.”
“Who are you calling Liam?”
When Zack gave me a puzzled look, I glanced down at myself and recognized the beautiful tan abs, the tall legs, the perfectly manicured hands.
OH MY FREAKING GOD!
In a panic, I bolted back to the bedroom.
Staring at myself in the mirror, my head exploded.
That asshole genie wasn’t a dream. He turned me into Dr. Day!
My neck pulsed in shockwaves of pain. I obviously had gotten a crick from the activities of last night.
And why did my villa bed feel so hard? It was like sleeping on cement. I decided to complain to the concierge. I paid extra for my room. The bed shouldn’t give customers back and neck aches.
Rising up, I tried to stretch. My God, what was wrong with my body? I hadn’t been this sore since high school. I had a workout regimen that never faltered, whipping my body into the best shape so I didn’t get sore muscles. But maybe I’d overworked the kids yesterday and I used muscles I hadn’t in years?
Then I noticed this wasn’t my villa bed. “What the hell?”
The events of the night before flashed in my head. Charlene stealing the cart. The archway. The temple. The genie. The pain. “No fucking way.”
My heart pounded in my chest as I looked at my unmanicured toes and white legs. “No…no no no NOOOOOO!” That wasn’t a genie. It was a figment of my very creative but very despicable imagination.
Getting to my feet, I waded in debris that was flung from one end of the tiny room to the other. “Where the hell am I?” I whispered. The stench of old sour milk filled my nostrils. It came from a glass on the desk that looked like a science experiment gone bad. Disgusting.
And then I caught a glimpse of myself in the Henry Puffer mirror on the wall. I gasped.
That fucking genie had turned me into Charlene!
It didn’t take long for me to discover I was back in Oasis Springs. And on the wrong side of the tracks.
I caught a suber over to my house. Charlene had no money in her purse, of course, but thankfully, I knew my credit card number.
Blasting through the door, I yelled at my brother, “Where is she?”
“Hey, Charlie. Don’t mind you barging in here. You’re always welcome. Where’s who? You mean Myla? She’s coming over in a few hours if you want to stick around.”
Oh God. This was going to take some time to get used to. I was in Charlene’s body. Backpedaling, I said, “Sorry, I mean…where’s L-Liam?”
A smirk flashed over my brother’s face. “OoooHHHoohh…you want Liam. It’s not Dr. Day anymore then. Heh. What actually happened in the jungle? Hmmm? I’ve been dreaming about this day for years.”
I arched an eyebrow and glared. “Um no. I can assure you that will NEVER happen between us. Not even if she…I mean he…was the last person on earth. Now…where is he?”
My brother pointed to my room. Of course. Charlene probably hadn’t gotten out of bed yet. It was almost ten in the morning. Rolling my eyes, I burst through the door. I wanted to wring her neck for this. How could she be so stupid to meddle with ancient artifacts?
I stomped in front of her and glared.
She winced and said, “H-Hey…Dr. Day. Before you yell at me, can I just say…I’m sorry?”
Seething, I said, “Apology not accepted.”
Oh God. How can Dr. Deathday give me his death glare while in my body? It was the creepiest scariest thing I’d ever witnessed. I was so dead. Like in the morgue with a toe tag dead. And yeah like I obviously got the blessing here. Poor Dr. Day inherited MY life. He sooooo wasn’t going to be happy when he took a look at my bank account. “So…like…I’m sure it’ll wear off. We won’t stay like this forever…will we?”
“For your sake, you better pray it wears off, but I’m not going to stand around waiting like a moron.”
I didn’t like the sound of that. “What do you think we should do? Like I doubt that genie will give us a do over. You heard him. He didn’t like how you went about asking for a blessing.”
His hands clenched. “So are you saying this is MY fault?”
How can he exert such dominance in my body? If I wasn’t so scared for my life I’d have marveled at little old ME looking so powerful. “Umm…well, I wouldn’t quite put it that way, Dr. Day. I think we kind of are in this…t-together, actually?”
He let out air then said in a low scary voice, “Let me make this clear. This is your fault, Miss Darby. YOURS. YOU decided to leave my protection. YOU decided to run off and into that unknown archway. And YOU decided to ask for a blessing from that maniacle genie. YOUR. FAULT!”
I raised my hands, trying to quell his anger at me. “Okay, okay, Dr. Day. It’s my fault. I admit it. And I’m repenting as best I can. But I don’t know what we can do about it.”
“Get dressed,” he hissed. “We’re leaving for Selvadorada today.”
Did I say Charlene Darby was the most stubborn, headstrong woman I’d ever encountered? Now she was refusing to go back to Selvadorada. Said she wouldn’t step foot on that soil again. “Oh yes you are coming!” I grabbed her hand, trying to pull her to the closet to get dressed. Why did my body have to be so strong? Maybe I shouldn’t have been so meticulous with my workout schedule.
There was something up between my brother and Charlie. On the one hand, I was balls to the wall happy. It looked as if my bro had gotten laid over the past week. That it was Charlie Darby was such a coup, too. I mean, think of the double dates we could have. Unfortunately, Charlie was yelling at my poor brother in the privacy of his room. Being whipped was one thing I never thought would happen to my brother. And yeah, he hadn’t gotten any sex in years, but I didn’t think he’d allow someone to treat him badly in order to get it.
But then I witnessed something I never thought I’d see. Charlie was definitely a hulk of a she-woman. Thoughts of what their sex life must have been like in the jungle blew me away. “Whoa…what are you doing with my brother, Charlie? Don’t hurt yourself! He’s a heavy man.”
Reed looked surprised as well. “Please put him down, Miss. I don’t want him hurt. He might break!”
“You heard him, Dr. Day,” Liam said. “Put me down!”
“I told you you were going whether you liked it or not.”
Now this was going too far. “Geeze, Liam, if you’re going to do role playing, for God’s sake, do it behind closed doors. That’s just…creepy.”
“Out of my way, Zack,” Charlie yelled. “And open the door!”
I shrugged and obeyed her. If these two did work out, they were definitely going to have a creative sex life. Who was I to judge?