Saturday, 17 October 2020

A Fair Trade (Art and Short Story)

Another little experiment - a short story, illustrated with a few pictures. Let me know what you think of the format. Hit the jump to read on.

“Do we really have to do this?” grumbled Stefan, struggling with his bra, “and are you sure this thing even fits?”

“The fact that you’ve never had to wear a bra while in my body, is a perfect example of why we need to do this!” Hailey laughed, “I don’t want us to be that couple that only uses body swapping for sex! We should be using it to actually understand each other!”

“I’ve totally worn your bra before! Remember when I wore that sexy Victoria’s Secret lingerie for you for our anniversary?” Stefan argued.

“Babe? I remember how horny I was for you that night. I had you out of that bra after a few minutes,” Hailey replied, very amused by Stefan’s squirming.

“Did we have to do this while we’re on holiday?” Stefan asked, finally giving up on fixing the bra, “we could have just done this at home.”

“How many times have we come here and had the exact same holiday?” Hailey asked, “not that it wasn’t fun, but now you get to enjoy what I like and I get to enjoy what you do!”

“You hate the rollercoaster,” Stefan pointed out.

“Exactly! But maybe in your body I’ll enjoy it!” Hailey said, excited, “don’t worry – if you get sick like I usually do, then I’ll make sure I’ll do something for you that I enjoy.”

“Fine! Let’s go!” Stefan sighed, heading towards the door, “I said we’d meet Cole and Natalia in the lobby in a few minutes.”

“You’re not going to tie your hair back?” Hailey asked.

“It’ll be fine! Come on!” Stefan groaned, “you’re the man now. You’re not supposed to be the one who holds us up before going out!”

“Okay…” Hailey said with a sly smile, knowing Stefan would pay for that sexist comment later.

“Maybe you’ll find Cole more tolerable in my body,” Stefan said, referring to his best friend, as they got into the elevator, “I think you guys could use a bit of bonding.”

“Or maybe you’ll see how insufferable he is from my point of view,” Hailey rebutted, dreading having to “bro up” with Stefan’s best friend.

As they got to the lobby, they saw Cole waiting for them, but no sign of his new girlfriend – Natalia.

“Where’s Natalia?” Stefan asked, concerned, before realizing Hailey in his body should have been the one to ask.

“Eh. We broke up last night,” Cole said, brushing it off, “it’s okay. We can still have fun today without that prude tagging along. Let’s do this rollercoaster dude!”

Stefan really wanted to ask his friend more questions as Cole was very fond of Natalia, and was probably just putting on a brave face in front of him and Hailey. He wanted Hailey to press the point, but instead she just fist bumped Cole and the two headed out ahead of Stefan.

Pulling back his mess of blonde, mussed hair, Stefan groaned again, hearing Cole laughing at him. Hailey had been right – he should have worn a hair tie before the rollercoaster, and her body really hated the rollercoaster too. She was an angel for riding it with them every year.

“You get funnier every year, Hails!” chortled Cole nastily, Stefan feeling upset to be on this end of his jabs, hoping Hailey would do something to stick up for him.

“Man! That ride was sick!” Hailey laughed, fist bumping with Cole, oblivious to Stefan’s discomfort, “we’ve gotta go again before we head home!”

“You sure your missus is cool with that?” Cole snarked, “or is she just trying to lose some weight?”

“I’ll…I’ll just sit the next round out if you want to go again,” Stefan said softly, feeling sad that he was missing out on one of his favourite parts of their yearly trip.

“I’m going to get a corndog first,” Cole said, making the dick-sucking motion, Hailey laughing like Stefan usually would, but Stefan just seeing a vulgar jerk.

“He’s awful isn’t he?” Hailey whispered once Cole was out of earshot, “but you’re right. He is more tolerable when he’s your best mate.”

“Babe? If you’re going to be his ‘best friend’ today, you need to ask him about Natalia,” Stefan said, giving her a nudge, “he really liked her and I know he’s just putting on a brave face.”

“Later! Don’t bring down the mood!” Hailey pouted, “let’s see if we can cheer him up with a good day first!”

“But babe, I think…” Stefan began to say, before he gagged, remembering how sick Hailey had been when she rode the rollercoaster with them last year, “oh no…”

Dashing to the toilets, Stefan almost ran in to the men’s room before catching himself and rushed in to the ladies room. He was soon puking up the breakfast in bed that he and Hailey had shared this morning.

When he finally stumbled out, he only saw Cole waiting for him.

“Where’s Ha…Stefan?” he asked, still feeling queasy.

“Off getting you a lemonade,” Cole said, rubbing Stefan’s back sympathetically.

“So…uh…what happened with you and Nat?” Stefan asked, deciding now was probably the time to ask while it was just the two of them.

“You don’t need to worry about her,” Cole said, with an overcompensating laugh.

“If you’re Stefan’s friend, it matters to me,” Stefan said, holding Cole’s hand.

“No. I don’t think you’re following me,” Cole said, before sweeping Stefan around, until he had Stefan back up against the wall, “I don’t want to talk about her, when we could talk about us.”

“What do you mean ‘us’?” Stefan gasped, as Cole leaned over him.

“You want to know what happened to Natalia?” Cole asked, “we were fucking last night and instead of calling her name, I called yours.”

“Oh. Slip of the tongue, huh?” Stefan stuttered, trying to find a way out of this position.

“I’d like to slip you MY tongue,” Cole said, licking his lips, “let’s face it. You and I make a lot more sense than you and Stefan.”

“No. I like Stefan!” Stefan said nervously, not used to referring to himself in the third person.

“Please. Do you remember what you told me when you got drunk last Christmas?” Cole asked, “you said the night that you met us, you were originally going to hit on me, but ended up with Stefan.”

“I guess I made the right choice,” Stefan said, his anger building, but he was still feeling too sick and weak to beat his friend.

“There’s the bite I love. You’d been so wussy all morning, I was worried,” Cole smirked, “I love fighting with you.”

“So, what do you want to do now?” Stefan asked nervously.

“Well I’ve got no partner for the rest of the trip,” Cole replied, “but while I could easily go to the hotel bar and pick up some chick tonight, maybe I won’t have to.”

“What makes you think I would go for this?” Stefan gasped, expecting himself to become violent, but instead found his eyes tearing up, “Stefan’s told me about the games you play with women.”

“This is no game. Deep down you’ve got a thing for me,” Cole smirked, edging in closer to Stefan’s face so they could almost kiss.

“What about Stefan? Aren’t you supposed to be his friend?” Stefan whimpered.

“I’d rather a girl like you than a friend like him,” Cole whispered, his breath hitting Stefan’s face.

Finally, Stefan snapped himself out of his stupor and put both hands on Cole’s chest in an attempt to shove him away, but unfortunately Hailey’s body was weaker than Cole’s, and it didn’t do much.

“I like my girls feisty,” Cole laughed, “but I think you know that.” 

His eyes squeezed shut, Stefan only heard a loud bang and suddenly all the weight was off his body. He opened his eyes just in time to see Cole’s body hit the ground and Hailey with a clenched fist standing over him.

“I told you he was a creep!” Hailey shouted, before kicking Cole while he was down.

It was obvious Hailey was going to keep beating Cole, but Stefan was quick to come up behind her and wrap his arms around her to hold her back.

“Don’t,” Stefan whispered, feeling his former body shaking with anger in his arms, “he’s not worth it.”

“She came on to me, buddy,” Cole commented, wiping up his bloodied nose, “she’s always had a thing for me, remember?”

“You don’t come near us EVER again, or I won’t hold back next time,” Hailey threatened, “you can find your own way home too!”

“Whatever, loser,” Cole spat, before walking off.

They were in the same hotel, and Cole felt confident enough that he knew Hailey well enough that she’d be paying him a visit later tonight. There was something off about Stefan’s punch though. A tingling in his jaw that seemed to be spreading to the rest of his body. As he stomped through the crowds, most people got out of his way, until he bumped into a woman, both of them falling over.

“Watch where you’re going, bitch!” Cole yelled, but his voice didn’t sound right, and looking over at the woman, he saw his own body!

“Am I…a man?!” his old body yelled, “I prayed for this but…THANK YOU!”

His former body was faster to it’s feet than Cole’s new one and by the time he’d gotten up, his real body had vanished in to the crowd.

“Was he always like that to you?” Stefan asked, looking up at his former face, after a long period of the two sitting on a bench in silence, “if he was, I’m so sorry.”

“He was your best friend. I guess I didn’t want to get between that,” Hailey said sheepishly, “although he was never THAT bad.”

“Well. You were right. Swapping for the day out was definitely eye opening,” Stefan mused, “almost too eye opening…”

“This is unacceptable!” Hailey said, forcing a smile and a laugh, “you haven’t had any fun out here in my body! It’s time for this to change!”

“Babe? Maybe we should just call it a day,” Stefan suggested weakly.

“Oh no! I know what we’re going to do!” Hailey said commandingly, “it’s something I’ve always wanted you to do, but I’ve always been too afraid to ask!”

“Wh…what is it?” Stefan asked nervously.

“Damn! SO CLOSE!” Hailey yelled, shooting another ball at the carnival game, “I’m going to buy another round, okay?”

“Uh. Okay? You go for it! You’re amazing!” an impressed Stefan managed to say, “this is really what you wanted to do?”

“I’ve always wanted you to win me a toy at one of these games and now you can feel how excited I’ve been for it!” Hailey laughed, “plus you’d probably be telling me how this is a waste of money or how the odds are against me.”

“You’re right! I do want to point out those things!” Stefan exclaimed, “but instead I want you to win me the BIG bear!”

It was the first real smile Stefan had managed since the fight with Cole, and Hailey felt even more energized to win a prize for her girl. She paid for another round before kissing him for good luck. Stefan was squealing with delight as Hailey made her final shot, and the machine’s lights lit up for the big winner.

“You were amazing in there!” Stefan gasped as they walked down the pier away from the carnival games, “could you always do that? Couldn’t you win your own prize?”

“It’s romantic if your boyfriend wins it for you!” Hailey giggled, snatching the big bear plushie she had won off Stefan, “plus your hoop skills muscle memory helped. I always suspected I could repurpose that if I had your body.”

“It’s a pretty good body,” Stefan grinned, “I’ll have to remember to treat you this way when we swap back.”

“You can see how I rely on you, right?” Hailey asked, “and now I can see how you rely on me.”

“Yeah, yeah, you’re right. Swapping for more than just sex is helping us learn,” Stefan agreed with an eye roll, “you’re the smart one and all.”

“Well right now, I’m the brains AND the muscle at the same time,” teased Hailey, “so I’m not sure what you’re bringing to the table right now!”

Her teasing was stopped dead in its tracks as Stefan grabbed her head and pulled her in to a passionate kiss. She leaned in to him, forgetting she was now the heavier and bulkier one, but Stefan just managed to brace for her.

“Okay. Point taken,” Hailey said, coming up for air, “maybe I’ll keep you around.”

As they got back to the hotel, they were so excited to get back up to their hotel room that Stefan and Hailey didn’t noticed the plump woman at the reception desk who was yelling about how she was actually a man whose body had been stolen.

The clerk at reception knew the man the woman was supposedly claiming to be had arrived back earlier in the afternoon and checked out in a hurry, a woman in car waiting for her. It seemed a little suspicious, but not enough to avoid calling security to escort the raving woman off the premises.


  1. Very well done. I like how they all learned a few new things and how Cole got what he deserved.

  2. Wiickedlyfunny & well written. Cole sure got a wakeup call! I love the plump body he has now. I wonder who was in the car - maybe Nat?

    1. Probably not considering the swap was an accident, but whoever it was, they're probably going to make much better use of Cole's body.