Doctor Karma’s Cosmic Emporium: Part 2
By - email@example.com
published February 7, 2019
Richard’s punishment begins
Doctor Karma’s Cosmic Emporium
Rashawn Charles: All Saints Church Hostel for the Homeless, London.
It being December, it’s still dark when I wake up to the usual sound of twenty men snoring and shifting in their beds around me. At least I’m warm in here and lying on a mattress, I think; better than last night, spent huddled on the ground in a shop doorway near Tower Bridge. I bring my hand out from under the blankets to give my nose a tentative squeeze. It still hurts from when that crazy white bastard bitch-slapped me yesterday. It also feels longer and narrower than usual. Maybe the raasclaat cunt broke it? I badly need to piss, so I get to my feet and slowly make my way towards the dimly lit exit sign, taking care not to fall over anyone’s else’s bed in this tightly packed space. Some of these guys are paranoid druggies and I don’t want to start my day by being attacked again…
I position myself in front of the urinal and attempt to get my dick out from among the four layers of clothing I’ve got on. This always takes a few seconds. As I fumble around, I notice how pale my hands look… When it finally emerges, my manhood looks white too, and bigger; like a long, ivory slug… What the fuck? Am I sick or something?
As soon as my bladder is empty, I lurch over to the row of washbasins, where there is a cracked and pitted mirror, to take a good look at myself.
Holy Jesus Christ! I’ve turned white!
It’s not only my skin colour that’s changed; bleached to a pinkish-white colour… Even my fucking features look totally different too! My nose is sharper, narrower and much longer than it was. My lips have deflated into what look like two pursed horizontal lines. My eyes have faded from deep brown to pale grey. In a panic I whip my hoodie away from my head and moan with terror as I see that my long black locks have been replaced by very short, very straight, blond hair. I’m completely unrecognisable! I look just like that posh bastard who smacked me in the face yesterday! I’ve turned into a total honkey!
I let out a howl of anguish and stagger back from the mirror. This is a nightmare! What’s happened to me? Then everything begins to go dark around the edges of my vision, until the black closes in and I don’t know anything anymore…
Richard Carlton-Jones: Lincoln’s Inn, London.
As I stare in horror at my hands, within a mere few seconds, they change from the colour of milky coffee to an even darker shade of brown. I glance across at the antique mirror and, instead of me, I see a strange black man wearing my clothes. On the other side of the office, Amanda is rummaging in a filing cabinet for the Clarkson case notes; her back turned to me. I cannot let her see me like this! In a total panic, my heart thumping in my chest, I rush to the door, run down the corridor and dive into the nearby gentleman’s lavatory.
Once safe from Amanda’s prying eyes, I turn on a cold tap until I’ve filled one of the sinks and use both blackened hands to splash my face with cold water. I stare into the mirror, hoping that this perverse illusion will have been dispelled.
I utter a cry of despair. There’s no change; I’m staring wide-eyed with terror at my own reflection and all I can see is some kind of African!
My skin has darkened even more and is now a deep mahogany colour. My nose has become flatter and wider, with flaring nostrils. My eyes have morphed from the delicate shade of grey I inherited from Mother to become so brown they look almost black. My lips have puffed up to more than twice their previous size. My beautiful blond hair has been replaced by a cascade of ugly-looking black rat-tails surrounding my head like an untidy lion’s mane…
I can’t help it – I scream at the top of my lungs and then, my mind totally unable to cope with what I am seeing, I begin to swoon. Everything goes dark…
Rashawn Charles: All Saints Church Hostel for the Homeless, London.
When I open my eyes, I’m still lying on the floor of the toilet. I groan and get to my feet. Surely this was a bad dream? Clutching the dirty washbasin with both hands, I force myself to look into the mirror again.
I’m still white…
I hear a sound in the corridor outside and pull my hoodie over my head and stick my pale hands inside the pockets of my ragged donkey jacket. The door opens and a couple of guys come in. Luckily, they ignore me and make straight for the urinal. Although it’s going to mean missing the breakfast they provide in this place, I hurry into the hallway and make for the exit. I just have to get out of here…
It’s only just getting light, but the traffic in Chancery Lane is as heavy as always. Streams of commuters emerge from taxis, buses and the nearby stations, heading implacably for their places of work. They all walk in the same fast, purposeful way. All except me. I wander slowly along, lost in confused thoughts, struggling to make sense of this terrible thing that has happened to me. Every so often, I remove one of my hands from my coat pocket and stare at it with revulsion. In the pale dawn light, my skin looks unearthly and corpse-like. I start to wonder if I have died and gone to hell…
I pass an old building with iron railings outside and steps leading up to a smart front door, painted black. A number of polished brass plates cluster together on the wall, engraved with the names of the lawyers who work in this place. I realise that this is where I was assaulted yesterday by the bad-tempered white man whose face and body I now seem to have. I grasp hold of the railings and take a few deep breaths. Perhaps I should knock on the door and try to speak with him?
As I’m considering this course of action, the door suddenly opens and I see myself, or the self I used to be, emerge from the building and stagger down the steps towards me. It’s definitely me I’m looking at; the same dreadlocks, face and everything, but this vision of me is wearing a smart suit and a flashy cashmere coat. Several gold rings flash on his dark brown fingers. His black eyes look as wild and crazy as I’m sure my grey ones do…
He sees me standing at the bottom of the steps and freezes. For several seconds, we just stare at each other. I’m no mind-reader, but I know just what he’s thinking. What? How? Why? Exactly the same as me…
Eventually, it’s me who breaks the silence. “Have you got any money? I could really do with a drink and something to eat…” Even my voice sounds different, like I’m a BBC newsreader or something.
He nods and produces a fat leather wallet from his inside coat pocket. “Mi ave get nuff funds,” he says. He then looks totally confused about his new accent and dialect, which are straight out of Kingston, Jamaica. I almost feel sorry for the poor brother.
“Come,” I say, gently, giving his arm a reassuring pat which I pray won’t provoke him to hit me again. “There’s a café round the corner that does a very good full English breakfast where we can talk properly…”
We head off together and once inside the place, order a meal and two cups of tea.
While he picks listlessly at his bacon and eggs, I devour my food. This is the best meal I’ve had for several days…
“Mi due inna court todeh,” he says, looking totally miserable. “Ow mi cyan guh looking like dis?” His voice has all the musicality of my beloved island. It’s uncanny…
“You’re absolutely correct,” I say in my now-perfect textbook English. “You cannot possibly attend court looking the way you do.” I wipe up some of the runny egg yolk with my last forkful of fried bread and pop the delicious food into my mouth. I actually feel full and better than I have for months. “I would offer to go there instead of you, but I know absolutely nothing of legal matters…”
He hangs his head in sorrow and dismay. This business is as traumatic for him as it is for me; perhaps more so.
“I suggest that you forget about work today and that we go to your house together,” I say. “We need to discuss our best way forward under these present circumstances.” I hold out my perfectly manicured white hand. “If you would care to lend me your phone, I will make the necessary excuses for you…”
He fishes his top-of-the-range phone out of his pocket, finds a number, starts it ringing and passes it to me. “Dis mi secretary…”
“What is her name?”
She picks up almost immediately. “Mr Carlton-Jones? Where on earth are you? I was worried sick when you ran out and disappeared so suddenly like that…”
“I’m sorry, Amanda,” I say. “I’ve been taken ill and have had to go home. I will not be in for the rest of the day, I’m afraid.”
“But what about your court appearance this afternoon, Sir?”
I put the phone on mute. “She’s asking about my court appearance this afternoon…”
He shakes his head vigorously, making his dreadlocks lash from side to side. “Tell her fi get di clerks fi get di case adjourned.” His eyes widen in shock. The patois he’s spouting is so alien to him that he looks totally panicked every time he speaks.
“Amanda? Please tell the clerks to get the case adjourned. Yes… It’s unavoidable, I’m sorry to say. Goodbye…” I terminate the call and hand the phone back to him. “As you’re supposed to be too sick to appear in court, I think we should leave this area before anyone who knows you sees us. You’d better settle the bill and take me straight to your house…”
I pay for the greasy meal I found almost impossible to eat and we emerge from the café onto the busy street. I try hailing a taxi, but three that are quite clearly for hire drive past me in quick succession before one finally stops. My double appears amused by this. “Now you can see the problems we black people face,” he says. I don’t dignify his asinine observation with an answer.
We get into the back of the cab. “Grosvenor Mews…” I say to the driver, disgusted with the lilting tone of my new voice. I look again at my new-found companion. It feels so strange to see myself sitting next to me dressed in a filthy donkey-jacket and hoodie. The silence deepens as we push our way through the London traffic. I hate my new voice so much that I don’t feel like talking. I guess that my doppelganger feels much the same way, so we complete our journey without any further conversation.
Luckily, I know that Camilla is meeting some of her girlfriends to shop, have lunch and relax in a health spa all afternoon, so she will be out until early this evening. It’s also Cook’s day off, so the two of us will have the house to ourselves.
My first priority is to get my double out of his stinking clothes and into the shower. “What a beautiful house,” he says as we head up the stairs towards the main bathroom. I grunt in reply. I suppose it is a fine building and it must seem like a palace compared to anywhere he’s ever lived…
I tell him to strip out of everything he’s wearing and, not wanting to touch the foetid pile even with my new brown hands, I envelop the whole lot in a black bin liner from the top and then tie it up. “Dem yah rags need fi be thrown away,” I tell him. “Mi wi gi yuh sum of mi clothes to wear…” Why on earth can I not speak properly? Everything I say comes out as a stream of almost unintelligible Jamaican patois, complete with a sing-song accent that makes me sound as if I just disembarked from a Caribbean banana boat. Luckily, he seems to understand me well enough. He thinks about what I’ve said for a moment, then nods and gets into the shower.
I go to chuck his clothes down the garbage chute and then return to the bathroom. Although I bathed before leaving for work this morning, I decide to have a shower too and remove my own clothes. The shower is easily big enough for two of us and I step into the cubicle beside him and start to soap myself down. I feel none of the usual embarrassment about being naked in front of him that I might do with someone else. It’s more like showering with myself than with a stranger and I guess that he perceives it the same way.
Now that I’m naked for the first time since inhabiting this new body, I can see that my arms, chest and stomach are tattooed with various designs in black ink. Just below my navel are two crossed guns with the phrase ‘Yard Bwoy’ written above them. As I soap various parts of my brown body, I examine the other tattoos in detail. Among the most notable are ‘Only God Can Judge Me’ in flowing script across my upper chest, a large marijuana leaf on my right bicep and an outline map of Africa on my left forearm. When I turn towards the mirror tiles, I see that there is even a black scorpion on my neck, just below my right ear. I must look shocked at having a tattoo in such a visible place, because he grins and tells me that he had that one done because it’s his birth sign. He’s a Scorpio, apparently.
Part of me hopes that the warm water and soap will wash this filthy brown tint away from my skin, tattoos and all, but of course it doesn’t. I keep glancing with envy at his perfect ivory skin, unblemished by any crude body art. I want to scream out that it’s my skin and my body, but I restrain myself. I decide that there is no point getting hysterical…
I notice that I was much better endowed before, too… My new penis is even darker than the rest of my complexion and appears almost black. It’s flaccid at present, of course, but looks as if it’s probably average-sized when erect; possibly six inches or so. I see him also looking at his new manhood – my old manhood – with a look of admiration on his – my – his handsome face. To my disgust, he makes a fist and begins playing with his new cock, which quickly stiffens until it reaches its full, majestic ten inch length.
“I’m going to have fun with this,” he says, smiling at me rather lewdly.
Mortified, I turn my back on him and continue rinsing away the suds from my new wiry and tightly curled black pubes. This whole experience is like one long, continuous nightmare from which it seems impossible to wake up…
A little later, I take him into my dressing room and show him my extensive collection of beautiful clothes and shoes. I pick out underwear, socks, jeans and a polo shirt for him to put on and then dress myself in similar attire. After all, we’re at home, so there’s no need for us to dress formally. We are almost exactly the same height and build as each other, so everything still fits me too. We each slip on a pair of casual shoes and I lead him towards the drawing room. We need to have a very serious talk…
As we descend the stairs, I notice the jewellery on my hands. Camilla is going to think it very odd that a strange black man is wearing her husband’s wedding, eternity and signet rings. Rather reluctantly, I take them off and hand them to him, indicating the fingers on which he should place each one. Now he really does look like Richard Carlton-Jones…
Once inside the drawing room, we sit down on opposite sides of the fireplace and just look at each other for quite a few moments. It is such a bizarre situation that I’m totally lost for words, not that I would probably be able to adequately articulate what I’m thinking in any case…
Eventually it is he who breaks the silence. “This is quite a mess we’re in, isn’t it?”
I sigh. “Waah mi wife a guh say bout dis ting?”
He nods. “Yes… Your wife’s likely reaction to this predicament is difficult to determine.” He smiles. “I suppose that she will naturally think that I am actually you…”
I bury my face in my hands. I feel tears beginning to form in my eyes. A horrible though has occurred to me. What if this imposter has sex with Camilla? “Yuh had betta nuh touch mi wife,” I say, my voice sounding half-strangled with emotion.
The man who has stolen my face and body laughs when I say this. “There’s absolutely no fear of that,” he says. “I’m one hundred percent gay…”