A body-swap story inspired by Shelley, not just Frankenstein, but also “The Transformation,” a tale I read a while ago and which really got me by the throat. What I love about the story is that the Doppelganger and the protagonist get all mixed up in the end, bits of one left behind in the other.
Because, you know, it’s not always easy to say which is which—the good self and the bad. Which the harbinger and which the savior?
Pulp never lies.
Anyway, the story is set just outside my home town, a place I’ve renamed Union Falls in previous work, near Moonshine Falls, NY. My friends and I used to hang out at the falls when we were kids. Ride our bikes there and splash in the gullies, wear bright clothing so the poachers’ rifles wouldn’t get us. It was remote and wild and scary as hell. Those were good summers. We’d head out after breakfast and come home for dinner, maybe. Maybe call from a friend’s place where we’d stopped for a plate of whatever their mom had going. Or maybe just grill us some cheese and take it upstairs to where someone’s big brother would be watching TV and sucking on a joint next to the open window. And always the lake.
In my dreams I’m always on Route 90 heading toward that place and the lake is to my left, so I’m heading north, and I always wake up just before I get there.