Short Story: Dating a Chameleon

Dating a Chameleon

 

How did I get here? Audrey sat awkwardly on her couch, her fingers fidgeting with the tail end of her dress. She was propped upright by a large cushion. Next to her on the couch sat Joey; a tall dark haired man with wide shoulders and large green eyes that searched up and down her face for a hint of what she was thinking. But it wasn’t him she was after.

“So can you do it?”

“Of course I can do it,” said Joey. He reached a hand over and held down her hands. Audrey stopped fidgeting and let his hand just sit there.

“I mean I’ve heard mutterings of people having these sorts of abilities but I haven’t seen it for myself. But that’s the world of Harry Potter isn’t it? It isn’t real… is it?”

“I can assure you I am very real. I can’t say the same for Hogwarts.” Joey smiled calmly.

“And how long does the effect last for?”

“As long as you want me to. I can’t stay like that overnight.”

“Why not?” Audrey snapped, more annoyed than curious.

“That’s just how it works I’m afraid.”

Audrey bit her lip. Was this a good idea? Really? It was crazy she knew that. But she had exhausted all other possibilities. This was the only real option left. Wasn’t it?

“Anytime. When you’re ready,” said Joey, still holding onto her hand.

Audrey nodded nervously.

Joey’s skin began to glow with luminescence. His face, his neck, and his hands all started to shimmer. It was a dull light at first and then the lounge was swallowed by its brightness. Audrey shielded her eyes from the light and then the light began to die out. When it was nothing but a whimper Audrey took away her hand and stared at the sight before her. It wasn’t the dark haired man who had sat next to her, but a red haired, freckled face. It was Sam Finn and she loved him.

“Is this what you wanted? Do I look–”

Audrey put a finger over his lips. “Please… don’t ruin it. You are Sam now.”

Sam kissed her finger repeatedly and Audrey dropped it back to her lap.

“Audrey, I’ve wanted you. Always wanted you,” said Sam. He looked like Sam. He had Sam’s voice. But something was missing. Audrey screwed her face up and clenched her eyes. Just believe Audrey. Just believe. She opened her eyes and looked at Sam. Sam lent in and kissed her gently on the cheek. He kissed her again, working his away towards her lips. She turned her head before he could get there.

He sat back. “Audrey, what’s wrong?”

“I’m not quite ready for this Sam.”

“But it’s what you wanted… isn’t it?”

“You’re married to Becky. That bitch of a therapist.”

“But you know it’s you I’ve always wanted.”

“Then why did you settle for her?”

“I didn’t think you would have me. I didn’t think I’d be good enough for you.”

“Bullshit,” said Audrey. “I told you how I felt and you laughed right in my face.” Audrey threw off the hand and slapped him across his left cheek. It flared up pink almost instantly.

Sam looked stunned, but it was Joey who spoke and sternly at that. “Look sweetheart, I do role-play just fine. But this is getting a little out of hand.”

Audrey shut her eyes. “Don’t do that! Don’t speak to me in that voice.”

Sam spoke next. “Darling it’s me. What are you doing?”

Audrey looked back to Sam. She stroked the hair on his neck. She took his hand and led him down the hallway and into her bedroom. While Sam unbuttoned his shirt Audrey checked on a small black device on top of her drawers. It was well hidden but faced the bed square on. She switched it on. Sam turned and Audrey quickly looked away from the device and smiled up at him. Silently Audrey took off her clothes and pushed Sam onto the bed. Her skin warmed up as she lay down on top of him.

Audrey drifted awake and she sensed the man next to her. She stroked his hair before realising it wasn’t Sam’s red hair. It was Joey. He stirred slightly at the touch. She took away her hand and cautiously wriggled out of the sheets. Her feet met the carpeted floor and she tiptoed to the dresser where she collected the device. Audrey reached into her bedroom closet and slipped on a cream fleece dressing gown.

In the living room Audrey’s computer whirred into life. She attached a cable into the device. The LED light turned green. Audrey navigated through drives and folders and found what she was looking for; a single file. The mouse clicked twice. An image took up the screen. It was Audrey. The video replayed the previous night’s events. She didn’t watch the whole thing but made sure to check out the few seconds of footage where her ass looked fantastic. She also made sure to trim the video down before attaching it to a message for Becky Finn; Sam’s doting wife. While it uploaded Audrey entered nothing more than a subject line: Now he’s mine bitch. The progress bar filled completely and she sent the message away with a wide grin. It was at that moment Audrey realised she was being watched. Joey stood tall in the doorframe, the darkness obscuring most of his bare body. “I don’t know what you’re up to, but I don’t want any part of this. Understood?” He waited for a response. She nodded reluctantly.

“Now where is my money? I would like to leave now.”

Audrey pointed to the dining room table. There sat a wad of notes underneath a slice of carrot cake wrapped in a serviette. Joey handled the cake like it was a dog turd and turned his nose up at Audrey. Audrey nodded in encouragement. “I had some spare.”

Joey took the cake and the cash and left the house without another word.

Audrey didn’t have to wait long for a response. A message from Becky popped into her inbox: Audrey, what is this sick and twisted shit? What kind of person are you to do something like this and by email no less? You tell me to my face. I need to hear it from your own whorish lips. Meet me tonight at seven. You know where I live.

Audrey felt something churn inside her stomach. What she had done was horrible, but there was no going back now. Anyway, Becky and Sam don’t belong together. It should be me and Sam, no question about it.

Audrey called in sick to work and spent the day mulling over what she would say to Becky. Just telling her didn’t feel like enough. Sure there was video evidence, but she needed Sam, no… she needed Joey to tell Becky to her face that he despised her ugly bitch ass. Audrey found the flyer that advertised Joey’s professional services. She dialled the number.

“Joey, it’s me Audrey.”

She heard Joey groan. “Look Audrey, I am a flexible guy, but this is just too much for me. And that’s saying something, I’m a male escort.”

“I’ll pay you double.”

Joey took a few moments to respond. “What am I to do exactly?”

Audrey paced around her living room cradling the phone to her ear. “I need you to be Sam again. One last time. I need you to tell his wife to fuck off into the next dimension.”

“I’m a shapeshifter, not a wizard.”

“I know. I was being dramatic.”

“You don’t say,” teased Joey. “Okay, I guess I can handle being a prick just this once.”

“Why don’t you pick me up at ten to seven? I’ll show you where we’re going.”

“Okay, see you then.”

The line crackled and Joey hung up. Audrey went to her closet to prepare the sweetest revenge outfit she could come up with.

An hour later she was standing before her bedroom mirror in tight red leather pants and a cleavage revealing short-sleeved black vest, topped off with black knee-high boots. Her brown hair was let loose and wild

“You look nice,” said Joey with one hand on the wheel. He turned his head to look at Audrey and then refocused on the road.

“Please, I’m not hiring you to compliment me,” said Audrey. She fiddled with the necklace around her neck.

“I know. Just thought I should say something.”

“You’re blushing,” said Audrey as she prodded him in the shoulder.

“I am not,” protested Joey.

“Not this left, but the left after,” said Audrey.

“Look, are you sure you want to do this? Torture this poor woman? I can pull over somewhere and we can spend time together, doing something less destructive. I do famous people too. Ever wanted to sleep with Robert Downey Jr.?”

Audrey hesitated and bit her lip. “Maybe another time. Right now all I can think about is Sam.”

Joey took the left turn and turned back to Audrey. “Can I ask how it was for you last night?”

“I was a bit preoccupied with the whole sabotage thing, but it was good. Almost had me fooled a few times.”

“I’m glad. Means I’m doing my job right. I’ll file that one away as customer feedba–”

“This one,” shouted Audrey as she pointed a finger in the direction of a street full of houses.

Joey braked heavily, the car lurching in response. “Which one is it?” he asked, peering out Audrey’s passenger window.

“The one with the red Toyota in the driveway.”

Joey pulled up to the curb and stopped the engine.

“Time to change Magic Man.”

“Right,” said Joey. Without taking his eyes off Audrey, Joey’s face began to illuminate.

“You might want to cover your eyes,” said Joey grinning through beams of light.

“I want to see you change this time.”

“Suit yourself.”

Audrey looked right into Joey’s eyes as the brightness swallowed his features. The light faded and the freckled Sam was now seated behind the wheel. Bizarrely Sam looked at her with the same expression Joey had on his face just moments before.

“Last chance,” said Sam.

In response Audrey opened her door and stepped out into the street, lit by street lamps and moonlight. Joey followed suit. Audrey took Sam’s hand and the pair walked past the red Toyota and to the front door. Audrey politely rapped her knuckle on the wooden door several times. The door swung open and a thirty-something blonde dressed in jeans and a long sleeved top stood before them. She looked Audrey up and down and smirked at her outfit before noticing who she was with.

“Becky,” said Audrey plainly.

“You brought him with you?”

Becky turned to Sam. “I kicked you out of the house. This conversation is between us women.”

“I’m just here to talk,” said Sam.

“I’ve already heard what you had to say. Your bloody lies and excuses are toxic. I can’t have them in this environment. I need honesty… from the both of you.”

Becky looked remarkably calm for someone in her predicament, but her voice cracked as she spoke. She moved aside to let Sam and Audrey inside. Becky led them into a living room where she had prepared two glasses of red wine on the coffee table.

“Wine, are you sure that’s a good idea?” Audrey asked, taking a seat on one of the couches. Sam sat next to her.

Becky lay back in a single armchair opposite them, already cradling the wine glass in her hands. “Beats doing this sober.”

Audrey glanced around the room. “Have I ever told you what a lovely home you have?”

Becky’s face was stone cold. “How long?”

“Not long after you got married,” said Audrey.

Audrey spotted Becky clench a white knuckled fist around the stem of the wine glass, yet no emotion appeared on her face.

“Sam told me you were having issues — he confided in me and told me it was a mistake that he ever shacked up with you.”

Sam jumped in. “I found it hard to stay around you. You weren’t the person I thought I had married.”

Becky’s eyes moistened. “I had no idea. I thought things were fine between us. A little rocky, but isn’t that the case with most relationships? Why didn’t you talk to me?”

Sam took Audrey’s hand in his and talked to Becky while still facing Audrey. He couldn’t bring himself to look into those cold, wet eyes. “Audrey’s a dear friend of mine. I turned to her in my time of need, for advice to save our marriage. I never thought things would turn out as they did. I didn’t set out to hurt you.”

Becky swigged at her Merlot. Audrey left her glass on the coffee table untouched.

Becky turned to Audrey. “Not to mention the nerve of you Audrey. What, you think some kind of sex video was the best way to inform me of this issue? What were you trying to prove with that for fuck’s sake?”

“Sam wouldn’t come clean with you. I couldn’t live with these secrets, with these lies. I had to do it for him.”

“You didn’t know about the video?” Becky asked Sam, her grip loosening on her wine stem.

“Not at all. I’m sorry you had to learn about it this way,” said Sam.

“I guess I can commend you Audrey for at least having the balls to tell me, unlike this husband of mine.”

A gentle knock on wood echoed through the house. “Becky?” A voice called. It was Sam. The real Sam. “Becky, honey? Let me in. I don’t know what’s going on. Please, I need to talk to you. I need to know you’re okay.”

“Shit,” said Audrey. She turned to Sam with a look of we have been made.

Becky’s fingers loosened and the wine glass slipped out of her grip. Its remaining contents fell onto the pastel green carpet. “Sweet baby Jesus.   What… the… fuck?”

She stood up and stepped over the spill, making her way to the front door.

“What do we do?” said Sam.

“I don’t know!” shouted Audrey in a hushed whisper.

“It’s your bloody plan.”

“Back door. Back door. There must be a back door,” said Audrey, yanking Sam to his feet. But before they could escape, out from the hall emerged Becky and the real Sam.

“Someone please tell me what is going on,” said the real Sam.

“I would like to know the same,” added Becky.

Joey attempted to change. He began to glow but before the process could complete his head met with the hard floor. The real Sam had just tackled over imposter Sam.

He pinned him to the floor grabbing him by the scruff of his shirt, his teeth exposed as if he might bite an ear off. “What are you? An alien? Some Weta prosthetics shit? Why are you impersonating me you sick fuck?”

Joey struggled to spit out the words as the real Sam blocked his wind pipe. “I’m… a… shapeshifter…”

“A rape hitter? You slept with my wife?” He grabbed Joey more tightly and smacked him square in the nose.

“Please… not the face… anything but the face. This is my livelihood,” said Joey clutching a bleeding nose.

Audrey and Becky were still standing aside in horror as the two identical red haired individuals fought it out on the floor.

“Which one is he?” asked Becky. “Which one is my Sam?”

“The one without the bleeding nose,” said Audrey, wincing at the trail of blood pouring out of Joey’s face.

Becky’s face fell. “You… knew?”

The real Sam turned to face the women.  “Who the fuck is this?”

A bright light shone from underneath Sam. The light disappeared and Joey was back in his own body and with a bleeding nose. Sam climbed off of him, dumfounded.

“What a useless power. You can completely transform your body structure but you can’t heal yourself?” Audrey teased.

Joey stood up. “I know, pretty shit right?”

“Wait, this is a superpower?” asked Sam.

Joey sighed, as if this was the hundredth time he had been asked. In fact it probably was. “Yes, the rumours are true. Powers exist. And I happen to have the one that can change my form into anyone I like, so long as I have a picture of them in my head. I like to call it the Chameleon.”

Becky turned to Sam. “So you’re not cheating on me with bloody Audrey?”

“Of course not. I tried to tell you,” said Sam. He took Becky into his arms and held her tightly.

“Get out,” said Becky, her mouth buried into Sam’s shoulder. “Get out now.”

Joey and Audrey left the house as the bewildered couple clutched onto each other. The pair walked toward the car. Joey took his hand away from his nose. The bleeding had stopped.

“You look ridiculous,” Audrey grinned.

“You look different yourself,” said Joey. “Your seething anger has gone. Your plan backfired and yet you’re smiling like a clown. What gives?”

“I still scared the bejesus out of them! And I think I’ve finally come to terms with my situation… How many hours have we got on the clock?”

“As many as you like.”

“I’d like to try Robert Downey Jr. on if you please.”

“Absolutely madam,” said Joey, ushering her into his vehicle.

Joey and Audrey took off down the street as a bright light shone out from the car windows.

 

Written as part of a Writer’s Plot assignment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *