Michaela Merz

Bodyexchange in 2112

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My youngest couldn’t get to sleep. He asked for a story.

As she did every month Maria had registered for a body exchange on Saturday.   It was 8 October 2112. That meant that her soul would spend the day in the body of another person. It started at 7 in the morning and lasted until 7 in the evening. When registering, Maria checked age, sex and the health profile. As always, she elected for a woman between 90 and 100. This time she chose a woman, who was blind in one eye, with simple physical complaints.

When the exchange started on Saturday at 7.00 am, Maria immediately felt her joints. They hurt, were stiff and she could scarcely move them. Her vision was severely restricted by the one blind eye and only with difficulty could Maria struggle into the kitchen for a cup of tea. Maria knew that she had to spend the day reading, watching films and telephoning. The body did not allow this old woman to do much more. But even that, as would transpire later, was very ambitious. Maria tired very quickly and had to lie down several times. She had no desire to eat or drink, but she forced herself to eat a little soup to avoid becoming even weaker.

The afternoon dragged on incredibly slowly and almost every ten minutes Maria looked at the clock. When will it finally be 7 o’clock, when she can at last slip back into her body and go out with Peter. She was looking forward to that. Why on earth did she submit to this agonising body exchange, she asked herself. But she knew exactly. Almost everyone did the same, in order in old age to have saved up enough time credits to exchange back into a young body and, despite old age, to enjoy life for a few hours in someone else’s body.

Shortly after 4.00 pm she suddenly felt wretched, very wretched. She knew that she now had to press the emergency button. She knew that if this borrowed body were now to give up – would die – her soul would also be gone without transferring back to her own body. She looked to see where she had placed the emergency button. The panic and discomfort in her grew. Suddenly her borrowed body was shaken with heavy convulsions and without a sound Maria fell to the ground. She was dead. The emergency button lay on the side table next to the chair, in which she had been sitting, but which because of the blind eye from this angle she could no longer see.

Tough luck, thought the head of the exchange programme when he heard the news that the customer died during the exchange and the exchange soul was gone. Now he had an administrative procedure on his back, his bonus will be reduced and there will also be a liability claim. He still had to deal with the other younger body with the soul of the old woman imprisoned within it. He knew that will be tough. That’s the reason he himself NEVER made a body exchange. An accident can always happen and to be imprisoned in another body for the rest of one’s life, the thought of that seemed unbearable.

Image source: Markus Hein  / pixelio.de

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