Another bout of insanity

A sequel to Ms. Imagine's 'Insanity'

When I read Ms. Imagine's 'Insanity' my mind came up with the following. My thanks to Ms. Imagine for letting me continue her wonderful story. I hope she likes what I have done with it.

This starts at the end of her ch2 (her words in italics).


Cheat sheet

Jeff/Gordon - - Scott/Brains - - Virgil/Penelope - - John/The Hood - - Gordon/John - - - Alan/Parker - - - Tin Tin/Virgil - - - Kyrano/Alan - - -Grandma/Tin Tin- - - Brains/Kyrano - - - Parker/Jeff - - - Penelope/Grandma - - -The Hood/Scott

"What is that thing you're always trying to teach me? 'It could always be worse', 'glass is half full' sort of thing?"
"Ah. Eternal optimism."
"That's the one. Is it working?" Kyrano considered the conversation he just had with his young daughter and sighed.
"Right now I think your 'scotch and a good cigar' might do just as well."
Jeff burst into laughter and clapped his friend on the back.
"Amen to that, Kyrano. Let's just hope this craziness is sorted by the morning."
"Indeed. Good night, Mr. Tracy."
"I don't know about good, Kyrano. Bizarre, surreal, and plenty insane," he quipped as he headed towards his room, "but definitely not good."

Once in his room, Jeff thought over what Kyrano had just said and selected one of his favourite brand of cigars from the box on the dresser. A few minutes later, coughing and wheezing, he was hanging out of the window gasping for fresh air. Gordon's lungs were obviously not used to the smoke. Filthy habit anyway, he thought. Hadn't Kyrano said earlier that they would only change when they had all learned something? Maybe this was his lesson.

Scott sat on the edge of his bed, looking down at Brains' s body but reluctant to get ready for bed. There was a hesitant knock on the door, and it slid open at his response to reveal the wizened features of Kyrano.

"Ah, S-Scott, I-I think w-we n-n-need to t-t-talk."

Scott nodded. "You can say that again, Brains. You might have warned me!"

"I'm s-sorry, Scott. I s-should have realised w-when you l-left the lounge earlier that you w-were heading for the b-bathroom, b-but I was busy trying to s-sedate the Hood."

Scott shook his head. "I thought we had had enough surprises today, then I find out about this!" He gestured to the body he was currently occupying.

"T-there's n-nothing wrong!" replied Brains with an unexpected flash of anger.

"Nothing wrong? Brains, you're a girl!"

"And w-what's wrong with that? So are Tin Tin and L-lady Penelope. I d-don't see you complaining about them!"

"Yes, but…" Scott found himself for once lost for words. "Why… What.. When did you decide to..?" Somehow there didn't seem to be an expression to cover this.

"Change?" supplied Brains helpfully. "W-when I was in my t-teens. Things were pretty t-tough at the orphanage I was in. I was b-being transferred to a new one and d-decided I needed a fresh start. I t-talked it over with my social worker and she agreed." He paused and looked Scott straight in the eye. "There's n-nothing s-sexual about this, Scott, it was just easier to live as a b-boy, and as I g-grew up, as a man. Even in the 21st century a m-male scientist is still taken more s-seriously than a female one."

Scott shook his head, finding it hard to take in. "Does anyone here know?"

"Only Tin Tin. I rely on her to get 'f-feminine products' for me. I can hardly go and b-buy them for myself."

Something clicked in Scott's mind. "So that time Alan saw you coming out of Tin Tin's room late one night…"

Brains grinned. "Yes, the f-fuss he made about that! But we could hardly t-tell him what I was really d-doing there, could we? Poor Alan, always g-getting jealous for all the wrong reasons."

"Meanwhile, I'm stuck in a girl's body." Scott was finding this hard to take. "At least Virgil's getting some sympathy!"

"I'm s-sorry, Scott. Think of it as an expedition into unknown t-territory. And I'm no b-better off. After all these y-years of pretending, now I actually know what it's like to be a m-man!"

The following morning found everyone in the same condition as before. John strode into the lounge and headed for the comm. link.

"I'm just going to give Gordon a call" he announced to no-one in particular.

"Worried about him?" queried Alan, "Or is it Thunderbird 5 you're concerned about?"

John ignored him as his own face appeared on the screen. "You OK there, kiddo?" he asked. "You look as if you didn't get much sleep."

Gordon rubbed his face and yawned. "Yeah, well I found it hard to settle down last night. Then I found your stash of blue movies – that kept me occupied for a few hours. I loved the one with the police inspector, the nun and the exotic dancer!"

"Shh!" said John, his face reddening. He looked round to make sure that his father and grandmother were not around. "Look, just keep quiet about those, OK?"

Gordon gave a wicked grin, an expression that looked out of place on John's features. "FAB, bro. Hey, I don't think much to your shower up here. It kept cutting out on me. I had to reset the wretched thing four times this morning before I had got properly wet."

"And what happens if you don't?" cut in Alan, "I suppose your gills seal up?"

"The shower cuts out when it's used its daily ration of water" replied John, then realised what his brother had said. "Hang on, do you mean to tell me you've used up five days shower ration in one go? What am I supposed to do when it gets to the end of the month?"

Gordon shrugged. "Stink? It's not as if there'll be anyone else up here to notice."

Just then Jeff entered the room, walking slowly and with obvious difficulty. He looked at the screen. "Gordon? What on earth's the matter with me? I feel stiff and ache all over. My normal body feels better than this in the mornings!"

Gordon looked at him. "I don't know, Dad," he paused, reflecting how odd it was to address your own face in that way, then was struck with a thought. "How much swimming did you do yesterday?"

Jeff shook his head. "With everything that was going on, jumping in the pool was the last thing on my mind."

Gordon looked angry. "Dad, you take my body down to the pool right now and do at least twelve laps."

Jeff shook his head. "I'll never manage that much – two or three is my limit."

"You might not, but I can. Now, please – that is if you don't want to seize up altogether"

A little later, Jeff bounded up the stairs to the house, taking the steps two at a time. Gordon had been right, he did feel exhilarated. This was better than a double whisky. Maybe he should join his son for a swim every morning.

After a quick shower and change of clothes he entered the kitchen where most of the family were still having breakfast. Judging from the silence, he seemed to have entered at a crucial moment. "What's going on?" he asked.

Parker's head turned towards him. "Grandma wants me to take her abseiling on the cliffs this morning."

"And then she's asked me to take the speedboat out this afternoon so she can have a go at water-ski-ing," said Virgil.


Tin Tin's face smiled sweetly at him. "Why not, Jeff? When I was Tin Tin's age I had a young family to look after and a farm to help run, and I never had the opportunity to do any of these things. I've been watching the boys do them for years now. I've never been tempted before at my age, but why not take the chance while I've got it? After all, you all keep reassuring me that they are perfectly safe." She smiled, "Then maybe this evening we could go to the mainland and find a nightclub? I used to like dancing. It would be nice to do some again."

"Per'aps we could go to Las Vegas," suggested Parker. "Hy wouldn't mind 'aving a go h'at the blackjack tables meself."

"No-one is going anywhere!" said Jeff, quickly.

"But Dad, what if we get a rescue call?" said Virgil. "No offence to the owners, but Scott, Alan and myself turning up in our current bodies is not going to inspire much confidence."

Jeff put his head in his hands. Did the Universe really think he had this much to learn?