The following story is meant for an adult audience. If you are under the age of consent, 18 in most jurisdictions, please do not read.
This material concerns gay characters and gay sexual expression. If you find such material offensive or are just a moronic bigot, please go elsewhere.
Chapter 2: When Sunny Gets Through
Wasn’t it enough that he was still trying to wrap his mind around the events that had happened? That he still had a slew of questions left unanswered? Dare just wanted to wake from this horrible dream and go about living his life, but it was beginning to become seated in his soul that Sagi wasn’t lying. Being Darius McCusik again wasn’t possible. He was lost to his former life and had to find a new one worth pursuing.
His mind filled with memories, rich and varied and cascading into his consciousness like small children vying for their mother’s attention.
In a flash he was a teenager skateboarding with his cousin, Ray, on a cool early spring day. Creampuff clouds scuttled across the blue skies above and the sun played hide and seek with them. Having fun was his number one priority, that and not hitting the sidewalk too hard. His Da would have killed him if he’d found out Dare refused to wear his helmut. Killed him while sighing with acceptance that his son would always live up to his name.
“Come on, I dare ya!” Ray loved to use that name against him, like a taunt. His cousin was a year older and a bit bigger, but it was interesting how much they looked alike despite sharing no common bloodlines. They acted so much like brothers that people who saw them together just assumed they were.
“What’s the matta, Ray? ‘Fraid to mess with the master? Gotta have me prove again what you already know?” Dare laughed and proceeded to show his cousin his skill on the skateboard.
A siren sounded in the distance. As the two boys worked to impress each other the siren’s noise came closer until it was on top of them. The boys watched as a patrol car pulled up to where they were standing. The siren stopped.
“Ray, get on home. Dare, hop in the back. We have to get going.” Dare’s father never minced words when there was an emergency and both the boys knew right away that something important was up.
Ray stood on the sidewalk with his skateboard held to his chest. His face showed shock despite his being unaware of what exactly was happening. Dare would always remember how their skateboarding session ended on that day and how they stopped being kids solely intent on having fun. For the close friends the hardships and cruel realities of the world announced themselves loud and clear that day in April.
It was the day Dare’s mother, Natalie, the loving constant who gave him everything he needed to succeed in his young life died. “A freak accident” they called it. Dare was never able to wipe the image of a construction crane loosing its mooring and, unbalanced, collapsing all of its weight on to his mom.
She didn’t know what hit her. My gosh, how was his Da going to deal with Dare’s death? He didn’t know what hit him either.
The painful memory sped away and was replaced by another kind.
“Son, I am so very proud of you.” Dare’s Da seldom voiced approval. He was a man who believed actions always spoke louder than any words could. But it wasn’t every day that the man’s only child graduated at the top of his Criminal Justice class. This was serious cause for celebration.
The two men had bonded closer together than either ever imagined they would. Dare often imagined his late mother stood between them holding their hands. Even in death she was the glue that kept them tightly joined.
Seth McCusik handed his son an envelope. “This is for you. Na, don’t open it now. I don’t want anyone here to see me . . . ya know?”
Dare knew his father was capable of crying, but it wasn’t something he would share in public. He never wanted anyone to think of him as a weak man. Strength wasn’t something you exhibited to all and sundry. Lifting metal weights wasn’t real strength. It was something visible in his demeanor, his posture and stoicism. Strength was a sign of what an upstanding guy Seth was. Dare had never known anyone more stalwart, honest and dignified. But when his Mom had left he lost the one person he could rely on for comforting. Seth McCusik had tremendous good qualities. Comforting wasn’t one of them. He set an example that was always an unspoken reminder to Dare that real men didn’t just look the part. They acted it, too, and acting capable meant standing strong. Tenderness was somehow left out of the equation.
That evening at home Dare went to his room and opened the envelope. There was a key wrapped in tissue taped to a folded note.
I couldn’t have picked a better son. You are more than I could have ever hoped for.
You’re probably asking yourself what alien has possessed yer ol’ Da.
Don’t think I don’t like having you around, but you know commuting into the city would be a real hassle from here.
For your graduation I rented an apartment for you. I paid first, last and the security deposit. Sorry, you’ll have to get your own furniture.
It would be a good idea to get a bed right away.
You’re a man now. Men should have their own digs.
Congratulations! And I know you’ll have a great future with the force, too. I would expect nothing less.
With his graduation present Dare was kicked out into the real, adult world. Being independent was something he’d always dreamed of.
He sat on the edge of his childhood bed and cried.
I think we can skip any more trips down memory lane for the moment, okay? Sagi interrupted Dare’s brief reverie. I have other charges to attend to. Are you ready?
Just like that?
Dare was struck by how much Sagi reminded him of his Da in certain ways. Was this something else the spirit had created to make him more cooperative? So he was going to hop inside a new body, a body completely unfamiliar to him and get adjusted–just like that? The prospect was unnerving and daunting, but his name was Dare and he might as well live up to it.
I’m ready I guess. What real choice do I have? It’s this gig or . . . you haven’t mentioned an alternative, have you? Will I remember my life as Darius McCusik or will it all be lost to me?
I’m sorry. I need to fill you in with a bit more information. I haven’t been a recruiter all that long. You are right to be dubious about what is about to happen. Let me put your mind at ease.
This incarnation isn’t like the one you just had. You won’t be entering this new plane via a mother’s birth canal. You aren’t being reborn as much as reimagined. You will remember who you were, just as you will share Sunny’s memories, too. But the memories won’t incapacitate you. They will be more like events you read of than experienced. Your personality will no longer be that of a young male human. You can’t maintain such a personality and operate as a centaur agent, so to speak. The facets of your conjoined personality that correspond to having been Sunny will give you the ability to use this new body and to appreciate things that are more equine than human. But know this now: being centaur is neither being human nor equine. Centaurs might look like a combination of the two but they are creatures entirely unto themselves.
Alright. You said this was a “test drive”. What if I don’t like the new model? What if I want to drive something else?
Give yourself a chance to experience being the new you before you make up your stubborn mind, eh? I believe you will like this gift you’ve been given and I will help make the adjustment as easy as I can. I’m not promising a bed of roses here. You’ll have to work. Sunny is up for the challenge. You’ll need to be, too, for this to work out for you both or the new you.
Okay, here goes? What does the new constable of Taur’s Prairie want to be named?
I’m going to be a constable? You didn’t tell me that . . .
I just did. Got any preferences or will I name you?
No, no. At least give me a moment to collect my thoughts, huh? Dare decided to honor both his parents. He would take his father’s actual first name, Seamus, and his mother’s maiden name, Robinson, for his middle name. Sunny had made his preference plain. From now on the two become one would be known as Seamus Robinson Sundowner or Shay for short.
So be he, Seamus Sundowner, Coptaur. Sagi laughed.
And, with that proclamation, Dare and Sunny embarked on their new life as a . . . “coptaur”.
Copyright 2012 by G. W. German. All Rights Reserved.
This work of fiction cannot be duplicated or republished in any regard without the express permission of its author.