Rated R for profanity, young adult themes.
Their Changing Bodies
by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Judy had been painfully aware of him since her arrival two weeks ago, when she had seen him across the mess hall. They talked a little, but Judy hadn’t been prepared for his appearance or his popularity. She hadn’t expected him to change quite so much.
Judy had first met Brandon last summer in the woods of rural Michigan, at an institution the promotional brochures called Better Image! for Teens. The kids sentenced to this energetically punctuated camp had referred to it as the Penitentiary, but Judy’s sister Alice had more accurately called it Fat Camp. Judy came home thirty pounds thinner and possessed of a first kiss that had admittedly also encompassed some of her cheek. Still, at sixteen she had finally accomplished several of her goals in life: a) meet a boy, b) talk to the boy, c) impress him with her knowledge of esoteric subjects like grafting apple trees, and, finally, d) mack on him like crazy.
If pressed, Judy admitted that perhaps she still had a slight distance to travel until she fully accomplished d). Even though Brandon had attempted to insert his tongue in her mouth, the reality of it wagging wetly in the air had so disconcerted Judy that she turned at the exact wrong moment, thereupon forcing Brandon’s tongue to slither over her cheek until he realized what had happened and put it back in his mouth. How, she asked Alice, does anyone make out with so much spit? Alice just shrugged and said you got used to it.
Judy hoped she would get used to it.
About the Author
Alaya (rhymes with “papaya”) lives, writes, cooks and (perhaps most importantly) eats in Mexico City. Her literary loves are all forms of speculative fiction, historical fiction, and the occasional highbrow novel. She plays the guitar badly and eats very well, particularly during canning season. She has published six novels for adults and young adults, including The Summer Prince, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in 2013, and Love Is the Drug, nominated for the Norton award.
About the Narrator
Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen. Her novels have been finalists for the Nebula and the Norton. Her very first Escape Pod appearance was in #209, when “On the Eyeball Floor” was narrated by Norm Sherman, and she’s been providing narration for PodCastle since our miniature episode 23, about 8 months prior to her first publication with Escape Pod. Her stories are collected in On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, from Fairwood Press. She is one of the current co-hosts of Escape Pod, and her narrations have appeared all over.
She is extremely delighted to have had both her stories and her narrations featured on all four Escape Artists podcasts. Find her intermittent, Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast at Toasted Cake, or find her at tinaconnolly.com.