Someone was kind enough to lay out a cleric’s robe in a dwarf size. I’m now about a foot shorter than I used to be. This body is strong but squat. I feel wider than I used to be and after looking in the mirror, I don’t think it’s psychosomatic.
As I stared at my reflection, I tried to see me in those dark eyes. The face shook its head while the hands caressed the beard. “I have a lot to learn about this body.” And peeing standing up is probably the least of my troubles.
Better to face the group sooner rather than later. Pity, laughter, distrust, disappointment…. I had no idea what to expect and I couldn’t have told you what I wanted to get from my friends.
As I walked into the room, everyone fell quiet. Ian was the first person to talk. He walked over and took my hand. “I really don’t understand it. Not at all.” It was weird to be almost eye level with him. “Don’t trouble yourself, brother. I am thankful to be alive. I am Pelor’s instrument and He wills as He wills.”
“I’d never done reincarnation before but I’ve heard of other races happening. I mean, of someone coming back the wrong race. I don’t think that anyone has come back the wrong… sex.” He paused. “I am truly sorry.”
Buzz walked over. Tears welled up in his eyes. “It’s my fault. All my fault. I was so lost without you and I sinned. I sinned in trying to bring you back.”
I shook my head and reached a hand up to his face. “No, no. Shhhhh. It’s OK. It really is. Once I’m used to some of the basic, um functions, I think I’ll like this body.”
He began to cry in earnest. “You are so brave!”
“No. It’s not that really. It’s just. Well, here I am and let’s just move forward right? Maybe that’s a dwarf thing, but I just think what’s done is done. Move on.”
Myntilly had been standing away from the group. “I think I know why, why or maybe how this” she waved her hand up and down in front of me. “How this happened.”
I nodded. “It’s pretty obvious, right? My crush on Jenya. So the gods made this little mistake in my gender. I like girls so I must be a guy.” She nodded mutely.
“It’s kinda funny.” No one spoke. “No, really. You guys, listen.” I raised my voice to catch everyone. “It’s funny and who knows if it’s permanent but screw it — I’m incredibly, profoundly thankful to be alive.”
I turned to face Buzz and Ian. “And I wouldn’t be here except for the two of you. Thank you.”
In the silence Sadi shook my hand. “I like having a dwarf in the party. Now we won’t get screwed by merchants.” She looked hard at me. “You do have that dwarf thing with appraisal, right?” I smiled. “We’ll find out, won’t we?”
Acgar had a thoughtful look. I was aware that she’d not spoken yet. “Acgar? Are you OK with this? I don’t, I mean I won’t be here if you object.”
She shook her head. “It’s weird. It’s beyond weird, but you’re you. And I think, you’re more of the old you, the good you again, aren’t you?”
I laughed. “Yeah. I think so. Let’s go smite some evil and make sure.”
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