“Captive Girl” may have creeped me out, but when a story gets under my skin like that, there’s a writer who knows what’s she doing. So I went looking for other works by Jennifer Pelland, and was glad to find “The Last Stand of the Elephant Man“. Joseph Merrick (once known as the “Elephant Man” ) wakes up thinking he’s cured. He’s been the victim of an illegal bring-forward in time, and the perp has traded bodies with him. So now he has a perfect body.
And he is in San Antonio of the far future. They still have the Alamo and the Riverwalk, but in the meantime there’s been ice ages, Anglo flight, and cities under domes. Ironically, it’s now fashionable to wear a distorted body, and once again he is the odd man out. Fortunately, in a satisfying turn of poetic justice, what he went through in his first life gave him exactly the moral tools he needs to be able to stand up to this world. And forgive it.
It also has a great example of how to use exposition. Since Joseph is completely ignorant of his new world, and he’s met by people who are eager to help him get used to things, it makes perfect sense to pause long enough to listen. It also helps that there’s a very cool future history to explain.
This is more like my cup of tea.
Tomorrow: Another time travel story.