“The Adventure Suits,” by Mike Scofield

Dec 20th, 2020 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

The Adventure Suits arrived a day earlier than advertised. Bernard weighed the package in his hands—next to nothing! He tossed it happily in the air and with the catch had to fight the urge to tear it open. He should wait for Maggie.

It wasn’t easy. He thought of trying his on to greet her at the door when she got home… But, no, he could wait. He played with the package a moment longer and then set it reverently on the kitchen counter with the mail.


The suits were so fine, shiny and satiny that they just poured through the couple’s hands. Bernard had already set the program running. Now all that was left was to don what were basically metallic stockings and have an adventure.

“What do you want to do first?” Maggie had her feet in and was pulling the suit up her bare legs.

Bernard regarded the rest of her nudeness. “Let’s screw!”

“Seriously. What do you want to try?”

“Well, really…” Bernard watched as her form became fine, shiny and satiny. “Looking GOOD!”

Now covered to her chin, Maggie hesitated before pulling the stretchy head piece down. “Do you want to do this or not?”

“Of course!” He already had his feet in. He bent to pull the new skin on. “How about surfing off Australia!”

“No. We should try something tame at first. A stroll in Paris?”

Shit. He knew this was coming. ‘Adventure’ meant different things to different people. “Sure, why not.” His surfing would probably be solo.

He stopped her from pulling the head completely on. “Let’s make sure it’s ready before you pull it over your eyes. Otherwise, you might not be able to see.”

“Oh, right.”

Bernard held the top half of suit still dangling from his waist and went to the tablet to check their status:


‘BernKing ACTIVE’

“You should be good.”

Maggie pulled the headpiece completely on and adjusted the eyes. “It’s like looking through a window screen.”

Bernard looked up from dressing. She was a female alien. “That should clear up once we’re in an adventure.”

Before pulling on his own head he set the program for ‘Stroll in Paris’. A window opened and self-populated. He chose Champs-Élysées and hit ‘enter’.


He was aware of emerging into the sunny air of the boulevard and immediately hearing “OH!” from Maggie when an approaching walker slammed right into… Oh. He walked right through her.

“You OK?”

Maggie stood, breathing heavily and staring at the air before her. “One minute: our living room. Next: a guy crashing into me…”

“Yeah,” Bernard held her elbow. “I don’t know how we avoid that kind of stuff. I guess, just stay on our toes.”

He released her elbow but remained close in. “What was that like? Did you see his insides?”

She shook her head. “I watched his throat get closer, there was a dark blip, then I was seeing ahead again.”

“Huh. Weird. I might try it just for fun.”

“Go ahead.”

They strolled, exclaiming on the realness of it all. When an elegant mademoiselle approached, Bernard aligned with her trajectory and, ha ha, enjoyed her going through him.

Maggie shook her head.

“Had to try it,” he said.


They continued until Bernard stopped and gazed into a near tree. “Listen to those birds! It’s so clear! How do they get the sound so perfect?”

Maggie smiled and nodded. “It’s just right. And you even get the smell of the place! How did they do that?”

“I smell food. Good food!”

“I’m sure the food would go right through us, too.”

They had a laugh.

“I’m starving!” said Bernard.

“We should have had dinner first.”

“How ’bout we just go to the Arc and then get out of the program?”


“We can always come back.”


They continued on, hand in hand now, in reverie. At the end of the avenue they marveled at the massive monument, marveled at how they could feel the warmth of the sun.

Then Bernard said, “OK—ready to exit?”

“Yes, please.”

Bernard nodded. Looked at her. Looked at the monument. Then up at the sky. Considered ‘exiting’. Then he looked at Maggie again.

“I don’t know how.”

“What? Well, you just…” She looked down at her shiny hands, her shiny feet. “Um, you…” Exasperated, she stared at Bernard. “What do you mean you ‘don’t know how’?”

“Well, do you?”

“YOU got us into this!”

He raised his hands. “And I’ll get us out.”


“You just…” He felt the air with his fingers. Turned around a couple of times. “I mean—I KNOW we’re standing in our den right now. To exit the program, we…”

He clapped his hands. Tapped his fingers together. Nothing. He ran his hands over his suit, over his head and stopped at the line between the head piece and the body suit.

“Maybe you just take off the suit.”

He worked the head piece up over his face and off.

His head disappeared.

Maggie screamed.


Bernard was in his den. Or at least his head was. He pulled down the rest of the suit quickly. Too quickly. It caught at his feet and his bent, unbalanced body fell forward. He instinctively shot out his arm to steady himself against the near table. His hand struck the tablet, whose cursor pointed to the x of the program, just as Maggie’s head—in his peripheral vision—turned from shiny to the real thing.

He turned to look at her. Their eyes locked. Then Maggie looked at the tablet.

“Did you close the program?”

“By accident.”

“I didn’t get my suit off yet.”

“Do you need help?”

She looked down at her shiny body. Concentrated. Gasped with unseen effort. “I can’t move it!”


“Goddam it—HELP me!”

Naked Bernard put his hands to his wife’s throat. He carefully pulled at the suit at the line where her real head began. But there wasn’t really a line. He tugged at the suit and only managed to pull the skin at her face and what was left of her real neck. The suit was her skin for now.

“It’s all just… you. I can’t… There’s no separation.”

Maggie’s head rocked with the intensity of someone trying to remove a tight sweater.

“I think I’m moving my arms…”

The shiny Maggie body in the den merely quaked from the gyrations of the perplexed head.

Bernard said, “They must be moving in Paris.”


“I’ll just restart the program. That should do it.”

Bernard turned and tapped at the tablet. And frowned at what he saw.


“What’s it doing?”

“Program error.”

“Shit! Let me see.”

He showed her.

“Well… try refreshing it.”

Bernard refreshed. The same error came back.

“Close out and reboot.”

He did so. They waited.

Maggie said, “Oh. OH! Someone’s touching me! Stop it! STOP!”

Bernard stared at her shiny body. “What are you talking about.”


“How can…?”

“I don’t know! Stop them! Get this suit off me!”

He tried separating the suit from the skin again but it wouldn’t go. The tablet was ready so he opened the program.

“Oh, my god! Some PIG is…”

He blocked out her complaints enough to work the program. MagPie was in ERROR but BernKing was READY.

“I’m going back in!”

He pulled the suit on and closed the headpiece down. BernKing was ACTIVE. He clicked on ‘Stroll in Paris’. From the new window he chose Champs-Élysées.


He got his bearings quickly and ran down the boulevard to where he and Maggie were last. It wasn’t long before he spied a couple far ahead who stood out from the strollers: they were stationary, shiny. As he ran on he could see that one was shorter, headless.

They were stationary because the other man held his wife’s shiny body by the waist while his free hand roamed. His wife gamely fought him off but was always a split second behind, her body convulsing and dancing to get away. The groper, laughing, groped.

Bernard ran to them and pried them apart.

“Hey!” said the other man, “where’d you come from?”

“That’s my wife!”

“How can you tell?”

“It’s my WIFE! How can you just walk up to someone and grope them?”

The shiny stranger pointed, “Look at this body!”

Though the other man was taller than headless Maggie, he was much shorter than Bernard. So Bernard tackled him onto the sidewalk and tore the satiny suit from his neck to his navel. He quickly jumped back and peeled the rest away.

All that was left of the man was a shiny head hovering above the sidewalk. Then it tilted back and rested as the man gasped.

“I’m paralyzed.”

“Serves you right.”

Bernard rolled the man’s adventure suit into a ball and held it. Maggie’s body had calmed down. He put the suit in her hands.

“What are you going to do with that?” said the head.

“Shove it down you throat if you don’t shut up. I need to think.”

“What happened to your wife’s head?”

Bernard ignored him. He pondered while gazing at Maggie’s body and the suit it held.

“Something happened with the program between the time she took off her headpiece and the rest of the suit,” said the head. “You screwed up.”

Then Bernard realized that all he had to do was put her stupid headpiece back on. He grit his teeth. He hadn’t brought it.

“Goddam it.”

Bernard removed his Adventure Suit.

The head laughed.


“What am I holding?” asked Maggie when Bernard turned to flesh.

“The suit of the guy who was groping you.”


“He’s out of action.”

“Good! What about me?”

“I think, all we have to do is get your headpiece back on. Where is it?”

“I don’t know.” They both looked at her shiny hands. At the floor. Around the room. “I must be holding it in Paris.”


“What kind of an asshole are you? You knew I’d be back.” Bernard scanned the area around them on the Champs-Élysées. “Where’s her headpiece?”

The head was silent.

Bernard took the Adventure Suit ball from Maggie’s hands and walked out to the curb. There was a tourist bus coming along. He flexed his arms a couple of times—a player at the free throw line—and was about to launch it into the second deck’s center…

“Wait!” said the head. “Trash can. Up at the corner.” The head gesticulated, somewhat. “Behind me.”

Bernard stood over the head. Stared at it. He reared back to give it a field goal attempt… stopped himself.

“You would just leave her like that.”


Bernard walked the hundred or so paces to the trash can. He perused it until he saw a smidgeon of satiny something, reached in and pinched it. Back at Maggie and the head, he unrolled the man’s suit and cleaned the headpiece with it. He dropped the suit and added the headpiece to the shiny body of his wife.

She immediately looked down at the head. “Oh, god. Let’s just get out of here.”

“You have to dress me,” said the head.

“No,” said Maggie. “We don’t.”

Bernard picked up the suit. “We can’t just leave him…”

“Yes. We can.”

“You can’t,” said the head.

“Of all the…” Maggie moved on the head, fists clenched.

“Just hang on,” said Bernard.

He shook out the suit’s opening and kneeled to work it upside down and backward over the head—

“You’re doing it wrong!”

—so that the stranger’s head would be up his ass.

“OK,” said Bernard, rising to stand. “Let’ go. I’m starving!”


Mike Scofield has been publishing stories since the last millennium. He is happy living in a world where some things make sense and the rest is fiction fodder.

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