By Nina Beyers and Rob Sanderson
Till the lights come up (Part 1)
All nighters are a common occurrence at the School of Communication Arts 2.0. But one
rainy Sunday night in January, two seemingly ordinary students, Nina and Rob appeared
to enter a state of deliriousness and stumbled into the all nighter parallel universe… :
Portfolio four is due in 18 hours. We haven’t decided an idea yet, an all nighter is
But first, just a quick snooze before the all nighter commences… just one minute….
I wake up on Marcella’s bed, blinking like a newborn foetus. I look down, my boobs have
turned into pecks and I’m wearing a checked green shirt. Confused, I run a hand through
my cropped back and side haircut. I catch a whiff of my aftershave, Calvin Klein, classy. I
spot my little toe popping out of a hole in my left sock, not so classy.
Marcella is smoking a cigarette outside of her window and smiles at me. ‘Want one?’ she
asks. I stare at her blankly, slightly alarmed that she hasn’t mentioned my blatant bodily
I grunt a deep ‘erm.. yes cheers’. Feeling confident in my new deep voice I’m overcome
with a sense of mischievous flirtatiousness. ’I really shouldn’t, I gave these up years ago.
But I guess you have that effect on me’.
Marcella laughs at me shaking her head. ‘Oh Rob Rob Rob, I love you but it’s never going
to happen’. I smile awkwardly, ‘Why is she calling me Rob? Who is Rob?’. I toke on the
cigarette and look at the art hanging on the walls, a picture of a banana wearing a tutu
catches my eye.
As the nicotine travels through my limbs, I develop a sense of calm acceptance, ‘well if she
loves Rob i’ll just keep this Rob thing going’.
As I angle myself to show off my newly formed pecks and square jaw, Marcella grabs a
piece of cold pizza and throws it like a frisbee. It whizzes across the room and hits me on
the forehead. ‘Merda! And a beer!’ she exclaims as she launches a Stella into my gut.
I wake up to Tom poking me with a pen into my stomach. The sound of Professor
McGonagall scolding Harry in Stephen Fry’s voice cuts through my slumber.
‘Wake up fatty, all of our files have been corrupted on photoshop.’
Til the lights come up (Part 2)
My eyes open to a magnolia ceiling. My surroundings have an unfamiliar frequency.
Somehow I sense I am in Clapham, even though I have never spent time in Clapham save
for to pass through.
I feel comfortable, yet something tells me that there has been a trauma.
I know that I am Rob, yet I appear to be Nina. Although this doesn’t appear to be the
source of the trauma.
If I am having Rob’s thoughts in Nina’s head, whose head is it? Rob’s I decide.
My last memory outside of this strange Nina interzone was of a frightening white light. For
now I’ll stay here I think.
I see Tom is in the room. Of course, he is Nina’s partner. Looking at the expression on his
face, I come to realise that this may not be a desirable alternative to whatever it is I’m
trying to escape. He looks haunted by an advancing threat.
The familiar cliches about what you would do if you found yourself in the opposites sex’s
body for the day don’t seem to apply, because all I/Nina feel like doing is eating 6 packs of
cheese puffs in a row.
I sit and silently fart for a good 3 seconds. Tom doesn’t notice because the whole room
smells like cheese puffs anyway. It amuses me to blame it on Nina when I know full well
that I was responsible.
Tom’s lips are now moving. His voice starts to come into focus, and now I realise where I
am. It is dark outside and the clock on the wall says it is 4am, and I hear words of “files
corrupted” and “lost all our work”.
As soon as I understand, the white light appears again, engulfing me.
When the white light clears, I am back in my own body. I hear Marcella’s voice:
“Premiere just crashed with all our work”