This is one of the best stories I've seen from you in a long time. Abby and Jen may be my favorite characters you've ever created. Their friendship is not only well-written and believable, but incredibly sweet. The fact that neither of them ever started swapping traits without the consent of the other, and that they regularly consulted one another on their feelings about the swaps, provided a real sense of genuine concern and respect for each other's comfort and well-being. Then there was the constant goofy, playful banter between Abby and Jen, which was endlessly entertaining, ranging from hilarious to downright adorable, and really helped make their relationship and the swapping feel "real" and spontaneous. I also liked that—instead of dumping a bunch of details about their respective physical appearances at the beginning of the story—we get to know these characters gradually over the course of the story (even as they swap out their identifying traits).
The pacing of the story is also excellent: I really enjoyed how Abby and Jen discover the transfer ability through minor unintentional swaps, and proceed to experiment with it though a series of increasingly dramatic transfers, with full-body swaps not coming until the very end. It built a sense of anticipation that really helped draw me into the story. I also appreciate the level of detail you go into when describing the swaps themselves. None of them felt rushed, and even though many of the same swaps were perfumed multiple times, they never felt reused or bland.
My favorite moment in the story is undeniably the scene where Abby playfully teases Jen about her "flat ass", which prompts Jen to swap their butts (made funnier by Abby appearing momentarily chagrined at the prospect of parting with her curvaceous runner's rump,
though happily she quickly falls in love with her new, more petite derriére), which leads to a brief debate between the two over whether the original owner of a transferred bottom maintains the right to slap said bottom following its relocation to another person's backside. (It doesn't hurt that the booty is my personal favorite body part to be the subject of a swap, expansion, reduction, or other such shift in dimensions.)
One more detail I appreciate about this story is that towards the end, after Jen has fully become Abby and Abby Jen, the two are implied to still retain traces of their original personalities. Maybe it's just me, but in all honesty, I find transfer stories where the subjects completely lose their original identities to be—for lack of a better term—kind of pointless. The way I see it, if two people swap everything
, to the point that they don't even remember being their original selves, then essentially no character development has occurred and nothing has been gained from swapping. (Again, just my opinion. No offense to those who enjoy that sort of thing.) This story, by contrast, allows for the interpretation that even though the characters have exchanged lives, the retained vestiges of their old identities will allow Abby and Jen to live their lives even more fully than the original Jen and Abby could have (if that makes any kind of sense).
There is just one piece of constructive criticism I would like to offer, and that is in the area of punctuation. There are a lot of missing commas and periods throughout both chapters, especially in sentences where quotation marks are used, such as when characters are speaking or height measurements are given. (I can sympathize; punctuation can get confusing fast when quotation marks are involved.) For example:
“Yeah” Abby concluded “It just felt right for me to be your height”
There are three missing punctuation marks in that sentence: a comma at the end of the first quote, a period (or comma depending on style; since you apparently prefer to capitalize interrupted quotations, I would recommend a period) before the second quotation, and a period at the end of the second quotation. The correctly punctuated sentence should look like this. (Punctuation marks underlined and boldfaced for visibility):
“Yeah,” Abby concluded. “It just felt right for me to be your height.”
It's worth noting that you do
demonstrate correct quotation punctuation whenever question marks and exclamation points are involved, such as in the following example:
“So you wanted them anyway?” Abby asked.
Basically, all you need to remember is to use commas and periods in quotations the same way you use question marks and exclamation points (placement-wise). I hope that makes sense.
Finally, in instances where quotation marks indicate a measurement (as in # feet, # inches), the punctuation mark should come after the quotation mark. (Just think of the quotation mark as a contraction of the word "inches".) Corrected example as follows:
Abby was 5’9”, while Jen was just 5’3”.