Resolving Reese

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Author's Note: Consider this a present from the Ghost of New Years' Past. New Year's Present posted here, and the story from the Ghost of New Years’ Yet to Come is here. None of these stories are entries in the 2024 New Year's Writing Contest. They are just little nibblies to whet your appetites until January 1, when the REAL entries come it! I'm looking forward to reading all of YOUR takes on the theme soon!

-- Emma Anne Tate


New Year’s Eve was a tradition. I mean, this was the third year in a row that the whole island of misfit toys had gotten together in Terry’s big apartment for a “come as you really are” party. When you’re twenty-two, three years easily makes a tradition. Even a single repeat is at the very least kind of significant, you know what I mean?

Of course I was wearing a dress; that was traditional, too. I’d worn one every year since Serena had first invited me.

But this wasn’t just any dress. Now that I was Legal AF, with all caps where they are most needed, I’d gotten trained as a bartender and I’d volunteered to do the drinks tonight. My dress had a super-short, full and frilly skirt, a tight bodice, a plunging neckline that showed off my silicone assets, and flirty capped sleeves. In deference to the season, it was crushed red velvet, with white lace in the decolletage and the hem of the skirt. Black stockings and three-inch heels completed my Mrs. Santa homage.

Oh, it was classic, and I felt heavenly, but I was also way nervous. I don’t go out dressed, I’m not out to my family, at work, or college. But with Serena, and with Terry’s crew, I felt able – just able, but still! – to take a little peak outside the shell of my egg.

“Hey Reese – how ‘bout an eggnog!” Greta was tipsy. Trans like me, but she’d been out since the Jurassic Age – eight, nine years, easy – and she loved to tease me.

Since I was a cocktail waitress for the evening — taking on a role helped with the belly butterflies! — I was expected to give as good as I got. “Sure you wouldn’t want a whiskey sour, hon? Sweets to the sweet and all that.”

She gave me a big ol’ raspberry. “Sure. Fine. Whatever you’re pouring!”

I like Greta and I didn’t want to do something mean to her overloaded system, like mixing rum or whiskey of any sort with the tequila that was already sloshing around her digestive tract. I gave her a light margarita.

“Thanks, sweetie!” She did something that wasn’t exactly a chug, but it wasn’t any sip, either. “Have I mentioned you look great? I mean, like, really great. I wish I could rock that ‘fit like you do!”

I smiled shyly. For sure, I’m not used to compliments on my feminine appearance. I’m petite compared to Greta, but no-one would mistake me for a pinup girl. “Thanks, Gret. Let me get you another – maybe another six – so you’ll think I look like Margot Robbie!”

She chuckled and moved off, and Terry and Hal took her place. I’d seen Terry when I arrived, of course, but Hal had come later. He gave me a head-to-toe visual exam and said, “Lookin’ hot, girl! How’s it shakin’?” Hal is ruggedly handsome and thoroughly, completely ripped. Shredded. He could probably bench-press Terry in one hand and Greta in the other.

But he’s also gay as deck-the-halls apparel, so I was easily able to laugh off his sally. “Dude, where did you get that . . . thing?” His sweater was truly gruesome – tomato red and neon green, with “I’m a ho, ho, ho!” in big gold letters across his massive chest.

He smiled. “Would you believe it was made for me special?”

He could be a tooth model for Crest commercials or something. “Even you don’t have enemies like that!”

They both laughed. Hal took a twenty-ounce winter lager and Terry opted for a Chardonnay. Out of a box, okay. None of us are rolling in fried dough.

Probably thirty, forty people, so business was brisk and our supply of booze flowed through my fingers, allowing me to show off my nicely manicured nails. After a couple of hours (and maybe two, very small, drinks), I was a lot less nervous. There aren’t very many places in the world where I belong, but New Year’s Eve at Terry’s is absolutely one of them. I wanted it to last forever.

“Hey there, good lookin’.” Serena gave me a sleepy grin. “Can you do one of those Irish Coffee things? I gotta make it to midnight at least.” She planted her delectable tush in a tall stool by the side of my makeshift bar. “I love kinky boots, but damn . . . three hours and I’m dyin’!”

She was a vision in black leather. A tight skirt and black Merry Widow accentuated her abundant curves, and blood-red nails and lipstick made an unmistakable statement. Her normally frizzy jet-black hair was ironed out so it could flow over her shoulders in a dramatic fashion. I knew she had been hoping to catch Greta’s eye, but Greta is bi and was currently pursuing Stuart. Rather forcefully. Last I’d seen her, she was engaged in elaborate maneuvers that were, subtly but surely, herding him in the direction of the master bedroom.

“Anything for you, Mighty Mistress. Though, if you’re looking to extend your stay, you might want the coffee without the Irish part. Kinda works at cross-purposes.”

She pouted at me. “Party popper. Pooper. Whatever. I mean, you do pop out at parties, so.”

I blew her a fake kiss and gave her her coffee, putting just enough Irish in to add a little flavor, but not enough to really do much.

After taking a sip, she said, “I’ve got my New Year’s resolution. All set. Lookin’ at you, I’ve decided I need to lose ten pounds.” She gave me another look. “Maybe fifteen.”

“You’re nuts! You look spectacular!”

“Shoulda been there when Willie was tightening the corset. Jesus! Thought he was gonna cut me in two! Nope. Fifteen pounds.” Another look, head turned sideways. “Might even have to go for twenty. Fuck.” She took a deeper sip of her coffee. “How ’bout you?”

“You think I need to lose weight?”

“Shut up!!! You’d blow away in a light breeze! No. Just, ‘no,’ okay? Don’t even. I’m talkin’ about New Year’s resolutions. You got any?”

I shrugged. “Not really. Never been much into all that.”

“Well, I think you should. It’s good for you.”

“You sound like my dad, trying to talk me into chopping wood.”

She giggled. “Can I buy tickets? I mean, watching you swing an ax in your skimpy red dress, with those cute mongo titties of yours jiggling like crazy!”

“You shouldn’t be that drunk, girl,” I said. “I’ve been pouring, so I know!”


“You aren’t serious.”

“Why do you say that?”

“I don’t know. Maybe ’cuz you never are.”

“Ummm.” She tilted her head thoughtfully, squinted, and finally said, “Okay, maybe you have a point. But . . . I’m serious now, and it probably won’t last. You should listen to me.”

Given the elfin points I’d added to them for the party, I couldn’t resist saying, “I’m all ears.”

She giggled again. “Stop it! I’m trying to be serious. I have the perfect resolution for you.”

“Isn’t everyone supposed to make their own? I remember hearing that somewhere.”

“Normally true. Certainly true in my case. Someone might tell me I should resolve to be serious. I mean, not like now. Permanently. Or mostly. Anyway, not happening. BUT! It’s not true when you have a good friend like me who’s looking out for you.”

“You don’t say.”

“I do. At least, I did. Just now. And I was serious, and my serious time is almost up. You gonna listen?”

Greta was suddenly back, having no doubt discovered that the Master Bedroom was also occupied with revelers. But she was not one to let a minor setback ruin her fun. “Heya! Can I get another of those . . . whatevers. What you gave me before? They were sooooo good!” I had the distinct impression that Greta would be staying the night right here. Still, she managed to stumble back the way she came, drink in hand, so she was at least still mostly ambulatory.

Serena followed her progress with thirsty eyes, and I wondered if my own longings were as obvious to the world. If they are, I’m some kind of doomed.

I figured thoughts of Greta would drive all unrelated diabolical plans from Serena’s head, but I was wrong.

“Reese,” she said softly, “you should resolve to be courageous this year.”

“Courageous?” I poured myself a drink and, after a moment’s thought, topped up her coffee with Irish whisky.

She looked back at me and smiled as she saw the bottle in my hand. “Such a sweetie. Yeah, courageous. You’ve been hiding way too much, far too long. Just be you.”

It’s not like we’d never had this discussion before, and it always ended the same way. “You know why —”

She waved my explanation away impatiently. “I do . . . I’ve heard it all, dozens of times. It’s still bullshit. Reese, hon, it’s not gonna get any easier. If you don’t start now, you never will!”

Feeling flustered, I took a sip of my drink, only to find that I’d already downed it. I poured another. “You really think —”

“Sure I do. All the time. Think, that is. It doesn’t actually hurt, and I try not to let it bother me.”

I drank some more. “My life doesn’t suck right now. It could get a lot worse.”

“Or better. Maybe way better. But you’ll never know, will you? Unless you risk it!” Enthusiasm was overcoming her alcohol-fueled sleepiness. “Courage, Reese!”

I drank again, feeling the basement-quality liquor burn my throat going down. Then I slapped the table hard, raised my glass, and said, “Courage!” I’m afraid it came out kind of like a squeak.

Serena smiled triumphantly, clinked her glass to mine, and roared, “Courage!!!” She threw her head back and drank down everything in her glass in one practiced motion.

Her enthusiasm was infectious, just like a wicked bad virus. RSV, maybe. Or COVID. I joined her, even though I was positive I would regret it.

When I managed to refocus my vision, she was snaking her arm across the bar, snagging the Irish, and refilling her glass. I moved to retrieve the bottle and she swatted my hand away playfully.

“I got a present for you,” she said brightly. “While I was thinking, like I do.” She pointed behind the bar, where she had left her bookbag. “In there.”

I snagged her pack and handed it to her. She fished out a mid-sized purse in the same color red as my party dress. “Here you go!”

It worked with my dress, I suppose, though a clutch would have been better. But it’s not like I wore Christmas colors regularly. “Ummm . . . thanks? Why a purse?”

“That isn’t any old purse, silly.”

“No?” I looked it over carefully, and saw nothing out of the ordinary.

“No! What that is, my dear . . . it’s the Red Bag of Courage!” She gave me a wink, then spun away from the bar, got herself to her feet, and screamed, “Chrissy!!!!” to a woman who had just come in the door.

Before I could say anything, she was off and Sammy was there, asking for a Seven and Seven. My hands were, fortunately, still steady enough to manage it. “Just coke” Justin followed Sammy, and break time was over.

Ten minutes to midnight, I was lining up the cheap plastic flutes and pouring Barefoot Bubbly. That would be my last official duty as the Wine Wench. Or the Tequila Tart, as Greta preferred to call me.

The party had reached a kind of crescendo of crazy and it was hard to hear. Someone — Terry I assume — had turned the TV on so that everyone could watch the ball drop and wish they were someplace exciting like Times Square.

Not me, though. I was where I wanted to be, wearing a super cute dress, surrounded by people just as non-normie as I am. Instead, I was thinking about my New Year’s resolution. And about Serena. She was, without a doubt, my closest friend. She’d been my “in” with this crowd, my ticket to the island.

And I wanted her so bad my heart hurt.

I’d been pining for Serena since I met her, but she’s like the LA Dodgers with Shohei Ohtani and I’m first day of Little League. Hell, without my silicone enhancements, even little league is out of my league. She’s gorgeous and smart and funny and even pretty good at holding her booze, though this party is clearly straining her capacity. It was hopeless, and if I screwed up, I could lose my best friend in the whole world.

“Alright, everyone, get your glasses!” My voice is pretty high-pitched, and I managed to pierce the noise. People wandered over, or staggered, depending on the usual factors. But Serena was across the room, talking animatedly to Kirk the Turk, and it was almost midnight.

I wished and I wanted and . . . I wavered. Finally I couldn’t take it any more. Snarling “Courage!” and acting before I could chicken out, I slung my new bag over my shoulder, grabbed two full flutes, and made my way to the woman of my really embarrassing dreams.

I was half-way there when the crowd by the TV started shouting, “Ten, nine, eight . . . .” I reached her at “five” and handed her a flute, earning a smile.

At zero, everyone shouted “Happy New Year!” and downed the bad bubbly. It’s not my drink of choice, but tradition’s tradition.

I looked into Serena’s smiling eyes, stepped forward, and kissed her, using my unencumbered hand to circle her shapely waist. It took an anxious moment before she returned the kiss, and an even longer one before I felt her hand on the bare skin between my shoulder blades, where the back of my dress dipped into a deep “U” that ended just above my bra strap.

We broke the kiss and she left her hand in place, so I did the same. Leaning her forehead against mine, she said, “Courage, right?”

“Yeah,” I breathed. I managed to focus on her left eye. “You didn’t feel anything, did you?”

“Sorry, sweetie.” The eye looked sorry, too.

“Well, fuck.” Oddly, though, my voice was conversational. A little wistful, maybe. “I really hoped . . . .”

She took a half step back and her hand rested lightly on my arm, allowing her to look at me without going cross-eyed. “I know,” she sighed. “I kinda wish it would click, too. But that’s me, always chasin’ the crazies!”


She giggled. “Yeah. Great example. And Greta’s chasing Stuart, who’ll probably let her catch him just for shits and giggles. But it won’t last, ’cuz he’s really chasing Justin, who’s madly in love with our pal Hal, who’s semi-permanently hooked up with our host.”

“Crazy, fucked up world.”

“True dat.” She squeezed my arm. “We still good?”

I smiled. Oh, she’d broken my heart. But she hadn’t broken our friendship, and my relief overwhelmed the sting of rejection. This had been between us for years, unspoken, unresolved. At least now I knew, and I hadn’t done any harm. “Yeah. Real good.”

She gave me a long look. “Can you drive?”

“I’m thinking, no. And I’m thinking this ‘no’ thing for both of us, Miss ‘I wanna nutha Irish.’”

“That’s ‘Mistress I wanna Nirish mutha . . . .’” Her eyes scrunched as she struggled to remember my formulation. Finally she gave up. “Whatevs. Mistress, see. At least while I’m dressed like this.”

“Okay, ‘Mistress.’ No car keys for you! Maybe we should ask Justin; I know he’s sober.”

She giggled. “Sure! It’ll keep his mind off his pecker. Tell you what — I’ll ask him while you get changed.”

It was now, officially, the new year. And I’d made a resolution, hadn’t I? Stupidly, rashly — all that. But it hadn’t killed me yet, so I said, “What? You don’t like my dress?”

“Of course I . . . Wait, what? Are you serious?”

“Yeah, I’m serious. Of course I’m serious. Always, remember? Which is why you want to jump Greta’s bones instead of mine.”

“Wow, girl!”

“Courage, right?”

She tried to keep a straight face and couldn’t. “Can I stay long enough to see the look on your parents’ faces?”

“Why not? Someone might as well enjoy the show.”

“Will they kick you out? You can crash at my place if they do.”

“Nah. They host an old farts party on New Years, so they’ll be trying to get rid of the last of the moochers. Tomorrow’s another story.”

“What kind of story? Are we talking mystery? Horror? Hallmark Holiday Special?”

I shrugged. “Don’t ask me. I’m just the plucky protagonist.”

Twenty minutes later, I was freezing my ass off, standing on the sidewalk in front of my parent’s ranch house, trying to screw up my courage again. I love my dress, but it isn’t the most practical thing to wear when it’s twenty degrees Fahrenheit. I bet it’s even colder in Celsius.

Really, really cold.

I knew I had to do it. Had to, or I would turn into a little peach Dreamsicle, stuck to the sidewalk until the spring thaw. But somehow, I couldn’t bring myself to take that first step forward.

“Heya!” Serena’s voice was just loud enough to reach me.

I looked back at the car. She had the window open and was grinning at me. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

“I seem to have misplaced a bunch of vertebrae.”

She put her hand out, dangling her present. “A girl has to watch her purse, you know. ’Specially this one.”

I went back and retrieved it, feeling strangely better.

“Go on, hon,” she said. “Tick tock, now. We're a little chilly!” Both she and Justin were bundled up in warm winter coats.

“You’re chilly!”

She just smiled, so I turned back around. Clutching my bag like a talisman, I muttered “courage!” through gritted teeth and marched on the house like the second coming of William Tecumseh Sherman. The lights were all still on, and the sounds coming from inside were consistent with a Geritol party that’s lasted a bit too long.

I took a deep breath. Then another.

A voice behind me shouted, “Freezing, here!”

Finally, I seized both the day and the doorknob and opened wide to a smattering of surprised faces. Striking a dramatic pose, I shouted, “Happy New Year!”

Silence is a strange thing. Mostly, you don’t think of it as a thing. I mean, it’s the absence of a thing, right? Except that sometimes, it’s like a warty green ogre that sits on your chest and squeezes the life out of you. Shrek, but uglier and without the whole ‘heart-of-gold’ thing.

Anyhow, this silence sure felt kind of big and awkward, and it seemed to go on for a really long time. I couldn’t think of anything better to do than hold my pose, left hand on my out-thrust hip, right arm high and wide, wrist bent for the classic ‘ta da!’ gesture. I wondered how long I could stand there before the ground would open and swallow me whole.

Finally, my mother spoke. “I can’t believe it. I’m so disappointed in you. Really.”

“Yeah,” Dad growled. “Farging freezing out, and you’re just standing there like a lamp-post. How many times do I have to tell you to close the damned door after yourself!”

That . . . was a reasonable request. I leaped to correct my faux pas.

Mom wasn’t done. “How could you? Tonight of all nights?”

I took another deep breath. “Mom, you have to understand. This is me. Who I really am.”

“And I’m just supposed to accept that?”

I nodded, a bit shakily.

“Well, I don’t,” she snapped. “I believe I’m within my rights to expect certain standards, and you should know better! You can’t possibly wear red, it’s all wrong for you. And that outfit positively demands a clutch.”


Mom appealed to Mrs. Grindelbock from down the street. “Tell her, Geri!”

“She’s right, hon. With your skin tones?” She shook her head sadly.

“Too right,” Mrs. Abernathy agreed.

“I don’t know,” Mr. Grindelbock said thoughtfully. “She looks pretty okay to me.”

“Do you really want to have an opinion on this issue?” His wife’s voice was sweet and cold, like triple-chocolate ice cream straight from the freezer.

Hearing that extra special tone, he beat a hasty retreat. “No, Geri. Of course not, Geri.”

“Good boy,” she approved. “Let’s get going now, before the snow starts.”

Mr. and Mrs. Abernathy made their good-byes at the same time, and soon it was just me and my parents.

“You’re not mad?” I asked, incredulous.

“A bit peeved. I thought you had more color sense,” Mom sniffed.

“Mom!!! I mean, about . . . .” I waved at myself, encompassing all of my maxed-out femininity. I’d known I was trans forever. Ten years, maybe. I’d hid in terror of what would happen if anyone found out. I remember sitting in a locked bathroom for two hours when Dad had come home early once, and I was fully dressed. I had so dreaded this day!

“I’ve known for years,” Mom said with a shrug. “Kind of figured you’d get it off your chest eventually.” She gave my cleavage a measuring look. “That might not have been the best turn of phrase.”

Dad said, “It’s all good. Maybe now you won’t give your Mom grief when she asks you to help her clean up after the party tomorrow.”


“Yeah, seriously!”

“Dad, that’s so sexist!”

He smiled seraphically. “Right you are, little girl. Right you are. I’ll help your mother tomorrow instead, and you can do my job.”

“You don’t mean . . . .”

“Yup!” His shit-eating grin got even wider. “Chopping wood!”

— The End.

For information about my other stories, please check out my author's page.

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Simply Delightful

Take a bow, such a wonderful story. Your talent is beyond words. Thanks for letting us read your scribbles. Francesca

- Formerly Turnabout Girl

I can’t take a bow!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

First, because I haven’t earned it. You are too kind, and I’m blushing. Thank you, Francesca!

Second, though . . . I’m kind of tall, so people are tempted to hang a shining star upon my bow when they sing the wrong lyrics to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (as they do, like, all the time). It wouldn’t happen if people were fanatical about spelling, but it turns out that most folks think using “ough” for an “ow” sound is just plain bonkers. I can’t really blame them.

Warmest holiday wishes to you and yours!


Nicely done

We all need friends like Serena.

Ain't it the truth?

Emma Anne Tate's picture

A friend who is both willing to give administer a dope slap when it is sorely needed, and able to do so without causing irreparable harm to the relationship, is a rare gem!



Sunflowerchan's picture

Sunflower watched the first ghost pass through the fading pink walls of her room. Past collection of light novel's that seemed stacked in all manner. Past a notebook filled with half written stories. And with a hollow eyed look, she smiled and leaned back in her chair and gazed up at air above her head. The words the first ghost had shared with her, played through her head and the visions they conjured up played through her head like a Studio Ghibli anime. Despite her own self doubts that plagued her, she knew she would have to have courage to press on with the task of writing and editing. She would need courage, fortidued, and solidness of mind. Much like Kiki in her favorite Studi Ghibli movie 'Kiki's Deliever Service'. Silenty the young writer thanked the ghost for the shining example she set.

Retail therapy

Emma Anne Tate's picture

A little retail therapy is just what you need, Sunflower-san. You need to go off to your favorite local establishment and pick out a nice bag. Something that says "you" in a hundred different ways. The only requirement is that is has to be red. :)

Keep those creative juices flowing, my dear -- looking forward to reading your story!


Poor Planning on My Part

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Maybe I'm experiencing cognitive overload due to my Timberwolves having a 19-5 season record. Maybe I had one of my frequent senior moments.

"Here's an idea," I said to Emma and Joanne. "Let's each write a story within the New Year's Resolution writing contest's guidelines. We can generate some excitement and maybe a few more entries. Emma, you post first. I'll post second -- and Joanne you can post during the last week of the month."

Such a simple idea! You'd think I would have considered every nuance.

But nooooooo! Somehow I missed that my story will come out just a few days after Emma's and everyone will compare them.


That's like asking people to come to your house to see your first attempt at painting a picture . . . and making sure they stop on the way at the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa.

Emma - you could have at least gone easy on us. You didn't need to write something that easily could have been written by Phillip Roth or J. D. Salinger.

Yet . . . you did.


Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Or Thornton Wilder

I can’t explain how this reminds me of The Bridge of San Luis Rey, but it does.


Emma Anne Tate's picture

I hate confessing that I haven't read something, but . . . nope!

Best wishes to you, Catherd, for a wonderful holiday season.



Here, I thought . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

. . . the story could have been written by Mark Rothko. I could have called it "Untitled (red)," which is kind of a title, but, you know . . . artists.

Thanks, Jill. For your supportive comments, but also for the challenge. I have hit kind of a dry spot in writing, and I was glad to be able to generate something.


Kinda Fuzzy, Cuddly, Warm

BarbieLee's picture

Perfect for a Christmas story.
Hugs Emma
Life is a gift, meant to be lived not worn until it's worn out.

Oklahoma born and raised cowgirl

Nailed it!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Yep, pretty much just like one of those moccasins you get from LL Bean, once you've gotten it all broken in. Fuzzy, cuddly, warm, and smelling just like your very own feet . . . .

Thanks, Barb -- glad you liked it!


Red badge of courage indeed……..

D. Eden's picture

They say that courage is simply the fear of appearing to be afraid. They are wrong.

Courage is doing what is right even when you know that the repercussions will be more than you can handle. Courage is not caring what happens to you as long as you take care of those that matter more to you than life itself.

Courage is being so filled with pain deep down inside that you stand up while AK rounds are cracking through the air around you to spot for an air strike hoping to peel back the insurgents threatening to overrun the unit your team is supporting; hoping against hope that one of those rounds will find you and end the pain once and for all.

Disappointment is knowing that once again you are going to walk away to live another day, and disgust is finding out that you are being decorated for not being able to find the end to that pain.

I finally found the wherewithal to be my true self some eight years ago.

Now I define courage as being able to face the families of those I wasn’t able to bring back home. Perhaps if one of those AK rounds had found me they might have made it home to share another holiday with their families.

D. Eden

Dum Vivimus, Vivamus


Emma Anne Tate's picture

Dallas, I apologize for making light of a serious subject -- courage. I felt a desperate need to write something -- anything, really -- that could make me smile. It probably would have been better if I had heeded the old adage, "write what you know."


Bit too close for comfort

I had to walk away for a few minutes in the middle of this and come back to finish it. It has to be proof of excellent writing - again - to do this. Still, a happy ending was very welcome - but I'd have loved to see a different response from Serena although yours was probably more likely.


Good in a different way?

Emma Anne Tate's picture

The resolution with Serena wasn't rom-com good, but I hoped for it to be good in a different way. I wanted to show a world where romance for Reese wasn't driven by the fact of her being trans. Serena is only attracted to females, but that very much includes transwomen -- after all, her current flame, Greta, is not only trans, but has been out "since the Jurassic Age." Serena doesn't happen to be attracted to Reese, but that's the sort of idiosyncratic pattern of attraction that applies to the whole human race. Indeed, Serena proves the point, because her flame isn't attracted to her, but is instead chasing a guy who is himself attracted to yet another person.

I am glad you enjoyed the tale -- and that you were able to finish it!


Love it!

gillian1968's picture

Your stories are such fun.

Happy Holidays!

Gillian Cairns

Thanks, Gillian!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

I hope that at least the fun stories are fun!

Happy Holidays to you, too!


Chopping wood

in the dress she came home in? Is that her only dress? If yes then the poor dear will freeze her ass off. So cleaning up the party mess might be a better idea.

Thx for a nice story^^

Besides . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

The whole ax thing will do a number on her nice, soft hands. What's a girl to do?

The dad is evil. He built his trap perfectly!


Battle Axe?


Poor Reese!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

She’s only just come out as a girl, and you’ve already got her labeled as a battle axe! As Guinevere would say, tunefully, “where are the simple joys of maidenhood?”


What Have I Got Myself Into?

joannebarbarella's picture

Why did I ever agree to join two absolute master (mistress) story-tellers like Emma Anne Tate and Angela Rasch? I let myself be talked into writing a story pre-Competition "pour encourager les autres", sucker that I am.

Maybe I'll have to borrow Reese's Courage. My only consolation is that I'm the last cab off the rank, so I have some time to wallow in my misery before I offer myself up, yelling "I'm Spartacus!"

See what I'm up against!


Emma Anne Tate's picture

I suppose the Spartacus reference is appropriate; if I remember correctly, "pour encourager les autres" was the justification for shooting people!

You and Jill are just being silly. I've seen your stories, so I know what a treat everyone is in for!



Damn, I needed that!

A couple of belly laughs were just the thing after a long day.


Emma Anne Tate's picture

Ricky, if I could give you a couple of belly laughs, it is a small repayment for the many you've given me -- and everyone here -- time and time again. Your writing positively sparkles with witty repartee and humorous dialogue. You are an inspiration, always!

Wishing you joy this holiday season,


Oh, I so wish I had your writing skills

and now even my typing skills are deteriorating (you have no idea how many mis-keys I have had to correct to get this far, and I've already lost count).
So I will (1) wish you a happy festive season, and (2) relax and hope the New Year will give me many more opportunities to enjoy the freshness of your writing.
Best wishes

Thank you, Dave

Emma Anne Tate's picture

For myself, I hope the New Year sees a miraculous recovery in your typing skills, and an entry in our contest! ;-)

Yes, I'm a nudge. But forgive me -- it's my job! Very happy holidays to you, Dave.


Pure Emma Anne Tate!

I always go “Oh goody!” When I see a new Emma Anne story. This was wonderfully twisted and delightful. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

So glad you enjoyed it!


As Bugs Bunny might say

Andrea Lena's picture

Ain't it it the truth?

“I’ve known for years,” Mom said with a shrug. “Kind of figured you’d get it off your chest eventually.” She gave my cleavage a measuring look. “That might not have been the best turn of phrase.”

in my last time with my mom only weeks before she passed, I had a very poignant talk with her; a confession about wearing her clothes when I was a teen. While only minutes later we would be sharing tearful hugs, her response to my news included the last blessed time I would hear her laugh. She swatted my arm playfully before saying,

"I always knew... Mom's always know!"

Your tale evoked laughter in me! Thanks!


To be alive is to be vulnerable. Madeleine L'Engle
Love, Andrea Lena

So glad to bring a laugh!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Thanks, 'Drea! your mom sounds like she was fun!


My goodness, Emma

Robertlouis's picture

…but you do write SO well. That tale zipped along seamlessly and effortlessly, thereby showing just how much effort and editorial sweat went into getting everything just so.

It was an absolute delight to read, carried along by your customary wit and humour, together with the colourful and immediately memorable characters so crucial to any successful short story.

Yes, you’re one hell of a storyteller. And I don’t think anyone was expecting THAT ending!

Rob xx


This one was fun!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

My muse has been having a series of affairs lately, as she does, and when she’s stopped by to see me, it’s usually when she’s had something serious weighing on her thoughts. It was good to catch her in a lighter frame of mind.

Thank you for your kind words, my friend. I’m hoping to have one more thing to post this week, but if I don’t catch you before hand, have a lovely Christmas!


Really good, Emma

Podracer's picture

Small story, big characters and a pleasure to read, and hah! those elder comebacks. Reese had better find some proper work gloves tomorrow. And a lot of other apparel. In better colours.

"Reach for the sun."