October's Bright Blue "Whether"

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Brandon’s girlfriend wants him to make some changes. His mother isn’t sure exactly just what Brandon is. Who will help Brandon find peace?

October’s Bright Blue “Whether”
by Angela Rasch

Copyright  © 2010 By Angela Rasch
All Rights Reserved.


 

Chapter One
Oh suns and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather;
When loud the bumble-bee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And Golden-Rod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

Megan and I stood together, against the south wall of the gymnasium. We were just five feet around the corner, from the open courtyard. Most of the other freshmen congregated in the courtyard quadrangle, for hurried socializing after eating lunch in the cafeteria, before going back to the tedium of Wilson Junior High. Our choice of spots to meet offered two advantages:

1.) Some privacy — and,
2.) We were out of the surprisingly-bitter-for-October-29th wind.

“I’m glad they separated the Halloween dance this year so that we don’t have to party with the seventh and eighth graders,” Megan said with a disgusted smirk. “They’re so immature.”

A gust blew a bit of long, blonde hair over my girlfriend’s face -- causing her to blink her eyes rapidly, which in turn made my heart race.

“Uh-huh.” I’ve always had a way with words around Megan. We had been a “couple” for over a year -- but hadn’t really had much opportunity to do anything really physical about it because my mom had a rule about having to be sixteen, before you could date.

Somehow my over-stimulated brained engaged for a moment. “Megan . . . I’ve got a surprise for you.”

She smiled and my heart once again kicked into overdrive.

There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to please her.

“Is it diamonds?” She teased. “The good thing about having a highly sensitive boyfriend, like you, is that you come up with great surprises. I love diamonds.”

I laughed. “I can’t even afford zirconium.” I really can’t. I spent nearly all my lawn mowing money on a Captain Jack Sparrow Halloween costume, after Hannah whispered to me that Megan is going to the Halloween dance as a “Sassy” Victorian pirate.

I had found a picture of her costume online and nearly died from a lethal hormonal rush imagining how great Megan would look in that short-skirted, brown, crushed-velvet dress.

“What’s your surprise?” She asked, poking me lightly with a fingernail covered with sparkly stuff.

I came back to reality from my daydream of Megan and me in our Halloween outfits standing at the helm of a pirate frigate, somewhere far away. A real-life, frigid breeze raised goose pimples on my arms. “I can’t tell you. That would ruin it. But, let’s just say you’re going to be really happy at the Halloween dance, in two days.”

My relationship with Megan is a constant struggle. She always seems to want me to act more “manly” -- thus the Captain Jack Sparrow outfit.

It had set me back nearly three hundred dollars for its long jacket, shirt, vest, across the chest belt with buckle, royal blue sash, two waist belts with big buckles, pants, buccaneer boots, hat, bandanna, and sword.

I had paid extra for the goatee and mustache kit, which I really needed because I hadn’t even started to grow fuzz on my face. In contrast, Joshua, the school gangsta, had a five o’clock shadow to go with his abnormally large biceps. I had been his punching bag, for the past nine years as we progressed from first grade to the pinnacle of junior high.

The sad part is -- I’ve always felt Joshua and I could be really good friends, if the circumstances were different and I became really popular -- or I suddenly grew four inches taller.

“I’ve been thinking about the dance. . .a lot.” Megan said with a grin. “I’ve also been thinking about last summer when we “accidentally on purpose” ran into each other at Valley Fair.”

Even though we couldn’t date, no one had made any rules about us just “happening” to see each other at a public amusement park. We had spent the day together riding on Excalibur and the Corkscrew. But our favorite had been the Ferris wheel. We had taken advantage of a brief stop at the top to share our one and only romantic -- and highly sexual -- kiss.

I had stuck my nose into a soft spot on her neck to inhale of the essence of her perfume, to better remember the moment. She had tasted like cheese curds and Mountain Dew. But I knew at that moment that we would soon be locked together in Nuptial Bliss — or what the experts call “coitus.”

“I think about Valley Fair -- too. . .sometimes,” I admitted. Sure, some of the guys think I’m pussy-whipped because I'm at the mercy of my high-maintenance girlfriend. But they’re just jealous.

She blushed. “Hannah told me that there’s a special place that people go to during school dances, if they want to be alone.”

I gasped. “The boiler room!” I said it much too loud and showed way too much emotion. Dad got really mean when I got “too excited about nothing.” BUT — I had heard rumors about girls and boys who went into the boiler room and did a lot more than just kiss. One guy in shop class called it Phil Latio’s playpen.

Megan’s hand touched mine. “I was thinking maybe we could sneak off and see what the boiler room looks like.”

I almost passed out from the unbridled lust that shot through my every nerve ending. I imagined myself in my Captain Jack Sparrow outfit, having to loosen the cinches on the tight bodice she was wearing, so she could breathe, after she blacked out from an overdose of passion. “Uh-huh. Maybe if we get bored at the dance, we could take a walk and see what makes the boiler room. . ..”

“Now I’ve heard everything,” Joshua bellowed as he came around the corner. He leered at us with a maniacal grin on his face that usually preceded a melvin or some other sadistic torture. “I was just standing around the corner of the building, minding my own business, when I heard the two of you talking about the boiler room. . .as if either of you knows anything about things like that.”

“We. . ..” I quit talking when I noticed my voice had slipped into a whine. Something it did involuntarily around Joshua.

Megan looked to me as if she expected me to stick out my jaw, in defense of her honor.

Wanting to keep my jaw attached to my face -- I acted with deference. . .and said nothing.

“Megan,” Joshua said, shaking his head, “you’re a cheerleader. You qualify for someone from the top shelf, not a douche like Brandon. He’s the kind of guy who goes to the movies by himself. He’s addicted to ‘masturdating.’” He laughed like an idiot. “He’s the only guy in school whose IQ exceeds his weight.”

“I like Brandon,” Megan insisted. “He’s nice. He’s not like someone else I could mention, who thinks he’s a big deal because he’s the best football player in the city.”

“That I am,” Joshua chortled, “that I am. Now Megan. . .I’m trying to make up my mind which lucky girl in our class is going to get the honor of going to the boiler room -- with me. If you want me to toss your name into the running, just say the word. I’m not saying I’ll pick you, because some of the girls have been working overtime for that honor. But I will give you con-sid-er-a-tion.”

“Yuck!” Megan’s face looked like she had sucked a lemon. “Even though Brandon has some things to learn about what a girl wants a guy to do for her, he’s a lot nicer than you.”

“You bet — Brandon’s a real sweetheart and will make some lucky fella a wonderful catch. But enough about her, let’s talk about me. I might even let you dance with me,” Joshua bragged. “I learned how to dance because I heard that’s the gateway drug to getting laid.”

“Look, Joshua. . ..” I started, somehow finding the courage to speak.

His fist shot out and caught me in the middle of my chest -- nearly knocking me off my feet.

He pulled his punch. Had he hit me with even a fourth of his total strength, I’d still be flying.

He laughed menacingly. “Gotta keep your guard up, Nerd. Okay, Megan — T G I -Freakin’- F. I’ve gotta go watch football film. But in about . . . thirty-two hours, I’ll be at the Halloween dance. If you get lucky, maybe I’ll find some time for you.” He turned and walked away.

“Dickhead!” I said under my breath.

The bell rang and Megan and I ran to get to our first afternoon class. From what she said on our way into school, I could tell that all her excitement about my surprise had been forgotten. She seemed upset, saying several times that I needed to make some changes.

That’s okay. Her face is going to light up when she sees Captain Jack Sparrow come into the gym.

Chapter Two
When Gentians roll their fringes tight
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burrs
Without a sound of warning;
When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

I’d spent the morning raking leaves for three of our neighbors and made twenty-three dollars.

I threw my backpack on the kitchen table and opened the refrigerator door to find something sweet, salty, calorie-free, and satisfying. It had been nearly three hours since breakfast, and I was starving.

“Brandon,” my mother called from the living room. “Is that you?”

“It’s me,” I shouted back. I could picture her downing her drink, and then chewing the ice cubes. “When I came in from outside there were a half dozen terrorists ready to attack the living room. But I threw a fragmentation bomb and they escaped out of town.”

“What was that, Brandon?” She called back.

“I said. . ..” I stopped and reconsidered. Grabbing a half-glass of milk and a Toll House cookie from the jar, I went into where my mother was sitting.

“You. . .. There!” She commanded, pointing directly across from the sofa where she sat in judgment. The chair she put me in had first been used by the Tribunal of the Spanish Inquisition.

She looked strange in slacks and one of my father’s old shirts. Up until being laid off a few months back, she had been a mid-level executive with General Mills. She had worn business outfits every day, with high heels and jacketed suits.

What now?

“Brandon, I thought you and I had reached an agreement?” She asked ominously.

I nodded. There have been about a hundred and thirty-nine formalized “agreements” reached between Mom and me. Her idea of an “agreement” is like the one-sided treaties Andrew Jackson forced on the Seminoles and Creeks while he slowly took their land and left them with bingo rights and docile crocodiles to wrestle.

“You should have kept your side of the bargain,” she admonished.

Oh shit. Prelude to a punishment! I suppose Dad caught me doing something he termed “girlish” and is having Mom handle it, by proxy.

I looked out the window at the crisp late October weather and wished I was anywhere else -- but in the spot I had evidently created for myself.

She shook her head and looked equally miserable. “I hate to have to do this. But every crime must have its consequence.”

Oh no! She can’t be thinking about grounding me. I had passed a note to Megan in American History yesterday afternoon and she had checked the “yes” box -- thereby sealing our rendezvous in about eight hours — in the boiler room. Please — anything but grounded.

“Brandon,” she sighed. “I don’t know what the fascination is with you and my lingerie drawer. . ..”

“I didn’t. . ..” I started frantically.

She held up one finger, to silence me. “Don’t add the sin of lying, to what you’ve done already.”

I’m dead. I squirmed in my seat and shut my eyes, wishing the world would just go away – or I would magically become someone else. “You always say I’m lying,” I complained.

“If your dad knew about half the fibs you tell -- or even a tenth of the vile things you’ve done. . ..”

There was no need for her to finish. My dad traveled for Honeywell. He was in Europe and wouldn’t be home for about ten more days. Invariably when he got home my mother would meet him at the door, with a list of my indiscretions. She never told him everything, so that she could hold some of the things I did over my head.

He never hit me. But he could make me feel lower than dog shit.

“You know your father has a bad heart. When you screw up, it damn near kills him.”

I bit my lip. My mother is the Queen of Guilt. I love them both. But if I could wake up tomorrow, be twenty-two, and have my own apartment, I’d be the happiest person alive. I should have stayed away from her bedroom — damn!

“Like I was saying, I have no idea what goes on in your twisted mind. But things have got to change. If you don’t stop, you’ll end up like one of those trans people they’re always yammering about – and finding in the wrong bathrooms.” She stared at me -- waiting for my reaction.

What can I say? For the last two years, I had become steadily more fixated on her bras. I liked everything about them. Whenever I could, when she was out of the house, I would go into her drawer and look at them.

I would sometimes take them out, lay them on her bed and stare at them for what seemed like hours. When I would hear her coming in the front door -- I would shove them back into her drawer and act as if nothing had happened. But somehow, she always seemed to know.

“What do you have to say for yourself?” Her glare had caused me to freeze.

I understand entirely why hunting Bambi with a spotlight is illegal. “Nothing,” I choked out.

“It’s not like you’re a bad person,” she said sympathetically. “I’ve read some things about transvestites and. . ..”

“Shit — I’m not a transvestite,” I shouted. Why do people always think those things about me? Our minister told Mom he was praying that someone would find a cure for people with my lifestyle.

She got up and walked to the window before turning to talk down at me. “One more outburst like that and I’ll call your father and have him fly right home. Do you want your mouth washed out with soap?” She wrung her hands. “You don’t realize how hard it is to find a job these days. People can’t afford to be different. You have to make sure your closet door is shut tight. Do you understand?”

Understand what? I examined the tops of my shoes.

“Brandon,” she said loudly, “listen to me when I’m talking to you. You need to keep certain things about yourself secret. Don’t you realize that?”

What kid doesn’t know that they can’t tell their parents anything? I nodded.

“It’s not me who cares, if you want to dress up like a girl. . ..”

“I don’t. . ..” I said much more quietly.

“Brandon, for gosh sakes. I fold my clothes meticulously. It’s something I have my mother to thank for. She was such a martinet. You’re lucky to be born in a day and age when kids rule the house. It’s not your fault you’re not the swiftest turtle in the race. Brandon, I can always tell when you’ve been trying on my bras and panties.”

“I never. . ..” I started to get out of my chair to launch a full protest.

“SIT . . . down.”

I sat. “That was last week. . ..” I said without carefully considering what I would say.

“Thank you for the confession. At least, you don’t stretch out my things when you wear them . . . or get semen spots on them.”

“I don’t. . ..” Ewwwwwwww.

“It’s okaaaaaay. Didn’t I just say I don’t care? But -- I don’t make the rules for life. There are people out there getting killed because they don’t have sense enough to dress the way they should. I can’t stand to think what would happen to you, in prison, if you somehow got arrested wearing my underthings.”

My mouth fell open. Mom always screws things up in her head. But this time she’s missed by a mile. I just like to look at her bras.

She folded her arms. “You need a good lesson.”

Oh no! I hate her “lessons.” Dad’s lessons about how to be a man are even rougher.

“You march upstairs. I just drew a bath for you. You get in it, and I’ll be right up. Don’t dawdle. I’m going to finish my luncheon gimlet and you’d better be undressed and in that tub.”

Tub? One thing she’s never done before is to punish me by making me take a bath.

I went directly to my bedroom on the second floor and stripped. Our house had three bedrooms on the second floor, in addition to the master suite on the first floor where Mom and Dad slept. At one time, in their planning, they must have thought they were going to have two or three more kids.

I’m supposed to be a spoiled “only-child” – not harassed!

After taking off all my clothes, in my bedroom, I grabbed my robe and opened the door to my bath. As she had said, my tub was already full. I dropped my robe on the floor and eased into the steaming water. She made it just right. This isn’t too bad. But why all the bubbles?

I had barely gotten in when the door to the hall opened and Mom marched in carrying a bundle of her clothes.

What is she doing in here? “MOM?” She must be moving some of her things to the attic.

“How do you like my Coconut Cream Bubble Bath?”

“Bubble Bath?”

“When you get done soaking, your skin will be fully-hydrated. Don’t you just love the smell of coconut, almonds, and musk?”

Oh no! “Mom — how long does it take to wash this stuff off,” I asked hurriedly, thinking about trying to rise out of the tub and wondering how I could do it modestly with her in the room. “I have to go to a dance tonight?”

I better not look like I’m taking things for granted. “Unless . . . I’m grounded. Please don’t ground me on the night of our Halloween dance. I’ll do anything else.”

“You’re going to do something else, all right,” she said maliciously. “For a start, you’re going to stay in that tub for a full half-hour and scrub your skin until it’s rosy pink. I’ve got some things to get ready in the other room -- but I want to hear you scrubbing yourself. If I don’t, I’ll come back in and wash you -- myself.”

The look on her face left little room for negotiation. For the next eon, I ran a washcloth and loofah repeatedly over my skin. She checked on me after about ten minutes and added more liquid into the tub out of a white bottle. Feeling the water’s temperature -- she thoughtfully added some hot, to make it more comfortable, before she left again.

I would have expected that I would wear away my epidermis. But the water seemed almost oily. Although my skin did get pink, it wasn’t rubbed raw.

“Let’s get you out,” she said sweetly, while she stepped back into the room. She held a large towel, for me to step into.

“Mom?” I said -- questioning her discretion. “I’m naked.”

“Do I have to remind you how you came into this earth? I saw your little bottom before the doctor slapped it. Now quit acting like a little fool -- and let me dry you.”

I stood red-faced as she very deliberately made sure every inch of my body was toweled dry.

Then she opened a squatty, round white jar and scooped out something with the fingers of her right hand. “I’m going to spread this body butter all over your arms, legs, and torso. It will keep your skin feeling nice and soft.”

“Mom!” I took a step back. “That stuff smells. . ..”

“Nice. . ..” she injected while moving in and starting to smooth the lotion on my arms. “It smells very nice, as it should, for the price Sephora charges.”

“But, I’m a boy and I. . ..”

“Brandon, I’m not sure what you are. But you will do exactly what I say, or you’ll be grounded, until you’re old enough to draw Social Security. Got it? I’m plenty angry about you violating my personal privacy. A little of the same coming right back at you won’t hurt.” She gave me a look that told me I had done something so unthinkable that I should probably just shrivel up and die, to properly atone. When she started to coat my upper thighs -- I didn’t have it in me to object.

“I’m sorry, Mom. I won’t do it again.” A tear trickled down my cheek as I felt total remorse, for having made her so unhappy.

“That’s what you said last time. But then you went ahead, the first chance you got, and got into my things.”

I had. I deserve punishment. The lotion does smell nice.

“Do you want your dad to hear about what you’ve been doing? What if I told him about you crying like a little girl? You know how he hates that.”

I froze. Dad is a great guy. But he was in the Marines and would never understand my compulsion to look at Mom’s bras. He’d probably chew my head off.

She half-smiled. “I think we can keep things between the two of us, if you do exactly what I tell you to do, for the next few hours.”

I nodded repeatedly. Whatever she wants I’m willing to do, just so she doesn’t tell Dad.

“Good. Now I’ve always wanted a daughter for Halloween, and you’re going to be that daughter, for tonight. My guess is you’ll find being a daughter a lot less stressful than acting like a boy has been for you.”

“What?”

“So that you know, your father and I agreed before we got married that we would have at least one daughter. He promised me, swore an oath, that we would keep on having babies, until I got a daughter. I didn’t have sisters, and it was my dream to have a daughter. Do you understand?”

I nodded.

“Sometimes there’s a big price to pay for making a mistake. When I got pregnant at nineteen, I found that out. I suppose you coming out with a penis was just another part of my just ‘rewards.’”

I’m going to miss the dance. But I can’t say a word, or she’ll tell Dad. Sometimes, Dad is just that guy, who knocked up Mom. I nodded slowly.

She continued to spread that pretty-smelling goo all over my body, rubbing it in deeply. “When you were born there were complications, so I can’t have any more babies. I’ve never pushed you toward being a girl for me. But it seems like that’s just one more little trick fate has sprung. You’re pretty close to what I wished for, if things just would work out tonight. . .. Well I always say -- when the world hands you lemons -- make lemonade. If you want to dress in a bra and panties, I’ll let you . . . for Halloween. It’s for your own good.”

My Captain Jack Sparrow costume! I thought forlornly. Maybe I can wear it next year, if I don’t grow too much.

“For the next twenty-four hours, you’re going to be my little girl. I’ve spent the last three days shopping for you, and I’ve got everything you’ll need, including a fun Halloween costume, so you can hand out candy, at the door.”

“Nooooo.”

Smack!!

I jumped.

Her bare hand had whacked my backside. “Now see what you’ve made me do. I’ve never raised my hand to you, before. . .but. . .I just had to. Do you have any idea what your father would do to you, if I told him about what you’ve been doing, in my bedroom?”

I rubbed where she had hit me and shut my eyes against my dilemma. “I’ll do what you say. But -- if I’m going to answer the door, in a girl’s costume, you have to give me a mask and make sure I’m not recognizable.”

“Of coooourrssee,” she said, as if she would never embarrass me.

She forgets the things she yells at me from the stands about my masculinity when I make an error playing baseball.

“Now let’s get you started. Pull on these panties. It’s a good thing the puberty fairy hasn’t made her call yet. We won’t have to tape up your tiny thingie.”

My face felt like it was on fire.

“That’s nice,” she said, after I put on the panties. “You don’t even have an unseemly bulge. Evidently, you can control your excitement.”

“Mom. . .please. . ..”

“Oh, don’t fuss.”

We moved to my bedroom where I saw a small mound of clothing spread on my bed.

“I’ve got several changes of clothing for you,” she said excitedly. “I even have three different nighties, so you can make your own selection about what you’ll wear to bed tonight. I want this to be a fun, mother/daughter time for us.”

She’s got to be kidding. Either that, or the stress of not having a job has driven her crazy. If she is crazy, I have to be careful. There’s no telling what she’ll do, or who she’ll talk to, about me. I could get committed for staring at her bras!

She spread a dry towel, on the floor of my bedroom. “Even though you’re not developed as a boy, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have started growing something up top as a girl, by now. You know girls are quicker to bloom, don’t you? Have you even noticed girls yet? I suppose not.”

Megan. Damn. I’ll have to call her, to tell her I won’t be at the dance, so she doesn’t go and wait for me. . .and my surprise.

“No, I’m sure that girls are far into your future, if ever. So, relax and let’s have a sweet time, tonight. You’ll get to do what you’ve always wanted -- with clothing in your size, for once. And, I’ll have a daughter of my own, for an evening. Like I always say — the punishment should always be to the point. . . and never cruel. Lie down.”

She pointed to the towel she’d put on the floor, and then I sat down on it.

She gently spread my legs and arms until my back was flat on the floor. “Now lie still. From now on, I’m going to keep a count of your childish objections. I’m going to be fair about this. You’re going to try your absolute best to be my girl, for the next twenty-four hours. If I have to be sharp with you, I’m going to write it down as a violation of our agreement.”

A flash went off, and I looked up to see her holding her iPhone.

“If you play along we won’t have a problem,” she said sweetly, “but if I have to continually argue with you -- or you don’t try hard enough to be my daughter, AND LOVE IT, I will write it down. Three strikes and I’m going to have to call your father and send him an email with pictures.”

I shuddered and remained quiet.

“There now.” Her hand caressed the side of my face. “When I was your age -- I filled a B cup. You’re a little smaller than I was -- but I think your frame will still look sweet with that amount of development.” She opened a tube of something and applied it to a flesh-colored mound of rubber or plastic, which she then carefully positioned on my chest. “This glue is what they use to close surgical wounds. If you’re good, I’ll use the solvent to remove them tomorrow evening. If we have our little problems, I’ll leave them on you -- and you can explain them, next week in gym class.”

My entire body tensed in anticipation of what the boys would do and say, if that ever happened.

“Lie still. My goodness, I know you’re excited to finally have your dream come true -- but you have to wait for the glue to set.” After a few more moments, she repeated the operation, on my other side.

About ten minutes later, she had me stand.

I looked down and saw what I had imagined naked girls my age looked like from the waist up.

“I did a good job matching your skin color. A little of this special concealer and no one could ever tell what is and isn’t you. My — now you really do need one of those bras you’ve always wanted.”

The bra she fastened around me was quite a bit smaller than those in her drawer. But just as ornate. It matched my panties in color, texture, and lacey design.

She fussed with the straps -- making adjustments -- until she finally clasped her hands together. “Perfect.” She backed up about ten feet and put her hand around her chin. “My heavens, Emily -- you’re going to be a looker.”

Emily?

“We found you just the sweetest little Halloween outfit that you’re going to just love — but first let’s do something with your hair.”

Is she going to do what she’s always threatened -- and cut my hair? Dad and I argue about it, all the time. I like to wear it really long, because the girls think it’s cool.

She handed me a silky robe and slippers with heels.

At first, I had a little trouble walking. But she gave me some quick lessons and things became easier.

We then went down to her bathroom where she washed my hair.

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about getting a haircut. Whoever heard of a boy having hair down to his shoulders like yours? But now I’m happy I didn’t force the issue. This chemical I’ve put into your hair will lighten it and then I can style it, so that no one would ever suspect you were ever Brandon.”

Lighten? I’ll have to get a buzz cut tomorrow.

She wrapped a towel into a turban around my damp hair. “Sit down, Emily.” She pointed to a chair, in front of her dressing table. “I’m going to have to clean up your eyebrows.” She began to pluck hairs from over my eyes.

I thought about running out of our house, to the police -- but sensed everything would be okay.

If we can just make it through the evening, I’ll be fine. I’ll put on the witch mask and costume, or whatever she has for me, and then hand out candy, for a few hours, to the little trick-or-treaters. No one I know will see me. They’ll all be at the dance.

“That’s much better,” she said, after about ten minutes of painful eyebrow pulling. “Now you have sweet, little eyebrows just as a girl your age should have.”

She flashed another picture.

I looked in the mirror and saw she had left me with a narrow line of eyebrows that were highly arched. “ARE YOU NUTS?” I jumped up and squared off with her. “This has gone too far.” I turned to walk out of the room -- but stopped when she called to me.

“Emily, I want you to think about what your dad will say,” she said quietly.

I turned and calmed myself, while watching her take a small notebook from her pocket and jot something down.

“That’s ‘one,’” she said. “You don’t want to make things worse. Let’s just have a fun evening, shall we?” She pointed to a chair, and I obediently sat down.

Chapter Three
When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;
When springs run low, and on the brooks,
In idle golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

For the next two hours, she worked on my make-up and hair. All the time, she referred to me as her “princess” and gushed about how beautiful I was under my “false” exterior. “You know, Emily, I went through a lot to get everything ready for you, and I hope you appreciate it.”

I found a crack on the wall to examine. I soon lost count of the number of bottles and tubes she opened and wiped on my face.

“I was going to put false eyelashes on you. But your own are so long and lush. . .with a little mascara you look like a china doll.”

I groaned silently.

“This lip gloss has a chemical in it that will make your lips tingle. Don’t worry --when you feel it, because it’s supposed to do that, so your lips will get nice and puffy. That’s when they look the most kissable.”

Kissable!

“You’re going to love these nail extensions,” she said, with a grin.

Soon, I had long, light-pink fingernails that matched the toenails she’d painted.

After using a blow dryer, scissors, various brushes, and a curling iron, she sprayed my hair liberally and placed a bright blue headband on me.

“Oh my,” she said with some trepidation, “it’s already 4:30. The little tykes will start coming around 5:30. We need to step up our pace.”

She placed something around my waist and pulled on the strings, until I thought I couldn’t draw a breath. Then she drew a silk stocking up my leg and fastened the tops to “garters” hanging from the thing she’d tied around me.

“Now sit still and I’ll get your costume.” She left the room and returned in about two minutes, with a gown on a hanger. “It’s one hundred percent sateen,” she sang merrily. “Every girl should be Cinderella, at least one Halloween.”

“Mom, please. . ..” I begged.

“Now, now, Emily, you’re doing so good. Don’t make me get out my little notebook.”

I cast my eyes down and allowed her to do up the gown in back, although I could feel that most of my back was still exposed. The bright blue dress had those white hanging things on each hip. OMG! Those things are meant to give the impression that my hips are wide enough to easily give birth.

“That ruffled overskirt is called a peplum,” Mom explained. “Doesn’t it make you look all the more. . .sexy?” She steered me in front of a mirror, where for the first time I saw my hair.

“I’m blonde,” I said nervously -- less than enchanted by the fairy tale figure I presented.

“Uh-huh, I told you I put a little lightener, into your hair. Who wants to have dark-brown hair when they can be a blonde?” She had given me bangs and piled most of my hair, on top of my head.

The dress I was wearing had white shoulder epaulets and was so long its hem touched the floor. Since it was sleeveless my muscle-less arms were exposed and looking almost. . .right.

She came at me with a necklace. “This is called a ‘choker.’ It’s made of rhinestones. We don’t have time to get your ears pierced. But these dangly earrings match your choker and will screw tight, so they won’t fall off.”

The amount of pressure the earrings put on my lobes made me wonder if they weren’t designed to make holes in my ears, while I wore them.

“These rings of mine fit you perfectly and make your hands look exquisite.” She had me smile into the camera, while she took more pictures.

When she brought out the shoes for me to wear -- I thought I would die. They were clear plastic with long, long heels.

“I won’t be able to stand in those,” I said matter-of-factly.

She snapped them onto my feet.

When I stood my gown no longer dragged on the floor.

“These shoes are specially ordered for a Cinderella like you. I’ve locked them on your feet. The key is hidden in the house somewhere, and I won’t take them off, until the clock strikes midnight.” She laughed gaily -- as if she had made a joke.

That’s too much. I sank into a chair. “Please think about what you’re doing,” I said. “I’m sure I’m already going to need therapy and I might break an ankle.” A tear ran down my face. “I can’t do this.”

She looked at me sternly. “Emily, you little fool. You’re ruining your make-up and wrinkling your gown. Get yourself under control. You’ve got just over thirty minutes to master those shoes and learn how to move gracefully, so you can hand out candy, without being recognized as a boy. Now stand up.”

I stood and stared at the woman, who was supposed to be nurturing me.

“That was strike ‘two’,” she said while writing in her notebook. “One more strike and it’s out of my hands. You’ll have your father to deal with. He isn’t going to like cutting his trip short and flying back here, to straighten you out. But I’m sure he’ll see his duty and respond like a true Marine.”

“I can do it,” I said resolutely. “I’ll answer the door and pass out candy."

“Good,” she said handing me a small, white, silken eye mask. “With this on, no one will know the difference.”

I smiled, because I knew she expected it -- while she buttoned long, white gloves up my arms -- passed my elbow.

I’ll never be able to take them off without her help.

For the next half-hour, I had a crash course on what I would say, and she gave me pointers on how to move “elegantly.”

When the doorbell rang the first time, I minced to it, in what she had told me were four-inch heels. Standing at the door, with her mother was a little girl wearing an outfit almost exactly like mine, only much smaller.

I gasped at the shock registered in the little girl’s eyes, before recovering my composure and realizing she was simply amazed that there could be two Disney princesses.

“Are you going to the ball?” The little girl asked.

Her mother giggled from behind her. “I’m sure someone as beautiful as her has already met her Prince Charming.”

“Oh — she has,” my mother said from behind me. “Her boyfriend is the captain of the football team.”

“Joshua?” The woman acted surprised. “Joshua is my nephew, and I don’t think his mother allows him to date.”

I’m dead.

“Shhhhhhhh. It’s a secret.” My mother put a finger to her lips. “It’s okay though. I think their little romance is all in their heads.”

I told the little girl how much I “loved” her dress, just like my mother had taught me and gave her a piece of candy.

She curtseyed to me, like my mother had predicted some of the little girls would do. I curtseyed back as Mom had instructed.

“You’re so lucky,” the woman said to my mother. “There aren’t many girls your daughter’s age who will help their mothers, with Halloween. Most of them are too busy thinking about boys.”

My mother laughed like a conspirator. “It took a little blackmail.”

“Aren’t you going to the dance, tonight?” the woman asked me. “I know Joshua is going.”

“No,” I answered with real sadness. “I’ll be helping out here all evening.”

The woman brightened. “I’ll tell Joshua you’re stuck at home. I’m sure he’d love to help you. He’s always helping me with my housework. He’s such a dear.”

“Please,” I begged as earnestly as I could. “Please don’t mention me to Joshua, it could ruin everything.”

She winked. “I know how it is to have a crush on a boy and not know for sure how he feels. I’ll keep my lips sealed.”

After she left, I sank against the door frame -- completely exhausted.

“That was perfect, Emily. You made that little girl very happy. Just keep it up, for a few more hours and you’ll have gotten through the worst of it.”

I stood up and straightened my skirt as my mother had shown me. “It’s not so bad.”

“I didn’t think it would be.” She hit me with a spray of perfume that smelled like the coconuts I’d bathed in. “There. . .that will make you feel more alive.”

For the next several hours, we had a steady stream of goblins, fairies, super-heroes, and undeterminables, whose identities were locked in the imagination of those who had created their costumes.

Without fail, the mothers and a few ultra-creepy dads -- complimented me on what a gorgeous Cinderella I made. One dad, who smelled of liquor, had moved in close, under the pretense of taking his child’s hand, and had pinched my bottom.

Chapter Four
When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers, hour by hour,
October's bright blue weather.
O suns and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.

- Helen Hunt Jackson

At 8:30, my mother shut off the front, outdoor lights. “Well, that’s that. You did an excellent job, Emily.”

Other than that one dad, it had been fun. The kids were all so cute and most of them thought it was awesome to get their candy from a “real pretty” Cinderella. I even enjoyed being taller, in my heels. For the heck of it, I ran as quickly to Mom as I could in my high heels and gave her a girlish peck on the cheek. “I did have some fun,” I admitted.

“You’ve earned a reprieve,” my mother stated, obviously enjoying my little kiss.

Is she finally going to allow me to explain that I really don’t like dressing like a girl, that I only like looking at her bras? Gosh, I forgot to text Megan!

“That first woman who was here tonight was right,” my mom said. “You should be allowed to go to your dance.”

“Great,” I said, “if I hurry, I can take a shower, to get off this feminine odor, switch into my costume, and get to the dance, for the last half hour.” Plenty of time, to still see the boiler room with Megan.

“There’s no reason to change,” my mother said. “Here, let me refresh your make-up and perfume. You’ll be the belle of the ball.”

Before I could raise a fuss, she took out her small pad and waved it to remind me of the consequences, for refusal.

“Emily, no one will know who you are. You can go into your dance, walk around, and see what it’s like to be a young, beautiful girl, in public. I’ll take your picture by the trophy case, and then we’ll leave. That way we’ll always have a lasting memory of tonight.”

Like I’ll ever forget it. “And if I don’t do it, I suppose you’ll send an e-mail to dad with the pictures.”

“And to your school guidance office, so that they can work with you on your fetish.”

Fetish? “You wouldn’t?”

“Let’s just fix your lipstick and face, so that we never have to find out.”

“We’ll go, take a picture, and then leave?”

She nodded.

I can do this. No one will ever know. Tomorrow, I’ll apologize to Megan for standing her up at the dance -- and life will pick up where it left off.

She handed me a small, white purse with a long gold chain “to hold my necessaries.” Fifteen minutes later, I was standing in front of the junior high trophy case smiling in the direction of my mother’s camera -- when a large hand and muscular arm circled my wrist.

“I’ve danced with everyone here who’s easy on the eyes. But somehow I missed you.”

I peered out through the eyeholes in my tiny mask and saw. . .Joshua.

“I have to leave.” I tugged my arm. But he wouldn’t let go.

“Go on and dance,” my mother said from behind me. “I’ll get a glass of punch. Have fun, for as long as you want. I’ll just talk to the chaperones -- until you’re ready to go.” She gave me a meaningful look -- that carried an implied threat.

I turned to face Joshua. “You don’t know me,” I said. “Why would you want to dance with me?”

He laughed, which I expected.

I was startled when I heard the uncertainty in his chuckle.

“I’ll bet you’re one of the cheerleaders because you’re so cute.” He pulled me out onto the floor.

The girl who put together the mix had stuck in an oldies slow dance. I pushed my arm through the gold chain and allowed the purse to dangle from my elbow.

Joshua held me tight and we rocked together, in time to the beat.

Actually, it feels good to have him help me maintain my balance, in my heels. I found it worked best when I place my head against his chest. I was surprised how loudly and fast his heart was beating. In my heels, we’re the perfect size for each other.

I relaxed when I realized he had no idea who I was. Looking around the room -- I spied several of my friends.

After the song ended, Joshua pleaded for one more dance. It felt strange and a bit wonderful, to have him begging me for anything -- so I accepted.

We cuddled, more than danced. I finally saw Megan — dancing with Larry Fisk. I didn’t even know he liked her. They were holding each other like they were both life rafts in the North Atlantic.

Larry was wearing a Captain Jack Sparrow outfit — just like the one hanging in my closet. He suddenly moved her head in line with his and KISSED her.

I could almost see their tongues interlocking. Despite a huge effort not to -- I lost it, let out one almost stifled sob, and a big tear fell from my eye.

“Did I do something wrong?” Joshua asked, clearly worried. “I’d kill myself if I ever did anything to hurt you.”

I tried to smile. “It’s not you. I’m just being silly.” Fine, if that’s how Megan wants it. I’ll just find someone better. . .even if it’s a random stranger.

“I suppose it is a strange night and all,” Joshua said. “It being Halloween — and everything.”

It was a shock, to see how nice Joshua could be.

I need to go somewhere — where Megan and Larry aren’t around. “Let’s get out of the gym, for a little while,” I begged.

Joshua grinned. “I know just the place.” He led me by the hand.

I was lost in thought about Larry and Megan and what might have happened between Megan and me — and just tried to stay upright in my heels -- when I looked around and realized we had ended up -- in the boiler room!

“Joshua, you’re making a big mistake,” I said biting my lip.

He smiled broadly and touched my cheek gently, his face inches from mine. “I don’t think so. . ..” He drew in a deep breath. “You smell good enough to eat. . .Brandon.”

***

Mom was waiting by her car -- when I came out, about twenty minutes later. I had quickly stopped in the girls’ lavatory and fixed my lipstick.

All in all – I’m surprised by how things have turned out. Ogling at bras is all in my past. I have better things to do with them.

“Mom,” I asked, while she drove in the direction of our home, “did I hear you say I have several nighties to choose from?”

“Yes. I want you to be happy, tonight.”

“You’re a wonderful mom.” I reached over and touched her elbow. “If I decide I want to keep the nighties, in my drawer after tonight, will that be okay?”

“You can keep all the clothes I bought for you,” she said happily. “They’re yours.”

“Mom,” I said with a sigh, “I would be in heaven, if Dad was as smart as you.”

“He’s smarter than you think. I sent a text to him when you were dancing with Joshua, with a picture that said a million words.”

“No,” I exclaimed. “Why would you do that?”

“I wanted him to know that our plan worked. He’s thrilled.”

“Oh.” Sometimes I have to marvel at how those two operate. “Mom?” I asked dreamily. “Would it be all right with you, if Joshua sleeps over tomorrow night?”

The End

Thanks to Gabi for the review and help.

I have donated a group of stories to BC to help generate revenue for this site. Erin has said that these stories have raised tens of thousands of dollars in revenue for BC. I don’t receive any of that revenue.

If you buy a book from this list, you’re supporting this site.

Stories available through Doppler Press on Amazon:
Shannon’s Course
Peaches
Sky
The Novitiate
Ma Cherie Amour
Molly
Texas Two-Step
All Those Things You Always Pined For
Uncivil
Swifter, Higher, Stronger
Basketball Is Life
Baseball Annie
The Girl Who Saved Aunt T’s
Her
She Like Me
How You Play the Game
Hair Soup
Perfectionists
Imperfect Futures
The Handshake That Hides the Snake

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Comments

This is the only Halloween story I've read

but it's by one of my favourite authors, so I had to read it.

One thing you can be sure of; you rarely know, and often only at the last minute, where an Angela Rasch story is going. An interesting twist at the end and definitely not your average Halloween story by any means.

S.

Interesting

Comment removed by me... Guess I'm removing a bunch of things these days.

Interesting story.

Thanks,
Anne

Oh Gross!

I feel like puking! Just kidding. You really got me, though. I was shocked, shocked!

I guess it's obvious where the mom was coming from, and if she's that good with manipulation, I guess she gets what she wants from her hubby, too.

So, has the kid been changed into a robot, or is he or she going to need 40 years of therapy as an adult?

Hugs and Bright Blessings,
Renee

Hugs and Bright Blessings,
Renee

Are parents really that intuative?

Till the last word I was expecting something totally different in the next scene.
From what I've personally seen, parents either turn a blind eye, or are in denial.
This story makes me think the parents have IQs over 200 and Brandon's is less than 40.
Still, I was stuck reading till the end. Interesting twist in the boiler room.
Was Joshua abusive because he was in love with Brandon in boy persona? I know, it's a story
.... geeesssh! As usual, I'm jealous when somone does a good kob. Atta girl.

I'm disappointed.**

I thought this was your response to the challenge of writing a 'dark' story and instead it's an excellent example of 'sweet and sentimental' with that wicked Rasch touch you do so well.

As always, perfectly done and it even includes the signature perfume reference, thanks

Robi

** just kidding, but I would like to see something dark and nasty from you - I'm sure it would be specially gruesome

Total confusion

No, really, I can't make heads or tails of anyone's motivations here.

Faraway


On rights of free advertisement:
Big Closet Top Shelf

Where you can fool around like you want to and most you get is some bemused good ribbing!

Faraway


On rights of free advertisement:
Big Closet Top Shelf

Where you can fool around like you want to and most you get is some bemused good ribbing!

To Kill A Mockingbird (and Me)

When Harper Lee told her great story she elected to show us the hatred and prejudice in the South through the eyes of Scout, a young, unsophisticated girl.

Critics have taken Harper Lee to task for the adult tone of such a young girl, but Harper Lee has reminded them that the narrator is actually an adult Scout looking back at what happened in her childhood.

The narrator in my story is a highly confused fourteen year old girl in a boy's body. He is just barely in touch with himself and badly out of touch with the world around him. Do you remember when you were fourteen? What was black and white one day was in technicolor the next as paradigms switch every fifteen minutes. As such he is an unreliable narrator. Readers don't like unreliable narrators, but that seems to be what reality is all about.

Or maybe I'm not that good at writing.

I suppose it could be a little of both.

The danger of writing a forced fem story is that people react poorly to them. Forcing someone to make a gender change is wrong and damaging, no matter what the motivation. It was wrong in this case for Brandon's parents to manipulate him. Back in college I started a minor in psychology and experienced the manipulation possible through behavioral practices. I refused to continue taking courses in psychology because I thought the entire discipline lacked a good ethical base -- especially B.F. Skinner.

Writing about an activity doesn't mean I condone it.

I'm sorry you didn't see the motivation, but neither did the protagonist/narrater. The story was written to allow the reader to fill in the blanks on those issues. I tried to show enough about the narrator to provide hints that he displayed strong feminine attributes. I tired to show in the last few paragraphs that his parents wanted him to assume a female identity fulltime.

I'm not on a par with Harper Lee (or even on a par with Truman Capote). She is a American treasure. The only reason I use her as a comparison is for clarification. If one of my paragraphs in one of my stories ever comes up to her level for her entire novel, I would be content.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Don't be hard on yourself

At the very least, what you did was marvelously execute the feeling of the narrators' confusion. And you are right a lot. For example, the very part where Mom held 'untold' 'transgressions' over the head of the child was a giveaway for manipulation.

The motivations... I never saw them stated, yes, but I did make my guesses. It's just that Brandon was very ineffective in noticing clues.

Faraway


On rights of free advertisement:
Big Closet Top Shelf

Where you can fool around like you want to and most you get is some bemused good ribbing!

Faraway


On rights of free advertisement:
Big Closet Top Shelf

Where you can fool around like you want to and most you get is some bemused good ribbing!

October's Bright Blue "Whether"

Me, I wonder who all were in on the conspiracy?

    Stanman
May Your Light Forever Shine
    Stanman
May Your Light Forever Shine

Conspiracy

I have always suspected three people in on it. Mom, Dad and Joshua.

I admit that I like this story

Maybe because it is weird and confusing. ;-)

First quarter (before forced fem): Brandon likes Megan, liked kissing her on the ferris wheel, lusts for her, wants to join her in the boiler room. Megan likes Brandon and lusts for him, wants to go with him to dance and boiler room. Sticks up for him against Joshua, who seems like the stereotypical bully, appears to like Brandon much more than Josh. Seems like Brandon is a het boy, has to at least be bi. Brandon is small, nerdy, not very assertive or physically brave, someone like many of us were and/or knew at that age. Typical TG fiction character, but vast majority of boys fitting this description are not gay or TG. At least he has a GF. I couldn't talk to girl class mates until 11th grade; probably the beginning of the 4 or 5 years when I think I had normal T levels.

> The sad part is I’ve always felt Joshua and I could be really good friends if the circumstances were different and I became really popular -- or suddenly I grew four inches taller. <

Why not? J bullies B for 9 years, B imagines he would be good friends with J, then he wouldn't be bullied at all and would be much more respected. B could be much smarter, class president, help football team with their homework, have much quicker reflexes, know martial arts, even, and be the best 3K runner in the city, without being bigger or looking much different. Under those circumstances maybe J would like him, who knows?

We know from the end of the story that J is probably more than 6 inches taller than B. Maybe J is largest kid in his class. Small het boys all probably wish for a pubertal growth spurt and most will get it. B imagines if he were bigger, more kids would respect him and he wouldn't be bullied as much. I can't see direct evidence that B wants anything more than typical boy-boy friendship with J. B probably has few friends.

The rest of the story? B doesn't seem to be a crossdresser. I said I was a girl at 4 YO; I completely dressed in my sisters, then mothers clothes. B just doesn't show that much TGness until his gender identity completely flips for no good reason except that that is what his mom wants, even or especially after her anti-crossdressing BS.

Hugs and Bright Blessings,
Renee

Ready for work, 1992. Renee_3.jpg

Hugs and Bright Blessings,
Renee

The Ends Don't Justify the Means

terrynaut's picture

Emily wound up living as she wanted, but I can't say that I approve of the way her parents went about it. They should've all talked it out!

The mother kind of creeped me out. I shiver when I think about how she manipulated her child.

I still like the story. I like how it eventually turned out for Emily. That's good.

Thanks.

- Terry

Didn't like it

although your explanation made it lot more digestible, I still don´t like it. The mom and dad were, or are, dreadful bullies, worse even then the ones at school. There was no compassion, dialogue, or apparent love shown from mother or father, so in that way the story was dark. And oppressive. And hurtful.

The ending was also waaayy strange. Suddenly Brandon is accepting of this change in status and sexuality? From feeling himself male and lustful of girls, now he´s 'seen the light' and walks the wild side? WTF?! Not to mention Joshua... Is Joshua a closeted repressing homosexual who sees Brandon as the perfect cover and solution? Or did he instantly know and accept 'Emily' but just called her Brandon to show he acknowledges and rejoices her? Oh. And 'loving' mom and dad did all plan this little traumatizing practicum and excursion so he could discover herself. So nice to have parent who stomp you into the next excruciating phase. "Just enjoy it dear. We know what's best. And don't you dare cry like a little g... Oh wait. That was before."

Of course but it is Halloween. It's only a little shiver and 'ooooh' story. As to be expected, well told, and all kudos for that.

Jo-Anne

Ummmm Intresting

Renee_Heart2's picture

An intresting tail with forced feminization bad boy to good girl type of Genra. Joshua did call Emily Brandon that could have had some complications if & only if there was a halloween spell cast on Brandon & turned him into Emily permintly. the story was well told but still there things that don't make sence.
Love Samantha Renee Heart

Love Samantha Renee Heart

Not too sure

Jamie Lee's picture

First impressions were that Brandon and Megan were going to be a couple when Brandon was allowed to date.

Then mom steps in and seems to have completely gone off her rocker. She makes a blanket statement about an agreement without going into which agreement.

Then she threatens Brandon to get him to obey her instructions. When mom is finished, Emily is the result, forced of course.

Then again threatening Brandon if he didn't go to the Halloween dance as Emily. And then Joshua asks Brandon/Emily to dance, then going for privacy.

And afterwards Brandon is alright being Emily, even thanking her mom? And asking about the nighties?

And it was all a plan between mom, dad, and Joshua? What if they'd been wrong? What if Brandon had gone catatonic because what his mom forced him to do? What if someone other than Joshua ask Emily to dance, taken her to a private place, then nearly killed her because that person hated pansies?

Why did the parents feel a shock treatment was the only way to bring out Emily? Did they try talking with him, or have him talk with a professional in that area?

They were lucky things worked out well, since so many more things could have gone wrong. Especially the death of their only child.

Bringing out such thoughts only occurs with well written stories that are able to trigger emotions. While the parents methods sucks big time, time taking to read this story is worth it.

Others have feelings too.