Funky Lady: A TG Mixed Tape

Funky Lady: A TG Mixed Tape

A TG MIXED TAPE

Edited by PersnicketyBitch

A mortally wounded superheroine chooses her successor. A young man makes a mistake when administering a love potion. In the near future changing genders is as easy as popping a pill. Hit play on the first Mixed Tape collection of 2015 for all these stories, an interview with Morpheus, and more!

Never judge a book by it's cover

Or who you gonna love by your lover

Sayin' love put me wise to her love in disguise

She had the body of a Venus, Lord imagine my surprise.

(That, that) Dude looks like a lady

Aerosmith

The Blackhawk, battered to hell, breaking apart, lay on its side in the ruins of the reception building of the Avalon Gulch Retirement Commune. The image would, Cooper knew, be forever fixed in his mind as a monument to the moment he realised he was overseeing yet another meat grinder.

The drone operator had been young. Her fingernails black with stars dotted and planets splodged in. Cooper had watched the feed from the UAV over her shoulder, distracted by the fantasy art on her desk. In both, spools of lightening uncoiled and lashed from wands and staffs and the cupped hands of old geezers and dames.

Another helicopter thundered overhead. Its downdraft churned up a haze of ash as it headed towards the stone circle at the opposite end of the valley. Several leafless, emaciated, charcoal caked trees toppled.

The envoy from the Collective joined him in the doorway of the newly erected command tent. She wore a pantsuit, which, glimpsed peripherally, appeared silver. Her hair was styled in a bun and possibly shot through with blue highlights; it was difficult to tell. Looked at straight on her hair was black and only black and her trousers and top were grey.

“We apologise,” she said, “We did not realise that there would be a High Morgana in residence at this outpost.”

“It’s like they say, no plan survives contact with the enemy.”

“Quite. But in any case, there is nothing more we would have done to help you had we known. It is best for all of us that they remain unaware of our part in this. We have seen your service record, and your father’s. You understand.”

Cooper nodded. His right hand brushed the grip of his Beretta 9mm on his hip, shadowed the khaki of his pants, entered a pocket. He withdrew a vacuum-sealed plastic bag containing a cassette tape and held it out for the envoy to take. “The artefact you wanted.”

“There were several.”

“This was the only one that was intact. We did find parts of the medallion. And a lamp, like you described, but that was broken too. They took the rest with them when they retreated through the portal.”

The envoy took the cassette. She weighed it in her hand. “There should be more.”

“There was, but an RPG hit the crates so now there isn’t.”

The envoy’s pupils dilated until her eyes were almost completely black. “That was very unfortunate.”

“Yes,” Cooper said. “Very unfortunate. These things happen.”

The envoy blinked. When she reopened her eyes they had returned to a kind of normal. They had been light brown before. Now they were green. She tilted her head, a kind of half nod. She, and by extension the group she represented, were going to let his lie, told on behalf of the organisation he belonged to, slide.

For the moment.

“I can’t believe this,” the drone operator had said. But Cooper was beginning to.

Same as it ever was, really.

*

Funky Lady

A TG MIXED TAPE

(Edited by PersnicketyBitch)

*

Liner Notes

Am I Weird? (An Essay)

By Lyodor Tolstoyevski

Blaze and Rumble

By Zapper

Corpse Cut

By PersnicketyBitch

Creative Avoidance

Ragtime Rachel

Heart of a Traitor

By D.A.W

Houndstooth

By Lyodor Tolstoyevski

I'm Sorry, Melanie

By Hikaro

Instructions

By Trismegistus Shandy

Je Suis…

By Toxis

Leave it to Beaver… Again

By Andrea DiMaggio

The Wife

BobH

Recommended Resources

The Mixed Tape Interview: Morpheus

Afterword

(Edited by PersnicketyBitch)

*

Am I Weird?

An Essay

By Lyodor Tolstoyevski

Of course I'm weird. I pride myself on being weird. When I was in fifth grade, I got to be the one who sang "I've Been Working on the Railroad" off-key for our class Halloween video. It scared away the ghost. When I got a promotion at my after-school job in high school, I ran a victory lap around the building. They locked me out. I used to decorate my office with stuffed animals. I still would if I had an office. And just this year, I covered myself in chocolate syrup and tried to get people to hug me. I set the video to Zelda music.

If I were to ask any of my friends if I was weird, they would laugh in my face. Or think I was trying to pull something. Because of course I'm weird, why am I asking?

So I suppose "am I weird?" isn't really the question I want to know the answer to. What I'd really like to know is "how weird am I?" Or maybe "am I too weird?" Or even "am I in control of my weirdness?"

I mean, everyone's a little weird, right? She wears her hair in pigtails even though she's 50 and her daughters tell her it looks dumb. He speaks fluent Mandarin even though he's never left the St. Louis city limits and doesn't plan to. In some way or another everyone has their quirks. And that one guy who doesn't? Who's completely normal in every way? Well, what kind of weirdo could possibly be that average? Everyone's a weirdo in their own way.

So why am I so paranoid about one particular way in which I'm weird? That I read and write gender transformation stories? I don't feel like my gender or sexuality doesn't match the body I've been given, and I have no real desire to make any changes to my gender, sexuality, or body. I just enjoy reading and writing about people who are forced into changing theirs. If I were to look at it from a sterile perspective, it's just a literary genre like any other, if one that overlaps significantly with an oft-misunderstood community.

But somehow there's a strange line there that I can't quite cross. I can't quite bring myself to tell people about this interest of mine. The few times I have told people, it's been a very big deal for me. And lately I've been tempted to tell even more people.

The number who know has been slowly growing, and each time I tell someone I end up getting nowhere near the reaction that I’d built up in my head. Just "I wasn't expecting that, but cool." But that moment before I say it out loud is still tense.

And as I'm going over the scenario, the thought occurs to me: "am I coming out of the closet?" It immediately feels wrong. Like it's an insult to friends of mine who actually have come out of the closet. What I'm doing is nothing compared to what they went through. I will not be denied the right to marry, nor the right to rent an apartment, nor something as basic as love, as I have seen happen to friends. There's no established social stigma against what I do, no groups organized against it. Heck, a lot of people probably wouldn't even understand what it is. I could easily pass it off as just some hobby instead of the integral part of my identity that it is, and the idea will still at least be out there, even if not fully inculcated.

And yet, it still feels like I'm coming out of the closet. And in a strange way, that's kind of why I read and write in this genre. "You're not a woman, but you're taking on certain aspects of being a woman," is in some way similar to "you're not queer, but you're taking on certain aspects of being queer." This transition period is probably the closest I'll ever get to living out one of my stories. Probably the closest I’ll ever want to get.

So while this might not actually be a big deal once it's distilled down to its basic components, it's still a big deal. Even if I'm not really risking anything, even if all I'm really doing is acknowledging publicly a thing that I've been privately acknowledging for years, this is a time I need to pay close attention to. I may never get better insight into my own writing.

Lyodor Tolstoyevski is the author of Inside the Girls’ Room: A Modern TG Myth, now available on Amazon.

Blaze and Rumble

By Zapper

The staccato crack of thunder in the clear sky was loud enough to cause me to break hard and slide to a stop alongside the trail. I dropped a foot to the ground to catch my Yamaha YZ250 and looked up. Shock ran through my system when I spotted the pair of meta-humans flying overhead, fighting.

The large man standing on a black energy disk blasted away with some kind of negative energy at the redheaded woman in red and white spandex. The woman crossed her wrists and the blast splashed against an invisible shield and an instant later I heard a crack of thunder.

“My secret dies with you!” The man thundered, and my brain to kick in and I recognized him. Rumble was the leader of the Metro City Guardians, the most respected Hero Team on the East Coast. Then I noticed that the woman’s side was blackened and burned.

“Not today!”

She gestured with one hand and a burst of white hot fire shot out in a tight bar as thick as my wrist and it was Rumble’s turn to defend. His whole body seemed to vanish within a sphere of black energy. The flame strike was deflected and the woman used the opportunity to dive below the trees vanishing from view. After a second the sphere disappeared and I could see Rumble look around, confused, and then fly off, searching for the woman.

“Son of a Bitch!” I’d just seen a real meta-human battle! “Molly’s never going to believe me.”

I kicked my bike into gear, thinking about my girlfriend. I rode for about twenty minutes before I spotted a prone figure blocking the trail and skidded to a stop.

“Shit!”

I pulled off my helmet and moved to the woman’s side when it hit me, this was the meta-human Rumble had been fighting. I reached down touching her shoulder and she looked up mesmerizing me with stunning green eyes.

“Help . . . I . . . need your . . . help.”

For a moment I couldn’t respond. The burn in her side must have been insanely painful, the blackened flesh had peeled away exposing her ribs and a lung.

“Blaze?” I gasped recognizing the heroine for the first time. “I can call an ambulance.”

“Will you take up my burden?”

I wanted to help but she wasn’t making any sense and then I heard myself say, “Yes.”

Power blazed from her green eyes into mine. I felt my flesh changing, shifting, and then my hair got longer and turned red. Pain wracked my body and I fell to my hands and knees and then it was over. Panting, I looked down into her beautiful face and knew that mine was an exact match.

“Why?”

“You’ve got to get to the Guardians,” she whispered, fading, even as I felt the buzz of power and knowledge blossom within me. “Sinestra has swapped bodies with Rumble. She means to destroy the team from within!”

*

Zapper started writing in December 2011 and has contributed a number of short and long stories to various websites. A few of his TG stories include: The Security Consultant Trilogy, The Bounty Hunters Trilogy, "Conan and the Blade of Costa" and his first story, "A Favor for Anna." He is currently finishing up a novel titled “Never Meddle in the Affairs of a Woman”.

Corpse Cut

By PersnicketyBitch

This story is set in the near-future that Neil Gaiman’s establishes in his short story “Changes”, which you can find in the collection Smoke and Mirrors.

*

Ariel on black. Game0verMan counts Antonio Banderas/Selma Hayek’s kills in

Red pills spill, clattering, out onto a white tabletop, skitter, bounce momentum off each other. Superimposed: Overdose.

Fade in OST-09 (Retribution). Perccusive, synthy accompaniment to autofire tearing up an adobe wall. Reddish spray, the gunman’s head snaps sideways (1). Enter Jesse Riguez (Banderas). Grey fatigues. Bullet mushed into his kevlar vest over his heart. Cold eyes in a cocksure face.

The federale double taps three of the gunman’s buddies (2-4). Wrestles with another, crushes his throat with an elbow (5). Pulps a guy’s stomach with a sawn off while his team, just rescued, look on (6).

A kitchen. Broken glass, crockery, frypan, crisped bacon on tile. The tough bellows and comes at Jesse (Hayek). Yoke in rivulets on a fist. Chucks of whites caught in arm hair. Jesse swipes with a knife. Her assailant backs, comes at her again. On the bench a toppled tequila bottle fuels an inferno atop a gas cooker. Jesse whips a dishcloth through it, hurls it at his face. He bats it asi–

and she’s on him. Knife in-out-in-out-in-outing into his gut, his chest, his gut. Finally, a wrenching slice. Intestines unspool like sausage string (7).

Four men pile into a black sedan. In the background smoke rises from the top floor of an apartment building.

Jesse, behind the wheel of a similar vehicle. A door is missing, the panelling sieved by gunfire. She rams into the goons’ car, pushing it through a protective barrier, to concertina against the concrete of the dry storm water drain below (8-11).

The club has a double decker stage. Jesse lies flat on the glass upper level, wincing as bullets lodge in the see-through surface inches from her face. She wears a camo patterned bra, a black G-string, heels and a bandolier from which she unclips a two grenades.

Three men are thrown, shredded, into the air. (12-14).

Off the stage, amid the chaos on the floor, Jesse scoops up an MP5 and begins to spray (15-28, in a series of rapid edits and freeze-frames with MS-paint-ed on red circles to mark the kills).

Backstage now, the submachine gun exchanged for a Kalashnikov. A man collapses, his torso a squibby mess (29). A girl (Génesis Rodríguez) with a machine pistol is cut down with a three round burst (30). A carefully timed shot through a cheap partition wall enters one ear and exits through the other (31). A girl, a guy (Diego Luna), clutch gouting throats (33-34).

Jesse (Banderas again), force feeds Rafael (Raymond Cruz), a handful of red pulls. He bucks and writhes. The ropes tying him to the chair are tight. They rub. They tear him. The kingpin screams with a woman’s voice, then like nothing human. His jaw dislocates, eyes bug, bones crack and break through stretched, now liquefying, skin. Exposed muscles and organs bloat and whither. The grotesque falls apart. Jesse watches the ripples in the pool of blood on the floor.

Final count: 35

*

PersnicketyBitch is the creator of the Mixed Tape Anthologies. She is Australian, but don't hold that against her. If you do she will sic her pet drop bear on you.

Creative Avoidance

By Ragtime Rachel

"Soooo…how is it?"

"What?? The weather, the economic situation, Justin Bieber's first chest hair?" Maggie cocked her head to one side in a perfect simulation of clueless innocence. She couldn't help needling her friend Jordan a little.

“Mags, please,” Jordan begged.

"Well…" she began, sounding at least superficially serious. She formed a rectangle with her hands and framed Jordan within its borders, as if she were M. Night Shyamalan setting up his next shot. "…the alcove behind you really needs remodeling. I mean, track lights? That’s so ‘80s."

Breathe, exhale slowly. Remember she's trying to help, Jordan told himself. "You know what I mean, Mags," Jordan said, not quite successful at removing the exasperation from his voice. "Did I do okay, or not?"

"You look," she began at last, squinting and scrunching her nose in a way Jordan couldn’t resist. "annoyingly adorable. Looking this good before noon—it’s inhuman!” She gave Jordan a playful swat on the shoulder.

“’It’s inhuman’ is right.” Jordan brushed down his bangs for the eleventh time. “I know I’m missing something.”

Honestly, some people! They just can’t take a compliment. “Well….” Maggie began to gesture in front of Jordan's face, as if wielding an imaginary makeup brush." Adding a bit more color at the corners of your eyes would really bring out that natural innocence of yours. But no more excuses. We are going out, young lady. I don’t waste my creative genius on wallflowers."

Jordan put his hands on his hips, a gesture more comic than menacing in these circumstances.

"You’re enjoying this WAY too much. This isn't one of those forced-fem transgender stories, you know.”

"I'm not 'forcing,' I'm encouraging," Maggie said, emphasizing her statement with a little nod of the head that proved far too distracting for her hapless victim--er, project. Damn her for being so cute anyway. "Letting a butterfly out of its cocoon, if you'll forgive the cliché. I'm wittier after I’ve had my coffee."

She added a few additional flourishes to her friend's handiwork, retouching his mascara for insurance. "You know you want this, and I know you know you want this, and what's more, you know I know you know I--"

"--I get it, I get it." Jordan said, raising a hand to stop her. “But there’s no way you’re getting me out that door looking like this, lady.”

Maggie raised an eyebrow. “Do you not know me? But you’re right—I’m not”. Jordan wasn’t sure he liked that smile. “You’re going to get that contraption in gear and do it yourself,” she told him, pointing to his wheelchair.

Jordan frowned. “And if we run across those Delta Chi goons?”

Maggie blew a raspberry. “Just smile at ‘em and watch their steroid-addled little brains short out.”

It was Jordan’s turn to smile. “I could use some extra courage. A kiss might help.”

Maggie laughed. “You are the master of creative avoidance, missy.”

“Shouldn’t that be ‘mistress’?” Jordan joked as their lips met.

*

Rachel has been around longer than you might think, publishing her first story (the SRU tale “A Box Full of Dreams” as far back as 1999.

Rachel has this to say about her writing: "My TG fiction protagonists are young, usually child to early teen range, because they represent the child I wish I could have been--one who could freely live as her true gender at a very young age. Many are also disabled as well, a subject area not usually covered in TG fiction. I do this because I myself am disabled, having had cerebral palsy from birth, and I take the adage "Write what you know" to heart."

Heart of a Traitor

A Spellbinder Universe Tale

By D.A.W.

This story takes place during the events of ‘Destiny: Legacy of a Spellbinder’ and is written from the perspective of a secondary character. Please be aware that it does contain minor spoilers.

*

Tires screech from the street behind me and I pull my apprentice robes close as I step into the convention center. I shudder, and bite my lips. I am worried that the gathered magic users--Spellbinders, Charmers, Enchantresses, and Mages all come at the behest of the Seidskati for an emergency meeting of the council--will see through my disguise. I am an imposter, once a man I had been transformed so that I could tap into the power of the Seidh, a power which is denied to males.

I stop and cup my breasts and get an odd look from the woman next to me. My boobs feel so right, but come with a terrible price. I have always been certain that I am meant to be a woman, but society hasn’t been so understanding. Once, I came close to taking my life, but then I heard about the formula, one which promises to turn any man into a woman and by extension a magic user. Whispers mostly, unsubstantiated, but I had so desperately wanted to believe and as a member of the Sons of Odin it was already in my grasp.

The spellbinders control everything and the Sons of Odin claim to want equal rights for men and even transgendered people like me, but their methods are not those of the righteous freedom fighters they claim to be. There are rumors that they are preparing for the end, the battle of Ragnarok, but if so I think I’ve chosen the wrong side. I hate them. They killed my mother when I refused to cooperate and are holding my sister ransom to ensure I cooperate now.

I have no choice, I must continue or risk losing the only person I care about. I walk slowly through the convention center, craning my neck around looking for a flash of that trademark Le Fey auburn hair. The place was big and it was going to take time. There is a balcony up above and stage at the far end. She could be anywhere. Bryn is Sophie’s friend, and given my transformed self’s resemblance to my sister I am the perfect person to play her. Especially with the illusory spell cast over me.

“Neil?” I ask sidestepping the fair-haired giant of a man standing guard over her. She is beautiful just like her mother, and like Aryanna she has been born male.

Bryn spins around and I watch her eyes grow wide. “Sophie?”

My lying face contorts into an awful smirk. A lie, just like everything else about me. The Sons of Odin want me to get close to Aryanna, and through her daughter, I can do just that. Aryanna is part of the task force hunting down the Sons of Odin and they desperately want to get at her. A lot of people will probably die as result of my actions, but I don’t care. I will do anything to save my sister, even betray her best friend.

*

D.A.W. is a fan of science-fiction and fantasy who brings his love of the genres to TG fiction. He is the author of "Facades" and the "Ragnarok Rising Trilogy" ("Incompatible: Birth of a Spellbinder", "Transfigured: Ascension of a Spellbinder" and "Destiny: Legacy of a Spellbinder"). He has contributed to several shared universes including Enemyoffun's DarkRealms Universe ("Hunger Pangs") and Morpheus' Twisted Universe ("Virtually Twisted").

Houndstooth

By Lyodor Tolstoyevski

Houndstooth. Black and white. Classy. Stretched, but not quite taut, across the expanse before me. Soft, thick fabric starting on her waist and stopping just at her knees, a delicate silver zipper, almost unnoticeable, the only break in the pattern. A voice in my head told me not to stare, but I really didn't have anywhere else to look. Her rear end took up most of my visible space at the same time as it blocked me from standing up. Not that I'd give up a chair on a bus this crowded anyway.

The bus stopped short, and suddenly that tube of houndstooth cloth had fallen onto my denim lap, her stylish skirt sliding against my workman jeans, her delicate silver zipper scratching against my big brass fly. The woman seemed as embarrassed as I was, and got up off of me as soon as she could apologize, retaking her previous position in my view. I was left to pretend not to stare at the black and white pattern interrupted only by a heavy brass zipper.

The zipper didn’t seem to belong there, bulging against the fabric. I supposed I wasn't one to talk, looking down at the delicate little silver one embedded in my own jeans. It didn't look like it should have been capable of holding the heavy denim together, but somehow it did.

Denim might be a bit of an exaggeration. I mean, they're pants, and they're blue, but it's not really that rugged canvassy cloth you usually think of when you think "jeans." It's more, I don't know, I wouldn't call it leggings because it's clearly pants, but I'm starting to re-think why the zipper looked out of place before. Obviously this is the kind of zipper that they put on tight pants like these.

If my pants were made of rough, worn material like that houndstooth, then a rough, worn brass zipper might make sense. But my thin silver one definitely fit me, as did my soft cotton. I looked at the way the houndstooth wrapped around her legs individually, letting the black and white pattern exaggerate and warp with the curve of her thighs, the bend of her knees.

It was so different from how the same pattern lay flat across both of my legs in one solid panel. No, this pattern is definitely more suited to skirts than pants, so it's probably a good thing that the woman standing next to me on the bus was wearing a plain old pair of workman’s blue jeans.

I looked back down at my own lap, hands folded. Something seemed wrong. The zipper. Wasn't I just saying there was something wrong with the zipper?

Then it hit me. It was on the front! I'd put my houndstooth skirt on backwards! I could feel my face redden and tried to keep my head down. At least I was sitting. Lord knows how embarrassed I'd be if I'd been standing. Standing like that woman in the jeans.

*

Lyodor Tolstoyevski is man of honor. Lyodor writes many short stories, and sometimes long stories too. Short pieces of Lyodor's include "Take Me Home," "Breadwinner," and "The Witch of Wallonia." Long pieces include "Allegra". Do not be hesitating to read all works of Lyodor Tolstoyevski!

I'm Sorry, Melanie

A Brave New World Story

By Hikaro

It was 1983.

I couldn't ignore the image I saw in the mirror. Instead of the svelte Latina I had been, there now stood a rather muscular man, though I was still Hispanic. I pulled off the nightie that I'd been wearing and examined my naked body. It looked and felt so foreign to me.

I reached for the light switch, but it wouldn't come on. I flipped it two or three times, but still nothing. I ignored the light and just decided to leave the room, so I made my way to the kitchen for a glass of water. As I passed through the house, lights flickered, then died. Why was this happening? Was it related to my odd gender transformation? Two odd things in one night, there was no reason to assume they weren't connected.

What had that creature called me as she floated above me? A Chosen? Block? What did these things mean?

I reached the kitchen, and the refrigerator suddenly stopped working, just like everything else. Whatever this was, it was centered on me. I took the milk and sat down at the table. I wasn't sitting long when the sound of a train passing through the building caused me to drop the milk bottle. I was clearly too disoriented to remember that I lived nowhere near any tracks, and shouldn't be able to hear the train. Too many things were running through my mind.

I could still hear the train, so I stumbled through the apartment to get to the front door just as Melanie opened it. She walked in, pure shock on her face, and then she fell down. I rushed to aid her, but I could see the fear in her eyes. "Don't worry," I said to her. "I'll get you to a hospital."

She stammered out words that I couldn't hear, coughing as she did. I tried to comfort her, but I couldn't ignore that fear. I tried to tell her things, I tried to tell her that everything would be fine...

I knew I was wrong.

That didn't stop me, however. I picked her up and carried her downstairs to the car. I set her down across the backseat and tried to start the car. I turned the key a dozen times, and nothing happened, not even an engine sputter. Melanie had just used this damned station wagon, there was no reason for it to be like this!

Melanie coughed again. I spun around and reached out to her. "Melanie, please, hold on."

She struggled to speak, but I shushed her, then resumed my attempts to start the car. After the twentieth time, I finally heard her say, "Are... you..."

It just dawned on me... She couldn't recognize me. "Melanie, it's Juanita, I'm... just different."

"Wha... Wha..."

"I don't know. I'm just..."

"My pa..."

She coughed one last time. I saw the color drain from her face. I whispered, "I'm sorry, Melanie." It was the last thing I said for a long time.

*

Hikaro has been reading transgender stories for some years now, but only broke into the writing business in late 2011, when he posted his first story to TG Storytime. Since then, he's garnered critical acclaim (in his own mind) with stories like "A First-Person Account" and "Brave New World". An odd sort of man, he likes to claim he has drinks with Elvis on the Titanic during the weekends.

Instructions

By Trismegistus Shandy

"Excuse me, but do you have something that will change me into a woman?"

"Say, weren't you in here just last week looking for a 'love potion'?"

"Not just any woman. I need to be the kind of woman Todd Lane will love."

"How did things work out between you and what's her name --"

"Hang on, I've got photos of his last couple of girlfriends on my phone... Here's his girlfriend Ashley Penn, and this one's his previous girlfriend, Stacia Harmon."

"Ashley Penn, right. The love potion might not take effect instantly, but give it some time."

"So could you sell me something that will turn me into Todd Lane's perfect woman? Or if not that, at least make me look sort of like those women, only hotter?"

"Hmm. You seemed pretty hung up on this Ashley girl yourself, last week. Did you use that potion I sold you?"

"Yes, but never mind that now. Ashley thinks she's hot stuff, but Todd'll dump her once he sees the new me --"

"Wait, let me get this straight. You got one of Ashley's hairs and dissolved it in the green potion?"

"Oh, it's embarrassing to remember what a crush I had on Ashley... But... yeah, I had my sister grab a hair from her hairbrush."

"Then you took your own hair and dissolved it in the red potion?"

"Yes, okay, but how am I going to get Todd to notice me?"

"And you put the green potion in your drink, and the red potion in Ashley's drink?"

"Yeah, sure... wait. Green in my drink and red in hers?"

"Yes."

"Oops."

"Well, then. How close are this Todd and Ashley? Might he have used her hairbrush at some point?"

"Could be."

"And do they have the same hair color?"

"Pretty much."

"And do they sometimes share sips from the same drink?"

"I think so... what does that have to do with making me Todd's ideal woman, though?"

"You are an idiot and I really shouldn't help you again... but your money's good, and my rent's due... all right, listen close."

"I'm listening."

"Unlike last time. Anyway: get one of Todd's hairs this time, and be sure it's his."

"Okay."

"Dissolve it in this blue potion, drink it, and go to bed, thinking about Todd. You'll wake up with the kind of body he's most attracted to."

"That sounds simple enough. How much do I owe you?"

Kids with more money than sense can be annoying, but they're useful at times. Next week, she'll buy a personality to attract Todd.

*

Trismegistus Shandy has written more than twenty transgender stories and novels, available at Shifti, BigCloset, Fictionmania, Smashwords and Amazon, beginning with "From Nowhere" in 2007.

Je Suis…

By Toxis

Everyone was marching. Evie hurried to catch up; she had been taking pictures of the people climbing the statue in the square. No one would believe where she was, there right in the middle of it all. It was so exciting! Camille, her friend from the salon, came over with a crowd. Everyone was buzzing, pointing at the cameras, the helicopters overhead capturing the scope of what was happening. Evie took the cup of coffee; it was a cold day. She hoped she wouldn’t need to pee and then miss something.

Freedom of speech is so important. The ability to say what you want. To tell everybody what you believe in, what makes you who you are and what you are. They would never understand back home. When Evie tried to explain what she was feeling, they sent her to doctors who drugged her and to summer camps that were supposed to drive the devil out of her. Her momma turned away and daddy wouldn’t even talk to her. Salvation was Paris and a student exchange program. Evie saved her money because her parents were never going to pay a dime to send her to France, the way that place was. She went to class until her visa was about to expire and then walked away. Time to start a new life.

The Place de la Bastille was somewhere up ahead and the streets were jammed. How many people are there? Camille was handing out signs. Black and white. Oh my God, it can’t be! “Evie” was the name that she had picked for herself back home when she came out, when she started to dress and be the girl that had always lived inside her, the name that people made fun of as they bullied her. Happier now than she had ever been, Evie waved her sign.

After all, that’s what momma used to call her. Today, Evie would tell the whole wide world who she once was forced to be and now who she truly was.

J'ai été Charlie. Je suis Evie.

*

Toxis writes stories about transformation, how events change people, make them something they weren't and leave them as something else. If you like this story, you might also like “Bianca Paragon” and “Spellbound” on Fictionmania, “Race Queen” at mcstories.com, and “Everything's Good” at Bdsmlibrary.

Leave it to Beaver… Again

By Andrea DiMaggio

The Cleaver house….

“Here you go, boys,” June said as Wally and Eddie sat down for lunch. She placed a plate with grilled cheese sandwiches on the table to go with the bowls of tomato soup.

Beaver and Whitey edged away as Eddie glared.

“Hey, jerk, whatta you lookin’ at?” Whitey cringed and pulled further away.

“What was that, Eddie?” June said as she walked past the table.

“I was just telling Wallace what a lovely dress you’re wearing, Mrs. Cleaver.” While it was true – her dress, yellow and full skirted – was lovely, she didn’t buy his excuse for a moment.

“Why, thank you, Eddie. You sure take such an interest in women’s apparel.”

Eddie’s face grew a dark pink and Wally covered his face to keep from laughing. Beaver just shrugged; Eddie would punch him in the arm later if he said anything.

And Whitey just stared at June. His eyes darted up and down between her head and her toes; shoes shiny and black and elevated oh so slightly by two inch kitten heels; nylons smooth against her legs. He eyed the dress; from the hem of her skirt up to the scoop neck that revealed her pearls. And he sighed…..

A short while later at Whitey’s house….

“That was pretty funny how my Mom got Eddie feelin’ all stupid, huh?” Beaver said. Whitey stared out the window. His mother was hanging clothes out on the line and the boy couldn’t tear himself away.

“I said my Mom got Eddie lookin’ stupid, huh?”

Whitey nodded absentmindedly.

“Stu….pid,” he said.

“You don’t look too good, Whitey….you sick or somethin’?”

“Si….ick…..” Whitey stammered.

“Uhhhh….I gotta get home. I just remembered I gotta mow the lawn….” Beaver said as he hopped off the lower bunk of the boy’s bed.

“That’s okay…. I am feelin’ sorta sick.”

“Yeah, sick,” Beaver muttered and walked out. A moment later he was on his bike on his way home.

Whitey closed the door behind him. He rushed to his closet and pulled a box from the back and set it on his bed. Opening it, he smiled nervously and sighed at the contents…..

“Why Edward, that was just lovely of you to say such a thing,” The woman said, teetering on kitten heels. Seamed stockings-clad legs that looked too short for the lime green rayon dress. One hand was placed carefully on hip while her other ran fingers through hastily combed hair. A knock came at the door....

“Hey, Whitey, I left my baseball cards on your desk,” Beaver said as he opened the unlocked door and barged in.

“Uhhhh……I…I can explain….” Whitey stammered; red faced.

“Hey….” He paused, looking Whitey up and down.

Whitey eyed the open box on the bed. A navy blue dress lay folded on top of other clothing.

“I…thought maybe we could bbb…both…..”

“Both?” Beaver’s eyes widened in shock as Whitey cringed.

Beaver grinned as he locked the door behind him.

“Both? Yeah, okay.”

*

'Andrea rediscovered her 'self' after decades of hiding. As things began to emerge regarding her gender issues, she was prompted to write stories as a way of expression. Her works include stories and poems and songs; all with the hope of providing encouragement and support to those like her. She's written fan fiction for Narnia and Middle Earth and even for Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Foyle, as well as anthologies such as Chances Are and Christmas Hopes. And even a crime drama, Defender's Dream.'

The Wife

By BobH

It was something about the changes pregnancy brings about, the upsetting of the body's equilibrium that triggered the memories. I'm Ellie Smith, 36 years old, married to Joe, a taxi-driver, and we live in a small apartment in Queens.

Except, I don't think any of that is true.

The door to my boss's office opened, and his wife walked out. Tall, blonde, beautiful, elegant, effortlessly stylish, and only 24 years old. Amanda Carson is everything I'm not.

"Good morning, Ellie!" she said, giving me a dazzling smile as she swept past. I returned the greeting, scowling at her back as she entered the elevator.

"Is something wrong, Ellie?" asked my boss.

This was it, the moment of truth. Do I tell him of my suspicions, and if I do will he think I'm mad? For a moment I almost chickened out, but the moment passed.

"Yes, Peter, there is."

He ushered me into his office.

"You'd better tell me what the problem is."

"I've been having visions, flashes of memory in which I'm living in your mansion, only it's my home. Then I see this strange glowing green jewel and... This is going to seem mad, but I don't think I'm Ellie Smith. I think she swapped bodies with me and I'm really Amanda."

"I see," said Peter, sounding concerned. He reached into his desk.

"Is this the jewel?"

There was no mistaking the glowing gem he was holding.

"Yes," I gasped, unable to look away from it, "but why do you have it?"

"Oh Ellie, poor confused Ellie. It wasn't you and Amanda who swapped bodies, it was you and me!"

"Don't...understand."

The jewel was putting me into a stupor. Try as I might I couldn't look away.

"It's very simple. I looked at your life, at your power, wealth, and gorgeous wife, then looked at mine. Joe's a sweet guy, but a future with him in that little apartment, pushing out kids, wasn't the life I wanted. No, I wanted yours. With the jewel I could take it. I was told pregnancy could uncover hidden memories, and what to do if it did, so relax, and let its rays wash over you…"

I woke up. I blinked, and took in my surroundings.

"Why am I in your office?" I asked Peter.

"You wanted to talk," he said, "to share your worries about your pregnancy."

"I did?"

"Yes, but don't worry - it's perfectly natural to find a first pregnancy hard. I'm sure you'll find the next one, and those that come after it, much easier. Being a mother is what nature intended for you."

"I...thank you," I said. "Did I see Mrs Carson in here earlier?"

"Yes. We're having a second honeymoon in the Bahamas, and she was just confirming the arrangements. I can hardly wait!"

I felt a twinge of jealousy, but there was no point in envying him. It might not be fair, but you can only live the life you were given. Right?

*

BobH has been writing TG fiction for over a decade. He has written over 80 shorts stories and novellas which you can find at Fictionmania. Many of these are connected. To find out where to start follow this link: https://fictionmania.tv/stories/readhtmlstory.html?storyID=1.... Recently he has written several Star Trek fanfics riffing on the Original Series episode "Turnabout Intruder".

Fiction

Ghostwritten.jpg

With his first novel David Mitchell begins as he means to go on. Ghostwritten is a sprawling, globe-trotting, genre-hopping, thematically rich whole made up of impeccably structured, character-driven novellas and short stories. It’s humane and unabashedly earnest. And wonderfully written – Mitchell has a real knack for making the everyday seem otherworldly. As in his subsequent literary mosaics, Cloud Atlas (now a Major Motion Picture™) and The Bone Clocks, Mitchell employs the device of transmigrating souls to create characters who are unconstrained by the limitations of a single viewpoint. Mitchell uses these beings to examine the role of the reader as they consume his stories, and stories in general, and to illustrate, by bearing witness to, the ways in which the thoughts and actions of an individual shape and are shaped by history, fiction and place and the thoughts and actions of others.

Writing

Here’s an excellent panel recorded at last year’s San Diego Comic Con. The speakers are Joe Abercrombie (The First Law Trilogy), Diana Gabaldon (Outlander), Lev Grossman (The Magicians Trilogy), George R. R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire), and Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle). If you don’t have time to view the whole hour, skip ahead to the Diana Gabaldon’s bit at 17:35 (I relate so much).

Just for Laughs

bravestwarriors.jpg

Did you know that Frederator, the animation studio behind Adventure Time*, produces a web series based on another Pendleton Ward concept? If that isn’t reason enough to watch it, there’s a body swap episode.

*If you aren’t already watching AT, you should do that. It’s smart, audacious and more inventive with its visuals and innovative in its storytelling than anything else on TV. And I look forward to seeing the projects that members of the shows’ creative team pursue when they move on. Rebecca Sugar (a writer and artist who worked on “It Came from the Nightosphere,” “What Was Missing”, “I Remember You,” and “Fiona and Cake”) has her own series now, Steven Universe, and it’s fantastic. Check that out too.

Sex/Sexuality

If you like pop culture and are interested in the people who create and contribute to it then you’re guaranteed to find at least one show to add to your to binge list on the Nerdist Podcast Network. The Sex Nerd Sandra Podcast is one of the least geeky things the network hosts, but don’t hold that against it. The program is a fun and informative mixture of advice and conversations with comedians and people in the sex industry. Readers of the Mixed Tape collections may enjoy THIS episode about a transgender porn star and THIS episode about the sex lives of ordinary transgender individuals.

In the News

On the 28th of December 2014 seventeen-year-old Leelah Alcorn stepped out in front of a semi-trailer. Leelah took her own life because she believed that she would mean more to the world dead than she did living. She doesn’t. No one in her position does. And it’s for these reasons we should be careful that we don’t turn her into symbol of how we are failing transgender youth.

Nearly half of all young transgendered people will at some point attempt suicide. They do not need a martyr. They deserve to live to see a world where this isn’t the case. I don’t know what steps we’ll have to take to get there, but awareness is a start. Find out what organisations provide support to LGBT people and people with depression in your area. Go out of your way to read news stories about LGBT issues. Read Allie Brosh’s blog posts on depression (and remember friends don’t leave friends ignorant of Hyperbole and a Half). Most importantly, get involved!

Subject: Morpheus

Duration: 01:24:58

Date: 26/01/2015

00:03:29 – 00:19:04

You’ve written almost 300 stories. That’s a pretty daunting body of work. What stories would recommend to a reader looking to get into your stuff? What are your personal favourites?

I think my recommendations for a new reader would depend entirely on who the person is and what genres they like. If they like superheroes, I'd recommend The Miracle Legacy to start with. If they like humor, I'd recommend The Devil Inside. And if they like long stories with plot development, I'd recommend The Changeling Chronicles or Angels and Demons. As for my personal favorites to have written, I'd say all of those are among them. I'm also quite proud of many of my Legacy Universe stories, The Karma of Serenity, The Academy, Augmented, and my current project Among the Val Kyr.

Can you tell us a bit about your Legacy series?

I've always been a fan of comic books and creating my own comic characters, so I'd started to write a few comic book fanfiction stories. However, I found that while writing the Ice Queen Cometh and Enter the Darkness, the comic books they were inspired by had the status quo change so much that it created too much of a disconnect between that and my stories and what I'd had planned for sequels. Because of that, I created the Legacy Universe as my own little playground, where I could use my own characters without having to worry about anyone else's continuity.

Recently you’ve been writing stories set in the Whateley Universe. What is Whateley and what inspired you to start writing stories in the setting?

The Whateley Universe is a collaborative universe, created and written in by a group of talented writers. It focuses on a private boarding school for mutant teenagers, which might be described as Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters on steroids. A lot of the stories deal with TG protagonists, but certainly not all of them. I have been reading the Whateley stories for some time, and finally felt inspired to write a simple fanfiction story set in that universe. However, that opened up the floodgate of inspiration, leading me to write a few more, until I was invited to start writing in the official canon universe.

How is writing a Whateley story different from writing a Legacy story?

My Legacy Universe is my own private playground, where I can do whatever I feel like without having to worry about stepping on anyone else's toes. The Whateley Universe, however, is a collaborative world where I have to coordinate with the other authors so events and characters don't contradict each other. That makes it a bit more challenging to write Whateley stories, but that also helps to add depth to the universe.

Do you intend to return to Legacy Universe in the future?

Definitely. I have a number of Legacy stories still planned, though admittedly, I've been procrastinating for the last year on the next story in the series, as it will be quite a challenge to write what I have planned. Every time I get close to writing it, my muse suddenly gets excited by something else (like a new Whateley story) and runs off on a tangent. Hopefully, I'll get to the point where I can work on it within the next couple months.

Superheroes are staples of TG fiction. Why do you think that is?

I think the superhero genre works well with TG fiction because it is a genre where just about anything is possible. The genre gives a lot of freedom to a writer, letting you do things with a character and situation that, in any other setting, would just come off as too far-fetched. And of course, some of it is wish fulfillment since in a super hero world, you could stub your toe on a radioactive meteorite and suddenly gain your ideal body and incredible super powers. But most of all, writing super hero stories is just fun.

Who is your favourite Superhero?

I've never had a single favorite hero, though there are a few I'm quite fond of...usually until the comic is taken over by some writer who ruins them. Spider Woman, Power Girl, She Hulk, Ghost Rider, Damage (as DC had him in his origin comic), Magik, Mystique (not quite a hero), and Mantra are some of my favorites.

What makes a good hero? What makes good villain?

I think the best heroes are often ones who are relatable on some level, ones who aren't perfect and have to struggle a bit to be successful, often against even themselves. I can't relate to characters who are gods, royalty, too powerful, or too confident, which is why I frequently use an 'everyman' who stumbles into power he wasn't prepared for in my stories. As for a good villain, the best ones don't really think of themselves as villains. They have a bit of depth to their character and motivations.

What books have influenced you most a writer?

I am an avid reader, and while many of the books I've read have had an influence on me, I can't pick out any single book that jumps out as a singular inspiration. I think that just about everything I read settles into my subconscious, where ideas and inspirations bubble up to the surface without my really being aware of where they may have originated.

What authors and stories would you recommend for fans of your work?

There are a lot of good authors out there, and some of the ones I enjoy reading stories from are Eric, Elrod, D.A.W., Amethyst, and Sleethr. If I didn't mention your name, don't feel offended as there isn't enough space for me to name every author whose work I enjoy reading. For anyone who likes superheroes, I would recommend nearly any of the Whateley stories.

Most useful piece of writing advice you've ever received?

I think that the most useful piece of advice I've ever been given was that I should write for myself, not for my readers. I try to focus on writing what my muse wants, knowing that some people are going to enjoy it and some aren't. But as long as I'm happy with what I've written, that's what is important.

Can you talk us through your writing process?

I'm afraid I don't really have much of a process. I know some authors are very organized, create outlines, making lots of notes, and working out all the little details before they ever start writing, but that doesn't work for me. For me, every story is different, with some of them coming to me fully formed in my head and just needing to be put to paper, while I start writing others with only a basic framework or a few ideas in mind, and I come up with most of the story as I actually write it. For some stories, I have them worked out in my head for months or even years before I write them, but for others, I just start writing and then see where my muse leads me.

You’ve been publishing stories since 1998. Between then and now, how do you think you’ve changed as a writer?

When I first started writing, I mostly wrote short stories, focusing on the method of transformation or single plot element. Many of my earlier stories were written in the Spells R Us and Altered Fates universes, as they were well defined and provided a framework for me to work in, but over time, I became bored with those short simple stories and felt constrained by writing in other people's universe. Now, I tend to write long stories, focusing more on world building and a developed plot, often really starting at about the point where many of my earlier ones would have ended.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

2+2=5

And finally, are the rumours true, is "Morpheus" really a collective of authors controlled by a terrible and alien intelligence? [See The Morpheus Collective by Elrodw]

We firmly deny there is any substance to this rumour.

*

Used to be that Kaitlin could wake up at eight, be up and out of bed in a lickerty-split and be out the door at something between a walk and a jog fifteen minutes after that, cardboard cup, Rice Krispies in soy-milk sloshing at the rim, in one hand, phone in the other, the slack of a headphone cord whipping about and whichever class she wanted to brush up on blaring in her ears at 1.5 speed, hurrying her to a just-in-time arrival at Advanced Ley Lines, or Intermediate Summoning and Containment, or Thaumaturgical Theory three-oh-whatnot, or A History of the Multiverse: Dominion’s Fourteen through Twenty-one, or whatever it was that particular day.

But for the past two weeks, ever since the planets aligned for her and her roommate, Kaitlin’s alarm has been set to seven. She slowly sits up in her bed and spits strands of beard out of her mouth, rubs the sleep from the crevices of her crow’s feet and massages her shoulders, her elbows, her knees, which does nothing to stop her joints from popping and creaking as she climbs out of bed and shambles her way to the bathroom.

“Morning Kitty,” Sonia says. She’s standing in front of their shared sink-cabinet, back to Kaitlin, naked except for a towel turban. She shoots a broad grin into the mirror. Her growing dimples dislodge a dollop of white from a cheek. Sonia catches it on a finger, smears half back onto the wart, and the rest onto a cluster on her nose. Her breasts are large and deflated. Her skin is tinged greyish greenish and roughened by cellulite.

Kaitlin nods at her and yawns. She has not had a good night’s sleep. “Morning back at’cha.”

She sits down to pee. As her small gristly penis sputters into the bowl, she drums her hands against her gut. “Jeebus, I feel like absolute crap. Do I look like crap Sonj?”

“She asks the hag. Girl, you look like Father Christmas, quit bitching.”

“I wish I had a team of magical elves to do my bidding.”

“Who wouldn’t? I can’t wait until I’m faculty. Then I’ll have apprentices that I can boss.” Sonia wrings water out of a sponge. She begins to dab and wipe her face. “I’ll be like, Yo, Johnathan Smith-Jones, inheritor of the Merlinic powers, and you, yeah you, Jennifer Jane Doe, Morgana’s child, by the magicks and wisdom ‘vested in me by the founding witch and warlock, I mark you my wards. Now pass me that grimoire, and type up this huge-ass pile of transcripts, and then iron my robe and polish my pentagram and chain, but first skedaddle off to the kitchens and get me a BLT because I am faminished, and grab a coke from the vending machine on the way back ‘cause I am fucking parched.”

“Master Whelan, is that you?” Kaitlin says.

Sonia cackles.

Kaitlin groans as she stands up, flushes.

“Hey, Saint In-the-Nick. I can see your sack.”

Kaitlin steps in the shower cubicle. The glass walls are misty. She scrawls Ho, Ho, Ho on one of them. Then she turns on the taps, obliterating the words with steam and spattering water.

Over the drumming, over the hum and hiss of the pipes, she hears her friend thanking her for helping with her Sum and Con essay the previous afternoon. “…and if the workload Whelan’s dumping on me stays what it is, I just don’t know how I’m going to keep up with classes.”

“It’s the least I can do since mine’s gone AWOL”. Kaitlin hasn’t seen Morfrân since he chose her. After the ceremony, the Chief Binder had left for dominions unknown.

She yawns.

“Need some wakeup juice?”

“Always.”

Sonia leaves the room. Kaitlin raises her voice. “Make it two spoons of coffee, heaped, two of Quick, three Sugars. If you haven’t snuck the last of the ice-cream, use that instead of milk.”

“One sickly-sludge coming right up.”

Kaitlin yawns again. She tilts her head to face to the nozzle.

Water clings to her, finds her wrinkles and courses along them, like the water from the Æthereal pool had after she’d emerged, gasping. The High Merlins and Morganas had watched her with blank expressions as she’d fallen to her hands and knees on the angular cutting pebbles of the shore. A hand reaching out. Lines of power running from the fingers and knotting into a glyph. “…by the magic and wisdom invested in me by the founders of our order, I mark…”

I hope you enjoyed the first Mixed Tape of 2015. Remember, comments are great and you should leave them!

I’d like to extend a big thankyou to all the authors who contributed, especially Lyodor Tolstoyevski for his fantastic essay – Lyodor, you’ve set the bar high for future submissions of that nature – and Trismegistus Shandy, who did a better proofreading job than I did.

Submissions for February’s Mixed Tape are due on the 19th of that month.

* Guidelines for fiction submissions:

* Stories are to be no longer than 500 words.

* Write what you want to write.

* Stories are to be accompanied by a short About the Author or Also By This Author blurb. Write one of those too.

Guidelines for nonfiction submissions:

* Pieces are to be no longer than 1000 words.

* Possible topics include trans issues, sex and sexuality, cross-dressing tips and tricks, writing, and books, movies, TV shows and comics about or featuring Transgender characters. If you can make a case for anything else, you can write about that.

* Regarding style: informal is fine, and indeed preferred. These pieces shouldn’t be a chore to read. Write your chosen topic the same way you’d talk to a friend about it, or write about it in a blog, or in an effort-comment or forum post.

As a contributor you will be able to read and feedback other contributions as they come in. If at any point prior to publication you wish to withdraw your work, that’s OK.

The finished anthology will be published on Big Closet, TG Storytime and Fictionmania. Make sure you have accounts set up on all three sites (all are free to join). I want to get as many authors credited on each site as possible.

Email submissions to [email protected]

Until next time, or until I hear from you.

PersnicketyBitch



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