Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Costumes over Time

I started this entry a couple weeks ago.  However the meat of it I made into a TG Forum column.  Read that HERE.

However, since I had all the pictures together, here they are anyway.

2007: I was Clark Kent.  Wife was Lois Lane.

This looks like a job for...

2008:  The next year, as I've written zillions of times, I was Lois Lane while Wife was Clark Kent.

Just after the makeup was finished

2009:  I wanted to do the Woman thing right.  By then, I'd had almost a year of practice, and more "crossdressing" supplies, like hip pads, breast prosthetic, corset...  I won the costume contest in a landslide.

"Monique"  Makeup by Amanda Richards

I also attended the Henri David Ball for the first time, in a costume made by the incredible Lorraine Anderson.

Saving Snap, Crackle, and Pop.  Makeup by Amanda Richards

2010: In another Lorraine Anderson creation, I was a St Pauli Girl at the Henri David Ball.

Anyone want anything?  Makeup by Amanda Richards

But for my coworkers and friends, I was God's Gift to women.  I needed to "throw off suspicion."

2011:  Lorraine made me an "Evil Queen" gown.  It wasn't quite ready for the Laptop Halloween party, but it WAS ready for Beauty at the Beach.

Makeup by Amanda Richards

For the friends' Halloween party, I debuted Mary Marvel.  They would see this several times.

Makeup by Amanda Richards

2012: This one I bought online, but Lorraine modified it extensively.  I wore it to all parties, and it's one of my faves.  At one party, someone asked if I was transitioning.  2 months later, I would be on HRT.

Vamping at the Henri David Ball.  Makeup by Amanda Richards

2013:  A pure Lorraine creation- a Flamenco Dancer!  This one was so much fun to wear!  And, for the first time, those are my real breasts filling out the costume instead of forms.

Flamenco!  I did my own makeup

For the friends' party, I wore Mary Marvel again.  By this point, I'd told several close friends about my Truth.  One person who DIDN'T know had a tradition of squeezing my fake boobs really hard every year.  And she did it again- but they weren't fake.  OWWWW!  (After I came out to her, she apologized.)

2014:  I went to Baltimore to hang out with my friends there.  Once again, Mary Marvel.

With that Webbed Menace

However, this picture was more interesting.  Here we see Sandy Empanada and Ashley Jane Morgan, standing at the same place where, 2 years before, Ashley and Lisa Empanada stood for a picture.  There was no smoke, no strobe lights, no nothing.  Yet this streak appeared...

For my friends' Halloween party, I had no idea what to do.  After all, I was out and living as a woman full time, and didn't want to wear something old.  So I tossed this together.  I called it "Genderf**k."  It was half my old suit along with a leather miniskirt and pumps.  Not my best effort.

In 2015, I resurrected the Vampiress.  (get it?)  This time, I wore no fake breasts.  All me.  And I was happy.

So now it's 2016.  I've been out as a Woman for Eight years.  It's been eight years since that fateful night- the night that destroyed the life and lie I'd been living.  That tore apart my Wife's world.  I no longer wear any padding, but I still occasionally wear a corset.

Live Long and Prosper: 2016

So, on a whim, as the sun began to set on Halloween, I decided to dig out the outfit I wore that first night.  The shoes, earrings, and wig are long gone.  I couldn't find the belt.  But the top, skirt, bra and necklace- I still had those.  And so I put them on, and my roomie and bestie Linda was kind enough to take some pictures.

I've come a long way.

I tend to focus on everything I've lost over the eight years.  However, what I've gained is VERY significant as well.  I've gained a Community that Understands me.  We are diverse, but we all have the same challenges.  I have made some of the best friends I have ever had.  I have accepted my Truth and had the courage to live it.  I have had many gains, and yes, some horrific losses.

It's Halloween, and it's been Eight years.  What will the next year bring?  Will I live to see year nine?  Where will I be?  So many things can happen.

But, for tonight, I raise a glass to all those who have helped me to where I am today.  Thank you all!

Be well!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Day of Rage

A few days back, October 26, 2016, I had a very BAD day.

On that day, my Rage took over everything.  It was just like life before I transitioned- the Anger, the Pain.  Everything was against me.

Before clocking in that day

I worked 11-7 that day.  For the first hour, I was covering the manager's lunch, so I was de-facto manager.  My first customer encounter was when the cashier nearest the door needed a return authorization.

The customer was a young woman with a baby carriage.  After I arrived, she was surrounded by an old man and an old woman.  I asked the customer if she knew these people.  She said "no" and looked disturbed, as these people were standing quite close to her.

A Diagram.

I smiled at the old people and said "I'm sorry, but the line is down there," pointing down the row where three other customers were patiently waiting their turn.  The old man pointed at the woman and said "she's with me."  I said "Ok.  But the line is still down there."  I was still trying to be pleasant, yet forceful.

Then the old woman said "I don't see why I should have to wait in line."

I said "Everyone else waits in line.  Please join them."

She refused.

At this point, I got angry.  That fat old entitled person felt she was better than everyone else, and that the rules of polite society didn't apply to her.  I was about to say something when the woman who was REALLY next in line said "just let them go ahead," obviously disgusted.

I was ready to read these entitled people the Riot Act, but thought better of it, as I'd lose my job, and stormed away.

But the damage was done.  I was furious.

From then on, nothing went right.  If I needed to move something, it got stuck.  Or it fell over.  After the manager's break ended, I explained what happened, but she didn't seem to care.  I went back to the registers, where I was working with a coworker who loves to complain about everything.  CONSTANTLY.  And she repeats everything she says.  So I got constant complaining squared.  "I can't believe you let them do that!  I can't believe you let them do that!"  "This is crazy!  This is crazy!"


I finally went beyond my limit and had to do my best not to snap at people.  I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs.  I wanted to hurt someone- beat someone until I got tired.  I wanted to destroy something: anything.  I didn't care if I got fired.  I was prepared to quit if a manager said anything I half construed as bad.

I went on break and posted to facialbook.

I was absolutely possessed by Rage.  I wanted to go home and cry.  I wanted to Inflict.

Add to this, it was Daughter's ninth birthday, and I didn't know if I would see her.  After my break, Wife and Daughter did come in.  I received much needed hugs.  That helped keep me from going completely ballistic.

It had been years since I had been this angry.  When I would Rage against everything.

When I FINALLY finished my shift, I started home.  I tried to calm down but I couldn't.  Wife called me, and invited me to dinner at Daughter's favorite pizza place.  So I went.  And I did my best to enjoy my time with my family.  Then I went home.  And posted again on facialbook.

Eventually, I went to bed, still fuming.  (Before I transitioned, if I lost my temper, I'd be angry for days.)  I wanted so desperately to die.  I wanted to end the Pain.  I laid in the dark, listening to my roomie and bestie, Linda, breath heavily as she slept in her bed on the other side of the room.  And my mind raced.

Why was I so angry?  What set me off so badly that it was like I never changed?  Then it occurred to me.  Like a Flash of Light.

I was Furious at myself.

Yes, the anger WAS like before transition.  It was directed inward.  It was pure passionate HATE of everything I am.

But what triggered it?

Simple.  Once I determined WHO I was angry at, it was easy to determine the cause.

I failed to do the Right Thing.  I walked away from a situation where there was Wrong, without making it Right.  Why?  Because of Fear.  I was afraid for my job.

I allowed someone to flaunt the "rules" of polite society, thus inconveniencing several others.  It was within my power to correct it, and I didn't.  I didn't live up to my Own standards of right and wrong.  I didn't Act.

I set a VERY high bar for my behavior.  I have to- I talk a big game about Morality and Courage and Doing Right.  And I didn't live up to those standards.  And that made me VERY angry at myself.  Just like back in September when I had a Plan and didn't execute it (and I STILL don't know why I didn't.)

The next morning, still angry, I posted on facialbook again.

I considered just deactivating my account- going silent.  But I didn't.  I was tired of all the Noise.  I needed Quiet.  I needed Calm.  But I had to work... and the Complainer would be there.

I made it through that shift, and, eventually, calmed myself.  Understanding WHY I was so angry helped me toward a very necessary next step- one that I never allowed myself before.

I forgave myself.

I worked again yesterday.  Normal shift.

Today, I went to the King of Prussia Mall for "Mall Trick or treating" with Wife and Daughter.  I had a good time, as did Daughter.  As Daughter doesn't like chocolate, Wife and I divided the chocolate Daughter received between us.  The sacrifices we make as parents!

Trick or Treat!

Now, I'm sitting at the apartment, listening to the Grateful Dead (Des Moines, IA, June 16, 1974) and typing.  Linda is taking a nap in the next room.  Tonight, we're going out for a bit.  Penn State won its game against Purdue.

All is well.  The Rage is gone.  But the damage it left behind in my soul still needs cleaning up.

The Person who raged and Hated against themselves is Gone.  I shed that shell over two and a half years ago.  But 47 plus years of self-hatred is hard to leave behind.  I will bear those scars for eternity.

Monday marks Eight years since re-discovering myself.  It will be Halloween.  And for my Wiccan friends, it is Samhain.

If I don't post again, have a wonderful holiday!

Be Well!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Thick Skull

Every person had parent(s) with certain phrases they used a lot.  They seem so serious when you hear them as a child, but when you're older sound pretty ridiculous.

One I heard enough was some variation on "Thick skull."

"Can't you get that through your thick skull?"  "When will you get it through your thick skull?"  That sort of thing.

Now, like all kids there were times I was quite stubborn, or just wouldn't listen.  And, of course, there were times I wouldn't behave.

And the Truth is- I DO have a Thick Skull.


I am stubborn.  I always have been, and, while in some ways it has hurt me, for the most part it has served me well.  If I weren't so stubborn I would've been dead long ago.  If I weren't so persistent, I wouldn't have graduated college, never mind getting a masters degree (what little good that's done me.)

Being stubborn is something I looked for in women when I was dating.  And Wife is stubborn.  She doesn't compromise her beliefs.  And Daughter has inherited that stubborn streak from us both, which I'm sure will not be fun when she's a teen.

But, as noted above, being Thick-skulled has a downside.

I transitioned when I was 47 years old.  That was 47 years of absolutely HATING myself.  Being disgusted by who and what I saw in the mirror.  Taking to heart every negative thing and every rejection I heard and had in my life.  Raging against my own existence, and trying to drink away the Pain.

I hated the fact that I was even born.  Still do in fact.

It's been several weeks of unplanned life.  And I still get messages, private and public, of support.

I've always ignored them before as well meaning, but misguided.  After all, I knew what they did not- that my soul was a rotted, blackened shell.  That any praise was just the person being polite.  It never occurred to me to take any of it seriously.  After all, this was ME they were talking about, and I have never ever been praise-worthy.

A random thought- in British slang "thick" also means "stupid," as in brain dead, numpty, dolt, dillon, dummy, pranny.   And as many of you know, my Mum is a Scot.

The past few weeks, I have been genuinely trying to grasp what my Life truly means.

I've tried to let myself let go a bit and actually Enjoy life.  Life as it is now.  This has involved taking a Hard Look at myself.  Who am I?  What am I?  Is this all that I am?  Is there nothing more?  (Sorry- got all V'ger there for a second.)

I see myself- and I see many of the Dreams of my youth have come to pass.  I look in the mirror and see, aside from one major detail, a Woman.  My breasts are the size I always dreamed they would be- what I wanted. (Yes, I know how I lucky I am with that.)  My looks are feminine enough.  Could be better.  My hair is long.

And here's the Rub:  as I wrote above, all I've gained, all of who I am: making it through college, getting a masters, transition, even simply surviving- is ALL because I'm too damn stubborn.

But, and here's my point (finally): sometimes I'm too stubborn- too thick-skulled for my own good.  All of those wonderful things people have said; all of the notes and messages...  just bounced off.

I didn't let them in.

Until now.

I'm actually listening.  I'm beginning to think that MAYBE, just MAYBE, those people, those incredible friends who cared enough about me to write/call...  may have a point.

Maybe I'm not just a disgusting blob of fat; unfit to live.  Maybe my words DO make a difference.

Maybe there is Hope.

From Death of Captain Marvel by Jim Starlin (1982)

As the Norwegians sang:  "Slowly learning that life is ok."

Be well.

Squish Squish

This morning, October 17, 2016, I awoke early. I had an appointment, which I'd made a month before.

It was time for another "rite of passage."  My First Mammogram.

A mammogram is an x-ray of the breasts, which is used to detect cancer among other spatial anomalies.  *activates static warp shell*  Women of a "certain age" are supposed to get these done once a year.  But I never have, despite having been "a certain age" since before rediscovering myself.  And also despite having cancer coming at me from both sides of the family... including breast cancer.

But, to put it bluntly, I always wanted these breasts, and now I have them, and I don't want to lose them!  So, off to the doctor I went.

My appointment was for 9:45, but I was told to arrive at 9:15.  And so I walked into Phoenixville Hospital at precisely 9:15.  There was a sign on the reception desk saying I need ID, insurance card, prescription... SH*T!  

So back into the car, back to the apartment, grabbed the prescription, drove back, and walked in around 9:30.

"This prescription is old."  "Your name changed?  That's not on the insurance..."

Oh wonderful.

After a few minutes of explanation, I was sent to see a second person in a small, dimly lit cubby.  This guy was quite nice, didn't care about the age of the prescription, sorted out the name issues, slapped a paper wristband on me, and led me to...  the Mammogram room!

I opened the door, went inside, and was greeted by a nice older woman who took my paperwork.  I was asked to sit on a couch.  There was a TV on- the Rachel Ray show.  Seriously.

After a minute or three, she walked briskly past me saying "something is wrong with your paperwork."

I asked "what's wrong?"

She showed me the paperwork, which had my old name, etc.  Under sex there was an "M."  I said "I'm transgender."

She looked at me.  Heartbeat.  Two.

"Oh.... Okayyyyy," she said.  Then she directed me into one of two changing rooms where I was to don an amazingly stylish front opening hospital gown, then enter... the Room.

Chicks in New York pay top dollar for this!

And that's what I did.  The machine was HUGE.  It was a 3-D mammogram machine, which she said was brand new.  She had some paperwork to be filled out.  First question:  when was your last menstrual period?  I put "N/A."  Am I pregnant?  No.  Sign here, initial here, here, and here.

The tech asked me one more time:  "Are you pregnant?"


"Are you sure?"

"Very sure."

(Wait a second- was she insinuating that due to my fat tummy...?   Grrr!)

We started with the right breast.  Squish.  "Don't move- don't breathe!"  That took me by surprise, so I stood there without taking a deep breath, trying to hold what was left in my lungs.  Unsquish; machine rotates.   Squish.  Hold breath.   Unsquish.  Machine rotates back.  Left breast.  Squish.  Hold breath.  Unsquish.  Rotate.  Squish.  Hold breath.  Unsquish.  Done.

That's it?  That's all?

Results in a few days.

Back into the changing room.  Remove toga; put bra back on.  Put on top.  Out the door.

That simple.  Seriously.

According to the American Cancer Society, over 246,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and over 40,000 women will die from it.  You've seen these numbers already.  You've seen the pink ribbons.

As I said above, those of us who have transitioned have waited our whole lives for these boobs.  Why risk them due to fear or laziness?

In any case, it was easy, it didn't hurt (me- but I've heard the tales from others), and it's covered by insurance.  And, leaving the hospital, I felt so... feminine!  I am a Woman- and women need mammograms.

My boobs are only three years old.  They're real... and they're spectacular.  And I want to keep them.

So I got them checked.

Be well!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Inspirations: Kimberly Huddle

I have, in the past, written about people who have inspired me.  I have, for example, written about Donna Rose, Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan, Sandy Empanada, and my bestie Linda Lewis.

I think I should write about more of my inspirations.  And I will.  These are in no particular order, and I'm sure some (like my "Big Sister" Mel) won't want to be featured.  Fair enough.  But when considering who I'd want to write about that I haven't written about yet, well there could be only one first choice.

Because, in her words, "there are no gooder choices."

Before my reawakening on Halloween 2008, I was looking at TG related websites, like Fictionmania.  Other websites I encountered were Linda Lewis' pages, the Vanity Club page, and many pages that no longer exist.

One of the ones I found on Myspace was the travels of Kimberly from Texas:  better known as Kimberly Huddle.

I finally met Kimberly in February of 2009.  I came directly from work, so I was in drab.  She was more Beautiful in person than in her pictures.  And so genuine!  She made me feel at ease and we spoke about our lives.

Kimberly, the Night I met her

That led to a wonderful friendship.  I've seen her several more times on her visits to this area.  (On one of the trips she alleges that I tried to kill her.  It's not my fault Texans can't hold their alcohol!)  ;)

At Tavern on Camac in Philly

Kimberly has been there when I needed her, answering questions and providing encouragement.  She knows when to be stern as well, and when to say I'm full of sh*t.

You see, she thinks she's not that smart, having never been to college, etc.  She couldn't be more wrong.  Anyone who worked on Pershing missiles has MAJOR SMARTS!  And more importantly, she is extremely Wise.

And it's Wisdom from the Pain.

Another Visit: makeup by Amanda Richards

Kimberly is a Beacon to so many!  Her blog, her stories, and who she is, are a true Inspiration to so many who simply can't do what she does, or be who she is.

And, as I've said many times before, Kimberly's blog inspired me to start mine.  Then her moving her blog here off of myspace encouraged me to do the same.  So, blame her for that.  ;)

Kimberly, you are truly AMAZING- a True pioneer and and a Truer Friend.

You are one of the Bestest friends a girl could have, and I am so glad you are in my life!

Read Kimberly's Blog HERE  (or click on the big picture of her on the right side of the page.)

Jack Daniels please!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Legally Sophie

Many months ago, I started a Gofundme to raise the money I needed to change my name.  Thanks to the generosity of so many of you, the money was raised very quickly.

It wasn't an easy road.  I started the process in January.  There were delays and delays.  I grew incredibly frustrated.  I thought that this day would never come, and that I'd die under my male name.

Ready for Court.  I only have one suit.  Deal with it.

Well, the day came.  Monday, October 3, 2016 was a cloudy day.  I woke up early to get ready.  I decided to wear my suit, and took extra time on my makeup.  After all, I wanted to look good for court.

My appointed time was 9:30 AM, courtroom A, Chester County Courthouse, West Chester, PA.

And I was there on time.  Early in fact.  Good thing too, as they started early.  I was sitting in the court room with my attorney.  Man came in said, "All rise." We all stood up, and Obie stood up with the twenty-seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing-eye dog, and he sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing-eye dog, and then at the twenty-seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing-eye dog...

Oh sorry.  Was channeling Arlo Guthrie for a second there.

In any case, the Honorable Robert J. Shenkin entered, assisted by a fancy wooden cane.  He looked stern.  I remembered what happened to my friend Cecilia in Harrisburg, when a conservative judge forced a continuance on her name change because she is Trans.  I was very nervous.

The first case heard was a Protection from Abuse (PFA) case which stemmed from a divorce and custody action.  That took twenty minutes or so.  The judge then said that the court should sort out the name changes next, as the rest of the docket was PFAs, and name changes didn't take long.

My dead name was called, and I stood with my lawyer and came forward.  My lawyer stated the relative facts of the case and submitted all of the paperwork.  The judge asked me why I wanted to change my name.  I replied "The name I choose is more in keeping with my true gender."  He signed the order, handed it to the clerk and said "Approved."

And that was that.  9:50 AM.

In Front of the Courthouse

I do not disguise the fact that the name "Sophie Lynne" is and has always been my nom de femme and my nom de plume.  It's the name by which people know me.  I used to have a facialbook page with my "true name" but I eliminated it.  I don't want to discuss the reasons.

In any case, my legal name is Sophie.  My middle name is now Lisa.  That is in Tribute to my sorely missed sister Lisa Empanada.  So, in a way, as long as my name lives, so shall she.  A Tribute I will wear through my life and onward through eternity.

My attorney then bought me a coke, and we talked a bit.  Then I went back to the apartment, changed out of my suit, and went to work.  Just another day.

The next day, I went back to the courthouse to pick up certified copies of the order.  I saw my dear friend Adrien there.  She works there now.  We talked a bit, then I went to the Social Security office. I waited about an hour, but submitted the paperwork to change the name on my social security card.  Then I went to the DMV for a new driver's license.  That took maybe twenty minutes.

By then I was tired, and went back to the apartment.  Linda was taking a nap.  I did too.

I wasn't going to post about this.  At all.  Anywhere.  Why?  Because I hated it when I saw others do it.  It made me feel so useless that I couldn't get it done. I know it's not a race, but I couldn't help but feeling so damn jealous.

But I am posting it.  Why?  Because it made me Happy.  It didn't hit me yesterday.  But it did today, striding out of that courthouse, papers in hand, the wind in my skirt, heels clacking on the sidewalk.  I can't describe the mix of emotions I felt.  I guess because they were POSITIVE emotions, and I don't have much experience with those.  I felt confident.  Alive.  I couldn't stop smiling.

I sent a picture of the license to a few close friends.  One of them sent me a reply "... it all starts changing for the better here.  This is the turning point, and you made it!"

Maybe it is.  I hope so.  (There's that "Hope" word again.)

When I was at the DMV getting my camera card for the license, the clerk asked me to look over the card.  She asked "is that your correct name?"

I said "Yes.  Finally."

Be well.

(Want to see me read this?  Click HERE)

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Satisfaction: a revision

The amazing Paul Laska, author of Four Years has issued another writing challenge.  500+ words.  One week.

I posted this one already, but I didn't like the ending.  So, here is a new version.

A person is sitting outside at a cafe.  Two men in matching khaki shorts and polo shirts approach him/her; one is holding a package and the other has his hands behind his back.  What happens next?  Noir style.

My response- I call it:  Satisfaction.

WARNING- this piece gets DARK and is for mature readers.


A dump like this shouldn't have an outdoor cafe, especially in this part of town.  Not that it’s much- a few rusty black painted tables with matching chairs, all chained to the wall.  This table has a big umbrella, but my skirt is still getting rained on.  Yet, here I am.  What does it say about me?  I’m a woman of a “certain age”- two divorces and a dead husband behind me.  

Dark foggy night, misting rain.  Miserable night.

And do you wanna know the kicker? 

I’m dying too. 

Goddamn second husband liked sleeping around all the time, caught some kind of infection and didn’t know it.  Gave it to me.  Sure, I divorced his ass years ago and married again.  My late husband, Lenny- he was a saint.  God rest his soul. 

But he’s gone now.
Left me lots of money.  So, I know I’m dying, and I just can’t help but think about all those men who I loved and trusted, but who betrayed me.

My first husband I met in college.  Paul was a real stud.  Football team, best fraternity on campus, rich parents.  A Man’s man.  It took a while to land him, but let’s just say I can be VERY persuasive.  At least I thought I was.  When he found out I couldn’t have kids, he told me he’d never stopped sleeping around.  “Man’s gotta keep his options open.  Too many gals; too little time!”  He divorced ME because he wanted kids.  His parents got him a fancy high priced lawyer.  I got nothing.

Second husband.  Oh, that one!  I should’ve known from the start when he said he was “Brad Big and Bad!”  And he WAS big!  Knew how to use it too.  Had the funniest birthmark there as well- like a clover.  But he slept around too.  It wasn’t like I wasn’t doing my part- God knows- but the guy was a godddamn machine!  When I found him in bed with my best friend, that’s when I divorced him.  Found out later he did some porn movies too. 

Then I met Lenny.  He was such a good man!  God rest his soul.

But he’s gone now.  Left me LOTS of money.

That’s when a friend of mine told me about his cousin.  No name- calls himself “Timber.”  Says that he “fixes things.”  No questions asked- cash up front.  Satisfaction guaranteed.  Set me up with a meeting.

So I tell Timber what I want.  He gives me a number- six figures.  I say half up front, all cash.  He agrees.  We set up a second meeting. And so, here I sit, on a miserable Tuesday night, nursing a warm beer, waiting in front of a gay "fetish" bar in the rain.

At exactly 11:30, I hear footsteps splashing through puddles; coming toward me.  I turn to my left, and see two men emerge from the misty night.  Both wear khaki shorts and black polo shirts. The one is my first husband, Paul.  He’s gained some weight and lost some hair.  His eyes are swollen and caked dried blood hangs from his broken nose.  His arms are zip tied behind him.  Around his neck is a leather collar attached to a leash.

The leash is held by a little man, maybe four feet tall with black hair, a Fu-Manchu moustache, and a big black Stetson cowboy hat.  Stuck under his belt is a pistol.  Glock, I think.  He smiles. Timber.  In Timber’s leather gloved right hand is the leash, and in the left is a cardboard box.  Something is dripping from the bottom.

“See?  Look at us!  We’s twins!  Right, studmuffin?”

Paul looks down at him and whines “Sir yes sir.”

“Good boy.  He’s really quite tame after you ride him around the corral a bit.”  Timber places the box on the table.  “Would madam care to examine what she’s purchased?”

I smile at him and open the box. 

Inside is a large severed penis with the clover birthmark.  I’d know it anywhere.  Next to it was what looks like… yes, that would be Brad’s tongue.  Just like I’d asked. 

I smile at Timber and reach into my purse.  I pull out a thick envelope full of bills- all hundreds.  I hand it to Timber, who smiles wider.

“Thank you again, madam!  So what do you want me to do with Studmuffin here?”

“Oh, I have plans for him.”  I turn towards the door of the bar.  “Hey Rocco!”

Out comes my friend, Rocco.  Rocco used to play pro-football, where he had to hide who he really was.  Now, he provides… entertainment… to closeted high rollers with particular desires.  Rocco is dressed in a leather vest and leather chaps and boots.  He smiles and looks down at Timber.

“Timber,” he says. 

“Cousin Rocco!” Timber says, and then laughs.  “Oh, you’re cruel, madam.  Delicious!  I like you!”

Rocco hands me an envelope.  Inside is a check to my favorite charity- AIDS research.  Five figures.  Just like we agreed.  I gesture to Timber to give the leash to Rocco.  Rocco pulls Paul close.

“Yes, yes, he’ll do nicely,” Rocco says. 

Paul realizes what’s happening and opens his mouth, just to grunt when Rocco punches him in the left kidney. 

“Ok Studmuffin, for you there IS no safety word.  You have lots of work to do!” Rocco growls.  He then jerks the leash, and pulls Paul inside the bar.  The door closes.

All I can hear is the soft rain.

Timber chuckles to himself as I stand up, my skirt soaked by the rain. I pick up the bloody box and look at it.  

A gunshot!  Two!

I fall to the wet pavement.  I can't breathe.  My blood pumps into the grime of the street.

Standing above me, Timber smiles, pistol in hand.

As the world goes dark, I hear his voice: "Sorry Madam, but Studmuffin pays pretty well too..."