I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore

I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore

 
by Lauren Renée
 
What happens when a post-op TS lesbian and her genetic lesbian lover run into trouble in Oklahoma while on a motorcycle trip.

 © 2003 by Lauren Renée Hotchkiss

Laurie's breasts pressed hard into Wendy's back in warm, comfortable vibration. She smiled dreamily, relishing the weight and feel of them. It was so wonderful to have real breasts at last and to have found a lover who didn't care that she used to be a man. The roar of the Harley's engine was loud, as dawn broke across the Midwestern countryside.

They were half-way through a trip up the Pacific coast, along the Canadian border, and down through the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas. As soon as they hit the Oklahoma panhandle they would cut west along 105 and start heading back toward California.

They hardly looked like the grad students they were, with their leather jackets, Levis, motorcycle boots, and their hair tied back with bandannas, but, after all, Cal Berkeley had always been a haven for those of alternative lifestyles.

Still half-asleep, and half- hypnotized by the drone of the engine, Laurie began to fall into a reverie, once more thinking about her family in Ohio and how she could never tell them about what she had done, nor the nature of her relationship with Wendy, afraid they would never understand.

As they crossed the state line into Kansas, the endless miles of farm land that stretched out before them seemed to grow more lush.

Wendy began joking, bringing Laurie back to the present.

"No wonder Dorothy left, but why the hell did she ever want to come back."

This began a whole series of jokes, and pretty soon they were pointing out scarecrows in the cornfields to each other and making bets on which ones were alive.

"Auntie Em, Auntie Em, here comes a cyclone."

"I'll Auntie Em you my pretty."

They were laughing so hard that Wendy almost lost control of the bike.

The back tire was starting to sound funny. They knew it didn't have much tread left. They'd stopped at one gas station somewhere back in Nebraska, but the way the mechanic had leered at them, and the rude and suggestive remarks he'd made when he'd realized their relationship, made them decide to just keep going and get the hell out of the Midwest before they stopped. At least no one threatened them in the Bay Area.

As they crossed into Oklahoma, they began to see a change right away.

Despite their jokes, Kansas had been beautiful, in its own way, but Oklahoma.... Almost immediately the lush cornfields had given way to dry dusty prairie, dust that caught in their throats, ...and their spirits.

The joking stopped immediately.

They rode for the next couple of hours in silence till, in late afternoon, they heard the whine of a siren behind them. Looking back Laurie saw a patrol car coming up over the crest of a hill and bearing down on them.

Wendy pulled over to the side of the highway and stopped, waiting as the sheriff got out of his cruiser and came up beside them.

He wanted trouble. Laurie could feel his hostility as he approached the bike and circled it slowly, looking them over. They could both see that he was trying to find something he could bust them for, but as they hadn't been speeding, and Wendy's license and registration were in order, there was nothing he could hold them on. He stopped in front of the bike and spit a long stream of tobacco juice into the grass beside the road before pulling his pilot shades down his nose and fixing them with a glare that looked like something he’d learned in Intimidation Class at the police academy. At last he spoke to them.

"You know this back tire's almost gone. Ya'll'd better get it replaced."

“We will, sir, as soon as we can” Wendy replied, expressionlessly.

Almost regretfully he began walking back to his car, but just before he got in he called out to them.
"Take my advice, girls"–the way he'd said "girls" grated against both of them but neither of them dared say anything–"get out of Oklahoma quick, 'fore you get hurt. I don't want to see either of you again."

Not waiting for a response, though neither of them felt like saying anything anyway, he'd gotten into his cruiser, slammed the door, and pulled back onto the highway.

They stayed there awhile, still shaken, wanting to put some distance between them and the sheriff, but at last Wendy hit the ignition and they headed off again.

They rode for several hours, nervously looking back over their shoulders, peering up the highway in front of them, and at every billboard sign they passed, but they never saw the cop again.

It was near sunset when they heard the roar of a powerful engine behind them. Laurie turned around to see a Ford Bronco coming up fast. It was almost like a scene out of Easy Rider, with two rednecks in cowboy hats, beers in their hands; there was even a gun rack in the back window.

It was almost funny, but the laugh died in Laurie's throat as she saw the one in the passenger seat take down a rifle from that rack and aim it out the window at them.

She heard the crack of the rifle and looked at Wendy's reflection in the rearview mirror. She could tell by the look on her face and the way her body stiffened that she'd heard it too. "Toto, I don't thing we're in Kansas anymore," said Wendy. "Hang on."

Laurie braced herself, hugging her lover tighter, as Wendy cranked the bike to full throttle, trying to outrun them.

It happened so quickly, it was over before she realized it. With a loud bang the rear tire blew, whether from another bullet or just from age she didn’t know, and they began to skid out of control, swerving across the highway. Suddenly the bike was down on its side, sparks flying from the skid guard as it scraped across the pavement. Both of them were still astride the bike, hanging on to the upper side, trying to keep from flying off or getting caught between the pavement and the bike. Feeling a dull ache in her hand, Laurie looked down to see her glove pinned beneath the left rear shock, a trail of leather and blood streaming out behind her where the glove was being dragged across the concrete at 70 miles-per-hour.

As they slid onto the shoulder and hit the embankment of a creek that separated the highway from the bordering fields, Laurie was thrown from the bike and landed on the bank. Ahead of her she heard a loud splash, and the roar of the engine change to a shrill whine and suddenly grow still.

She must have fainted then. When she came to she looked down in horror at the almost surreal sight of her hand, shaking uncontrollably in shock, the glove ripped almost entirely to shreds, and what was left melded to the pulpy red tissue that was once her flesh. The skin of her knuckles was gone, the glistening white of bone showing through. Strangely, she didn’t feel any pain.

She looked at it like it was some kind of unclean, unholy thing, separate from herself, and then forgot all about it completely as she caught sight of Wendy’s still form nearby, pinned beneath the four-hundred-pound Harley.

Laurie got up quickly and ran over to where Wendy was lying. Blood was trickling from her mouth, and one eye was out of its socket, horribly swollen and distended, softly bubbling like hot tar. Her neck was twisted at an unnatural angle, but she was still conscious. Laurie knelt down beside her, and taking Wendy's hand, strangely cold, in hers, began to cry. Wendy looked up at her, slowly working her mouth, trying hard to say something, but no sound came. Laurie tried to make it out, to read the message forming on her lips, but she couldn’t. At last Wendy gave up. Giving Laurie’s hand a gentle squeeze, she looked into her eyes and smiled.

Out of nowhere the thought returned to Laurie, of how she wished that she and Wendy could have been married, would have been married if it were not for the repressive laws of a culture that was afraid of those who were in anyway ...different.

"Why can't people just leave us alone," she said, but she didn't get an answer. Wendy had closed her eyes.



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This story is 1450 words long.