Faye's New Daughter

il_570xN.583694260_anaq.jpg

Or (Brian the Schoolgirl) After being released from prison, Brian is taken in by his cruel stepmother, Faye, an unhinged and determined doctor, hell bent on forcing the son she always loathed into becoming the sweet daughter she could never have.

I’VE DONE THINGS I’M NOT PROUD OF, terrible things that ruined other people’s lives while all I had to deal with was a short prison sentence of five years. What did I do exactly? Well, after I dropped out from high school, I stole drugs from a doctor’s surgery to sell on the street for profit. No I didn’t sell any of the hard stuff, just uppers and downers, not that it made much of a difference in the end. It was an easy way to make money. Too easy. I should have quit while I was ahead. Otherwise, that girl wouldn’t have died. Yeah. I’m a technically a murderer. I made a quick transaction with a girl named Jess outside a nightclub one night. I sold her two pink diamonds, unaware that the batch was badly cut. I could tell that Jess rarely interacted with street dealers because she was rather shy yet I sold them to her anyway. Why? I needed some money to go out and get twisted that very same night.

Her friends found her the next morning, lying face down in a pool of her own vomit. And that was that. I was arrested shortly after her death. I was brought to court for theft, possession of and selling non-prescribed narcotics, and manslaughter. I was expected to serve one year in a juvenile correctional facility before being moved to the state prison for a further four years when I came of age. I was only seventeen when I brought shame upon myself, and of course, my family. My life was already over before it even had a chance to begin and it was entirely my fault.

Whenever I close my eyes at night, I can see Jess as if she was right in front of me. She was unconventionally pretty with shiny black hair and blue streaks. When I spoke with her I felt I had known her my whole life. I remember how her lip piercing glistened against the streetlights or how her skirt bounced when she walked away, certain that she was going to have one of the best nights of her life. She plagued my mind every moment of my prison sentence but no measure of thought could account for the life I took and the pain I caused her friends and family. I knew I would have to live with the guilt for the rest of my life.

I’m not sure what it was that set me on such a rough path. Perhaps it was my Dad passing away when I was only twelve. I never knew my real mother either. Tragic, I know, but she died giving birth to me so I never had a chance to form a connection with her. I don’t know. It feels wrong to put the blame on my parent’s deaths. All of my decisions in life were made by the fury of my own uncontrollable impulses and not the result of past trauma. That’s what I believed anyway.
My stepmother Faye, on the other hand, I certainly do remember but not in great fondness. She made no effort in hiding her disdain for me before and even after Dad died. I’m not sure what I did to make her hate me with such passion but I can only conclude that it was because I was wild, reckless, and undisciplined whereas she was straight laced, mannerly, and a by-the-books career woman. I still believe the majority of her hate was unjustified but after the gavel struck, I did not blame her for viewing me as a rotten egg. After all, she was the doctor I stole the drugs from in the first place. Faye was general practitioner of medicine, a fine job for a woman of her conduct. She was one of the three GP’s in our hometown Shalesburg. She was rather tall yet plump with feathery curves and a strict no-nonsense expression constantly on her face. She was pale, dark haired and rarely seen without her bright red lipstick. She was quite striking actually.

As a child, I used to think she was a witch, as I consistently feared her wrath, especially when I got into trouble at school. I think her rage came from the pain of having three miscarriages. I dunno. She always wanted to have a daughter with Dad, someone she could raise to be a shadow of hers, someone she could call her own. Unfortunately, I provided none of these attributes for her and I don’t believe I ever could. I was a convict, a murderer, a betrayal of what my Dad stood for, and I failed him. God, I was so stupid.

I was released from prison on the 22nd of July. In my dreams, I was greeted with warmth and sunshine in a grassy meadow when I emerged through the hole in those massive iron gates as a free man. Instead, one of the worst storms in recent memory assaulted me the moment I set foot outside. The sky cracked open in bright flashes as thunder and lightning raged over the grim, concrete landscape. I ran towards Faye’s car, with the jacket I arrived with five years ago draped over my head, rain patting against the fabric. The wind was so powerful and ferocious that I was almost knocked right off my feet.

Faye did not express any sort of elation or happiness when I got into the car. I expected as much, since she only visited me at Christmas during my sentence. The journey home was cold and silent, nothing but the sound of the wipers swishing away the rain that drummed shard on the windshield. I attempted small talk but it only added fuel to the awkwardness when she merely responded with the occasional grunt or murmur. All I wanted to do was to lie in my own bed after five long years. I at least earned that, right?

The storm calmed into a steady flow of sleet when we arrived at Shalesburg later that night. Even on such a terrible night, the little town looked more idyllic and picturesque than ever. When Faye drove through the automated gates that led into my childhood home, I was taken aback by how little the place had changed. Choking up a little bit, I swallowed down the immense sea of the past creeping up my throat. My eyes stung with forming tears. I did not realise I missed the place until that very moment. It was like trying on an old jacket for the first time in years to discover that it still fit. I could smell it already.

A grand Georgian house, it was. Painted with a coat of whitewash, it had large windows that bounced off the pale moonlight. The front door was still painted emerald green, just as I remembered it. When we went inside, Faye wasted no more of her time being near so she quietly went up the stairs to bed. I stood in the sleek, modern kitchen, feeling cold as I listened to the rain patter against the windows. I didn’t even turn the lights on.

I quietly crept through the house, taking in everything that changed and what did not. I noticed there were no photographs of me anywhere, just ones of Faye and her own family, including my Dad. I unpacked what little possessions I had into my old room, which had been completely emptied out. I guessed Faye had either sold or packed away my things. Regardless, I did not care. A part of me felt I deserved it. I really did. I sat on the side of the bed, thinking about what I was going to do with my life now that I was a free man.

I hoped to live with Faye until I found some work and eventually a place of my own but I was unsure of how long it would take. With a criminal record, most establishments would shred my CV even if I had glowing credentials and suitable experience. Nobody wants to hire an ex con. I was released without parole so I would be receiving no assistance from them. I had no money or possessions to my name. I only had Faye and she made me feel as welcome as a disease. In fairness, I did feel like one.

I undressed and climbed into my old bed. It was nothing like I remembered. In fact, I was sure it was a different mattress altogether, as it felt lumpy and hard. You know those old beds that you used to stay in at your grandmother’s house, the kind that you’d have the best night’s sleep in, well, that’s what my old cell bunk felt like and I was beginning to miss it a lot. Even though I was free from imprisonment, I never felt more alone in all my life. At least inside things seemed simpler - three meals a day, an hour of yard time, lock down at eight. I felt so lost in my own home.

*

Early the next morning, I awoke to beautiful sunlight streaming through crack of the curtains. I could hear birds chirping and tweeting in the oak branches outside the window. I knew it was early. I jumped up when the bedroom door suddenly flung open. Faye stepped through with a lofty pep in her step, clip clopping in her heels, as she tottered to open the curtains. The sunlight burst through and blinded me senseless.

“What time is it?” I groaned, wiping the sleep from my eyes.

Faye stopped and paused for a moment before coolly saying, “It’s time for change.”

I had no idea what she meant by that. When I questioned her, she just ignored me and left the room with a slight smile perking from the corner of her lips. “Get dressed,” she said. “We’re going into town.”

After showering and dressing myself in a t-shirt and jeans, I found Faye down in the kitchen, humming a merry tune as she chopped up some fruit to make a salad. She was dressed rather well for an average day with her grey woollen pencil skirt and starch white blouse, her black hair shining brilliantly over her shoulders and down her back. Assuming she was going to work, I asked her what time she was leaving but she said she took the day off.

After breakfast, she told me to follow her to the car. I asked several times where we were going but she promised she would fill me in on the way. As the car pulled out of the driveway, I was starting to feel a little uneasy with her good mood. It did not seem natural for her to be so content in my presence. Naturally, I felt suspicious. What was she up to?

“So are you going to tell me where we’re going?”

“We’re going to the dentist.”

“Uh, why are we going to the dentist?”

“Well, since your time in prison is over I thought you deserved a bit of a change,” said Faye. She quickly locked her gaze with mine before returning it to the road. “Dr. Bisley is going to fit you for a set of braces.”

I certainly did not expect this. I was worried when we left the house but now I was just confused. “B-Braces?” I stammered. “Why do you suddenly feel I should get braces? I’m nearly twenty-three!”

“Exactly, which is why we cannot wait any longer for you to get them,” said Faye, as-a-matter-of-factly. She paused for a moment to compose herself. I was completely stunned when I realised she was getting emotional. “Look, the five years you spent inside gave me plenty of time to think. Yesterday was a misstep on my behalf. I thought a lot about what I could have done to prevent you from going down that awful road until I realised something.”

“What was that?”

“I never made an effort to love you, Brian,” she said. Her voice started to tremble. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Utterly stunned. “I didn’t even pretend to love you. I treated you terribly from the very beginning. You were robbed of your mother at birth and I should have filled the void when I met your father. I’m not going to ask for your forgiveness because I don’t expect to receive it. I certainly do not deserve it. Just know that I’m willing to change right now and make up for all the lost support I’ve never given you.”

I felt queasy as a flurry of feelings flooded into my chest at once. I never could have imagined Faye, my evil witch stepmother, talk to me in such an affectionate manner. I was perplexed but ultimately overjoyed. The way she looked at me, such warmth in her eyes, was all I ever wanted. I felt like I was there. I felt like I existed. “It’s – uh – it’s alright, Faye,” I said, nervously chancing a slight touch of her arm. “You don’t have to apologise for anything. I wasn’t exactly the best step son either. I mean, remember when I was nine, I washed your record collection in boiling water?”

“Yes you certainly did!” Faye chortled, dabbing her tears with a tissue. She was smiling now and it was most alien to me. “You melted my copy of Saxophone Colossus, an original pressing that belonged to my father!”

“I couldn’t stand jazz when I was a kid!” I laughed. “It bored me half to death!”

Faye laughed even harder until the happy atmosphere died back down to silence. The low rumble of the car reminded of where we were going.
“So why am I getting braces then?”

Faye paused for a moment. “When I was a teenager, my teeth were quite crooked. I hated them. I felt ugly and that no boy would ever want me. As you know, my parents ran their own corner shop but they never really had more than enough money for rent, food, and bills. Of course, I would eventually get excellent dental care in later life but I never forgot what it felt like to be so insecure about my looks. I remember seeing the very same insecurities in you when you were a teenager. Now I wish to remedy that after ignoring it for so long. I want to make up for lost time.”

She was right. As a teenager, I hated the way I looked, particularly my teeth. Prison did not boost my self-esteem either. I was often teased, bullied, and horribly abused in unspeakable ways that I won’t get into right now. I stand at about 5’6, skinny but lean and strong. My vibrant green eyes are probably the standout feature on my thin, sallow face. My mousy brown hair has no particular shape to it but it would be best described as shaggy with slightly curled ends, a far cry from the skin head I was when entering prison.

I cannot fully admit to understanding why Faye suggested I should get braces. I thought it was random as hell and mad as a bag of spiders but I went along with it in spite of my personal misgivings. I was just too happy to see Faye acknowledge me for once. Besides, I thought it would be great to have nice teeth when it was all said and done.

When we arrived at the dentist’s surgery, I had a couple fillings, my mouth was x-rayed, and a cast of my teeth was made after I bit into a soft, play-doh-like substance. I returned the following week to get the braces, both top and bottom teeth. As Dr. Bisley tightened the wires, I felt my disjointed teeth being pulled together and it hurt like hell. I left the surgery with my jaw aching and the inside of my mouth sore. I already felt regret in agreeing to the braces but I quickly got used to them as the weeks went on.

And boy were those weeks something special.

I spent most of my time lounging around the house. After a month of being home, I felt very different inside. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I felt quite serene, at one with my feelings, more compassionate and less aggressive. I guessed it was something to do with the newfound kinship I shared with Faye - a woman’s touch, if you will. We spent a lot of time together because, well, we were the only ones in the house. I helped her with some of gardening, she showed me how to bake, and there were nights when we just sat up talking and drinking wine. I even showed her a few drinking games. It was fantastic.

Then the nightmares began.

I was walking through a dark, grey forest, feeling the hairs stand up in unison on the back of my neck. Air crisp, breath icily smoked - I approached a dark pool of oily liquid that lay eerily still without reflection or ripple. I didn’t feel like I was myself, I didn’t feel like anyone. A faint glimmer of light reached out to me from the stark blackness of the pool and I felt a fraction of warmth in my heart. It was elusive, almost alien to me. Then, a hand burst through the surface, grabbing my wrist and pulling me in with tremendous force. A face emerged through the inky water, the face of Jess, dead and lifeless. I’m pulled in, feeling my lungs fill with fire and my heart rot away in an instance.

I suddenly found myself back in the waking world and I was drenched in sweat. The heavy blankets suffocated me so I threw them off and sat up; panting as though I had just ran a marathon. I jumped yet again when the door swung open and Faye stepped through, garbed in her beige nightdress. She sat down at my bedside and brought her hand up to my face.

“Oh sweetheart, what’s happened?” she said, lovingly stroking my cheek with her forefinger.

“I – I had a nightmare,” I said, struggling to catch my breath. My heart was pounding against my chest. “It was about her – t-the girl -,”

“Jess,” said Faye, her concern quickly morphing into compassion. “Oh darling, everything is going to be okay, I promise you this! In time you will feel better.”

Faye climbed onto the bed and brought me into her arms. As I rested my head on her bosom, I felt the guilt I carried for so many years spill from eyes and down my cheeks. My thoughts were racing from the fact that I had not cried since I was eight to the traumatising nightmare and finally to that very moment, which I would have deemed impossible years ago. Faye was offering me her love.

“I had my whole life ahead of me,” I sobbed. “And yet so did she.”

“I know, darling. I know,” whispered Faye, softly stroking my hair.

We lay there for a few minutes in the dead of night until I calmed down. Faye left the room to fetch something and came back with a cup of camomile tea and an object hidden from my view.

“Here,” Faye said, handing me a pill. “These always help me sleep.”

I took the pill and she brought my head back to her chest. I was warm and comfortable when she started humming the most beautiful song, one of which I had never heard before. It was soothing against her heartbeat. I never wanted to leave. She then started to brush my hair. I did not protest because I felt some massive barriers were breaking between us. I did not intend to spoil it. Furthermore, it was very relaxing!

I drifted into a deep sleep but the strange dreams did not cease. I found myself sitting naked in an empty bathtub. Somebody was rubbing burning hot cream all over my body. The smell was sharp, aggressively stinging my senses like a knife to paper. I could feel hands gently lavishing cream over my chest and under my arms, parts twitching and tingling with every touch. I tried to protest but the only syllable that escaped my lips was, “Wha?” as the hands slid down over my stomach, kneading it ever so gently, until they gradually made their way to my crotch. I let my head fall back onto the rim of the bathtub as the fingers worked in and around my privates, stroking and smothering it in the cream.

As I stared up at the light bulb swinging back and forth, Faye’s face swam into view above me. She was smiling warmly. Her lips were moving but no words were coming out. I had no idea what was going on but I was beginning to realise that I was not dreaming. I had no strength or resistance. There was only fogginess and brief hints of pure ecstasy as she rubbed the entirety of body from my rear down to the very ends of my toes. The massaging stopped for what felt an eternity as the cream crackled and sunk into my skin.

A burning smell filled my nose like hay fever. I sneezed, which simultaneously set off the steaming hot shower, pressing water hard down on my body, washing the cream away and reddening my skin. I was sitting upright with my head hanging over my stomach as I watched streams of my hair trickle down the drain. I dropped deeper into my foggy daze, feeling hot water and an assortment of pleasantly scented lotions rise up around me. After that, I could only remember vague feelings of bliss rather than fully formed memories.

I awoke in the softness upon what felt like a warm cloud. The bed sheets felt unusually smoother against my skin. I licked my brace coated teeth and exhaled deeply through my nose. After a few minutes of mustering up some much needed energy, I lifted my head and ruffled my hair, which definitely felt silkier than the previous day. Odd, I thought. I felt abnormally groggier compared to most mornings as if the inside of my head was swimming in water. Something was not right.

When I threw the blankets off me, I snapped through the tiredness, utterly stunned to find that my whole body was bereft of hair. I immediately jumped to my feet, examining my naked, hairless body with my hands. It was all gone bar my head hair, which seemed to be brushed smooth and lengthened until the ends tickled my neck. I quickly wanted to find the underlying cause of this so I grabbed my dressing gown and angrily marched downstairs.

I found Faye in the sitting room, watching soaps as she sipped on a cup of coffee. “Oh, good morning sleepy head,” she said with a welcoming smile. “Or should I say good afternoon. I didn’t keep you any breakfast because I thought you’d want to skip ahead to lunch seeing as it’s – oh nearly two o’clock, gracious me!”

I was baffled by her forthright nonchalance, as if absolutely nothing was out of the ordinary. I was furious. “Why the fuck did I just wake up feeling – ugh! – why am I suddenly naked and hairless as the day I was born?!”

“Don’t you dare use that language!” said Faye, abruptly slamming her cup on the coffee table. “Not in this house!”

“Jesus, I’m almost twenty-three, I can bloody well curse when I want to know why my mom snuck into my room and -,” I immediately stopped midsentence, losing my train of thought as humiliation flushed my cheeks scarlet. I called Faye Mom for the first time in, well, ever. “I – I – um – sorry, I didn’t mean to -,”

Faye’s eyes lit up like two sparkling candles as she joyously linked her hands to her lips. She was clearly overjoyed with my embarrassing misstep of words. I felt like a child. “It’s okay, sweetheart,” she said, standing up to face me a little closer. “I’m sorry I had to shock you like this. Don’t you like it?”

“Not particularly,” I said, feeling a little nervous.

“But don’t you like the way it feels?” said Faye, moving in closer. She was inches from my face. “Did you not feel oh-so comfy when you woke up, feeling the soft cotton sheets caress your skin.”

She was right but I did not want to admit it. “That’s beside the point. I didn’t ask you to do this to me. I’m not a – I’m not some pretty boy!”

“Lots of men shave their body hair these days!” said Faye, throwing her arms up.

“Good for them!” I said, raising my voice. “But that doesn’t mean I have to! Look, it doesn’t matter, I just want to know why you would do this to me without my permission. I want to try and understand your deranged thought process behind all this! That’s all!”

It was clear I hit a nerve deep within Faye. I could see the hurt swallowing up the joy in her eyes as she walked by me. She turned her head away in an attempt to hide the tearful wounds from my line of sight. I could hear her quietly sobbing as her muffled footsteps carried up the staircase and into her room. I was left standing there, feeling terribly guilty for hurting her in spite of what she did to me. I felt monstrous. Was I overreacting?

Faye and I did not speak much over the next few days, spending no more than a few seconds in the same room together. Over the week, I went through a variety of emotions that initially started with anger towards what she did. After I calmed down, I wondered why she did it. I spent most of my time pondering this but I could not reach a conclusion. Then I felt bad for upsetting her. Perhaps she was just trying to help me to relax. Regardless, her intentions were quite blurred and far from normal. I did like how smooth my skin felt but that did not mean I should keep it that way. I preferred to have hair because I considered myself a regular young man. I hated feeling so guilty.

After a week of ignoring each other, I attempted to make some peace so we could move on from the pointless fighting. Everything had been going so well and I wanted to get back to that before it was too late. It was a very warm day, the sun was splitting the rocks, and Faye was lying out in the back garden, dressed elegantly in a loose, black and white polka dotted dress and sunglasses. I approached, nervously twiddling my thumbs.

“Um, I probably should have apologised to you sooner for calling you such horrible names.”

Faye’s stony expression did not budge. It took her a few moments to answer. “It’s okay,” she said, lovingly if not robotically. “I’m a grown woman. I’ll get over it.”

I was beginning to feel flustered. I did not believe she was telling the truth. “Is it though? Do you really mean that?”

“Of course, darling,” she said, her face still unchanged.

“Look, I’m truly sorry for upsetting you. I was just shocked when I woke up to - I – I didn’t expect it, it just came out of nowhere and -,”

Faye whipped off her sunglasses, revealing her eyes to be gleaming with something that looked like joy. “Are you trying to tell me you like being smooth and hairless?”

“What – no, I just -,” I stopped midsentence when I noticed Faye’s red raw eyes illuminate for the first time since I accidently called her Mom. Words caught in my throat, I tried to think of a reasonable answer, but all I really wanted was for us to stop fighting so we could go back to the way we were. “I mean, yeah, I guess so but -,”

“Oh Brian, that’s just wonderful!” beamed Faye. She jumped to her feet and quickly brought me into a firm embrace. It was as if we immediately picked up where we left off before the fight. She wrapped her arms around me, whispering, “Thank you,” into my ear. I could not help but feel disturbed. In that very moment, I knew I had to get away from Faye by finding job and a place of my own, preferably as soon as possible. I realised I was living too comfortably with her insistent mothering. Wishing that all my body was bereft of hair was more than enough to make me suspect her sanity. I had to leave for my own sake.

Over the next two months months, everything fell back to the way things were. It was mid-October, with leaves spilled around the house like coloured pencil shavings. The piles, dicing the garden into neat, unfair portions, and me, stuck inside with no prospect of a job anytime soon. I blamed the economy but I blamed my criminal record even more. I spent nearly every night on the internet, submitting my CV’s to as many job vacancies as possible. I did this under Faye’s radar, mainly because I felt she would disapprove.

It was nice that Faye and I were growing closer each day, a little too close I might add, but I also noticed we had become increasingly isolated from the outside world. Faye had everything from groceries to household appliances delivered right to the doorstep. When I asked when she would be returning to work, she just told me she was taking extended leave. Despite being closer to her, I dared not ask why she was taking so much time off in case she took another turn for the worst. That was the last thing I wanted.

Faye continued to brush my hair every day, insisting that I refrain from getting it cut. It did not make much of a difference whether I cut it or not because I barely left the front gate anyway, but admittedly, I was growing tired of having to brush hair away from my line of sight. My body remained bare and smooth as can be but I also noticed my skin was physically softer, tenderer, and less coarse. I guessed it was a result of the scented baths she made up for me every day. I couldn’t fathom why she insisted on keeping me this way.

One day, when I was helping Faye wash up after lunch, the telephone rang for the first time in weeks. I quickly acted and dashed to it before Faye could even think about picking it up. I was hoping it would be someone calling about a job interview, and I was right, it was. The call was from the manager at Cost Savers, a local supermarket in town that I applied to a few weeks ago. The lady on the phone wanted to see me for an interview the following morning and I gleefully accepted, noticing the concerned look on Faye’s face as she watched me, arms crossed, and leaning against the kitchen doorframe.

“Who was that?” she asked, trying her best to sound nonchalant.

“That was the manager from Cost Savers downtown!” I said excitedly. “They want to see for an interview tomorrow morning. Isn’t that great?”

After a long, cold pause, Faye forced a crooked smile, and said, “Of course, sweetheart. That’s wonderful news.”

She was clearly saddened so I walked over to her, riding on a surge of confidence, and hugged her. Even I was surprised in doing this. “Everything will be fine,” I said softly. My nose filled with the strawberry scent of her hair. “If I get this job I promise nothing will change. You can’t even begin to imagine how much I appreciate what we’ve built over the past few months but it’s time for me to get by on my own steam and move on. Faye I -,”

Faye broke from my embrace and pushed herself away from my grasp, tears welling up in her eyes. “I thought it was Mom,” she said, eyes burning as she turned and left through the kitchen. She left me in silence so I could contemplate my thoughts. Once again, I felt emotionally blackmailed but I knew we would both have to adjust if I were to get the job. I felt terrible when I knew I should not. I had to move on and start a fresh life of my own.

Dinner was very quiet that evening, nothing but the sound of cutlery scraping and clinking against the plates and the howling wind outside. Faye finished hers first and quietly left without words. With my appetite suddenly vanquished, I sat there spacing about for about ten minutes, pondering how I should deal with Faye. I did not want to fall into her trap by playing her emotional mind games again yet I desperately wanted to resolve our differences. I had to stay strong, resilient, and not give in by saying what she wants to hear.

Suddenly, my vision dimmed and my sense of smell heightened, which made my stomach tremble with terrible nausea. I could smell everything. I clambered to my feet, chair scraping against the floor, as I felt blood rushing to my ears. My head suddenly felt too heavy for my body. Before I could steady myself on the table, I felt the floor rise up and smash against my face, plunging me deep into nothingness.

*

I felt like I was in the basement forever. I was surrounded by near darkness, chained to a metal pillar that helped keep the house upright. The only way out was through the door at the top of the wooden staircase, which was locked and barricaded from the other side. I had no food, no water, and no bed. I sat up, but scrunched in a ball, rubbing my arms together for warmth. Yet no matter how hard I tried, the cold always managed to get underneath my clothes. I was so hungry that my stomach ached. The inside of my mouth felt like sandpaper. I needed food and water before I seriously harmed myself.

I kept thinking about the note Faye had left beside my head when I woke up. I’m sorry it had to come to this so soon but if I don’t have your further compliance then you shall remain down here until you’re thinking more clearly. Now I really knew the truth, I was being held prisoner by my own stepmother, but for what cause? Did she not want me to leave that badly or did she want something else? My instincts told me it was the latter, which deeply unsettled me to the core. If she was willing to blackmail me with my own health and safety, then what she really wanted had to be something big and special.

Of course, I missed my job interview at the supermarket, which infuriated me. I spent hours shouting and screaming just to piss Faye off but it led to nothing. I had Dad’s stubbornness so I was willing to wait there for as long possible, just to spite the crazy bitch. However, that changed late into the second day when the emptiness in my stomach hit me hard and painfully. My belly gurgled and grumbled in protest as sharp stabs reigned havoc around my abdomen, bones trembling and creaking under the weight of the meat and muscle it held together so tightly. My lips, which I could barely open, were scabbed and dry.

I realised the game was over. I knew the only way out was to comply with whatever Faye wanted so I used what little strength I had to shout, “Okay I’ll do whatever you want! Just let me out of here!” Unsure if she even heard me, I shouted repeatedly until finally heard movement from upstairs. After listening to the barricade being removed and the door unlocking, light poured into the basement, blinding me senseless, and Faye was nothing but a silhouette gliding down the stairs – a dark angel descending to take my hand.

She unchained me and practically carried me up the stairs with my arm thrown over her shoulder. My vision was blurred so I could barely see as she led me through the house and up the stairs with immense struggle. I asked several times for water but she only said, “In a moment, dear.” I did not have the strength for impatience, only desperation. She brought me into the bathroom, shaved, and bathed me. I drank some of the water despite it being layered with sweet smelling lotions and my own dirt.

After that, she sat me on the toilet seat facing away from her. I could hear rummaging before she removed the towel from my head. She began combing my hair, pulling it out with sharp tines before wrapping a section with something hot, repeating this many times until all of my hair was covered. As my vision slightly improved, I was startled to see the flash of scissors as dark auburn hair floated down by my face. I tried to get up but a firm hand on my shoulder held me down.

Next, I was taken into Faye’s bedroom where I collapsed onto the bed naked. She pulled me up again, telling me to stand still while she fetched something from her closet. I stared at the mirror on her wall, utterly dazed out of my mind, barely noting that my hair had been dyed and cut into a feminine do. I felt something wrap around my waist and clinching until the breath was driven from my lungs. I then felt tight underwear being pulled up my legs, which sunk into uncomfortable places, followed by my legs being encased in soft, flimsy material that felt oddly sensual against my smooth skin.

I immediately let myself fall backwards onto the bed after Faye gave me permission to do so. As I gazed at the ceiling, I thought I was going to pass out again, but the jangling and clanging sound of chains snapped me back into the waking world. I could feel my feet being played with and something being attached. I was soon fed some oatmeal by a spoon, albeit forcefully. Even though it warmed my cold, beaten belly, it still hurt all the same. I had not eaten in days. I gulped down a lot of water and I immediately felt better but exhausted.
The last thing I remembered seeing and hearing was Faye, standing over me, smiling. “Don’t worry, sweetheart,” she whispered. “We’ll build you back up soon. You won’t even know yourself.”

*

I was growing tired of waking up, feeling awful, and not knowing where I was. This place, however, was underneath my own soft, heavy blankets. I was warm but there were so many parts of my body aching that I did not know which one to address first. My waist was sore, not only because of the hunger but because of the corset clinching it. I threw the blankets off, shocked to find my legs adorned with black, transparent hosiery. I was also wearing a pair of four-inch heels that attached to a pair of steel shackles, chaining my feet close together.

I panicked and took a step forward, tripped over the tangled chains, and slammed against the wooden floor. I slowly picked myself up, groaning in pain as I sat up straight against the side of the bed. I was panting, feeling like there was not enough air getting into my lungs. I touched the corset, seeing if I could reach the fasteners from behind but to no use. It compressed my straight waist into something of a slight hourglass. I wanted answers, not soon, not later, but now. I weakly clambered to my feet, trying my best to retain balance over the lofty heels. The chains forced me into taking small steps towards the door, which suddenly flung open, and there stood Faye.

“I thought I heard a bang,” she said causally. “Oh darling are you okay?”

In that instant, I looked right at her, stunned by her undisturbed blasé, so false, I could not help but laugh. “You drugged me and locked me in the basement for days without food and water because -,” I stopped because I could not hold in my laughter. It was too ridiculous. “You locked me in the basement because you want me to look like a woman! Now – and now you’re asking me if I’m okay?”

I could tell Faye did not expect this reaction from me, and to be honest, neither did I. I guess I was just over exhausted and frustrated with the past few days. She took a step back, almost fearing my apparent lack of understanding. She wanted me to be scared.

“If you wanted me to dress up like a whore, you could’ve just asked!” I laughed.

“I’m not asking you to do anything!” Faye shot back, strutting forward to face me closer. “You don’t get to decide anything here but -,”

“So were you always crazy or is this just a recent thing, because if I remember correctly, you’ve always been a bit of a cunt.”

For saying that, Faye slapped me across the face, hard and brutal. The pain filled my entire head. Nursing my sore cheek with my hand, I turned and said, “I thought you changed but you’re so much worse than I remember.”

“Oh please, did you really think I could ever love you after what you did!”

My heart dropped. She knew where to attack me and it was already working. “Stop right there,” I said coldly. “This is completely unwarranted so don’t you dare talk about -,”

“Oh don’t talk about how you STOLE from me and ended up killing a girl in the process!”

Faye had backed me into a corner and I had nowhere to run. She moved in closer, taking my chin in her fingers so she could look right into my eyes with force. “I don’t understand how you can live with yourself,” she said, eyes wide and shaking her head. “How do you do it, Brian?”

I could feel the horrible guilt spilling from my eyes once more. Such heavy pressure was inflicted upon my chest. I thought I was going to suffocate under it. “I’ve wondered that every day since that morning,” I said, voice cracking under the immense sea of emotions.

“You must feel inconsolable,” said Faye, leering into my eyes.

I nodded.

“Angst-ridden?”

“Yes,” I said, quietly sobbing.

“Accountable?”

I nodded and I closed my eyes, spilling even more tears down my cheeks. “…y-yes,” I said.

“Oh Brian,” said Faye, stroking the tears away from my sore cheek. “I’m so sorry if I led you to believe that I could love you like a son, but I’m afraid I don’t love what you are, rather, what you could be. This brutish, reckless criminal that you once were, you should cast him aside and start over.”

“But I don’t want this,” I sobbed.

“No, I don’t expect you to but if you put your trust in me then I promise that I can guide you towards a better life, a life without memory of the past, a life you could learn to love. Isn’t that what you want?”

I had no idea what to say. I was all over the place, feeling like my thoughts were scattered in several different places at once. All I could feel was pure woe and it was inexcusable.

“You don’t want to let the past win by slowly consuming you, do you?” said Faye, impatiently throwing her hands up. “You don’t want the authorities to find out you’ve been dealing again?”

I did not understand, as if my brain short-circuited and needed to be rebooted. Around me, everything was in fast-forward while I was motionless in the middle of it all. Then, as if a light bulb switched on in my head, I realised she was threatening to frame me for dealing if I did not comply. Words caught in my throat, I tried to protest but I realised she firmly had me under her thumb. “Y-You wouldn’t really do that to me, would you?”

“After the past few days, would you dare question what I’m capable of again?” said Faye. “The only choice I’m giving you is how you want to deal with this, the easy way or the hard way.”

Turning on her heels, Faye left my room, victoriously looking over her shoulder with a slight smirk on her lips. She was warning me. I stood there in my room, feeling utterly ridiculous in my corset and heels. I sat down and attempted to remove the shackles with all my might but it was useless. I noticed something engrained on the inside of the shackle around my ankle. It was a little red light, flashing. I had no idea what they looked like but I was sure it was a tracking device. Fuck. I squeezed and pulled at the high heels until I had no strength left, falling back onto the bed, and feeling like a wheezy windbag.

There seemed to be no way out of Faye’s twisted game but I felt certain I could escape somehow. The main issue was money. I had to get out of the house without her noticing but that would be near impossible since she was always by my side, and if I’m being tracked, she could easily hunt me down. The only option now was to play her little game, at least for a while, until I had the resources and finances to prepare an escape. There was no way I was letting her turn me into a girl. No way whatsoever.

*

In November, winter arrived after lacerating hurricanes and whining winds had come and gone, leaving a terrible calmness for weeks on end. The skies above the house were an unholy mixture of shale-grey and pasty streaks. Callous winter was stifling the world with its icy breath, and I was beginning to feel it creep into my miserable little existence.

Shortly after our bitter confrontation, Faye completely cut us off from the outside world by ridding the house of all communication, including the telephone, cell phones, and the internet. I guessed she was hiding these from me so I could not seek help for my house arrest. She always had the doors and windows locked; only opening them when deliveries arrived. I was sure she was keeping an internet modem somewhere.
Every morning, I would have to wake up at eight o’clock and take my morning bath before being forced back into my corset and heels. After that, I would go downstairs and help Faye make the breakfast, wearing only a crème chiffon bathrobe for the whole day, as if I were attending some sort of leisurely spa. More like a horror house. Then, the lessons would commence.

Faye told me I had to wear the heels and corset not only to shape my body but also to improve my posture and feminine manner. She made me walk around the house, balancing a book on my head so I could learn to be “graceful”, as she so often put it. My stride was limited to shorter steps than I was used to due to the restrictive chains but I knew that was her intention all along. I felt like a fool, parading around in ridiculous attire while she supervised my every move.

“No no no, stop what you are doing,” she would frequently bark. “You’re moving your shoulders too much. Girls use their hips to guide their stride. You need to be more fluid with your movements.”

I stumbled, fell over, and nearly twisted my ankle several times until I showed the slightest improvement. Alas, I’m afraid learning to carry myself more effeminately was merely one of many lessons I was forced to take each day. Faye taught me how to cook, clean, and sort out the laundry into different washes. She started giving me lessons on female hygiene and how to apply makeup. This was by far my worst area and I had “a lot of progress to make”, as Faye so kindly put it. As if I cared that I could not apply makeup. It just did not compute.

Faye also bought dozens of books, magazines, and girly literature online, forcing me to learn about everything from the latest pop stars life stories to teen romance novels. In order to be sure that my brain was absorbing all the information, Faye made me write up summaries and reports. If I failed the assignment, I would have to reread the material again until I knew it cover-to-cover. It was tough, but despite the tedium, reading those novels felt like a form of escapism, even if they did make me cringe. The magazines were just awful.

What I watched on television also changed from drama and sports to teen soaps and trashy reality shows, and like everything else, I was expected to report. The house was always filled with the latest chart music, blaring on the stereo, and repeatedly playing until I knew the lyrics of every song. It was torturous because they all sounded the same to me but they were irritatingly catchy. I felt like I was losing my mind because all I could think about was girly things when I did not want to. I usually felt doped out of my mind because of a resistance-dampening drug Faye often slipped into my food, head constantly swimming in a haze, but at least it kept me from freaking out.

I could not find an avenue for escape as I had hoped. I was fearful of how far I would have to sink into femininity until I could find a way to leave. Faye was literally beside me every moment of the day. She even made me sleep in her bed every night with the shackles still around my ankles, tracking devise intact. Sometimes, in the darkest of the night, I would quietly and skilfully leave the bed and search the room for the house keys, but to my often-felt disappointment, I never found them.

Another night, I learned where my boundaries lay when I managed to pick the lock of the back kitchen door. It took many nights of trial and error but I succeeded triumphantly. You cannot begin to imagine the relief I felt when I heard the lock clicking, but the moment my foot set out into that cold, snowy night, I heard a sharp noise ring from upstairs. I felt my stomach flip over as if I were about to get sick. The light on my tracking device was rapidly bleeping. My first instinct was to run as fast as my shackles would allow me. And so I did.

As I scuttled through the garden, frost engulfed my legs as I trudged through two feet of snow, getting deeper the further I got away from the house. Teeth chattering, arms together, I was already freezing to the bone. Basked in darkness, I walked right into the tall fence at the back of the garden. I jumped, attempting the grab the top with my hands but I failed spectacularly. A sharp pain shot down my back. I tried again several times, realising that momentum was impossible in a corset and heels.

I was blinded in the beam of Faye’s flashlight. She silently grabbed and dragged me into the house by my hair. I kicked and screamed as loudly as I could into the dead of night, hoping, praying that somebody might hear me. She towed me through the utility, violently shivering, and awkwardly staggering like a newborn foal. She threw me into the basement without saying a single word. I was expected to stay there until she felt I was ready to come out, which gave me a lot of time to think about her proposal.

The only choice I’m giving you is how you want to deal with this, the easy way or the hard way.

I could not hit any lower. I certainly chose the hard way and it was causing me a lot of unbearable pain. I wanted it to stop. Since I got out of prison, I probably cried more than I did in a lifetime. I could not fathom where my sudden hypersensitivity came from as I dealt with far worse abuse in jail. That is, until I reached an obvious conclusion, one that I felt was coming for some time. I think I knew Faye was spiking my food with hormones all along but I was choosing to ignore it. I had faith in our blossoming mother/son relationship, which turned out to be nothing more than a trap and I unwittingly fell into it. How could I always be so naïve?

I convinced myself that Faye was not capable of such things, to permanently alter my appearance and brain chemistry, to turn me into the daughter she could never have. I was stupid to trust her turnaround after she treated me with such disdain all my life, but I was paying for it now, the hard way, as she labelled it. In that moment, it seemed like the best option for me would be to consider taking the so-called easy way, at least for a while until another escape opportunity arose. In that instant, I wondered if I was lying to myself yet again, as a means to convince myself that there was hope left when there was clearly none.

Jess crept back into my thoughts with harsh intensity. No matter how hard I tried, she was always there in the shadows of the basement, waiting for me to fight a battle I had no chance of winning. I felt like I was losing my mind. The guilt ate away at me, changing me, making me feel like I deserved it all. There was no escape from her face - no forgiveness, no chance, no redemption, just guilt.

I spent over a day in the basement when my punishment was surprisingly cut short. Faye took me straight to the kitchen where she had some bread and cereal waiting for me. I jumped at it right away, shovelling, and slurping the breakfast into my mouth. Faye looked like she had a bad taste in her mouth while she watched me eat. Eyes ablaze with sternness, she grabbed my chin and forced me to look at her the second I finished eating.

“I’ve just given you ONE strike,” she said, leering. She scraped my chin with the pointed red nail of her thumb. “There won’t be another. What you did the last night is unforgivable. I should cast you out onto the streets and let hoodlums have their way with you!” Her eyes were swimming in tears as she played with my jaw. “I clearly explained to you that it did not have to go down this way, but you had to make this tougher for the both of us. You just had to spoil what was to come. Do you think I enjoy hurting you, do you?”

Initially, it seemed like she did not enjoy it and she was telling the truth, but I did not want to make the same mistakes all over again by trusting her. So I just told her what she wanted to hear. “No,” I said coolly. “No, I don’t think you do.”

“Well then!” she bellowed, letting go of my chin. “You ought to learn something from this. Please don’t put us both through this again, especially today.”

“What’s today?”

Faye dipped her hand into a black bag and threw out a pair of jeans and flannel shirt, the very outfit I left prison with over four months ago. “Get dressed,” she said lowly. “We have to go to the dentist this morning. I forgot you were getting your braces tightened today. It completely slipped my mind. We’re late so hurry up!”

It was strange being back in my old clothes after being accustomed to silk and satin for some time. Gazing into the mirror, I suddenly noticed that I looked a lot softer compared to when I left prison. My skin was excessively smooth and a little too clear for a man of my age. My dark auburn hair was almost tickling against my shoulders, shinier and silkier than it once was. I tied up the hair, hiding it underneath a hat as per Faye’s instructions. I had to be myself for the day. It messed me up inside.

Even stranger than wearing my regular clothes again was being outside for the first time in months. We were in darkest of winter but my eyes still took time to adjust. I still had my tracker hidden from view further up my trouser leg so I would not be able to run. The second we shut the car doors, the locks went down, preventing me from any desire to leap out and escape. Faye wore her anxiety as obviously as her red a-line skirt. She was nervous about taking me outside, understandably so since I was technically her prisoner. I could easily alert a passerby of what she was doing to me.

Despite having some breakfast, I still felt incredibly weak and malnourished. When we parked the car outside the dentist, Faye unlocked her own door, walked around the bonnet, and took me out of the car with an extremely firm grip on my hand. I grunted in pain but she refused to loosen her grasp until the nurse called me into surgery. She followed me in, much to the nurse’s protest, but she insisted that she be near me at all times. She certainly was not going to risk leaving me alone with anyone. A new wire was inserted onto my braces before being tightened, making me wince with discomfort.

I could not keep my eyes off Dr. Bisley. After all, he was the first person I saw in months. I could feel a war of loyalties brewing in my head. It was the perfect opportunity to expose my stepmother for what she was doing to me. After I rinsed my mouth of the foul glue, I felt a surge of confidence rise up from within. However, such hopes were quickly diminished when I caught a glance of Faye warning me with her ferocious glare.

“So when are you going to re-open your practice, Faye?” Dr. Bisley asked, as he pulled his rubber gloves from his hands.

“Not for some time, Robert, but when I do, I’m afraid it will be in a different town.”

“You’re moving?” said Dr. Bisley, shocked. He genuinely seemed taken aback. “But you’ve been practising in this town for years. You’re one of the best. Why leave?”

“I guess Brian and I could do with a change.”

Deeper, the urge to shout fell, until I could no longer handle it. I could feel a freight train running through my chest, palms clammy, and head spinning out of control. I looked at Faye, who sensed I was highly troubled so she quickly thanked Dr. Bisley, ushered me out of the surgery, and into the car. I was glad we were going back to my prison but I was not sure why. I guessed I could not stand seeing Faye and I so anxious. Then, I realised that I was truly silenced with an invisible, intangible, gag in my mouth. Stuck in a pit of self-consciousness, I needed to get out before it was too late. I built up my courage only for it to go south, fearing what might pour out between my lips. I was locked in a miserable cage I had built for myself along with the true feelings I was forced to repress.

“You’re probably wondering why I didn’t tell you we’re moving, no?” said Faye. I did not answer, choosing to stare out of the window with no desire to talk. Faye sighed wearily as she pulled the car to a halt outside the house. “I’ll keep you in touch with things once this transformation period is over with.” She led me into the house by which time I was forced back into my corset, garter, and heels. I was shocked to find the wires on my braces were now bright pink, just like a teenage girls would be. “You must be famished,” she said, firmly tightening the straps. “I’ll rustle you up something right away.”

I lost my appetite back in the surgery. There was only one thing I felt I could ingest and that was one of those tranquiliser pills Faye often slipped into my food. I could only hope she did the same now because I hated being hyperaware of what was happening to me. Looking down at my body, I could not help but feel humiliated despite being alone. Were my nipples always that dark, or was it just me, I thought. I placed my hand flat on my right pec, noting that it appeared to be softer, fleshier, and not quite as hard as I was used to, but only ever so slightly.

Oh no, I thought.

*
After a few dry weeks, Christmas arrived with the drop of a single snowflake on the sunroof of my bedroom ceiling. Curled up on the wicker chair, sipping hot coco in my chiffon robe, I intently watched the small crisp white flakes of ice slowly drift down from the gloomy skies. My heart moaned because it meant it was the end of an otherwise shitty year and the beginning of a new one filled with the unknown.

Over the weeks, my lessons with Faye continued with military intensity. Initially, to perfect a feminine walk seemed like an easy undertaking but there was far more to it than I could have possibly imagined. Faye said I was exaggerating my stride in a cartoonish fashion so she practically dragged the subtly out of me with constant practising, all day every day, among countless other lessons in femininity.

“The reason the high heels are locked onto your feet is to change your centre of gravity and exaggerate the forward curve of your spine. This helps release the hips, which will naturally feminise your movements,” said Faye, walking alongside me to and fro the living room. “Yes, that’s it, remember to keep your shoulders still when you walk because…”

“It forces me to use my hips for balance, I know,” I said moodily.

“Yes, but you keep watching your steps,” said Faye. “A girl always keeps her chin parallel to the ground with her arms kept at her sides. And do try to keep your shoulder blades an inch closer together.”

Wash, rinse, and repeat, it was very much like the routine lifestyle I led in prison. I repeated the instructions until I found my rhythm. I even managed to balance the book on my head for a whole day, gracefully moving from day-to-day task until it became unconsciously habitual. Since I was being watched constantly, I was forced into keeping my feminine walk until it became second nature to me, despite how ridiculous I initially felt.

After I perfected my walk, Faye believed it was time to take control of how people understand me and begin work on feminising my voice. “The body and manner is one thing but it’s the voice that makes the girl!” she would say repeatedly. While Faye carefully listened, I would read from my romance novels as she tutored and requested changes in the pitch, dynamic range, enunciation, and finally, body language. When we watched our girly TV shows, she would often pause it, and make me emulate what I saw on screen. My hatred of all this soon morphed into careful subservience so I could get to my one joy at the end of each day, which was sleeping. I liked to sleep a lot.

Seeing as my twenty-third birthday came and went by completely ignored, Faye definitely made more of an occasion out of Christmas day. I awoke that morning, rolled over in the bed to find that she was not there, but at her makeup station instead, humming jingle bells as she applied mascara to her lashes. She was fully clad in a red lace cheongsam with elbow length sleeves and an above-knee hemline, very Christmassy indeed.

“Oh, good morning!” she said, startled. She came over to the bed, beaming from ear-to-ear with her arms outstretched, and kissed me on the forehead. “Merry Christmas, sweetheart! Do you want to see your presents?”

Truly, I did not want to see my presents because I knew she they would be some sort of tool to further my unwilling feminisation. So I just said, “Happy Christmas, Mom,” because I knew that was what she wanted to hear. I called her Mom now because she would probably freak out if I did not. I went to toilet and showered, washing and rinsing my hair with the appropriate lotions as I had been taught. When I went back to the room, I knew something special was in store for me when I saw the excited look on Faye’s face.

“Come over to the station here so I can do your makeup and hair,” she said, ushering me to the bench with a smile. “I want you to look extra special for today.”

I nervously sat down while she worked on my face, poking, brushing, and dabbing with utter determination. I remembered each step in my head while she applied the concealer, foundation, highlights, depth, contouring, and of course, that little bit of rosy blush. My eyebrows were plucked and thinned with added shadow, whilst my lashes were thickened and enriched with eyeliner and mascara. My lips were cleansed with balm, outlined, and carefully coated with vibrant red lipstick. She proceeded to work on my bob haircut, which was nearly long enough to reach my shoulders at this point.

Faye told me to wait by the station so she could fetch my presents downstairs. Through the corner of my eyes, I glanced at my face in the mirror, and quickly turned away, muttering, “That’s not me. That’s definitely not me,” until I told myself it was only makeup.

Faye came back with a couple parcels in her arms. She watched me closely as I opened each one. My heart skipped a beat when I tore the paper from the first. Beneath the box lid and wrappings was a black and red plaid party dress with a high waist skirt that flared into an a-line and lengthened to the knees. I looked at Faye, mouth open and knowing that she wanted me to wear it right now. The second present was a pair of red t-strapped heels.

“Isn’t absolutely gorgeous?” she said, gleaming with joy.

I had no words. At Faye’s request, I hesitantly took off my robe, letting it crumple around my feet, skin bare and naked. Circling and eyeing me like a work of art, she handed me a pair of crème mesh knickers with a decorative bow on the front. I could feel my cheeks getting hotter and hotter, and wondered if my stepmother was as mortified as I was. However, she appeared to revel in the moment I pulled them up my legs and adjusted them snugly around my bum and thighs.

“You’re getting quite small downstairs,” said Faye into my ear, playfully running her fingers through my hair. She hugged me from behind, cupping my chest in a matching padded push up bra. Stuffing it with some socks, she fastened the straps until it firmly held everything in place. “It won’t be long before we have real boobies filling these cups.”

I was traumatised, frozen to the spot as she tightened the corset around my waist. I looked at the girl staring back at me from the mirror, seeing nothing short of disgust on her face, almost hatred, as her face reddened like a beetroot. My legs refused to move, too shocked, too embarrassed, as Faye pulled the dress down over my head. She adjusted it and pulled it out into neat, elegant portions before pulling up the zipper, and forcing me into the lofty four-inch pumps. No chains attached but the tracking device still intact around my ankle.

When I saw the pretty girl staring back at me in the mirror, I wanted the world to crack open and swallow me up. But there was no rescue from this embarrassment. It was absolute, torture, utter humiliation. In that moment, I knew the memory would be seared into my brain forever, ready to pop up and torment me again in my quietest moments. The way my perky bosom poked out, and then thinned around the waist with the skirt flaring out my hips, made me feel sickeningly effeminate. This wasn’t who I was supposed to be.

“From now on, you shall not be known as Brian Philips, but as my daughter, Ms. Emily Davenport,” said Faye, peering over my shoulder into the reflection. “Actually, Ellie has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? I’ve always liked that name. We still have a long way to go but I expect you to attend yourself in this fashion from now on. The New Year is going to bring a lot of changes with it, honey, so embrace it, feel girlish, and I promise you contentment.”

I spent the rest of the day feeling utterly mystified. It was strange looking down at my bosom while I ate my turkey dinner, which was most likely pumped full of feminising hormones. My exposed arms and legs made me feel self-conscious because of how thin they were. I had to keep my legs together at all times or I would show my knickers underneath. I opened more presents, disappointed once again to find the latest album from Union X, a boyband Faye made me listen to frequently.

“I’ve heard you whistling their hits so I assumed they would be your favourite,” she said.

At this point, it was clear that Faye wanted me as a teenage daughter, despite my real age being twenty-three. I sat on the couch in front of the fireplace, stomach full, and head swimming once again. With my back straight and knees together, I listened to Faye play Silent Night on the piano. I sipped some coca-cola, feeling the fizziness sting my eyes. I wanted to drink something stronger but Faye would not allow it.

As much as I tried to hold it in, the shock of everything that was happening to me came out like an uproar from my throat in the form of a silent scream. Beads of water started falling down my cheeks one after another, without a sign of stopping. The world turned into a blur, and so did all the sounds. The taste. The smell. Everything was gone. It was Christmas day, but in that instance, I yearned for prison. At least I was myself when I was inside.

*

The New Year arrived with the whack of a mallet, thumping down a large FOR SALE sign outside the front gate. I watched from upstairs as the burly man from the property agency dusted off his hands and left in his van. I had no idea why Faye wished to sell my childhood home but I guessed she did not want locals questioning why she suddenly had a teenage daughter, if she ever allows me to leave the house, that is.
I tried my best to get my head around her motives. If I were to fully transition, what would happen after that? I thought about it so much, concocting countless scenarios in my head until I no longer feared it. In fact, I did not feel anything. I became so hollow and bereft of response that I stopped resisting altogether and made no plans of escape. A part of me told me that I deserved what was happening to me. I hated myself.

The changes in my body seemed to accelerate as the cold dark winter turned into a dream of spring. My appetite increased as briskly as my manhood shrank. The more I ate over the months, the more weight I gained, but not in the usual places. Paying attention to the subtle changes was tough as they developed slowly with time, but every now and then, I would catch a quick glance of what was happening to me. I noticed that my thin, bony arms were filling out with soft, supple flesh along with a few pounds of fat seemingly forming around my hips, rear, and legs. The jagged ends of my bones that had always protruded through the skin of my emaciated limbs were no longer noticeable, but smoothened out into soft, feminine proportions.

I’ll never forget the morning when I was walking down the upstairs hallway and felt the brush of my chiffon robe against my nipples. It sent sensual shivers down my spine, hairs standing, and goosebumps forming on my skin. I unrobed, disturbed to find flesh beneath the areola, poking my nipples slightly outwards. My shortened penis twitched for the first time in months, a libido I thought to be long extinguished. To my complete horror, I was developing breasts.

March brought the worst period of my life with it. The house sold for a hefty sum of money, which immediately set the next phase of Faye’s plan in motion. In the early hours of a nameless morning, she woke me up, urgently telling me to get dressed. “We have a very a long journey ahead of us,” she said, throwing the blankets from my body.

I got up, rubbed the sleep from my eyes, and asked what was going on but she simply repeated her orders. She had me put on a pair of black high waisted jeans that hugged my legs rather snugly with a loose white belly top and flats. She led me to the car and we drove for hours on end until we reached a private estate with tall, red-bricked walls encircling it.

“Hi there,” said Faye, speaking into the intercom by the gate pillar. “Faye Davenport speaking, I have an appointment booked with Dr. Ford.”
There was a cackled pause from the intercom. “Uh yes, come on up, he’s expecting you,” said a distorted female voice.

I had ideas of what was about to happen but I did not want to admit it. I was dazed out of my mind, feeling tranquil and weak as the colours of the neat, floral arrangements up the driveway swirled and melted into one another. I was drugged once again, and despite the severity of my situation, my inhibitions and fears dampened. There would be no escape attempt today. The next thing I remember was the smell of ink and a marker stroking across my face. Through my hazy, blurred vision, I recognised the man who was drawing on me but I could not pinpoint where I saw him before. He looked vaguely familiar.

I started to feel scared. I asked several times where I was but I received no answer. I was stripped of my clothing, gowned, and wheeled down a clinical corridor with my head hanging backwards, lights flashing by my eyes. “Wh-what is going on?” I slurred, feeling sickly as we took a sharp corner turn. I was assisted out of my chair and placed on a surgical bed. “I don’t want to be here,” I said, repeatedly. “Please stop, I don’t want this. Please.”

I was so out of my mind that I was unsure if the words even left my lips but I do remember feeling a tremendous plunge when I was placed on a flat surgical bed. Eyes darting in every direction, I caught a glimpse of Faye, looking on from behind a glass shield with a indomitable look on her face. This was bad; this was really, really bad. The familiar doctor’s face swam into view above me, placing a mask on my mouth, and forcing me to inhale the anaesthesia until I drifted into nothingness.

I woke up feeling as if no time had passed. Initially, I thought I was at home in my own bed but this felt different, less comfortable, and artificial. The bed sheets felt like they were made of paper. I was in foreign territory. I rolled onto my side, feeling a slight sting in between my legs. Every part of my face ached. I was looking through two eyeholes, suddenly realising my head was completely wrapped in bandages. Before I could even muster what little strength I had to panic, I felt cool liquid engulf my arm and I was soon fast asleep once again.

I’m not sure exactly how much time I spent in that clinic but it felt like a long time. I drifted in and out of consciousness, noting what parts of me had changed due to where the pain was located. I did not have the strength or courage to explore my altered body. I just lay on my back every waking moment with Faye by my side, softly singing me sweet lullabies as she stroked my hand. I cried a lot, very much aware of what was happening to me but also knowing that I was completely powerless. It was a waking nightmare.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into two months, and soon, I was taken off the drugs and allowed to roam freely around the clinic. I hated my head being so clear so I begged to be put back on the meds. However, Dr. Ford insisted there was no need for them anymore, only light painkillers. I also finally recognised who he was, a disgraced plastic surgeon who performed illegal operations and was caught in the act years ago. I remembered Faye often spoke of him with revulsion because she knew him in medical school. She certainly did not treat him as such now, instead likening him to be some sort of liberator or hero.

I seemed to be the only patient in the private homerun clinic. I would sit in the recovery room, gazing out onto the green lawns and woodland acreage, feeling numb both physically and mentally. When I saw what he did to my genitals, I quickly slipped into a state of shock that lasted for days. He had removed my testicles but the scrotum remained, hanging loose beneath my tiny two-inch penis. He explained that this was done by the instruction of Faye so that my body would no longer produce testosterone, allowing the increased dosage of hormones to completely feminise me through and through.

When Dr. Ford removed the support garment from my waist, he informed me that I had undergone a butt lift to make my rear rounder and more refined. Any slight movement caused me pain whenever I sat but he insisted that the swelling would go down while the garment helped my skin reset and provide support for the implants. He offered me blind consolation in saying that it was the best work he had done on a patient yet. The day to remove the bandages from my face arrived with great dread on my behalf, yet Faye was reeling with anticipation. I winced in pain while Dr. Ford carefully unravelled each bandage, bit-by-bit, until I felt the air kiss my skin for the first time in weeks. I moved my jaw around, clicking and creaking, as I stretched out my facial muscles. It felt very different right away.

“Oh my,” said Faye, hands clasped to her mouth in shock. She seemed to be getting emotional as tears welled up in her bright, glassy eyes. “Oh my word.”

“So you like it then?” said Dr. Ford, proudly folding his arms.

“I cannot believe I slandered your name for years, Dr. Ford. You have serious talent,” said Faye, utterly gobsmacked, as she inspected me closer. “When will the swelling go down?”

“In about two weeks. You’re free to go home and recover if you wish.”

I closed my eyes, trying my best to mentally fly away from that moment. All I could hear was the faint sounds of medical equipment beeping and chiming, while the wind blew through the transparent curtains. And then, an image of Jess suddenly popped into my head and I wondered what she would think of me now, her killer, standing in a clinic being cooed and awed at for an unwilling transformation. Something told me she would be laughing at me. I deserved everything that was to come. I could not live with myself any longer.

I was taken home to do the rest of my recovering there. I’ll never forget what it was like to stroke my neck, only to realise that my adams apple no longer existed, nothing but a seamless swan-like neck. As I sat in the passenger seat, I felt my fingers unconsciously drum against my knee, as if in rhythmic spasm. I was anxious to see what I looked like now yet I wanted to hold off the reveal for as long as possible. The moment we got back to the house, I marched to the nearest mirror with Faye objecting in tow, persisting that I should wait until I healed, but I could no longer wait.

That was when I saw her…

When I was nine years old, I fell from a tree, and plunged down ten feet onto the hard earth. The impact knocked every wisp of air from my lungs, and I lay there struggling to inhale, to exhale, to do anything. I felt the same horrible sensation overwhelm me in that very moment, trying to remember how to breathe, unable to speak, totally stunned as I gaped at the stranger looking back at me in the mirror.

I looked nothing like my true self. Despite the bruising and swelling, I immediately noticed that my thick, conk-like nose had been narrowed with the nostrils flared and brought into a button-like form. Cheeks no longer hallow and thin but filled in with pudginess, I was aghast by the endearing transformation. My jawline was softer and my chin was less pointed and more curved. My forehead appeared more prominent, vertically rounded, and smooth without stepping. Once I healed, I knew I would look like a very pretty girl.

“What have you done to me,” I whispered lowly. I turned to Faye, feeling my fists clench, and my teeth grinding. I was shaking when I started moving towards her. “You mutilated me. You changed my face. You – you -,”

I could see that Faye was scared, which made me happy. She took several steps back, swallowing down her fear with the lick of her lips. “Ellie, please, I know you’re upset but -,”

“DON’T FUCKING CALL ME THAT!” I roared, grabbing her by the arms and shaking her violently. I could see red, and in that moment, I thought Faye looked really fragile. “My name is Brian!” I screamed, feeling tears burning my bruised face. “My name is Brian!” I said again, loosening my tight grip on Faye, as an immense sea of emotions crept up my throat. I collapsed onto the floor in a heap, as if somebody had just cut the strings from my limbs, and I wailed until I could cry no more, eyes raw and voice hoarse.

Sobbing on the ground, feeling like a mess, I repeated the mantra, “My name is Brian,” over and over until I felt the slightest shred of calm. Faye joined me on the cold wooden floor and brought me into a warm embrace. I cried into her bosom, feeling the pain of realising that there was no going back from here on end. Parts of me were crumbling away, leaving me lifeless and hallow, which forced me to think about what would fill in the gap. I wondered if I should just nobly accept my fate and be the girl I was expected to be. It seemed easier than resistance, which was certainly futile. This was for life.

*

Summer crept across the land, igniting the weeds and grasses that grew in the cracked pavement outside the house. The muggy heat pressed on me, even sweating was no good. It trickled down my neck and back like warm soup. May was always been my favourite month. With the tracking device was removed from my ankle, I was free to roam the grassy gardens as I pleased. I could easily escape if I wanted but something told me I should not. Fear once kept me in check but now I did it all by myself. Parts of my identity chipped away, bit-by-bit, while the swelling on my face decreased and the bruising faded.

What emerged from beneath was a face I did not recognise, a face that I found difficult to accept as my own. My heart stopped every time I caught a quick glimpse of my reflection, and sometimes, I had to pinch my arm to remind myself that it was really happening. I spent most nights, mourning my lost manhood, cradling the empty scrotum between my legs while I quietly sobbed. My penis was so small, measuring no larger than an AAA battery. I would never father children, nor would I ever be physically turned on ever again.

Faye knew I was going through a tough time but that did not mean the lessons ceased. I continued practising my voice and mannerisms every day until it became unconscious and part of my everyday life. Despite knowing the lessons furthered my decent into girlhood, it still distracted me from being alone with my thoughts. Ironic, I know. My walk was flawless, further enhanced by my butt lift, which took a lot of time to get used to, underwear feeling ever so tight against my rear and hips. My hair now lengthened down to my shoulders while my budding breasts developed into an A-cup. I no longer had to wear my corset as my waist had been thinned down to a fine twenty-five inches.

I was well on my way to becoming Ellie.

Faye and I moved out in late May, packing all our furniture and belongings into one large truck. I did not feel a shred of sadness for my childhood home when pulled out of the driveway for the last time. I was happy to see it vanish in the rear view mirror. A year ago, I never could have imagined looking upon the place with such disdain, especially after I was so pleased to see it when I was released from prison. We drove for nine long hours until we reached a vast seascape that displayed the magnificent sun setting over the purple horizon.

The welcoming sign into Hazlebrook proudly claimed the oncoming seaside settlement to be “The Tidiest Town in the World,” which was certainly no exaggeration. Lush greenery and blooming flowers filled in all spaces that were not occupied by neat, well-kept businesses and houses. It was quaint, peaceful, and everyone looked like they were garbed in their Sunday best. “Isn’t this an adorable little town, Ellie?” Faye cooed. Indeed, it was.

We drove down the sea front, which was filled with typical resort businesses such as arcades, casinos, ice-cream parlours, restaurants, and gift shops. The faint whiff of seaweed and fish filled my nose. We drove until we reached the last house on the edge of town. It had a crooked stone wall with a rickety old gate at the front. It was large and square, whitewashed and worn, with a bright red door standing out in the centre. Waves crashed and tumbled against sharp rocks on the other side of the road. It looked like a postcard.

The next couple of weeks brought a surprising slice of contentment. My lessons were reduced and moved to a few hours in the evening where I would learn about makeup and clothes. The long hot days were spent painting and decorating the new house, which I enjoyed more than I expected. I wore denim dungaree short shorts and a white boat-necked t-shirt, all splattered with paint. I even found myself trying to hide a smile one day, as Faye and I both lavished the exterior walls in cream paint.

Several deliveries arrived at the house over the course of a few days, packages entering the front door in all shapes and sizes. Some were no bigger than a cereal box whereas others towered higher than a wardrobe. Faye locked herself away in my new bedroom while she carried out the long and careful process of decorating it the way she felt it should be. I was instructed to do some gardening, cutting down the overgrown lawn until it was neat and tidy. I hunkered down and made some pretty flowerbeds while I listened to my Union X album on my iPod. The music was growing on me because, well, it was the only music I had.

I often looked up, pausing for a moment to admire the beautiful landscape. The countryside stretched before me like a great quilt of golden, brown, and green squares held together by the thick green stitching of the hedgerows and the moss of grey stone. It rose and fell like giant waves on a gentle ocean, dotted with distant houses and villages. The sun was a radiant, all-watching eye, its light creeping into every corner, bathing it all in a warm glow.

While I worked, I thought about Dad a lot, wondering what he would think of me in that very moment. I liked to think he would be sitting on the tree stump next to me, bearded and shirtless, as he played on his acoustic guitar without words. As a kid, I never appreciated the constant sound of music flowing through the home, but now I yearned to hear him play me another song. I’ll never forget the morning when I heard the one he wrote for Mom, my real Mom, that is. The words forever seared into my brain when I crept into the garden shed that morning, only to find Dad gently picking the strings with his back turned against me.

Time and precious memories is all we’ve left behind
But one last kiss from you my friend
It’s time we said goodbye
Now I’m left here in this crazy world
Without you by my side
The love you gave for free
Was all too much for me
I’m just calling to let you know
To say hello, how I loved you so
And if I had a chance to let you see
How much you meant to me
Now I’m a misery

Dad was a good-hearted man who always had my best interests put before his own. In some respects, I do believe that my real Mom was always his one and only true love. I could never imagine him writing a song like that for Faye, especially if he knew what she was doing to me. But the dead cannot hear what’s happening in the living world. I turned my attention back to the garden, feeling very depressed, as I dug my trowel hard into the soil. I didn’t want to think about my parents nor did I need to think of them. All that mattered was the darn rock I had to remove from the earth, if I were to plant the beautiful lilies I wanted.

*

The house looked splendid inside and out by the time June came around. My room was finished but still out of bounds until Faye felt it was ready for me to see. One evening, while we ate dinner for the first night in the newly refurbished dining room, Faye went to the kitchen to fetch something. She was excited, which certainly spelled doom. I sat alone, startled, and jumping in my seat when the lights suddenly blacked out. She emerged from the kitchen door, face illuminated by candlelight with a big birthday cake in her hands. She was singing the happy birthday song. To say I was perplexed would be an understatement.

“Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Ellie! Happy birthday to you!” she sang heartily, placing the cake in front of me. It had a big candle shaped like the number sixteen in the middle. “Happy sixteenth birthday, darling!”

With no idea how to react, I chose to feign surprise as I clasped my hands to my mouth. It was real, genuine shock, but I think Faye suspected it as excitement. I blew out the candles, feeling my chest tighten, as my knees beneath the pleated skirt trembled. I was handed an envelope and I opened it to find a confusing, rather official looking document. It took me a moment to cop that it was a legal birth certificate for Ms. Emily Davenport, whose birthday was that very same day of June 7th, my new birthday. I had tons of questions, mainly about how Faye managed to get one made, but I could not think of anything to say, as I just watched seven years get knocked off my true age in the eyes of the law.
“Now would you like to see your new room?” said Faye, hands on my shoulders, as she leered into my eyes. “Come, come, it’s just up the stairs!”

In a state of shock, I was brought to my new room. Walls painted bright yellow and plastered with posters of boy bands and teen idols, most of which I recognised from all the literature I was forced to read about them. Teddy bears squished into every crevice around the light pink chest of drawers and makeup station, which was stocked full with makeup and hair products. There was also a walk in closet with the mirror door shut but the main feature that stood out was the proud, four-poster bed, adorned with yellow polka dotted dressings with fluffy rugs and mats thrown on the floor around it.

I stepped inside, nose filling with a strong, girlish scent. Feeling woozy, I turned to look at Faye whom was reeling in excitement, as she told me the whole story behind decorating it “for my tastes”. I blanked out while she harped on about various stores she bought from and how many bargains she caught. Feeling as though I were encased inside a bubble of my own, I glided around the room, hand stroking every surface as I absorbed my new quarters. I tuned in and out of Faye’s babbling until the word “school” caught my attention.

“Sorry what did you say there?” I said, spinning on my heels. Did I hear that correctly? I thought. I took a few steps closer. “There, just there, what did you say about school?”

“I said that I enrolled you for school in September,” said Faye, a little taken aback. “It’s only normal that a sixteen year old girl should have her education like everyone else. Don’t you want to have a decent career later in life?”

There were many things I wished to say in that instant, but I knew it would be pointless to even open my mouth. If I explained that I was a twenty-three old male who already had an education, I would be berated until I spoke no more. If I told her I was not her sixteen-year-old girl daughter, I would be punished until I could no longer bare the pain. If I told her to stop all this madness at once and let me be my true self, I would be blackmailed until I was whittled down into obedience. So I just stood there, stiff, and frozen like a statue as I took everything in. I knew I had to escape. There was no time left.

“Thanks for the new room, Mom,” I said in my most effeminate manner. “It’s so cute.”

*

I opened my eyes. In the dark stillness, I couldn’t see much, but the dim glow of the bedside clock and the vague shadow of the lamp next to it. Half asleep, I fumbled with the covers and stumbled to the bathroom. After emptying my bladder and flushing the toilet, I checked my reflection in the mirror. The haunted eyes and dark circles underneath them made the new, drawn-in face unrecognizable. I waved my hand and the person waved back. Hello Ellie, I sighed. I still couldn’t believe the reflection was me.

A dozen needles danced their way across my forehead while I washed my hands. I switched off the bathroom light and waited. After my eyes adjusted to the murkiness, I glanced toward the door. Something did not feel right. I crept down the corridor towards Faye’s room, the door wide open. Even before my mind registered the flatness, I knew she wasn't there. Was she really gone? Flipping on the overhead, I scanned her room. Wallet and keys peeked out from the jumbled pile that overflowed from an over-sized purse turned on its side. I glanced at the open closet near the door. Everything hung straight and level, except for a gap where her dark, leather coat should have been.

I checked the clock. It was just past two o’clock in the morning. Where could Faye have gone at this late hour? Quickly, I ran downstairs to find that she was nowhere to be seen. I called out her name but I was only met with silence. Heart leaping up my throat, a plan quickly formulated in my head, a desperate plan, which I knew needed a lot of thought before implementing. However, there was no time left for careful planning. I had to escape that night while she wasn’t there. I ran upstairs, dressing myself in the only clothes I could find, a pair of white high waist skinny jeans and a boat-necked crop top. I grabbed her purse, darting down the stairs, and out the front door like a bullet.

The crisp night air filled my lungs, invigorating me, urging me to run as fast my legs could take me. My newly rounded bum swaying and my chest jiggling, running certainly felt a lot different than I remembered. I felt weaker and frail, but my mind was racing faster than my feet, panic driving the sheer force of the adrenaline pumping through my veins. I did not stop until I reached the town, skulking down a dark alleyway to keep out of sight.

As I slowed down to catch my breath, an unsettling feeling welled inside me. There was something wrong but I could not quite tell what it was. I felt as though I had entered a house with the gas stove left on; the atmosphere was dense and strange, rational thought invisible to my eyes. It was my first time outside of Faye’s grasp, alone, and appearing as a girl. I did not expect to feel so scared and vulnerable. A part of me wished I hadn’t run away.

I looked back at the way I came, feeling compelled to tread back. At least I was safe at the house with Faye. Then, I tried to imagine the look on her face when she realised that she let me run away from under her nose. It was a satisfying yet oddly pitiful picture to imagine. So I kept running until I found the bus station where I discovered that they didn’t operate in the middle of the night. I hailed down a taxi, hurriedly climbing into the cab without a thought of where I was going. I felt like I was jumping from one thing to the next in a blink of an eye. It was surreal. I hadn’t moved so fast since I was teenager.

“Where to, miss?” the driver asked. I froze, trying to think of a place to go. I had no idea how much money I had so I swiftly rummaged through Faye’s purse. The driver was growing impatient. He was clearly a cantankerous oaf who hated working nights. I found over two-hundred scrunched up in a ball underneath a packet of maxi pads.

“How far away from Hazlebrook would one-hundred take me?” I said, tapping the drivers shoulder with the bills.

The driver looked over his shoulder through the corner of his eyes. I could tell he was suspicious but I hoped the desperation in my eyes pleaded him to ignore it and take me away from this awful place. After a moment’s pause, he took the one-hundred and said, “I guess it would take you to the next town over, Milltown, it’s about fifty miles away.”

“Then take me there, please,” I said, suddenly realising I was still speaking in my female voice. It did not feel right to use my own, especially when it did not match my body. The lessons certainly proved effective.

The streets lay largely empty – little traffic, few cars, just the occasional drunken pedestrian along the way. Lit only be the moon or the odd street light, the country roads turned liquorice black, fields stretched broader, flatter than day. The sky looked inkier, and on the hedgerows, the leaves hung greener and glassier against the headlights. Plunged into solitude, I began thinking of where I was headed. I was by no means calm, feeling a layer of sweat cover my skin. Was the outer world always this terrifying?

We drove for about an hour until the car came to a halt outside Milltown. “This is as far as the hundred will take you, miss,” the driver said. I panicked, realising I did not want to leave the safety of the car just yet. The thought of being alone outside was unbearable. I took out another twenty and urged him to take me to the nearest motel. When we arrived, I reluctantly got out the cab, bags in tow, and looked up at a giant neon sign that read, “Sleep EZ Motel.”

The streets were baron and empty with the occasional newspaper blowing through the wind. The night air, though cool, was painfully dry and dusty. Nowhere near as clear as the sea breeze of Hazlebrook. The unpainted wooden shop fronts, dilapidated, and closed down were peppered with dry rot, and the most important structure – the motel and the sign, likely in the same order. None of it looked safe. I did not waste another moment standing in the rough street, choosing to march straight into the reception.

“I’d like a room for the night please,” I said to the bored, sleep depraved lady behind the desk.

“That’ll be 17.67 for the night but 20 if you want coffee and a bagel in the morning,” the lady groaned. “But I do urge you choose the latter as I don’t have the brain capacity to count all that change right now.”

I handed twenty without another word. When the lady asked me to write my name in the ledger, I hesitated, wondering what I should put down. I did not want to use Brian or Ellie so I just chose the first name that came to mind. Jess. I was shown to my room where I immediately felt like my human rights were breached. The room looked like it was lived in far too much over the course of twenty odd years. The walls yellowed with smoke, the curtains were tatty, the carpet was filthy, and the ensuite bathroom had a particularly unpleasant smell that was impossible to subdue.

Sitting on the bed for what felt like hours, I eventually climbed into the bed, pulling the blankets over me as I turned to the dark side of the room. I tossed and turned but I just couldn’t find the right position. A lingering haze of sleep sat somewhere at the back of my mind but it was too far away to reach, floating in a pool of shock surrounding the nights events. I finally escaped but what came next terrified me. I had no idea what was to come. The dark consumed me but sleep continued to elude, divorcing itself from me when it was all I needed to recharge and get through another day of my nightmarish life.

I didn’t really sleep, but as morning crept in, I slowly and reluctantly uncovered my face. I blinked, closing my eyes, and blinked yet again. Streaks of sunlight penetrated the window and blinded me. I sat up, dragged my feet off the bed, and rubbed my knuckles onto my eyes. I stretched my arms above my head and yawned, watching my legs dangle above the stained polyester carpet. It was so gross that I didn’t want to step on it barefoot.

I had to keep moving so I quickly packed my things and went for the door. I bumped into someone on the other side, barking, “Watch it,” as I attempted to pass around them, but the person grabbed me by the wrist. I looked up, horrified, to find Faye standing there with a vicious look in her eyes that said kill. In that moment, everything around me seemed to fall away. I could no longer hear the distant rush of cars nor the buzzing of the faulty motel sign. It was only she and I, alone in the world, together.

“Don’t struggle, Ellie,” said Faye, producing a syringe from her pocket.

I staggered backwards into the room, falling hard onto my butt, frozen with terror. It was like I had just fallen into one of my nightmares. Faye stepped through the doorway, backlit by the sun outside, and quietly loomed over me like the angel of death itself. I did not scream for help because I could not breathe, feeling like someone was squeezing my throat. A choked cry for help forced itself through my lips, and I felt a drop run down my cheek, knowing that this was probably the end of the road for me.

I awoke some time later back in my newly refurbished bedroom in Hazelbrook. Faye was sitting on the edge of the bed, watching me closely, stroking my leg back and forth in rhythmic motion. Eyes fixed upon her, I quickly learned that I was too weak to move.

“When you tried to escape the first time, I told you there would be no mercy if you tried such a thing again,” said Faye, coolly eyeing me from head to toe. She paused for a moment, scoffing while she looked to the corner of the room. “You won’t ever be able to run away from me, you know? I can see where you are at all times thanks to Dr. Ford’s tracking implants.”

I opened my mouth to speak but she pressed her finger against my lips, hushing me with the shake of her head. “No, don’t ask where he put them because you’ll never be able to figure it out. I have my eyes on you at all times, even when I’m nowhere to be seen. I left you without the ankle bracelet because I wanted to see how long it would take you to try to escape again. Unfortunately, you didn’t last as long as I expected. In fact, I hoped you’d trust me enough to not escape at all, but I guess I was wrong.”

“I’m so sorry, Mom,” I said, vision blurring with hot tears. I was surprised with myself because I really meant it. “A – A part of me didn’t want to run but I kept going because -,” I snivelled back my sobs, feeling like a blubbering mess, “– because I was scared of what you doing to me – of – of what you planned to do with me. I d-don’t want to leave you to go to s-school. I’m just a stupid, empty headed girl who never listens or learns!”

For a moment, I thought I had softened Faye but her strict, domineering power did not diminish in her eyes. She was cold and shrill in her tone, which made me yearn for her warmth again. I wanted it all to stop. “P-Please,” I sobbed. “I won’t ever do it again, I promise. I want to be your daughter now, I mean it. I just – I just want to feel whole again.”

“You will feel whole again, darling,” whispered Faye, as she leaned into my face. “That’s what I’ve been trying to show you the whole time but you refuse you listen, you’ve disobeyed my trust, and you’ve wronged what you could become.”

“W-What do I have to do to make it better?” I plead with all my heart.

“You don’t have to do anything, sweetheart,” said Faye, brushing the tear soaked hairs from my face. “You need not resist any further and just let me take care of everything. You know, I even questioned myself when I thought of completing your transformation but I’m afraid you’ve left me with no other choice.” With that, her eyes quickly darted down to my crotch and then back to my gaze, which I knew could only mean one thing. She nodded, eyes swimming with repent.

I had no capacity for rational thought, mind swimming in the hazy fog of drugs. I found myself imploring Faye’s reason, words pouring out my mouth like spitfire, begging mercy for my manhood, as I unleashed a storm of remorse for past defiance. Were I to have the strength in me, I would have gotten down on my hands and knees right there to beg and grovel at her feet. I knew that would be impossible to do when I felt the rush of cool liquid running up my arm and I was out cold once again.

*

I’ll never forget the first time I experienced the sensation of rubbing the inside of my thighs together, only to find that my familiar obstructions were absent. It was shortly after the operation but I was soon put back to sleep, a state I wished to stay in forever. My manhood was gone for good; the last shred of whom I once was, sliced, and inverted into something I never imagined having. The pain wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Dosed up on drugs, I had no idea what to feel, but I certainly felt the purest of anguish through the foggy daze. Shortly after, I sort of felt nothing.

Since Faye took away a part of me, it would only be fitting that she replaced my bodily obstructions with something else, but instead, it was sized C, and they stuck out from my chest like two half oranges underneath my skin. Twisting and turning in my clinic bed, trying my best to get comfortable with my new breasts squeezing together and chafing against the fabric of my gown, it was hard. I hated them with tremendous passion but not nearly as much as the open scarcity between my legs. So airless. So horribly free.

When I arrived home from Dr. Bisley’s clinic, I spent an inordinate amount of time in my room. When I wasn’t sleeping, I was spacing out, desperately clutching the teddy bears Faye bought me against my chest, as if my whole life depended on them. I think I just wanted to cover my new breasts from my view, but mostly, I think they just comforted me. I did not cry nor did I feel rage, I just felt hallow, which was much worse. I wanted to kill myself, especially in moments where I was bluntly reminded of what I was now, a girl. It would be something as simple as going to pee in the toilet. I would grab at air where my penis used to be, and look down, view obscured by my perky bosom. In those moments, I felt intensely unhappy, so much to the extent where I started thinking about suicide options.

I had nothing left of my own, not my life, my gender, my identity, but that didn’t mean I had nothing to live for. I’m not sure what urged me to keep on living but a small part of me told me to make the best of an almost hopeless situation. This surprised me. I knew it would take time but I could make a new life to fight for but such romantic made me wonder if fear was continuing to keep me in check. I was confused. The thought of Faye finding my lifeless body, snapped at the neck, and hanging from the closet did not bring me any comfort or satisfaction. Instead, it made me feel inexplicably sad.

I didn’t want to be Ellie. I wanted to be Brian.

*
The wind danced with the first autumn leaves, dotting in all kinds of beautiful, rustic colours in a great blanket of leaves across the front lawn. I intently watched the summer rot away before my bedroom window. When I wasn’t doing that, I lay in bed, quietly listening to startled birds shoot from empty branches like bullets, twigs snapping and leaves crunching under passersby footsteps. I often heard swarms of young people laughing and talking whenever they walked by the house. They seemed so far away. A part of me wished I could ask them inside but I quickly quashed that notion from my mind. I stared at the boyband and popstar posters in my room quite a lot. I had little choice because they literally covered all four walls. My appetite greatly decreased. I never felt like eating. My diet mainly consisted of toast, tea, sleeping pills, and hormones. I was sure my blood was toxic.

The weeks leading up to September brought many changes, most of which I followed through with vacant reception. Faye took the measurements of my new shapely body, from my breasts to my hips and waist. I blindly accepted all the poking and prodding, realising that the worst was certainly over. Resistance really was futile at this point. Faye no longer exploded with glee whenever she furthered my feminisation. Now, she was very serious most of the time. I wondered if she felt regret with what she has done to me, but somehow, I found it rather hard to believe. She had come way too far to turn back now.

An abundance of brand new clothes soon arrived with the chime of the doorbell. There was certainly nothing left out. My walk in closet soon filled up a vast collection of feminine attire, including skirts, tights, dresses, leggings, jeans, camisoles, blouses, t-shirts, heels, socks, bras, and panties, everything you can think of really. I began wearing female clothes full time, most of which were fashioned for a girl in her teens. I felt either restricted or lighter with my new clothes, easily preferring a pair of leggings over a breezy skirt any day.

Nevertheless, I will never forget the first time a bra encased my new breasts, lifting them up into a firm, perky cleavage. When Faye once told me that I would one day have breasts, I refused to believe her, thinking that I would have run away long ago. Yet there I was, feeling these weighty mounds of flesh squeeze into something neater. It was difficult but Faye assisted me. It should have been utterly humiliating, but I did not feel as such anymore. I was just relieved with the support the bra gave to my back. Wearing panties felt very strange too, particularly when they would pinch my healing gash. Sometimes I felt an itch in my nonexistent penis and I’d reach down to find nothing but a flat, cotton knickered crotch. It was surreal. I frequently had to dilate my blossoming womanhood, which continues to be a deeply unpleasant experience for me. I won’t go into details but Faye insisted I would not have to do it for much longer.

Amongst other changes, my hair now rolled down my back and shoulders like a soft, velvet curtain. I played with it a lot, curling the thick, silky hair in my fingers whenever I had to read my fashion and makeup magazines. This inspired Faye to bring me to the salon with her one day, which was a curiously sensual experience to say the least. The feeling of having pointed fingers run through my hair, massaging my tense skull, and smothering it all in sweet smelling liquids was otherworldly. I almost fell asleep several times, naturally.

“So Ellie, how do you feel about starting school in a new town?” the overzealous stylist asked, snipping away at my hair. Faye told everyone she met that we were new residents to Hazlebrook and that I was her teenage daughter. “Are you nervous? It can’t be easy moving schools when you’re – what age are you?”

I quickly glanced at Faye who was also getting her hair done next to me. She looked vaguely anxious. “I just turned sixteen,” I said in my soft, breathy voice. It killed me to speak in such a manner but my own voice would be an unsettling contrast to my girlish looks. “And I suppose I am nervous, yes.” Truly, I was. I don’t think the concept of being put back into school had really hit me yet. I was much too focused on the changes being made to my body. I was still in a state of shock and denial. Regardless, I knew it would come around soon but I refused to acknowledge it. When September 1st came around, I knew I’d just have to go through with it or Faye would do something unspeakable.

My hair was dyed with rich black balayage and restyled into a cute, free flowing do with layered seams that lengthened down my shoulders and over my breasts. It brought out a completely different definition to my new feminine face, the ends wavy and my forehead completely covered with straight bangs. Lashes thickened, nails painted pale pink, and makeup applied, I was the perfect image of a teenage girl, especially when I showed my pink braces through my lips. While Faye and the stylists cooed and awed over my makeover, I stared at the girl looking back at me in the mirror, unable to register that it was really me.

At least I look hot, I thought.

After the salon, we went shopping for clothes and materials needed for school. Faye was quiet, rarely making eye contact, as she flicked through rails of clothes, handing me various items to try on. Her silence continued until we arrived at the house whereupon she went straight to the liquor cabinet and poured a drink. I watched her from behind, feeling unsure if I should ask her if something was bothering her. After spending a few hours hugging my favourite teddy bear in my room, I went downstairs to find her drunk and spread out over the couch. She was a well-composed mess, if you get what I mean.

“They say you can never really get over losing a child,” she said, tone monotonous and demeanour still as a statue. “What does that say about someone who’s lost three in a row?”

I had no answer so I just stood there, cringing when I found myself giving no response but a slight shrug. I hated the tension.

“Of course, I shouldn’t ask you such things,” said Faye, scoffing, as she took another sip of her red wine. “But do you want to know what the doctors told me when I lost my firstborn? They said that miscarriage was so common that one day I’d forget I once had a baby.” She stiffly turned her head, eyes bulging as they locked with my own. “How do you say goodbye to someone you never said hello to but loved more than your own life?”

In that moment, I felt terribly sorry for Faye. I really did. “There’s nothing you could have done,” I said, mentally beating myself for being so clichéd. I was always bad at comforting.

“I was going to call her Ellie,” said Faye. She got up, waning back and forth in her tight pencil skirt and heels. She didn’t seem to be listening to me. “Everyone told me I’d get pregnant again, and when I did, I lost my second girl too. By the time the third girl came round, I felt nothing anymore.” She walked around the couch, eyes fixed on me as she brushed her hand against the leather. I felt like I was trapped inside an airless tank. “You know, I cannot stand it when people say that everything happens for a reason. Maybe eventually, with time and distance, this becomes more appropriate, but not immediately.”

“I’m sorry,” I said meekly. I had no idea what to say or how to act.

“Don’t be, darling, because I feel like I’ve just woken up from a terrible nightmare,” said Faye, leaving her glass on the coffee table and walking straight up to me. “I’m so grateful that after a lifetime of sadness, that you, my beautiful little girl, should come back into my life and brighten it so.” She brought me into a warm embrace, which I hesitantly accepted with uncertain affection. “I’m so proud of you, sweetheart,” she whispered into my ear. “I love you so much.” I stayed in her arms for what felt like an eternity until I suddenly stunned myself to the spot by saying, “I love you too, Mom.”

*

The weeks leading up to September brought a lot of anxiety with it. I was to attend an all-girls catholic school on the other side of town with the uniform, the feminine curriculum, everything. I could not stop thinking about it. Not only did I fear the mere thought of leaving the house all alone and as a girl but I also despised the thought of being forced back into an institution that I so passionately hated as a teenager. In those times, I had to remind myself that I was a teenager again, at least in the eyes of the beholder, and of course, the law itself.

I hated everything that came with school – the teachers, the homework, the exams, and getting up early. The only classes I was good at were English and Art. I had no idea how I was expected to pick up the rest of the curriculum after so many years, especially since Faye wanted me to get a decent career. I never even graduated. A part of me hoped I would be discovered for who I really was once I left the house but how could that happen unless I owned up to it? I certainly wasn’t prepared to do it because I doubted what I could save – a pathetic, murdering, ex con with nothing but his own step-mother. Or mother, I should say.

I didn’t sleep much on the night before September 1st. In the ten hours I spent in bed, I must have woken up several times, breaking my rest into un-refreshing chunks. I would open my eyes and stare at the school uniform hanging primly from my closet door. I felt like it was watching me, beckoning me to come forth into its feminine embrace. With every disturbance came a new nightmare. I wanted to be absorbed into the darkness that the night promised me hours ago. I wished to wake up feeling refreshed to the warm morning light as the person I was born to be, not some schoolgirl named Ellie, but as usual, my wishes meant nought compared to the harsh reality and unease I felt behind closed lids.
Dread arrived with the slight knock of the door at seven o’clock in the morning. “Time to get up for school, darling,” said Faye, her voice muffled from the other side. I was already awake but I didn’t want to get out of bed. A great blanket of depression fell over me, similar to the kind I felt every morning as a teen when I was forced to get up for school, except this was worse. Much worse. I trudged to the bathroom like a zombie, showered, dried and brushed my hair, and began working on my makeup. I knew Faye would force me to put some on regardless so I instinctively went through each step. My mind was numb.

With one leg after the other, I pulled a pair of violet panties up and over my bum, snugly hugging my girlhood with black lace trim. I pulled out the matching push up bra, sighing dolefully, as I put my arms through the straps and fastened the buckle with ease. Extending my shoulders back, my breasts heaved into a perky cleavage with some minor adjusting around the cups. Mystified to observe them as my own, I cupped them both in my hands, pressing them together, inflicting pressure, and sending tremors through my flesh. I felt my genitals stir. Most unusual. I turned on my heels, dread creeping up my spine, as I faced the uniform. I couldn’t believe what I was about to do. I felt terrified, and to my great disclosure, stimulated, as though something deep inside me had awakened in that moment.

I took the cotton blouse from the hanger, running my forefinger across the soft, rounded collar. Putting my arms through each sleeve, I closed the buttons to the very top, one by one. I thought it fit my new bodice remarkably well, almost tailored to my precise size. I then proceeded to the high waist skirt – it was dark navy and crimson plaid with an above-knee hemline and pleats. I stepped into it, quivering as the polyester brushed against my soft thighs. Neatly tucking the blouse into the waistband, I drew up the zipper, and gently pulled at the hemline. It felt much shorter than it looked. Unrolling the cotton white socks, I stretched each foot into the other, and pulled them up my shins until they were below knee.

I was starting to look the part but there was more to this strangely endearing outfit. I stepped into the brown dubarry shoes, carefully fastened the crimson and navy striped tie around my blouse collar, and pulled the navy v-necked sweater over my head, proudly displaying the The Bishops Convent coat of arms on the left breast. I turned to the mirror, forcing a toothy smile, as my pink braces glistened against the sunlight bouncing off my reflection. I was a teenager, a girl, a schoolgirl. What had become of my life?

I timidly descended the staircase, brushing hair behind my ear, as I bashfully looked to Faye, who seemed to be bursting with pride. She fixed me some porridge, toast, and orange juice, which I simply couldn’t finish because of the bees darting around in my stomach. Heaving my floral schoolbag onto my back, I walked to the front door, feeling as though I were about to take a great plunge off a cliff. I could hear a faint horn. Faye advised me to stop pulling at my skirt, informing me that they were intended to be high waist. I was so very nervous.

Swallowing down the flurry of tension, I stepped outside into the morning light to find a yellow school bus waiting for me at the end of the garden. I turned to Faye, bosom heaving up and down, as I reached out to touch her hand. I didn’t want to go. I really didn’t. She linked her rouge tipped fingers with my pale pinks and gave a slight squeeze of my hand, as her eyes swam with something that looked like sadness.
“I’ll see you later, Ellie,” she said, voice croaking. Her tone was uncertain, almost ominous, as though she were warning me to play the part. “I’ll be here watch – I mean, I’ll be waiting for you when you get home this evening.”

Indeed, she would be watching me. If I were to go astray from the school or wandered off path along the way, she would be informed, thanks to the tracking implants hidden somewhere in my newly moulded body. Ambling towards the front gate, my eyes fixed on the large yellow vehicle with a sense of great disquiet welling inside my chest, thoughts racing from disbelief to pure calm. Here we go, I thought, as the vigorously burly driver opened the doors. I took one last look at Faye over my shoulder before stepping on. She reluctantly raised her hand in a motion that symbolised the dreaded moment of departure and separation, the moment that had come all too quickly, the moment of time in which we must sadly say goodbye.

AUTHORS NOTE

This is the kind of story I’ve wanted to write for some time, a twisted yet stimulating forced feminisation story akin to the works of Cheryl Lynn, one of my favourite authors. I do feel there is more of Brian’s story to tell but I write for you, the reader, before myself. Should you wish for a continuation then I’d be happy to write on. I’d appreciate any feedback on what you liked or didn’t like about the story. Reviews are more than welcome! Thank you for reading!



If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
up
83 users have voted.

And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks. 
This story is 21902 words long.