For a while things were looking up; I was on my way to college, had the love of a great guy, and thanks to the help of my folks had GRS scheduled for Spring of the following year.
Then the end of the world happened.
Nobody knows how it started. Some say it’s a curse, others say it’s a virus that came from terrorists, or bad dog food, or something. Nobody knows, and nobody cares. All that matters is that a bunch of corpses jumped out of the ground and started biting people.
Circle of life, or death, or undeath, whatever.
I was kissing my boyfriend goodnight when they hit. It was our second anniversary, and he’d given me a promise ring.
Quaint, isn’t it?
Then one of those freaks jumped out of nowhere and sunk its rotten teeth into his neck. I’d never seen so much blood in my life, though I’ve seen a lot more since.
Somewhere in the panic I climbed into my car, ran the monster down, and reversed to make sure its brains were splattered across the pavement. That taught the zombie to mess with a girl in love, and on the night I was going to lose my virginity!
I know, I know. I sound cold. You have to be if you want to survive in this brave new world. Nobody has time for sympathy anymore. Resources are scarce. Safety in numbers doesn’t work so well when the pack is starving.
You want to know the worst thing about the apocalypse? Actually, it’s watching your family and friends die, but the second worst thing; no chemists.
For a trans girl that’s the same as death.
Think about it. No workers, no factories, no chemists, no hormone supplements, which means those of us with a legitimate need can no longer maintain a girlish figure. The end of a blister pack means that the testosterone starts flowing again, and years of hard work are as gone as the old world.
Yeah, I know. Priorities, right?
You might laugh, but I remember what it was like trying to be a boy. It was an even greater hell than the squalid ghost towns we found ourselves living in. There’s no way I was going back to that.
I drove for hundreds, maybe thousands of miles, syphoning gas or even stealing cars whenever needed. There was nobody to stop me, and nobody to remind me I only had a learner’s permit.
Most stores had been raided for food and supplies. Sometimes you’d get lucky and find jerky or stale crackers. Most sporting goods stores had leftover ammunition looters had no room for, and pharmacies had only been ransacked for medicine and bandages.
One day I came across a drug store in a backwater burb, Waltonville. It was a small town, probably only a few thousand people, all of whom had fled. I stepped out of the stolen police cruiser that practically flew down the highway, and walked the gravel drive to the wooden door.
There was a neon sign that read ‘open’, though it hadn’t shone in god knows how long. The wood on the door had started to rot, so kicking it in was a breeze. Inside was dust, shadow and upturned shelves toppled across the floor.
I held out my double barrel and scanned the darkness.
“Hello! Any dead-ites? Why don’t you come out now so I can shoot you? Save me having to search for you later!”
No response, but that didn’t mean I was alone. The thing about the undead is that they’ll get you when you least expect.
I pressed inside. My eyes adjusted to the darkness. The corners were clear as far as I could see, unless there was something behind the counter waiting to jump out.
Suddenly, a shotgun cocked.
The woman holding it growled. “Put the gun down, little girl.”
I raised my arms and faced the wall. When someone points a gun at you, you do as they say.
“You won’t get any trouble from me,” I said. “Take whatever medicine you need. I’m not interested in that.”
“Up against the wall,” she ordered.
Behind me I could hear her sifting through the shelves, tossing boxes aside by the dozen. I turned slightly to see an older woman, old enough to be my mother, haggard with experience, thinned by starvation, searching out something specific.
“What are you looking for?” I asked.
She huffed. “Estradiol, premarin, cenestin… female hormones.”
Every muscle in my body tensed. “Why?”
“Not for you to understand, little girl. Not many people understand the kind of life I’ve had to live.”
Did she really think she was going to take my estrogen? What did she need it for? Maybe she was like me, or maybe it was menopause; whatever it was I didn’t care. I’d come too far to let someone else take the treasure I’d been searching for.
It wasn’t until she reached the last row that I made my move; I pounced, wresting the shotgun from her, and jostling it out of the way before it went off. BANG! The shell tore through the wall like it was tissue paper, casting daylight on what was to be our battleground.
I was screaming in her face, “those hormones are mine!”
She threw a hard right across my jaw, hard enough to send me flying off. She might have thrown a second if it weren’t for the chorus of moans encircling the building.
The woman growled. “You little bitch. You’ve lead them right to us!”
I was still on the floor as she fled, and was still counting stars. Maybe it was just as well, because just as my vision cleared I spotted six boxes of progynova piled on the floor. As fast as I could manage I threw them into my backpack and sprinted through the front.
As I piled back into the cruiser I caught the face of a monster shuffling from the trees behind the store, and god help me, he was wearing a chemist’s gown. The irony, huh?
The engine turned and my foot hit the gas. The sooner I was out of there the better.
To think, all that trouble for six boxes. At least they would last a few months… I hoped.
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