just a christmas story

I don’t know if there is a contest for this or not. It just came to me while I was about to lay down for a nap. May need a bit of editing, and maybe a bit more added, but this is most of the story.

It was late, very late. He parked his old car for the night. Although it was a silver car, you couldn’t tell as it was mostly orange with rust. You could hear the tinkle of the engine cooling, as he fiddled with the plug for the car. If it wasn’t plugged in all the time, it would not start.

He sighed, as he knew that much of his meager paycheck, even after all the extra hours, would be spent on new brakes for it. Although he would do much of the work himself, it would still put a huge dent in it. He sighed again and pulled his much stained work coat around his shoulders in an attempt to warm up some.
The car barely threw any heat. You could just see out the windshield at the best of times. He closed the gate on his fence although it would not catch as the latch broke off some four years ago; so only by replacing most of it, which was expensive, would it ever work again. It stayed broken. It’s not as if he had to worry about anyone trying to steal anything from him.

He was exhausted after another twelve-hour workday for miserable wages, as he made his way up his sidewalk to his house. The sidewalk was broken and lopsided, even with the shoveling he had done it still looked awful. The shovel in question usually left more of itself behind as he shoveled. He needed a new one.
John Mactire was a broken man of thirty-four. All his life, people regarded him as less than human. He tried hard to fit in, but couldn't. His six foot two inch frame massed 248 pounds. His clothes were the cheapest available at a thrift shop. His hair, what was left of it, was scraggy and filthy after a long day of shoveling out trailers full of cow dung, and other things. He made his way to his door and fiddled with the door latch for the screen door for a few minutes before working it free, one of the kids on the block had locked it again; at least it wasn’t glued shut this time. Jiggling his keys, he got the door open on his modest house.

It was in a poor neighbourhood, but it was his. Well, ok, mostly the banks, but still it was in his name. As usual, there was a pile of mail by the front door; bills and one or two disconnection notices; yet again, a collection agency was after him for something he never bought, received or even contemplated buying. Threats of court and such were the norm for John.

It was Christmas Eve tomorrow. The one day he used to be excited about as a child; so long ago. These days, it was just another day. This year he got lucky and someone had tossed out their old Christmas tree because it was broken. He reworked it a bit, although much smaller - barely three feet high, it was a useable Christmas tree. Even the lights were recycled from another neighbour’s junk. The tinsel was actually thinly sliced tinfoil; the garland was an old section of old towel that had frayed so badly as to be unusable. But it was his. As small as it was, he was proud of it. He carefully plugged it into the wall and he saw his tree light up.

He had spent hours creating his manger set out of scraps of wood. It didn’t really look like much with the stick-type figures covered in cloth, but again he was proud of it. It was his first Christmas tree since his parents threw him out when he was seventeen. The rest of house, although obviously not anything new, was almost cosy. There was a touch of what someone could call home in it. If you looked under that tree, you would see one present. On that present you would see - To: Janice From:Santa.

You see, John’s secret that turned everyone off, and that he couldn’t really hide although he tried, was that he believed he was a girl named Janice. Every time someone called him John it hurt. It always hurt as far back as he could remember. He had read about transgendered individuals, and was scared as to what might happen if he tried to come out. He turned and sighed to himself as these thoughts crossed his mind yet again, like it did forty times a day. Dropping off his stinky dirty work clothes into the washing machine, he ran some water into it with some soap in the hope that they would clean up if it sat long enough.
Returning through to the bedroom, she picked up her nightgown. It was one of the few things that Janice had ever bought new. It was long and silky, had thin straps with delicate lace at the top; with it; was an equally silky bathrobe. Moving into the bathroom she ran the bathtub with some of her precious supply of scented bath oil that amazingly actually got to her in the mail. They were samples that the mailman usually didn’t drop off, or they were broken and leaking, but these two were okay. With some table salt and dish soap for bath salts and bubble bath made for her special bath. She spent a LONG time shaving off every scrap of hair on her body and face so that she was silky smooth then using the squishy she soaped all over and sat in tub with as much hot water as her old water heater would deliver till she was wrinkly and relaxed.

She washed her hair in the bathtub, first with the dish soap to get rid of the worst, and then with yet another sample of Dove hair shampoo and conditioner. This was the best she could do, but to her it was heavenly. After setting the tub to drain, this could take a while. She got out and started to pat herself dry all over. She dressed in her special nightie and moved to the kitchen to have one of her ciggys. It wasn’t much, as it was really her only vice; even that was only a two ciggys a day. This allowed her to finish air-drying, so that her skin had a slight pull to it. She then went into her bedroom and put some aloe and cucumber lotion all over. After working it into her skin, it made it softer and somehow more right.

She then sat on her stool in front of the mirror on her dresser and brushed her meager hair until it was dry and shiny. All these things gave her the peace she badly needed in order to not go down that road into depression. Checking her toenails, she saw that the polish had worn off one of the nails, so she contemplated whether she should redo them. She decided against it, as she didn’t have much left in her one bottle of nail polish. Picking up her lip-balm, she pretended it was actually a lush red lipstick. Next, she used the old mascara tube brush to brush her eyelashes out, which, in her mind, it also made them curly and blacker. With a bit of a heavy heart she put it down and turned from that mirror that always lied to her. In the last twelve years she avoided looking in the mirror, as it showed the flawed body that testosterone had destroyed long ago.

Leaving the bedroom, Janice moved into the kitchen again and made herself a cup of tea. She could almost hear the sounds of the children she had so desperately wanted to give birth to on the other side of wall. These little things gave her that bit of smile that helped move her on to yet another day.
Finishing her tea, she rinsed the tea cup and placed it to dry on the sideboard. She returned to the bedroom after turning off the lights in rest of house. Kneeling down, she did her daily prayer. The same prayer she had uttered since she was four years old when she had first discovered that she was male and destined to a terrible fate. As she was finishing her prayer the old clock in living room gave its one dull bunk sound that signaled midnight.
All was silent as she pulled the covers back on her bed and snuggled in for a good night’s sleep.

Janice awoke to strange sensations. Her old comforter smelt somehow more girly and felt softer. So did her bed and pillow as she moved at first. She opened her eyes to see a Barbie doll, not two feet from her.

*I must be dreaming,* she thought.

At this point ,the door to her room flew open and in ran a little boy in his pj,s who promptly jumped onto her bed.

"Come on, Janice, Mom says you have to get up to help her cook the Christmas dinner," the boy said.

"Ja..Jas..Jason?" she said in a voice of a young girl.

"Come on, Janice, get up!" With that Jason ran from the room. Possibly to his own room, which was strange as they had always shared the same room before.

Janice sat up in her bed and looked around. This was obviously a girl’s room and she was in a girl’s nightgown. The walls were a lilac color and on the walls were pictures of unicorns and one large poster of some boy, possibly from one of those old sitcoms. Hanging on the doorknob of the white folding doors, to a closet, was a typical schoolgirl’s uniform; white blouse, pleated tartan skirt and blue blazer. She would have killed for one of those in her youth. Sliding her feet out of the bed, she came to the edge to get off and just about fell flat on her face as the floor was a lot farther away than she expected. It took a moment for her to get her balance, but then she went to the vanity mirror in the bedroom. The dressing table was covered with many different types of makeup supplies. She looked into the mirror and gasped.

The girl in the mirror was real and was her!

Gone was the horrible nightmare male body, in its place was a young girl of maybe twelve. She was just budding into a young woman, with long blonde hair, delicate features and blue eyes, with a small very cute nose. In her ears were two items she though she would ever see, let alone feel; earrings. At this point Janice started to giggle in a little girl giggle, as she was soooooooo happy. She turned this way and that, looking at herself in the mirror.

"So, find any new blemishes, sweetie?" asked a man’s voice.

Janice turned at the sound of this voice to view a sight that she had not seen in a very long time. The sight of her father with a loving smile on his face.

"Da D D .. Dad?" she asked.

"What’s with this Dad, princess? Am I getting too old for a Morning Daddy and hug?" With this, her father opened his arms to her. This was another longed for, but never occurring dream.

" DADDY!" she shouted, running to him and hugging him tight with tears of joys in her eyes.

"That’s my princess. Now you should get ready and help your mother with dinner like a good girl, so that Santa will bring you presents for Christmas," her father said.

"I will Daddy! I’ll be a good girl, and dress pretty, and help mommy and everything!" Janice said.

"That’s my girl."

After all, it wouldn’t do for Janice to be on the naughty list after all her dreams had come true, now would it?

And you know, she never was.


Thanks to Tanya Allen for another edit

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