A Culture Shock
by Addie & Paula
Introduction & Disclaimer
This is collaborative story with each writer writing from the POV of a different character. Addie is Magpie and Paula is Rondo.
All items contained on these pages are non-profit amateur fiction. The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit, The Bewitchments of Love and Hate, The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire and all characters named in those books are the copyright of Storm Constantine and her publishers. No infringement on the copyrights are intended.
To contact the authors, email Addie (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Paula (email@example.com).
A Culture Shock
– 1 –
I felt like I had been running for hours. Perhaps I had. My lungs were about to burst, and my legs felt like jelly. But I had to get away from them. Whatever they were.
I only stopped because I had come to the edge of the sea. For a few moments I considered just walking into the surf and drowning myself. But I couldn’t do it. Something stopped me. Probably a fear of dying. But I should have died after they had done *that* to me…the pain was enough. There were times in those few days when I had prayed for my life to end.
I looked out into the tumbling waves, at the kids tousled in them, body boarding and swimming into the shore like salmon on their last ride up the river. So happy they were…carefree…enjoying life. I flopped down into the soggy sand, letting the water ripple over my aching and burning legs. They looked normal enough…my legs that is. A bit skinny, with very fair hair, five toes on each foot. I held my hands up to my face. Yep…five fingers on each one, but there were hardly any lines on my palms. They looked new. I felt new. In fact I had so much energy that I felt as though I could run for another few hours.
I touched my face, which felt smooth and unblemished. That’s one good thing I thought, the two or three pimples on my chin had gone, but so had the few whiskers I had been nurturing. Shit! What else did they do to me? Shave all my body hair off! My arms were as smooth as a baby’s bum. I looked down at my body, trying not to appear too obvious about checking myself out. One little kid, making a sand castle on the edge of the waves was already looking at me funny.
I smiled at him, and he chortled to himself, then went back to his pile of slushy sand.
It was worrying me, now that I had stopped being terrified and angry and confused, just how else had I changed? I flicked my hair behind my ears…well at least they hadn’t shaved my head…I hated the thought of being bald. My dad was bald…well nearly. Although he wouldn’t admit it.
It was all Dane’s fault. This whole fiasco. My best mate Dane. Together since kindy. Since that first day when I wet my pants and he did the same, just so I wouldn’t feel bad. All through primary school, then high school. Mucking about together, getting drunk, trying to play football…checking me out in the shower. That’s what gave it away really, I suppose, when I come to think of it. Dane, being more interested in looking at my bum, than at Sarah, with the blonde hair and big boobs.
But he was still my mate even if he did like the fellas. Through thick and thin. He wasn’t a prissy boy…he was strong and tall, with black hair, one blue eye and one green…excellent physique. It was me they thought was gay. Me with the slender frame, almost too pretty face, blonde curls. God how I hated my curls. I always tried so hard to prove that I wasn’t gay. Acting macho, trying to be cool. Taking all the knocks on the football field just to be one of them. One of the guys.
Yeah, it was all Dane’s fault. If he hadn’t talked me into going to that party, it wouldn’t have happened. I should have known they were a bit suss. They weren’t our normal mates. Dane wanted to come out. He had decided he wanted the world to know…so he had begun to hang out with this group of real weirdos.
Very strange bods. Some of them looked more like birds, and I thought they were transvestites or something. And some of them…well I couldn’t work out what some of them were. Tian was OK. He was friendly and smart. I think he was studying electronic engineering at university. But some of the others…well weird was actually too tame a word for them. Sometimes Spider – yeah, he swore it was his real name – looked feminine, sometimes he looked like a bloke. And they were all off with each other all the time. Sick!!
I was just thinking about the argument Dane and I had had about going to this party the weirdos had organised, when the little kid in the shallows threw wet sand into my face. I swore at him, splashed some water over him and walked up towards the loo. I needed to take a piss and I was nervous. You see, when the pain had gone, and the weirdos plonked me in the bath again, I didn’t open my eyes. I still had them squeezed shut when they dressed me, their soft hands touching me all over, ooohhing and aahhing. Perverts.
I had sat in that darkened room, with just a single candle in the windowsill, when Tian came in to talk to me. At least, at first I thought he had just come in to talk to me, but I reckon he had something else on his warped brain. He kept smiling at me and trying to get me to calm down. Perhaps I should have listened to what he was saying…but when he leant forward and tried to kiss me…I panicked. I fled, that’s what I did…ran and ran and ran. And here I am…about to take a piss and nervous as all hell.
The toilet block smelt like the beach, probably because half of it was in there on the floor. Sand and water all over the place, and little kids under the shower, plugging up the hole, causing even more water to flood the floor. Not really a very conducive place to discover oneself, now was it? But I was desperate, just about to pee my pants in fact. For some reason, maybe it was a premonition, maybe it was something Tian had told me and I hadn’t taken in at the time, but I decided to go into the stall and not piss in the urinal. Just as well.
I unzipped my pants and took hold of myself. Can you imagine what it would be like to find that what you normally thought you had between your legs, had been transformed. Not transformed as in grown…but literally, fucking changed…like in having petals and being purple and glowing. Fuck….I was glowing. If I hadn’t had to pee so badly, I would have turned and ran…but the damn thing would only have followed me. I stuck my fist in my gob and forced down the scream. I still gurgled though and groaned, as my piss came out of *that* thing.
When I had finished, I stuck it back in my trousers and zipped it up tight, then leant back against the door. I was breathing so hard and still making these funny little snufflng sounds. Oh God!!! I was deformed. I was a weirdo. I had a bloody flower in my pants.
Someone was banging on the door asking me if I was all right. No, I wasn’t all right, I may never be all right again. But I didn’t tell them that. I mumbled something incoherent and ran out of the toilet, and guess what? I kept running. This was getting ridiculous. But at that moment it was all I could think of doing. It kept my mind off my body and that *thing* and made me concentrate on not running into traffic, or into a ditch, or off a cliff.
But a weirdo cannot live on running alone, so I eventually stopped again when I realised I had run from the beach right into the city, which is about 15 miles. I was puffed, and the mucles in my calves were hurting, so I decided to find a quiet place to sit down. Perfect! I was at the library…my favourite place in the world, and it was open. Even better. I flashed my card at the librarian, asked if any computers were free…they were, found one and sat down.
The guy next to me said hi and winked. If I hadn’t been so knackered, I would have sworn at him and left. But just to not feel my feet pounding on the pavement and to rest my back against the chair, was bliss…so I ignored him. For a few moments I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I needed to talk to someone, but not just anyone. My friend Rondo. He always seemed to understand me, was always happy to hear from me…so I typed in my net name, Magpie, then Rondo’s email address. My fingers were trembling as the words began to flow out of me.