Jasmine in pursuit

Layout 1Three great 5 * reviews for Molly’s Boudoir.

“…The story line is gripping. You could read this as a stand alone book, but by reading the previous novels, you will get a much better sense of the main characters.”  Anonymous

“This was my first of the Jasmine novels. . . The narrative was so smooth and attractive, it felt seductive, so easily followed and I was very quickly immersed into Jasmines world.”  Alexander 

Really enjoyed this 4th instalment in the series. A really good detective story with a twist.” Lyn D

Many thanks to the reviewers.  You can get your copy of the e-book here, or write to me here for the paperback. Until the end of the year I will be giving a copy of Painted Ladies (the 1st novel) free with any of  Bodies By Design, The Brides’ Club Murder, or Molly’s Boudoir, (£9.99 each inc post and packing).

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So Theresa May survived and still has the steering wheel of the Brexit bus in her manic grip with her foot on the accelerator heading for the cliff edge. She thinks she sees a rickety bridge to future prosperity built from the crumbling bones of David Davies and Dominic Raab but the foundations in the DUP have been washed away and the bridge to nowhere has collapsed into the torrent. She hasn’t noticed and is helped towards the abyss by the Brexiteers pushing from behind. Corbyn and his mates sit behind her wondering when they can seize the initiative and put the lights on. Meanwhile the Peoples’ Vote mob are wondering who has the nails to spill in the path of the vehicle to bring it to a tyre-bursting halt. What is actually needed is for the other Conservative MPs to realise their responsibility to the nation and its people and throw themselves in the path of the vehicle in the hope that their heap of bodies will be enough to stop it in its tracks.

There, I think I’ve stretched the metaphor enough.  In brief, after this week we’re stuffed unless someone can make May see sense and stop Article 50.

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So, to take your mind off Brexit, Christmas, Climate Change or whatever, here is episode 8 of the Jasmine prequel, Monochrome.

Monochrome: Part 8

Jasmine and Nat crept back to the office window. Jasmine sneaked a look inside, but it was still empty. Minutes passed but no-one came or went.
Jasmine whispered, ‘What’s going on? Where are they?’
Nat replied, ‘There’s a room inside. No windows. They’ll be in there. Taking their turns with Ffi and the other girls.’
‘Other girls?’
‘They usually keep one or two here. What are we going to do?’
‘Wait and see what happens. Let’s go back to the road so we can see them when they leave.’
They crawled beside the building until they got to the front of the warehouse. They sat with their backs to the wall.
Time went by and Jasmine was beginning to wonder how long they would have to wait. She heard a beep on her phone and looked to see that Angela had sent a message.
<What’s happening?>
Jasmine tapped out a reply. <Waiting for someone to leave. Be ready to pick us up.>
More waiting. Cold was creeping into Jasmine’s limbs because of the inaction. She was thankful that it was at least dry. At last they heard the roller-door clanking open. Jasmine peered around the corner and saw the three suited men come out. They were chatting cheerfully as they got in their car. They drove off.
Jasmine had her phone in her hand; a text message to Angela ready to send. A car engine started inside the building. The Mercedes appeared. Jasmine was certain she saw Ari and Sid in the front seats. The rear windows were dark, but she thought she saw movement in the back seat.
‘Were there girls in the back?’ Jasmine said.
Nat nodded, ‘Yeah, two I think. I’m not sure.’
The warehouse door rumbled shut. Jasmine thumbed “send” on her phone and stood up.
‘Come on, Nat. We’ve got to get after them.’
She ran across the waste ground to the adjacent unit. The Merc had driven on ahead and was out of their line of sight.
With Nat puffing behind her, Jasmine ran on till she reached the T-junction. The red Fiesta pulled up. Jasmine dived into the passenger seat and waved to Nat to hurry. Nat arrived, pulled open the rear door and fell in, panting. Angela drove off.
‘Did you see the Merc?’ Jasmine said.
‘I saw it turn this way,’ Angela said pressing her foot to the accelerator. Nat pulled the door closed and scrambled into a sitting position. Jasmine fastened her seat belt.
The road wound around the industrial estate in wide curves. In moments Jasmine saw the Mercedes ahead of them.
‘Slow down Ange. We’ve got them in sight now. Just follow them.’
‘What are we going to do?’ Nat asked.
‘Find out where they are headed and then if they’ve got Ffion and another girl with them, see if we can rescue them. Any idea where they’re going, Nat?’
‘Could be a number of places.’
Jasmine wasn’t sure how they would do it, but she was determined to get Ffion and any other girls away from Ari and Sid. She was feeling guilty that they hadn’t succeeded before and it looked as though the girls had been abused again in the hours that had passed since. She wouldn’t allow it to happen again.
They were heading back through the town now, amongst traffic. Jasmine complimented Angela on keeping one or two cars between them and the Mercedes while not losing them completely at traffic lights and roundabouts. Then they were on one of the main roads out of town. Jasmine was prepared to settle down for a longer drive but the car they were following signalled left and turned off the road.
‘Where now?’ Jasmine said.
‘It’s a hotel,’ Nat said. ‘I know this place. They brought me here.’ Jasmine didn’t ask any further questions; she thought she knew what Nat’s answer would be.
Angela followed slowly, stopping short of the hotel building which had a lot of cars parked outside. The Mercedes halted at the entrance. Ari got out and went inside. The Mercedes moved off.
‘Sid will park round the back and take the girls in through the back door,’ Nat said.
‘We need to see which room they use.’ Jasmine said. ‘Follow him, Ange.’
They pursued the car around the building into a car park that was almost empty except for a few plots of shrub and hedge. The Mercedes stopped in a space close to the rear entrance.
‘Park here.’ Jasmine ordered. As Angela manoeuvred into a space, Jasmine watched. Sid got out of the driver’s door and opened the rear door of the car. He didn’t appear to look behind to see them parking. That was a relief as Jasmine knew they were exposed. Ffion got out followed by another girl. Sid took their hands and guided them towards the door of the hotel. The door opened revealing Ari. He urged them to get inside with a wave of his hand.
‘Come on!’ Jasmine called, getting out of the Fiesta and running. She heard Nat following. They reached the door to the hotel. Jasmine pulled it open. There was a stairway and inner doors to the hotel rooms.
‘You take the ground floor. See if you can see where they’ve gone.’ She bounded up the stairs leaving Nat behind. Luckily there were only the two floors.
She pulled the door at the top of the stairs open. The corridor went to the left and the right. The left was straight. She could see along it for forty metres or more. It appeared empty. The right-hand corridor turned after a few metres. Jasmine took the right. At the ninety-degree bend, she stopped and peered round. There was another fire door but through it she could see a man, probably Sid, stepping inside a room. She tried to get a fix on which door he had entered. Quietly she opened the fire-door and slowly made her way along the corridor. She got to the room she thought she had seen Sid use and paused. She could hear voices, a bass growl and a higher pitched moan. There was a sharp crack, the slap of a hand on a smooth surface, then a shriek. Jasmine stepped back from the door. This was the definitely the room. She noted the number.

……………………to be continued.

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Jasmine in paperback

WP_20181206_12_52_45_ProThe paperback version of Molly’s Boudoir arrived sooner than I expected, thanks to speedy work by the printers. Now you can purchase your own copy from me by sending a message to me here. The e-book on Kindle is available here.

There have been some great reviews already. What wouldn’t I do for a best seller? (Well, quite a lot of things actually).

Part 7 of the Jasmine Frame prequel, Monochrome is below.

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What to make of the debate on the Brexit “Deal”? What a mess.  Will it actually come to a vote as planned next week or will Conservative MPs find some way to wriggle out of their obligations to do the best for the county. While it was a referendum that got us into this mess, surely, whichever side you are on, the only sensible and democratic solution is to have another one, with May’s half-baked “deal” and Remaining in the EU as options  – there aren’t any others as “No Deal” is madness.

Taking one’s mind off all the troubling news (not just Brexit), I have been reading Trans Britain, edited by Christine Burns (pub. Unbound). It is a collection of essays that detail the course of transgender rights and action over the last seventy years. It highlights the discrimination felt by trans people in the past and present and doesn’t back away from referring to the growing problem of anti-trans factions who seek to push trans people back into a ghetto. It also makes clear that there isn’t one type of trans person. We are in fact all individuals.  While some might want to transition between binary genders, there are an increasing number of people who reject the old western stereotypes of masculine and feminine and are finding ways of being themselves without declaring a gender. I can see no reason why anyone should want to deny an individual the right to be themselves if they are not harming another person.

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Monochrome: Part 7

Jasmine froze as she frantically weighed up what to do. Could she escape through the front door? Both men were bigger and heavier than she was. While she could possibly take one on, she didn’t think she stood much chance against the two of them. Then there was Nat and Ffion to think about. She had no chance of getting both through the door.
How about the rear entrance? Turn and make a run for it? She had no idea whether the back door was even unlocked or what they would find in the garden. They could be trapped. Again, getting the three of them away seemed most unlikely.
What about brazening it out? She was a plain clothes police officer and the house was surrounded. It wouldn’t take the men much effort to expose that piece of wishful thinking.
She was out of ideas and staring stupidly at the two men. While she was still dithering, Ffion skipped to the leading man, tossing her head of hair.
‘Hello Ari, have you brought something nice for me?’ She put her arms around his waist. He placed a hand on her shoulder.
‘Who are this pair of fuckers?’ he said.
It was Nat’s turn to step forward. ‘You know me, Ari. I’m Nat. Sid knows who I am. Well he ought to, he’s fucked me enough times.’
The guy behind, perhaps a little younger, Jasmine thought, blinked a couple of times and frowned.
‘What you doing here, Nat?’
Nat replied in a much lighter sing-song sort of voice to her usual tone. ‘Ffion’s my friend. I thought I’d drop in and see how she was doing.’
‘No, I meant. What you doin’ in town?’
‘Oh, you know that your mates dropped me off on the coast, do you?’
The leading man called Ari, nodded. ‘You’re that mad bitch. The one that said she was a lad now, even though you’ve still got a cunt.’
‘That’s me,’ Nat said cheerfully.
‘You need teaching a lesson.’ Ari released his grip on Ffion, shoving her out of his way. She stumbled back into the lounge. Ari took a step towards Nat. Nat retreated till she rested against Jasmine. The man stooped and peered at Jasmine.
‘Who’s this then? Do you know ‘er, Sid?’
‘Na,’ the younger man grunted.
‘This a friend of mine,’ Nat said, ‘She brought me back.’
‘Since when you ‘ad friends in the country, Nat,’ Sid said.
‘Wouldn’t you like to know,’ Nat replied.
Ari frowned. ‘You shouldn’t have come here,’ he growled. ‘Not with ‘er.’
Jasmine sensed that Ari wasn’t sure what to do. He obviously exercised power over the young girls, but someone older, mature, he was less sure about. Jasmine had to act before he decided he should impose himself.
‘Well, I’m sorry it’s not a convenient time to visit Ffion,’ she said, trying to sound as if calling into a drug and sex den where underage girls were abused was a daily occurrence. ‘We’ll be off and let you get on. I’m sure Ffion needs looking after. She doesn’t seem too well.’ She didn’t think that speech would have a useful outcome but at that moment there was a knock on the door. Sid being closest turned and opened it before Ari could stop him, if that had crossed the older man’s mind.
Angela stood on the doorstep.
‘Oh, hello. I came to tell Jasmine that she’s needed. We’d better get off.’
Jasmine took the cue.
‘Thanks, Ange, we were just coming.’ She grabbed Nat’s hand and strode down the hall, easing past Ari and Sid without having to push them out of the way. ‘Sorry to have taken your time.’ The two men stood, open-mouthed. Jasmine and Nat got to the door. Jasmine urged Angela to move. The three of them hurried down the path to the road. Angela had parked the Fiesta right beside the men’s Mercedes. They bundled in, and without waiting to secure seatbelts, Angela drove away.
Jasmine turned around in the front passenger to seat to see Ari and Sid appear at the door and stare after them. Angela drove them quickly away from the residential area.
Jasmine let out a long breath. ‘Thanks, Ange. I’m not sure how we were going to get out of that. You knocked at just the right moment.’
‘I got worried when I saw that pair get out of the car. They looked as though they could be violent.’
‘That’s what I was afraid of,’ Jasmine said, ‘Is she right, Nat?’
‘Sid’s a bit of a softy but Ari is nasty. Mind you they’ll all knock you about to bit if they think they’re not getting what they want.’
‘Did you see the girl you know, Nat?’ Angela asked.
‘Yeah. She’s there. Doesn’t know what’s happening to her. Out of her brain.’
‘And we’ve left her there with them,’ Jasmine said. ‘What will they do to her?’
‘Probably try to find out what we were saying to her,’ Nat replied, ‘Slap her around a bit. Give her some booze or skunk or something. Then use her. That’s what they want really.’
Jasmine was worried. She felt as though they had deserted the young girl. ‘If she tells them we were trying to get her away from there. Do you think they’ll hurt her?’
Nat shook her head. ‘I doubt if Ffi realised what we were doing. They’ve addled her brains. She thinks they’re looking after her.’
‘Even when they beat her up?’ Angela said as they pulled into a car park in the shopping centre.
‘She’ll think that it’s her fault; that she’s done something wrong. I used to think that until something clicked in my head.’
‘We’ve got to get her away,’ Jasmine said.
‘Well, they won’t keep her there,’ Nat said. ‘Ari will be suspicious about you two and he knows I’m awkward.’
‘What will they do with her?’
‘Take her to another place. They won’t leave her on her own again, that’s for sure.’
Jasmine was certain that the police must be alerted to Ffion’s predicament. ‘Do you know these other places?’
Nat shrugged. ‘Some of them. I’m not sure they took me to all the buildings they use. They’re not just houses. Some of them are in business places, and they took me to cheap hotels to meet other guys.’
‘We’ve got to report what’s going on to the local police,’ Jasmine said.
’Will they believe me?’ Nat sounded doubtful.
‘It’s not just you. There’s me and Angela now as well. I’ve seen Ffion and those two guys.’
‘I didn’t see Ffion,’ Angela said, ‘Don’t you think the police will need more evidence?’
Jasmine considered. ‘Perhaps you’re right. Nat, can you take us to one of these other places where they kept you?’
‘Yeah, okay.’
Nat directed Angela to drive to the edge of the town. They entered a small industrial estate with small factory and warehouse units.
‘It’s down there,’ Nat said, pointing down a side road. Angela stopped the car.
‘Have you got your camera, Angela?’ Jasmine asked.
Angela reached for her hand bag and dug out a small digital camera. Jasmine took it.
‘What are you going to do?’ Angela asked.
Jasmine opened her door. ‘Take a look around. Perhaps take some photos.’
‘I’m coming too,’ Nat said.
‘Okay, come on. Take the car out of sight, Ange, and keep your phone handy.’
‘Alright, but take care.’
‘Of course.’ Jasmine and Nat stepped out of the Fiesta and Angela drove off. ‘Show me which unit they used,’ Jasmine said to Nat.
They walked up the road that was devoid of traffic. The units they passed seemed unused, some were derelict. The metal clad building at the end did at least look in better condition with a name board over the vehicle access. Sammi’s International Foods it read.
There were a couple of windows at the side of the building. Jasmine guessed it was the office part of the warehouse. She looked around to check there was no one outside the unit and then crept up to the wall of the office with Nat behind her. She rested her head against the wall but could hear nothing from inside. Could she get a peek inside the window? She inched along the wall, pressed against it. She reached the window frame, leaned forward a few degrees. She had a view of a typical office, with desks and filing cabinets. It was unoccupied.
She heard a car approaching. She inched along the wall until she could see the entrance to the warehouse. A Mercedes had pulled up. It looked like the one that Ari and Sid had arrived in. The metal roller door clanked as it rose until the Merc was able to drive in. Another car arrived and parked. Three men in business suits got out and entered the warehouse.
‘What’s going on, Nat?’ Jasmine whispered.
Nat spoke into Jasmine’s ear. ‘They’ve come to do business. They’ll be handing out the girls.”

……………………….to be continued.

Jasmine goes live

Molly’s Boudoir is now available for download from Kindle (here) and I have the trial copy of the paperback version.  Paperbacks will be available from a fortnight’s time.  So, now there are four Jasmine Frame novels, plus the three published prequels and the numerous stories I’ve serialised here.  There is one more Jasmine novel to come, and I’m making initial plans for that but it will probably be 2020 before I get it out – if I can afford it.  For now, there is the next episode of Monochrome, set somewhat earlier in Jasmine’s life, transition and career.  You can read it at the end of this blog.

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So what has attracted my notice this week? Well, I’m trying to avoid getting worked up about the Brexit farce, now compounded by the battle for the debate. Will it be BBC or ITV that gets what promises to be the dullest and least decisive of confrontations ever. Corbyn hasn’t got a foggiest of what to do and won’t back another referendum and May is in cloud-cuckoo-land so they’ll spend the hour or whatever saying nothing apart from the ritual insults. Meanwhile neither May nor her Brexiteer opponents seem to believe any forecasts made by the Bank of England or her own government. It is true that economists and finance experts are invariably inaccurate but weight of numbers suggest that Brexit will be a disaster for ordinary British people.

What else? Well, there’s Trump accusing his former best mate of perjuring himself to get off lightly, while still being nice to Putin who is stirring up things again in the Ukraine.

All the time the environmental news gets worse and worse. The last four years have been the hottest ever with no chance whatsoever of reaching  the targets necessary to keep temperature rises down. We basically have to stop burning fossil fuels now to prevent a rise in temp. of 1.5 degrees C. It’s not going to happen, is it. I think there will be some improvement because many businesses see money in renewables but almost without exception the authoritarian leaders are climate change deniers (or ignorers) and only have their eyes on short term profit.

Doom! Doom! We’re all doomed!

I was thinking the other day about why we haven’t contacted aliens yet. Perhaps there are none out there to communicate with because like us they drove themselves to extinction by greed and stupidity. Not by blasting themselves out of existence like it was feared we would do a few years ago.

At least there is robot life on Mars.

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Monochrome: Part 6

The door opened and a face framed in long blonde hair peered around it. Her eyes were half open and she appeared to be leaning on the door.
‘Hi, Ffion,’ Nat greeted her cheerfully, ‘Can we come in?’
‘Oh, Nat. It’s you,’ the girl said in a dreamy tone. Jasmine had seen enough to decide that the young woman was drugged, but she hung back letting Nat take the lead. Nat stepped forward and gave the door a gentle push. Ffion stepped back allowing the door to swing open. She was wearing a baby doll nightie and a miniscule pair of panties.
Nat stepped into the hallway and grasped Ffion by both shoulders.
‘How are you, Ffi?’
‘Ok,’ she replied not too convincingly. ‘Where you been Nat?’
‘I’ve been away. I’ll explain.’
Ffion seemed to see Jasmine for the first time.
‘Who’s this Nat?’
“A friend. She’s called Jasmine, Ffi. Look let’s get inside. It’s cold. You must be freezing.’
Nat took the girl’s arm and escorted her into the front room, which was an untidy and filthy lounge. The thin curtains were drawn but there was enough light to see the empty bottles scattered around the torn and stained sofa. A large coffee table held the remains of a various takeaways, cigarette ash and other substances that Jasmine could only make guesses about. She stood in the doorway feeling wary of sitting anywhere amongst the debris. Ffion however sat on the sofa with Nat by her side.
‘What’s going on, Nat?’ Ffion said, her head lolling from side to side.
‘We’re getting you out of this, Ffi.’
“Er? Wha’ do you mean?’
‘Haven’t you had enough of the abuse, Ffi?’
Ffion looked uncertain. ‘Abuse?’
‘Being fucked by the different men. The beatings.’
‘He only hits me if I’m naughty,’ Ffion said.
‘No, Ffi. That’s not it. Look I can see you’re out of it. What did they give you?’
‘She’s been drugged,’ Jasmine said, a statement more than a question.
‘Yeah,’ Nat agreed, ‘They feed us skunk, coke and stuff, so they can do what they like with us. It looks like they put a roofie in whatever she’s drunk this morning.’
‘Roofie? That’s rohypnol,’ Jasmine said.
‘Yeah, it’s what they start us on, after the alcohol, so we don’t fight.’
‘They keep you drugged so you don’t run away. Is that it?’ Jasmine said.
‘That’s right, until they’ve got you hooked on the other drugs, and will do anything to get the next hit.’
‘How did you escape that, Nat?’
‘Luck and because I’d seen what hard drugs do to my Mum.’
‘But you got involved with it all.’
‘Yeah, but that was me being stupid and thinking the guys were helping me. At first, I thought they were being kind because of my mam being a crackhead. It was only after the fucking and beating started that I realised what I was getting into, but I avoided the drugs as much as I could.’
Jasmine looked at Ffion who slumped on the sofa not taking any part in the conversation.
‘I guess, Ffion hasn’t been here as long as you.’
Nat nodded. ‘Yeah, just a few weeks. She’s still a fresh fuck for most of the guys.’
Jasmine knelt in front of Ffion.
‘How old are you Ffion?’
The girl raised her head and looked vaguely in Jasmine’s direction.
‘Dunno.’
‘She’s fourteen,’ Nat said, ‘That’s what she told me when we met first.’
‘We’ve got to get her out of here,’ Jasmine said standing up. ‘We can’t leave her here to be abused some more. Has she got any clothes? We’ll take her to the car.’
‘And then?’
Jasmine was thinking. ‘Well, we’ll go back to the cottage. Get her sober and then it will have to be the police.’
‘You think two stories are better than one?’ Nat didn’t sound convinced.
‘Yes, along with what I’ve seen here.’
Nat shrugged. ‘Okay, I’ll see if they’ve left her anything to wear.’ She left the room. Jasmine crouched down again.
‘How do you feel, Ffion?’
The girl appeared unsure. ‘My head feels big.’
‘That’s the drug. Do you feel sick or unwell?’
Ffion shook her head a little.
‘Did a man have sex with you this morning?’ Jasmine was thinking that if they got her to the police quickly there would be evidence of under-age sex and rape.
She nodded.
‘More than one man?’
She shrugged. Did that mean she didn’t know or couldn’t remember? Jasmine wasn’t sure. She hoped that when the effects of the drug past that the girl would be able to give a statement.
Nat returned carrying a piece of cloth. She held it up for Jasmine to inspect.
‘I could only find this short skirt. They’ve taken away all her school clothes.’
‘That’ll have to do,’ Jasmine said. ‘We’ll wrap a blanket around her to keep her warm. I presume they do have blankets on the bed, or at least a sheet.’
Nat went again having dropped the miniskirt. Jasmine picked it up and took it to Ffion.
‘Let’s get this on you, Ffi. Make you look half decent.’
The girl allowed her legs to be put together and Jasmine tugged the garment up her thighs. Nat returned with a grubby blanket. Together thy hauled Ffion on to her feet. Jasmine tugged the skirt over her bottom and they wrapped the blanket around her.
‘Shoes!’ Jasmine cried. ‘We can’t walk her down the street without something on her feet.’
‘Yes, we can,’ Nat said. ‘She doesn’t have any shoes. Not here anyway. Do you think people will look at her feet while watching us cart her along the road?’
‘Hmm, yes. That could look a bit odd couldn’t it. I’ll get Angela to bring the car a bit closer.’ Jasmine dug into her bag and pulled out her mobile phone. Angela’s number was on speed dial so she didn’t have to punch the buttons to make the call. Angela answered immediately.
‘Hi, Ange. Look we’re bringing out another girl. Can you come a bit closer and pick her up?’
As Angela replied Jasmine went cold. She stabbed the ‘end’ button and dropped the phone back in her bag.
Nat stared at her. ‘What’s the matter Jas?’
‘Angela says a car has pulled up outside this house.’
‘Damn. He’s come back.’ Nat said.
‘Quick, Nat. Let’s get Ffion out the back.’
They grabbed the girl and tugged her to the lounge door. They stepped into the hallway just as the front door opened.
Two dark-haired men stepped inside, blocking the hall. They stopped and stared.
‘What’s goin’ on ‘ere?’

…………………to be continued.

Jasmine the 4th

Layout 1I’ve spent some of the last week promoting Molly’s Boudoir, the 4th Jasmine Frame novel. The Kindle version will be available from Friday 30th for £2.99 (it’s on pre-order at the moment) and the paperback will be available soon after for £9.99 inc.p&p (send your order here).  There are also various “special offers” this coming week, so go to my Jasmine Frame Publications page to find out all about them.

Of course I had forgotten that this weekend it would all be about “Black Friday”. Why that causes so much fuss, I don’t know (it’s Thanksgiving in the USA which is nothing to do with anyone anywhere else). Everyone is falling over themselves to publicise their special offers which are not special at all. (Mine are though).  Anyway it will be all over by the time Molly’s Boudoir hits the scene.

I’ve sent out press releases and newsletters but word of mouth is still one of the best ways of promoting books. So please buy a copy and tell everyone you know.  I do hope that Molly’s Boudoir appeals as a good crime thriller, but of course it also tells the story of a transitioning transwoman. It’s now about eighteen years since I started writing Jasmine Frame stories and admitted to myself and Lou that the trans part of my nature could not be denied any longer. Painted Ladies was completed in 2009 but was not published until 2013.  That event had quite an effect on my life since it became public knowledge that I was trans, although the revelation didn’t seem to help sales much. It was quite a release however, because it meant that I no longer worry about whether someone does or doesn’t know.

Since the publication of Painted Ladies, I have written three more novels and sixteen novellas/short stories with the seventeenth currently being serialised below.  The fifth, and possibly last, Jasmine novel is in the planning stage at the moment.

WP_20181120_11_51_39_ProSince Jasmine came into existence there have been quite a few changes.  The 2004 Gender Recognition Act was passed, the  2010 Equality Act aided those with a Gender Recognition Certificate and single-sex marriage is now legal (it wasn’t at the time that Monochrome is set (2008). I feel that there is greater acceptance of trans people of all varieties but there has been the backlash from radical feminists and right-wingers which threatens our future safety. In my own case I have moved from trying to “pass” as female with wig and boobs and what have you, to declaring myself gender-fluid and, where-ever possible, non-binary.

Jasmine Frame has lagged a little behind the real world. Molly’s Boudoir takes place in 2013, not that there are many references to the actual period.  The lag will increase as the fifth novel is set to take place in 2014 but it will be a couple of years, I expect, before it goes to press. How much longer I can carry on writing episodes for this blog remains to be seen.

Talking of which, here is the fifth episode of Monochrome.

Monochrome: Part 5

He tried to come down from the loft bedroom without making the wooden steps creak, but without success. The girl looked to be asleep on the sofa wrapped in blankets, but she stirred as James passed her on his way to the shower room.
‘You eyeing me up?’ she said, sitting up but holding the blanket tight around her.
‘No, Natasha, I’m not but I didn’t want to disturb you. I thought you were still asleep.’
‘I’m not. I heard you on the stairs. I usually know if there’s a guy near me. Unless I’m out of it.’
‘The men drugged you?’ They’d talked about her experiences last evening over supper and afterwards, but James still wanted to further information to show that her story was consistent.
‘Sometimes,’ she said. ‘Something in the cider, made me sleepy. I suppose they wanted me easy to lay, not struggle like.’
‘Did you struggle?’
Nat shrugged. ‘Sometimes, recently.’
‘Why? Didn’t that make the men more violent?’
‘Yeah, course it did. But I wanted them to hit me and hold me down to fuck me so it didn’t feel as though I was giving in to them.’
‘You were brave.’
‘Huh, I just wanted it to end, one way or ‘nother.’
‘Well, your out of it now, Nat. Go back to sleep. We’re not getting up yet. I just need a pee.’ He pottered off to the toilet. When he returned Nat was still sitting up. She looked at him.
‘You’re a good-looking guy.’
James found he was flattered, but Nat hadn’t finished. ‘Why do you make yourself look like a girl, with the wig and tits and stuff?’
James pulled his dressing gown tight around himself and crouched down on the mat beside the sofa. He sat cross-legged.
‘I don’t know why. Perhaps its genes or something to do with hormones before I was born or growing up. The thing is, I’ve always been unsure about whether I’m male or female. When I’m Jasmine I feel comfortable.’
‘You mean horny?’
‘No, definitely not that. Just comfortable.’
‘But you’ve got a woman. You fuck. You get horny then don’t you?’
‘Well, yes,’ James felt a flush rising up his neck, ‘But that’s Angela and me. When we’re together it’s like we’re, er, one. We love each other, and we have fun making love, but it isn’t that I’m a bloke using a woman to get relief.’
Nat sniggered. ‘Is Angela the only woman you’ve fucked? It sounds like it.’
James nodded. ‘Yeah she is, and I don’t think there is another woman I’d want to make love to.’
‘That sounds weird but actually rather nice.’
‘I’m sorry for you, Nat,’ James said, and he found he really did feel a sense of remorse for the girl. ‘You’ve had sex spoiled for you. It should be a pleasure you discover with the right person when you are old enough. Instead it’s been forced on you.’
Nat looked away from him and James thought he saw a tear trickle down her cheek. He reached out a hand to touch her shoulder. She flinched and moved away.
‘No! Don’t touch me.’
James removed his hand. ‘I’m sorry.’
She turned to face him. ‘No, it’s not your fault. It’s just that, they would grab me, paw me. I don’t like being touched.’
James was still learning how this young woman, no, girl, had been damaged.
‘We’ll get you put back together again,’ he said.
Nat shrugged. ‘Perhaps I don’t want to be put back as I was.’
James frowned. ‘What do you mean?’
‘Perhaps I can be like you and be someone different when I want to.’
‘You mean, be a boy?’
‘Yeah.’
‘Why?’
She stared at him. ‘Why do you want to be a girl? Guys have everything much better than girls.’
‘Do you really think that?’
‘Yeah, course I do. Guys have the money, the girls. They get what they want, any time.’
James nodded. ‘Okay, in general men get paid more than women. Women get put down a lot by men, get pushed out of jobs by men. But there’s the other side. Boys get into trouble; more die when they’re young. There are far more men in prison.’
Nat shrugged, but didn’t say anything.
‘Look Nat. Do you really feel that you’re a boy or is it just that you want to get out of being abused as a girl?’
‘Do you really feel that you’re a woman?’
James felt a bit staggered by having the question thrown back at him. He thought for a moment before answering. ‘Well yes, I do. It’s difficult to explain, but I feel that I’m acting a part when I’m a man while being Jasmine seems natural.’
‘So why aren’t you Jasmine all the time?’
He took a deep breath. He hadn’t had to put an answer to this question into words even though it was always on his mind. ‘Well, it’s complicated.’
‘Really? Why?’
‘Well, there’s Angela.’
‘You said she’s happy with you dressing up.’
‘Yes, she’s wonderful. We’ve always had fun together whether I’ve been James or Jasmine. But she wouldn’t want to be with Jasmine all the time. We couldn’t stay married for a start.’
‘Why not?’
‘Because same sex marriage isn’t allowed in the UK. I can’t see it ever being allowed.’
Nat shrugged. ‘What’s so special about being married? Is that all?’
‘No. There’s my job.’
‘You could be a police woman.’
‘Yes, but. . .’ He wasn’t sure what to say.
‘You’re just not sure, are you?’
The young girl had summed up all his doubts. ‘No, I suppose I’m not. Transitioning, that’s what it’s called when you change genders, is complicated. There’s all the legal stuff, telling everyone, getting medication and then having the surgery.’
‘When they chop off your cock.’
‘Yes, well, it’s a bit more than that. The surgeons construct a vagina and a clitoris.’
‘Does that mean you can “come” when you’re turned into a woman?’
James nodded, ‘Usually, yes.’
‘Well then, I think you should do it. You look good as a woman, almost as good as you look as a guy.’
‘Thank you. And what about you?’ James desperately tried to turn the conversation back to Nat.
She shrugged. ‘I don’t suppose I really feel like a boy, but I don’t want to be used as a guy’s cheap fuck anymore.’
‘And we will make sure you’re not. I’d better get back to Ange. She thought I was just slipping down for a pee not a prolonged discussion.’

They were driving through the outskirts of the town. Nat was sitting tensely in the back seat. Jasmine looked round to check on her while Angela drove.
‘You feeling OK, Nat?’
‘No.’
‘We can go back to the cottage. Leave it a day perhaps.’
‘No. Let’s get it done.’
Angela stopped at a T junction. ‘Which way now, Nat?’
‘Left. Ffion lives just up the road.’
‘You still think she’ll be at home?’ James said. ‘It’s nearly noon.’
‘Yeah, she’ll be there. Nowhere else to go unless they decide they want her, but that probably won’t be till later.’
‘She should be at school,’ Angela said for the umpteenth time. Jasmine didn’t answer because they’d commented before on the illogicality of excluding a girl from school to be left home alone as a target for the child molesters.
‘Stop here,’ Nat said. ‘We don’t want to park outside the house.’
‘No, of course not. Let’s have a look then shall we, Nat.’ Jasmine glanced in the vanity mirror. She’d made herself up more than usual, and picked out the shortest skirt, one of Angela’s actually. The objective was to look like an appropriate companion for Nat in her boyish jeans and jumper, newly washed and dried, almost. She wasn’t sure it was a completely successful disguise, but so long it got her into the company of Nat’s fellow abusee that was all that mattered.
They walked the forty yards up the road, Jasmine trying to look nonchalant and ignoring the torn rubbish bags and the boarded-up windows in the terraced houses.
‘This is it,’ Nat said, striding up to a door devoid of paint and tapping on it.
Jasmine heard movement inside.

…………………………to be continued.

 

Jasmine makes a decision

It’s ready to go.  Yes, the next Jasmine Frame case, Molly’s Boudoir is available on pre-order on Amazon for Kindle.  Publication date is 30th November for the e-book edition. Order here  (if you’re in the UK).  The price is £2.99 in the UK with relative prices in other markets. The paperback version  will follow soon after.

The events of Molly’s Boudoir, the 4th Jasmine Frame novel, take place several months after  The Brides’ Club Murder. Jasmine has been called for her Gender Confirmation Surgery which will require weeks of recovery and recuperation. Meanwhile events at Molly’s, a shop in Thirsbury (a small town west of Kintbridge) are reaching a climax resulting in a fire and a murder. Tom Shepherd, now a DI, is the investigating officer and he realises that the business at Molly’s requires Jasmine’s input. With the approval of DCI Sloane, Jasmine is invited to join the case as transgender advisor. Despite not being fully fit Jasmine is soon actively involved and pursuing a line of inquiry which leads her into areas of sexual activity that she is unfamiliar with and puts her new female status under test.

With some violence and sexual content, which you may have come to expect from Jasmine Frame’s cases, Molly’s Boudoir takes Jasmine’s story a stage further.

If you would like a free pre-publication version of Molly’s Boudoir in return for a review on Amazon posted on 30th November, contact me here.

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Visit us next week for news of some special offers!

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It’s been a momentous week in the Brexit saga.  It’s total chaos with no-one in power taking responsibility to admit that the paradoxes are unresolvable and the voters must be given the opportunity to vote again, this time with the correct facts.  That’s it. I’m not saying any more. For now.

……………………….

Finally here is the next episode of Monochrome, the Jasmine Frame prequel.  The events in this story take place five years before Molly’s Boudoir when Jasmine is still unsure of her gender status.

Monochrome: Part 4

It was a tale Jasmine had read about but had not heard described by the victim. She struggled to accept that it was real.
Angela continued questioning the girl, her tone suggesting she could hardly believe the story herself. ‘Those disgusting men left you alone and drove away?’
The girl nodded. ‘Yeah. Tipped me out of the back, threw my clothes at me and went off.’
‘What did you do?’ Angela asked.
‘Got dressed of course. It was fucking freezing.’
‘Yes, I’m sure it was. What then? Did you set off somewhere?’
‘How could I? I didn’t know where the fuck I was. It was pitch black. I just wandered along the track until I got to this place.’
‘You broke in,’ Jasmine said.
The girl looked belligerent. ‘I didn’t have to break anything. The window was open. I only had to climb in.’
‘You stayed the night? Angela asked.
‘Yeah. There was a duvet on the bed. I rolled myself in it and got warm. I slept. Best night’s sleep I’ve had for yonks.’
‘Why?” Angela said, showing surprise at the girl’s statement.
‘It was dead quiet. I didn’t have the fucking neighbour’s kid screaming all night or my mam moaning. I slept so well I nearly got caught.’
‘By whom?’ Jasmine asked.
‘Some woman. I heard her fiddling with a key in the lock. I just managed to get into the bathroom before she got in. I went out of the window and waited till she left.’
‘It must have been Mrs Williams getting the cottage ready for us,’ Angela said. Jasmine nodded in agreement.
‘Then what did you do?’ she asked.
The girl looked pleased with herself. ‘Climbed back in, of course. The woman had left some food – bread and milk. I really thought my luck was in. It filled me up that did.’
‘So that’s why there wasn’t anything here when we arrived,’ Angela said to Jasmine. ‘I knew Mrs Williams said there would be some basic supplies here for us.’ She turned to the girl “You didn’t leave then?’
The girl shook her head. ‘Why should I? It was nice and warm.’
‘Mrs Williams put the heating on for us,’ Jasmine said.
‘Yeah, I s’pose it was all for you,’ the girl said. ‘When I heard your car, I realised I’d better scat.’
‘But you didn’t go, did you?’ Jasmine said. ‘What did you do for the night?’
‘I hung around outside and when I heard you go to bed, I climbed back into your bathroom, real quiet like. I stayed there until it got light.’
‘You were in our bathroom all night, while we were in the bedroom!’ Angela cried. The girl nodded.’
‘Lucky for you, neither of us needed the loo,’ Jasmine said.
‘I suppose you came back in when we left for our walk,’ Angela said.
The girl nodded.
‘Ate our beans and took my jumper,’ Jasmine accused. The girl smiled defiantly. ‘And I expect you thought you’d do the same today.’
‘Yeah. I got careless though. I wasn’t expecting you back so early.’
‘It was raining,’ Angela explained.
The girl shrugged, ‘Can’t say I noticed. It was nice and comfy staying in. Don’t know what you’re doing going out when it’s this miserable.’
‘We’re getting some fresh air and exercise,’ Jasmine said. ‘How much of our food have you eaten today?’
‘Nothing. Well, just some crisps. I was going to have another tin of beans, but you came back.’
‘You haven’t had much to eat at all since you got here, have you? Not real food. You must be hungry,’ Angela said.
‘A bit. I’m always fucking starving.’
Angela stood up. ‘Well, I think you need a proper meal. I was cooking spag bol tonight. I’m sure there’s enough for three. First though I think we need coffee. Jasmine?’
‘Yes, but don’t you think we should get this girl to the police station?’
The girl leapt up and ran to a corner of the room. She crouched making herself as small as possible. ‘Don’t fucking dump me on the fuzz.’
‘That’s the right thing to do,’ Jasmine said, ‘They’ll investigate and arrest these men who’ve been abusing you.’
The girl shook her head. ‘No! They won’t believe me. They’ll say I just broke into this place to steal stuff. They don’t care about what men do.’
Jasmine realised that as well as physically and sexually abusing the girl, the men had also brainwashed her into thinking that they were above the law, that no-one would believe her story, so it was no point telling anyone in authority. She had read about it in so many cases. How else could so many boys and girls be exploited by so many men?
She approached the girl slowly, held out her hands to her.
‘I’m sorry. Don’t be frightened. I understand. Now I do. Look, we won’t go to the police. Not straight away.’ She coaxed the girl out of the corner, took her hand and guided her back to the sofa.
‘What are you suggesting, Jas?’ Angela said.
Jasmine wasn’t sure what was going through her mind. She started explaining, nevertheless.
‘We’ve got to help her but she’s right. It takes more than one victim telling a story of child sex exploitation before police officers take it seriously. Evidence is needed; not just other victims; things to corroborate their stories.’
Angela joined in. ‘Do you mean, we’ve got to get that evidence for her to be listened to?’
Jasmine nodded. Angela considered. They stared at each other, understanding each other’s thoughts. Moments of silence passed by. The girl watched them both. At last Angela spoke.
‘Okay. We’ll do it. I don’t know how, but I couldn’t spend the rest of our holiday here knowing that we’d handed her back to be abused some more.’
‘And worse,’ Jasmine added.
‘What are you two on about?’ the girl said.
Jasmine faced her. ‘We’re going to try and get your abusers arrested and ensure that when you leave here that you will be safe.’
‘How are yer going to do that?’
Jasmine shrugged. ‘I don’t know yet. We’ll think about a plan.’
‘Meanwhile, I’ll make coffee and dinner,’ Angela said.
‘And you will tell us your name,’ Jasmine said.
‘Er, it’s Nat.’
‘Nat?’ Angela said.
‘My Mum called me Natasha, but Nat could be Nathan too, couldn’t it?’
Jasmine nodded, ‘If you really wanted to be a boy, yes it could. Okay Nat. There’s something you can do while we’re waiting to eat.’
‘Er?’
‘You could have a shower.’
The girl looked surprised. ‘Are you saying I stink?
Jasmine laughed, ‘To put it bluntly. Yes.’
‘I’ll put your clothes in the washer,’ Angela said.
‘I ain’t got any others.’
‘I know that,’ Angela sighed, ‘You can borrow my dressing gown, and some of my clothes. They’re big for you but I don’t think you’ll mind a thick jumper that’s a bit loose on you.’
The girl looked goggle eyed. ‘Are you really going to look after me?’
Jasmine and Angela nodded together.

……………………to be continued.

Jasmine hears a tale

Phew! A majority of Americans have slowed the Trump/Republican goosestep towards right wing dictatorship.  I don’t fully understand the American government system but with the Democrats winning the House of Representatives perhaps a stalemate will ensue. Just so long as the Law of Unexpected Consequences doesn’t operate and something occurs that no-one wants or expects. Trump’s press conference fracas is one.

To home, and an article in last weekend’s Guardian. It concerned the work of the Tavistock Clinic in London, which assesses and treats children with gender dysphoria, together with the recent ITV series Butterfly, which told the story of a family with an MtF child. I was disappointed with the Guardian’s editing of the piece. It struck me that it allowed a group of people, largely parents, to spout untruths as if they were facts with no real “balance”  (how you can have balance between truth and lies I don’t know). The main complaint against the Tavistock was that it doesn’t provide a service for 16-25 year olds. Well, no it doesn’t.  16 year olds are adults in terms of medical care and, yes, we know there isn’t enough cash in the NHS to provide care for all the people with gender issues. The Tavistock itself has seen its number of patients rise in the last ten years from under 100 a year to nearly 2000. It certainly doesn’t push children into non-reversible treatment. Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS) is not carried out on the NHS on under 16s.

Butterfly was a relatively sensible look at the issue and was advised by Mermaids, the charity for transgender children. Only in the third and last episode with a bit of fraud and a dash to the USA did it get unrealistically dramatic. The arguments for and against Max/Maxine were well-rehearsed and generally answered. It showed how long it takes for a child to get an appointment to be assessed. It showed the depth of the questioning to understand the cause and degree of motivation of the child, and it showed that patients are not immediately handed drugs to delay puberty. It exercised the view (spoken by a grandparent) that perhaps Max was a just a gay boy and showed that that was not the case but revealed that at least society has moved on to largely accept teens can be gay.  It dealt with the question about whether being a girl was truly Maxine’s idea or whether she had been pushed into it by her sister and mother who had accommodated or encouraged her wish to dress girly.

The critics of the show missed all these vital scenes and put forward all the false arguments that show that they were displaying their own prejudices and not considering their own children who may have gone through the trauma of gender dysphoria. To make the points once more:

  • Gender identity is not sexuality. Gender is about who you feel yourself to be. A child with a male body may feel themselves to be a girl or vice versa. Some, like myself may feel themselves to be somewhere in between, not identifying with the stereotypes at either end of the gender spectrum.  Sexuality is about who turns you on, who you want to fuck.
  • Gender identity and therefore, in some children, gender dysphoria, arises from the age of 3 or 4. Perhaps 1% of the population feel a mismatch between their physical sex and gender identity. This feeling may become a realisation that they are trans or gender-queer at any age.
  • Children are quick to learn what their parents, families, society, consider important, or disgusting or unspeakable. Becoming gender dysphoric is not sudden, but someone, even a child, may keep it to themselves for years before something forces them to reveal it.
  • Unless you are adult and have lots of cash, you cannot change your physical or legal gender quickly. The NHS is so hard-pressed it may take a year to get a first meeting with a gender specialist.  There will be a long period of assessment before any treatment is offered. There are many opportunities to turn back. Only if the patient is found to be mentally stable will an adult be allowed to go for GRS.
  • The number of children who have revealed that they are transgender, or gender-queer has grown ten-fold in the last few years but they still make up much less than 1% of their age-group. They and us older gender-questioning people are a tiny minority. Only by the understanding of the vast number of people who have never questioned their gender, can we have our right to life upheld. Traditionally the support of gay people has been important but with some lesbians siding with the radical feminists who deny that transwomen are women, the unity of the LGBT+ community is not secure.

……………………………….

Layout 1I have received the final formatted versions of Molly’s Boudoir back from Alnpete and so it is go for publication of the Kindle version on 30th November with the paperback version available soon after. I’ll be sending review copies very soon so if you would like to receive one (free in return for an Amazon review on 30th Nov.)  then please contact me here.

The third episode of the Painted Ladies prequel short story, Monochrome, follows. We’re getting to the nub of the story here.

Monochrome: Part 3

Jasmine and Angela waited for the girl to begin but she seemed intent on gazing at Jasmine. Jasmine was impatient to hear her story but before she could urge her to talk, the girl spoke.
‘Are you trying to be a woman?’
‘I’m not trying to be anything,’ Jasmine answered irritably.
“Yes, you are. You’re a bloke but you’re dressed like a girl and wearing a wig.’
Jasmine sighed. ‘I’m trans. Sometimes I’m female and sometimes I’m male.’
The girl screwed up her face. ‘That’s weird.’ She turned to face Angela. ‘But you let him fuck you?’
Angela frowned. She wouldn’t be perturbed by the coarse language but Jasmine wondered how she would answer.
‘We love each other, that’s why we’re married. Jasmine has issues about her gender, but that doesn’t bother me.’
The girl looked puzzled. Which of those concepts troubled her Jasmine wondered – her muddled gender identity or being in love.’
‘You’re a girl,’ Angela said gently. Jasmine thought the statement wasn’t as obvious as it might be because while she was obviously physically female she had a masculine look about her. ‘but you dress boyish.’
‘I wish I was a guy,’ she said.
‘Why?’ Angela asked.
‘Things are easier for boys.’
Jasmine’s impatience won through. ‘Enough of this. What’s your name and why are breaking and entering our cottage.’
‘It’s not your cottage. It’s a holiday place.’
Jasmine waved her hands in frustration. ‘Okay, yes we’ve hired it. But while we’re here it’s ours. Now answer my questions.’
‘I was here first,’ she said.
‘What do you mean?’ Jasmine asked.
‘I was staying here before you arrived the day before yesterday.’
‘Not legally you weren’t. How did you get in?’
‘Through the window in there, of course,’ she pointed to the shower room. The room which Jasmine had thought was too small for anything but a kid to get through. In fact, she wasn’t much more than a kid.
Angela spoke softly, ‘Tell us why you were staying here. Why aren’t you at home?’
The girl snorted. ‘Home! Why I should I stay there? Damp hole and a drug-addled mother. That’s my home.’
‘Where is it?’ Angela asked.
‘Haverfordwest.’
‘That’s twenty miles away,’ Jasmine said. ‘What are you doing here?’
‘They dumped me here.’
‘They?’ Jasmine and Angela said in unison.
‘The guys that shoved me in their car and drove here.’
Jasmine’s eyebrows shot up. ‘Some men abducted you?’
The girl shrugged. ‘Nah, not really. They’d had enough of me.’
‘What do you mean, love?’ Angela said, her question hesitant as if fearing the answer.
‘Enough of pouring cider down my throat and fucking me.’
Angela gasped and Jasmine reached for the girl’s arm. ‘Do you mean that? These men were having sex with you?’
‘Yeah, that’s it. They took it in turns.’
Jasmine felt as though she was in her nightmare. She was back at the police station in their claustrophobic cubicle going through computer records and websites. How many times had she heard this story; a young girl being passed between older men, given alcohol or drugs and made to have sex with them.
‘No, it can’t be happening here too,’ Jasmine cried.
‘Doesn’t it go on everywhere?’ the girl said calmly.
‘Didn’t you say no when they asked for sex?’ Angela asked.
The girl laughed. ‘They didn’t ask. They just did it. Okay at first they were nice, gave me cider and some new clothes. I felt really grown up. Then they started to touch me up. Well, that’s fair enough isn’t it. You gotta pay for stuff. Then they wanted me to feel their cocks. I wasn’t in a position to say no, was I. There was four of them and just me. And I was woozy.’
‘This was a few days ago; before they drove you out here,’ Angela said, her face white.
‘Nah. That was months ago. They moved on to fucking since then.’
‘The same four men?’ Jasmine enquired.
The girl shrugged, ‘Them and others. They sort of passed me around, took their turns.’
‘But what did your family do about it?’ Angela said in an anguished tone.
‘I told you. I’ve only got me Mam. She’s out of it most of the time. They gave her some stuff to keep her quiet.’
‘What about school?’
‘I went most days.’
‘Didn’t the teachers wonder what was wrong with you?’
‘There wasn’t anything wrong with me. Except for a hangover now and then.’
‘But you were being raped by all these men.’
‘Yeah, well that’s normal isn’t. It’s what blokes do. It’s what girls are for innit.’
‘It damn well is not,’ Angela said. ‘You should have gone to the Police.’
‘Why? What would they do? Do you think I was the first and only girl these guys had? The fuzz couldn’t give a fuck.’
‘Some of us do,’ Jasmine said.
The girl looked at him with wide eyes. ‘You’re a cop?’ Jasmine nodded. The girl laughed and laughed and laughed.
‘What’s funny?’ Jasmine asked feeling as if she was missing something.
“A tranny cop! That’s a brilliant joke,’ the girl said through her continuing giggles.
‘They don’t know I’m trans,’ Jasmine admitted.
‘Oh, you’ve got a secret too. What will happen if the bosses find out about you?’
‘Let’s get back to you,’ Angela said. ‘If these men have been, um, using you, why did they dump you out here.’
The girl looked at Angela with sad eyes, sad that Angela should ask such a stupid question.
‘They got fed up with me.’
‘Bored with having sex with a minor,’ Jasmine said.
‘Maybe,’ the girl shrugged, ‘there’s always another little tart to fuck. But, the main reason was I made them do it.’
‘What did you do?’ Angela asked.
‘I cut my hair and started dressing in jeans and sloppy shorts instead of the little dresses they liked to see me in.’
‘Why?’
‘I thought that if I looked more like a boy they’d treat me like a boy.’
‘Why be a boy?’ Jasmine asked.
‘I told you. Boys have it easy. They get to give the orders, have the money and the girls.’
Angela spoke. ‘You thought that if you looked like a boy, men would treat you like a boy.’
‘I s’pose that was it. Stupid really. Didn’t go as I expected.’
‘Why not?’ Jasmine asked even though she thought that the girl’s scheme was wildly optimistic.
‘They knew I was girl, didn’t they, and some of them liked the idea of fucking me like they did boys.’
Angela let out a gasp as she realised the extent of the abuse the young boys and girls experienced. It was all too familiar to Jasmine and she felt sickened to be hearing it from the girl’s own mouth.
‘Is that what they did?’
For the first time the girl looked embarrassed. ‘Yeah. They hurt me. I lost it a bit.’
‘What do you mean?’ Angela said.
‘I hit one of them.’
‘What did they do?’ Jasmine asked, nervous of the expected answer.
‘Slapped me around. Not on my face of course, not somewhere obvious. Shoved me in a van with my clothes and dumped me out here.’

……………………………..to be continued

Jasmine’s calm disturbed

Another falls. The voters of another supposed free democracy have fallen for the strong talk of a right-wing, authoritarian nationalist. Brazil joins the other largest, most powerful nations in choosing (?) one such – USA, China, Russia, India. Back in the 1930s when nations fell by arms or the vote to fascists – Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal – there did remain a group of democracy supporting allies – the UK and its dominions, the USA, France (until 1940). Now though, I wonder if there will be any nations with clout left to stand up for internationalism, tolerance, peace, and the future of the planet. Definitely not the UK under a Conservative government.

I noticed somewhere a comment that 1/3 of the USA distrusts the media and thinks that the press are “enemies of the people”. There was surprise at this as if only Trump supporters think the media are biased. On the contrary I, and I expect many like me, distrust and abhor the rants of such as Fox News, the Daily Mail, The Sun, the Daily Telegraph et al. Even the BBC with its emphasis on balance rather than evidence-based truth gives us an extra push down the slide into chaos and disaster.

The problem is the silent majority who don’t support the rabble-rousing populists. They will remain silent and comfortable in their own cosy if a little hard-pressed worlds while minorities like immigrants, gays, trans, are first denigrated, then denied rights and finally eliminated. When a senior female policewomen says that the police don’t have the time or the resources to fight hate-crimes against women (that’s what misogyny is, after all) then you can see where we heading.

Yes, I’m pretty depressed about the new this week.

…………………………………

WP_20180927_16_21_24_ProSo, to relieve the gloom, a reminder that Molly’s Boudoir will be available as e-book and paperback shortly and if you would like a pre-pub pdf version free in return for an Amazon review then contact me here. And here is the second episode of the new prequel, Monochrome.

Monochrome: Part 2

She stirred and realised that she had been asleep after all. She spread her legs expecting to find Angela’s but she was the sole occupant of the bed. Her eyes opened.
‘’Morning James, or is it Jasmine today?’ Angela entered the bedroom carrying two mugs. ‘You are awake?’
‘Um, yes. What time is it?’
‘Gone nine.’ Angela placed one mug on the table on Jasmine’s side of the bed.
‘It’s a long time since I’ve slept in this late when I haven’t been on nights.’
‘That’s good. You’ve looked exhausted for weeks. That’s why you, both of us actually, needed this holiday.’
Jasmine nodded. The pressure of the work in the PPU, short-staffed as it was, had meant little time off let alone weekends. The nightmares were just one symptom of her stress. The chance to take a week’s overdue leave had been grabbed.
‘I know,’ she replied, ‘and thanks for your suggestion in the night. I am Jasmine until James has to go back to work.’ That was a prospect she didn’t want to think about for a few days.
‘Good. Well take your time, drink your coffee. I’ll do a fry up and then we can get out and look around.’
‘Fine, but first come here. I may feel feminine but this body still has male responses.’
Angela laughed and dived under the covers.

They had an exhilarating walk northwards along the coast path. Jasmine was grateful for her body-warmer over the tunic and leggings because while sunny and dry there was a chill north-easterly blowing. They returned to the isolated cottage with its views over the cliff before the October sun had sunk to meet the sea.  The room that was dining room, lounge and kitchen was cosy. Angela began to fill the kettle while Jasmine headed into the compact shower room which formed the only other part of the ground floor. She shivered. The small window had become unlatched and was flapping in the wind. Jasmine secured it, leaving just a small gap for fresh air to enter.
As Jasmine emerged, Angela was tutting.
‘I thought I brought four tins of baked beans. We had one this morning but there are only two left.’
‘Perhaps we left one behind.’ Jasmine chuckled, ‘Surely a commercial accountant can count beans!’ They both laughed as they drank coffee.
They ate, drank wine, played cards with a pack they found, read and talked but by nine they were both ready for bed. They climbed the steep wooden steps to the mezzanine bedroom in the roof. To make room, Jasmine decided to store the clothes she had travelled in as James in the suitcase.
‘Have you seen my jumper?’ she said.
‘Which jumper?’ Angela asked while undressing.
‘The red one I was wearing yesterday. It should be with the jeans and shirt. I took them all off at the same time.’
Angela sniggered, ‘Maybe James put it away for once.’
Jasmine shrugged. ‘I can’t think where. Oh well, it’ll turn up.’ Naked but for her knickers she crawled under the duvet.

Relaxation and exercise resulted in another good night’s sleep. Jasmine awoke the following morning refreshed, and, like Angela, ready for another exploration of the coast. They set off eagerly, southwards with the wind behind them. By midday, however, the cloud cover increased, spots of rain became showers which grew in intensity and wetting effect. The breeze became a gale, which made walking along the sometimes precipitous cliff path difficult if not actually dangerous. By then they had turned back, bending into the north-westerly. Jasmine held her hand to her head to keep her long blonde wig from flying away like some rare seabird.
Jasmine was grateful when she saw the grey smudge of the cottage appear through the ground-hugging rain clouds. They ran the last few yards up the field to the front door. Angela pushed the door open, stepped inside and cried out.
Jasmine pushed passed her and saw a figure rise from the sofa and run to the shower room.
‘Hey! Stop!’ she shouted and leapt across the room. The bathroom door slammed in her face. She pushed it open and stepped inside. The short, slim person already had head and shoulders outside the window and was wriggling to get hips through. Jasmine grabbed the feet and tugged. The intruder had no way of resisting and slid back inside. Jasmine dropped the feet and grasped the waist, dragging the youth to the floor. He twisted and squirmed but Jasmine used knees and arms to hold him firm.
‘Stop! I won’t hurt you,’ Jasmine said. The youngster lay still. Jasmine looked at his short, brown hair, red jumper, James’ jumper, torn skinny jeans and worn trainers. Then she looked again. There were humps under the jumper. Breasts? Was it he or she?
Jasmine stood up, watching carefully for any further bid to escape.
‘Come on, get up. What are you doing here? Why are you wearing my jumper?’
‘Take it easy, Jasmine,’ Angela stood in the doorway, ‘she’s a kid. Looks like she’s been having a hard time.’
Jasmine saw the bruises on her face, and the marks on her wrists. Was she a kid? Teenager certainly. Thief?
The girl got to her feet slowly, looking all the time at Jasmine. She was shaking.
‘Come here love,’ Angela said reaching out for the girl’s hand, ‘You look worn out.’
She allowed Angela to guide her back into the lounge. She sat on the sofa with Angela beside her and Jasmine standing over her. The girl gave her quizzical look.
‘Are you a bloke?’ she said.
Jasmine frowned, saw the girl was looking at the top of her head, raised her hand. Her wig was lopsided. She felt a moment of panic at being exposed. PC James Frame’s short, masculine blonde hair should have been hidden by the shoulder-length tresses. She straightened the wig roughly.
‘It doesn’t matter what I am. Who are you?’ Jasmine’s failed to keep her tone in her upper register. The girl’s eyes showed terror and she shrank into a ball on the sofa. ‘I’m going to phone the Police,’ she went on looking for her mobile. ‘They need to know about this thief.’
‘Can’t you see she’s scared stiff, Jas.’ Angela put her arm around the girl. ‘You see things in black and white.’
‘But what’s she doing breaking into our cottage?’ Jasmine felt the anger bubbling inside her.
Angela hugged the trembling teenager.
‘Let’s hear from her before you bring in the heavy mob.’ Angela spoke softly to the girl. Won’t you tell us what you’re doing here?’
The girl glanced at Jasmine, gazed at Angela, swallowed and said. ‘Okay, if it stops you calling the fuzz.’

………………………….to be continued.