It’s been one of those busy weeks you get after a time away. As well as catching up with the usual stuff, doing research for the 3rd Jasmine Frame novel (working title – The Brides), I’ve done three sessions with the great folks of the Malvern Book Promotions group, two as Penny reading from Painted Ladies and talking about Jasmine, and one as Peter introducing Evil Above the Stars to the world (there will be mnore about that on my SF/fanatsy page soon). They’ve all been good fun and I’ve met some lovely people but they haven’t been the great selling opportunities that I hoped. Oh, well, it’s all publicity I suppose.
I haven’t had time for writing but I have been thinking about the next prequel so here is a short introduction to Soft Focus (working title) looking at another stage in the development of Jasmine Frame as a transsexual detective.
Soft Focus – Part 1
There was a tap on the door and a muffled voice.
‘Jim? It’s me. Are you ready?’
Jasmine sat up on her single bed. She recognised the voice.
‘Coming Andy.’ Jasmine swung her legs off the bed and stood up on her high heeled shoes. She took the five steps to the door, turned the key and opened the door just a little. Andy was there in the narrow corridor, looking no different to usual – jeans and t-shirt with a slogan that was only witty to other computer nerds.
‘Are you ready?’ he said, ‘Have you done it? Got dressed?’
As an answer Jasmine pulled the door open and looked for the response in Andy’s face to her revelation.
‘Phew!’ was all he said as his eyes went up and down taking in her shiny, sheer tights, short denim skirt and black metallic off the shoulder top that clung to her (artificial) breasts. His eyes settled on her made up face, long, mascaraed eye lashes and shoulder-length blonde hair.
‘I’m not sure if I can do this, Andy,’ Jasmine said taking a step back into her room. Andy followed her and shoved the door closed.
‘What do you mean? Do what?’
‘Go to the party. Like this.’
‘Why not? You look fantastic.’
‘Do I look like a girl?’
‘Not a tranny; a bloke in a skirt?’
‘No. Not at all. Look if I wasn’t gay, I’d fancy you.’
‘But I am a boy. Shouldn’t you fancy me?’
‘Not when you’re a girl. Hey this is doing my brain in.’ Andy shook his ginger haired head. ‘Come on let’s go.’
‘I don’t know,’ Jasmine shifted her weight from one foot to another. ‘I’m nervous.’
‘About what? Look, you told me you’ve been dressing up for years. You’ve been out. What’s different?’
‘I’ve never been out to somewhere where there would be people who know me as a boy. I don’t know how they’ll react to Jasmine.’
‘Jasmine? Oh, that’s what you’re calling yourself. There’s only one way to find out how people will react and that is to meet them. And where better than the Uni LGBT Club. You’ve joined. You’ve told them you’re trans. What’s the problem?’
Jasmine sighed. She knew Andy was right but she was in a new city, amongst people she was only just getting to know. Not sure exactly who she was.
‘And anyway,’ Andy went on, ‘I don’t think anyone will know it’s Jim Frame inside that outfit and hair. Even I can’t believe Jim and Jasmine are the same person. So come on, before all the decent beer’s gone.’
‘Okay,’ Jasmine said picking up her puffer jacket from the back of the desk chair. She pulled it on and slung her small bag over her shoulder. She followed Andy out of her small student room and locked the door. This would be Jasmine’s first outing in Bristol.
Painted Ladies: A Jasmine Frame Story is available as an e-book and paperback from all booksellers including Amazon