Well, I am, or to be more accurate, ellifont™ is, now an official publisher. I have the ISBN numbers for Bodies By Design and other Jasmine Frame books. In addition the proofs are being checked and the cover is all but done and ready to be unveiled in a week or so. Soon, very soon, I will have to make plans for the marketing. I wish I had the magic formula for getting Jasmine Frame known to a wider audinece. There is so much publicity about trans people at the moment – trans actors, trans models, even a trans sit-com on BBC, but none of it compares with Jasmine – a trans-woman making a living as a detective.
I’m also getting exercised by the place of non-binary people in society. That’s the phrase used for people like me who haven’t transiitoned to a gender different to that we were born in but vacillate between appearing as male and female. People like us are not protected by law in the same way that transsexuals are but there is a move to get the Gender Recognition Act changed so that you don’t have to have a medical diagnosis to get your gender changed. It still won’t help me but is a welcome move away from the authoritarian imposition of gender identity.
So to Split Mirror, the Jasmine Frame prequel story to Painted Ladies. It’s actually set about seven months before PL. There’s a bit more crude language and references to sex in this episode – hope you like it.
Split Mirror: Part 5
In the stark light of the headlights, the men surrounding the Volvo were mere silhouettes. Jasmine had no way of knowing whether they were people she’d want to be within a mile of, but the thought that Diana had allowed some of them, many of them perhaps, to grope her and have sex with her made her feel sick. Had the need to prove she was a woman, to show that she could function as a sexually complete female, been so strong in her? Jasmine shared the desire to have the body she believed she should have but she could not put herself in Diana’s place and imagine giving herself to any and every man that wanted sex in a public place.
She looked at the little man. He was still eyeing her up. He disgusted her and she just wanted to be away from this place. But she had come to find out about Diana. She had to know more.
‘Did you see her here last night?’ she asked.
He shook his head, ‘Nah, I wasn’t here. Why do you want to know? Checking up on your friend?’ The last word was said in a tone that suggested a more intimate relationship. Jasmine ignored it.
‘She was here. Her car still is but she isn’t, is she? She hasn’t been home.’
The man frowned and he withdrew from her. ‘Look, I don’t know anything about her. Perhaps she went off with one of the blokes. Sometimes the women fancy fucking somewhere more comfortable.’
‘I want to know who she went with,’ Jasmine insisted.
‘I told you, I don’t know nuffin.’
Jasmine glanced around the men concentrating on the action in the cars. ‘Who would know? Any of these guys?’
‘Perhaps,’ the weasel backed off.
Jasmine reached out, grabbed his coat and pushed him back until he was against the bonnet of car with its headlights on. She raised her knee, pressed it into his groin and ground it against his balls. He yelped.
She withdrew her knee, a bit. ‘If you don’t help me look for my friend, the police are going to be here asking lots more questions and putting a stop to your dirty little games.’
The worried look was replaced by a grin on the man’s face. ‘You’re like her aren’t you? One of them transsexuals.’
Jasmine tightened her grip on his collar. ‘How did you know Diana was trans?’
His smile became a sneer. ‘Pretty obvious when you get close to her init. She weren’t a youngster, yet those tits could have been a teenager’s. And she wanted her cunt filled as if she’d just discovered fucking.’
Jasmine was disgusted by his talk but she couldn’t disagree with his explanation. She released her hold a little.
‘What about you?’ he went on. ‘You look a bit younger. Have you got a nice new pair of knockers and a new fanny?’
Jasmine shook her head. ‘I haven’t got that far yet.’ She wondered why she felt compelled to reply. Was it to deny feeling the urge that Diana had?
‘Still got your cock have you. Well don’t worry. Some of the guys aren’t too bothered about where they stick their tools.’
‘Stop your filth,’ Jasmine retightened her grip, ‘Just help me find out what happened to Diana.’
‘I can’t if you keep strangling me with me own coat,’ he said. Jasmine dropped her hands and stepped back. The man straightened up and raised his chin to stretch his neck.
‘That’s better. I can see you’re bothered about your mate but I said I wasn’t here last night.’
‘Someone else then?’ Jasmine glanced around at the sizeable crowd.
‘Well, perhaps Big Dick saw her. He’s often here for a bit of nooky. Come on.’ He slipped across the front of the car and into the dark space within the circle of vehicles. Jasmine followed. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the dark. She was amazed by the number of people clustered around the cars, some in various states of undress despite the cold. They moved in a zig zag as the little man searched for the person he called Big Dick.
‘There,’ he said quickening his step towards a 4×4. A man was moving away from it adjusting his flies. He was no more than a couple of inches taller than Jasmine with no sign of a gut. In fact Jasmine thought he looked pretty fit.
‘Big Dick!’ her guide called, ‘This tart’s asking about the trannie bitch.’
‘What about her?’ he asked, stopping and peering through the dark at Jasmine.
‘I guess your name’s not Richard,’ Jasmine said.
He grinned, ‘Nope. Do you want to see?’ his hand reached down to his flies again.
‘No, I just want to know if you saw my friend, Diana, last evening. She was here.’
‘Why should I tell you?’
‘Because she’s missing and I thought that if you’ve had any sort of relationship with her you might be just a little bit concerned and prepared to help.’
He scratched his chin. ‘Yeah, well, she has been kind of obliging. Eager to fuck any of the guys who fancied it, which means most of them who ain’t gay. She gave me a good time. Tight though.’
‘Look I don’t need that. I just want to know what she did last night. Did you see her?’
‘Yeah, reckon I did. She’d had a couple of the regular guys then there was a new bloke.’
‘Someone new to this?’ Jasmine indicated the circle of cars.
‘Don’t know about that but I’ve never seen him here before with his fancy van.’
‘Yeah, a high-sided Transit. A real passion wagon. Had the inside padded and a thick mattress done out in black fur and drapes.’
‘So you saw Diana in this van.’
‘Did you see her leave it?’
Big Dick screwed up his face. ‘Can’t say I did. Mind I was occupied elsewhere after I saw her.’
‘And the van?’
‘Oh, he must have driven off soon after. He weren’t here when we’d finished.’
Jasmine took a deep breath. She had the answer to what had happened to Diana – well the start of it anyway. She’d gone off with, or was taken by the man in the van.
‘Can you tell me anything more about this van? Registration, markings?’
‘Nah. On the outside it was just an ordinary white van. Now, darling, are you going to be nice now that I’ve answered your questions.’ He stepped towards Jasmine. She retreated raising her hands and preparing to defend herself.
‘I wouldn’t go after her,’ weasel said, ‘she can be vicious.’
‘I like a bit of high spirits,’ Big Dick said.
‘Not with me you won’t,’ Jasmine said, retreating.
Weasel stepped between them. ‘I wouldn’t bother, Dick, she ain’t even got a cunt.’
Jasmine backed off and then turned and hurried away. She glanced over her shoulder to see weasel and Big Dick still standing in the dark. Pushing passed the bodies milling around the cars, she broke into a run back to the Fiesta. She put the key in the lock and looked behind her. No-one had followed her and she sighed with relief. Thankfully the engine started without hesitation and she pulled out onto the main road heading home.
The boxes and carrier bags occupied most of the free floor space in the small living room lit by a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling. The flat was freezing cold and she had no idea how it was heated. What had the agent said? Storage heaters? She squeezed through into the tiny kitchen. There was a box on the narrow worktop with a post-it stuck to it. ‘Some supplies to start you off. A,’ Jasmine read. She smiled. Angie had done it again, thinking ahead while she had given no consideration to eating. She pulled packets and cans from the box – coffee, baked beans, sliced bread, sardines, soups, even some fresh apples. Enough to get her started in her lonely home until she made time to go to the supermarket. She filed the kettle and turned it on then opened the bread and slapped the crust and a slice on the grill pan. She pushed it under the grill then went into the bedroom. There was only room to move because there was just a single bed, unmade, but there was a large carrier bag sitting on it containing sheets, duvet and pillow.
Jasmine returned to the kitchen. The grill was still cold. She hadn’t turned the main switch for the cooker on. She did so and remained leaning against it, feeling the warmth slowly grow and removing some of the chill that she felt. Is this the reason that Debbie and Diana stayed together, Jasmine wondered, so that neither had to establish themselves in a new single home? They had been married much longer than she and Angela had but she knew how hard it was to split up from someone you loved even though the urge to become a woman was even stronger. While she understood the reasons Debbie and Diana had carried on living together, even after their divorce and Diana’s surgery, she couldn’t comprehend Diana’s craving for sex. Would she feel the same when the drugs had worked their changes on her body and the surgeons had re-shaped her genitals? She couldn’t see herself in the back of a car with a stranger on top of her and others peering in cheering and urging them on. Nevertheless that was what Diana had done and now she was gone. Jasmine was convinced she had been taken by the white van driver, probably against her will. That van was her only clue.
The smell of burning bread reminded her that the grill didn’t automatically turn off when the toast was done.
Painted Ladies: A Jasmine Frame Story is available as an e-book (e.g. from Amazon) and paperback from all booksellers. Order a copy for £8.99 inc. p&p from paintedladiesnovel(at)btinternet.com and pay by PayPal.