Jasmine in lists

I’ve been thinking about misogyny i.e. hatred of women. Some time ago a police force in England announced that it was considering treating acts of misogyny like other hate-crimes of minority groups. This means that all incidents are logged even if no actual crime can be said to have taken place (e.g. swearing at someone can be an offence in a public place but not in a private home). There are enhanced punishments for those convicted of a hate-crime. Women may not be a minority group but they are certainly targeted in various ways, from wolf whistles in the street to rape and murder, simply for being women. This is the indicator of a hate-crime.

Many men would no doubt say that they do not hate women and the whistles and comments and groping are signs that they are actually attracted to the object of their attention. That is not the point. That sort of behaviour shows that they hate the idea of a woman as an independent, thinking person with the same rights as themselves. The case of Trump (I hope that he will soon be forgotten and we don’t have to keep using him as an example) shows this. Treating any women as a plaything and bragging about it in “the locker-room” or the saloon bar or wherever to other blokes reveals the true misogynist nature of the man.

Of course whenever this kind of crime comes up we are reminded of George Orwell’s thoughtcrime. Is it wrong to think of women in this way? Well, I don’t think people should be prosecuted for their thoughts but I do think it shows that we have a long way to go to educate men and boys that women and girls have the right not to be the object of their attention whether verbal, manual or sexual, at least until they have consented. Education does not mean brain-washing, it means explaining and developing an understanding. It is disappointing if some men still show their misogyny in the way that they talk to other men but it is their actions towards women that should be punished.

A final thought. Some feminists refuse to accept transwomen as women or allies in the fight against misogyny.  I think that though wrong they have some reason for their actions. There are some transvestites (not, I think transsexuals) who reinforce outdated stereotypes of women and think that by dressing as women they can act like the fluffy-headed dolls that they perceive women to be. As someone who feels that I reside somewhere in the middle of the male-female spectrum that attitude appalls me as much as it would any woman.

…………………….

discovering jasmine final cover

Murder in doubt cover

Painted Ladies front cover jpegLayout 1

 

 

 

 

 

Following the end of the Jasmine Frame story, Perspective, last week I’m taking a rest this week.  There have now been ten novellas and three novels which are listed below in chronological order

Discovering Jasmine    2000    novella   e-book          James ventures out as Jasmine

Murder in Doubt            2001     novella  e-book          James meets Angela at university (formerly Soft Focus)

Aberration                       2004     novella  unpublished   James living with Angela after uni.

Flashlight                        2009     novella  unpublished  PC Frame seconded to V&SCU

Resolution                       2009     novella  unpublished  sequel to Flashlight

Blueprint                         2009      novella  unpublished  James reveals Jasmine to Tom

Self-portrait                   2010      novella  unpublished  Jasmine starts transition

Close-up                          2010      novella  unpublished   starting hormone treatment

Split Mirror                      2011      novella  unpublished   moves to flat, alone.

Perspective                      2011      novella  unpublished   resigns from police force

Painted Ladies                 2012     novel     e-book/pbk    called in to catch serial killer

Bodies By Design            2012     novel     e-book/pbk    assisting Sloane to trace killer

Brides’ Club Murder       2012    novel     unpublished   solving a country house murder.

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Jasmine takes a break

And still it goes on – the news I mean. I’m writing this a little early this week but already we’ve had Farage resigning, again, He’d done his job, so he says. No thought about the aftermath or what responsibility he might have. And Chris Evans resigning from Top Gear. I haven’t watched the new series and neither, for a long time, did I watch the old version.  I like James May and Richard Hammond but Clarkson increasingly got on my nerves with his views. But a TV programme is unimportant compared to what is happening to the government of our country. I’ve read and heard Europeans comment that they thought us Brits were calm and thoughtful and wouldn’t, couldn’t, make such a mess of things as leaving the EU. Well, all I can say is that they haven’t met the ones that voted Leave because if they holiday abroad at all, it’s likely that they stay in hotels and camps that are shut off from the country they are in and the only “foreigners” they meet are the waiters, chambermaids, etc. Doesn’t apply to all of them of course.  We shall see what the next week brings.

Having finished Aberration last week I have decided to take a break from writing Jasmine Frame stories for a few weeks.  Writing the stories is fun but each episode takes up a considerable time each week. I also feel I need to give Jasmine a rest so I can get the imagination and creativity going again. I am writing another fantasy novel which I need to devote more time to. I also want to get the third Jasmine novel ready for publication, and perhaps prepare another of the prequels for e-book publication,  so that will keep me busy. It is almost three years since I started writing the prequels and I have finished nine of them (I thought it was just eight!). For those of you that are interested, the table below lists all the Jasmine Frame stories, written, published or planned. There are still a few gaps in Jasmine’s life story, particularly her first years in the police force. However, I don’t really like writing police procedurals and her opportunities for investigations as a uniformed PC may be limited – but we will see.

This blog will continue nevertheless, with comments on the world outside fiction, especially my experience of transgenderism and news about the Jasmine publications (perhaps some free or reduced price offers soon) so I hope you will continue to pop in for a read.

To show how things change in three years here are a couple of photos of me during that time.

2013, shortly after the publication of Painted Ladies

2013, shortly after the publication of Painted Ladies

2016, at Hay Festival.

2016, at Hay Festival.

Provisional title date situation crime Publication & length Publication date
Discovering Jasmine 2000 James experimenting with his gender identity Transwoman intimidated by youths Ebook, Discovering Jasmine

20,000w

2015
Soft Focus 2001 James meets Angela at Uni. Transman dies; suicide or murder? Ebook, Murder in Doubt

21,000w

2016
Aberration 2004 James & Angela living together post- graduation Transman killed 16,000w  
Flashlight 2009 James seconded to V&SCU, meets DCI Sloane for the first time. Woman killed by drug overdose supplied by transwoman 24,000w  
Resolution 2009 James appointed to V&SCU. Meets DC Tom Shepherd Colleague (from Flashlight) murdered 23,000w  
Blueprint 2009 James reveals he is trans Crossdresser suicide 38,000w  
Self=portrait 2010 Start of transition Young transman accused of murder 27,000w  
Close-up 2010 Jasmine back at work. Conflict with DS Baby alleged to be snatched in high street 23,000w  
Split Mirror 2011 Separating from Angela, move into flat. Conflict with DS Transwoman disappeared 22,000w  
Painted Ladies 2012 Jasmine working as private detective. Divorce from Angela. Serial killer targeting trans women Ebook & paperback, Painted Ladies 80,000w 2013
Bodies By Design 2012 Biorchidectomy, start of relationship with Viv Transwoman murdered Ebook & paperback, Bodies By Design 72,000w 2015
The Brides’ Club Murder 2012 Electrolysis. Planning to move in with Viv Leader of Bridal wear group murdered t.b.d

76,000w

2016/17
Molly’s Boudoir 2013 Breast augmentation. Living with Viv Arson at trans shop t.b.d. ?
Impersonator 2014 GRS. Female impersonator killed t.b.d. ?

 

Jasmine meets a partner

It doesn’t take much to get encouragement. Book sales aren’t rocketing (upwards, that is) and when you read about someone who got a book deal after self-publishing their novel, as happened with the writer of an SF novel I have just read, one can’t help being envious. But yesterday someone who I only met recently and don’t know particularly well said they had bought the Painted Ladies e-book and that they were loving it – that gave me the lift, especially as I hope they will go on to buy Bodies By Design and Discovering Jasmine.

Chronologically, the first prequel

Chronologically, the first prequel

A comment by a follower of these weekly rambles and episodic novellas also gave me a boost. She liked the episode from a couple of weeks back where Jasmine was in a bit of a pickle. Which brings me to the state of the Jasmine Frame prequels. I have now completed seven of them. That’s over 170,000 words for anyone who’s interested.

As you know I write an episode each week from the barest outline.  I have tried to make sure that I keep James’/Jasmine’s back story consistent with what I wrote in Painted Ladies which was completed over four years ago and in the sequel, Bodies By Design. I have now completed a draft of the third novel, The Brides’ Club Murder, which takes Jasmine’s story on.  While I have managed, I think, to keep the main characters – Jasmine, Angela, Tom, Sloane – “intact”, I have been less careful with the minor characters and a few have become confused or names have been duplicated.  I’m afraid some names have to change, and will change when I edit the prequels for publication (as I have done with Discovering Jasmine). The reason I am going on about this is that it affects the new story starting below.

Some stories ago I introduced a member of Sloane’s team called DC Keith Money.  It was a while later when I realised that actually he was the same character as appears in the novels called DC Terry Hopkins. From now on Money ceases to exist and is replaced by Hopkins.  So when you read this new story, Resolution, which actually follows on chronologically from Flashlight, please remember that Hopkins is Money. Also I realise that I should have made Milla Sparrow a Detective Sergeant in Flashlight rather than a lowly DC. In Resolution she is referred to as a DS.

I hope that’s all clear now, so let’s get on with the fun.

Resolution: Part 1

James Frame skipped up the steps to Kintbridge Police Station.  The August sun felt warm through the dark grey cloth of his new suit. It was his first morning as a full-time member of the Violent and Serious Crime unit and he was happy. He had achieved his dream of becoming a detective but he knew that this was just the start.  
He entered the public foyer. It was empty at this time of the morning but the grey-haired duty officer was leaning on the counter examining a document. He looked up as James approached. James noted that he was a sergeant in uniform with a couple of female civilian staff sitting at desks behind him.
The sergeant drew himself upright, ‘Yes Sir, how can I help you?’
‘I’m James Frame, DC Frame,’ James said feeling unusually nervous. This wasn’t the first time he had reported for duty at a new station but the first time without the protective shell of a police uniform to mark him out as a member of the force. He did however have his i.d. card which he showed to the desk sergeant.
The older man glanced at it. ‘Ah, yes. We were expecting you DC Frame. There is a staff entrance around the back which you will be able to use when you have had your orientation.’
‘Of course,’ James replied feeling like the new boy at school.
‘I’m Sergeant Gorman, Geoff Gorman. Most people here know me as GG. I’m sure we will get to know each other pretty soon especially as you’re one of DCI Sloane’s bright young chaps.’
James nodded and offered his hand, ‘Please to meet you Sergeant Gorman.’ His hand was shaken perfunctorily. Gorman turned to speak to his staff.
‘Mandy, please show DC Frame the way to DCI Sloane’s office please.’
A young blonde woman got up and left the room.  She reappeared a few moments later through the door at the end of the foyer. She smiled at James. He hurried to join her while she held the door open.
‘Thank you,’ he said, ‘I suppose I’ll soon know my way around.’
‘Oh, it’s quite a maze,’ the woman said, leading him passed interview rooms to a flight of stairs. They climbed a couple of flights and then walked along another corridor until they approached a glass-panelled door.
The woman stopped and pointed to the door, ‘V ‘n SC’s through there.’
‘Thanks,’ James said, leaving her and striding to the door. He pushed it open and stopped. A large room with desks arranged in a grid pattern each with a computer monitor, faced him. There were half a dozen people gathered around the door to an office on the far side of the room. A head of grey-flecked hair showed above the group. James had already met Sloane a few times and recognised him immediately.
Sloane’s eyes focussed on him, ‘Ah, Frame. Come and join us.’
James weaved through the desks until he joined the group who had turned to face him.
‘This is our last new recruit, DC Frame,’ Sloane said as he approached the gathering. ‘You remember DC Hopkins, don’t you, Frame.’  Hopkins was in his forties and wearing a crumpled brown suit. He looked at James but his expression was blank. James nodded and smiled. He knew Hopkins was a long-standing member of Sloane’s team so probably someone to get on well with.
‘This is DS Trewin,’ Sloane continued indicating the man standing on his left. He had short black hair and was about a foot shorter than Sloane. ‘He took Sparrow’s place a month or so ago.’ Then Sloane pointed to a young man standing next to Hopkins who was at least as tall as Sloane and as dark as Trewin. ‘And you join on the same day as DC Shepherd. Welcome to the Violent and Serious Crime Unit.  You’ll meet the others in due course.’
James and Shepherd exchanged nods and examined each other. Shepherd seemed a similar to age to himself, James noted but his height and build made him appear like an elder brother.
‘Trewin, Shepherd and Frame, with me. The rest of you, back to work.’  The three other detectives, a woman and two men of which one was dark-skinned, immediately turned on their heels and scattered to desks. James followed Shepherd and Trewin into Sloane’s office. Trewin stood by the side as James lined up next to Shepherd facing Sloane who settled himself into his leather chair.
‘I’m not going to give you two a long speech,’ Sloane began, looking from James to Shepherd and back. ‘You’ll soon learn the standards I expect from you. Initially you will be working at the direction of DS Trewin. He knows his way around well enough now so he can get you settled in. Right off you go.’
Trewin began to move to the door and DC Shepherd turned on his heels. James was about to follow.
‘Frame, stay a moment.’ Sloane said. James froze. Trewin and Shepherd left and the door closed behind them.
‘Yes, Sir?’ James said wondering why he had been singled out.
Sloane frowned at him and spoke in grave voice, ‘There’s something I should tell you, Frame.’
Oh, god, James thought, what is he going to say? Does he know about Jasmine?
‘You got to know DS Sparrow quite well when you were seconded to us.’
‘Milla? Yes, Sir.’ It had only been a few days but he and DS Camilla Sparrow had worked closely together on a trio of drug related deaths. Milla had moved to Birmingham leaving the vacancy filled by Trewin.
Sloane took a deep breath before continuing. ‘Well, I think you should know that DS Sparrow has died.’
‘She’s dead!’ James was mystified. Milla Sparrow was a young, fit woman looking forward to her new posting and life with her partner in the Second City.
‘Yes, I’m afraid so, Frame.’
‘How, Sir?’
‘A hit and run accident. She was a pedestrian and was hit by a car that mounted the pavement.’
James felt a great sadness. He hadn’t expected to meet Milla Sparrow again and he had hardly got to know her well but she had been a great friend to him, and she knew about Jasmine.
‘When did it happen, Sir?’
‘About a month ago. The funeral was last week.’ Sloane replied, not appearing too certain of the facts.
‘That must have been only just after she moved up there, Sir.’
‘That’s right. I think she’d been in her new post for a fortnight. Your affair at the Marquis was her last case here. She took some leave afterwards.’
James shook his head. ‘How did it happen? What did the driver have to say?’
‘The driver is unknown. Hasn’t been traced. As I said, it was a hit and run.’
‘An accident?’
Sloane shrugged which meant his whole bulk moved up and down. ‘That’s all Frame. Go and join Trewin and Shepherd.’
James muttered a thank you and drifted out of Sloane’s office in a daze. He couldn’t imagine Milla Sparrow becoming the victim of a road traffic accident; she was far too alert and careful. What had really happened to her? Sloane appeared to not know more or to be concerned by anything other than her sad loss to policing.
Trewin and Shepherd were standing next to a desk close to Sloane’s office. James joined them.
Trewin addressed them in a Cornish accent, ‘You two can have these two desks.’ He pointed to the two other desks in the row.  ‘DCI Sloane tends to stick with surnames, but I’m Alan.’ He grabbed James’ hand and shook it.
‘James, or Jim,’ James said.
‘Tom,’ Shepherd said holding out his hand to be shaken by James.
‘Hi,’ James replied.
‘Ok. Get logged in and find your way around,’ Trewin went on, ‘No doubt I’ll have something for us in due course. Life is not usually dull round here, I’ve found. Do you know Kintbridge, Jim?’
‘Not really,’ James said. ‘I’ve been in Reading for the last few years but never came out here much. We’ve had a look round while we’ve been house-hunting though.’
‘We? You’re married?’
‘Yes, Sir.’
Trewin nodded, ‘And you Tom?’
‘No, Sir. I do have a girlfriend but . . .’
‘I understand. Well, get settled.’ He shooed them towards their own desks. James sank into the chair and woke up the computer.
‘Hey, Jim,’ Tom called in a breathy whisper from behind him. James swivelled.
‘Yes?’
‘What did Sloane want to see you on your own for?’
James smiled. DC Tom Shepherd was obviously not one for hanging back.
‘He wanted to tell me that a detective I’d worked with had died.  DS Sparrow the one that Trewin has replaced.’
‘Died? That’s harsh. How did you know him?
‘Her. I spent a few days in plainclothes working with her in May.’
Tom’s eyes widened. ‘You mean you’ve already worked for Sloane?’
‘Only briefly. It was a temporary secondment.’
‘You must have impressed him.’
‘Why?’
‘To get onto the Unit so soon. My name has been on the list for over a year and only now did Sloane decide to give me a try.’
‘Well, we’re both here now so I suppose it’s up to us to show Sloane he’s made the right decision.’
‘Yeah. Everyone says he’s quite a taskmaster.’
‘So I hear,’ James agreed.
There was a shuffle as DS Trewin stood up from his desk in front of James. He turned around to face them.
‘With me you two. We have a call out.’
‘What is it, Sir?’ James asked hurrying to follow the DS who was already striding to the exit.
He called over his shoulder, ‘A body.’
 
 

Jasmine in jeopardy

First of all a serious matter. This week has seen the publication of the House of Commons Report on Transgender Equality. The Women & Equalities Committee has been receiving submissions for some months on all matter of transgender issues. I have given it a quick read and I am impressed. For a start it recognises that trans is not just about people suffering gender dysphoria and undergoing gender reassignment. It recognises that there are people who identify as non-binary or agender who do not want to be medicalised or undergo hormone treatment or surgery.  That is a big step forward.

The Report recommends: changes to the Gender Recognition Act – to remove the requirement for medical assessment and allowing self-determination of gender; the Equality Act – expanding protected minority status to all aspects of gender identity rather than just gender reassignment and putting transphobia on the same legal basis as other hate-crimes; re-affirming the right of anyone to be known by any name they wish (there is no such concept in the UK of a “legal name” which one must give when asked); and moves to de-gender a lot of bureaucracy such as allowing an X on passports denoting either no gender or gender withheld.

I applaud the members of the committee for their diligent work and thank all those that submitted comments or took part in the hearings. If all the conclusions and recommendations of the Report are followed up (and I have only mentioned a few) then life for many trans people, of various gender identities, will be much improved.

Not transsexual, not gender dysphoric, just trans

Not transsexual, not gender dysphoric, just trans

One comment in the Report, dealing with trans in the media suggested that it would be a step forwards if trans characters in drama actually had something in their characterisations beyond being trans such as being a nurse, doctor, police officer (actually commentator, MP Ed Vaizey said “policeman” which was a bit a faux pas). So come on media companies – take on Jasmine Frame!

And so to the final episode of Flashlight, the seventh prequel to Painted Ladies and Bodies By Design. Don’t worry. there will be an eighth, starting soon.

Flashlight: Part 15

His field of vision was filled by the shining blade as if he was looking through a telescope. James struggled to think of something, anything, other than that sharp edge slicing through flesh. With his eyes focussed on that sparkle of reflected light, he twisted to the right, pushing Dick behind him. The movement seemed to be in slow-motion while his thoughts raced. The point of the knife gathered momentum towards him, slashing at his left arm.
He watched the blade slice through the sleeve of his jacket and felt a searing line of heat as the tip caught his upper arm.  Nothing stopped the knife though. It emerged from the cloth and carried on millimetres from his chest. As the blade passed he grabbed the wrist with his right hand and pulled.
The hand’s owner, already off balance, toppled head first past James. James released his grip on the arm and the attacker continued to fall across the corridor until his head met the dado rail on the wall, a metre above the floor. There was a loud thud and he fell to the floor.
Time returned to its normal pace. James sucked in a breath and found himself standing over the unconscious bovver boy with Dick cowering beside him. Sirens sounded and tyres screeched on the road outside the club.
‘He cut you,’ Dick said.  James looked at his left arm. The neatly torn sleeve was red and blood trickled down his arm. James felt nauseous, his nightmares realised. Being cut and scarred was what he always dreaded. He clamped his right hand over the injured arm, not sure how deep the wound was.  He looked along the corridor and then turned to Dick.
‘Don’t move,’ he warned, ‘There are more of them. Check that he’s alive.’
Dick crawled to the side of the assailant and bent to examine him.
‘He’s breathing, but out cold.’
‘Watch him. I don’t want him dying on us but I don’t want him getting away either.’ James was undecided what to do next.
Shouts of “Police!” and boots stomping on the club’s wooden floor gave James a feeling of relief. There were answering cries from the clubbers and the invaders. The corridor was suddenly filled by two officers in riot gear. They stopped and stared with their batons raised.
‘Don’t move!’ the leading officer said, ‘Who are you?’
‘DC Frame,’ James shouted and nodded to the floor. ‘This guy attacked me with a knife, the other one is helping with the investigation.’ He released his grip on his left arms and reached with a bloody hand into his jacket for his i.d. He presented it to the officer who glanced at it and then lowered his baton.
‘Are you hurt, Sir?’
‘A bit. Not sure how serious it is. Look, take care of this pair will you, but keep them separate.’
The officers moved forward, one bending over the skinhead and the other taking Dick’s arm. James gripped his arm again trying to staunch the trickle of blood.
Another figure filled the corridor. ‘Well, Frame. You’ve made quite an impact.’ It was DCI Sloane, looking as fresh and composed in his grey suit as ever despite it being the middle of the night.
‘Hello, Sir,’ was all James managed.
‘Two major incidents in one night, two back-up teams in riot gear. Not bad for your first case.’ James wondered if he detected a chuckle amongst the gruffly spoken statements.
‘I think we’ve broken up the drug ring based here,’ James said.
Sloane nodded, ‘So Sparrow informs me, and we have about a dozen suspects to question. We’re going to be busy for a day or two, but we need to get you treated first. I can see you’re bleeding.’

It was late-afternoon and James was sitting at a desk in the cramped office in Reading Police Station. James’ arm was sore despite the painkillers. A few stitches had knitted the skin and muscle together and his arm was held in a sling to stop putting tension on the wound.  He yawned. After a couple of hours in A&E he had grabbed a few hours’ sleep but it wasn’t enough and the day had been busy processing the arrests. He was supposed to be typing up his account of the proceedings but it was slow work using just one finger on his right hand. He was having trouble accounting for his time in the lock-up garage with Baker and her accomplices, while dressed as Jasmine.
The door opened and DC Sparrow swept in. ‘Yes!’ she said punching the air.
James stared at her. ‘What…?’
‘Baker and Jefferson have admitted providing the overdoses to Murray and Butler who worked for the other drug gang,’ Milla said, bubbling with excitement, ‘and Baker has identified the pair that attacked her and ransacked her flat; the same couple we think that gave Natalie Peck her fatal dose.’ Despite working throughout the day without a break she seemed filled with energy.
‘What about the gang that attacked the Marquis last night?’ James asked.
Milla grimaced. ‘They admit to a bit of old-fashioned gay-bashing but we’re having trouble connecting them to the old mob in Reading. We’ll see if they stick to their story when they realise they are in for enhanced sentences for hate crime in addition to GBH on a police officer for one that attacked you.’
James didn’t feel victorious. ‘So the people that Murray and Butler worked for and who got Natalie murdered will get away with it and carry on business as usual?’
Milla nodded, ‘I’m afraid that’s true, but come on cheer-up, we’ve had a great result. Time to celebrate with the others. What are you doing?’
James glanced down at the computer screen. ‘Trying to write my report. How do I describe what happened in the lock-up?’
‘You don’t,’ Milla grinned, ‘You were with me, in the car the whole time, until I sent you back to the club. That girl, Kylie, who Baker and Jefferson have mentioned was an un-identified tranny they were recruiting. Somehow in the confusion she got away. No trace of her.’
James felt a weight lift from him. ‘And that’s it? I’m in the clear. No-one will know about Jasmine?’
‘That’s right. Sloane and the Chief Constable are delighted with us busting the new drug suppliers, solving the three deaths and putting a bunch of yobs behind bars. They’re not interested in some kid in a frock who got mixed up in it but had done nothing wrong.’
‘Thanks Milla.’
‘My pleasure, James. It was fun working with Jasmine. I hope she gets a chance to do more investigations in future. Perhaps you’ll feel confident about coming out someday. Look I’ve just got to go and have a few words with the uniform guys. Shall I see you in the King’s Head soon?’  The King’s was the local pub frequented by off-duty police officers.
James nodded. ‘I’ll get this finished and see you there.’
‘Great.’ Sparrow left. James got back to tapping on the keyboard but a few minutes later the door opened again and Sloane’s bulk filled the doorway.
‘Ah, Frame. I just met Sparrow and she said you were still working on your report. That can wait till tomorrow. You’ve had a busy twenty-four hours. I think you need to rest.’
‘Thank you, Sir.’
‘You’ll be back in uniform for your next shift, Frame.’
‘Uh, yes, I suppose so, Sir.’ James hadn’t thought about his return to normal duties. Despite enjoying his usual work, it felt like a bit of a let-down.
‘But, ahem, with Sparrow leaving very soon there will be a post vacant on my team. I trust you will apply for it.’ Sloane stared sternly at James as if he might disobey the instruction.
Did he just hear what he thought he’d heard? Joy and excitement lifted his mood. He was going to be a detective, permanently.

THE END

Jasmine in action

Ux7 coverFirst of all a blatant plug for my new fantasy novel, Unity of Seven now out as an e-book. Go to my SF & Fantasy page for more details.

 

 

 

 

We went to see The Danish Girl at the cinema this week. It wasn’t as busy as for Star Wars, surprise, surprise. Actually I wasn’t – surprised, that is. Despite the wonderful filming and costumes and the fine acting by Eddie Redmayne and Amelia Vikander and others, I do wonder how much appeal the film will have for mainstream audiences. It tells the 1920s/30s story of how artist Einar Wegener became Lili Elbe, the first person to undergo gender reassignment surgery. The transformation is portrayed with little tension or drama despite the extreme threat to Lili’s survival in the operating theatre. It is really a love story – not about the growth and discovery of love but its survival. Einar (Redmayne) and Gerda (Vikander) are very much in love but as Einar becomes Lili she becomes self-centred and focussed on her own gender turmoil. She pushes Gerda away. Gerda is hurt but never loses her love for Einar/Lili and supports her throughout her transition. Trans people, their partners and perhaps their acquaintances can maybe recognise the emotional exchanges but I wonder if those with no experience of transgenderism can understand the urges that Einar/Lili experiences and appreciate the film.

Ready to go to the cinema

Ready to go to the cinema

Anyway, for a bit more action there’s Jasmine Frame in Flashlight, the prequel to Painted Ladies and Bodies By Design.

Flashlight: Part 14

                 Like Jasmine, Baker and her two captors stared at the doors. There was another crash followed by the scream of wrenching metal. The doors swung open.  The syringe swung away from her arm and the grip on Jasmine’s arms and thighs weakened. She pushed her feet down on the floor and pressed against the chair-back. The chair toppled backwards. Jasmine somersaulted, her dress flopping over her head but she ended up on her feet. She straightened up, her wig covering one eye, and ran around the back of the van. She heard Baker ordering Kel and Hassan forward as boots thudded on the concrete floor and the invading police officers yelled out instructions.
                Jasmine crept down the side of the van until she reached the bonnet. The buckled garage doors were open ahead of her. Following the last of the police officers through the gap was Milla. She wore an anti-stab vest over her boob tube and mini-skirt. She saw Jasmine.
                ‘Jas! Here now. Quick.’
                Jasmine ran towards the doors. Milla grabbed her and pushed her through the opening. Outside was a traffic jam of police cars and vans, headlights on and lights flashing. Milla dragged Jasmine between the vehicles to where their own unmarked Ford Focus stood.
                ‘How. . .’ Jasmine began.
                ‘No time now, Jas. Take the car. Get home. Change to James then get to the club a.s.a.p. Bring Jefferson and Dick in for questioning. I’ll send you assistance.’
                ‘But . . .’ Jasmine’s head was filled with questions.
                ‘Go. I’ll cover you.’ Mill dangled the car keys in her hand. Jasmine took them, got in the car and drove off with tyres screeching.
                Two thoughts occupied Jasmine’s mind as she drove home as fast as she dared. How had Milla known where she was being held? Had she given her a way to keep Jasmine secret? She hoped to get an answer to the first question sometime but for now she had to do what Milla had ordered to stand a chance of keeping her transgenderism concealed.
                She braked hard outside their apartment block and ran from the car, operating the lock as she did so. Miraculously her small bag had remained dangling across her body despite the gymnastics. She leapt up the stairs to the flat and shoved the key in the lock. In the hallway she pulled off the wig. As she entered the bathroom she tugged her earrings off and pulled the dress over her head. She bent down to spread cleanser over her face and swilled it off with water.
                ‘Jasmine? Is that you?’
                Jasmine rubbed her face as she headed to the bedroom. Most of her make-up had come off –much of it onto the towel. Angela was standing in the doorway, eyes blinking in the light.
                Jasmine squeezed passed her. ‘Can’t stop now, Ange. I’ve got to change. Get me a t-shirt, please.’ She undid her bra and the enhancers flopped to the floor. Hopping to the wardrobe as she tugged off one sandal then the other, she pulled out a pair of chinos. With the trousers around his hips James grabbed the t-shirt from Angela’s hands and pulled it over his head. He was leaving the room with one hand holding his trousers up, pushing his feet into a pair of trainers and grabbing his jacket.
                By the door he picked up Jasmine’s shoulder bag which had been discarded.
                ‘Explain later, Ange.’  He staggered out of the flat, leaving the door for Angela to close. Back in the car he did up his trousers and pulled up the fly, then he was off again, racing back to the Marquis. How could he explain this excursion? Would he have to?
 
James pulled up on the yellow lines outside the club and got out trying to look as calm as he could. There were still two doormen although there were more people leaving now than arriving. James recognised one of the bouncers from earlier in the night but the other was a replacement for Kel. James raised his identity card, retrieved from Jasmine’s shoulder bag.
                ‘I need to see Mr Jefferson,’ James said. The security men glanced at his card, nodded and stood to one side.  James glanced behind to see two uniformed police officers approaching.
                ‘Are you DC Frame?’ the leading officer said.
                ‘Yes. Did DC Sparrow send you?’
                ‘Yes.’
                ‘Follow me. There’s two people we need to find to take in for questioning.’
                James led the way into the club. The noise was still loud, the lights still flashing and the dancefloor stilled packed with writhing bodies, male, female and other. James and his escort circled the dancers but there was no sign of Jefferson or Dick.
                James headed for the stairs. As he began to climb he turned to the following police officers.
                ‘One of you come with me, the other stay at the bottom and stop anyone else coming up.’
On the top floor, James strode into Jefferson’s office. The club manager was sitting behind the desk. He looked up, at first alarmed and then angry.
‘What are you doing, bursting in here,’ he said in his high-pitched voice.
‘Police, Mr Jefferson. I’m DC Frame,’ James waved his warrant card, ‘We’d like you to come to the station to answer some questions.’
‘Questions? What questions?’
‘About the sale of illegal substances on these premises.’
Jefferson squinted through narrowed eyes. ‘Do I know you?’
‘No.’ James dismissed the question. He didn’t want to get into explaining his prior meeting with the Jefferson when he was Jasmine. ‘Come with us now please.’
‘I’m busy. There’s a club to run. I’ll come and answer your questions later when we’re closed.’
James sighed. He’d hoped that Jefferson would come without argument.
‘I must insist, Sir.’
There was a pounding on the floor behind him. The officer left at the bottom of the stairs burst in.
He spoke through pants for breath. ‘It’s kicking off down there. A bunch of yobs have got passed the bouncers.’ 
‘What are they doing?’ James asked, his heart beating rapidly. This was unexpected. Where had the yobs come from?
‘They’re beating up the gays and wrecking the place,’ the officer said.
‘I’ve got to stop them,’ Jefferson said rising to his feet.
‘No,’ James held out his hand to prevent Jefferson leaving. The man looked bewildered. ‘I think it’s more than a bunch of gay-bashers. They wouldn’t invade a full club. I think it’s your competition come to mess up your business.’ James turned to the officers. ‘Take Jefferson down the back stairs and out through the yard.’
One officer took Jefferson’s arm and lead him from the room.
‘What are you going to do?’ the other officer asked.
‘I need to find someone else before the attackers get to him,’ James said. ‘Put in a call for back-up. We need support now.’
They parted and James hastened down the front stairs. He paused before reaching the bottom and listened to the noise. Music was still playing but there were screams and the crashes and bangs of wood hitting wood and of chipboard being torn apart. The lights were still flashing and illuminating the dancefloor. James could see arms flailing and people struggling to find the exit. He slid along the wall in the shadows hoping none of the assailants would see him. At the moment they seemed focussed on the bar and the small side rooms.
He reached the corridor that lead to the toilets and quickened his pace. He pushed the door to the Ladies open and found it empty except for Dick, cowering in a corner.
He trembled. ‘W. . who are you?’
‘Police. Come with me. I’ll get you out.’
The young man slowly stood. ‘T. . they’re after m. . me.’
‘You know that do you?’ James asked.
‘I. . I’m trans. They’ll kill me.’
‘They might, but not because you’re TS,’ James said.
‘What?’
‘They’ll murder you for stealing their customers.’
The trans-boy trembled violently. ‘You mean . . .’
‘I think they’re from the other drug gang. Now come with me. I’ve got to get you out of here.’
James stepped forward, grabbed the youth by the shoulders and pulled him upright. He still had his bag of drugs around his neck.
‘Come on,’ James guided Dick to the door. They stepped into the dimly lit corridor. James saw a figure approaching them – bald, t-shirt, jeans, boots – a stereotypical bovver boy homophobe. It was a costume, a cover for the real reason for the invasion. A knife glinted in his hand.
‘Oh, shit,’ James groaned.
………………………

Jasmine in trouble

A Happy New Year to all my readers whether you are a regular visitor or have just found your way here. I hope you’ll come again and again.

It’s resolution time although I don’t go in for those lists of unattainable goals that are forgotten after a few weeks (or days). I do have a to-do list though and plenty of desires. The most pressing is to market my books more successfully although I am pretty short of ideas of how to achieve that.  Suggestions will be gratefully received and considered.

Being the start of a new year I should have a striking new photo but I don’t – there weren’t any opportunities for posing over the break. So here’s an old one.

Taking a selfie in the dark with the flash on the wrong side.

Taking a selfie in the dark with the flash on the wrong side.

And now the main event – the next episode of Flashlight – the Jasmine Frame, transsexual detective, prequel to Painted Ladies and Bodies By Design.

Flashlight – Part 13

Fear washed through Jasmine like a breaking wave. Had they seen through the cover she and Milla had given themselves?
‘We’re friends,’ she offered.
Kel commented in gruff voice, ‘Looked a damn sight more than friends.’
‘That was so you’d let us in,’ Jasmine said, forcing a cheeky grin.
‘Where’s your “friend” now?’ Amy Baker asked.
Jasmine shrugged as if she didn’t care. ‘Oh, I don’t know. She’s bi-curious. Thinks of me as a bloke in a dress because I’ve still got my you-know-what. She’s gone off to find a real girl who wants to get it on.’
Baker nodded as if she accepted the story.
‘You think she’s being straight with us?’ Jefferson appealed to Baker.
Amy examined Jasmine. ‘Oh, she’s trans alright. I can tell. I thought you could too, Jerome, with your experience even though you’re a man now.’
‘Yeah, well you’ve spoken to her. We could do with someone to replace the Peck girl. But what if she’s a stooge for the competition?’
‘Then we’ll deal with her like we did that runt of a rent-boy and that tranny-fancier.’
Jasmine realised that Baker was referring to Murray and Butler, the two overdose victims; so they were murders not accidental deaths, killed because they worked for the rival drugs gang. She realised that she was dealing with a ruthless operator in Amy Baker. She would have to be very careful to avoid being unmasked or rather de-wigged.
‘It doesn’t do business much good if our stuff gets a reputation for being unreliable,’ Jefferson said.
Baker snorted. ‘We’ve got to show the other lot that we mean business. They did for Natalie because she was stupid enough to take work home with her. They turned my place over looking for stuff. If they’d found any I wouldn’t be here now. I take precautions so they just thought I was a mate of Natalie and roughed me up for the fun of it.’
‘What if the pigs stick their noses in what we’re doing?’
Baker looked unconcerned. ‘As far as they’re concerned a few druggies got a bad dose. They couldn’t care about a bit of business rivalry.’
Jasmine breathed easily again. Baker and Jefferson had underestimated the police interest in the deaths of Murray, Butler and Peck, so she was in the clear – so long as they didn’t decide she was with the established drug suppliers, she was safe, for now.
Baker glanced at her watch. ‘Look the delivery is due soon. I need to check the merchandise. I’ll take Kylie here with me. Give her a test run. Kel can come to make sure she knows her place.’
Jefferson nodded. ‘OK.’
‘You and Dick watch things here. Look out for late entrants. They could be the competition trying to find out where we’re marketing our stuff.’ Amy turned to Jasmine, ‘Come on Kylie, you wanted to find out about the business. But I warn you, one false move and you’re toast. Kel, keep hold of her.’
The beefy bouncer grabbed Jasmine’s arm enthusiastically and dragged her from the room, with Baker, Dick and Jefferson following.
‘Hey, I’m with you, there’s no need to be so rough,’ Jasmine complained. Kel glared at her but loosened his grip. They went down the dimly lit stairs to the rear entrance. The sound of the dance music came through the wall to her right. They emerged into the dark yard where a small Transit van was parked. Kel yanked open the passenger door and pushed Jasmine up into the middle seat. Amy climbed into the driver’s seat then Kel squeezed his bulk in beside Jasmine, jamming her in. Amy set off without a seatbelt having been fixed. Luckily they didn’t have far to drive. Amy took back streets to the edge of a former council housing estate. She turned into the lane between a double row of graffiti-daubed concrete garages.
The Transit pulled up and Jasmine was immediately dragged from her seat by Kel. The three of them formed up in a row facing a garage door illuminated by a small torch held by Amy Baker in one hand. In the other, she had a small key fob which she pressed with her thumb. The whining of an old and much abused electric motor started and the roller door in front of them began to wind itself up.
Jasmine peered into the garage but it was so dark she couldn’t see anything. Then she realised that there was another barrier behind the flimsy old roller door. Amy stepped forward, shining her torch on dark, smooth steel. She inserted a key into a lock. It turned with a deep clunk and the door swung ajar silently. Amy passed through the gap and Kel grabbed Jasmine’s hand dragging her inside with him. The lights went on as the steel door closed with a clang.
Jasmine saw a largely empty space that was not the area of one lock-up garage but three. The walls to the adjacent garages had been replaced by RSJs and breezeblock walls built up behind the old up and over doors that were now just a fake façade. Jasmine looked around. There were a couple of packing cases standing on the concrete floor and in one corner a desk, office chair and an armchair on a square of blue carpet.
Baker sat down behind the desk and looked at her mobile phone.
‘They’ll be here soon,’ she said. ‘Get the kettle on, Kel. Sit down Kylie.’ She pointed to the armchair. Jasmine did as she was told rubbing her bare arms. The night-time air was cool and she’d dressed for the dance-heated atmosphere of the club not a chilly storeroom. Kel busied himself with kettle, mugs and cartons of coffee, sugar and milk.
The kettle had only just whistled when Jasmine heard another noise – a vehicle engine outside the garage.
‘Open the doors,’ Amy ordered, ‘quickly!’ Kel hurried to obey, swinging the steel doors inwards. Immediately a van backed into the garage far enough for Kel to close the doors. The engine stopped and the driver got out. He wore a leather jacket and grubby jeans and had a dark, East European or possibly Turkish appearance. He noticed Jasmine immediately.
‘Who is she?’ he asked in a thick accent.
‘A new recruit,’ Amy Baker said leaving her desk, ‘Don’t worry about her. Get the van unloaded. I don’t want you hanging around.’
The man grumbled but went to the rear of the van and opened the doors. From where she was sitting, Jasmine could see that the van was jammed full of packing cases.
‘On your feet you,’ Amy said to her, ‘You can help even if you are dressed as a party-girl.’
Jasmine helped the dark man and Kel remove the cases from the van and stack them on the floor in the available space of the triple garage while Baker watched, checked labels and gave orders. The labels meant nothing to Jasmine but she guessed that each case contained a sizeable stash of illegal drugs.
Soon the van was empty. Kel started to move towards the kettle.
‘No,’ Amy said, ‘Time for refreshment later. Let’s check out the consignment. Open that box, Kel.’ She pointed to a particular packing case. Kel went to it and ripped the top open. He took out a small package wrapped in clear plastic. Amy went to the desk and opened a drawer. She took something out, closed the drawer, then pushed the office chair from behind the desk and into the space in front of it.
‘Sit down Kylie,’ Amy said.
Jasmine looked suspiciously at the chair and at Amy Baker. She was getting an unsettling feeling about what Baker intended.
‘I’m fine standing,’ she said.
‘Make her, Hassan,’ Amy ordered. Jasmine had no time to think of escape. The dark man grabbed both her arms and dragged her to the chair. He pushed her into it. Jasmine felt fear, surprise and incomprehension. What did Amy mean to do?
‘Hey, I thought I was helping you,’ she said, ‘I want to sell your stuff.’
‘Oh, you are helping,’ Amy said with a hint of glee in her voice, ‘and you will get the chance to use your marketing skills if you and this consignment pass the test.’ She took the package from Kel and ripped it open on the desk. ‘Kel, help Hassan, stop the “lay-dee” from wriggling.’
Jasmine found herself with a man on either side of her, each with a hand holding her forearms against the arms of the chair and their other hands pressing down on her bare thighs. She found it almost impossible to move but decided to sit quietly for a moment and see what Amy intended. She busied herself for a few moments then approached Jasmine carrying a hypodermic syringe.
As the woman approached, Jasmine had an idea of what she intended. She trembled.
‘What are you doing?’ she said unnecessarily.
‘You said you wanted to sell H, heroin. Is that true?’
Jasmine swallowed, ‘Yes, but . . .’
‘Don’t you think you should try out the merchandise before letting your friends buy it from you?’
‘But I’m not a user.’
Amy shook her head in mock dismay. ‘Oh. Come now Kylie, one little shot won’t make you an addict and afterwards you’ll have a better idea of what you are offering your purchasers. There is one little problem, however, and you will be doing us a favour.’
‘What?’
‘Some of our batches have been a little bit over-concentrated. Some of our clients have suffered a tinsy-winsy overdose, somewhat as Mr Murray and Mr Butler did. It’s not good business to kill your customers so it will be very helpful if you test this batch for us.’
‘No . . .’ Jasmine strained against Kel and Hassan’s hands.
‘Hold her still, boys,’ Amy called as she stepped forward.
The needle approached Jasmine’s left arm. She tensed, ready for one last effort.
‘Open up! Police!’ Voices repeated the cry outside the garage. A heavy object crashed against the steel doors.
………………..

Jasmine under cover

It’s been a bit busy this week; there’s been this seasonal festival happening. . . Anyway I’d like to send readers seasonal greetings and best wishes for 2016.

A great day out at the Hay Festival in May '15 and one of the last times I wore a wig.

A great day out at the Hay Festival in May ’15 and one of the last times I wore a wig.

2015 has been pretty busy. I published three novels and a novella. (Vol.1 & 2 of Evil Above the Stars published by Elsewhen, and Bodies By Design and Discovering Jasmine under my own imprint, ellifont). In addition there have been the weekly episodes of prequels to the first Jasmine Frame novel, Painted Ladies, of which Flashlight is the sixth. I’m not sure how many more I can fit into the ten years or so when Jasmine/James is adult but before her transition. Nevertheless, next year will be busy with the publication of vol.3 Unity of Seven of EAtS and perhaps the 3rd Jasmine Frame novel, The Brides’ Club Murder and one or two of the novellas.

Anyway, here is the next episode of Flashlight,  approaching a climax.

Flashlight: Part 12

 There was a queue for the club when Jasmine arrived with Milla; not a long one, but the checks by the security guards on the door were sufficient to delay their entry. Milla took her hand in hers to make it look like they were a couple. They had nearly been three. Angela had been determined to come along too, especially when Jasmine let slip that there might be some danger as Milla was convinced the new drug gang was based at the Marquis. It had taken some persuasion to get Angela to accept that jasmine and Milla together could handle themselves and that Jasmine didn’t want Angela put at risk. They didn’t exactly look like a pair of tough detectives. Jasmine was in a short, strappy summer dress that flared out a little alarmingly when she spun around revealing her newly shaved legs while Milla wore a boob tube and short skirt which revealed her midriff.
After a few minutes they reached the door. The bouncers looked them up and down, winked and let them in. Milla tugged on Jasmine’s hand and headed straight for the dance floor.  It was already fairly full, mainly with men in shorts and t-shirts or shirts un-buttoned to the navel or no shirt at all. Jasmine observed the flesh on display.
Milla leaned close. ‘Let’s dance. I want to have a good look around the place.’
With the lasers and the flashlights Jasmine wondered how Milla could see anything at all but she started to move to the beat. Milla didn’t. Jasmine had never danced with anyone other than Angela. They had always had an understanding of each other’s movements and had danced as if they were one. Now Jasmine began to appreciate what she and Angela had going on between them. Milla was barely moving and certainly not with the rhythm of the music. Jasmine felt that they were not really dancing together at all. She put her arms around Milla’s waist and pulled her in.
‘What are you doing?’ Milla shouted in her ear.
‘I thought we were supposed to be a couple? I’m trying to make us look like one.’
‘Okay, but move around so I can see what’s going on.’
They moved as one, well almost. Jasmine stepped and jiggled with the beat with Milla forced into similar movements while held tightly in Jasmine’s arms. They travelled around the dancefloor giving Milla a good view of the dancers and the occupants of the shadowy edges. While Milla watched, Jasmine thought.
Earlier Milla had told Jasmine what had happened when she returned to the office. DC Money had completed interviewing Amy Baker. He’d shown her photos of various known gang members known to be involved in drug dealing. Amy had said she had not recognised anyone but, Money noticed, so he told Milla later, that she had delayed on photos of two men who matched the description of her attackers. Money knew the men and their connections and was pretty sure they had ransacked Amy’s flat and probably been involved in Natalie Peck’s death.
‘Kiss me,’ Milla said abruptly turning her face to Jasmine’s.
‘Why?’ Jasmine responded. Kissing was taking the role play a bit far wasn’t it?
‘Jefferson. I hope he doesn’t recognise us.’ Her lips clamped on Jasmine’s. Milla made a good job of looking like she was snogging Jasmine. In fact, was there a hint of tongue there? Jasmine tried to act like a willing participant but she felt odd. Angela kissed her as she would a man, even when she was dressed as Jasmine. Milla kissed her as she would a woman. There was a difference but Jasmine had problems working out precisely what it was. Perhaps it was the way their bodies pressed against each other.  Whatever it was, it felt different
Milla broke away and spoke into Jasmine’s ear. ‘I’m going to keep an eye on Jefferson. You go and see whether your drug dealer is operating in the loo.’
They parted and Milla disappeared into the mêlée of bodies. Jasmine carried on dancing for a few moments. The guys paid her no attention being focussed on each other. The few other women on the dance floor gave her appreciative looks and one seemed about to approach her. Jasmine moved quickly into the shadows at the edge of the dancefloor. People were entering and leaving the side rooms singly and in pairs. Jasmine ignored them and headed for the toilets.
Unlike on the trans nights, there were just a couple of women attending to their make-up in the mirrors. The doors to two of the cubicles were open revealing them to be empty. Jasmine pushed on the door of the middle cubicle. The bearded young man she had seen earlier in the week was there, sat on the loo seat cradling his post bag.
‘You buying?’ he said looking up at Jasmine.
‘Could be,’ Jasmine replied not committing herself.
‘What do you want?’
‘Well, look, it’s not for me,’ Jasmine began, ‘But I’ve got quite a few people I know who need stuff. What do you say to us doing a deal?’
The young man looked at her with his brow creased in a frown. He was weighing up her suggestion.
‘You mean you want to buy in?’
‘Yes, sort of,’ Jasmine replied.
‘How much?’
Jasmine thought quickly. What sum of money would attract his interest and would not sound ridiculously huge?
‘A thousand?’
‘A grand?’ He nodded. ‘Hmm, what you after?’
‘H.’
He shrugged. ‘Look we had a few problems getting the cut right but it’s sorted now. We’ll have to talk to the boss. See what she thinks of you. Come on.’  He stood up hanging the bag over his shoulder. He was a couple of inches shorter than Jasmine. He urged her out of the cubicle then lead her from the lavatory.  Jasmine was thinking; he’d said “her” referring to the boss. It wasn’t Jefferson then. Perhaps it was the girl who’d been with him this afternoon.
The drug dealer lead Jasmine up the stairs to the entrance of another room. He tapped on the door and got an answering invitation to enter. He pushed the door open. They stepped into a small room which was more store room than office. There was an assortment of containers filling most of the space – cardboard boxes, plastic storage bins, suit cases, brief cases, carrier bags, all of various sizes. There was also a card table and behind it was sitting Amy Baker.
Jasmine stifled a gasp and followed the man into the room. He stood in front of Amy.
‘This tranny has been asking about selling the stuff. She wants to buy in?’
Amy looked up, the bruise around her eye a vivid pink. She glared at Jasmine.
‘Do I know you?’
Jasmine fingered her long black hair. ‘Don’t think so,’ she said trying to put on a London accent in a higher pitch to her usual voice. She had no idea if it sounded true to life but Amy seemed convinced.
‘Why do you want to sell then?’ Amy said.
‘I need to make some money,’ Jasmine replied.
‘What for?’
‘I need to get things done,’ Jasmine was thinking hard. What might sound like a reasonable story?
‘What things?’
‘Tits, and my nose and chin, and I don’t want to wait for ever to get, er, down there done.’ Jasmine waved in the general direction of her crotch.’
Amy nodded. ‘Costly.’
‘Yeah, to say nothing of lasering my facial hair, and getting my legs waxed and so on.’
‘Being a woman is expensive,’ Amy agreed, ‘becoming one, more so. Hmm, so you think you can sell do you?’
‘Yeah, there’s loads of people I know who want stuff.’
‘Hmm, right,’ Amy considered then turned to the man, ‘Go and get Kel off the door. Let’s see if he knows this girl. What’s your name?’
Jasmine chose the first name that came into her head, ‘Kylie.’
The young dealer turned to leave.
‘Oh, Dick, find Jerome too. Tell him we have a potential recruit.’
Dick left.
‘We call him Dick because he hasn’t got one,’ Amy said, chuckling, ‘Like you he wants to get some things done. You want to lose your cock; he wants to have one made for him. Come and take a seat while we wait. Tell me about yourself.’
There was one other chair not occupied by packages. Jasmine sat down, and prepared to answer Amy’s questions. The transsexual was much more confident and assured than she had been when surrounded by the wreckage of her home. Was that all an act, Jasmine wondered? Here she was the fixer, the manager of a team of drug pushers.
Amy asked about her background, whether she took drugs herself, her transition. Jasmine made it all up, all except for not being addict. She based her story on the tales of young transsexuals she had read about – the discovery of her transgenderism, rejection by family and friends, hard times, struggling to get by, the urge to remodel her body – that bit was fairly true as it featured in her fantasies almost daily. Amy seemed satisfied with her answers.
‘I don’t think you need all that secondary stuff, Kylie,’ she said in a motherly tone. ‘Actually you look pretty feminine already. You do need to get your voice trained – your accent and pitch is all over the place.’
The door opened and Jefferson entered followed by one of the burly door guards and “Dick”
‘Is this the one?’ Jefferson said nodding at Jasmine.
‘Yes,’ Amy said, ‘Know her? She’s a tranny.’
Jefferson shook his head, but Kel the bouncer spoke up.
‘Saw her when she arrived with a dyke.’