Point of Difference


“What the fuck?” She could see the colour drain from his face as the brutal realisation sunk in. Took hold of his passion and suffocated it in the most fleeting of moments. She could see his jaw set, hard behind the sand-paper stubble that had been scratching against her breasts minutes before. The pleasure-then-pain of soft lips and a three-day growth brushing against her neck, against her earlobes. The delectable touch of his teeth biting down on her thigh had brought moans of pleasure, echoed by the crunch of bone as he slammed his fist into the bridge of her nose.

She wakes, in a hospital bed. Not for the first time. She had been here before. Been here as the victim. And as the perpetrator. The light shines above her head, brilliant and blinding as she opens her eyes, struggling against the bruising spread blue-black across her face. The police are never far behind, full of false compassion, false understanding. Two officers claim her little room, walled off with red curtains after the blur that is the nurse declares her awake and sober enough to interrogate. No, she doesn’t remember what he looked like. No, she wasn’t sure where she had been that night. Yes, she had been drinking. She was sorry she couldn’t be more helpful. Her mother calls, more angry than concerned. Why did she need the breast augmentation or the bleached blonde hair? She felt more the criminal than the victim, as she always was in her mother’s eyes. “Dress like a slut, get treated like a slut.” She flings the receiver down onto its cradle, struggling to control herself. To not let her mother win.

They discharge her, two days later, unleashing her back into a world where she would never quite belong. No longer innocent, no longer free. She had been raped before; it was “what she needed.” According to the men who had held her down, forced themselves upon her. Those men she saw trapped and surrounded in wooden witness boxes, caged so they could no longer hurt her. They swore to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. She got what she had deserved.

She wakes up, again, in the violent green of a hospital gown. Bedecked with IV tubes and a respirator. She smiles this time when the nurse arrives, as she gingerly props herself up, higher on the thick pillows. She strains to eat the mush spooned out into the hospital issue bowl placed before her but not even this can take away her happiness. The operation was “a complete success,” the surgeon tells her in the deep monotone he reserves for occasions such as these. He stands tall and confident before her, inspecting her for scars. Inspecting her for faults. He stands before her, hands behind his back. Pleased with his handiwork.

Everything would be alright. Now no-one would ever know that she had been born a man.

Remember, some people are jerks. Small town or small minded. There’s always someone else who’s gone through it and come out the other side a stronger and better person. And never forget, It Gets Better.

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8 thoughts on “Point of Difference

  1. Definitely thought outside the box with this one, Chris. Great work. 🙂

    • Thanks, I’m glad you enjoy it! I wasn’t entirely sure how well it would work in terms of as a super short story. I was worried that without background exposition it would just be nonsensical…

  2. Old Egg says:

    For all the realisation and shock in this well written piece there is also the sadness that we still live in a society that cannot always accept that it is OK to be different.

  3. I didn’t see that coming. Great write.

  4. Morning says:

    what a twist in the end,
    powerful story.

  5. […] I’m gonna take that as a ‘yes’, okay? Good. Here they are Blast From the Past, Point of Difference and One Nation Under God…ENJOY! Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe […]

  6. jesterqueen1 says:

    Oh! I wasn’t expecting at all the conclusion. Awesome. I had a little trouble following the initial scene, but that might have been apporpriate given the drunkenness. I was unsure what it meant that she had been both a perpetrator and a victim, but I got it by the middle, when she was in the hospital hating her mother, struggling not to be violent with the phone. Fantastic twist.

    • Yeah someone else told me that particular part of the story is hard to follow, I am in the middle of doing a stack of rewrites (trying to have them published to fund me writing the novella) and I think I’ll change it to say “been here as the victim, as well as the perpetrator – as the lattice work of scars embracing her forearms could well attest…” or something like that.

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