A Beacon of Light

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sketch by: JustPaperKid

As a writer I am involved in a social structure that consists of many talented artists, most of whom agree that some of the most beautiful, ingenious masterpieces have stemmed from tragedy.  However, my friends and acquaintences become obsessed with discussing/posting about nothing but the tragedies of this world, ignoring the beautiful and the good.

Lucky for me I stumbled upon a ray of sunshine in Tonya Mcoy’s sublime coverage of the everyday miracles that drastically impact this planet for the better.  It is her job to extract the joy of art, music, community and transcribe the metaphysical; a job she does well.  She has covered artists like Laura Wattles (JustPaperKid) who has created work for Aerosmith, Oprah Winfrey and Al Roker.  Miss Mcoy also has the distinguished honor of sharing the talents of artists who create art of a different nature.  For example, in “A Garden of Hope” (@Urban Magazine, March Issue) she explores a homeless shelter in Atlanta that, with help from the community, created a community garden, where the homeless don’t just feed their bellies, but their pride and self-worth as well.

A writer like Tonya is the very definition of “A Beacon of Light” as she sheds light on the everyday struggles, defeats and victories of talented artists and people who fight to make this world a better place.

For more work by the artist JustPaperKid

For “10 Years With The Poser” and other articles by Tonya Mcoy

Men in the Company of Women: A Provocative Anthology of Praise and Persuasion

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Without certain women in my life I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I can’t tell you how honored I am to be a apart of this wonderful project.  Old, young, skinny, large, beautiful, ugly, angelic, demonic women are studied with a creative eye in this anthology written exclusively from the male perspective on the finer sex.

Excerpt from “The Trembled Evening”  by Jay Maul

The bright grayness is almost strange, as if the sun has melted and become particles of soft woolen light floating around her in the mist that turns everyone into wet-haired ghosts.

Her favorite is the Gemini tree.  It is nothing special, nor is the house it guards, but she loves the vision of twin trunks sprouting from one under-earth acorn for centuries more.  She looks up at the leaning twins, seemingly wanting to embrace her like a tall, caulicle mother.  She envisions their death: one of them gets sick and in the storm-night’s violence the weight of its dying body brings them both down.

Near the end of the walk is the silence park.  It’s a tiny park, tucked between a cul-de-sac and a parking lot.  She seeks sanctuary in this sacrosanct lot, but a man who lurks beyond the wall that separates her stronger self from the shell that once was shocks her with his presence.

He’s come to ask for forgiveness for leaving her with their dead child.

The rest of this story and many more creative, wonderful works celebrating the dynamic essence of women can be purchased here.  Thank you all for your support.

Winter River

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“Land 2″ Watercolor

by T Smith Knowles

What do you think the stars are made of?” Lilly asked me as we lay in the snow on the bank of the river that ran behind the houses we had lived in for most of our young lives.

“Your eyes,” I replied.

Her giggles were crystalline snowflakes on the eyelashes of angels.  “No, they’re made of hydrogen and helium undergoing nuclear reactions so violent it’s like if earth were undergoing a nuclear war.”

“My heart undergoes a nuclear reaction every time you kiss me.”

“Oh shut up.”

We kissed.

We let the silence relish the moment.  “What do you think is out there?” she asked me.  “We’re so small, even this earth is just a speck of dust in the vast expanse of universe.”

“You’re thinking in physical terms,” I replied.  “The impact of your laughter cannot be measured by all the scientific instruments in the world.  Just one of your tears is deeper than this river, than all the oceans in the world.”

She rolled her eyes upward, in the direction of her frosty breath.  “Where do you come up with this stuff?”

My eyes zeroed in on hers and held them captive.  “I don’t ‘come up’ with anything.  It’s already there.  Your very being gives birth to the words and then they just wait for me to reach out and pluck them from the air.”

I had just turned eighteen.  She was about to turn sixteen.  It may seem scandalous, but we were in love.  We fooled around with each other, but no sex.  Neither one of us had parents that gave a damn about us.  In fact the whole town would rather not even acknowledge our existence.  Well, not the whole town.

I immediately went on the alert when I saw a group of figures emerge from the woods.  “Come on, let’s go,” I said.

But it was too late.  The raucous laughter of the hunters stopped as they noticed us.  “Well, well, well,” one of them said.  The hair on the back of my neck rose as I recognized the voice.  Billy Morgan.  He harbored an irrational hatred for me.  “Two starstruck lovers out on a winter stroll, huh?”

“W-we were just heading back,” Lilly stammered.

“Oh were you?”  My heart dropped as he lowered his rifle and pointed it at us.

“Billy, what are you doing?” one of his fellow hunters asked.

Read More 

Like A Sleeping Child

http://tsmithknowles.net

Photo By: T Smith Knowles

My words broke the trembling silence: “It fills me with such beauty, such mystery.”  I spoke of the heavy fog that creeped along the tree covered mountains.

Blood had turned my sweet Dalia’s hair into mass of sticky red goo. With a look of loss in her eyes she turned to me.  But she said nothing.  That is, her mouth issued no sound, but her look gutted me with a sword of incredulousness.

Stupidly I continued: “Death…is a door to a mystery. Perhaps a beautiful one.”

“You don’t know that for sure.” Her voice was choked with blood, with horror, with an unstoppable descent toward into insanity. The sound of it made me want to cry, for there was nothing I could do to take her pain away.

And that was the worst part: the not knowing.   Not knowing whether the fog was isolated to our little hometown, whether there would be outside help, some sense of hope, or if the country, no the world, was already enveloped in unspeakable evil.

(Check out the rest of the story absolutely free, no sign up required at http://www.helium.com/items/2395500-like-a-sleeping-child)

 

 

 

Full Wish Pt. 6

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After exhausting themselves, Sika laid out the plan as she lay in the Aylea‘s embrace. Then she rose and disappeared into the bathroom. When she reappeared she was still a little flushed from their amorous excursion, but her appearance was almost as pristine as when they first met. Aylea guessed she must be able to afford an Auto-Makeover Bathroom in every hotel she stayed in. Aylea would’ve been tempted to try it herself if the situation were different.

Sika said she had business to attend to and would return in a day or two. But their plan would carry forward from there. She was very business-like except for the small kiss she planted on Aylea’s lips. “Make yourself at home,” she said. “The bed is quite exquisite.”

Aylea stayed on the couch, cooling from their passion. She thought about how Jamison must know she was born a female, though he never said anything about it. One night they had gone to his house to work on a project, as was usual since it was on her way home from work. It was also usual for them to have a few drinks, but that night they had more than a few. Jamison started reliving his glory days, when he used to wrestle in college. Aylea, or Jake Liverpool, as he knew her, fueled with the fire of whiskey, challenged him. “I only wrestle bare-chested and in shorts” Jamison retorted.

So she borrowed a pair of his shorts and they wrestled. Though she was stronger, he had more technique. At one point, he had her trapped. Her knees were on the ground, pressed against her chest. He was on top of her. She could feel his bulge against her muscular rump. Then, she felt his hand slide up her thigh and touch the tip of her member. She jumped. “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” she cried in alarm. They stared at each other, still heaving from the physical exertion. “I-I’m just not-I’m not wh-wh-wh-” in her nervousness she couldn’t decide whether to say “who” or “what” so she said, “I’m not whoat you think I am.”

He stared at her and she thought maybe for a moment he’d catch a glimpse of the woman behind the male façade. In fact, when he’d initially touched her, part of her shock came from the fear that it wasn’t going to be a man’s groin that he’d get a handful of. Finally he apologized and got up to make two more drinks. “Hey,” he said, “Please don’t mention this to anyone at the office. It’s not that I care if they know I like men. Can you believe at one time people were persecuted for who they chose to sleep with? Fucking barbarians.”

He brought the two drinks. She was calm now, but still wary. He sat close to her without touching her. The sweat on her hairy chest dried in the cool air. “If it were up to me, after every closing deal, we’d sit around and have an old-fashioned circle jerk.“

Aylea couldn’t contain her burst of laughter.

“I’m serious,” he said with a smile on his face. “Ladies and guys welcome. Just turn down all the lights, let it all hang out and relieve all the tension.”

Aylea couldn’t get a swallow of booze down her giggling throat. “Like a congratulatory pat on the back?”

“Yeah. But seriously. You know what a shark pool that place is. I don’t want them knowing that I…that I…care for you. I don’t want them knowing I have a weakness. They’ll exploit it. But please know, Jake-” Jamison put a hand on Aylea’s forearm and looked deep in her eyes, “I’ll never let my feelings get in the way of our professional relationship.”

From then on Jamison never hinted at knowing her true gender, but every now and then she caught a look from him, one that seemed to be able to discern that her actions had confirmed what he knew. He kept his promise of not letting his feelings jeopardize their professional relationship. In fact, he was the one who helped her meet Trinity. It was two months later and, being too hot to play football, they decided to hit the basketball court. There were kids on the bounce-ball court next to them, leaping off the rubber ground, deflecting off the dome of backboards, bouncing the basketball off of as many backboards as possible before sinking it in the hoop for extra points.

Both Aylea and Jamison preferred the old-fashioned court, pinning each man’s physical capabilities against each other. Trinity had been jogging around the park, distracting Aylea from her opponent. Her game became even worse when Trinity stopped at the court to stretch. Trinity’s skin was bronze, contrasting her blonde, bobbed hair. She was tall and lanky. The elongated muscles in her stretching legs made Aylea’s loins ache.

Jamison noticed her pain. “Hey Jake, think fast.” He made as if he was going to throw the ball right at Aylea’s face. She flinched and in that second he threw the ball just past her shoulder. It’s bouncing path lead right toward Trinity, who was bent over in full stretch, not noticing the ball was coming right for her. It hit her right in her little flat butt. She gave a little squeak and stood up, her brow furrowed in the cutest look of shock and surprise that Aylea had ever seen.

“I’m sorry, my friend is an asshole,” Aylea apologized.

“It’s okay,” Trinity smiled. “Who’s winning?”

Aylea looked back at Jamison, who was practicing his freethrow.

“Ah, he is. He’s much better at basketball than I am. But I can kick his ass in football. He can’t take the physicality of the sport.”

Trinity laughed, but said nothing in return. Aylea knew she had to keep the conversation going or the proverbial fish was going to swim away. “How long have you been running?”

“Oh. Oh gosh, probably forever. I used to run track in high school.”

“So I bet you’re one of the lucky ones that can eat a lot of carbs and stay skinny, huh?”

They stayed on the conversation of food, which led Aylea into the closing question: “I don’t know if you like Indian food, but a really good restaurant opened near my place. Would you like to go, sometime?”

Trinity wrinkled her button shaped nose. “I hate Indian food. I love just sitting at home with a movie and some chinese take-out.”

“Coincidentally, a really good Chinese take out place just opened up…”

It was their first shared laugh. “I’d love to,” Trinity said, wiping the humurous tears from her eyes. She touched her zebra-striped wrist band to Aylea’s gold wrist band, instantly transferring her phone number. “I’m free Saturday night, if you are.”

The attraction was strong and mutual. They had sex on the first night, spilling containers of lo-mein and crab ragoon on Aylea’s marble floor. It took Aylea only a week and a half to make her confession.

“Not to offend, but I thought maybe you could be, you know, open-gender.” Aylea was offended, but Trinity continued, “You’re very good in bed, and I think it’s not just because of your… uh, strength, but the your insatiable passion as well.”  Aylea didn’t know what to say.  But Trinity, an angel of empathy, put her hand on Aylea’s hand and said, “Why don’t you take the suit off and let me experience all of you.”

The Disaster Sisters

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Three exquisitely diverse ladies stood on the shore of the tiny island with their arms crossed as Randy approached from the ocean.

Isn’t this just lovely? Randy thought as he waded up to the women.

“How did you get on this island?” the cinnamon colored woman asked.

“I doggy-paddled. No, bitch, I was in a fucking boat that’s at the bottom of the fucking ocean right now.”

“How did you survive after your ship crashed into the rocks?”

“What do you mean? My ship has been long gone. I’ve been drifting on a raft for three days and all of a sudden I heard Donna Summers floating on the wind. I started paddling in the direction of the voice. Was that you guys?”

“It was, honey. Did you like it?” the ebony woman batted her eyes at Randy.

“Sure, it was fabulous. Say, is that a pack of cigarettes over there? You really got a pack of smokes on this shit-sandwich?” Randy went over to the pile of what looked like trash, but as he rummaged he saw it was men’s personal effects. He kept an eye out for the shady women until he found a match and took his first drag in seventy two hours. “Oh God, that feels so good. Say, who are you ladies and what are you doing with a pile of dead men‘s belongings?”

“We’re the sirens. You’re the first man to step foot on this island and not fall at our feet.” the cream-colored girl pouted.

Randy waved a hand. “Ha! You Neapolitan ladies are scrumptious with your chocolate, vanilla and strawberry appeal, but you are barking up the wrong tree. The last vagina I touched was the day I was born, and I have not looked back. Besides, the whole sitting-on-a-desert-island-waiting-to-destroy-men-thing is so passé.”

“Are you judging us?” all three asked.

“Oh honey, no. I’ve wrecked many a man’s life. I’m just saying you could do so much better for yourselves. Live in penthouses while men below destroy themselves for you. I tell you what, you get me off this island and we’ll take New York together. I live in a dump right now, but with looks like yours we won’t need money. I’ll show you how to manipulate men, and you cut me in, deal?”

Randy and the sirens left the island that night. When they landed in New York, Randy kept his word. He and the sirens were squished in his basement apartment for only a couple weeks before Randy helped each woman land themselves a gullible fish. The sirens are actually kind of famous now. This writer is not at liberty to mention their names, but one had a reputable acting/singing career. The second purposely leaked a sex tape of her with someone famous and landed her own reality show. And the third made a moderate career of politics, despite the photographs of her holding a machine gun, wearing a skimpy bikini and a man-killing smile.

(This and 3 of my other short stories will be published in the upcoming anthology “Men In The Company of Women” by Edgar Allen Poet publishers.  More info soon!)

Full Wish Pt. 5

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In darkness Aylea slept, despite fear and confusion. When she woke she was in a hotel room draped in pure white with silver accents. Two large men dressed in black tuxedos were watching her. One nodded to the other. The second rose, walked over to a white door and knocked on it.

Senator Sika Sullivan walked through the door. Aylea was only mildly interested in politics, but she knew who Sika Sullivan was. She was a force to be reckoned with. Her charm was as radical as her ideas. The media kept her under constant criticism for her aggressive handling of political affairs, but the voters loved her. And Aylea knew that when it came to women, the word “aggressive” was often interchangeable with the word “assertive.” Sika’s black hair was tied up, shimmering under the hotel room’s white light. Two strands of silver hair hung down on either side of her temples, the tips blending in with the silver robe that all Senators wore. Her waist sash was golden, her shoulder sash plush purple. Aylea wasn’t sure exactly what the different colors meant, but she did know those colors were of the highest regard. Aylea wasn’t sure if her jaw literally dropped, but something betrayed her shock. The senator’s eyes sparkled like a dominant animal that commands the jungle.

With hardly a look from the senator, the two men were dismissed. Sika did not speak until they were gone. “Stand and undress, please.”

“I-I-” was all Aylea could stammer out.

In a small fluid motion, the senator undid her sash and her robe slid down her body into a shiny pool on the floor. She was a beautiful blend of Asian and Caucasian. Her shoulders were slender, but strong, her hips full and curvy. Her breasts invited soft secrets whispered with wanting. Her arched back magnificently curved down to a small, yet fully round butt.

“And if I don‘t?” Aylea tried to sound defiant, though she was in awe of the senator’s eye-seducing body.

“Nothing. You’re free to go.”

“So you’ll cast me out to the wolves as a fugitive escaped from justice.”

“There’s nothing I can do. Besides rally for your release.” Of all the naked people she’d argued with, Sika was by far the most graceful.

“It’s bullshit!” Aylea yelled, already feeling naked inferiority, though she was the one fully dressed. “It’s all bullshit! The constitution has never been anything but a joke, a doormat for people like you to trample on.”

“I know. But if you want to be a part of my plan I need to be able to trust you. The only way I can know for sure I can trust you is if I know you trust me. Now, if you don’t mind, take off your clothes, please.”

Aylea opened her mouth to object. The senator cocked her head. Aylea closed her mouth and unzipped her jacket. She took off her tank top, then dropped her shorts. The senator circled around the muscular body. She ran a hand down the cleft of Aylea’s mountainous shoulders. Aylea shivered. The senator came around the front. “Stay still, please,” she said, her face inches from Aylea’s. The senator reached down and gently took hold of Aylea’s penis. Despite her discomfort, she could not control the slight hardening. The senator held her professional demeanor, but she wasn’t shy about showing her approval. “Very nice,” she said as she stepped away. The senator leaned against the back of the white hotel couch. “Technology is such a marvelous thing, isn’t it?”

Head bowed, Aylea nodded.

“Now, now. Don’t pout. It ruins that handsome face. I know this isn’t exactly what you had in mind when you were planning your future, but I promise that if you play along a little longer, you won’t be disappointed. Now, I want you to take off the suit.”

Aylea stared at the senator. She wanted to rip the smug look off her face. She wanted to pin her to the ground and crush her esophagus under her large foot. She wanted to give up. She wanted to go home and crawl in her bed and take a nap with Trinity, and a tiny baby that smelled like fresh milk. But Trinity was a traitor. Trinity demolished all of Aylea’s dreams and left her with this.

With her right arm, Aylea reached under her left armpit and found the mechanism. It had to be turned three-quarters and then there was a switch above it that had to be flicked up. As soon as she found it, the image of the muscular man faded. Aylea’s face appeared, sweaty and defeated, peering out from a black suit interwoven with spaghetti-sized electric blue tubes. Aylea unzipped the suit from the back and peeled it off. Her skin was red in spots and covered in a sheen of sweat.

“You must be very athletic,” the senator noted.

Aylea nodded.

“Tell me, why would you want to wear the suit everyday when you can get a one-time operation?”

She had never explained this to anyone before. Only a handful of people knew she was open-gender, and they were so close to her she didn‘t need to explain herself. “I like changing back and forth. I like that when I’m Jake Liverpool no one can find Aylea. And when I’m Aylea no one can find Jake. Haven’t you ever felt like you were two people in one body, senator?”

The senator laughed. “You’re smart as well as athletic. It will take someone strong to carry out the next portion of my plan.” Sika moved toward Aylea again. This time Aylea wasn’t as intimidated as she was tense with anticipation. The sweat started again. Sika ran a slender finger down Aylea’s wet bicep. “You seem very, very strong.”

Sika looked Aylea in the eyes, all of her charisma pouring into her. Sika let her hair down. The silky blackness cascaded down to her shoulders. Aylea had a quick flash in her mind: a mental picture of her holding Sika’s hand on a warm summer night as they snuggled on the couch that sat on her parents porch in Scarlet, Massachusetts. An innocently beautiful fantasy.

Aylea grabbed the senator by both her arms and kissed her furiously before pushing her backward. They tumbled onto the white leather couch, flesh caressing flesh.  The senator had stripped her of everything, inviting her to enjoy her feminine splendor.

Full Wish Pt 4

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 Behind the black shield, under drugged eyelids, the night was as impenetrable as the hopelessness that swallowed her. The numbing effects of the drugs couldn’t take away the pain of the betrayal that saturated her blood. The torture and imprisonment about to be visited upon her would not equal the pain that the memories of Trinity would bring.

She drifted in and out of consciousness until her system was shocked by an explosion. Her only hope was that her sanity had cracked and she was free of society’s prison. The mad are free! Her mind exclaimed gleefully. The mad are free!

In reality a full city block of posi-tracks, usually green-colored orbs that kept civilian hover-vehicles on a certain “road,” were the color of red-defective and chaos ensued as the drivers took manual control of their vehicles. Though trained for this situation, it didn’t happen often, and the police officers had to concentrate heavily on their communication with each other in order to dodge traffic and keep the prisoner secured.

“Maneuver south-west, pull up, roll thirty degrees, hit the buckle, now-” the bark of static was barely heard over the crack of automatic gunfire. Fifty caliber shells slammed into the captain’s opal. Though virtually bullet-proof it was no match for seventeen fist sized bullets shot in six seconds from an armored hover-car, sending sparks, shrapnel and blood raining over the tumultuous traffic. The three remaining pods turned and fired upon the armored hover-car two seconds before the Captain was obliterated. Just as quickly, a commercial hover-truck came up behind the police-pods and shot out a steel cable that wrapped around the detainee-pod. Secured, the cable pulled the pod to the gaping back door of the hover-truck at six hundred feet per second. Two of the pods turned toward the hover-truck. One was ambushed from the side by another armored hover-car. It was immediately dispatched. Of the two remaining pods, one was still engaged with the armored hover-car that had initiated the attack and the other was maneuvering through traffic and around the tops of buildings, chasing the commercial hover-truck. Police issued machine gun bullets caromed off the exterior of the truck. The second armored hover-car was in pursuit of the pod.

“Get him, get him!” orders screamed through the armored hover-truck’s radio.

“I can’t get a clean shot!” the armored hover-car driver yelled.

As the armored truck turned around a corner, the back door presented itself to the officer’s machine gun fire and one of the men inside, clinging to the handles on the wall, was split in half.

“Fuck, Fin is dead!”

“Just shoot him now before he kills anyone else!”

The armored hover-car took aim and let the fifty cals go. One bullet went past the police-pod, skimming the side of the opal resting inside the back of the truck. Had it been a few inches to the right, Aylea would have been no more. The bullet was slightly deflected and it burrowed harmlessly in the side of the truck. The second bullet hit the truck’s closing door, ricocheted, and lodged itself in another mercenary’s leg. The third one hit a civilian vehicle, tearing through its driver-side door like paper and ripping a woman’s stomach apart. Blood exploded, coating the interior cockpit and the nose of the hover-car tipped down as it started its descent, smashing into other civilian vehicles on its way down. The next eight bullets found their mark, shredding the police-pod apart. “Target is destroyed, battle unit 1, do you need assistance?”

The instigating armored hover-car responded: “No, target has been destroyed. I do need medical help, but stay with the Primary until camouflage has been shed. I’m going to see if this piece of shit will make it to the nearest OP.” Codeword for Out Post, where their own doctors could work on the wounded.

“Copy that.”

With both vehicles still in motion, a mercenary crawled out of the passenger side window of the commercial hover truck. He ascended a ladder to the top, where he attached a bungee to himself. He opened the first metal latch, then repelled down the side of the truck, opening more metal latches.

When the last one was released, he jumped as high as his bungee would allow as the metal shell peeled away. The mercenary threw a high-powered grenade after the shell and clambered into the now officially licensed government truck. The armored hover-car took off moments before the posi-track began glowing green again. The government hover-truck was locked into its place on the road, obediently following the green posi-tracks on its way to deliver its cargo.

Forty miles later the government vehicle stopped at a penthouse suite balcony and a lone man in a tuxedo carrying a brief case knocked on the driver’s side door. The driver stepped out and the tuxedo man stepped in, putting the brief case on the seat between him and the passenger. The passenger pulled out a pistol and put it to the tuxedo man’s temple. “What’s to stop me from blowing your brains out and taking the money and the hostage?”

“There are snipers watching this vehicle. If I don’t make it out alive, no one does.”

The mercenary nodded and jumped out of the vehicle, leaving the tuxedo man intact. The tuxedo man didn’t even pause to watch the mercenary turn on his personal hover pack and glide to safety. He just put the hover-truck into gear and piloted the vehicle to the destination point.

Full Wish Pt. 3

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The government thought about banning TV shows from the twenty-first century, just the ones that had pregnant women. Fearing backlash for censorship, they merely pressed the point that pregnant women were to be looked down upon. Any contemporary movies that were set in the old days showed the agony of pregnancy, and the heartache of carrying a baby to term only to lose it, or have it grow up to be a criminal. And then there was the trend of horror movies, depicting women giving birth to monsters, dragons, aliens and any other sort of demonic spirit. Anyone watching an old sitcom could laugh and enjoy the show, but not without a small amount of pity and embarrassment on the part of the woman. The only action the government did take was not allowing old TV shows to be remastered into holograms, so only historians and a small amount of the public tolerated the one dimensional programs.

Trinity was watching one such program with her new partner, Jillian. The program was nothing more than hired cameramen (they actually had to have people attached to the cameras back then) following around pregnant teenagers. “Can you believe people used to be so stupid they’d let their children have screaming flesh pods ripped out of them. They were probably ruined after that.” Jillian shivered at the thought of going down on a woman who’d naturally birthed a baby.

Trinity broke down in tears.

A few months later, Aylea received a call that woke her in the middle of the night. It was Trinity, her voice like a child’s, as she cried on the other end of the receiver. “I’m in trouble,” she confessed. “I need to see you.”

“Yeah, I can meet you tomorrow for coffee or-”

“No, I need to see you now.”

Aylea took in a deep breath. She had stopped crying herself to sleep over Trinity and something inside her told her if she saw her now, she’d be back to sleeping on a pillow soaked with tears. “I don’t think that’s such a good-”

“I’m pregnant.”

Aylea was pouring her third shot of whiskey when the security screen announced Trinity’s presence. Even the holographic image showed that there was something wrong with Trinity. Her eyes were hollow, her face pale. Aylea downed the shot and opened the door. The shock was tremendous. She had always dreamed about this day, but in her dream the child had been hers, or at least partly hers. The thing inside Trinity’s belly belonged to a stranger. Perhaps with time, a small voice whispered, perhaps with time it could be- Aylea shook the thought from her head.

“How did this happen?” Aylea asked once Trinity calmed down. “The doctors-”

“I was…I was so lost without you. I associated myself with some radicals. People who think like you-” Aylea looked away. Trinity put her hand on Aylea’s. “I mean, people who believe we should go back to the old ways. I heard of a doctor who could reverse what they do to us when we start to have the blood. The blood is what makes us pregnant-”

“Not exactly,” Aylea whispered.

“I know. I know now. But stopping it altogether stops us from becoming-” she looked down at her belly. “This doctor, his method, it works.”

“So why are you here?”

“The doctor’s dead. My friends-the people I thought were my friends, they disappeared.”

“What makes you think I can do anything?”

“Please. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t turn me in. Just say you’ll help me. Please.

“Okay, I’ll help. What should I-”

The room filled with white light and horrendous noise that seemed to scream from every wall. Aylea covered her ears. The pain forced her to the ground. “What’s happening?!” she tried to scream, but she couldn’t hear her own voice. She saw her door kicked in by a figure dressed in black riot gear, carrying a black metal rod. The figure was followed by ten more figures, all pointing the rods at her. The screeching noise stopped abruptly and their angry voices filled the room, yelling at her: “Stay on the ground! Stay on the ground!”

She held her hands out and the black-clad men bound them. Outside, the red strobing lights glinted off the falling rain, turning the drops into blood red spikes falling from the black sky. The armored men pushed her against the wall of her condo and checked to make sure she didn’t have any weapons on her. The men didn’t give her an inch to breathe. They weren’t seeing an athletic woman, but a large muscular man, one that they had recorded proof of his willingness to break the law.

Through her shock, she heard Trinity’s voice. “Wait!” Trinity cried. “Wait, I just want to talk to her. Please!”

The men turned Aylea around. Trinity’s baggy shirt was deflated. In one hand she carried a partial neuro-suit, similar to the one Aylea wore to disguise herself as a man. Trinity ran up to Aylea, wrapped her arms around her neck, her flat belly against Aylea’s. “I’m only trying to help you,” she whispered in her ear.

Aylea’s eyes widened. Trinity pulled back, giving Aylea a deep look of sincerity. Aylea spit in her face. “Traitor.”

Trinity’s knees gave out and she crumpled to the ground. “I’m only trying to help you!”

Aylea struggled against the men as they pulled her away. “You fucking traitor!” she screamed over and over until they injected her and strapped her to a three-inch thick oval shaped disk that hovered horizontally above the ground. One of the visored officers slid a thumb across the rim of the disk and a dark shield enveloped Aylea so that it now resembled a black opal. Then the four men strapped themselves onto similar disks hovered vertically, surrounding her, and had machine guns mounted to their sides. They covered their disks with the same black visors and their red strobing lights pulsated around the perimeter of the disks, pushing traffic aside as they ascended.

Full Wish Pt. 4  http://wp.me/p2y5v2-S