Friday, July 16, 2021

Going Back

Thanks to all of you for your wonderful support.  I can’t tell you how much that means to me.  I also want to thank those who sent me suggestions on what to write next.  Some of them I’m going to have to seriously think about for the future. 

I’ve decided that for now, I’m going back to the story I had started and never finished – Mercy Me.  I left off in the middle of Chapter 10 and never continued it.  Hopefully, this time I can not only continue it, but I can finish it.  I did have some interesting ideas for the story.  Let’s see if I can get them in it.

Since I already posted 10 chapters of the story, I’m not going to go back and repost them.  They’re already out there.  For those of you who haven’t read it, or those of you who don’t remember much about it (I stopped posting the story about two years ago), I’m putting a tag at the bottom of this post:  Story – Mercy Me.  In theory, you can click on the tag and bring up all the posts for that story. 

Or, if you want, Chapter 1 can be found here (if the link works):  https://sissykaren.blogspot.com/2019/05/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none_25.html?zx=268009cb3a9369b4

Or, even better, my preamble to the story, what it’s going to be about is here:  https://sissykaren.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-next-story-mercy-me.html

I highly recommend reading them to reacquaint yourself with what the story was about. 

I don’t know how long it will be before I start posting the new story parts.  I’m working on it.  Hopefully, very soon.  So stay tuned!

Once again, my huge thanks to everyone who left me such incredible messages of warmth and caring. 

Thanks!

Karen

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

My Published Books

Over the last few months, in an effort to find my lost self, I’ve been going back and reading my published Karen Singer books again.  I’ve done that a few times in the past, rereading them and doing a bit of editing and proof reading as I go, trying to fix all those nasty problems my bad eyesight can’t seem to see.  That’s just what I’ve done this time too.  In the process, I’ve fixed more typos in each book than even I can believe.  I’ve also gotten rid of literally hundreds of those nasty ellipses (…) from each book that I’m way to fond of using.  But don’t worry, I didn’t get rid of them all, there’s still a few hundred left in each book, but I can tell you that all the sentences I removed them from are now better sentences.

For me, books have to have a story – something happening.  Conflict!  Excitement!  I don’t just write books about someone who wants to change their gender, there has to be something else happening around them.  A bigger more exciting reason for the story.  I’ve always loved suspense books so most of my books lean more in that direction.  The idea for the story has to be something that grabs and holds my attention – before I begin writing it.  Hopefully, that carries though when you, the reader, take a journey through my books as well.

When my last computer died recently, I lost everything I had written about this – eight pages worth!  Since I had written most of it as I was reading each book, I’ll never remember most of the things I had wanted to tell you about each one, but I’m going to try and give you a rundown anyway of my thoughts and feelings, as well as let you know my personal top three favorites.

In this post, I’m NOT going to include Baby Bobby or The McComber Switch.  Not only have I not read them recently, but I don’t feel those books fall into the category that I like to think of as my transgendered lives collection.  Baby Bobby was an experiment on my part (a failed one).  The only reason it’s still out there is that I sell about one copy each year and I pretty much make nothing at all from it.  In fact, I make very little from any my books, and almost nothing at all lately since I guess everyone has read them now and nobody is either buying them or reading the Kindle free additions either.  Oh well.  I know I need to write something new, but right now a worthy idea for a book doesn’t seem to be invading my mind.

So here are my thoughts on most of my published books – in the order I published them (I think).

 

SPOILER ALERT!

For those of you who don’t want to read all of this, here are my personal top three favorite stories.  I’m afraid you’ll have to keep reading to find out why.  By the way, as I originally tried to figure out what my top three books were, the list here changed quite often, which was something I didn’t expect.  Here’s my final results.

    1.      Jenni with an i – all three books since it’s really one story.

    2.      Golden Greed

    3.      Satan’s Daughter

 Okay.  Enough talk.  On with the reviews.

 

Second Life Second Chance

This was the first book I published and for many years my favorite story in the world.  It’s just a nice story.  Period!  Nobody gets killed or even hurt in it.  In my opinion, this was the perfect book for me to start my Karen Singer book publishing.

It’s a story about an eighty-six year old man who always dreamed of what it would be like to be a girl.  But when he dies, he somehow wakes up in the body of a fifteen year old boy on the opposite side of the country.  It’s a situation he’s not exactly happy about.  To quote from the book:  If I had to come back to life again, why couldn’t it have been as a girl?  I would have been overjoyed at that.  But I guess someone somewhere didn’t think I got it right the first time, so here I was, a boy again.  What was the problem?  In a family with a Mathew, Mark, and Luke, there was no New Testament book with a girl’s name, so I had to be John?  Or was this somebody’s idea of a joke?  If it was, I certainly didn’t get it. 

One thing about this story that I want to mention is the short section I put in that’s true and actually did happen to me.  In the story, the main character tells about when he was very young, his mother sat him and his younger brother down and asked if either of them would like her to dress them up as a girl for Halloween.  In the story, the main character refused, and when it actually happened to me in real life, so did I.  Everything I told about it in the story was real, and like the main character, I often wonder what might have happened if I had chosen that other path.

 One of my favorite things in the story is the process the main character goes through to select a new name.  As confusing and cumbersome as the process may have been, I can’t help but wonder if it just might have been the perfect tool to whittle the selection down.

One other thought I’d like to mention about the book.  How many transgendered people would be better off if only they had a mother like the one in the book?  One who was wise enough to help her child move forward – by holding her back.

 

 The Winds of Chaos

My story about an ex-marine with one of the worst cases of PTSD ever.  The strange thing I did in this book was to make fate something a bit more real and tangible.  No matter what, male or female, he can’t escape who or what he is – a hero.

This is a great book!  But it’s not in my top three favorites.  I guess it easily could have been, but then I can say that about all my books.  As good as this book is, and despite how it sold and the number of reviews it got, other later books simply eclipsed it for me.  But don’t let that guide your feelings about it.  Decide for yourself.

In this book, I moved from the non-action world of Second Life into the world of action.  The reviews showed me that my readers seemed to like this, so all my books since have fallen more into that category, with the possible exception of Satan’s Daughter, but we’ll get to that one later.  Oh, and again, were not talking about my soap opera, The McComber Switch.  But anyway, with this book I moved more into the world of suspense, and I’ve mostly stayed there ever since.

I’m not sure, but this may have been my biggest selling book of all.  It may have also gotten more reviews than any of my books too.  Reviews that showed me how much everyone seemed to love the action in it.  Those reviews helped to show me that I needed to keep something happening in my books.  I started it with this book, and I never looked back.

Most of my readers love my stories.  But this story got one of my worst reviews ever.  See, I do pay attention to what people tell me.  The review was from someone who didn’t like my description of the way the psychologists treated the main character.  All the other reviews seemed to love the book.  The therapy method for dealing with PTSD in the book was at the time the main process that was used in real life.  In the book, I purposely wrote the first psychologist the way I did, but the other two I thought dealt with the main character quite well.  My opinion anyway.  Side note: while I was in the military, I got sent to see a psychologist once.  As far as I could see, it was the most useless thing I’ve ever done.  The guy barely acknowledged me.  Fortunately, in the end, my problem turned out to be a physical one, not psychological (which I knew before they sent me to see him).  Sometimes military medicine can be so great.  Other times it can be totally dumb!

  

Cinder

My story about the street kid and the cop.  I’ve always loved this book, and for a while I wondered if it would make my top three, but in the end, it didn’t.  Sorry Cinder. 

I absolutely love the way the kid and the cop gradually come closer together.  A real feeling of love develops between them, even though they’re from totally opposite worlds with opposite views about life.   I mean, how many boys out there would love to grow up someday to be a hooker on the streets of New York?  I also love the way I wrote the kid to be so smart and so stupid at the same time.  That’s what helps to make his personality so great.  That and his totally unique outlook on life. 

Yes, I’ll admit it.  I can’t read this book without crying at the end.  But then I cry at the ending of most of my stories.  I simply love it!

  

Victim Number Three

Yeah, this one didn’t make my final top three either, but I can tell you it was certainly there for a long time.  In fact, for a while there I wondered if it might be my number one favorite.  In the end, I decided on other stories instead.

This one is about a transgendered cop on the Atlanta police force.  One of the unthinkable things I did in this story was to physically destroy the main character, right in the beginning.  He winds up having to help solve a series of serial murders, of which he was supposed to be their third victim, and he does it all while he should be home convalescing in bed.  He’s not a detective, but it’s up to him to ask the right questions to the right people – and get answers that don’t always help and more often sound like they’re leading nowhere.

One of the things I love about this book is his relationship with his kitten – a kitten he didn’t want.  In fact, he spends most of the book calling the kitten by different derogatory names.  But in the end, he comes to love that cat.  Here’s one of my favorite little excerpts from the book where he’s talking to that kitten:  “Well Snow.  I don’t mind your silly black foot at all.  It doesn’t bother me one bit.  In fact, it’s one of my favorite things about you.  It says, you’re different…like me.  It makes you much more interesting.  So what do you say?  I’ll promise not to hate you or make fun of you because of it, if you’ll promise not to hate me for being different too.  What say?  Deal?”

I don’t know why, but I like that.  I guess because there’s so much being said there without saying it.

Yeah, this was another great book.  In fact, I’m amazed that in the end it didn’t even make it into my top three.

  

Satan’s Daughter

Number three!  And I’m still wondering if maybe it shouldn’t have been number one. 

This is my psychological drama.  The book that the title and the book description chased everyone away and kept them from reading it, even though that’s not the kind of book it is at all.  Most of the book is nothing but conversations between the main character, and two other people that happen on every succeeding Tuesday.  In fact, at one point I was considering titling this book, Tuesday Conversations. 

This is the book that I consider to be so different, it seems like it was written by some other author than me.  But trust me, I wrote it.  In fact, I was so inspired by it that I churned it out in just three weeks.  For me, that’s incredibly fast.  Side note:  I recently wrote another one in just two weeks, but that one will be published under my real name.  Still, this book was inspired.

This is the story of a very trouble person, whose mother refuses to give up on him.  He’ll never forgive his family for what they did to him, and they’ll never forgive him for what he did to them.  But at one point in the story, you’re forced to ask yourself, who’s the real monster? 

One of the things that I’m amazed at in writing this, is that I never gave away the final situation until it was time.  That was difficult.  So difficult that I’m fairly proud of myself for accomplishing it.  I guess it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

Even before I read this one again, I wondered if it would be my number one favorite.  In fact, for years now I’ve always thought of it that way.  But in the end, it didn’t wind up in the number one spot.  Very few people have read this book, and for me, it’s one of my best books – ever!  As much as it sounds like it, it’s not a book about blood and gore and guts and killing.  It’s about someone who can’t forgive, and doesn’t believe in the concept of love.  Oh, and about two very different people who refuse to give up on him.

Maybe I should move this back to the number one spot.  But then again, there was Jenni.

Oh, and yeah, I cry at the end of this one too.

  

Jenni with an i (the entire overall series)

Yup!  This is it.  Number one!  And the reason for it is something that took me by surprise.  Once I got to a certain point, I couldn’t stop reading it.  I was doing everything possible to stop doing other things and just keep reading this thing.  I just didn’t want to put it down – and I knew what was going to happen in the book(s).  You have no idea of the emotional storm that this story stirred up in me – another reason why it made it to number one.

As one of my reviewers pointed out and I readily admit, I don’t know anything at all about legal procedures.  Nothing!  But I did try to be as logical as possible about everything in the story.  In the end, in my opinion, it still came out great!

Side note!  I recently wrote another book that I had originally planned on being another Jenni mystery, called What Child is This.  But in the end, I backed Jenni totally out of the book and that somehow that made the entire story far better.  The book does borrow heavily on the other Jenni characters, and I even combined them with a few that I had in another of the books I published under my own name.  No, this one won’t be released as a Karen Singer book.  Sorry.  This turned out to be the most powerful story I’ve ever written, and there’s no reason at all why I shouldn’t publish it under my real name.  Eventually.

So I guess I should now say a few words about each of the three books that make up Jenni with an i.


 Family Can Be Murder

The Jenni series is a very complex story, and sometimes seems to be a story, within a story, within a story.  There’s a lot going on, and it all starts here.  Jenni has to solve the murder of her grandfather, and the consequences of her doing that follow her all the way through the rest of the books and right up to the very end of the series. 

This is where I defined my Jenni character.  In some ways, maybe it was wrong for me to make her one of those lucky trans girls that can pass easily with just a bit of padding and makeup, but that turned out to be a major factor in the entire series, so I guess it wasn’t a mistake after all. 

In this book, Jenni’s life is small.  For a trans girl, maybe bordering on normal – if there’s any such thing.  But this is where she finds out that the world is a much bigger, much more complicated place.  And this is where that big complicated world starts to fall down on her.  The book by itself is good.  You don’t have to read any of the others, but in at the end, I purposely led you right into the beginning of the next book, hopefully in a way that you’ll want to keep reading.

 

Daddy Came Calling

Book two.  Seeming absurdity on top of absurdity.  The impossible on top of the unthinkable.  The screws start turning and never stop.  This book is the one that got me to the point where I realized I couldn’t stop reading.  I never thought that the Jenni series would be my number one favorite, but this book brought me fully to the realization that it not only belonged in my top three, this overall story was number one.

Just like in the first book, the beginning of this book has another mystery that Jenni has to solve.  And like the mystery in book one, this one too will have affects that carry though all the way to the end of the series.  But that darn complicated overall story line keeps rearing its ugly head and leading Jenni from one thing to the next, and each one just gets worse and seemingly more absurd. 

Maybe most of you won’t think so, but for me, this was all fun.  And of course, like I did at the end of book one, this one also leads right into the beginning of book three.  You’ve got to keep going!

 

Curl Up and Die

Book three.  This is where a lot of the weird stuff gets explained, but I’m afraid that most of those answers don’t come until the end (of course). 

Unlike the other two books, this one doesn’t start with another mystery that has to be solved.  But then this book simply picks up a few hours later after the last book left off.  I could have made it all one book, but I had to stop and break the story somewhere.  This was a good place to begin the race to the end.

This book is simply injustice on top of injustice, to the point where you want to scream!  But all that injustice finally leads to the best justice I could think of.  For me, it was a very satisfying ending.  No, maybe I don’t really cry at the end of this one, but it’s a good ending anyway.  Perfect in fact!

  

Golden Greed

Number two!!! 

This was the last book I published.  After the Jenni series, this one brought me right back down to earth again.  Jenni was a character that could easily pass as a woman.  The main character in this one can’t.  This book is far more real than the Jenni series, and that reality is one of the things I love the most about it.  In fact, for a while there I wondered if this one shouldn’t be my number one favorite.  In the end, I decided that the Jenni series should remain on top, only because of the emotions that Jenni evoked in me and the fact that I couldn’t put it down.

This one is about a trans person who is at that in-between stage of his transition to becoming a woman.  He’s to the point where he’s starting to not look right as a man, but he also simply doesn’t look right as a woman either.  In-between. 

He has a very real worry about losing his job because of what he’s doing with his life.  He’s also a father with a soccer playing daughter.  A daughter who loves and reveres her father greatly, no matter who he decides to be.  And trust the daughter to ask the really tough questions, like:  “Daddy, are you ashamed?”  At one point in the book, the daughter also give us this immortal line:  “Daddy…,” she said with some exasperation.  “If I close my eyes and don’t look at you, you almost look like a real woman.”  How can a line like that not bring you right back down to earth?

This is the one and only published book that I’ve written that has a sex scene in it.  I don’t write sex scenes in these kind of stories, but I did in this one, only because what happened during that sex scene was important to the rest of the story.  It only happened once, and it was early in the book.  Somewhere around chapter four.  I promise, the rest of the book is safe.

Did I mention something about reality in this book?  This book is about finding a cache of gold bars and what people would do to get their hands on them.  But how much reality is there when one of the main concepts of the book is a possible curse?  But it’s up to you to decide if the curse is real or not.  At one point, the main character has to decide if the gold is cursed, or just his life.

I loved this book.  I loved everything about it.  From the psychological things the main character has to go through, to the action, and especially his relationship with his daughter.  Everything!  It could have easily been my number one favorite, but in the end, it got beat out by Jenni.  Still, number two can’t be bad!

  

So there you have it.  My take on most of my books and which ones are my personal top three.  Once again, that order is:

     1.      Jenni with an i – the entire series.

    2.      Golden Greed

    3.      Satan’s Daughter

 For those of you who have read them, I’d love to know which ones you enjoyed the most.

 Thanks for listening to me ramble again.

Karen

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Broken!

My computer suddenly died.  I've ordered another one but it won't be here for a while.  I guess then we'll see if the things I was working on were actually backed up to the cloud like they were supposed to be.

I deeply thank those who commented and expressed their good wishes.  Keep your suggestions coming.  I can't write anything until I get a decent computer to work with so bear with me.

Thanks again,

Karen

UPDATE!  -  My new computer came in fast, but wouldn't you know it, my automatic backup got almost everything but the things I was working on most recently, including the 8 pages of a posting about my Karen Singer books.  Got to start all over again.  Since my automatic backup got everything else, including stuff that came from computers years ago, why didn't it get that stuff?  Oh well.  At least I got what I did.

It's not a done deal yet, but I'm probably going to try to finish Mercy Me.  Don't quote me on that.

Karen


Friday, June 25, 2021

Now What?

In case you haven’t noticed, the last story is done.  So the questions is, now what?  I honestly don’t know.

 Writing the usual stuff I put in this blog has become difficult, but I’m trying to push past it.  It’s difficult, because back in November, I had cancer surgery.  The surgery lasted a lot longer than they anticipated, but in the end, the surgeon was satisfied that he had gotten all the cancer out of me.  (Hooray!)  It wasn’t until several months later though that I noticed something.  My entire libido was gone.  I had no interest in anything at all that would usually affect me sexually.  And now here’s the strange part, Karen, my alter ego, also seemed to be gone.  Which is strange because Karen was never a sexual thing for me.  Back what seems like a thousand years ago now, when I first began exploring and being Karen (in the closet of course), I learned that Karen wasn’t a sexual thing at all.  I simply felt more relaxed, more right, dressing as Karen.  Oh, and I did it a lot – within the confines of my home of course – with the curtains drawn!  But since the surgery, Karen doesn’t seem to live inside me anymore, and I miss her. 

 Recently though, in the last few months, I see small signs that things in those categories might be returning a little bit.  Once in a while, I get sexually interested again.  More often, I get interested for a little while, then nothing ever becomes of it for a few weeks, then it comes back.  So maybe, things are starting to return.  Some.  Maybe.

 In my quest to find the Karen side of me again, I’ve been going back and reading all of the Karen Singer books I’ve published over the years.  Most of them.  I’m not doing Baby Bobby or the McComber Switch, for now.  The rest of them are the ones that I consider to be my better books – the ones that really belong to what I like to think of as my transgendered lives collection.  I’m already working on another post about these books that includes my opinions and favorites.  It’ll be another week or so before I post that since I’m still reading.

 In the meantime, the question still remains.  What’s next?  I never finished Mercy Me.  I also wrote about two chapters in another story idea I had about a home invasion and the main character is kept in diapers and different forms of bondage all the time.  Do I go back to working on Mercy Me, or do I try and write the new story, or do I write something else.

 Or…do I write nothing at all. 

 I don’t want to close this blog.  At the least, it’s a way for me to let people know about any books I write (see the My Books page).  So if I’m going to keep it, then I might as well do something with it – like write stories.

 So please, tell me, what would you like to see?  Leave me a comment or send me an email (My Books page).  Let me know.  Give me some ideas – a story scenario or other idea, a story title, anything!  Challenge me!  I love to write, and right now, I’m not writing anything at all. 

 Please stay safe and healthy everyone!

Karen

Friday, June 18, 2021

Monsters - Chapter 41 – Rewind to the End – Part 2 of 2

 

Monsters

By Karen Singer

 

Chapter 41 – Rewind to the End – Part 2 of 2

 Both German shepherds lifted their heads and turned to face the outside wall at the same time.  One of them let out a faint growl.

“What is it boys?” Candy Brinkley asked as she looked up from working at her desk.  She noticed the two dogs getting to their feet.  “Visitors?”  She got up and headed toward the front door.  She opened it and went out to the porch, letting her dogs out at the same time.  There were no cars in front of the house, but now she noticed a motorcycle entering her long driveway.  Two motorcycles!  Both of the black.  As she stared at the motorcycles coming her way, she noticed that each rider was dressed entirely in black.  Two women motorcyclists, she noted.

The dogs automatically took up defensive positions on the front lawn.  They growled and barked ferociously as the two motorcycles pulled to a stop in front of her house. 

“Tor!  Chan!” Candy ordered.  The two dogs stopped barking, but they continued to growl menacingly at the two riders.  Candy watched as one of the women took her helmet off.  It was a woman she didn’t recognize.  The other one left her helmet on with the windshield down. 

“You might want to call off your dogs,” Brandy told her.

“Who are you?” Candy asked.

“Who I am isn’t important,” Brandy replied.  “What’s important, is that I’m your guarantee.”

“My what?”

“Brandy pulled a gun out her riding suit and aimed it at one of the dogs.  “Call your dogs off or I’ll kill them both.”

“No!” Candy cried.  “Suddenly frightened.”

“Trust me,” Brandy told her, “I’ve killed more dogs in my life than I can count.”  She nodded towards the other rider.  “I’m sure she has too.”

“Who are you?” Candy asked again.

Instead of answering, Brandy extended her arm with the gun towards one of the dogs.

“No!” Candy screamed.

“Call them off.  You don’t need them anyway.”

Frightened of losing her beloved pets, Candy yelled, “Tor!  Chan!  To me!”

The dogs immediately stopped growling and went up on the porch, each one sitting down on one side of her.

Brandy put her gun away.  “As I was saying,” she said.  “I’m your guarantee.”

“Guarantee for what?”

“That she won’t hurt you in any way at all.”

“Who’s…she?”

Carol now took her helmet off.  “Me,” she said.

Candy studied the new woman.  She shook her head, not recognizing her.  “Who are…”  And then it hit her.  “Carol?”

Carol nodded.  “Yeah.  May we come in?  I promise, you’ve got nothing at all to fear.  And like she said, she’ll guarantee it.”

“How?” Candy asked, now more alarmed than she had been.

“Trust me,” I can,” Brandy told her.

“That means nothing to me,” Candy replied.  “By all rights, I should call the police right now.”

“Don’t bother,” Carol told her.  “Not only will we make sure you don’t call anyone while we’re here, but I’ll be completely out of the country in a few hours.  Nobody will find me.”

Candy stared at her for a moment, then asked, “Why would you want to come in?”

“To talk.  Nothing more.”

“I’ve got nothing I want to say to you.”

“I’m sure you don’t, but I’d like to talk anyway.  Please?  Can’t we just all sit down and have some coffee or something?”

Candy grunted a laugh.  You…want to sit and have coffee…and talk…like a normal woman?”

“Yes!  Is that too much to ask?”

“With you?  Yes.”

Carol got off her bike and walked partway toward the porch, then stopped.  The dogs were both growling softly.  “Let’s go in and sit…and talk,” she said.  “And I suggest you put your dogs up somewhere.  We’ve both killed more dogs in our lives than we can remember.”

Alarmed at them threatening her dogs again, Candy backed up and opened the door.  “Tor!  Chan!  Inside!” she ordered.  She held the door open as the other woman got off her motorcycle.  A moment later, Carol and Brandy followed Candy into her home.

“Nice place,” Brandy noted as she looked around.

“Thanks,” Candy replied.  “I do the decorating myself now.”

“Nice,” Brandy said again as Candy led them into the kitchen. 

“You’re still fixing up and selling houses?” Carol asked as she and Brandy took seats at the table, while Candy started pouring mugs of coffee from a pot that had already been made.  The two dogs laid down on the kitchen floor.

“That’s what I do,” Candy replied.  “Sometimes I build one from scratch, but mostly I buy, fix them up, and sell them.”

“Candy girl, the handy girl,” Carol said with a smile.

“Not so much anymore.  I just do real estate now.  I’ve got two different crews working for me.”  With three mugs of coffee in her hands, she carried them to the table where she sat.  She pushed a mug toward each woman and kept the third one for herself.  “What did you want?”

“To talk, nothing more,” Carol said.  “We just made a trip down to Dallas where we did the same thing for…” she nodded towards Brandy, “…my friend here.  Each of us had a first.  A beginning.  She just had a nice talk with hers, and you were mine.”

“Your beginning?”

“Yes.  You were my first victim.  Mom may have made you what you are now, but it all started while she was still in prison, and she let me have my way with you.  That was when I first began to discover who I really was.”

“You were a monster!” Candy said angrily.

Carol nodded.  “Mom told me you said that once.  But it’s become a title I’ve worn proudly ever since.  I’ve spent my whole life now becoming even more of a monster.”

“As bad as your mother?” Candy asked.  “Because I can’t imagine a monster worse than her.”

“Huh!  Nobody can match Mom.  Not even me.  She’s…unique.”

“To this day, I still can’t talk about her,” Candy said, anger in her voice.  “Except, I guess now with you.”  She turned towards Brandy.  “Do you know what her mother does?”

“Oh yeah,” Brandy replied.  “Janice and I have become good friends.”

Candy shook her head.  “What she did to me…”

“Yeah,” Carol replied.  “I know.  I get it.  But believe it or not, Mom considers what she did to you a step up in the world.  You know how she hated men.”

“So she said,” Candy replied.  “So what is this?  A forewarning that she’s coming back for me?”

“No,” Carol said.  “She’s got no reason to.  She’s done with you.  Oh, she was a bit mad for a bit that you wound up with the last million dollars she had left here, but that didn’t last long.  She’s got so much money now that a million dollars wouldn’t even be pocket change for her.  No.  She could care less about you now, except that she always wished she had finished you properly.”

“Finished me!  What else could she have done?  Isn’t this bad enough?  I’m a woman.  I was never meant to be a woman.”

Carol nodded.  “Yeah, but she says she should have made you believe you were a woman, changed your mindset, your thinking, so that you would know you were a woman.”

“Have you any idea how many years I went through therapy?  Useless therapy because what she did to me wouldn’t let me talk at all about what she did to me.”  It took forever before my mind started to catch up with the changes in my body and I finally realized that I was a woman.  Like it or not, it’s what I had become.  That took me years to get to that point!  Life before that was…hell!”

Carol nodded.  “Yeah.  I’m sure it was.  That’s why Mom said she should have changed your mental outlook too.  She never had the chance.”

Candy glared angrily at Carol as she took a sip of the coffee she didn’t really want.  “So why now?” Candy finally asked.  “Why did you stop in to see me now?”

“I’ve seen you a number of times since then,” Carol told her.  “You just didn’t see me.”

“You have?”

“Yeah, but it was always as you were coming out of church, and only from a long distance off.  So I only saw you for a few moments each time.”

“Why bother?”

“Because you were my first.  There’s something special about a first.  You were mine, so I had to check in to see you once in a while.  I just couldn’t let you know I was there.”

“You couldn’t?”

Carol shrugged.  “I’m still a wanted woman in this country.  I don’t work here much anymore.”

“But you came now?”

“I was doing another job.  Now it’s done.  And as I said, you were my first.  This may be the only opportunity I’ll have in my life to talk to you.”

“Just because you consider me to be your first.”

Carol nodded.  “That’s about the size of it.”

“What did you want to know?”

Carol looked for a moment at Brandy, then back at Candy.  “I think she put it best when we visited her first.  I guess, I want to know…are you happy?  Finally?”

Candy stared at her for a long time without answering.  The silence seemed to build in the room.  Finally, she said.  “Yes.  I’m happy.  I guess, as happy as I can possibly be.  I used to love teaching, but you took that away from me.  But I now I think I love rebuilding old houses, bringing them back to life again, more than I did teaching.  There’s something about fixing the broken buildings up again and breathing new life into them that seems to satisfy me.  Maybe it’s because of what you and your mother did to me, broke me, then tried to breathe a new and different life into me.  I don’t know, but it’s what I do now.  So…yes, I guess I’m happy.”

Carol nodded.  “Good.  I’m glad.  I know this is personal, but…do you have…a love life?  Does anyone love you?  Do you love anyone else?”

Again, Candy looked at her for a long time without answering.  “No,” she said softly.  “There’s no one.  “I’ve been out with a few men over the years, but nothing ever came of it.  Now, it’s just me and my dogs.”  She looked down at the two German shepherds lying on the floor, and smiled.  “They’re my babies.  I love them to death.”

Carol nodded, then stood up.  From the pockets of her riding suit, she began pulling out stacks of money.  “I know you don’t need this, but she did it, so now I am too.  Take this and use it to buy yourself something nice.  Something that will make you happy.  Splurge on yourself.”

“I don’t want your money!  I want nothing at all to do with you.”

“I know,” Carol replied.  “I understand.  But I sure don’t need it and I’m not taking it back.  Like I said, splurge on something that you will enjoy.”

 

--- §§§§§§§§§§ ---

 

The two women hugged tightly.  “Two months is too long!” Brandy said.

“Way too long,” Carol agreed.  “But as much as I’m not looking forward to traipsing all over Europe in lavish gowns, I am looking forward to see you again.”

“Yeah.  And hey, getting dressed up nice for a little bit might be fun for a change.”

“Yeah.  I know.  But a whole month of it?  I’ll go crazy!”

“Me too,” Brandy agreed.  “I know I’m only going to be able to take so much before I start going stark raving mad.  You know me.  I need to let my frustrations out on someone.  More than just Ralphie.”

Carol smiled.  “Don’t worry, I’ve already arranged for Wu Enterprises to make sure we’ve got plenty of rope available, everywhere we go.”

Brandy smiled.  “Oh good!  I have no doubt we’ll be able to find plenty of…uh…innocent victims to play with.”

“Everywhere we go,” Carol agreed.

“Absolutely!” Brandy said.  She smiled.  “That doesn’t mean that I’m going to let poor Ralphie off the hook.  Before we go, I’m planning on buying Ralphie an entire new wardrobe just for that trip.”

“More hooker outfits?”

“Nope!”

“Fancy ballgowns?”

“Nope!”

“Brandy!  You’re not going to let him dress normally, are you?”

“Not on your life!”  She laughed.  “I’m having an entire wardrobe of adult baby girl outfits made for him.  For the entire trip, everywhere we go, that’s all he’s going to have to wear.  That, and his diapers.  I’ve had him in them now since I killed Beastman.  He’s not getting out of them until sometime after that trip.  He’s going to be absolutely miserable!”

 

The End!