It’s been a while since I ran a sample of A Blade Away. This particular scene is one that displays one of Lakme’s tragic flaws — and another brutal glimpse into his past. Purchase A Blade Away on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, or in Paperback from Amazon.
“It won’t be long, my pet, until your true form will be brought to the fore. You will no longer wake up in the middle of the night, covered in sweat, having just dreamed of waking a woman. You will be that woman, and everything you ever dreamed of will be a reality.”
His surgical skills were as crude as his instruments, but he saw neither in that same light. Quite the opposite. He saw himself a virtuoso of the surgical scalpel he now held in his hand. From his bag, Lakme withdrew the rest of his instruments and a portable CD player. As each tool was removed from the bag, it would first receive a sacramental kiss as a blessing from its master. “From God to manhood, from man to womanhood,” he repeated each time an instrument was placed on the bed. The ritual was becoming as familiar as the burning images of self-loathing and hatred that perpetually ran through his mind.
Once blessed, the tools were carefully laid on a blood-stained pair of old hipster panties. He pulled on a pair of surgical gloves. It was time.
He pushed play on the CD player, and the Flower Duet from Lakme began to gently cascade from the tiny speakers.
The surgeon held up his hands as a conductor would; only his wand was sharper and finer than any baton. As the darling voice of Charlotte Church poured from the CD, tears began to fall down his cheeks.
Sous le dôme épais où le blanc jasmin
A la rose s’assemble
Sur la rive en fleurs riant au matin
Viens, descendons ensemble
Lakme sang along as he lowered the scalpel to Tye’s chest for the first incision. The music crescendoed, and the half-moon cut below the right nipple bled immediately. Unlike with standard surgical procedures, there was no assistant to mop up after the knife. Red tears flowed down Tye’s ribs as the knife finished its first duty.
Slowly pulling the skin back from the chest, he stretched it to make room for Tye’s new breasts. Pausing before making the second incision under the left breast, he wiped at the tears that continued to stream down from his eyes.
When the second incision was complete, he sliced between them and pulled the entire flap up. From inside his bag, he brought out a white liquid-filled bra that looked as if it had its own breasts safely tucked within the cups. With clumsy hands, he stuffed the white fabric of the bra underneath the flaps of Tye’s skin. Blood was spilling from the wound, and tears were clouding his vision, making it difficult to work.
With the bra completely tucked under the skin, he pulled out a pre-threaded, half-inch suture needle. His stitches were not those of a practiced surgeon, and each stitch reminded him of his abysmal, short-lived career at med school. He had been kicked out after only one year for secretive experimentation on university patients. He could have easily been sent to prison had the campus ‘detectives’ discovered his real work. Fortunately, the only evidence they had was a few poorly-set fractures (even though the victims had never recalled how they acquired the broken bones) and a handful of misdiagnosed pregnancies. His only punishment was to be expelled from the university, just like dear old dad might have predicted had he lived long enough.
The very thought of his father brought the familiar pain streaming back into his psyche. He could feel himself falling backward into the nightmarish memories. The surgeon tried to focus on his duty, but it was too late…
The young boy’s father had just forced him down onto the bed. “You’ll never be anything, you little cunt!” Nothing but daddy’s little girl, right?”
He didn’t answer. He didn’t want to answer. Even though he knew what punishment lay ahead should he not answer, the words wouldn’t escape his lips.
“I asked you a question, slut! Are you daddy’s little girl?” Dad turned him over so that his face was buried in his pillow and ripped off his shorts and underpants. He still couldn’t answer. “Fine, little whore. I’ll make you daddy’s little girl!”
His screams filled the entire trailer.
When he returned to the present, his hands were violently shaking, and his face covered in sweat and tears.
The flogging memory had caused him to sew part of the chest incorrectly. He grabbed his head to force the screaming memories away, knowing that if they continued, things would not turn out the way he wanted. The dark stranger didn’t want to take a chance on not completing Tye Siam’s transformation.
“Get outta me!” He screamed, hoping that the memories would hear and flee. They did not. Instead, they came on even faster and louder as the music came to its gentle conclusion. With the sound of the Flower Duet no longer wafting through the room, his skull was pounding with the sound of Dad. He screamed and lunged for the small CD player. He knocked it off the bed and scrambled to reach it.
He had forgotten to set the song on repeat. It was the only way he could keep his connection to the present when making a transformation. Without the Flower Duet, he would certainly succumb to the memories. And succumbing to the memories meant that dear old dad would win. By the time he reached the CD player, he thought the memories were going to crush him. He started hitting buttons in a frenzy. Marilyn Manson’s Beautiful People blared out at him.
“No!” He had broken out in a cold sweat. His hands were shaking, and his eyes were starting to lose focus. If he didn’t get to hear the duet soon, the spell would be broken, and the transformation would be incomplete. His eyes were temporarily blinded by a mixture of tears, sweat, and fear. His hands were on their own. He felt around for the back button on the CD player. The sweat and blood covering his fingers made it hard to discern the symbols on the buttons. Finally, he found the back button, and the soothing duet began to flow from the speakers, replacing the harsh sound of Beautiful People.
His body prone over Tye Siams’, he lay breathing hard, recovering. Another slip like that would destroy his work. His breath fell ragged out of his lungs. His eyes, although closed, were racing around in their sockets as if they would leap from his skull should he open his eyelids. Singing along, he began to calm down.