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Tran$house of Horror II

I always hated the Marge introductions in these things.


Strange Girl Next Door

The three women sat in the living room around the TV. Joscelyn and Aria stretched across the long couch and Maeve curled up on a papasan. The credits rolled up the TV Screen.

“I think I’m off to bed”. Maeve said checking her phone.

Her roommates waved night to the tall-ish brunette as she staggered out of the main area.

Aria checked her phone. ‘9:00pm’ shone amongst a dozen odd notification. “Kinda early” Aria said in a hushed tone in case Maeve was still in earshot. Aria had the darkest hair of the roommates, by default.

“She always goes to bed around now” Joscelyn the tall blonde countered.

“Isn’t that weird, who goes to bed that early, its not like she needs to get up super early for her job.” Aria said staring off into Maeve’s direction.

“Plus, I always pass her door on my way back from the bathroom in the middle of the night and I can see her light still on” She added.

Both friends, all three in fact, went a number of years back. They met as baristas and became fast friends through highs and lows, through Maeve’s coming out and transition, the three stuck close. Even if Maeve behaved a little stranger now. Each had moved on from the café and made enough to finally move out of their parents’ houses. This night marked three weeks living together.

A routine had already formed – Maeve would call quits around 9-ish, Joscelyn and Aria would embark on a YouTube safari, roaming around their shared interests, usually the videos dealt in true crime. The infamous genre had long been a pillar, back to the barista days, of the friendship. They bonded over a curiosity that ended at the intersection of their anxiety and strange vibes.

About two hours after Maeve had dipped, Aria and Joscelyn gave each other a yawning nod. Zombie-like, they lurched off the couch. Joscelyn almost at her bedroom door, turned to give Aria one last tired nod. A much more animated face poked out of the bathroom door, Zombie-Aria eyed, as well as she could, which wasn’t, Maeve’s door.

Maeve’s door was decorated with a handful of queer flags, a strange circle and arrow crop-like symbol, and an ironic ‘danger, do not enter’ sign. Joscelyn had to assume Aria was trying to get her to notice the light streaking out from under the door. The shorter one stared bug-eyed, eyebrows to the sky. The taller, less energized roommate could only decipher it as an expression of “see”. Joscelyn returned an eye roll and closed her bedroom door.

The apartment sat dark, mostly, as minutes later Aria crossed the hall to her bedroom. Sceptical, she briefly cupped her ear to the adjoining wall – later she would swear she heard something that night – before herself turning off the lights.


The weather was entirely overcast. Morning fog rose as a shitty silver sedan whipped down the damp-leaf littered country roads. The kind of country roads that used to be interstates, that wind passed old graveyards with like 20 tombstones. The kinds of roads that lead to Halloween obsessed small towns where every home feels the decorative pressure, too small for their stores to run out of most costumes.

“It’s completely necessary” Aria screamed from behind the wheel. What was supposed to be an easy costume shopping outing had turned to a road trip. “I don’t want to end up with some mix and match idea off thrift store racks this year. I’m turning 28, it needs to be good.” Aria said in an overdramatic shrill.

“I’m sorry” Maeve said.

Joscelyn, stuck in the back, just rolled her eyes.

The car went silent as the three slouched in their seats. From behind, Joscelyne could almost spy what Maeve was doing on her phone. She casually used her length to stretch into better position.

Maeve was adjusting alarms, dozens Joscelyne gleamed. Through the night, starting just before 9. They were all labelled “VT”. The lurker racked her brain, nothing rung a bell. She mentally noted the times they went off at. Joscelyne cross-referenced them with all alpha-numeric cyphers she knew, zero hits. Maybe nothing, but probably something.

Aria bolted out of the car into the store. Joscelyn and Maeve trailed in.

“Hey, you still haven’t gotten a costume yet?” The blonde asked.

“Haven’t found the perfect one yet.” Maeve said with a shrug.

“How about cat ears and bodysuit, or a cute little witch dress.” Joscelyn said, with an emphasis on little that made Maeve visibly blush.

“Seriously what’s wrong with those”. Joscelyn said slyly.

“There just not made for bodies like mine” Maeve said in a defeated tone.

Joscelyn quizzingly eyed the slender woman, built much like herself.

A black blaze zipped around the aisle corner, both women jumped back startled. Before the tall girls was a tiny beast – with the head of chucky wearing a wedding dress with a striped shirt. “What do you think” a husky voiced Aria said through the doll mask.

Joscelyn and Maeve remained puzzled.

“Bride of Chucky” Aria said.

“We came all the way here for a cheap wedding dress, they have so many at the thrift store.” Joscelyn said.

“They don’t have masks this good” Aria said still masked.

The two gave their roommate a loving but tired smile and headed for the cash.


The gloomy, rumbling weather had not improved when the three made it back to the apartment. The off kilter feeling Joscelyn had for Maeve remained as well.

Maeve went to the bathroom, Joscelyn headed for her bedroom. Aria dumped her costume on her own bed and jumped Joscelyn from behind, slamming the door.

“What are you doing” Joscelyn yelled.

“We need to talk about Maeve.” Aria said in a quiet voice.

“Don’t slam my door.”

“I didn’t slam it and she’s stranger right.”

“You did, and ya kind of but I don’t think its anything.”

In her faux detective way Aria said “Au contraire. There is much to consider.”

“Like what.”

“How about the light thing and the other stuff.”

“It might be different but its not alien or anything. What do you mean by other stuff.”

Aria was certain to convince Joscelyn and gave a stern eye.

“Okay, she was a little weird shopping today.” Joscelyn conceded.

“Thank you” Aria said knowingly, without knowing anything about the conversation Joscelyn and Maeve had.

“She said something about costumes not fitting her body like we have the same measurements.”

Aria repeated louder “Thank you.”

“Shh.” Joscelyn was quick to hush her excited friend. The walls were paper, and the stranger was a sheet away. Joscelyn couldn’t help but admit, though cautiously, there was a strangeness, alien-like quality to their roommate Maeve.

Above all this suspicion hung an obvious puzzle piece – Maeve was trans. But Maeve was also a woman, a woman foremost and so were they. Therefore, the amateur Dics deduced, her weirdness was not a gender thing.

They whispered in the close quarters of Joscelyn’s room, assembling the case. At first, they agreed the behaviours could only be traced back three weeks. But in their mind palaces they reached back and began adding anecdotes, tracing to the beginning of Maeve’s transition.

“She started being more unavailable.” Joscelyn said.

“Quiter in social settings.” Aria added.

“She hates going into the water at the beach.”

“She gets drunker way quicker.”

“She has, like, a bajillion alarms set.”

“She’s named herself Maeve!”

“She’s not even Irish.”


“I think her parents are Polish.”

In unison “Weird.”

Another thing Joscelyn and Aria could agree on – they were good allies. And they loved their trans friend or a person, a thing, they thought was their trans roommate. They wouldn’t breach Maeve’s privacy. In the confines of their small apartment though – this mystery needed to be solved.

Research needed to be conducted, they knew. Adept in googling from their shared interest, they optimized their search queries.

Trans women strange.

No results, at least nothing but a pile of op-eds.

Trans women Alien.

It looked just as empty until the 11th result. A blog post titled “My Roommate the Trans Alien Woman: Day 30 –”

It seemed to be a multi year account, over a hundred posts, almost weekly. This person, ‘James Bones’, his roommate was a trans woman who exhibited many of the same oddities Maeve had. The quietness, the clothes shopping, the inability to drive.

Amongst the records were many observations the girls had not yet reached, and the end game. Mr. Bones said, as the months went on, he still had no answers. The brave soul went where Joscelyn and Aria wouldn’t, into his friends’ room.

As they read what happened next, they squeezed their hands tight.

“Not good.” Aria whispered.


The next morning, still in the previous nights’ substance induced stupor, Joscelyn bed-headed and groggy sauntered out of her room. She assumed she was the first to wake. The apartment was still but not silent, while no bodily shadow broke the morning sun through the dining/TV/ Living room window there were various hums. The always rumbling fridge and its accompanying alto – the window A/C unit – made the familiar morning concert. In the dark hallway, where the sun couldn’t reach, Joscelyn heard another, unfamiliar player. The faint glow from her nightstand lamp barely reached the hallway. She listened closer and made out a trill. On it went as the half-asleep woman tried to place it. To her ears it seemed to come from behind Maeve’s door.

The apartment hallway wasn’t wide by any standard and the floorboards needed delicate steps to avoid an awakening squeak. Joscelyn took a half of a half step towards her roommates` door. Silence. She took another. Still Silence.

Joscelyn abandoned the inquest for the bathroom. A new noise joined the tune.

It sounded unreal to her – somewhat like Maeve’s voice but higher or more fractured, weak. Resumed in her curiosity, Joscelyn went to take a full step toward the door. Fixated on the strange voice – it sounded like it was repeating a phrase – she sloppily misplaced her foot and a loud eek rang through the apartment off the floorboards. She froze. The voice froze. The hallway was silent.

To Joscelyn minutes could’ve passed before the voice resumed and she expelled a breath. It however was altered, it now sounded like it was coming through a speaker – a transmitter, static-y. It repeated as the mutated voice said in slight delay “heat from fire, fire from heat.”

In the dark, Joscelyne was fully alert now, all weariness washed away, replaced by a racing mind. There was no mistaking, Maeve or at least something Maeve was letting stay in her room was from that far, far place the website talked about. Paralyzed, Joscelyn stood carefully on her toes trying to make the least noise possible.

Aria’s door swung open, the short brunette saw Joscelyn perched frozen. She opened her mouth to question her but was met with a stern, silent shush finger-and-lip.

In the same stern tone Joscelyn tugged her earlobe and pointed to the door. Aria listened good. And she did, shortly, join in the fright. Both clung to each other, toes pointed, teeth chattered.

Maeve’s door slowly creaked open.

Joscelyne and Aria leaped back, they felt something slither through their legs.

“Get back here.” A voice from the room beamed, the girls screamed.

Maeve emerged from her neon-red lit cave, eyes ablaze.

“Dude’s, what the heck, you let him get right past you.” She said.

Aria and Joscelyne remained puzzled.

“My pet snake, did you see where he went, both your doors are open, he could be anywhere.” Maeve sighed and sped past the still clung women.

“Wait, you have a pet in this apartment.” Aria shook off the fear. “That’s against the lease agreement, why … what.”

“Oh my god.” Maeve snapped her head back. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you I had a snake when we moved in.” She mumbled under her breath.

The two remained silent.

“Look there is a loose Ringneck snake in this apartment, the sooner you help me find Henry, the sooner he’s back in my room.”

Aria and Joscelyne were absolutely not ready to move past the violating the lease without their knowing, but they nodded in silent agreement, there was a loose snake in the apartment.

That morning all curiosity and animosity subsided in favour of finding her snake.


The Yapping Boobs

Emery walked down the street quietly pleading no one look too closely in his direction. “Shut up shut up shut up.” He murmured to, it appeared himself.

With pace and headphones blaring he made his way across town. His parents refused to drive, his ride bailed last minute, and he had put every dollar in his name towards today.

A walk, 45-minutes through the sweltering summer heat was the only way there. Under a binder, hoodie, and headphones was the only quiet way there.

Not ideal conditions, sure, but it had to happen, asap. He was already more than halfway there.

Emery knew realistically there was no way he could get all the way to the clinic without incident, but they started up much sooner than hoped.

They began to squirm, sweltering in the pressure cooker under the binder, slipping, sliding.

He squeezed his eyes in silent pain and walked through it. Even the parts of his body he liked were suffering under the hoodie. To show off his arms would require rolling up the sleaves, which he felt was womanly.

“Shut-up” he barked pulling his hoodie out to yell into his chest. He could feel them moving, chatting, talking at him and between themselves in their auntly tone.

“She really is a disappointment to the family.” One said, through the side of her squished nipple-mouth . “So ungrateful, she wasn’t raised right, I say.” Said the other. “Her mother can’t help it, she doesn’t listen.” Each she pierced Emery’s ribcage. “We try to help, but she shut’s herself away. In her room, in her head… what-chama call-its.” “SHUT UP.”

“Please doctor, you got to help I’m not like other guys.” Emery pleaded.

“I know, you’re trans.” Dr. Simpson said in a dry, assuring manner.

“No, sorry, I mean I’m not like other trans guys. My chest, the boobs I swear they’re conspiring to torture me.”

“Yes, I’ve heard a number of persons in your, um, situation explain it as such.”

“No, no they weren’t always there – they attached themselves to me.” Emery said, worried he was losing the doctor. “One night they snuck into my room and latched onto my chest – which was kind of flat before.”

“And they won’t stop talking.” Emery said with an a-thousand-yard stare.

Dr. Simpson looked quizzingly at the young man “mmm, alright would you mind showing me your chest so we can see what you’re working with.”

Neither were quite on the same page yet. Emery cautiously removed his hoodie; the room was confusingly quiet. He let out a big anxious breath as he moved his binder.

Shirtless standing in the middle of a doctor’s office they appeared finally out of words.

“Looks pretty normal to me.” Dr. Simpson said.

Emery was on the verge of tears.

“I mean they completely don’t suit a man like you.” He followed trying to hold his patients tears back.

“Hey, I’m stunning, it’s her that’s misshapen.” The left boob opened its nipple mouth and spoke.

“Oh, quit snipping, you’re jealous you always get ignored in this ones pitiful sex sessions.” The right said through its nipple-mouth.

Dr. Simpson stood their frozen in horror, Emery stood, head hung, in surrender.

“Whose, mister doctor, getting a free show.” The right ones said. “I’m Cathy.” It extended skin outward in an effort to get Dr. Simpson to kiss a hand. “I apologize for, the young lady, wasting your time. You must have a, wife, family, kids, to get home to.” Cathy said flirtatiously.

“Ignore Catty. That’s my nasty little nickname for her.” Nancy shifted a mound of tissue toward her nipple-mouth as if to whisper to the doctor.

Dr. Simpson blinked and stammered furiously.

“Look what you’ve gone and done, you’ve upset the good doctor.” Nancy said to her sister.

“No ring.” Cathy nudged Nancy.

Emery was drove his palms into the sides of his head.

“Such a drama queen.” Cathy said as she and her sister rolled themselves expressively.

Dr. Simpson finally broke through his distress. “We … we. Let’s get you on the table, right now.”

The doctor grabbed his patient by the arm and yelled back to reception to prepare an operating room, as they walked with haste from his office.

Emery felt cold lying on the table, at least if he tilted his head far enough back, they were out of view.

Dr. Simpson had taken a few laps around Emery as he tried to assess adhesion and if possible, excavation.

Emery caught him on a pass and hesitantly mentioned the different methods he had already tried. “With my hands, a partners’ hands, trying to get my nails underneath, umm, spatula.”

“Knife.” The doctor warily pitched.

“Take us to dinner first, geez.” Cathy quipped.

“Sure.” Emery said desperately.

Dr. Simpson surveyed his instruments, hovering over a smaller scalpel before deciding on something with teeth.

“Okay, Emery, I’m going to need you to be really brave for this next part.” Dr. Simpson said walking a big knife towards the scared boy. “Point to where you think you end and Nancy - it starts.” He said starting with the right boob.

Just as quickly as Emery picked a spot did Nancy try to bite his finger away with her mobile nipple-mouth.

“Ow.” Emery screamed.

Dr. Simpson lined up and swung. Nancy dodged out of the way backing into Cathy.

“Hey, watch where you’re walking.”

The doctor swung again, much closer to Emery’s real body and the parasites.

Nancy jumped in the air to avoid the cut, skin stretching off Emery. She flung herself back down onto the poor souls’ chest.

Dr. Simpson put down the serrated knife and took a moment to collect himself. Emery was panting, more out of breath than on his walk over.

“Allow me to try one more thing.”

“Please, anything Doctor.” Emery yelped.

The Doctor looked over at the nurse shrunk in the corner, white as snow, bless her heart. “Pass me an XL headcap, please.” He said.

He approached the table again. “Okay take a deep breath, son.” He twiddled his fingers and reach for Nancy’s mouth, twisting hard. She shot in the air, removing herself completely from the boy’s body. Like a falling apple Dr. Simpson collected her in the cap.

“Don’t you get near me.” Cathy screamed.

Emery braced himself and grabbed Cathy as she tried to run across his chest. He nodded to Dr. Simpson.

With another great twist Emery could feel a breeze travel clean over his chest.

There was nothing, or no obstruction. He looked down his body without raising his head he could see his toes; they wiggled with glee.

Dr. Simpson disposed of Cathy and Nancy in a hazardous waste bin. “Enjoy your retirement villa.” He said with a cackle.

Emery endlessly thanked the man and strolled out of the clinic, hoodie tied around his waist, bare chest. With the wind rolling off his pecs he began his walk home.


I Need to Tell You Something

Skin always felt loose to me. I could never get it to really sit, and I accepted that.

By the time I had any sort of consciousness my parents had already found their bodies and my siblings weren’t long from theirs. Being a shadow, wandering fog, a strong gust wasn’t so bad. It was cold and eventually lonely, but it did me well for a while.

My parents were quite pushy about us kids getting in bodies. They wanted us to have the kind of warmth and opportunities they had. I figure they were getting lonely.

The first one I saw, that I liked, was playing around in a park by itself using sticks as swords.

The process of slipping into a human body can be tricky and is technically cumbersome. To say it short, one has to cause their target to draw a long breath (Even though we’re born as shadows there is a lot to cram in). It apparently feels quite cold to humans. The easiest time is as the leaves fall. They open their mouths searching for the last of summer’s air, when greeted with the ice-cold gust they tend to submit in melancholy.

The sword-sticks seemed cool and the kid was alone so.

I had never felt more claustrophobic. My parents reassured me that I would settle into the skin. They urged me to stay to minimize death and suspicion.

You know when you can cram your fingers together inside a mitten or cross your toes in a boot. I kept waiting through my childhood and teens. As I made friends with other snatchers my age, like my parents and siblings, they all said theirs fit fine – no wiggle room. I became convinced I was feeling the skin wrong.

So, I tried, really tried, to fit. I picked up interests’ other boys my age did – footballs kept slipping out of my mit-hand; I could never hold my balance – wobbling through my feet – long enough on a skateboard; I even took a swing at poetry but any true emotions I put to paper and read resulted in violent regurgitation from humans and snatchers alike.

Even wallowing alone with sticks-swords felt jelly-ish.

In college, I tried it all again to much the same result. After one particular poetry reading as I left the pungent cafe, most everyone still curled over. I was tapped on my shoulder.

Behind me was this gorgeous red-curly haired woman, freckles crowded the space between their cheeks. She was staring at me, my slightly-built frame, my unremovable stubble, my face cut from trying. They introduced themselves to me and asked if I wanted to grab a drink. No one had ever really kept interest with me long-term. I had completely given up in that area.

What they proposed sounded much better than another fling.

For the first time ever, they had met someone like me, someone who’s skin never settled. They had scoured the internet for a community or a solution. From their telling the procedure was complicated.

With our clothes off it only felt worse.

This next part is a little nasty, my discomfort in my skin was magnitudes worse around the lumpy, fleshy, tag between my legs. I tell this next part through much distress.

In my bed, in our naked loose skin we tried to arouse each other, a necessary, unfortunate part of the maneuver. We resolved to self stimulation. Having reached into our deep, suppressed mammalian instincts we locked nervous eyes. This would either work or become the most disappointing sexual mistake in both our regrettable histories.

Quickly we jumped together, they ducked under me, I leaped on top of them, staring straight at the others genitals – I reach my hand back and squeezed theirs. We took deep breaths in and plunged our faces into pussy and dick blowing our hardest into each others’ holes.

I remember feeling the awful gust into my penis and then falling head over heels into darkness.

When I regained consciousness, I saw him standing there – me, but not me – him. He spoke with a massive smile suggesting I look in the mirror. I couldn’t believe it, I was her – me, me.

We took the night to gather ourselves, choose new names, try sex – it was better but we weren’t all that into fucking our old selves. When dawn broke, given the implication for human friends we dropped out of school and went our separate ways.

I’ll never forget Archer and the life he gave to me that night.

As I concluded my story, I studied Christopher’s eye’s. When I couldn’t find anything there, I searched the rest of his toned face – its scruffiness, its perfect blonde widow’s peak – he was my dream man.

He was the second romantic partner I’d ever told the full story to. I desperately wanted him to be the one, to at least stay. I fully expected him to bolt.

All Christopher said was “It’s all good babe, I’m a snatcher too, plus you know I’ve never cared about your body count”.



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