Zoinks! by Dale Culp

A WebFiction Published Thrice Weekly

The enthralling, true tale of a trans girl just trying to get by and make the most of her life.

Also, she hunts ghosts and occasionally solves mysteries.

New to Zoinks!? Start at the beginning.

Chapter 1 - Act 2 - Out Cold

9:23 pm. I open the door to my freezing apartment and am greeted by a yelping dog who can't stop jumping and scratching holes in my tights. I take off my coat and head into the bathroom to answer nature's call.

After washing the makeup off my face, I put on 2 layers of socks, sweat pants and a sweater, plus a jacket, plus a beanie cap. It's cold, even for November, and the weather people are predicting that it's only going to get colder. I sure wish I could afford to turn on the heat.

As I don a hoodie and pull it over my head, I stumble around in the dark, making my way to the kitchen. My dog is nosing his food bowl around the kitchen floor and whining at me because I wasn't able to feed him sooner. I pull his favorite food out of the cupboard and fill his bowl. It's funny how my dog has plenty to eat, but I don't have anything for myself. The cupboards are completely bare and the refrigerator, unplugged to save money on the electric bill, has nothing in it anyway. That's ok... working late has made me so tired that I'm not hungry anyway.

"*growl!*" says my stomach. "Shut up!" says I. "I said I'm not hungry; I'm too tired to eat." "*growl*," it says, again.

We both know I'm bluffing, and I've just been called out. I wonder how the dog food tastes and then decide to just go to bed. If I can skip dinner tonight, I'll be able to afford to eat tomorrow. Maybe.

"This is like the second act of a hilarious TV sitcom," I tell myself. "This is the scene where things can't possibly get any worse, and then, suddenly, it all turns around."

As I shuffle along towards the bedroom, my right foot plants firmly into something warm and squishy. Did I mention my dog hasn't been taken outside because I haven't been home to take him out? At least it's warm.

"Nope. I was wrong. This was the scene where things can't possibly get any worse, and then they do."

I'm scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees, thinking, "I would say something funny — maybe some kind of catchphrase? — and then they would put in a laugh track here before going to a commercial. It would be hilarious!"

A little while later, I crawl into bed. My head hits the pillow and I'm out cold. Literally.

I'm still working on that catchphrase.

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Notes:

  • Remember the part where I said this is all a true tale? I'd kill for something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich, right about now. Also, the current outside temperature is in the teens and the thermostat is off because I have electric heat and that bill is already through the roof. FML.
  • But seriously, I'll be just fine. I just need to stop paying for doctor visits and psychotherapy and hormone pills and stuff like that. What's more important, anyway -- food or piece of mind and a body that more closely aligns with your gender identity?