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 4 - "Everybody's Got a Thing"

I'm about to push the front door open so that we can enter the building when Valeria stops me.

"You know, uh... if you need some extra cash, I might have a, uh... a proposition for you." She pauses, looking around, and moves in closer to me. Her voice drops to just above a whisper, "I have this webcam thingy, you know? And uh, there's this website I go to, and they pay you money to uh... you know."

"No... I don't know. What are you talking about?" I'm intrigued. And also a little frightened.

"Like, anonymous people come on and... Well, sometimes they just want to chat, but mostly, like, they pay you to... do stuff... on camera."

"What... in the actual... " I mutter before she stops me again.

"It's just a thought," she says, and then shrugs. "It's good money; and it's totally anonymous. You don't do anything you don't want to. They just get people to come in and they chat with you. They tell you what they want, and if you agree, you get them to put their credit card infos in, and they pay you!"

"I'm just... I don't... I can't even, Valeria. What's even happening, right now?"

"It's fun! We have a good time. You just flash your ta-tas, make some cash. And, hey, you have to eat... You're getting so skinny!"

"But, like... I'm... you know."

"Hey, some guys, they pay extra for that."

"Whoa! No. Huh-uh. Not in a million years."

"Hey, I'm jus' tryin' ta help! You need extra cash, and you got a... thing.

"Double-u-tee-eff, Valeria. You know how... it... makes me feel. I don't even want it on my body. What makes you think I would ever just 'whip it out' for strangers to gawk at! Seriously, if we weren't, like, BEST friends. Just what the hell, Val? What. The. Hell."

"What? No! Shh! Calm down... Listen... I didn't mean that. I meant, like, a gimmick, you know? That kind of thing."

I just stare at her. I'm trying to process all of this, but I can't believe it. Val and I go way, way back, and... well, on second thought, I can believe it.

Valeria, like most of the people I work with, know that my name hasn't always been Lucy. Furthermore, they know not to ask or talk about it unless I bring it up. As far as anyone is concerned, I've always been Lucy, a woman. But I've been best friends with Valeria since our college years. She knew me before I transitioned; she knows my past. And I know her past. I know she was a dancer at a club, back in those days -- the cliche of making money as a stripper to pay for school. But I thought she was done with all that. I had no idea she was still doing that kind of thing as a cam-girl.

"You've been thinking about this a while now, haven't you?"

Valeria shrugs, "Just since we left the restaurant."

"So, like, what? Are you trying to become my pimp?" I ask her, and then I laugh nervously, trying to ease the tension.

"Forget I even mentioned it. It's stupid," Valeria says, as she walks past me and starts to push against the door.

"Wait," I say, stopping her. "You swear? It's totally anonymous?"

Valeria smiles.