PA for a Day


WTF is going on? You may ask... Well... my mother works for herself and for no other reason than trying to impress one of her clients, she claimed that she had a Personal Assistant to help manage her diary, run errands, keep her topped up with coffee and so on. It was one of those innocent white lies until this particular client wanted a face to face meeting to discuss a new contract, and the client insisted that Mum's PA also attended the meeting. The fact that her PA didn't exist was a big problem, and it was my idea that Mum simply gets someone to pretend to be her PA. The last thing I expected was that it would be me!

Should Our Menial Males Man Up?


The image above has been published in Good Housekeeping, Woman & Home, Marie Claire, OK!, Woman's Weekly, Cosmopolitan and many other periodicals, and it's been causing quite a stir! It's part of the pressure group Extreme Equality's latest campaign and a retort to the pro-separatist stance on what has been dubbed the genderquake. The pressure group's founder and former starlet Charlotte Chapel has repeatedly claimed that the pro-separatist movement are 'relics from the stone age' and 'a bunch of sad little misogynists who need to wake up'. Chapel claims that the latest Extreme Equality campaign highlights the positives and negatives of the genderquake in a simple and succinct manner. “It's designed to promote the debate as much as it's designed to change opinion.” she states. “It's really no big deal when a guy is told to wear a specific uniform, paint his face or shave his legs... it wasn't a problem when the girls had to do it and its not a problem now... and this poster highlights that.

Anonymous


I arrived home from school to find my dad sitting at the kitchen table with his laptop. Being an average dad, he hasn't got a clue about modern technology so his laptop is really my laptop. He usually needs me to help him turn it on and then point to the browser or email shortcuts and guide him through whatever he wants to use it for... so seeing him using it without assistance was something of a surprise. I asked him what he was doing and he replied, “Oh just doing a bit of surfing.”

I had a mooch over and peered over his shoulder. He was looking at the BBC news website. “You managed to turn it on then?” I sarcastically stated.

“No.” he replied, “It was already turned on so thought I'd have a play.”

“Well I'm sorry to spoil your fun Dad but... I'll need it for my homework in a bit.” I told him. Dad was oblivious to the fact that I spent most of my time online just surfing a variety of websites, blogs and video streaming services. I pretend that I use it primarily for study and Dad is none the wiser.

“No worries.” Dad replied. I set off to my room to change out of my school clothes. “Oh before you go David... can you just explain something to me.” Dad said. I hovered behind him as he flicked through the various tabs on the browser before he found the one he was looking for. “What's all this?” he asked.

I lent forward, gulped and began thinking of excuses. “Dunno.” I said. “Looks like a load of anonymous comments to me.”


“They're not your comments then?” he asked.

Trying to be convincing, I scan read a few of them, shook my head and said “No.... dunno who's they are.”

“Fair enough.” dad replied. “It's just this one says the name's Dave.” he said, tapping on the screen.

My Surrogate Sister

This is a follow-up to A Surrogate Sister, which you may want to read first. This story begins five years after George and Andrew's youngest brother Peter became Sophie, and is told in flashback form from Andrew's point of view. Also, I'd better warn you that it's nearly 40,000 words long!

Being at college is loads better than being at school. There's no uniform for a start, the subjects are more interesting, there's no PE, RE or IT to endure and I've made a few new friends too. It's not uncommon for a handful of us to go down by the creek and sit talking, smoking and generally killing time between our classes. Today I sit with Bekah and TJ... and as usual, TJ is moaning about his parents. I wouldn't mind but his folks are loaded and all his supposed problems can be attributed to him being a spoilt little brat who's struggling to grow up. He's a nice enough guy but sometimes I wish he'd give his 'my parents are so unfair' mantra a rest. I guess Bekah was also at the end of her tether with his incessant whining because she told him that he has no idea just how lucky he is. She described her own home life which leaves both of us speechless. She grew up with an alcoholic mother and an abusive yet mostly absent father. Any nice clothes she had were second hand and she endured years of teasing and taunting at school for being scruffy, spotty, speccy and so on. Once she'd informed TJ just how bad growing up could be in a broken home where money is scarce, he shut his mouth. “What about you Drew?” she asked me. “Your Mum's a single parent isn't she?”

I nodded and Bekah asked what she's like. “She's OK I guess. She used to be a bit mad but...”

“My Mother's bonkers!” TJ interupted. “She even irons socks... and if there's one thing I can't stand it's creases in my T shirt sleeves...” Bekah and I shared a sly grin and rolled our eyes as TJ resumed his rant about how bad his life in a cushy middle class home is. We let him rant away though, and thankfully mid-rant, he realised that he was supposed to be somewhere and darted off.

"See ya tomorrow TJ." we said in unison.

“Poor lad... having creases in his T shirt sleeves.” Bekah giggled. “My mum didn't even have an iron and if she did she'd have pawned it for a bottle of gin.”

This made me laugh out loud but it wasn't funny. “Sorry. It's the way you said it, not what you said.”

“Ah it's OK... I could write a book about my mother's drunken antics” she replied.

“So...” Bekah asks after short yet comfortable silence. “When you say your Mum was a bit mad... how do you mean?”

After seeking her assurance that she wouldn't tell anyone, I said “Well, she wasn't a psycho or schizo or anything like that.. but she did make me and my brother wear dresses.” I gulped before defensively adding, “Not all the time... just occasionally.”

“Wow!” Bekah exclaimed as she lit two cigarettes and passed one to me. “I wasn't expecting that.”

“Thanks.” I said as I took the lit cigarette from her, “It was pretty weird.” I added before taking a long deep toke of my ciggy. I didn't want to reveal everything to Bekah... in fact I wasn't sure I should be revealing anything to her, but it feels good to talk and she seems as if she's capable of listening without prejudice.

“So... how come your Mum made you wear dresses?” she asked. “Was it a punishment thing?”

“No nothing like that.” I replied. “My younger brother went to high school in Crickley...” I began.

“Which one?” she asked.

“Malham Hall.” I cautiously replied.

“I had a feeling you were going to say that.” she replied, “It's a very good school.”

“Not if you're a boy it ain't.” I retorted before taking another drag of my fag. “Well...” I backtracked. “...it is a good school I suppose... it's just the boy's uniform isn't so good.” I said. I didn't tell her that my mother turned Peter into a girl and insisted we called him Sophie as she didn't need to know about that, but did tell her about him having to dress like a girl for school as that is the precursor to Mum making me wear dresses. “My big bro and I used to tease him something rotten.” I confessed. “But we were just picking on an easy target.”

“So... your brother went to Malham Hall...” Bekah said. “...and you went to Broadoak Road, which isn't an EP school?” she quizzed, adding “Educational Petticoating” for clarity. I nodded and she continued. “So... how come you ended up wearing dresses then.”

I sighed. “I dunno... it just sort of happened.” I replied. “You promise you won't tell anyone?”

Bekah assured her confidentiality and dug a little deeper. I cast my mind back five years to that fateful summer when it all began...


Facebank

Peter and his sister Laura walk to school one sunny Monday morning. As usual, she has her smart phone in her hands and is texting her friends, probably telling them that she's walking to school and will see them in class shortly. Peter couldn't understand why she sent so many pointless texts. It's almost as if she has to use every last one of them before her monthly allowance expires. They enter the school gates and soon part company, heading to their respective form rooms.

When Peter enters his form room, a good third of his classmates burst out laughing. He's clueless as to what they're laughing at. Maybe he's got shaving foam left on his chin, dried toothpaste around his mouth or is having a really bad hair day. As Peter takes his seat, his classmates start to whisper amongst one another and the giggling and sniggering spreads like wildfire. “What?!” he asks when people give him funny looks and throw sly comments in his direction.

The poor lad is the last to know that he's changed his Facebank profile picture and shared it with everyone... EVERYONE! And by the sound of it, everyone's been sharing it with everyone else. It's morning break when he's finally shown his latest update on Facebank, the new profile picture has been shared 107 times, has 243 likes and a handful comments. The fact that he didn't change his Facebank profile picture is irrelevant, as it's clearly him wearing red lipstick and a blonde wig in the very close and very clear image.


Ashford Academy: New Term, New Uniform


This is another piece of fiction set at Ashford Academy; a high school that has banned the boys from wearing long trousers. It's set around the same time period as part one and part two when the new uniform rules are introduced. You may want to read the prologue or part zero to find out what led to the trouser ban, but it's not essential.

-o0o-


A group of Ashford boys are chatting in the school yard. “So what do you think about the new uniform?” Tom asked. The rest expressed their disapproval, most of whom were transferring to Central Comprehensive to avoid having to wear it. “Lucky buggers.” Tom gulped.

“You're not staying here are you?” John asked.

Tom nodded and said that in spite of his pleas, both his mother and father are insisting that he remain at Ashford because it's a better school than Central.

“I heard that the head's trying to turn it into an all-girl's school, and wants all the boys to transfer out. No boy in his right mind will enrol at Ashford now... and those already here will have to dress and act like girls!” Anthony claimed.

“That's bollocks Tony!” Callum retorted. “They might have to dress like girls but they won't have to act like girls... and there's a few boys on my street starting here in September... not that they want to.” he added.

“I heard she's just trying to promote equality...” Peter said. “...by treating boys and girls the same.”

“If that was the case, then surely the girls would be wearing pants instead of the boys wearing skirts.” Anthony retorted.

“They're not skirts, they're shorts.” Tom insisted.

“They are girl's shorts though.” Callum told him. “Called 'clots' or summit.” he added. “I wouldn't mind wearing shorts for school but there's no way I'm going to wear girl's shorts.”

“You transferring too?” Peter asked him.

“Too right!” Callum replied. “You?”

“I hope so... but Mum doesn't want me to.” Peter frowned. “She reckons Central's too far away and that Ashford's a better school.”

“Who cares?” John asked. “I'd rather walk across town to a crap school than dress like a girl at a good one.”

“We won't be dressing like girls!” Tom insisted. “We just have to wear shorts.”

My Saturday Job

Although working on a market stall each and every Saturday was a bit of a chore, the extra money made it all worth it. Some of my school friends thought I was a 'dag' for having a job, but they were also envious that I had more spending money than they had. They teased me for working on a stall that sold the most horrendous fashions, and on that note, I completely agreed with them. “I only sell them, I don't wear them!”

“Who does wear them?” my friend Jemma asked.

“I dunno.” I shrugged. “Girl's with no sense of style or no choice in what they wear.” I replied. “Thank god my mother doesn't shop there!”

“Same here!” replied Jemma. “Even if my mum did buy me something from your stall... I'd just refuse to wear it.”

I couldn't agree more as I helped put up the stall on Saturday morning. Some of the styles were so horrendous that no one in their right mind would buy them, let alone wear them. We seem to sell to a lot of aunts and grandmothers buying gifts for nieces and granddaughters, so much so I tend to ask if it's a gift whenever I sell to an unaccompanied adult. “Is it for your daughter?” I ask one stern looking lady as she purchases a particularly horrible frock. Normally I follow this with “I'm sure she'll love it.” or “I'm sure she'll look lovely in it.” or something like that, but this particular lady left me completely aghast. “Sorry?” I asked, certain I'd misheard her. “Did you say....?”

Dawn of the Genderquake

This is a story set in the very early years of Jamie Vesta's Genderquake scenario.

[note] in spite of the title, this is nothing... absolutely nothing like that ape movie ;)


My mother and aunt sat watching TV whilst I peered aimlessly in to my smart phone's mesmerising screen... as usual.

“It reminds of when those skin tight jeans first came into fashion.” my aunt said as she and mum sat bemused in front of the TV. “Or deelie boppers.” she added with a grin.

“What are deelie boppers?” I asked.

Mum described the novelty headband to me and I knew exactly what she was talking about. “We never thought they'd catch on either but they did.” she added, before turning back to the TV.

They were watching the local news programme which reported on a protest outside one of the high street stores. The footage showed a small group of people holding home made banners bearing the slogan 'let boys be boys' and chanting the same four words over and over. The scene cut to the interior of the store and showed racks of dresses and frocks on display... then my jaw dropped when the presenter began to speak. “This may look like any other high street store, but all is not as it seems as this...” he gestures to the display of frocks, skirts and dresses, “...is the boy's department.”

“I think it's scandalous.” my mother commented.

“I think it's about time.” my aunt added before turning to me. “Would you like to wear a dress Peter?” she asked.

“No way!” I exclaimed. “Only girls wear dresses.”

“Maybe not for much longer.” she grinned.

Summerday Sands

Mum took my sister and I for a day out at the seaside, and being a typical girl, my sister couldn't decide whether to wear her pedal pushers and a t-shirt, a sun-dress or her playsuit. I on the other hand wasn't bothered. I had my cargo shorts and my sporty sandals which meant I could paddle in the rock pools and play on the rocks. “Right Sarah!” Mum snapped, clearly getting impatient with her indecision, “Just put your sandals on, and put either your sun-dress or your playsuit in your bag in case you change your mind, and get in the car... please.”

Torn between three outfits, one of which she was wearing, Sarah seemed strained to decide. She screwed her face up, asked if she could bring both, was told 'no', screwed her face up again and left her favourite sun-dress behind in favour of her favourite playsuit. Why girls describe so many different clothes as their favourite I'll never know. I have a favourite t-shirt and a favourite pair of trainers and that's it. Sarah has her favourite pink top, her favourite blue top, her favourite this top and that top, and that's just her tops. Wait 'til she starts talking about skirts, dresses, pants!!!

When we arrived, the tide was miles out from the shore and the craggy rocks  and the sands were open for our exploration. Sarah and I ran around the marshes that sat just above the high tide mark. This flat expanse of grass was scarred with a myriad of shallow pools which were great fun to leap over but not to paddle in, being stagnant and seemingly lifeless. Being a boy, I was always keen to show off by trying to prove that I could jump further and better than my sister, and being my sister, Sarah was always setting me challenges.

“Be careful you two!” our mother hollered as ran across the marsh, jumping the pools and enjoying the freedom of the seaside. We took it in turns leading the way and much to my displeasure, Sarah managed to leap even the widest pools. When it was her turn to lead the way, I was confident that I'd be able to keep up because she is after all, just a girl. But my confidence was soon dissipated as she managed to leap across a pool that I felt was far too wide for me.

“Come on Peter!” Sarah said. “If I can do it surely you can.”

A Surrogate Sister

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this is no exception...



...although in this case it's around eighteen-thousand words.

It doesn't take a massive leap to imagine the girl on the right could really be a boy.
One could imagine any number scenarios which could precede 'her' eldest brother's graduation day....

Here's mine.

A Surrogate Sister

My brothers and I were all concerned about our mother. A few years ago she was a normal happy mother, full of the joys of spring, so to speak. But after the doctors told her that she could no longer have children, meaning she wouldn't have the daughter she'd always longed for, she fell into a deep depression. This caused an ever growing rift between her and dad, and eventually he just upped sticks and left us. Not surprisingly her depression got worse. So much so she ended up in hospital for a couple of weeks and our Aunt Vera came to look after us until our mother had got herself well again. But she was never the same as she used to be. George, Andrew and I all knew there was a hole in her heart... and if any of us knew anything about heart surgery, we'd do whatever we could to fix it.

One Saturday morning she was in a particularly chirpy mood. She sat us around the table and announced that she'd come up with a solution to our 'family problem'. “How would you boys like to have a sister?”

Knowing that was the one thing our mother longed for, we all said “Yes” but knew that she couldn't have children any more. We also knew that she'd also been turned down for adoption and fostering, most likely due to her history of depression. “But how?” George asked.

“Well, I've done lots of reading and spoken to all the right people.” she said, “And I've made all the necessary arrangements... well, as far as I can at this early stage.” she told us with enthusiasm. “But once the ball is rolling, I expect our problems will be over in no time at all!”

“Great!” each of us said in our own way. “But where's she coming from?”

“Well, that's you come in.” she said with an expectant smile on her face. "All I need is for one of you brave and beautiful boys to volunteer."

Double Trouble


 
Neither myself nor my brother could believe this was happening as our mother opened the double doors of our wardrobe to reveal a resplendent display of skirts, blouses and dresses. “You honestly don't expect us to wear those do you?” Peter asked.