After I Died: A Storytime Blog Hop Story

After I Died

bloghopI thought the casket a little over the top. Pictures of me growing up filled it and looking at them laid out together, I could see how unhappy I’d been, how uncomfortable I felt in my own skin. But I couldn’t find my favorite photo. I was 3, wearing high-heels, a horrible make-up job, and one of my mom’s dresses. My brother had taken it and everyone had been so proud of him. It’d even won first place at the state fair. Now, I couldn’t see it anywhere—it’s place of pride on the mantle was empty. My heart sank.

Attending your own funeral is weird. Nobody wanted me there. No one even looked at me. It was exactly how things had been my whole childhood, I realized. I felt no sense of tragedy, even though everyone around me did, “Such a shame to loose Butch that way, such a tragedy.” The only tragedy had been my coming out.

I’d sat my parents down. “I have a problem and I really need your support,” I said.

“You can tell us anything, Butch,” my mother said. “You know that.” My mom took my hand and squeezed it gently. “Just tell us. Whatever it is, we’ll figure a way through it together.”

“I’m transgender and transitioning to become a woman,” I said. “I’d like you to call me ‘Sally’ and use ‘she’ and ‘her’ pronouns.” My mom dropped my hand.

They did figure a way through it: this funeral. My dad declared me dead to them and I hadn’t realized how literally he’d meant it. I stayed until the end, crying through it like the girl I am, still looking for that photo. Everyone kept a space between them and me, so they wouldn’t accidentally touch me, like being transgender was contagious. I worked my way through the entire house. I was getting frantic, when I finally found it, still in its frame, in the kitchen trash.

I guess I should’ve felt sad, but I didn’t. I should’ve been angry, but I wasn’t. The tears I shed were ones of relief and happiness. I could move forward without guilt; nothing held me back. I fished a marker out of my purse and wrote on the picture’s glass “RIP Butch. Welcome Sally.” Then I turned it over and breathed a sigh of relief when I found the envelope still hidden there, between the picture’s back and the paper covering. I pulled the letter out and read it for the umpteenth time. “Dear Sally,” it said. “We are pleased to inform you that your application to the University of Oregon has been accepted.”

Links to the other stories

Karen Lynn: The Family Book

Angela Wooldridge: An Alternative to Frog

Thea van Diepen: Are You Sure It’s That Way?

Paula de Carvalho: Body Double

Kris Bowser: Tantrums

Virginia McClain: Rakko’s Storm

Grace Robinette: Georg Grembl

Elizabeth McCleary: The Door

Dale Cozort: Two Letters In A Fireproof Box

Katharina Gerlach: Canned Food

Rabia Gale: Spark

K. A. Petentler: The Twisted Tale of Isabel

Shana Blueming: Paper & Glue

Amy Keeley: To Be Prepared For Chocolate

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

11 thoughts on “After I Died: A Storytime Blog Hop Story

    • Thanks K. Lynn. I’m not usually good at short stories, but I’m enjoying the flash fiction format. I have so many ideas, at one of which should make it onto this blog. 🙂

  1. I like this a lot, but think it’d improve with a little more chonologicallity (if that word exists). I love the surreal feeling at the beginning where the narrator feels to me like a ghost. I think it might be great to move the sentence “Attending your own funeral is weird. Nobody wanted me there. No one even looked at me. It was exactly how things had been my whole childhood, I realized. I felt no sense of tragedy.” to the very front. Then smooth over the transition from “My heart sank” to the spoken words and follow with the rest of the story. I think that’d make the transition easier for the reader from ghost to unwanted guest.

    Still, It’s a great story as is. Disregard anything that doesn’t suit you, and I won’t be offendend. 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *