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This one takes place immediately after #7, the episode where the betrayal of a fringed left tiff laying on the ground, sobbing and bleeding. A sobering reality check that was quickly followed by a succession of troubles….
The night was long and cold. Mocking laughter still fading from my ears, I struggled to get up, but due to the damage inflicted by the sudden assault of the betrayer, I settled for dragging myself to the base of the tree. I risked a glance down into the valley and could see two of the fires in my village were still burning. A sudden attack of vertigo struck and I was left retching, and shaking chills beset me. I looked at my wounds and I could see a faint green luminescence within them, not a green of life but rather an unhealthy glow with a yellowish tint. Poison, I thought dimly. I began to hear wolves howling in the distance, and rustling closer by, from more than one direction.
“Who goes there?” I cried out, hating the way my voice sounded weak and ineffectual. Hearing no reply, I pulled my butterfly knives from their sheaths and readied myself as best I could. No sooner than I’d done this then a hissing sound began and a sharp pain bloomed in my left forearm, causing me to drop the blade from that hand. A black arrow with green feathers had skewered my forearm. A shape rushed out of the shadows and I backhanded it, hearing a hiss, and it receded, but not before a fresh laceration had been scored on my hand.more arrows followed, thumping into the tree and ground mostly, but at least 3 finding their marks, in my other arm and one in my leg.
More shapes rushed in, growling, as I curled up into a ball, feeling talons rake my back as I started to bleed in earnest. “ So this is how it ends” I thought, as a mighty blow to the back of my neck drove my face into the loose ground. Time slowed. My heartbeat slowed. My thoughts did not. I saw pictures of my life, some in the past, where little tiff was locked away, others in the future, or maybe hopes for the future. Me in a beautiful gown. Another where I was kissing a pretty girl and apologizing for getting lipstick on her face. A walk on a beach, feeling the sand between my toes. Just then a voice spoke in my head, the little boy, the one who had taken my place. “Miss Tiffany, these things, they’re yours. I want you to live them. You can have them still. You’re hurt but it looks worse than it feels. Remember you still have my strength as well as yours. Use it. Rise above, and see what assails you.”
Strength welled up within me suddenly. I opened my eyes, saw a grinning wolf inches from my face. Grinning back, my right arm shot out, grabbing it by the ear before it knew it was in trouble, and with a savage motion I threw it bodily off the cliff. Wasting no time, I rose and grabbed a long staff from the ground. Fire sprang from the end and with a mighty windmill swing I cut through the shadows again and again. Sparks flew, and now and then a vibration in the staff informed me I’d brought the pain to something.
I thrust the staff into the ground, flames shooting high above and screamed, “I am Tiffany Alexis! I fought to get here! I fought for here! And I’ll fight till I’m dead if I have to to stay here! This is my life, this is my home, and it shall be bought dearly. If you think that you can pay the price, come on! Bring it! 44 years I waited to walk in the sun, and you cowardly little shits will not hinder that.”
The fire grew taller, and brighter, and the shadows stepped back at first, then scurried, then fled shrieking into the night.
“Remember the name! Tiffany Alexis! And never look back! Cause I’ll be ready…”
“Never forget that you are strong, Tiffany, all trans women are. You had to make yourself exist. You had to make yourself be real. That takes strength most don’t have. It’s what makes all trans people special. Draw upon this when your haters attack. And be ready, because they are out there. Most of the time you can avoid fighting them, but when you have to, never pull your punch. Show them your strength and they will break. Now dust yourself off, and move on. You’ve a village to help rebuild, and wounds to heal.”
My heart is in the game
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