Friday Fictioneers — Beating Swords Into Sewing Needles

c-hase

On my thirteenth birthday, my father presents me with a suit of armour. I thank him out of duty, but my words do not match what’s in my heart. If only he could have given me a dress of scarlet silk in the latest fashion of the French Court.

Every night I pray that I’ll wake up a woman, but my prayers go unanswered. The priests would say the Almighty doesn’t make mistakes.

Tomorrow, I will visit the Apothecary and ask if he has a magical potion to unshackle me from the chains that bind me to the wrong body.

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Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories
Photo Prompt: image Β© C. Hase

Author: Sarah Potter Writes

Sarah is a British eccentric who writes offbeat fiction, haiku and tanka poetry. She's into nature, gardening, and natural health. For her, sociability is something that happens in short bursts with long breathing spaces in between.

40 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers — Beating Swords Into Sewing Needles”

  1. Beautiful, poignant story of this boy’s plight that can’t really be helped, I suppose, in his time period. What with all the news of Caitlyn Jenner this week, this is very timely (as well as timeless, as you have demonstrated by your setting it in the past)! Anyway, great short fiction capturing his terrible situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Leigh.
      It’s hard enough for transgender people these days, even when something can be done for them, although there must be cultures still where someone would not dare admit to his/her feelings about being imprisoned in the wrong gender body.
      I think there must have been so many people throughout history who went through an unspoken torture akin to imprisonment, with no way out other than through death.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lorna. The sense of isolation would have been tremendous and made the person question their sanity.
      These days the media is often criticised but rarely praised, yet I do think it has raised public awareness and understanding of transgender people in a sensitive and positive way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was definitely raised awareness and maybe some tolerance, too. I saw a segment on Jon Stewart about Caitlin Jenner. He showed clips of the media “raving” about her body–in essence objectifying her. He ended the segment with, “Welcome to the female gender.”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Rochelle
      Thank you.
      I love that quote from Ecclesiastes, the first holy text I ever read. It matched my mood very well at the time, as I was going through a time beset with problems and it confirmed everything I felt about life. In some ways it was a comfort, as it brought home to me that people had struggled with the same questions throughout history.
      All best wishes
      Sarah

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    1. I guess we’re beginning to think about it, because transgender folk are being allowed a voice — at least they are in our culture. I can imagine that at school they still get picked upon and called all sorts of names by bullies. That being said, my 13-year-old granddaughter is fully accepting of people, whatever their gender or sexuality, as these things are discussed openly in sex education classes and on television, so she has been brought up with it.

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  2. As far as I know, in some cultures any way to define oneself was accepted, but the struggle in many others has been around for a long time. It’s good to be reminded of that, it makes the pain and suffering even more poignant. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, some of the greatest prejudice has been related to so-called religious belief, although I’d love to know if there has ever been a culture that saw transgender people as special and a gift from the gods.

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      1. As far as I know that was the case with native American people, they called them Two Spirits, and held transgender and gay people in high respect. I’m no expert, though, most of my knowledge comes from reading up on plant lore in different cultures.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Naomi, it’s a subject I feel about strongly, ever since I worked with a ward sister who had once been a charge nurse. One of my fellow student nurses at the time (several decades ago now) was really freaked out by this when he found out, as he really fancied her. I admired her so much for her bravery at having had a sex-change in an era where the subject wasn’t so out in the open.
      Indeed, it is a very important subject and nobody should have to suffer a life imprisoned in the wrong body because of prejudice, when there is a remedy to free them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I so agree. As it harms no one, or even affects anyone but the person who is simply trying to live the life he/she was born to, I don’t know why anyone would try to deny them equal rights and respect, or why they would even care. But so many trans people are driven to suicide by bullying, disowned by their families, or are the victims of hate crimes. It is punishable by death in some countries. It just breaks my heart.

        Liked by 1 person

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