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Ataraxidermist t1_jdqt547 wrote

Amalgam - Part 1 of 3

Brenda's nipples were so hard they could cut through paper. On bad days, they could cut through tree bark. She wore only the most expansive sport shirts, lesser fabric did not survive a day. This was made more complicated by her being homeless and penniless, making buying clothes a problematic prospect. As luck would have it, she had no moral qualms about petty thievery and spent her idle days breaking and entering into various homes and shops for her daily needs.

Pick this shop, for instance. It is night, it is protected by an alarm, it is located in a calm city in the Sicilian countryside. The window breaks, the alarm goes off. Lights in the distance, curious faces gazing through the windows. When the police comes, Brenda is long gone, dozens of kilograms heavier, shock-waves going up and down her fat belly with every step of her absurd escape.

Officers shook their heads, as did the few witnesses who had taken videos. It was the first time they experienced a chocolate shop being broken into for the sole purpose of drinking the chocolate fountain empty. The thief would die from a bursting stomach, that's for sure.

Brenda lost herself in a meadow under the moonlight. Damn videos, they made the world go hasty. She lay down, plucked some grass to chew onto. She closed her eyes.

The veins traced a map, ribs, armpits and breasts a geography to rise and lower with the tide of age. With wisdom came understanding of one's bodily picture. With experience came the patience to let the flesh's earth heal. And beyond, far beyond the limits of an everyday human life, came the key to unlock the flesh. Brenda felt no veins to speak of. Neurons, blood and gray matter were a constellation of stars, a graph to pick a shining point and displace. One by one, she moved the stars of her world.

The mask that was Brenda died that night.

In the meadow stood Brad. A blond, blue-eyed, and utterly gorgeous athlete who could effortlessly win regional bodybuilding competitions and make a career as a model. And his nipples weren't so destructive anymore.

Brad traveled, and the people who spoke to him, drawn by his almost supernatural good looks, were quickly repulsed by his sheer stupidity. Brad was Australian by heart, loved surfing and tanning under the sun. It's at this point that people pointed out there was no sun this late in Autumn, that this was Italia and that Brad didn't seem to know English, that he would catch a cold, and could he please stop sunbathing naked on the concrete road? There are children about.

Men and women left Brad disappointed at how life could mix such gorgeous looks with an abyssal black hole of a brain.

Brad didn't care, he was too stupid for that. His travels took him to Gallipoli, A city bordering the sea. There was lovely promenade there, on an old high wall that once protected the Italian coastline from invaders. Today, Brad gazed over the lazy sea as he sat on a bench. The sun was hidden behind clouds, a cold breeze washed over the old stones.

When Brad tired of the sea, he observed the passerby. An old couple enjoying retirement. A hurried woman going to work. A teary young man with painted fingernails. A tide erupted from deep inside Brad, forcing him to look closer. Indeed. Painted nails, tears on his face, a t-shirt that would never keep out the cold.

Brad, not entirely looking like the homeless person that he was due to his great looks (he must have been a hippie or something), felt the need to approach the young man.


Ataraxidermist t1_jdqvepi wrote

Amalgam - Part 2 of 3

"Young man?"

Poor kid was desperate, obviously. It didn't take much coaxing from Brad to invite him into a bar to take a coffee and talk it out. Brad instinctively knew which seats to pick for discretion, he always had some coins on him for cases like this. Experience from previous lives, so to speak.

The young man gave his name. Brad promptly forgot about it, it wouldn't matter.

"My parents sent me to a psychiatrist to get these ideas out of my mind. It had the opposite effect. I asked for hormonal therapy to start transitioning, they refused. They used to see it as child's play, me cross-dressing and so on. But since my rendezvous with the therapist, they are cracking down on anything that doesn't suit them. They screamed me out of the house because of this," the blue of his nails was tasteful.

He had yet to drink from his steaming cup of coffee.

"I was a woman once," said Brad.



"Oh," there was crushing defeat in his voice.

"You walk on the high wall often?"

"Yeah, why?"

"I want you to think of something," Brad laid both hands on the table, palms open, "imagine a deal with the devil. The devil will give you the key to unlock your flesh. You could be anyone, at any age, no limits but your own imagination. But it is a deal with the devil," Brad clenched his fists, "what you will give in exchange is yourself, the man I see before me. Once you'll gain this ability, you will no longer be this man, you will no longer care about turning into a woman. The man I see will be dead. The devil sits at a crossroad before you, would you take his hand and sign the contract?"

Brad left. He didn't even pay the bill.

A supermarket was forced open in the night, the thief left with heroic amounts of food.

In the forest, Brad devoured. Deep frozen dishes, flour, salt, sugar, soda, vegetables, grass, tree bark, the skin on his hand. No pain, ever, he knew the path of pain and had declared upon his body that the information would therefore be transmitted in a polite manner, free from any ache or burn.

His heart pumped faster, heavier, blood coursed through through him, reshaping arteries and capillaries. Matter was decomposed and transported away, sweat carried the useless bits out.

A stinky, dirty woman emerged.

Alex. She was young, she was olive-skinned, she had a feral grin and fire in her eyes.

She sat on the bench the next day. Well dressed, she had found a tourist with the right size and put her to sleep for a quick change of clothes.

"Young man," she hailed when he passed her by, "did you consider the deal with the devil?"

He was taken aback. Nobody listened in yesterday, the bar was almost empty. Brad didn't tell her, they had nothing in common. How...

Alex's grin crystalized, she grit her teeth so hard the muscles of her jaw bulged. And the young man saw a wonder. He saw the tension going down the sides of her throat, taking a hold of her shoulders, her biceps. And through the clothes, he saw how they grew, how the thin women became immensely powerful and large. And he knew change.

When she opened her hand, he took it.


Ataraxidermist t1_jdqwzfn wrote

Amalgam - Part 3 of 3

Alex found an old abandoned warehouse at the edge of town. No sound of water here, only dust and mold and spiders. It would do.

"I'm not so different from a cult," Alex said idly, "I prayed on a desperate young man and convinced him to forsake his life and all those he knew."

"But I'll be able to change like you do, right?"

"I suppose that's the difference between a more regular cult. I deliver on my promise," she held a tiny pill. It was pink pulsed with a heart of its own. She didn't wait for him to take it. In this deserted place, before a woman who could bend steel, he was little more than clay to shape. She opened his mouth with one hand and put the pill down his throat with the other.

She rummaged through the place as he began to sweat and tremble. Rusted engines, cardboard. An old bathtub, that could be practical. He was writhing, foam formed at the corners of his mouth, he tried to call for help but had no air left in his lungs to do so.

"I'm out shopping," she said, "see you in a bit."

She left as he coughed, trembled and chocked, lost in the abandoned warehouse.

"Who are you?" she asked days later.

"I don't know," he was terrified and emaciated. Drugs and cold had brought him a step away from death. Who he had been was mostly lost in a haze, he still clung to the last shreds of his personality.

Alex took her clothes off. She stood before him naked, and cracked her neck. Her head hung at an impossible angle. The young man started to chuckle at the absurdity of his existence.

Her skin became porous. Fluids left her, from the eyes, the ears, the mouth, every superfluous matter was shed. What remained put its head back on its neck with a resounding crunch.

It had no sexual features. It was like one of these mannequins in clothing shop, with no wrinkles, no particularities, nothing.

"I haven't gone without masks in a long time," said Amalgam to his new pupil who was in the throes of hysterical laughter, "what should I be next? Man? Woman? Elder or child? Let chance decide that. As for you... Can you feel the blood rushing in your fingers?"

The young man, still laughing, looked down at his hands.

Pop, pop, pop, went the joints. They became thinner, longer, as the young man had always wanted.

In this moment, the last of his old self died.

"Welcome to the House of Change," said Amalgam.


abbufreja t1_jds6u93 wrote

This is one of the best stories i have read in a long time


Ataraxidermist t1_jdwcq6z wrote

Thank you! It helps. It's a test for a novel centered on the same subjects.