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New story, working title: No one wants to be Different

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3 years 6 months ago #27501 by Anne
Anne created the topic: New story, working title: No one wants to be Different
This is something new that I'm working on right now, I don't know that it will ever be finished. I thought it might mesh into year two or 2008. So with little adieu, here's my bit for Whately

No One Wants to be Different

June 30, 2008

A Whately fan fiction

By Tori Jones (c) 2017 (pending)

In life, Jason had learned, one does not often get what one wants. Being poor or rather having been born in poverty hadn’t given him a very positive outlook on life. Top a life begun like that, Jason often thought, with a certain knowledge that he wasn’t comfortable in the body he was born with and bitterness was the least of his emotional reactions. Some days he barely controlled the rage that seemed to be his main reaction to the utter misery of his life.

Life, as far as he was concerned was an excrement sandwich that anyone bigger or richer than you was intent on forcing you to eat and say thank you for. He had no intention of playing that game any longer than he had to, though considering the schools that he had to go to if he wanted to escape the ghetto he wondered if he was mostly daydreaming.

Often, while watching the girls in his neighborhood be turned out by pimps, Jason wondered if he might be biting off more than he could chew to want to become a girl, and to escape the ghetto. Yet he knew without a shadow of a doubt that deep inside his body, his ‘manhood’ was the opposite of what he should be, wanted to be; no in truth NEEDED to be.

And yet! He knew no girls who had managed to not become hos. The dilemma just added to the frustration Jason felt with his life. There had to be something he could do to change those facts, but he could see no way forward at this point in his life. Therefore once again he set a razor to his leg as near to his hated deformity as he dared and opened his skin. The physical pain almost obliterated his psychic pain for a few moments, then depression roared forward again. He was a coward, he hadn’t touched his balls or dick.

After watching the wound bleed for a bit, Jason bound it with a dark bandanna. Not that he expected his drug addled mother or older sister to notice, but years of being the smallest and youngest child in the dysfunctional household had taught him not to take even their casual cruelty or studied indifference for granted. Just when he was certain his mother wouldn’t care if he was found dead, he’d been badly beaten by some of the gang-bangers who ran through the streets like the rulers of some ancient feudal kingdom. Within the ghetto they were the untouchables. Yet something had stirred his mother’s protective instinct then, and somehow, he wasn’t at all sure how, and the exact three thugs who’d beaten him had ended up naked, bound hand and foot, castrated and left prominently in the doorway of the building the group called its home. And even though the rest of the group had no compunction about torture or murder in the streets they couldn’t determine who had the temerity to attack them in such a public fashion.

So Jason hid the evidence of his cutting before he slipped on a loose pair of sweat pants that wouldn’t rub the older wounds his pain had driven him to make on his body. A shapeless sweat shirt with a hood completed his outfit, then grabbing his ID he vacated the apartment. The pressure at the back of his head was too much. He hit the street and walked without a destination in mind. To do so was dangerous, yet some small bit of instinct self-preservation perhaps the same one that kept his cutting away from his dick and shallow enough to not do more than cover his legs with scars kept him from forming an intention in his current state. So rather than heading for the high buildings down town, or the bridge over the river, somehow his steps sent him into a park, and not just any park, but rather a park that was on the edge of one of the most ritzy neighborhoods in the city.

Jason headed toward a copse in the park that had always seemed friendly, even if he got more than a few glares from people who seemed to think that his dark skin and hoody meant that he shouldn’t be there as he crossed the well manicured grass. He didn’t even notice the people there, any more than he had noticed the people on the streets of the ghetto where he lived. The depth of his current funk was too great for him to care what other people thought. If someone stepped into his path he maintained only enough situational awareness to step around them.

He stumbled into the area that was well sheltered and mostly screened by the thick foliage of the bushes at its edges. In the center, like an anchor was a tree that felt ancient. It was huge with limbs that had seemed to rake the sky when Jason was younger and it had always stretched to touch the tops of the sheltering bushes. In seconds he was invisible to most everyone and weeping his heart out as he leaned against the forest giant that had been preserved as part of the park.

Jason was so fogged in with depression that he never saw the woman who made a 911 call reporting his presence in the park nor did he hear her get more and more upset that she wasn’t being taken seriously, at least until she said she thought that he was awfully young and looked suicidal. Of course the woman really didn’t care as long as he wasn’t creating a mess in ‘her’ park. But her call very possibly saved his life.

At the time though, Jason didn’t know about the call, or that his life was in any more danger than it would have been at any time he had been making his way across the city to the park. He was simply leaning against the tree crying and wishing that there was some way out of his current life that didn’t involve jumping from one of the buildings in the city or a bridge into the river. But the longer he thought about it the more he knew that he could no longer live as a boy, and he knew he didn’t want to be a ho like his mother and sisters. And he knew that if he stayed where he was living there was some possibly that one of the pimps would sense his feelings and turn him out any way. And while slavery was supposed to be a thing of the past, for the women and some of the men where he had grown up such was not the case. The strong owned the weak in the ghetto where he lived and you paid one way or another to be allowed to continue to breathe.

“I like you,” Jason heard someone say.

“Who are you?” Jason asked looking around frantically, “And where are you?”

“Don’t worry about that, I like you and I’m going to protect you,” The Voice told him with a giggle that seemed to be reminiscent of bells. Later, much later in his life, Jason would liken the voice and giggle to the chiming of small silver bells. But at the time he hadn’t ever heard such things as even the Christmas bells that he had experienced up to that point in his life had all been brass at best if not aluminum. In a few words, tinny, brassy or flat.

I must be hallucinating, Jason thought, I wonder if someone already slipped me something addictive so I’ll be needy and willing to do anything to get more?

“You’re not hallucinating,” The Voice told Jason, “and as long as I’m with you; and that will be a very long time I promise you won’t have to worry about anything addictive either.”

Jason felt dizzy and hot. He had to have come down with something and he had to be imagining a voice that belonged to someone he couldn’t see. He sat down against the tree and closed his eyes. Not that that really helped matters because the world suddenly seemed to be a swirl of colors for which he had no description. He was sick, he was certain as his brain gave up and threw a circuit breaker.

* * * *

Beep… beep… beep, beep beepbeepbeep! Jason awoke in terror as he realized he must be in a hospital and that he couldn’t move.

Before he could work himself up to an even higher state of panic, a woman somewhere out of his sight (not that he could see much except a white ceiling with institutional lighting fixtures fixed flush in it) said, “Take it easy, now that you’re with us, if you promise not to go running off before we have a chance to help you, we’ll get you out of that rig. We don’t like to secure people to the beds but you were thrashing around so badly we had no choice.

“They really are trying to help,” The Voice from the park was inside Jason's head again.

“Who’s there? And where am I?” Jason asked.

“I’m Belinda, your nurse, and you’re at Charity hospital.”

That, at least the second didn’t help Jason feel any better. Charity hospital was where people went to die. They had, if possible, a worse reputation than County General, which was the hospital that he probably would have gone to if whatever had happened to him had happened in the ghetto where he lived.

“You’re not going to die, and I don’t feel too much hostility toward you,” The Voice told him.

Even if it made people think he was loosing his mind, Jason blurted out, “Did you hear that?” Except that this time when he spoke, he realized that the higher tone of his voice wasn’t the rough ‘breaking’ he’d been experiencing for the past few months. Indeed, if he could trust his ears, his voice had become smooth and almost feminine. But that was too much to hope for, or at best a cruel joke. …

“I didn’t hear anything,” Belinda answered Jason.

“I did, someone told me I’m not going to die, and that no one here was terribly hostile toward me. But that shouldn’t be a problem, I had my ID and Medicaid card with me so you can get a hold of my mom.”

“Someone told you you’re not going to die?” Belinda said in a bemused tone, “It must be nice to have that sort of information, not that we expected you to die, but you can never tell.”

“What happened to me? Why am I here?” Jason asked.

“You’re carrying ID for Jason Smith, is that you?” Belinda asked, rhetorically, Jason thought.

“Yeah, what happened?”

“What do you know about mutants?” Belinda asked hesitantly.

“Not much. Are you saying I mutated?” Jason asked.

“Dear, if you’re Jason Smith then yes you mutated.”

“Why did you ask that again,” Jason asked fearfully.

“Because, Jason, it looks like you manifested as a mutant,” Belinda told him in a tone perhaps meant to calm him.

Fearing that he’d become a monster, Jason asked, “How bad is it?”

“I expect that depends on your attitude,” Belinda said.

“Don’t worry, I wouldn’t let you be ugly,” The Voice in his head said.

“Did I become a girl?” Jason asked voicing both his hope and fear.

“That is what you wanted isn’t it?” The voice asked at the same time that Belinda said, I’m afraid so.”

“That’s not the worst thing that could have happened to me is it?” Jason asked.

“No, but since we had to inform your mother of your probable mutation and she demanded that you be kept as far away from her as possible you don’t have a home. Sometime tomorrow I expect someone from CPS to be interviewing you. I’ll tell you this, be very careful of what you say then.”

“I’ll help you,” The Voice that only Jason seemed to be able to hear told him.

“I suppose I should pick another name, shouldn’t I?”

“Yes dear.”

“Hmmmm…,” she hummed for a bit, “you don’t suppose I could get up from here and get a look at myself in a mirror?”

“Let me get the doctor,” Belinda stepped away from the bed.

Jason realized she (and as much as she’d wished to be a girl that was going to take some getting used to) could hear her steps as she opened the door to the room. “You could call yourself Deidre,” The Voice suggested.

“What’s your name?” Jason thought hard.

“Well, since I made an error while saving your life, you could say I’m you. Not quite, but I irrevocably bound myself to you, at least until you learn to control your abilities.”

“You saved my life?”
“When you began to change you were very close to where I’ve been for a long time. That was fortunate for you because you were broadcasting your pain very loudly, which was attracting the spiritual equivalent of sharks. The only way I could keep you from literally being eaten alive was to seal you. But in sealing you, some how I've bound myself to you. So now I will be with you as long as you live and be your tutor in things magical when we get out of here.”

“You still didn’t tell me your name,” Jason thought.

“It’s been a long time since people have actually interacted with me, that is except for a very few people who were using drugs which eventually made them meals for the things that came to attack you. Unfortunately for them, the drugs they used to access the plane where I mostly reside wouldn’t allow me to seal them, so I couldn’t protect them. So pick a new name for me, by the time we, and I promise it will be we, choose a new place to inhabit permanently I will be so much a part of you that you will barely be able to separate our thoughts.”

“I thought about Kelly, and Christi, and Chrystal, but I hadn’t decided.”

“Call yourself Laurel. Or Ivy, or even Jasmine. Some people already called you Jas, so changing to Jazz or something like that wouldn’t be to hard to get used to. As for me I was and am a nature spirit. At one time I had a lot of power, but for a long time I haven’t had enough people feeding me their belief so I was confined to the ash trees and plants of the dell where you liked to come. If the park had not been built where it was I possibly would have been dispelled in essence as my ‘hallow’ for a lack of a better word would have been destroyed. As it was only the insane and very young came to me for a long time and the young were soon persuaded that they had imagined what they experienced while in my presence.”

“Ah, I think I could get used to Jasmine as you say. So were you a dryad?”

“In a manner of speaking, yes that was what I was.”

“Then I shall name you Ashley.”

“Ashley?”

“Were you the spirit of an ash tree?”

“I was a bit more than that. I was a goddess to the people who once lived near where I bound myself to you.”

“Still, calling you the spirit of the ash tree to others may keep them from worrying that I’ve attracted a being who once was a regional power at least.”

“True, and here comes the doctor. Pay attention, he can help us a lot or make things very difficult for us.”

“Okay Ashley, I hope you’re right and I'm not just loony.”

“I was never a moon goddess!”

“That’s another way of saying that people will think I’m insane if I talk out loud to you.”

“Okay Jasmine, concentrate on the doctor.”

“Hello I see we’re awake now, how are you feeling?” a strangely echoing voice asked. Indeed, Jaz thought that it sounded like someone with a profound bass voice speaking from the bottom of a well. She couldn’t see the doctor as she couldn’t move her head or any of the rest of her body because she was so thoroughly restrained.

“I’d like to be able to move around,” Jaz said.

“We had to restrain you to keep you from throwing yourself off the bed. And since the nurses don’t want to work with someone on the floor we couldn’t very well leave you on the floor to protect you from falling,” the doctor restated what Belinda had already told Jaz.

“I’m awake now though, so can you let me up so I can see myself?”

“I suppose. ...”

“tell him that part of the problem is that whatever they have us on is like laying on a bed of nettles,” Ashley told Jaz.

“The sheets make me itch, maybe even the gown you have me in,” Jaz told the doctor, “I expect that I’ll be trying to throw myself away from them again in my sleep.”

“Let me see…,” the doctor moved closer, at least his voice seemed closer. Then Jas felt hair being lifted off her neck. “Oh, I do see. That will be a problem here. Ms Woolridge, Ms Smith seems to be a member of the Fey now so we need to get the specialty sheets and gown for her. I’ll sign for them.”

“I expect that the bed rail and any steel in her vicinity could be causing her problems too,” Belinda said.

“I would guess so. Well we do know from other fey that have manifested that iron can be a problem so get the padding with the cotton covers,” the doctor ordered.

“I’ll need your signature for that,” Belinda said as she moved nearer to where Jaz estimated the doctor to be. She heard some papers being shuffled and the scratching of a pen.

As Belinda left the room the doctor said, “Now then Ms Smith, lets get you out of those restraints. Whoever put them on you should have called me in when you came in.”

Jaz let out a small “EEP!” as a pair of what appeared to be tentacles entered her vision. “OOPS,” the doctor said, “I forgot to warn you, I’m a bit different than normal folk. Please don’t scream when you see more of me.”

The buckles that held Jaz’ head in place were eased and she could turn so that she could look at the doctor. Though she did wonder if she ought to. As Jason she hadn’t particularly liked snake like things and the tentacles reminded her an awful lot of snakes. Then before she had a chance to do much more contemplation of the issue her arms, body and legs were all free from their restraints.

“Since your mother rejected you due to your mutation, you’re now a ward of the state Ms Smith. That is never a good thing, and is particularly a bad thing to happen to a mutant who has apparently had the shift that you did. I can help to a degree but everything will be rushed. The state doesn’t want to spend any money on you, and they would just as soon you disappeared as not. So you’ll have to be very careful about what you say. I’m contacting the place where I attended school when I was your age, as a somewhat successful alum I do have some pull, but there is no guarantee that you won’t have someone who insists on putting you in the foster or orphanage system. Unfortunately for you, the system never serves those who it purports to serve, but rather it serves those who work for it. Indeed it can seem that it works the best for the most venial of those who work for the agency rather than those who would do what its mission is supposed to be as stated to the public.

“Now do you want to get up? I’d like to see if you’re able to get on your feet.”

Jaz carefully began to raise herself up. Perhaps it was all the unfamiliar input her new body was giving her that kept her from shrieking when she actually got a look at the doctor. ‘He’ was some sort of nightmare that looked like it belonged in a tentacle porn shoot, she counted at least ten prehensile tentacles busily doing various things from a set that seemed to have separated into boneless fingers that were machine-gunning a computer keyboard to another set or two that were raised up above the writhing mass and ended with eyes that looked in all directions.

“Well?” the doctor’s voice echoed in the room or from somewhere in his body as he motioned for Jaz to get up.

She looked around and realized that the whole edge of the bed seemed to be glowing a sullen red. “I’m trapped up here…,” she said hesitantly as she also realized she had a set of weights that swayed with even her gentle movements attached to her chest.

“What do you mean?”

“It looks like anywhere I’d have to touch to get off the bed is sort of red hot.”

“Ah… so you can see the iron in the bed frame and rails?” the doctor questioned.

“I guess. ...”

“I’m helping you see things now. You probably wouldn’t be able to see the iron in the bed without my help. I’m insulating you from the pain the sheets are causing, but I don’t think I want to touch the edge of this bed,” Ashley told Jaz.

“It’s supposed to be stainless steel, but I'd guess that it is a very cheap grade of stainless if it is stainless at all. Still, beggars can’t be choosers. So, we’ll just have to wait for a few more moments for Ms Woolridge to get back. In the meantime, Jason Smith obviously died on his way to the hospital, or that is probably what will be reported. So you need a new name, do you have any idea of what you might like to be called?”

“Jaz, short for Jasmine,” Jaz said.

“And a last name?”

“Tell him West,” Ashley told Jaz.

“Jasmine West, Doctor. If you don’t mind, how come you’re here?”

“You mean, why does Charity hospital have a true freak of nature practicing medicine?”

“Maybe not quite that, but you must admit you’re a bit odd.”

“It comes back to beggars not being choosers. Not many places would accept me, and not many doctors are willing to work for the money and in the conditions that Charity creates. But I can work here as long as they are willing to provide shelter for me. So for both me and Charity it is a win. I get to help make sure youngsters like yourself don’t fall through the cracks, and the rest of the patients I see during the day get topnotch care. Indeed, for some reason Charity is getting a reputation for having spontaneous remissions of cancer in certain circles.”

“You’re a healer?”

“If you’re asking if one of my powers is to heal sickness, then not quite. But cancer is a specific illness that is usually confined to a small area of the body. I can cut it off and absorb its life essence if you will since it is so different from most people.”

“So you eat cancer?”

“And vermin. Rats, mice and even roaches don’t stand much chance against me.”

“Yuck!”

“It’s very useful and I’ll never go hungry…,” there seemed to be a smirk in the doctor’s voice even with its odd sonic qualities.
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