The Decision by James Burnett
Sexy superstar idol Chevalier has a problem. Shy and publicity averse, he escapes his fans by morphing into a woman, thanks to a family gene. However, this ability will not last forever, and in any case will end the first time he – or she – has sex.
Six years into an amazingly successful career when he had no time to do anything but work, it’s now time, after twelve years of switching between the two aspects, to work out which one should become permanent.
The challenge, while dating in both aspects, and trying new things to help settle which of two different futures will be best, is to work out which choice will bring the greatest happiness. Of course all this has to be done without revealing the family secret.
This proves harder than expected, as both aspects interact with a lot of the same people, several of whom notice that the two aspects are never seen together.
Complications abound as work and social pressures combine to create unexpected situations which threaten to derail the process of making the right decision.
The concert had been a great success. As always. He was wildly popular, with his slim physique and knock'em dead looks, but it was the voice that captured them. Women and girls swooned over him, and he was not unaware of the occasional glances he got from men. As the stadium cleared out, Chevalier locked himself in his changing room. Changing room. He laughed at the thought. Yes, that's what he did in here, but nobody suspected what changed. The transition took a few minutes, but the body needed several more to recover. That was one reason the door was locked. The other was that he didn't want anyone to discover his other clothes. They also fit a five foot ten person, but not Chevalier, at least not when he was Chevalier. Three inch heels and a B cup wouldn't do anything for his image, if they were found.
Another seven minutes later, she emerged. She was dressed to be ignored. Undistinguished working clothes that looked like they had been worked in. Nothing to draw attention to herself. The heels were to make her taller than Chevalier. In five years as Chevalier's administrative assistant, more gofer in the eyes of his management company, nobody had suspected Serina Sharpe was also Chevalier.
She had Chevalier's clothing and stuff in an anonymous bag, and walked confidently out of the exit, straight past the crowd of fans aching for a closer look at their idol. An idol that nobody ever saw leave. Even so, there was still a crowd of hopefuls, all of whom ignored her, a nondescript woman who didn't deserve a second glance.
As far as Chevalier's management company, MAK Industries, was concerned, she was a necessary evil. On paper she worked directly for Chevalier and was supposedly his cousin. She had become not only a buffer between him and his managers, but between him and the world.
In the taxi she took back to the hotel, she remembered the night when he was thirteen. Puberty had arrived, and he woke up in the middle of the night, exhausted and sweating, as if from a disquieting dream. Absently he went to scratch his balls. They weren't there. Neither was the other thing that should be close by. Instead there was a slit. He had run to his parent's bedroom, frightened out of his mind. As soon as they had turned on the light, his father had said, "Calm down. I didn't know whether this would happen to you, but I know what it is."
"What!" he, or was it now she, had screamed. "You knew this might happen and you said nothing!"
His mother's calm voice took over. "We didn't know whether it would happen or not. If it didn't, well, we would have scared you for nothing. Your father's family has a gene that affects roughly three children out of four. At puberty you gain the ability to switch sexes."
"You mean I'm a girl now?" It was almost a squeak.
"Yes, Steve." His father explained, "But only for the moment. You can change back and forth, until you decide which one suits you the best. It takes a lot of energy, so I wouldn't do it too often."
"Daddy, you mean you were a girl once?" He fought to keep his voice normal.
"Yes, but I much preferred to be a man. One word of warning. This ability will only last until you have sex for the first time. After that, you're stuck with the role you chose. Also, if you don't make a choice, sometime in your mid to late twenties, your body will choose for you, and it may not be the one you want."
"Don’t worry, love" his, or was it now her, mother said, enveloping her in a warm and comforting hug until she stopped trembling. "Tomorrow we can go out and buy you a lot of girl's clothes. I always hoped I could do girly things with you." The enthusiasm in his mother's voice gave him pause. He knew she had wanted a daughter, which was why they had tried for his brother, Dave, who was ten now. He loved her, and if this would give her joy, then he would be a dutiful daughter for a while.
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About the Author:
I was educated at Gordonstoun School in Scotland, where I lived in what was supposed to be an enormous pentacle built by a mad sorcerer. That may have affected my outlook on life.
I made my career in casinos, first in London, and then in The Bahamas, having now worked for what is now Atlantis casino on Paradise Island for almost forty years. I really enjoy meeting all sorts of interesting people every day, and that gives me an awful lot of insight into people’s characters which I can use in my writing.
I run a pit that is located between two enormous glass sculptures by Dale Chihuli of the sun and the moon. This means that I tell people that I can always be found ‘between the Sun and the Moon in Paradise’.
Having read SF and Fantasy from a very early age, it was probably inevitable that I would write my novels in that genre.
When I need to chill I take the ferry to one of the other islands, which is fabulous for doing absolutely nothing. Except writing of course.
I am married and have two wonderful daughters, and two furry cats who often sleep with us.
I started out by writing stories from the casinos where I worked, as many were worth recording, and some were truly outrageous. I started novel writing when I had exhausted what was truly a mother lode of entertaining vignettes.
I don’t write for a particular market, but I write what I would like to read myself, and I always try to be different.