short #3

It was on the sixth day of the arctic voyage that I realized that I hadn't brought any tampons. I was so wrapped up in becoming one of them that I scarcely had a thought about my feminine attributes. It was my adventurous demeanour that had brought me here, along with a few gifts that had been graciously donated by mother nature: a strong jaw that squared off my face and gave me a sort-of hellish look, and my tall figure, accompanied by a thick build. Not that I was nearly as tall as my male comrades on the trip, but these things gifted to me are what got me here in the first place. My nickname was 'Midget Man,' and I was poked fun at in a jovial sort of way. The men thought that I was one of them, so they would pee in front of me and belch without swallowing their food first. I liked the company though; I finally felt like I fit in, a rare commodity for an ambitious, and loudly determinate woman.

 

It was also on the sixth day of the arctic voyage that my cover was nearly blown. The wind was howling and sheets of fine snow were slamming through the air. The dogs were especially riled up by all the noise and when an extremely thunderous gust of wind would shake us, they would howl along with it. Some of the men were taking down camp, but most were teaching each other some sort of buffoonish dance and chanting about god-knows-what. I didn't dare join in for fear of being trampled by their blundering movements, so I watched from a short distance, laughing to myself. It was then that a particularly wild gust of wind boomed through camp and the dogs' howling rose once more. I glanced up from the warmth of my jacket and saw a flash of white cross the sky. It took several seconds to realize that the map had been ripped from my belt and was now fifty feet in the air, being tossed about against the brilliant blue sky. When I lurched forward, I could feel my hood tossed back and when I began to run, my long blonde hair became free from my hat and cascaded behind me as I helplessly jumped about in attempt to grab the map out of the sky. Suddenly, in a stroke of luck, a funnel of wind sent the paper hurtling towards the ground and I dove without thinking twice, trapping it under my body.

 

I slowly stood up and looked back towards camp. I hadn't noticed that the chanting of the men had stopped and that they now had turned to stare at me, their expressions confused and their mouths ajar. The prerequisite to this mission was that you had to be deployed by the military, and all the men plus me had been serving in Iraq. The brutish of men were picked for this expedition as a predisposition to surviving the cold, and I was picked for my navigational and medical skills, although I was advised to tell nobody that I was a woman for fear of being…what, attacked? Eaten? Left to die? Those were the questions that flooded my mind as I looked back to my comrades, each with a cleanly-shaven head. I could feel a lump of frustration rise in my throat, and tears dotting my vision. All of a sudden, the men started roaring with laughter, which sent the dogs into a loud chorus of noise. "Midget Man's got a mane!" I heard through the shouts and barks. The men crowded me and began gently tugging on it and making missy-noises through pursed lips while batting their eyelashes. Since then, I have been relentlessly teased for being a "woman", however I do not think that even one man has guessed at the truth. 

short story

◄ short #2

sleep now ►

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