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Edith Bennett Bellamy has been writing elegantly prolix transgender erotica for the past five years. Her works appeared sporadically on various TG web sites until last May, when she opened Pink Gladiolas, her own site, which hosts all of her stories and also features current reviews of high-end TG and erotica sites. Edith lives in the Far North and may be contacted at ebellamy@pinkgladiolas.com

Pink Gladiolas
by Edith Bennett Bellamy


Through the waning burr of my last Demerol injection wafts the velvety lilt of Jamaican English saying, "They call it Pink Gladiolas, child. I look it up in the art book once 'cause so many girls ask me the same question all the time. The American artist Georgia O'Keefe painted it. Ev'ry room here has a diff'rent one of those flow'rs. Girls seem to find the paintings relax them. Now let's see where you at."

As she speaks, Angela efficiently pulls a sterile latex glove over her right hand. Fingers extended, she holds the hand erect and strangely immobile, like the limb of a statue, while she brushes my thighs apart with a softly authoritative back-and-forth sweep of her ungloved left hand.

Her right arm comes alive again; her fingers plunge into me unceremoniously, seeking my cervix. My mind drifts back to how Calvin had forgotten to sheath himself in latex when he plunged into me nearly an eternity ago, and look at me now! What does he know about this incredible pain, now thankfully absent but sure to return at any moment with the hideous crescendo of another contraction?

Everyone, it seems, has lied to me about childbirth, at every miserable step along the path. An endless string of lies winding back to the dawn of human existence, lies to ensure survival of the race, no doubt. Lies proclaiming maternity as the crowning glory of womanhood. Worth any sacrifice. Transcendent, ennobling, sanctifying, fulfilling.

What a crude and callous deception! To endure nausea and sleepless nights, constant back pain, always too-tight clothes, gross bloating discomfort, incessant trips to the toilet. Then sudden kicks from within and bizarre writhing feelings at any time of day or night. Now swollen, tender breasts leaking colostrum even through the absorbent pads of my nursing bra (soon to be put to actual use). Hemorrhoids, too, and constant spotting these last two weeks as if I were a cracked cistern... to endure all this and now to be clobbered with such ridiculous pain.... And even after it's all over, it's really just starting: more sleepless nights, chafed nipples, breast pumps, smelly diapers, no help from Calvin, and having to do the laundry and shopping and cooking and cleaning just the same. Indentured servitude for eighteen years!

Angela withdraws her hand and peels off her glove with a snap. "You're effaced and near fully dilated, child," she says. "The baby goin' to be here by midnight. I get the gurney now and call the deliv'ry room team."

I groan and turn my head again toward Pink Gladiolas. I try to concentrate on it during my all-too-brief respite from pain. I am still panting -- and outraged -- from my last contraction.

Surely some maleficent feminist interior designer has deliberately chosen O'Keefe's paintings for this labor ward. That's it, I muse, it's the ultimate in interior design, isn't it? O'Keefe must have found a model in heat and put her up in stirrups, for the painting resembles nothing so much as a woman's flagrantly flared penetralia, framed by the suggestive folds of a pudendal white curtain. Blossoms of mucosal pink, expectantly engorged and elegantly frilled like the vibrant mating ruffles of some exotic tropical lizard, arise from a purple vase. The edges of their petals are just a bit too well-defined, precisely like inner labia aroused.

Or could it be a self portrait, perhaps? Now I envision the lean and wiry Georgia, hair in a tight bun, skimping on modeling fees, supine on her studio table. Clad only in a heavy black cable-knit sweater and black woolen leg warmers, she is otherwise nude, head propped up on some cushions, legs efficiently parted. Her easel is set up within ready reach. She holds a brush in one hand, mirror in the other: the prototypical feminist artist, unsmilingly intent, unforgiving, remorseless. Did Alfred watch, I wonder, or hold the palette for her? Did she ever have any babies? I somehow doubt it...

Further speculation is abruptly curtailed as my next contraction hits with the force of a freeway overpass collapsing in an earthquake. With the Demerol gone, first I feel stunned, then drained -- an overture for the ghastly inrush of pain: a taut bubble wells up in my belly and spreads through my body like a negative orgasm, fills me without bursting. I scream, "Angela, come back, I need you!"

Never again!

I laugh bitterly through a thick red haze of pain, then, in sudden sepulchral silence, I spiral off above it all, onto a higher plane, from which I can look down at myself writhing on the labor room bed, bed sheets twisted into fat ropes, my hospital gown hoisted up in a sweaty roll above my breasts, once shapely and smooth but now huge and disfigured by angry purple striae, their dusky red areolas the size of demitasse saucers. My distended belly -- also marred by jagged purple streaks -- resembles one of those round heaps of wheat Solomon is always yammering about in his infernal Song. If Solomon had only gone through this, he would have been far the wiser: he would have melted down all those copper scrolls into something useful, like decent dinnerware or rain-gutters, and stuck to writing out seating plans for palace parties.

Angela reappears at my bedside with a tubex of Demerol. She mechanically rolls me over onto my side (to roll me all the way over is a geometric impossibility), briskly abrades a patch of one buttock with an alcohol sponge, and injects me. She goes out and returns with a gurney. "Slide over onto it, child," she commands, her voice still like velvet, as she pulls my bottom sheet with strong chocolate-colored hands. "You goin' to have the baby now."

I do as commanded. Angela snaps up the sides of the gurney, pushes me out of the labor room and down the hallway. I feel the Demerol buzz already coming on, softening (but only slightly) my next contraction. The gurney glides along noiselessly, as if suspended in air. We pass another O'Keefe: Pink Sweet Peas, as obscene as Pink Gladiolas. We reach the delivery suite; double doors swing inward with a pneumatic hiss. I raise my head and see the vacant delivery table starkly awaiting me like a post-modern torture device -- arm boards splayed out like a crucifix, stirrups spread impossibly wide. Its unbuckled straps dangle in confident anticipation of a victim. I slide off the gurney and over onto the delivery table, assisted now by two pairs of hands.

My feet are put up into the cold stainless steel stirrups, my wrists and ankles are restrained by broad leather straps lined with lambswool: I am pinioned for the Great Sacrifice. I lift my head again to see what's about to be done to me down there, but I can't see past my mountainous belly. All I can really move are my fingers, my toes and my head, so I ball up my fists and thrash my head side to side as yet another contraction hits. My contractions are now almost continuous.

A dab of cold jelly on my abdomen. The fetal monitor transducer is taped in place and the delivery room fills with the amplified, frantic sounds of my baby's heartbeat.


Copyright © 2001 Edith Bellamy. All rights reserved. 



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