Bertney Meets The Man-Lady
Bertney Meets The Man-Lady
A Being Kind To Others Read-Venture
“Liar, liar pants on fire!” Bertney yelled at Jayden. “Boys can’t turn into girls.”
Jayden had told Bertney the most peculiar thing, and Bertney’s mind hurt just thinking about it. But Jayden was always smarter than Bertney and knew how to work the TV, so she soon quieted down and got ready to listen.
“There is a man who is now a woman, and her name is Caitlyn,” Jayden told Bertney matter-of-factly. “Grown-ups do this sometimes, and the polite thing to do is be nice about it.”
Bertney stood there with her mouth open for a very long time. How could any of this be true? And it if is, then she needed to see this man-lady right away. It was the most important thing in Bertney’s life after the pack of Oreos she just remembered were in the vase next to the stairs. She wondered if they’re still there now.
“Bertney!” Jayden yelled. “Grandpa said you’re not allowed to use hammers!”
Bertney wondered what would happen if Jayden was the vase. She had thoughts like this a lot, but they always ended with her waking up somewhere and Papa pulling Taser darts out of her. They sure did sting.
“Well, Bertney Jean,” she heard Papa saying as he slowly stopped being a wobbly Jell-O man and stood over her, “I guess we’re gonna stop keeping hammers in the house.”
“Man-lady!” Bertney yelled. “I need to see the man-lady!”
“Now, what in the world has gotten into you?” Papa asked.
“Jayden said there’s a man who’s now a lady and I need to see her right now, Papa!” Bertney blurted out. “I hafta know if he’s lying to me like that time he said he lived in my belly. That sure was a super big fib, wasn’t it, Papa?”
“Um, yes. Yes, it was,” Papa said strangely. “I think I know what Jayden was talking about. Let’s get you dressed, and I supposed we’ll meet this man-lady of yours.”
“Whoopee!” Bertney squealed. This was going to be the best day ever.
As she ran out of the room, she suddenly smelled smoke and slowly creeped back to see Papa kneeling in front of a fire. His shirt was gone and he was slicing himself in the chest with a knife. Bertney didn’t know what was happening.
“Ka-li-ma, Kris Jenner!” Papa yelled at the ceiling. “Kris Jenner, ka-li-ma!”
Then just like that, Bertney saw a woman appear in the flames. Her eyes were dark as bedtime, and she had short black hair like a boy. Was this the man-lady?
“Why have you summoned me, Elder Jamie of Spears?” the witch asked.
“My daughter Bertney wishes to have an audience with Caitlyn, my sorceress.” Papa responded.
“I see,” said the witch. “You know the price that must be paid in return.”
“I’ll have the footage to you by dawn,” Papa said trembling.
“Good. Then it is done!” And with that the witch vanished into the fire. Bertney wished she could leave rooms like that, but Papa never lets her have matches. Or touch the stove. One time she got to push the buttons on the microwave though.
Soon, Bertney found herself in a fancy dress walking on a red carpet. There were people all around her, but Bertney had no idea who they were or why she was even here.
“Right this way,” a tiny half-man, half-goat creature said to Bertney and guided her to a room. “Lady Caitlyn waits inside.”
Bertney stood in the doorway. Sitting in front of the mirror was a woman wearing a white dress. But something was different about this woman. Something the movies in her mind couldn’t tell her about it because they kept showing a hamster falling off its wheel. This happened a lot.
“Why, hello,” said the woman. “I bet you’re Bertney.”
“Yes,” Bertney said shyly. “Are you.. are you the man-lady?”
“Oh my!” laughed the woman. “I suppose that’s one way to look at it. I’m Caitlyn. Come, sit down. I bet I know exactly what you’d like.” The man-lady opened up a silver platter and inside were the most special thing in the world to Bertney.
“Furnch fries!” she yelped. “For me?!”
“For you,” said Caitlyn. “I know how much you love them.”
“More than anything!” Bertney said. She quickly ate all the French fries and let out a loud burp while Caitlyn laughed. Bertney started to think she was dead, but Papa always told her she’d know for sure when Jesus showed up with a horse. Bertney didn’t see a horse.
“Now, Bertney,” said Caitlyn kindly. “What is you want to know?”
“Lots of things!” Bertney said excitedly. “Where does ice cream come from? Who’s the man with cornrows for hair in her dreams? How come when I drive people on the sidewalk go to sleep and never wake up?”
“You’re a curious one,” laughed Caitlyn. “I mean about me. Your Papa said you were very adamant about meeting me.”
“Ohhh,” said Bertney. “How comes you changed from a boy to a lady? Doesn’t God get mad?”
“Well,” said Caitlyn, “sometimes people are born into the wrong bodies, and it takes a very long time for them to realize it and have the courage to make a change.”
Bertney had no idea what any of that meant, but she nodded politely.
“As for God,” Caitlyn continued, “here’s how we’re handling that bastard…”
Suddenly, the wall in Caitlyn’s room vanished, and she guided Bertney into a dark, candle-lit chamber with a large round of table. In the center of the table rested a triangle with an eye in the center of it.
“I seen that on money before!” Bertney yelled excitedly.
“Very good,” Caitlyn said approvingly. “You’re smarter than people realize, Bertney. And more powerful. In fact, you used to be the Illuminati’s most powerful agent until your father realized there was more money in renting you out to rich suitors. We had grand designs for you.”
“The Lumin-what?” Bertney asked. She was very confused.
“The Illuminati,” Caitlyn responded. “We’re what you might call a secret organization that wants to make sure the world burns for the great glory of Satan. And that’s really why I became a woman. To confuse people into not knowing who they really are, and if I’m being honest, take a lot of attention way from the military. I really don’t care for them.”
“Damn straight,” said a black man with big ears seated at the head of the table. Somebody had colored three sixes on his head, and Bertney was more confused than ever before. She wanted to go home now and started to cry.
“Shh, there, there now,” said Caitlyn to comfort Bertney. “We have soft-serve.”
“What’s soft-serve?” Bertney sniffled.
“Ice cream,” Caitlyn said with a smile.
“Made from aborted fetuses,” said the big-eared numbered man.
“HOORAY!” Bertney squealed with delight. This really was the best day ever.
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