Preview: Other Shoes

1. Not The Six O’clock News!

It’s good news week,
Someone’s dropped a bomb somewhere,
Contaminating atmosphere
And blackening the sky,
It’s good news week,
Someone’s found a way to give,
The rotting dead a will to live,
Go on and never die.
1.
My head hurt and the room spun just a little as the strident sounds of my mobile called me from my sleep.
Groaning, I picked up my mobile.
‘Yeah?’
‘Charlie?’
‘I think so,’ I said groggily, opening my eyes.
‘It’s Roger, Charlie. What the hell are you doing?’
Blearily, I looked around.
Thank god, I was in my own apartment! That was a good start! What did I do last night?
My head pounding and I recognised the familiar symptoms of a gigantic hangover.
What the fuck did I do last night!
The memories came back and I groaned again.
Murray’s bachelor night! The game on television, the bar, the drinks, the stripper, the laughs, the drinks again…my head is going to explode!
‘Charlie!’
‘Yeah, I’m still here! What time is it?’
‘It’s ten and you are late.’
‘Ten in the morning?’
‘Yes. You are very late!’
‘Late for what! This is my day off. Goodbye, Roger…’
‘Do not hang up, Charlie! Quigley is looking for you!’
‘Quigley?’
I sat up and groaned again as my head throbbed.
Quigley was the Editor for the newsroom at Channel TBC9 where I worked as news camera and sound man.
‘What does he want?’
‘You! He needs you for a job after lunch.’
‘Me? I’m not rostered on. Can’t he get one of the other guys?’
‘Nope! He wants you. Toni told me Quigley was looking for you and I’m saving your bacon, Charlie!’
‘He hates me!’
Everybody hates you, Charlie. Now, get up!’
‘Tosser! All right, I’m on my way in…’
‘No you don’t!’ Roger said. ‘You’ll just go back to sleep! I will be there in fifteen minutes. Shower and have some coffee.’
Roger hung up and for a moment, I considered going back to sleep and then considered what Roger could do to me.
He was a big black man, ex-football player who was the sports reporter for the channel. Roger was big enough to pick me up and toss me around a few times until I got up.
Grunting and groaning with every step, I managed to stagger to the shower!
2.

Roger, the scheming bastard, deliberately pounded loudly on the door, as he knew I was hurting, that every sound reverberated through my skull with agonising force.
‘It’s open!’ I screamed, holding my head.
‘Come on,’ Roger said, striding into the room, ‘it’s another beautiful San Francisco day!’
‘Don’t make me sick!’ I groaned. ‘I just want to die.’
‘If you don’t get into the channel, your wish will come true as Quigley will murder you!’
‘I feel too sick to work…’
‘You can’t pull that routine, Charlie. Quigley knows you were going out with your buddies.’
Ah, yeah, now I remember.
‘Had to celebrate Murray’s engagement.’
‘Who is Murray?’ Roger asked with interest.
‘A bloke I know, another cameraman except he does movies.’
Blearily, I looked up at Roger who grinned down at me.
‘Shit, Charlie, you look awful!’
‘Gee, thanks, Roger!’ I grunted, slurping coffee.
‘You should have switched to soda water after a few drinks.’
‘You are not my mother, Roger! Stop nagging me!’
‘Speaking of which, have you called your mother?’
‘God, Roger, are you a woman or something! No, I haven’t called her…’
‘It is her birthday!’
‘She’s in London, her birthday was yesterday…’
‘So call and apologise for missing it!’
‘Just leave me alone! Fuck! I’m dying here!’
‘Dying is too good for you, Charlie,’ Roger said cheerfully. ‘Have you showered?’
I didn’t answer, just jabbed a finger at my wet hair as evidence of my brief encounter with water.
‘That will have to do,’ he said, looking me up and down. ‘Jeans and a T-shirt again?’
‘Roger, leave me alone!’
‘Charlie, don’t try to be the asshole with me; I know you!’
‘Asshole? Why do you keep calling me a donkey’s bum?’
‘You try to be a hard case but I know. I saw you help that old black woman across the road.’
‘Bullshit!’
‘Don’t lie, Charlie, I saw you and I know what I saw! Was she blind?’
‘I don’t know what you’re talking about!’
‘Yes, you do, you liar! I saw you, Charlie! You can deny it but I saw you being nice!’
‘I’m never nice,’ I groaned.
‘Crap! You help an old blind woman across the street.’
‘You must have me confused…’
‘No, I don’t! You can’t fool me, Charlie Addison! Now, get focussed on work!’
‘I’m focussed,’ I groaned. ‘Just don’t shout!’
‘Ok, ok. Come on. My car’s outside! We’d better get in before Quigley has a coronary!’
‘You have to have a heart to have a heart attack,’ I grunted as I walked unsteadily out of the apartment, ‘so that rules out Quigley!’

3.

‘Charlie, you look like shit!’ Jack Quigley grunted.
‘Gee, thanks Boss, it’s good to see you as well!’
‘I need you to do a job.’
‘So I gather.’
‘So I gather!’ Quigley mimicked a bad English accent.
‘If that’s supposed to be an impersonation of me, don’t give up your day job! Comedy Central is not going to scoop you up!’
He jabbed a finger at me.
‘One day, I’ll kick your sorry ass out of here…’
‘Then kick away. It would be a fucking relief!’
‘I don’t know why I keep you on the team.’
‘Yes you do. I’m your best news cameraman!’
‘You were but we’re getting a new cameraman,’ Quigley said with a broad smile. ‘Trip Howard.’
I sat up in the chair. Quigley had my attention.
‘Trip Howard from Channel 7?’
‘Yep. He’s good.’
Grudgingly, I had to agree.
‘I’m giving him a run this afternoon. He’s doing the news stories,’ Quigley said.
Our channel took the network news so we only did the local stories and a superficial newsmagazine. You know the type of show. The one where the host shows you how to lose weight, the bimbo reporter shows the latest cute little cocktail dress and what dog makes the best pet.
‘If you’ve got him for news, what do you need me for?’
‘I should fire you!’
‘So, fire me,’ I said wearily. ‘Then I can die in peace.’
‘Today, I’m putting you with Emily Burdon…’
‘Emily Burdon! God, no!’
Emily Burdon was the fashion reporter who did the frothy stories on fashion, celebrities and crazy fads. She was, of course, gorgeous and was always perfectly groomed. Dark haired, big eyes and big boobs, she had made it purely on her good looks and her “cute” accent.
I guess a plummy upper class English accent was cute for Americans!
‘Can’t you two get on?’
‘She’s an airhead…’
‘No, she’s not. I don’t see the fucking problem, Charlie! You’re both Brits!’
‘She’s the sort of bitch I left the U.K. to get away from! This is bollocks, Boss…’
‘You’re working with her!’
‘Jesus H. Christ! This is bollocks!’
‘Or I fire you.’
‘Huh?’
‘Your choice, Charlie!’
‘Why her?’
‘The network wants a decent audition tape so I want it shot properly.’
Quigley thrust a fat finger at me.
‘Make her look good, Charlie, or you are history!’
Suddenly, I knew he meant it.
‘I will,’ I mumbled.
‘Not much for you to do, she’s photogenic.’
‘I suppose so,’ I mumbled, ‘if you like scatty Sloane rangers…’
‘Fuck, Charlie, what are you babbling about? I can never understand you! Emily Burdon is beautiful and will be a star!’
She was beautiful and I had almost fallen for those big doe eyes and the yummy figure but inside that designer dress was a heart of a pure vixen and manipulative bitch!
‘Go do it, Charlie! Just make sure you’ve got her in focus. No fuck ups, Charlie. You got that?’
‘Yes,’ I mumbled, ‘I’ve got it!’

4.

I signed out the camera and the recorder. After a handful of pills, my headache had receded and my head didn’t hurt when I bent down to put the equipment into a bag.
Then, high heel shoes tapped their way down the corridor and I knew it was Emily Burdon.
The Bimbo Walks!
Good title for a movie!
Wearily, I looked up. Emily leaned against the door, folded her arms and looked me up and down.
She was, of course, beautiful as always. Immaculate in a business jacket and short skirt. There was no doubt Emily was a real dolly bird with a great body.
Emily Burdon was beautiful in an Angelina Jolie sort of way – dark and brooding with big soulful eyes – but there was no warmth in those eyes.
There is the evidence,’ she said with a dramatic sigh, pointing at me, ‘that Jack Quigley hates me.’
‘If it’s any consolation, the prick hates me as well!’
Emily took a tentative step forward.
‘Look, Charles…’
‘It’s Charlie…’
‘Whatever. Look, I don’t like you and you don’t like me. It’s obvious but we have to work together for the day.’
‘I can hardly wait! What groundbreaking story are we doing? The latest lipstick shade?’
‘Wow,’ Emily said sarcastically, ‘you know that there are shades? I thought you only went for scrubbers wearing Slut Red!’
‘Is that the colour you’re wearing?’
We scowled at each other for a moment, although I had to admit that whatever lipstick shade she was wearing, her full and pouting lips looked very inviting!
‘We have a story to do,’ Emily said through gritted teeth. ‘Let’s put this bollocks aside for one day.’
‘A whole day? Fuck, I can’t stand it!’
‘No! It’s one segment this afternoon. All you have to do is point the camera and shoot.’
‘My job is a little more complicated than that!’
‘Whatever you say, although thousands wouldn’t believe you! I’m driving!’
‘Who says?’
‘I do and I have the keys!’
Emily strode away with an angry flounce and I told myself to stop looking at her arse.
‘It’s only this afternoon,’ I muttered as I swung the equipment bag over my shoulder. ‘Just one afternoon with the bitch from hell!’

The eBookshop

13 Notes Preview: Other Shoes

  1. I’ve read all of Carmenica’s TG books and this is one of the best. It’s funny, sad, insightful, charming and a great read. Suspense is the name of the game where you’re kept in the dark until almost the end trying to figure out what and who is “it”. And, of course, it has a sweet ending.

  2. I have just completed the stunning OTHER SHOES! My first reaction is one of amazement that you can write such wonderful TG stories and yet write the “other” stories!
    OTHER SHOES is a wonderful story which is unpredictable in so many ways. The characters are, once again, believable and the dialogue is amazing. This would, as many of your TG books would, make a great movie!
    Like so many other of your TG stories, once I finish it, I find I am looking forward to reading it again. And again.
    Thank you for a wonderful book.

  3. Couldn’t agree more with the other comments ! I loved this book.
    I have to say, when I purchased it, I did so out of loyalty, thinking it would be a typical body swap story but bought it to support you and your transgender writing (you don’t do enough, milady!). Yes, I should have known better!
    Anything you put your name to is quality! Other Shoes is amazing and much like Elizabeth Grey in many ways but, again, different!
    It has been mentioned that the dialogue is great. I would say it’s perfect! Like the other person, I will read this again and again. Thank you. Please write more when inspiration strikes!

  4. A good friend recommended your transgender writing. No doubt I needed cheering up and she suggested Dreamsome and Body Double. I saw you had just released a new book (Other Shoes) so I bought that instead. Must admit did not expect much and forgot about the book until it was delivered. Once I started the book, I could not put it down.
    It was weird in a way because my friend who recommended you had not read Other Shoes! I could tell her how great it was! And it is great, truly great!
    I was so involved in your characters, I began to believe they were real. Sick, I know but that’s your fault. You wrote it! Jokes aside, thank you for a truly great book. Will treasure it! Will now read the others my friend said I should. xxx Pia

  5. I cried at the ending! 🙁 You just know how to push the buttons, don’t you! What a wonderful read! Enjoyed every word. I smiled when I saw you had described the story as a thoroughly modern fairytale and it is! It is, complete with romance, lessons for all to learn and wonderful happy endings.
    Agree with previous comments and ask the all important question – when will some farsighted movie director grab one of your books and make it into a movie? Other Shoes would be a great book to begin with!:)

  6. Carmenica, loved other shoes. It was worth waiting for. I know I’m greedy but please don’t keep us waiting so long for the next romance? You brighten my world with these books. xxx Marie

  7. Carmenica, the interval between your TG books is a long one but ‘Other Shoes’ was worth the wait! When I finished the book, I closed it with reluctance, not wanting the story to end. After reading the many comments (see, you do have fans for your TG work – keep writing!), I thought for a while why I enjoyed this book so much.
    The characters were great (‘New” Emily was funny and believable) and the plot was adult and real. Life is not perfect for any of us. Congratulations on a wonderful story. We can only hope for more! Brian

  8. Loved it! More, please!

  9. Hi Carmenica,

    Love the Other Shoes! I was going to write when I finished it but I’m enjoying it so much that I don’t want it to end. I’m regulating the amount I’m allowed to read each day. I love that you’ve done your research (I live in SF) and it’s such a wonderful presentation of “this is what it’s like on the other side of the fence.” Love your writing!

  10. Agree with every other comment! This is the ebst TG you’ve done for a long time! 10/10!

  11. Just finished this book and have to say I enjoyed every page! Thank you so much!

  12. Wow loved reading this blogpost. I submitted your rss to my reader!!

  13. Top stuff! Really enjoyed it! If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor