Flash Fiction: Chrome Waiting Room

Every two weeks writers have the chance to take part in Soliloquies Anthology’s Flash Fiction contest. We publish a new single-word writing prompt as a starting point, and you write a story in 300 words or less. This winning story uses the prompt Bill.

*Note from the author: Trigger/content warning for suicide, trauma/dissociation, and transphobia/gender doubt.

Chrome Waiting Room

the quebec government will reimburse 33% of your purchase, provided you call them within three months and provide a prescription. 

estrace: $35.29 CAD. spironolactone: $15.49 CAD. finasteride: $59.49 CAD. 

you have not called the quebec government. it has been six months. the pills sit in their unopened containers in a white paper bag on your desk. the doctor gave them to you after one round of psych. you weren't sure if you wanted to start but to say that means Doubt means You're Not Really Trans means referral to the psych who works out of an acupuncture clinic who tells you that you should come dressed as a girl next time. your joke about that is: you were wearing burgundy docs, black skinnies, and a denim jacket, you could not be more dykey if you tried. he looked concerned when he asked you how often you touch your dick.

your other joke: when trans folks talk about mental health they talk about trauma and dissociation and self-care tools and grounding techniques like slowly tracing the veins on your arm with the edge of your fingernail. to keep you in your body. whereas when doctors ask you about mental health they ask if you touch your dick or if you're maybe not secretly a boy after all, are you sure, would you spend another week wanting to cry about it but unable to cry then come back for another checkup. punchline indeterminate.

you paid with debit and cancelled your next appointment. reimbursement means prescription means psychological evaluation means performing what psychs think trans is means violent dissociation/suicidal ideation. the white paper bag has the clinic's logs, which affirms its support of gay men throughout montreal. when you stack your clothes on your desk it hides the bag from view. completely.

Author bio
Sadie Laett-Babcock studies English, Creative Writing, and History at Concordia. She functions as the unofficial Topside Press marketing division for the Montreal area. She currently works as a busboy, despite that she is not a boy, a fact which she is certain is somehow revolutionary. Judith Butler has remained unavailable for comment. Noah Tomas Petkau owes her twelve dollars. Pay up, Noah.