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Ka'Ri Sells a Belt

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1 Ka'Ri Sells a Belt on Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:08 pm

The boat rocked gently under Ka’Ri’s feet as she slowly watched the sun rise over the assorted masts and sails of the overcrowded harbor. She scratched her head. I thought the time to think would help…

The news that the crew would no longer be allowed to stay on boat was delivered very rudely by the local municipal force, but hard to fight against. At this point, 3 of the crew were showing signs of… she swallowed willing back tears… that damn Plague, so even if the Quarantine lifted tomorrow, it was unlikely the Osprem would sail.

Which meant, they needed a place to stay, which meant…

Ka’Ri swallowed again. She owed everything to her crew. They were her family, her friends, her life. And yet, here where it mattered she found herself balking, proving herself… unworthy.

“I need to do this,” Ka’Ri muttered to herself, pulling her legs against her and fidgeting with her Belt of Gender Alignment. She had already sold her sword and most of her fine clothes, but around her waist was enough coin to put all the downpayments on a flat large enough to house the crew deep in the slums. All it would take was returning back to the dysphoria that had nearly killed her as a child.

“Did you or did you not say you would sacrifice everything?” The promise had only been made to herself, but it felt no less real. “Do whatever you could, if needed, to keep them alive and safe.”

But not this. Please not this. Please anything but this. She weeped as she curled even tighter into herself. She could still remember the day she received the belt. They had just captured a boat of a truly odious merchant who had a strong reputation of stiffing dockhands. On it was a treasure trove of riches. Most we set aside for the various dockhands of the local ports, but a portion?

The crew had seen how sad Ka’Ri had been getting as elven puberty had deepened. How hard it was for her to get out of bed sometimes. She didn’t know but there had been a promise, the next time there was a good haul they would do something for her. The next port, they surprised her right after a long night shift as she staggered back into the quarters half dead and ready to fall asleep.

Trying it on for the first time, she felt alive and real, spinning in front of the mirror in pure joy. She knew this was not what every trans person wanted or needed, but for her, this was everything. In the years since, she had never taken it off once. Even when she almost drowned.

Ka’Ri stayed in a heap on the deck until midday and then with a click, removed the belt. Ducking out of the way of any reflective surface, she stumbled along zombie-like in the direction of Qiao’s pawn shop and broker, a necessary front in a job like his.

Qiao looked at the belt and then back to Ka’Ri who was deliberately avoiding his questioning gaze. “Please, just… don’t make a big deal out of it, just please give me whatever price you can.”

Qiao acquiesced, counting out a stack of coins slightly higher than the value he was likely to get. Emotional labor fee, he figured, though he would never tell Ka’Ri that. Passing it over, he grabbed her hand as she reached for it.

“It’s getting that bad, isn’t it?”

Ka’Ri said nothing, shrugging her shoulders.

“I’m going to hold on to this and put it way in the back room so it moves real slow. In the meantime, shall I keep an ear out for some… jobs you’d be well suited for?”

Ka’Ri nodded, still feeling completely drained and dead inside. Finally he let her hand go as she collected the coins to leave.

“Oh, and Ka’Ri? This too shall pass.”

As Ka’Ri went home, lost in a dissociative fog, she wished with all her heart that she could believe him.
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2 Re: Ka'Ri Sells a Belt on Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:47 pm

(oh god my heart)

(protect her)
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3 Re: Ka'Ri Sells a Belt on Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:39 am

Im not crying... There's just a belt in my eye...
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