The photo on the left is the first one I ever took in my new swimsuit a couple weeks over a year ago. The one on the right is from today - 2.5 weeks post op ☺️. Gah. This is how I was always supposed to look in a swimsuit. ☺️ (don’t worry, I’ll be wearing a shirt to the beach to protect my fresh scars) #freedom #freedomlines #sohappy #swimsuit #swimwear #trunks #confidence #ftm #trans #transman #transmale #transition #transguy #transgender #transsexual #betrue #beyou #itgetsbetter #transandhappy #transandproud #readyforthebeach


“Look, I understand your frustration but I cannot refund merchandise that has been used or opened,” she tried to explain as calmly as possible the policies of her store to the angry man in front of her but she could tell he wasn’t in the mood.

“It didn’t work. I didn’t see or feel anything. This whole place is one big sham and I want my money back.” his arms tightened across his chest and Bethilda felt her anger rising. She did not have time for this.

“It works. The product isn’t the problem it’s your attitude. The path to new realms can only be seen by those with an open mind and you sir are not one of those. So would you please leave my property. Or I get someone to do it for you.” her eyes burned as he shook his head, still mad he wouldn’t receive reimbursement. 

“Whatever man. I ain’t comin’ back here, that’s for sure.” he sauntered off towards the door and the children playing nearby giggled at what they had just witnessed.

“You have a great evening, Sir.” Bethilda smiled and waved the stranger good riddance.


The rest of their day went by rather quickly. Tourists roaming in and out of her shop, regulars coming to restock on their favorite candles and concoctions.

Children wandered in and out of her store, staring in awe at the magic book she kept on display. She didn’t mind the young ones roaming around her place. It was refreshing seeing the smiles on their faces as they discovered new things.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a normal work day with the unsatisfied customer and today they were obnoxious.


Effy had settled in nicely, helping customers here and there, “Each candle serves a different Saint, each saint providing a different service and so on. If you want to know where to start I’d say go with Papa Legba or Marassa. You can also ask Bethilda for more guidance or a consultation, she’s the expert here.”

“I’m actually looking or something for my granny, she’s awful sick and I just want her to be comfortable.” the woman looked over the candles, the pictures of ancestors and saints staring back at her.

“Hmm, well in that case, you should get Papa Legba and also draw a few sigils in from of your doors. There’s a booklet explaining it if you want one after you’re done looking.” she smiled sweetly at the lady and her daughter, “I’ll be over there if you need me!” she walked off to straighten shelves as the woman lingered near the candles with her daughter pulling on her shirt.


“Oh Well” and “Born on a Bayou” by Ratt (Fleetwood Mac and CCR covers)

Live acoustic gems (although I’ve never been much of a Ratt fan) featuring Michael Schenker filling in for an “ailing” Robbin Crosby and Fred Coury (from Cinderella) on additional percussion. 

After running all the  unattended children from her shop, Bethilda flipped the sign on her door, signalling the close of her shop. It had been a productive day. There was nothing to stock or clean since Effy had kept up with inventory all day. It was a nice change of pace having a second hand around the place. 

“So now what?” Effy asked as she fished counting down the drawer.

“Now, we eat,” They both laughed and Bethilda gestured to the stairs, “The least I could do is feed you, I mean you worked your ass off today.”

“I had fun! Plus it was cool watching you handle that jerk like that. Inspiring.” she chuckled again making her way to the spiral staircase, “He was pissed.”

“Eh, it happens but who cares. You just gotta get used to them. Now what would you like to eat? Fish, chicken? What?”

Effy thought hard about her answer before suggesting something else, “Do you have anymore gumbo?” Hildy’s gumbo was the best around and everyone knew it. 

“Of course I do, child. That’s a staple. Come on, I’ll make some rice and we’ll eat.” she swatted Effy’s backside and they headed up to the small apartment to dine and talk.