Valentina Michelle Smith

Heinlein Short Story Contest

Well, I did it. I entered two of my stories in the Heinlein Short Story Contest.
The stories I chose were "Cosmic Charlie and the Apprentice Witch" and "The Girl Who Touched the Stars." I made a few changes to the characters and the incidents to bring them in line with the Apprentice Witch series I am planning, but the stories remained essentially the same. One thing I did NOT edit was the TG content. After all, Heinlein had a bit of gender transformation in his work.
I don't know if the stories will even be considered, but I know that I would never have had a chance if I never entered.
Thanks to all of my fans and friends for your support, criticism, and encouragement.

Home For Christmas

Kate looked at her husband, the strong but gentle man she loved so dearly, and found a new depth of feeling for him.. She hugged him close as if he were a child. “It's all right,” she said. “It's fine. Why don't we take the monkey home. And if you want to be Sally for a little while, that's fine too.”

“It's not that,” said Brad. “I just wish we both could have had Christmas without pain. I just wish we could have some good memories about Christmas as kids.”

Alternate Reality: The Bear Market

Now Sarge pulled a wig over his head and adjusted it. As he stood, he realized that male pronouns were no longer appropriate. She had shed her male persona and become Nora Spencer.

Nora smiled at the feminine reflection she observed in the mirror. She walked over to a pair of 3-inch slingback pumps and stepped into them. She walked back and forth a few times, enjoying the distinctive click of her heels on the hardwood floor. She smiled, grabbed her purse, and walked to the rear staircase leading to the alley in back of the store. She paused to lock the door, made her way down the steps, looked either way, and strode off to the sidewalk. Her destination was a gay bar a few blocks away, a place that welcomed crossdressers and their admirers.

As she walked, she did not notice the man standing in the shadows. He wore a cloak made of raven feathers and carried a large Blackthorn staff. A kitten perched on his right shoulder. “Mew,” said the kitten.

“You were right, Maggie,” the man with the raven cloak said. “She's hiding something. She needs help, and I don't think she will find it where she's going.”

Shotgun's Secret

It was dark and a campfire was burning when Shotgun McCain finally woke up. His right shoulder hurt him like all the demons of hell. What happened?

Then he realized where he was, and tried to get up, only to be restrained by Tonto. “Take it easy, Shotgun, you need to rest. You've lost a lot of blood, amigo.”

“Shotgun felt himself with his left hand and realized he had been undressed. He was covered with a loose blanket. Oh, my God, that meant...

“You know!” he said.

Berserker Chromosome

A man who insists he is really a woman is banished from his community. Now free to live life as a woman, she ironically encounters a terrible machine with one purpose, to find and destroy all life. Men called it a Berserker.

The Academy (Part 4)

JoEllen smiled at Harry like a cat smiling at a mouse, playing with its prey before the kill. “You were a man. You deserve it. And I'm doing it because I can.
“You thought you were going to lure me to your hotel room for a night of quick sex. You thought I was nothing more than an object to satisfy your lust. Now you will pay for your disrespect.
“You are now in the Academy, a place where delinquent boys are reformed into contributing members of society. Your male arrogance shall be replaced with proper feminine deportment, and you shall be taught to serve. Our graduates are highly prized as domestic servants, and you shall be no exception. Only I have something special in mind for you, Missy.
“You shall be my personal maid. You shall take care of my every need. You will make certain that my uniforms and my clothing are properly washed, pressed, and folded. You shall keep my personal area spotless and assist me when I dress. You shall do all of these things and do them gladly.
“You will take classes with the other students of the Academy, but after class you will report to me for extra training. I demand high standards, and you shall adhere to them.
“Your ass is mine, Missy. Now come with me! You are already late for class. No excuses! Follow me quickly!”

The Academy (Part 3)

Raventree pressed the pain stud on her riding crop. The boy that JoEllen had just implanted with a transdermal governor fell to the ground with all of the others.
Desdemona continued her spiel, explaining to the unruly boys that they would be molded into proper young ladies and taught the subservient skills of a domestic servant. She then instructed the boys to strip.
JoEllen's charge hesitated. JoEllen did not hesitate to punish him. “Get those clothes off, missy, and I mean now” she commanded. He stripped down to his skin. Now he was handed a canvas sack and instructed to don the female clothing it contained. She observed the boy's expression of horror as he pulled on the panties, struggled with the brassiere, and had to be shown how to roll stockings so that they could be pulled over his legs. JoEllen had to prod him a few more times with her crop, but in short order he was dressed in The Academy's uniform, a plaid jumper and white blouse.
JoEllen looked at the boys, now all wearing jumpers and standing uncertainly in their pumps. They all had an expression of fear and despair.
There was one final ceremony. Each boy was now assigned a female name, which was his for the rest of his life. Their lives as boys were over. From this moment forward, they were girls.

Autumn is the Season of Doom

This was the second story I contributed to Ty Slothtrop's "I Can See for Miles."

When Ty proposed the series, he stipulated that his character Angel could not appear in the actual rescue as he would be heading up a rescue attempt of his own. This got me to pondering just how I could possibly craft a tale in which Angel would actually participate in the rescue and still not violate the timeline restriction. The only possible answer is Time Travel. But just WHO would have a time machine available?

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Bud was dead. One of the bullets had gone into his head just above the left eye, blowing off the back of his head and reducing Bud's brain into the consistency of hamburger. Angel's assailant was also down and likely dead. Angel's head began to swim. He needed immediate medical attention. Desperately he searched the street for any sort of help.
That's when he saw the box.
It was blue, stood about nine feet tall, and was surmounted with some sort of light. A sign above a doorway indicated that this was a Police Box. Another sign Angel could barely make out informed him that the box contained a telephone, and that a police officer would immediately respond to any urgent message. This might be his only hope. Stumbling and dizzy from loss of blood, Angel groped for the door, entered, and fell forward.
As Angel lost consciousness, several incongruities occurred to him. First, the signs were in English, which made absolutely no sense in Mexico. Second, the inside of this box was brightly lit and air conditioned.. Finally, this box was actually a lot bigger on the inside than it appeared to be on the outside.
Then all was dark.

All Alone in the Night

Dr, Franklin cleared his throat. “Miss Winters. I think there's a few things we need to discuss about Jamie.”

“Of course, Doctor. Now Jamie, you just rest. Psi Corps will take care of you.” Jamie laid her head back and returned to sleep. Talia and Stephen left the room.

“Now what did you want to tell me, Doctor?” Talia asked.

“I really don't think that MedLab is an appropriate venue to recruit new Psi Corps members.”

“I'm not recruiting her, Doctor, I'm just following EarthGov protocol. All telepaths fall under the jurisdiction of Psi Corps.”

“Yes, but she also has the right to refuse and take the sleepers.”

“Not in this case. Jamie is a minor and, by all indications, has no parents. As such, Psi Corps is empowered to act in loco parentis on her behalf. In any event, she'll be a lot better off on Earth in a Psi Corps facility then she would be in Downbelow.”

“Perhaps, but I think you should know something else before you make up Jamie's mind for her. Jamie is a boy.”

The Least Common Denominator

A reader recently left a comment expressing confusion over one of my stories. Part of the criticism was deserved, since I had posted a story concerning characters that I had previously established in other adventures. I realized that I had not posted these earlier adventures here in Stardust, and so I rectified that oversight. I only hope I didn't overwhelm everybody with so much content at one time.
There was another criticism that I found puzzling. The person leaving the comment wanted to know just how a certain character had developed certain qualities. I was puzzled because this had been revealed in the first few paragraphs. Had the reader somehow skimmed over that part? I advised this fellow to try reading the story.