#96 The Offer

by Alana Nicole Sholar

The fog rising from the water chilled the air. The hour was growing late and I needed to beach the canoe and seek shelter. I eased the nose of the canoe into the bank and stepped out.

At first I thought the fog may be playing tricks on my eyes, but that wasn’t the case at all. A shadowy figure appeared from within the mist and I felt the presence of evil. I refused to show fear for that is weakness—food for all things evil.

“In my right hand I hold an orange ball,” a voice spoke. “Within this ball holds fulfillment to all your dreams, desires, wants, and needs. Should you choose to accept it, you will live a lifetime of pure bliss.”

I asked, “Pray tell, what will this ball cost me?”

“Your soul is all I seek.”

“You offer so little yet seek so much. I must decline your offer.”

“But I offer you everything.”

“No, you offer me nothing. Your ball holds nothing I don’t already possess. My wants and needs will be fulfilled by a lady who awaits me down river. Once we are wed, our souls will be joined as one.”

“I am powerful. You cannot refuse me. I offer happiness.”

“No, you are sad and weak, feeding off the needy. Happiness comes from within. If you were powerful, you would not seek a trade but take what you request and offer me nothing. Now be gone.”

In this engaging memoir, author Alana Nicole Sholar shares her life journey as a transgendered individual growing up in 20th century rural America. Born as Alan, the second of three “pure bred” Kentucky boys, Sholar dreamed of becoming a jockey . . . and nearly made it. One of Sholar’s earliest childhood memories is of trying on her mother’s clothes and discovering, not only that it felt good . . . but that it just seemed right.

However, in that place (rural central Kentucky) and at that time (the 1960s), this was not something to be admitted, or talked about—ever. As Alan, Sholar is a fast-driving, hard-drinking, guitar-playing horse whisperer. After a formal name change, the emerging Alana is recognized as a star pupil while learning to drive over-the-road eighteen wheel trucks—meanwhile, she is also learning to walk in high heels and apply her makeup correctly.

In the end, Hung in the Middle is a love story. It is about learning to love yourself. It is also one of those familiar—but always irresistible—tales about falling in love with someone who is at first inaccessible, but never giving up the pursuit. It is about finding your soul mate . . . and finally, it is a personal story about 21st century America’s evolution toward the acceptance and celebration of gender diversity.

Click on the cover to visit the book's Amazon page.


JRVogt said...

Nice to see a story where the character has the wherewithal to not make such a dumb deal.

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

I am glad to see she refused this offer nothing is worth selling your soul for.Most of the time when something seems to good to be true it usually is.d3y

Anonymous said...

Alana is a truly gifted writer! I love everything I've read by you. :)

Anonymous said...

This is a great bit of linguistic and narrative shorthand. Wonderful job!

Unknown said...

I love this, and all your stories.

Anonymous said...

Good story, very intriguing. Loved the way it flows and what it reveals for a short story.

Amanda Jo said...
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Amanda Jo said...

Great story with a strong character. I pictured the character as myself asking what I would do in that situation. Wonderful writing!

Tom said...

Great story. Love the ending. True power is what we already possess.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful imagary and so well written

Laura Howe said...

Little editorial note: In the first line spoken aloud by the narrator, you can drop the "I asked," before the question is asked because it's obvious who is talking. Better for the flow.

Other than that, great story with a character with some intestinal fortitude and wisdom.