Cauldron Anthology Issue 6 - LGBTQIA+ Cauldron Anthology LGBTQIA+ - Page 17

Todd Callum McLaughlin Fresh wounds intersect with old scars in a map of fear and loathing. Carving his way to freedom; it was the only way he knew how to fight back against the body that had begun to slowly betray him; to numb the echoes of bewildered parents crying out for answers he couldn’t yet give. Sobs racked his chest, heavy with the pressure of bound breasts and the pinch of hidden buckles biting his skin. But he suffered in silence, his voice swallowed by a blanket of snow that had settled beneath the canopy; ice crystals clinging to branches in stubborn blades. A flash of red danced between the trees, there but for a moment, the brush of a tail the only feature to distinguish it from flame. The word ‘vixen’ blossomed in his mind, but withered as quickly as the fox had fled. A text lit up his phone: Come home, son. We love you no matter what. P.S. We think the name Todd suits you just fine. He stood, unsteady as a new-born, and followed drops of wasted blood like a trail of breadcrumbs leading him home. Cauldron Anthology 17