When Megan woke up with a penis Tuesday morning, she tried to recall if it had been there the day before. It certainly seemed new, the weight of it unfamiliar, slightly warm against her inner thigh. And so pink! It had to be new. Because last week had been Megan’s period; she couldn’t have had the penis then. It must have arrived in the night. Feeling unsure, she tried to ignore it, thinking perhaps it would go away. So much of her teenage and adult life had been spent avoiding penises. Staying away from suspect boys who might insert their penises into conversation. Hoping strange men on the bus would keep theirs to themselves. She decided to proceed with the day, thinking that perhaps attention would only encourage the penis. She actually hummed while brushing her hair, putting on a show of being carefree while stepping into the shower. Megan concentrated on her breathing, remembering her meditation techniques, and was able to focus so much on inhaling and exhaling that she momentarily forgot about the penis. It was only when her hand brushed the front of her pelvis and she sent the solid weight of it gently swinging that Megan came back into her body. Blinking rapidly in surprise, Megan tilted her head down to really inspect the penis as it gently settled back between her legs. She couldn’t get a good look at the penis in the shower with the water sliding into her eyes, so she quickly rinsed her hair and turned off the faucet. She dried off, but didn’t linger as she swept the towel across her front. She didn’t know if the penis would get aroused, and she wasn’t ready to learn about that side of her new member. There would be time later to explore and fiddle. Or not, and she’d be back to a vagina, whose operations she was generally comfortable with. She sat down on the edge of the bed, bent her head over, and took stock. It seemed to be respectable in size; if not impressive then at least substantive. But she was, perhaps, not a reliable judge, given its newness and her lack of ownership experience. She had spent time with other penises, but she hadn’t experienced so many that she felt confident in a comparison. Besides, having been on the receiving end, she didn’t feel that size was all that important. She crossed her legs and watched the penis disappear between her thighs, causing her to wonder if she’d imagined it all along. She quickly uncrossed her legs and it rolled away from her inner thigh. She examined the underside, probing gently with her fingertips. Her vagina, which had always seemed permanent, had been completely replaced with this penis. Perhaps her vagina had just snuck up inside her abdomen, hibernating for a brief period while the penis came out to explore, but Megan felt that, actually, her vagina was just not there. Aside from the penis, though, she felt very much the same as ever. The penis felt new, but not foreign. She moved from sitting with her penis to walking with it, really concentrating on its movement. She walked around her bed a few times, but wasn’t able to build momentum. She was glad that her roommate left for work before Megan got up, allowing her some privacy, so she ventured, naked, outside her room. The upstairs had a carpeted hallway that Megan could cross in seven long strides. As she proceeded back and forth in the hallway, Megan was surprised that the penis didn’t swing more. Rather, it just hung there like a thick plasticine necktie. She began to rock her hips, treating the hallway like a Fashion Week catwalk, executing sharp turns at each end. This exaggerated movement did cause the penis to swing, starting slowly, then building to wild undulations. As she did her best supermodel impression, Megan became aware of the penis’s sensitivity. The swinging didn’t hurt, but there was the potential for pain. It was as if the penis was gently reminding her “this is delicate stuff, you know. Tread lightly.” She slowed down, and the penis settled. Megan walked down the stairs, noticing how the weight of the penis shifted up ever so slightly on each step. She became aware of how each jostle, each minor weight shift, impacted this new part of her, a contrast to her vagina’s stillness. Megan entered the kitchen and opened the fridge to pull out a yogurt smoothie, searching around a bit. Suddenly, she felt her penis start to twitch and slink up inside her. Megan looked down to see that it had shrunk, the skin wrinkled, a hunched man trying to find warmth in a puffy coat. Megan closed the door quickly, the cold air sucking back into the fridge. She watched as the penis straightened out, crawling down her thigh, the skin relaxing. Right, she thought, breakfast can wait until I’m dressed. Feeling bad for what she had done, Megan gently cupped the penis like a chick in an egg, and carefully padded back upstairs. She felt the penis deserved some structure after that free time, so she put on a pair of bikini briefs and carefully folded it up in the front. She got dressed, but the penis refused to stay contained in its lilac cotton hotel, instead slowly snaking out through the leg hole. The elastic wasn’t equipped to accommodate a leg and a penis, so Megan finally gave up, removed her underwear, and went without in a pair of yoga pants. Her penis seemed happy to be off leash, exploring the divide between her legs as she walked. She could have bought some boxer shorts, but Megan wasn’t sure how long the penis would be around. If it stays longer than a week, she thought, I’ll invest in proper underwear. No need to spend money unnecessarily. “You’re sure it’s new?” The doctor checked the chart. Megan thought a medical opinion might be important. Growing up her mother would trot her off to the doctor for any new blotch, freckle, or pimple, so Megan believed all new arrivals were to be vetted by a medical professional. She was full of questions, wondering if the doctor had ever seen this before, how long it might last, but the doctor seemed, as always, rushed and put out at having to perform an examination, so Megan kept quiet. She could check WebMD at home. The doctor kept flipping through the charts as Megan gave another assurance that yes, it was new. Finally, giving up searching for answers in the files, the doctor took a good look at Megan’s penis, frowning slightly. The doctor picked it up, gently Megan was relieved, to examine the underside. These were the first hands, other than her own, that had been on her penis. “It’s well attached.” The doctor made a note in Megan’s file. “No trace of a vagina. Looks like the penis belongs there. I wouldn’t worry.” Megan’s penis was released so she could get dressed while the doctor muttered “unexpected penis arrival” and jotted down a final note before leaving the examination room. Questions unanswered, but reassured there was no need for alarm, Megan left. The first few times Megan used the toilet with her new anatomy she had simply sat as usual, but what was the point of having a penis if one didn’t explore the full range of possibilities? So, for the first time in her life, Megan peed standing up. The way some guys went on about it, Megan thought it would be more momentous, but ultimately it was just urination. Remembering how her parents had potty trained her younger brother, Megan went to the kitchen and fetched a handful of Cheerios. She spent an entertaining few minutes trying to sink them with her stream, adding a competitive element to peeing. She briefly regretted that it was spring, for she had a sudden urge to try that age-old test of penile accuracy, writing one's name in the snow. Megan arrived at her mother’s house for dinner that night, a standing weekly occurrence. She still had questions after her doctor’s appointment, and, thinking some answers might lie in family history, she broached the topic with her mom in what she hoped was a casual manner. “Tell me about Dad’s penis.” As soon as she said it, Megan realized this wasn’t an appropriate opener. Her mother’s eyes widened as she looked intently at Megan. “I’m sure it was fine.” Megan decided to try a different approach. “Have you always had a vagina?” This time Megan’s mother didn’t look up but continued chewing aggressively. “Yes, darling, always.” “What about Justin?” Megan couldn’t stop herself now; maybe her brother was a safer topic. “Was he born with his penis or did it, you know, develop later?” “How have you made it to adulthood without understanding how this works?” Her mother looked genuinely concerned about Megan’s mental state, and so Megan blurted out the story. Now that her mother had a context for the conversation, Megan could tell that she had her own questions, but etiquette prevented her from prying. Instead she provided multiple openings for Megan to disclose details, openings which Megan spent the rest of the evening evading. She wanted to receive answers, not give them. As her mom probed Megan’s eating habits, convinced the answer could be found in Megan’s habit of Twinkies before bed, and bemoaning the preservatives that riddled grocery store shelves, Megan felt that a fulsome knowledge of family medical history was perhaps not worth the interrogation. The prying didn’t stop after dinner. As soon as Megan got home, the emails began, links to articles that Megan’s mom felt were important reading given her current “situation.” Her mother’s main fixation seemed to be whether Megan’s penis was circumcised. Megan received links to multiple sites outlining proper care and washing techniques for an uncut member. Always erring on the side of hypochondria, her mom was concerned about infection. “I can come with you to the doctor,” her mother offered eagerly when they spoke on the phone later that week. Megan casually told her that she’d already been. “And?” “All good.” She could tell it was infuriating for her mother not to have details and a peek. Still, Megan stayed aloof, finding a twisted pleasure in keeping her mother at arm’s length. The articles continued to ping her inbox. Once the shock of the penis’ arrival began to wear off, Megan started to wonder more and more about arousal, but she hadn’t yet pressed the issue. There was so much to discover about movement, clothing, and how to cross her legs when sitting. But, a few days later, Megan passed a woman on the street and her penis took notice. The stirring caused Megan to swivel her head sharply to catch a glance at the tall, curvy woman walking in the other direction. “So,” Megan said to her penis, “you like women?” Her penis nodded its head towards the amazon who had passed them. “Interesting.” Megan had been avoiding Andrew, a man she’d been casually dating, but they had made dinner plans before the penis had arrived, and Megan thought it would be rude to cancel. She should give him a chance with her news. She told him while casually breaking a piece of bread off of the loaf in the middle of the table and dipping it in some oil and balsamic. She looked up to find that Andrew’s own bread was frozen on its way to his mouth, his eyes incredulous. “Did you know this was going to happen?” Andrew sounded almost accusatory. “I didn’t see it coming.” Megan sopped up a bit more oil with her bread crust. “But the doctor didn’t seem concerned. I don’t think it’s a big deal.” Andrew clearly felt otherwise. He became quite flustered, and couldn’t focus on anything but Megan’s penis. While her mother had been too polite to ask about it directly, Andrew had no such issue. “What happens to it when...you know?” Andrew asked. “When what?” Andrew sighed as if he shouldn’t have to spell these things out. “When you,” he lowered his voice, “masturbate? What comes out?” “I don’t know,” Megan told him. “I haven’t tried that yet.” “What?!?” This revelation seemed almost more difficult for Andrew to believe than the penis’ arrival. “Why not?” “I didn’t...uh...get around to it yet, I guess.” Andrew shook his head in disbelief. “Does it even get hard?” “Yes,” Megan replied, blushing. “It seems to be fully functional.” Andrew stared at her with sharp eyes. “How big is it?” Megan began to miss her mother’s indirect style of questioning. “Here you go!” Their waiter appeared at the side of the table with two plates and set them down before pulling the large pepper mill from under his arm. “Pepper?” “No thank you,” Megan replied. Andrew just waved the waiter away. “So, how big is it?” Andrew repeated, when the waiter was barely out of earshot. “I don’t know.” Megan twirled the pasta around her fork and the smell of garlic hit her nose. “Mmm, smells good.” She attempted a new conversational direction. “Bigger than average? Or smaller? Is it really small? Did, maybe, your labia just stretch out?” “No,” Megan looked Andrew directly in the eyes. “My labia did not stretch out. I don’t have labia right now, I have a penis.” Andrew was ignoring the entree now cooling in front of him. Andrew stood up, took Megan’s hand, and led her to the single stall washroom at the back of the restaurant, locking the door behind them. He pulled down his pants and extracted his penis. Megan inhaled sharply, surprised to see it unconfined. They had never discussed sex in public places, and, frankly, Megan didn’t think their relationship was at that point. “Okay, now yours.” Megan looked at him, puzzled. “Take your penis out,” Andrew said slowly, “so we can see which one is bigger.” Megan didn’t appreciate the patronizing tone, but thought that if a ranking could be established maybe they could get back to their dinners. Hers wouldn’t be warm much longer. She sighed, and extracted her penis. It lay flat against the front of her pants. “How does it, you know, get hard?” he asked. “I mean, the same as any penis does I imagine.” Megan was unsure why he needed specific details. “Well, get it hard.” “I thought you wanted to see how big it was, not, you know do... stuff.” Andrew rolled his eyes. “You can’t compare them unless they’re hard. That’s the only way to know how big they are.” “Oh,” Megan said. She reached down and picked it up, patting it a few times. No reaction. She tried giving it a little squeeze, but it remained flaccid. “I thought you said it could get hard,” Andrew said. “It can!” “So why isn’t it?” “I suppose it isn’t very inspired right now.” Megan was bored with this discussion, bored with the comparison and, mostly, bored with his need to be biggest. Why must size be the only means of comparing, Megan thought. Why not softness of skin, or hue, or how nicely it can curl up in your palm like a dog about to sleep? With the size competition incomplete, Andrew left the washroom, and dinner was over, before, Megan noted with disappointment, dessert. Andrew’s inability to determine whose was bigger seemed to disorient him as to his place in the world. He didn’t get in touch with her after that. “Did you expect him to?” Megan’s roommate Jasmine asked genuinely when Megan complained to her. “If he’d woken up with a vagina I would have at least given it a go.” Megan ate some cookie dough directly out of the bowl while Jasmine tried to get some on the tray and in the oven. Jasmine hit Megan’s knuckles gently with the wooden spoon and Megan withdrew her hand sheepishly. “You could always call him.” Megan realized that she actually had no interest in Andrew. She wasn’t bothered by his rejection of her; she had only brought it up to gauge if she should be offended. But in truth, neither Megan nor her penis were interested in Andrew’s company. Or, it seemed, the company of any men. Because as her penis began pointing out women to Megan, she became more aware of the lovely creatures around her. “I don’t like her, do you?” Megan asked her penis after witnessing a beautiful but cold woman insert herself into someone else’s taxi. Her penis shook its head without stirring. But both the penis and Megan couldn’t take their eyes off the woman on the subway with brown curly hair, glasses, and a private smile for the book she was reading. The penis encouraged Megan to sit next to this beauty, ask about her book, but Megan resisted. She didn’t want to be another penis women worked to avoid. She watched as the woman rose from her seat to get off at the next stop, her eyes still fixed on her book. Megan’s penis drooped a little, sulking. Three weeks after the penis arrived, Jasmine begged Megan to come with her to an office party at the swanky new bar that had opened downtown, a celebration for a prosperous quarter. Jasmine worked with a bunch of real douche-hammers as she referred to them, and wanted Megan there so they could gossip afterwards. It was while watching a group of these men attempt liquor bottle acrobatics à la Tom Cruise in Cocktail that Megan was approached by a gorgeous woman, tall with dark brown hair piled on the top of her head in an elaborate bun. She had large chocolate brown eyes, lined with black and smoke. Her deep purple dress hugged her round hips. The penis perked up, intrigued. “I’m concerned that this is actually the fourth circle of hell, and we’re trapped. Have you done anything particularly sinful recently?” Megan laughed. “Not that I can recall, but that would explain pretty much everything in this bar.” They both looked over at the men in time to see one of them drop a nearly full bottle of Blue Curacao which smashed on the floor. The men began laughing and hollering as a disgruntled looking employee came over and began to clean up. The woman next to Megan sighed audibly. “God, I can’t believe I came here with that idiot.” “Which one?” “The one who just destroyed that entire bottle of liquor and is now attempting to spin another one.” Sure enough, the men had shifted a few feet from the mess being mopped up and started spinning and tossing new bottles. The bar employees watched anxiously. “My condolences,” Megan offered. The woman laughed, a deep throaty chuckle that resonated vibrantly in Megan’s own chest. “I’m Georgia.” The woman extended a hand. “Megan.” She grasped Georgia’s palm. The penis leaped at the moment of contact. “Do you work with him?” Megan asked. “God no.” Georgia drained her cocktail and grabbed another off a passing waiter’s tray. “I met him through friends. I have no idea why I said yes to his invitation. Moment of confusion, I suppose.” She took another sip, and Megan watched her lips pout slightly around the lip of the glass. “Which one are you here with?” “My roommate.” Megan pointed to Jasmine who was chatting with an older man Megan recognized as her boss. “Moral support.” “Aren’t you kind,” Georgia said, reaching out and touching Megan lightly on the arm. They chatted for the better part of an hour. Georgia’s date came over once to check in, but Georgia shooed him away as if he were a pesky gnat. She gave all her attention to Megan, which felt extraordinary, like floating in a bath of warm milk and honey. Feeling bold, Megan casually dropped her penis into the conversation, watching Georgia’s reaction closely. A smile played around the corner of Georgia’s lips. “I’d be interested in taking a look at that.” They piled into a cab after Megan stuttered a quick goodbye to Jasmine (Georgia didn’t even bother finding Blue Curacao). They held hands in the backseat on the way to Georgia’s place, Megan’s heart hammering inside her chest. Georgia’s apartment was one of swank and sophistication, matching its inhabitant. As they entered the front door, Georgia dropped her keys into a beautiful marble dish by the entrance, moved towards the sofa, and extracted her hair from its bun, allowing her long dark locks to spill down her shoulders and back. Megan looked around the room, which was expertly decorated. The walls were slate gray, warmed with dark wooden accents that framed a large mirror. The entire wall behind Georgia was filled with books from floor to ceiling. The apartment smelled of fresh lilacs. Megan looked down at her sensible shoes and “good” t-shirt, feeling out of place until she looked up and saw the way Georgia was looking at her. Georgia clearly had good taste, and she looked very approving as her eyes traced Megan’s body up and down. Feeling more confident, Megan sat down on the sofa, her thigh pressing against Georgia’s. “Your place is amazing.” Georgia smiled, her lips parting slightly. Megan caught a glimpse of Georgia's tongue between her teeth. “So, tell me how you came to be in possession of what I imagine is a fabulous penis.” Megan blushed slightly, and told Georgia about the unexpected arrival. “Am I to assume that this penis has been untested in the bedroom?” “Tonight would be the maiden voyage.” Megan felt emboldened by Georgia’s hand on her upper thigh. Georgia moved her hand so that it covered the penis and gave a gentle squeeze. The penis perked up immediately, yearning for more contact. Georgia stood up and reached out her hand to pull Megan up as well, leading her towards the back of the apartment. “That is a voyage I would very much like to go on.” Georgia opened the door to her bedroom and walked inside, Megan following behind. They sat together on Georgia’s bed, slowly peeling off clothing, examining the wonders beneath. “I’m not quite sure how to operate it. Effectively, I mean,” Megan warned, hoping expectations weren’t too high. Georgia leaned over and kissed her on the lips, slowly and softly. It felt like being kissed for the first time. She tasted plums on Georgia’s lips. Her heart raced forward, leapt, then hung in the sky, trying to become a star. “Don’t worry,” Georgia said in a low voice. “We’ll figure it out together.” It was the softness that enthralled Megan. Soft hair, soft lips, soft breasts and hips and thighs. “This,” her penis said, “this is what I’ve been telling you about.” Megan needn’t have worried about performance - her penis knew where to go and what to do. It was in no hurry, not like the times Megan had been on the receiving end of quick jabs and frustrated attempts to find entrance. Megan’s penis moved at a slowly sensual pace and took its cues from her hands and lips which also had important work to do. When she finally slipped inside Georgia the sensation caused Megan to catch her breath, her eyes wide looking right into Georgia’s. They moved together, perfect synchronicity. Afterwards, Georgia wrapped herself around Megan’s curled body, big spoon to little. Megan could feel Georgia’s soft belly lightly touching the small of her back, slowly moving in and out with her breath. “You sure know your way around a vagina,” Georgia deadpanned. Megan felt a blush of satisfaction rise in her cheeks. Her penis tried to take a bow, but only managed a little wiggle, worn out from its big debut. They lay together for the rest of the night, idly sleeping, chatting, and dreaming. Megan and Georgia spent most of their free time together after that night. A good deal of that time was spent in bed, but also visiting cafes, taking walks, or at the movies. Sitting next to each other in the dark, Megan’s head tilted until it found Georgia’s shoulder, the cue for Georgia to rest her hand on Megan’s thigh. On walks, their hands always found each other, thumbs gently stroking skin. In cafes, their feet pressed together under the table. They kept in close contact with each other in bed too, sleeping spooned, unbothered by the extra heat it produced. “It’s worth it,” Georgia said while wiping up a trickle of sweat from between her cleavage one morning. Megan took over the clean-up job, leading to more touching, which led to fondling and stroking, and more sweating. An altogether agreeable way to start the day. Megan’s penis expanded its repertoire greatly under Georgia’s guidance. When she’d had a vagina, Megan always felt cautious about sex. She didn’t want to appear foolish or needy, so she mostly kept still and quiet. Those moves didn’t play well with Georgia though, and Megan quickly found she wasn’t content with them either. Her penis wanted to try new things, to flex its muscles, which turned out to be a move Georgia particularly enjoyed. They explored and experimented in the sheets, with results as likely to produce gales of laughter as moans of passion. After one such romp that started with giggles but ended with gasps, sighs, and even an unexpected squeal, Georgia and Megan lay wrapped in each other’s arms, as Megan’s penis caught its breath. “What will you do if it’s gone tomorrow?” Georgia asked with a glance down. The question gave Megan pause. She’d told and re-told Georgia the story of her penis’ arrival, but they had yet to discuss its possible departure. “Um,” Megan faltered, “what would that mean for you?” She hadn’t meant to throw the question back like that, but the words were out of her mouth before her brain could catch up. “I’m not going anywhere.” Megan turned to look at Georgia and was surprised to see her usually unshakable expression overlaid with concern. In that moment, Megan was struck with a clarity she had never known with men. The penis may have awakened her to the wonder of other women, but the wonder wasn’t going anywhere, regardless of where the penis ended up. Megan reached over and pulled Georgia towards her, gently kissing her forehead. “Me either,” she murmured softly, relieved to see Georgia’s usual confidence return to her face. Georgia snuggled into Megan’s embrace, gently tracing the soft curve of her belly. “Good. If we miss it, we can always buy a new one.” It was an unassuming Wednesday morning three weeks later when Megan woke up and discovered the penis was gone. Georgia was out of town for business, so Megan was alone in her apartment. She searched around, but there was no trace of the penis. In its place was her previous vagina (not a new one, Megan felt sure of that). Megan sat for a while on the edge of her bed. She wasn’t sure how she felt. Not less, not more, not different, but not quite familiar either. She rose to get dressed, moving the boxer shorts she’d purchased weeks ago to the bottom drawer of her dresser, and picking up her favourite pair of bikini briefs. Might as well treat herself. It was, after all, a homecoming for her vagina. She went back to the doctor’s office, explaining that her vagina had re-appeared. The doctor took a close look, then said “are you sure it hasn’t always been there? Looks awfully permanent to me.” Before Megan could answer, the doctor checked the notes from the previous visit and murmured “ah yes, here it is, ‘unexpected penis’. Well, you win some, you lose some.” The doctor flipped the chart closed and left the examining room, leaving Megan to ponder what constituted winning and losing in her situation. Megan took her vagina home, temporarily ignoring her phone. She wasn’t ready to make an announcement about her penis’ departure, even with Georgia’s reassurance that she wouldn’t follow in the penis’ footsteps. Megan felt a stirring behind her pubic bone just thinking about Georgia’s face. Although her vagina seemed keen to get back into the world, Megan wanted to take it slowly. Megan and Georgia would video chat in bed later that night as they always did; the news could wait. That evening she drew a warm bath (warmer than the penis had liked) and sunk into the water, aware of how neatly everything stayed tucked between her legs. She read some David Sedaris out loud to her vagina, which had always had a lively sense of humour, she realized. They both laughed out loud at several passages. Then, slowly, Megan began to tell the story of the penis’ appearance. Her vagina listened, intrigued, and not the least bit jealous. Perhaps, if the conversation kept flowing, her vagina would share with Megan what it had been up to while it was away. Perhaps, it too had a story to tell.
Beeper Peddle is a writer and healer living on the East Coast. She lives with her partner and their beloved soul puppy. Beeper writes about sorrows, lies, and deep loves. When you read her work, you will dip down into her heart and end up in all manner of body parts. Should you find yourself reflected in these words, it is merely coincidence; however, it does not surprise her you share the same heart. Find her at bethpeddle.com and @beeperpeddle on Twitter and Instagram
Amy Neufeld is a Theatre for Young Audiences playwright and co-founder of Lightning Banjo Productions, and a contributor to Shameless Magazine and CBC Radio’s The Irrelevant Show. Amy has been published on the Dreamers Creative Writing site, the Daily Drunk Magazine, Frazzled Humour, and Little Old Lady Comedy Blog. Amy lives in Kitchener Ontario with her husband, two daughters, and calico cat. Connect with Amy on Twitter: @AmyRNeufeld and at her Website/Blog: https://librarypilgrim.blogspot.com/.
**This story was nominated for Best of the Net in 2021.