Setting: The Dirty1930s, America
The Blue Ridge Mountains of the Eastern States stretches for hundreds of miles, and they embrace a beauty, serene yet dangerous. In the winter, snow frosts each peak, and by late spring, green it is, lush with flora and fauna, with life. Each family raised within that splendor knows that one must have respect for the mountains, to hold an ounce of fear …
Sleepy hamlets entwine with long dirt roads.
Generations of families exist, and feuds linger.
Boundaries are only known to the locals.
And secrets haunt every family...
The Lewis boys...
Their folks died when they were rather young. Influenza, it was said, killed 'em.
Chester, or Ches to those who are his friends, or something more explicit and vulgar to those who aren't, on being the oldest of the boys, had a responsibility to raise his siblings. Now, folks say he ain't right in the head, but no one dare say such to his face: he done right raising the two youngsters.
Pepper Lewis, well, no one can recall the Christian name anymore. It's said that the lanky stick boy of no good got his name 'cause he's ill tempered, fiery.
They say he took a wrench to some city slicker, someone who said something foul about 'the Numbskull'.
Poor Elmer, he was a little simple, slower in thought. No one ever minded him save for city folk. He was the nice one.
“I don't fuckin' care if you don't give a shit, Pepper. It's just how it is.” Ches spat out, and wiped the streak of blood from his knuckles. A trickle of it weaved from Pepper's mouth. Christ. Pepper needed a beating now and then, and Ches never minded giving a back hand when necessary, or worse. “It's natural for a man to want a woman. You know that.”
Pepper wanted to disagree, to be selfish, but dared not. Instead, grease stained fingers touched gingerly at the cut lip. “She's up the stump, ain't she?” Pepper asked, sourly. It was the only reason Pepper could think of for Ches wanting to marry.
“Your tongue will get cut out of that head of yours yet, speakin' poorly of women folk.” Ches poked a finger into the cut lip, tugged at it, ripped the flesh so that Pepper paid heed to his words. “Mind yourself, and you'll be fine out on your own, Pepper. You just remember you're a Lewis.” Ches offered Pepper a stern look, and walked away from the conversation.
Being a Lewis was hard to forget. It was impossible.
And Pepper was many things. A survivor, mainly.
And Pepper was good with cars, was good at fixin' things, mechanically.
What folks didn't know about Pepper was simple. Pepper, underneath the haircut, underneath the ill-fitting trousers and stained shirts, underneath the loose boots that never quite stayed tied on the feet, and the attitude, was a woman.
Pepper had to wonder if Ches forgot that fact.
He only raised her to be a man 'cause Chester was one, thought it'd be easier.
Perhaps Chester made a mistake.
Whatever may be, may be.
With Chester wandering off to get hitched, Pepper thought marriage would never suit her. ...that is until a Blue Ridge Mountain boy from the next county happened along her garage, and strange curiosities would best her, and vex him.
It could be that Chester’s lady becomes smitten with Pepper, that she appreciates a gentler man.
Notes: Looking for a creative individual to write from the perspective of Pepper’s love interest and possible NPCs.
As for themes, I'd like to explore the obstacles within Pepper's relationship including her cross dressing habit, homophobia, family disapproval etc. (I'd prefer it to start out as a friendship and have it blossom into something more when her gender is known). I'd also like to explore the violence, the religion, and the poverty of the era, social issues of the time, and how dangerous it could be following a dream.
If interested, please PM me.