Conversations with Christopher: Phaedra

Christopher sits facing a young woman with short dark hair and green eyes, dressed in an orange jacket with pocket protectors.

Phaedra: (blinks and looks around her) I’d forgotten what it like in the Cauldron. Fourth wall space, beyond the confines of my universe, knowledge pouring into my head I couldn’t possibly have.

Christopher: Welcome back. Lately my visitors have all been from Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins, a story in progress very different from A Symposium in Space. What knowledge do you have now that you’re here?

Phaedra: Well, I know the scribbler is doing a reading from A Symposium in Space at 4:15 p.m. P.S.T., which is a time zone on Ancient Earth. (She blinks.) I must be back in the past.

Christopher: And I’m from a universe completely different from yours. I grew up in a matriarchy far more sinister than your Intergalactic Democracy, if I consider the Gardens of Arachne from an outside perspective. It’s funny what you see from an outside perspective.

Phaedra: A matriarchy? I suppose you could call the Intergalactic Democracy that. Men can’t vote at present. Not that there are many men around in the Intergalactic Democracy. You’re the first one I’ve spoken to. Um, you are a man, aren’t you?

Christopher: Sometimes I wonder. I’ve been so many people in the Shadow Forest. Not all of them were men or women. Absorbing so much thought and feeling from so many different individuals, being a part of so many happy endings, when the very ideals of happiness shift from perspective to perspective, all of that changed me.

Phaedra: Huh? I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

Christopher: Neither am I.

Phaedra: What you’re saying is you’re not sure who you are, let alone what you are?

Christopher: I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Phaedra: And whether you’re a man or a woman might have been important once, but you’re no longer certain if it matters?

Christopher: (he pauses to consider her words) I’ve never thought of it quite like that, but yes, you may be right.

Phaedra: Wow, I’ve never met anyone who thought like you before.

Christopher: Thank you. Your questions are making me think.

Phaedra: Well, Sokrat says it’s through questions we reach the truth. Each question is a step towards wisdom.

Christopher: Sokrat may be right. I think I’ve used that method myself to understand things, by asking questions. Damian used it, too.

Phaedra: Damian?

Christopher: Someone who was once very close to me.

Phaedra: Like Pausania was once close to me. I lose her in A Symposium in Space and find her again. Or perhaps she loses and finds me.

Christopher: I envy you. I wish I’d find Damian.

Phaedra: Have you been looking?

Christopher: There are places I’m afraid to look.

Phaedra: It sounds like you know where to find him.

Christopher: It does, doesn’t it? I’m worried that he’s changed. That he’ll no longer be Damian.

Phaedra: We all change. It can be frightening, but it can be wonderful, too. Don’t be afraid of what Damian has become. It won’t make finding him any easier, will it?

Christopher: You may be right about that, too.
Like what you’ve seen of Phaedra? Want to get to know her better? Here are buy links to her story, A Symposium in Space

Nine Star Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/a-symposium-in-space/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Symposium-Space-Feast-Words-ebook/dp/B07PGB15FY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3BPACY58MCCMV&keywords=a+symposium+in+space&qid=1552937461&s=digital-text&sprefix=A+Sympo%2Caps%2C239&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130883509?ean=2940161507872

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-symposium-in-space

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/928136

Rainbow Snippets: A Symposium in Space

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

I interrupt Quartz’s story (and anything he may throw at me for doing so) to share snippets once more from A Symposium in Space, my science fiction novella and inversion of Plato’s classic, which I’ll be reading from on July 18 at 4:15 p.m., my first reading, eep! I’ve been practicing, but I’m not doing too well…(wry grin) This is a little longer than six sentences for coherency’s sake.

The invitation resembled an eyeball.

A floating pink orb drifted up to the open panels of Pausania’s apartment and fixed me with its lidless stare.

I froze, unsure how to react. An unfashionable citizen of the Intergalactic Democracy, I still ran around in a vest with pocket protectors, unfamiliar with the latest technology. The bobbing globe made me think of tales of magic from Ancient Earth.

“Phaedra, beloved of Pausania.” A melodic voice, filled with sly suggestion, came from the orb. “I’d be very pleased if you and your lover would attend my symposium in space.”

Like what you’ve read? Want to read more? Here are buy links…

Nine Star Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/a-symposium-in-space/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Symposium-Space-Feast-Words-ebook/dp/B07PGB15FY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3BPACY58MCCMV&keywords=a+symposium+in+space&qid=1552937461&s=digital-text&sprefix=A+Sympo%2Caps%2C239&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130883509?ean=2940161507872

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-symposium-in-space

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/928136

Conversations with Christopher: The Garden Gnomes

Christopher sits facing a pair of round, ruddy faced gnomes, wearing green coats, red trousers, and pointed red caps. They smile constantly, keeping their mouths tightly shut.

Christopher: Are you the garden gnomes? The ones who keep stalking the seven dwarves’s front lawn and scaring Garnet?

Treacle: I’m Treacle.

Popover: I’m Popover.

Treacle: We’ve been in a freebie story over at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com a while back.

Popover: Can’t trust those freebie stories. They’re roughish drafts filled with inconsistencies.

Treacle: Can’t trust the scribbler or her creations.

Christopher: I see your point, I really do, but aren’t you her creations?

Popover: (touches his cap) We’re confused.

Treacle: She’s confusing us. Why do we have these faces? (She touches hers, which looks exactly like Popover’s.)

Popover: Why is Garnet scared of us? We like old Ginger Shreds. He’s one of the few who can see our true faces. (He grins, showing very sharp teeth.)

Treacle: It hurts, being rejected by the only creature who can see us. We want him to like us as we like him. This is why we stalk his lawn.

Popover: Not that we’re stalking it. Not really. We’re protecting it. Kobold’s orders.

Treacle: Not that we trust the kobold. Even if he did help us escape from the mad alchemist who created us.

Christopher: When you say kobold, do you mean Nimmie Not?

Popover: He didn’t allow us to call him by a name.

Treacle: He might have given the Olde Gnome a name. That’s our matriarch and leader.

Popover: We’re too young and foolish to be trusted with names.

Treacle: We’ve managed to keep our own, though. That should count for something.

Christopher: True. It seems like you’ve got quite the story of your own to tell.

Popover: We live in the Forest of Tears. Everyone there has a story.

Treacle: The kobold collects stories along with Persons of Interest. He’s got an entire book of them.

Popover: It’s not Persons of Interest. It’s People of Importance.

Treacle: No, it’s Persons of Interest! Stupid scribbler, there she goes, confusing us again!

Christopher: What’s the difference between the two?

Popover: People of Importance do something significant in the world they live in.

Treacle: Persons of Interest are just special somehow themselves, even if the world takes no notice of them.

Popover: The world always notices them, even if that world may not be willing to admit it. It’s the same thing.

Treacle: It’s totally different!

Popover: Whatever. How that magic book picks someone is just random.

Treacle: It’s the kobold’s book. It reflects his interests. Not the world’s.

Christopher: Yes, I was wondering about Nimmie Not’s book.

Popover: It’s magical. Words appear in it along with names and stories.

Treacle: Nimmie Not is too lazy to write himself so the words just appear in his book. If you ask me, it’s wish fulfillment on the scribbler’s part.

Me: (from somewhere in the mists) Hey!

Christopher: (trying not to smile) It sounds like there’s a story behind the book, too.

Popover: The Forest of Tears is filled with stories, waiting to be told.

Treacle: Even though a lot of those stories came from elsewhere.

Popover: That’s true. There’s a lot of creatures in the Forest from elsewhere, too.

Treacle: Think that’s a coincidence? We were lead into the Forest of Tears by the same kobold who brought the dwarves here. Only we didn’t get a cottage.

Popover: He’s up to something, no mistake.

Christopher: Princess Blanche, who came from elsewhere to live with the dwarves doesn’t seem to be there by Nimmie Not’s design. He definitely doesn’t want her there.

Treacle: That doesn’t mean he has nothing to do with her being there.

Popover: Don’t trust him.

Christopher: Oh, I don’t. I doubt Quartz does either, even though he’s fond of Nimmie Not.

Treacle: The kobold may be fond of Garnet’s brother. The feeling may be mutual.

Popover: This doesn’t mean Garnet’s brother should trust him.

Treacle: That kobold is full of tricks and loves mischief. Especially if he can make mischief for humans.

Popover: Garnet is now living with a human. He should watch out.

Treacle: I bet the kobold has more to do with that human being in the Forest of Tears than he lets on.

Popover: Just wait and see! (He forms circles with his hands and cups his eyes with them, peering through the center.)

Treacle: Just wait and see! (She mirrors Popover’s gesture.)

Christopher: I guess we will.

Rainbow Snippets: Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

For mine, Quartz will continue where he left off last week in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins, grumping at his brother Opal…it’s a little longer than six sentences because Quartz insisted upon saying his piece as always…(sighs)

 

Opal grumbled even more than I did, plus he had terrible timing. “So I’m telling you for the hundredth time, don’t interrupt me. It’s downright dangerous, not to mention rude.”

“Right.” Opal strokes his mustaches, unimpressed. “Mooning over crystals is more important than mining, so don’t remind you to get back to your job.” Opal wrinkled his nose at his own words. As far as he was concerned, he wasn’t interrupting. I was slacking off. Stone was stone. If it had something to say, it wasn’t talking. At least not to Opal.

Pebble brain. There were other ways of speaking besides words, something I kept trying to tell him, but why waste my breath? He wasn’t listening.

 

Conversation with Christopher: Queen Oriana

Christopher sits facing a lovely, imposing woman with her hair braided up into a golden coronet upon her head, carefully arranged around a crown. She’s dressed in purple ermine, concealing her body within the folds of the robe.

Christopher: You look very different than when we last met…Your Majesty.

Oriana: Don’t expect a queen to recall every person she ever met, child. (She lifts her nose.) Even if that person considers himself so beyond the reach of queens that he dares to sit in one’s presence. (She gives Christopher a longer look, her blue eyes widening.) That’s exactly what you are, aren’t you? Like the magic mirror reflecting all, showing…what? Visions offering insight? Our heart’s desire?
Christopher: (leaning forward to meet her gaze, his eyes shimmering with unearthly colors we don’t usually see in irises) What do you see?

For a moment, the boy and the queen stare in each other eyes until Oriana’s grow unfocused, swimming with tears.

Oriana: Tell me, am I beautiful? I’ve tried so hard to be beautiful. For my king, for my people. For myself. I am beautiful, am I not? Tell me how beautiful, no, show me. Show me I’m the fairest of them all. I don’t need her to be the fairest. I don’t need to miss her. I can be my own woman. Please show me that I am.

Christopher: I’m sorry. I have no control over what I reflect back. You’re the one who determines what you see. (His voice becomes gentle.) Yes, I see a beautiful woman who’s struggled to be beautiful, who’s living a life she gave up much to live. Only you’ve discovered you don’t want it. (His eyes shimmer with light.) You look at yourself, hoping to see only yourself, not what haunts you. (The color diminishes in his irises.) I’m sorry. I’m sorry I can’t give you what you want.

Oriana: No! (She claps her hands to her cheeks.) Please. Please, you were once Happily Ever After. Yes, you were. I was right in saying you were beyond the reach of queens. Most of us never find happiness.

Christopher: I’m not out of reach. You’ve found me. You’re speaking to me now. Your Happily Ever After is within your grasp.

Oriana: No! (She digs her hands into her cheeks.) I rejected my happiness for power and she ran from me, reducing me to something less than a monster. The sight of her transformed my heart into a sour, bitter little apple she wanted nothing to do with!

Christopher: I’m guessing this she is Princess Blanche. Are you sure your happiness lies with her?

Oriana: How could it be anywhere else? She was everything and she ran from me! She rejected me!

Christopher: Didn’t you reject her first?

Oriana: I embraced everything desirable in her. Power. Beauty. Royalty. Wealth. I thought she realized in rejecting her, I was trying to get closer to her in the only way I could! My rejection was nothing like hers. Not the way she looked into my heart and diminished it.

Christopher: Maybe you and she can’t be happy together, not now. Maybe you should let her go.

Oriana: Could you ever let the one you love go? Could you just look for your happiness elsewhere?

Christopher: (looking away) He wanted me to.

Oriana: Doesn’t that make it worse? Knowing your beloved wants you to look elsewhere for happiness, to have another life without you?
Christopher stares at his feet, not speaking.

Oriana: Everything you once you had, all your memories, they’re like a poison. A sweet, addictive poison you taste and cannot escape from. She’s poisoned everything. (She pauses, considering her words.) Maybe I should do the same to her.

Christopher: I’d tell you to stop but there’s no point, is there? Whatever you’re planning to do is an addictive poison as well. It’s seeped through your heart and will, coloring everything. Do you really think the outcome will make you happy?

Oriana: Happiness means getting what I want when I want it. I want what I’ve always wanted. Power. Beauty. Grace. A certain something which has always eluded me. She’s the embodiment of all these qualities. Only she threw them away along with me. I’ll show her, I’ll give her a taste of her own poison. Just one bite and she won’t be able to run. She’ll be mine forever.

Christopher: Do you really think she will?

Oriana: Doubt me all you wish, Happily Ever After. I’m done begging for your favor, done pleading with anyone to make me happy. I’ll take my happiness myself, take it back. Just try and stop me.

Christopher: I wish you’d stop yourself before it’s too late.

Oriana: Did you stop yourself? Or did you do something to get your love back? Tell me, Happily Ever After, how right have your actions been to seize your happiness?

Christopher: They’ve often been wrong but they’re part of the story. I can sometimes see things, know how they’ll turn out. Your story may have a happy ending. I’m just not sure if you’re the one who’ll be happy.

Oriana: At least I’m doing something. I’m done with crying and pleading with a mirror to help me. I need to take action.

Christopher: All very well and good except when it’s the wrong action.

Oriana: Better to act wrongly than to not act at all.

Christopher: That’s a dangerous way to think.

Oriana: Life is dangerous. The very concept of safety is an illusion. She’s about to discover this.

Christopher: Teaching her this won’t make you happy.

Oriana: Nothing will make me happy. She is my happiness. If she rejects me, there is no happiness.

Christopher gazes at Oriana for a long moment before fading away. The queen is left alone in the mists.

Oriana: That’s right, you’re an illusion, too, Happily Ever After. None of this is real. Fine. I don’t need you. I’m about to get what I need.

She turns her back and disappears into the mist, becoming one shadow among many.

Rainbow Snippets: Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins

Welcome to #RainbowSnippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

For mine, Quartz will pick up where he left off last week in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins. Actually he won’t get a chance to, because his brother, Opal is about to bother him…this is a little longer than six sentences because Quartz wants to let us know how annoying Opal is…(wry grin)

“Gossiping with the earth’s bones?” Opal’s sardonic tone drew me out of the quartz, disturbing my thoughts. “Try not to merge with the rocks, you fool. You know what happens to dwarves who get lost in the rock we came from.”

“Not to me. Not if I’m not interrupted.” I glared at the biggest bother of my brothers, except for maybe Agate.

Conversations with Christopher: Nimmie Not Wails (Again)

We begin this blog with a long, high-pitched wail…

Nimmie Not: (eyes bulging, mouth open, yes, he’s the source of the wail, true to the title :)) Noooooo!

Christopher huddles in his chair, hands clapped over his ears. The mists of the Cauldron scurry here and there, revealing jumbled bits of my imagination; Shelley’s bed with the long, red hangings at Lord Ruthvyn’s estate, Danyel and Tayel’s cottage in the valley below the tower and the hill, and oh, look! It’s the seven dwarves’s cottage in the Forest of Tears, only the garden gnomes lurking on the lawn are scampering in all directions, headed for the trees, anywhere, along as it’s away from the screaming kobold.

Nimmie Not stops, takes a deep shuddering breath, his dark eyes fixed and staring on some inner nightmare he can’t escape from.

Christopher: (lowering his hands from his ears in a hesitant fashion) Feel better now?

Nimmie Not: No! (He wraps his skinny arms around himself and begins to weep.) How could he? I warned him! I told him that humans were trouble. I told him how they broke my poor Prunella’s heart again and again. How they’ve made fools of so many of my kind…how could he?!

Christopher: You mean Quartz?

Nimmie Not: Yes, Quartz! (He gnashes sharp, needle-like teeth hiding behind his generous lips) What other “he” would I be talking about?!

Christopher: I don’t know. What did he do?

Nimmie Not: Allowed a human into his home! Yes, the very home I provided for him along with his brothers!

Christopher: Why?

Nimmie Not: She collapsed on the doorstep, acting all lost and scared, like something was chasing her. Quartz fell for it, the bearded fool!

Christopher: Maybe she was lost and scared. Maybe something was chasing her.

Nimmie Not: Don’t give me that. Humans are constantly lost and scared. Do you know why? Because they were careless and lost their way! They get in over their heads and grab desperately for someone to pull them out of their own mess rather than take care of it themselves!

Christopher: (flushing for some of this strikes close to his own heart) You don’t have to be human to do all of that, believe me.

Nimmie Not: (not really noticing Christopher’s discomfort) And why do humans get chased by something or someone? They gave something or someone a reason to chase them!

Christopher: Are you saying that being lost, scared, or chased is always the human’s fault? That it has nothing to do with someone or something tricking them into losing their way? Deciding to chase or scare the humans because it might be fun?

Nimmie Not: Oh, so the someone or something is always the monster and the human is some helpless little innocent that has nothing to do with her own fate? Can’t this human take responsibility for her own actions? Does she have to unload them on Quartz?

Christopher: How do you know she isn’t taking responsibility for her actions?

Nimmie Not: She’s running and collapsing on my dwarf’s doorstep!
Christopher: Maybe that’s her way of taking responsibility?

Nimmie Not: How do you figure that?

Christopher: I’m not sure.

Nimmie Not: Hmmph! I’ll tell you what I figure. She’s trouble. She’ll draw trouble toward her and everyone under the same roof as her. Including Quartz.

Christopher: Maybe. Maybe this human and your seven dwarves can handle this trouble if they work together. If you help them face it.

Nimmie Not: Maybe this human should disappear before her trouble hurts anyone other than her. Before she has a chance to get close to Quartz, hurting him as well.

Christopher: Just what are you scheming?

Nimmie Not: Oh, nothing. (He smiles a savagely sweet smile.) Nothing at all.

Christopher: If you do anything to Quartz’s guest, I doubt he’ll forgive you. He already cares enough to invite her into his home, offering her shelter and protection.

Nimmie Not: Oh, I won’t harm one pretty tress on her raven head, not I. I won’t have to.

Christopher: What do you mean?

Nimmie Not: You’ll see, yes, everyone will see. See that I’m right about this girl being trouble.

Christopher: Beware the consequences of malice. They have a way of coming back to haunt you in nightmarish ways.

Nimmie Not: Oh, my malice isn’t going to do anything. (He widens his grin, a red-orange flame glinting in the darkness of his eyes.) Not mine.

#RainbowSnippets: Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from different LGBTQIA+ stories, go here…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

For mine, Quartz will go on from where he left off last week in his story in progress, Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins, and on and on and on…yes, it’s his favorite topic. (wry grin)

I resisted, squinting at this particular namestone. The quartz had a few clear, bright faces, but most inner landscapes were cloudy.

Now mind you, I don’t mind cloudy or murk. It can be a unique quality in a quartz, part of the stone’s nature. Not this one. The crystal’s murkiness rippled through its inner structure with malicious glee, stabbing at the heart. The ripple interrupted the rock’s energy flow, slowing it to a sluggish rhythm with a skipping hiccup or two.

Had some fool messed with this fragile beauty? What stupid goblin would do such a thing?

Conversations with Christopher: Jasper

Christopher sits facing a fidgety young dwarf in age and looks similar to Garnet from his ginger whiskers to the alert way his nose twitches. Only while Garnet squirms in unease, this dwarf does so out of curiousity and an inability to sit still.

Christopher: You’re Jasper, aren’t you? The youngest of Quartz’s brothers except for Garnet.

Jasper: Right, right. (He looks around with great interest.) Say, just where are we? I can see nothing but mist.

Christopher: We’re in what the scribbler calls the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration.

Jasper: Cauldron? Is all this mist steam? Are we slowly being cooked?

Christopher: Only in a metaphorical sense. On the other hand, this place is made of metaphor, imagination. It’s where our scribbler’s ideas come to a boil, so yes.

Jasper: Really? (looking more intrigued than afraid)

Christopher: No, not really. Do you think we’d be able to sit here, talking, if we were being cooked?

Jasper: So it’s only metaphor, imagination…I don’t get it.

Christopher: Neither do I. Not entirely. What this place serves as is somewhere between stories where characters from different universes can come together and talk.

Jasper: Like you and me? Just who are you, Christopher?

Christopher: I’m not sure myself. (He gestures to his slender body, currently clad in a black velvet vest and making trousers, his coppery-golden wavy hair which curls around his ears.) I think this used to be my form, but I didn’t dress this way. I picked this up when I was with Damian.

Jasper: Damian? Who’s he?

Christopher: Someone very precious to me. Someone I lost to the Shadow Forest.

Jasper: The Shadow Forest? Is that like the Forest of Tears?

Christopher: I’m not sure. What’s the Forest of Tears like?

Jasper: Your darkest fears can come to life and menace you. I’ve already seen three goblins, an orc, and a troll flitting between the trees. No garden gnomes, though. I guess only Garnet can see them.

Christopher: You’re afraid of goblins, orcs, and trolls, I take it?

Jasper: Very. We ran away to a different mountain to get away from them along with other dwarves. Who knew we could summon them from our own fears? I haven’t seen them anywhere close to our cottage, though. That’s our new home, where I live with my six brothers. We were lead there by a kobold, only a dragon stopped us along the way. Isn’t that exciting?

Christopher: Err, definitely exciting. Possibly terrifying.

Jasper: Oh, aye, as my older brothers would say. We all shook and fell on our faces, except for Quartz. Our oldest brother has stones; huge, terrifying stones.

Christopher: Meaning Quartz did something different?

Jasper: He talked to it! He actually talked to the dragon once Nimmie Not…that’s our kobold guide…introduced them. Quartz called the dragon Prue. Can you believe it? It’s short for Prunella.

Christopher: To be truthful, I’m not sure what to believe these days.

Jasper: I know, I know! A dragon ought to be called Firestorm, Hurricane, Thunderwyrm, or at least Smoke. Whoever heard of the dragon named Prunella?

Christopher: Well, I’ve never heard of one called Thunderwyrm either.

Jasper: You know what I mean. Anyway Quartz actually made a bargain with this dragon so we could live in the Forest of Tears. It seems Prunella is the Forest’s guardian or something.

Christopher: Really? What’s Prunella guarding?

Jasper: (pauses for a moment) That’s a very good question. I thought it was the Forest itself but maybe it’s something in the Forest. Or someone.

Christopher: Guess that’s one of the mysteries in your Forest of Tears. If it’s anything like the Shadow Forest, there will be many mysteries.

Jasper: I’m still wondering if the Forest of Tears is anything like your Shadow Forest. What’s the Shadow Forest like?

Christopher: The dream wood we wander in dreams and daydreams, slipping out of reality to walk our paths beneath its trees. It’s not just trees, even though I call it the Shadow Forest. It can be anything you imagine. Chances are if you’ve ever dreamed or lost yourself to your thoughts, you’ve entered these woods. This is how most visit the Shadow Forest, but if you have a wish strong enough, you can find a Door and cross over body and soul.

Jasper: Shards! That sounds mysterious!

Christopher: Always, not to mention perilous. You may enter through a Door with your mind, body, and spirit whole, but you seldom exit intact. The shadows always steal a part of you.

Jasper: The shadows?

Christopher: What those who walk the paths leave behind. Those who wait beneath the trees for life, breath, passion, memory, and clarity.

Jasper: You’re not being any less mysterious.

Christopher: It’s a mystery to me as well, even though I used to a shadow. Before I was, I don’t remember opening a Door to the Shadow Forest. I don’t remember much of who or what I was until Damian pulled me out of the darkness.

Jasper: And now this Shadow Forest has your Damian.

Christopher: He created a Door through a painting of me. He disappeared into the Door.

Jasper: I’m getting this chill down my spine while you’re telling me this.

Christopher: I always get one whenever I remember it. It was a chilling moment.

Jasper: I’m sure, which is why I’m chilled myself, even though it wasn’t my story. We have the same scribbler. I live in a different Forest than you but it’s still an enchanted Forest. I have a bad feeling it’s going to take someone from me, someone precious.

Christopher: Keep those you hold precious close. Watch over them.

Jasper: I’ll try, but is that enough?

Christopher: Not always. If your Forest of Tears does take someone from you, don’t give up on them. Keep searching for them even if it’s in a place you’d never think to look.

Jasper: Well, that sounds cryptic, but thank’ee. I’ll keep that in my mind.

Christopher: Good luck to you and your brothers.

Jasper: The same to you. I hope you find your Damian.

Christopher: I hope so, too.

#RainbowSnippets: Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

For my own, Quartz will continue where he left off last week in his story in progress; Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins…excuse him for rambling on beyond six sentences but this is one of my favorite topics which he wanted to be clear on…pun unintended. 🙂

I stopped next to a crystal, large enough to require both arms, but small enough to fit in a sack. It was larger than when I’d last seen it. I’d decided to leave it, watch it grow. I pressed my palms against its rough edges, letting its cool touch slide into my skin.

Aye, it was a beauty with its many facets, yet with a murky, opaque interior, a true child of earth and fire. This child would have sliced the hand open of any human who dared to touched it. We dwarves, however, are made of sturdier stuff. Legend says we were once made of rock and stone, so our flesh wasn’t so easily cut. Besides the quartz was my namestone. A quartz always felt right beneath my hands until I started to lose myself, melding with the rock until we were one. There was always that temptation, a temptation I wasn’t sure I should resist.