Waiting for Rebirth

Hello, this is Christopher. Thank you for following me in experience in this new life in this version of Omphalos. This will be my last entry for a while, but ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ and I will return on Tuesday, April 4th in ‘C is for Christopher’. Damian might follow me with a little more in ‘D is for Damian’. Perhaps Gabrielle will as well. Both of them can be a bit capricious. I fear this Cauldron will be swarming with other characters during the month of April. It’s the ‘Blogging From A-Z Project: Character Snippets’ after all. I will return to my regular periods of posting ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ in May. I look forward to seeing you all again when the weather is warmer.

In the meantime, enjoy this fragment of ‘Waiting for Rebirth’, prelude to ‘Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest’.

Gabrielle didn’t ask me to do much of anything other than watch my first day in the Navel. Or perhaps one could say my second day. It was a curious place with curious customers.

The first was a girl, long and lanky. She wore a violet blue cape, which concealed her body, although she raised her hooked nose in the air like a bird of prey.

“You know what I want,” she said. She marched straight up to Gabrielle and stared at with eyes like the sky during a storm. “Give it to me.”

“Why don’t you ask my son to help you?” Gabrielle asked in a gentle voice, which put a certain distance between herself and the customer. She beckoned to me. “Christopher, can you figure out what Hebe wants?”

“Yes, can you?” The girl, Hebe turned with slow reluctance from Gabrielle to me. She looked me up and down with a growing frown. “I dislike explaining myself.”

How am I to know what you want unless you explain yourself? I thought. I didn’t say it out loud. She was a customer. Customers were the lifeblood of a business. I dimly remembered someone saying that once. I wasn’t sure whom.

Hebe started to hum under her voice. Only her lips weren’t moving. No, the sound wasn’t coming from her. It sounded exactly like her voice, though.

I walked towards the faint singing. It grew louder, when I approached a row of cups. All kinds of different cups, from golden goblets to pretty painted porcelain dishes with saucers.

I reached out towards the cups, only to feel something pushing my fingers back, pushing them away. I passed my hand over them, in a gesture almost like a blessing. A heat tingled through my fingers, when they hovered over an exquisite glass goblet.

“Here,” I said, before I realized I was speaking. I picked up the glass and held it out towards Hebe.

Hebe smiled. The expression transformed the harsh lines of her face into something beautiful. She took a few steps forward and accepted the glass.

“You’ll do,” she said, with a nod. She glanced over at Gabrielle before she did a small pirouette. “You’ll do just fine.”

“Yes, he will,” Gabrielle said. She smiled at me, too. The sun seemed to shine a little brighter, dancing in beams around me.

Hebe turned to leave, carrying the goblet. Gabrielle watched her go, without saying a word.

“What about payment?” I asked, when the door chimes jingled with what I thought was a customer’s departure.

“It’ll be the usual,” Gabrielle said. She shook her head. She was wearing a white cap with long peacock feathers dangling down from it. This matched weirdly with the long, turquoise skirts, green tunic, and purple jacket she wore. “Don’t concern yourself with it.”

Ah, but I did concern myself.

Blogging From A-Z: Character Snippets Introduction

Rhodry: Um, hello, I’m Rhodry. (blushing a bit) I started out as a roleplaying character who was changed a lot, until my author gave my personality to my father. This is the new one, who didn’t grow up amongst a family of sinister nobles. Who was one of several young people who lived in a magical library, a sanctuary in a place called the Keep. I was called Rhodry Mavelyne. My author changed it to Rhoddry Nevalyn for a story called ‘Every Thom, Dick, and Harry Has a Story’ before she settled on Rhodry Nevalyn. She’s never forgotten my Keep name, though. It’s the name she herself uses on Twitter, tumblr, NaNoWriNo, Camp NaNoWriMo, and convention badges. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a story, although I’m hoping I’ll get to be in ‘Trouble at Caerac Keep’…

Nevalyn: Rhodry.

Rhodry: (jumping at the sound of her smooth, sinister voice) Yes?

Nevalyn: Wait for your turn, my dear. (smiles, showing very sharp teeth) We all want to introduce ourselves.

Una: (smiling to reveal her own needle like teeth) Indeed, we do.

(Rhodry backs away, his eyes turning from blue to golden.)

(Damian steps forward and smiles his most dazzling smile at Nevalyn and Una. )

Damian: Welcome to ‘Blogging from A-Z April Project’ for 2017! Last year, you remember we did ‘My Characters Have the Last Word’? This year, we’ll be doing the sequel, ‘Character Snippets’!

(Una cowers away from the smile) Ugh…the false brightness, the light!

Nevalyn (blinks, caught off guard): How does he do that?

Una: Where did he learn to do that?!

Damian: The Navel, of course.

(Gabrielle beams.)

Rhodry: (whispers to Christopher) What does he mean ‘My Characters Have the Last Word’ and ‘we’re’ doing a sequel? Isn’t this Cauldron actually our author’s blog?

Christopher: (whispers back) Shh, in truth, we took over last year, but we’re trying to maintain the illusion that she still has control. Particularly to her. We are part of her imagination, after all.

Nevalyn: (smiling darkly in Kyra’s direction) She may never realize the truth, the poor dear.

Xian: Of course she won’t. (rubbing her hands together and bowing, although she doesn’t bother to hide her smirk) Fictional characters could never take over an author’s imagination, not completely. Could they?

Damian: (dropping his smile for a pained expression) Ladies, please! Don’t gloat in such an obvious fashion. We don’t want our author to realize she’s completely in our power. We need to keep her in a fit state to write for us. We need to convince her she’s the one in control. Which is why we’re going to do exactly as she thinks she’s planned in the ‘Blogging from A-Z Project’. One of us will show up every day with a character snippet.

Ariadne: I’ll accept this blogging challenge on Saturday; April 1, 2017 in ‘A is for Ariadne’. I’ll show our readers my mettle with seven sentences from ‘Trouble at Caerac Keep’.

Nevalyn: How appropriate. A fool for April Fool’s Day.

Ariadne: (bristling) What was that?

Damian: (waving a placating hand) Please calm down, everyone. Ariadne, you’re actually supposed to only appear in six sentences.

Ariadne: (turning his glare on Damian) I don’t take orders from men!

Damian: (sighing) You’d get along very well with my family. I suppose it’s all right. It’s supposed to be six sentences, more or less. Don’t do too much more or less, though. We’re trying to convince our author she’s still in control of this Cauldron.

Byron: Yes, we are. I’ll be appearing in ‘B is for Byron’ on Monday; April 3, 2017 with a snippet from ‘On the Other Side of the Mask’. Or is it from ‘Trouble in Paradise’? I do get them mixed up. It was all one story, until our author decided to divide them.

Shelley: (laying a hand on his shoulder) It’s all right, Byron. We’ll decide which story we’re in on the dates of our appearances.

Christopher: I’ll be here on Tuesday; April 4, 2017 in ‘C is for Christopher’ with the next snippet of ‘Waiting for Rebirth’.

Damian: And I’ll follow him on Wednesday; April 5, 2017 with a little more of ‘Waiting for Rebith’. Unless we’ve finished it. If so, I’ll show up with a teaser from ‘Stealing Myself From Shadows’.

Elizabeth: Be grateful, readers, for I will grace you with my presence on Thursday; April 6, 2017 with ‘E is for Elizabeth’. I’ll even offer you a taste of ‘A Portrait Is Worth a Thousand Words’.

Fiona: (running a hand through untidy red hair, smoothing the label of a lab coat, and smiling myopically through spectacles) Are the readers here all ready? Hello! I’ll see you all on Friday; April 7, 2017 with six sentences of ‘A Portrait is Worth a Thousand Words’. Musn’t let the Lady Elizabeth down, oh, no.

Elizabeth: (raising her nose in the air haughtily) Yet somehow you always do.

(Fiona looks a little downcast)

Gabrielle: Oh, don’t be so harsh on your assistant, Elizabeth, she seems like a jolly sort.

Elizabeth: She’s not my assistant, she’s my descendant! As such, she can do better than she ever does! Just see how untidy she is!

Gabrielle: Now, now, there’s a place for a tidiness and a place for individuality, but they’re not always in the same place. Speaking of places, where are my manners? Welcome, readers, to the Navel, center of everything bizarre!

Damian: We’re not in the Navel, ‘Brie.

Gabrielle: (blinking and looking around) We’re not.

Damian: Well, not exactly. We’re between worlds.

Gabrielle: In the Shadow Forest.

Damian: Not really…well, maybe. This space is called the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration. It’s our author’s blog. The Navel has been here a lot, as have we, but we’re sort of having a in between moment. In and out of character.

Rhodry: (blinking) Oh, is that it?

Christopher: (looking relieved) Ah, well, it’s not like I haven’t been in that state. Often.

Gabrielle: (blinks again, before turning to readers to smile, completely unfazed by the recent revelations) Welcome to the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration, center of creativity! I’ll be your host on Saturday; April 8, 2017 in ‘G is for Gabrielle’, bringing you six sentences of ‘Waiting for Rebirth’. Unless we’ve finished ‘Waiting for Rebirth’. What comes after ‘Waiting for Rebirth’? (thinks for a moment) Or a sample from ‘Unwilling to Be Yours’!

Hebe: I’ll follow Gabrielle on Monday; April 10, 2017 with a sample from ‘Stealing Myself From Shadows’.

Isolde: Good day, all of you. Isolde, sculptor and reluctant warrior, at your service. I’ll be here on Tuesday; April 11, 2017 with six sentences of ‘The Players Are the Thing’.

Juno: Why, hello there! (clasping her hands together. There appear to be only two hands attached to two arms, but if you blink, slowly, you can see the shadows of two additional appendages reaching out from her thick torso) How lovely to see all of you dear readers gathered here at the Cauldron! I do love visitors, yes, indeed! Did you know I had Lord Dyvian over as a guest in my cottage once? As well as that handsome Leiwell of his, along with his adorable little brothers! Oh, but they’re all over at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com! Along with my husband, Jupitre, the naughty man! He’d better be behaving himself over there, or I may have to get cross with him, quite cross, indeed! Have I mentioned what I once did to a certain cow who tried to carry on with him? It’s quite a story-

Nevalyn: Juno. (looking at Juno with golden, serpentine eyes)

Juno: (flinching at her gaze) Err, yes?

Nevalyn: (keeping her cold gaze fixed upon the other woman) Get on with it.

Juno: (flustered) Yes, of course. I’ll return to entertain you all on Wednesday; April 12, 2017 in ‘J is for Juno’ and a little snippet from ‘Stealing Myself From Shadows’.

Nevalyn: At last, it’s our turn. (fixing her gaze upon Kyra) Yours and mine.

Kyra: (trying not to flinch and keep her head raised high): No.

Nevalyn: (raising a golden eyebrow) No?

Kyra: No. (takes a deep breath and throws her shoulders back) It’s my turn. On Thursday; April 13, 2017 in ‘K is for Kyra’. I’ll be here with a sample from ‘A Suitor’s Challenge’. Not you.

Nevalyn: (with a slight bow) Of course. It’s your turn. (in an undertone) For now. Until the day I speak through your mouth as well as see through your eyes.

Rhodry: (in a low voice) I’m very glad Varwyth is at the other Cauldron. Otherwise, I might be trembling like that.

Damian: (in an equally low voice) I’m very glad Aunt Duessa isn’t taking a turn at this Cauldron this year, or I’d be trembling like that. Although I doubt I’ll be able to keep from trembling for long. (turns a shudder into a shrug) She’s too much a part of my plot.

Rhodry: You have a point. (tries to turn a shudder into a shrug and fails utterly)

‘Lyssa: My turn? (bows with a sinuous grace) How sweet of you all to come. I hope you’ll return on Friday; April 14, 2017 for ‘L is for Lyssa’ and a little of ‘A Godling for Your Thoughts?’

Melyssa: (glowering at ‘Lyssa) I’m not sure why we have separate blogs. We’re the same person, essentially.

‘Lyssa: I’m the future, dear, what you wish to be. You’re the reality you’re stuck being, if you can call it that.

Melyssa: At least I’m complete! Sort of. I’ll show you how complete I am when I return on Saturday; April 15, 2017 in ‘M is for Melyssa’. With my own snippet of ‘A Godling for Your Thoughts?’ !

Nevalyn: Our author is far too lenient. Allowing all of you to chatter like this, wasting blog space. If I controlled everything-

Ouroboros: My daughter, you do not control everything. You are simply one aspect of myself in one world.

Nevalyn: (with a deeper bow to Ouroboros than she made to Kyra) Of course. (aside) Someday, old serpent, I will dominate all of your aspects.

Ouroboros: (staring at Nevalyn with serpentine, yet tranquil eyes) Sometimes, you remind me of the Unicorn in your angry desire for domination.

Nevalyn: (closing her own eyes) How can you compare one of your own to that upstart horned beast?

Ouroboros: (unfazed) Only in your anger.

Nevalyn: (allows her own serpentine gaze to glide over everyone) Beware. I am the Serpent, coiling within you all. I knew secrets which would make all of you, including the Unicorn tremble. I shall return on Monday; April 17, 2017 in ’N is for Nevalyn’. Prepare for my coming in ‘A Suitor’s Challenge’.

Xian: (bowing) Of course, Master. (in an aside to Zenobia) We must get our hands on a unicorn horn, great queen.

Nevalyn: (fixing her golden stare on Xian) You wish to say something, my servant?

Xian: (bowing even lower) Only that it was your honoured sire’s turn, Master.

Ouroboros: Greetings. (turns his own sleepy serpentine stare on everyone present) I am Ouroboros, the Great Serpent of the World. I shall return on Tuesday; April 18, 2017’ in ‘O is for Ouroboros’, although I’m unsure of the form I shall take or the story I shall manifest in. I’m more of a concept than a character.

Nevalyn: Which is why you require aspects of yourself to act for you.

Ouroboros: You are but one aspect of the Great Serpent, my daughter. There are others.

Nevalyn: I’m the only aspect of the Serpent that matters. I shape all the others to my will.

Peter: Ahem! (smiles at everyone, except for Nevalyn and Ouroboros, whom he’s trying not to look at) Before we get sidetracked in a lengthy, philosophical battle, I should introduce myself. (winks at Christopher, Gabrielle, and everyone except for the serpents) Peter, at your service, humble retrainer to the lovely Gabrielle. (bows to Gabrielle) Not to mention hapless suitor to a certain beautiful, but reluctant youth. (seizes Christopher’s hand and kisses it)

Christopher: (snatching his hand back) Don’t do that.

Damian: (quietly) I’ve already claimed his hand.

Peter: (turning to Damian) Jealous?

Damian: (looking Peter up and down) Should I be?

Peter: Prick. Just you wait. I’ll be back on Wednesday; April 19, 2017 in ‘P is for Peter’. I’ll share a snippet with our readers which reveals just what a prick you are.

Damian: (smirks) How nice. You’ll be drawing even more attention…to me.

Questioning: I wonder what story he’ll share a snippet from. I also wonder at how much tension lies between characters in the Cauldron.

Damian: He’s not in ‘Waiting for Rebirth’, so it’ll have to be from ‘Unwilling to Be Yours’ or something which takes place afterwards. (smirk grows) He’s an afterthought in every sense.

Peter: And you’re a prick in every sense.

Questioning: I wonder why our author wrote us in this way? Yes, I’m Questioning, by name and by nature. I question everything; my gender, my identity, and what we’re all doing here. I do know I’ll be back on Thursday; April 20, 2017 in ‘Q is for Questioning’. I’ll be here to support my Kyra’s suit in a sample from ‘A Suitor’s Challenge’.

Kyra: (laying a hand on Questioning’s shoulder) I knew I could count on you, old friend.

Nevalyn: (hisses) I’ll have you know she is my Kyra, you slippery schemer. You don’t fool me with your vacant eyes and pretensions of loyalty. I can see straight into your heart.

Questioning: (blinking silvery gray eyes at Nevalyn, seeing something other than her) Is she really? Yours?

Rhodry: (mutters) I’m really glad Varwyth is at the other Cauldron! (clears his throat) Ahem, I’d better hurry up and introduce myself.

Christopher: Yes, you should. (gives Rhodry a sidelong, almost hungry glance. You’re very pretty. Very like my Danyell and Dayell with those golden waves of hair, just touching your shoulders, only it’s more of a ruddy hue.

Rhodry: (turning bright red) Um! If you want to know what who we’re talking about, go to the other Cauldron at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com. See ‘D is for Danyell and Dayell’ on Wednesday; April 5, 2016 and ‘V is for Varwyth’ on Wednesday; April 26, 2017.

Christopher: You even blush in the exact way Danyell does.

Rhodry: Well, we come from the same imagination. (backs away from Christopher) Sorry for getting out of sequence! Back to this Cauldron and our schedule of events! I’ll be here on Friday; April 21, 2017 in ‘R is for Rhodry’ with a snippet from ‘Trouble at Caerac Keep’.

Christopher: So that’s your name? Rhodry?

Rhodry: Um, yes.

Kyra: Don’t tell him your true name, you little fool!

Damian: (smiling at Rhodry) How sweet of you to offer it up so willingly.

Peter: Why are you encouraging Christopher’s interest in another boy? I thought you’d claimed him for yourself.

Damian: I understand Christopher’s needs. I understand how hungry he gets. Don’t you?

Christopher: It doesn’t matter. (sniffs the air around Rhodry) He’s been claimed by another.

Rhodry: (eyes widen and shift from blue to golden) What?

Christopher: Truly pretty. Such a pity.

Damian: I doubt his vampire master shares.

Shelley: Vampire masters seldom do, along with others of their ilk. (gives Damian, Christopher, Nevalyn, or Ouroboros pointed looks) It’s a selfishness I’ll never stop questioning or challenging. I’ll do so again, when I return in ’S is for Shelley’ on Saturday; April 22, 2017, whether I appear in a snippet from ‘Trouble in Paradise’ or ‘On the Other Side of the Mask’.

Troile: A noble sentiment. I shall match your determination and conviction when I appear in ’T is for Troile’ on Monday; April 24, 2017 with an example from ‘Aissa and Polyxena’.

Hector: An example of what? Cross dressing? Falling in love with an enemy of Troy? You make me weep with shame, little brother!

Troile: You don’t belong here, Hector. Go back to your Cauldron at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com.

Hebe: That’s right!

Una: If we could move on, young masters? (rubbing spindly hands together) I, Una, humble servant of the great Lady Duessa Ashelocke, queen among arachnocrats, shall appear in this Cauldron on Tuesday; April 25, 2017 in ‘U is for Una’. I shall bring a very special snippet from the unwritten chronicle of the Navel and Shadow Forest; ‘My Tool, My Treasure’. (quietly) And do what I can to crush that cursed spider witch as she crushed me.

Damian: (raising an eyebrow) Pardon?

Una: Nothing, little lordling! (bows) I was only saying it’s now time for your bride, the ardent Lady Vanessa Ashelocke to speak.

Damian: (shudders and grimaces at once) She’s not my bride.

Vanessa: How could I be anything else? What other arachnocratic lady is your equal in beauty, wit, rank, or power? You should be more eager. After all, you’re not getting any younger and you’re still uneaten.

Damian: (rolls his eyes) Excuse me for having other plans than being eaten!
Vanessa: I most certainly will not! You’re an Ashelocke! You’re a boy and an arachnocratic one! What plan could be more glorious than to be devoured by me? Think of all the combined power our daughter will have? Plus, your remains would stand in a perfect marblesque state in the Ashelocke gardens. You’d be there for all of eternity for generations to admire! What more can a boy hope for?

Damian: Much better than that.

Christopher: You cannot have Damian. I’ve already claimed him.

Vanessa: As if a mere shadow of a boy could know anything about truly claiming someone! Your paltry manner of feeding pales next to to an Ashelocke bride’s. I’ll show you how much in ‘V is for Vanessa’ on Wednesday; April 26, 2017 in a special look at ‘My Tool, My Treasure’.

Christopher: You’re not taking Damian. Nor are you putting aside ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ so you can drag him off to your web and drain him, or whatever else you plan on doing.

Vanessa: Don’t compare a sacred marriage feast to Duessa’s petty games.

Damian: (sweetly) I’ll be sure to tell Duessa you said that.

Melyssa: As will I.

Vanessa: (blanches) You wouldn’t dare!

Damian: (to Christopher) Don’t worry about ‘Waiting for Rebirth’. If it hasn’t finished at the end of March, we’ll return in May. Not to mention we can always take over Paula’s Prompts.

Westerleigh: If I may? Westerleigh Harford here, long neglected and forgotten character. I’m finally getting a chance to show a little development on Thursday; April 27, 2017 in a snippet from ‘A Portrait Is Worth a Thousand Words’.

Fiona: Hopefully, we’ll get a little attention here! Our author is constantly putting us aside for other projects!

Elizabeth: She’d better not continue to do that, if she knows what’s best for her. Get on with it, girl.

Westerleigh: I’m finished, my lady. (quietly) And I’m not exactly a girl.

Elizabeth: What was that?

Xian: We would have silence from both of you.

Elizabeth: (with exaggerated politeness) Excuse me?

Nevalyn: Quite bold, my servant. One would suspect you of having queenly or even imperial designs.

Xian: (bowing to Nevalyn) All in your name, Great Serpent. (aside) Until I’ve bound all of your brood in mystical manacles and turned them into weapons that will destroy you.

Christopher: (to Damian) I’m awed at how much treachery is brewing in this Cauldron.

Damian: (deadpan) You get used to it.

Gabrielle: Or you retreat from it.

Xian: (with a hint of imperiousness) If we may continue? We shall return in ‘X for Xian’ on Friday; April 28, 2017 with a snippet of our activities in ‘A Suitor’s Challenge’.

Nevalyn: Quite the imperial attitude you’re showing.

Zenobia: Indeed. I like it not.

Yuri: Truly frightening females lurk within this Cauldron. (glances at Elizabeth) I’ll strive to channel my fear into art on Saturday; April 29, 2017 in ‘Y is for Yuri’, when I appear in ‘A Portrait Is Worth a Thousand Words’.

Westerleigh: (touching Yuri’s hand) Are you all right?

Yuri: (manages to smile and pat Westerleigh’s hand in turn) No more than usual, Wess.

Zenobia: If you frail creatures are finishing swooning, I shall finish this introduction in a fashion worthy of a queen. I, Zenobia, shall end this Blogging from A-Z April Challenge once and for all in ‘Z is for Zenobia’ on Monday; April 31, 2017! You shall hear your last from me in ‘A Suitor’s Challenge’.

Xian and Nevalyn: (muttering as one) That’s a relief…

Zenobia: What was that?

Damian: (smiling) That’s that! The end of the introduction!

Zenobia: Well, yes-

Gabrielle: (waving) See you all in April! Bye!

Zenobia: Pay attention, when I’m talking to you peasants!

Waiting for Rebirth

It’s Me Me Monday! This is the last Monday for ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ for a while. Christopher will post a little more of this story on Wednesday (QueerBlogWed), before my other characters take over the Cauldron. Yes, it’s for the ‘Blogging From A-Z Project: Character Snippets’. If you want to meet a wide variety of my characters from different stories, check it out!

‘Waiting for Rebirth’ will return to its regularly scheduled times in May. If you’re following this story, don’t miss Tuesday, April 4th! It’s ‘C is for Christopher’. He’ll be back in more ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ on that day.

Damian took my hand and led me to a small bedroom. I barely noticed the carved headboard with the dragon and the boy on it. My eyes were closing. Yes, I needed sleep, now, like most living creatues. This was my last thought before I fell into the soft embrace of the bed.

It was the beginning of my new existence as Christopher in this place. This town called Omphalos.

I’d been here before. I was certain of it, although I wasn’t entirely sure who I’d been when I dwelled her. Also, Omphalos had been smaller when I lived here last. There were many little shops, along with the cottages and the tavern.

Sometimes, I blinked, almost getting a double vision of a second Omphalos, layered over the first. It was almost like I was seeing through a second pair of eyes.

Most of the time, I just let this reality take me. It wasn’t bad.

 

Waiting for Rebirth

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! Every Saturday, six sentences of GLBTQ+ is posted and shared. It can be your own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be GLBTQ+

To read a wide variety of samples from GLBTQ+ stories, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_cover

Here’s my own for this week. Picking up right where I left off on #QueerBlogWed, here’s Damian/Christopher in ‘Waiting for Rebirth’. It’s a little longer than six sentences, forgive me.

We didn’t say anything when we walked back to the Navel in a companionable silence. The few words we’d exchanged were enough. We went back to a dusty little shop to ascend the stairs above.

Gabrielle was waiting with tea and cookies at a table in a surprisingly cozy little kitchen. It opened out into an area with chairs, cushions, and a few bookshelves. She talked endlessly about the Navel, customers, and how only people whom needed to find her shop entered. I tried to listen, but felt my eyes closing.

Waiting for Rebirth

It’s QueerBlogWed! Picking up right where we left off on Monday, here’s a little more of Christopher experiencing his new reality in ‘Waiting for Rebirth’.

“That’s enough,” Damian said. I blinked and turned to look at him. He sat in front of an easel on a stool. A splash of blue paint stained his white shirt. He didn’t seem to notice. He kept looking from the easel to me. A small, private smile played across his lips. “Let’s go home.”

I helped him pack up his paints, the tools I was only seeing for the first time. A gazebo stood nearby, so quiet and unobtrusive, my eyes slid from its sides when I tried to look at it. Damian kept his artistic supplies hidden under its flowered roof. For some reason, he didn’t feel safe with his things in the Navel.

“I trust Gabrielle, but the Navel is her Place of Power, not mine,” he’d said, as he moved his canvas carefully out of view. Everything had a specific place in the box. The unfinished painting would rest upon the bench in the gazebo turned on one side.

“Aren’t you worried?” I asked. “Anyone could come by here and take your things.”

“Not any more.” He glanced at me, almost shyly, from under lowered eyelashes. “This place is ours.”

My heart started beating a little faster at his words. I felt my breath catch in my throat, when his hand brushed against mine. His beautiful, pale hand, dotted with green, red, and blue dabs of paint. Blemishes he couldn’t will away with a glance, not here. They clung to his skin, drawing my eye to the curve in his wrist. I almost couldn’t see the faint speckle of white against his flesh.

Waiting for Rebirth

 

Hello, I’m Christopher. I hope you’ve been enjoying my story, which has been appearing on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It will pause during the Blogging from A-Z April Project: Character Snippets’ although I shall return in ‘C is Christopher’ on April 4th. It’s a Tuesday, rather than a Wednesday, so watch for it. Other Navel and Shadow Forest characters will be visiting in ‘D is for Damian’, ‘G is for Gabrielle’, ‘P is for Peter’, and in other Character Snippets. Watch for them, too.

Once April and its Blogging Challenge is over, ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ will return to its regular times. In the meantime, here’s the next part of my tale, right where I left off on Saturday.

There was a moment of silence, before I heard a brush rub against a canvas. One, two, three strokes across the rough material, before he drew the brush downward, only to stop and begin again. There was an almost musical rhythm to his hand. It was like listening to a dance.

I’m not sure how long I stood there, watching the sky, listening to him work. It was like listening to his heart. It made me hungry, but I held my desire in check. I swallowed it and opened myself up to the sky, to the colors above. Where did that patch of purple above come from? Perhaps a man very like Damian had possessed it, along with a royal arrogance. Such arrogance might have weighed him down, tiring him, dragging his ermine coat to the ground. He might have release it, let it float up into the sky, only to skip away, no longer burdened with his own conceit. The golden cloud might have belonged to the maiden with the yellow hair I fancied seeing in the mirror. She may have released some of her natural joy into the heavens, so it could shine on everyone below. The grayish wisps clinging to golden might have been the anxiety of a scholar with spindly hands, constantly worried about the future. He could have let go of fears, sent them flying into the sky.

All of this was possible in the Shadow Forest. I wasn’t sure what was possible here. Sky and clouds would obey rules of reality I didn’t understand. Those rules would protect them from stray thoughts. I could imagine anything I wanted about the sky overhead. No monsters would come flying out. No emotion could cloud the heavens, or blot out the sun. I was free to think or daydream whatever I wished, without consequences. The very thought made me giddy.

Waiting for Rebirth

Welcome to ‘Rainbow Snippets’! Every Saturday, six sentences of GLBTQ+ fiction is posted and shared. It can be your own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be GLBTQ+.

To read a wide variety of samples from GLBTQ+ stories, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_cover

Would you like to buy a Tale of the Navel when I publish one? Would you be interested in the Shadow Forest? Read my prelude and find out! Every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, I post a little bit of ‘Waiting for Rebirth’. Meet the characters and visit the Navel. Wait for a Door to open to a dreamworld where anything is possible, but take care. Stray from your path and you might lose yourself forever in these woods…just as Christopher lost himself. Fortunately, Damian managed to find him, but exactly what and who is Christopher? Learn from his perspective as he deals with the confusion of waking from a world of dream to try and cope with a new reality. An artist might be his best hope in finding his footing, before gravity knocks him down.

“Turn, just slightly, but don’t turn around,” Damian said. “Don’t stop looking at the sky. Think about what you see in it.”

Color. Wondrous, endless color. I stood there, watching the sky, knowing Damian was watching me. I could hear him mixing paints.