Snippet from ‘A Symposium in Space’

Welcome to #RainbowSnippets! A Saturday challenge where six sentences of GLBT fiction are posted and shared. To read samples of a wide variety of GLBT from different genres, check them out!

Here’s my own Saturday snippet, posted right before swimming and going to FanimeCon. 🙂 It’s from Torquere’s recently published science fiction anthology, ‘Theory of Love’.  My own short story was inspired by Plato’s ‘The Symposium’, only this dinner party takes place in a decadent matriarchal future,  and the host is literally ‘feasting’ upon her guests’ words. However, there’s plenty of f/f energy in the air, as my first person, Phaedra, speaks honestly to her a former admirer in a way she never dared in the past. Here’s six sentences of ‘A Symposium in Space’.

 

“There’s nothing quite like handling the controls of something which is truly yours,” I admitted. “A ship isn’t alive, it’s true, but it’s there for you in a way a living person can’t. Yes, it becomes an extension of yourself. In learning to love that extension, you learn to love yourself–in a way you can’t love another person.” I stared directly at Pausania. “When you see yourself reflected in another’s eyes, it can be romantic–but it can also be egotistical.”

‘A Symposium in Space’ Snippet

Here’s my contribution to #RainbowSnippets! Every Saturday, we Snippeteers share six sentences of GLBT fiction. It can anything from fantasy to suspense to drama. To check out a wide of variety of awesome GLBT snippets, look for #RainbowSnippets!

I’m sharing a little of my recently released f/f science fiction story, ‘A Symposium in Space’.

I glanced uneasily at my empty plate. I’d heard rumors of Agathea–how she fed upon thoughts and words as much as food. I hadn’t thought such a thing possible. Agathea often liked to inspire her dinner guests to offer up deeper conversation than the usual polite topics. The deeper the topic, the greater her sustenance. This was why she’d asked Sokrat here.

‘Waiting for Rebirth’ Snippet

I’m currently revising this story. I’m trying to decide if I want to keep as a short story, or merge it into ‘Stealing Himself From Shadows’. It’s Christopher’s origin story, plus it sets up his relationship with Damian Ashelocke.

I posted a six sentence snippet of ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ for #RainbowSnippets a while back. This is a little longer. This is m/m, although very innocent m/m. You’ve been warned.

The first thing I remember is darkness, a darkness that howled and swallowed. The second thing is a light, illuminating the darkness. A young man stood in the very center of the light. His hand was extended. It captured my attention the way nothing had in a long time. My awareness grew a little sharper, a little more real. The fingers on that hand were slender. Slender and pale. The hand was reaching out, into the darkness, towards…me?

“It’s all right,” he said. His voice was gentle and patient. “This is your rebirth, Christopher.”

I hesitated, as I looked down at his fingers. Should I accept his hand? What he was truly doing was asking for mine. I wasn’t sure if I still had one. Besides, he needed to give me something in return.

“Who are you?” I asked, feeling my lips shaping the words. I had lips. I had a voice. Had he given these things to me? Maybe he had every right to ask for my hand.

“I’m Damian,” he said. He stood with his hand extended, waiting for my consent. The darkness was receding, transforming into a green place, filled with light. Perhaps the darkness would retreat entirely, if I accepted him. A smile tugged at his lips, softening his entire face into something more human. “Come see what the light of the real world is like, Christopher.”

A smile was tugging at my own lips, in answer to his. He’d already given me light, two names, and a smile. My hand seemed a small thing to ask for in return. I stretched out my hand, wiggling my fingers in delight, as I realized, yes, I had a hand to give! It clasped his, feeling all those slender fingers, trying to interlock with my own. They felt warm and solid. As we touched, the world blossomed to life around us.

Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked

This isn’t the sort of title, or catch phrase I’d usually come up with. A writer at Writer Zen Garden on Facebook came up with it, along with the picture of a boy, challenging the rest of us to come up with a story.  I found myself imagining a boy, caught between  a fundamentalist preacher’s bigotry and desire, when an old character popped into my head.  I haven’t thought of Madam Journey in a long while, but this story now belongs to her. 🙂

I’m posting part of it here. To read another fragment, go to inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com
The trees disappeared, to be replaced by rolling green countryside. The gravel was getting rougher. Bless the beady-eyed goddess, it was turning into cobblestones! Her cart was no longer metal, but wood. Up ahead, a line of cottages flanked the road on either side.

“Omphalos,” Madam Journey grumbled under her breath. Maybe she shouldn’t have thought of Gabrielle Bouchard. Her thoughts might have led to that girl and that shop of hers, the Navel. She and ‘Brie were in similar lines of work, collecting the lost bits spat out by the Shadow Forest. Only the girl hadn’t been doing this nearly as long as Madam Journey. Once she’d been a wanderer herself, after a mutual friend freed her from the church, which had been keeping her locked up. The girl had settled down to open a shop in Omphalos, what was its name?

“The Navel,” Madam Journey said, letting the name roll over her tongue. Names had power. She didn’t mean ‘Brie no wrong, but that girl had a job to do, just as Madam Journey did. If their jobs crossed each other, well, it was good to have a name for protection. What’s more, she had the girl’s name, too.

“Gabrielle Bouchard,” Madam Journey said, tasting it. ‘Gabrielle’ was smoky with powers and secrets. ‘Bouchard’ had no flavor, so it had to be a fake. ‘Gabrielle’ was only too real, rich with secrets, pain, and myths almost as old as the world, which some people claimed they knew all about. Fat chance.

She shuffled forward, losing some of her speed, as she approached her goal. For it was here, very close. Whatever the boy had left behind was near. It wasn’t in the Navel, thank the beady-eyed goddess. She wasn’t going to have to get into any kind of a smackdown with Gabrielle to get what she’d come for. It was here in Omphalos, though. Madam Journey could feel it approaching, a pulsing, warm familiar sensation. The song played constantly in the back of her mind, as it walked towards her?

Madam Journey stared at the slender boy walking in her direction as purposefully, as she shuffled towards him. For one terrified moment, she thought it was him. The boy she remembered, whom she once sang with. Only this boy wasn’t him. This boy had shorter hair, nor was it the dusty light brown she remembered. This boy looked like someone had poured copper, gold, and tarnished bronze all over the top of his head. His hair positively blazed in the setting light of the sun. His shoulder hunched a bit, as if he had some reluctance about approaching her. He wore an ordinary black turtleneck in jeans, which would have looked normal in the world Madam Journey had left behind. Perhaps more normal than in this one.

There was nothing normal about this boy’s eyes, though. They were a weird mixture of colors, mixing, shifting, and drifting apart from each other, as his eyeballs were the surface of a pond, when the light hit it, just so. The weirdness didn’t stay, though. Give those eyes a second glance and they’d be just violet blue.

Madam Journey and the boy stopped walking, a few feet from each other. The boy stared at her, as if he could see more than just a ragged old lady. Madam Journey got a nasty feeling he was looking straight into her bones and guts.

“I have someone you want,” the boy said. His voice was nothing like the one Madam Journey was looking for. It was high, sweet, smooth, and almost girlish. His face was heartshaped and almost doll like. Yes, someone had made him, built this pretty shape just for him, but he reeked of darkness. Stolen dreams and ideals clung in traces to his lips and hands, like cigarette smoke sank into clothes. His eyes were the worse, though. Madam Journey could almost hear what he stole, crying out from all those colors. One of those colors was a sad gray blue, exactly like a pair of eyes, which had once looked into hers.

“Ain’t no rest for the wicked,” he sang, as he surfaced from a pond of other crying colors, swimming around in the boy’s eyes.

“You do, at that,” Madam Journey said, shifting uneasily behind her cart. There was no hiding her cargo from this boy thing, no disguising it as trash. He’d sniff out the tasty bits of soul hiding within the junk. “It’s odd, seeing one of your kind outside the Shadow Forest.”

“I was given this form,” the creature said. He looked down at his hand. There was a surprising innocence to his words, mingled with an all too human sadness. It nearly shocked Madam Journey out of her senses. “I was pulled out of the shadows, forced into flesh and humanity.” He stared at her with those weirdly colored eyes. “Everything I devoured is now trapped within me.”

‘A Symposium in Space’ Snippet

Today, I’m hosting at the ‘Theory of Love’ blitz on #Facebook. In honor of the occasion, I’m posting a snippet of my own contribution to this GLBT science fiction anthology, ‘Theory of Love’.

“Alkibiadea wants, no, she needs you to acknowledge her,” I said, as I contemplated the space pirate’s reasons for hunting us. I wasn’t sure if she was Sokrat’s beloved, or her stalker. “She would never harm you, no matter how violently she might pursue you.”

‘Fairest’ Snippet

Welcome to another Saturday of Rainbow Snippets! @RainbowSnippets are six sentences of GLBT fiction. To check out some amazing snippets, look for #RainbowSnippets!

For my own contribution, I’m sharing another six sentences from my f/f fantasy fairytale, #Fairest. ‘Fairest’ is available for purchase at prizmbooks.com. This a little shorter than six sentences, for which I hope you’ll forgive me. (bows)

“The fairest of them all,” she whispered. “That’s who you see when you look into the magic mirror, when you’re young, foolish, and full of your own beauty.” She tried to smile, but there were tears in her eyes. “At least that’s what you see at first. Yourself at your best.”

 

Reflections on A-Z

This Cauldron was transformed in many ways during the A-Z Challenge. It shouldered a heavier burden with my block from Facebook. Any characters who wanted to be on Facebook had to come from here. This condition continues today. Another transformation was a movement more towards fiction, showcasing my fictional works. Previously, I’d sometimes posted my own thoughts and feelings here about writing and the issues writers have. More and more, it’s becoming about my characters.

For that was my theme for the A-Z Challenge, my characters. One (sometimes two or more) character/s, whose names began with a letter from A-Z would post here in first person. S/he would talk about her/himself, the story they came from, and their concerns. Often, they’d grump about me, how little I’d written about them lately. As I wrote, these characters became more and more three dimensional. Their growth inspired the stories they came from to quicken. Bits and pieces of stories, even neglected roleplaying character concepts were coming to life in my imagination. Elizabeth, who’d been a possible World of Darkness character concept, became an original character in her own original story concept, ‘A Portrait Is Worth a Thousand Words’. Other characters in that story came to me; Westerleigh, Yuri, and Fiona, letting me know they had their own thoughts and concerns. I’ll definitely have to write that story someday. In writing ‘K is for Kyra’, ‘N is for Nevalyn’, ‘O is for Ouroboros’, ‘Q is for Questioning’, ‘X is for Xian’, and ‘Z is for Zenobia’, I got to flesh out an old fantasy world. Bits and fragments came together under a possible title banner, ‘A Suitor’s Challenge’. Lastly, I got to play with some characters very dear to my heart in ‘D is for Damian’, ‘D is for Duessa’, ‘C is for Christopher’, and ‘G is for Gabrielle’. I really hope I’ll be able to introduce them all to you in ‘Tales from the Navel’ and ‘Stealing Myself From Shadows’. (crosses my fingers)

As my characters and I developed together, we got an appreciative audience, which I found myself appreciating in turn. Some of the other challengers had some pretty spectacular themes of their own. Rian Durant’s Flowers never failed lift my spirits, while I’m hoping with all my heart she’ll expand on a certain ‘X’ entry. 🙂 Another challenge wrote speculative blogs from the heart, bringing out the very best in her readers.

As busy as this challenge kept me, it was a very rewarding experience. I’d love to do this again. The only question is do I do the same theme? Or do I choose some other which will help me explore my writing and my characters?

Take a Look at Yourself

It’s ‘Fairest’s release day!! Yay!! In honor of my f/f fantasy, fairytale, I’m posting a brand new fanfic/freebie story. It’s called ‘Take a Look at Yourself’.

The glass had been cleaned, thanks to the princess’s eventual success in removing its grime. Garnet stared at himself in the mirror, seeing his reflection for the first time in…how long had it been? It couldn’t have been a hundred years!

“I didn’t realize I’d done so much damage to my beard,” he said. Gently, he reached up to feel the rough patches on his chin. He moved his hand with care over the tufts of hair he had left. “I never meant to tug so hard.”

“I’m sure you didn’t,” Opal said. He stood a little distance from his brother, out of range of the mirror. Coward, Garnet thought. “None of us look as well as we once did.”

“Perhaps it’s time to look better,” Garnet said, lowering his hands. “We should take better care of ourselves, instead of waiting around for some lost princess to do it.”

“It’s not like we were waiting around for princesses!” Opal said sharply. A little too sharply. “They came to us! Besides, when have we ever cared what we dwarves look like to outsiders? All we ever had was each other!”

“Yes, until we had her,” Garnet said. His hands longed to reach up, yank, and pull at the remaining hanks of his beard. “She changed everything for us.”

“We lost our brother, because of her. Letting her in was a mistake,” Opal said, shuffling his feet, but not moving any closer to the mirror. “She was an outsider. Eventually, the outside reclaimed her, as we should have expected it to. “ He shrugged again. The gesture made his shoulders tremble.

“If that’s true, why did you do the exact same thing Quartz did?” Garnet demanded. “Why did you let another princess into our home?”
“Well, you saw our living conditions,” Opal mumbled. His eye roamed about the bedroom, avoiding his brother’s gaze. “We were drowning in dirt. Didn’t seem like we had the time to do something about it ourselves.”

“Is that all there was to it?” Garnet demanded. He balled his hands into fists, willing them to stay at the level of his hips. “Getting the house cleaned?”

“Maybe more than the house needed cleaning,” Opal admitted. His gray eyes were watery, as they stared at the tip of his boots. “When I saw that witch at the door with another princess, I wondered if it was a sign.”

“A sign of what?” Garnet asked. He really wanted to reach for his beard! He banged one of his fists against his hip to distract himself from the urge. Pain spasmed through his hip.

“A sign that we needed to stop mourning our brother and…her,” Opal said. The last word emerged from his mouth with slow difficulty. “A sign that our lives have been on hold, ever since we lost Quartz. It’s like we’ve all been waiting for…something.”

“Or someone,” Garnet said, nodding. He unclenched his hands, as he stared his own homely face. What self-respecting dwarf tore his beard to shreds? How could he have let himself go like that? “Do you truly think that princess can bring our girl back from whatever she’s become?”

“No,” Opal said with a decisive shake of his head. “You can’t go back, whether you’re human or dwarf. You can only go forward.”

“I knew it,” Garnet growled. His hand reached for his chin. He stopped his fingers, willing them to stroke, rather than pull at the tuft it clutched at. “We can’t trust that witch queen or her promises. She might very well be tricking us into hoping that her princess can save our princess.”

“She might be,” Opal agreed. An odd gleam came into his eye. “One thing I’ve noticed about that witch queen, though. She seldom lies. She uses the truth to lure you into a trap.”

Opal took a deep breath, before he took a step forward. His reflection was now caught in the mirror’s reflection, even though Garnet stood between him and its critical gaze. Opal laid his thick hands upon his brother’s shoulders.
“If anyone has reason to mistrust every word that comes out of that queen’s mouth, it’s you,” Opal murmured. “You were closer to Quartz than any of us. You used to get yourself out of bed every morning with a curse on your lips. You mumbled nonstop that you wished she’d start sprouting boils, or for that her magic would backfire, turning her into a newt.”

“Aye, I did and I do!” Garnet said. All he had to do was think of that woman and whatever food rested in his stomach turned sour. “I know better than to trust that witch, no matter how hopeful her words.”

“Yet, you’ve decided to believe in those words,” Opal said. His fingers dug into his brother’s shoulders. “Why?”

“It’s not her words I believe in,” Garnet said, shaking his head. “It’s that girl.”

For a moment, blue eyes as clear and direct as the summer sky seemed to looked back at him from the glass. They weren’t the queen’s. The queen’s gaze had never been so bold. There was a strength in them, which both the witch queen and their darling lacked.

“There’s something about that girl, an energy, a direction which we brothers lost,” Garnet murmured. “I wonder if that energy might not be the key to saving our lost one.”

“Aye,” Opal said. Some tension seemed to run out him. A smile crept over his bushy lips. “I can see she had the same effect on you that she had on me.”

“I’m going to grow it back,” Garnet vowed. “If the curse falls upon that girl, I’m not going to run whatever happens. I’m going to go to that castle with a fine chinspread of whiskers to face whatever she awakens as.”

“Aye,” Opal said. He released Garnet’s shoulders and stepped back, but he was still smiling. “Whatever happens, let’s all go to the castle. Looking our best.”

Garnet nodded, as his own mouth trembled in an unfamilar smile. Perhaps it was his fancy, but he thought there might be a few new whiskers in his beard already.