Saturday Snippet

It’s Saturday, time for #RainbowSnippets! Participants share six sentences of GLBT fiction. It can be your own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be GLBT.

I recently finished an extended draft of ‘On the Other Side of the Mask’, only to realize it’s too short for Lethe Press’s general submissions. I’m working on extending it. One of the things I did was add a prologue. Below an introductory blurb are the first six lines of the prologue.

In the city of Paradise, orphans who can sing belong to the church. The only thing they can choose is their name. Choosing the names of rebel poets from another world, however, can attract undue attention. Singing your own songs, instead of Paradise’s hymns is forbidden. Doing forbidden things is dangerous. For the agents of Paradise are always watching and the agents of Paradise are always hungry.

“If only this adult body was nothing more than a mask!” This was unreal. Opening his mouth, only to let out that awful croak. What had happened to his voice?

“You’re becoming a man,” his teacher had said, gruffly. Color flamed in each cheek, as he turned his back on his former favorite. “Go. There’s no place for you here.”


‘A Symposium in Space’ Snippet

Here’s a teaser from my f/f science fiction story, ‘A Symposium in Space’, which was inspired by Plato’s ‘The Symposium’.

“Yes, by all means, let Phaedra start the conversation,” Pausania said. She smiled with pure spite at me. “Do tell us all about the object of your latest passion.”

One of the bubbles shot toward me. It was translucent, quite pink–but an icy, bluish sort of color. Much like many of the baubles Agathea and Eryxmachia wore. It stared at me with a crystalline coldness, reflecting back my wide eyes and twitching lips.

“Conversation?” I asked. The word came out as a kind of squeak.

“The conversation about love, dear,” Eryximachia said. Her shaved eyebrow raised, in unconscious imitation of Sokrat. “Share your thoughts, your experiences, whatever you have to offer about the subject.”

Saturday Snippet

Welcome to #RainbowSnippets! Everyone participating posts six sentences of GLBT fiction. It can be your own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be GLBT.

Mine comes from my recent July Camp NaNoWriMo project, which I’m revising for submission. It’s called ‘On the Other Side of the Mask’.

‘On the Other Side of the Mask’

Church wards without family and fortune belong to the clergy of Paradise. Their voices and bodies belong to the Goddess. The only thing they get to choose is their names. Such choices have consequences, though. When Byron and Shelley choose the names of a couple of rebel poets from a lost world, they attract unwanted attention. For a hungry force has been feeding off the faithful of Paradise, draining the will from the rebellious. However, Byron and Shelley are still determined to pursue the spirit of freedom, even when Paradise pursues and cages them.

Shelley had studied Byron’s slender fingers, as he turned over the book rags, examing it. The other boy’s eyes gleamed with an almost hungry light.

The same gleam was in his eyes now, as he lay on his side, staring at Byron. Byron didn’t quite dare look at him directly. He wasn’t sure why.

“Why Byron?” Shelley persisted. “Is it just because he was in the book Mae gave you?”

Wednesday Challenge

OK, this is a little late, but Paula, I’ve tried to meet your challenge of a loaf of bread, a sign, and railroad tracks. Here’s a story fragment inspired by story fragments I’ve already written for a strange science fiction fantasy, which was inspired by Gundam and art, but has taken on a life of its own, over the years. I’ve named the fragments ‘Lift Your Gaze to the Heavens’, which I’d like to turn into a complete story, but other projects currently are fighting for my attention, which need it more.

Dylan squirmed, unable to look at his hands bound to the railroad tracks. “Rizzo,” he said, trying to keep his teeth from chattering.

“Isn’t this great?” Rizzo turned to grin and him. Unlike him, she was seated comfortably, long legs crossed, as she tore off a piece from a giant loaf of french bread. “You’re bound to a piece of Ancient Earth! Or at least, I think this existed on Ancient Earth. There was a time, when humans worshipped in theatre an artistic god called Melodrama, in which girls would be bound to railroad tracks and sacrificed. Unless it was an early expression of bondage.” She offered him the piece of bread. “Want some?”

“How am I supposed to reach for it with my hands tied?” Dylan snapped. His nipples stiffened with the cold. The chill of the iron chafed his bare skin. “Why are we doing this, again? Also, why am I wearing nothing, except your briefs?”

“Because they look good on you,” Rizzo said in a reasonable tone. “Not as good as they do on me, of course,” she said, tossing a long, purple lock of hair over her pointed ear. “However, I think we’ll both agree you fit on the train track better than I do.” She rearranged her legs, examining them. Riselle Taliha was over six feet tall, standing. Much taller than Dylan Stuart, at his pitiful height of 5 foot eight. “I could feed you the bread, if you’re getting hungry.”

“No, thank you,” Dylan said, in as dignified a manner as he could, considering his position. “Why are we doing this?”

“Because we’re broke,” Rizzo said, flatly. “Did you see our paychecks for our last performances?”

Dylan tried not to wince and failed. “Try not to remind me. I’ve got a foster sister and brother at home on Gaia. How am I supposed to support them on this kind of money?”

“You can’t,” Rizzo said, flatly, shaking her head. “I think Marchen and Sasha may end up supporting you, instead. They’re actually successful at your jobs. Plus, they own a house on Gaia. That’s more than you’ve managed to scrape together, doll.”

“I can’t deny that,” Dylan muttered. “If I wasn’t getting support from my family, I wouldn’t be able to afford being at the Accademia.”

“Exactly!” Rizzo said, with a wag of her head. “I’m in the same elegant, yet leaky boat. You don’t like the situation any better than I do, do you?” She stuffed a piece of bread in her mouth. “You wish to be free from parental control, correct? Or rather marental? Escape from Evelyn Stuart’s tightening grip, so I can finally spit in my beloved clanfather’s face?”

“Well, yes,” Dylan said. Trust Rizzo to make it all about her. How very sidhe. He tried to get a better look at her face, turning his head, but his own arm blocked his line of sight to the side. “I’m not sure how tying me to a train track is going to help.”

“We need attention! We need to do something really daring, in order to make some money!” Rizzo said, once she’d finished chewing. “Which is why I posted a sign in the dormitory-“

“What sign?” Dylan asked. Oh, no, he didn’t like the sound of this. He already didn’t like being tied to a railroad track. The self satisfied glee in Rizzo’s voice didn’t reassure him.

“The one I just posted, of course,” Rizzo said, reasonably. “It said ‘Historic Man Candy Auction’.”

“What?!” Dylan yelped. He squirmed, tried to turn, but the bonds around his wrists and ankles were entirely too tight. “Exactly what is that supposed to mean?”

“I decided to enact the ancient earth tradition of melodrama by tying you to a train track,” Rizzo said, smiling brightly at Dylan. “You’re only wearing your boxers, so everyone can see what a nice body you have. After all, I did promise potential buyers man candy.”

“You’re selling me off?” Dylan yelped. “Like a slave?”

“Of course not!” Rizzo looked genuinely offended. “You’ll get half of whatever we make. It’ll be like another ancient earth tradition, pimp and prostitute.”

“That tradition isn’t as ancient as I’d like!” Dylan growled. “You might ask me, before you decide to pimp me out!”

“Oh, I’m not really pimping you out, like a real prostitute!” Rizzo looked genuinely shocked. “I’m charging everyone who comes out here to look at you 30 credits.”

“30 credits? Just for looking at me?” Dylan groaned, as he looked up at his bound wrists. “Rizzo, people can get free porn just by surfing the web. Why would anyone pay 30 credits just to come look at me?”

“Marchen might,” Rizzo said, with a sly grin. She took another bite of bread. “In fact, she might pay extra to have a private view of you all to herself.”

“How many times do I have to tell you?” Dylan said, with a sigh. He was getting a headache from trying to look up at his hands. He stared at the grayish blue sky overhead instead. Just like a sky on earth. Just who’d decided to build an old fashioned set of railroad tracks on Reni 7? “It’s not like that between Marchen and me.”

“Yes, yes, she’s the little sister you never had,” Rizzo said, rolling her eyes. “Personally, if you really care for her, I think you should boff her once. It’s quite unkind to keep denying someone who wants you. Downright rude, in fact.”

“It would be worse than rude to try to be something I’m not to her,” Dylan said. Why was he talking to Rizzo about this? Maybe because he needed to talk to someone about it. Someone who wasn’t close to Marchen.

There Was Little Enough Inspiration to be Had in the Garden

This is my response to a prompt I came up with for Writer Zen Garden, or one of four responses. I ended up writing four entirely different responses for four different characters, each of them in the same garden. One for Mel/yssa Ashelocke I posted at the Writer Zen Garden. One for Dayell is at my Facebook Author Page. One is for Leiwell at the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration at blogger. This one is for Danyell.

Each of these characters are in ‘A Godling for Your Thoughts?’, my NaNoWriMo project in November. ‘A Godling for Your Thoughts?’ is the sequel to ‘The Hand and the Eye of the Tower’ and ‘Stealing Myself From Shadows’.

“There was little enough inspiration to be had in the garden. At least, that was what Damian always thought,” Christopher said, with a slight shrug. “He thought all the magic in his art came from me, or himself.” His smile turned a little wistful, when he gazed at the golden flowers, radiant with reflected sunlight.

Danyell wished Christopher would give into his urge, which made his nose and fingers quiver. To take a step closer to the flower bed and breathe in their fragrance. Such an action would probably kill the poor plants. The darkness inside Christopher would wither them in an instant. Danyell hoped he’d transformed the darkness within his former friend/enemy into something less malign, but Christopher wasn’t going to take any chances. Not when his breath could kill something small and fragile.

“Some of the magic came from you, too!” Danyell said, shaking his head. His curls whipped around, hitting his cheeks, almost stinging his eyes. “Damian wasn’t completely wrong!”
“Damian was wrong about many things, though,” Christopher said, with a sigh. He gestured towards the garden. “He was very like your brothers in that. Both of your brothers.”

He nodded towards an empty space, where the flowers bowed sleepily to someone unseen.

Where were his brothers? Surely, they should be in the garden with him. Most of Omphalos was here from his family to the new residents, picking vegetables. Where was everybody?

“Dayell?” he asked, only to have his vision of the garden, Christopher, and his own loneliness disappear. Dayell was standing right next to him. Rubbing his dirty hands. Scowling with a face that was exactly like Danyell’s, only there were bright flecks of silver in violet blue irises. “Are you all right?”

“As right as an empty green field, before the angry earth cracks it in two,” Dayell muttered. When his twin was uneasy and mistrustful of the company, he talked in riddles. Fortunately, Danyell had gotten pretty good at figuring out what he was talking about. “These strangers brought the anger with them.”

“Meaning something bad is going to happen to Omphalos,” Danyell murmured. It wasn’t too surprising. Leiwell had kept this little corner of the world protected through shadow magic. Such actions always had a price in stories. Danyell doubted reality would be that different.

Me Me Me Monday

It’s time for ‘Me Me Me Monday’ at QueerSciFi. I’ve just claimed victory for July Camp NaNoWriMo with an extended draft of my story, ‘On the Other Side of the Mask’.

Trying to seize a little freedom in the grim city of Paradise, two church choir wards choose the names of Byron and Shelley for themselves. For a name is the only thing which belongs to them in a colorless word, where all light and life is gathered by the pale lords and offered to their Goddess. Byron and Shelley are determined, though, to belong to themselves and each other. Through their song, they cry out their defiance to the heavens. The heavens are watching, though. The heavens are hungry.