S is for Shelley

Hello there, brave readers. Happily, we’re not in Paradise, just the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration. I’m Shelley, although not the actual poet, mind. I took his name, hoping to take on some of his courage and creativity in the process. Such abilities are in short supply in the city of Paradise under the Goddess’s eye.

Here’s a taste of what Byron and I have to endure, trapped in this place, a little scene from ‘On the Other Side of the Mask’. Or is our work in progress called ‘Trouble in Paradise’? I certainly hope we will be!

Shelley felt his own heart racing at Byron’s smile. He welcome the fierce beat, the steady distraction. Perhaps it would keep at bay the creature waiting in the dark. It breathed in the stillness, sniffing hungrily at the two boys. Perhaps Byron’s resolve would make it retreat. Alas, no. Night made it easy for the spectral presence. The hushed breath in the still darkness was its cloak and cover.

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R is for Rhodry

Err, hello. Welcome to the Cauldron. I’m Rhodry, a character who’s been in my author’s imagination since the 1990s. I’ve appeared in various guises in roleplaying games, landed a major part of an interactive writing project called the Keep, a yaoi fantasy story where different authors combined their characters and their talents. The Keep project was inspired by a novel my author started working on in the 1990s, which she’s resurrecting as ‘Trouble in Caerac Keep’. Here’s a little moment with the new me, which appears in this story.

My fingers flexed, looking for something to grip, to distract them. Like a book’s cover, only there were no books here. Books were so much easier to deal with than people. Oh, how I longed to be back in the Library! To hide within the stacks from all shocked stares and angry mumbles.

“At least they’re just mumbles.” I could almost hear Daeric saying that in the back of my mind. “The only way to deal with the world is to face it.”

Q is for Questioning

Are we having a good day or a bad day? Forgive me, but I’m Questioning. By name as well as by nature. Once, I called myself Sister Magdalene. This was before I started to question everything; faith, my gender, my friends, the very wrap and weave of the world. Reality unraveled around me, becoming a series of possibilities. Looking after Kyra, my little golden serpent keeps me grounded, but I can’t rely too much on her. I must be strong for her in turn. To do this, I must face a former friend, one who knew by another name. Daeric Nevalyn is having trouble getting used to the new me. I’m still getting used to the new me. Just see how Daeric Nevalyn reacts in this sample of ‘A Suitor’s Challenge’.

“I thought I was an old friend of yours.”

“Magdalene was my friend. Perhaps my closest friend other than the twin who was taken from me.” Daeric looked down at her from several floors above. “This was before you put everything about her into flux.”

“I was no longer comfortable as Magdalene.” Questioning moved along the ledge to find the next flight of stairs. “For once, your mother is not to blame. My own flesh felt wrong.”

“You have the most beautiful flesh I’ve ever seen,” Daeric murmured. He looked down at his hand, at the ring on his finger. “I’d wager Kyra gets her courage from you.”

P is for Peter

Why, hello there, you lovely readers! Welcome to the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration, where I’m more than happy to inspire you all! (winks) I’m Peter, a later addition to the Navel. You probably haven’t met me yet. Still stuck with Damian in ‘Waiting for Rebirth’? (shakes his head) I feel your pain. Perhaps it’s time to alleviate it with someone a little more fun. Someone like me. (winks again) Here’s a little bit of ‘Unwilling to Be Yours’, but believe me, I’m determined to change to change his mind. It’s from the perspective of yours truly.

“Why anyone would enjoy hot weather is beyond me!”

“I quite agree,” I said, deciding to take a step closer to him. After all, I could just pretend he was talking to me. “There are far more agreeable ways in which to sweat.”

The boy nearly jumped out of his skin. His violet eyes, which were already too big for his heart shaped face got even wider.

Perhaps my joke had been a bit coarse for this shy little blossom, for that’s exactly what he seemed like to me at the time.

O is for Ouroboros

I am Ouroboros, the World Serpent. When the creatrix breathed life into the void, she shaped me. I became a part of everything. My creatrix looked upon this and felt the first stirring of desiring. She coupled with me, creating more life. Either that, or I shattered, broke myself into aspects. I have so many beginnings, so many stories. It gets confusing. This is why I have avatars. To make sense of immenseness which is me.

Alas, I’m at the mercy of those avatars, such as Nevalyn, my little golden serpent. I wonder if she realizes how much she is at the beck and call of those who worship her and revile her? In the end, our children are the ones who decide what to do with us, with the gifts we bestow upon them. We can only watch while they make their choices. She cannot accept this. See how life reacts through these small vessels in this story wrapped in the coils of creation, ‘A Suitor’s Challenge’.

“Again, you mention Ouroboros, the World Serpent.” Questioning reached the next level. She was only three flights below Daeric. “The one name your mother never allowed anyone to say.” She paused for a moment to take a deep breath and question. “Why?”

The walls, the books, everything around let out a low, rumbling hiss. Someone or something in this tower didn’t like that word.

Questioning shook her head. To question everything was her calling. A library should be capable of handling this. “I thought Ouroboros was nothing, but an old legend.”

“Legend or truth? It all depends on your perspective,” Daeric said. He raised his head looking down at his empire of books. “Mother desired to become the Serpent itself. She succeeded, but only became one aspect of It. This was why she tried to remove all traces of Its name.” He lowered his eyelashes. “Even speaking of Ouroboros was forbidden. Xian and Zenobia, the Serpent’s eager disciples, never learned there was more to the Serpent than Mother.”

N is for Nevalyn

Why, hello there, little readers. Come to look up the Serpent? How very brave of you. Few dare to do so. Even fewer can manage to contain me in their hearts.

One young girl is trying very hard to do so, poor thing. She’s of my blood, so she’s better at it than most mortals. Alas, she’s only mortal. Kyra could be so much more, if she’d only open up and let me in. Watch while she foolishly struggles against me in ‘A Suitor’s Challenge’.

The angry darkness waited to swallow me, accompanied by a hunger fierce enough to rip through my skin and swallow the world. Lust for knowledge, lust of experience, lust for life, it would gulp up anything. Everything.

“Not it,” I whispered. “She.” I huddle onto the ground, feeling the echo of the churning within my head and in my belly. She’s not there. Not any more. Stefan took her away, right before she took Stefan.

Where was he? What had She done with him?

M is for Melyssa

Ugh, I can’t believe my author made me show up for ‘M is for Melyssa’. Why couldn’t it have been ‘M is for Mel’? I’d much rather use the nickname my master gave me than the one my mother inflected upon me! Wait, my mother is Juno, isn’t she? My memories and my past are very confused. My goal, however, is not. You can read that for yourself in the snippet below from ‘A Godling for Your Thoughts?’ It’s not from my point of view, but those strange boys talking to me. You can meet them back at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com in ‘D is for Danyell and Dayell’.

“I keep seeing a face in my dreams.”

“A face?” Danyell repeated. Dayell was shaking his head with a bit more vigour. “What face?”

“A lined face with grooves more like bark in a tree. A woman’s face.” Melyssa tightened her fingers around the metal disc. The figure etched upon it was softer, more curvaceous than the one which had been on Leiwell’s.