Waiting for Rebirth

It’s Me Me Monday! A day to promote, share, and strut one’s me-ness! Once more, I’m doing so through Christopher. He’s experiencing life in a tangible, ‘real’ world after his limbo in the Shadow Forest in a strange little town called Omphalos. He’s getting to know the woman who’s become his mother and the man who’s shaped his existence.

‘Waiting for Rebirth’ is the prelude to ‘Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest’, a series about gender fluid alternative realities and an anti-reality which can be anything you wish. Tarot imagery dominates the landscape.

Christopher picks up right where he left off last Saturday…

I’d wondered at my exclusion during this little preparation ritual. Perhaps Gabrielle and Damian wanted some time to themselves. The thought caused a wistful little ache in my chest. I came to relish my morning walks in the fresh air. The breeze was cool and crisp, never nipping at my flesh and thoughts. If anything, it coaxed them out of my imagination. I luxuriated in the simple act of letting my mind wander. This was something I’d never dared to do in the Shadow Forest. I never knew what might manifest from my free ranging thoughts.

This was the relaxed state of a real world. I had to do something in order to hurt someone or change anything. No matter what I might feel about Damian or Gabrielle, they’d be untouched by it. Not unless I actually did something to them. Such blessed freedom.

Only there was a shadow lying over Omphalos, one I didn’t wish to acknowledge. I wandered the street, looking at shops and cottage, trying to ignore its chill.

Impossible. It loomed over everything, crept over every building, every stone. It tugged at me, willing me to acknowledge.

“All right,” I said, hugging myself through my soft, velvet shirt. I looked up at the hill, in the direction of the cold.

A circle of stones crowned the green mound, keeping solemn watch on the town below. I’d half expected to see a tower perched up there.

“Of course there isn’t,” I said out loud. “I’m down here in the flesh.” I shivered, tightening my arms around myself. No, I didn’t want to go up there. Not ever.

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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 of GLBTQ+, go here https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

Christopher continues to explore his new existence in the next part of ‘Waiting for Rebirth’, prelude to my ‘Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest’ books.

I lost track of how many days passed. Every morning, I took a little walk through Omphalos by myself.

“Christopher, why don’t you go out and catch a sniff of fresh air?” Gabrielle would tell me, right after breakfast. I never ate more than a little bit of food. My new mother’s bright smile revived me more than the small bowl of fruit I attempted to eat. “Damian and I will clear up, while we get the Navel ready for visitors.”

Waiting for Rebirth

Welcome to #QueerBlogWed! Christopher recalls his days with Damian in the next segment of ‘Waiting for Rebirth’.

Every afternoon, he led out of the dark confines of the shop, leading down the little cobblestoned path to the garden. Nobody else disturbed Damian and I, once we passed its gate. The flowers belonged to the two of us alone. The gazebo was Damian’s art studio, his lair. His paints, brushes, easel, and canvas were always there, waiting for us.

Waiting for Rebirth

Welcome to ‘Me Me Monday’! ‘Tis a day to strut, promote, and celebrate one’s Me-ness! It’s also time for Christopher to return to the Navel and ‘Waiting for Rebirth’, my prelude to ‘Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest’.

Christopher picks up right where he left off with Juno on Saturday…

The usual payment, ‘Brie?”

“Of course,” Gabrielle said. She smiled at me, the corners of her mouth uplifting.

I carried the tin over to Juno, a strange warmth stroking my cheeks, face, and neck. Gabrielle had brought a little of the sun in the Navel with her smile.

Juno accepted it, brushing her hands against my fingers as she did. I didn’t shiver. It was impossible to do so. Not while I was protected by my new mother’s approval.

“Such a dear boy,” Juno said. She hugged the tin to her ample bosom. “Don’t let just anybody have him, ‘Brie.”

She half walked, half bounced her way out of the store.

“What was all that about?” I asked, once the door chimes jingled behind her, announcing our customer’s departure.

“That was Juno,” Gabrielle said. She released a breath I hadn’t realized she’d been holding. “Be careful around her. She’s much more dangerous than she seems.” My new mother cocked her head towards me. “Although you handled her very well.”

“That’s enough of the Navel for one day, don’t you think?” I jumped when Damian lay his hand on my shoulder. I hadn’t even realized he was standing there. “Time for a bit of fresh air.”

“Yes, it is,” Gabrielle said, not seeming surprised at all at Damian’s sudden appearance. “Don’t make him pose for too long, Damian.”

Damian lowered his eyelashes in an almost coy way while his lower lip curled. His hand claimed mine, gently tugging me towards the door.

Waiting for Rebirth

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! It’s good to be back! I’ve missed our little Saturday community, which shares and posts six sentences of GLBTQ+ fiction. My Blogging From A-Z Project: Character Snippets would have never happened, if my friends and fellow writers hadn’t inspired with their offerings of six sentences. The sliver of fiction can be your own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be GLBTQ+

To read a wide variety of GLBTQ+ samples, go here https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

Christopher and ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ are very happy to have the Cauldron back, after sharing it with so many unruly characters. (Zenobia was particularly unpleasant. She tried to plunder the Cauldron. Thanks to Paula Wyant and Quartz, all she got was a ceramic turtle, a garden gnome, and a black feather. She didn’t get to keep the turtle or the gnome, but that’s another story. See the other Cauldron at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com or my Facebook Author Page for the details. :))

Christopher picks up right where he left off in the Navel with Juno on Wednesday. Which tin does she want?

I walked over to the teas. I was tempted to pick the box with flowers and grass painted upon it, but I found myself reached for another tin instead. It was a russet color with the black sillouette of a woman holding a lyre, seated before a faun.

“Clever boy!” Juno said. She clapped her pudgy hands together. “Be a dear and hand it to me.”

Waiting for Rebirth

Welcome to QueerBlogWed! Christopher picks off at the Navel right where he left off on Monday. He’s speaking to Juno, trying to figure out how to deal with this Navel regular, who’s a lot more than she appears to be.

“Oh, you’re a confident one, aren’t you?” Juno asked.“You almost remind me of the boys in my lady’s land.” She let out a throaty little chuckle. “Beardless and gentle, yet capable of ensnaring anyone with their perfect pitch.”

How very different this was from the rugged hardness cultivated by men in other places. How they’d fume at stutter at being called ‘beardless and gentle’, yet they sought the same qualities in their male lovers.

An image came to me of a man, beardless himself, yet with wispy hair and a twinkle in his eye. The hair other men cultivated on their chin amused him.

A lump came to my throat, when I thought of him. Another memory lost, devoured by shadows. I didn’t even know which were truly mine.
“It’s all right.” Damian whispered in my memory. I held onto each word, letting them ground me, center me. “This is your rebirth, Christoper.”

I’d been reborn, when I took his hand. Once upon a time, I’d been someone else. Once Upon a Time. I shivered at the word, glancing at the shelves of the Navel, the crystals which Juno had casually touched.

Gabrielle stood to the side, leaning against the counter. In spite her relaxed posture, she kept her eyes fixed upon me, Tiny wrinkles marred her smooth brow, turned her smile lines into something concerned.

“I’m not trying to ensnare anyone,” I said. I met Juno’s eyes. “I’m just hoping to put you at ease. I’m not entirely sure how to do so.”

Juno’s mouth opened and closed. My direct honesty had caught her completely off guard.

“Oh, my dear boy, don’t worry about such a thing!” Juno tittered. She pressed my hands, digging her own long, carefully painted nails into my palms. “I’m quite the regular around the Navel, indeed I’m quite easy to please! Why, I’ve put up with so much from that brute of a husband of mine, there’s very little which bothers me, little indeed!” She fluttered her silvery eyelashes at me. They veiled and unveiled the metallic gray hardness of her eyes. “Besides, I’ve got my ways of taking care of what bothers me, seeing that it never troubles me again, oh yes!”

Such menace lurked within her simple words. No amount of simpering and giggling could hide it.

“I hope I’m not troubling you,” I said. I met her gaze with utter directness. “How might I assist you?” I was surprised at how calm I was.

“Oh, you’re a civil boy, quite a delectable boy!” Juno cooed. The similiarity of her words to Duessa’s struck me. I wondered if the two of them were acqauinted. “All I want is the usual, just a little tea, if you please!”

“Tea?” I glanced over at Gabrielle. I had no idea the Navel had any tea for sale.

She nodded over at collection of pretty tins. They had various images painted upon them. Which one did Juno want? I could have asked her, but she folded her arms and started to hum.

“Oh, can you guess? Can you guess?” She half spoke, half sang the words. “Which is the one for me?”

Waiting for Rebirth

At last, the other characters have cleared out, going back to pound on my imagination in various ways. If you had a favorite, I’m sure that character will never let me hear the end of it. (groans)

Finally, Christopher is free to return, along with ‘Waiting for Rebirth’. We’ll be returning to the Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday cycle of posting fragments, picking up where we left off in ‘G is for Gabrielle’.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Whatever spell Juno had been casting, ‘Brie had disrupted it. Besides, she might have been just waving her hand. I blinked, trying to recall the difference between the two, for there had been a difference. I cringed, yearning to sink into the shadows for an entirely new reason.

“Ah, but I’d love the opportunity to get to know him better!” Juno cooed. She stretched out her pudgy fingers towards me. Each one of them sported a different ring. “Come here, my sweetmeat, and let me get a better look at you!”

It wasn’t an invitation I particularly wanted to accept. Particularly when she called me ‘sweetmeat’. Some of the tension left my shoulders. I found myself moving forward.

The strangest sense of familiarity washed over me when I looked at Juno’s pudgy face. There were wrinkles under her eyes, folds under her cheeks. They made me think of Duessa’s many eyes, Duessa’s desire to devour me. Such a wish should frighten me, but it didn’t. Neither did this woman.

I reached out my own hands, allowing her to take them. It didn’t matter if she did. I’d already allowed my hand to be claimed.