Unwilling to Be Yours

It’s Me Me Monday! A day to strut, promote, and celebrate one’s Me-ness.

This is a philosophy Peter, narrator of Unwilling to Yours is more than happy to follow. The problem is he’s facing a less than appreciative audience.

Not that he’s about to let it get him down. He picks up right where he left off on Saturday in this prelude to Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest…

He opened the door for me, causing a few door chimes to tinkle.

“Go right in.” He kept his gaze fixed upon my knee. “Gabrielle is expecting you.”

It was too late to say anything that might make the boy feel better.

I ducked my head, as I entered the shop.

The darkness made me blink like a mole, after the sunshine outside. The dim light was accompanied by rush of magic, slithering up to inspect me, taste the very air around me.

Well, well, quite the initial interview. The Navel was turning out to be a very interesting place.


Unwilling to Be Yours

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! Every Saturday, six sentences of GLBTQ+ fiction are posted and shared. They can be your own. They can be someone else’s. They just need to be GLBTQ+.

To read a wide variety of LGBTQ+ snippets, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, I post a fragment of a prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows, the first book in my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest.

The first prelude was Waiting to Be Yours, written from Christopher’s perspective. How he found Damian and lost him.

The second prelude is Unwilling to Be Yours, which introduces a new character, Peter. It’s told from his perspective, revealing a very different Christopher. A much grumpier Christopher. A Christopher trying to wait for Damian, to carry on without Damian. He doesn’t like it one bit.

Picking up right where he left off on Wednesday, Peter continues with Unwilling to Be Yours.

“Yes, you’ve come to the right place.” The boy dropped his gaze down to his feet, as if he couldn’t bear to look at my face. “I’m sorry. I’m still getting used to that job opening myself.”

I studied the shadows under the boy’s eyes, the slight trembling of his lower lip.

Before I could say anything else, the boy turned his head and lowered his eyelashes, hiding anything swimming within them.

Unwilling to Be Yours

It’s QueerBlogWed! A day to blog about all things queer. The Navel’s tales inspire that in more ways than one.

Peter picks right where he left off on Monday, attempting to charm a beautiful boy who doesn’t want to be charmed in Unwilling to Be Yours.

This is the second prelude to my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest. I’m currently working on revising the first book in the series, Stealing Myself From Shadows during Camp NaNoWriMo.

“Excuse me, I didn’t mean to startle you.” I tried to adopt a more gentlemanly manner. “Is this the center of all things bizarre?”

Oh, I knew where I was, but using Gabrielle’s catch phrase for the Navel might put this boy at ease. Let him know I had a reason for being here.

The boy stared at me in absorbed silence.

I smiled my most winning smile.

He bit his lip, his gaze shifting away my lips. He studied my eyes, my hands, the embroidery on my red vest, and my forest green trousers hugging my legs.

Having those eyes linger over every inch of me was quite unsettling.

In an attempt at distracting him, I waved a hand up at the old fashioned sign hanging over the door. I nodded at the curve of a bare belly, exposing the belly button.

Cute. A shop called the Navel in a town already named Omphalos. Yes, I recognized the old fashioned word for Navel. Calling this Navel ‘the center of all things bizarre’ was more cute poured on top of far too much cuteness already. Not that I’d ever say it. The name of the store had been Gabrielle’d ida. I wasn’t about to accuse my potential boss of laying on the cute too thick.

“This is the Navel, if that’s what you’re asking.” The boy’s manner became even less friendly, if such a thing was possible.

Speaking of too much cute, no one should be that adorable when they scowl at you. It inspires one with the desire to do wrong.

“What do you want?” The boy crossed his arms and blocked the doorway to the Navel.

“Are you this charming to all your customers?” I asked with a certain arch disapproval.
The mischief in me decided to let him think I was an insulted customer, trying to be a good sport about his attitude.

“Or am I just special?” I tried to keep the censure light and playful.

I cocked my head, exposing a little more of my auburn curls. Not as brilliant as this boy’s, but the sun could bring out a certain eye catching gleam in them, according to some of my former admirers.

Not that this boy was going to be an admirer any time soon.

“That depends.” The boy cocked his own head, mimicking my gesture. Or was he mocking it. “Are you truly a customer?”

Clearly, he didn’t believe I was one.

“Or are you after Damian’s job?” The boy narrowed his eyes, planting his feet a little more firmly in the ground.

Ah, there’s a reason for this beautiful boy’s scowl and his name is Damian.

“Actually, I’m here about a job opening,” I raised my hands in a gesture of supplication. “I didn’t realize I was taking someone else’s job away from them.”

“I suppose you’re not.” All the hostility and suspicion seemed to run out of the boy, as his shoulders slumped.

I almost felt a little guilty.

Unwilling to Be Yours

It’s Me Me Monday! A day to strut, promote, and celebrate your Me-ness. Especially if you’re a member of Queer Sci Fi. 🙂

My means of celebration here at the Cauldron are preludes. Preludes to my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest series. Right now, I’m revising my first book, Stealing Myself From Shadows during Camp NaNoWriMo.

Last Monday, I ended my first prelude, Waiting for Rebirth.

I started a new one on Saturday, Unwilling to Be Yours. This Tale of the Navel is from the perspective of a new character, Peter.

Peter picks up right where he left on Saturday in today’s post…

He should have expected it. Why would anyone wear a black turtleneck and trousers in this heat?

Not that he didn’t look pretty in both. Especially with his hair. Such curls and waves shouldn’t be so short, although they clustered about his ears in an appealing way. The color of those curls more than made up for their shortness. Golden chestnut waves, with coppery bronze highlights captured the rays of the sun.

“Mine eyes dazzle.” My lips moved to form the words before I could stop them. I raised a hand to shield my eyes from the reflected glow.

Not that the boy noticed or even realized I was there. He was grumbling, locked in an animated conversation with someone I couldn’t see.

“I hate being human, sometimes!” He shot a particularly malevolent glance at the sky.

Perhaps he was talking to it?

I might have worried more about in his sanity, if I hadn’t been so distracted by his appearance. Never had I seen so slender a boy, nor one with such delicate features.

Perhaps he was a girl?

No. His voice was too low to be female. Not deep, not by any stretch of the imagination, but not female.

Unaware that his manhood was being questioned, the boy continued to vent to his invisible companion.

“Why anyone would ever enjoy hot weather is beyond me!” The boy raised a pale hand to wipe his pale brow. The sweat gleamed upon his skin like tiny crystals.

It was time to cut into this bizarre conversation. After all, I could always just pretend he’d been talking to me.

“I quite agree.”

The boy nearly jumped out of his skin.

“There are far more agreeable ways in which to sweat.” I took a step closer to him, allowing him to take in my presence.

His violet eyes were already too big for his heart-shaped face. They got even wider at my comment

Perhaps such a joke had been a little too coarse for this shy little blossom. Yes, it’s an archaic way of regarding a boy. It’s exactly what this one seemed like to me. Especially at that moment.


Unwilling to Be Yours

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! Every Saturday, six sentences of LGBTQ+ are posted and shared. They can be your own. They can be someone else’s. They just need to be LGBTQ+.

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

I’m beginning the second prelude to my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest today, introducing a new character, Peter. Unwilling to Be Yours is written from his perspective. As with Waiting for Rebirth, Unwilling to Be Yours will be posted in segments on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.

There’s a job vacancy at the Navel. Peter shows up to fill it. Gabrielle is willing to give the new boy a chance. Christopher is not. Peter would like to change Christopher’s mind, but how can he compete with Damian’s ghost? Especially when Christopher is convinced that Damian is coming back. Especially when Peter himself begins to wonder if Damian isn’t manipulating things in the Navel from beyond the Door. After all, that Door, ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ still hangs upon the Navel’s wall.

I’m exceeding six sentences, truly pushing it with nine. I hope you’ll forgive me. (bows apologetically) I wanted to introduce the conflict of the plot along with Peter. Some of the sentences are short. (another apologetic bow)

I’ve never liked hot weather. It causes a strange shimmer in the air, which rises off the stones of the street and all the shop walls. Plus, it makes my clothes stick to my skin, plastering both with sweat. I’ve been assured it gives my cheeks a seductive gleam. Such assurances are less than assuring, when your clothes stick to you. Plus, I like long sleeves and vests. T-shirts, tank tops, and shorts have never appealed to me.

The boy leaning against the Navel’s wall disliked the weather, too. I could tell from the scowl on his face and the sweat dripping off his brow.

Waiting for Rebirth

It’s QueerBlogWed! A day to blog about all things queer. Waiting for Rebirth embodies queerness in more than one sense. It feels appropriate to end my first prelude to Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest today.

‘Waiting for Rebirth’ is still hanging on the wall of the Navel. Customers have gotten accustomed to it, if not to me. I do my best to smile at them, make them feel welcome. When they ask about Damian, I tell them he’s gone away.

“Will he be coming back?” The question comes up, again and again. My answer is always the same.

“I hope so.” People don’t come back from the Shadow Forest, but I did. Perhaps Damian can, too, once someone offers him a hand. Mine is open and waiting for him. Sometimes, I stand in front of the painting with my hand stretched out. Most of our customers think I’m a little strange.

Gabrielle is the only one who understands. She’s truly accepted me as her son, showering me with all the affection she can no longer give Damian. She doesn’t like it when I hold out my hand. She doesn’t like ‘Waiting for Rebirth’, either.

I still love the painting, even if it took Damian away. It’s the one part of him left in this world. I keep hoping, if I keep offering my hand to the painting, whatever is left of Damian will accept it. It’s not likely. Damian wanted to enter the Shadow Forest. He has a wish he’s going to follow, down the path of his desire. He’ll confront illusions that’ll try to trap him at every turn. There’s a chance his path could lead him back here, to this Door.

It’s a small chance, I know. I’ll still be waiting here with a hand, ready to pull him out of the shadows and bring him home.

This may be the end of Waiting for Rebirth, but it’s not the end of Tales of the Navel. Far from it. Stay tuned Saturday. I’m going to start a new prelude to this series, Unwilling to Be Yours.

Wondering what happened to Damian? A teaser about his fate will appear shortly at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com. Wait for it…:)

K.S. Trenten, a.k.a. rhodrymavelyne

Waiting for Rebirth

Welcome to Me Me Monday! A day to celebrate, strut, and promote your Me-ness! Only Christopher and Gabrielle aren’t feeling much like celebrating. Not after what happened in the last part of ‘Waiting for Rebirth’. Picking up right where we left them on Saturday…

“We must cover that thing up!” Gabrielle hissed. “I never should have let Damian hang it in the Navel, never!” She strode forward, hands clawed, as if she meant to rip the painting to shreds.

“No!” I seized her arm.

She stopped, stared at me in disbelief.

“If we cover the painting up, Damian will never be able to get back!” My voice was a lot less convincing without the power of the Shadow Forest behind it.

“He’s not coming back.” Gabrielle stared at the painting in grim silence. However, she made no attempt to cover it up.

“Yes, he will.” I glanced down at my feet, willing my words to be true. “He used me to create a Door.” I glanced up at the colors, the magical, surreal creature who slipped in and out them. “I’ll use myself to reopen it and call him back.”

“It’ll take time,” Gabrielle warned me. “It means you’ll have to wait for him. Watch the painting and wait for a sign.”

“I can do that.” I swallowed any uncertainty which welled up in my stomach. “If necessary, I’ll wait forever for the Door to re-open.”
“Not a healthy thing to do.” Gabrielle shook her head. “Damian gave you life. We shared ours with you.” She flexed her fingers, trying to release the spasming emotion which quivered through them. “Don’t waste that life waiting.”

“I would have that life if not for him.” I searched for the glimmer of Damian in the white dabs. They’d grown dull and gray. “I’m not giving up on him.”

Gabrielle sighed, but she didn’t argue.

Waiting for Rebirth

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! Every Saturday, six sentences of GLBTQ+ fiction are posted and shared. They can be your own. They can be someone else’s. All that’s required is that they be GLBTQ+.

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

‘Waiting for Rebirth’ is going over the limit of six sentences today. You’ll soon see why.

Damian moved forward, away from me, away from Gabrielle. He stretched out his fingers to touch the spectral ones.

The glow blinded me, forcing me to look away. Damian let out a single cry of terror and joy. Something else cried out with him.

For a moment, light filled the Navel. A moment later, it vanished, leaving Gabrielle and myself in darkness.

There was no sign of Damian. The painting returned its usual pattern of suggestions of color and myself, mingled with the sky.

Waiting for Rebirth

It’s QueerBlogWed! A day to blog about all things queer, which ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ qualifies as (grins with Pride). We pick off where we left on Monday with a Door opening through Damian’s painting…

“Close it!”

Gabrielle stood behind us, hair loose and crackling in a halo around her head.

“Opening a Door here is dangerous!” ‘Brie stared, no glared at the painting. “Turn away from it at once!”

“No!” Damian’s denial was fierce and short. “This is the way to my path!”

Damian took another step forward. He stretched out his own hand toward the ghostly one. The two were meant to be joined.

I saw this, yet I couldn’t let this happen.

I moved forward to Damian’s side, seized Damian’s arm.

“You don’t have to accept this.” Every inch of compulsion I’d ever possessed I put into my voice. “Listen. Can you hear them?”

The wind whispered through the cracks in the color. They murmured in a wind wind, increasing in volume. The sound struck my ears, bringing images to life. A girl spun on top of a hill in a dress as green as the grass beneath her feet. A man with the long, spindly hands caressed and sought tools to carve his words into some enduring medium. A laughing maiden with wayward fair hair searched for something she couldn’t name.

All of them were waiting for me, for I was each of them, as well as Christopher. I was an individual composed of fragments. Not all of these fragments belonged to Christopher.

Part of me wanted to step forward, towards my other lost selves. To be reunited with them. However, it was never the same, once you took on a different identity.

“Listen to what I lost,” I let my own voice caress Damian. “This is what awaits you.” I loosened my grip on his arm, stroking it. “What you are now will be shattered.”

“I know.” His own voice was so very tender when he turned to look at me. “From the first moment I saw you, I knew.” He lifted his gaze to the ghostly hand reaching out from a shining path. “I can’t abandon my wish, though. Not even for you.”

Waiting for Rebirth

It’s Me Me Monday! A day to strut, promote and celebrate your Me-ness! Or your stories’s Me-ness. 🙂 I promised several Rainbow Snippeteers that Damian would answer Christopher’s question in the next part of ‘Waiting for Rebirth’.  Here is his response…

“The Ashelockes have always revered shadows. They are the sacred spaces within which we can practice dark arts.” Damian offered me a bitter smile. “Aunt Duessa, for instance, traps beautiful boys in cocoons, draining them of their blood. She calls them her ‘Valentines’.”

“Not surprising.” I considered Duessa’s eight arms, eyes, and playful talk of devouring me. “She does seem quite spider like.”

“Oh, she is.” Damian let out a short, strained laugh, “If she has a choice, she likes to play with her prey first, forcing them to play her little games, rituals, and challenges. All of which is very proper for an Ashelocke.” He gave me a sideways glance.“Rescuing someone using light is not.”

Improper. What a petty snub to something as exquisite and mysterious as the stars in the sky.

“Darkness is meaningless without light to illuminate it.” I tried to voice what I’d sensed, responded to the moment Damian stretched out his hand to me. “Yours is beautiful.”

“Is darkness truly meaningless without light?” Damian looked from me to gleaming splashes in the painting. “Is my Door based on something so simple?”

White bled into black, transforming into gray. No, silver. It spread, stretching out its…hand. Yes. Its fingers reached out of the confines of the canvas, seeking Damian, a ghost in this reality. I could hear the rustle of leaves, the whisper of the wind.

“I’ve done it,” Damian widened eyes moist with excitement. “I’ve opened a Door!”