Unwilling to Be Yours

It’s QueerBlogWed, the last QueerBlogWed I’m going to be here for until Wednesday, September 20, 2017.

Not that I won’t set this Cauldron up to bubble with Peter’s continuing adventures in Unwilling to Be Yours. 🙂 He’ll keep on trying to earn his place in the Navel and in Christopher’s heart on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

I simply won’t be around while he does. I probably won’t be able to respond if anyone reacts to his antics. If so, please forgive me and enjoy his ongoing story. (bows)

He’s picking and getting settled in right where he left off on Monday…

 

Weirdness was a regular occurrence not only in the Navel, but in the town of Omphalos itself. Occasionally, I’d see a woman with cat ears, or a tail. Not that it mattered. Everyone was friendly, including the delivery woman.

“Ah, but you’re a lovely lad!” She had a merry grin, even if her teeth occassionally appeared a bit too sharp. “I’m glad you’re here. Christopher could use some cheering up. He’s been moping ever since Damian left.”

“I’m not moping,” Christopher muttered, focusing all of his attention on unpacking a box. “I’ve always been quiet, that’s all.”

The delivery woman smiled at him, while nudging me. “He worshipped Damian, you know.”

Yes, I knew that only too well.

Unwilling to Be Yours

It’s Me Me Monday! Time to promote, strut, and celebrate your Me-ness!

Peter is still trying to figure out his own around the Navel in the next part of Unwilling to Be Yours, which is indeed a bizarre place. He picks up where he left off on Saturday, getting used to his new job as Damian’s replacement.

Unwilling to Be Yours is the second prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows, my novel under revision.

Stealing Myself From Shadows is the first book in my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest series.

 

Like the large doll with amber curls, slumped over one of the skulls. I had no idea where she’d come from.

“Don’t worry about it.” ‘Brie waved her hand with a complete lack of concern. “If she’s on the shelf, she’s meant to be there.”

A most enigmatic sentence. Gabrielle had a collection of them, ready to include anything odd which might appear in her center of all things bizarre.

Not that this oddness was limited to the Navel’s wares.

A large woman brought the boxes to the store. She didn’t drive a truck, or even a waggon for that matter. I half expected her to in this place.

No, she’d stride up out of the early morning mists which gathered on the main street of Omphalos, carrying the box. Bare biceps would be quivering with tension from lifting them with a strength any muscle man would envy.

If I looked closely at her, I could see wrinkles lining every inch of her skin. They weren’t the marks of age. They resembled the grooves in tree bark. Not that I was sure of this. If I stared at her naked arms for too long, the wrinkles would vanish.

This wasn’t the only odd thing about the delivery woman. Sometimes her skin looked greenish in the right light.

She’d catch me staring only to fix her eyes upon me. For one moment, they’d appear slitted and yellow.

She’d smile, showing a hint of sharp fang.
I’d blink, only to find her warm, brown eyes, gleaming with an amber light, lips curving in a mischievous smile.

Perhaps I was seeing things.

Unwilling to Be Yours

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! Every Saturday, six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction 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 samples from LGBTQ+ stories, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_headerhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

This will be my last time participating in Rainbow Snippets until September 23rd. I’m going to disappear and unplug for a while on Labor Day weekend.

I’m going to try to set up the Cauldron to keep posting Unwilling to Be Yours while I’m gone. I won’t be appearing at Facebook, nor will I be able to read anyone else’s snippets.

I’ll miss you all. At the same time, I’m about to reap a huge Artist’s Reward (I hope :)).

In the meantime, a happy Saturday and good writing to you all!

Here’s the next part of Unwilling to Be Yours, picking up right where Peter left off on Wednesday (QueerBlogWed)…

It turned out, it wasn’t. I got an ordinary pay stub, which I could cash, or put into my bank account. Much of my work was ordinary, too. Inventory would arrive in boxes. I’d unload various objects, put it in the right places on the shelves.

Not that I could account for everything in the shop. Sometimes objects would simply appear, which I hadn’t seen before.

Promo Friday

Too often have I neglected the tradition of Promo Friday. Behold its resurrection at this Cauldron.

Why? I’ve got releases coming out this very year.

My f/f fantasy fairytale, Fairest has found a new home in Nine Star Press’s Once Upon a Rainbow anthology, which will be released on November 20, 2017.

Scampering hot on its heels is my Mouse Prince/Nutcracker story, Seven Tricks on November 27, 2017.

That’s not all.

At the very beginning of next year, I’ve got a second f/f fantasy fairytale appearing for the first time in print. At Her Service will be making its debut in Once Upon a Time 2 on January 15, 2018.

This time, the story is all Cinderella, my own gender bending version of this classic tale.

Cinders would much rather fondle her mistress’s bony feet than go to a ball. She finds herself whisked away, in spite of herself to a night of magic and dancing, discovering her true heart in the process.

Here’s a little unedited teaser from the beginning…

Ever since I could remember, my life revolved around my mistress. I did my desperate best to serve her, even though I wasn’t very good at it.

“Fetch me my slippers,” she’d say, waving a slender hand idly in the direction of the closet. She’d be busy reading a leather bound book she’d managed to swindle from a stuffy order of monks, or carefully going over the household accounts. My mistress would never entrust her money to any of the servants.

Eager to please, I’d open the closet. A cascade of all kinds of slippers, scarves, and gowns would come pouring out of the wardrobe, knocking me to the ground.

Unwilling to Be Yours

Welcome to #QueerBlogWed! It’s a day to blog and post about all things queer.

Unwilling to Be Yours qualifies in more senses than one. It’s the second prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows, my novel under revision.

Stealing Myself From Shadows is the first book in my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest series. In truth,  it’s growing into a collection of stories (including the freebies which appear at the Cauldron), involving certain characters and a mythos inspired by Tarot card imagery.

I plan to publish and sell the novels, beginning with Stealing Myself From Shadows. I offer these freebie stories and preludes in the hopes of drawing you, dear reader into their world. 🙂

Unwilling to Be Yours picks up where it left off on Monday with Peter accomplishing his first challenge, satisfying a difficult Navel customer.

Peter’s actions appear to have pleased ‘Brie. Or perhaps she simply likes the payment offered up by this customer. 🙂

 

‘Brie’s eyes gleamed with an unfeigned eagerness. She lifted the goblet, admiring it from every angle.

One would think it was made of pure gold. I wasn’t sure what was worth the greed.

“I knew you’d think so.” The strange girl allowed her face to relax into amusement, at the sight of Gabrielle fondling the cup. “Until next time.”

With those parting words, my first customer strolled towards the door. The chimes around the door tingled, as she opened it, departing the way she came.

“Well done.” Christopher bowed his head slightly at me in respect. “I guess you are the right kind of bizarre.”

It seemed I was, even though I wasn’t entirely sure what had happened.

Christopher’s irises darkened, becoming more blue. What might have been a smile played upon his small mouth.

The weirdness had been worth it.

“Welcome again, Peter.” Gabrielle turned to me, still holding the cup. She offered me an approving nod. “I think you’ll work out just fine.”

Hopefully I would. Hopefully, the paycheck I’d be getting wouldn’t be as bizarre as everything else around this store.

 

 

 

Unwilling to Be Yours

I’m late, I’m late for Me Me Monday, so sorry, dear readers! It’s a special Monday, though, an eclipse sort of Monday.

I’ll admit, I took a moment to be distracted, to go outside to look up at the sky.

My husband was more prepared than myself. He had some special glasses, which he handed to me.

I looked up to see a golden crescent super imposed over a black orb. A sight guaranteed to inspire.

I apologize for making Peter, Gabrielle, and Christopher wait for so long. I’m sure they’d understand. They’d all want to watch the eclipse, too. Especially Christopher. 🙂

Here we are, back again with Unwilling to Be Yours, picking up right where Peter’s first customer cut him off so abrasively on Saturday.

More bemused than offended, I went over to the candles. She looked like a black candle kind of girl. I reached for an impressive looking ebon taper.

“That’s not the right one!” she snapped. “Get me another!”

“I’m sorry.” I used my politest voice, trying to hide my confusion. “What color would you like?”

“I don’t care, as long as it’s the right candle!” She stared at me, truly taking a good look at me for the first time. “Don’t you know what you’re doing?”

Apparently not. Just my luck to run into a really difficult customer from the get go. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to make her happy.

She scowled, furrowing her smooth forehead into wrinkled stress. Her eyes were a pale gray, almost silver. There was a greenish gleam swimming within her stormy irises.

I turned back to the candles. I realized there was a faint humming coming from one of them. It was fat and gray, with a faint shimmer of verdure to its thick base.

On instinct more than anything, I reached for it. The humming grew a little louder, but I wasn’t sure where it was coming from. As my fingers touched its wax sides, it was almost as if the candle vibrated.

Gaining confidence I closed my hand around it and lifted my choice from the rest. I held out the candle to the scowling customer.

Her expression changed. The scowl softened into a smile, easing up the wrinkles in her face.

“I’m relieved to see you’re not a complete idiot,” she said. “Here’s my usual payment.”

She handed me a cup. It was a battered, metal chalice, like something you’d use in a historical drama.

“Oh, nice!” Gabrielle came forward to take the offering from my hand.

I’d forgotten she was watching.

Unwilling to Be Yours

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

Mine is the next part of Unwilling to Be Yours. Picking up where he left off on Wednesday, Peter faces his first customer at the Navel…

“Welcome to the center of-” I began, with my best smile, but she cut me off.

“Whatever! I need a candle.” She waved one bony hand at the shelf where the candles were. “Fetch me one.”

Fairest’s Rebirth

It’s been a long time since Fairest stopped by this Cauldron.

It’s time for a little teaser from my f/f fantasy fairy tale and first release. It’s being reborn into an entirely new edition for Nine Star Press’s Once Upon a Rainbow anthology on November 20, 2017.

Here’s a peek at which it will change into…

My good witch entered the room, gliding in with an effortless grace any court lady would envy. Not that I was surprised to see her. When had Oriana not been at my side? Once upon a time, my mother had begged her to find a cure for my curse. She’d been at the castle since I was an infant, keeping an eye on me. She always knew where to find me. Free from the painted gaze of the portrait, I turned to look at her instead.

Unwilling to Be Yours

It’s QueerBlogWed, a time to share and post about something queer. Peter is more than willing to step up to the challenge, even though the object of his affections is less than willing.

Picking up right where we left off on Monday in Unwilling to Be Yours.

“Well, according to your website, you deal with only the unusual,” I said, trying to change the subject.

“Website?” Christopher frowned. A tiny, perplexed wrinkle appeared in the middle of his forehead.

No way. No boy his age could not know what a website is.

“What’s that?” Christopher blinked at me, confused by whatever he saw on my face.

I couldn’t believe this. What day and age was this boy living in?

I considered the cobblestone road leading up to the Navel. All the tiny cottages and buildings, which could have belonged to another time.

Perhaps Omphalos did.

“It’s similar to telepathic links, or magic scrolls,” Gabrielle explained, as if the latter were the most natural things in the world.

Maybe they were, here. Telepathic links. Magic scrolls.

I bit my lower lip. This was exactly the sort of place I’d been searching for, to get away from some of the craze of modern confusion.

Here’s hoping Omphalos didn’t lack all modern conveniences.

Paul would have loved it here. Much as he stalked the nightclubs, he adored quiet retreats where he could simply listen to his own thoughts.

The thought of him brought a lump to my throat.

No. I wouldn’t brood. I refused to.

Gabrielle chose not to notice my moment of distraction. She continued in her explanation of modern online addresses, which most of the world I’d come from took for granted.

“A website is a way to let people know in an instant, no matter where they are, about the Navel.” She glanced at me with a sly smile. “If they have the knowledge and tools to access us.”

“Well, I can see you live up to the name of all things bizarre,” I smiled at Gabrielle. “I hope I am the right kind of bizarre for you.”

“We’ll see,” Gabrielle offered me a mysterious smile of her own. “It depends on how you handle your first customer.” She nodded at the door.

Unwilling to Be Yours

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

Peter is quite adept at strutting, so I’ll let him to do it. 🙂 He’s going to pick up right where he left on Saturday and answer Christopher’s question in Unwilling to Be Yours.

Unwilling to Be Yours is the second prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows, my novel under revision. Stealing Myself From Shadows is the first book in my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest series.

“Only a few months, though I could be persuaded to stay longer.” I loaded each word with playful innuendo. “I would like to convince you that I can fill the shoes of your Damian.” I raised myself upright to look him straight in the eye. “Here in the Navel, if nowhere else.”

“Don’t look at me,” Christopher said. The bitterness in his voice was sharp enough to slice the air. “I’m not the one you have to convince. Fortunately.”

“Christopher!” Gabrielle snapped. “Enough! I know you’re depressed, but quit taking it out on Peter!” The sharpness in her voice was like a whip crack. “You’re not the only one who misses Damian!”

Christopher stared at Gabrielle, as if she’d hit him.

She glared right back at him, eyes glittering with angry grief.

I felt like an intruder. A very uncomfortable intruder.

“Perhaps it is too soon for anyone to try and fill your vacancy.” I glanced from unhappy face to unhappy face. “I can go, if you’re truly uncomfortable with my being here.”

“I’m not.” Gabrielle crossed her arms, keeping her glittering gaze fixed upon her son. “We need someone to help out in the shop, since Damian is no longer here.”

Christopher’s shoulders quivered, making his entire frail frame sway.
For a moment, I could the invisible wind, which battered at his slender body. Only this one came from his heart. There was no quelling the storm, which threatened to pick up and fly away with him.

“I’m sorry.” Christopher lifted his head to meet my eyes. His irises swam with in a riot of colors, dissolving into a sober violet blue. “Could you please not flirt with me? It isn’t just uncomfortable.” His lower lip trembled. “It reminds me…”

He stopped talking. Unable to bear my gaze, his own dropped to the floor. “It’s actually painful.”

“I’m the one who should be apologizing, if it’s painful.” I wanted to move a little closer, lay a hand on his shoulder, but I knew he wouldn’t like it. I kept a respectful distance. “Flirting is part of my nature, but I will do my best to restrain myself.”

“Thank you,” Christopher breathed. Those hushed words were entirely too seductive.

Not flirting was going to be a challenge. Here’s hoping I was up to it.