It’s QueerBlogWed! A day to post and blog about anything queer. Peter and Unwilling to Be Yours definitely qualify as this in more ways than one. As do Christopher and Gabrielle.
Peter is about to meet ‘Brie in the next part of this prelude to Tales of Navel/The Shadow Forest. Enjoy!
“Welcome!” The word rang clear, projecting throughout the shop with perfect pitch. It was feminine and soft, yet it boomed with a dominating presence capable of matching tones with one from the thickest and manliest of chests.
I found myself standing up a little straighter at the sound of it, turning with unexpected humbleness towards its source.
“Welcome to the Navel, center of all things bizarre!” The lady made her entrance right when the light struck her golden hair, giving her a halo of reflected glow.
I swallowed a moment of remembered religious awe, before I recalled I was done with all such sentiments forever. I’d left them behind, along with my other half.
No. Don’t think of him. Concentrate on the beauty in front of you, feast your eyes upon it. Let it absorb you, consume you. It’s only courteous to the one who possesses it. Not to mention it’ll keep you from moping.
I whispered my secret prayer to myself while turning to face that beauty.
“And a center in Omphalos must be bizarre, indeed!” I collected my wit, making a sweeping to her, before lifting my head to take a second glance.
What I saw made me blink. Twice.
I’d seen feathers and shells woven into hair before. I’d never seen them attached to a veil hanging in front of a fedora.
Gabrielle wore it on top of her head, as if it was not only natural, but a symbol of authority. Shells, feathers, and gauzy material formed an almost misty barrier between the air around her and hair as brilliant as Christopher’s, but more of a pure gold. Unlike his, hers hadn’t been cropped, but flowed in magnificent tresses down her back.
“A fitting hat for one clearly born from the foam!” I managed, trying not to gape. “You’re even lovelier in person that I imagined you to be.”
“You mean, even weirder,” Gabrielle corrected me, grinning at my reaction. “You’re Peter, aren’t you? A pity you don’t come with a Paul. I imagine both of you would be wearing bright colors and trying to outdo each other, flirting with everything you see.”
She raised a hand to sweep over my red vest, tight trousers, and shoulder length auburn curls.
I struggled to conceal my surprise. I had once come with a Paul, but we’d gone our separate ways. What we wanted was too different. Yes, it had been painful, but I was young. There would be many other romantic encounters in my life. It was a waste to get hung up on just one.
If I did, I’d be as grumpy as the boy who’d opened the door for me.