Unwilling to Be Yours

It’s QueerBlogWed, a day in which our queerness comes out to play and express itself in various forms on our blogs.

Mine manifests in the second prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows, an ongoing story called Unwilling to Be Yours, told from Peter’s perspective. It’s one of the many stories which are a part of my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest.

Some are novels I’m working on, trying to publish and sell.

Some are freebie stories I offer up at my Cauldrons (blogs) like this one.

Gabrielle just asked Peter to get rid of Damian’s painting, ‘Waiting for Rebirth’. It’s a request he’s more than happy to grant…

 

I walked towards the painting. It was still just streaks on a canvas, but I could almost see all the white bits, gleaming with hostile intent.

Daring me to come too close.

I didn’t want to touch it. ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ was dangerous, ugly, and didn’t like me.

It wanted to take Christopher from me.

I had already told Gabrielle I’d get rid of the painting. We needed to get this thing away from Christopher.

Gritting my teeth and half closing my eyes, I reached out to grab the silver metal frame bordering its sides.

A sharp, stinging sensation attacked both of my fingers. My stomach rolled over in a nauseating lurch.

Something hissed in my ears. I realized the hiss was an unpleasant laugh.

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Unwilling to Be Yours

It’s Me Me Monday! A day to promote, strut, and celebrate your Me-ness…only in my condition, it’s more my hangover-ness. (wry grin) At some point, I’m going to remember I can’t drink as much as I used to. (another wry grin)

Peter isn’t feeling much better than I do. He’s still regretting what he said last Wednesday in Unwilling to Be Yours (QueerBlogWed). Fortunately, Gabrielle is there for him. As bosses go, she’s not so bad, for all her eccentricity.

Unwilling to Be Yours is the second prelude I’m sharing in segments at the Cauldron to Stealing Myself From Shadows. Stealing Myself From Shadows is the first book in my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest series. It’s currently under revision right now…in fact it’s my NaNoWriMo project. 🙂

 

“Thank you for saving him.” Gabrielle dropped her hands to dangle at her sides. “I’m ashamed to admit I’m not sure if I would have gotten to Christopher in time.”

I took another step closer to ‘Waiting for Rebirth’. It was nothing, but a painting now. A harsh looking abstract painting.

Christopher thought it was a painting of his soul. This was what Damian saw in him, what no one else could see.

Not a flattering portrayal. Damian didn’t do Christopher justice, not one bit.

“I’m not sure if Damian actually did paint Christopher’s soul.” I stared at the strokes of white paint, eating through the shapes and colors. “I think he projected his own soul onto Christopher.”

“I often think the same thing.” Gabrielle sighed, lifting her shoulders in something which might have been a shudder or a shrug. “Unfortunately, it’s not the sort of thing I can tell Christopher.”

“No.” Such a bleak, hopeless word, yet honest. “You can never tell someone the man he worships is flawed. Even if he knows deep down in his heart that’s true.”

“Do you think Christopher knows?” ‘Brie moved in a rustle of skirts from the counter, away from the painting.

I turned to face her. “He said nothing, when I accused Damian of a dangerous disregard for you and yours. He would have jumped to his hero’s defense, if he could have. He couldn’t.”

“Yes,” Gabrielle said, sighing herself. “Will you do a favor for me. Peter?”

“Of course,” I said, although I wasn’t sure if I’d want to. “What would you like me to do?”

“Get rid of that painting.” Hostility radiated off of Gabrielle. Dark energy was hissing around her, gliding towards ‘Waiting for Rebirth’. “It’s proven too dangerous to keep.”

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+.

OK, I’m starting a little early. It’s still Friday for me. It’s Saturday for Charli, though. She’s just posted a beautiful image for this week’s Rainbow Snippets. (heart) I simply cannot resist it. I must reach out and respond!

To see this lovely image for yourself, as well as read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQ+ fiction, go to

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

I’m feeling pretty stoked to continue Unwilling to Be Yours, too. It’s one of the preludes to Stealing Myself From Shadows, my NaNoWriMo project.

Stealing Myself From Shadows is the first book in my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest series. I wrote a workable draft for it in NaNoWriMo 2015, winning a victor’s badge in the process. Since that time, I’ve put aside my manuscript, although it’s continued to haunt me. I decide to be rebellious and revise this NaNo instead of rough drafting.

Which means lots of time spent in the Navel and the Shadow Forest. I’ve just spent this evening with Juno, visiting ‘Brie’s shop where she revealed…a few things. :)=

It’s time to return to the second prelude to this book and getting to know poor Peter, while he gets to know the Navel and Christopher.

Last Wednesday, he tried to convince Christopher that ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ was an evil, bad painting, only to end up *really* putting his foot into it. (wry grin)

 

“Christopher can be overly sensitive, I’ll admit,” Gabrielle said. Her voice was soft, nonjudgmental. “Especially when it comes to Damian.”

“Why do I feel like I deserved that come back?” My own voice sounded embarrassingly thick. “Even if I did save him.”

F/F Fantasy Fairytales

It’s Promo Friday! A day to show the world what you’ve got and promote it!

Do you like f/f? Two girls falling in love in a fairy tale with each other instead of a prince?

I’ve got a couple such fairy tales coming out soon, courtesy of Nine Star Press.

The first is Fairest, my previous publication with Prizm Books, returning, reborn and polished up in Once Upon a Rainbow, a collection of LGBTQ+ fairytales.

Fairest is a combination of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White with a dash of Cinderella thrown in for good measure.

Here’s the latest blurb for Fairest…

All of my life, I’ve been haunted by her dark eyes. At birth, she cursed me to prick my finger on the spindle and sleep for a century. She appears in my dreams, my reflections, shaping my desires. Who is she? My guardian has only revealed a few enigmatic words as to her identity, the fairest of them all. Follow me into the lonely Forest of Tears where the dwarves dwell, walking where she once walked. Gaze into the depths of the magic mirror which reveals her secrets. For I refuse to fear her, even if I should.

Here’s an excerpt from its pages…

MY FIRST MEMORY was of her dark eyes. They captured all the colors of my infant universe, even as they threatened to swallow me.

Her eyes should have been terrifying, but they weren’t.

Her blood red lips moved, shaping words I could not recall.

My parents remembered them only too well, as did everyone else who’d gathered at the castle for my christening.

“I, too, have a gift for this child. She shall grow up, with all the beauty and promise of the dawn, but her sun will never rise.”

My mother told me she nearly swooned with terror at the look of sheer malevolence the witch gave to the sunbeams playing about my cradle. She wanted to stop the witch from speaking, as did my father.

No one could move, no matter how much they wished to. Everyone stood still, spellbound by the witch’s gaze.

“Before the sun sets on the eve of her sixteenth year, the princess shall prick her finger on a spindle. With the first drop of her blood, a sleeping curse will fall upon her, claiming her for a hundred years.”

My mother tried to call in another witch to remove the curse. My father burned every spindle he could find.

For all their efforts, nothing could remove the curse.

The witch had disappeared into a cloud of green smoke. No one could find her after my christening, despite many attempts. The only thing she left behind, besides her curse, were dreams of dark eyes.

I wondered if she’d been real. Her appearance was the sort of thing I’d heard about in old legends. The way she haunted my dreams was too much like giggled tales of falling in love.

 

Fairest and Once Upon a Rainbow are available at…

Nine Star Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/once-upon-a-rainbow-volume-one/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-Rainbow-Mickie-Ashling-ebook/dp/B0774WM688/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509900824&sr=8-1&keywords=once+upon+a+rainbow%2C+by+k.s.+trenten

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/once-upon-a-rainbow-volume-one-mickie-b-ashling/1127395428?ean=2940155023067

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/once-upon-a-rainbow

 

My second f/f fantasy tale, At Her Service, will be making its grand debut in Once Upon a Rainbow 2 on January 18, 2017.

This time, it’s all Cinderella with a gender bending twist. 🙂

Here’s a blurb, telling you what it’s about…

Cinders would much rather fondle her mistress’s bony feet than go to a ball. Magic whisks her away, in spite of herself to a night of lights, dancing, and mystery where she discovers her true heart’s desire. For nothing is what it seems where enchantment, fairy godmothers, and princes are concerned.

 

Here’s an unedited excerpt…

“Those are the slippers I want.” Those were always the slippers my lady wanted. Sometimes she wore the most uncomfortable things, especially when she was about to attend a ball or party. It was as if she wanted herself to suffer. “Bring them to me.”

I bent over to fish her glass slipper out of the bits of scarf. Once I had it, I tried to extricate the other slipper as gently as I could from the tangled sleeves of another pair of gowns. When I had both slippers in hand, I walked over to my mistress’ chair.

“You know what to do.” She let her voice grow husky.

Of course. This little ritual of putting on her slippers had become second nature to me.

I’d kneel, right before my mistress’ feet. I didn’t dare look at her face, but I could stare at her ankles as long as I wished. They were bony, but the shape of the protruding bone was exquisite.

Every time I looked at it, I wanted to run my fingers over it.

The glass slipper was too small for her foot. I had to work her flesh into the shoe. It’s an art I’ve managed to perfect, over the years. Stroking the arch of her foot, I slide her toes into the slipper. The flesh shivers at my touch, so it wiggles its way into the shoe’s interior. Once it’s there, I tickle her heel, so it quivers its way into the back of the slipper.

It’s a service no other maid can provide. I’m the only one capable of getting those glass slippers on my mistress’ feet. It’s why she keeps me around, even though I’m a terrible servant.

 

Happy Reading!

Unwilling to Be Yours

It’s QueerBlogWed! A day when many a writer shares a little queerness with the world, brightening the gray with a rainbow.

Alas, the world is very gray for Christopher in the next part of Unwilling to Be Yours. Peter becomes a little grayer himself as he takes a stand against ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ in the next part of Unwilling to Be Yours.

Unwilling to Be Yours is one of three preludes to my novel, Stealing Myself From Shadows. The first was Waiting for Rebirth. This is the second. It’s an ongoing serial I share every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.

Stealing Myself From Shadows is the first book in my Tarot imagery inspired ambient fantasy series, Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest. It’s currently under revision (and my NaNoWriMo project).

 

“How do you know it trying to trick me?” Christopher demanded. “What gives you the right to pull me back?”

I should have said, “Because I care about you.”

I should have said, “I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking about what was right. When that thing reached out for you, it scared me.”

If only I’d had. I wish I’d said anything other than what I did.

“Of course it was trying to trick you!” I put every bit of conviction I could manage into the words.

I didn’t actually know any such thing, but I was angry. Angry at Christopher’s reaction to my rescue. Angry at how close I’d come to something wild, magical, and scary. Angry that this stupid boy didn’t have the sense to be frightened himself.

“Don’t you understand? There’s nothing good about that painting!” I took a step closer to Christopher, willing authority into my looming shape. “It’s an ugly, twisted piece of surrealism, which can actually reach out and warp reality!”

Silence followed my words.

I almost gulped, wishing I could take the words back.

Christopher stared at me with eyes glittering with pure rage.
“‘Waiting for Rebirth’ is a painting of me.” He kept his voice low and calm, even though every word shook with anger. “It’s a painting of my soul. You see nothing good when you look at it. Maybe there’s nothing good to see.”

His hands trembled, as they balled into fists, as if he had to physically restrain himself from striking me. “I loved what Damian saw in me. It’s why no one can ever take his place.”

He didn’t wait for my reaction. He just turned his back on me and walked out the door. The chimes jangled violently, as it banged behind him.

There was another moment of uncomfortable, guilty silence.

Unwilling to Be Yours

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

Only Christopher isn’t feeling much like celebrating in the next part of Unwilling to Be Yours.

This second prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows appears on Mondays (Me Me Monday), Wednesdays (QueerBlogWed), and Saturdays (Rainbow Snippets).

Stealing Myself From Shadows is the first book in my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest. It’s currently under revision (I’m working on it as my NaNoWriMo project).

 

The light flickered out.

‘Waiting for Rebirth’ was just a painting, again.

‘Brie let out a sigh of relief. Her power calmed, like a wave breaking up. It flowed throughout the store.

The tension leaving the air drew the tension out of me in turn. I echoed ‘Brie’s sigh, relaxing every muscle.

Christopher looked down at my fingers. Gleaming specks glittered with his pupils, giving them an angry glow.

He wrenched his own arm free, shoving me away from him. “Why did you pull me back?”

“What?” I stared at him. “That thing was about to grab you!”

I glanced over at Gabrielle. There was no anger in her face, just a resigned sympathy. “I couldn’t let that happen!”

“That thing was Damian!” Christopher cried. Tears were leaking out of his purple eyes, as he glared at me. “He was reaching out his hand to me, until you banished it!”

“What?” I looked back at the painting.

The white streaks were nothing more than streaks of paint now.

“Nobody was reaching out his hand, Christopher.” I put every bit of conviction I could manage into my words. “That painting was trying to trick you.”

All right, that might be a lie. Whatever reached out from ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ could have come for Christopher.

All the more reason to deny it. If Damian was beckoning Christopher from some sinister place beyond the Door, I wasn’t about to assist him.

 

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 variety of samples from LBGTQ+ stories, go here…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

Mine picks up where it left off on Wednesday (#QueerBlogWed) right after Gabrielle’s failed attempt to confront the power rising from ‘Waiting for Rebirth’ in Unwilling to Be Yours. (Unwilling to Be Yours is the second prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows, the first book in my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest series. Stealing Myself From Shadows is my NaNoWriMo project which I’m currently revising.)

 

I reached out to grab Christopher’s arm. Without thinking about the consequences, I pulled him back from the painting.

The wind hissed at me.

The white hand cracked, shattering into a pile of bones. They scattered and disappeared into the abstract colors and shapes of the canvas.

All of the white brush strokes glowed with with a final, menacing pulse.