Be My Valentine…Snack

It’s #QueerBlogWed, a time to share and celebrate something queer on your blog.

It’s also time for the next part of ‘Be My Valentine…Snack’.  Peter continues to recklessly flirt with Duessa Ashelocke, not knowing the danger he’s in…

“A very long break with someone who appreciates my company sounds delightful.” Peter put a suggestive emphasis to his words while giving me a sideways glance.

I couldn’t believe this. Was he actually going to let himself get devoured by an arachnocrat, because I’d turned down his advances?

No. He couldn’t know what he was getting into. He couldn’t.

“With your permission, ‘Brie.” Peter gave us an airy bow, not waiting for Gabrielle’s permission.

I stared at him, my jaw wide open

He smirked all the more.

Peter offered an arm to Duessa, tossing his auburn curls over his shoulder with a bit of simper.

She accepted his arm, offering him a coy smile in return.

Four of eyes gazed at me with sly satisfaction from under her eyelashes. She reached down with an extra hand to pat his butt.

Peter gave no sign of noticing. He released her, so he could open the door.


Be My Valentine…Snack

It’s Me Me Monday at Queer Sci Fi, a day to promote, strut, and celebrate your Me-ness!

As a result, it’s become one of the days I share part of an ongoing story here at this Cauldron. I’ve been posting preludes to my book under revision, ‘Stealing Myself From Shadows’ here.

These preludes appear in segments every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday for Me Me Monday (at Queer Sci Fi), QueerBlogWed, and Rainbow Snippets. (This means the Saturday segment is very short.)

I started out with ‘Waiting for Rebirth’, a tale of how Christopher came into his current existence, plus how he found and lost Damian Ashelocke. It was written in first person from Christopher’s perspective (much like ‘Stealing Myself From Shadows’ itself).

The second was ‘Unwilling to Be Yours’, which introduced Peter, a new character, written from his perspective. Peter ended up falling in love with Christopher, only to realize he had very little chance of winning the object of his affection.

Right now, I’m posting ‘Be My Valentine…Snack’, which returns to Christopher’s Point of View.  He’s trying to rescue a Peter on the rebound from throwing himself into arms…and mouth of Duessa Ashelocke, a dangerous arachnocratic lady who is Damian’s own aunt.

For these preludes (and ‘Stealing Myself From Shadows) are not just part of a series, but a collection of stories I call ‘Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest’. They’re part of a subgenre I’m trying to create called ambient fantasy. This is fantasy isn’t quite as adventure and action driven as the mainstream fantasy genre. It’s more emotional and internally driven than what the market expects fantasy to be. It’s a lot closer to shoujo manga in its overall feel.

My particular series was inspired by Tarot imagery. It’s very dear to my heart and I’ve been working on it for some time.

Enough exposition! 🙂 Christopher will now pick up where he left off on Saturday in ‘Rainbow Snippets’…


“Why, how can I turn down such a gracious offer?” Duessa nodded graciously at Peter. Two more eyes opened on her face, gleaming in possessive triumph. “You heard my sweet Valentine, ‘Brie. He gave his consent.”

“Yes, I did.” The smile disappeared from Gabrielle’s face.

She turned to Peter with no trace of humour in her manner. “You’re making a dangerous decision, possibly a fatal one. She truly will eat you alive, if you agree to it.”

“Oh, please, being devoured is nothing I can’t handle!” Peter raised the rose to his lips with one hand.

The other waved Brie’s warning away in almost contemptuous dismissal.

“Well, since I have your consent, shall we go?” Duessa asked, offering her arm. One of her arms. She would a second limb around Peter’s waist.

He seemed completely unaware of its presence.

“Indeed, I was about to take a break.” Peter beamed at her, but he shivered.

Did he have the sense to be a little scared?

Probably not.

Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets. Every Saturday, six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction is posted and shared. It can be your own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQ+.

To read a wide variety of LGBTQ+ stories, go to


Peeved at Christopher’s constant rejection, Peter has turned to the worst possible rebound romantic interest…Duessa Ashelocke. Gabrielle has just announced that whether or not Peter goes with Duessa is Peter’s choice, much to Christopher’s dismay (who’s certain Peter doesn’t know what he’s getting into!)


“Gabrielle, no!” I cried. I no longer bothered to keep my voice down. “She’ll eat him alive!”

“I eagerly anticipate such a fate!” Peter said, regaining his compusure enough to leer at Duessa. “Please, lovely lady, devour me at your leisure!”

Be My Valentine…Snack

It’s Wednesday or #QueerBlogWed, a time to share something on our blogs of a rainbow nature.

I’m continuing with ‘Be My Valentine…Snack’, the third prelude to my novel under revision, ‘Stealing Myself From Shadows’. (I’ve got 2 more books in the same series I’m working into a publishable form called ‘The Hand and the Eye of the Tower’ and ‘A Godling for Your Thoughts?’ I plan to write more.)

All of these preludes and books are part of what I called ‘Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest’, an ambient fantasy series inspired by Tarot card imagery.

Duessa’s request for Christopher was just turned down, surprise, surprise. Here’s her response…


“Such a pity. I would adore making him my next Valentine.” Duessa murmued in a husky tone. “Alas, your sad sweetmeat fancies my nephew more than he does me.”

I could feel my face heating up.

My feelings for Damian were one of the few things I could claim as my own.

I didn’t regard them as ‘sad’. I was getting very tired of everyone else acting as if they were.

“This charming delectable, however, is eager to please me.” She turned her smoldering gaze on Peter.

His own cheeks flushed in response. He glanced at me for a long moment, assessing my expression.

“Christopher isn’t that easy to conquer.” He turned his back on me to meet Duessa’s eyes with an almost challenging expression. “Pleasing you, Lady Duessa, will be a welcome diversion for both of us from such unappreciative conquests.”

“And I am always delighted to be pleased.” Duessa handed the rose to Peter with a triumphant gleam in her eye.

I waited for Gabrielle to say ‘no’. Peter might be a flirt, but that wasn’t a good enough reason to let Duessa have him.

Her answer shocked me.

“As I said, I don’t deal in slavery. This means I have to accept my people’s choices, even when I don’t agree with them.” Gabrielle glanced over at Peter. “Whether or not he wishes to go with you is up to Peter.”

Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Me Me Monday! A time to promote, strut, and celebrate your Me-ness!

Christopher isn’t feeling much like celebrating after hearing Duessa Ashelocke’s request to buy him. We join him right where we left him in the Navel on Saturday in ‘Be My Valentine…Snack’.


She suggested this as if I were a hat or a box of chocolates.

“What can I offer in trade in return for taking him home today?” Duessa offered the rose to Gabrielle, not quite pointing it at her.

I tensed, every inch of my body thrumming with fear.
I was fairly sure ‘Brie would never trade me in for a rose, but well, I was what I was. She’d expressed doubts at taking me in to begin with.

“Now, Duessa.” Gabrielle took a step forward, the very air vibrating with suppresed menace. “I’ve told you many times, I don’t deal in slavery.” She kept her voice friendly, but there was a violent glint in her eyes. “And even if I did, I wouldn’t give you my son.”

I released a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding.

Here I was, trembling like a frightened little human. I did try to be one for Gabrielle’s sake. I liked having a family, a home, and people whom were more than simply a temporary form of nourishment. The Navel might make me roll my eyes, half the time, but it was still home.

Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday, six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction is posted and shared. It can be your own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQ+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQ+ fiction, go here…

Here’s Christopher, Peter, ‘Brie, and Duessa, picking up where they left off Wednesday in ‘Be My Valentine…Snack’.

This is a little longer than six sentences, forgive me!


“Well, we can’t always be our true selves.” Gabrielle gave her words a sharp emphasis. She shifted her glance from Peter to Duessa’s hidden arms. “This said, I doubt you just came here to flirt with my boys.” ‘

Gabrielle moved forward in rustle of skirts to stand next to me. “What can I get for you, today, Duessa? Herbs? Candles? Information?”

“How about Christopher?” Duessa turned four of her eyes in my direction, two of them still hidden under lowered lashes. All of them roamed over me with predatory interest. “I would love to buy him.”





Be My Valentine…Snack

It’s #QueerBlogWed, a day to celebrate and/or share something queer in our blogs.

For me, it’s the next part of ‘Be My Valentine…Snack’.

For Duessa, it’s a playful comeback to Peter’s flirting, much to Christopher’s dismay.


“Ah, but are you truly a flower in full bloom?” Duessa tilted to point the rose at Peter. “Even if you were, you belong to Gabrielle. She would never forgive me, if I stole one of her little blossoms.”

“No, she wouldn’t.” I breathed a sigh of relief at the sound of Gabrielle’s voice, accompanied by rustle of a curtain behind the counter. “Especially when those little blossoms are blooming within her Place of Power.”

“Ah, but can a blossom truly bloom in someone else’s place of power?” Duessa laced every word for a strange intimacy. “Especially when that someone insists on hiding her power.”

I turned to look at Gabrielle advancing upon us. The thrumming powerful presence she exuded was in complete contradiction with her appearance. ‘

‘Brie wore a full, fawn colored skirt, a loose tan tunic, and a string of shells around her neck. There was a smiley face painted on every shell. Her fedora perched at a jaunty angle on her head. Shells, smiley faces, and chicken feathers adorned every inch of its brim.

I swallowed an urge to laugh, or groan. Color wise, ‘Brie’s odd ensemble worked. Besides the hat and the necklace weren’t the worst things she’d ever worn.

Peter attempted to flutter his eyelashes, only to end up blinking in confusion. ‘Brie confounded all efforts to flirt with her. It must have been frustrating. My mother was a beautiful woman. Peter couldn’t resisting wooing anyone beautiful.

‘Brie, however, did her best to be as bizarre as possible. Her weird outfits confused Peter in mid flirt.

Ah, well, at least they didn’t embarrass him the way they had Damian.

Gabrielle glanced at Peter, unable to stop the smile from spreading across her face. Once more, she’d rendered someone speechless.


Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Me, Me Monday! A day to promote, strut, and celebrate your Me-ness!

Peter is all about the strutting…and the flirting in ‘Be My Valentine…Snack’. The problem is he’s doing it with the worst person imagination…Damian’s aunt, Duessa Ashelocke.


“No need to trouble such shy blooms, when there’s a flower in full bloom!” Peter released my shoulder to make a sweeping bow to Duessa. “A flower that’s irresistibly drawn to the rose in your fair hand!”

What? My jaw dropped slightly.

Peter nudged me slightly to the side, puffing out his chest.

He wasn’t much bigger than me, but much more confident about his slightness. He had much darker skin than Damian or myself, revealed in creamy patches through his poet’s shirt and open red vest.

Peter was like a little bird, strutting and showing off his plumage to all possible mates. This meant just about everyone.

One never would have guessed this. Not judging by the way the way he fixed his dark, soulful eyes upon Duessa Ashelocke.

I blinked and shook my head.

I shouldn’t haven’t been that shocked. Duessa Ashelocke was hardly ugly. She had the same heart-shaped face as her nephew, along with the same slender hands.

Even if there were eight of them. Duessa kept the additional six were kept hidden. I wasn’t entirely sure how she did it, or what made them visible.

Right now, she appeared to be a beautiful human woman. Her true form was hardly unattractive either. Each additional limb was elegant, moving with a sinuous grace from her side.

It was the danger suggested by her form which made me wary

“Each of Duessa’s eyes can appraise your beauty, power, and flavor.” Damian had gestured with one finger to his face, so similar in shape to his aunt’s, only he only possessed two eyes. “When she opens them, beware.”

I doubted Peter saw anything, besides a beautiful woman. This was bad.

Flirting with Duessa could be dangerous. What if she accepted Peter’s advances?

What if she lured him out of the protection of Gabrielle’s store?

Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday, six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction is posted and shared. It can be your own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQ+.

To read a wide variety of LGBTQ+ fiction, go to

For mine, Christopher continues where he left off on Wednesday in ‘Be My Valentine…Snack’.

This is a little longer than six sentences, but cutting it short didn’t quite work. They’re short sentences, though…


I’d asked him not to touch me. Many times.

Peter was a very physical person, though. His hands almost needed to explore other people’s shoulders, fingers, or arms, invading the space around them.

My space in particular.

Peter was the replacement Gabrielle had found for Damian. He wasn’t a bad person, not really.

I just wished he wouldn’t make the air around me vibrate, forcing himself into the invisible circle I visualized around the fragile body I occupied.

Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to #QueerBlogWed, a time to celebrate the unique in our blogs and posts.

For me, it’s time to share the next part of ‘Be My Valentine…Snack’, the third prelude to ‘Stealing Myself From Shadows’.

‘Stealing Myself From Shadows’ is the first novel in  ‘Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest’, an ambient fantasy series based on Tarot card imagery. It’s currently under revision.

‘Be My Valentine…Snack’ is appearing in segments every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.



Happily, my favorite items in the store weren’t among the disappearing and reppearing objects. They were also Duessa’s least favorites; her nephew’s attempts at being an artist.

Damian had hand painted decks of cards, which sat in intricately carved wooden boxes upon the Navel’s shelves. A row of clay skulls he’d sculpted grinned in a row below the boxes.

Anything he’d carved, drawn, or painted attracted my eye, along with my fingers. I couldn’t resist to urge to touch everything he’d laid his hands upon.

“Art means so many different things, depending on who sees it.” He’d spread out in a fan several cards, including a boy at the edge of a cliff, an egg in fiery waters, of a robed figure with a scythe. “Sight isn’t the only way we can perceive it, let alone interact with it.”

All of Damian’s art absorbed me, but nothing was the equal to ’Waiting for Rebirth’. Not as far as I was concerned.

This had been my favorite, the one I’d been the model. I’d stood under the sky in Omphalos’s garden for hours, while Damian painted his inner vision, pouring all of his magic onto the canvas.

Ultimately, it had been ‘Waiting for Rebirth’, which had taken Damian away. The painting was no longer in the store. As far as I knew, it was no longer anywhere in this world.

I doubted anyone else missed it, least of all Duessa. She detested all of Damian’s artistic endevours.

A curious attitude, since there were far more offensive things in the shop.

“Come, don’t trouble our shy little blossom!”

A hand reached out to seize my shoulder from behind, digging into my flesh almost roughly.

“Think of the offensive and he will grab you,” I muttered, reaching for the offending fingers. One would have thought my body parts belonged to Peter and not to me.