A Little Me for Mondays: Something Me-ish for Christopher

Hello, Christopher, here. Welcome to the Navel, wait I’m not at the Navel. Oh, no, I’m not back in the Shadow Forest, am !?

Ah, no, I’m not, what a relief! This Cauldron does remind me a bit of the Shadow Forest at times, something which makes me shiver. This blog functions as a cooking spot for our creatrix’s creativity. Here she shares her ideas, her characters, all of us and our worlds with you. Our stories and snippets of our stories bubble up from this Cauldron, offering you a taste of what’s been, what is, and what’s to come, storywise from K.S. Trenten.

For a while, our creatrix has been sharing my preludes and Peter’s to Stealing Myself From Shadows in a serialized form. We hope you’ve enjoyed them. We certainly haven’t, well, all right, we have. Parts I’ll cherish forever. Others I’m still smarting from, like the last adventure. I doubt Peter remembers it fondly, either.

Peter: (from offstage) It had its moments.

Christopher: (turning a bit red) Ahem, yes. Now that it’s finished, you may not see as much of Peter, Damian, and me. Other characters wish to spend some time at this blog—

Other Characters, Quartz in particular: (from offstage) That’s putting it mildly!

Christopher: Not that we won’t show up fro time to time. The Cauldron will offer something Me-ish on Mondays from one of K.S. Trenten’s many characters’s points of view, offering you insight from the many denizens in her head.

Quartz (from offstage) : Oh, I’ll give you more than insight, shadow boy, if you and your Damian steal center stage at this Cauldron in the coming me moments!

Others (also offstage): And we’ll help…this Cauldron isn’t supposedly to be exclusive Shadow Forest property!

Quartz (from offstage): Not to mention you and the other characters from that world are constantly popping up at the Forbidden Cauldron. It’s time to share!
Others (from offstage): Share! Share!

Christopher: (taking a deep breath) That’s what I’m trying to do…only I’m starting out by taking a moment of Me-ness myself—

Quartz: (sticking his nose out from the stage) I knew it! He’s taking over!

Christopher: Don’t you have a Secondary Character Speak Out blog to finish, Quartz?

Quartz: Arrghh! I almost forgot! (disappears behind the curtain)

Christopher: Yes, I’m starting the cycle of Me-blogs here, but I’m passing this role on to other characters. I thought I’d talk a little bit about the preludes I’ve appeared in, Waiting for Rebirth, Unwilling to Be Yours, and Be My Valentine…Snack.

I found and lost Damian in those preludes. I have no intention of leaving things at that.

Damian is somewhere in the Shadow Forest, even if he’s fragmented as I once was. I’ve got to try and find him. If not him, those fragments.

Christopher’s frail form may be no match for the shadows waiting for me. I’m not sure if this body is real. I’m not sure if I am either, if the ‘me’ speaking to you now isn’t something shaped by Damian’s will and desire.

Do you have any idea how precious it is, being ‘me’? Having a concept of self, an individual identity? To be more than a misty consciousness, floating around, ever chaging, reacting to whatever strong will crosses its path? To be defined by an aching, empty hunger, a yearning which can never be satisfied?

The more time I spend in this form, the more distant my previous existence or lack of one becomes.

How can I abandon the one who gave me this, who awakened me to this state?

I can’t leave Damian. Yes, he chose to open a Door. It was his choice, the fate he accepted.
There’s no way he could have comprehended the consequences of that choice. No one who opens a Door ever does.

I can’t abandon Damian to those consequences if they are of his making. I just can’t.

This means there’s a Door waiting to open for me. Again.

I’m terrified of passing through it, but I can no longer ignore it.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Rainbow Snippets

And now for something completely different…well, not completely. You’re still welcome to Rainbow Snippets. I’m still sharing six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction here. Those participating are still sharing six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction on their blogs, whether it’s their own work or someone else. You can still find a wide variety of samples from LGBTQ+ fiction at this link…

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

What’s different is my snippet isn’t from a prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows. It isn’t even from a Tale of the Navel/The Shadow Forest.

No, this time, I’m offering a taste of my long neglected m/m mythical tale of cross-dressing, Aissa and Polyxena.

I take a whole bunch of contradictory Greek myths from various sources, including The Iliad, turning a story of rape and murder into a romance. I take a character I despised and make him the romantic interest in my hero’s eyes.

What’s surprising me is how much everything is coming together. People I disliked are showing a sympathetic side. A woman who was nothing more than a prize and a pawn in The Iliad is turning out to be great fun.

I’m a little teary eyed over how much I’m getting into the character of Cressida/Briseis. In some ways, she’s a character someone like myself,  a woman who falls hopelessly in love with certain m/m pairings can identify with.

At the same time, Cressida is more than a little dazzled by Polyxena, the princess she’s turned young Troile into, so she can sneak him into the Achaen camp to see Achille…

 

“Keep your eyes wide. Be brave. Women endure this on a regular basis.” She moved in with the instrument, letting it dart about with a deft hand.

I tried very hard to hold still, to keep my eyelashes from trembling.

“If beauty is already there, I enhance it. You, my dear, were blessed by the gods with an abudance, giving me excellent material to work with.”

A Poetic Interlude

And now for something completely different, to quote some of my absolute favorite artists all time…not that it isn’t still #QueerBlogWed, a time to share a touch of the rainbow at this blog.

On April 4, 2018, P.T. Wyant shared at ptwyant.com a prompt involving a spider, a poem, and cheese.

Yes, I usually post my responses to Paula’s Prompts, i.e. Wednesday Words over at the Forbidden Cauldron at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com. Thanks to Blogging From AZ, I’m woefully behind on them.

Sharing a response here seemed like a good way to catch up.

We’ve just finished Be My Valentine…Snack. This poem makes me think of Duessa Ashelocke. Not that it couldn’t apply to Xylanthe from Trouble at Caerac Keep as well…

 

Purple prose and overused flattery
The spider builds a trap of cheese
Its creamy walls crumble, yet still it lures food in
To wander a maze of stolen glances

The spider wears a sweet face
Distracting her prey from her extra limbs
She beckons, she cajoles, she lures her victims closer
Blissfully unaware that he’s trapped in her web.

Be My Valentine…Snack

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

It’s also time for the final segment of Be My Valentine…Snack, the third prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows, the first of a series of ambient fantasy novels I’m working on.

I plan to include all three preludes; Waiting for Rebirth, Unwilling to Be Yours, and Be My Valentine…Snack at the beginning of Stealing Myself From Shadows when I revise and release it.

Don’t think this is the end for Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest here at the Cauldron, though. You never know what may bubble up in the future…;)

Here is the rest of Be My Valentine…Snack…

 

“He’s just hungry, after using a lot of energy.” Duessa bowed her head, closing all but two eyes. “No need to point that rose at me, my dear.”

“Don’t I?” Never had ‘Brie sounded more menacing. She waved a crushed rose in her hand, like a knife or a wand. It looked very like the flower Duessa had held.

What could a flower do in the real world? I had no idea.

“What happened to accepting other people’s choices, even if they’re fatal?” I cocked my head in ‘Brie’s direction. “I thought you had no right to stop us.”

“Maybe I had no right.” Gabrielle looked ridiculous in her shells and smiley faces, brandishing a crushed flower. There was nothing silly about the dark power gathering around the hand holding it. “If so, it was time to do a little wrong.”

“No, it wasn’t. Not for you,” Duessa waved a finger in reproval at ‘Brie. “Your boys did very well escaping me on their own. In fact, they passed all three of my challenges, including that of true love.”

“What?” It was seldom one saw Gabrielle completely stunned. She blinked, as I looked from Peter to me.

Duessa grinned, looking very much like Damian. He would have enjoyed the look on ‘Brie’s face, too.

“Peter was willing to stay in my lair and be my Valentine, if I’d let Christopher go, without having to confess to feelings he didn’t have.” Duessa shook her head, raising an eyebrow. “Of course, Christopher had to pick up his stick and do his best to defend Peter. All in Damian’s name, of course.

“Of course,” Gabrielle echoed, but she frowned. “I’m surprised you were willing to let them go.”

“Darling, these boys may be delicious, but they’re not worth making you unhappy.” Duessa’s entire face softened, as she gazed at Gabrielle. “Whatever else I might be, I’m not your enemy.”

I wasn’t sure what to make of this. Did this mean I’d never been in any danger? All the times Duessa had expressed an interest in me, showing her true face, had it just been a show?

No. Duessa Ashelocke was dangerous. I’d seen the cocoons containing her Valentines in her lair. Damian had seen it, too.

It hadn’t all been an illusion, or a trick.

Neither was the expression of genuine affection which softened Duessa Ashelocke’s face when she looked at my mother.

She truly cared about ‘Brie. I might be a potential delicacy. Peter, too. She meant every word about not being her enemy.

Just what was the story between these two?

“Angry as I am right now, I believe you.” Gabrielle sighed, looking away from Duessa’s face. “Why must you always be so morally ambiguous?”

“Precious, it’s what draws you to me and Damian, too.” Duessa shook her head. “Morally ambiguous is what you want to be.”

“Sometimes, but not today.” Gabrielle stretched out her arms to Peter and myself. “Come on, boys. Let’s go home.”

Peter hesitated, glancing from her hand to the road. Maybe he was unsure about taking it after everything that happened.

I reached to take his arm.

He looked down at my hand. A faint flush crept up his face and nose.

Pulling him with me, I walked into ‘Brie’s waiting embrace, allowing it to unfold both of us.

Let Duessa and anyone else watch. I didn’t care.

 

 

Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday (yes, Saturday, I’m back for Saturdays!), those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction at their blogs.

It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQ+.

This will be the last helping I’ll be offering of Be My Valentine…Snack, my third prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows. It isn’t the last taste from a Tale of the Navel that’ll make an appearance or the Shadow Forest. Keep an eye on the Cauldron for what may bubble forth in the future…

 

Peter, Duessa, and I stood upon a cobblestone street.

Reality reformed around us, offering the familar sights of cottages and shops along the main road in Omphalos.

I staggered a bit, but Peter caught me.

“Christopher!” Gabrielle ran toward us, her hair and hat in disarray. “Are you all right?”

To be concluded on Monday, May 7, 2018…

Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to #QueerBlogWed, a day to bring a touch of the rainbow to our blogs.

I’ve been away for a month while my characters Blogged From AZ, talking about their goals. Be My Valentine…Snack has continued in trickles on Sundays, the only space available in the week.

Time for a lot more story. 🙂 Picking up right where Peter and Christopher left off on Sunday, here’s the next segment of Be My Valentine…Snack…

“Besides I can’t expect you to prove your ‘true love’ for me.” He let out a harsh, humorless laugh. “You’ve let me know countless times that you’re spoken for.”

Guilt rose up in my throat, choking any words I might have to answer that.

Why did I feel like I’d struck another invisible blow, hitting something I’d never intended to touch, let alone injure?

Peter flirted with everyone with an intensity that could break hearts if one took him seriously.

When he’d held me, when he kissed me in the garden, I hadn’t responded the way he wished.

I thought he’d accepted this, even if he was disappointed.

“I don’t understand.” I closed my eyes. “Are you saying you’ll love me even if I can never return your feelings? I don’t understand.”

“No more than I can understand why you continue to cling to the hope that a man who abandoned you will one day return.” His dark eyes softened with wry humour. “I don’t blame you for my feelings any more than you blame Damian.” He shrugged and tried to smile. “You were always honest in your rejection of me.”

His words didn’t make me feel any better. My eyes moved to where my stick lay, upon the checkered floor.

“I’m sorry. I can’t return your love.” I walked over to the stick.“What I can do is try to be worthy of it.”

I picked it up off the floor. It was warm to the touch.

“What are you doing?” A tiny wrinkle dimpled the center of Duessa’s forehead.

I smiled at the familar expression I’d seen so many times on another’s face, even though Damian lacked the additional six eyes.

“Defending Peter.” I held the stick, as if it was a sword.

It vibrated in my hands. The stick was humming, a little tune I hadn’t heard since Damian left.

The sound gave me confidence. As long as I held this stick and stood at Peter’s side, I wasn’t alone.

Peter cocked his head, staring at me as if I’d completely lost my mind.

Duessa blinked all eight eyes at me in bemusement, unsure what to make of me.

“Peter didn’t become your Valentine because he chose to. He did it to make me jealous.” I shook my head. “It was stupid, but you can’t eat everyone who acts stupid.” I allowed my smile to tug at my lips, widening. “You’d gain so much weight, you wouldn’t be able to lift yourself off the floor, let alone fit into that dress.”

A choked laugh escaped from Peter at my attempted joke.

“Ah, Christopher, some truths are simply too cruel” Duessa struggled not to smile and failed. She shook her head. “Why do you risk your life to save Peter? He is neither your beloved, nor your responsibility.”

“No, he’s not.” I closed my eyes, recalling a hand stretching out to me within the darkness. “It’s my choice to save him. Just as it was once Damian’s to save me.”
Something was building behind my eyes, something painful. “This is the best demonstration of true love I have to offer.”

“Such mad logic,” Duessa muttered, her smile withering on her lips. “It’s exactly the sort of thing I’d expect Damian to say.” She sighed, shoulders slumping, her limbs dangling, drained of their malice. “His heart’s desire was to get the better of me.” Duessa looked from me to Peter. “I’m not sure if he’d be proud or envious of the two of you.”

Six of her arms vanished. The temple around us blurred, the web and the valentines disappeared.

The stick vanished from my hand as well.