#RainbowSnippets: Wind Me Up, One More Time

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

For my own, I’m going to continue where I left off last week in Wind Me Up, One More Time…

*We need to save her before it’s too late.*
*****
Grace never doubted that Nathalie was the hero of her own tales. She always seemed larger than life whenever she started one.

“This is the heart of Verity.” Clasping her little sister’s hand in strong, brown fingers, she led Grace to the squat brick building at the exact center of town.

Intrigued by what you’re reading? Want to read more? Here are buy links…

 

Mischief Corner Books/Shenanigans Press: https://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com/wind-me-up-one-more-time.html#/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081LPX2WH/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Wind+Me+Up%2C+One+More+Time&qid=1573974211&s=books&sr=1-1

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wind-me-up-one-more-time

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wind-me-up-one-more-time-ks-trenten/1134959345

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1488235515?fbclid=IwAR1_ox2T5jIHibPFBHUqTck0SNaP3pcZIgNM4DS3VAjU47mn3o5iu260bMA

Conversations with Christopher: Nimmie Not Wails

 

A kobold sits in the chair opposite Christopher, kicking up his spindly feet, wailing, and bawling while Christopher looks rather helplessly on from the chair opposite.

Nimmie Not: Waah! (He leaps up and stamps his foot.) I’ve been dumped, dumped, dumped! Cast off for goat cassoulet! Tossed aside for treats!

(To find out about the cassoulet in question, go to inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com and read Secondary Characters Speak Out, guest-starring the remarkable Penny Blake and her creation, Reynard…)

Christopher: Now, now-

Nimmie Not: Don’t “now, now” me! (He stabs a bony finger in Christopher’s direction.) You were behind the curtain with me! You even provided them with flatware! (He throws up his hands and wails.)

Christopher: Err-

Nimmie Not: Don’t “err” me, either! You saw Quartz wolf down that smooth-talking necromancer’s fare! Not to mention when he started dropping hints about what he was really up to, Quartz acted all accomodating! (He balls his hands into fists and shakes them at the sky.) My dwarf never accomodates! Never! What was *that* all about?

Christopher: Well-

Nimmie Not: There’s nothing “well” about this! I knew Quartz was a flirt, mind you, impossible to miss how he blushed around that Sokrat, but she was a wandering philosopher! It was never going to go anywhere, never-

Christopher: Perhaps-

Nimmie Not: Not “perhaps”, just impossible! And yes, there were those entirely too attractive vampires, but they were from different universes with different creators, even different genres! Nothing to worry about there, well, not worry too much about, right?

Christopher: Right-

Nimmie Not: Yes, I know all this was supposed to be was another meet and greet with a character from another universe, belonging to another scribber, so why worry about it? Only that necromancer has the gall to show up with goat cassoulet and…and…cake! (He drops his fists and begins to wail again.) Cake with bits of people in it! How can I outdo a gesture like that?!

Christopher: There, there-

Nimmie Not: Don’t “there, there” me! This means I’ve already lost!

Christopher: I wouldn’t-

Nimmie Not: No, you wouldn’t! (He gives Christopher a savage glare filled with pointed teeth.) How do I compete with a necromancer with god-making, world-shaking goals? All I’ve got is a book about people who might make the world shake, emphasis on the “might”!

Christopher: God-making isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, believe me.

Nimmie Not: Oh, shut up! Just because you’re Happily Ever After, a minor deity in your own right, you think you can act all sanctimonious and patronizing!

Christopher: Sorry-

Nimmie Not: Oh, don’t apologize! Even if this is a conversation with you, it’s not about you. It’s about me, my hearbreak, and a cheating, cassoulet-eating dwarf! (He lets out another sobbing wail.)

Christopher: I don’t think-

Nimmie Not: That’s right, you don’t think! Just because your beloved Damian stepped through a Door and left you, you think you can understand my pain?!

Christopher: That may be true, but it’s cruel.

Nimmie Not: Exactly! I’m supposed to be cruel! Not crying over some stupid dwarf who never appreciated any of the pranks I pulled on him to liven up his existence! (sobs)

Christopher: If it’s any consolation, I don’t think Quartz was all that impressed by the god-making or world-shaking, no matter what he said.

Nimmie Not: No, he wouldn’t be, would he? (He rubs his eyes.) He’d find it to be a lot of bother, a lot of human bother at that. (He looks a little more cheerful.)

Christopher: He was probably just making conversation with his guest.

Nimmie Not: Yes, yes, that’s what he does, that’s what the purpose of Secondary Characters Speak Out is. (He brightens even more.) Quartz gets secondary characters to talk about their problems, how small they really are in the scheme of things, oh, yes. Quartz was just drawing him out.

Christopher: If he seemed more agreeable than usual, it was because he was enjoying the cassoulet.

Nimmie Not: WAUGHH!! (He bursts into sobs once more.) I can’t even cook! I can only make food appear!

Christopher: Well, isn’t that better? Less work.

Nimmie Not: I have no idea if what appears is actually nourishing. Cooking appears to be an art, which remains something of a mystery to me. Much like magic itself.

Christopher: Magic is a mystery to you?

Nimmie Not: Much of what exists is a mystery to me, including myself.

Christopher: You could always share some of that mystery with Quartz. Make something tasty appear in front of him in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins? Maybe give his brothers and himself a treat?

Nimmie Not: I could, couldn’t I? (He brightens a lot.) Or maybe just Quartz himself? Yes, yes, that could work! Thank you!

Christopher: You’re welcome.

Nimmie Not: I could be just getting anxious over nothing. I’m guessing that cassoulet was too rich for Quartz. He may have enjoyed it, but he may get stomach pains later.

Christopher: He may. (He grimaces, recalling his own past efforts to eat.)

Nimmie Not: Yes, yes, I feel better now. (He cocks his head to regard Christopher.) You know, for a slip of a shadow, you’re not so bad. Talking to you is a bit like talking to Prunella. Only you’re not huge, scaly, and stink of brimstone.

Christopher: Err, thank you?

Nimmie Not: Don’t mention it! (He spins on one heel and disappears, although his voice lingers, like an echo carrying down a long tunnel.) Now what should appear to Quartz? Something simpler than cassoulet, I think, maybe a pie with people parts in it? No, that will probably be too exotic for him…

Christopher: (mutters) Once again, I’m feeling a little sorry for Quartz.

 

#RainbowSnippets: Wind Me Up, One More Time

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

Now that the holidays are over, I’m going to share a little from my holiday release, Wind Me Up, One More Time. Hey, it’s still cold…:)

From Grace and Theodora: Magic and Mishaps

Theodora Bear could sense the little princess, her Nathalie, her child was in peril. Growing up and away was natural for children, but what was happening to Nathalie was not. She no longer remembered Theodora, her home, her kingdom, or her sister.

*Grace.* She called upon the princess’s younger sister, using the not-voice stuffed animals could use in extreme danger.

Interested in what you’ve just read? Want to read more? Here are buy links…

Mischief Corner Books/Shenanigans Press: https://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com/wind-me-up-one-more-time.html#/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081LPX2WH/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Wind+Me+Up%2C+One+More+Time&qid=1573974211&s=books&sr=1-1

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wind-me-up-one-more-time

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wind-me-up-one-more-time-ks-trenten/1134959345

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1488235515?fbclid=IwAR1_ox2T5jIHibPFBHUqTck0SNaP3pcZIgNM4DS3VAjU47mn3o5iu260bMA

Conversations with Christopher: Leiwell

Christopher: Curious how the word “no” comes to mind whenever I think of you.

Leiwell: As it does for me with you.

Christopher: No, he couldn’t have done such a thing. Not to Damian. No, he can’t be keeping Damian from me.

Leiwell: No, I can’t keep him from my brothers. No, I see Danyel getting closer and closer to him and I can’t stop it. No, I know how this will end. No, neither Danyel nor Tayel deserve such a fate, but I can’t sever the connection between Christopher and them.

Christopher: No more than the twins can sever the connection between Dyvian and you. Believe me, they would if they could.

Leiwell: (looks away) That’s different.

Christopher: Is it? I’ve never wielded my power with the ambition Dyvian colors his every action with.

Leiwell: Haven’t you?

Christopher: (looks away) Not like he does.

Leiwell: (keeping his attention fixed away from Christopher) No matter what his ambitions might be, Dyvian would never deliberately hurt me or anyone precious to me.

Christopher: (turning back to Leiwell) Perhaps he wouldn’t hurt you. I’m not so sure about anyone precious to you.

Leiwell: Dyvian takes care of us. He provides for my mothers, my brothers, and me in ways I never could.

Christopher: And you pay for that care with your life and loyalty. It’s as if Dyvian has created his own little Garden of Arachne in the Old Cottage.

Leiwell: And that Garden is spreading through Seraphix and Their talismans to cover all of Omphalos.

Christopher: Did you just agree with me?

Leiwell: It may be the part of me that’s Damian Ashelocke. He sees his Aunt Duessa’s hands and schemes in everything.

Christopher: I doubt very much what’s happening in Omphalos is one of Duessa’s schemes.

Leiwell: You claim greater insight into the first among arachnocrats than her own nephew?

Christopher: No, I claim greater insight into Dyvian’s plots than Damian or you. Your own insight is clouded by loyalty and love.

Leiwell: Yours into Damian is equally clouded.

Christopher: Is it? Damian may hide his true feelings behind a smile, but he couldn’t lock away his passion. It comes out in his art, even in his sarcasm. Dyvian is far better at concealing and controlling his passion.

Leiwell: Just because Dyvian conceals and controls it doesn’t mean the passion isn’t there. His hunger for life, for personal connections, for influence, for each individual who contributes to the greater glory of his godling are manifestations of his passion.

Christopher: Listen to you defend him. You have plenty of doubts about Seraphix, but none about Dyvian’s passion for spreading his worship, even though you’re unsure if it should be spread.

Leiwell: Just because I’m confused doesn’t mean Dyvian is or should be. His conviction is one of the qualities I admire about him.

Christopher: Even though you mistrust the very godling and Their Followers he’s giving his conviction to?

Leiwell: (looking away) I never said that conviction wasn’t misplaced.

Christopher: Right. (mutters) Uh oh, I’m starting to sound like Quartz.

Leiwell: (turning back to Christopher with fierce, bright eyes) You’re one to talk. You’re equally convinced that Damian’s conviction is misplaced.

Christopher: If you’re referring to Damian’s desire to seek power in the Shadow Forest, then yes. I do think it’s misplaced.

Leiwell: We appear to be at odds with our lovers as well as each other. Our love itself makes us their enemies.

Christopher doesn’t answer. He simply bows his head.

#RainbowSnippets: My Tool, My Treasure

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

Eventually I’d like to post snippets from my most recent release; Wind Me Up, One More Time, but it doesn’t seem right to leave Leiwell quite yet. 🙂 I’m going to continue a little further with My Tool, My Treasure this week before switching stories…this is slightly longer than six sentences.

This thought should have made Leiwell hold on more tightly, try to thrust this annoying memory ghost down into his dreams. Only Leiwell let go instead.

He let himself sink through the floor of the tower, even while he stood, swaying on his feet. Dyvian dropped his arms. His mouth moved, but Leiwell couldn’t hear him.

He was falling, sinking into the blood-tinged, rose purple essence of Damian Ashelocke, letting him settle around him like warm liquid, drawing him in. Drawing him away from the ritual, away from a chance to become one with the Followers of Seraphix, one with their god.

Leiwell wasn’t sure if he hated his victim all the more for this or if he wanted to thank him.

 

 

Conversations with Christopher: Leiwell

Christopher sits facing a slender young man with dark hair curling at the ends right above his shoulders and brilliant emerald eyes. The young man is dressed in a scarf and waistcoat that match his eyes, a white tunic, a black velvet jacket, and pants, paralleling Christopher’s own dusty trousers.

For a few moments, the two of them just stare at each other.

Christopher: (in a very soft voice, filled with unshed tears) I was there when you were born, watched Damian bring you forth. The sight of you made me aware of how shadows could create life, giving it other shadows. A life that could continue beyond the Door, if it could find a Door.

Leiwell: (balling his hands into fists) I suppose I should thank you for that life, although I’ve always wondered when you might choose to take it back.

Christopher: You’re not talking about yourself.

Leiwell: I don’t remember my own…birth. I’ll never forget when you gave my brothers life. (His eyes glisten.) Few memories have ever lingered with such clarity, yet it has the quality of a dream. A vivid, yet terrifying dream.

Christopher: (looking straight into Leiwell’s eyes, his own just as bright) You’re one of the most beautiful young men I’ve ever seen, yet I can hardly bear the sight of you.

Leiwell: If so, punish me. You have every right to. (digging his fingers into his palms) Just don’t take your rage out on the innocent because they happen to be precious to me.

Christopher: Have I ever shown any sign of holding Danyel and Tayel responsible for your actions?

Leiwell: No, but you hunger for them as a shadow hungers for vitality. Be warned. (He bares his teeth, drawing his pouting lips back from them.) If you try to take them from me, you’ll find yourself facing the same monster that took Damian.

Christopher: I think I might enjoy that. (Colors swim through his eyes while the pupils enlargen, spreading the darkness gathered in their centers.) There’s a certain direct simplicity in dealing with a monster. It’s the person in all his loving complexity who confuses me with mercy.

Leiwell: Mercy doesn’t confuse me. (He opens his hands, revealing palms marked with red half-moons.) You do.

Christopher: How so?

Leiwell: You look so fragile, so young and innocent, only a few years older than my brothers. You’re not lying about your innocence either. Your wonder in the face of the ordinary which others take for granted, the way you react with honest awkwardness with the worlds you encounter, all of that is completely genuine.

Christopher: I am learning about myself and wherever I find myself. As are you. As are your brothers.

Leiwell: Only I learned to create a mask for myself, reflecting back what others want to see. As did Dyvian. As did your Damian.

Christopher: Maybe the three of you were quicker studies of your worlds and those around you.

Leiwell: Or maybe we don’t have your honesty, an honesty you share with my brothers. I could love you for that honesty, if I wasn’t terrified of the darker side of you. Of the monster you’re capable of becoming, a monster no less hungry and greedy than Dyvian at his worst.

Christopher: You admit that your Dyvian is a monster?

Leiwell: It’s impossible to possess the kind of power he has and not become one.

Christopher: It’s a power that can create on a level that defies imagination, a power Damian himself once coveted.

Leiwell: I’m not sure if he still wants it. He did once, but he seems to mock it now.

Christopher: You’re certain of this?

Leiwell: (with a mocking, very Damian-like smile) No one is closer to Damian Ashelocke now than myself. Not even you.

Christopher: (slumping back in his seat) Call me a monster, yet you mock me with that truth?

Leiwell: I never said that I wasn’t a monster myself, Christopher. I’m just trying to be more than that. Are you?

Christopher: How can you even ask me that?!

Leiwell: I ask myself many things, especially about you. Once you tried very hard not to be a monster, but I wonder if you didn’t lose the will to keep trying, once you stepped through a Door back into the Shadow Forest. Other goals may well have become more important, more worth remembering.
Christopher: You think honesty will compell me to reveal those goals?

Leiwell: No. (He smiles a hard, bright smile.)

Christopher: No. (He smiles the same smile back, mirroring Leiwell’s expression.)

To be continued…

#RainbowSnippets: My Tool, My Treasure

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

I’ve finally answered the question of whom the voice belongs to. 🙂 I’m going to go a little further in My Tool, My Treasure before switching to my novel that was published last year; Wind Me Up, One More Time. Once again, I’m including a little more than six sentences for the sake of coherency…(apologetic bow)

*Take a look, Leiwell, if you dare.* The challenge, all sensual provocation and courteous mockery swam through his head, bringing visions. *Take a look at the fate which might have been mine for my faith in those I trusted.*

Leiwell struggled, not wanting to relive Damian Ashelocke’s memories. Not wanting to become him. Damian Ashelocke was powerful, too powerful. His essence burned within Leiwell, seldom under control as it was. Here in the middle of this ritual to become one with Seraphix, to actually separate from his victim in the Shadow Forest was counter to the intent, the prayer, the focus of the gathering. What would be the consequences if he disrupted it?

 

Frost Fair: With Characters from ‘Wind Me Up, One More Time’ by K.S. Trenten

Whee! My characters from Wind Me Up, One More Time and myself all got to play at the Frost Fair, courtesy of the amazing Penny Blake (look for her release, Necromancers, on Amazon!)

Blake And Wight . com

 

A golden shimmer hangs in the air over the billowing tent folds of the stall where Theodora Bear sits on display. She cannot move, not with all the crowds of strangers moving around, watching her still, stuffed form. None of these people are her child, after all. She can speak, however, in the silent, non-voice of stuffed animals which other toys and her child can hear. 

 

*It’s a good thing Iama put a spell on this tent. I think we’re warmer here than a lot of the vendors are in their booths.*

 

A little girl wearing a red hood pulled over her head nods.

 

*It’s also a good thing we came and not the other Grace and Theodora. They have Maia, who’s a good seamstress, but we have Iama, who’s an actual enchantress. We’re more prepared for the cold than any of the characters in Verity…

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Me Me Monday: Damian and Christopher

The mists of the Cauldron clear, revealing a garden filled with beds of roses. There’s a gazebo nearby. Christopher stands under a sky filled with a riot of colour and opens his arms, only to find himself embracing a young man with short dark hair, wearing a white poet’s shirt.
Christopher: (burying his head in the young man’s chest, breathing in his scent) I’m not sure if I’ve ever held you like this.

Damian: (for it is Damian, allowing his lips to brush against the top of Christopher’s head) You have. You may not remember, or this version of you doesn’t, but you have.

Christopher: I miss you. (He lifts his face to regard the young man.) I swear I’ll find you. I’m going to get you back, even if it destroys me.

Damian: (pulling away slightly from the younger man) I don’t want to come back if it destroys you. (He cups Christopher’s chin in his hand.) I gave you my life in exchange for the Shadow Forest, remember?

Christopher: As if I could ever forget. (He drops his gaze to Damian’s fingers touching him.) I love that life. I truly do. Not a moment goes by, though, when I don’t miss you.

Damian: We’re coping with the consequences of our choices. If you love the life I’ve given you, they can’t all be bad. (He twists his lips into a wry smile, filled with self-mockery.) You’re making far better use of that life than I ever did.

Christopher: Even if that’s true, I can’t just let the Shadow Forest have you. I can’t allow everything you were to dissolve into a shadow’s being.

Damian: Even if that shadow is now as much a part of me as I am of him? Even if that shadow is as innocent as you were?

Christopher: He’s not innocent and he’s not you. He’s an enemy!

Damian: He’s an enemy because we’re a threat, you and I, to what’s most precious to him.

Christopher: The twins. They’re precious to me, too. Danyel and Tayel were once part of me.

Damian: This doesn’t mean you’re not a threat to them.

Christopher: (sighs) What a strange story our scribbler is crafting for us, piece by piece. All of us; you, me, Leiwell, Danyel, and Tayel could be considered protagonists. We’re intimately connected to each other, yet we’re at odds.

Damian: It may be a strange story, but I’m happy to be part of it. (He pulls Christopher close once more.) I’m glad I met you, Christopher. I’m glad I was able to spend time with you, even if it was just for a little while.

With those words, Damian disappears. The garden, the gazebo, and the sky fade into grayness. Christopher stands in the mists of the Cauldron alone. He raises a hand to his lips, multicolored eyes bright with unshed tears.

Christopher: Even if it’s only for a little while…I’m glad, too, Damian. This is why I’ll fight, scheme, and struggle to increase that time, even if it’s just a little more.

Christopher himself fades into the mists and disappears, leaving the shadows to whisper in silent non-voices about many things, many unfinished stories, hopes and dreams. For everything here is just a shadow, until it’s given a voice and direction by its aging creatrix.

Happy Birthday, creatrix. May the waters of inspiration continue to flow and may you be able to channel them into stories for as long as you can.

#RainbowSnippets: My Tool, My Treasure

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from different LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

For my own, Leiwell is going to pick up where he left off last week in My Tool, My Treasure. He’s also going to finally answer the question raised about the mysterious voice in his head. To do so, this will run a little longer than six sentences…

There was something disparaging about their regard for their newborn deity. Seraphix was nothing more than a tool, a treasured tool to be used.

*Would you rather be a tool?* The smirking arachnocrat in his head whispered within his doubts. *Or a treasure? Either way you’re an object, something to be used.”

*Shut up, Damian.* The essence mixed up with his own always had to spoil everything. Unlike Leiwell, Damian Ashelocke had a cynical lack of faith in anything, especially people. Worst of all he was usually correct in his dark assessments.

The voice is revealed and yes, it’s Damian Ashelocke, the same Damian who disappeared in Waiting for Rebirth from the Navel and Christopher’s life. (Does anyone remember him? Anyone at all? :)) A lot about Damian…along with Christopher…is revealed in My Tool, My Treasure, even though right now we’re seeing things from Leiwell’s perspective. This is one of the strangest things I’ve ever written, Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest, where the characters are all intimately connected, yet at odds (to quote Christopher’s coming conversation next Monday). Damian’s fate, how Christopher tries to steal him back are equally surreal. I’m not sure how much of this story will be contained within My Tool, My Treasure and how much will spill into Web of Inspiration, the fifth book in the series. Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest is a fantasy dreamworld inspired by Tarot card imagery, my attempt to craft a story and a journey based on the pictures in the deck, perhaps the most daunting task I’ve ever set for myself, but one I’m the most invested in. 🙂