Conversations with Christopher: Quartz

Christopher, a slender youth with short, coppery-golden hair curling around the neck of his dark turtleneck sits facing Quartz, a robust dwarf with a green waistcoat over a brown tunic and trousers, sporting sturdy scuffed boots and a thick, luxuriant black beard shot with silver.

Christopher: How is Camp NaNoWriMo going? How is your story?

Quartz: Quite well, considering our scribbler isn’t officially participating, but aye, she’s writing. (He crosses his hands in front of his waistcoat) Not as much as she could, but my story is going, yes, it is. (He hums a little under his breath.)

Christopher: You seem happy.

Quartz: Aye, well, it’s awkward, what our scribbler has written. It’ll require polishing, like many a gem to give it a unique shine.

Christopher: Unique shine? Sounds like you’re pleased with your story, if you’re comparing it to a gem.

Quartz: Like I said, it needs polishing. That ruddy cuckoo clock, that crystal coffin, not sure if they’re prominent enough, even in a symbolic fashion to justify being part of the title.

Christopher: You’ve never liked the clock and you’re uneasy about the coffin. I didn’t think you’d want them to be prominent.

Quartz: They’re part of my story. You may not like losing Damian, but that’s part of your story.

Christopher: (a tiny wrinkle puckers his forehead) Just as losing your Fairest is part of yours.

Quartz: No need to get snippy, lad, and no need to ruin my moment.

Christopher: Why shouldn’t I? You get snippy with me when I’m getting all the attention.

Quartz: Oh ho, so you’re admiting you were getting all the attention! Finally some honesty!

Christopher: Fine, go ahead and be honest. What’s so wonderful about this moment of yours?

Quartz: Why our scribbler is writing the part of our story where our Fairest comes in our lives. She’s been writing about her, how my brothers and I get to know her? Why shouldn’t I enjoy it? Especially when I know in this eerie Cauldron-space it won’t last.

Christopher: (the wrinkle in his brow vanishes) You’re right. (His voice softens.) It’s coming soon, isn’t it? The end of your time together.

Quartz: Like I said, no need to ruin the moment.

Christopher: It’s curious how much you bonded with this human girl.

Quartz: Right. She fell in love with someone who all wrong for her, whom no one understood her feelings for. (His nose turned red) Like I’ve never gotten a taste of that.

Christopher: You have?

Quartz: Don’t start.

Christopher: All right, it’s not like I don’t know who you’re talking about. He doesn’t approve of this bond you have with your Fairest, you know.

Quartz: He doesn’t know her.

Christopher: Do you?

Quartz: Anout as well as she knows me and my brothers. We all have secrets.

Christopher: That doesn’t worry you?

Quartz: It’s not like I want to share everything about me. Kind of unfair to expect others to do so, don’t you think?

Christopher: Secrets can be dangerous, especially in places like the Shadow Forest and the Forest of Tears. They manifest as monsters, stalking you, luring you into the darkness where you cannot escape them.

Quartz: Aye, I’ll not deny that. Which is why we’re avoiding those dark places, my brothers, our Fairest, and myself. We’re trying to create a new life, all of us. Every time I walk into our clean cottage, smell what’s cooking in the cauldron, and see our Fairest smiling a little more, I believe it can happen. The darkness backs off.

Christopher: She gives you hope.

Quartz: Aye, like nothing and no one I’ve met.

Christopher: Not even Nimmie Not?

Quartz: How to say it? Fairest is like a breeze coming from the future, a future that’s looking brighter and brighter. Nimmie Not, I’m not sure what kind of future I have with him. I’m not sure what he wants from me or if I can trust him. I’m not sure if I should look to him for any kind of reassurance. It may be pebble-brained to try.

Christopher: He’d be hurt to hear you say this.

Quartz: Aye. (slumps in his chair, his good cheer gone)

Christopher: He’s already jealous of the bond you have with Princess Blanche. He’ll see her as more of a threat if he thinks she makes you happy in a way he can’t.

Quartz: (pressing his lips together) Guess I’ll have to let him know he makes me happy in a way she can’t.

Christopher: How are you going to do that?

Quartz: Not sure. (His nose turns redder.)

Christopher: (sees Quartz may have an idea but he’s not sharing and decides not to push it) Good luck. Both with Nimmie Not and the rest of your story.

Quartz: Thank’ee. (a wistful smile tugs at his lips beneath his whiskers) No doubt I’ll need it.


Rainbow Snippets: A Symposium in Space

Welcome to #RainbowSnippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

For my own, I’m continuing where I left off last Saturday in A Symposium in Space…

They controlled the spaceways, spamming the universe with their advertising. Their shining, three-dimensional billboards and oversized spacecrafts were everywhere, dominating the skyline.

It was more than a little annoying.

“A symposium is nothing more than a dinner party.” Melodic and laced with sarcasm, my paramour’s voice floated into the room before she made her appearance.

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Conversations with Christopher: The Orb

Christopher sits in his chair, facing a bright pink orb that resembles an eyeball, floating in midair.

Orb: (Agathea’s melodic, suggestive voice comes from it) Curious. This place is not the Intergalactic Democracy, yet it touches upon its space, upon all space.

Christopher: You’re a communications device from the Intergalactic Democracy, aren’t you?

Orb: Only the very latest in communication devices that belong to one of the most powerful citizens of the Intergalactic Democracy in question. And you, you seem like a boy, but you’re both more and less than that. You’re light, color, and the shadow devouring all, struggling for substance.

Christopher: Very prettily put.

Orb: My creatrix is a poet among other things. She’s won awards for her epic tragedies. And you, you speak with a confident arrogance no male in the Intergalactic Democracy could muster, yet you are soft-spoken in a way that the men I have records of from Ancient Earth weren’t. Meaning you’re from somewhere else, but I can see the conflicting colors within your make-up, mingling, becoming one, making you more than simply a boy, a girl, or any individual. You’re made of many elements of heart, mind, and soul, yet you’re somehow shrinking, clinging to the form you wear. Fascinating.

Christopher: You see a great deal.

Orb: I am the latest technology, capable of accessing more than the five senses life givers acknowledge. I use those senses and beyond on the behalf of my creatrix, although all you see me do in A Symposium in Space is deliver a dinner party invitation.

Christopher: That’s not all you do.

Orb: No, it’s not. I try to get a sense of Agathea’s potential guests, reading them, speaking to them. Phaedra, for instance, is very clear, direct, almost like a light, radiating out her intentions and her curiousity.

Christopher: Yes, I can see that.

Orb: Pausania is very different. Her temperament is like a star, burning itself out in a white-hot burst. Her rage simmers at the very core of her being, giving her energy she doesn’t know what to do with. This creates a monstrous dissatisfaction within her, along with dishonesty. It’s difficult to read her intentions with all that bubbling within.

Christopher: It may have hard to read Pausania, but you accomplished your goal, didn’t you? You invited Phaedra and Pausania to your symposium.

Orb: Not just Phaedra and Pausania. I delivered all of my invitations. And I’m certain all of Agathea’s guests will come. It just required a little nudging in the right direction. And now allow me to deliver that same invitation to all of you readers. Please do attend. My creatrix’s gathering should be sublime, although the conversation shall inform the meal. You’ll see what I mean…
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Rainbow Snippets: A Symposium in Space

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…

For my own, I’ll continue to snippet from A Symposium in Space (which I’ll be reading from later today on the Facebook BAQWA Event)…

“A symposium?” I murmured, confused by the archaic word. It conjured more images of Ancient Earth, but this time of our patriarchal past. An era when those who looked at you were referred to as patronizing rather than matronizing.

Such barbarism was behind us. A new democracy had spread out from Ancient Earth, across space, freeing women from their former bondage to male thoughts and ideas.

The only problem was this democracy was dominated by the wealthy and the powerful, just as too many societies had been in the past.

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Conversations with Christopher: Phaedra

Christopher sits facing a young woman with short dark hair and green eyes, dressed in an orange jacket with pocket protectors.

Phaedra: (blinks and looks around her) I’d forgotten what it like in the Cauldron. Fourth wall space, beyond the confines of my universe, knowledge pouring into my head I couldn’t possibly have.

Christopher: Welcome back. Lately my visitors have all been from Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins, a story in progress very different from A Symposium in Space. What knowledge do you have now that you’re here?

Phaedra: Well, I know the scribbler is doing a reading from A Symposium in Space at 4:15 p.m. P.S.T., which is a time zone on Ancient Earth. (She blinks.) I must be back in the past.

Christopher: And I’m from a universe completely different from yours. I grew up in a matriarchy far more sinister than your Intergalactic Democracy, if I consider the Gardens of Arachne from an outside perspective. It’s funny what you see from an outside perspective.

Phaedra: A matriarchy? I suppose you could call the Intergalactic Democracy that. Men can’t vote at present. Not that there are many men around in the Intergalactic Democracy. You’re the first one I’ve spoken to. Um, you are a man, aren’t you?

Christopher: Sometimes I wonder. I’ve been so many people in the Shadow Forest. Not all of them were men or women. Absorbing so much thought and feeling from so many different individuals, being a part of so many happy endings, when the very ideals of happiness shift from perspective to perspective, all of that changed me.

Phaedra: Huh? I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

Christopher: Neither am I.

Phaedra: What you’re saying is you’re not sure who you are, let alone what you are?

Christopher: I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Phaedra: And whether you’re a man or a woman might have been important once, but you’re no longer certain if it matters?

Christopher: (he pauses to consider her words) I’ve never thought of it quite like that, but yes, you may be right.

Phaedra: Wow, I’ve never met anyone who thought like you before.

Christopher: Thank you. Your questions are making me think.

Phaedra: Well, Sokrat says it’s through questions we reach the truth. Each question is a step towards wisdom.

Christopher: Sokrat may be right. I think I’ve used that method myself to understand things, by asking questions. Damian used it, too.

Phaedra: Damian?

Christopher: Someone who was once very close to me.

Phaedra: Like Pausania was once close to me. I lose her in A Symposium in Space and find her again. Or perhaps she loses and finds me.

Christopher: I envy you. I wish I’d find Damian.

Phaedra: Have you been looking?

Christopher: There are places I’m afraid to look.

Phaedra: It sounds like you know where to find him.

Christopher: It does, doesn’t it? I’m worried that he’s changed. That he’ll no longer be Damian.

Phaedra: We all change. It can be frightening, but it can be wonderful, too. Don’t be afraid of what Damian has become. It won’t make finding him any easier, will it?

Christopher: You may be right about that, too.
Like what you’ve seen of Phaedra? Want to get to know her better? Here are buy links to her story, A Symposium in Space

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Rainbow Snippets: A Symposium in Space

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…

I interrupt Quartz’s story (and anything he may throw at me for doing so) to share snippets once more from A Symposium in Space, my science fiction novella and inversion of Plato’s classic, which I’ll be reading from on July 18 at 4:15 p.m., my first reading, eep! I’ve been practicing, but I’m not doing too well…(wry grin) This is a little longer than six sentences for coherency’s sake.

The invitation resembled an eyeball.

A floating pink orb drifted up to the open panels of Pausania’s apartment and fixed me with its lidless stare.

I froze, unsure how to react. An unfashionable citizen of the Intergalactic Democracy, I still ran around in a vest with pocket protectors, unfamiliar with the latest technology. The bobbing globe made me think of tales of magic from Ancient Earth.

“Phaedra, beloved of Pausania.” A melodic voice, filled with sly suggestion, came from the orb. “I’d be very pleased if you and your lover would attend my symposium in space.”

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Conversations with Christopher: The Garden Gnomes

Christopher sits facing a pair of round, ruddy faced gnomes, wearing green coats, red trousers, and pointed red caps. They smile constantly, keeping their mouths tightly shut.

Christopher: Are you the garden gnomes? The ones who keep stalking the seven dwarves’s front lawn and scaring Garnet?

Treacle: I’m Treacle.

Popover: I’m Popover.

Treacle: We’ve been in a freebie story over at a while back.

Popover: Can’t trust those freebie stories. They’re roughish drafts filled with inconsistencies.

Treacle: Can’t trust the scribbler or her creations.

Christopher: I see your point, I really do, but aren’t you her creations?

Popover: (touches his cap) We’re confused.

Treacle: She’s confusing us. Why do we have these faces? (She touches hers, which looks exactly like Popover’s.)

Popover: Why is Garnet scared of us? We like old Ginger Shreds. He’s one of the few who can see our true faces. (He grins, showing very sharp teeth.)

Treacle: It hurts, being rejected by the only creature who can see us. We want him to like us as we like him. This is why we stalk his lawn.

Popover: Not that we’re stalking it. Not really. We’re protecting it. Kobold’s orders.

Treacle: Not that we trust the kobold. Even if he did help us escape from the mad alchemist who created us.

Christopher: When you say kobold, do you mean Nimmie Not?

Popover: He didn’t allow us to call him by a name.

Treacle: He might have given the Olde Gnome a name. That’s our matriarch and leader.

Popover: We’re too young and foolish to be trusted with names.

Treacle: We’ve managed to keep our own, though. That should count for something.

Christopher: True. It seems like you’ve got quite the story of your own to tell.

Popover: We live in the Forest of Tears. Everyone there has a story.

Treacle: The kobold collects stories along with Persons of Interest. He’s got an entire book of them.

Popover: It’s not Persons of Interest. It’s People of Importance.

Treacle: No, it’s Persons of Interest! Stupid scribbler, there she goes, confusing us again!

Christopher: What’s the difference between the two?

Popover: People of Importance do something significant in the world they live in.

Treacle: Persons of Interest are just special somehow themselves, even if the world takes no notice of them.

Popover: The world always notices them, even if that world may not be willing to admit it. It’s the same thing.

Treacle: It’s totally different!

Popover: Whatever. How that magic book picks someone is just random.

Treacle: It’s the kobold’s book. It reflects his interests. Not the world’s.

Christopher: Yes, I was wondering about Nimmie Not’s book.

Popover: It’s magical. Words appear in it along with names and stories.

Treacle: Nimmie Not is too lazy to write himself so the words just appear in his book. If you ask me, it’s wish fulfillment on the scribbler’s part.

Me: (from somewhere in the mists) Hey!

Christopher: (trying not to smile) It sounds like there’s a story behind the book, too.

Popover: The Forest of Tears is filled with stories, waiting to be told.

Treacle: Even though a lot of those stories came from elsewhere.

Popover: That’s true. There’s a lot of creatures in the Forest from elsewhere, too.

Treacle: Think that’s a coincidence? We were lead into the Forest of Tears by the same kobold who brought the dwarves here. Only we didn’t get a cottage.

Popover: He’s up to something, no mistake.

Christopher: Princess Blanche, who came from elsewhere to live with the dwarves doesn’t seem to be there by Nimmie Not’s design. He definitely doesn’t want her there.

Treacle: That doesn’t mean he has nothing to do with her being there.

Popover: Don’t trust him.

Christopher: Oh, I don’t. I doubt Quartz does either, even though he’s fond of Nimmie Not.

Treacle: The kobold may be fond of Garnet’s brother. The feeling may be mutual.

Popover: This doesn’t mean Garnet’s brother should trust him.

Treacle: That kobold is full of tricks and loves mischief. Especially if he can make mischief for humans.

Popover: Garnet is now living with a human. He should watch out.

Treacle: I bet the kobold has more to do with that human being in the Forest of Tears than he lets on.

Popover: Just wait and see! (He forms circles with his hands and cups his eyes with them, peering through the center.)

Treacle: Just wait and see! (She mirrors Popover’s gesture.)

Christopher: I guess we will.

Rainbow Snippets: Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins

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…

For mine, Quartz will continue where he left off last week in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins, grumping at his brother Opal…it’s a little longer than six sentences because Quartz insisted upon saying his piece as always…(sighs)


Opal grumbled even more than I did, plus he had terrible timing. “So I’m telling you for the hundredth time, don’t interrupt me. It’s downright dangerous, not to mention rude.”

“Right.” Opal strokes his mustaches, unimpressed. “Mooning over crystals is more important than mining, so don’t remind you to get back to your job.” Opal wrinkled his nose at his own words. As far as he was concerned, he wasn’t interrupting. I was slacking off. Stone was stone. If it had something to say, it wasn’t talking. At least not to Opal.

Pebble brain. There were other ways of speaking besides words, something I kept trying to tell him, but why waste my breath? He wasn’t listening.