Secondary Characters Speak Out: Quartz and Opal

A dwarf with a silvery black beard squints at everything around him. You may recognize him. He’s been Christopher’s grumbling guest, many a time.

Quartz: Right. You’ve probably noticed. Christopher isn’t here. I am. Blogger has been updated beyond the scribbler’s outdated operating system’s ability to post there. Secondary Characters Speak Out is moving here. Once a Monday a month, Christopher doesn’t have to have a conversation. I’ll be letting Secondary Characters voice their concerns, their neglect, and other things bugging them about their roles in their stories. Beginning with…

…he turns to face another dwarf similar to himself from his silvery-black beard to his scowl.

Quartz: Huh? What’s up with you, being here?

Opal: What’s up with me? What’s up with you is what I’d like to know! What in the flaming shards is wrong with you?

Quartz: Nothing is wrong with me, you daft fool.

Opal: You’re the daft fool! Flirting with kobolds, having our younger brothers follow a ruddy kobold, after all the times you warned us to stay away from kobolds!

Quartz: It’s, err, complicated. Not that you should worry your head about it. We have a bargain, Nimmie Not and I, for all he’s a treacherous sort. He wouldn’t break a bargain.

Opal: Are you even listening to yourself? Steer clear of goblins, kobolds, and trolls, they’re nothing but trouble, your own words! Now you’re trusting one to keep a bargain with you, with all us, and even worse, you can’t stop flirting with him!

Quartz: I keep telling you, pebble-brain, I am not flirting with Nimmie Not!

Opal: Pebble-brain, you are, who do you think you’re fooling? You’re even running errands for that kobold’s pet dragon!

Quartz: As if Prue would ever be Nimmie Not’s pet. If anything, it’s the other way around.

Opal: And you’re calling that dragon Prue, as if you’re friends with it!

Quartz: Prue isn’t an it, they’re a them. I told you, well, I told you in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins, which isn’t finished yet. Dragons are beyond gender and view events through the perspective of many lives. Dragons are always ‘they’, at least in our world.

Opal: Fine, they’re a they. They’re still a giant, fire-breathing menace, living in the very mountain we’ve been mining!

Quartz: I didn’t know Prue was there, all right? Aye, their presence does explain why there were no goblins, no orcs, nor other dwarves in those mountains.

Opal: Aye, it explains that. It doesn’t explain why we’re still there or why you’re running errands for that monster!

Quartz: Doesn’t seem right to call Prue a monster, although I can see why some would. They’re not a bad sort, as I’ve explained to Christopher here before. There’s a purpose to the errands I’m running for Prue. Sometimes that purpose makes me shiver, but I don’t think it’s a bad one.

Opal: This purpose you speak of has to do with those stones you’re taking to the clearing, to state the obvious.

Quartz: You’ll find out what I’m up too soon enough in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins. You’ll learn what I know or what I’ve guessed only too soon.

Opal: Reassuring, aren’t you?

Quartz: Shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t be and neither should you. I’m gathering healing stones, though, Opal. What I’m doing, what Prue asked me to do isn’t bad.

Opal: Bad things will come of this, Quartz. No matter what your intentions are, or that dragons, bad things will come of this.

Quartz: Aye, and maybe good things, too. Ever think of that.

Opal: No.

Quartz: You’re the only dwarf more pessimistic than myself, brother mine.

Opal: Right. As if you’ve met that many of our own kind.

Quartz: Shut up.

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 for LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

For mine, Phaedra will continue to squeal over the name of Agathea, invoked last week in A Symposium in Space…

Agathea was one of the wealthiest, most prominent citizens of the Intergalactic Democracy. One who could arrange to have my poems broadcast over the biggest billboards that glowed in major cities on major planets.

“The Agathea?” I asked for clarity. “The third-time winner of the Tragedy award? The one who funds and owns most worlds’ rights to the image of Aphrodite?”

Like what you’ve read? Want to read more? Here are buy links…

Nine Star Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/a-symposium-in-space/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Symposium-Space-Feast-Words-ebook/dp/B07PGB15FY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3BPACY58MCCMV&keywords=a+symposium+in+space&qid=1552937461&s=digital-text&sprefix=A+Sympo%2Caps%2C239&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130883509?ean=2940161507872

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-symposium-in-space

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/928136

 

Conversations with Christopher: Garnet

Christopher sits facing a fidgety young dwarf with disshelved ginger whiskers.

Christopher: How’s life in your cottage in the Forest of Tears?

Garnet: Surprisingly tear-free. Especially since our mysterious human guest came to live with us. There’s less dust and dirty, a hot meal waiting for my brothers and myself every morning when we get up and when we get home from the mines. Plus our guest herself, she’s quiet, yet she’s got a soothing presence. She can even make Opal less grumpy. And Quartz, why, Quartz has become positively good-natured since she showed up. She’s a decent human, our guest, no, she’s a decent person. She’s made our home a happier place.

Christopher: You don’t seem happy.

Garnet: That’s just it. We’re living in the Forest of Tears. No matter how happy we are, tears are going to come. And our guest is filled with tears and secrets, gleaming in her eyes. I can see them, even when she smiles, no matter how hard she tries to hide them. Whatever happiness we have will be all too brief.

Christopher: All the more reason to smile while you can, don’t you think?

Garnet: Aye, yes, I can see the sense in that, only I have a hard time smiling when I feel like at any moment, something is going to jump out at us. I hate that cuckoo clock. I never know what it’s going to say, yet at the same time it’s comforting. How odd is that?

Christopher: By cuckoo clock, you mean the ones that’s referenced in your story and Quartz’s; Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins?

Garnet: That’s odd, too. You’d think there was more than one cuckoo clock by the title, but the only cuckoo clock I’ve ever seen is the one in our cottage. The same cottage Nimmie Not led us to, my brothers and I.

Christopher: And you hate the things it says? I’m guessing it says more than simply “Cuckoo!”

Garnet: Is that what cuckoo clocks usually do? Makes sense.

Christopher: What does yours do?

Garnet: A little bird pops out of the wooden clockface upon the hour. It says things like, “Go away!” and “Human!” in a voice very like Nimmie Not’s.

Christopher: It sounds like your clock is special. Also its messages don’t appear to be meant for you.
Garnet: No, they’re meant for our human guest. How anyone, even a clock can be mean to her, I don’t know.

Christopher: Don’t you?

Garnet: Well, Quartz is very nice to her. And Nimmie Not is quite sweet on Quartz. It could just be he’s jealous.

Christopher: You sound unsure.

Garnet: Nimmie Not knows things, all kinds of things. He’s got this book on Persons of Interest. Quartz is supposedly in it. It could be our guest is a Person of Interest, too. Nimmie Not may know things about her my brothers and I don’t. And well, she has her secrets.

Christopher: It could be both. Jealousy and he knows something.

Garnet: It could, it could be. Only our guest is so nice! She’s the nicest human we’ve ever met.

Christopher: Have you met a lot of humans?

Garnet: We’ve traded stones with humans, my brothers and I. Our guest is the first human I’ve really gotten to know. Nimmie Not is wrong about her, he has to be! Only what if he’s right, even if it’s just a little?

Christopher: I’m not sure what to tell you.

Garnet: I’m not sure what to tell myself. Hence the worry even though I’m happy.

Christopher: Try to enjoy the happiness, even if you know it won’t last.

Garnet: I’m trying. I truly am.

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 different LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

For my own, Phaedra will pick up where Pausania left off in A Symposium in Space…

 

“Agathea?” I swallowed at hearing her name.

Agathea was one of the wealthiest, most prominent citizens of the Intergalactic Democracy. One who could arrange to have my poems broadcast over the biggest billboards that glowed in major cities on major planets.

“The Agathea?” I asked for clarity.

Like what you’ve read? Want to read more? Here are buy links…

Nine Star Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/a-symposium-in-space/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Symposium-Space-Feast-Words-ebook/dp/B07PGB15FY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3BPACY58MCCMV&keywords=a+symposium+in+space&qid=1552937461&s=digital-text&sprefix=A+Sympo%2Caps%2C239&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130883509?ean=2940161507872

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-symposium-in-space

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/928136

Conversations with Christopher: Opal

Christopher sits facing a dwarf who resembles Quartz in his silvery-black beard, his slouch, and his scowling expression.

Christopher: You do look a bit like your brother.

Opal: I’m nothing like my brother, the daft, stone-struck fool. Bad enough the way he just spends hours staring into crystals. Now he’s flirting with kobolds, running errands for dragons, and inviting humans into the house!

Christopher: You seem to like the human.

Opal: Aye, I suppose she’s not a bad sort. And she’s useful around the house.

Christopher: Don’t you have a house because of Quartz’s dragon dealings and err, kobold entanglements?

Opal: Know a lot about that, d’ye, lad?

Christopher: This is the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration where the walls break down between our scribbler’s worlds. I know many things while I’m here.

Opal: Mystical nonsense, not to mention cheeky, knowing what you shouldn’t. Why do I know things about you, eh?

Christopher: Do you want to know about me?

Opal: Shards, no. I’m already stuck with one scrawny underfed human’s secrets. I don’t need another’s.

Christopher: There you go. You don’t know anything about me because you don’t want to know.

Opal: More cheeky, sneaky talk. I’m supposed to tell you about but you’re not saying anything about yourself, because I don’t want to know, eh?

Christopher: I could talk about myself. Do you want to hear it?

Opal: No.

Christopher: And you’d rather not talk about yourself?

Opal: Rather.

Christopher: You want to talk about something, however, or else you wouldn’t be here.

Opal: Fine! Fine! You want me to talk? Let’s talk! (He jumps out of his seat and starts to pace, back and forth the space between his empty chair and Christopher.) How can he do it? After all the times he’s warned us to be careful around outsiders, how can he flirt with a ruddy kobold?

Christopher: You mean Quartz.

Opal: He’s loud, he wears bright colors. He jumps around and sings, expecting everyone else to do the same. He plays games with all of us. You can’t trust him! Why does Quartz like him so much?

Christopher: Err, maybe you should ask Quartz?

Opal: Right, you try asking Quartz. He’ll just tell you to shut up!

Christopher: I see your point.

Opal: That kobold is bad news. Bringing us to his cottage, the bargain Quartz made with him, there’s a trick to all of it.

Christopher: Maybe Quartz realizes this.

Opal: Eh?

Christopher: Everything you’re saying Quartz may be aware of himself, yet he likes Nimmie Not in spite of it all.

Opal: Know the creature’s name, eh?

Christopher: He’s stopped by the Cauldron before.

Opal: Shards, is there no escaping that creature? Next you’ll tell me the dragon stopped by, too.

Christopher: Actually, yes, Prunella was here.

Opal: That’s it. I’m out of here, wherever here is!

There’s a burst of yellow smoke in the air between Christopher and Opal, slightly above their heads. The smoke clears to reveal a cuckoo clock floating in the midair. A tiny green door in the clockface opens. A little wooden bird pops out.

Bird: (using Nimmie Not’s voice) Fu-ture bro-ther-in-law! I’ll-get-you-out!

Opal: Gah! (He shrinks back in his seat from the clock and the bird.)

The bird retreats back behind the door. Both the clock and Opal disappear in twin clouds of yellow smoke, leaving only an empty chair behind.

Christopher: Well, I guess that’s all for now. (He studies the empty space where the clock was.)

Nothing replies.

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…

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

For my own, Phaedra will continue to watch Pausania…and the orb…in A Symposium in Space…

She stalked toward the orb, carrying a wine glass in one hand. It tilted precariously, threatening to drip its contents upon her elaborately patterned rug.

This irritated me. I’d got her that furnishing, saved up my meager pennies from poetry readings and space runs to see that she had something special to adorn her apartment. True, she’d never shown more than a temporary admiration for its beauty, but her casual contempt was like a slap in the face.

“Phaedra has no interest in your shallow attempts to feed on her emotions, Agathea.” Pausania waved a hand at the orb.

 

Like what you’ve read? Want to read more? Here are buy links…

Nine Star Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/a-symposium-in-space/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Symposium-Space-Feast-Words-ebook/dp/B07PGB15FY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3BPACY58MCCMV&keywords=a+symposium+in+space&qid=1552937461&s=digital-text&sprefix=A+Sympo%2Caps%2C239&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130883509?ean=2940161507872

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-symposium-in-space

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/928136

Conversations with Christopher: Even More Quartz

Once more Christopher faces a certain grumpy dwarf only this time he’s stroking his silvery-black beard in a pensive fashion.

Christopher: Back again?

Quartz: Aye. I’ve got concerns about my story. Concerns I think the scribbler will mull over if I talk to you.
Christopher: Aren’t you happy with your story?

Quartz: The scribbler has paused it to go back and look at what she’s written thus far. Aye, it’s better than I thought it would be. Better than she thought it would be. Still…

Christopher: What’s bothering you about it?

Quartz: My Fairest got a very pretty song to sing for her story as well she should. I have a riddle disguised as a rock manual pretending to be a poem.

Christopher: I’m trying to picture that…

Quartz: Exactly! The scribbler is making it too difficult! I want to get across some of the passion I feel for the stones, a love that began when I first heard my mother whisper these lines to me as a lad. They’re neither simple nor beautiful enough, nor do they convey that…special feeling. Besides they ought to rhyme, don’t you?

Christopher: What are these lines?

Quartz: One stone blushes with with life
Another burns with desire
Sunshine gathers in the navel
Sunlit waters lap around the throat
The heartstone pulses pink
While jasper keeps you upright
Darkness gathers at the feet
Blue sorrow and purple wisdom meet in the head
All brought together by the same
The clear quartz of your name.
Christopher: That’s not too bad, although only the last two lines rhyme.

Quartz: It’s a riddle describing a bunch of stones which you can use for healing. One I have to use to gather the rocks together which will fuse into a crystal coffin. I’m not sure if you could even call it verse. My mum could do better than this. So can the scribbler.

Christopher: You could help her, if you’re not happy with this. Start thinking about the stones, what they mean to you. Nudge her imagination.

Quartz: Right. Not sure if my mum actually learned the above. Someone else may have taught it to her.

Christopher: Yes, but how much of what you feel about the stones came from your mother? Began with your mother?

Quartz: Aye, you have a point. I’ll start nudging.

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 different LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

For my own, Phaedra will continue to watch, admire, and glower at Pausania in A Symposium in Space…this is just a little longer than six sentences, forgive me…

Her blouse complemented her auburn hair, falling in thick, luxuriant waves over her shoulders.

Those russet tresses were coarser than they looked. They still yielded to brushes, combs, or my worshipful fingers. Tiny strands of copper mingled with the auburn locks, giving her head a halo’s gleam.

It wasn’t natural. Very little about Pausania was natural. She still made everything about her appearance seem artless and unfeigned.

A pity the same wasn’t true of her personality.

Nine Star Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/a-symposium-in-space/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Symposium-Space-Feast-Words-ebook/dp/B07PGB15FY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3BPACY58MCCMV&keywords=a+symposium+in+space&qid=1552937461&s=digital-text&sprefix=A+Sympo%2Caps%2C239&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130883509?ean=2940161507872

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-symposium-in-space

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/928136

Conversations with Christopher: More Quartz

Once again, Christopher sits facing a far more disgruntled dwarf than the one who hummed and stroked his beard last week, even though it’s still Quartz.

Christopher: I’m guessing that before Camp NaNoWriMo ended, Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins took a turn for the worse.

Quartz: Maddening, it’s ruddy maddening, trying to figure it out. Like sensing the song of a crystal, feeling that quiet energy flow, only to hit a snag, a jarring note. To feel with every instinct there’s a way to move past the snag, only without a clear thought on how to move!

Christopher: Is that where the scribbler left you when Camp ended?

Quartz: She never officially went Camping, although she tried to in her way. No, neither she nor I can blame Camp-or the lack of it-for our current situation.

Christopher: Who do you blame?

Quartz: I’d love to lay it all on that Oriana. Not doubt she’s the wellspring of much of my Fairest’s misery. Got a bad feeling, though. Oriana may not be our only problem.

Christopher: You think Nimmie Not is one of them.

Quartz: Why wouldn’t he be? Always disappearing into a yellow cloud, that one. Fairest’s evil queen, her power materializes as green smoke. Coincidence? Doubt either of us are that lucky.

Christopher: You think there’s a connection between Oriana and Nimmie Not.

Quartz: Smoke and mirrors all mixed with magic, sounds like his kind of mischief. Only that kobold despises humans. He’d never help one of them, unless…

Christopher: Unless?

Quartz: Unless he wasn’t helping her. He might pretend he was helping…or serving her…only to do her a mischief. She’s a human queen, after all, like the one that toyed with his kinsman…shards. He may have been messing with her. And if that Oriana was a Person of Interest in that ruddy magic book of his, well, he’d take an interest, human or not. (He swallows, gripping his knees with unsteady hands.)

Christopher: You look upset.

Quartz: Shouldn’t be. Shouldn’t be surprised either. Kobolds are trouble. Always knew that. He’s just being true to his nature, that’s all. I’m the daft dwarf who let my head be turned by all his pretty talk about being a Person of Interest. Not to mention all that nonsense about being his bride. Sheer folly, all of it.

Christopher: Maybe not. Just because he was playing games with Oriana doesn’t mean he’s playing games with you.

Quartz: Right. He’s always playing games. It’s part of what he is, as much as the thoughts and feelings you’ve absorbed are part of you whether they’re truly yours or not.

Christopher: Thanks.

Quartz: Misery loves company, lad. Never mind me. I’m just…

Christopher: Hurt?

Quartz: Aye. The more fool me.

Christopher: We’re all fools sometimes, Quartz. We don’t have stay that way.

Quartz: Aye, we don’t. Which is why I have to figure this out, this whatever that’s bothering me. For my sake and Fairest’s.

Christopher: Good luck with that…again.

Quartz: Right, once again I need it, don’t I? Here’s hoping I don’t use all my good luck up…

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…

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

For mine, Phaedra, Pausania, and the orb will continue where they left off last Saturday in A Symposium in Space…

Swallowing a sigh, I turned to face Pausania.

She glided into the room with a lazy grace, loose leggings swishing around her slender limbs. As always, she managed not to drag the tassels at the ends of them across her floor. The pants matched the fawn-colored blouse she wore. Tawny beads weighed down the edges of the tunic.

Pausania’s attire was usually a compromise between fashionable and comfortable.

Like what you’ve read? Want to read more? Here are buy links…

Nine Star Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/a-symposium-in-space/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Symposium-Space-Feast-Words-ebook/dp/B07PGB15FY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3BPACY58MCCMV&keywords=a+symposium+in+space&qid=1552937461&s=digital-text&sprefix=A+Sympo%2Caps%2C239&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130883509?ean=2940161507872

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-symposium-in-space

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/928136