#RainbowSnippets: 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 of LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

“Didn’t you just chastise me for saying that?”

“Of course I chastised you.” Pausania ran a hand through her hair in a self-conscious gesture. “We’re trying to get away from a past dominated by men in the name we use for ourselves.”

“Why use it?” I asked. “If you feel the word is wrong, why do you keep using it?”

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

Paula’s Prompts: Wednesday Words

On July 8, 2020, P.T. Wyant posted at ptwyant.com a Wednesday Words prompt, You find a suitcase outside the door.

This poem was the result…

You find a suitcase outside your front door
Sage has been online again
Nudging his nose towards the virtual shopping sites
Paw on the mouse when no one’s looking
Now there’s a suitcase at the door
I doubt it’s full of cat toys
He has more than he can keep track of
He always wants what Cinnamon is playing with anyway
I doubt it contains kitty crack
A little goes a long way
Perhaps it contains panettone
Sage has developed quite the sweet tooth
Stealing crumbs from the unwary
Lurking around everyone’s feet
Begging with his big green eyes
The time for begging is over now
Sage has been online again
He left gray hairs all over the computer
An incriminating whisker lies on the mouse
And there’s a suitcase on the door
Why is there a suitcase at the door?
Hopefully there won’t be many more.

Secondary Characters Speak Out: Quartz and Peter

Quartz sits facing a clean-shaven youth with shoulder-length auburn hair, a black cap pulled down over his wavy locks, a flower perched jauntily within the hat. The cap’s ebon hue matches the high-collared black vest covering the young man’s tunic, hanging below his waist and privates. A golden chain hangs around his neck with a cameo of a stern, craggy-faced man with a clipped Roman hair cut and a full beard. The young man wears scarlet house below his vest and black slippers, seeming very like he slipped out of a fifteenth-century European painting. 

Quartz: You’re Peter, eh? A friend of Christopher’s and a character in Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest.

Peter: (giving Quartz’s a roguish wink) I’d love to be more than Christopher’s friend but he’s quite skittish on that point. For now I’ll have to settle for the pleasure of his company as we work side by side in the Navel. 

Quartz: Now just when is now? You dress like you’re from a time and place more like mine than Christopher’s in the Navel, although I’ve seen him dressed at other times more like you.

Peter: Have you now? That’s very interesting. All he seems to wear around me are his high-necked black turtlenecks and jeans. Christopher puts me in mind of a modern monk, although perhaps priest would be more accurate.

Quartz: Modern? 

Peter: Why, yes. (He waves a hand over his cap and hose.) This is a costume. It has nothing to do with the time and place I come from. I was trying to dress like Richard III, a king from our scribbler’s world and history, along with other worlds and histories. I’m mimicking a portrait that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London, one painted after Richard’s death, based off a preconception of what he looked like. Only the flower in my cap, that’s a nod to Geoffery of Anjou, founding father of the Plantageant rules of England. The name Plantageant comes from the legend of Geoffery plucking a planta gesta flower and wearing it in his hat. 

Quartz: So you’re wearing a costume. You celebrating something? 

Peter: Always. A point of view, a way of remembering history and the parts people played in them as stories and characters. I call it Suetonian Subjectivity after the ancient historian here. (He fondles his cameo for emphasis.) Suetonius’s histories weren’t always factual but they played a part in giving readers a sense of time, place, and empathy for the past. After all, history is subjective. 

Quartz: Just you wait, this is starting to sound too much like those, oh, what were they called? Alternate facts. Is that what this Suetonian Subjectivity is meant to be?

Peter: Absolutely not!  Alternate facts are self-serving lies! Suetonian Subjectivity puts events into the context of a story which always has some truth in it.

Quartz: I’m not following. 

Peter: Suppose I told you a story, a story about my past. Once upon a time I became a god because Christopher believed in, believed I could do anything. Only I lost my powers because he lost that faith in me. I don’t remember my time as a god, nor does he remember being my worshipper. Perhaps it happened in a different place, or perhaps I just dreamed the whole thing. There is a legend about a creature, a spirit, or a shadow who became a god because a boy believed in him. I’ve simply inserted Christopher and myself into the tale. This is an example of Suetonian Subjectivity, a former passion of mine. We become part of a myth, a legend, a living story, revitalizing it. The tale isn’t untrue even if it isn’t fact.

Quartz: There’s nothing truthful about this! You just took some other boy and shadow’s story and made it yours! 

Peter: Just because it happened to someone else doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen to us. 

Quartz: It didn’t happen to you. You just made it up. No, worse, you took someone else’s tale and made it yours!

Peter: People are always inserting themselves into legend. Legend changes, evolves with each interpretation. Look at yourself, your brothers, and your princess. You’re all part of that, you’re reintrepretations of a legend, different versions of the characters that played a part with it. Just because you exist doesn’t mean the previous versions have been forgotten. If anything you remind everyone of their existence. 

Quartz: Huh. Guess I’m beginning to see your point but it still sounds like a slippery slope.

Peter: Isn’t it always?

Quartz: So your costume is an expression of this Suetonian Subjectivity even if it has nothing to do with the story you just told me. 

Peter: It’s a constant reminder of the mutable nature of history and legend, depending upon perception. I once lost a lover to Suetonian Subjectivity, yet it’s a passion I’m still in the grip of, even while I discover new passions. 

Quartz: Is that so?

Peter: Paul and I once shared this passion only he decided to become part of the legend than simply tell the legends. 

Quartz: This backstory with Paul and yourself, is it part of Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest?

Peter: Yes. I hope it makes its way into the novels the scribbler is working on. It’s already made its way into Cauldron Tales at the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com

Quartz: Which are moving to the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com, along with the scribbler’s poems. 

Peter: Yes. Most of these are responses on the part of the scribbler to P.T. Wyant’s Wednesday Words prompts at ptwyant.com. We never know if we’re going to get a Cauldron Tale or a Cauldron Poem. 

Quartz: Ah, yes, dear Paula. I hope she’s doing well.

Peter: I do, too. 

#RainbowSnippets: 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, the orb is about to take its leave in A Symposium in Space…

The orb moved away from the window, gaining speed when it took to the sky. 

“Impossible woman!” Pausania growled, shaking her wine glass at the departing silhouette. Sure enough, red liquid spilled out of it. “Thinking her wealth and power are enough to lure you to one of her dull dinner parties, let alone me!”

“You just used the word ‘woman’,” I ventured. “Didn’t you just chastise me for saying that?”

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

Paula’s Prompts: Wednesday Words

For a long time, I’ve had two Cauldrons, ever since I was published Torquere and realized this particular blog couldn’t share posts at theirs, that I needed a blogspot account as well.

I’ve been doing stories every week at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com  once on Wednesdays, keeping it going, even though I’ve been told I’ve got too many blogs. There are stories set up until October 14th. (I’m actually writing this post on August 4, 2020). Only they’ve changed the format and I’ve found I can no longer post my stories and poems there.

Maybe this is a sign. It’s time to abandon that blog and bring my Wednesday stories over here. I think I’ll try that, starting on October 21st, which should be today.

On July 1, 2020, P.T. Wyant posted at ptywant.com  a Wednesday Words prompt involving a bird, a flag, the neighbors are fighting.

This poem was the result…

A bird is singing in the tree
A flag flaps defiantly in the breeze
Colors proclaiming values its wearers have forgotten
All the while the neighbors are fighting
Streets grow silent
Until people creep back again
Masked against infection
Or bare-faced, ignoring the danger, talking at their phones
All the while the neighbors are fighting
I get up, mourn what’s lost
A lifestyle I took for granted
Trying to piece together the fragments of normal life
Trying to piece together my imagination
All the while the neighbors are fighting
They’re never noticed the bird
The flag is only part of the background
They’ve never cared about its meaning
For once more the neighbors are fighting
Just what are they fighting about?
Promises of violence are carried in their screams
Words and communication lost in the noise
Only shrieks and bellows of frustration
They’re like trapped animals rattling a shared cage
Letting everyone know the neighbors are fighting.

Conversations with Christopher: Duessa

Christopher finds himself walking out of the mists of the Cauldron into a temple, deceptively open air, half-bathed in sunlight, half-drenched in moonlight, shrouded by shadow. Statues stand in the alcoves of nude boys with slender, developing physiques, arms lifted imploringly to a lover unseen. The pillars of the temple rise high above them, connected by a delicate lacework of cobwebs, becoming thicker and stronger as they rise out of sight. He can see the cocoon at the interstices of the webs, large enough to be the prison of a human being. Many of them are. The strands glisten with light, forming a pattern of deceptive beauty.

Duessa Ashelocke: Do you remember this place, tidbit?

Christopher turns to face the lady arachnocrat among arachnocrats. She moves with a slow grace, her slitted gown with flowing sleeves allowing space for each of her eight arms. Two of the left hold a candle and a glass goblet filled with sparkling liquid. Two on the right hold a knife and a coin. Her seventh and eight hands are free, one clenched in a fist, the other palm open in a gesture of benevolence. One side of her gown is black, the other is white, both pooling into a shadowy mass at her feet. The lady’s face is human save for the six additional eyes, some half-closed, others open. Duessa Ashelocke’s auburn hair falls in loose waves over her shoulders and down her back, yet there are knots, symbolic ties within her russet tresses when something is bound.

Christopher: Memories of you come and go, my lady. (He slowly turns to face her, wearing a tunic that fall to just below his knees, sandals, and a wreath of roses in his coppery-golden hair.) They emerge like a seductive nightmare or perhaps a nightmare seduction, only to fade away.

Duessa: Come, come. Is that all you can say of our Marriage Feast?

Christopher: (nodding at her seventh and eighth arms) I gave you those. Along with the power to reinforce the mists surrounding the Gardens of Arachne, concealing us from our enemies.

Duessa: Those mists have been there for some time, protecting the Gardens and its blooms from the world of men.

Christopher: Thus no boy is allowed to grow up, disturbing the tranquility of the Garden.

Duessa: Are we arachnocrats truly so bad to you? We’ve been much gentler with our boys than the world of men is with its rough, crude rituals and demands. You’re allowed to cry, to show your emotions without shame. No unnatural expectations of inhuman strength, stoicism, or demands of protection are forced upon you. You play all day in the sunlight within the Gardens, embracing quiet pastimes which you’d be mocked for outside. You’re allowed to hug, kiss, and love each other without shame. And when you discover true passion in your bride’s arms, when it’s drawn forth with her lips, hands, and fangs, you experience an ecstacy beyond any fleeting, fumbling passion a man tries to satisfy with an endless parade of living creatures.

Christopher: And any experiences after that ecstacy are lost.

Duessa: Better to have one more of pure joy than to stumble around life, never achieving it, and hurting everyone else in the process.
Christopher: And what’s left of the boy after you’ve feasted upon him is nothing but a statue.

Duessa: Preserved in a state of eternal beauty.

Christopher: (He pivots to face the alcove once more. He walks with slow, deliberate steps toward the frozen boy and reaches out his hand. He strokes the boy’s cheek with his fingers.) He feels very like marble. Do we turn into stone, Duessa, after you arachnocratic ladies have your way with us? Or do we still think and feel, even if we no longer speak or move?

Duessa: (lifting her other eyelids to fix her gaze upon him) You tell me, tidbit. (She takes a step closer of rustling skirts but stops, not quite closing the distance between them.) I had you here in this very temple.

Christopher: The Temple of Arachne, the Great Spider. The one you made a pact with to create the Gardens and the arachnocracy. After which you surrounded Mystere with a barrier of fog. Any outsiders who tried to cross the barrier would be lost in that fog, unless you wished it.

Duessa: I didn’t create the barrier. Stefan Ashelocke is the one who summoned the barrier.

Christopher: Stefan Ashelocke, the First Marriage Feast, whom holds a place of honor with the Gardens.

Duessa: Before that he was my lord and husband in a different Mystere and a very different time. You might say he was the…inspiration for the Gardens and this temple.

Christopher: What he did to you and the knowledge he brought you of how other women were treated.

Duessa: I’d been sheltered. His world and his ways were a shock. I wanted a sanctuary from all that. The price of that sanctuary, of freedom from our husbands, fathers, and brothers, of freedom from men in general was to become like the Spider Herself. To give Arachne the lives of our sons, nephews, and brothers while we feasted on those life forces ourselves before they could become men, like our husbands, fathers, and brothers.

Christopher: And when you took those lives, nothing was left but a statue, an immortal shell.

Duessa: Or so we thought. How is it that you still speak and move, tidbit? I drained you of your life, your energy, just as I drained Stefan and my two other Marriage Feasts. Why aren’t you a shell of your former self?

Christopher: What makes you think I’m not? I’m a shadow of what I once was.

Duessa: A shadow with will and purpose, very different than the other bridegrooms in this Temple.

Christopher: Maybe it’s because I’m not a bridegroom. (He turns from the statue to face Duessa, looking into all eight of her eyes. Two are the same rose-purple hue as Damian’s. Two are bright golden, slitted. Two are blood-red. And one pair is an all-too human amber. Perhaps they were Duessa’s original eyes before she became an arachnocrat. All of them look out of a woman’s face.) I was your Marriage Feast, my Lady Duessa, never your bridegroom.

Duessa: (taking a step closer) You desired me. I caught the scent of your desire awakening, like the fragrance of a rose.

Christopher: (making a slight bow) You are overwhelming, my lady. Just being in your presence is an experience unlike any other, even if one lacks the hunger for such experiences.

Duessa: You offered yourself to me willingly.

Christopher: I feared the fog around Mystere was weakening. I feared for the Gardens’s safety, for my sister, for…(he stops, looks down at his sandaled feet)

Duessa: You feared for Damian. You gave up your life to protect him.

Christopher: My memories of the Gardens, of this temple are fleeting, my lady, but you return them with the power of your presence. I told you. I was your Marriage Feast. Never your bridegroom.

Duessa: You loved Damian. You love him still.

Christopher: Didn’t you? Don’t you still?

Duessa: (stiffens) Damian is my nephew. (She averts all eight of her eyes.) Perhaps I am over-fond of him because of this. There is also his almost witchy cunning, his witty irreverence, his charm, and his beauty, which even in the Gardens of Arachne is considerable. He has a mind and a power behind his lovely face which I cannot help hoping he’ll have an opportunity to use. It’s a tragic waste that he wasn’t born a girl, that he can never be an arachnocratic lady. I could have shared everything with him if he was.

Christopher: Could you, my lady? From what I recall of the arachnocracy, the ladies were very jealous of the power in their arms and eyes. Jealous, suspicious of each other, and isolated in their suspicion. Plus there were those who didn’t fit in, who never embraced their arachnocratic nature. They simply lacked the appetite or the right appetite.

Duessa: You speak of Vanessa, you sister, when you mention jealousy and suspicious. The lack of appetite you’re referring to was my daughter’s. (She sighs.) Damian is stronger than Melyssa, stronger than Vanessa, too, even without an additional pair of eyes or arms. Fate has almost been cruel in gifting him with so much strength.

Christopher: And yet Damian can never be a rival for your power, not like Vanessa is. You have an ease with him you never show with your female kin. Plus he’s your nephew, so he’s safe from your hunger.

Duessa: If only the hunger was that simple. Vanessa keeps pestering me to give Damian to her. He’s ripe, he’s overly ripe for a Marriage Feast. Why do I hesitate to give him to the Spider’s ritual when I’ve told so many arachnocrats to give up their brothers, their sons, their nephews, even when they wept to sacrifice them? I’m betraying the very arachnocracy I established by sparing Damian. Perhaps I’m even betraying Arachne Herself. And Damian looks so much like my beloved Stefan, my former husband and betrayer as well as Marriage Feast. Damian’s very beauty seems like a warning.

Christopher: (gazing at her in growing alarm) You want Damian for yourself. You fear if you keep him too close to you, you’ll eventually take him for yourself. Or he’ll betray you as Stefan did.

Duessa: (heaves a sigh) I’ve used the excuse that he’s my nephew to protect him and have power over him, but Damian is not really my nephew. He’s Stefan Ashelocke’s son with another. I’ve used our alleged kinship to keep him at a distance, but it’s not enough. And now because of what I did to you, he has a grudge against me.

Christopher: This is why you sent him away with Gabrielle to Omphalos. To protect him from not only Vanessa and the arachnocracy, but from yourself. And to protect yourself from him.

Duessa: Possibly betraying all I stand for if Arachne decides this is so. Besides even if Damian is safe from me, from Vanessa, even safe from Arachne, he’s not safe from himself, something you’re only too aware of.

Christopher: Yes. (He lowers his gaze.)

Duessa: I’m hoping you, little shadow, will be more effective at protecting Damian than I was.

Christopher: I haven’t been thus far, my lady. (He lifts his head to show the swimming colors in his eyes.) I intend to change this.

Duessa: (for the first time lowering her head) For what it’s worth you have my blessing in your schemes.

Christopher: Thank you, my lady.

#RainbowSnippets: 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 of LGBTQIA+ fiction, go to…

For my own, Pausania will be continuing where she left off in A Symposium in Space…

Pausania lowered her hand to knot it into a fist at her hip. “Which makes me wonder what you could possibly want with those two cantankerous old life givers. Not to mention Phaedra and myself.”

“I plan to reveal that to all of you…if you come.” The ball moved away to hover in the open window. “I hope curiosity will temper caution.”

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

Secondary Characters Speak Out: Quartz and Christopher

Quartz is back and he’s seated in a chair too big for him, scowling at the slender youth sitting opposite him.

Quartz: One, I’m still not convinced you’re a Secondary Character, Christopher.

Christopher: It depends on what book…or story…I’m in.

Quartz: You’re the main character in Stealing Myself From Shadows, which our slug of a scribbler is still revising.

Christopher: You’re the main character in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins, congratulations on the rough draft, by the way.

Quartz: Doesn’t matter. The scribbler wants everything in the plot and its subplots just so so she’s rewriting the whole thing. Right. I’ve seen how she dithers over your stories with that excuse.

Christopher: Like The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, which I am a secondary character in.

Quartz: As if you have anything to complain about. I was a deceased secondary character in Fairest which is once more homeless and off the market.

Christopher: I think our scribbler is realizing she’ll have to deal with self-publishing. She’s running out of excuses to put it off.

Quartz: Aye, which is why she picked up Stealing Myself From Shadows, returning to its long-neglected revision.

Christopher: She’s working on a draft that merges Waiting for Rebirth, Unwilling to Be Yours, and Be My Valentine…Snack with the rest of Stealing Myself From Shadows.

Quartz: Makes sense. Waiting for Rebirth shows your major motivation for everything you do in Stealing Myself From Shadows, being Damian, Damian, and oh, right, more Damian.

Christopher: It’s not all for Damian.

Quartz: Right. Some of it’s for Danyel and Tayel, some of it’s for Peter, but it’s mostly about Damian.

Christopher: True. Sort of like how you’re trying to make your motivations about family, the crystals, living a simple life until your Fairest comes along. It’s never about Nimmie Not, at least you won’t admit it is.

Quartz: That’s nothing alike! Well, perhaps a little but not much!

Christopher: Quartz, readers will see things from your perspective in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins, events which were seen briefly or summarized in Fairest. There’s no point in denying your feelings.

Quartz: I’m not denying them!

Christopher: We’ll also learn the origin of Oriana’s magic mirror, won’t we?

Quartz: Shards, the amount of junk in Prue’s lair mixed up with treasure is staggering. Seems any kobold can just walk it and carry something dangerous out…hold your boulders! Stop distracting me!

Christopher: I’m distracting you?

Quartz: Aye, not just from your needling, but from my original second point!

Christopher: Which is?

Quartz: Two, I usually do Secondary Characters Speak Out at the end of the month! You booted me out of my usual spot with your multi-part vacation with Damian.

Christopher: Oh, sorry, did you want to go on vacation with Nimmie Not? It’s not my fault if you missed your opportunity.

Quartz: (nose turns a furious shade of red) That’s not the point!

Christopher: First, I didn’t exactly go on vacation. That journey with Damian was all part of Conversations with Christopher. Second, Mondays at the Cauldron are not your usual spot. Your usual spot was taken from you when the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron ran dry due to upgrades. You came here after that happened and started booting me out monthly for Secondary Characters Speak Out.

Quartz: You get so sassy after spending time with Damian. As if you’re not here most Mondays.

Christopher: There’s been booting on both sides, thanks to our scribbler.

Quartz: Right. It’s all the scribbler’s fault. (He pauses.) Come to think of it, it is.

Christopher: Isn’t it usually?

Rainbow Snippets: A Symposium in Space

Welcome to #RainbowSnippets!

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 try to catch up with what everyone else was talking about (everyone being Pausania and the orb) in A Symposium in Space…(this is slightly longer than six sentences long for clarity’s sake, forgive me…)

At least I’d heard of Aristophania. Her webcasts were hilarious, although Pausania and others muttered that she was quite dated and stale in her routines.

“Sokrat and Aristophania.” What appeared to be an eyelid lowered in a coy fashion over the orb while regarding Pausania. “You cannot accuse either of them of being simply what’s trending.”

“No, I can’t.” Pausania lowered her hand to knot it into a fist at her hip.

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: Never Forget

The mists of the Cauldron part, broken by sunlight. Damian and Christopher appear within their garden once more with the gazebo nearby.

Damian: I needed to remind you of the places where our story takes place. You’ve hidden behind your role as narrator in this Cauldron for too long. You’ve distanced yourself from the Shadow Forest and you’ve distanced yourself from me. You’ve become a spectator in Quartz’s story and a sounding board for the characters in his tale.

Christopher: Aren’t you forgetting the role you played in taking me from the Shadow Forest? Not to mention you took the Shadow Forest itself from me in exchange for your life at the Navel.

Mists creep up over the roses and greenery, rising to block up the sun, blocking out everything. They clear to reveal the walls of a little shop filled with dusty light and shelves covered with crystals, carved boxes, dolls, and far more bizarre things. Statues of women with the heads of roosters let open their beaks in defiance as to statues of men with the heads of hens. These give to brightly painted statues which might be gods, again with chicken heads, opening their beaks to cackle with pride over their places on dominance within the center of all things bizarre, masquerading as simply an odd little shop.

Damian: (turning around to gaze at a particularly obnoxious poultry deity) How I hated this place, hated it as much as the Gardens of Arachne in a way. Now the Navel is almost…nostalgic.

Christopher: You tried to take my place in the Shadow Forest remember? You gave me your life with Gabrielle working in the Navel instead.

Damian: Of course I remember. I’m not sure if you remember. You’ve gotten so lost in all these Conversations with Christopher.

Christopher: I’m always lost, Damian, until you find me.

Damian: And I’ll always find you. (He lifts Christopher’s hand to his lips.) Just don’t forget me. No matter whose story you’re narrating, don’t forget me.

Christopher: Never. (Tears fall from his eyes, shining, multi-colored, yet the rose-purple, the color of the Ashelocke rose, rises to the surface as the many swimming hues in his irises.) No matter how mysterious or maddening you are…or I am. I’m part of you, Damian. Just as Danyel and Tayel are part of me.

Damian: You’re far more than that, Christopher. I just hope our scribbler gives you a chance to show everyone how much.

The mists come a last time to swallow the Navel and the two holding hands within its walls.