#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 different LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/permalink/4891166200953403/

For mine, Nathalie and Grace are going to continue where they left off last week in Wind Me Up, One More Time…

“Mama Morisot and Auntie Cassat got the idea for Grace and Theodora: Magic and Mishaps from Verity’s bears. Women still continue to sew them by hand in this factory.”

“I can’t blame Verity for losing her heart.” Grace looked up at the window, picturing a bear sitting there instead of a big doll, a bear Nathalie would let her take home. “I’d lose it, if I had all of her bears, looking at me with their button eyes, wanting to be hugged.”

Like what you’ve 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

#QueerBlogWed: Our Hidden Truths Part 2

On September 9, 2020, P.T. Wyant posted at ptwyant.com a Wednesday Words prompt involving a new recipe, sudden silence, and thread.

This enormous Fairest freebie story came to me as a result, one I’m telling in segments…

No. Not her. Not here. She still trembled in aftermath of the song’s sweetness, yet it had filled with the sentiment Quartz himself expressed. 

The silence was sudden and somehow menacing. 

The girl shivered and hugged herself, listening. Yes, she could hear the light tread of feet, so much lighter than the seven dwarves’s boots. 

Her heart pounding, the girl went to the door and flung it open. 

“A good morning to you, my pretty maid!” An old woman with a weathered countenance beamed at her, all her wrinkles wreathing into smiles. As if they could hide her true face or her voice. “Will you look at my wares? I have a comb to straighten those lovely raven tresses, a girdle to tighten around your slender waist, and an apple to bring color to your pale cheeks.”

“Oriana,” the girl whispered. There was no mistaking that striden, yet silken tone which seduced every ear. “I see you’ve found me. I wasn’t sure if you’d look.”

“You think I didn’t care enough to look?” The illusion of wrinkles didn’t pass from Oriana’s cheeks, but they were marks of care, misery, and heartbreak as much as age. “I see you scorned the consideration of others when you scorned my heart.”

“Your heart?” Oh, to have a tongue for sarcasm and harsh laughter, like Quartz possessed! Not this weak, soft murmur which was almost an echo of Oriana’s own. “I saw your true heart when you tried to rip mine from my breast.”

Such a terrifying creature of wiry muscle, claws, and teeth, yet it collapsed so easily within its own poison. The sight of the hunter still haunted the girl’s nightmares. 

Oriana said nothing, simply dropped her head, clutching her basket in her wrinkled hand. Why did she persist in this illusion of age, the beautiful queen who’d fallen so in love with her own reflection to the exclusion of any rivals? 

Just how much of it was illusion? How much time had passed in the Forest of Tears? The girl had been so lost in the ritual of daily cooking and cleaning, using it to block out a sense of anything else. Just how long had she been at the seven dwarves’s cottage?

“You tried to kill me.” Oh, why couldn’t she raise her voice, show a hint of a witch’s hate, a witch’s power, the things Oriana claimed were hers? The girl who’d once been Princess Blanche saw little evidence of that strength now. “You tried to take my heart from me, tearing it from my breast.”

“You ran away from me.” How soft and broken the queen’s voice was. “I felt as if you’d already ripped out mine.” She lifted a hand, her free hand in the direction of her princess, stretched out imploring seeking fingers which clutched only air. Such delicate, dainty palms, yet roughened with daily labor as the girl’s were. “I couldn’t escape from you. Every time I looked in the mirror, all I saw was you.”

“Not every time.” The girl who’d once been Princess Blanche lifted her chin with an echo of the bleak authority she’d once possessed, but why was she bothering with such pretenses? Better to turn away but she couldn’t, could she? She’d never been able to turn her back on Oriana. “You must have seen a life of wealth, a golden crown, perhaps even the king himself.”

My father. She didn’t say it. She no longer believed it even if he was the man who sired her. Quartz was her father, the chosen father of her heart. The crown and all the pretenses it represented be cursed along with those whom coveted it. Such irresponsibility. Princess Blanche had been born to that crown, yet the girl denied this identity along with everything else Oriana tossed her aside for. Such selfishness, such darkness. She was no longer sure how much was Oriana and how much was herself. 

Oriana lifted her head, gazing at the girl, perhaps seeing some of this darkness for the first time mirrored back at her. For one who gazed so often into the glass, the queen could be surprisingly blind. 

“I tried to be what I was supposed to be, to want what I was supposed to want. Perhaps I achieved my wish or thought I had.” Oriana blinked teary-blue eyes at her. “My Blanche, my beautiful snow-white princess, I couldn’t be your lover without bringing you shame.” She clutched with her free hand at the basket under her other arm. “I thought I’d try to love you as a mother instead. My mirror suggested as much.”

“Your mirror?” A prickling unease lifted the hairs of the girl’s arms. 

“You saw its magic, its revelations.” The queen bowed her head once more. “The cruel truth it offers whether you wish to see it or not.”

“Quite the cursed treasure.” Blanche almost glanced back at the seven dwarves’s cuckoo clock, too often rude and vocal, now engaged in an almost sinister silence. “Where did you come by this mirror?”

“An imp gave it to me as a gift. He heard me weeping when my own stepmother locked me up, trying to keep me apart from you.” Oriana studied the basket, fingering the weave, smiling at something she couldn’t see. “He bade to look into it long enough and it would show me visions of my heart’s desire.” 

“It showed you me,” the girl who’d once been Blanche murmured. “It showed you myself.”

“It suggested an answer, to change the nature of our relationship. To charm and beguile everyone so they’d no longer suspect us.” The fair-haired maiden bit her lower lip. “To woo them into accepting our love without suspicion.”

“And you decided to do that by seducing the king.” The girl sighed. “And you became queen yourself.”

“It was what countless girls dream of marrying a king, becoming queen. It was unbearable.” Oriana let her hand slip from the basket. “You disappeared. I am barren, barren as my love for your father turned out to be. Other arrangements have been made for an heir.” The queen shook her graying golden head. “Not that I care about such things, not any longer.”

“Sad to see a queen and a princess no longer caring about a land they should both love.” The girl who was no longer Princess Blanche, who no longer deserved to be Princess Blanche sighed. “Let me show you what I do care about.”

Conversations with Christopher: Gryluxx

Christopher faces a thick-set man dressed in long black robes, almost like a monk’s, hood fallen back to reveal a narrow beard face sporting a hooked nose with flaring nostrils and sharp raven-like eyes that dart around the setting with acquisitive greed. He scowls to see nothing but mist around his chair and the boy opposite, lower lip jutting out from his neat little beard. Each of his dusty fingers sports a ring, silver on the left, golden on the ring. The two on his thumbs are plain bands while pearls adorn his thumbs. An ornate spider web emeshes an onyx on his middle fingers, a serpent clenches an emerald in its jaws on the ring fingers while the index are the only which don’t match. A demon’s silver maw opens to reveal a ruby on the left, while the same demon in gold swallows a curious flat coin with a rune on the right. This demon’s face is reproduced in a larger form in the medallion hanging from a silver chain hanging around his neck, a bestial expression of lust and mockery upon its fanged countenance. 

Christopher: You are Gryluxx, aren’t you? You live In Omphalos. I’ve seen you in the Navel a few times.

Gryluxx: You know perfectly well whom I am, you impudent child. You’ve served me in the Navel enough times to remember me. 

Christopher: I don’t think I have. You’ve entered the Navel, stared at me, spoken to Gabrielle, Damian, and Peter. Never me. You’ve browsed through the shelves, constantly watching me. You’ve whispered to Juno and Hebe when they’ve been present, never taking your eyes off me. You’ve never spoken to me directly. 

Gryluxx: And you think I’m about to tell you why, here and now, when we’re alone in this desolate realm of yours? 

Christopher: It’s not actually my realm. It’s our scribbler’s blog. 

Gryluxx: Say what you will. I’ll tell you nothing, little shadow. If you desire information, you must meet my price.

Christopher: You know what I am. 

Gryluxx: I can smell your power. It has a unique bouquet of darkness speckled with the sharpness of Damian Ashelocke’s light. Just how is Damian doing with that light of his, hmm? I understand his aunt doesn’t approve of it at all. 

Christopher: You know Damian’s aunt?

Gryluxx: Quite the dreadful spider lady is Duessa Ashelocke, yet ravens have a taste for spiders from time to time. Did you know our scribbler once called me Raven before she decided to rename me Gryluxx? I’m the one character she’s never been able to like. (He rubs his hands together, not bothering to hide his glee.)

Christopher: This doesn’t appear to make you unhappy.

Gryluxx: I do enjoy making people squirm. I’m pleased to add our creatrix to our victims. Gives me such a wicked little tingle of power, oh, yes. 

Christopher: And this is what you truly want. Power.

Gryluxx: Why do you think I covet information, hoard it, collecting secrets? Knowledge is power, little shadow. Nothing delights me more than knowing what others are hidding, what they cannot accept. Unless it’s the struggle upon my victims’s faces as they try to decide how much they want my information. Or the moment when I finally make them crawl to get it. 

Christopher: You speak of your victims. Who are they?

Gryluxx: Don’t give me that look of distaste, little shadow. We all have our victims, even you. Damian was yours. Peter was, too. 

Christopher: (He takes a deep breath, tries to stop his fingers from shaking, for the sight pleases Gryluxx entirely too much.) How so?

Gryluxx: Very good, little shadow. You didn’t give too much away. I’ll tell you, since you already know the answer to that. Or perhaps you don’t care to be reminded of that answer? You fed off Damian’s light and life to become solid in the world you found a place in. You fed off Peter’s adoration and attention to try to validate your pathetic existence at the Navel. You feed off Gabrielle’s vanity and loneliness to satisy your own. 

Christopher: I’m not sure if that’s true. If it is, perhaps all people feed off each other, feed off their loneliness in exchange for company or something else. 

Gryluxx: Exactly. You grasp my point, little shadow. 

Christopher: I wonder if another great joy of yours isn’t reminding people of this and making them squirm. 

Gryluxx: Perhaps. I wonder what I remind Danyel and Tayel of when I make them squirm, hmm? You and Leiwell have been sad protectors to those vulnerable little creatures. 

Christopher: What? 

Gryluxx: Oh, no. (He wags a finger, the index finger with the golden ring sporting the talisman.) I’m not giving you any information about the twins free. Or anything else for that matter. 

Christopher: Just what are you offering? You gloat over making the twins squirm, but it could be over something petty and small. Something Danyel and Tayel may not even have noticed. 

For a moment Gryluxx’s smirk falters. He glowers at Christopher, dropping his hands, clenching the arms of his seat. 

Christopher: Why the air of secrecy? Perhaps the true secret is there’s not much to hide.

Gryluxx: Isn’t there? (Gryluxx’s smirk returns.) I wonder. I’ll let you wonder, too.

The two of them glower at each other. 

#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 different samples from various LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets

For my own, Grace and Nathalie will pick up where they left off last week in Wind Me Up, One More Time…

“They were like the bear in Mama’s story, right?” Grace had read all of Mama’s stories with all the pretty pictures Auntie Cassat painted. They’d been among the first books she’d read or that she remembered reading. Mama herself was becoming more distant and fuzzy as Grace got a little taller. She wasn’t about to forget anything about Mama’s stories.

“Exactly!” Nathalie beamed at her sister. 

Like 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

#QueerBlogWed: Our Hidden Truths Part 1

On September 9, 2020, P.T. Wyant posted at ptwyant.com a Wednesday Words prompt involving a new recipe, thread, and sudden silence.

This freebie story for Fairest came to me as a result, crossing over with events summarized in my story. This tale turned out to be huge, so I’m breaking it down into segments…

Perhaps she could try a new recipe. There were edible berries ripening outside in the Forest of Tears. She’d tried popping one into her mouth without suffering any sickness. Reckless, yes, but the girl wanted to prove she was worthy of the name Quartz had given her; The Fairest of Them All or simply Fairest. 

Tears prickled behind her eyelids. Oriana had coveted that title so desperately but what had it mean to her? Quartz was certain it was the sum of a person’s deeds, but the girl’s host was a romantic. She was coming to realize this about the dwarf who’d allowed her into the cottage he and his brothers shared, the same dwarf whom followed kobolds into the unknown and talked to dragons. Quartz believed in the best of people, no matter how much he might protest. 

The girl who’d once been Princess Blanche no longer could. She’d seen into the jealous heart of the golden beauty of the dawn, embodied by the most beautiful of women. She’d seen the heart’s gaping, hungry maw, hollowed out by malevolence. She’d watched it collapsed into bubbling flesh, condensing into a sour little green apple. What had that mouth filled with jagged teeth been in the end, but a forced smile, squashing every question, every enraged protest, every poisonous trickle of malice behind a mask of sweet compliance? Only poison rotted the mask from within, melting and distorting its fair countenance. The mask had become a monster, but the monster endured so short a life, hunting down her prey. Even the monster eroded from within. How little was left of it. 

The girl wound thread after thread around a spindle with especial care, wrapping the mass of stranfs around her hands, letting them engage in this constructive action. She could quiet her mind and heart when she kept her fingers busy. There was also that recipe to think of with the berries. She could make the dwarves’s morning porridge all the more interesting with them. 

She began to hum, winding the strands around her hands but there was already music in the air. A low, lovely voice drifted in through the window, a girl’s voice, coming closer and closer: 

“Who is the fairest of them all?

You, me, or her?

In castle, cottage, or circle small

What will you endure?

Are you fair of face and eye alone?

Or is your fairness true?

When under the sleeping curse you lie

What will change into?”

She dropped the spindle and the threads to the ground, dimly hearing them clatter as the song came to an end. 

Conversations with Christopher: Jupitre

Christopher sits facing a weathered man with stooped shoulders and a scraggly beard…the condition of that beard would make Quartz scowl and mutter. The man wears a stained leather tunic gathered at the waist and hanging low on his upper thighs, revealing muscular, mottled legs. His eyes are the same stormy gray as Hebe’s.

Christopher: You’re Jupitre, aren’t you? Juno’s husband?

Jupitre: I’ve been many things, both mighty and terrible. To think I’d live to be defined by Juno, by my marriage to her! Quite the triumph for Juno, worth many a gloat…never thought I’d live to see such humilation. 

Christopher: What would you rather be defined by?

Jupitre: Does it matter? It’s gone, my definition, the symbol of my power, along with the power itself and all the authority that goes with it. 

Christopher: What symbol is this?

Jupitre: To think, child, you would have to ask. Once I would have made you suffer for such ignorant discourtesy. Now ignorant discourtesy is all I can expect, if not sympathetic malice from my wife and daughter. 

Christopher: Sympathetic malice?

Jupitre: They know what I suffer; Juno and Hebe have also dwindled and diminished to a lesser degree. I was far greater than either of them, I was the greatest. How they delight in my powerless state, take positive glee in having me at their mercy. 

Christopher: You still haven’t said what the symbol of your lost power is. 

Jupitre: You still haven’t shown an ounce of sensitivity or wit. It’s the lightning bolt, child. The lightning bolt was once my scepter, the symbol and source of my power. It quickened in my hands, allowing me to cast down my monstrous father and his brood. With this power in my hands and thighs, I ruled the heavens and my own kind. I took whom I wished as my bride, sported with whomever struck my fancy, siring greatness in the process. I became the father of legends. All greatness came from me. Mortals worshipped and feared me…as you clearly don’t. 

Christopher: How did you lose this power?

Jupitre: It vanished when the prayers and sacrifices diminished. Mortals stopped worshipping me. Once they feared to stop, for I would punish them severely for neglecting my festivals, my prayers, for not buiding temples. Punishment wasn’t enough. Mortals turned to other deities, other forces. They didn’t just stop fearing me, but all of the gods. Perhaps they guessed our strength came from their sacrifices? No, they were never that smart. Only we gods were bigger fools than they were. We didn’t realize how much we needed mortals and their faith. When the sacrifices and prayers dwindled, so did we. The symbols of our status and power vanished. 

Christopher: Yours being the lightning bolt.

Jupitre: Without it, I am what you see. A wreck of a man, washed up in Omphalos along with everything else mortals no longer need. 

Christopher: Why do you say that? 

Jupitre: You work at the Navel, boy. Just how much trash has accumulated on your shelves, junk appearing suddenly which nobody wants. 

Christopher: Somebody usually wants what we have. Somebody usually comes for it. 

Jupitre: Lucky you. It’s not just objects that appear, and it’s not just at the Navel. Fallen deities like me appear in Omphalos along with other diminished creatures, shadows of what they once were. That’s how Juno, Hebe, and myself ended up in Omphalos. That’s how you ended up there. 

Christopher: Actually Damian summoned me.

Jupitre: Did he now? What he summoned was the ruined remains of whom and what you once were. Believe me, I know. 

Christopher: Maybe that’s true of me, but not everyone in Omphalos. Not everyone is ruined remains. 

Jupitre: How defensive you’re getting. That’s speaks more truth than your words.

Christopher: Gabrielle isn’t the ruined remains of anything!

Jupitre: Oh, yes, she is. Gabrielle can smile all she wants in the confines of her little shop, but she’s just a fraction of what she once was or could be, something Damian was acutely aware of. That’s why he left her. 

Christopher: Damian wasn’t ruined remains either!

Jupitre: He would have been if he’d stayed but he didn’t. 

Christopher: Is that you think? Omphalos ruins people along with attracting the ruined?

Jupitre: Look at me. I once ruled the heavens. Now I’m too tired to move or care. It’s all Juno’s fault. She’s drugging me with that blasted tea. 

Christopher: Could you move if you wished to?

Jupitre: You haven’t tasted her tea, boy. It’s just a shadow of ambrosia but it’s as close to it as I’m going to get. Duplicitious shrew. She’s always scheming, that wife of mine. 

Christopher: To do what?

Jupitre: To keep me to herself. To keep me from sporting with anyone else. I suppose it’s gratifying that she still wants me this much, even if I chafe at her restrictions. They won’t hold me forever. 

Christopher: What are you planning to do?

Jupitre: You’d love to find out, wouldn’t you, child, so you can go telling tales to my wife? Choose your allies with care. I won’t remain this ruined, wreck of a mortal. A window of opportunity will open for me or a Door. Along with the opportunity to change. 

Christopher: Of course. You’re looking for a Door. 

Jupitre: Isn’t everyone in Omphalos? Except for Gabrielle, the cunning wench. I wonder why she isn’t looking?

Christopher: Watch how you speak of her. She’s wise enough not to go seeking Doors which is more than I can say for you.

Jupitre: To think I’d live to be threatened be a delicate slip of a boy…watch your tongue. I will not be threatened by the likes of you. What you consider to be wise, I see a lack of ambition. A lack of ambition which drives bolder souls away. 

Christopher: Boldness can show a lack of wisdom. 

Jupitre: Not to me. 

#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 variety of samples from different LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets

Yes, the holidays are over, but I’ve decided to let Wind Me Up, One More Time play out a little longer, in case you’ve missed it. 😉

Mama Morisot got her books, clothes, and often beautifully made wooden toys, but no soft and squishy ones. Soft and squishy toys were best when you were small, but Mama could be quite clueless about these things.

“That’s right.” Nathalie grinned and nodded. “She sewed her own bears. Teddy bears with triangular faces, big eyes, and tiny noses. Nothing like a live bear.”

Like what you’ve 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

Paula’s Prompts: Wednesday Words

On September 2, 2020, P.T. Wyant posted at ptwyant.com a Wednesday Words prompt involving a double-dog dare, a homestead, and a hollow tree stump.

This poem was the result…

I’d never heard of a double-dog dare
Even though I’ve been around for years
The words conjure up images of a voice and a homestead
A voice I fear and a place I fear
Childish, bratty voices jeering, goading the smallest one on
To step into the hollow tree stump
No good will come of this bet
Spirits are waiting within the recess of the tree
Hungry, blood materializing on their lips when they appear
They hunger for that smallest child
The brave child who’ll step into the hollow
The child they plan to feast upon
They have no interest in double-dog dares
Anyone brave enough to remain will flee
Once the blood flows from the tree roots.
Crimson life from the sacrifice to the double-dog dare
Will those who dared the child repress his sacrifice from their memories
Pretending it never happened, they never pressured him into the hollow
Or will one raise his voice, that hated voice I cannot bear to hear
Returning to the homestead and the stump
Willing to wait for the ghost of the lost child to appear?
Waiting to right the wrong which continues to haunt him.

Conversations with Christopher: Hebe

Christopher sits facing a tall, lean young woman with short, shaggy hair a mousy shade of chestnut, framing a face with sharp cheekbones, a hook of a nose, and a generous mouth that quivers with discontent. She wears a loose black tunic and matching pants, sandals on her feet, There’s a silver charm around her neck in the shape of a cup and her eyes are stormy gray. 

Christopher: Is it me or are you particularly angry right now?

Hebe: I thought I was going to visit the Cauldron right after Mother did. Only you had Grace and her bear over instead. And Nathalie.

Christopher: (spreading his hands in an apologetic gesture) I’m sorry. Our scribbler was promoting her holiday book; Wind Me Up, One More Time. She decided to have characters from that story visit. 

Hebe: Bet it didn’t help sell her book at all.

Christopher: We don’t know if it didn’t-

Hebe: Bet they all have pretty noses; Grace, Nathalie, even Theodora Bear. Just as you have a pretty nose. 

Christopher: Um, thank you, although I don’t think my nose and Theodora’s are all that alike-

Hebe: Why couldn’t I have a pretty nose? (She run a finger down the slope of her own.) A cute little button nose just like yours?

Christopher: You wouldn’t believe the trouble I have, keeping glasses on. They slip over the bridge of my nose whenever I wear them. I’m guessing you don’t have that problem.

Hebe: Do you wear glasses that often?

Christopher: Err, no.

Hebe: Neither do I. You know he had a pretty nose, too.

Christopher: Who?

Hebe: The boy who stole my position as cupbearer at my father’s side. Along with my position. Made me realize just how useless I am.

Christopher: You’re not useless. 

Hebe: How would you know? I had one purpose and it was taken from me. 

Christopher: Did you like it? Your former purpose?

Hebe: Not really. It defined. My siblings and I all had a task, a function, an affinity which defined us. 

Christopher: You speak in the past tense of your siblings as well as yourself. Did they loose their purposes as well? Or are they even still alive?

Hebe: Yes. No. (She frowns.) Our functions were so much a part of us, I have a hard time seeing any of us surviving without them. 

Christopher: Did they survive?

Hebe: I’m not sure. I lost mine before anyone else did, but my parents lost their own place, ruling over the heavens, becoming diminished versions of themselves. My siblings might have done the same.

Christopher: Have you thought of looking for your siblings? 

Hebe: Why should I? None of them could be bothered with me. Why should I bother with them? There’s only Mother and Father now. They’re quite enough to cope with.

Christopher: You live with your parents in Omphalos, don’t you?

Hebe: You know I do. Father is practically an invalid or he pretends to be. Mother fusses over him, takes care of him, and makes certain he can’t go anywhere. For a while she was happy, having Father all to herself, administering tea to him, keeping him too docile and sleepy to chase other women or boys, but only for a while. Now even she is discontented. She longs to return to the heavens, to what she once was. Father thinks of nothing else.

Christopher: Do you long to return to the heavens, to being the cupbearer you once were?

Hebe: No. All I did was pour wine. I want something different, something more. I want to open doors to other possibilities. I want to be the sort of person brave enough to open those doors. I want to be like Gabrielle, your mother. 

Christopher: ‘Brie? She doesn’t open doors. She waits for one particular door to open, the door to the Navel. She waits for people and the worlds they carry within to come to her. 

Hebe: Ah, but they do come to her. ‘Brie could open doors to those inner worlds if she wished to. She’s everything I want to be, a beautiful woman with golden hair, only I want mine to be streaked with silver. (She becomes more enthusiastic, waving her hands as she speaks.) And I want blue eyes as vivid as hers only with more violet and silver flecks within them which allow me to see things others can’t. And hands that can open doors, leading to other worlds. 

Christopher: (He goes very still at her description of her dream self. As Hebe becomes animated, he becomes more grim.) You want to open a Door to the Shadow Forest. 

Hebe: Better to open that Door than to continue stalking the Navel, mooning over your mother, and taking cup after cup only to smash them. 

Christopher: Why do you smash the cups?

Hebe: I’m not sure. I love those cups. I’m drawn to each drinking vessel almost as if I recognize a part of myself in it. Only I start remembering myself when I hold it in my hands, remembering my father. I can almost feel myself pouring the wine for him and I start thinking of that boy. The one who took my place at my father’s side. I think of how beautiful that boy looks, the grace he puts into pouring the wine, more grace than I ever possessed. In the end, I can bear it no more. I smash the cup. 

Christopher: You seem to be haunted by your former self, Hebe.

Hebe: I wish I wasn’t. I wish she’d go away. I have no desire to be her any longer. I want to be more like your mother, a ‘Brie who goes looking for Doors and opens them.

Christopher: Be careful what you wish for. Especially where the Shadow Forest is concerned. 

Hebe: I’m sick at heart at being full of care, Christopher. I’m sick of being unnoticed, quiet, the invisible presence pouring the wine, the damaged daughter who picks up cups. I’m sick of being me. I want my Door, Christopher, my Door leading to a new self. I want to change. 

Christopher: Do you really need a Door to change?

Hebe: Yes, I fear I do. Other people can change without them, even if it’s extremely difficult. For me, I feel a Door is necessary. 

Christopher: I hope this quest for a Door goes well for you. I truly do.

Hebe: Only you’re certain it won’t. (She eyes Christopher with a cynical, humorless smile.) Neither do I.

Christopher: Knowing it won’t turn out the way you hope it will, you’re still going to look for your Door?

Hebe: Like I said, it’s better than continuing as I am. 

Christopher: I hope it is. I truly do. 

Rainbow Snippets: 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 different LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets

To kick off 2021…please let it be a much happier year than 2020 (crosses fingers)…I’ll continue where I left off in Wind Me Up, One More Time. Yes, continuing where I left off may seem like going against the spirit of things, but Wind Me Up, One More Time is a holiday story, a New Year’s story as well as a Christmas story. Plus Grace continues on such an optimistic note…

“Toys!” Grace bounced at her own words, excited at the very idea. Stuffed animals were made at the factory. They sat in the shelves, gazing at children with button eyes, trying to decide if one of them was that special person they were going to go home with.

Grace wished with all her heart there was a bear there, who’d accept her as a companion. She’d longed for a bear for years.

Like 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