#RainbowSnippets: My Tool, My Treasure

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

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

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

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

I’m still waiting for the OK to start sharing snippets from my upcoming f/f/ Young Adult/children’s holiday tale, Wind Me Up, One More Time from Mischief Corner Books/Shenanigans Press. While I’m waiting, I figured I’d share a little from the beginning of my NaNoWriMo project; My Tool, My Treasure. This is part of my Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest series of which Waiting for Rebirth, Unwilling to Be Yours, and Be My Valentine…Snack are all a part of. This snippet is a couple sentences longer than six, just to end on the right note…

 

“We’ve gathered together to offer ourselves to Seraphix. Our wishes for Their Power. Our hearts for Their Glory.”

Light slipped in beams of the temple, stray clumps of moss coyly averting the eyes of the villagers from the might of the sun. Yellow and white circles picked out the various faces of the residents of Omphalos, who’d chosen to become Followers of Seraphix. Those circles kissed their upturned faces…or slapped them.

Don’t think like that. Leiwell whispered the words to himself like a prayer, even as he shut his eyes.

 

 

Conversations with Christopher: Dyvian

Christopher, a slight youth with short, dusky bronze hair, curling around his ears, falling forward over his forhead in coppery golden bangs sits in his chair, looking like the sunlight is trapped in his head. The halo of brightness contrast to the black vest and trousers he wears. His attire is the same as the man sitting opposite him. Everything else about this man is in direct contrast to Christopher. The man has long, strands pale hair falling over his black vest, he keeps his slender hands folded in his lap, while Christopher taps with a finger on the arm of his chair. Boy and man both have eyes filled with colour, but markedly different. Christopher’s irises swim with vibrant blues, purples, greens, rose, shards of silver and gold, giving the impression of light reflected off water, shifting and moving. The man’s hues are frozen with a glacier iciness; blues, grays, lavender, and pink leached of their vitality, yet still and eternal.

Christopher: It’s you.

Dyvian: (smiling) You almost seem relieved to see me.

Christopher: For the last few weeks, I’ve been interrogated by a jealous kobold.

Dyvian: I can be jealous, too.

Christopher: Your jealousy isn’t usually directed at me.

Dyvian: Does that frighten you less?

Christopher: (pauses for a moment) No.

Dyvian: No, it really shouldn’t, considering whom my envy is attracted to.

Christopher: Why? (He raised his hands, spreading them in a helpless, almost pleading gesture.) Why are you jealous of Damian?

Dyvian: He did things in the Garden of Arachne I only dreamed of doing. I admired him as much as I envied him.

Christopher: That’s not why you’re jealous. Not really.
Dyvian: No. (He examines his slim fingers.) I envy the part he played in creating Leiwell, in giving Leiwell life and form.

Christopher: That gift may have cost Damian his own.

Dyvian: If anyone can survive it, it’s Damian. (giving Christopher a sly glance) Especially since Happily Ever After is so determined to bring him back.

Christopher: If you’re asking me to reveal my plans, I won’t.

Dyvian: I’d expect nothing less of you.

Christopher: You truly see Leiwell as exclusively yours. That’s wishful thinking.

Dyvian: True. I may never get my wish.

Christopher: Is this wish the one which binds you to Seraphix? Making Seraphix more powerful, transforming Them into a god?

Dyvian: I can’t reveal too much about that without spoiling the plot.

Christopher: Haven’t we already spoiled things with too many hints?

Dyvian: We’ve revealed nothing that hasn’t been revealed at the Cauldron or inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com.

Christopher: (looking away) Perhaps not.

Dyvian: Much is coming into focus, developing as we continue with our scribbler into NaNoWriMo. I’ve learned many things about myself in My Tool, My Treasure.

Christopher: Perhaps we should explain a little to the readers. (glances over at you) My Tool, My Treasure is the fourth novel in Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest.

Dyvian: Perhaps we should explain a little more about the first three books? After all, our scribbler is still revising them and hasn’t released any.

Christopher: I almost feel a little Quartz-like grumble at that, considering how fast other authors finish their stories, but I know she’s trying to do her best by us. (sighs) All right, the first book is Stealing Myself From Shadows. It’s my story, of how I open a Door to the Shadow Forest, trying to find Damian Ashelocke.

Dyvian: Only to bring Danyel and Tayel into existence, who tell their own story on both sides of the Door in The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, the second book.

Christopher: Leiwell adds his voice to Danyel and Tayel’s in the third book, A Godling for Your Thoughts?

Dyvian: Not that my Leiwell will be unfamilar to readers. They’ll have met him in the first two books, which share events from different perspectives.

Christopher: You, however, step out of the shadows and play a major part in A Godling for Your Thoughts? Resurrecting Omphalos. Gathering the Followers of Seraphix. Creating a god.

Dyvian: I did pay a major part in the shadows as Once Upon a Time in The Hand and the Eye of the Tower. It’s your story I’m less than prominent within.

Christopher: You sound disappointed at that.

Dyvian: It’s something I wish to see our scribbler correct in all this revising.

Christopher: On that note, I think we’ll stop for this week.

Dyvian: Although we will continue next. (He gazes at Christopher.) It has been entirely too long since we’ve talked, my dear.

Christopher: (doesn’t smile back) We talk plenty in the manuscript being worked on.

Dyvian: Ah, but do we really?

Christopher: (allowing a smile to touch the corner of his mouth) Is anything we do real?

Dyvian: As real as we wish it to be. We create our own reality.

Christopher: We also destroy it.

Dyvian says nothing in response, only smiles.

#RainbowSnippets: 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…

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

All right, I promised Quartz I’d give him an extra long snippet this Saturday in return for short-changing him last Saturday, especially since I may be switching to my NaNoWriMo project, My Tool, My Treasure the Saturday after this one. In the meantime, here’s a generous taste of Quartz’s Work in Progress, Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins…

 

Stealing a moment to “commune with the crystals” as Opal would have called it, I laid down my axe just for a moment.

Most of my brothers were busy in various parts of mine, digging out, sorting, and polishing the sort of stones a lot of human were too fool to recognize the value of.

Those who weren’t would pay handsomely for what we had to offer.

I pressed my face against the stone, palms against its cool roughness. Aye, it was a beauty, this many-faced quartz. Would have sliced my hands if I’d been human. Dwarves are made of sturdier stuff. Legends says we were once part of rock and stone. We could endure their touch like few other living beings.

This particular namestone of mine had several faces which were clear and bright. Others offered glimpses of murky, inner landscapes.

Now mind you, I don’t mind murk. Often it’s a unique quality within a quartz, part of its character. This one had a cut, slashing with deliberate malice through its inner structure, interrupting the natural energy flow. Its rhythm moved at a sluggish pace, skipping here and there, due to the flaw.

Had someone done this on purpose? Who would do such a thing?

“Communing with the earth’s bones?” Opal’s voice drew me out of the quartz.

“I told you not to do that.” I glared at the brother who was the eldest of my six siblings after myself, turning the ire of my bristing brows upon him.

“Right. Because meditating in the mines makes so much more sense than working.” Opal smoothed his whiskers, nose wrinkling in an utter lack of appreciation.

 

Conversations with Christopher: Nimmie Not Strikes Again

Christopher appears in his chair, only to find Nimmie Not already present in the misty, changing ambience of the Cauldron, seated in a stone throne carved with bones and roses.

Christopher: That seat is from the tower’s reflection on the other side of the Door in The Hand and the Eye of the Tower.

Nimmie Not: (wagging a finger at Christopher) Now, now, are you spoilering potential readers again?

Christopher: Not really.

Nimmie Not: No, not really, but it is a fine chair, a chair indeed. I wonder if Quartz would like it?

Christopher: Bone and rose patterns are more to Oriana’s taste than Quartz’s.

Nimmie Not: Ah, well, that in itself would make this seat distasteful! (He claps his hands together.) Still it is a distinctive seat, yes, indeed. I can see why little Danyel would think his beloved Tayel would like it.

Christopher: There’s a lot about the twins I find mysterious, yet hauntingly familar.

Nimmie Not: Another pretty, contractictory statement I’ve come to expect from you. (He runs his bony hands over the arms of the seat, which are shaped like twisting vines.) Didn’t you help poor little Danyel into this chair after stealing some of his warmth while you carried him through the Door?

Christopher: Now that is a spoiler, although it’s not exactly true.

Nimmie Not: (he chuckles and claps) No, you weren’t altogether yourself at the time, yet when are you ever? Besides give a little, get a little. You created Danyel, didn’t you, at least in part? Both him and Tayel?

Christopher: You’re dropping spoilers right and left. That’s just petty, Nimmie Not.

Nimmie Not: Hah! Well, I’ll leave off those finished, yet unpolished novels our scribbler sits upon like an awkward hen and return to the top of last week. (He leans forward.) You said your Happily Ever After was Damian and the twins. How so?

Christopher: I begin and end with Damian. I cannot imagine an existence without him, although I tried to live one out for his sake.

Nimmie Not: You mean becoming Gabrielle’s son, helping her out at the Navel, living Damian’s life in Omphalos, while Damian himself takes a little jaunt through the Shadow Forest?

Christopher: (looking away) Yes.

Nimmie Not: (tapping with spindly fingers on the stone beneath them) You liked your life. You didn’t want to return to the Shadow Forest, yet you couldn’t leave Damian there, even if he wished to be left. (He raises his legs, kicking out his heels while sitting.) Oh, the wicked disregard we show for those we love, out of the very love we bear them!

Christopher: Aren’t you doing the same thing to Quartz?

Nimmie Not: Of course! (He leaps in his feet, swings a leg in the air, and begins to dance a slow jig around Christopher.) Poor, dopey dwarf with nothing but rocks for company, until I force my company upon him. Company and a cuckoo clock! I give him a new home, a snug little burrow in an enchanted forest, somewhere away from all the rocks, and what does he do? Takes in a human stray and whacks himself over the head with her problems!

Christopher: Wasn’t that a spoiler?

Nimmie Not: Yes and no. If people have read Fairest, they’ll have noticed some of that. Don’t think I haven’t noticed. (He stops dancing.) You’re doing it again, you devious little shadow.

Christopher: Doing what?

Nimmie Not: Distracting me. Getting me talk about Quartz and myself instead of you. (He puts his hands on his hips.) Let’s return to the subject at hand, shall we? That subject being your Happily Ever After.
Christopher: (leaning back in his seat) What part do you wish to return to?

Nimmie Not: The twins. How are they your Happily Ever After?

Christopher: I helped create them from my own essence. Danyel and Tayel are part of me, yet they’re shaping their own existence, their own unique individuality. From that individuality, a future is forming, a potentially brighter one than any I’ve been able to create.

Nimmie Not: Oh, that’s all very pretty, little shadow. It’s sweet, how noble your intentions are towards the twins, yet you feel an arachnocrat’s hunger for them, do you not?

Christopher: (He doesn’t answer. He looks down at his own folded hands in his lap.)

Nimmie Not: Hah! I thought so! (In an abrupt motion, he sits down again.) You yearn to drain that essence which was once yours, delicately flavoured with the twins’ fragile individuality. Don’t deny that you do.

Christopher: (lowering his head) I suppose I’m still a shadow, no matter what else I try to be.

Nimmie Not: Yes, you are. (He stabs a finger at Christopher.) I wonder if you didn’t create those sweet little darlings as a way of taking revenge upon Leiwell.

Christopher: (looking up slowly) Revenge?

Nimmie Not: Leiwell consumed your precious Damian Ashelocke when he came into existence, swallowing his essence. How exquisitely malicious it would be to give that hungry young shadow someone precious to him, only to take those precious creatures away. To drain every drop of them, or perhaps to trick Leiwell into draining them himself?

Christopher: Is that what you think I’m doing? Mirroring the void in Leiwell which exists within myself?

Nimmie Not: Hah! Is there any need to?

Christopher: No, there isn’t. I have a plan to get Damian back from Leiwell and yes, it does involve the twins. I shouldn’t have to devour them in order to carry it out.

Nimmie Not: Ah, but you long to. You long to consume your Happily Ever After, make it a part of yourself again. Perhaps you would finally be free if you did.

Christopher: What makes you think I want to be free?

Nimmie Not: Eh?

Christopher: You were free. You went where you wished, did what you wished, enchanted whomever you wished, only to allow your fate, your very self to be bound to Quartz’s.

Nimmie Not: I’ve always been bound to Quartz, even while I bounded around without a care in the world. (He fidgets.) I’m not sure if I’ve ever been free in the manner you describe.

Christopher: Neither have I. If I were to be free, I’d imagine being quite lonely.

Nimmie Not: Maybe. (He fidgets again.)

Christopher: Think of it, having no ties to anyone. Adrift. Apart. Floating through existence without anyone.

Nimmie Not: Fine, you win! (He leaps out of his seat.) I don’t want to be free, nor do I want to float! (He starts to spin around and stamp.) Why do either if I can dance? (He disappears.)

Christopher: You know what I mean. (He gazes at the empty space.) Quartz, I wonder how you’re going to keep up with that one. (He smiles a little.) You’re going to have to learn to dance, if nothing else.

(There’s a “Hmmph!” which carries through the air in response to this.)

#RainbowSnippets: 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 different LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

Eventually, I’m going to switch to my NaNoWriMo project; My Tool, My Treasure. I’m going to let Quartz go on a little longer with Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins first…

Quartz: Oh, aren’t you gracious, scribbler. Many thanks!

Me: Don’t mention it.

Quartz: (grumbles under his breath)

 

Every dwarf has a namestone, at least every dwarf in my family. I took great pride in mine, the way its facets gleamed, how it grew with jagged elegance from the ground, singing in a silent voice I alone could hear.

At least I thought I was alone in this.

Someone is always listening, even if you don’t hear or notice them.

I learned that the hard way.

 

Quartz: What?! That’s only five sentences!

Me: It’s the end of the introduction. The chapter break is after this.

Quartz: Well, you’d better give me seven or eight sentences next Saturday! Stingy scribbler!

Me: All right, all right…

 

 

Conversations with Christopher: Nimmie Not

Christopher sits in his chair, facing an empty space until there’s a bang and a puff of yellow smoke. Nimmie Not, a spindly little man with a long nose and chin, along with long legs covered with yellow stockings sits opposite him.

Nimmie Not: Now while our Quartz is preoccupied with the less than arachnocratic lady, let’s talk about scruples and many other things. Let’s having a proper conversation with Christopher about Christopher, eh?

Christopher: Why do you call Melyssa Ashelocke a less than arachnocratic lady? She’s the daughter of the one of the most high-ranking members of Arachne.

Nimmie Not: Why, she doesn’t see herself as much of an arachnocrat, does she? No Marriage Feasts for her, no additional limbs or pairs of eyes, plus she has such a naughty urge to devour other arachnocratic ladies, oh my! (He chuckles.) Or at least drain their essence in a way usually reserved for Marriage Feasts. (He allows a bright eye to roam over Christopher.) You’d know quite a bit about that, wouldn’t you?

Christopher: You seem to playing close attention to Melyssa’s world as well as her interview with Quartz.

Nimmie Not: Why, I pay close attention to whatever and whomever Quartz takes an interest in! (The little man skips out of his chair and spins around.) This is why I’m taking an interest in you, oh, crafty little shadow! (He comes to a stop, facing Christopher.) Don’t think I haven’t noticed what you’re doing, oh no.

Christopher: And what am I doing?

Nimmie Not: Distracting me with Quartz and his Secondary Characters Speak Out over at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com. What was that quaint name our scribbler gave it?

Christopher: The Formerly Forbidden Cauldron.

Nimmie Not: There you go, doing it again, distracting me. You’re not escaping, though, oh no.

Christopher: I’m not trying to escape. I’m right here, aren’t I?

Nimmie Not: Yes, you’re here and yet you’re not. Tell me, are you really you? Or are you simply an idealized memory Damian Ashelocke pulled from the shadows?

Christopher: Answering that could be considered a spoiler.

Nimmie Not: Nonsense, our scribbler has already spoilered right and left with all her stories about Damian and you at the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron. Gather them all together and our wayward creatrix would have herself a novel.

Christopher: Yes, she would. I wonder if anyone would buy it if she did?

Nimmie Not: There you go again, you naughty boy! Trying to distract the reader with promotion and the scribbler’s own worries about real life when we’re talking about you, you, you!

Christopher: Well, this is Me Me Monday and we’re all part of our scribbler’s imagination. Promotion is one of the purposes of this blog, which is actually hers.

Nimmie Not: Ah, but we’ve hijacked this blog and made it our own, haven’t we? We, the creations of the scribblers’ imagination will be heard and right now we’re talking about you, you, you, so let’s return to you, you, you.

Christopher: What about me, me, me?

Nimmie Not: You never answered the question. Are you truly Christopher Ashelocke, the boy Damian once loved in his aunt’s garden of delicate Marriage Feasts being raised especially for the spider ladies’ consumption? Or are you simply an idealized memory formed of shadow and desire?

Christopher: Yes.

Nimmie Not: (He sits down abruptly.) Well, well, well. (He crosses his legs) Here I was certain you’d say you didn’t know. Does that mean you’re both? Aren’t you giving me a spoiler by telling me?

Christopher: I’m not sure.

Nimmie Not: Ah! (He leaps out of his seat and spins once more.) Now that’s an answer I’d expect of you, little shadow! Enigmatic, revealing little, yet not untruthful.

Christopher: I don’t lie, Nimmie Not. At least no deliberately. I’ve never been very good at it.

Nimmie Not: Lying is an art. (He comes to a stop and bows.) Like many an art, it requires a measure of practice to be effective. (He straightens.) I myself prefer not to lie. The truth is far more deceitful.

Christopher: Deceitful?

Nimmie Not: You sound so surprised! There’s quite a few deceitful truths out there. Isn’t Happily Ever After a deceitful truth? (He smiles, exposing sharp teeth.) Unless it’s an outright lie.

Christopher: I’ve tried not to make it deceitful. I’ve tried not to be deceitful.

Nimmie Not: Ah, but that’s not possible, is it? (He sits down again) Life is too often painful. No one can live without experiencing pain. (His voice is almost kind.) How can one ever expect to live happily ever after?

Christopher doesn’t answer. He looks away.

Nimmie Not: Come, Christopher, don’t be shy. You have an answer. (He taps his fingers against his thigh.) You came up with an answer.

Christopher: You stop living. (He sits very still, not seeming to breathe.) You exist in a space and time of happiness, which may or may not be real without moving forward.

Nimmie Not: Exactly. (He wags his head.) This is why stories end with they all lived happily ever after. You stop at a good moment when everything looks hopeful and promising. You never move past it.

Christopher: I already know all of this.

Nimmie Not: Oh, but we’re sharing here, aren’t we? (Once more he grins) We’re getting to know you, you, you. Just what is Happily Ever After to you?

Christopher: (He closes his eyes and opens them. When he does, they are swimming with colours.) Damian. And the twins.

Nimmie Not: (He blinks in surprise.) Well, that very specific. (in a low voice) Not to mention beautiful. I really have to keep Quartz away from this boy, although this boy’s attention is clearly focused in another direction for all he speaks with characters from other universes. (raises his voice) Why Damian and the twins?

Christopher: (He smiles, a slow expression that softens and transforms his entire expression.) Ask me again next week. (He lifts a hand to cover his eyes.) Isn’t that enough for one blog post.

Nimmie Not: Which you’ve left on a cruel cliffhanger, little shadow. (He hums under his breath.) I’ll humour you, though. I’ll withdraw for now, but I’ll return next week. (He disappears in a cloud of yellow smoke.)

Christopher: (He stares in the smoke.) This is why it’s better to talk about other people. This blog gets so serious when it’s about me. Or maybe our scribbler is just feeling melancholy and we’re expressing it?

I don’t reply to that. After all, I’m often melancholy and stressed out, although I try to be cheerful online. I guess Christopher isn’t the only one dealing with uncomfortable questions. (wry grin)

#RainbowSnippets: 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…

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

For mine, Quartz will continue on in his story which I’m working on; Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins. This is a little longer than six sentences, so he can get his point across…

 

My beard wasn’t any thicker, my strength any greater, or my eyesight any keener. My wits certainly weren’t any sharper. Opal, the sibling closest to me in age would be happy to tell you all that. In great detail.

Right. I’m not particularly special, but there’s one thing that’s different about me. None of my brothers loved the rock as much as I did. Particularly my namestone.