#QueerBlogWed: A Tale of the Navel

On October 27, 2021, P.T. Wyant posted a Wednesday Words prompt involving a flickering light, a dream, dried herbs.

This Tale of the Navel was the result…

Sometimes the flickering light was green, sometimes it was blue. It fluttered in his hands, pulsing in his palms, warming him.

Nothing made Leiwell feel more tender and protective than the light. Dreaming of it effected him as much as the visions of his master. 

He’d awaken, breathe in the scent of dried herbs, hear Map humming under her breath through the cottage wall. 

Those smells and sounds grounded him in the here and now, reassuring him. There was no need to chase after the light. No need to go looking for his master. Map was here. She needed him. Sooner or later the light and his master would both find him. 

He was content to wait here in this cottage. With Map. 

For now Leiwell would be content to dream. It wouldn’t last. Dreams gave way to waking reality or they drew you back in. 

He would enjoy the state he was in, this flesh and blood form for as long as he could. For as long as others needed him to wear it. 

Like my style of writing? Here are buy links to my published works…

http://www.amazon.com/author/kstrenten

Conversations with Christopher: Gabrielle Part 1

Christopher walks through the mists of the Cauldron, waiting for them to part. Waiting to see what they’ll reveal to him. 

Wispy tendrils of gray creep away from a familiar cobblestone path leading through Omphalos. On either side are cottages, quaint structures with pointed roofs. One of these structures has a swinging sign over the door, painted with an image of a flat stomach and a belly button.

Christopher: (stopping under the sign) The Navel. Center of all things bizarre. Quite a boast, to claim all bizarre things.

He glanced at the window. A muscular human statue with the head of a chicken lowers their beak menacingly at him. 

Christopher: Perhaps ‘Brie wants to talk to me. 

He opened the door of the dwelling. He enters the darker interior of a shop filled with shelves covered with crystals, candles, boxes, skulls, cups, and statues of squat smiling humanoids among stranger items. Racks of bright-colors robes are tucked away in another corner. 

Christopher almost stumbled down the slight slope into the shop which replaced the stairs.

Gabrielle: Welcome to the Navel, center of all things bizarre. (She says her usual greeting, but not with the usual boisterous enthusiasm. She’s too busy searching the shelves in a bustle of skirts and clattering shells.) For the sanity of me, I cannot find my sense of humor! Help me search for it? It’s got to be around here somewhere.

Christopher: Your sense of humor? 

He approaches the woman who’s become his mother, who accepted him into her home and Place of Power as her son. Her request isn’t nearly as odd as it might be to a lot of people. Lost memories, wayward ideas, and forgotten dreams find their way into the Navel, manifesting as cups, skulls, or statues. Why not a sense of humor?

What’s stranger is that Gabrielle should lose hers. She’s always smiling or laughing. From the time Christopher first met her, she’s had a strong sense of the wacky. 

Take those chicken-headed gods similar to the ones in the window. They’re taking up an entire shelf. Some are made of porcelain. Some are made of metal. Some of models made with actual chicken feathers. They all have human male torsos and the heads of hens. 

Inspired by the sight of them, Christopher heads to the shelf where those gods await. 

Christopher: It wouldn’t happen to be here, by any chance? Your sense of humor?

Gabrielle turns to glance at the deities only she seems to appreciate. A smile starts to brighten up her face, lifting the lines from it. 

Gabrielle: You might say so, yes. How those chickens annoyed Damian! Almost as much as the chicken representations her father collected annoyed our scribbler. Only her father was trying to be Country French. I collected these in an attempt to protect Damian with a joke. 

Christopher: Protect him? How?

Gabrielle: Well, chickens have been known to gobble up spiders along with insects and worms. One could consider an arachnocrat a type of spider. 

Christopher: The Lady Duessa seemed more amused and scornful at the sight of them along with everything else in the Navel than afraid.

Gabrielle: That was Duessa. She wasn’t the only arachnocrat that wanted Damian. Others might come calling. These deities could be a form of protection.

Christopher: I’m not sure if they ever protected Damian or me. They seemed as eager to get us as any other arachnocrat. 

Gabrielle: Maybe I should get rid of them. (She gives the chicken gods a sad look.) No one seems to like them other than me. 

Christopher: (waves a hand in protest) Don’t worry about. I’ve grown accustomed to them. They’re part of what makes the Navel bizarre. 

Gabrielle: They are, aren’t they? (She perks up a bit.) They still make me smile, but no. They’re not what I’m looking for.

Christopher: We’ll keep looking. 

(To be continued next Monday…) 

T is for Troile

I was inspired by a mythological character named Troilus, but mine is a different tale to tell. I have another name in Aissa and Polyxena. When I don skirts and the guise of a woman, I become Polyxena of Troy. 

Does this shock you? Polyxena has become a Trojan princess of legends Achilles achieved as much passion for as he did her brother, Troilus. I have a secret to reveal, they’re both me. 

This secret dawned upon the scribbler when she realized Polyxena wasn’t in The Iliad. My Achaen, my mightiest of the Achaens, my Achille had another reason for withdrawing from the Trojan war, another motive for picking a fight with Agamemnon. It was me. Cressida or Briseis was the one who transformed me into Polyxena, dressing me as a woman so Achille and I could meet. 

You might say the contradictions in mythology inspired my story along with Achille’s. Our scribbler looked between those contradictions and found our story. Found how Ganymede, former prince of Troy and cupbearer of the gods sent me to the Isle of Scyros so Achille and I could meet. He himself was there in skirts, pretending to be Aissa. It was a disguise which wasn’t to last, but it inspired my own as Polyxena. 

Love in skirts, how different his feelings for me were than those he held for Patrocles! Not that the latter weren’t strong. I saw a very different side, a soft side of Achille, a side which perhaps playing Aissa brought out of him? For donning skirts and putting aside our manhood taught us things we might never have learned otherwise, bringing us close together. Even if we did clash with swords at the end. 

Only this is a tale waiting to be revised and told by our scribbler. May she finally find the time to tell it, of what truly happened between us. May our feelings finally be vindicated within this tale. I pray to the gods it shall be so. 

O is for Ouroborous

We came with Tarot imagery into the scribbler’s imagination. We were always there, the world that her characters struggled against each other within. The idea that we might be the world itself, the voice and soul of the world bubbled to the surface of the scribbler’s imagination during this very Blogging From AZ April Project, the first time she took part in it. 

Thus Ouroborous, the World Serpent was born. Thus World of Ouroborous along with us were born. 

We are what Nevalyn yearns to be, the Dragon a clerical order formed to worship. Our followers strive to keep the light from withering the world, even as we stop ourselves from swallowing it, plunging it into darkness. We are the Unicorn’s temptation, that which she’d rather trample and gore than accept and embrace. We were the reason she could not stay pure. We are what she blames for the impurity in others. 

All of these ideas simmered in the scribbler’s imagination for years. They came to a boil here during the Blogging From AZ April Project. We’ve been here for ages, yet we were born here. It’s a paradox we’re well aware of and amused by. Paradoxes too often amuse us. 

#RainbowSnippets: A Symposium in Space

Happy Easter to all who celebrate it!

It’s also time for Rainbow Snippets, six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction posted on our blogs. After considering what to share, I decided to continue with A Symposium in Space. After all, Agathea’s orb is sort of like an Easter egg. Sort of. 🙂

A sly tone laced with humor emitted from the mechanical device. 

I wondered if Agathea had given it her voice. What projected from the orb was such a caressing, sensual tone. It rivaled Pausania’s own for the levels of malice it could deliver, wrapped in a disguise of courtesy. I wasn’t used to this level of complexity in a simple communicator, but I was behind the times. Or so Pausania kept telling me. 

Want to read the rest of A Symposium in Space? 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

Want to read some more Rainbow Snippets by different writers? Here the link to more samples…

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

L is for ‘Lyssa

I’ve always been the dark seductress for idealistic girls willing to let me inspire them and drain them. I was this in Amberwyne’s past when I first emerged from the scribbler’s imagination into a roleplaying game. 

Fidessa supplanted me in this. First at The Keep where she took Amberwyne from me. ‘Dessa decided to keep her in The Players Are the Thing, as if she could. Not even I could keep Amber, but she’s welcome to try. I’ll be laughing at her whenever I catch a glimpse of her in whatever magic mirror peers beyond the fourth wall of whatever tower she’s brooding and obsessing over Amber within. 

No. I’ve found far more willing prey within Tales of the Navel. Myself. 

Does that shock you? Surely preying upon one’s self is less reprehensible than preying upon others. It’s not as if Melyssa Ashelocke isn’t willing. She summoned me forth when she bound herself to Seraphix, leaving behind her mother and the arachnocrats. I was born from her own wish, her desire to drain and feast upon not the tender blossoms of the Gardens of Arachne, but the predatory ladies feeding upon them. 

Surely that’s not reprehensible either. It’s simply part of a monstrous food chain, not that Melyssa needs any justication for her hunger. Nor for nursing me within her heart. 

Not when she’s with me. Never when she’s me. I’m part of her she wishes to be, even if she fears me. Or feels ashamed of me. I simply must overcome that fear and shame so we can become one with Seraphix. So we can become ourselves. 

There’s nothing to be ashamed of in such a desire. 

J is for Juno

Hello, my dears! How nice to see you all, would you like a cup of tea? It’s so relaxing, just ask my husband, tee hee! He’s not half so restless as when he started drinking this, letting his eyes and hands wander, the naughty man. My tea makes the naughty quite docile, tee hee! Yes, you wouldn’t think so. I seem quite the simple old woman, don’t I? Things are never what they see, my dears. Why, it took our scribbler a while to realize this, the silly thing. She created me for Stealing Myself From Shadows, not realizing I was much older than her story. She actually called me June at first, can you imagine that? Tee hee! When she fixed my name, you might say I snapped into focus for her at last. The slow dear realized I had quite the collection of legends around my identity, legends she could use to inform her own tale with a little cleverness. Once my name changed, I acquired my sulky husband and my depressed daughter. Oh, yes, I’m speaking of Jupitre and Hebe, tee hee! I didn’t get to keep either long. Neither was happy with life in Omphalos. Why for that matter, neither was I. I suppose that’s why we get into trouble in Stealing Myself From Shadows and A Godling for Your Thoughts? Oh, but I wouldn’t want to give you any spoilers about that, no, no! You’ll just have to wait and read about it yourselves. Do tell that silly scribbler there are people waiting to read more about us, would you? There’s a dear! You take care of yourself now and be certain to honor your marriage bonds, please. I take such matters seriously. I get very cross when people don’t and you wouldn’t want to make me cross, would you?

#RainbowSnippets: A Symposium in Space

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

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

To sample various LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

For my own, Pausania will continue in her dismissive snark toward the orb she showed last Sunday in A Symposium in Space…

Pausania waved her free hand in languid dismissal. “You’re all about the latest trends. You never touch anything that questions or casts them in an unflattering light.”

“Ah, but would I be inviting Sokrat if that were true?” A sly tone laced with humor emitted from the mechanical device. 

I wondered if Agathea had given it her voice. 

Like what you’re reading? 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

H is for Hebe

You may recognize my name. When my mother’s changed from June to Juno in Stealing Myself From Shadows I was born. Along with my habit of collecting and smashing cups. Much as our scribbler loves the myth of Ganymede, something resonated for her about the goddess who lost her job, her sole purpose when her father gave it to his favorite. You might say I changed the story, gave it a touch of the mythical and the ordinary. For I’m the most ordinary of all my brothers and sisters, something I’ve never forgotten. It’s made me crave change, seek it out, search for a new me with all the devotion of a lover. This me takes on a new life in Tales of the Navel, The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, and A Godling for Your Thoughts? She’s made her presence known in many a freebie story at both Cauldrons, even if you didn’t realize it was me. 

I begin as Hebe, the customer constantly seeking to be satisfied at the Navel. Happily I don’t end there. 

#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 sample different LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

For my own, the orb will continue where it left off last Saturday in A Symposium in Space

The orb throbbed in midair, quivering with hungry intensity. “Pausania, I simply must have the two of you at my symposium.” A slight note of menace entered the voice. “Do you truly wish to shun my company? I’m collecting guests exalted enough to impress even one as cynical as yourself.”

“Exalted isn’t how I’d describe your collections.”

Like what you’re reading? 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