#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. The sentences can be from their own stories. They can be from someone else’s. They just need to be LGBTQIA+.

For a wide variety of samples from different LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

Phaedra will be picking up where she left off last Sunday in A Symposium in Space…

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

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

 

Like what you’re reading? Here are some 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

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L is for ‘Lyssa

Why, hello there. I’m ‘Lyssa, Melyssa’s better half. Well, perhaps not better. I’m still the person she longs to be, the one who lives as she wishes and takes what she desires. I’m the part of Melyssa created by her wish, through her union with Seraphix. I’m repressed piece of Melyssa Ashelocke who longs to sink her fangs into the arachnocratic ladies’s collective neck. Only someone is intefering with our development, our ritual with Seraphix. Might have known it would be some fool of a boy, only I caught a whiff of my cousin in his soul. Ugh, must Damian always get in the way? Not that he hasn’t helped from time to time, but this is my existence which is at stake. I need Seraphix to get stronger, I need the Followers. Once I’ve completely manifested, I’ll deal with the arachnocrats and Seraphix, but I need to manifest, to become alive enough to accomplish those things. There’s no way I’m going to let Damian Ashelocke or his precious Christopher stop me. Not this time.

K is for Kyra

Good day. I am Kyra, protagonist in a Work in Progress known as A Suitor’s Challenge. In this, a beautiful young prince has offered his hand in marriage to whatever suitor can best him in magical combat. It’s a foolish challenge to accept since Prince Stephen Jasior is very powerful and he slays whomever loses. He may be the adopted heir of the Imperatrix, Serena Jasior, who brought together the Alliance of Queendoms to battle the Serpent. Whomever marries him shall also become Serena’s heir. The temptations of power and the prince’s beauy is enough to lure many a hopeful into the Circle with him. Not one has survived. This prince shows no mercy towards those unworthy of him. Who would want such a husband? Only I looked into his eyes and saw a familar soul. Stefan, my childhood friend, whom once stood between me and the Serpent’s hunger. For the Serpent once resided me in, constantly whispering temptations to me. Stefan lured Her out of me with promises to do what she wished if She left me in peace. I never saw Stefan again. I don’t know what happened after the Serpent left me and went into Stefan, or why She was even in me to begin with after Serena defeated her. How Stefan came to be Prince Stephen Jasior is a mystery to me. Only I looked into his eyes and I saw the Serpent within. Laughing. Delighting in devouring the life and power of every suitor who dared to step in the Circle with Her vessel. Taunting me with Her presence for Stefan was still trapped within her, unable to cry out a warning. I can’t leave him like that. I have to help Stefan, even if it means becoming the next fool suitor who challenges Prince Stephen Jasior. Only I’m no one, a golden-haired Serpent Born, who only just escaped from imperial chains with the help of my companion, mentor, and friend, Questioning. If I’m to become a royal suitor, I need a sponsor. There are challenges I must meet before I even face Stephen and the Serpent within him. There are allies I must cultivate, even if I don’t trust them. The only person I trust is Questioning. In the highly visible position of being Prince Stephen Jasior, Questioning is in as dangerous a situation as I am. Old enemies are becoming aware of them even as they become aware of me. All the while the Serpent is lying in wait within Stefan. Waiting for me.

J is for Juno

Why, hello there, my dears, how nice of you to drop by and see me, tee hee! No, neither this place nor I are what we once were, dear me, no. Yes, I used to be more worthy of my name, living like a goddess, ruling over the heavens, married to the most powerful of the lost. I was quite powerful myself in those times, not to mention beautiful. I was worthy of a golden apple meant for the fairest among us. It’s not my fault that the judge was a weak-willed sneak, easily bribed. Tee hee, did I ever fix him and his people! Ah, that was so long ago. Now I appear to be a flabby, aging woman with sagging cheeks and graying hair. Oh, my, it’s so easy to underestimate me like this. I’ll admit it makes me giggle, even while it makes me cry. I live in Omphalos, a village turning into a town on the edge of reality. I have a little cottage there I share with my deranged daughter, poor dear. My husband used to live with us, but he escaped. Does he really think he can hide from me? Such a silly creature! Alas, I’ve had to strike a bargain with some rather unsavory monsters, although they do have style. One of them keeps quite the handsome realm, filled with gardens and beautiful boys. I have to admit, I like her style. I can also see her reasoning in becoming a man-eating monster, one who doesn’t even allow boys to grow up to be men. I wonder how much trouble was caused by the men who worshipped my husband, not to mention my husband himself, the gods like him, and the goddesses who tried to emulate him. Too often they became monsters. Maybe it’s time for monsters to eat them. These cycles do keep happening over time. My husband truly owes my daughter and I a debt, even if he’s now too weak to accomplish anything. Something must be done, something to regain some of our former strength, yet reshape it into something a wee bit more progressive. And what better place to begin this process than the Shadow Forest, wouldn’t you say? It’s just a matter of collecting our pretty key and getting him to open our Door. We just need to say the right thing to persuade him to do this and I think I have a few ideas about that, oh, yes. There may be a teensy bit of conflict, but I don’t anticipate too much, oh no. I’m not that diminished in charm and persuasions, plus I’ve still got a few surprises in this old body. As peaceful as this snug little sojourn in dear Omphalos has been, I think it’s time to make a few changes. Given the quality of poor, lost souls who find themselves here, it appears the changes are already coming. All sorts of things are popping out of the realm of imagination, manifesting in various forms at the Navel, oh, my! It makes me wonder just how apart those two things are, imagination and reality. Oh, yes, if you can reshape yourself in the dream realm, just what will you come out as? I may have to give up something to gain something else, but what else have I ever done, pray tell? I’m quite excited to see what can be accomplished beyond the Door, yes, indeed, I am! Not to mention certain wayward husbands can only run so far. I will find him, oh, I will, indeed. We shall see, won’t we, who’ll truly be in charge once I do.

I is for Isolde

Good day, Cauldron visitors. I am Isolde, sculptor, wander, as well as companion and protector to Lady Amberwyne. Only I may not be real if what Amberwyne suspects is true. We may be just ‘player characters’ in a ‘roleplaying game’, shaped within a maiden’s imagination to play out her repressed yearnings. I feel for this maiden as I become aware of her. She suffers from shyness, a lack of self-worth, unrequited passion. I can sympathize with these sentiments only too keenly. I’ve sworn to watch over Amberwyne, to protect her from the wiles of the wicked Lady Fidessa, once Amberwyne’s mistress, yet always her nemesis. I keep a keen eye out for Fidessa’s agents and and untrustworthy rogues I suspect to have dealings with her. This maiden whose mind created me, Mona, may need me far more than Amberwyne does. Perhaps there is a way to aid both of them, through the ‘dice’ of this ‘roleplaying game’. It is a curious situation where The Players Are the Thing. By reaching out to Mona’s imagination, I can suggest certain outcomes, certain ideas. This much I can do for my player, even if she doesn’t believe I am real. I can be real enough to help her, to nudge her in a direction which will lead her to her happiness. In doing so, perhaps I will find my happiness, too.

H is for Hebe

Conflict? What conflict? I live a quiet life in Omphalos. Not that I mind. Once I stood at the head of the loftiest of tables, pouring wine into the cup of a king among gods. He never saw me, that king, even though he was his own daughter. Not until he gave my place to a pretty boy he fancied did he even glance in my direction. My mother still seethes with rage over that. I’m not sure it’s worth wasting so much passion upon. I’ve always been easy to ignore. I may have my father’s height, but none of his presence or power. I might possess my mother’s stormy gray eyes, yet I have neither her beauty nor her guile. How often I’ve wished my eyes were violet-blue, flecked with silver and green. Such a color would be unforgettable. Or to have a glorious mane of golden hair like the proprietor of the Navel enjoys. No one would ever think Gabrielle was ordinary. Quite the opposite. Only I’d want my golden tresses to mingle with strands of silver. It might give me a look of age and wisdom, no matter how ridiculous my behaviour or how unlined my face might be. I happen to enjoy wrinkles and lines upon a woman’s face. They give her character. Anyone who’d discard a person with character is a fool. Anyone who thinks hiding her wrinkles will keep a roving eye from straying is equally foolish. My mother was deemed one of the most beautiful immortals to grace the heavens, never showing a line. None of this kept my father from sporting with anything which caught his fancy. Poor Mother. The wrinkles and lines eventually caught up with her. If only she’d try to wear them with grace instead of fighting them. If only she didn’t waste so much time worrying about me. No, I’m not happy, but I’ve never been happy. Not with myself or what I’m doing with myself. Why do I keep going to the Navel, picking out cup after cup? It’s always the same. I take the cup home. I keep for a few days, pouring wine, sometimes tea or mead into it, and drinking the contents. I smash the cup. I break it into tiny bits, seeing my father’s face. I return to the Navel. I select a different goblet. The same thing happens. I take it home, use it for a brief time, and destroy it. I’m not sure why I keep doing it over and over. I can’t seem to stop. Mother, who lives with me in Omphalos, worries and questions me about it whenever we’re alone. She blames my father for my behaviour. I didn’t think I cared about him any more, but why do I keep smashing cups? Cups which remind me in some way of my past at my father’s side? If only I could let go of that time. If only I could let go of myself. Somewhere there’s a Door that will open to a path, leading me to my desire, a way to release it all, to change into someone else. I hear there’s a path for every person waiting in the Shadow Forest, leading to your heart’s desire. One just has to want to find that Door bad enough for it to appear. Only I need a key to open this Door. I sense who this key is, even if I’m not sure why. I know what he wants. I’ve just got to convince him to open my Door. Perhaps if I can help him find the path to his heart’s desire, he’ll help me find mine. I’ve just got to persuade him it’s in his best interest to do this.

G is for Gabrielle

Welcome to the Navel, center of all things bizarre! Here you’ll find whatever you need, including conflict? Lost your conflict, did you? I can’t really blame you for letting it go. In the end, you must have found that you needed it, huh? You remind me a bit of a boy I once knew. He needed his conflict, too, much as I tried to ease it. Perhaps I was taking a part of him away. Now that’s funny. I usually offer people pieces of themselves back. What? You want to know about my conflict? I try to avoid it. I left the Temple of Directions because I was conflicted. Wandered the world at my Mireille’s side. Who was Mireille? Someone very special with her feat on the ground, her ears open, and always moving. Her destiny took her in a different direction than me. I wandered a bit more, only to find myself here. Where is here? Why, the Navel! This very shop with its shelves filled with treasures disguised as trinkets. I came to Omphalos, this particular Omphalos, only to discover this shop waiting for me. Perhaps it was a lost part of me, eh? I had an unhappy boy at my side, trying to escape from other people’s plans for him. I took charge of the Navel and made Damian my assistant. A very good assistant he was, yet he didn’t enjoy it. One day he wandered out and brought another boy with him. Introduced that boy to his Aunt Duessa as my son. I played along with it, yet somehow, looking into Christopher’s wide eyes, sensing his need to belong in this world, well, my heart went out to him. Perhaps he, too, was a lost part of me, even if I sensed something dark and dangerous in him. There was also…and still is immense innocence and potential for good in that boy. I never regretted taking him in. When Damian left us, it’s like he took part of our hearts with him. I’m not sure if Christopher or I would have gotten over that, if we hadn’t had each other. There was a vacancy in the Navel and in our lives. I put out a call for help, hoping the Navel would provide. Peter showed up on our doorstep in response. He’s no Damian, but he’s himself, which is all the better. He stepped into our vacancy and into the void in our hearts. At the same time, he’s like Damian in the reckless way he treats himself. It’s very hard to retain the neutral attitude the Navel demands me to maintain when he, Damian, or Christopher do reckless things. One of my duties as proprietor is to respect the choices others make, even if they’ll destroy them. Otherwise I’d be no different than Rafaelle or Michaela at the Temple of Directions, deciding everyone’s way, fate, and what’s good or bad. Forcing people to choose the ‘right’ way, imprisoning or tormenting them when they don’t. I swore I’d never be like that. This is why I respect others’s choices, even when they break my heart. I just have to bear with it, accepting this is the cost of the path I chose. For there’s always a cost for every choice. I’ve just got to make certain mine are worth it.