#RainbowSnippets: Seven Tricks

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on our blogs. It can be our 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

It’s time for me to start snippetting for the holidays, so how about a little squeaky naughtiness with your nutcracker? Oh, don’t worry, this is one you can enjoy and share with your kids. 😉 Here’s a taste of Seven Tricks…

Some say a mouse king has seven heads with seven crowns. In a way, this is true. A mouse prince must play seven tricks before the twelve days of Christmas are over. If he doesn’t, he cannot claim his throne.

“You must prove your worth before I acknowledge you as my heir,” Madam Mousenip said to me in the shadow of the enormous ticking tower. “Only by succeeding at seven tricks will you possess what you desire.”

Like what you’re reading? Want to read more? Here are buy links to Seven Tricks…

Nine Star Press:  https://ninestarpress.com/product/seven-tricks/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seven-tricks-ks-trenten/1127424849?ean=2940158598838

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Seven+Tricks%2C+by+K.S.+Trenten

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/seven-tricks

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/758279

#QueerBlogWed: The Players Are the Thing Freebie Story

On June 23, 2021, P.T. Wyant posted at ptwyant.com a Wednesday Words prompt involving a potato, black lace, and numbers scribbled on the back of an envelope.

This freebie story for my Work in Progress, The Players Are the Thing was the result. Once again I’m grateful to P.T. Wyant, because writing this pulled the whole main story itself together, making me realize what direction I wanted to go with it. 🙂

 “Here are Amberwyne’s statistics.” Rhane flushed, not meeting Beatrix’s eyes while handing an envelope with the numbers written on the back, not the character sheet to her lover, roomate, and game master. She gazed at the black lace encircling her wrist, lace which matched her own. 

     She’d done everything in accord with Beatrix for so long; dressed in matching gowns, coordinated her dice to match the other woman’s, avoided arguing with her, no matter how abrasive she got. This was her moment of defiance, not that she was certain Beatrix would understand why. 

     “Rhane.” Beatrix waved the envelope at her girlfriend. “You just scribbled some numbers on the back of an envelope.”

     “Sorry.” The word came out utterly unapologetic. Rhane turned to the potato lying on the kitchen, concentrating upon it. Should she bake it? Or slice it into chunks and roast it. “To me, Amberwyne is more than a bunch of numbers to be tranferred to some stark character sheet with a red and white format. She’s a living, breathing entity, even if it’s only in my imagination.”

     “Spare me the creepy sentiment.” Beatrix rolled her eyes, a gesture she was doing more than more. It was a relief to see after the blank, numb expression she wore whenever she picked up the new forms she insists all the players use for their characters. “If you care so much about Amberwyne, you should make out an updated sheet for her.”

     “I already have one. It has an Old English header and a border of thorns and roses we’re both happy with. You were once happy with it, too.” Rhane moved to the kitchen counter and got down a knife. 

     “That sheet is outdated.” Beatrix followed Rhane into the kitchen, blinking as if she barely recognized the place. It had been a while. Bea was eating less and less. “I don’t like the look of the new one either, but it has space for the latest statistics.”

     “The design is ugly. You could easily fix it, but you don’t want to bother. You keep pressuring all of your players, including me, to use it.” Rhane wouldn’t face Beatrix. She began to chop the potato into wedges.”

     “All right, I like how it’s set up. The new sheet makes it very easy to calculate roles quickly.” Beatrix spread her hands and shook her as if she herself wasn’t entirely certain of this. “Can you blame me for preferring it? I’ve got to keep track of a lot of information.”

     “Most of that information doesn’t apply to Amberwyne.” Rhane took a pan down, still not looking at Beatrix. She began to spray it with olive oil. 

     “So what do you want to do?” Beatrix put her hands on her hips, her irritation vibrating through the room. “Keep the old sheet and add new stat infromation on envelopes or any paper handy?”

     “I’d rather do that than use the new character sheet.” Amberwyne turned to Beatrix, staring straight into her exasperated face. “Please. I really don’t like the looks of it. It’s not right for Amber.”

     “Fine.” Beatrix threw up her lacy black hands in surrender, shaking her head yet again. “Only you keep track of any extra infromation which doesn’t fit on the old character sheet.”

    “Thank you.” Rhane released a slow sigh of relief. 

      Some of Beatrix’s irritation changed to baffled concern. She looked at her girlfriend, really looked at her. “Why do you dislike this new form so much? Is it really just the color scheme?”

     “It’s wrong for Amber.” Rhane struggled to find the right words to express what she felt, how the part of her whom was Amber recoiled from the paper. Once she’d been able to say anything to Beatrix. A barrier was forming between them, pushing her away from her former lover and creative partner when once ideas and conversation had flowed between them with a natural ease. “The layout…it’s like trying to force you into a bright pink sweater with glitter.”

     Beatrix winced a bit with a distaste she showed for many things now, but glittery pink sweater held a special venom in her list of Least Favorite Things. Her mother had bought her such clothing, insisted she looked cute in them. Bea convinced herself that she liked them, too. It was until she’d started living on her own she’d started to develop tastes of her own in clothing, gravitating toward the black and the gothic. Sparkly pink sweaters stirred a revulsion mixed up with insecurity about being unable to think for herself. 

    “It’s like that,” Rhane said, not entirely sure it was, but this was the best analogy she could think of. “There’s something repellant about that character sheet, something Amber recoils from. Neither of us are comfortable with it.”

    “Why?” Beatrix raised an eyebrow and the corner of her mouth in almost arch fashion. “Why should it bother Amber? It’s not like those colors have any association with Fidessa, do they?”

     Fidessa was the main villain in Beatrix’s roleplaying campaign, an enchantress whom was stalking the players, particularly Amberwyne, who’d once been her protégé and beloved. Coming up with Amberwyne and Fidessa’s background had been a major collaborative effort between Rhane and Beatrix before the game and at the beginning of the campaign. Beatrix had been growing more distant and more edgy, perhaps because she was trying to plot what was happening in the fantasy world she’d created, balancing her endeavour with the rest of her life. Doing so was taking a toll on her. 

     “No.” Rhane smiled, relieved to be talking about this, to see Beatrix bringing a little roleplaying into their discussion. “I doubt that sheet would be to Fidessa’s taste either.” 

    “Definitely not.” Beatrix grinned at this, a smile that brightened the entire room. “Thorns, roses, and spiderwebs are much more her style.” She sobered a bit. “I’m not fond of the new character sheet either. It should be easy to tamper with, turn into something which goes more with our campaign. I’ll talk to Zoe about it.” 

     “Thank you.” Rhane breathed another sigh of relief. Zoe was the most recent addition to the players who’d turned out to have a variety of useful skills; one of them being an eye for whatever Beatrix and Rhane wanted to see. 

     “You’re welcome.” Beatrix shook her head, reached out to touch Rhane’s cheek. “I’m glad you talked to me about this.”

  Rhane reached out to take her lover into her arms. Beatrix hugged her back, frowning, not showing the wrinkles in the middle of the forehead, lines from the tension headaches she was getting more frequently.

****

     “Looks like you made your saving roll, Game Master.” Fidessa glowered at the expression on the girl’s face in the swirling waters of the scrying vessel the enchantress used while she embraced Rhane. Somehow Beatrix had evaded the spell trap in the layout of the new character sheets, the trap which had been slowly closing upon her exhausted mind. “I have a feeling Amber managed to warn her little player, but she can’t protect both of you. Not when I get closer to you with each roll of your dice.”

   Fidessa had once been devoted to drawing Amberwyne back to her, using a variety of tricks and traps. Only she’d started to sense the same thing her former student did, that their very world wasn’t really. It was part of a “game”, a form of entertainment created by a Game Master and her players, who’d decided Fidessa’s dreams, her ambitions, her magic were simply something to play with, pit themselves against, and amuse themselves. 

    Beatrix would learn in slow, painful lessons just what it meant to play with Fidessa. ‘Dessa meant to show her in so many ways. 

    “You may be real, but reality will show you the same inconsistent favor the dice do.” Fidessa traced the outline of Beatrix’s face, alonging her fingernail to touch her forehead. “Playing me will eventually be the only joy you possess until you let me in entirely.” 

   Some might say this was impossible. Fidessa was after all only a character in a game. 

   ‘Dessa had never cared what those some thought, only Amber. Amber was trapped in this Rhane’s mind as much as ‘Dessa was within Amber. ‘Dessa had to free her. She had to free all of them. These roleplayers would regret their playing when the enchantress was finished with them. They would learn to respect and fear their creations. 

   Amber wouldn’t approve. Amber actually cared about the girl who’d created her. It wasn’t the first time Amber had showed terrible taste in companions or whom she chose to be loyal to. 

   It looked like it was up to ‘Dessa to save Amber from herself…again. 

#SecondaryCharactersSpeakOut: Quartz and Christopher

Secondary Characters Speak Out: Quartz and Christopher

For Monday; November 1, 2021

Quartz sits and scowls at the slender youth in black sitting opposite him. 

Christopher knows better than to trust his scowl. There are crinkles around the dwarf eyes and mouth his beard can’t hide. Quartz’s black beard looks sleeker, less stressed. 

Quartz: Don’t know why I’m talking to you. Young Master Main Character.

Christopher: I might say the same thing to you, Mr. Main Character. 

Quartz: It’s just one book I’m main-character-ing in. Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins of all the daft titles. 

Christopher: It’s just one book I’m main-character-ing in. Stealing Myself From Shadows. Not that is seems daft to me. It makes only too much sense. 

Quartz: Aye, it would. Given what you are.

Christopher: (flushing a bit) Anyway my Danyel and Tayel are the main characters in the following story, The Hand and the Eye of the Tower. Not to mention the book after that, A Godling for Your Thoughts.

Quartz: All of which the scribbler has yet to finish revising. Guess I should count my blessings. She’s only keeping me waiting on one story. 

Christopher: At least she’s finally moving forward.

Quartz: Aye, she’s making some progress on that story of yours. 

Christopher: And yours. Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins is finally moving forward. 

Quartz: Nothing like a fire under our scribbler’s butt to get her going. Guess she needed the right kind of fire. 

Christopher: Yes, she wrote a lot last year, but something in her froze. She couldn’t move forward. 

Quartz: Tried to hide, that scribbler of ours. Wanted to wrap herself in something warm and cower from the world. Finally figured out she couldn’t.

Christopher: This is a common impulse in many of her characters. I’ve wanted to hide. So has Tayel. Even you wanted to do it. 

Quartz: Aye, I’ll not deny it. My girl in Fairest tried to hide when she came to my brothers and me. 

Christopher: We’re all looking for a little safety, a little stability.

Quartz: Scribbler had more than some. 

Christopher: That stability was always shaky. It’s something she came to realize. It’s something we all came to realize.

Quartz: Common theme, that.

Christopher: Our scribbler has a hard time with categories, key words, and above all genre. Not all of us and our stories fit nearly into one of these. Our themes, however, remain somewhat consistent. 

Quartz: Aye, they do, don’t they?

Christopher: Good luck in your story. I hope our scribbler keeps her momentum going. 

Quartz: Aye. The same to you, lad. The same to you. 

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

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

#RainbowSnippets: A Symposium in Space

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those who participate 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 various LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

For my own, I’m going to offer one more taste of A Symposium in Space before I switch to winter holiday fairytales. This is going to be a bigger taste than six sentences in order to end on a coherent note, forgive me…

“A symposium?” I murmured, confused by the archaic word. It conjured more images of Ancient Earth, but this time of our patriarchal past. An era when those who looked down at you were referred to as patronizing rather than matronizing. 

Such barbarism was behind us. A new democracy had spread out from Ancient Earth, across space, freeing women from their former bondage to male thoughts and ideas. 

The only problem was this democracy was dominated by the wealthy and the powerful, just as too many societies had been in the past. They controlled the spaceways, spamming the universe with their advertising. Their shining, three-dimensional billboards and oversized spacecrafts were everywhere, dominating the skyline. 

It was more than a little annoying. 

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

#QueerBlogWords: Paula’s Prompts

On June 16, 2021, P.T. Wyant posted at ptwyant.com a Wednesday Words prompt involving a tornado, a closed door, and an idea.

This poem was the result…

I wonder where came the idea

Of a tornado carrying a house off to a distant land

Perhaps while shivering behind a closed door

Taking shelter within a storm cellar

Listening to the winds howl

Trembling in the presence of such elemental power

Looking for hope within the horror

That these crushing, swirling forces could carry someone away

Taking them someplace wonderful and magical

Where strange things were possible

Where wonder is a part of life

That dream inspires me to this day

To look beyond what is possible

To look for the wonder, peeling back the fear to find it

Not an easy task when I’m trying to hide

Reality howling horrors at me

To concentrate at the still, quiet heart

To let the dream unfold within the nightmare

To see the rainbow within the angry clouds. 

Conversations with Christopher: Rhane Part 3

Christopher sits gazing at the girl with wheaten honey hair falling around her face, gazing around the mists of the Cauldron with a distracted expression. 

Christopher: I understand how your game could have gotten too real. I’m not sure what you meant by the game not being real enough. 

Rhane: Gaming brought Beatrix and I together. We fell in love with this particular game together just when we were discovering each other. Amberwyne was born from this love, even though I’ve fallen more than a little in love with her on my own as I discover her. 

Christopher: I’m almost sure I’ve felt something similar for Damian and the twins. The Shadow Forest brought us together, yet it tears us apart.

Rhane: Funny you should say this. The game seems to be tearing us apart now. Only it’s not the game. It’s the way Beatrix is now running it. We used to all pour our creativity into it, but Beatrix no longer wants to collaborate. She stopped listening to her players. She’s impatient with our attempts to roleplay character moments, constantly nagging us to return to the main plot. Only I’m not sure if she still cares about the main plot. She’s just going through the motions. 

Christopher: Why? What do you think happened?

Rhane: I don’t know. Beatrix used to keep her dice clean, but they’ve gotten murky. She carries them around with her constantly, refusing to let anyone touch them. This isn’t necessarily odd for a player, but it’s odd for Beatrix. She used to keep an especially large pile so anyone who lost their dice could use some of hers. Now she snaps at anyone who even looks at her dice. 

Christopher: She’s possessive of them, yet she doesn’t seem to care about them?

Rhane: I don’t understand it! She was the one who collaborated with me about the romantic backstory for Fidessa and Amberwyne. She encouraged Mona in her character concept of Isolde being Amber’s knight, the knight who truly loved Amber and would act as Amber’s conscience if Amber ever longed to return to ‘Dessa. Only she snaps at us whenever Mona and I start roleplaying Isolde and Amber, just talking, nagging at us to get to the main plot. 

Christopher: This sounds irritating. 

Rhane: It is. Most of the fun of playing Amberwyne is in the roleplaying. I enjoy rolling the dice, I enjoy a great success on them. I’m enjoying the moments when I’m alone, writing about Amber, imagining I’m talking about her, dreaming about her than the actual game. I’m getting more distant from Beatrix and the other players. 

Christopher: I guess this is what you meant by it’s not real enough. You’re not enjoying it enough. 

Rhane: Yeah. Even Amber is getting concerned. Or I imagine she is. This is the essence of The Players Are the Thing. The game can be wonderful, but it’s only as wonderful as the players and Game Master will let it be. If we’re unhappy, if we lose our way, even our characters get concerned. Real or not. 

Christopher: I am seeing similarities to my own story even if it’s not my story. 

Rhane: Like I said, we have the same scribbler. 

Christopher: I’m only too aware of this. (rueful smile)

Rhane: You and me both. 

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

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

#RainbowSnippets: A Symposium in Space

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating 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 various LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

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

For my own, I thought I’d share a couple of snippets from A Symposium in Space before we head into the winter holiday season. This is a little longer than six sentences, forgive me…

A floating, pink orb drifted up to the open panels of Pausania’s apartment and fixed me with its lidless stare. 

I froze, unsure how to react. An unfashionable citizen of the Intergalactic Democracy, I still ran around in a vest with pocket protectors, unfamiliar with the latest technology. The bobbing globe made me think of tales of magic from Ancient Earth. 

“Phaedra, beloved of Pausania.” A melodic voice, filled with sly suggestion, came from the orb. “I’d be very pleased if you and your lover would attend my symposium in space.”

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

Paula’s Prompts: Wednesday Words

On June 9, 2021, P.T. Wyant posted a Wednesday Words prompt about a lone oar floating down a river.

Somehow I got the notion into my head it was a muddy river. (wry grin) This poem was the result…

An oar floats down a muddy river

Just another piece of trash someone tossed

Not bothering to look for a waste bin

Trusting the water to wash it away

Someone might miss this oar

Having used it to row their boat

There’s so much gunk in this waterway

Even the ducks and frogs have abandoned it

Looking for some other spot to pollute

Leaving mud and muck in their wake

I remind myself some of this may be natural

Not everything is the result of human carelessness

As the Earth relieves herself into the water

I wonder how long this oar has been paddling

How long it was used before it was lost

And much it will be missed by the one who used it

A lone oar won’t get a boat as far

Although it could be used as a weapon

I wonder if this one has tasted violence

Was a tool for more sinister things that its purpose

Muddy water conceals many secrets

Perhpas that’s why this oar was tossed away

Not that I know if it was tossed 

I don’t know if it will be missed

All I do is stare as it floats by

Drifting down the current out of sight. 

Conversations with Christopher: Rhane Part 2

Christopher sits facing the same young woman with wheaten-honey hair and distracted blue eyes he spoke to last week. She gazes into the mists, mists which previously revealed visions. 

Rhane: It’s strange, seeing Amber here. I thought I had to be playing the game to see her. Or writing about her. Or dreaming about her. 

Christopher: You mentioned this game before, a roleplaying game. Is that something like this?

The mists clear to reveal a couple of androgynous boys with shaggy golden hair standing on a pebbled path leading through roses, passing by a gazebo.

Danyel: (for it’s the twins who’ve appeared in the vision, summoned by Christopher’s thoughts) This character. She’s full of passion, anger and determination. The color red. 

Tayel: Depths of feeling and sorrow swim within her, a sea of feeling. She’s blue. 

Danyel: What if she’s both? She could be purple.

Tayel: Passionate yet tempered by depths of feeling. Perhaps. 

Danyel: Purple it is. Where do you think she is?

Tayel: On a forest path. She follows it until she reaches a cluster of purple flowers.

Danyel: The path doesn’t end there, does it?

The twins continue to talk about their character and their story while following their own path through the flowers. The mists swallow them.

Christopher: Like that?

Rhane: (smiles) Yes and no. When we roleplay, it’s also a game. Like this.

The mists part to show a table. Another Rhane sits at the table with a bunch of ten-sided dice in varying shades of violet, rose, pink, or lavender. 

Another woman with tousled dark hair sits a little too close to her, sporting a t-shirt with an angry girl in black leather holding a stake. The dice in front of her are all black. 

Rhane: That’s Mona. She plays Isolde, a sculptor who became a warrior and Amberwyne’s protector.

A second image appears over the dice of a tall, muscular woman with very short white hair and bluish white skin, dressed in dove-gray leathers. She carries a club. 

Rhane: Her weapon changes, depending on her need. It was a gift from her master.

The club shifts, becoming an axe which Isolde swings with ease. She whistles and disappears. 

Rhane points to another girl on her other side, a girl with long, black curls and inquisitive hazel eyes. A jade pendant hangs around her neck. All of her dice are shades of green or gold. 

Rhane: That’s Zoe. She joined the game late, took over an NPC which Beatrix used to run, Rhiannon. 

A woman concealed in a long black cape with a gleaming violet eye filled with mischief, long hair the same violet as her eyes winked at Rhane and Christopher before she disappeared. 

Rhane: It seems like she noticed us, but you can never tell what Rhiannon is thinking or how much she knows. She seems to always appear when we need her, even if she isn’t always around. 

Christopher: You called her a NPC. What’s that?

Rhane: A NPC is a non-player character. This is someone the Game Master runs rather than a character created by one of the players. And speaking of the Game Master…

A girl wearing a top hat over her short dark hair and a black bodice sat facing the other girls at the table. Dark blue dice with a murky look were scattered in front of her. 

Rhane:…that’s Beatrix. She’s the creator of the world our characters are part of. 

Beatrix: A creature made of crystal rises from the lake next to the village. People scream and run away from it. 

Christopher and Rhane can hear the faint sound of people screaming coming from another vision, slightly overlapping the one of the girls at the table. They can see a creature of stalagmite rising from the waters, fixing cold amethyst eyes upon the fleeing villagers. 

Mona: I’m going to walk right up to it. 

A tall figure in dove-gray leather walks toward the monster, the opposite direction most of the villagers are going. A red cape flutters from her shoulders. 

Christopher: She wasn’t wearing that before.

Rhane: She got one to match Amberwyne’s.

Rhane: (the Rhane at the table) I can’t let Isolde face this alone. I’ll go with her. 

A second figure wearing a red cape over the russet vest, amber tresses falling over it, walks beside Isolde. 

Zoe: Not me. I’m sticking to the shadows and out of sight while I tail these proud fools. 

Beatrix: Roll your dice fo stealth. Let’s see how quiet you can be. 

Zoe picks up her green dice, shake them in her hand, and casts them upon the table before her. Some of the numbers are high, but some are low.

Rhane: You want to roll high in this game. The more high numbers you get on the dice, the more your character succeeds. 

There is the slight blur of a figure moving from the shadow of cottages, trees, and fleeing villagers. 

Rhane: (the one sitting opposite Christopher, watching both of the visions) This is what happens when we game. 

Christopher: All of that?

Rhane: Well, we’re all imagining the village and the crystal monster. Along as what our characters are doing while we decide to do it. Whether or not we succeed in doing anything depends on the dice, how well we roll. 

The monster lets out a tinkling, almost musical moan. Amber pauses in her stride, frowning at the sound. 

Rhane: (in the chair, explaining to Christopher) Beatrix creates the story and the setting our characters find themselves in. We react to that situation with our characters. 

Christopher: Sounds like magic. Or storytelling as a group. 

Rhane: It is, but the dice determine our fate. 

The two overlapping visions of the girls sitting at the table, the two women confronting the monster shimmer in the mist. 

Beatrix rolls her dice. The monster leans forward, amethyst eyes gleaming. 

Amberwyne: I know you. I’ve seen you in Fidessa’s castle. 

Christopher: Fidessa?

Rhane: The big bad in our roleplaying game, an enchantress intent on strewing curses across our path, causing discord in the land. ‘Dessa used to be Amberwyne’s mentor and lover. 

Christopher: Intense.

Rhane: (blushing, gazing at the girl in the tophat a little sadly) Beatrix and I worked out this elaborate background for Amberwyne and ‘Dessa before the game ever started. We even roleplayed it a little one on one. 

The Rhane at the table clutches a handful of dice.

Rhane: Does Amber recognize this creature?

Beatrix: Roll five dice. 

Rhane puts down several of the ones she has clutched in her hand until she only holds the deepest purple, the deepest violet. She casts them, coming up with all tens. 

Christopher: (murmurs) Even learning about this for the first time I know that’s impressive.

Rhane, Mona, and Zoe all cheer. Beatrix smiles a little, but the smile doesn’t quite reach her eyes. Somehow the frostiness of her own crystal beast is reflected there. 

Beatrix: Yes. You remember this one from Fidessa’s nightmare palace, how she shaped it from clouded crystals, smoky with the unwanted desires and impulses of fledgling enchanters who forgot to cleanse them. It was her pride and joy. 

Amberwyne gazes at the crystal beast, her lower lip trembling a little. 

Isolde: (turning to look at her companion in concern) Amber! What is it?

Amber: I remember this creature. It’s one of ‘Dessa’s. 

Isolde: (thinning her mouth in a grim line) Of course it is. Everyone we go, we seem to find her handiwork. 

Beatrix: This creatures does have a weakness, one you carry close to your heart.

Amber raises a hand to clutch at something hidden beneath her tunic. 

Beatrix: (smiles with a measure of seductive wickedness) Only you’ve gazed upon it for too long. Roll for your wisdom or willpower. Your choice.

Rhane at the table flushes, smiles, and gulps all at the same, gathering her dice up. She shakes them in her hand. She casts them upon the table before her. 

Rhane: Uh, oh…

Mona: Trollshit…

Amber’s eyes begin to flutter. She sways on her feet. 

Isolde: Don’t blame the trolls…Amber! (She shifts her club to one hand, uses the other to steady her companion.) Amber, what is it?

Rhane: Can I warn Isolde?

Beatrix: (still smiling) Roll your dice. 

Christopher: She seems to be enjoying your misfortunate.

Rhane: She does take a certain sadistic pride in her monsters, but it deserved. Her monsters are often interesting and they make the game more intense. 

The Rhane at the table rolls her dice again. This time, the numbers are higher. 

Amberwyne: (forcing the words out) I think I’ve fallen under the spell of its gaze…

Beatrix: Amberwyne, you find yourself thinking of ‘Dessa. Missing her. What did you think you were doing, leaving her? Why are you even here? 

Mona: Oh, no. Isolde is keep a firm grip on Amber. 

Zoe: I think it’s time for Rhiannon to cast counter curse, see if she can dispell the creature’s hold over Amber. I’ve made sure I’m not too far from Amber and Isolde. 

A figure peers behind a building at the swaying figure of Amber, at Isolde trying to steady her.  She whispers something, making gestures with her gloved fingers. 

Beatrix: (frowning) Roll your dice.

Zoe gathers up quite a few of them, shakes them in her hand, and tosses them onto the table. Very high numbers appear.

Beatrix rolls a large number of dice as well, but her numbers are not so high. 

Zoe: At this moment, Rhiannon is going to leap out from the shadows to stand on a rooftop, facing the creature. Amber and Isolde can now both see her. 

Beatrix: (grumbling) I guess you don’t need to roll for this since it’s your specialty. 

The figure leaps up, dark cloak unfurling to reveal her lithe figure, lavender hair blowing in the breeze.

Mona and Isolde: Show off. 

Christopher: (chuckling) What happens next?

Rhane: I’ll have to roll to see if Amber can shake off the spell the monster has cast upon her. When it’s my turn.

Christopher: You’re casting and recasting spells with dice. 

Rhane: For our characters, yes. Beatrix is doing the same for the monster. Only it’s just a game.

The image of the the monster, the village it menaces, and the village’s defenders fade into the mist. 

Rhane: At least we thought it was just a game. 

Christopher: You’re not so sure now. 

Rhane: It was as real as we wanted it to be. Perhaps we let it get too real. Or perhaps it wasn’t real enough. 

The image of the girls sitting at the table is swallowed by the mist. 

Christopher: Your wishes effected how real this game was? It sounds like you’re in the Shadow Forest. Or on the edge of it. 

Rhane: I keep telling you we’re not in the same universe. We just have the same scribbler. 

To be continued next week…

Like my style of writing? Here are links to more…

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

K.S. Trenten

#RainbowSnippets: At Her Service

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday and Sunday, those involved 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 various LGBTQIA+ stories, go to….

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

I’m drawing to the end of At Her Service, as much as I’m ready to share. Right after I went back and changed a lot of what I posted. I decided to make the lady of the chateaux and Cinders’s father a bit more humorous. Too much humor turned hardcore in what I’d written.

The scene below has remained the same, the scene I’ve been sharing recently. Here is the rest of it…

“If so, I’ll be as careless and clumsy as I can,” I vowed, but I blushed and ducked my head. I couldn’t keep meeting her hot, sapphire gaze. 

This coaxed another smouldering laugh from her. 

And so I became Cinders.

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

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