Wednesday, January 15, 2020

#QueerBlogWed: Paula's Prompts

On October 16, 2019, P.T. Wyant posted at a Wednesday Words post involving a trade, a giveaway, and a sale.

This poem, which could be about the Navel came to me as a result...

Do you have memories to trade?
We’re having a sale on dreams
Ideals are being given away quite cheap
Nothing is what it seems
Oh, you can exchange your past for something else
A life you’ve never lived
Raise your standards in let’s pretend
The latter is just a gift

You found our shop because you have something to trade
Or maybe there’s something you’d like give away
Recreate yourself, become the person you’ve made
Whatever you don’t want can stay

Just don’t ever return wanting your memories back
Once you give them up, they’re lost
Don’t toss away your ideal because it has a crack
And your heart is consumed from within by frost

Consider the value of what you’re giving up
Before you give it away
Once you accept our bargain, once you drink from that cup
That piece is here to stay

Come, come, bring in your bad memories to trade
We’re still having a sale on dreams
Ideals are being given away for free

And nothing is what it seems. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Paula's Prompts: Wednesday Words

On October 9, 2019, P.T. Wyant posted a Wednesday Words prompt involving a dead tree, a rope, and a trumpet.

This poem was the result...

The rope broke
Hanging from the dead tree
The trumpet has long since summoned her home
Perhaps it was God’s will
To drag her kicking to this place
Only to watch her feet dangle
She was no beauty
Not that you ever noticed
Only I noticed her
Squinting during your sermons
Reading meaning in your words
No one was ever meant to notice
She was nobody
Still she spotted you
The lies in your rants
Repeated until they sounded like truths
They rang false in her ears
The clamour never ending
Until she couldn’t take it any more
Couldn’t live quietly
She had to scream it out
Pointing her finger at you
As you’ve pointed yours at so many
So you sent her to the tree and the rope
Only to have the rope snap
Freeing her, though she was already dead
Her body disappeared before it hit the ground
Everyone could hear the trumpet
Calling her home from here
How you rant and rave about her now
Your fear screaming through your rage
Everyone is starting to see the lies
Listen with her ears
How long before you yourself go to the tree?
I doubt your rope will snap
No trumpet will sound for you
I’ll be waiting though
Waiting to collect your rank soul
As it slips from your body
Beyond heaven’s salvation

Into my patient grasp. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

#QueerBlogWed: Paula's Prompts

On October 2, 2019, P.T. Wyant posted a Wednesday Words prompt involving a barrier, singing, and the moon.

Looks like this freebie story of teeth, claws, and needing to howl is the first of the new year...:)=

She joined in song with her distant sisters, far across the land, deep in the woods bordering frightened, human civilization. Trapped behind one of their barriers, created of ash and wolf’s bane, it kept her bound, circling the fence, unable to move beyond its boundaries. 

She couldn’t run. She couldn’t hunt, much as she yearned to maul and maim tender flesh, feeling skin tear beneath her teeth. Such pleasures weren’t for her, not here, not in this place. The herds of shivering humans and their livestock were safe from her moon-born teeth and claws. No wild women would threaten their peaceful community, oh, no. 

They might be safe for now, but she could still howl. 

She threw back her head and bayed, pouring all her fury into her song. It swam through the air, seeping into her sisters’ coats, even as they roamed on four paws beneath the trees, stalking their prey. 

They tossed back their fur-lined heads, adding their song of fury and violence to hers. How beautiful her sisters were, charging through the underbrush, circling a woman who dared to wander away from civilization under the moonlight. Perhaps they would turn her. Perhaps they would eat her.

No. She sent her command to their impulses. Taste her. Don’t eat her. Give her a taste. Afterwards send her back to her former home. 

Delight in the hunt entered paw and claw, as they sent their silent assent. Their pursuit became playful, cornering the harried woman, coming at her from all sides. After all, she would soon become one of them. 

One of them leaped at the woman, taking her down. She was followed by others, nipping, biting. 

The woman screamed, a last cry of a dying, helpless humanity. 

Soon it would be all of them. The prisoner grinned, tasting the blood shared by her pack. Oh, she was hungry, but soon she would feed. 

Their new sister would come home out of the cold. The men wouldn’t want to let her in, but the girl would have a mother, a sister, or a friend. She wouldn’t be able to ignore the girl’s pleas to let her inside. 

Once she was in, the shivering human herd would not be safe. Not once this girl sank her teeth into them. One by one, they’d take the guardians of hearth and home, introducing them to the beast they’d always kept at bay in their hearts and bodies. They’d make that beast a reality, which would tear humans’ hearts out when they entered their cottages and lay down their weapons. 

There would be no more safe places. Only wild ones.

The prisoner allowed her grin to widen. 

Monday, December 30, 2019

Secondary Characters Speak Out: Quartz with the Other Grace and Theodora

A stubby dwarf sits in his chair, glowering at the little girl with loose, coppery curls, wearing a long red cape, holding a stuffed bear in her lap.

Quartz: I don’t get it. You’re the main characters in Wind Me Up, One More Time. What are you doing here?

A red curtain materializes behind Quartz, the child, and the bear. 

Opal (Quartz’s younger brother, or rather his voice comes from behind the curtain): Says the protagonist in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins. 

Quartz: Shut up! That’s not finished yet, there’s no certainty Nine Star Press will accept it, and I am a secondary character in Fairest, a dead secondary character, I might add. Not that I accept that. Ever. 

Grace: So are we.

Quartz: Eh?

Theodora: Growwr. 

Grace: We’re not dead, but we are imaginary works within an imaginary work, so to speak. 

Quartz: How’s that? 

Grace: We’re the main characters in a secondary story playing out within Wind Me Up, One More Time. That would make us secondary characters, wouldn’t it?

Quartz: Well, I suppose when you put it like that, it makes a certain amount of sense. (mutters) Not that it does.

Theodora: Growwr. 

Grace: It confuses us, too. Christopher suggested we come talk to you about it.

Quartz: Of course he did. Way to dump other characters’ problems on other characters…(grumbles)

Theodora: Growwr. 

Grace: You did the same thing with Iama the Terrible. You decided to settle her rivalry with Oriana over whom was the more evil enchantress by sending them to Christopher.

Quartz: Well, he did a good job mediating between them. Seems like I made the right choice. 

Grace: Which is why he sent us to you. It struck him as being the right choice, given some of the secondary character confuddlement we’re going through. 

Theodora: Growwr. 

Grace: We’re not the only Grace and Theodora in Wind Me Up, One More Time. We’ve got a quest, but the other Grace and Theodora have all sorts of things we don’t. Like friends, tea, an itchy sweater, and a school they can’t wait to get away from. 

Quartz: Can’t help you’re noticing you’re wearing a nice cape. Must be much nicer than some itchy sweater. 

Grace: Thank you. (Grace smooths the edge of the cape in question.) The other Grace admired it, too, only there’s so much she has that I don’t. I’m a little jealous.

Quartz: What do you have?

Grace: I have a sister, Nathalie. The other Grace has that, too. Only Iama the Terrible, the evil enchantress takes her away from me. 

Quartz: While the other Grace gets to keep her sister, eh?

Grace: Well, no. Her sister disappears. It looks like there’s no way to get her back for a while. I suppose I had my quest, a hope of retrieving my sister, even if it seemed hopeless.

Quartz: Go on. What else do you have?

Grace: I have Theodora here with me, but she’s not really mine. She belongs to my Nathalie, my lost sister.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Thank you, Theodora. It is nice to be needed, to hear you, and to be listened to, but I’m not your child. Not like the other Theodora belongs to the other Grace.

Quartz: Is that all you have? Really?

Grace: Well, like I said, I have my purpose, my quest. In all of the fragments of Grace and Theodora: Magic and Mishaps within Wind Me Up, One More Time; my…I mean this Theodora and myself are in, the two of us are trying to get my sister, Nathalie back. I’m not sure if the other Grace has a purpose other than handling whatever life throws at her until the end. 

Quartz: That’s something.

Grace: That’s true.

Quartz: Sounds like the other Grace got most of the frustration.

Grace: I get frustration! Not to mention hardship, longing, and I have to escape from actual enchantment. 

Quartz: Isn’t that something else you’ve got the other Grace doesn’t? Enchantment? Not that it doesn’t carry a lot of heartache and pain you don’t want, but you seem to envy your namesake’s itchy sweaters. 

Grace: The other Grace, well, her life isn’t without enchantment, but she really has to seek it out. Enchantment comes easily to me. In fact, I find myself trapped in a palace filled with it. At one point, the enchantment gets hold of me and refuses to let go. 

Theodora: Growwr. 

Grace: Theodora would like to say she has one thing the other Theodora never did…Iama the Terrible’s heart. (She looks down at the stuffed bear.) Isn’t that a spoiler?

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: No, I suppose not, if you don’t say anything more about it. People might really misunderstand what you just said, though, as a result. 

Quartz: I’m not sure why anyone would want an evil enchantress’s heart. They’re more trouble than they’re worth. Not that I’m biased, oh no, rage doesn’t fill me when I think of what that apple did to my daughter…bloody Oriana!

Grace: An evil enchantress’s heart is something, though? Even if it causes trouble? I didn’t think it was something she’d give away that easily.

Quartz: No, evil enchantresses throw theirs away. After which they cause all sorts of trouble. You know this as well as I do.

Grace: I suppose I do, but I’m glad she did. I’m not sure how we would have won without Iama’s heart.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: You’re right, that is a bit of spoiler. Sorry.

Quartz: It’s hard not to give things away. Happily I have Nimmie Not and my brothers to, err, encourage me not to. 
Grace: Well, Theodora and I do have each other, to encourage each other, even if I’m not actually her child. I suppose that’s something, too.

Quartz: I suppose it is.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Thank you, Quartz. Christopher was right. I do feel better after talking to you. So does Theodora.

Quartz: Do you? (mutters) I hate it when that boy is right. (He smiles through his whiskers.) Not always, though. Not always…

Nimmie Not: (voice coming from behind the curtain) Don’t even think it. 

Quartz: Eh?

Nimmie Not: Don’t even think about boys in other universes. Remember I’m watching you.

Quartz: Oh, come on, he’s in love with Damian! Not to mention he has whatever weirdness is going on between himself and the twins! 

Nimmie Not: Hmmph! Like that would stop a flirt like you.

Quartz: For the last time, I’m not a flirt!

Grace: (giggles)

Quartz: What’s so funny?

Grace: Your nose is turning red. 

Quartz: (He puts a hand over his nose) It is not!

Grace: (giggles again) 

Curious about this Grace and Theodora as well as the other two? Here are some buy links to Wind Me Up, One More Time, the story they all appear in...

Want to read the story which started Quartz grumbling (and blogging) about his fate as a secondary character? Here are some buy links to Once Upon a Rainbow Volume 1, the anthology of LGBTQIA+ fairytales in which Quartz meets the fate he'll never forgive, forget, or stop trying to make me undo in Fairest...

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Paula's Prompts: Wednesday Words

On September 25, 2019, P.T. Wyant posted at Wednesday Words prompt involving a chimney, snow, and bells.

This poem was the result...

The snow never falls on my chimney
I cannot hear the bells
Songs of distant carols surround me
Bringing you close to here
Taking a number of forms
Merriment, joy, and childhood toys
They jingle in your smile
Your movements as you knead gingerbread
Always close when you are near
The light from a candle
The eagerness before opening a brightly wrapped present
The smell of cinnamon and nutmeg in the air
The taste of mulled wine
The ringing peals of laughter
Everything you bring with you

Everything which happens when you’re here. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

#QueerBlogWed: Paula's Prompts

On September 4, 2019, P.T. Wyant posted at a Wednesday Words prompt, "Just because it's a bad idea doesn't mean it won't be a good time."

This freebie story was the result...

Bad ideas, good time. You have so little time left. It’ll tempt you, this limited lifespan, to do things you wouldn’t otherwise dream of. You spent a lifetime being prudent. Look at you now. So little life left, so little life truly lived that you look back upon it with bored impatience. You wonder, “Just what was I doing with myself?” 

I’ll tell you what you were doing. You were making choices, playing it safe here, gambling here. You weren’t any more wasteful with the time you had than anyone else on the planet. 

I’m still playing that game, working on that balance. I understand your impatience. I’m not willing to pay the price for your bad idea just so you can have a good time. 

I’m sorry. Maybe I’m not a good friend for making this choice, for being so selfish. I have to live in the world you’re leaving behind, clean up the mess you scatter about while making your exit. 

You’d like it to be a grand one. I can understand that, too. It’s possible to enjoy some good ideas as well as this bad one. 

We’ve still got time to think of one. Give me a chance to do so. It will be worth it. I promise. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

#QueerBlogWed: Paula's Prompts

On September 11, 2019, P.T. Wyant posted at a Wednesday Words prompt involving a tower, a flower, and a word of power.

This Tale of the Navel/The Shadow Forest freebie story/teaser was the result...

The tower grew, spreading its roots deep in the ground, roots of stone, mortar, solidifiying the flickering of hopes of those who’d formed it. His own wish was a single flower, blossoming, doomed to fade, only it had been captured. Immortalized in stone. 

He could be released. He could be brought back from this stillness, this stasis. He remembered who he was, even as the hungers of what he’d become intensified every time he smelled the fresh young life blossoming in the garden. Two fresh young lives. 

Those lives were developing thoughts and character of their own, wandering in the shadow beneath the tower. It would be so easy to lose himself in those lives, to forget himself entirely. To disappear into the hungry stone. 

One word kept him from vanishing, a word binding him to whatever was left of him. This word still infused him with an intention, a love he’d almost forgotten as he sank into the rock.