my fickle gods, you will not come to me here before the blank page, the white screen, you will not come when or where I summon you but you will call to me in dream now, at your own will and whim you draw my dreamself’s consciousness into your bodies as you conjoin, as you grasp and press and grip, struggle and give and take, once you rarely visited me in dream yet now even if I am far from you in waking I am one with you in this other realm, brother-lovers entwined in the eternal dance of dominance and submission, rapture and release, and I humbled, honored to take part in this union
Alice rolled over in the dark, reaching automatically for Muffy’s warm body; when her hands felt only cold sheets on the other side of the bed, she sat up with a frown. By the dim light of glow-in-the-dark stars and scattered fairy dust, she could see the bedroom door stood open. That wasn’t odd in and of itself, but a feeling of wrongness crawled up her spine and Alice had long ago learned to listen to that unease. Crawling from bed, she pulled on yesterday’s clothes, sword belt included, and went to stand in the open doorway.
“Muffy?” When no answer came to her call, Alice moved cautiously through the dark house, straining to catch any sound. She heard nothing but the sound of her own breathing until she reached the front door, which like the bedroom door stood open and empty. There, standing on the threshold and gazing out into the starlit night, Alice spotted Muffy’s footprints leading down the path – at the same time as she caught the faraway strands of singing.
The music was like nothing Alice had ever heard before in all her travels across the universes. It seemed as though her ears didn’t actually channel the music; it simply spilled through her mind, lilting and haunting, wordless yet passionate. It traveled down her spine like electricity and branched out into her arms and legs, urging her forward with a euphoric restlessness. She felt her feet move of their own accord, following the path Muffy had taken not long before. Like a sleepwalker Alice wandered along the trail, a distant part of her mind aware she headed unerringly toward the beach below the lighthouse but unable to turn her feet from the path.
“Muffy?” Alice called out again, alarm making her heartbeat pound so loudly it almost drowned out the strange singing. A fat full moon sat low on the horizon, lighting both ocean and sand and casting back long shadows of two figures down by the waves. The song no longer drew Alice forward; she ran without realizing she had regained control of her legs, the song’s control broken by her distraction. “Muffy!” she yelled over the sound of singing and waves. “Muffy, what are you doing out here?”
The fae stood knee deep in the frigid water, wearing only a tank top and panties, a look of dreamy joy on her face. She didn’t turn as Alice rushed to her side and grabbed her arm, only sighed like an infatuated schoolgirl and said, “Oh Alice, isn’t she just beautiful?”
“What are you–” Alice fell silent mid-sentence as she followed Muffy’s gaze out to a jagged rock in the water. Perched atop it sat a girl – or at least part of the creature was a girl. Its top half was the upper body of a human girl, pale and naked, her eyes like glowing amber and her long hair glossy black. Yet where her legs should have begun her skin met scaly, dark blue flesh in a sinuous striped tail which wrapped several times around the rock. Her rosy lips parted as she sang, one supple arm stretching out to beckon Muffy closer.
“She says I can have a kiss!” Muffy managed to pull out of Alice’s grasp as she rushed forward through the water, her own arms held up to the beautiful woman. As Alice lunged to grab Muffy, she glanced to the creature long enough to watch the rounded mouth spread wide in a hungry smile filled with thin, sharp teeth. In the same instant the creature dove from the rock with a flick of its long tail, fingers outstretched to reach Muffy first.
“Muffy, no!” With one hand Alice yanked Muffy back, the other drawing her sword to thrust the blade between themselves and the approaching creature. It drew up just short of the sword’s point, tail lashing through the waves and lips drawn back in a frustrated hiss. Even as Muffy begged, “But Alice, I want a kiss from her! She’s so pretty!” Alice pulled her back toward the shore, swinging her sword back and forth like a lit torch to keep back the beast. When they reached the beach the creature gave another angry hiss and disappeared into the waves.
“Come on, honey, let’s get away from here…” Alice wrapped an arm around Muffy’s wet waist, keeping her sword drawn until she could be sure nothing else would leap out of the darkness. Muffy allowed herself to be lead back up the path, yet kept casting glances back to the waves with a forlorn look on her face. “But she was so pretty…” she pouted. Alice merely nodded wearily. “Yes, she was certainly… er… something.”
Miles offshore, the siren sank her claws into black painted wood and hauled herself up the side of the ship, slipping over the railing in a spill of scaly tail. Mage sauntered down from the helm, eyes gleaming with excitement. “How did it go?” she asked. The siren scowled as she gathered her tail into a coil beneath herself. “My song didn’t work on the dark haired one long enough,” she hissed. “She broke its control and intervened. I lost them both.”
“Alice!” Mage spat the name like a curse. “I should have known. Fucking asexuals – present company excluded, of course. I just thought perhaps…” She waved her hand dismissively and sighed. “Ah, oh well. It was worth a try. We’ll get them next time, my dear.” She leaned down, planting a kiss on the siren’s smooth cheek.
If you are a biggot, get out.
If you are a biggot, a racist, a bully,
A troll-er, a trash-er, a happiness bash-er…
If you’re proud of ignorance, well hey, there’s the door,
Go and offer your opinions no more.
[ A snarky parody of Shel Silverstein’s poem “Invitation”. ]
the tricky thing about invasive thoughts is what if they’re right? because their source isn’t always irrational in and of itself, it’s not irrational to worry about megaquakes when you live on the West Coast where the plates sink and melt beneath your feet, where pressure builds offshore for hundreds of years only to one day, one singular unexpected inexplicable moment just snap and send shock waves rippling through earth, water, air and reduce order to chaos, it could happen any time so you start looking for signs just in case, do earthworms on the pavement mean something’s coming, can they feel the tension in the soil about to erupt, is that why the birds are gathered in such strange patterns, the animals restless, was that a tremor just now or the dryer upstairs? and the irony, always the irony that anxiety doesn’t make you better prepared, compulsive obsession doesn’t give you any mastery over these forces, they just make you more aware of all the things that can go wrong, oh are you ever so aware of all the things that can go wrong
it seems these days I just want the dark, the dark and the silence, to curl inward until I am small and round and impenetrable, until my back doesn’t hurt anymore, my arms don’t hurt, my head doesn’t hurt, my heart doesn’t hurt, so many things hurt and nothing seems to touch any of them, not Imitrex or Advil or wrist braces like gauntlets on my arms, only the dark and the silence soothe, only in sleep am I someone who moves without pain, who flies over canyons or swims through oceans, through magma, who bends fire and water and earth, and for every dimension and law of physics I control in my dreams there is another thing uncontrollable when I wake, I doubt that’s irony but it’s cruel anyway
Lines I (Probably) Won’t Use When I Propose to My Girlfriend
but that are true nonetheless
I could watch you play Assassin’s Creed forever. Will you marry me?
I’m not physically capable of cutting my own butternut squash. Will you marry me?
You’re the only one who takes my crane fly paranoia seriously. Will you marry me?
You not only get my obscure Jurassic Park references, but you make your own. Will you marry me?
Together, you and I will be the strongest couple in the entire world. Will you marry me?
I find your intense hatred of Paul Revere adorable. Will you marry me?
You introduced me to Avatar the Last Airbender. Will you marry me?
You introduced me to Dexter. I hate you for that, but will you marry me?
I’m sorry I introduced you to Cowboy Bebop. And Swordspoint. And Under the Poppy. Will you marry me?
I really like making out with you. Will you marry me?
I want to spend the rest of my life listening to you talk like Steve Di Schiavi. Will you marry me?
“Is that any way to greet me after so many years, brother?” The woman on the other side of the door frowns as if injured by his callous greeting. “I thought you’d be happy to see me.” Daren sighs, keeping a firm grip on the door handle with one hand and his knife with the other – still out of sight, though he has no doubt she expects him to be carrying it. “What are you doing here, Mage?” he asks, trying for a slightly more civil, though no less threatening, tone.
“I’ve been worried about you, of course,” She lays a hand over her breast as a show of sincerity and he almost laughs aloud – like she even has a heart in there. “I wanted to see how you’ve fared since we both got out of that awful place. You’ve been terribly hard to find of late, you know. You were living on your own for some time,” she inches closer, lowers her voice with a smirk, “but that’s not true anymore, is it?”
“Leave him out of this,” Daren snarls before he can bite back the response. Mage chuckles, her smile smoothing sweetly. “He’s very handsome, this friend of yours. And he must be rather rich, too,” she adds, eying the glimpse of the apartment she can see past Daren. “I wonder what he sees in you, Brother?”
“Call me that again and you’ll have a knife in your throat,” He moves his hand just enough to catch light on the blade held at his side. Mage’s cool green eyes flicker to the blade and back and she laughs delightedly. “Such a temper! They couldn’t break you of that, could they? Good,” her eyes narrow, a feral grin he knows too well, “I like your anger. It suits you.”
Daren refuses to rise to the bait this time. “You should leave,” he growls. “Now.”
“I see your hospitality hasn’t improved much,” Mage shakes her head woefully. “Won’t you even invite me in? Offer me a drink for old times’ sake?” When Daren doesn’t respond she sighs, pouting her disappointment like a child denied a toy. “Fine, I’ll go. But do say hello to your companion for me, won’t you?”
“Fuck off,” Daren slams the door in her face, a gesture of finality and dismissal that betrays his unease. As he pockets the knife he hears her laugh softly on the other side of the door and murmur, “See you around, brother dear.”